Friday, June 5, 2009

The Rotten Neighborhood Blog Party!!!!! IT'S PARTY TIME!

In 2005 my wonderful CNJ and I went to the Scottsdale Arabian show as exhibitors. We were taking 3 client horses and one of our own. I had not shown at the Scottsdale show since 1995 and I soon remembered why I wanted escape the Arabian industry in the first place. There is something about that show that turns somewhat normal people and owners into the biggest pains in the ass.

Please don't get me wrong, I love my job as a trainer and I love to teach people how to ride and the fine art of showing. But just not those particular clients at that particular show!

Lucky for everyone we were stalled across from a good friend of ours who is also a trainer, because she could see that I was getting really frustrated and I looked like I was going to kill somebody. She figured I needed an intervention before one of my clients ended up wearing their horse for a hat!

So we sat down and my dear dear friend offered me some Brandy (it was cold and rainy, and it was for medicinal purposes. At least that is what we tell ourselves). My dear dear friend told me if those were her clients, she would fire every one of them.


So I trotted off to my trainers lair.... and thought long and hard about this! Three or four minutes is long enough isn't it?

We ended up only firing one of them which was for the best since she refused to listen to me and would not let CNJ groom her horse for me before I took him in the ring. All we had left was the Sport Horse Under Saddle classes and 2 crazy old ladies to deal with. That made it a lot better as it freed up more time for us.

So we partied. And when we were done showing sport horse, we partied more. We had coffee with Black Velvet in the morning, and throughout the day. Then we switched to beer, wine and whatever other libations we managed to get our hands on. Since the showgrounds have several 'mobile bars' set up ringside, there were plenty of things to choose from.

No we are not alcoholics, we were just having a really bad show and needed to vent. We were placing well enough, but as soon as the horses went home, we partied. This is not something we always do!

So I guess this brings up the question for all of you competitors that have gone to the show and ended up having more fun at the exhibitors party than you did showing?

How many times have you ever said 'Fuck It!" at the horse show and decided to party?

What did you drink?

And what is your favorite drink when having a bad show or a really shitty day?

110 comments:

Cut-N-Jump said...

You forgot to mention the random trips to the trailer for Kaluha shots straight from the bottle!

We sure made that one a memorable show, didn't we?

And the fired client- I think we are still apologizing to everyone she came in contact with. Ugh!

Dena said...

I have pretty much decided that horse people are to some extent loopy.
As, I belong to the group, I have come to accept this.

Favorite drink?
Chivas Regal and Pepsi.

I no longer drink so the best I can hope for is the Xanax to work quicker.

fernvalley01 said...

I hate showing ,it turns me into a complete bumbling idiot (before I add alcohol ) I am Canadian so it is always RYE Wiskey here , or if it is cold Sambuca. Then there is always Tequila after a particularly hard day(lol) I actaully don't drink much anymore , glass of wine or a beer after all the work is done. Coffe and Baileys in the winter. Have fun at your party , wish I could hang out , you guys are always a blast!

CharlesCityCat said...

When I first started showing Spunky, I rode in the early afternoon so that was limiting but as soon as I was done, there was ice cold brewdoggies. There were always ponies showing who got the shaft and rode really late (I didn't have my own trailer) so the cold beer and a chair in the shade was truly wonderful. The Spunkman was always good just standing next to me dozing in the shade, he likes beer too.

In later years, I had my own trailer and was showing with a group who did the tailgating thing really well, and lucky me, I rode in the early divisions. Lots of good food, beer and wine.

Now, with the foxhunting it is all about the party. You start with the Stirrup cup and sip the whole time you are in the field, mostly stuff like Bailey's as it is really cold (excuse) and then end up with the after hunt party. It is really quite fun. Where I am, we are lucky because we have all of these old, historical plantations that we get to ride on.

JediMom said...

I was a 4H leader for many years. No alcohol :-(
I usually showed at the county fair also but as an example, no drinking.
I have found that jack shots are a great cure all when the shit hits the fan, which has only happened a few times.
Normally I like strawberry daquiri wine coolers at home and daquiris when we go our, once a month. LOL.

JohnieRotten said...

Tonight it is Land Shark Beer
The Island style Lager for the nights that your spouse Jamaican ya Crazy!

Sorry that is stuck in my head.

And we also like the Mikes hard lemonade and Mango punch!

JediMom said...

Alas no drinking for me tonight. I'm the charge on night shift tonight.

CharlesCityCat said...

JR:

I wish you were closer, I have 3 cases of the Land Shark in my garage. The hubby gets free beer, damn I wish he worked for a winery.

JohnieRotten said...

CharlesCityCat said...
JR:

I wish you were closer, I have 3 cases of the Land Shark in my garage. The hubby gets free beer, damn I wish he worked for a winery.
_________________


FED-EX!

If I get shipped FED-EX I can be there in the morning!
______________

JediMom said...
Alas no drinking for me tonight. I'm the charge on night shift tonight.
_____________

That aint right!

JediMom said...

LOL JR it ain't right.
But at least it keeps the kids and horses fed!

JohnieRotten said...

The thing is I am rally liking that Land Shark Beer!

JohnieRotten said...

JediMom said...
LOL JR it ain't right.
But at least it keeps the kids and horses fed!
_______________

We told our horses tonight that they all have to pitch in during these tough times and they are going to have to grow their own hay!

JediMom said...

ROFLMAO!!! Grow their own hay!! I love it!! Now how to put action to plan.

JohnieRotten said...

That is the bitch of it all.

These horses today are so lazy, all they want to do is play video games and lay in the sun!

JediMom said...

and eat cookie treats and carrots!

JohnieRotten said...

We will not let then near the oven to bake their own treats. They will burn the house down!

JediMom said...

Ahhh yes, but you know, they can sneakily get the house key and work a deal with the shoer to get a copy made. Then just wait until you are off at a show and muhaha (evil laugh) into the kitchen they go.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Back in my younger and drinking days, anything cold and wet would do during the summer. Winters were Baileys and coffee.

Now there are many things that spruce up the coffee and foo foo drinks for the summer.

Land Shark the other night brought rushing back the memories of team roping and my early days of beer. Hanging out with the guys, riding horses, chasing cows, throwing ropes and swearing when you missed. Too many misses found you at the trailer with a cooler full of liquid courage in a can. Problem was the more you drank- the more you missed. So the more you drank. By the end of the night a lot of us were tanked.

Barrel racing wasn't much different, just different tack, timers, missing cows??? more whore-moans and a few PMS'y broads to deal with.

Then I found showing... This crowd went for different drinks and took it to a whole new level.

The exhibitor parties came with food and free flowing spirits. The grooms, trainers and owners were all trying to impress and sleep with everyone else and threw money at everything. A lot of times they thought they were the elite and the high dollar liquors were there for the taking.

I honestly drank far more before I was of legal age, then I do now. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Growing their own hay? I found a few plows on CL the other day.

They wanna eat, they can work for it.

windingwinds said...

Crown Royal has a nice way of taking the edge off. I've learned to not pay attention to horse people and fools.

JohnieRotten said...

JediMom said...
Ahhh yes, but you know, they can sneakily get the house key and work a deal with the shoer to get a copy made. Then just wait until you are off at a show and muhaha (evil laugh) into the kitchen they go.
____________

Not ours, they jsut kick the door in and start baking....and leave the mess for us!
++++++++++++++++++++++

windingwinds said...
Crown Royal has a nice way of taking the edge off. I've learned to not pay attention to horse people and fools.
________________

Jamesons Irish Whiskey and ear plugs are what I use!

Dena said...

I have to work tomorrow before 3 more glorious days off.
And I will get some more pictures of the little grey.
And my baby worm incubator.
And I gotta know. What is an ass clown?
Have you ever noticed when you break down a lot of cuss terms they don't make sense?
Like douchebag.
That makes no sense to me.
But I know I have used that word in my lifetime.

And JR and CNJ when I show you horses it isn't really meant to encourage anything other than your opinions of them and a little exposure for them.
I am about to have their pictures placed on the back of milk cartons.

You know what I love about cutters? When they are quick enough you don't have a chance to be parted from the saddle because they are just lobbing rom side to side. Kind of like when a horse does the wave in a startle and it is over before you even have a chance to think you should do something.
I love jumpers because it is better than flying. It is soaring.
On the right horse.
You know what I love about dressage? The piaffes and diagonal movements.
Reining the spins. The glorious spins.
Keyhole WhooWeee!!!! Speed and a 180 and more speed.
You know what I like about halter and pleasure?
Not much...
Herd bound horse took out an 16' cattle gate. Heifer could have just jumped it.
She is now in the time out stall. And I am waiting for her owner to call me back.
Somebody is learning to drive this week and pulling logs out of the woods.
I will probably need the lumber to rebuild what she wrecks.
And she is 4 not 3.
I guess her mother was a member of the equine leche club.

JediMom said...

Fun party. Everyone enjoy. Off to work!

Dena said...

CNJ you never did tell me what you thought about princely grey pony.
I want some critiques damn it.
And some ideas.

JohnieRotten said...

Dena said

Herd bound horse took out an 16' cattle gate. Heifer could have just jumped it.
She is now in the time out stall. And I am waiting for her owner to call me back.
Somebody is learning to drive this week and pulling logs out of the woods.
I will probably need the lumber to rebuild what she wrecks.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Make the herd bound mare go drag the logs so you can fix the gate.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Pony? There was a pony? I no, no, do not see no pony. Lalalalalalalalalalala...

Got my eyes closed- you can't see me...

Closing your eyes makes you invisible.

*runs in circles*

Cut-N-Jump said...

*runs in circles*

yelling

"Duck, duck, goose!"

Cut-N-Jump said...

JR- make the mare drag the logs?

I'm hearing-

"There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza..."

The Turd Burglar said...

Ha! My favorite thing to do at the shows is skulk about in the stalls with my dungbuggles and sneakily clean up all the crap. We wan't the owners to believe that their horse doesn't shit and if they did, said shit wouldn't stink. Anyway, between that and trying to keep up with all the spewage of bullshit that accompanies most horse-related activities, it is usually necessary to put the dingbuggles on a diet and take measures to prevent dungbuggle founder.

PrairieFarmer said...

Turd Burglar -
I don't know what the heck that was but it cracked me up!
My favorite drink of choice (that impressed my husband), is a snakebite. The cowboy version - Yukon Jack on ice with floater of Roses lime juice. Yum.

PrairieFarmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JohnieRotten said...

PF

I have not a Snake bite in years. I used to drink a lot of those.

Tuesburglar

I at a loss for words and that does not happen often!

PrairieFarmer said...

Try again...
Was trying to post with new avatar! I love this photo! Giraffe or horse???

PrairieFarmer said...

JR -
Ah...well know I now you are a REAL cowboy (and it was a cowboy who first introduced me to the good ole snakebite).

JohnieRotten said...

PF

That is a Girhorse!

PrairieFarmer said...

No kidding. This is the one who gets her head WAY UP! See the problem????
She and I have a date on Sunday to start with your suggestions!

PrairieFarmer said...

And she gets the loose-jiggly bottom lip thing too. The Michael Jordan horse move. You can kinda see it in the photo. That cracks me up.

JohnieRotten said...

The thing about that lip is once it gets to flappin in a wind storm watch out

PrairieFarmer said...

JR - Wiser words I've rarely heard!
Off to bed now, up in 6 hours for 2 farmer's markets!
Thanks for hosting this party! It's about all the partying my old tired bones can handle these days...

JohnieRotten said...

Yep us to. We are off to bed keep me posted

CharlesCityCat said...

Stopped back in last night to find the lights off and everyone snoring away. Boy are we a lame bunch.

JohnieRotten said...

Yeah people petered out!

It will be a weekend thing. Then we will get back to training on Monday

SFTS said...

LOL...damnit, I missed the party!

I must be getting old, because housework and riding a bunch of horses makes me too damn tired anymore to stay up much past 10. Sometimes 9 or 9:30 (except on foal watch nights, of course)! And that's with finishing up with the horses, evening stall cleaning, making dinner then falling into bed. What a party pooper I am!!

I love Scottsdale and I hate Scottsdale. You gotta just roll with it. But those PITA clients, they come in all walks of life and show at a variety of levels. I have actually walked away from a client who was screaming from the back of her horse after she was DQ'd and excused from a class for tearing a hole in his mouth by yanking the shit out of him. Ugh!!! Some people.

We love exhibitors parties. There are always some GREAT ones at Scottsdale! We also tend to like hosting them. I enjoy the Progressive Barn Parties, too. :) Never had more fun at the parties than showing, though. As much fun? Sure. But not more fun. Alas, I am a horse show junkie. LOL!

But I don't drink. Yep, you read that right. So I'm no good at telling ya'll what my drink of choice is ~ I don't have one. Well, okay, I lied. I do like the cheap fruity wine coolers and those cheap fruity Wild Vines wine. ;) Blackberry Merlot is my FAVORITE!

JohnieRotten said...

Sfts we all have to face the reality that we are a bunch of wussies!

We all go to bed too early!

As far as Scottdale and the Arab industry. Well, I guess I just moved my old crusty self on an went back to tv quarters and only cut and start youngsters anymore. And occasionaly I do the odd problem horse with the odd owner.


I guess we do what we are best at.

Padraigin_WA said...

a shot of tequila.
then, another.

JohnieRotten said...

Padraigin_WA said...
a shot of tequila.
then, another.
_____________________-

Tequila is my mortal enemy!

Bad Bad Bad!
No Tequla for me!

kestrel said...

Hmmm, Desert Moons. OJ, tequila (lots!), and 1/2 shot peach schnapps. Bout 3 and you're mooning camels..

JohnieRotten said...

You ever try Colorado Bulldogs.

Half and Half
Vodka
Kahlua
Coca Cola
All over Ice

It is one of the once you sit down and start drinking you wont know how blasted you are until you stand up drinks.

We made a pitcher of them at a BBQ one nite. After we finished it off, I stood up and hit the floor!

Cassandra Was Right said...

I hate beer, which is a real social handicap. In fact, the reason I've hung around with my son's father for the past 25 years is that he has never in all that time said, "I know you say you don't like beer, but just try ... " He believed me the first time I said it and never brought it up again. A classy guy.

But that's not what you want to know.

I don't go to horse shows, but there are other sources of stress, and other excellent times for a drink or so.

When traveling, it's wine. In nice bars, it's gin and tonic. On vacation or working in a resorty sort of place, it's something large, bright-colored, in ahuge fancy glass (half a coconut is also good) with a paper parasol stuck into a hunk of fruit.

On airplanes it's virgin marys, because alcohol is unreliable at altitude.

charlienchico said...

OK, looks like I missed the party but have to throw in my $.02. Margaritas- keep it easy- and then the the Weight Watchers option-Malibu Rum and Diet Coke, or Tequila and Diet Coke, or just Rum and Diet Coke.. always watching the waistline- and for some reason it just stays there, bigger than life.
Oh, and Jedimom, we've got it dialed- keep it 4-H and non-alc- but then at our Fairs where we have the group camping/hanging area we also have the announcement- "this is the end of our official 4-H event" (BBQ over folks) Pull down the banner and break out the beer and wine. Our fair ended a week and a half ago and my daughter just (barely) missed reserve 4-H Champion with her lamb, the judge really took a long time going back and forth- she took 3rd in 4-H (of course there's no recognition for 3rd- we were thrilled none the less).
Her horseshow performance was the best she's ever done, but it's hard to get high point going against the $20,000 picture perfect push button horse. (to high point's credit, they DO show a lot)
JR and CNJ- too bad you couldn't postpone the party a bit- I'm to be in Flagstaff June 18-27- I would have crashed.

Dena said...

JR thank you for so graciously covering my a$$ over there.
I told you I was going to get confused one of these days.

I am blaming that one on the Ambien.

CNJ you are funny...Yes, I meant for the little heifer to pull logs.
You are good to me you get a good job. You break stuff you are going to do something that makes me feel as though you have paid me back.

You like princely pony don't you?

Dena said...

CCC never say that you were the last one up?
Wow.
It is 6:30pm my time and I am wondering if I can justify going to bed now.


You know what I don't like about red horses?
I can call them a heifer and no one questions what I mean.
I don't own one. Weird huh?
Micah has 2 I have none.
It wasn't planned that way. And I do think they can be just as eye appealing and good performers.
rosesr4ever has a gorgeous red mare.

Dena said...

Go check my mule guys. This is an absolute first for me.
He has some handy dandy moves. And is fast as hell.
Time consuming too.
I just want to know what color he is going to be.
Never seen anything like it myself.

JediMom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JediMom said...

charlienchico congrats on your daughters win with her lamb. 3rd place is great and as long as she is excited and you are excited she'll keep showing!
The 4 H club I was a leader in was one held at a Handicapped and Youth Ranch. The horses were in no way shape or form HP horses as they were almost all donated and neither at the time were mine. So the kids rarely placed cause we had to make do with borrowed and donated tack, chaps, helmets, and clothes. But the kids had a damn fun time of it!!!! They learned how to show right and that it's not all about the winning. Unfortunately they also learned that life is not always fair and you have to move on. We had our share of anger and crying but never at the horses or at the judges.
I would have loved to have done that, take down the banner the 4H event is over, but I was in my 20's chaperoning teens. LOL. I'm amazed they didn't get drunk on me. I think, if my kids want to do 4H I'll remember it. Right now I have one riding sheep and calfs, one starting cowboy mounted shooting, and one wants to do pony club (when I can convince her to actually ride alone she's almost 4). So busy busy busy. LOL.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Dena the mule is a looker! A good mule is hard to beat. A bad one? you'll likely beat to death the person who ruined 'em. They don't forgive and they don't forget. Ever.

A friend of mine had mules and a bumper sticker that read "Mule- the toughest thing on hooves." The onther one sale "Mule is a four letter word."

Charlie N Chico- Did you show 4H when Finals were in Buckeye? If so, I was there and the kid riding our mare cleaned house. I met Nat there too. Nice gal!

The kid has a new horse and did well with him this year. Katphoti judged the English part. Did you know that? LOL!

We are all planning to get together at some point... Ya oughtta join us. The more the merrier.


SFTS- that's not true, you told me you liked Arrogant Bastard Ale. Soooo Busted! LOL!

Oh and the avitar is a giant catapillar, found in a dorm room.

I know. It's just wrong on soooo many levels. 5 to be exact...

windingwinds said...

What no Friday paarty? 2nd drink of choice Long Island Ice Teas! As to 4h, great on the 3rd place CharlienChico. We are changing counties next year for 4h here due to the if you don't ride 24/7 then you ain't horsepeople attitude.

windingwinds said...

Caterpillar?! OMG that's a new one. Need a pony fix Cut n Jump? http://webshots.com/user/windingwinds :-)

Cut-N-Jump said...

CNC- I forgot to add my congrats on the lamb as well. Sounds like you are a proud parent and have every right to be.


About 3 years ago, I took my pony stallion to a show, along with my newly acquired OTTB mare. It was her first show and I was excited. We were only showing in halter, but a nice way to get her started in the transition to her new life.

She was a little bit excited too, but behaved well enough and placed 3rd of 9 horses! Johnie Rotten had to stay home, so I called him once we were loaded and I headed home.

Of course he had to ask- "How did you do?"

Well I was so proud of my mare and her first ribbon- even if it was yellow... "She got a third of 9 horses." I told him excitedly.

"How did the pony do?"

"Oh, he won like he always does... you know how that goes."

Her third placing was such a big deal and I was so proud of her. One of these days I might just pull her out and show her again. Or not.

JohnieRotten said...

Just great. This is turning into a pony ranch!

WTF

fernvalley01 said...

JohnieRotten said...



Tequila is my mortal enemy!

Sounds like you got on a runaway with some takillya in the past!

JohnieRotten said...

I don't think my new Straydog Cutting saddle is going to fit them!

JohnieRotten said...

Runaway takilla binge is an understatement.

Cut-N-Jump said...

FV- Takillya doesn't like me neither. Not since the Halloween party several years ago.

Several types of drinks, various shots, all followed by a shot of Takillya. Almost lost my toenails that night, then it's a blurr.

At least until I woke up in my friends trailer. To a pounding rain storm on their metal roof.

Ay-yi-yi!

If ever a wish to die on the spot to relieve the pain and the hangover had been granted... It sure wasn't mine.

Driving home was also miserable as the rain was so heavy it made seeing past the end of the hood of the truck, almost impossible. Even when going a whopping 15 mph. (The road averages 50-65)

So- pounding head + pounding rain + 0 visibility = long, slow miserable trip.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Winding Winds- I see you are in IN. Cattypex is too. She's involved with 4H, but it sounds like a far different crowd. More relaxed, focused on safety and FUN!

Maybe you two can get together?

fernvalley01 said...

CNJ&JR, OUCH !! sounds like the Takillya lived up to its name for you , worst I ever did on that ,I sadly remember in vivid and humiliating detail , then worked the next day with heartburn that was taller than me!, God only knows how most of us survived our youth!

windingwinds said...

Unsure where Cattypex is located. We are going to a smaller county group, we have met some of them and they are much more laid back. And add CDEs next year, we are gonna be BUSY. To the old 4h group driving isn't a equine sport.

windingwinds said...

Ponies are addictive, maybe next time someone posts a pony for sale I'll take a shot instead, lol. (I've been doing something wrong, I have 9!) Took me a bit but I found CattyPex, about 3 hrs away. I bet we've passed each other at the Horse fair tho.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Winding Winds- I have a huge soft spot for ponies. They should all be round and bouncy with spots!


Most times though they get a bad rap. They are roughed up, because they are small and if they don't cooperate- they are forced into doing things.

Also, little consideration is put into tack fit, proper bits and the young riders, learning how to actually ride.

It's no wonder so many are ruined and the good ones are expensive. The good ones are golden. Worth 10 times their weight in gold. We have one of those. Not for sale for any price although some numbers were mentioned over the years, that would have otherwise, on another horse- may have made me think twice...


And who ever asked about this being a regular Friday thing- YES, it will be, if that's what everyone wants.

Dena said...

I am officially losing my mind. Or soooo tired I am confused as to which way is up.
I posted the picture. And then, posted my draft notes.
I am good. Not.

Thanks CNJ you are correct about them not forgetting.
I am not so sure about the not forgiving though.
It involves a lot of creative parenting for lack of a better word.
I have been horrified by some of the methods and manners of supposed training presented. Mule or otherwise.
He is a looker isn't he? Now we just have to make the inside match the outside.

charlienchico said...

CNJ- I am soooo out of my league if you're talking nationals- one of my project kids is going to state but she IS a 24/7 type of rider and took the state (CSHA) gymkhana title last year. I have been blessed(?) with a daughter who is living MY dream, but doesn't have the passion. I got an English saddle last Feb, my first, and a good, very horsey, friend of ours got super excited about tutoring her and doing some jumps. The friend could push my daughter like I can't and daughter really liked doing this discipline, something different. And her QH mare, who by the way has no Impressive in her lines- I guess I read somewhere that was a rarity (pulling tongue out of cheek)seemed to really thrive- I guess we might have had an english horse all along- all the work really did help the daughter and her posture, even in western, was vastly improved. Of course, fair's over and she's been on the horse? Not at all. She is a Jr. and has had finals, has carried a 4.0 all thru HS, just did the SAT and just made a 4-H county All-Star so I'm cutting some slack.

WindingWinds- I took on doing the Horse Project at my club because I didn't like the way it was being run as a countywide project- HUGE time commitments and I didn't feel like that was a fair expectation for 4-H. I'd love to have you at mine. I'm not the best person for the job, there are others out there who know and can do so much better, but I'm learning and love it.
OK- I went to a neighborhood party last night- drive golf cart 800' down a dirt road to get home- had half a margarita, then switched to Diet Coke. All that to say No Talkilla, all right, just a little, but no explanation for the very long post.

charlienchico said...

CNJ- that caterpillar is just wrong!
Congrats on doing so well with your 4-Hers. I could use your expertise. And how nice to KNOW some local fuglyites. After getting our daughter all excited about english our fair only had one class. County fair is in Aug and should have some more. We did one schooling show and they pick up in the fall.

SFTS said...

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
SFTS- that's not true, you told me you liked Arrogant Bastard Ale. Soooo Busted! LOL!

LMAO!! Yep...BUSTED!!

But seriously, I only take a sip or two when hubby has one. And it's not often, cuz the stuff is pricey. :P

PrairieFarmer said...

Charlienchico, Winding Winds and all the 4-H parents...
Kudos to you all! I grew up in the 4-H program. Started when I was 8. Competed in our state fair every year, ended up as the county 4-Her of the year, did a 4-H international exchange, went to the national conventions and all that. It was such a great program, kept me out of all sorts of trouble when I was in the trouble-making age, and I am excited for my 2 girls to be old enough to join in a few more years.
BUT...I thought horse 4-H was incredibly SUCKY! I was in just my first year and switched over to cow 4-H, even though I loved my ponies, had been riding since 3, and knew nothing about cows. In our county, horse 4-H was highly competitive, highly stressed, highly expensive and highly bitchy. The horse barns always seemed to consist of a bunch of nattily dressed girls either acting really snobby on one side of the barn and ones on the other side crying. With mom's screaming - at kids, at each other, at horses, at judges, etc..Just screaming. Or looking mean. I love horses, but man oh man, I sure was glad I was with the laid-back cow crew every year at fair time! (It's hard to get too bitchy about an animal that chews its cud...a lot...).
We all don't know each other from boo on these blog sites, but based on your comments, you all seem like good, laid-back sorts and I hope that you can keep your 4-H programs centered around the important stuff, the fun, beauty and connection of working with horses - and not all the crazy drama! What is about horses that can bring out the real crazy in folks?????

charlienchico said...

Prarie Farmer- I'm so appalled. That to me sounds like big time show circuit drama. I feel like 4-H around here is sort of entry level and regard it as educational. Safety, conformation, desensitising. There are opportunities to show but they are not do or die.
Where did you grow up? (just curious) To me that's not what 4-H is about and I'm sorry someone out there turned it into that.

SFTS said...

PrairieFarmer wrote:
Charlienchico, Winding Winds and all the 4-H parents...

Kudos to you all! I grew up in the 4-H program. Started when I was 8. Competed in our state fair every year, ended up as the county 4-Her of the year, did a 4-H international exchange, went to the national conventions and all that. It was such a great program, kept me out of all sorts of trouble when I was in the trouble-making age, and I am excited for my 2 girls to be old enough to join in a few more years.

BUT...I thought horse 4-H was incredibly SUCKY! I was in just my first year and switched over to cow 4-H, even though I loved my ponies, had been riding since 3, and knew nothing about cows. In our county, horse 4-H was highly competitive, highly stressed, highly expensive and highly bitchy. The horse barns always seemed to consist of a bunch of nattily dressed girls either acting really snobby on one side of the barn and ones on the other side crying. With mom's screaming - at kids, at each other, at horses, at judges, etc..Just screaming. Or looking mean. I love horses, but man oh man, I sure was glad I was with the laid-back cow crew every year at fair time! (It's hard to get too bitchy about an animal that chews its cud...a lot...).

We all don't know each other from boo on these blog sites, but based on your comments, you all seem like good, laid-back sorts and I hope that you can keep your 4-H programs centered around the important stuff, the fun, beauty and connection of working with horses - and not all the crazy drama! What is about horses that can bring out the real crazy in folks?????

- - - - - - - -

I love the 4H program. My mother all those years ago was a Horse Leader, now I am. :)

At our orientation meeting for new members each year, the low key, fun aspect of 4H showing is stressed.

If I see a parent getting out of hand at any point, they are taken aside and it's explained to them that if they want that level of competition and competitiveness, go elsewhere. And it usually works! None of the three 4H clubs I've been involved in over the past fifteen years have really had a problem.

JohnieRotten said...

Charlienchico

A few years ago, and I am sure CNJ had mentioned this. We had a youth rider in 4H that won it all that first year. I was very proud of that kid.

I was simply amazed howver, at the win at all costs attitude of the parents. On of the kids that our youth competed against missed High Point by 3 points to our rider. That kids parents argued with the judge until the judge tied tie two girls so the other kid would not be a 'Loser' according to her mother. I was simply disgusted!

CNJ had to take them to the shows because I refused to and see that crap.

That was the last time I have gone to a show that was not simply a cutting show.

I do have a few old clients that want me to train their pleasure horses and a few reiners, but I am no longer sure I can stomach it

I remember when 4H was an equal playing field and it was about the kids.

What the hell happened?

JohnieRotten said...

By the way Congrats on your kids accomplishments!

Dena said...

CNJ I am still laughing about the sayings/bumper stickers for mules.

All I know about 4H is that I question where the program is headed when I get a call from a prospective buyer on my more true campaign prospects.

One could argue that people of all walks are wanting their children to benefit from the educational opportunities.
But shouldn't sportsmanlike conduct be brought into that education early on?
And how fair is it when one kid is working with something they buily based on the premises of good stewardship and another had everything bought for them?
And some kids have parents/relatives/friends that breed above average stock.
Should they be accused of having bought their blue?
It is a conundrum. Is that the right word?
Sucky sometimes fits too.

Dena said...

*Update-heifer is being moved to a new stall today.
Previous stall requires repairs.(go figure)
Heifer shall also be placed in a headstall with a sweet iron bit.
Hopefully she will be encouraged to do something other than chew my wood.*sigh*
Heifer shall not regain use of her name. Until, she stops being such an ornery cow.
Heifer has not completely exhausted my patience or creativity.

Thanks for making this place btw. It is nice to have a place to share, ask questions, and occasionally vent.
And not have to explain what I mean in detail beyond the words I have used.
People/psychologists get a lot more money for what we do.
And hopefully their clients are not crapping all over their offices.

I have my Masters in horse psychology. Translation, I know the difference between a rake, a fork, and a shovel.
And am required to use at least one or more of them daily.
The difference is, I do not get to bill by the hour. And the health insurance industry not only won't pay me. They won't cover me either.
And to think I gave up drinking.

PrairieFarmer said...

Dena and JR - Exactly!
SFTS - Yes! It's all about the leaders for setting the tone! I know that can make all the difference in the world.
I guess I've been thinking about this a bit cuz I figure I might be having the horse 4-H thing in my future, and I know I won't be able to put up with it the way it was when I was a kid!
It's kinda like all the competitive birth-day, play-date moms (who has the best snack, rented the blow-up jump tent, the $30 guest "gift bag") all move into horse 4-H. Or soccer. Or bookclubs - usually sans kids. (I went twice to a local bookclub and promptly got kicked out, apparently suggesting all the semi-porn books isn't kosher. I don't care - still love Tom Robbins...).

windingwinds said...

4h can be a ton of fun but if the power is controlled by one person it can be difficult to enjoy it. I am looking forward to the new group, least they don't have a fish fry in FEBRUARY!! (when I questioned this, I was told because) :-p

Dena said...

I am not passing out gold stars because I am not the teacher.

I would like to offer the opinion that this blog qualifies as a, "Communication Success".
Way cool...

Cut-N-Jump said...

4H is a product of three parts.

Leaders, parents and participants. Skills and knowledge lacking in any if the three areas, can be adjusted and compensated for to some degree, but it takes work an dedication on all parts to succeed.

When we worked with the one kid leasing our horse while another was found, it was a little disheartening the things I seen at the shows.

I asked our 'mom' if it was the leaders, not knowing, not getting any help, not holding learning clinics or work days?

Was it the parents 'knowing' how to do it better, not wanting to spend the money or the time to help out or even bringing the kids/horse to the learning clinics?

Was it the kids doing it to collect the ribbons to please the parents, collect the ribbons in a want it all now- reward me for no effort feeble attempt?

"Yes. What you said. All of it."

What was sad was the kids who had the desire and 'want' seemed to be in the club of the clueless or parents who didnt care. The clubs with motivated leaders had rabid Banshee parents.

There were very few who had the luck to want to do well, put the time and effort into it, had parents who spent the money to buy quality tack, clothes and training, and a leader who held regular meetings, was fair to everyone and overseen what was going on.

I helped when and where I could, tried to offer what I could to those who were gracious and accepting, and tried to prevent the most horrific of trainwrecks coming down the tracks. I was not often well received, but by watching you could tell easily, who needed, wanted and accepted the help in order to learn or improve.

The rest- well, it's a matter of time before someone gets hurt and they realize it was their fault. Even then they will likely shift the blame and ditch the horse or move to another type of competition.

I agree Dena. Horses bring out the crazy in folks.

Cut-N-Jump said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CharlesCityCat said...

Good for all of you with the 4-H and keeping the whole spirit of it where it belongs.

I haven't been involved myself but having done shows and seeing how some of the kids behave, something needs to be done about the bad attitudes. I really hate seeing a kid walk by a garbage can and tossing their 3rd place and on ribbons in. If my kid did that, I would have yanked her into next week.

PrairieFarmer said...

My 4-H experience consisted of my parent's buying my first calf (and admittedly feed, although we had enough pasture to mostly feed them on that large part of the year)...then my first calf I sold as unfreshened heifer and bought 2 calves and feed. Then I bought 4 calves, and so on. By the time I graduated from high school I had about a 12 heifer herd which I used to buy both my first car, and pay for my first year in college. I was responsible for caring for these animals - day and night. It taught me about responsibility and work ethic, and finishing something I started. It was a great experience and really gave me a lot of skills that benefit me to this day...

PrairieFarmer said...

Oh, and I valued ALL my ribbons. Especially since cows have an uncanny habit for eating the grand champion ones while standing in their show stalls. So usually the only nice, not partially digested ribbons, that I got home with were the red ones! (Something about all the frilly grand champion stuff, I think they thought that looked like a yummy piece of fruit or something...).

Cut-N-Jump said...

PF- that's funny about the cows eating the ribbons, but not really when you worked hard for it.

CCC- I was always proud of the ribbon when the horse did well. A first place when we blew a lead when the judge wasn't looking or other similar mishaps, seem to cheapen or hollow the victory. But then there were good rides on horses who did well and tried hard and we don't place. WTH? Is the judge blind?

In the end we are really only paying for one persons opinion on that day. They may not like a breed, a color, or how our horse is bred or put together. It's still hard to suck it up and ride for the sake of riding and hope the judge can put their own preferences aside and judge fairly based on what is presented before them.

A kid tossing their ribbons in the trash? I can't imagine such a blatent display of unsportsmanlike behavior. Most shows around here, you are under no obligations to take a ribbon no matter the color. They cost money, and if you don't want it, they can give it to a rider in the next class who may be thrilled at the idea of a ribbon for their efforts.

Sure we all want a wall covered only in blues or neck sashes, and when you get there, it's your option not to display the others. But it's still nice to look back over the other ribbons and remember what it took to get there, the horses that got you to this point in your career and the lessons you learned from them.

PrairieFarmer said...

Yeah, the thing about cows is they have a tendency to take a lot of the ego out of it. Just by their cow nature.
I did once have a Jersey calf who would "play dead" whenever I tried to show lead her. She would follow me around like a puppy til I tried to pick her head up (for showing), than she would refuse to go so I would drag her (she was only about 30-40 lbs when she was little). Then after a bit of that she would fall over, roll eyes back in her head, stick legs up in the air and, I swear to god, pretend she was dead. I could yell, and shake her legs and she would just lay there lifeless. I finally figured out if I pinched one of her ears, hard, she would jump up. Made for great entertainment when I showed her!

PrairieFarmer said...

CNJ -
"In the end we are really only paying for one persons opinion on that day. They may not like a breed, a color, or how our horse is bred or put together. It's still hard to suck it up and ride for the sake of riding and hope the judge can put their own preferences aside and judge fairly based on what is presented before them."
And that right there...learning THAT life-long lesson would be right up there with one of the main reasons I would want my kids to show or do 4-H, whether in horses, cows, bunnies, whatever...
Because I sure would rather them learn that lesson when they are 12 then when they are 52!

windingwinds said...

Okay Mr.Rotten maybe you could blog on selling in this economy. I am trying to rehome qh gelding, not asking for rescue pricing either, 350. Well I was offered 250 today...should I have bit the bullet and taken it?

Cut-N-Jump said...

OMG! A cow playing dead?

My IBgelding would fake a lameness here and there... If it got him out of work he was happy. One of his anti loading tricks was to throw himself on the ground and refuse to move. Problem was the day he did it, I wasn't there.

The second time he went down, half in/half out of the trailer a come-along was attached to his halter and they slowly winched his ass inside. Once he was in, he stood up. My friend said he had the most humbled but disgusted and pissed look on his face. She said it was priceless.

He never did try it again either now that I think of it.

JohnieRotten said...

windingwinds said...
Okay Mr.Rotten maybe you could blog on selling in this economy. I am trying to rehome qh gelding, not asking for rescue pricing either, 350. Well I was offered 250 today...should I have bit the bullet and taken it?
__________________

I will defitely do that. There is no doubt that horses are a hard sell now!

JohnieRotten said...

And send me some pictures of the horses you are trying to sell and I will pass them around.

windingwinds said...

There are pics on website, GT is the one I am trying to sell. But it has come to the point he needs sent to trainer, will be 3 next week. http://webshots.com/user/windingwinds

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

Too funny! I don't think I have ever really had a lot to drink at a horseshow, but I have been so drunk at polo it's ridiculous (but I was working, not playing!) I used to groom for a guy from Chicago who brought me these to-die-for delicious spiced whiskey coolers...they don't make them anymore, I think they were Seagram's? I would drink those all day while working the game. Add those to 90 degree heat in the Midwest and you are wasted in an hour!

fuglyhorseoftheday said...

>>That is the bitch of it all.

These horses today are so lazy, all they want to do is play video games and lay in the sun!<<

Boy, that's mine. True story:

The VLC's trainer was halfway up when he reached over and pulled a tarp into the arena. She quickly swung her leg over, thinking he was about to notice it following him and spook. No. But she had to dismount to pull it out of his mouth as he was shaking it, entertaining himself, and would NOT let go.

I had to explain that he is used to using a tarp as a toy and playing tug of war with gelding friends. :-)

JohnieRotten said...

We tried JD and Hot Chocolate at nationals one year when it was really cold. It was no too bad.

Got blasted quick on it though, there something about those hot whiskey drinks!

Cut-N-Jump said...

100!

Cut-N-Jump said...

Windingwinds- when you figure out a tried and true method to absolute horse sales- you will be a rich person!

It boggles the mind that people will go out and refi their house to buy a horse with no registration papers, no training and sometimes no chance of breeding (in the case of geldings), when we have a registered horse with a show record, no bad habits and is 'all that', for sale for a fraction of what they paid...

We have tried helping clients find their 'perfect horse' within their predetermined price range. When we find a few and show them the horses- many coming in under their budget- they scoff at each one and find something wrong with the horse, even if what they are 'blaming it on', isn't even a relevant issue.

I have seen people buy based on color, length of mane & tail(!) and a few other absurd things that have no bearing on why anyone would want a horse. When it all goes wrong, they cannot or will not admit, they need a different horse. They could find another chestnut TB, bay QH or grey Arab and be just fine, but they won't admit that particular horse is too much for them to handle.

Like I said, when you figure it out- you're going to be rich.

Cut-N-Jump said...

FHOTD- usually when they pick it up to play, it's one thing- something fun that makes noise and flaps in the wind.

If you pick it up to get it out of the arena/pasture, it suddnely becomes a giant horse-a-saurus Rex. Those things eat horses you know. Your best defense is to run.

SFTS said...

PrairieFarmer wrote:
Dena and JR - Exactly!

SFTS - Yes! It's all about the leaders for setting the tone! I know that can make all the difference in the world.

I guess I've been thinking about this a bit cuz I figure I might be having the horse 4-H thing in my future, and I know I won't be able to put up with it the way it was when I was a kid!

It's kinda like all the competitive birth-day, play-date moms (who has the best snack, rented the blow-up jump tent, the $30 guest "gift bag") all move into horse 4-H. Or soccer. Or bookclubs - usually sans kids. (I went twice to a local bookclub and promptly got kicked out, apparently suggesting all the semi-porn books isn't kosher. I don't care - still love Tom Robbins...).

- - - - - - - -

You really HAVE to have a good leader. Not necessarily a great horseman needs to be leader, just someone with decent people skills and KID skills. Many parents don't have that, even though they are parents. Then there's common sense, but Hell, it's not common anymore. Sigh.

LOL about the book club...for shame! :P

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
4H is a product of three parts.

Leaders, parents and participants. Skills and knowledge lacking in any if the three areas, can be adjusted and compensated for to some degree, but it takes work an dedication on all parts to succeed.

When we worked with the one kid leasing our horse while another was found, it was a little disheartening the things I seen at the shows.

I asked our 'mom' if it was the leaders, not knowing, not getting any help, not holding learning clinics or work days?

Was it the parents 'knowing' how to do it better, not wanting to spend the money or the time to help out or even bringing the kids/horse to the learning clinics?

Was it the kids doing it to collect the ribbons to please the parents, collect the ribbons in a want it all now- reward me for no effort feeble attempt?

- - - - - - - -

Very well said.

It IS all three to some of those parents. I just don't tolerate it. I'm kind about it, but I won't put up with that.

SFTS said...

CharlesCityCat wrote:
Good for all of you with the 4-H and keeping the whole spirit of it where it belongs.

I haven't been involved myself but having done shows and seeing how some of the kids behave, something needs to be done about the bad attitudes. I really hate seeing a kid walk by a garbage can and tossing their 3rd place and on ribbons in. If my kid did that, I would have yanked her into next week.

- - - - - - - -

A moment I'll never forget from when I was a kid ~ a lady who was an old family friend, always had NICE horses (numerous US & Canadian National Champions, great ones) brought her stallion, who's nickname was "Perfect", because, well, he was, out to our Regionals. The horse had been Scottsdale and Star World (an Arabian big time program for stallions in the 1980's, and they had a big show once, in Scottsdale, for the get of said "Star Stallions") Champion. He pretty much won everything, every time out. He had a bad class that show, just was a little off. It was in the pre-show, he did go Region One Champion...but the pre-show class, he was sixth. Leslie was so ticked off that as she rode by a trash can, she reached over and tossed the ribbon. I grabbed up that green ribbon, and kept it. It taught me a lesson. In fact, it's kept on teaching lessons. Good sportsmanship is paramount!!

Cut-N-Jump wrote:
I was always proud of the ribbon when the horse did well. A first place when we blew a lead when the judge wasn't looking or other similar mishaps, seem to cheapen or hollow the victory. But then there were good rides on horses who did well and tried hard and we don't place. WTH? Is the judge blind?

In the end we are really only paying for one persons opinion on that day. They may not like a breed, a color, or how our horse is bred or put together. It's still hard to suck it up and ride for the sake of riding and hope the judge can put their own preferences aside and judge fairly based on what is presented before them.

A kid tossing their ribbons in the trash? I can't imagine such a blatent display of unsportsmanlike behavior. Most shows around here, you are under no obligations to take a ribbon no matter the color. They cost money, and if you don't want it, they can give it to a rider in the next class who may be thrilled at the idea of a ribbon for their efforts.

Sure we all want a wall covered only in blues or neck sashes, and when you get there, it's your option not to display the others. But it's still nice to look back over the other ribbons and remember what it took to get there, the horses that got you to this point in your career and the lessons you learned from them.

- - - - - - - -

I've always been a believer that it all evens out. We have ALL had those classes where our horse blew a lead, or spooked, or something behind the judge's back and still won. Then we've also all had those classes where we had a perfect ride and gotten the gate. It does even out...

On a regular basis, I'll muse to my students about what "winning" means. It means something different to all of us. For some, it's just getting through the class. But every single ribbon is an accomplishment. Sometimes, it's that 6th, 7th, 8th place ribbon that just means the WORLD to you, because you know what it took to get there.

SFTS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SFTS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
charlienchico said...

At our fair the horse show starts at 8, carnival rides start at 10- we've even done this for a few years now- but I thought things were OK- daughter's horse was fine early on , then in later classes she was going sideways down the rail and I couldn't figure to start with, then it was, duh, the mare was watching those scary horse eating roller coasters and ferris wheels for any signs of impending attack. I even preached to my kids "if you don't feel comfortable showing at least bring the horse out and have it hang there for a while to get the feel of things". Double Duh!
I did have one student who was really scared on her horse most of the year, but she came, did the walk/trot, and got a first! Those are the victories.

charlienchico said...

That was the 4-H show.
I could share lots of stories- I try to keep it grass roots, but there are the parents. The Grand Champion Lamb this year was an FFA lamb that was purchased for close to $6000 in Texas. I hate that. Last year's reserve champion was a $185 lamb that got the title from conditioning, a good eye and hard work. I love that!

SFTS said...

charlienchico wrote:
At our fair the horse show starts at 8, carnival rides start at 10- we've even done this for a few years now- but I thought things were OK- daughter's horse was fine early on , then in later classes she was going sideways down the rail and I couldn't figure to start with, then it was, duh, the mare was watching those scary horse eating roller coasters and ferris wheels for any signs of impending attack. I even preached to my kids "if you don't feel comfortable showing at least bring the horse out and have it hang there for a while to get the feel of things". Double Duh!

I did have one student who was really scared on her horse most of the year, but she came, did the walk/trot, and got a first! Those are the victories.

- - - - - - - -

Congrats to your student who got her first place! Those are the coolest!!

We used to have a Class "A" Arabian show over the 4th of July holiday. We thought, oh, great. These horses are going to FREAK over the fireworks. Folks started hustling around to close the top stall doors so they couldn't see. But we though, you know, if they're shut in a dark stall, HEARING those fireworks go off, it's gonna be a massive wreck. So, I stood over by one of the more ditzy horses I had that first time...and you know what? They stood there, MESMERIZED, watching the fireworks. LOL!!

When we used to have shows during the L.A. County Fair (there still are shows, just not an Arabian show), they never seemed to be bothered by the rides and the Midway. Even when they could see them. Those loud concerts in the grandstands right behind the main warmup ring, sometimes. But what's always bothered the horses a LOT more are the racehorses. The track is pretty well hidden behind a privacy-type fence and some hedges. But they can sure hear the thundering hooves down that racetrack, especially in the covered arena. Makes for a fun ride sometimes!

JediMom said...

SFTS said
They stood there, MESMERIZED, watching the fireworks

I had an Appy Mare that loved the fireworks. At my parents we'd do them far away from the pasture but she'd hang over the fence watching. At my place we did them in the arena for awhile, fire safety, and then out front. She'd run up and again hang over the rail. Eventually she got the other horses to do it.