Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Sunday/Friday night blog party.........

You all know my story, I have been in the business professionally for over 30 years and have had a pretty good career. By the way, the horse in the picture above is my beloved mare Johnie at cutting practice. Sometimes I am not so sure she takes her job seriously, so because of that I made it look like a cartoon!

I have been showing horses the majority of my life from cutters to jumpers, and almost every discipline in between. And I have finally settled back into the cutters because they are my true passion.

I have shown horses all the way from the Cow Palace in the bay area to Atlanta.

Won some, lost some, made a lot of good friends along the way and have a lot of really good memories.

Though I have a lot of the memories winning classes and doing well at the shows, the best and the most fun memories are of the shows that I did not do so well. Those were the shows where I learned the most and had the most fun.

You always hear people say that they are having the most fun when they are winning, but to be honest with you, I do not know how that can be. It always seemed that when we were having a bad show, we totally cut loose and the pressure was off.
One year at the Astro Dome in Houston, nothing was going right. We forgot to pack a lot of our tack, and it seemed that no one including me nor my clients were into the show at all. We had enough tack to get by on and made it through the show mixing and matching bridles. Somehow I managed to win the junior western pleasure class, but we laughed the whole time. And yes we partied our asses off and none of the other horses placed above 4th. We just took nothing at that show seriously.

So what are your fondest memories of the shows where you may not have done well, but managed to laugh it off, have a great time and keep your sense of humor intact?


CharlesCityCat said...

Hey JR, glad to see the party start again.

I will post some of my not so good moments later.

CharlesCityCat said...

Well, just have to say,


Take that GL!!!


Oops, need to go find my maturity, it seems to have run off somewhere.

CharlesCityCat said...

Okay, I have a good one.

We were at a show, lots of entries, pretty nice place. I started out in my usual pleasure classes and there were 20 + horses in each class. We were doing well, but in the third class, I blew the lead on our canter departure, lucky for me, Spunky and I were on the other side of a very large TB named Lance, fixed it real quick and we ended up with 3 2nd's and the Reserve. At this point, I have realized that the judge likes Spunky. So what do I do, go into both of my jumping divisions and manage to go off course every time. How goofy is that? I am usually not that directionally challenged. The good thing is that in the under saddle class of both divisions, we pinned first. The fun part of this was there was a special award for the trainer whose riders accumulated the most points. My trainer won, but boy did I feel like a real idiot.

fernvalley01 said...

I would love to see that photo without the add ons . Johnnie looks like a nice mare.
My show memories are all a blur (either the wiskey or the stress)

kestrel said...

Went to a little podunk show, it had rained, went to go back and get the hoses we forgot, got stuck in a huge mud puddle, spun mud all over my friend who was pushing the car...was that our clue? Oh no.

Ist class I'm riding my horse and a dust devil that may have been headed to Oz hits the ring. Blinding dust tornado, me and my horse were both so green we just kept chugging around...won the class.

Next class I'm riding a client's horse. They had decided to change his feed the day before. Like 30 pounds of grain and probably some crack cocaine for a chaser. At the western jog we're lapping the other horses like a nacar race. He looked like a millipede...did not win. Especially when he started bucking. Back to the drawing board.

Friend rides her perfect western mare into the class, tornado starts up again. Class is held up to let the wind die down so the judge can actually see us. Did I mention the mare really hates wind? She ran away and hid under the announcer's stand. Refuses to rejoin the crowd. No way. Client's horse actually settled down, but by that time everyone, including me, hated him. Did not win.....we decide wine coolers were more fun than showing that day!

JohnieRotten said...

Yeah that Johnie is a nice mare. She definitely hs some moves and there have been a few times that she moved so quick I ended up on her neck.

I just put her back into the cutting pen this year after about 6 years of using her as a lesson horse. CNJ showed at a small show in a hunter class and she went 2nd out of 9. It was more as a I amgoing to show her and you are going to let me!

That was the first and last time she had an english saddle on her. At some point I will post a few pictures of her.

She is comming back though and I do intend to show her next fall.

JstPam said...

I had a three year old I was showing that when he was good, he was GOOD, and when he was bad, he was BAD! You never knew which mood he was going to be in , day to day or even class to class, even warm up to the show ring.

His most famous move was the "saddlebronc", just out of the blue he wouold buck like a son of a buck, and the class was over for us. I would try to get his head out from between his knees and out the gate without killing any body else.

At one show we jogged into he arena and at the far end you could hear a few spectators humming a tune, as I rode by them I realized they were humming "Cow Patty". (my name is Patty).

We come by again at the lope, it is looking like a good day, they are starting to add the words. (Did I mention this group seemed to be having a few drinks)

Reverse and jog by and they are in full courus...."Yippie Yi Aye, COW PATTY!". I start to get the giggles and he lost his mind!

After I got him stopped and headed for the outgate, they cheered huge for me, and when I looked back, they had scored my ride, I got a
68, because I did mot score him "coming out of the chute"!!

BuckdOff said...

We decided it would be a good idea to take my niece's OTTB to one of the local shows here, rather than over in her local area. I met her at the show, I had never seen the horse in person. She took the horse out of the trailer, she was huge..and young..She did one spook at some kids running down a hill, near the ring, my niece bailed. She did two classes, no ribbons, but no more spooks. It was not our best show. Maybe next year!

CharlesCityCat said...


You are too funny. I think I would have bailed after getting stuck in the mud.

PrairieFarmer said...

I vote for - PICTURES OF JOHNNIE! Love the expression on her face in this one! All business that girl...

GoLightly said...

hmmm, so many, so many.

Mostly wee schooling shows, but one memorable big junior jumper show, I dismounted going over a fence, to save my kneecap from being plowed into a jump standard.
So graceful.
No ribbons. Lizzie, gawd, could she jump. No steering or brakes, really, but hey, I was 12. To Jump was to Live.

Whippoorwill exploding his girth over a big oxer, I think warming up for a biggish class. I rode the saddle into the dirt.
No ribbons.

I think surviving should get ya a ribbon.

GoLightly said...

CCC, humpfh.
That was positively deviously smarmy of you.


OH, at a winter schooling fairly big show, I was about 14 now, I'd been having problems with bully girls at school.
The nastiest one was at this horse show. I cleaned UP. Ribbons out the wazzooo.

Dena said...

I missed the paaaaarrrrtttteeee!
42 second pole weaving run followed up by a 28 second barrel pattern.
After the steward advised me to change my shirt so "when we won" their words not mine, we wouldn't get DQ.
I was wearing cap sleeves.
Well hell, at least we looked the part.
And there is my boy standing on the bleachers cheering me on and when we came out of the gate he told me I was amazing and did wonderful.
Choked the hecklers having a laugh at my expense right off.

GoLightly said...

so there:)

horspoor said...

I was at a horse show when my son was 4 or 5. I wanted the all around, so I was showing my gelding in halter and showmanship along with the rest of the classes.

I've got my gelding stood up, nice square, quiet. I hear this little high pitched voice, yelling encouragement from the rail. "You're doing just great mom, but your horse looks like a statue!" The judge was looking over my horse at this point. She must have seen the look on my face, "Yours?" She asked. I nodded...and she started laughing. I placed.

He was so pleased. He got to ride Strider around between classes. Happy little kid.

I sent that story into AQHA...we made the journal. lol Probably the only time I'm ever going to make the Journal. lol

Cut-N-Jump said...

Back when Pi was the only horse I owned, long before JR and the twins...

I took the pony and child to the local open schooling show. Halter, most colorful, and leadline were on the schedlu for the day. My sister and her daughter were there, grandma showed up to watch, the sun shined down and the weather was actually nice.

So we get the pony ready, child dressed everyone headed for the ring- video camera in hand... They go into the halter class, walked in and lined up. The judge comes up, nods to my child and starts his assessment on the pony. As he makes his way around behind her, my daughter is now facing her pony as she reaches up, scratches her neck and blurts out loudly enough for everyone to hear- "Yeah, I know Pi. I don't like this much either."

The judge is snickering, everyone in the stands are snickering and she just stands there scratching the ponys neck as if they are completely somewhere else.

Crazy3dayer said...

Hmmm...was late for a show, tore a hole in the ass of my riding breeches and was wearing a thong. Was in the horse trailer w/pants around my ankles, my husband (the golfer) trying to duct tape the hole so I could ride. They were calling the warm up for the class. Hubby was yelling "can't you loosen your pants more so I can get in there? What's wrong with you woman?"

sigh....Finally got the hole taped up. My trainers husband was holding my mare and doubled over laughing his ass off. Then put on my Hunt coat..Think the scene from "Tommy Boy"-Fat Guy in a little coat. I'd grabbed the wrong jacket. It's about 90 Degrees w/100 % humidity..

Oh the joy. I get out of the class and tell hubby..I got 9th!!!! He looks at me funny and says "Hun..there were only 7 riders in class"

We still laugh at that one!

kestrel said...

I think that most good trainers develop a word of mouth, results oriented, educated clientele. The problem seems to be too many people with too much time on their hands because they have no they would love to blacklist everyone but themselves.

kestrel said...

Oh, that was about the blacklisting BS!

cattypex said...

heh... my first 4H fair, I had a very smart, very cute, very eeeeebil pony.

Western Day, we did great! 3rd in Halter, 4th in Showmanship, and I WON the Walk/Trot class (I was the only English rider, too - everything was borrowed except my underwear and the horse.)

Next day, English Day, Sweetie decides she's had enough. In halter AND showmanship, she just kept walking... and walking.... AND WALKING.... with me waterskiing at the end of the reins, and the judge finally plastered up against the fence with the pony's nose in her chest.

I had stuck on a smile, though the tears were streaming down my face.

My poor mom about peed her pants trying not to laugh out loud..... and yet she felt so bad for me....

phaedra96 said...

DD was doing an open show with her yearling QH. We had been working with him a couple of months. He went from never wearing a halter to showing pretty well. DD was doing her pattern with a pretty smile and Smoke jogging along like he had been doing this forever. All of a sudden, his head shot up with his eyes bugging out and he was ready to run. DD gave him a sharp jerk and brought him back to her and never even missed a step. The judge told her he placed her third because she never even lost her smile. He loved both of them!!

PrairieFarmer said...

I never showed horses (other than a few years in Pony Club), but I did show dairy cows for about 10 years...And if you think horses can embarrass you, well, never put one past a cow!
I had a sweet little Jersey calf, looked just like a cute little fawn. Her name was Amber. She would follow me anywhere like a puppy. Even ride in the seat of the old farm truck I drove around the fields. But she HATED HATED HATED to show lead (i.e. pick her head up). She would refuse to budge, so I would simply drag her as she was light enough. We would make a few laps like that then she would PLAY DEAD! Flop over, on her back, legs STRAIGHT up in the air. You could shake her legs and yell and jump and she would not react at all, eyes rolled back in her head. I eventually learned that I could pinch her ears, REAL hard, and that would make her jump up.
This was, of course, the hit OF ALL the shows and fairs I took her too that season. And yes, very embarrassing. But after a while I kinda enjoyed it. Like a comedy routine. Kid vs. calf. Who will win?
I finally taught her to lead proper by baiting her with blackberries. One step - one blackberry. Etc, etc...Thank goodness, because I could drag a little 5 month old calf around a ring but it wasn't happening when she was a 500 unfreshened heifer!
This was also the cow who would eat all the long ribbons off all my grand champion show ribbons (and just leave the rosette part) if I was stupid enough to display them anywhere close enough for her to reach.

cattypex said...

A (very slender) friend of mine who was looong past 4H age was messing around at a show with her old waist-high pony (who was being ridden by a little kid, doing great that year)... well, she got a little too goofy, and old Hippie (the pony's name, owing to his abundance of hair) had had enough and bucked her off. I think she broke her wrist, actually.

This off a pony so short she had to hold her legs up so her feet didn't drag!

I think I might bring it up again next time I see her.....

Oh, my first or second year showing Vandy, I won High Point English trophy after a long and involved runoff with a good friend of mine. So after my victory lap, I came out the gate, waving my ginormous trophy in the air. Weeeellll, the evening sun caught it, Vandy saw it out of the corner of her eye, and she stuck her tail in the ground and drilled a perfect 360.... sending me flying off into the dirt, right on top of the trophy. Put a good dent in it, and put a softball-sized bruise on my ass.

I didn't care, though.... it felt SO GOOD after a year of hard work and poor health, and to be in the runoff with a good friend, who I wouldn't have minded losing to, made it even better. I still have that trophy.....

My 4H leader was always good for a "hey, at least you didn't pee your pants!" after a blown class...

One year, our announcer didn't make it, so she roped my dad and a friend's dad into it.

WELL........ my friend's dad always has a big plastic tumbler full of rum & Coke (he still does - he lives about 2 blocks from me, oddly) and he shared with MY dad.

By the end of the day, Sarah and I were about to march up there and pitch 'em out the window, but everyone else was HIGHLY entertained.