Spare Me The Details - 2002 - 4 Years Old

Taylor and I had a great 2002 show season! We ended up travelling to a lot of new and different places.

We spent 2002 showing in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. I put more miles on my truck this year than any other, but it was worth it!

What made this show season so fun was not only our successes, but the great attitude Taylor kept all summer. She worked very hard for me, even in the 100+-degree heat, and that made every ride a BLAST! There's nothing quite as enjoyable as a horse who wants to work and do things right.

We began 2002 with a VERY cold show at the beginning of March in Frankfort, Kentucky. The temperature dropped to around 25 degrees, and it ended up snowing so hard on Sunday I had to leave my trailer and my horse! I don't recall ever showing in long underwear and sweatshirts under my hunt coat before!

Along the way we had some great shows, some big successes (including placing first under both judges at the KY State Fair), and a lot of good memories. Also along the way I made many friends!

One of our greatest accomplishments was finally nailing down our showmanship patterns, and figuring out the pull turn! I never thought Taylor would make much of a showmanship horse (those tall, leggy horses always seem to look out of place in that class), but she really surprised me.

We finished the year at the Ohio Futurity in September. A great show, and some very nice payback made for a good topping to the show season. We are looking forward to 2003...with plans to add equitation and hunter hack to our show day!

Stacey showing Taylor at Lakeside (Frankfort, Kentucky) in June, 2002.

...circa 2002

Here we go...set up and standing square (somewhat!) and ready to begin our pattern. WHY must every judge on earth choose the same pattern? I am tempted to turn Taylor loose and let her do it alone. I am sure she can, since we've had this same pattern at least 9 different times this summer!

Trot from cone 1 to cone 3. Wow, don't I look weird when I run! I never knew that! Maybe I need to practice jogging in front of a mirror.

Back from cone 3 to cone 2. Taylor will back with no pressure on the halter when she is really paying attention. Today is one of those good days. She is alert, yet not TOO alert, and watching me for signals. I love when our partnership is working out and we are actually communicating!

Turn a 270 degree pivot. When she's on, she's ON! We spent a good amount of time before the class schooling our pivots. If I am lazy in my body position, Taylor will respond by curving her neck and not giving a nice straight turn. Sometimes it is harder for me to correct myself! Today I am awake enough to make sure I am right, and Taylor stays straight through the turn.

Walk to the judge and set up. Here's where I am mentally telling myself 'Look her in the eye, look confident, but don't stare!'. It's hard to maintain eye contact with a stranger when you have a million things bouncing around in your head.

After inspection, 90 degree pivot to the right and trot off. Here I am urging her as there isn't a whole lot of room for the trot, and Taylor's long stride makes her hesitant to trot in close quarters. I have to click every stride and remain forward to keep her going.

The class is over, and we are happy and relaxed. Taylor (and I) held it all together to win the class! Showmanship is demanding, but such fun when your horse is in tune and responding to all your cues. Of course, it helps that we have made showmanship a part of our daily routine, even when walking out of the stall for turnout. And it also helps that Taylor is such a great horse who tries really hard to do things right!