Monday, February 18, 2013

Choosing a Versatile Performance Horse; Part 1

Most people probably have at least one horse that is really only good for one or two performance classes. Side passing horses are likely to only be used in dressage, though I have seen them cleverly used in two types of other performance classes. Personally when I choose a new horse for myself I want it to be able to show in as many performance classes as possible. Performance is what I love about model showing and I've gotten pretty good at it. But the stiff competition here in Region X means you bring your A game or don't expect to do more than put your stuff on the table and take it down. I always try to bring my A game.
   These photos were all taken this past August at my friend Kate Cabot's show, More Fun Live; Performance On the Porch. It was literally held on her porches (and was awesome!) I brought a few horses to show but I want to focus on my Leggs resin and all of the things she did that day. My Leggs is is named Caramel Latte and was sculpted by Liesl Dalpe and  painted by Joan Yount. The English tack she is wearing is by Jennifer Buxton and I made the doll. I don't think hunt seat pleasure was the first class of the day for her but maybe it was. She started out with a nice blue ribbon. 
Next Latte competed in Hunt Seat Trail. For anyone that has been enjoying the breakdown of costs the poles actually came with a jump I used to own. And I traded for it. But painted poles are not hard to make and not expensive if you buy them from someone else. The flower pots were 4 for $1 at Michael's and the flowers were also from Michael's and I think they were $1 a bunch. Latte is showing her versatility with a healthy second place.
While Caramel Latte can certainly do English classes there are many that she really can't do. She can't do hunter over fences or jumper, cross country, dressage (not well anyway) and so on. I may have done an Other English class with her and missed the photo. Not sure. So we'll switch over to Western classes. The western set was made by Pam Perkins, the pad is super simple ultra suede over felt with some numbers stuck on and was made by me. The pole was a white painted dowel and the two barrels were soup cans. 1 I got from a friend because he had too many (and I gave him some arena fences because I had too many...) and the other came with a props lot I got for a bargain price. The documentation is again from Jennifer Buxton's wonderful two barrels and a pole post.
Because I really do have a deep love of dolls I wanted to do a leadline class. Which was perfect for my Other Western entry. I made a little junior rider in pink and black to match my showmanship doll. I also made a pair of little buddy stirrups so I wouldn't have to change saddles to use the junior rider. A simple card stating it was leadline, cute dolls and that was good for first.
Next up was western trail. The photo was taken from this angle because we were all amazed that all of the horses in the class were regular horse colored! Not a spot on a one of them! It was the most true to life model horse class any of us had ever seen. I don't remember how Latte placed.
Next up was western pleasure. This was also another head-to-head competition in the Red Leggs Rivalry between my friend Marisa Evans and I. Because horse showing on it's own isn't enough fun for us apparently! It's a fun little extra competition that I am sure makes us both work harder. It paid off in the pleasure class.

The western call backs came at the same time I was trying to get Latte ready for her Native American costume class. So she went up dressed for it. (I just figured out she got 3rd in her trail class) Latte managed champion in the western division!
And then she also got first in Native American costume. I actually did a partial trade for the costume, Joan Yount sculpted the head for me and I dressed the doll.
I completely forgot to bring my halter to the show (what a goof!) so I borrowed this one from Jackie Rossi. I believe this is a Susan Bensema Young Halter. The red and the pink weren't a super match but the entry was correct and they managed 1st place.
There must have been another class in the other performance division that I didn't get a photo of. I think it was creative showmanship maybe. Or other performance. Either way, I am pretty sure I did my auction set-up. Mostly it's an excuse to use all of the dolls I have. It's a lot of fun to set up. Latte managed to get champion in the other performance division as well.
So all in all I think Caramel Latte showed in 9 classes at this show and received two divisional championships. She certainly can't do everything but she is a very versatile show horse. When I am picking a horse I try to think about how many classes they could possibly do. A walking, standing or trotting horse can do a very large number of classes in every division. Even a cantering horse can do many many classes (and you can throw in the jumping classes and do well). When you choose a horse try to think of all the classes you could put it in. And then ask yourself if you would have fun showing that horse. Because if you're not having fun why bother?

No comments: