Article about IALHA Nationals

This article tells a little more about the 2011 IALHA Nationals.–a-time-to-shine.html

They forgot to mention all the prizes won by Rancho Godinez!

First Place – Training Level Test 2
Reserve Champion – IALHA Dressage Futurity Training Level Test 1
Reserve Champion – Functionality Test – Spanish 4, 5, & 6 year old Stallions
Grand Champion – Andalusian Formal Saddle Seat
Top 5 – Best Piaffe
Reserve Champion – English Pleasure Hunt Seat Jr. Exhibitor
Top 5 – Hunt Seat Equitation Jr. Exhibitor
Grand Champion – Western Equitation Jr. Exhibitor
Reserve Champion – Best Costume
Top 5 – English Hunt Seat Amateur
Top 5 – English Show Hack Amateur

2nd place – Yearling Fillies Morphology

1st place – Two Year Old Colts Morphology (ANCCE show)
Reserve – Champion Young Horse Colt (ANCCE show)

Rancho Godinez - IALHA Nationals 2011

Parent Support

This last weekend I was overwhelmed by the support our junior rider’s mother showed. This mother was almost as excited as her daughter about the horse show.  She knew when to let the trainer work with her daughter, and she knew when she needed to step in.

As a child, my parents did not support my love of horses.  My mother reluctantly took me to riding lessons, and in my Dad’s words watching a horse show “is as exciting as watching paint dry”.  I could count on one hand the number of horse shows my parents attended.

On the other hand, my grandpa fully supported me.  Even when he was in his 80s, he would help me bathe the horses and haul them to local shows nearby.  He would get the horses ready while I went and filled out the registrations.  We made a great team.

I’ll admit, when I saw this girl’s mother supporting her so fully, I was a bit envious.  I wish my parents would have been willing to change their weekend plans to watch me.  I wish they would have at least enjoyed watching ME in the ring.  I realize that horse shows can be boring, but they are always more interesting when you know the people in the ring.  I’m so thankful to grandpa for filling that role in my life!  I don’t know if anyone noticed, but on my display table at Nationals, I had a picture of my grandpa.  I know he’s always with me at the horse shows, and every once in awhile I hear him whisper some advice to me.

Lessons learned at the horse show

Last week was the 2011 IALHA National Championships.  We traveled to Fort Worth on Monday, got the horses settled, and started showing on Tuesday.  The show lasted until Sunday afternoon.  I’ve spent the last few days resting and catching up from being away for a whole week.  Every horse show is a unique, new experience.  This show definitely had it’s ups and downs.  In the end, we won several classes and have some great new titles my horses can claim.

Things I learned:

1.  Teamwork is important.  I’ve known this for a long time, but this week reinforced this in my mind.  It’s also important to choose great team members.  Our team worked together beautifully.  Each of us had our down moments, but the others were able to help pull us up.  We each focused on what we can do better and praised each other for the great accomplishments that we have made in just the past few months together.  By working together, we helped lighten each others load a bit.  I know that the show would not have been the success it was without each and every one on our team!Our Winning Team

2.  Crap happens.  All of us had a moment that was bad.  Each of us handled our moment differently.  I learned that I need space when I get upset.  Leave me alone for awhile and I’ll be ok.  Don’t try to push me to “get over it”.  I will, but I need a little time.  (Just for the record, I still think the judges were biased.)

3.  Take care of yourself.  It’s easy to miss some of the basic needs (like eating and sleeping) when you are at such a big show.  Don’t skip too many meals or too much sleep or you will not be on top of the game.  If you get too far down, it can be dangerous working with unpredictable horses.

4.  There are some wonderful people at the show.  I could go on and on about the great people I met this week.  One that stands out in particular is a certain trainer (who is awesome by the way) who offered to loan us a bit that we didn’t have but needed for a class.  We had read the rules wrong, and didn’t have the correct bit…he spoke up and offered to let us borrow one.  What a great person!  I hope he realizes how much that meant to us (especially after the horrid day we had earlier).  Our “stablemates” across the hall were wonderful.  We had a great time talking and admiring each others horses, commiserating about the losses, and celebrating the victories (even if we never got the wine opened).  Also, kudos to the show manager who always had a smile on her face even when we were dropping, adding, and changing riders.

5.  There are some not-so-wonderful people at the show.  I saw several accounts of horrible sportsmanship.  I know, I don’t like to lose either, but being nasty to the other competitors is not the answer.  I saw people who over-exaggerate circumstances to their favor.  Not every act of discipline is abuse.  (I’m not saying it is okay to hurt your horse, but sometimes corrections are necessary for everyone’s safety.)  Not everything is a “political statement”.  Sometimes people don’t have an agenda when they wear a specific shirt.  (Although I will admit, I broke out my Cardinals shirt here in Texas this week!)  Trainers don’t need to give their riders a “lesson” as soon as they come out of the ring without placing.  It’s all about the timing…they are already feeling defeated.

6.  My horses are awesome!  So the judge didn’t always agree with me, but every time I saw one of my horses in the ring, they were first place in my opinion.  Rather than be upset about the faults of my horses…I tend to think there was something wrong with the judges 🙂  I know we have some things to work on (and yes, my yearling filly has crazy long legs at the moment), but I LOVE my horses.  Nothing that a judge says is going to change that!