Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals 2015 - Day 2: Green Working Hunter

Oh, the fun!

I groaned when the alarm went off...
But the braider I hired had agreed to share her tips and tricks with me, and I was eager to learn how to rock hunter braids.


The braid down went as I anticipated.
I learned I've been doing forelocks wrong my entire life!
I also learned that I have the basics for tying up hunter braids, I just need more practice, and to push up from the bottom to get the right bump.
And, then, there is Secret Weapon: QUIK BRAID (more on this later...)

And tails!  I've stressed about braiding Whisper's wispy tail, but now, I know the trick!  A couple anchor braids makes things sooooo much easier!!

So, with lovely braids, we moved on to tacking up, dressing, and warming up for THE first (and our only) class of the day!

In the warm-up, there were lots of horses stopping at the warm up fences, so I figured there must be something intimidating about them...  I never did figure out whatever it was, though, because Fancy Pony hopped right over them!  She really felt great!

We don't have a lead change yet, so I currently rely on landing my leads in order to get through a hunter class...

Well, our first round, we had to go to some simple lead changes....  Despite our warm-up and getting her focused on landing the lead of my choosing, it just doesn't always work out that way...

The course was also rather interesting!  There wasn't a single related distance. The course designer tried to establish a course that allowed us to show our hunters the their best advantage, whether they were 13 hh or 17hh!

We went back in for our second course, and we landed every single lead!!!  It felt like a really pretty ride!

Then, of course, we pulled saddles for the trot...
And we waited... and waited... and waited...

Whisper started shaking her head and neck.  Each time, she shook it harder and harder.  We figured she was sweating and it was itching, so we tried to help her out by scratching along her crest.  And she would lean in as hard as we would let her!  There was some serious itchiness!!

Finally, we trotted, re-tacked, then headed in for the flat portion of our division.
It was a pretty uneventful ride where the Fancy Pony just felt dreamy to ride!
Then, we stood in the line up and waited.......  you know the drill...   and waited...

And after what is always an agonizing time, they started to announce the Top Ten....
Arabian Sport Horse Nationals 2015 - Top Ten Arabian Green Working Hunter

And we joined the ranks of Nation Honors with a Top Ten in Arabian Green Working Hunter!!

So... remember those braids I paid for?
As SOON as the bridle was off, that mare brought her hoof to her neck and raked out the entire middle section of her braids!!
I don't think I even got a decent picture of those beautiful, perfect braids....
I had hopes they would last for 2 or 3 days...
And I get one class out of them....

*le sigh*

It turns out, the sensitive chestnut mare is really sensitive to QUIK BRAID!
Who knew??


  1. Congrats!!! Some horses can't handle the braids. At hunter shows, they have to get braided every day usually because horses will rub them out.

    1. Thanks!
      Usually, we do dressage braids that will easily last 3 days at a show. I leave her without a slinky, and she barely bothers them.
      We discovered that after we washed her neck thoroughly, she quit trying to rake out her braids!

  2. woooo top ten!!! congratulations!! but boo sensitivity to quik braid :(

    1. Thank you!
      It took us a while to figure out what was going on, for sure!

    2. Thank you!
      It took us a while to figure out what was going on, for sure!

  3. Congrats on top ten. That's amazing.



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