We just wrapped up Brad's second show, a big five day one. There were trailers from Texas and Arizona, and who knows where else. He competed in the only AQHA Ranch class offered, Pleasure Riding. Ten riders were entered in Amateur. One rider after the other ran the pattern. His number was near the end. I thought his ride was pretty darn good with the exception of the first 360 stop/transition:
As they read off each of three judge placings, we heard the numbers and names called out...4th, awesome! The next judge placings were announced, Brad's name was called right away - he got 1st - and that's when they could no longer be contained. Those wet things that leak out of your eyes when emotions can't be controlled. Happy tears. We couldn't hold them back, not this time. I'll never forget my husbands face, when he realized - I can do this!! His girl officially has AQHA points, and he put the very first points on her!! Through the quiet tears and hugs, we heard the last judge place them 2nd.
We weren't all loud and dramatic, in fact quite the opposite. We are private people. Doubt anyone noticed our small circle of happiness. It was made up of Cierra, Brad, our daughter, our trainer and myself. I didn't brag it up all over Facebook, it's not even mentioned. Those who care, already know or will find out from us in person. I'm sharing here, because hopefully others will be inspired to follow their own equine dreams, whatever those dreams may be, at any age. Believe me when I say it's not the winning, it's the affirmation.
On the second day the pattern was more difficult in many ways. Riders had to trot over four large trees, 'er poles. Brad did fine with those but made some other riding errors, and placed 7th under both judges. However his 360's and transition on this ride were really nice! You win some, you lose some.
In my feeble effort to learn the ways of the show world, I've looked at many class placings from the past two shows. It's interesting the differences among the judges. Sometimes they are similar, and sometimes they are on the opposite end of the score sheet. One day you win, the next ride you don't even place. It's kind of a crap shoot. It all depends on how you roll, who shows up, where your horse is in the cycle of training, and who likes what they see, or didn't see. It changes - every - single - ride - up to the very last minute.
I asked Brad if he was okay with me writing this post. He said yes. This comes from a very stoic man. As always he remains grounded and humble, and ready to work even harder. Words cannot describe how proud I am of him and Cierra, who knows what the future holds for this dynamic duo!!