6.21.2016

a special day

I've started this post, and renamed it five times already. What do you name a persons hard work, perseverance, realized dreams, and then put it into words?

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!!




9 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's great! Congratulations! It's so nice when it all comes together. They're a great team and have lots of great rides and shows ahead of them. I'm so happy for you all.

As for showing...You never know what you're going to get in the way of judges. The thing is to just do your best and hope for the best. I like to think of shows as a barometer for where you are and what you have to work on in the future. Good luck!

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's great! Congratulations! It's so nice when it all comes together. They're a great team and have lots of great rides and shows ahead of them. I'm so happy for you all.

As for showing...You never know what you're going to get in the way of judges. The thing is to just do your best and hope for the best. I like to think of shows as a barometer for where you are and what you have to work on in the future. Good luck!

Kate said...

Wonderful stuff! Congratulations to all concerned!

C-ingspots said...

FANTASTIC!!! Oh, you're so right about the winnings - they don't matter, it's the realization that you and your horse did this, together, as a team. That trust, partnership, those trials and errors and of coming full circle. That feeling that I can do this - WE can do this!! That's what matters. The judges are giving you their opinions, of what they see and that's what it comes down to. Opinions based on some experience. I love that Brad is pursuing what he's always wanted to do. When you work hard for something, the affirmation is so SWEET. :) Congratulations on a job well done!!

C-ingspots said...

Love that picture of your cowboy walking away...

4RRanch said...

Point earner, way to go. I've always loved showing but my husband got so frustrated with it after raising our 2 daughters in it. You work so hard for so many hours then show for 2 minutes where just about anything that can go wrong will at some point. This is why he got interested in endurance riding, you work for hours then compete for hours and there is no judge. So glad your husband is having success from all his hard work. They really looked good in the video.

fernvalley01 said...

Congratulations Brad and Cierra! well done!

aurora said...

Thank you! Brad reads my blog & will see all your wonderful comments!!

Barometer is a good word, Arliene. I take crappy phone video's of his rides, to help confirm what needs improvement.

Kate, it's so nice to see you back - looking forward to an update!

I've always loved the "from behind" photos Lorie, for me they speak volumes...

4R (sorry, I don't know your name) I can understand your husband, our daughter showed in 4H. Between the drama and what you described, it gets old in a hurry. Even for me now, and my hubby is not dramatic. But it seems to be a regular show occurrence for others...now I can just leave *^*

Thanks Sherry :)

Post edit: Cierra has a beautiful extended trot, I hope some day she brings it at a show. What they do in practice, isn't always what they do in the ring. Our friend (Cierra's breeder) shared the news on Facebook in such a sweet way, with pictures I took of when he met Cierra (about 8 weeks old) and decided she was the one (we bought her as a weanling) along with a couple recent show photos. We are so blessed to have such wonderful horses in our lives, and be surrounded by such kind friends who understand, here at home & online!!


Shirley said...

Well done Brad and Cierra! Nothing like getting points on your horse- it's definitely a validation for all the work and time you put in to her. You two looks good together! I wish you continued success in showing.