now that it's over

Brad & Cierra's first show season is officially over. Not only did he achieve his original goal of completing the patterns, he accomplished more then he ever dreamed possible in his first year! Four shows later, Brad has learned a lot about riding and competing in AQHA Ranch classes. He worked hard preparing for months and months, taking two lessons a week. Brad is a completely different rider now, more refined and knowledgeable. 

His last show of the season was the WQHA State Labor Day weekend show. He competed in Ranch Trail for the first time, as well as Ranch Pleasure, and Ranch Conformation. It was nice they offered more Ranch classes at this big five day show. It was held at the same venue as the Midwest Horse Fair. Like everything, the place has it's good & bad qualities. The two pavilions house the stalls & show arena's under the same roof (well, actually two roofs) making it very convenient, but distracting. Ask Cierra, she doesn't like the arena's.

Regardless, they did okay overall. Thank goodness Cierra has a good head on her shoulders. Brad's first class was Trail. The rope (drag obstacle) got caught on his spur *yikes* and he didn't realize it right away. He began to lope off still attached, could have easily been a wreck...he finished the pattern in style, but of course they docked him for it.

I don't recall all their placings. Typically they land somewhere in the middle. What really matters is how they ride together, unfortunately they were visibly off in some areas. I felt kinda bad for Brad to end the season with sub-par rides in Ranch Pleasure. It's the class he cares the most about. However, things turned around on the last class, of the last day, of his last show - Ranch Conformation. Cierra walked away with four AQHA points! It was amazing considering the beautiful horse that wins - every single time - was there, competing among other really really nice Quarter Horses. Cierra ended up with the following AQHA points this season:

Ranch Pleasure: 3 points
Ranch Trail: 1/2 point
Ranch Conformation: 4 points

Brad proudly earned the lions share of these points (
Trail point was from his trainer riding the Open Class). 

Another recent highlight was the surprise piece of snail mail he received. He qualified and got his first invitation to show at the AQHA World Show in October! So cute how he shared his excitement with those that understand what this means to him. I would show you a pic of the fancy folder, but I think he is sleeping with it under his pillow? Just kidding! He did drive around with it in his truck for a while. Incase you've never seen one, the invitation is a glossy folder filled with letters, info and forms. Including one to purchase a special over priced show qualifier buckle:

In my effort to be supportive I said "you should go" his response was "no way, I would pee my pants" lol! The World Show is a whole different level, and he knows he is not ready. I have no doubt that some day, the invitation will be accepted. Many people qualify every year, in reality it's no big deal. But for someone who never thought they would, it is.

Now that his show season is over, it's back to work. Among other things, he plans on learning flying lead changes. As for me, I'll continue to practice riding on my own. Hopefully I won't mess my horse up too bad in the process!

Sorry no show photos. AQHA rules...I did get written permission to take some photos of my rider during non-judged times. Will share a few of those in another post, after I look over them!

Thanks for reading along! Hope all is well in your blogger corner of the world!!


Shirley said...

Congratulations Brad and Cierra! Well done! Onward and upward!

C-ingspots said...

Absolutely wonderful! Congratulations!!

The Dancing Donkey said...

Congratulations, I'm sure a huge amount of work went into such a successful season. Well done!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Congratulations Brad and Cierra! All your hard work paid off. Next year can only get better.

aurora said...

Brad has seen your comments, thank you!!