Padame turns five

Brad's beautiful blondie turns 5 today! She is spending her birthday weekend at a horse show (Thur-Sun). We drove 2 plus hours north to watch her be shown in two classes yesterday. AQHA Ranch Riding Level 1 and Working Western Rail.

It was obvious to me that Brad's girl is growing up and has filled in since I last saw her. We walked up and I got handed Padame "can you hold her..." of course I said yes! I hardly get to interact with her. We stood in the sun together, enjoying each others company 
while she was drying. I could feel her sweetness come through. I noticed her mane was more multi colored than I remembered. Padame's sooty/dark palomino coat dried to a glisten. 

Brad had driven up the previous day and ridden Padame in the practice ring. He opted not to show her at this show. Brad has been so busy at work and hasn't been able to ride consistently. He always puts the horse first and didn't think it was fair. Brad will start showing her at the next show coming up later this month. Looking forward to seeing him show again!

Padame has struggled with a few things at past training shows. As all young horses do. I wrote about it earlier. Last year and at an earlier MN show this season (we did not go). 

Yesterday she was better about the judges, and also being alone in the ring. Our trainer was super happy with her improvements!! "This was the first show that Padame wasn't so scared that she couldn't receive information from me. She missed some cues, but last year at this show I had a horse that was scooting sideways and backing up". It appears Padame has turned a corner :) 

So many things have changed with AQHA Ranch showing since I last attended a show. It has been sooo long that I had to look it up. I love Blogger for this very reason! Apparently the last time I attended a horse show was in 2018, when Brad was still showing Cierra. Unreal! I didn't go to training shows last year, add the COVID gap and a transition year. The proof is in the post.

AQHA has added/changed Ranch classes and terminology, and guessing some rules too. I didn't dig into it that deep.

2023 Ranch Classes offered

It was sad to see how small the show has become this year. Some large group trainers have retired. Several others took their crews out of State, to a fancier show down south. In addition, they changed the show format. I heard some were not happy about it and did not attend.

Typically you show twice, once on two different days. This show was three days of one day classes. Showing once in front of four judges, on the same day. It's great if you are having a good day. Not so good if you are not. Personally, I like it ~ ha ha! Less back-n-forth. 

Ranch Riding Level 1 pattern

Ranch Riding Level 1
(2:56 min)

They came in last out of three, which is expected when schooling. Their score wasn't too bad. Four judges gave them 65.5/65/63.5/65.5 with two penalties. One was during a lead change and the other I think was a second right turn. Not sure what some abbreviations stand for. 

There were only two entries in the Working Western Rail class. The sequence is called out and there are placements (no scores). It is similar to Western Pleasure...I don't get it. Perhaps it was added so more people would be interested in showing Ranch.

Attendance should be higher for remaining shows. I learned that MN and WI are working together, their sanctioned show points qualify for both States.

Working Western Rail
(3:49 min)

I found out this morning that WI Quarter Horse shows have gone digital!! Whoot whoot! There is a company that enters show details (via scribes). Gone are the days of waiting around to take photos of score sheets and trying to decipher chicken scratches. As someone who used to do digital work for a living, WOW I was super impressed with their app!! This detail girl got so excited seeing all the scoring data mesh together! Brad thought I was totally ridiculous.

I almost skipped going to this show. It was another blazing hot day. I had errands and a zillion things to do. I am really glad I went! It wasn't too bad in the shade and it was so nice to see everyone. Especially Padame <3


Far Side of Fifty said...

I bet it was good to get out and connect with her...she is a beauty!

Shirley said...

She is sure pretty! I hope Brad gets to show her at most of the shows.
Just curious, has she had her teeth done?

aurora said...

Padame got her teeth done earlier this Spring. Our horses are on an annual (Spring & Fall) care plan. Their teeth are routinely done once a year, unless they don't need it. I think part of what you may be seeing in the videos are from missed cues. ex. The big head toss

Speaking of the video's, I could not believe how long they are! The Ranch patterns in the past were around 1.5 minutes. I even missed the beginning of the Working Western Rail class because I was chatting. It was still 3.5 min long...the other entry in that video won most everything. She was really fun to watch, a true Ranch rider.

Shirley said...

I'm ok with long videos! It was good to see what the class consists of. I'm trying to get Shayla to enter the Ranch classes at the local AQHA shows.

aurora said...

Shayla might enjoy the Ranch Versatility classes. I am still learning the changes (and differences) AQHA made to the Ranch disciplines. I used to be more familiar, while attending shows regularly.

I should add, I know Ranch classes are big out West (40+ entries is not uncommon) and probably down South too. Our trainer mentioned the classes were full at the earlier MN show. I assume that means double digits, where tiered points can be earned. The larger Ranch classes I've seen around here years ago were 18-20ish, at the State show. Will be interesting to see how things pan out this year.

Linda said...

She’s doing great. What is her training schedule like? I’d be curious to know more about that since our horses are the same age. Does she train year round? I wish I could do that with Tweed. The winter is just too long of a break.

aurora said...

Linda, yes Padame is in training year-round. Cierra was too.

Most breed level show horses around here live at their trainers. Some horses do take a break and go home for a few months after the show season. Usually returning early Winter. We've noticed the horses that re-start seem to have more injuries etc. Might just be the ones we've known.

Other riders take show horses in/out of training for misc reasons. Most of those folks show on their own (vs under a trainer) and have a higher skill set (like you!).

Brad is of the school of thought that it is better for a show horse to stay in training. It is easier on their athletic body to stay active vs re-starting. Just like a human athlete.

My hope is when Brad retires he will have more time to ride and we can have all our horses home. Our trainer can (hopefully) come to us and help train. Kinda like what you do. Will see.

Our trainer has trail horses that return every single year, late Winter/early Spring for a tune-up. Before trail riding season. With Koda & Nemo's training, we pretty much did what you did with Tweed. Except they ended up living with our trainer (boarded) for several years when we were between places. We rode 3-4 times a week (40 min drive one way) consistently during the years our horses lived away. We had the benefit of her help when we rode together as friends. More or less exchanged helping each other. It is very hard to ride that often now. Endless stuff needs to get done with animals at home, plus life in general etc. Restarting horses is just part of it. Koda doesn't do well with it. Or maybe that's me.

With all that said, I wouldn't trade having our horses home for the world! I truly hope you can figure something out for you and Tumbleweed to ride during cold Winter months.

What a very long answer lol!

Linda said...

I just got back from the equestrian park where I met yet another rockstar horsewoman. Her horse is a ranch and reining bred, same as as Tweed, and she shows her. She just purchased her from a breeding / training program where she was like Padame, in constant training. Well, they looked lovely together ! She said she lives in the city, and boards and trains at a local barn here. She gave me some tips watching us, and they were exactly what I was posted about doing, but she gave me more nuance. It did make me a little jealous that she has such a great program, and I have to do it myself. Wah wah, poor me. I’m on the slow boat.

Linda said...

We boarded all our horses about 20 years ago, and like you, we rode way more back then, and I loved the community and the support. It is hard to maintain a place and still find the time. We love living with our horses, too, though.

TeresaA said...

I enjoyed the videos. I’ve always wondered what ranch riding was!

aurora said...

Linda, slow and steady wins the race! Your relationship with Tumbleweed will be SO much more solid than anyone who gets handed a trained horse. Half those people won't ride unless with their trainer on Monday when the sun is shining. They also don't have much of a relationship with their horse. Then they sell it and buy a shinier model. What you are doing with Tweed is very admirable and impressive. I know it's hard to wait and not compare. We all do, but keep on keeping on girlfriend! You got this!!

Teresa, Ranch Riding is suppose to represent a working horse (at a ranch). I am fairly certain you would get fired on the spot if you showed up at a working ranch, riding like in the Western Rail video lol. It is really fun to watch a true ranch rider/horse that moves out and changes gaits and speed with ease.

It appears to me that Ranch Riding vs Versatility Ranch is somewhat like Western Dressage vs Cowboy Dressage. Something for everyone :)

AQHA describes Ranch Riding as "In ranch riding, the horse is judged on its ability to work at a forward, working speed while performing required and optional maneuvers. The ranch riding horse should simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse."

Scoring is based on 70 being average. You go up or down from there.

Val Ewing said...

My sister got heavy into Ranch riding but I had no idea what it looked like.
Great videos.

I'd love to see them working cattle in a Ranch riding class, but that must be totally a ... different thing, right?

Good to see Padame! Whoo Hoo!

aurora said...

Val, working cow classes are part of AQHA Versatility Ranch.

We were interested in and thought about getting into working with cattle back when we got Koda & Nemo. For fun, not necessarily competition. We've watched plenty, but hard to make happen without access and/or being set up for it.

They hold cow classes at a separate location at the few AQHA shows that offer them. Versatility does hold it's own shows. We've talked about checking them out & know a few folks showing that circuit. They moooved Ranch Conformation classes over to Versatility, so maybe someday? Good question!