CoCo and JenKat travel uncharted territory
I wanted to start a journal documenting the progress my mare CoCo and I have made along the journey that is: showing.
When I got into horses...about 10 years ago, now, I had no ambition to do anything other than just plod around on a horse. My horse, your horse, anybody's horse! I had no aspirations to really learn and push myself past what I was comfortable with. As a beginner, that wasn't much. I definitely had ZERO plans of ever showing because I have quite possibly the worst case of stage fright. I was blessed to acquire a wonderful babysitter of a horse in Ragtime. As a senior horse, whatever spunk she did have still left me feeling pretty comfortable in the saddle, and she built up my confidence into thinking I could handle anything! As she aged and her arthritis progressed I made the decision to let her enjoy her retirement...and I started the search for another horse. One that was younger, spunkier, better trained and one that would teach me instead of babysit me. I brought home CoCo. A Mt. Dew stealing bulldog of a horse that was well trained. Perfect. Exactly what I wanted. I learned one thing REALLY quickly, though. I didn't know how to ride a well trained horse.
I took my time learning. I was able to get some lessons on CoCo from a really great reining trainer. It got me by. CoCo was gracious during that time. I think she knew I didn't know what I was doing. She pushed back more and more as I progresses, never allowing me to really feel comfortable, like I was always climbing a hill. I'm thankful for that now. She was really making me into a better rider. Fast forward to today, I can ride a trained horse! BUT I'm learning the finesse to it. I'm having to refine my riding and sharpen/refine my cues.
So what are we up to? Ranch sorting. Something we both love. CoCo loves it a little bit more than me I think. She's all business in the pen and that can intimidate me sometimes. She can be a lot to handle. I have a wonderful trainer who sorts and pens with her and he helps me quite a bit, too. One of the great "side effects" of sorting has been the stage fright issue. It's relaxed me a lot more....to the point of now I'm not completely terrified of someone watching me ride.
I've pushed myself a lot with the sorting. I've accomplished things and learned things about my horse and myself through it that I otherwise wouldn't have. It's made me want to do more...to see what we both are made of! Introducing...Ranch Horse shows.
We have a really great charter of the American Ranch Horse Association here and the shows are about 15 minutes from the barn. I've been to several of their shows (never to show) and loved how "beginner friendly" they are. Our goal 2 years ago was to start showing...that didn't happen...so it's been pushed back to THIS YEAR! Our first show is in just over 4 weeks. I plan on showing in the novice amateur classes which are-
Those are the only classes I'm looking at, and doubt I will do them all...
So...I'll be coming back here to post updates of the sorting and ranch shows for this year!