Competition is pretty steep at the AQHA show in Watsonville, but several of us decided to take it on last weekend. Rachel Clifford, Karin Jones, and I competed in the cow horse classes on Saturday. Rachel was the only youth competitor going down the fence. She and Jack lost their cow in the box, brought it back, then finished with an awesome fence run. I was proud of her and that old guy. Karin bravely got her feet wet with some big time competition. She and Red are both learning about how to deal with the pressures of showing. In the open cow horse, I had the biggest, toughest cow of the weekend. My little horse handled it with guts and grace. He was amazing going down the fence. Then, the cow shut down and we didn’t get much in the way of circles. Still finished right in the middle of the class. Not bad for going against the “big boys” (and girls).
Sunday was really a fun day with the Ranch Horse Pleasure. This class has become quite the AQHA success. Both the open and amateur were the largest classes in the entire show. Everyone had nice rides, including Cathe Martorella, Joyce Esernia, Kim Schnittger, and Rachel Clifford. I learned that the judges are not looking for much “bridle.” Relaxed, balanced, and with some “float” seems to score the best. Live and learn. I still think this is a wonderful new class for AQHA. I was so proud of everyone who competed from Carmel River Ranch.