Monday, March 2, 2009

It's pretty this time of year

As promised, here is a post about the Scottsdale Arabian horse show my Mom and I went to last weekend.

Every other year for the past 30 years, my Mom and I have gone to the Arabian Nationals. They were held in Albuquerque in odd years and in Kentucky during even years. However, 2007 was the last year for Albuquerque because the contract was not renewed by the IAHA and the city of Albuquerque. The Nationals are now held in Tulsa in odd years.

Knowing that we wouldn't be seeing the Arabians this October, in January, I mentioned to my Mom about going to the Scottsdale show. She readily agreed and we made plans. We have never gone to the Scottsdale show before. I booked a hotel room for Friday and Saturday nights, February 20 and 21, and we took off early Friday morning. Along the way I convinced her to let me do a few letterboxes. Although it took some of our valuable driving time, it was fun and she enjoyed it too.

We got to Phoenix in the afternoon and after checking into the hotel, we went to the horse show. Did I mention that we brought the little dogs, my Buddha, a Japanese Chin, and her Toby, a black Pug? After we fed and walked them we left them in the room and Buddha immediately started yelping in his crazy little squeaky voice. So I went back to the room, walked them again and put them back in the room. He climbed up on a blanket I had brought for him, laying in my overnight bag, and curled up to go to sleep. We left and I prayed that he would be quiet.

The show was at WestWorld in Scottsdale. What a HUGE, beautiful horse facility! We drove around for a bit not really knowing where to park and I decided to ask if I could drop my Mom off up close to the entrance. She has trouble walking and uses a walker but she doesn't have a handicap license. I spoke with this one guy that told me to go ahead and drive to the entrance AND if I found a space to just park there. As luck would have it, there was a space right in front of the entrance! I couldn't believe my luck!!! So I parked and we went in. On this Friday night, the admission was free, a first, I was told, for Family Night. I was elated with our good fortune! We settled in for a wonderful night of Arabian Horses.

During the week and a half of the show, they held several clinics daily. Unfortunately, we arrived too late to see any of them, but the first event of the night was the Scottsdale Mounted Police presentation! Yay, we didn't miss it after all!

Four policemen and their horses performed the demonstration.

They demonstrated crowd control and how they can handcuff a suspect right from horseback.

They also showed how they desensitize the horses about everything, including baby strollers in between their legs and getting hit. The horses were big, brawny, and beautiful!!
Their stirrups were lit up too. Pretty cool, huh!
The first class of the show was called Gambler's Choice. It was a jumping class with points assigned to each jump. The riders could jump the jumps in any order and score points if they jumped clean. The highest score won. It was very exciting to see the Arabs and Arab crossbreeds racing and turning and jumping.

This photo was taken while the class was waiting for the trophy and money presentation. There were other horses in the class too, FYI.
The next class was a yearling sweepstakes halter class. We got to see the colts one night and the fillies the next night. It was so exciting! They are so cute! I am getting very anxious to see Annie's baby now!!! I took pictures of all the darling babies but my camera ate them! Bad camera!

During the two evening shows, we saw driving, native costume, hunt seat, western, saddle seat, English side saddle, park horse, and liberty. Liberty was new to me. They bring in the horses one at a time and turn them loose in the arena. They chase them around the arena for two minutes and the horse is free to show his stuff! One horse interacted with the handler a lot, rearing up and then running away, only to return. It was very entertaining and you could tell they had worked together often. The three judges (all classes have 3 judges) scored this horse very low in marks and everyone booed. The next horse scored high for a poor showing and the crowd booed again. This video is from the liberty class in Scottsdale 2008 courtesy of Youtube.

Here is a picture of one of the park or English pleasure horses (not sure which) that my camera did not eat.
I was surprised to see a new class (for me) that was an English pleasure futurity class where the young horses wore only snaffle bits rather than the full double bridles, as pictured above.

Oh, I forgot to mention that again on Saturday evening I was able to park right at the front entrance! Woowee, sometimes, I'm glad my Mom uses a walker! Now I wash she'd get that handicap pass... Just kidding! or not??

We drove around Phoenix and Scottsdale on Saturday morning before the show. Here are some random photos. I took hundreds of pictures on this trip. No, I won't bore you to death with too many. ;)

Does anyone know what kind of tree this is?
There were lots of palm trees everywhere.

Saturday afternoon, we had a late luncheon at El Torito in Scottsdale. It was good food and great atmosphere but they don't understand chile. They called it red sauce and there was no green chile on the menu.
We had a wonderful time. My mom is now talking about going to Tulsa for the Arabian Nationals in October! Woohoo!!

It's pretty this time of year - song: Tumble and Twirl, artist: David Bowie, album: Let's Dance


Nuzzling Muzzles said...

You lucky dog! There ARE benefits to being out of work. You can actually go to horse shows. I plan to go to Scottsdale every year, and every year my schedule at work cancels it. My mother is 76 years old and I've been promising her I will take her, so there is a bit of a race against time for us to get there. I'm telling everyone that I'm going to take off the week of the Arabian Horse Show in Scottsdale a year early, and the company is just going to have to work around MY schedule for once.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

You'd only have to take off on Friday. That's what I did. I had to be back on Sunday for my youngest son's 18th birthday. We had a very quick trip.
It would be fun to meet up. Hmmm! Let's work on that for next year.

Melanie said...

You are so lucky!!!! I only get to go to Regionals and club-sponsored Arab shows, as that is all that is near me out here in WA.

I have no idea what kind of tree that is, but it sure is neat looking, and that restaurant looks/sounds fabulous! :)

How is school going for you??? Are you almost done with the quarter? I have 2 and 1/2 months left in my semester. Have I ever mentioned how I detest semester??? LOL!!!

PS-I can't wait for your baby to get here either!!! Three more months!!!! :)

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

Great post. I know nothing about horse shows and I found the "Liberty" video interesting. The horses are beautiful, but it seems to me these horses are being "trained" to be difficult to catch and handle. But, obviously I don't know what I'm talking about.

I'm glad you had such a great trip with your Mom.


PS: Tell her to get the handicapped sticker. You can download the form from the DMV web site and get her doctor to sign it. When you take it to the DMV the person who checks people in can handle it so it goes pretty fast. I had to get a temporary tag after Betty's accident last year.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hey Fiona!

What??? No Green Chile? And just one state over, too.
But of course, Texans think chile is the kind served as a tew with meat. Bah!

Maybe I can go next year, eh? We'll bring our own red and green chile! lol!

The photos that did turn out looked great. I love that Park horse. Beautiful!

I also like the photos of yours and your Mom's pups. Cute!

I'm glad you had such a great time, too.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Fortunately, Albuquerque still gets the Youth Nationals in July. I always go watch that.

The liberty horses are probably kept penned up extra long so they will run hard but actually the handlers you see are chasing the horses and they are all pretty easy to catch. They get marked down if the horse is hard to catch. The horse must perform equally at both the trot and gallop and, I'm not sure of the rest of the rules. ;)

School, ugh!! I am struggling with Stats and Algebra but the other classes are going well. Econ takes a lot of effort too. Bio for Non Majors class and lab are EASY!

The Wades said...

That looks like a great time! I think that's so cool you and your mom have that time together. I'm sure you've made a lot of memories.

So, were the dogs quiet when you got back to the hotel?