Thank you all, you dear, sweet, friends for your encouraging responses to my grumpy post!
Thank you too for your prayers about the fair. First off - NO RAIN on fair day! As you can tell from the photos is was mostly cloudy - the sun did come out a bit and we were thankful for my mom and dad's big umbrellas. We always sit at the top of the bleachers where there is a fence behind us so we can rest our backs, the added benefits of being able to use the umbrellas, and not blocking any one's view!
Kyle and my Dad did the open lead line event. It is for kids 8 and under. Last year he got a 6th place ribbon. This year a 5th! He was excited! He has one more year in this event, so he says that hopefully he'll get a 4th place ribbon next year!
Lindsay is the manager of the day. She tells the kids when to get ready and makes sure the horses are ready too. She only had her siblings to worry about this year. Some years she has students participating as well. I have no photos of her, as she mostly sat on the back of Cheyenne and watched all the events. She REALLY wanted to be able to compete yesterday, but Sandy was not fully recovered yet, and Cheyenne is a plodder - perfect for Kyle's event and Sarah's event which is called "Walk - Trot/Jog."
This event is for ages 10 and under and was a perfect event for Sarah to do. This is the first time she has done anything but open lead line. She is not as confident as my other kids in their riding, and she freaks out easily which for years kept her far away from the horses.
She was so excited about doing this event. She had practiced. All the rider has to do is show that they can get their horse to respond to their commands to walk and trot/jog. And get them to reverse direction and do the same things.
Imagine my surprise when I arrived for the first event and Sarah was an emotional wreck. Apparently during some free riding time, a few horses made Cheyenne a bit nervous - their riders were cantering them in the arena - and she turned a bit unexpectedly which made Sarah nervous and pull tight on the reins which made Cheyenne toss her head a few times. Sarah was sure that Cheyenne had nearly bucked her off, which wasn't true. This had Sarah crying for hours and saying she wasn't going to do her event, which thankfully was the last event of the youth event.
I told her she had to control her emotions and stop crying. She had a long wait and didn't need to decide for several hours yet. I reminded her of how disappointed she would be after the event, if she didn't try, because she knew she could do it! I told her don't give into fear, you know you WANT to do this deep down. I prayed with her...
She finally relaxed and calmed down, and watched the other events...I pointed out regularly how well Cheyenne was doing with Lindsay and being around those other horses down by the arena, and how well she did during Kyle's event with other horses in the arena.
Lindsay called to her - and she went. Got on Cheyenne walked her around, backed her up and then it was time to go into the arena.
One other thing I had said to her previously was that once she got in there and saw that she could do this she would be grinning so big! And that she would be strutting out of the arena so proud of herself. Well guess what? She did exactly those two things!
When she came around the arena to our side I didn't know if she would be in tears or not, I stood in my spot watching her, nearly holding my breath...sure enough the biggest grin you ever saw! I nearly wept!
There were 6 riders in this event because one rider didn't show, so we knew that she would get a ribbon. But to me the victory had already been won - she conquered her emotions and fears!
Oh, and by the way she finished 5th out of 6 entrants! You should have seen the grin then!
She came running to me - I embraced her, told her "You did it! You conquered your fear!"
Then I took this photo with my phone
Rachel rode her pony Liberty in two events yesterday, but Libby did not cooperate and complete the events. I am proud of Rachel for not giving up, even though she knew in her heart Libby wouldn't cooperate. She also recognized that it is time to move on to a new horse. She has outgrown the pony in skill and size! Rachel has grown about 3 inches or more in the last year! This will be hard because she loves her pony! But she is starting to be excited about the possibilities of a horse she can compete with!
So it was a good day. Lessons learned, fun had, victories won.
We are now moving on into my birthday week. Tim is on vacation, we may go visit Tim's dear Aunt on an overnight trip to the other side of the Alleghenies, I get to meet a sweet blogging friend this week, something is brewing for my day itself, and I have chosen to get fruit trees for my birthday gift!
I'm getting excited. I am nearly middle aged now - at least I like to think so, since longevity runs in my family! Next year I will hit the big 5-0. It seems incredible to me! I have a post brewing about all that for Wednesday!
So, what are you all up to on this happy Saturday?