From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Long Overdue Update PART 1

Sorry for the lack of blogging lately. I have had very little time in the few weeks months to even think. In May, I had my first show of the season, taken SAT's, competed in 2 FFA (Future Farmers of America - haha, I know, sounds lame but its not!) CDE's (Career Development Events), had my Drill Team performance, had a lesson, went XC for the first time this year, worked on Jet's canter, worked, and was hired for the first time EVER to photograph a horse show!

Let's start with the boring stuff...I took my SAT's on May 5th, the day before my first show. I didn't get a good night's sleep the night before taking them and was completely brain dead 2 hours into the biggest test of my life. Being a hard-working student with a 101.17 grade average, I was extremely disappointed when I got my scores back and discovered that I only scored a 1720. My math was my highest score (always is) and my English areas need work. My mother is signing me up for summer tutoring to help prepare me for when I retake the test in the fall.

On May 9th, I competed in my school's FFA Horse Showmanship CDE. Originally, I was signed up to compete in both the Showmanship and the Judging portions but once we were there, I was informed that since I was the overall individual high score last year, I was unable to compete on the A-team (the team that can qualify for regionals and nationals). I still got to participate by being on the B-team(Backup-team). Since we had to have my spot filled by one of our B-team members, I filled their spot in return. However, I was still able to compete in Horse Showmanship. Basically, the competitors are randomly handed horses that we have never handled before and we must compete an in-hand showmanship class with them. I was watching the people infront of me getting their horses...there was a nice thoroughbred....a pretty a warmblood!...and then I get handed the 11hh ancient pony that can barely move...I made the best of what I was given and proceeded to win my class! I was SO happy! Our team ended up placing second overall so they won't be going on to regionals or nationals unfortunately. We only lost by 18 points! (out of 1500+) We judged the following classes: Conformation classes- Hunter Pony, Thoroughbred Geldings (Reasons), Sport horses, Paint Mares (they threw a gelding in this class!); Undersaddle- Hunter Under Saddle, Hunter Hack (Reasons). Overall, it was a long, but fun, day.

May 24th was our FFA Livestock Evaluation CDE. Normally there are 4 or 5 full teams competing at these competitions so we were shocked (and thrilled) to see that only one other team was there to compete that day. Once school didn't even try to form a team, and another had a team set up but none of the kids showed up to school to go... haha. We had to judge Tunis breeding ewes, Market lambs (oral reasons class), breeding gilts, market hogs, belted Galloways, and aged Simmentals (orals class)l. In other words, we did a breeding and meat class for sheep, pigs and cattle. I didn't really know what I was doing but after talking with people on my team and on the other team, nobody was really sure how to place the classes. The pig classes were exceptionally hard. After we did our oral reasons (where we get 10 minutes after all of the judging is done to prepare a 2 minute, one-on-one presentation to the judge as to why we place a class why we did), we were told that the pigs were actually from the same litter making it even HARDER to judge. Needless to say, I completely failed. But luckily, the other team failed more than my team and we will be heading to the National Conference in Indianapolis in October! I am excited, yet terrified because I feel completely unprepared and do not want to make a fool of myself...