Real Reining and a Ride-Off

It’s only been a few weeks, but boy do I have a lot to tell!

It was a long drive to Kentree Stables on November 7th for the stock seat team’s third meet of the season, but well worth it.  The day started off cold, but as the sun came out things warmed up and it ended up being a pretty decent day.  My first ride was on Max, a black and white pinto gelding who I have drawn a few times before at other shows.  Sometimes I do well on him and other times not so much, but lucky for me, he was being a good boy and we placed second in open.  I was very happy with my ride and was super-pumped for reining because there were a number of trained reining horses in the draw.

Here I am with Sissie, my winning reining mount.

I ended up with Sissie, a red roan mare that could spin like a top.  Before my ride, her owner, Mike, approached me and gave me a few hints on how to get a good pattern out of her, so as I walked in the ring I felt ready.  Sissie did everything I asked and we laid down a beautiful and clean pattern for the win.  After placing first in reining, though, things got really exciting when it was announced that there was a three-way tie between two MSU riders and myself for high point rider.

My horse for the ride off was a big chestnut appendix Quarter Horse that proved to be a bit of a challenge to ride – especially when we were asked to drop our stirrups half way through the class.  Still, I ended up placing second, giving me the reserve ribbon.  The two girls I tied with were very worthy opponents and I was happy with being able to tie with them as well as place right between them.

(By the way, in case you were wondering after my last blog entry, I did not do my own horse draw.  Instead, I asked my teammate Kiva to do the honors.  So thank you Kiva for the wonderful draws that I would never have gotten by myself!!)

Reserve champion after a three-way ride off!

Minnie, my reining draw for the second show, was a gorgeous grey mare whom Trevor Walton brought to the meet.  Sadly, I was her sixth reining pattern of the day, so things were a little bumpy.  Her turns were sticky and I lost my stirrup for one of our small circles, so we ended up only placing fourth.  Still, I was happy with what she gave me considering a lot had been asked from her that day.  Again, I had no luck in my open class when I had a hard time keeping my stirrups, although I can’t blame that on the horse.  They were up as short as possible, and still too long, but because we were already losing daylight, GVSU refused any tack changes so I had to work with what I had.

Even with the disappointment of the second show, I was happy with the day overall, especially because I am only a few points away from qualifying in reining for Regionals!  A number of my teammates were able to place well in their classes as well, but we were not able to take any ribbons as a team.

Although our next meet isn’t until January, there are lots of horsey things to do around campus.  The club has had a few horse movie nights and they also hosted a local Girl Scout troop at the Held Center for a badge earning opportunity.  I missed that event because I was busy representing Albion College at the Novi Equestrian Expo.

Sarah Morris (right) and I representing Albion at the Novi Equestrian Expo - don't we look professional?

My friend (and fellow blogger) Sarah Morris and I were the first shift on the Friday of the expo so we got to do set up, as well as do some recruiting.  (We were asked to help out because Randi, our recruitment coordinator, and George, our director, were at a similar event in Massachusetts.  Albion had a very busy weekend on its calendar!)  We had a lot of fun meeting prospective students, as well as making friends with our neighboring vendors and watching several different horse demonstrations in the round pen near our booth.

The end of the semester is quickly approaching, and the club is busy planning additional events before Christmas break, including a bake sale, a can drive, and a trip to Tom’s Western Store.  For now, it’s back to studying for me, so enjoy the weather before it gets too cold and Happy Thanksgiving!!

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