Ain't nuthin like ridin' a fine horse in a new country - Augustus McCrae – Lonesome Dove

Sunday, May 19, 2013


Stacy braids Farah's mane~
This was a whole new "adventure" for us!  Totally unfamiliar with any type of showing, here we were, visiting beautiful Chalice Farm just outside of Port Orchard.  We decided to make the drive on Sat., I didn't want to have to worry about traffic snarls if we drove over on the day of inspection, Sunday.  We arrived late afternoon & what a well managed, quiet farm!  Lea met us as we drove in & directed us to a nice spot where we could set up for the night.   We put Farah in a stall with turnout. 

I learned how much work & preparation goes in to getting a horse ready to show!  Wow!  Then - there's how much preparation & time that goes in to getting a BIG horse ready to show!  We saw some of the most beautiful "big" horses ever!  Even young, soon to be - Big beautiful horses :-)  It was early evening, we were just making dinner - when I looked out to see this handsome horse, ready to be presented out on a walk with his owner.  I grabbed my camera & asked permission to take some photos.  Below - was the result!
The next morning everyone was up & about early!  There were horses to finish buffing & shining, horses coming in & it was easy to feel the excitement!  Beautiful horses everywhere!  Most who had horses to be presented for judging had hired a professional handler to show the horses in the arena, where they are shown "in-hand", unless under two - when they are also shown at liberty.

After watching Patrick Billies show the first horse, I was very happy that we'd made the decision to have him show Farah.  Two times around a large pattern once at the walk & once at the trot was a workout!  Patrick made each of the horses strut their stuff!
Patrick presents Farah
For whatever reason, Farah was not her usual self.  I expected her usual animation collection & lift - but not today...   She was somewhat subdued, maybe wondering what we were up to - after clinics with smoke, fire etc. :-)
Farah at the trot~
Watching her first strides, I knew that being judged to a tough standard & having seem some incredibly nice horses - that she wouldn't score as high has I'd hoped.  She'd also managed to lose about 50-lbs. since her bath on Fri.!  How she does THAT I don't know either!  She can go from looking rounded, to thin in a day & had.
Farah & Butch
 Even so, she did well & received a score high enough to give her the "Red Preferred" status, red ribbon & qualify her for the American Warmblood Society brand!
Kathy was quick & accurate!
The first branding I'd seen & to my mare!  Whew!  Flames!  Smell of scorched hair!  Kathy was very explicit with her directions, cover her eye, the count, the brand & walk her away!   Amazingly enough - she didn't even kick out!
Kathy watches as Butch leads Farah away - still smoking!  :-)
Just a swish of the tail was her only reaction!
Kathy knocked off the singed hair & here is the result!
Beautiful job!  Thank you Kathy!  We really did have a great time!  Nothing like watching beautiful horses strut there stuff & get a first hand look & listen as each horse is judged.  Everyone there had a wonderful time, two horses who had blue status before, again achieved blue, a stallion received blue & another very nice two-year old that showed the animation that Farah usually has :-)

Kathy mentioned - some of  the same area's to work on - that Sandra has told me too - that I need to consistently work on, if I want to shape Farah into the mare that she has the ability to be.  It takes dedication & work - we were incredibly impressed with the time & energy that each of the owners we met, put into their horses.

Side note:  If your horse has no conformational faults that would result in consistent low scores & you have conditioning, carriage,  quality-of-movement, etc. to work on - then you can present at future inspections to try for a higher score.  The highest score holds.

Many thanks to Lea for hosting the inspection & Kathy for her expert judging!  Both these ladies made it so much fun & a learning experience for us all!


  1. Congrats! She looks so beautiful. Are you going to present her again and try for blue?

  2. Thanks Very Much! After talking to Sandra, I'd have to give up the miles we both like to do, to get enough weight on her, along with a lot more training. I'm only "into" that in the winter! Kathy told us that the cross-bred horses sometimes take longer to mature than pure-bred too. They can be re-inspected at any age, so I'm going to leave that door open.

  3. Congratulations, but Ouch, Was that necessary? ;)
    She may have done better if you had led her.
    She is always a beauty!


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