Sunday, June 8, 2008

A blogger at the Western States Horse Expo 2008: 1

I just returned from a fun vacation at the Expo. This is, I believe, my fifth year in a row there. This time we only went on Friday, as that was the day with most of what we wanted to see. My sister and I arrived shortly after the gates opened, and after walking around a bit we headed over to watch part of the Mustang Challenge, the in-hand competition. This event is based on the Extreme Mustang Makeover which was such a huge success. The horses in the Mustang Challenge were taken off the range and given totally wild to the trainers, who had 90 days before the show to train them.

We did not see more than 6 or 7 of the horses, but there was one trainer and horse who really stood out to me. I hope she won. The horse was VERY attentive and precise. In the trailer loading, it did exactly as requested, down to stepping out one foot at a time, waiting on her cues. It was already trained to ground tie, and she demonstrated that. If I were the type of person who didn't like training my own horses and I had a young horse to send out, she would be on my list of trainers. I believe her name was Jamie Thomas, according to the program.

Ray Ariss (and Hail Yeah, the mustang from last year that brought $50,000 after the Makeover) was there and did a demonstration and talk. We also saw more trainers from the Makeover later and I cannot remember who said it, but I loved this line: "The difference between training mustangs and domestic horses is, with mustangs you get to be a trainer. With domestic horses, you get to be a psychiatrist."

I can't remember who the picture above is of, though, I'm afraid. Sorry!

While we were watching the trainers later on, guess who sat down about four rows in front of us. He is publisher of Western Horseman magazine, and among other things, takes the official photos of the Magnificent 7 winners every year. Yes, Darrell Dodds. The sad thing is I've probably sat very close to many other famous horse people and not even realized it, as I do not frequent shows... Oh well!

Later we went over to the Toyota Arena and spent quite a while watching the Breed Demos and the Mounted Shooting Demo. During that time, my sister and I spotted a really gorgeous black Arabian stallion. I don't believe in breeding horse for color only, of course, but everyone likes a truly correct and gorgeous black stallion. So, of course we went over to pet him and take pictures!

He happens to be a son of Bey Shah, and his name is TC Bey Cedar. You may have seen him in Hidalgo. His owner was really nice, and it was fun meeting the stud. He was very well behaved, but you could tell he was a stallion by how he kept moving his muzzle around and lipping at the air. Not nippy at people, just doing stallion stuff. At the end of the Arabian Breed Demo, he came in and did various tricks, including rearing, which you could tell he heartily enjoys being allowed to do! He was very light to cues and counted out his age for us, as well as other tricks.

The last photo is right as he came down after a rear.

Anyway, after we finished petting him, we climbed back up to our seats in the stands to find that my aunt and brother had just sat down right below where we were, without realizing we were around! They had come over after we did, and wandered around separately, and we figured we'd run into each other eventually, but hadn't made any plans. I guess Sis and I are rather predictable, though - I realized that we always sit in the far right and back of those stands!

More to come...



"DJ" said...

Oh how cool! I'd love to attend something like that some day. Bey Cedar is gorgeous and smart! I've heard of him many times.

Thanks for the post and photos. Can't wait to see/read more! :)

Rising Rainbow said...

Yes, it's too bad that so many domestic horses get messed up by their owners. I know my friend, Harvey, says he'd much rather work on a wild horse than one with issues because the wild one is safer.

I'm looking forward to more mustang challenge and pics.