Skip to main content

Wentworth Hunter Pace - June 6, 2021

After Margaret and I had such a fun time at the fall hunter pace, we opted to go again this spring! This time, while I rode Rejoice again, Margaret rode her horse Jester and had a friend ride Ladyhawke. All Kennebec Morgans!! Jester and Rejoice have the same dam and Jester and Lady share the same sire. Unfortunately instead of a lovely late spring day, we had one of the first intensely hot and humid days of the year. It was definitely a bummer, but the ride was mostly in the shade of the woods and we had a great time!  most of the fences were 3' coops but we found a small log and this hay to jump haha Until we didn't. 😑 We brought along a third friend who rode Margaret's older mare, Ladyhawke. She's a good rider but hasn't known Ladyhawke for very long and didn't realize how much of a cranky boss mare she could be at times. She kicked Jester right in the front leg just about halfway through the ride, and while the cut itself ended up not being a big deal in the

MHA Ocean Communities Classic Horse Show - May 8, 2010

NOW WITH PICS! LOL! Thanks DR for taking and sharing the photos. Still waiting for the professional photos......

After a week of gorgeous weather, Saturday May 8 dawned gray and rainy. :P Aw, well. This was the first of three Maine Horse Association (MHA) shows that have a Standardbred division this year. Last year I was able to get a division of four classes....this year I was able to get it expanded to seven! We have a 2-gait and 3-gait open division now!! This was exciting because I felt ready to move Dreamy up to 3-gait. Sadly it is not split into junior/senior yet, only because of lack of entries. Maybe someday we will have plenty of entries for both age divisions. :)

I was showing for the day with my favorite show buddy ST. We arrived at almost the same time at the local show grounds, which is about 30 minutes from my house. Because of the rain, ST decided to keep her horse in the trailer. That was fine with me, and I wanted to do the same thing.

Ah, funny how your horse can remind of you of their idiosyncrasies so quickly when you have forgotten! LOL! Dreamy is a wonderful horse in many ways. But she is VERY ritual orientated. She is not able to go with the flow if things do not go exactly how she thinks it should. I try my hardest to NOT make my barn chores and feeding schedule too much of a regime. I mean, I do feed them at around 6:15 AM and then again at 5PM. But I am not crazy to the minute....maybe one day I feed them at 6:10 AM and the next at 6:17, so on, so on. I like a schedule but not a regiment.

Despite my attempts to be organized without being crazy, Dreamy likes her buckets in the same spot, her stall, her paddock, her trailer tie, everything to always be the same. So, when we got to the show, I left her on the trailer to sign in as usual. It was not raining that hard, so I decided to take her off the trailer and let her chill with her hay bag until we had to show. ST left her gelding McKeever on the trailer to get him ready, as she was in the first class of the day (Showmanship) and I was not until class 5 (Standardbred In-Hand). Dreamy loves McKeever and McKeever loves Dreamy. There are not many horses that either of them actually like, so it is sort of cute.

Anyway, Dreamy decided that she Could Not Handle This. She could NOT be tied to her trailer while McKeever was inside his. This was Wrong to her. So instead of dealing with her uncharacteristic blowing, snorting, and pawing, I took her for a walk. I made her walk in an organized way, no grazing and moseying. She continued being sort of an idiot, which again is uncharacteristic of her. So I did a semi-lunging thing with her on my long lead rope, making her move and think about something other than being an idiot. I never lunge horses, for my own personal reasons, but I knew I had to put her to work in an organized fashion for a few moments. It worked...within a few moments she was fine. "Oh OK, fine, I will calm down..." You could visibly see her relax. So never know what might come off that trailer! LOL! And with only a 30 minute trailer ride, she had not tired herself out yet! :)

And it is funny.....ST and I show our horses all the time together. They are not "herd bound" by any means. You can leave one and take the other to the ring without any problems. McKeever does "look" for Dreamy this year, since we are not in the same riding classes, but not to the detriment of his performance. And Dreamy was not upset about being near McKeever or not. She was simply confused about the lack of "normal" routine for a show. Usually we unload and tie to the trailer. Why was McKeever still in the trailer?? When we have been at horse trials alone, she is fine with hanging on the trailer in the rain. But like I said earlier, she gets an idea of how things are "supposed" to happen and she expects that. (This is why I love my mares. They are as opinionated as I am! LOL)

Here we are waiting for ST and McKeever to do their first class, Showmanship. Dreamy has finally chilled out. :) We are on the left.

There were six Standardbreds in our In-Hand class. I was hoping there would have been a larger turnout, as this show is in southern Maine at the local show grounds. But six was better than none! LOL! I had no idea how we might do in in-hand, as it totally depends on the judge. Yes, I know how to show a horse in-hand fairly well, but some judges love her conformation and others do not. If they go with the "typical" Standardbred look, she is judged low. But if the judge likes a Standardbred who looks more like a Morgan, TB, or another breed.....then we do well! LOL! It is always a crap shoot to me. And truthfully, I am not a big fan of doing in-hand, but when it is part of the Standardbred division, I will do it. But even at Nationals, I have never done in-hand. :)

Here we are in the line up. Dreamy was clean, but man, she is not wanting to completely shed out yet! According to my farrier, no one wants to shed out this year. Maybe it has to do with the weird weather??? Anyway, she looks so funny with a 4397446 different colored coat! :P And the rain makes her little face look so gray! Seriously, she is not that old looking.......yet! :)

And her back/spine looks really funky in this pic. She has prominent withers, but her back looks a whole lot better than this! :)

We ended up doing very well! I had a hard time really trotting her out along the long side, with the deep mud in the ring from the rain as well as my ANKLE! It feels almost back to normal, but running in the mud made it hurt. We placed second with one judge and FIRST with the other! :)

McKeever placed first and third. We both won cool bags! LOL!

Next was Standardbred 3-Gait Pleasure and we had three entries. We tacked up and warmed up with no issues. Dreamy was totally back to her easygoing self. :) I was worried though. Not about Dreamy, but about the footing in the show ring. It was MUDDY and deep. Granted, it did not look slippery. Dreamy usually does not do well in bad footing. (Funny aside...I overheard the judge say to another competitor in my class during the lineup that Standardbreds don't mind the mud because they race in anything! Yeah, well, not all of them are mudders. :P)

Anyway, the warm up ring has new footing and did not have a single puddle. So I went into the class nervous about the footing. And to tell the truth, I felt a little nervous about falling! :O After the spill I took at UMaine when Dreamy tripped in the ROCKY riding ring there, the thought of her losing her balance at the canter in the mud made me nervous. Not so much about the act of falling off....whatever. I was worried about my ankle. If I fall on it again before it is fully healed from the sprain, I am in a mess. :(

So, my tension made me forget how to think about my position. I miscued her into the right lead canter and we blew our lead RIGHT IN FRONT OF BOTH JUDGES. Sweet. For some reason, we can still have issues with the right lead from the walk, so I have to be Perfect in my aids. It is my fault, not Dreamy's, but my nerves got the best of me and when I heard "canter", I just asked without really setting her up correctly.

I blew my chances to place well. But it was OK, because the two other riders were juniors who have done a great job with their horses. It is always fun to see the kids' faces when they "beat an adult." So I knew that fair was fair. :D We placed third for both judges. :) The worst part is that one of the judges had to come over and whisper to me, "You know, had you not gotten the wrong lead, you would have won that class." Yeah, great. I hate when judges feel the need to do that. Do you think I am not aware of my mistake?? LOL! :)

My Bampie (maternal grandfather) came to watch! He raced Standardbreds for many years, as did his father and grandfather. I love getting to see him! :)

Then ST and I had a long break with many other classes and a 30 minute lunch break before our next class. ST and McKeever had done well in their 2-gait pleasure class. We untacked and took care of the horses, opting to put BOTH of them onto ST's trailer together to eat from their hay bags. Dreamy thought this was great. :) ST and I got lunch and ate in her truck, with the heat on full blast! :) I felt tired and my ankle hurt from the cold. It was only 49 degrees outside! With the rain and slight wind, it was downright raw!

Soon it was time for Standardbred 3-Gait Equitation. I felt much better about the ring and my ankle. Funny how I just needed to get back into the ring for one class and I was OK. Remember the last time I rode at a horse show was the command class where I fell! So I guess I just needed that one ride to remind me I was fine. I briefly warmed up Dreamy, more concerned about getting our leads as she was happy otherwise. The class ran quickly and we placed first from both judges! YAY! :)

One of riders in my class had asked for our equitation and championship class to be held back to back. They were supposed to be about eight classes apart. I truthfully did not mind waiting, but it was nice to be asked if I was OK running them one after another. I gave my two blues (and candle and umbrella "trophies" to ST on the rail) and declined a victory pass, as it was wet and I have done plenty of those! :) The judges both thanked me. We went right into our Standardbred 3-gait Championship class. It was run quickly yet again and the judges' cards were again unanimous.....we were the champions! :)

I did take a victory pass, because there was a professional photographer there. :) The earlier pics are from a friend who only stayed for the in-hand. Hopefully soon the professional photos will be posted. I am sure I will order a few. ;-)

I was very pleased with our performance! :) If we do as well at Downeast Congress, which is our next MHA show in June with a Standardbred division, I will not move Dreamy back down to 2-gait (walk/trot) for hunter under saddle again. If we ever do western, I might, but not for hunter classes. Even though you are not usually allowed to do both 2-gait and 3-gait at most horse shows, at Standardbred Nationals in NJ you ARE allowed to show in both. This was cool last year because I was able to see how Dreamy might do in a walk/trot/canter class, but now that we are showing in 3-gait up here and doing well, I will not move back down. Last year I kept her in 2-gait hunter classes and it was the right thing for her. This year is different. She is a different horse; I am a different rider.

So if all goes as planned and we attend Nationals in NJ in August (YAY!), I will only do 3-gait hunter pleasure classes. There are many other Standardbreds who really do belong in 2-gait. I certainly do NOT need more ribbons. I have too many already! LOL! Seriously, I am running out of space on my tack room walls. And not only will doing less classes save me money, it will save wear and tear on my horse! Doing all the 2-gait AND 3-gait classes last year at Nationals was a lot of work! I was exhausted and overheated and I am sure Dreamy felt the same way. I will do 2-gait in the western classes if that is something I pursue in the future. But for now, I am happy that I waited and now we are ready for 3-gait! :)

BIG THANKS to MHA and all the people who put on the shows. I have enjoyed being a member and supporting the Standardbred division. It means a lot to me! :)


  1. Wow!! Congratulations on a great show and a Championship! I wish there were more STB shows near me, but our SPHO of Ohio is based out of the central Ohio area, which is about 2 1/2 hours from me so we never go down there :( Maybe one of these days we will get to show in STB classes, although it is really nice to do well at open shows against other horse breeds and know your STB rocked! Keep us updated about the rest of your show season and good luck!

    P.S. The photos in your post did not show up...not sure if you were aware or not!

  2. I'm so happy for your great experiences...and so envious of your Standie divisions at shows.

    Can hardly wait to see the rest of the photos!

  3. Pics added! LOL! :)

    Thanks for your feedback! It means a lot! I wish you guys had Standardbred divisions too.....but truthfully all it took was me asking MHA last year. I found many sponsors for our division and it happened! :)

  4. Congrats on a great day. Good for you for getting a standardbred division added - and for finding sponsors for it!

  5. I LOVE that picture of you and your Bamp!!!! <3

  6. Hello Everyone,
    I am glad I ran across your blog. I ride hunters/jumpers but have family in the standardbred business all my life. I have been caring for a gorgeous retired standardbred stallion for a few years now. I would love to take him in the in hand show at the horse parkin NJ in a few weeks.
    I can not find any information on how they are supposed to be presented. Do they have to be braided, etc? His mane is gorgeous and long so I am wondering if I need to pull and braid it.
    Also, do I need to be wearing anything in particular? Thank you so much in advance!

  7. Hi zigriggs!

    Glad to hear you are coming to Standardbred Nationals! I will be there too! :)

    Standardbreds do not have any breed specific turnout rules. Instead you stick with the discipline you are showing. If his mane is long, leave it long and loose. You do not HAVE to pull and braid fact I would only do that if you are going to show him as a hunter/sport horse type. But even then, you can get away with his mane long and loose and his tail not braided either. As for what to wear in in-hand, you should match your discipline.....hunt seat attire with an English bridle or western attire with a western halter.

    Email me if you want more info than that! :D


Post a Comment

Thanks for leaving a comment!