Honest Archer

© Christie Goodlet, 2017. Image: Providence Archer at Mount Larcom show.

On June 25 at our local Mount Larcom Show, Providence Archer, Faith and I all made our debut show appearance. In 33 years of horse ownership I never imagined I would take a horse to a show. I’m a bush rider, my horses are paddock ponies, both of us too rough for the ring. Or so I thought. I had 2 very sick kids in the weeks leading up to the show so the decision & preparation only began two weeks prior. Due to our recent move, the daily feed up was a 130km round trip each day, so it was lucky my kids (4yo & 2yo) were already seasoned travellers.

The week before the show was hectic, sleepless (3 mornings of 2am wakeups) and passed in a blur. Archer had his first bath on the Sunday & was so well behaved I forgot it was his first time. Faith was my balancer, her calmness during the storm of prepping made me love her even more. I bought her as a troubled mare last August and she has been nothing but a sweetheart since we got her. I’ve had a few people now ask how she is, as they were told she had many issues. If she does have issues, then she certainly hides them well!

The day before the show, I spent sharing a stall with my friend and telling the public about our wonderful Walers. The plan to give Archer his second bath & prep him for the show that arvo flew out the window, literally, when our daughter had a relapse and was sick, so Arch never got his bath. The day of the show I had never been so nervous in my life. We got Arch there nice & early so I could lead him around & get him used to the chaos. That took all of five minutes haha. While I was trying not to puke, hubby heard the announcer call for Any Other Breeds. Bugger!! I raced to the car, changed in front of a friend’s float, shaking so bad it took me 4 goes to tie my tie. Go to the stall, bridle Arch for the 3rd time in his life, then led him for the first time bitted down to the ring. Never even had time to brush him, let alone polish his coat or tidy his tail. Eeeekk!!!

While waiting for our class, he was as perfect as a 2yo colt could be at his first show. It wasn’t until other stallions played up that he got fidgety but I let him move, walked him a bit & stood calmly back in line. Trotting out for the judge in our Any Other Breed – Colt class, poor unmouthed Arch was chewing the bit like hell but led like a champ. Hubby said it looked like we knew what we were doing from the sidelines & we must have done ok because the judge gave us the blue ribbon. Now, I thought it was because we were the only one, but I was informed several hours later that that is not the case. Even in a class of one, the judge will only award what they think you deserve. I never expected any ribbons at all so for Arch to get a blue on his debut…I am still on cloud nine.

Due to politics, Faith was entered in a Station Stock Horse class, where we were judged by a Western judge. Running late, I trotted her down, saw the horses lined up & said “We’ve missed it girl” to her. The lady beside me said “They haven’t started yet, get in there!” So we did, and she was cool as a cucumber. I just wish I had remembered to tell the judge what breed she was as the others in the class were ASH. Oh well, next time. Yes, there will be a next time. I must be nuts but I am planning on taking Arch to another 3 shows in August. My heartfelt thanks to Janet, Bethany and Yvonne for their help, show advice and wonderful horses. Being in Qld, it sure can be a bit disheartening up here. This is why I am now determined to get Archer out and about to as many shows as I can. Looks like next year is going to be super busy for Tribute Walers 🙂     

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