So this weekend was supposed to be pretty Full of non- horse - related stuff but Much to my surprise and delight, my out of town weekend lines up perfectly with the Saskatchewan equine expo!
I was able to catch the last day of the expo today and arrived in time to watch the exciting tail end of one of the sessions of the trainer's challenge. For anyone who isn't familiar with them, the trainers challenges are 3 day events where 3 professional trainers are given young horses that are essentially untouched. I believe they're halter broke but I think that's the extent of what they know. Anyway, the three trainers draw a 'colt ' (they call them all colts even though at most of the trainers challenges I've seen its been all fillies) and get one hour to with with the horse each day for three days and at the end of the third day, there's a final competition in which the trainers demonstrate various compulsory skills that they have hopefully taught their horse over the three days.
I arrived for the last twenty minutes or so of one of the trainers' final sessions with his horse, a beautiful palomino filly. He was riding her walk/trot/lope and working on backing. After a few minutes of that he hopped off and started swinging a rope around (one of the final compulsories is swinging a rope and dragging a log), before untacking and jumping on bareback. He rode around about a minute and then the horse reared and bucked in quite an exciting fashion. The trainer actually stayed on pretty well until he didn't. He would have given anyone a run for their money if it had been a bareback bronc riding competition and not a trainer's challenge. Nonetheless, in the true cowboy spirit, he just grinned and said that was the most fun he'd had in a long time and jumped right back up just so he could end his session on a good note.
|A truly horrendous phone picture of the trainer's challenge|
Much to my delight, there was also a clinic from one of my favorite trainers, Jonathan Fields. He was giving a clinic on bend and balance and I learned a ton of new stuff that will be really useful once I start riding again.
|Jonathan Fields, not that you can really tell from the picture|
Plus I got a new halter and some English riding clothes for super cheap at the trade show. Just what i needed after these last couple weeks, shopping!