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KECSA Horse Show

Yesterday I competed in the 21st Annual KESCA Horse Show. Kiwanis International sponsors the competition and they really strive to give people of all ages and abilities the opportunity to compete in the show. I heard the show was the biggest it had been this year as they actually helped centers that were open on Sunday by providing them the funding to come to the event.

I showed in three different classes: Futures, Equitation, and Obstacle. Futures is what you might think of as your typical dressage show. I was given a pattern to follow through the arena and had to ommunicate with my horse through balance, strength, flexibility and accuracy. I scored first place in this class.

Equitation refer to a rider's position while mounted, and encompasses a rider's ability to ride correctly and with effective aids. Here, the rider, rather than the horse is evaluated. Judging criteria covers the rider's performance and control of the horse, use of riding aids, proper attire, correct form, and usually factor in rider poise and the cleanliness and polish of horse, rider and equipment. I also scored first place in this class!

My final class was the Obstacle. Here, I was required to follow a predetermined pattern of obstacles which required me to enter the arena, stop at a mailbox and remove what was

inside, go over a bridge, circle a cone, go over some ground poles, then go through the parallell poles and stop. Here, I had to back up 3 steps then proceed to weave through the barrels to the end of the arena. I hadn't practiced reversing for a few months so I was worried I would get stuck at that point, but Lusco was very cooperative. The judge, who I was told was a real stickler, even stopped me at the end to tell me how well I did. I got 2nd in my class on this one.

Overall, it was an awesome day. Even though I didn't have my regular loop reins and we had to figure out something on the spot (!) since I can't grip regular reins, everyhing went really smoothly. I rode Goldie for my first class and then had to quickly change to Lusco for the last two. Lusco is the first horse I started to ride when I began with my hippotherapy. He's wonderful, but very slow and more difficult for me to get moving as he's not as responsive. I was worried that he was going to just stop in the middle of one of my tests, but we had great communication and even responded when I asked him to lengthen his step. It was a great feeling.

I can't wait for the next show! Thanks to all my friends and family that came out to support me =)

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