Here at my barn in Southern Wisconsin, we have started an annual "Winter Olympics" as a fun way to break up the winter, give us all something to look forward too, and generally dispel some of the ill-will that comes when nearly 100 eventers, dressage riders, trail riders, and natural horse folk are forced to share two arenas for 4 months, a la Big Brother (Seriously, are there cameras in here? Is network TV making a profit on these hissy fits??).
|Zahra and I in our pre-game huddle|
So, our barn has 4 barns: Dry Barn, Dairy Barn, Main Barn, and Long Barn, plus rough board. So these are your 5 teams! Last year, the title went to the Dry Barn, so we were the defending champions. Of course, this year no one from our barn could make it, so it was me on my awesome 3 year old, and another eventer girl on her awesome Standardbred. Our team was by far the smallest, but we were determined to be a force to be reckoned with!
|Our resident dressage trainer, showing us how its done in the Puissance!|
Next, the Puissance is two jumps, one is for "warm up"and the other is for points. The jumps start at 2'6", and get taller and taller every time they are successfully jumped. If your horse knocks the rail or refuses, you're out. Last rider jumping wins. Again, the Long Barn came in first and second here!
|Egg and Spoon!|
|Pole bending, bareback in a halter!|
There was an equitation elimination that started easily enough, walk trot canter each way, but it took adding in flying lead changes to determine the winner! It was, of course, a dressage rider who ultimately took the title-- for the second year in a row!
For the dressage riders, there was a musical freestyle class judged by a real dressage judge, with a REAL great sense of humor! Most teams did a Pas de Deux. The winning pair, from rough board, paired a quarter horse and a half Friesian for a test. An unlikely combo, but don't let these two fool you, they LOVE dressage!
At the end of the day, the Long Barn had a decisive victory, receiving the perpetual trophy and bragging rights for a year. But the Dry Barn, with only two riders, hung onto 2nd place, and Rough Board came in 3rd. Hopefully all the good cheer will have diffused tensions enough to get us through the rest of this winter, when the outdoor arena and Hunt Field will once again be viable options to ignore each other!!
|She who organizes the madness|
About the Photographer: We are very blessed to count a professional photographer among our boarders. So if you ever need a photographer for anything with a horse, a dog, or anything at all, you should contact Heather at ShortHorse Studios. Seriously, amazing.