March 15, 2012

The Mane Event at the Rocky Mountain Horse Expo 2012 (Friday)

Steve and I attended the "Mane Event"  hehehe, that's cute, on Friday.  The same program occurred on Saturday but Friday had mini horses and Saturday had vaulting apparently.  It was packed!  I was shoulder to shoulder with the lady next to me and had no room to get my big camera out.  Later towards the end Steve and I saw that people had moved to the cordoned off area and we figured we should get some more room.  Then I was able to spread out with my camera and 300mm lens.

On Friday the event was opened with a bridle less rider going over a series of obstacles.  There was a teeter-totter that the rider took his horse on forwards and backwards, a string gate to open, a kriss cross of poles and a bridge.  All this was done without a bridle to use for cues.  It was pretty impressive.

There were pretty Friesians pulling a wagon, along with a pair of draft mules and Percherons. 

Then we got to watch a lady with a rescue Andalusian (sweet!) and a man on his stallion doing a Spanish dance on horseback.  It was awesome.  The gal had only been riding a year and had her mare trained quite well, she even did rears under saddle to go with the music.  When they first came out I was pissed at over hearing some lady say that "Oh that's definitely the rescue horse".  Sure she was a rather plain Andalusian mare compared to the cresty black stallion but lots of well bred mares are when standing next to a flashy and cresty stallion!  I wanted to smack her!

There was also a Grand Prix dressage free style that honestly I wasn't too impressed with.  The timing for the music was off and though I can't do anything near like what she did I still have seen better presentations.  Pretty horse none the less.

Next were some gaited horses!  Peruvian Pasos, Tennessee walkers, and Mangalarga Marchadors.  I didn't see the lateral leg movement or "termino" that Peruvian horses are well known for but it was interesting to see similarities of the gait. The Peruvian termino is the swinging out of the shoulder, much like a swimmers arm and provides a really smooth gait. I would love to ride one sometime! Most gaited horses' gaits are a modification of either the running walk or amble.  The difference in gaits is style and speed...therefore there are a million terms for a gait that has a similar footfall but a different feel and slightly different look to an observer. 

Mini horses pulling fancy little carts were next.  They did a synchronized number much like a marching band.  It was entertaining and VERY CUTE!!!

Another gaited horse, the Icelandic Horse, was next.  I enjoyed seeing these sturdy pony sized horses Toelting around the arena.  Yet another ground covering smooth gait.  I recently read an article in Trail Rider that traditionally Icelanders would ride their horse in a herd and change out mounts every few miles.  It was an efficient way to travel the country and still a tradition...they have a yearly festival for these horses!

Then there was a beautiful black Morgan horse I think.  The man riding did a precision show with a long pole where he maneuvered his steed in circles around the pole without the rider lifting it from the ground.  It's hard to describe!

The next presentation left me in shock, The Cat's Meow".  I'll sum it up for you.  A lady in a cat suit riding a horse and doing "dance" moves in the saddle like she was attacking the horse.  The music was like that of a horror film interspersed with loud cat howls and whinnies of frightened horses.   HUH?????  I was in so much shock that I didn't even think of recording a video with my iPhone....YouTube fodder for sure!!  The following act was weird too but not horrifying.  It was a lady on a Peruvian with the music Wings of Love.  She road around with golden least it was visually appealing to  a certain extent...

A man on a beautiful horse and a lady doing a Spanish dance were the next show.  It was quite electric and I tried as hard as I could to get some good pictures.  They had the lights off and only used the spotlight to give a dramatic effect but I couldn't get a clear picture.  So I made it into a "painting".  I haven't done this before so I didn't take too much time to play with the settings but I see the potential of some of those "fuzzy" pics I got....I could make them into something I wouldn't mind hanging on my wall!

I squealed at the next group....Norwegian Fjords!!!  They did a routine that was very much a dance, like synchronized swimming.  See the Norwegian Fjord post to come!
Just a Fjord butt teaser!!!

The next act was a lady on a Shire with her daughter on a Peruvian horse riding around the arena to Celtic music and performing some movements with their horses and their bodies in a lyrical music interpretation kind of style.  The horses and costumes were pretty but a lot of that lyrical stuff just didn't seem to work as well on horseback. 

Finally the end showing was three Andalusian horses with two men and a little boy riding.  They were in sombreros and typical Mexican fashion.  The horses were to die for gorgeous!  The little boy, apparently age 7 but actually looked 4 was riding the biggest stallion who had a mane and tail that Lady Godiva her self would envy!  If you chopped off the mane I bet it would weigh more than the little kid on that horse. 

After the show was over, all the horses came back out for people to come down and meet them and their riders.  People were able to pet some of the horses and this allowed me to take lots of pictures.  The lighting still wasn't perfect for handheld photos with a 300mm lens but I got a few good shots I think.  Honestly it was beautiful pony overload!!!!

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