Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hold Your Horses

This week is the Decatur County Fair, and I must say it feels a bit weird not having a 4-Her participating. After 18 years of 4-H projects, it's definitely a different feeling. Not a bad feeling, just different. Maybe it's called RELIEF!?

I met Adam at the fair on Sunday night to eat a ribeye sandwich, one of my favorite fair traditions. The Decatur County Cattlemen provide ribeyes for each exhibitor in the beef project, and sell sandwiches to fair attendees. It's all about the beef, you know. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of one of the sandwiches, or the grillmaster, Uncle Steve.

While we were eating our sandwich, a hot air balloon took off from the airport right over the fairgrounds. I was able to snap a couple pictures on my way home as it toured northern Decatur County. Don't worry, I stopped the car.

Monday morning, I was able to experience a bit of the fair by helping to judge the Horsemaster Competition. This contest consists of four parts, a groom and clean, a demonstration, a horsemanship pattern, and a written test. There are two divisions, one for junior exhibitors, and one for senior exhibitors.

They start by showing the judges what is done to groom a horse for the show. Here, Hannah explains how she prepares her horse, Sonny.

Kelsi walks her horse to get him ready for the contest.

The second part of the competition is a demonstration of the exhibitor's choosing. Kaeli did a presentation about Strangles, a disease that affects a horse's lymph nodes.

Next, each rider must execute a horsemanship pattern. Hannah and Sonny complete their turn.
Danielle wasn't a participant this year, but she was there to cheer on the younger 4-Hers. Looking cute, I might add.

Kathryn waits for the judges' signal to begin her pattern.
Time for some relaxed riding after the patterns are completed.

Finally, they work on the last segment, the written test. Jennifer always thought this part was by far the most difficult. And yes, I realize there's a lovely blue porta-potty in the background. I don't know how it got in the picture, I make it a policy to avoid them at all costs.

After my judging duties were done, I located Adam at the pool and took him to lunch. He had a tenderloin...

and I had the fish. Best. Fish sandwich. Ever.

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