Had a chance to explore the Expo Center's Palomino Horse Show today. MLA and I walked through the various livestock barns and saw some beautiful horses. Most are Palominos although they also have quarter horses as a part of the show and competition. Really beautiful animals.
The amount of time that goes into training, feeding, grooming, and cleaning up after a horse is amazing however a horse show is where all of that hard work is supposed to pay off. At a minimum it includes ribbons and bragging rights. It can also include fairly large and prestigious trophies and cash awards although everyone I talked to said the prize money does not come close to paying for all of the expenses.
The folks (and horses) competing here come from all over; in fact my neighbor in the campground is from Michigan where he has a fairly large horse farm. He looked right at home here in Oklahoma with his cowboy hat, fancy western short, cowboy boots and a belt buckle the size of Delaware. However I couldn't stop thinking he must look a little out of place in Michigan. He assured me that Michigan has a lot of horse farms and cowboys. Never seen them on my trips to Michigan but hey, maybe I was looking in the wrong places. Especially since all of my trips to Michigan were for work and involved visiting customers in cities and not in the rural areas.
In any case, there were some very interesting exhibitors with lots of stuff for sale to help the hopeful Palomino Horse owner become a prize winning Palomino Horse owner. All kinds of tack, saddles, clothes with incredible amounts of 'bling', and of course, a lady selling 'previously owned' fur coats and fur hats at discount prices. Given the mood of American regarding fur I'll bet she has a warehouse full of furs people no longer are comfortable in wearing.
I also found something every cowboy home needs; your ranch's bathroom would be incomplete without a leather tooled toilet seat. Seriously, the craftsmanship was superb. The guy got a little irritated when I asked him if I could take a picture of it, as if it were no more unusual than another set of cowboy boots.
We only stayed for a bit of the competition however we did follow one group of horses through the complete judging process. There were five judges and each would announce the winning order from 1 to 8. Then they would add up all the scores to get an overall winner.
I couldn't help but notice one lady who had obviously put a lot of time into training and grooming her horse. She was decked out in a very expensive set of clothes custom made for showing horses including the requisite cowboy hat and boots. Her horse appeared to be immaculately groomed, with its long tail perfectly colored, brushed, and curls in place. The horses mane was also perfect (to me): great color, length trimmed just so, and of course it was braided from top to bottom.
Every judge there had her last; her horse was number 8 in each judges announcement and then of course, number 8 overall.
I'm not enough of a horse person to tell you what was wrong with her horse from a judge's perspective. Maybe her color was not right or her musculature was not well enough defined or maybe she just didn't perform well on the trot around the ring. You couldn't help feeling the pain of horse's handler as her horse was repeatedly announced as number 8 out of 8.
However, that's competition and really, life is one competition after another. MLA tells me men are much more competitive than women however I think everyone is competitive. Women are just smart enough not to let everyone else know about the competition.
We had a great day in Tulsa. Christopher's spending the night with us in the RV and tomorrow I'll pick up the rest of my family at the airport. Can't wait to see everyone and have our family back together again even if it's only for a few days.
Posted by Dale, Mary Lynn & Dobbie at 1:25 AM
2nd Trip: June 2008 through November 2008
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1st Trip -- February 2008 Through April 2008
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Maryland to Arizona to Prince Rupert, BC
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