Close to 60 riders and their faithful horses trotted onto the Trail Horseman’s Grounds for the Horse Association of Central Kootenays’ Hot August Hooves Horse Show on the weekend.
The three-day event kicked off with Dressage on Friday and English and Western classes on Saturday and Sunday, with the introduction of a new discipline, the TREC ride, on Friday.
“TREC is something new we’re trying, and it went really well,” said Malekow. “If you were out on a trail ride, the kind of obstacles you would encounter like low branches of trees, something you have to walk over, scary objects – but it was really fun.”
The extensive range of competitions, 56, include categories from child horsemanship to senior classes performing everything from Showmanship, Equitation, Horsemanship and Trail patterns in English and Western styles.
With judge Lilian Evanview from Riverside, Wash. judging and offering constructive criticism, it was a great opportunity for riders to learn and improve their skills.
“Most judges look for your horsemanship skills,” explained Malekow. “Pleasure horse they go on how calm your horse is and if its a pleasure to ride. It just depends what class they are judging.”
Points are given and taken away depending on mechanics, style, and thought interpretation.
The judge scores on each element, plus the overall impression, as well as, smoothness of transition, flow and finesse in the pattern.
The difficulty of the pattern varies according to the class. For novices, the patterns are simpler and may consist of some variety of walking to a marker, jogging a circle and loping a straight line to the end of the arena. For upper-level classes, the patterns are much quicker and tougher with a greater variety of maneuvers, such as jog to a marker, spin to the right, extend the trot, rollback left, lope an arc around to the next marker.
Mistakes, such as missed transitions, wrong leads, touching a log etc. subtract from the rider’s score.
Scoring for the pattern in AQHA western horsemanship classes ranges from 0 to 20, with 20 being a perfect score.