Mane Event: Red Deer 2015

Sarah and I headed up to the Mane Event, a big horse expo, in Red Deer Alberta this past weekend. It was a really great weekend, and I took a lot from it.. but we'll get to that in a minute. :)

We took in a bit of the trainer's challenge over the day and a half we were there. The Trainer's Challenge is a three day colt starting, culminating in a course plus a freestyle on the last day. This year it was Kateri Cowley, a first timer to the challenge, Patrick King and TJ Clibborn. All of them brought interesting and different styles to their colts, two stallions and a filly from the Ace of Clubs ranch in Alberta.

Three day colt starting is really interesting to me... I still don't really know exactly how I feel about it. It has definitely become an "in" thing at the moment, with these types of challenges popping up everywhere and the freestyles at the end becoming more and more elaborate. I think I like the idea of the "Mustang Makeover" challenges a bit more, the Trainer's get 100 days, and that's quick in and of itself, but atleast they get some serious time to put thought, training and miles into their colts. I'm wary of challenges that show people who may be uneducated in the ways of horse training, that perhaps it is possible to "break" a horse in a few hours. The truth of it is, the Trainer's Challenge, is a piece of it - the groundwork, the initial rides, bringing a horse into the "big pen" for the first time - but it's a small piece, and an unrealistic piece... but it does make for some interesting watching as well. I don't know, as I said, still mulling over how I feel about it all.

I also did some imaginary trailer shopping...

I LOVED this Exiss LQ, and how they came about creating privacy to the bed area... Pretty, Pretty... So much leather embossing, so much drooling..

Then I found another trailer that is a more realistic dream trailer for me. Yet still, very for out of reach. I LOVED this 3H Hart.. It had a dressing area in the neck, with storage under each manger, a side storage area that was smaller, and on the other side a two door side tack with ample hooks and saddle racks. Loveeeeee side tacks. Love them. I should have gotten more pictures.. but this is all I got...

On Saturday night the Mane Event put on the "Equine Experience", which featured all sorts of trick riding, trick roping, drill teams - western and even a jumping drill team!, roman riding, combined driving, teams AND even a cowgirl riding a massive steer....

sometimes, you see it all.

... Maybe Jingle missed his calling? Pretty Paints...

I got to visit with some great friends - it's always refreshing to get out of the city, and see some people you haven't in awhile. Love a good conversation around a round table.

Sarah and I taking in the Cliff Swanson Western Dressage clinic.

I really enjoyed the bit of Cliff Swanson's clinic I saw, before Jingle went lame i was tentatively thinking of dipping our toes/hooves into Western Dressage... maybe one day we'll achieve a little semblance of it...

Girls <3 Pretty Boots...
My Johnny Ringo's on the left I bought in Vegas, and Sarah's perfectly purple Ariats she bought at the show!

TJ Clibborn & his Stud Colt he named, "Slingshot", at the finale of the Trainer's Challenge

The finale was interesting, Patrick King won, he did a good job on his filly, and his freestyle was using Garrocha poles, which he did a beautiful job of. TJ Clibborn had a very studdy colt that he did a great job with, plus he had me in stitches the entire time. Finally, Kateri Cowley did a good job with her colt, especially it being her first time doing a Trainer's challenge. Unfortunately she got bucked off attempting to lope him to the right. Like a true cowgirl though, she got back on, finished the course, and even had him jump in the trailer with only a minute on the clock. When he jumped in, her voice came over the loud speaker and you could hear her say, "You guy should see me in here, I'm crying." She had me tearing up too. How many times have I gotten bucked off, or read a horse wrong, or gotten in a bind? When I saw that horse began to buck, I felt like I was on that horse.. I knew the exact feeling of that movement. Now, I've never had that happen in front of thousands of people... I can't even imagine. I thought she did wonderfully for her first time, and is a strong female force in Alberta as well as a great cowgirl, and role model to young girls. I'm definitely a fan after the Trainer's Challenge.

Not only was the Mane Event a ton of fun, and I did some good shopping... but it was also a bit of a shove to get back on my horse and start focusing on training again. I had a pretty terrible ride on Jingle at the beginning of last week and kind of gave up. Instead of going to the barn, I slept in, instead of riding, I took my dog to the dog park. Last year, at this time, I felt like I had made massive strides in my horsemanship, and then last week, I felt like I never had been on a horse before. This week, it is a lot better, and i'm feeling a lot more confident again however, man... horses.. always a learning experience.


  1. I can totally empathize with feeling sometimes as if it's all useless. Glad it's going a bit better! Sometimes pushing through is the right thing and sometimes thinking on it longer is... but you never know, amiright?

    1. haha, you are so right. I think I was more so second guessing my own riding skill.. not the (very small, minuscule) issues I was dealing with. I just needed to remind myself to sit up a bit straighter and put my horse back into work.

  2. Love Kateri after seeing her win the Cowboy up challenge at Stampede. Glad she did well! I hear you on the making excuses not to ride when you aren't quite confidant; I do that all the time.Gotta cowgirl up though and get'r done!


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