Monday, February 9, 2009
Arabians in Motion
On Sunday I attended my first meeting of Arabians in Motion. I'm an inactive member of the organization that is an affiliate of the Arabian Horse Association. I love the breed, which is the main reason I belong to AHA. I participate in it's Frequent Rider Program where I keep track of the hours I spend in the saddle and receive acknowledgment when I attain specified milestones. I joined AiM because it promotes the Arabian as a sport horse.
Interestingly enough, I've never competed in an all-Arabian show. When I had my little red mare, the Region IV (Oregon & most of Idaho) shows didn't offer any hunter over fence classes. Plus, I had no means of transporting my horse. The Arabian show dates often conflicted with open hunter/jumper shows that my fellow boarders and trainer attended -- and when I had the means I went with them to jump my mare, which was why I was doing hunters. I've never shown Phantom outside of a couple of in-barn shows the year or two after we paired up. When I had the funds, I took lessons and rode in in-barn clinics, which left no money for competition.
Karen Bragg of Painted Valley Farms (www.paintedvalley.com -- Sorry, I don't seem to have a means of inserting links into my text) was scheduled to make a presentation about Arabian bloodlines following the business portion of the meeting, which apparently attracted several members to the meeting, including me. However, we had to sit through the business portion before we got "dessert."
So as I'm listening to folks discuss their multiple horses, AiM-sponsored shows, endurance rides, potential club-sponsored horse activities, etc., I wondered why I even belonged to the club. All I have in common with these folks is an affinity for the Arabian breed. I live on a single income and make major sacrifices to own a horse (don't own a home, don't travel, rarely eat out, don't go to the mall, skip concerts and other outings, etc.). I don't own acreage. I don't breed, train and sell Arabians. I've never owned a horse trailer let alone a vehicle that could haul one. I can't afford all the membership fees to compete in Arabian and open dressage shows, then there are the additional show fees and appropriate turnout. Nor have I been taking lessons to prepare for competition. All the things these folks apparently took for granted in life and horse ownership were outside my ken.
At last it came time for Karen's presentation -- and she was missing a power cord in her projector travel case! So she began chatting extemporaneously about the origins of the breed and major bloodlines that dominate the show ring. Those of us who stuck it out were impressed with her knowledge. So -- I'll watch for a future opportunity to enjoy Karen's illustrated presentation.
And I'll keep buying lottery tickets.