Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Texas and the NRCHA World Show

I've been silent the last couple of days, and silent about the upcoming trip I was about to take. Not for any particular reason, but just so you know, I took a short trip down to Texas for four days and just returned last night. Why Texas? Well, besides the fact that it is awesome and I have always wanted to visit, but my Dad just moved down there over a year ago and I hadnt seen him since the move. Originally in San Antonio, three months ago he moved north to Dallas and wanted me to come visit him, so that was my Christmas present was the flight down and back. After coordinating with work and getting time off, making sure Milo was all prepped for my absence, it was time to make the trip.

You might be able to tell, but I am a homebody. I dont have a desire to travel the world and see new places. I want to stay home and see my horse and my Boyfriend everyday. Leaving them is too much of an undertaking. I dont even like driving on the other side of the water in Seattle! Let alone going to a completely foreign place.

But, nonetheless, I was really excited to see my Dad, visit Texas, and watch the NRCHA World Show. When planning the trip I asked my Father if he minded coordinating the visit with the NRCHA World Show. I figured if I was going to be in Texas I wanted to make full use of the visit, and see something I never will see in Washington State. He thought it was a great idea and something we could do together. Also San Angelo, the show's location, was four and a half hours away from Dallas, Dad didnt complain of my request.

I saw a lot of really cool things during my short duration in Texas. But this post is going to be about the NRCHA World Show, considering it is the one truly horse event I attended, so it's most suiting for the blog. Surprisingly, I knew of a trailer from Northern Washington (relatively my area) that trailered down for the show. Talking on Facebook and browsing her website was the only way I personally knew her, but I was eager to meet face to face - in Texas of all places! Dad and I left early Sunday morning to make it to the show grounds with most of the day left for watching.

When we arrived, I could hardly believe I was at the venue. Although San Angelo seemed rather bare and a little run down (although we never went through downtown), the Fairgrounds was nicely kept up and teeming with horses and competitors. A few booths were set up with merchandise and the event was held in a main arena with lots of seating. Although the event is the Association's World Show, it was odd how much it felt like a regular horse show. Just the people were well known, the horses were well bred, and we were in Texas. There were no strict regulations on where spectators could or could not go, unlike rodeo events or things geared towards the spectators. Like most horse shows, this one was geared towards the competitor, which was refreshing. Dad and I had full access to the grounds, walking through the holding pen, the warm up arena, the backside where the cows were housed, and through the exhibitors horse stalls. I took it all in, and enjoyed the familiar horse show atmosphere.

We watched the Circle Y Derby Open, Int Open, Limited Open, and Novice Horse Open Rein Work. I hoped that my Dad, someone not knowledgeable in horses except what I have told him, let along reining or reined cow horse, wouldnt tire of the endless competitors running the same pattern again and again. But he was receptive to all that I educated him on, and was more interested in knowing the scores of each competitor and how they were determined. He got more savvy on what were good runs versus poorer ones as the say went on. I enjoyed seeing the young but incredibly well trained horses, and some of the riders whose names I had recognized. 

During arena drags and the lunch break, we made our way through the vendors and I enjoyed seeing handmade pieces of art and enjoying the horseshow environment. I indulged on a couple of sweatshirts that had the NRCHA World Show title and logo on them, and one in particular reading World Show and San Angelo, items I would never have received otherwise. We then made our way around the grounds, seeing the cows and watching people in the warm up pen. I saw things I liked, and saw a lot of things I didn't like. And although there was a fluorescent sign reading the NRCHA's policy on abusive and unacceptable practices, I saw a lot of hard spurs, heavy hands, and careless acts. It reminded me the level of competition we were at and what people will do in the name of money and glory. 

But I didnt want to focus on the negatives of how some people rode. I appreciated the extremely well bred and well maintained horses, and walked through the stalls seeing the lovely (and shortly statured) horses dozing in the warm stalls. We made our way to the two stalls housing the horses from the trainer in Washington I was hoping to meet. Unfortunately, neither her or her client were around, but we visited with the horses anyways and I hoped there would be another even, maybe in Washington that I could really meet her at, face to face. 

The day was creeping into the evening, and Dad and I faced the reality that we still had a long drive back to Dallas. I took a final breath in of this big horse venue, and climbed into the Mountaineer to head back. My visit was short-lived, but even now as I watch the continued showing of the World Show on the NRCHA's live webcast, I feel a little more attached to it, knowing I was sitting in that venue watching those competitors live and being so close to the horses I could hear their breathing, just three days ago. 

Todd Crawford

Holding Pen
The Warm Up Pen...
Lovely Appaloosa, and a quiet rider. 
Cute horse in a stall. 

Warm up Pen, back of main arena. 

If anyone wants to see more photos from my Texas trip, leave a comment and I'll give you the link to my Facebook Album. 


The Horse Dad said...

Congratulations on a great trip - especially the part about spending time with your dad and making that long trek to and from Dallas to San Angelo. I would like to know more about that specific aspect of your trip - perhaps both from your perspective and your dad's - as I continue to develop my blog, All the best; come on back to Texas any time.

in2paints said...

Sounds like a wonderful trip all around! I'd love to see more of the pictures too.

Cedar View Paint Horses said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I'm glad you didn't dwell on some of the heavy hands (ie:palomino) and focus on the good riders. I've seen tons, much too much to mention. I used to shake my head on the inside. Now I just shake it for everyone to see, and I don't care. You crank and yank all you want, Cowboy Wannabe. And you watch who wins....

paint_horse_milo said...

in2paints: see if this link works:

paint_horse_milo said...

Cedar View, its funny you said that because my Dad asked me if he could Boo some of the people we saw doing that. HAHAH Could you imagine? SOmeone on the sidelines yelling "BOOOOOOO!" haha he should have.

Story said...

That looks like an amazing trip. My old barn was into reined cow horses. Awesome pictures.