I have a friend who also has a pony/mini (stands one inch shorter then Moose), who invited me along with her and Beau to a mini/pony in hand gaming show in Roy, WA. The entry fee was $25 for the day including six patterns. Sounded like fun! And although we dont really do the in hand gaming stuff, I thought it would be great exposure for him at a low key show (schooling level) and a good test on our ground handling and manners.
We loaded up in her friend's large three horse Logan gooseneck, and I swore upon arrival the folks there expected to see six minis pop outta that thing, not just two!
Moose got pretty attached to Beau, which is definitely something to work on, but we had a great day. Aside from herd-bound issues, he never spooked at anything and didnt mind the arena at all. In fact, when we were in the arena and away from Beau, he was quite focused on the task at hand. It was only after we left the arena and Beau headed in that Moose started having some screaming fits. For the most part however, he remained pretty good about listening to me and my direction even in his fits.
We were signed up for all six patterns which included in hand barrels, key hole, flags, cal stake, speed barrels, and modified poles. Moose and I were in the Senior division, 17-39, and only had one other competitor, who was handling a cute bay pony/mini that Moose was entranced with. I think he felt like he recognized the mare, and maybe he did.
All in all, we finished the day with five first places and one second place which, by default, we received the high point medal for the day! Although our times beat out the only other competitor they werent even as fast as Beau's who was in the Super Senior Division and who also received high point for their division.
I was surprised by how many people came to the trailer and complimented Moose. He got compliments for his red color (which surprised me - hes just a red horse not even with spots like Milo!), how soft his coat is and how handle-able he was. It sure warmed a Mom's heart though and honestly I couldnt agree more. And man, I thought my pony was shaggy from the winter? Many of the other minis there had twice as long of coats and not nearly as soft as Moose's is. It just goes to show what daily maintenance and good feed will do for a horse. When asked how I keep him so clean and soft I replied that I just feed him black oil sunflower seeds in his handful of grain, and he gets brushed almost daily.
And as a pleasant surprise, I won one of the raffles from the day, a super cute hand-made green rope halter! Moose loved showing it off too.
I couldnt have been happier with his performance at his first outing! The club as other mini shows scheduled for this summer and some class lists include ground driving, which I am quite interested in going to as additional practice before cart driving.