Wednesday, July 31, 2019
The annual horse show held in Bend at the J-Bar-J Ranch draws hundreds of competitive jumping horses and riders of all ages. This show occurs in my neighborhood and I enjoy trekking there for the final big competition where winners earn very lucrative prizes. This show draws from the northwest, and beyond, the best horses and talented riders.
After spending most of my time around my two mares–Morgans in the size-range of large-ponies–those jumping horses astound me. They’re mostly Warmbloods, or what’s known as middle-weight horses, and to my eyes seem nearly tall as trees. More specifically, Warmblood jumping horses average 16-17 hands tall, or huge compared to mine in the 14-hands range.
For all their size, speed, and ability to clear huge jumps, the Warmbloods also are flexible. They’re capable of turning rapidly and efficiently, and adjusting to the technicalities necessary for approaching and clearing jumps. In action they’re exciting to watch, and now, as they circle galloping past and in front of me, fun to photograph.
Much as I love the big horses, it’s as much fun to see the smaller, normal-size ones that young people ride competitively. Some adorable riders, around five-six years old and dressed in formal riding clothes, appear very self-confident while listening to last-minute inputs from coaches or parents.
The horse show lasts a couple of weeks. The neighborhood adjusts to the noises and traffic, and about when everybody gets used to the event, it’s over. Within a single day, all the horses, trailers, RVs, and competitors are gone. And in another few days, hundreds of temporary stalls become dismantled and hauled off. Soon, there remains an empty field waiting for next July and another arrival of temporary stalls.
Dear Friends: All animals in full-action are beautiful and awesome. Diana