The first few days of Spring meant the horse showing at the horse center, with the first of three AQHA shows of the season in Lexington.
Classes were modest in size. Trail and Western Riding had as few as three entries. Youth Equitation had in the double digits. And the ever-growing Ranch Horse Pleasure class continued its rise with 28 entered in the Open class.
Many of the horses were a bit rusty and there was plenty of schooling going on. The turnouts lacked the spit and shine you see later into the season. The silver and sequin is sure to be sparkling brightly when AQHA rolls in again this fall for the Novice Championship.
It was our first experience watching Ranch Horse Pleasure. It was certainly the most popular class on Saturday’s showbill and it’s easy to see why. It fit horses and people that don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on silver for their saddle and sparkles for their jackets. Horses could compete even if they were a bit green and wooly with spring coats. You don’t need to be with a full-time trainer to maintain an artificially slow lope in your horse. The gaits were natural, forward and more in line with what the quarter horse was originally bred for. It will be interesting to see how the class evolves over time.