Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Everything's Bigger In Texas...

...Including the model horse shows!  I went to A Midwinter's Night Ball in Georgetown, TX this past weekend, and wow, what a show!  This was my first time at MWB, my first time showing in Texas, and my first BIG horse show (except maybe since going to Breyerfest as a kid).

I knew going into this show (and was warned by friends as well) that this would be a big show and that the competition would be fierce, especially in Performance.  Region 5 is already known for being a tough Performance region, but I think Texas represents the pinnacle of Performance showing.  I've managed to hold my own at the Mid Ark Model Horse Expo every year that I've gone, and each time managed to come home with some sort of Champion or Reserve Champion rosette - but I wasn't kidding myself going into this show, and was fully expecting to get my butt kicked.  Not only have I been out of the hobby for several years until recently, I still consider myself an amateur/budget shower.  I've slowly been investing in nicer tack and props, but much of my set ups is still self-made/modified and/or not top of the line.

I felt like I was rushing the whole way through my show prep - there is just never enough time for me to feel ready and stress-free before a show.  I wound up remaking a lot of my documentation as well as my explanation cards and tried to make them as neat, well-researched, and professional as possible.  I might not have the most expensive tack, but at least I could try to make my documentation top notch!

Rob and I left Little Rock around 6:30am on Friday morning to make the seven hour drive to Georgetown.  He did most of the driving, and I tried to catch up on some of the sleep I had missed from staying up late to pack.  It was an uneventful trip, and we made it safely to the hotel that afternoon.  After resting a bit and reorganizing, we headed to the show hall.

The show hall seemed ENORMOUS and packed with competitors and models.
A view of the show hall from my table in the back corner.
A view of the show hall from the halter showers' end of the room.

I was getting pretty anxious at this point (yay for social anxiety... not).  After picking a table in the Performance showers' area, I got my horses unpacked and my area arranged the way I wanted.  I started browsing some of the other tables and all the lovely horses and intricately-detailed tack and props... and then I started to get very anxious.  But, I had done all I could, and the only thing left to do was show and try to have a good time anyway.

The Palouse Pony Parade was ready to go.  And Rob kept himself occupied.
The rosettes were so lovely!

More lovely rosettes and prizes for the Grand Champs and Reserves.

A girl could dream, right?

Rob and I went out to dinner with a large group of other showers and the hosts/hostesses and judges.  At first I wanted to just go back to the hotel and get dinner on our own, but I decided that going out with the group and hopefully chatting with some of them might help break the ice and calm my social anxiety so that talking to people during the show would be easier.  We wound up sitting at a table with two of the show hosts/hostesses, the MC, and one of the judges.  Everyone was very nice and welcoming, which made me feel a lot better.

It had been a long day, and the next two days were going to be long as well, so Rob and I retired to our hotel after dinner and tried to get as much sleep as possible that night.

I'll post the rest of the show report later!

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