Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step

Hello everyone!  I am counting down the days until we leave for the American Rabbit Breeders Association national convention!  I am so excited for it!  I have been keeping busy with grooming my rabbits, studying, preparing cages and kennels for the flight,  and so much more.  I have also been busy with some other things too.  Such as The Pa State Horse Show and shadowing my veterinarian, Cindy. 

As for the State Horse Show, I qualified to show my miniature horse, Journey, in a trial class and CJ in intermediate English showmanship.  On Thursday, Journey stayed the night at the Farm Show Complex, where the show was held, and on Friday morning was shown in his class.  As soon as we arrived on Thursday night, I gave him a bath and worked him so he would get acclimated.  Once he was all settled in with his blanket on, I went home until the next morning. 

On Friday morning, even before the crack of dawn, my mom and I drove to the Farm Show so we could ready Journey for the show.  Matt Bishop also came down that morning to help me with Journey.  I prepared him by lunging him in an outdoor pen, then we practiced in the schooling class, and finally I dressed in my English showing clothes and fancied Journey for his class!  I thought we were doing well with time, but then realized we were the first to go out of 18 contestants.  The announcer was calling for line-ups and we were still in the stall.  So we had to race to the line-up in order to make it on time.  We made it with only moments to spare and even less than that to catch my breath.  I was beaming when I heard my name and number announced over the loud speaker at the Pennsylvania State 4-H Horse Show!  We have come a long way since his early days of leaving me in the dust when he would escape my grip, which he did often.  Now, here we were performing with the best of the best.  Once we completed our pattern, I was very proud of how we did!  Even though we didn't place, I still think that we did an awesome job!  I did a lot of work with the little nugget and am looking forward to continuing next year with him. 

The next day, Matt brought CJ down for our Sunday morning Showmanship class.  I worked a lot with her that night and then gave her a bath.  At 5:00 Sunday morning, Matt and Ashley went down to the Farm Show and started braiding CJ's mane.  At 5:30, my mom and I headed down with breakfast (which was a lifesaver that day, thanks to mom!).  I helped with CJ and then prepared for the show.  Once CJ and I were ready, we headed down to the arena where we showed.  We were the fifth to show in our class of 25 youth.  I watched the first few give their best while I warmed up.  They called my number, 353, and I lined up to start. As soon as I heard the announcer say, "Thank you," I felt like jumping up and down with joy!  I showed two horses at the state horse show and did well in both of my classes!  I was very proud of CJ, Journey, and myself.  Matt, Ashley, and my mom were all very happy and proud as well!  At that time, they announced everyone back in to the ring to call the placements.  I am very, very proud to announce that we won 10th place!  I was ecstatic!  Thanks to Matt, Ashley, and my mom who helped me a lot and I wouldn't have been able to do it without them! 

For my biology class this year in school, I am shadowing my veterinarian, Cindy.  She has been able to teach me a lot already and I've only shadowed her twice.  I am really looking forward to this. Yesterday was the second time that I shadowed her and I had the wonderful chance to watch her give a dairy cow surgery!  Let's just say that this is only reinforcing the fact that I really hope to become a veterinarian when I grow up and hope to continue shadowing and learning more every time!

Until I come back from A.R.B.A. nationals (there will definitely have a new blog post then!),
Your friend,

Journey and I waiting for trail!

Journey and I starting trail!

After trail
Walking in for awards

Waiting for them to announce the awards

About to start showmanship
Ready for showmanship!

CJ and I with our ribbon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

ARBA Nationals..... Here We Come!

Well, here we go!  A few weeks ago, I sent in my applications for this year's 2015 American Rabbit Breeders Association convention!  This year, the event will be held in Portland, Oregon.  My mom and I were originally planning on driving there, but then we researched the time and pricing.  We've decided that it would be better to fly!  We can't be away as long as it would take to drive all the way across the country and back again; not to mention the fact the fiber mill wouldn't be getting any spinning finished without mom.  Ashley does a great job, but she can't do everything herself, and that's our livelihood.  Also, I would miss my animals and feel bad for my family members who were here feeding all of them for such a long period of time.  So, we decided to fly.  I am going to try and take three rabbits there.  Hope it will all go well!

I am very excited to go.  I have been grooming and getting ready for this nationals.  I also entered my applications into the royalty contest.  I entered in the management and achievement contests as well.  For royalty, you have to participate in breed ID, judging or showmanship (depending on the age), and a written test.  If you do well, you receive a callback for a face to face interview.  This is going to be my last year running for Duchess so that means that I will be running for Queen next year!  I have been working on some studying, but I also want to go and have a good time too.  I am looking forward to this trip and I will keep everyone posted on how it goes.  If you have any suggestions on a must see while we are in Portland, just let us know.  I will, however, be sticking my piggies in the Pacific since I will be awfully close to it!

Best of Breed Satin Angora in Texas ARBA nationals last year!

Judging a class of Dutch for the royalty contest in Texas last year