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Horsey times near the farmette

It's a rainy day at the in a LOT of rainy days this summer. Wish we could send some of it to B.C. where the fires are raging and people are evacuating out of umpteen towns in the interior. So frightening. I saw a piece on CBC about how the people of Prince George have opened their doors to the unfortunate refugees fleeing the inferno. One guy had to rescue his eight horses, and managed to get to the fairgrounds, where they were making stables available. Everyone was hands-on, directing him to the right spot, making sure the anim​​als were fed and asking what more they could do. So great to see a community pull together during a crisis. It's also nice to see the horse community celebrate and have fun...last weekend we went to a riding show in Markdale in which my niece Rachel was competing.

It was a smallish event, but people were enthusiastic and the cloudbursts did nothing to dampen spirits...luckily we just had wait out a couple of small downpours before the fun re-started.

Rachel's horse Trigger is a seven-year-old gelding who's a very fast runner...sometimes a bit too fast, and, kind of like an overexuberant teenager, doesn't know his own strength.

Also like a teenager, he's a bit swoony around a particular mare. Pride (the horse on the right, the rider is Hunter) is an older lady, who is stabled at the same farm as Trigger. Unfortunately, she doesn't share his, uh, enthusiasm.

He's got it bad for her, and gets all excited when she a) walks by b) pays attention c) yawns in his face.

Trigger's also a little, um, dim. Rachel and her partner Jesse came up with the nickname Bart Jordan - meaning he has the brains of the Simpson character and the athleticism of the basketball player. Ha!

The dedication of the horse people at the show on Sunday was amazing. One little guy - at six years old - stood out from the crowd. Owen really had game...a concentrated little face and a determined wee pony named Star whose speed topped out at a quick trot. It think it took him nearly a minute to do the pole bending race, in which the horse has to thread back and forth through tightly-spaced vertical poles. But both were pretty chuffed at being in the hunt and Owen even stopped when he saw me clicking away on the iPhone to pose for a glam shot.

In the end, Rachel did very well - taking home two firsts in barrel racing and pole bending. I think it's a matter of getting the right balance of letting Trigger run, and keeping him focused.

But what do I know?

The last time I was on a horse, I was about 11 and the pony was Donna. She was a grumpy, flatulent, older mare. Wait, that sounds like me! Until next week...

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