Monday, August 15, 2011

Horse weekend

My brother, sister-in-law and their daughter, Jamie live in Idaho, but were here in Oregon for a horse show this past weekend and Ray and I tagged along for part of it. Jamie has been riding since she was a child and is now a college student, who still is passionate about her horses. She takes part in dressage competitions and I find it all quite fascinating and beautiful. It is a type of horse showing and competition that originated in Europe centuries ago and most of us see only as part of the Olympics—very traditional and stylized, with very strict guidelines and rules. Jamie, my cool, sometimes goofy, and ultra modern niece puts on her traditional riding gear and suddenly becomes a classic, timeless and elegant horsewoman. Pretty amazing.

The show was held at the DevonWood Equestrian Center, which it turns out, is fairly close to where we live. It is right off one of the main highways in this area and I have driven past it many times, but had no idea of the beautiful facility hidden up behind the trees. It felt like a movie set. Over acres of rolling grassy hills, there are a number of outdoor arenas, stalls, barns and this impressive covered arena. We walked through the building and were a bit blown away by the luxuriousness of  the accommodations. The stalls in this building are built from finely polished woods and brass hardware. The walls are lined with beautifully framed artwork. The whole thing is very upscale. Of course we learned, too, that monthly boarding fees for a horse are more than most of our monthly mortgage payments!

Jamie came with her riding groups from Idaho, who adorned their assigned stalls with posters and glittery decorations. We hung out at the stalls with the kids for awhile and I was impressed with how much hard work and attention to detail goes into these competitions.

Jamie and her pony, Amy, warming up before their test.

Amy is not Jamie's only horse, but she has had Amy for a long time. Amy is small and Jamie was hoping to sell her to a younger rider, which is one reason she came to this show. With any luck, this would be their last competition together.

The test in the sand arena consisted of a series of proscribed patterns and movements. The judges sit in the cute little "house" at the end of the arena.

Sunday afternoon was Jamie and Amy's last test together. My brother recorded it in photos and video.

This morning they headed back to Idaho, without Amy. Yes, she was sold to a cute young rider who lives in this area. Amy will be a wonderful horse for her. It is what they came to do, but it was pretty sad for Jamie and her parents. Amy has been part of the family for a long time.


  1. Amy is adorable and I wish her the best of luck with her new family. I went through a horse phase in my teens and took dressage lessons on a red thoroughbred that was waaaaay to tall for me. I forget his name, but he was a good horse. i would have preferred Amy though. ;-)

  2. I so love horses! They're wonderful!

  3. It has been years since I have been to a horse show. My daughter used to ride when she was young but rode Western. When my daughter went to college she decided to sell her horse as she wouldn't be around to take care of him. It too was a sad day after many days of enjoying each others company.

  4. Anonymous4:38 PM

    My oh my, what a lovely pair Amy and Jamie make. How nice to succeed in finding Amy a new young rider, but hard on the heart, to be sure. Bittersweet might be the word.

  5. Oh, the are so beautiful together! And although I know Amy will do well with a new smaller owner, it makes me cry!

  6. Brenda5:12 PM

    Thank you, Terry. You captured the entire weekend with all the mental and physical energy it takes to pull off one of these shows. Jamie and Amy were a great pair....we will miss Amy, but know she will be loved by her new girl.