Snowball was round, white, and a sweetheart. She was patient and calm, and while she wasn't the most beautiful horse in the barn (she was pretty cute though), she made for a wonderful lesson pony. Not long before my 8th birthday, Patti asked if I wanted to ride in a show that she was attending with her other horses. She had room in her trailer to add Snowball, and thought of me.
I was really excited, and leaped at the chance. I was also nervous, but Patti assured me that I would be competing for fun and not to worry about it.
When I got to the show grounds, I had never practiced any of the classes I would be doing. Before each class, Patti would talk me through it and explain what I was supposed to do. I remember doing the "cloverleaf," which was really a barrel pattern but for kids. I focused really hard on what she was saying and went over the swirling pattern over and over again in my head, wanting to get it right. I got the pattern right but couldn't kick Snowball into trotting until we were headed for home. She did pick up a fast walk!
Other than the cloverleaf, I did a walk-trot class, egg and spoon, pleasure, and showmanship. I was terrible at showmanship, I had no idea where to stand so I kept moving around trying to be in the right spot. We did trot back into place nicely, and it was the last class of my day. I didn't do particularly well in anything else, but I had fun and got a compliment on "my" saddle pad- which was turquoise!
As I was walking around, I noticed some people had beautiful multicolored ribbons. I was told that they were participation ribbons and they were given out from the registration table for those who asked. I couldn't believe my luck- I could get a ribbon even though I didn't win anything!
I carefully pinned my ribbon to Snowball's headstall and admired how pretty the colors looked against her white coat. I didn't care that I hadn't won anything, I was just happy that I made it through the day and now had a lovely prize to show for it.
When I got home, I hung the ribbon from my bookshelf where I could admire it. After much searching of the internets, I could not find an exact match to my ribbon- which I may try to scan in at some point. For now, here is the closest approximation I could find:
My ribbon is soft peach and blue colored on the outer two strips and the ruched part on top. The gold Quarter horse head is the same, as well as the blue center ribbon. The center ribbon on mine says, "4-H County Horse Show" and "Participation."