Beri, the big little Shooting Horse

It started with the quick 'how about...' thought, progressed to an email, that quickly expanded to include a group and ended up with a fun and productive evening.

A fellow endurance rider, Kristen Fisher, also shows her Arabians, and manages several of the local Arabian Horse Assoc horse shows.

After exchanging a couple of emails, she agreed to let my shooting club, the Texas Smokin' Guns do a mounted shooting demo between classes during prime showing time Saturday evening.

Wow ~ the pressure was on! At least for me it was. Beri and Miree and I won the Arabian Horse Association Open Events National Mounted Shooting Championship last year and the minute I opened my mouth about taking Beri to shoot at a big AHA show, the butterflies started doing their flippy thing in my stomach. What would all those fancy show people think about my fat little pasture horse?

But, as they say ... onward and onward (or something like that).

I gathered my wits and took consolation in the fact that although Beri and I hadn't been able to shoot in several months prior to the March shoot, she did better than could have been expected with the little bit of training we'd been able to do with all the transitional (divorce and restarting life) stuff that I'd been going through. I'd have to count on her to remember her base training and run on that rather than what little we'd been able to do month to recent month.

Then Mike asked the exhibitors for their bio to be read for each horse and shooter at the demo:

I started pulling stuff together, trying to figure out something that made us sound good. Of course, I wanted to mention the AHA OEIP award, and that she was an endurance horse, and that she was a homebred, and of course something about her relatively recently-imported Saudi breeding ... and I looked at what she'd done over the last couple of years...

* 2009 Arabian Horse Association OEIP National Mounted Shooting Champion
* 2008 was the Texas Smokin' Guns Ladies 1 year end highpoint.
* 2009 TSG LC1 3rd place high point.
** 2008 and again in 2009 she earned a National Top Ten recognition from the The Institute for the Desert Arabian Horse for her shooting and other activities.
* She was the 2008 Blue Arabian Horse Catalog Reserve Champion Endurance horse
** also in 2008 High Point BLUE STAR Shooting horse in both the adult and wrangler division
*** and also still in 2008, Reserve High Point Ambassador.
* She's the BAHC Champion Shooting horse for 2009
** and also again, in 2009, their Reserve High Point Ambassador for local and community events which include doing events like this demo.

Also that she's an accomplished AERC Endurance horse, having completed over 550 AERC miles with six different riders. To date, she's completed rides of up to 75 miles, including completing 50 miles at the Bluebonnet ride last weekend in Decatur.

....not bad for a fat little pasture mare. It gave me a little confidence, but also a bigger case of nerves. I had the thought that with her standing a full 14.1hh, her list of awards ended up being longer than she is tall.

But - many thanks to Mike and Mary Brucia, Robert Carlson and Maddie, Mary and Collin Flick and my son Jared, the demo went smoothly and seemed to entertain the larger than expected crowd in the stands.

Thank you again to Kristen Fisher and the Mayfest Challenge management for letting us show off a little - and we hope to be able to do it again!

(...argh. I know I've posted video here before, but I can't get it to work now so you'll have to follow the links.)

Becky and Beri Shooting Demo

Collin Flick and Desert Khai Special thanks to Mary and Collin for participating in the demo with their Blue List, Straight Egyptian, Khai. It's especially rewarding to have been able to have two Arabians in the demo at an Arabian Horse show. Too many people think that Arabians may be too 'hot' or temperamental to handle the gunfire and that simply isn't the case.


Shae said...

Heh, Elbereth really looks like she's concentrating! I'll bet she wants all them balloons to go kerpow or she'll be annoyed with you!

Becky Burkheart said...

Yeah. LOL! She likes being a shooting horse... less running and more eating than endurance!

BTW, I got your private email. Give me a day to get to it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sue, I live in the UK and I really want to start mounted shooting with my Arab gelding. Can you recommend any articles I can read up on to get my horse used to the shooting and the preparation/training it involves. I would be grateful for any advice little or big as I am a complete novice to this and just do not now how to start with this, many thanks, Sam.