It has been a very long time since we attended the youth nationals horse show. In those days it was in Albuquerque, New Mexico! It is now in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Our first trip to YN was many moons ago with old contender and story book character Matem. Matem was already a very experienced horse and had been to nationals many times before. This time he was going as a walk and trot horse, carting around Tayler. Matem and Tayler received many awards over the years and even more memories. They were schooled by some of the most well-known trainers. Matem raked in the prizes at youth nationals and was the perfect teacher to Tayler. She learned many things during her time with Matem. Matem is now retired and is an old man, but has the heart of a young show horse. He still parades around and drags the WM team to the pasture.
Another great contender, and great friend to Matem is HA White Heat aka “Twist”. Twist has a similar story to Matem, as he had many achievements under his belt before coming to live at WM. Unlike Matem, Twist was a western cowboy’s horse. Twist won several awards at Youth Nationals, and was a very good boy. He was shared between Ellie and Tayler. Twist is also retired now and enjoys spending his morning and evenings outside with Matem and other story book characters. During the heat of the day he stays inside out of the hot sun and gets pampered.
Our next great contender who went to Youth Nationals is Charlie. We greatly miss Charlie, he passed suddenly several years ago for unknown reasons. Unlike Matem and Twist, we purchased Charlie as a younger horse with less experience, but with the same high quality. Charlie was a western cowboy’s horse. He was a huge horse compared to the others and riding him was sort of like riding a turnip truck over a plowed field. He was a beautiful golden Palomino with a white blaze, a huge barrel and rump, a long neck, with dainty Arabian ears. His eyes were always very soft and kind. Charlie was a tough cookie for his trainers, but rose to the top of the class and brought home some of Windy Meadow’s biggest prizes. In 2007 Tayler and Charlie won Regionals then turned around and won Reserve Youth National Champion! After this, Charlie retired from the show circuit due to a recurring hoof quarter crack. Even up to his last day, Charlie was a clown. He loved being the center of attention, during feeding he would buck in place until he got his hay. If you tossed his hay over the top of the stall he would either punt it mid-air or grab it with his mouth and rip it to shreds. He loved going outside and running laps around his friends. For such a large tank, he was very agile when it came to bucking and rearing. He would totally get on the nerves of his fellow pasture mates. Charlie was a great friend to Tayler and had the heart of a champion.
Two years later – WM returned to YN with another great string of horses.
This time it was in 2009 with R Silverton, CF Smokin’ Time- “Pony” and Charlie.
2009 was a special year because R Silverton was a Junior Stallion. He was beautiful but still very immature. He did well but got slightly excited in one of his classes and we had to be excused! Tayler and Silver came back again and had a very solid class. There were so many great horses and not enough spots! The same thing happened with “Pony.” Pony showed in half-Arabian country pleasure driving junior to drive! Pony who is a half Arabian half hackney is similar to Matem and Twist. She is a very experienced show horse and had been to youth nationals several times before. pony is a riding horse but we drove her, which she really loved doing. Today Pony lives in the Pony Patch at the Troutman’s home. She is very plump, and love carrots. All the horses did very well in 2009 and did bring home a few small awards. We love them no matter what.
The final year that Windy Meadows attended YN was in 2011. What a great year full of fun memories, also a little bittersweet. The reason this was our last year was because the last of our youth aged out! Youth Nationals is for 18 and under only.
In 2011 we had brought home some excellent prizes. We had two driving horses, one young and one old, and Mabel Baker – half Arabian western pleasure junior horse. Mabel brought home the biggest prize-winning Reserve National Champion. (In the same year… Tayler won World Grand Champion with her Road Pony Under Saddle @ The World Grand Championship Horse Show at the Ky State Fair!)
The Horses that attended the last Youth Nationals were – “Goob” – Older Arabian stallion who showed in driving. He was a great special horse. After youth nationals we sold him to a very special women who gave him a home for life. He passed a few years ago. Goob was a very experienced show horse with lots of prizes under his belt! He was a very versatile horse and very well-behaved stallion.
“Dude” was our other driving horse. He is absolutely beautiful and was a junior horse at the time. He was very new at driving and showing and did a great job. He received a top five and made his owners (Karen and Linda) very proud! In all honesty.. Dude should have won! He was the absolute best in the class and put on one heck of a show.
Mabel Baker was hands down perfect. She had the best trip ever and won a huge prize. We love Mabel very much. She is now retired at Windy Meadows. She produced a wonderful horse who we call “WM Great Scott.. or Scotty.” Mabel will live at WM for the rest of her days.
Windy Meadows is a home to many horses. We have a few horses that have attended Youth Nationals before coming to live with us. We are talking about “Sully” or “LC The Cavalier.” Sully has been there and done that, and has collected all the prizes. He is also now very retired but sometimes make an appearance with Ellie Troutman at the local shows. What a true character. He has not made it into any story books yet but I bet he will be in one very soon. Sully knows exactly what he likes and what he doesn’t. He is a confident, beautiful gelding. We just love him.
The reason behind this blog post was to reminisce over our good ol’ days. So many fun memories and lots of sweat and a few tears (happy). Today you can follow the progress of all the current Youth National Competitors on The Arabian Horse Times Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/ahtimes/
They have some really fun videos where the young people interview trainers and other competitors.
We encourage all youth to reach for the stars and wish you much luck in all your horse adventures!