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The Road Less Saddled...written by Jenn Webster

My husband hit the road recently to attend a little event you may have heard of – the AQHA World Championship Show held in Oklahoma City, OK. With his steed safely tucked into the trailer, his luggage plunked on the back seat and his hat carefully placed in a hat can, Clay set out for the 2,785 kilometer drive.

This year, he took a buddy with him as well.

(L to R) Glenn Stewart, our assistant Brooke and Clay discuss training strategies over dinner.

Some of you might recognize the fellow on the left as Glenn Stewart, a professional in the horse industry with over 25 years of experience teaching students across the globe. Both Glenn and Clay come from different walks of life in the horse industry but both men have a common view on horsemanship in general.

Knowing Glenn is always up for experiencing something new in the horse world, Clay asked him if we would like to come along on a road trip to attend the AQHA World Championship Show held at the Oklahoma City State Fair Park.

Glenn jumped at the opportunity. He then jumped on a plane from Fort St. John, BC, and flew down to meet my hubby in Calgary, AB.

Glenn arrived on time for their journey to begin.

 

His luggage did not.

The next morning, both men were up early to get Clay’s horse loaded up and to hit the road. Glenn’s suitcase still had not caught up with him, but luckily the airline he had flown with offered him a consolation payment to help replace his required jeans, clothes and personal goods needed immediately. His luggage was promised within the next day or so.

Fast forward to 4 days later – Nov. 13. Glenn’s luggage has still not arrived.

However, Clay and Glenn (and the 2 pairs of pants that said airline “allowed” him to purchase in lieu of a suitcase) – are making the most of their time touring around the area and seeing the sights. So far, they’ve eaten at Trappers Fishcamp & Grill. An absolute must if you’re ever nearby the Oklahoma State Fair Park! Trappers has become the “Horsemen’s and Horsewomen’s Headquarters” for over a decade. Fan favorite dishes include their signature mesquite grilled seafood, blackened prime rib, mesquite grilled steaks, quail, and prime pork chops.

Trappers features a dining room dining room filled with game trophies, authentic Indian canoes and a live alligator tank.

At Trappers, a 12-foot tall Kodiak bear greets customers as they enter. Glenn sent me a picture of the bear:

Glenn and Clay have also visited Pieper Ranch in Marietta, OK.

Playgun stands quietly with Brenda Pieper.

If you ever get the chance to see Pieper Ranch, it’s beautiful. And Brenda is a walking encyclopaedia of horse knowledge. You might also get a glimpse of one of these…

(Glenn sent me the following image he snapped while they were there:)

What IS that…? Came my text in response.

“A funny cow,” Glenn wrote back.

Of course, the two guys have had several opportunities to take in some sights at the World Show too…

Whether it’s watching a warm-up pen or contestants in the big arena, Glenn and Clay have been soaking it all up.

“I’m really enjoying all of it so far,” reported Glenn. “The different styles of Quarter Horses are as varied as the styles of riding.”

Some of the magnificent stall fronts seen at the AQHA World Show.

The behind-the-scenes action is pretty cool too. And on a trip like this, there have been several occasions for the guys to swap training ideas and discussion about equine behavior.

“The topic hasn’t changed since we left,” said Glenn. “How do we create the things we need with a horse? And how it comes back to their minds and the body will follow. Both Clay and I agree that it is so much more challenging to come at things from a psychological viewpoint than from a physical one – but the results are much better.”

I’m happy to report that Clay’s horse, Whiz N Starlight traveled well and is feeling like he is in tip top shape for his upcoming run on Friday in the Senior Open Reining. Wish them luck!

Glenn snapped this image with his camera phone and sent it to me with the word “WOW!!” attached to it.

Here is a link to Jenns Blog:  http://www.westernhorsereview.com/blogs/my-stable-life/the-road-less-saddled-2/ Lets hope for more updates in the days to come!  All the best to Clay and Whiz N Starlight!