The Heart of Texas Morgan Horse Club celebrated the Morgan in grand style. They held a demonstration of Morgan versatility at the Hays Civic Center in San Marcos on Saturday, September 10, 2005. There were about 75 non-Morgan spectators and lots and lots of Morgan enthusiasts. After the demonstrations, there should be 75 more Morgan enthusiasts. There were two identical Morgan versatility demonstrations, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and a trick horse in training demonstration at noon.
The Morgan versatility demonstration began with the presentation of the U.S. flag by Brian Stuhl, wearing a recreated cavalrymans uniform and riding his buckskin mare, Two Js Classy Kitty. He was riding an antique 1904 McClellan artillerymans saddle. We were so fortunate to borrow the saddle from Garnet Robinson. Next in were three Morgans representing the old or Justin Morgan Standard type: Ellen Foster with her stallion, Whippoorwill Vermont; Nancy Stuhl and her mare, Morannon Manzanita; and Cheryl Petersen and her stallion DCF Neptunes Legacy. They were followed by a presentation of the modern show style Morgan a mother-daughter duo Kathy OBrien with Jennaker Run and Lisa Cox with Limerick Starboard Wind.
The next presentation was a first. A group of HOTMHC members have been working on a drill team and this was their first public presentation. Members were Elaine McIntyre riding Morannon Manzanita, Nancy Stuhl on her gelding Tindo Trailblazer, Bob Grigsby with his mare, Tindo Clarification, and Susan Wernle with her mare SNR Sophistication. These last two Morgans were also a daughter-mother duo. The drill went off without a hitch and was extremely well received by the crowd.
The drill team was followed by a sparkling demonstration of saddle seat riding by Mary Ann James riding her gelding, Big D Special Delivery, and Mary Anns student, Sara Snyder, on her mare, Jamestown String of Pearls. Everyone loves the high-stepping Morgans.
Next in were three HOTMHC members representing the type of riding all of us enjoy, just pleasure trail riding. Chuck West was aboard Apple Pi Coconino Star, the gelding he often takes to the New Mexico mountains. His wife, Fabian, a relative newcomer to riding and Morgans, was on Prindles Praise Be. The third member of this group was Jane Lea Hicks riding her mare, MCG Southern Showgirl.
There followed one of the hits of the show. It was the costume presentation. The Petersens mare, Valley Ridge High Class, was covered by a sheet full of cotton balls to make the greatest sheep in the world! She was accompanied by Little Bo Peep impersonated by Haley Hammers. The second costume was also a Petersen creation. Dressed as Popeye, complete with corncob pipe, was the 18 month colt, DCF Seminole Wind. Sims was led by Tabbie Zoellers in the form of Olive Oyl. The audience loved them.
Hunt Seat had two different representations. Kathy OBrien and her gelding Limerick Live Ammo, showed off as Hunter on Flat. Jane Lea Hicks riding her gelding Taras Nevada took the jumps always exciting to the audience.
We had a lead line segment with little Ella (age 5) and Minnie (age 6) Jordan riding the 30 year old Jamestown Top Gun, led by Mary Ann James, and Morannon Manzanita, led by Brian Stuhl (still in his cavalry uniform). The little girls smiled and waved and waved and waved at the audience and the spectators loved it.
Next the demonstration was interrupted by Lisa Cox on her stick horse. She did a totally hilarious performance while the ground crew took down the jumps. After Lisas antics on her stick horse, she and our other two AMHA Morgan Promoter winners for this past year were presented with their certificates and pins: Lisa still on her stick horse Kathy OBrien and 11-year old Diana Heinrich.
Then the Western Pleasure riders came in: Bob Grigsby on Tindo Clarification and Martie Wernle on the Petersens 3-year old, DCF Neptunes Legacy. This presentation was followed, in a complete turn-around, by Jane Brown on BR AC El Diablo De Tejas doing a musical dressage presentation. What a delight!
The last presentation was what Morgans are most adept at the carriages. Ellen Foster had Whippoorwill Vermont hooked to a gorgeous Amish doctors buggy. Rhonda Dietrich had her gelding, Royal Gait Destiny, hitched to a 1901 restored Pittsburgh cart. Kathy OBrien drove her gelding, Spinnaker Run, in a beautiful wicker carriage. Nancy Stuhl drove her four-wheel marathon carriage smartly behind her stallion, Clarendon of Quietude. Lisa Cox was driving her Limerick Starboard Wind to an Amish made Meadowbrook carriage. It was a fine representation of a variety of carriages, carts and types of Morgan driving.
After the demonstration many of the participants came back in and talked with the spectators at the rail. The people seemed to enjoy this one-on-one most of all. The stall area was also open for visitors and there was a lot of traffic there.
The trick horse in training demonstration was organized by Martie Wernle, a thirty year veteran of trick horse training. He presented three of his Morgan trick horse students, who also happened to be a Morgan family: Clarendon of Quietude shown by Nancy Stuhl, SNR Sophistication ridden by Susan Wernle, and their daughter, Tindo Clarification, with Bob Grigsby up. These three warmed up on a sidepass pole and a backing exercise. They progressed to the end of the trail box, and on to the see-saw. Nancy also stood on Clarendons back and then dismounted sliding off over his rump and tail. She then cued Clarendon to get up on the pedestal where he seemed to enjoy looking at the audience from this higher vantage point. The grand finale was all three doing three different types of bows for the audience: Claire bowed with Bob mounted, Susan and Sophie did the Arabian bow, and Clarendon bowed with his forehead on the ground.
Throughout the presentations door prizes were given away. There were vendor booths, a fishing pond for
the children, face painting by Leah Stevens, and a Model horse presentation by Diane Thiele. The HOTMHC
booth took care of the raffle, ran the AMHA DVD about the Morgan Horse all day, gave out literature and
answered questions. What a successful and enjoyable way to Celebrate the Morgan in America!