What A Wonderful Day for a Horse Show….

Sunday June 25th  dawned with the promise of a beautiful day.  Which is what we needed at CATRA for the annual Mini Horse Show…….

Ok, some background….Kaylin runs the mini horse show and starts planning about a month and half before the event.  (She does a great job, by the way). She has to plan the events, and the courses, do the registration paperwork, find a judge (thanks Alex!) and set everything up on show day.  The mini horses (hereinafter to be referred to as “minis”) attend lessons and mini camp with their respective partners, young and old!  The mini lessons started this year in February and mini camp was held the week before the show for three days.

Mini lessons on a hot day

Mini lessons are designed to teach equine handling skills to anyone wanting to participate.  The skills learned by the kids in lessons and camp are put to the test in the Mini Horse Show.

The events started with grooming and showmanship and moved through the barrel races, obstacle course, mini basketball and musical minis. The Line Driving event featured Kaylin and Jenna in the Sister competition (they competed against each other all day)!

The kids did such a great job and won lots of ribbons!!

There was some “down time” waiting for the next event.  Luckily we all had shade!

Waiting to compete…..

A girl and her mini…….

Waiting to compete…in the shade!

And the audience was great!  We didn’t have to bring out the “Clap Now” signs at all……..

So, to the youngest……

The littlest competitor

and the oldest competitors (sorry Julie……)

The first event

and everyone in between….Congratulations!  You demonstrated what CATRA is all about…and just how important the smallest horses can be.

Folks…..keep your eyes on the CATRA web page – these minis GO PLACES!  They will be at the Ag Progress Days in State College in August and you can always find them at the Farm Show.  And sometimes they take field trips when the farm just gets too boring for them……

Want to walk a mini?  You can at the 2017 CATRA-THON on October 21, 2017!!!  Watch our newsletter for details!





Kids Sing Country 2017

Kids Sing Country 2017 is now a memory, but what a good one!  Sure – it wasn’t 83 degrees and sunny but it was fun!


Congratulations to all the singers who entertained us with their talent.  I’m pretty sure we saw some future Nashville stars on Sunday!

For our shopping pleasure, we had vendors selling everything from soaps to sea glass jewelry.  Of course, we can’t forget the food!  Special Kids Sing Country Tshirts were available and super cowboy boots for a great price!

Thank you to our CATRA volunteers for being available to answer questions about the many things that we do at CATRA.

Pennsy Supply and Triple K Fleet Services had their trucks there – a great treat for all!  Thank you Pennsy Supply and Triple K Fleet Services!  (Ok, a picture here, would be perfect, yes?  I had some great pics of these two trucks but….well….never take a camera you are not familiar with to an event…….).  And thank you to the Grantville Firemen for letting us use their carnival grounds.


It was a super day!  See you all there next year for Kids Sing Country 2018!!

PS – Bring your line dancing boots!!!



Thorncroft 2017 from my point of view….

I really didn’t know what to expect volunteering for Thorncroft.  Sure, I had been to and in horse shows but that consisted of making sure I had the right clothes and a pair of good boots…..

Thorncroft starts at CATRA way before the Saturday of the events.  Laura and Amy learn the trail course, Alex starts the tack and supply process, Shirley teaches the riders their dressage test.  Ben and the guys make sure our vehicles and trailers are ready for the road and safe.  Amy plans who rides which horse and how each rider can have a horse at each event on time.  Already it is overwhelming, right?

Amy and Mike at Trail event

Friday is horse bath day.  Those volunteers get soaked as they clean the accumulated winter dirt and hair from each horse so they look their best on show day.  Friday night everything is packed up according to the lists on the white board.  Can’t forget anything…..The clean horses are placed in clean stalls.

The day of Thorncroft starts at 3:30.  The show horses get fed.  Then……we get to reclean them.  Yes, I said reclean.  If we are lucky they don’t lay down.  This year we had a few heavy sleepers….so by the time they are clean again, the rest of the volunteers start to arrive and the horses are prepared for the trip.  They are loaded into the trailers and away we go – 5AM scheduled pull out time.

Once we get there, it’s like setting up camp.  Horses come out of the trailers, water buckets and hay bags get attached to trailers and filled.  Tack gets organized by horse.  Each horse has a team of volunteers who are responsible to get the horse ready for the rider at the right time.  Thank you Shirley for the detailed instructions with times…. Those who can figure out the poles, strings and canvas set up our shelter.  And then, all of a sudden, FOOD appears!!! Like magic!  If all has gone well, there is a short time for a snack before the events begin.

Then the events begin.  Don’t even think of sitting down for any extended period of time until your rider has ridden in all their events.  It is a beautiful whirlwind and lots of walking.  Oh, and MORE food shows up – it is a spread fit for a king!

Mike and Will pas de deux.

As the day goes on, there are highs and lows.  Elation and perhaps disappointment.  Someone may discover they CAN do it, something they thought was not easy.  This is what our riders work for all year.  The smiles wipe away all your exhaustion.  Speaking of wiping away…I have never cleaned a horse’s back end and legs as much as I did Nickel’s.  Every time I turned around, he had cleanliness issues.  Just goes with the territory and doesn’t dim the warm feeling I got as I looked around at everyone and thanked God that I was able to be a part of this event and the CATRA family.

Matt Dressage

Matt and Wendy after Equitation