Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse

Daffodil Arabian Spring Horse Show - Sunday

Part 1 of Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse

Sunday morning we really didn't know what to expect about the Arabian geldings condition. After the horrendous fall he had taken coupled with his age and his EPM (Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis) history, almost anything could happen.

The plan was that we would proceed just like the horse was going to be sound. Rachel needed the experience of the braiding and gaging how long it would take to prepare the horse and dress herself, warm-up etc to be ready to show. So even if the horse wasn't fit to show, we would have an idea about her timing under stress, all the pitfalls that seem to emerge when you're trying to get to the ring and what we needed to do to adjust for those things in the future.

Their first championship ride was scheduled for the middle of the morning session so we arrived at the Western Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup at 6 am. We feed the horses, got Dandy's socks washed and then Rachel began working on her braiding.

It amazed me that during her first three day horse show she managed to perfect her braiding. All her braids were consistent and tight. The only thing she needed to fix was her forelock braid needed to be straighter, other than that she was doing a killer job.

It looked like Rachel's timing was going pretty well but then suddenly she got way behind. We found ourselves in a rush to get Rachel ready and the horse up to the ring. I ended up going to school him while Rachel was still trying to get dressed.

Not only was Rachel running behind but her parents had misunderstood when they needed to be there, so I didn't have anyone to help get Rachel in gear while I was getting the horse warmed up.

I wanted to do a long slow warm up to be sure I gave Dandy the opportunity to loosen up. Fortunately, the horse felt better than I expected. He was still moving squarely and his canter both directions was still smooth. Normally, when there's any kind of problem with Dandy it will show in that canter to the right.

Colleen and Ray arrived as I came back to the stalls to put Rachel on the horse. She still was not totally dressed, so she didn't get much warm-up on the horse. We did make the class on time praying she wouldn't have bun failure because her bun definitely needed help.

It was a big class because it was a 17 and under class, so the younger kids from Rachel's division had to show against the kids of the 14-17 division. Rachel had an ok ride, the horse got a little long but it was consistent. She did a great job of keeping the horse out of traffic. That was a really good thing because the horse really dislikes traffic.

I don't think any of the younger kids managed to get a ribbon over the older ones but they all looked like they belonged out there. I was proud of all of them for even taking the risk and riding against the older kids.

The next championship class was in the afternoon session. We wrapped the braid in Dandy's tail so we wouldn't have to braid again and then tried to track down the chiropractor that was supposed to be coming to work on Dandy.

Somehow the trainer that was supposed to be sending the chiropractor over for Dandy, missed him and so we settled for trying to get a massage done on the horse. That too was someone we hadn't used before and I didn't hold much hope that it would be fruitful. While the horse did get a massage she said his shoulders were fine (and I knew they weren't), she did find the second vertebrae in his neck was badly out of place and there was some rotation in his pelvis. Her overall assessment of him was not consistent with what I saw. Once we finished with her it was time to warm-up for the next class.

I again took a long slow approach before I asked for any real collection for the horse. When I did go for collection, I asked him to give a little more than I had asked for in the morning session the horse seemed to handle it ok.

I put Rachel on and it looked like we were good to go until I asked her to push him on a little at the trot. Dandy and Rachel moved off into four of the prettiest strides at the trot I have ever seen her get from the horse and then it fell apart. The next three steps the horse was pulling his left hind up dramatically.

That was it for me. I hollered at Rachel to pull the horse up. I instructed her to go to the gate and scratch her class and Dandy and I headed back to the stalls. My heart was heavy. In all the years and all the problems with this horse he had never taken a lame step until now.

To be continued...........

After the Daffodil Show

1 comment:

  1. O M Gosh Mikael, what a disapointment for you and Rachel. I hope he is okay, looking forward to the next installment.