Saturday, August 25, 2007

Rachel and Grandma and Arabian Horses at the Summer Show Part 11

Once the halter was all over it was time to shift gears and get ready for the performance championships in the afternoon. I was dragging my feet about showing the Arabian horse. I knew he had to be exhausted and thought it might be better if I just scratched my class and let Rachel ride her two.

Right up until the last minute, I was still waffling about what to do. Then I decided I'd go ahead and get dressed to show but would only do so if I felt the horse needed to be schooled for Rachel. Her first class and mine were back to back so we had to have a gate hold for me to even make the class so we went ahead and requested that just in case.

When it was time to school the horse before Rachel's class, I found the Arabian gelding to be about as I had expected. The horse was tired and stiff but still trying as best he could. I worked on limbering him up as much as I thought was reasonable for his condition and just let it go at that.

Rachel did pretty well in the warm-up so we headed on up to the ring. For the championships, show management had combined the two age divisions so Rachel was riding against the older kids. I don't think that even bothers her anymore, she just went on into the class.

While the horse had been pretty soft outside warming up, he quickly go flat, lengthening out on Rachel. I think Rachel was as tired as the horse and not all that attentive to his degree of collection. She did ok with her lead the first direction but again got the wrong one the second direction. I wasn't really sure whether it was her or the horse, so I decided that I would go ahead and ride him in my class.

I hate to say this but it's been two weeks since that class and I can't even remember how Rachel placed. She was either third or fourth out of four horses. She was the only one of the younger kids who even showed up to ride against the older kids though.

As she exited the gate, we grabbed the horse, pulled up Rachel's chaps and got her to the ground so we could be the stirrups adjusted for Grandma. I wanted to get as much of that two minute hold time on the horse's back as possible. It was a quick spin around the holding area, I can tell you.

I decided I would take a little deeper hold of the horse at this point. Since he was so tired expecting him to carry himself on that draped rein was a bit much. It wasn't the horse's fault that he was out of shape and had only had eleven days to prepare for the show.

Again, the class was huge. It too was a combined championship with all of the adult amatuer owner riders in one class instead of split by age. Soon after the gate was closed the announcer asked us to reverse. I was actually pleased. This would change things up for the horse and I would be able to tell if he was cheating on his leads(something he has never really done but there's always a first for everything if you ask me.) or if it was Rachel.

We went in to the class with the horse a bit stiff at the poll and also in the jaw. I wasn't worried about placing only about getting the horse rounder and softer for Rachel. I didn't worry whether the judge was looking or not, I just did whatever corrections I figured I needed, including two handing him at one point.

Because the judge asked us to reverse so soon, I used that to round the horse up. Instead of turning in towards the center, I made a sharp turn right into the wall. With Dandy being schooled in the corners at home, he knew what was coming and sat back on his butt and kept his head rolled over where it belonged so he didn't run into the wall.

From that point on he just got better and better, although I did pick him up with two hands at the lope because he refused to slow up. I pushed him up hard into the bridle and he rocked back, rounded up deeply and slowed down where he belonged.

From there on out it was a decent ride. I kept light direct contact on him the whole time. He's always been a horse that looks much softer than he is. I knew it would look like the horse was soft enough to pitch even though I wasn't doing it. By the time we lined up, I was satisfied that Rachel would have a better ride.

After all of the schooling Dandy and I placed sixth out of fourteen. Evidently the judge had not seen any of the schooling that I had done. In particular not the two handing because that is a disqualification. I was pleased! It makes up for a ribbon or two that I should have won but didn't.

Rachel's next ride was about four classes later. I took the horse over to the far side of the grass and gave him the opportunity to pee but he never did. When the class ahead of Rachel's reversed and began working their second way of the ring, we had Rachel get on board. Poor Dandy gave out a deep sigh!

Rachel had enough time for a small circle each direction and then it was on to the ring. She's totally comfortable with being the first one to ride into the ring which I think is great. Judge's appreciate exhibitors who don't make them wait. Those that have to come in last, make most judges crazy.

Rachel had a better ride. The horse stayed rated and was softer. He still wasn't as round as he needs to be but it was definitely their best ride of the show. The judge reversed them soon after they entered, just like he had in my class. Again I was glad he did. This time Rachel got both of her leads just fine. She still didn't place any better but it was definitely her best ride of the show.

Rachel came out of the ring grinning from ear to ear. You would have thought she won the darn class. She was so glad to finally have gotten both of her leads right she didn't really care about anything else.

Dandy was just glad the whole thing was over. He was lead back to the stalls with his head to his knees. I swear I heard at least three, if not four, deeps sighs from on that trip. I patted him on the head and he nodded at me. Poor Guy!

Once back to the stalls, I let Rachel know that she had one more thing to do before we could start packing up. When the last class was over we were going to talk to the judge.

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

Part 1 at the Summer Show

The first post of the Rachel and Grandma and an Arabian Horse series was posted several months ago and documents Rachel's journey on her way to her dream of competing one day at the Arabian and Half Arabian US National Championship Show.

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  1. That's a good ending to the show. I hope the talk with the judge went well. I didn't even know they would talk to you. Sounds like a good idea to me.

  2. Sounds like ya had a wonderful show! Hope the talk with the judge went well!!

  3. Grandma, you did great by Rachel. Again, she's a lucky granddaughter.