Friday, October 26, 2007

Rachel and Grandma and Arabian Horses at Pacific Rim Part 4

Part 1 Pacific Rim

Because this show is usually a small show, there are a lot of classes crammed into the two day schedule. That way the show can offer everything and attract more horses and cancel the classes that they don't need.

Because show management doesn't have any way to guess where those cancellations will happen, they make the day one long schedule with lunch and dinner breaks to be announced. That is the only way they can put the breaks at the appropriate times and still be within USEF rules. So it's good that you know about when you're going to get lunch, but you have no way of knowing if your class is going to be before or after that break.

That's exactly what happened with Rachel's class. It was on the schedule about seven classes after mine. BUT with the halter classes having been larger, we had no way of knowing which side of the break her class would fall on. That meant that poor Dandy went back to the stall to stand tied, yet again.

As we got closer to the break, I finally got the word the class would be one class AFTER the lunch break. Dandy had stood tied when he could have gotten a break. Oh well, that's horse showing. But I did decide to untack him even if it was just a short break.

Rachel and I went off to have some lunch. Then I resaddled the horse and groomed him up for Rachel's class while she changed into her show clothes. Some how in all of this we got our times mixed up. We ended up ripping around trying to get ready for a 1 o'clock start only to get there and find out the classes were resuming at !:30 instead.

I decided to take advantage of our mistake and school the horse in the ring. After his bout with the plastic on the rail, I wanted to be sure there wouldn't be a problem for Rachel. I wanted it clear in her mind to keep the horse off the rail at the lope transitions either direction of the ring. With her dyslexia and how it's affected by stress, practicing ahead of time would help keep it fresh in her mind.

Rachel had a great ride. Dandy was relaxed and there seemed to be no residual effects of the hock cracking plastic experience. Just as long as Rachel remembered to keep the horse away from the rail for the transition she and the Arabian horse would do just fine.

We left the arena when the tractor showed up to drag. That gave both Rachel and Dandy a little bit of let down time before the class. Since Dandy can be so claustrophobic, I was avoiding much time in the cramped warm-up area. Only when I saw the judge enter the ring, did I have Rachel set about getting her horse in frame. Then I directed her towards the in gate.

She was there right on cue, the first Arabian horse through the gate. And just like I taught her she made a straight line entrance from the in gate to an imaginary point on the wall. It's a much prettier entrance than coming through the gate and turning immediately around a corner. It is usually only done by the experienced riders and can give the judge a heads up about a rider's expertise. It doesn't hurt to have the judge think you know what you're doing, even if you don't.

Again, I stood on the rail with Steve. Rachel did another nice job of riding the horse. Even if she didn't feel comfortable riding the Arabian horse in the western bridle, she looked like she was a pro out there. The exercises we had been doing around the cones had certainly paid off. Not only was the horse much rounder and more responsive to Rachel, she actually had some steering. Never again will she look like a drunk wandering across the middle of the arena lacking true direction as she had at the Daffodil Summer Show. That in itself was a huge improvement.

Both ways of the ring, Rachel kept her horse pretty much together looking soft and slow. The only thing I would change about her ride was the line-up. The horse has been doing this forever, the last thing you want is for him to start lining up on his own. When the asked for the line-up, I ALWAYS make him keep going. Rachel dove into line but when they called out the ribbons it was all good. Rachel and Dandy were second in a class of about nine 17 and under riders.

I have to admit when I write these posts after the fact, it's hard for me to remember how she's placed. She rode and equitation class a bit later in the schedule and I think she got a fourth. The judge told all of the kids that they leg position was wrong. Later we discovered that Rachel's stirrups were set on the wrong notch. They were too short, that was why her leg position was too bent.

Those were our classes for the day. The following day Rachel and Dandy had only one class and it was the third to last class of the day. Personally I would have gone home but it was the only class that Colleen would get to see so we stayed. We schooled again at the lunch break and that went well.

But by the time we finally got into the ring for the real thing, Rachel had a brain meld or something. Her jog and walk were good but she was grabbing the horse at the lope. For her transition down, she told he "Whoa" but didn't use her seat or her legs, when the horse didn't come down she grabbed him in the face. And she did it in such a manner it looked like the horse wouldn't stop.

Well, there's one thing I can tell you about Dandy and that is, he loves to stop. I could tell by looking at him he didn't have a clue what was happening to him. If Rachel had just sat down and given a slight push forward with her legs, the horse would have been on his A * * in a heartbeat. But Rachel had made him look to the judge like he was not listening, when it was her not communicating.

Even with that they didn't do badly. They ended up fourth in a class of nine again. But my guess is she would have managed a reserve championship if it hadn't been for that transition down from the lope. The next post I'm going to talk about the "why" of that transition, not just for Rachel but for others at this show. So it'll be lesson time!

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  1. It sounds like you guys had a successful show! Congrats to you and Rachel!

    I will write soon about what I will demand when I am famous - it's taking a lot of thought! I keep thinking of more things!

    I just wrote a post about how I want to buy a horse even though there is no way I could reasonably afford it. But hey, when there's a will, there's a way - right? ;)

  2. Thanks rising rainbow for stopping by MnC! What address are you sending to, I will look into the problem.

    I have had satellite problems, I hope this doesn't mean they are still there...

    In the meantime, you can join the webring over at MnC. I just tested it and it seems to be working just fine...please let me know!


  3. Oh upcoming lesson post! I love those!! Anyway, it sounds like ya guys did pretty good at the show! Contratulations! :D

  4. Oh boy, a lesson, I love and hate them LOL because they teach me something but also they show me just how much I dont know about the finer art of riding a horse!!



  5. Well done to Rachael. It's awesome that shes improving. Thats all you can really do eh. I read on another blog, and I like it alot- measure progress not perfection.