Thursday, April 3, 2008

Baby Boomer Dreams - Dandy's Story - The Next Schooling Show

Arriving at the schooling show with the Arabian horse, I entered classes based on decisions I'd make for a regular "A" system show. The only exception was the walk/jog classes. Those aren't offered at Arabian shows but looked like the best place to begin with a horse like Dandy.

Other than the fact those walk trot classes were huge, they went pretty well. Dandy seemed to be comfortable trusting me as we wove our way in and out of traffic. There were no tables set up in odd places to worry him and he didn't seem to care about the spectators. I worked at keeping the horse out of heavy traffic as much as possible. Dandy just plodded along like he'd been doing this his whole life. I think we even got a ribbon or two.

The trouble began when we hit the first lope class. I'd entered the horse in a green horse/green rider class. Boy was that a mistake. Looking back in hindsight it makes me wonder why show committee aren't smarter than to do something like that, putting green horses and green riders together. But then I didn't know enough to not enter such a class either, so who am I to talk.

The green horses can be pretty naughty sometimes. The green riders can ride pretty dumb sometimes. You put the two together and it's a disastrous wreck waiting to happen. I know, I was there..........and much to my chagrin, so was Dandy.

It happened when they asked us to lope. A horse a ways in front of Dandy went flying off sideways, all the way across the arena and back before it ever went forward. Before the final launch in the appropriate direction, this horse let loose with both hind feet right into Dandy's face, barely missing Dandy's nose. Then it bolted off.

As those feet came flying up at him, Dandy sucked back and stopped dead in his tracks. Then he didn't want to move. I urged him forward and with much persuasion, the horse reluctantly proceeded into the lope. Dandy didn't run off but he was clearly scared. I could feel his poor heart pounding between my legs. It was the second time this poor horse had been scared this badly in that arena.

The horse kicking at Dandy wasn't the only thing going on in that ring. There were at least four other green horses behaving just as badly. Green riders also had horses running off with them and little if any steering. Finding a safe place to put my horse was a challenge. I didn't want to be in that arena, let alone riding a green horse in it, it was so darn crazy.

It didn't get any better when the judge reversed us and sent us loping off the other way. Horses just exploded everywhere. There was nothing but chaos in that ring. There was so much going on I couldn't even keep track of it. Horses were running off, kicking out, I even saw one try to bite another. It was ugly, that's all there is to it.

Poor Dandy tried his best to keep his cool. He did his job but he was clearly upset. His ears were pinned and I wouldn't be surprised if his lips were curled warning other horses to stay away. The horse just didn't feel safe. When we finally were told to line up, the horse dropped into the line-up and let out a huge sigh. He was so relieved that it was over.

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

The Next Schooling Show Part 2

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  1. I'm sorry but that sounds like a disastrous class, how can they expect to put green horses and riders all together in a ring and ask for a lope. It sounds like organized chaos just waiting for an accident to happen. Things should have been kept to a walk/trot class. Then there may have been a little more control of the horses. I don't blame Dandy for being upset, he was a good boy not to kick out at the other horses in retaliation. Glad you both made it through.

  2. Oh. my. word!!!! Poor dandy!

  3. Holy Hannah MiKael- you and that horse sure have been through mass chaos there. What a solid mind he has to have, and a huge trust bond with you.

    As to the green on green classes... < shudder > I remember watching a few too many of those classes, and then hopping the rail to tend riders down in the ring. One of the last shows I attended before my move to the Southland had 6 (SIX) riders down in the same class. We had to stop that class at least 8 times to let people get their horses back under control... I think they took that class out of hte prize list the next season! And for darn good reason!

  4. OH my! Sounds like major chaos! Glad you both survived. I am wondering why they would do that to? A bunch of green horses and riders=diaster! It would have been much better to go 1 or 2 at a time! Of course I know nothing about the Arabian show scene! Have a great and blessed day!

  5. That sounds like a total nightmare!

  6. Beautiful horse and rider photograph.

    Your photography is nice as it always is. I will comment more at another time as I just returned from hospital and am not back to normal.

    Abraham Lincoln in Brookville, Ohio.

  7. Oh God. Poor Dandy. Lesson learned.

  8. A class for green riders and green horses? A show actually condoning that craziness? Wild! So long as no horse or human got hurt it was probably amusing to watch, though. Horrible to participate in, but funny to observe. Man, there is just something wrong with my sense of humor!

  9. grey horse, I want to say there was nothing organized about this chaos except I know that it was organized by show management so the word really does apply but the way it felt was downright terrifying for both me and my horse.

    beth,yes, poor Dandy's show career is not starting off well.

    mrs mom, unfortunately, the open schooling shows here all still run such classes. But you'll never see me in another one unless I know all the horses that'll be in the ring. I'n never making another mistake like that.

    kris, the Arabian show scene was not responsible for this mess. This happened at an open show.

    billie, a nightmare would be a good description. It was certainly not what I expected.

    abraham, glad to see that you are back from the hospital, I was worried about you. Hope you are feeling better soon.

    molly, you're right about that. I did learn my lesson here. When I took Rhythm to an open schooling show we avoided that class like the plague.

    katee, that class is pretty standard around here for open schooling shows. I don't know if they run it at the regular open shows or not because I've only been to a couple of those and it's been a while.

    But I have to admit from the rail sometimes that class is funny to watch but other times it is downright frightening.

  10. Good heavens! That sounds like.. well, I won't say it. That sounds like the worst green class ever. I do wonder, do people do some practice before they get in the ring? If it's a green horse, shouldn't you have ridden all gaits first, at least in the practice arena if not in the actual arena? And maybe had someone go flying by, so their horses don't go crazy when that happens? Wooooo, I don't envy you, going into that mess. Sounds like you two did real good despite the nonsense. And just how do you judge a class like that? The horses that didn't run away get placed? Geeeezus...

  11. Whew... sounds like a pretty challenging day. Glad you did well and no one was hurt.

  12. I haven't been around for awhile, but once again have to say, your blog is dandy!

  13. Poor Dandy, to think those classes should be aducational...
    I agree that green horses and green riders are a 'no go area' most of the time...especially when they gather together...

  14. Sounds like a rodeo:-) It surprises me that the judge or caller would reverse directions when clearly things were already falling heart was pumping fast just reading.

  15. I'd have gone and stood in the middle of the arena after Dandy was willing to move forward a bit. Or I'd have asked for the gate.

    It sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

    I'm glad there were any wrecks with him involved, but it sure sounded close!

  16. I agree with photochic my heart was pounding just reading about that class! I would have died finding myself in all of that chaos! I'm a chicken!