Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - The Set-Up

It's been a really long day and my brain has turned to mush but I thought I would at least try for a short post about our set-up at the horse show. Life is never dull at Rising Rainbow Arabians. That is a given and setting up for the horse show has been no exception.

The brief highlights might be Rachel managed to get Dandy into a pickle schooling in the main arena and nearly banged his head into the wall. That scared Rachel and probably the Arabian horse so schooling after that was nothing short of a bomb.

Grandma, however, missed the near collision because she couldn't see through the crowd of Arabian horses they had gotten themselves into. I was still giving Rachel instructions trying to get the horse rounded up and into frame and couldn't understand why the usual things were just not working.

I had schooled the horse first. He had been absolutely amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better ride. So to see Rachel having such trouble and making no headway was frustrating to say the least. I finally gave up and called the duo to follow me out to the beef barn arena. There was not point in continuing this the way it was going.

We headed to the Beef Barn Arena at the Puyallup Fairgrounds. I knew there would be less traffic and it should be easier to get this problem resolved. But Rachel seemed to be in a mood and so was her horse. I finally gave up there as well.

I got back onto Dandy to school him again and get him back into frame. Maybe I couldn't get the pair fixed but at least I could fix the horse. However, it didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd hoped. I did get the horse together but it wasn't easy. Something had clearly caused this kind of reaction. That's when I found out about the brush with the wall. Poor Dandy has the worst luck with traffic of any horse I have ever known. But at least I got him fixed.

Then it was onto Legs. I rarely longe this horse and he's been to shows before. Heck! The horse has championships in both hunter and western pleasure. He's always just a jewel at horse shows............until today.

I couldn't even believe what I got sure wasn't my well behaved stallion. Some fire breathing dragon had taken him over and I was off as fast as I'd gotten on. Nope, I didn't get dumped. I called for Colleen or Rachel to grab him so I could get off then I had to longe the beegeezus out of him. I can't even tell you what got into him.

I actually didn't longe him once but twice. The first time after I longed him I got on and rode into the arena to school. One lap walking around the ring and I exited again for more time on the longe line.

I didn't longe him loose. I bitted him up with a drop line and let him run his little legs off. The horse even kicked out at a couple of horses that got too close, something I have never seen him do. I suspect the young (maybe 2 year old) stallion right down from us that is pacing and screaming since he arrived has gotten my boy rattled. All I know is it took working his tail off to even find a remnant of my horse inside.

I finally did ride him and he was OK..........not great, just OK. He was trying but he is having trouble in the bridle. He's having flashbacks of a not so kind trainer (that's a story for another day) and is afraid to go forward into the curb. It is very frustrating to have ridden the horse in the snaffle and have him be coming together well enough to do entries only to put him into the curb and feel like we've run right smack into a brick wall.

The horse finally is doing better at the lope but his transitions are lousy and it's really hard to take a hold of the horse without him wanting to stop. He is afraid of the bridle and that's all there is to it. I will be doing a series of posts about the issue of re-teaching horses who have been made afraid of going forward. In my opinion it is the hardest problem to fix and I'm not alone. Many trainers think it can be next to impossible to resolve these kinds of issues.

Back to the horse show, we're not starting off great but we're there for the duration. I help them (show management) with setting the trail course in the early morning. Then I don't show until the evening. In the middle I must run a mare to the vet. It will be a long day an I have no clue if I will manage a post tomorrow night or not. But whatever happens you can bet I'll have a story to tell.


The top picture is Legs visiting with not one but two horses on the other side. I think the delay on my camera missed those two noses, but they were there for quite a while. In case you're wondering neither nose belonged to Dandy. These were new neighbors on the other side of the partition. There was no talking just smelling.

The second picture is Dandy and I in the Beef Barn Arena after all the exciting stuff was done but before I actually got him back into his head where he belonged.


Coming Up Posts Update on Rhythm (waiting for picture of the show clothes we all helped her to pick out. They arrived today!!

How to teach your horse to drop his head for bathing

Body Clipping (Shaving) 101

The already mentioned Fixing the horse that is afraid to go forward.

Balance and the Young Horse

AND the rest of My first trip to Nationals with Dandy

Is there anything I missed or that you would like to see??

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  1. Horse shows are always exciting even if the horses have been to them before. In my experience it takes them a little time to settle down and get to work. They may just be acting up a little because they can sense some underlying tension in the people and horses around them too. You just never know what's going on with them. I'm sure they will work out of it. Good Luck and be safe.

  2. You know, Arabians seem like the one horse.-related thing I never did. I reget it...but maybe I can fix it sometime. ;)

    Yours are absolutely gorgeous.

  3. It sounds like you're keeping your cool. I've never done a big show, only saddle club and fall fair... and that was stressful enough!

    Good luck. Your horses look great!

  4. Take care and have a good day at the show!

  5. I wish I could go down there. With my luck I'd leave and both these mares would foal lol. So, I'm stuck at home waiting... and waiting... and waiting...

    I have no idea what else I'd want to see on here. You do such a good job covering everything, it's never a disappointment.

    Good luck in the classes! I hope Dandy and all do very well. :)

  6. Hi MiKael,
    I'm so glad to be back reading about all your adventures. I can see I'm very behind and will enjoy catching up.

    I'm especially interested & concerned in your "to breed or not to breed" post.

    With your gorgious horses vs.the economy situation ... what heavy decisions to make!

    Now, back to reading your wonderful blog.


  7. Oh my goodness, what a start! I think I would have been tempted to pack it up with my tail between my legs and go home! ha! Can't wait to hear what happens next!!

  8. Another great post! Sometimes you just never know what causes them to lose it!
    Can't wait to see pics of the show clothes!

  9. wow-you and Dandy look great!

    stress deluxe.

    geesh, poor Legs...possessed by a fire breathing dragon!

  10. I have jitters just thinking about it. I am determined not to go back into the show ring until I have resolved my jitters issues. Good for you and with a stallion to boot!

  11. Ooohhh... I always love your posts about horse shows! Someday I will have the time/money/energy/etc to show. Until then, I will have to live through your adventures.

    And poor Dandy just can't get a break!

  12. Best of luck to you guys. I'm sure you'll come through it all just fine.

  13. Hang in there and take deep breaths....can't wait to hear how it goes!

  14. Wishing you the best of luck! Can't wait to read your updates!

  15. Sheesh MiKael, it never rains but it pours, they do have a habit of showing you up at the most inopportune moments.

    I look forward to hearing how it went last night in your class. He is just feeling his oats with it being the first show of the season and all so I hope you got them both settled down.

    Thinking and rooting for you and Rachel. ((((Hugs)))) to you both.

  16. Good luck at the show this weekend. Even though you've had a couple bumps already, it sounds like you and the horses are back on track. Good luck & thanks for posting on such a busy weekend.

  17. Well done for the warm up! Sounds hectic...I am looking forward to those posts on horses that are afraid to go forward - sounds enigmatic to me; must be those sensitive Arabians again :)

  18. Tell Legs and Dandy that they need to give you a break once in a while - not to mention Rachel- You deserve it - C'mon boys, you know you're gorgeous, now show everyone how good you really are! All the best, MiKael, and breathe deep - We're all sending lucky vibes to you.

  19. I've put up some photos from Saturday's classes of Legs and Dandy on my blog at

    I thought both horses did well, but I'll let you tell how they placed and your thoughts, which I'm sure we're all interested in hearing, once you rest up and get the chance. I tried to find you in the barns before the lunch break, but didn't have any luck. At least I got to see you and your horses in the ring. (I spotted them by their markings.) Wonderful creatures!

  20. Looking forward to hearing about the weekend, MiKael! Wasn't the Little Puyallup happening this weekend as well?

  21. Sorry getting to comment a bit late, but had to work, good luck!

  22. I can smell the excitement and the stables, and the horses.. I bet you are tired!

  23. I will be among those waiting for more show details.

    I am also interesting in reading about your progress in retraining.

    My fingers are crossed for all to go well.

  24. Through my years of horse shows, I have become a believer in one theory.... In order to have a great show, my horse must be a jerk the day before.

    I SWEAR by it! If my horse rides like a champ the day before the show, I know he/she will be a complete jerk at the show.

    I cannot explain it...I just know it is tried and true for me! ;) Good Luck!