Saturday, May 24, 2008

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - The Last Day

Part 1

After the class we walked back to the barn talking about the ride. The Arabian horse hung his head pretty low clearly telling us he was tired and had had enough. It was a good thing we had no more classes that day because we didn't have much horse left. Hopefully he would feel refreshed in the morning and not be crabby about the championships.

When we got back to the stalls, I untacked the horse and inspected his back. There above his flank were the beginnings of the "fried" hair that comes with the saddle rubbing.

I checked the pads and the bottom one was in good shape. It was clean and the satin was intact. The no-bows we use to bump the saddle up off his whithers had been in the right place. I was getting frustrated trying to figure out why this was happening when I noticed how thin the show pad that Rachel uses was. Tomorrow I was going to add another pad and see if we couldn't nip this problem in the bud.

We actually got out of the show a little bit early that night so we headed home and straight to bed. The horses weren't the only ones that were tired and we had an early schedule in the morning. I think I heard Rachel snoring before I even got my teeth brushed. I wish I could crash that easily.

We were up and on the road at 6 am so we had plenty of time for the horses to eat their breakfast before it was time to show. There's nothing crabbier than a horse that hasn't been allowed to finish a meal only to be tied in a stall tacked up and waiting for a class. My boys and I have a deal.....I never do that to them...........and they never (well mostly never) give me a hard time about the goofy schedule at horse shows.

Rachel had the first class and her parents were supposed to be there in time to see her ride. However, as usual, the championship classes were flying along much faster than expected. I swear those judges get the smell of going home in their nostrils and step things up double time.

I ended up making a call to Colleen and Ray telling them to get the lead out and get to the show or they'd be missing Rachel's class. As it was instead of helping us get ready, they arrived just in time to follow us up to the arena.

Ray came armed with his camera. You can thank him for all the pictures of the Daffodil Show on this blog. I get wrapped up in showing and forget about blog pictures. The ones I do get turn out to be fuzzy and not really useful anyway.

Watching Rachel ride in this first championship made me aware that she's struggling with the length of the romel reins. These reins I had custom made by Victor's Custom Tack especially for Dandy and his long neck. They are six inches longer than the usual romel reins.

Since the horse is so tall and has such a long neck, when he's going right, that didn't leave much rein to drape in the normal length of rein. That extra six inches adds a beautiful drape. However, if you're not able to ride with that drape and what to have direct contact with the horse's mouth like Rachel those extra six inches can feel like yards. I made a mental note to try the regular reins to help Rachel build some confidence.

Other than that, the class was ok but not as good as the earlier ones. For some reason the horse got longer than I'd seen him in a while. I'm not sure if Rachel didn't notice or if she froze up but either way, the horse stayed about the same throughout the class. Out of six horses, Dandy and Rachel took fourth place.

Dad got lots of pictures and mom got to actually see a class at these shows she's working her _ss off to pay for. Being a substitute carrier for USPS, her only day off is Sunday. By the time she gets done working the other days, she's way too tired to be doing the horse show thing. I think the only reason we entered championships at this show was so that mom could come watch us show.

I think it always means more to Rachel when her parents come to watch. She gets more talkative and seems lighter. Being the only girl with three brothers, she's taken a back seat for attention a lot. This horse showing thing is something she doesn't have to share with the boys and it's been good for her. Even Dandy seems happier when mom and day show up.

Rachel's last class she actually had a much better ride. We worked some at the break on getting her horse rounder and softer and she did pretty well. However, the judge walked up to Rachel in the line-up and told her that she was holding her romel reins improperly. Instead of keeping her hand closed around the reins, as the rule book calls for, Rachel was riding with her hand open. Because of that Rachel and Dandy ended up fourth out of four. Looking at the rest of the class I think had her hand been closed properly they would have been reserve champions.

I had been talking to her about her hand position from the beginning of the week but instead of listening, I was getting explanations of why she was holding her hand that way. I'm pretty sure this comment by the judge has fixed that problem. It was a good lesson for Rachel to learn.

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

The Last Day Part 2

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. I wish, so much, that we lived enarer so you could teach N3S to ride. I think you and he would work like magic together. He is doing well at the class he attends but they don't understand him, are not reaching him and so he is not giving them all that he wants to. It is a shame as I think he is a natural horseman.

  2. I think it's great that Rachel really lights up when her mom and dad are watching her ride. There's so much stress in showing, and I often wonder whether it really matters so much if your hand is open or closed that it negates everything else to put you in last place. What do you think? I know there have to be rules, but some judges are so rigid that one small thing can outwiegh the overall performance.

  3. I had to stop by and catch up. I finally have a foal on the ground!

    It sounds like Rachel is coming along great and so is Dandy. Hopefully the comment from the Judge sinks in. I find sometimes, that when it's someone besides 'Mom' (in your case G-Mom) saying the same thing, they tend to listen more. It can make a big difference.

    Off to play with my new baby. Can't wait to read the next installment. :)

  4. dj kirby, I'm sorry that the instructors working with N3S aren't getting through to him. Finding the right instructor can really make a difference. Hopefully he will hang in there and manage to get a feel for things on his own. I know that Rachel has picked a lot up that way despite her learning disabilities.

    victoria, it's always frustrating to me the rules we must have because people feel the need to cheat. That's certainly the case with this rule.

    Opening the hand allows manipulation of the reins in ways not allowed. I think the judge must assume catching someone riding with the hand open is doing something they aren't supposed to be doing and must penalize them. Anyone who doesn't wouldn't be a very good judge.

    But the judge didn't have to tell Rachel why she didn't use her well. She could have just penalized her and left it that. I really appreciate she took the time to explain so Rachel has a chance to fix the problem. It also gave Rachel a consequence for behavior I had cautioned her about. I think consequences teach us all a lot better than instructions every could.

    lady of chaos, congratulations on your new foal. I must stop in and take a peak.

    I know that Rachel can tune me out sometimes because I'm grandma.....but I've been reminding her a lot lately that she is to treat me like I am the trainer........she laughs.....but listens better then.

  5. I struggle with N alot on her hand positioning, but hearing it from someone else this last week made a huge difference. Hopefully Rachel will remember what the judge said.

    I've enjoyed this series, but you've wiped me out! You must have been exhausted by Sunday night.

  6. kathy c, you are so right, I was totally wiped out. By the time I got Rachel and the horses back to their barn and got myself home, I crashed in the chair and took a nap before I even thought about posting my blog. It's a good think I had that post mostly done or it wouldn't have happened. lol

  7. I love reading your stories of the shows. I have a sort of love/hate relationship with the whole idea of showing - my daughter seems to love it and I have seen her shine in big ways at horse shows and learn important lessons.

    But as recently as last night, I watched her from a camp chair I'd set up in the paddock, working through an issue with her pony, who was eating hay and snarked at her when she approached. She turned into a pony herself, and had a little discussion with him in pony language, until she moved him away from the hay and they renegotiated the whole thing. After that she took him to the arena and taught herself to mount bareback from the ground.

    I can't quite figure out which thing deserves the blue ribbon. The pitch-perfect ride in the show ring she's trained and prepared for, or the real true grit work in the dusk of a spring evening when she and the pony are navigating these very basic things together.

    Both, I suppose.

    Your show stories weave both together for me in a way that integrates my two "sides." :)

  8. I have enjoyed reading about there journey. I agree sometimes they listen better to someone else! I have been helping our nephew with his riding and he will argue with you that he is not doing this or that. I fixed that problem and videoed him and had him watch it with me! Worked wonders! I know for me it helps to watch a video, so I can actually see what I was doing and if I need to correct anything.

  9. Rachael is coming along nicely with her riding. It is nice to hear she was beaming when mom and dad came to watch her ride. That makes a big difference to a kid to know that her family supports her. I like the fact that the judge told her the reason why she pinned like she did. It makes her think more about what her Grandma said and shows her you know what you are talking about, and she should listen carefully to what you say about her riding.
    I'll bet at the next show those hands will be where they are supposed to be.

  10. That is great, well done Rachel, the best lessons are learned the hard way, you never forget them.

    Look forward to the next instalment.


  11. I love your honesty. You're a good storyteller, too.

    I know that it must be hard to be doing all the work and having the parents show up at the last minute. I'm sure that in the years ahead everyone will truly appreciate your efforts.

    What a wonderful gift you are giving to Rachel and her parents. I know you must know it, but I think it is far larger than you can realize. What you're doing matters much, much more than simply riding horses.

    I, too, appreciate that the judge explained the problem. As one of my friends say, winners don't get any better because they don't learn anything. Sometimes the best thing that can happen is to lose.

    Bless you for all you do for your horses and your family.

  12. Rachel and Dandy really look good together! it looks like they are coming along great as a team.

    When parents show their support and interest in something their kids enjoy, it makes it all better for everyone involved. I dislike wrestling with a passion BUT still suffer going to the matches to support Bubba......

  13. He is def hanging in there, he loves nothing so much as being on a horse. He can do quite a good rising trot now, I am very proud of him but even more importantly, he is proud of himself!