Friday, May 23, 2008

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - Rachel Rides Again

Time is running out for the Carnival of Horses on June 1. All you horse mommy bloggers out there, it's time to step up and Submit your entry for the next one by May 30! Let's us this Carnival to spread the word about horse blogs and what a great resource they can be.

The Carnival after that will be hosted by Halt Near X Those interested in hosting future Carnivals please contact Lynda Polk at Hoofbeats

Now, back to more of the Daffodil All Arabian Spring Horse Show.

Part 1

Rachel and Dandy were the next ones up on the schedule for Saturday. We had schooled the horse at the break in the Beef Barn Arena and he was beginning to settle in pretty well. The horse was no longer speeding up each time an english horse passed or trying to speed up instead of rounding up when asked. For only riding since the beginning of the week, Rachel and Dandy were doing ok.

When the time to get ready for the class drew near, I again took the horse into the arena behind our stalls. There was no point in taking the horse into the narrow official warm-up ring when this resource was so close. The Arabian gelding hates that long, narrow arena and it tends to get him a bit buzzed.

I warmed the horse up moving him off my legs in lots of lateral work. Dandy is much more responsive to that kind of work that just going around in circles. The beef barn arena is nice and wide with lots of places to go for that kind of warm-up without interfering with the work of other horses. For Dandy that translates to a more relaxed and settled horse.

I didn't spend a lot of time warming up the horse, just enough to get him nice and loose and round, of course. Then I put Rachel up and set her off with a shorter rein.

While I can ride the horse on a draped rein, Rachel doesn't have the confidence yet so we go with her comfort zone for now. With more riding time and lots of obstacle work, the horse will be responding to her legs better and she'll be able to get him round with having to take a hold of his face.

Rachel's assignment for this class was to keep the horse out of traffic and focus on one nice smooth lift if she needed to make direct contact with his mouth. That double bumping lift of hers needed to come to an end, the sooner the better.

I've not really figured out why Rachel can ride Dandy so round in the warm-up and then go through the gate long. Some might think it's because I schooled him first and it sticks for a while. But even when I don't school him at all and have her warm the horse up, the same thing happens.

I watched as Rachel and Dandy headed through the in-gate with that killer jog of his and sighed at the length of his frame. That beautiful long neck of this horse doesn't do much for the picture when it's hanging out flat like a quarter horse. Arabian judges expect Arabian horses to have round, archy necks. Dandy's got a great neck with a beautiful fine throat latch but he can sure hang it out there looking flat and straight.

At least when the horse gets long he doesn't speed up. He still jogs along nice and slow. Again this class the judge reversed the horses at the jog. This time Rachel was better prepared and actually turned her horse into the wall to reverse him. Dandy rounded up very nicely and went down the rail pretty round for a bit.

When the announcer called for the lope, Rachel did a good job of looking around the ring and making a plan about where she wanted to go. She let the horses around her move off first and then asked the horse to lope. Dandy curled up in a nice little ball and loped off effortlessly as she took the horse down deep into the corner.

Rachel was doing a good job of keeping the horse out of traffic. Dandy responded by staying soft and fairly round and looking like a happy horse. When they called for the transition to the walk the horse nearly sat on his butt but Rachel grabbed him in the face rattling the horse a bit. He rooted at the bit taking charge in the walk. It probably wasn't anything the judge would notice as much as it's something I'm aware happens. The horse looked soft but definitely was calling the shots.

On the reverse Dandy's departure at the lope was a bit elevated for him. I think that it surprised Rachel and she locked up in the lower back. That immediately drove the horse forward and his lope was faster with elevation to his head.

I could see the wheels turning as Rachel tried to figure out what to do. This was the horse's good way of going but he definitely wasn't working that way. Aside from the fact she was still using that double bump, she did a good job of moving the horse laterally to the outside in the corner so the horse rounded up and slowed down just about the time they called for the horses to go back to the jog.

By this time Rachel had the horse in a bit of traffic and he was protesting by flattening his ears. I could tell she was aware of the problem but she wasn't getting it rectified. The last quarter of her ride, the horse had his ears pinned warning the horse next to him to stay away. It wasn't pretty.

I was relieved when they called for the line-up. I hate to see that behavior reinforced. As the rest of the kids dove for the center, Dandy's ears finally came up knowing it was about done.

Rachel and Dandy did ok in this class of eight horses. It wasn't as pretty as the very first class she every showed the horse in but then considering they'd had the whole winter off, it wasn't that bad.

I think that they got a fifth and that was 4 points towards her qualifications. There's nothing wrong with slow and steady. Had it not been for the ears I think they would have placed a bit higher. but all things considered it was all good. Rachel was having a great time with the kids with Angie and Richard and doing the horse thing with Grandma was actually becoming fun again.

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

The Last Day
All is looking good with Patriot. As of tonight he no longer has to have his hay soaked and beginning tomorrow he will begin getting grain again. I'm pretty sure he'll be happy about the grain, since he's throwing a bloody fit over not getting it when the other horses do.

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  1. It must be hard for her when she hasn't been on a horse for ages. It sounds like maybe when she goes into her classes she starts to think about too many other things, and it's focusing on how the horse feel. I'm terrible like that with showing or dressage, beautiful warm-ups terrible in the ring. Still I'm glad it was a fun experience.

  2. Smem's exactly the same when she's jumping. While warming up she gets Zorya into a beautiful shape then rides on the buckle once she's in the ring with me an her mum hissing 'shorten your reins' every time she comes near! It's soooo frustrating.

  3. Glad to hear Patriot is doing so much better!! I'll stop worrying about him. It's amazing how, just from reading the last year's worth of your blog, I feel like I really know you and I've become attached to your delightful horses. :-)


  4. Good for Patriot, glad he is doing much better.
    Sounds like Rachel and her horse did a pretty nice job. She hasn't ridden him all winter and is just getting to know him again. So a fifth is a good placing, but like you said he may have placed higher if not for the ears. But who can blame him, if someone was crowding me, I'd pin my ears too.
    I'm working on something for the carnival, as soon as it's done I'll send it over.

  5. Sounds good MiKael, it will take her a bit of time to get backinto it I am sure, but as you say slow and steady.

    Glad Patriot is happy, I have just checked the webcam and saw a feedpan in thre so was hoping things were moving along nicely. I think he was trying to sleep because he was shifting his legs a lot, almost like walking on the spot which they sometime do when they are tired but dont want to lay down LOL.

    Keep em comin' have a great day we are having good weather for a change but now coud do with just a little rain again!

    My hay guy still wants $4.25 for his grass hay so I am dreading his price when he does his alfalfa. I am going to try to make a post to my blog today and catch everyone up with the happenng here, not enough hours.


  6. I hope Patriot is ok!!

    I ride much better with no one watching. I have to work on that one. I will have a beautiful rounded lope going and someone comes out and says "good" and it's all gone. I have to work on that one a lot!

  7. I think all kids and even adults pick up nervous habits at times. Megan can lope my barrel horses all day and put beautiful practice runs on them and the minute she is in competition she just falls apart.
    Hopefully in Rachel's case she just needs to get comfortable riding again. Glad she is back to enjoying the horse "thing" with grandma ;)

  8. I love hearing all about the adventures at horse shows, because I've never been to one. =(
    It's good to hear there were no major mishaps, practise makes perfect...isn't what they always say?