Monday, May 12, 2008

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - Friday Night Western

Because of my recent foal watch I've still not gotten to posting about the Daffodil All Arabian Horse Show. That show seems like ages ago so many things have happened since thing. Now with us leaving for another show in Salem Oregon on Wednesday, I figure I better get this up before I forget the details or get them mixed up with the next show.

Aside from starting off a bit on the unusual side Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - The Set-Up Things were about as normal as a horse show can be. Stuff is always going differently than planned. That's just the nature of horse showing that I can tell.

Friday morning, Rachel and I were at the fairgrounds in Puyallup by 7 am to assist in setting the trail course. Once that was done, we stayed on to reset the course as needed. It was good for Rachel to learn some of the "inner" workings of trail since she's going to be showing Dandy in that division sometime here soon. It was also nice to get a chance to met the judge, Ann Wagner.

Once we got finished with trail, it was time to come home and pick up Dare. Before we left the fairgrounds we heard that Ann Wagner had been called home. Her husband had suffered a massive coronary and was going to need a quadruple bypass the next day.

Something like that always puts life into perspective. My goofy day bouncing back and forth between the show and breeding appointments didn't seem like such a big deal. So we headed off to our appointment at the vet to see where the mare is in her cycle. If I'm to breed her to The Mighty Oak .html they want her cycling by the 5th of May when the stallion will be delivered to the stallion center for collection.

Of course when we ultrasounded the mare we found that she had a 44mm follicle. If we had semen, it would have been the perfect time to breed. Instead we were going to have to short cycle her (something I hate doing) and see what we can do to accommodate their schedule. We took the mare back home and headed back down to the show for schooling and my evening class on Legs.

My biggest concern was Legs in the bridle. A western horse that won't go forward is going to have a problem getting the job done. There is no way the horse can maintain that soft frame without being rounded up and underneath himself. For Legs just wearing the bridle was enough for him to have flashbacks of a former trainer and that meant he was again afraid to go forward.

That leftover intimidation is really getting in the way. Picking up on the reins is downright scary for the poor horse. Making any direct contact the horse completely stalls out. But I learned a long time ago, the best thing to do is ride the horse you have. Don't try to ride the one you think you should have or the one that you will have in a couple of weeks. Riding the one you have at the moment will help build the horse's confidence so that was the plan.

I schooled the horse at the dinner break. Although he wasn't as consistent as he had been at home, he was much better than he had been on set-up day. His attention could be pulled off track pretty easily though so I was going to have to keep his mind busy. Doing lots of lateral work usually gets the horse tuned back in where he belongs. While I knew we weren't going to set the world on fire, I was pleased in the improvement overnight.

My class was almost at the end of the evening session. Once the sun went down, the air got crisp and lots of horses were getting fresh. My old bones were just getting downright cold. I was wishing I hadn't even entered this darn class. Waiting in the barn for the time to get ready to ride was only serving to convince me I should be home snug in my bed instead of sitting in this cold barn. Times like this is when I wonder why I am showing at all.

As the time to get ready for my class finally arrived, I tacked up my horse and changed into my show clothes. From there we headed to the schooling arena right behind our stalls. I wanted to do as much warm-up as I could in this larger arena than the narrow one that's the official warm-up for the main arena.

It didn't take long to see that my horse was just as fresh as everyone else's seemed to be. I was glad that I had given myself enough time to school through the pushy attitude I found myself facing. Legs on the other hand was pretty sure that he had more important things to think about than me. Between the fresh air and his excitement over other horses it was going to be an interesting class.

The biggest problem riding into the ring was that my horse really wasn't rated. He wanted to adjust his speed based on how interesting the horse near him might be. Sometimes we also lost our steering. While another rider might have given him a quick bump in the face, I didn't want to do anything that might add to his fear of the curb bit. I just quietly worked him laterally off my legs to get him focused and bring him back to the correct speed.

We did lots of half passing in that first jog pass around the arena. Legs was beginning to get the picture that if he didn't do it my way I was going to make him work much harder than any class needed to be. With that realization he at least evened off his speed some but the work was ongoing. While the horse wasn't as slow as he really needs to go, he was much better than anything he done at the show so far.

The judge asked us to reverse and that rattled the horse a bit. He picked up the pace and lost some of his steering but by the time we were asked to lope the horse had settled in well enough to make a pretty decent transition, not his best but definitely reasonable.

His rating at the lope really sucked. Again he was off thinking about the horses around him instead of focusing on me. Fortunately I was in position to ask for lateral movement to the outside all through that first corner. That got his head back between his ears instead of down between his hind legs. We were too fast for the current trend but not looking out of control. It was ok.

The transition down into the walk was just ok. There was a slick spot on the arena wall and he hit it just right for a quick slide. Again the horse was rattled but this time the announcer called for the reverse just in time to catch Leg's attention. I turned him into the wall and he rounded up underneath himself and walked off nicely. It was nice to see brief moments of the horse I knew even if they didn't last long.

Loping off to the left was a decent transition but again the horse wasn't rated. We weren't in as good a position to use the lateral outside move but I did what I could to get his attention back. His speed was erratic. I'd slow him down. He'd hold for a couple of strides and then gradually work his way back up. But I just worked away at him bringing him down to where I wanted him to be. Even that was really too fast for this class, but riding the horse I had was the best I could hope for.

Our transition down into the jog was actually very nice. I don't know if the horse was tired or finally listening but I was glad to take this little gift. When the announcer called for the line-up, I cut back and circled around into line glad that this class was over. It hadn't been the best ride but it had been reasonable compared to that fire breathing dragon I'd had the day before.

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

More on the Daffodil Show

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. Yay Legs! He might not have been perfect but it sounds like he was a pretty good boy!

  2. Old, cold bones belong snug in bed. I'm a firm believer in this theory...

  3. That's really good advice, "Ride the horse you have." I'm going to use that expression...


  4. So how did you place?!? :D Can't wait to read more!!

  5. There is no such thing as a stupid question right? What does "rated" mean exactly?

  6. Hi MiKael
    I have been looking forward to your posts on this show to see how you had done. Considering your hectic schedule leading up to the show and the fact that it was the first of the year, doesnt sound like you fared too badly thus far. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    Sad day for me today, I have made a blog post briefly. Hope we can talk later.


  7. Yes good quote..."Ride the horse you have." You never know what each day will bring and we always have to adjust to them and I guess them us too :)

  8. onthebit, you're right about that...he was a pretty good boy.

    tracey, between those late nights and dragging myself out of bed early mornings make me appreciate that snug bed all the more.

    deanna, I think that's my number one all time rule. It fits any situation and sure makes things easier for the horse and rider in the long run.

    katee, you are right.....there is no such thing as a stupid question. Rated is when the horse is going a consistent speed and should be the result of proper collection in the horse.

    That's an over simplification for an answer but I think it will give you the picture.

    lori, Legs was pretty good considering how things started off and his worry about the bit. Not what I'd hoped for the first show of the season but that's show biz...

    emma, I think being able to adjust is as important as understanding the basics. It sure makes for better trust on the part of the horse when a rider can go with the flow.

    I guess for me it's based on the belief that my horse is trying to do its best all the time. If it can't give that, there's a reason. Working with that helps us better understand the horse.

  9. I'm now very curious to know how you placed in that class. Sounds like all and all it went pretty well.

  10. Good luck at the show this weekend, you busy gal! :)

  11. I hear you about doing a late class and being cold and tired. It's good he settled at the end but all in all it seems like a good enough ride. I like your "ride the horse you have". That makes so much sense. Everyone should remember that phrase and put it to use.

  12. Having been through the whole breeding brigade a few times, I found this post quite interesting.

    The Mane Point - a Haven for Horse Lovers

    THE MANE POINT – a haven for horse lovers

  13. "ride the horse you have" I am going to have that written on my helmet visor...
    I am going to Salem as a spectator this weekend, I will be cheering for you. They says it going to be in the 90's so drink lots of fluids

  14. callie, lol, I'd like to know too, had to call Rachel to find out because I couldn't remember. lol

    dj, I don't even want to think about how busy I am. I must have been nuts thinking I had the time to go to Salem to show.

  15. grey horse, the only times I really feel my age is when I get cold and that order.

    linda, ya breeding has to be wiggled in around everything else. Sometimes it can be pretty frustrating. I'm always glad when the mares are settled.

  16. 20 meter circle, if you get to Salem stop in and say hello. We will be stabled with Opus Arabians or maybe under Angie Miller on a stabling chart.

  17. I love that... Ride the Horse you Have.... I WILL!

  18. equinespirit, your comment got lost somewhere until after I'd posted resonses to those around you. But the answer to your question is in the next post.

    susie, I didn't think you had a horse. Are you putting me on?? lol