Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - Saturday Morning

The first class for us on Saturday Morning was Rachel's first class back in the saddle on the Arabian horse, Scandal Sheet. They were scheduled to ride in the purebred junior to ride western pleasure.

Due to the bare patches on the horse's back that I posted about in Crash and Burn Rachel hasn't been able to ride all of this time waiting for the hair on those bare spots to grow back in. Unfortunately for Rachel that didn't happen until the horse's new spring coat started to come in. It was only the week of the horse show that those spots were covered.

Rachel had been working at turning her behavior around so that she could again ride and we didn't want to lose the momentum. But it was still clear to me that if we didn't get this kid back into showing soon, we were going to loose whatever attraction there had been for the horses in the first place, her mom and I decided we would go ahead and post enter the horse.

I had been working the horse through the whole winter in the long lines wanting to keep him in shape. There's only so much you can do with ground work though so I had begun a couple of months before schooling him in the hunt saddle for western pleasure. Not a pretty sight but effective so the horse was going well. It was the horse and rider pair that needed work.

Rachel only rode twice before going to the horse show. There wasn't much chance that she was going to get right back to where she had been with only two rides. Just like the focus was for me to ride the horse I had, the focus for this horse and rider pair was to go with what we had as well.
There was no way during the course of this show Rachel was going to get this horse up and collected where he needed to be. While the horse was long, he wasn't as long as he'd been in the past, the pair would have been competitive had they still been competing in the 13 & under division. But that ship has sailed and the 14 -17 division is a whole new ball game.

Rachel is going to have to get on task and get this Arabian gelding nice and round and using that long neck of his. Some of the best horses in the country compete in the 17 & under division. Dandy will do fine as long as he uses his neck the way an Arabian should. For now his killer jog and slower than slow lope is going to have to carry them.

We schooled the Arabian gelding in the main arena in the morning before the first session started. He was killer for me. Absolutely spot on in his roundness and his softness, I remember commenting that I wanted to ride the broke one for a change instead of the one needing work. Rachel laughed but Dandy was probably relieved. He'd just as soon not have to work quite that hard.

Once I put Rachel on the horse, he immediately relaxed a notch on his collection. His neck was just a little bit flat but his jog ramped up in speed. It was clear he had some concerns about Rachel's corrections. Watching closer I spotted the problem, instead of picking the horse up slowly and smoothly, Rachel had developed a quick snatch, snatch with each correction. Dandy was rightfully concerned.

I don't know how a habit like that gets started. I just know it's bad for the horse. The more it takes for a correction the heavier your horse will be. The less it takes the lighter your horse will be. So asking with two pulls against the bit instead of one is bound to create a problem. In this case, the problem was a stressed horse.

Once I could get Rachel to remember to NOT use a quick grabbing correction, the horse settled down. If we could keep the rider on track the horse would be good. We headed back to the barn to get ready for the class.

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


  1. Oh how I would LOVE the opportunity to ride one of your horses like Dandy in the class, since I would be in the age group, and have learned to ride pretty well western. And I would love the opportunity that Rachel has to ride Dandy, and be schooled by you. I just cant imagine though, causing bald spots on the horse, and not riding. I would do everything to keep the horse good and healthy, and ridable, so I could keep riding. There's no way I would want to sit around, and not be riding! lol :)

  2. I cannot wait to hear how they did in the show ring, especially after the bump in the warm up that had him so unsettled!

    I got the "I love your blog award" and had to pass it on to you! Swing by any time to pick it up...but don't you dare dare post about until you are all caught up on show and babie updates...I want to know how the rest of the last show went and how this weekend goes.

  3. Hoping all goes well! You sure do like to keep the suspense going! LOL!

  4. I hope she does well, Dandy is a really nice horse and deserves to do well. Once that snatching becomes a habit it is hard to break. I guess it will just take a lot of focus and mental exercise to just keep saying and practicing 'no' to that type of correction.

  5. Hi MiKael

    Hope all is going well with you. Looking forward to the next instalment.

    Be safe and have fun.


  6. wow-he looks great!

    I hope Rachel got back on track for you. If not, Ill take her place!

    It sounds like the competition is fierce.