Thursday, May 22, 2008

Daffodil All Arabian Spring Show - Saturday Afternoon Part 2

Part 1

With each stride my mind raced trying to figure out a way to keep my Arabian horse from getting trapped in traffic. The closer I got to the horses in front of me, the more obvious it became. There was really no place for me to go. DJ knows what I did, she was there in the stands.

My only option was to break my horse from his lope down to the jog. So that's what I did. For the first time in my life I deliberately brought my horse down out of a requested gait because of my pilot error. I asked Legs to jog right in front of the judge as she watched. I let the horses in front of me lope off until I thought there was enough room for me to continue my way around the ring at the required gait. Then we loped off again.

It's bad enough being at a horse show and showing when you know your horse really isn't competitive yet, let alone doing it with one the quality of Lets. But then to do something like this really takes the wind out of one's sails. Frustrated in capital letters is the best way I can think to describe it.

The only good thing I can think about this situation is that it was probably good for my horse. There's no way he's going to get ring savvy with me doing stupid stunts like that. Breaking things up and making them different makes it harder for the horse to "learn" what to expect.

That's good in the show ring. The last thing you need is an anticipating horse in a hurry to get things done and out of the ring. I'm pretty sure that Legs was confused by my request for him to jog when the announcer hadn't said a word and the other horses all continued loping. He's been around just enough to have a clue about the drill.

In case you're wondering, by this time I had totally forgotten about my tight jeans and my legs not working so well. Now all I could think about was the mess I'd made out of negotiating the traffic and the flipping tails. This isn't something I want to be making into a habit.

The rest of the class went ok. I didn't get myself into anymore traffic jams. My horse was consistent even if he was a bit too fast. He had a few baubles where he nosed out and then didn't round up when I asked but nothing terrible. We were still getting better each ride so that was good.

I can remember sitting in the line-up with my friend, Angie Miller. She was asking how my ride had gone and saying she's been keeping an eye on us. She thought that there had been some moments of brilliance. I thought she was being generous but I agreed that one day this horse is going to be great. I'm grateful to have her support.

Frankly, I don't remember if Angie and Eclipse won that class or they were in second place. Either way, I know that she's one of the horses to beat. I also know that Angie can't wait for that day to happen. It's pretty darn cool to have great support from someone you're trying to compete with. If you ask me there's not enough of that in the horse industry.

Later that evening I talked to Juan Stuckey, the ring steward, about my horse. I told him about his problem in the bridle and why I was showing anyway. I really respect Juan's opinion as a horseman. He gave my horse quite a compliment that night. I guess he gave me one as well.

Juan said I was doing a great job with the horse getting him around the ring and dealing with his issues. He also said it was clear that the horse is going to be "one of the great ones." That did my heart good.

Sometimes it's easy to begin doubting myself when the going gets tough and things don't work out according to plan. It seems like this year has been a particularly hard year for those type of occurrences.

I was feeling particularly vulnerable about showing my horse in this condition especially to Shannon Armstrong. Because she's the woman who sold me Scandalous, I think I have the expectation I must live up to her standards.That means anything less than perfect is unacceptable.

I really expected to show Legs sometime to her at Nationals because she's a regular western pleasure judge there. I had visions of riding my horse into the ring on a draped rein jogging at a rate slower than most horses walk and looking like a superstar. Instead here I was on a loose but short rein riding a horse that wasn't properly rated.

Old messages played in my head that I "wasn't ready to be competing at this level." just like she's told me back then. I'd proved her wrong back then. Now I wondered what she was thinking. I wondered if I would prove her wrong again.

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

Rachel Rides Again

Patriot still hasn't passed the contents of his stomach that we tubed him with so I am still on poop patrol. However, he is complaining because he isn't getting grain when the other horses that's a good sign. Will keep you advised on his condition. I'm hoping tomorrow will be the big day!

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. Hope today is the big day for Patriot. As for the show, well that's just the way it goes sometimes. Some rounds are brilliant and some aren't. I wouldn't dwell on it too much. Take it as it comes and know in your heart that you have a horse who's got what it takes. It will all come together eventually.

  2. Do not beat yourself up. Mistakes happen. This is only one show, hopefully, there will be many more to come. And, you will do better because you possess something that not enough riders possess--the ability to be self-critical. That doesn't mean to beat yourself up, it just means you can take a step back from the situation, look at it objectively, see what mistakes you made and LEARN from them. Too many people just blame the horse, as you noted in your posts about the BNT. I have no doubt you will learn from this and move forward to bigger and better.

    Glad to hear that Patriot is continuing to do better. I'll continue to send healing energy out your way.


  3. MiKael I know this was the first show, I am looking forward to the happenings on the second show. Every time you get out in that ring is a good thing whether it goes well or not. You have to have your horse out there to be properly rated and to be seen and you are doing that despite all sorts of odds against you. You also have the determination to rub all those nay sayers' noses in it when you are done LOL. I would love to be there to see it.

    I tried to check the webcam and it wasnt working this morning, I hope you had a HUGE pile of poop to deal with since your last post.



  4. Thanks for the update on Patriot. Hope today is the day!

    As for the show, I'd remember the words of the ring steward ... "one of the great ones, and let the rest go.

  5. grey horse, me too,I'd like to know we're out of the woods with him.

    As for the show, that's my sentiment as well. Going over my mistakes is a learning tool so hopefully I don't get into the same problems again.

    ann, yes, I learned early on that the way to be successful was by being able to see my mistakes so I could fix them.

    Blaming them on others would only give my control away and leave me powerless. Real success cannot be attained under those standards.

    lori, you're right. I'm not lacking in determination. That's for sure. lol

    As for the webcam, I was having problems with my puter and had to reboot. Now, I find I've misplaced the IP address to sign the cam back on so I am waiting for an email from marestare. I hope it'll be back up soon.

    strawberry lane, yes, I will be holding Juan's words in my heart to help get me through some of the tough times. It really helps to get that kind of input from someone who knows what they're talking about.

  6. After reading what was really going on with you and Legs, and considering the number of horses in the ring and the traffic jams in there, I think you did a splendid job of showing in that class. Legs is awesome and you kept him on task. I thought you had a good ride, considering.

    Legs can really move! He would look cool in Arab costume class!

  7. DJ, Legs actually has the movement to be a country pleasure horse but I don't think he'd be very happy doing that. He much prefers to go slow as do I.

    Those costume classes are too much for me. I have no inclination to rip around the arena the way they do. Although Legs does have a son who has a Top Five in Costume.

  8. MiKael - I've got a favorite say, "All's well that ends." It works for both the horse show and poor little Patriot. I hope he's his normal pooping self by now. And how lucky you are to have "one of the great ones"!

  9. I hear you! Those costume classes look downright dangerouse, at times. Most of the riders are probably pretty young, and fearless or naive or both!

  10. My fingers are crossed for Patriot.

    I love your posts about horse shows. You provide lots of details (and evil cliff-hangers!) and it makes me feel like I'm almost riding that horse with you! I don't really have the time or financial means to show right now, so it's really fun to live through you and Rachael for awhile.