Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rachel and Grandma and the Arabian Horses - Salem for the Region 4 Championships

Before we ever got to Salem for the Arabian horse show a number of things were up in the air. Rachel had been entered in hunter pleasure classes on Dandy for the pre-show in the hopes that the pair could get qualified in that division because Rachel prefers to ride hunter. However, the horse was having problems carrying himself for the trot and needed Adequan. Participating in hunter was dependent on getting the prescription in enough time for it to take effect.

Adequan is expensive but can be found on the internet for much cheaper rates than directly through a vet. The problem was getting a vet to write a prescription so we could purchase it that way. Richard thought it would be easy to accomplish but found it was easier said than done. The Adequan arrived on Friday, the day before we left for the show. Whether or not the horse would respond that quickly to the drug was questionable at best.

Of course, the other big thing in question was how Legs was progressing with his fear of the curb bit. I had entered the regional championships in the select rider division thinking we would be more competitive there than in the amateur owner division since the horse was still intimidated by the bit at the time the entries were due.

I also entered the select rider class in the pre-show and thought I entered the amateur owner western class as well. If I could get qualified in that class, hopefully that would mean that the horse was going well enough to be competitive. But it's still hard to take the horse and show him knowing that he's really not going the way that I would like.

Each ride since I'd put him into the bridle had gotten better. The amount of progress the horse had made in such a short time really was amazing. I still knew that the horse was not where he needed to be to earn a top five in the amateur owner division when we arrived at the show. How much progress he would make each day was any body's guess. We were just going to go along and see how things worked out. I was going to have fun and finally show my horse for a change.

I was also considering showing in trail classes. Dandy really loves trail and I enjoy it as well. Rachel and I had discussed the possibilities of showing in the pre-show to see if we could get qualified. With the work we had been doing on cones and over poles, the horse was probably ready to be competing in the class. The question was if the horse did hunter and western would it be too much to add trail. I was flying by the seat of my pants on this decision.

With the excitement of Andy's injury http://risingrainbow.blogspot.com/2008/06/friday-thirteenthon-my.html on the day before we left, it was really hard to go off and leave. Torn between taking care of my injured horse and the call of the regional championships, I wasn't sure leaving was the right thing to do. I think had it only be me going to the show, I probably would have stayed home and taken care of the yearling colt. But since Rachel's first regional championships rested on this as well, I made the decision to go ahead and show leaving Dave, Colleen and Lindsay to deal with Andy. Hard to do when none of them had any real experience with wrapping legs or changing dressings.

We headed off to Salem on Saturday morning travelling in a group with those from Angie and Richard's barn. I have to say it's a much more secure trip when caravaning with others instead of going it alone. Those worries about breaking down and sitting for hours awaiting help are not nearly so loud.

Rachel was pretty quiet on the trip. I didn't really think much of it, she isn't known for her talking. However, it occurred to me along the way that something was different from the last trip to Oregon we had made. I wish I had paid more attention to that intuition.

We arrived in Salem in the early afternoon. We had plenty of time to get the horses moved in and the tack rooms set up with lots of daylight left to put up our tent and get ourselves situated as well. It looked like things were starting off smoothly. I was really looking forward to this week with my horses and my granddaughter. A little more bonding time would be good after the difficult winter we had experienced.

We were stabled in the farthest corner in the race horse barns. The advantage of this location was the proximity to the bathrooms and the camping area. Also we were facing away from the afternoon sun which is always good in Salem this time of year.

The cinder block stalls are a nice size and they stay cooler when the weather heats up. The stalls are also far enough away from the main show that it's quieter, almost feeling like being in another world separate from the show. Those things made it better for the horses.

The only real disadvantage to this location is the distance from the ring and the fact most of that is asphalt. We brought bikes along to help save our feet. Going to and from the ring with a horse, Rachel and I walked beside the horse most of the time to save their legs as well. But by the end of the first day, my legs were already screaming from riding that bike using muscles different from those I use to ride. I wasn't so sure this bike thing was going to be worth it.

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

Part 2

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  1. Well it sounds like you are off to a good start, except for the bikes. I can bet your muscles were rebelling.
    I'm hoping you will let us know how your little guy Andy is doing.

  2. Why do I feel an oh dear coming on????? I am really glad that the trip went well and yes it is always nicer to have company in the form of a person or other drivers. I used to visit my daughter regularly in Zimbabwe when I was living in South Africa because she lived there from age 9 and it was a 600 mile trip one way and that was more than enough for me.

    Settling back in my armchair for the next instalment, but I have a sense of foreboding and that worries me!

  3. grey horse, rebelling is a good word for it. It didn't take long to figure out I was going to have to take it easy on that bike.

    I will be posting an update on Andy as soon as we do this next dressing change.

    lori, I don't know. Maybe you're getting used to my writing style. lol I don't know about forboding but some shows are definitely easier than others, that's for sure.

  4. Thanks for answering all of our questions Mikael! I too think you should write a book, I think I have mentioned it before and the more I read the more I'm convinced it would be wonderful! I have learned so much from your blog in the time that I have been reading it! You have so much knowledge!!

  5. I am anxious to see how this show turned out for you guys MiKael.

    I waited anxiously for every installment of Ghost Horses. You would make a great mystery writer. Although, I am sure that your books would keep me up all night-turning the pages.

  6. Hmmm...it's hard to work those different muscles, lol! ;) Can't wait to hear more about Salem. I know someone else who showed there, too!

  7. How many nice looking horses do you have? I would go nuts with so many. I couldn't ever take care of more than one and that one would get lonesome so would require as much time as two just to keep it company. I don't know how you guys do it.