Friday, June 13, 2008

Rachel & Grandma and Arabian Horses - Salem Championship

Part One Salem

It's been a long night here. I'm still working on getting video loaded of the Arabian horse show at Salem so I guess I better go with what I have to this point. I think that's the championship for the select rider class.

Legs went into this class looking more like a parade horse to me than a western pleasure horse. His head was too high and his jog was strung out. He really wasn't listening all that well and I was really frustrated. I didn't want to resort to bumping him in the face but the usual just wasn't working. The video looks better than the ride felt.

At the lope transition the horse popped up instead of rounding up and going forward. Throughout the whole lope he just didn't want to round up. The lope felt bumpy and out of sync, although not like he was four beating. Mostly he just wasn't engaged like he should have been. Again, the video looks better than the ride felt, but then I'm really spoiled because I am fortunate enough that I get to ride really smooth horses.

Our transition into the lope the second way was pretty good but it went down hill from there. The lope was again rough. It just was not our best ride. Actually, I think it was more like the worst ride I've ever had on this horse. His last jog was probably the best part of the class but maybe that was just me being grateful it was about over.

When they called for the line-up, I pushed my horse on down the rail and made the trip around the far side of the center ring. I stopped him in the line deliberately facing the wrong was so that the horse would have to turn on the haunches before he could rest. Just another thing to break up the routine to help fend again the horse anticipating what's coming next.

I'm still going to try and post both of the videos for Rachel and Dandy in the hunter classes if I can ever get them both loaded. Other than that, it's probably a good time to tell you, Rachel and I both earned enough points at this show to be qualified for the Regional Championships in western pleasure.

We are leaving this Saturday morning and will be gone for a week. Rachel is showing in both the Junior Owner to Ride and Junior to Ride regional class. While I had enough points to show in the Adult Amateur Owner regional class, I elected to show in the Select Rider regional class where I think Legs and I have a better chance of being competitive if we can just keep our act together.

Working through this issue with his fear of the curb bit is going very slowly. I doubt that we will earn enough points in the pre-show to qualify for the amateur class but I am thinking about maybe showing he and Dandy both in trail. That might give them both something different to think about. Dandy loves trail and I think Legs enjoys it as well.

While I am gone blogger will put up my posts each day. I haven't loaded them yet, but will tomorrow night. I have written a series that should keep you on your toes. I also think it might stimulate some conversation but since I moderate comments that might stifle it. I haven't decided if I should turn off the comment moderation while I am gone, or just wait and post the comments when I get back. What do you think?

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  1. MiKael - You should just have a great show and not think about blogging - We'll all be waiting here eagerly to hear how you did when you get back. I hope things go smoothly and you and Rachel and the boys have fun.

  2. Hi MiKael

    From my limited knowledge I did get the impression that Legs was not happy when he first came into the ring, he was swishing his tail a lot but he did poop quite early on so maybe it was discomfort too.

    I am curious as to why you always try to be the first into the ring, especially when there are so many horses, I have a feeling that it is the first impression, but it also gives you lots of time to have to be jogging around waiting while the judges' attention is on each competitor coming into the ring and you know he is not focusing on you. I also suspect it is so that you can school a bit in the ring before you get down to business.

    I could see you were having problems at the one stage when Legs broke into a lope and then down to a trot again, but other than that I thought you both looked great (shows you how much I know huh!), compared to the other horses he was smooth and you sat the saddle quietly, there was only one horse with that dead WP trot that I hate. I didn't notice you turning him on his haunches coming into the lineup but am going to have a look again.

    Anyway fabulous that you both qualified for Nationals and you will both be in my thoughts and prayers. Drive safely again and I hope the heat abates a bit for you this time round.

    Tell Rachel she looks awesome and would beat the pants off me for riding style LOL. Both horses are looking great. GOOD LUCK!!!! (((Hugs))))

    Oh yes, I would leave moderation on you just never know, I have been getting a lot of gambling spammers on my blog recently and I rejected them and have had no problems since so if you open your comments up again it may just invite them to start their nonsense on your site again too.


  3. I think Legs gave a nice ride, most of the transitions were smooth and you both looked great. Congratulations on your fourth place and also on enough points to be qualified for the Regional Championships in western pleasure. Way to go! Hope you can get the videos loaded, I'm sure we'd all love to see them.
    I'm not sure about the comment moderation question, only you know what kind of comments your posts are going to generate, so it's your call.
    Have a wonderful time at the show and good luck to both you and Rachel, will be looking forward to more videos & commentary when you get back.

  4. Okay that diatribe wasnt enough I noticed two other things, LOL. You look as if you are looking down rather than up and straight ahead, I can't make up my mind if itis just the way your hat makes it look or if you are looking down LOL.

    The other thing, was I love the way you reassure him with a pat on the rump or neck every so often, it seems to relax him.

    Okay I am done (I hope)


  5. LOVE watching your vids!! They're getting me so pumped for our first show!! Thanks for posting them! :)

  6. I'd definitely turn off comment moderation. Or, some blogging software has an option where it only posts comments from previously approved people. If you can do that on blogger, it could be a good option. If not, switch to wordpress! ;)

  7. Victoria, the posts are "in the can" so to speak. I won't miss a post while I am gone so I won't have to think about blogging except remembering to take pictures to post later. lol

    Lori, I don't always try to be early in the ring. It just depends on lots of things. In this instance I did want to make use of the extra time to school my horse in the ring before the gate closes.

    It can make a good impression on the judge and helps you stand out in a big class. Lots of other reasons too.

    My qualification points were enough for the regional championships. I still have a ways to go for national points....a long way. Rachel has earned enough points to be qualified for Nationals but as a junior exhibitor doesn't require as many points for Nationals as Grandma does.

    grey horse, I'm getting excited about the show but not so much this day of preparation or that drive.
    It will be nice to have a week of horse show to watch. I think over the 7 days of the show we have a total of 9 classes. Much easier schedule than our 12 classes in 4 days we did at the last one. lol

    lori, I am guilty of looking down. I do it a lot. Hard habit to break.

    I think part of the reason I do it is because of my double vision. Looking down the rail sometimes with lots of motion in front of me makes me dizzy. The motion of riding my horse is easier to handle to if I focus on something close....that's how I end of looking down at the placement of his head.

    As for that patting thing, that can't happen once the gate is closed. They are lenient about it in the line up but certainly not going down the rail. So going in early and getting a chance to sooth an unsure horse is important, I think.

  8. OK so I lied that wasnt the last from me LOL.

    Thanks for the explanation on the petting thing. I am enjoying these videos because tey tell you so much that you normally have to visualise.

    I bet Dandy and Legs will enjoy the change of pace of the trail rides. Are your friends going to be travelling with you again?

    I know there was something else I wanted to ask but it has slipped my mind so be assured I will be back !!!!!!! (((Hugs)))

  9. MiKael-have a great time! IW ish you loads of luck and everything running smoothly.

    cant wait to see the results :)

  10. Watching that video made me think of question, which you can answer at your convenience... Legs was switching his tail a lot during the show. Do the judges ever mark down a horse and rider for that?

    Also, along that same vein... my gelding has a wry tail and I have heard that judges can mark down a horse and rider for that. Is that true?

  11. I know you're at regionals, but I saw some things in your ride and of course I can't keep my mouth shut, so here goes.

    First, what kind of curb bit are you using? Does it have a high port, low port, or no port? Does it have a long shank? What kind of curb chain are you using? I ask because sometimes horses with curb fear can get really upset just hearing the chain jingling. The curb strap is milder and doesn't make any noise.

    The port can also have a lot to do with it. If you're interested, I have a mullen mouth (no port, just a curved bar with no break in it) medium shank silver show bit you can borrow. It was custom made for Blair (I think) and we showed many young horses in it as they got used to the show bridle. It's really a fantastic bit and was one of the precious things that I was allowed to take of hers when they were getting rid of her horse equipment. However, it's just sitting in a bridle bag in my basement, unused. While I'm not offering to give it to you forever, you're certainly free to try it and use it for as long as I don't need it. If you decide it's what you want, you can eventually buy one when you have the funds.

    Second, it looks to me like your seat is a bit static. It might help you slow him down if you used the weight of your seat like brakes on his back. As he jogs, instead of matching his rhythm you should choose yours with your seat. With practice at home he'll start to listen to your seat and you can pick the rhythm that he'll try and match instead of the other way around. It will also help with his curb fear if you can slow him with your weight instead of touching the bit.

    Lastly, at time you looked like you were not sitting squarely on your horse, but rather leaning outside or inside. While this didn't affect your leads in this class, it might effect your leads in other classes. Just something to be aware of.

    Best of luck to you at your show. I wish I could go! I miss going to any shows, but mostly I miss arab shows. I grew up on them and really feel an empty spot in my heart during the summers that I don't go to regionals. Also congrats on getting the points to qualify! I haven't shown in regionals since they implemented the point qualification system so I'm not familiar with it. The dressage qualification is still the same I think, with using scores to qualify. Maybe next year...