Friday, August 22, 2008

Rachel and Grandma and Arabian Horses at the Daffodil Summer Show.....a whole herd of them!

Normally, the summer show is this laid back, low key show that I can take my horse to just have some fun. Somehow this year we ended up taking three Arabian horses for this occasion. Then Rachel was going to show Angie's horse, Midnight Eclipse, as well. Four horses makes for a lot of classes crammed into a two day schedule.

Dandy, alone, had seven classes. Rachel was showing the horse in the junior select rider class as well as the junior owner to ride qualifier and championship. Then I was going to show the horse in four trail classes.

Legs had four classes and Hope had one. Rachel had two classes on Eclipse then I got a bit crazy and added a couple of halter classes. God only knows what I was thinking. All I know is it made for a hectic schedule.

Rachel hadn't ridden the Arabian horse at all at home. Between Lindsay's injury keeping me at home and Dandy needing the chiropractor again, I hadn't ridden the horse much either. Poor Dandy and Rachel were winging it.

Their first schooling session was on Friday night at the fairgrounds. She had been in one of her moods complaining about her back or a headache or something......the usual stuff in recent months about why she wasn't concentrating on her riding. I cut the lesson short to save myself and the horse the frustration of dealing with the temperamental teenager.

I was pretty sure that's not how Rachel's lessons with Eclipse had gone or Angie wouldn't be letting her show the horse. I had been told that things to do with Eclipse were between Angie, Colleen and Rachel so I was feeling a bit (this is an understatement, in case you are wondering) defensive on the subject.

It seemed, not only had I been pushed away, but that Dandy wasn't being appreciated as well. So things started off shaky. I wasn't really sure why Rachel was even riding Dandy because it sure didn't look like she cared to be doing so. All she could talk about was Eclipse.

I was going to try and keep my distance from this situation and just enjoy showing my horses. I didn't want to get caught up in anymore stuff with my granddaughter. If Rachel wanted me to not be involved, distance was the best place for me.

That meant I didn't have much in the way of expectations of Rachel either. I took care of cleaning the horses stalls myself and only asked Rachel for help feeding etc if I just couldn't get it done myself. That way I wouldn't be disappointed or upset if she didn't get things done. I knew the horses were well taken care of because I did it myself.

Saturday morning, Rachel's first class was a ways down the schedule so we planned on arriving around 8. That would give the horses plenty of time to eat before it was time to get Dandy tacked up and ready for his class.

I set the alarm for 6. That would give me plenty of time to feed and water my Arabian horses. We could stop at McDonald's for breakfast and still arrive in time to see the classes of the others from Angie and Richard's barn............well, that was the plan anyway.

However, I got a call from Angie wondering when we were coming. Chris had left her number in our tack room and she and DJ were one of the first classes in that first session. Our leisurely morning immediately turned to stress and we headed off for the fairgrounds.

We arrived to find they'd given up on us. Cody had climbed over the wall to retrieve the exhibitor number. That goes to show how secure locked tack rooms at a horse show really are. If someone really wants to rip you off, they can and will.............. I'd only wished they'd let me know that Cody had scaled the wall. I certainly wouldn't have stressed nearly as much on the drive to the fairgrounds. I swear, I missed every single traffic light possible just because I was in a hurry. At least we arrived in time to see both Chris and Cody ride.

When it was time for Rachel's first class, I gave her as little time to warm-up the horse as possible. It seemed the more time she spent on the horse, the quicker she got frustrated. Once that happened it was all downhill so my strategy was to not give her enough time to get frustrated.

Things were ok in the warm-up. The horse was rounder than he'd been for her in a while. Rachel's mood wasn't bad but it seemed to me her focus was more on showing Eclipse in the afternoon session than it was on the class she was getting ready to ride. I tried not to let it bother me and just kept focusing on instructing her on how to ride my horse.

Dandy jogged into the ring just a little bit fast and not quite underneath himself but still ok. At the lope the horse was clearly dropping his shoulder to the outside again like he had at Region 4. But unlike Region 4 the horse would straighten right out when cued to do so. Rachel, however, wasn't remembering how to fix the problem instead she was just picking at his face. Other than that, the class went pretty well and Rachel got second place.

Before we even got back to the barn Rachel was already mapping out in her mind what she needed to do with Eclipse. I just made sure that Dandy was untacked and properly put away. I took care of cleaning the stalls and then made myself scarce.

I didn't have a class until the evening session so I went up to the ring and watched my friends ride. I can't even tell you when I've had the time to stop and just sit down and watch horse show. It was really nice for a change.

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

Part 2

I don't have video of Rachel's first ride but there is video of her other rides. You'll be able to see both classes with Eclipse and the remaining classes with Dandy.

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  1. I'm sorry but the way Rachel doesn't appreciate Dandy really gets up my nose. Considering how much you do for her she should be on bended knees thanking her lucky stars that her Gandma is so generous.

  2. Hi MiKael, looking forward to hearing how your rides went. I am sorry about Rachel, I went through the same sort of thing with my daughter and it is mortifying when they think that their friends know better and hold them in higher esteem. I waited 42 years to get my first horse and even though I dont get to ride much because of my situation which you know about, I would never part with her for anything.

    One thing I am glad about is that you got time to sit and relax and watch for a change.

    Great on the second placing though, I am hoping that things got better for you both at this show.

  3. Wow MiKael, I dont know HOW you manage all this!! You are one amazing woman there ;)

  4. Congrats on the second place ride to Rachel!

    I'm going to try to make it down for your open house in a couple of weeks.

  5. I am so glad you were able to relax if even a bit. These were some of my most memorable moments at horse shows.
    I hope that Rachel will find something useful out of this. I laughed with all the other horse savy parents. I had to pay someone else to tell her the same thing I would have said. Then I'd say "so and so said do it like this" (nevermind that I would say do it like this, lol) I hope that she can learn about riding in the moment and riding the horse she's on.

  6. That must be so hard to try and teach your granddaughter. It drives me crazy sometimes that my parents know nothing about horses and have no interest in learning, but at least I know that they are really proud of me at the shows regardless of the test...all the tests look the same to them so in their minds I am always doing well. I think I would be hurt too not to be included in the situation with her riding Eclipse. I am sure you were happy that she was branching out, but at the same time I think it would be hard NOT to get upset about all that. She is a teenager though and I think just by the nature of her age and development level she has to take advantage of your kindness. She has no life experiance of wanting to show and not being able too. She is VERY lucky to have you and Dandy and I am sure she will realize that someday, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  7. I don't understand, why did she ride Dandy if she didn't want to be? You can't force people to enjoy riding a certain horse...although it sounds like they did pretty good none the less!

  8. WooHoo! A second. Awesome!Looking forward to the video!

  9. Talking non-stop about Eclipse is such a classic teenage poke in the ribs of her Grandma. She really seems to be working hard to show you that she doesn't need you or your horse to succeed. Classic teenage rebellion and you are doing great by responding as little as possible to it.

    Way to go! You are being the bigger person, the more mature person and that is really difficult to do. Rachel has an amazing Grandma and I hope that she knows that!