Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Salem for the Region 4 Championships - More Pre-Show

Part 1

I know it's been a while since I began this series of posts. With another horse show coming up this weekend, I thought I really should get things wrapped up on the Region 4 Arabian Horse Championships. I have enough trouble keeping straight what happened at the shows without stacking them up.

I left off with Rachel's first attempt at a western riding class in the pre-show. After that I rode two pre-show western classes on my horse, Scandalous Legacy. I have videos of both classes but they are too long for blogger or YouTube and despite numerous attempt at trying to figure out how to edit them, I'm still stuck. So sorry, the videos just aren't going to happen so you'll have to settle for what I can remember. At this point, I can tell you it's not good.

The first class was the purebred Arabian Adult Amateur to Ride Western Pleasure class. And if I remember correctly it was for riders ages 40 & over. It was a large class with something like 17 or 18 horses. I do remember after going in early and waiting and waiting and waiting for that last horse to finally jog through the gate that I was beginning to think I'd made a mistake by coming in so early. Trying to find "a place" was difficult when being pushed to the inside by the ring steward to keep the in gate clear for entering horses.

My Arabian horse was really good in all the traffic. His jog was getting slower and more rated with each class. The horse seemed to draw some comfort for the large number of horses in the ring and was content to let the other horses pick the pace so he could just "keep up."

That was ok until it was time to lope and we found ourselves in the proximity of some horses that were on the muscle. Since Legs was tending to be a bit faster than our goal lope, this acted as reinforcement in this little brain for a brisker lope. I won't say he was pushy but he just wasn't quite as well as he had in the warm-up. However, he was still improved from the last class.

Also riding in this class was Melanie on her mare, Khemosabi Miss. I think that Missy was one of those horses on the muscle. Neither Melanie nor I got a ribbon in that class. But I was happy with Legs's improvement over the last class. What more could I ask? I really hadn't figured I would get qualified for the Amateur Owner division at this show anyway.

The next class I rode was the Amateur Owner 50 & over western pleasure class. By this time my Arabian horse had slowed his jog down yet another notch. I was still riding him on a pretty short rein although most of the time there was little contact on, if any on the bit. (I will say he doesn't look as soft in the videos to me as he felt however.)

This class was much smaller than the amateur to ride class had been but my horse still seemed to be very comfortable in the ring despite the fact this was an evening class. If he was worried about any of the trolls from the night before, I sure couldn't tell it by the way he felt. He seemed to be a happy horse to me.

His transitions in the warm-up had been inconsistent but in the actual class, I thought they were much better. And while I still had to pick him up every few strides at the lope, he did a better job of staying rated.

The horse still wasn't loping quite a slow as he needed to be. However, slowing him up was just not an option. There was no way the horse would round up enough to go that slow. He was still intimidated by the curb bit. Anything that slow was not a true lope and I'd much rather be a bit fast than allow the horse to 4 beat.

I can remember pulling into the line-up and thinking it hadn't been a bad ride. I was really proud of my horse for the improvement he was showing from one class to the next. I made sure to give him a nice scratch on the neck as we sat there waiting for the results.

We ended up getting a fifth place ribbon in that class which was the last thing I expected with the horse going on such a short rein. With there being 9 horses in the class. We had earned just enough points to be qualified for the Regional Championship Amateur Owner 50 & over class.

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

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  1. Congratulations on qualifying!! I really like how you look for and reward him for tiny increments of improvement, instead of rushing him like so many would.


  2. Awesome, Congrats! on the ribbon, better yet on the points!

  3. That's wonderful MiKael!! So glad to hear that Legs is improving each trip for you.:)

  4. Hi MiKael
    Great to hear more on this show, I know all about trying to catch up, it just never happens LOL.

    Good luck for this weekend if we dont correspond again. I am shooting a Pinto show, will be thinking about you.

  5. Forgot to add, congrats on the qualification!!! Hope all is well at your end.