Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Salem for the Region 4 Championships - Western Pleasure Adult Amateur to Ride

Part 1

My last class of the Region 4 Arabian Horse Championships I rode my gelding, Dandy, on qualifying points that Rachel had earned. Since the points go with the horse and Rachel had earned more points than she could use, I decided to use those extra points and ride in the Adult Amateur to Ride Western Pleasure class. That way I could school the horse through any issues that Rachel had been having earlier in the show.

The night before Rachel had a lesson on Dandy that had not gone well. She complained about the Arabian horse not steering well and he really didn't want to round up for her. She had let her frustration get the best of her and I'd taken her off the horse before anything had been resolved.

I then schooled the horse myself and found him to be a bit on the stiff side. It took me a while to get through it, but I did eventually get what I'd been trying to achieve. I chalked the horse's resistance up to his go round with Rachel. Sometimes he anticipates being punished by me because she's taken her frustrations out on him.

The next day when I got on the Arabian horse in the warm-up, I found him to be stiff again. Getting him to bend at all around my leg was tough but I seemed to be making progress. Then the paddock announcer called us up to our class.

It wasn't until I rode through the gate that I figured out what was wrong with the horse. Just past the ingate the horse just totally dropped his shoulder to the outside and flattened out his frame. Despite my efforts to correct this situation using my inside leg to pick him up, the Arabian horse's response was to drop that shoulder even more and hollow out his back.

This behavior is just not like Dandy. The horse tries as hard as he can to give everything he's got. Getting such a negative response from the aids could only mean one thing. The light bulb in my head turned on as I realized that poor Dandy needed a chiropractor badly!

Right then and there I decided to back off and give the horse a break. We would have to get through this class but I wasn't going to force the horse into a frame that obviously was painful to him. I was just going to try and keep the horse out of the heavy traffic that is always upsetting to him which was going to be a task in itself in this large class.

Staying out of traffic turned out to be a real problem. For the first time that I can remember in a long time, the horse seriously lost his steering. His steering was so bad in fact that we nearly took out a judge. Talk about a tough way to make an impression.

By the time I pulled the horse into the line-up my brain was seriously racing with thoughts of Rachel's pending class and the horse's predicament. Finding a chiropractor on such short notice was going to be difficult at best. Without one, Rachel's class would have to be cancelled.

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

Updates! Lindsay is doing much better. She is back to cleaning stalls although she gets pretty tuckered out. She is still struggling with double vision but it seems to be only about half the time now so that's a big improvement. I have her wearing her helmet whenever she is working around the horses in their stalls. And she still is not putting any horses out or bringing them in. We will wait until she is totally healed before we give that a try.

Andy's leg is still healing but the honey has really helped. It does look like there will be some proud flesh despite all the efforts but it seems to be a small area. Getting the skin to reattach to the coronet band is still the big issue and it looks to be mostly healed at this point. Just one small area is left to heal.

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  1. Poor Dandy, I hope you managed to get him sorted out quickly. That is what I hate that they can't ell you what is wrong you have to know them well enough and figure out that there is a problem and then what that problem is.

    Glad that that leg is healing up so nicely, the last final little bit is always the hardest and it just seems like it is never going to close. Also hope that there will not be too much visible from the trauma.

    Look after yourself, you are in my thought always. (((Hugs))))


  2. I hope you figure out Dandy's problem soon.

    Glad the honey seems to be helping. It sure did with my colt.

  3. Who was #411? She's being shown a lot in the video. Was she the winner?

  4. Glad to hear that Lindsey and the colt are doing well. I also hope you found a chiropractor for Dandy, he is such a nice horse.