Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Foaling and Showing Rolled into One - The Start of Day 2

Because Dare was a maiden mare I didn't know how much help/interference from people she would tolerate. Despite the fact that she and I are bonded BIGTIME, I didn't know if me being with her might prevent her from going into labor again. You never really know how that instinct provided by Mother Nature will affect them. Horses being horses is always a big part of the equation no matter how much we want to love and protect them.

So it was back to the safe distance of the house sitting in front of the computer watching my mare. I hoped she'd settle down quickly and go back into labor. Maybe I'd get lucky and the mare would foal before I had to show. Then I could just relax and think about showing instead of trying to juggle both things.

Richard and Rachel were at the horse show with my horses. Thankfully the horses had already been bathed but still needed to be schooled and clipped, not to mention taken care of while they were there. Rachel clipped both horses and cared for them while Richard dealt with the schooling part.

Richard does not ride Legs. He does groundwork with the horse but he has never ridden him. Angie has been on him a couple of times so I could see what he was looking like or show her something I was trying to share about him. Other than that nobody rides my horse but me.

That meant schooling the horse at the horse show would be limited to work in the long lines. Because my class was in the morning session, I'd have to get to the fairgrounds by six in the morning if I was going to get the horse schooled in that arena before I rode my class. I knew Legs had been frightened in this ring at the summer show, schooling him before I rode a class was more important than ever.

Dare, however, was not concerned about my schedule at the show. She held onto her foal throughout the night. Sine early morning hours were the next most likely opportunity she would foal, I stayed home and kept right on watching that mare. I only left for the show at the very last minute leaving me enough time to get myself dressed and my horse schooled in warm-up before riding my class.

All the time at the fairgrounds all I could really think of was the mare. Except for that time in the saddle my focus was on Dare. I've always had the uncanny ability to put every thing else aside once astride a horse. Under these circumstances it was a darn good thing because starting off in the warm-up my horse got spooked by something and my hands were full just trying to get him calmed down to ride into that class.

I suspected this was all about leftovers from the summer show. It was clear as I rode toward the ring, that my horse remembered that incident last summer very clearly. From the moment we rode through the gate the horse was on the muscle.

I had to shorten up my reins which I really hadn't wanted to do. I wanted people to know this horse was coming along and really could be the great horse I've always known. But you have to ride the horse that you've got and that meant shortening up and going with it.

As we rounded that far corner near where the woman with the stroller and naughty kids had been last summer, the horse wasn't responding to requests to turn and I could feel him tensing even more beneath me. He stayed together OK and by the time we'd almost completed that short side of the arena I thought maybe we were out of the woods.

Unfortunately, that was not the case. Just before the gate at the far end Legs exploded. It wasn't quite as high as last session but an explosion none the less. The difference was how fast the horse came back to the bridle. Instead of a few strides, it was more like one or two.His reaction time was cut clearly in half. What we'd been doing to fix this thing was working. We just needed more time.

As usual Legs was rattled but he settled much more quickly than before. By the time we reversed and went the second way of the arena my horse had come back to me. He was listening to me and not looking for the boogie man. I couldn't have asked for more. Not having ridden the horse in this arena before the class had really set him up and he'd come through it not too bad.

I had planned on leaving right after my class to return to my foal watch. With this incident in the ring I felt I should school Legs in the arena at the lunch break. I wanted to be sure the horse had a clean go in that arena before I would ride my championship class the next day.

The horse and I were among the first back into the arena at the break. He started off cautiously and tensed as we got farther down the rail. Each time we circled the arena he'd relax at the one end and tense at the other. I decided the best way to deal with this was to just ride around in a circle at the far end.

I kept the horse working until he finally relaxed. When I heard him sighing, I reversed and worked some more. Eventually the horse let down and sighed big deep sighs over and over. With each sigh the horse got softer and softer. When I finally had the horse I knew, I dismounted and we walked out of the ring. Then it was back to the stalls to untack him and put him away so I could head back home to my foal watch again.

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

The End of Day 2

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  1. What a challenging schedule! How nice this show was close enough to home to manage a presence at both places.
    I hope you can now get some rest!

  2. Argh! I can't wait. This is why I gave up watching soaps a zillion years ago LOL!

  3. You really are the mistress of suspense, still no idea of sex of the baby, I havent been able to spend time watching thepast few days otherwise I am sure I would have figured it out.

    I am sure that without the interruption that upset her so much on Friday that she would have had that baby!

  4. I really wish my pictures had turned out much better. There were alot of shots that would have been good if only that tail or nose hadn't of been in the way... Next time.

  5. Sounds like Legs is working through his boogie man issue quite nicely. I'm sure he wants to please you. :)

    I like this photo and your new hairdo! A good looking, matched pair!

    So glad Dare held onto her colt until you could be there with her. He's a real looker!

  6. I like your class recap. I have never shown Arabian so I can only imagine...

  7. What a nice photo! You guys look so good together.

    And why do you tease us so? Now I sit around thinking, "filly or colt?" And, "How did the rest of the show go?" And, "What will I eat for breakfast?"

    Although the last one isn't really your fault :)

    I think you enjoy teasing us.