Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Nana and Dandy in the AHACO Walk/Trot Pleasure

Before I move on to the Region 4 All Arabian Horse Championships I really need to post about NaNa's pleasure class on Dandy. It's not just because it's such a cute picture with that little kid riding that great big horse but it's also because Richard and I had a bit of an altercation over that class.

Now, I'm sure you must be wondering how either Richard or I could get ourselves into any kind of trouble over a walk trot class. But horse shows can get stressful sometimes and where there's stress, short fuses are bound to follow. In this particular case both of us were running on some pretty short fuses for a collection of reasons.

It all began innocently enough. We were outside the barn getting ready to head up to the warm-up when Richard told NaNa to bridle her horse. NaNa grabbed the reins and poor Dandy's head shot straight up into the air as the child's grab made direct contact with his poor face.

Richard was busy adjusting the child's foot into the irons so he actually missed the whole display. I was the sole witness to the rude intrusion on Dandy's mouth and I responded instinctively with a stern voice, "NaNa, less hands and more leg!"

As the startled child heeded my instructions, Dandy rolled right over into the bridle and we proceeded on towards the warm-up arena. Things probably would have ended right there except Richard came over to me admonishing me that I needed to be more patient. After all, Nana is just a little girl.

Like I said, both of us were running on short fuses so telling me to be patient when anyone grabs one of my horses harshly in the face was more than enough to push me over the proverbial edge. To my way of thinking accepting harsh treatment is NEVER acceptable no matter how young the rider. If you want to teach good horsemanship, that is a very important place to start.

For me it's a given if I allow anyone at all to ride my horses that the horses will be treated appropriately at all times. I never would allow any of my horses to be used or abused by anyone without speaking up.........and certainly NOT Dandy. I did NOT take kindly to Richard's comment and I don't think he really took kindly to my follow up that if the horse wasn't going to come first, then my horse wasn't going to be involved.

I think poor Richard didn't really know what hit him. I doubt he was prepared to deal with me in a tailspin when all he wanted to do was get this kid in the class and get the darn horse show finished. But I wasn't about to let it drop. I didn't want my horse going into a class until it was perfectly clear that indiscriminate pulling on his face was NOT allowed.

We did manage to get through it although I think some in the proximity thought I was having a true meltdown. But after many years of standing around and letting others tell me how my horses should be treated (which I might add always ended up in my horses paying the price) I was not about to stand there and take it anymore. I was a determined advocate for my horse ........and I didn't care who knew it.

NaNa rode her class.........and despite her obvious lack of steering in some important places still managed to get qualified.

Richard and I, well, we managed to resolve the remnants of the conflict after the horse show was over. We really are not on different sides of this. It was more a matter of the stress of a hectic morning and the overlap that results from too many people, too close together for too long a time. We're OK now and Richard learned an important lesson about me. If I have a problem, he can count on me speaking up! Oh, and Dandy...........well, he's totally forgiven NaNa for her transgression. He loves packing that kid for sure!

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  1. Horse shows are just far too stressful somedays, aren't they? Glad you and Richard were able to make up; that's a valuable relationship that doesn't need to end over something as simple as a stressed out kid and two adults.

    Can't get the video to play...sniff.

  2. Geez, Tracey, I don't know why the video wouldn't load for you. Unlike a couple of the others I put up this one is under ten minutes and is working fine for me.

    You're right about my relationship with Richard being too valuable to mess over up. I think both of us realize that and nothing like a silly meltdown on anyone's part is going to stand in our way.

  3. This sounds like a whomping lot of pressure on everybody. whew. Hope you are all okay!

  4. Horse shows are stressful. My husband and I always end up yelling at each other before 8 am on the morning of shows!! Dandy and NaNa did really well. Congrats to them on a second place!!