Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Region 4 Championships......Pre-Show Day Two

Later that night I ran into Ingrid Bentzen in the restroom. Ingrid is a licensed USEF steward so I talked to her about the situation with the red horse. If anyone would know what kind of protocol I should follow to get help to assure my safety in the ring, it was Ingrid.

Fortunately, Ingrid already knew about the red stallion and she had seen a couple of his rides making her aware of some of his behaviors in the ring. With many amateur riders in her barn, the trainer had been briefing them to stay away from that red horse both on the rail and in the line-up. With the added information about his particular behavior in regards to Legs, Ingrid instructed me to speak both with the show's USEF steward and the show manager.

The person responsible for each rider's safety in the ring is the judge. In the case of the regional classes it would be the call judge's responsibility. The problem in this situation was by the time the judge would know there was the kind of issue we had here, it would probably be too late to protect anyone. The judge would be watching how the horses would performing NOT on the look out for inappropriate stallion behavior. Whatever plan the show officials came up with would have to keep the judges in the dark in order for the adjudication to be fair to all exhibitors, even the woman riding the chestnut horse.

First thing the next morning, I was distracted again. Louie didn't make it into the ring to school before the morning session. While that might be OK with a seasoned show horse like Dandy it wasn't a good thing for the first class ever at a horse show by a young green horse like Louie.

Not only that but neither Dandy nor Louie had been show clipped. Their classes were close together and only about midpoint through the session. The heat was on to get both Dandy and Louie braided and clipped before it was time to send them into the ring.

Poor Louie didn't know what hit him. The horse had two people working on braiding with another two working on the clipping. He was surrounded by frantic people trying to get him ready in time for his class. The horse tolerated it pretty well but it had to affect him. The tension in the air was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.

I have never been good at getting horses ready in a relaxed manner. It is my biggest stressor at a horse show. I'm fine with the actual showing but I have this fear about not making my class. This morning's situation had me pinging off the wasn't just one horse of mine, but two that were in jeopardy of missing their classes.

In the process of trying to engineer getting everything done, my daughter and I ended up butting heads. I was looking for particular hands to help and they had gone for coffee. The day before getting coffee had taken these same people an hour and forty-five minutes. I didn't want to count on their return to get the help I needed. My daughter on the other hand thought it wouldn't be a problem. Me not being willing to trust that seemed unreasonable to her and the next thing you know she was yelling at me like I was one of her children. I'm sure you can imagine that didn't set well with me.

Conflict is one of those things that I avoid. I hate it. Having things escalate as they had only added to the tensions for me. I already have enough unfinished business between my daughter and me. I sure didn't need anymore piling up. It was looking more and more like home was where I really wanted to be.

We did manage to get both Louie and Dandy into the ring. Nana hadn't gotten a lesson on Dandy before she had to show her first class and it was an equitation class, not her strongest suit. Despite that she did manage to earn the points she needed to show in the regional championship class.

Louie was not show clipped but he did get his muzzle and bridle path done. Richard also managed to get the feathers from off his fetlocks while Rachel did a quicky job on his ears. Poor Louie, I still can't believe all the things we threw at that poor horse.

Louie trotted into the ring like a star. He did have a few issues being unsteady in the bridle. But considering his lack of schooling in the arena before the session, it made sense he might be concerned about some things out there.

I think that Cody was rattled by all the stress getting he and the horse ready as well. It was not his best job of riding the horse either. I'm sure the kid's stress filtered down to the horse. Louie didn't earn the points he needed to qualify for the regional championships but he looked amazing for a horse with so little actual ride time.

The interesting thing about this class was the reaction of the people on the rail. It didn't take long before they were talking about the bay horse with less than ninety days under saddle. Richard was pummeled with questions and handed out a fistful of business cards. Louie may not have earned enough points to show another class but we had three parties interested in making appointments to come to the barn to visit. The question was would any of those actually happen.

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

Pre-Show Day Two cont.

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  1. Yeah for Louie...but more, please, about the red horse?

    Are you showing this weekend? You should come to Arlington!

  2. I missed something. Who's Cody? You're not riding Louie, MiKael?

  3. Very impressive.

    I'm with Tracey, more information about this red stallion and the outcome would be appreciated.

  4. Which horse on your web site is Louie?

  5. I don't have kids and don't show horses (any more) but I hope relationship with your daughter survives.