Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Region 4 Championships......Pre-Show Select Rider The Aftermath Part 2

Making my way back to the stall, my mind raced with the possibilities. Could it really be this red stallion was after my horse? It just didn't make sense to me. I'd never heard of such a thing at a horse show before. It was going to take more information for me to figure this out and what I should do.

At the same time I had horses to show. Remember four of them had come with me to Salem for this horse show. Dandy and Louie both had classes in the morning session and there was still lots to do to get them ready. There was also Rhet's handler to track down so schooling for the colt's class later in the week could begin.

As I tried to keep focused on the tasks at hand I also found myself searching for information trying to make sense of this situation with the red horse. Each person I came across who had witnessed anything to do with the red stallion I asked questions, lots of questions. Slowly a picture began to emerge of a rider unaware and a horse with an agenda.

Included in these witnesses was Jay Goss, the show photographer. It was actually when talking to him that things finally began to make sense. I told him about the previous incidents. He's the one that put them together. It looked to Jay like this red stallion was carrying a grudge against my horse. For the first time, it made sense. Something about the instinct of horses that explained this whole thing.

Unfortunately such behavior in stallions is not fleeting. Once a stallion decides another stallion is his enemy, that will never change. Any time the horses are in close proximity the stallion will be driven by his agenda. In the wild such a stallion would drive the other stallion off or kill him. The question was how would this behavior exhibit itself in the show ring. The only thing that was certain, things were escalating. I needed to do something to be sure my horse and I were protected in the ring.

On the same trip up to the arena where I'd spoken to Jay Goss, I also finally picked up a show program. Rhet's breeder had been bugging e about the number of horses entered in his class. Imagine my surprise when I found my handler, Terry Holmes, was listed showing two colts in that class.

My focus immediately changed to this new problem. I knew looking at the name of the other owner that I was going to be the one without a handler. They were long time clients and there was no way an unknown breeder like me was going to get the priority. I sure didn't have the money to get involved in some kind of bidding war for services even if it should come to that.

I'd tried calling the handler earlier in the week. He had not returned my calls. Now I was thinking I knew why. Instead of trying to call him again, I had Richard make the call.

Richard made two calls before he ever got a response. The first one he just left his name and number telling him he was calling for a client. In the second message he used Angie's name as well. Terry Holmes called back almost immediately after that one. Angie's name carries weight in lots of circles and Mr Holmes had been the one to show Midnite Eclipse to his wins in the open division.

Unfortunately, my assumptions were true. Terry Holmes was not going to lead my colt in the colt's class. Not only that he had no memory of ever talking to me. I guess next time I hear sounds like a bar in the background, I'll pay closer attention. Whatever the reason for his lapse in memory, I now found myself without a handler for Rhet's class.

The way things were shaping up, I was thinking about going home. I sure didn't want to be riding in a class to have my stallion attacked by another stallion. Nor did I want to be leading a colt like Rhet into a class where whose on the end of the lead can affect the outcome. It was looking to me like this regional championship wasn't meant for me..........

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

Pre-Show Day Two

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  1. wow, this doesn't look good. I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.
    I can see why you felt like going home, I hope you didn't, I hope you came up with some plan or resolution to manage both situations!

  2. A couple posts ago you were adamant that a good horse/ride could overcome any perceived politics in the ring, but you have been equally adamant over several posts that the "right" handler was required for halter, which seems like a pretty open admission that politics play a role in the halter ring.

    I guess I'm just trying to understand why, if you'd consider taking Rhet home for lack of the "right" handler, it would be such a stretch for riders in other classes to think their lack of political connections could affect their placings.

    I agree with what you said in the politics post generally -- that you can't just blame politics, and you have to make sure you are considering everything you could do/should to to improve. I just don't understand why riders discussing the role of politics in a riding class is any better/worse than considering the role of politics in a halter class.

  3. That red stallion, wants to kick your stallions butt! The only way I can think would fix this, is if your stallion kicked the red stallions butt! Or make it worse, since this red stallion seems so intent on kicking your your stallions butt, and assaulting your stallion. Do let us know if this ever gets resolved!

  4. Jeanette, it was definitely a hard place to be. Shows are stressful enough without all of this weird stuff going on.

    Halt Near X, I guess I wasn't clear in my post about pet peeves. It's not that I think politics is never involved, it's that some people use politics as an excuse when they're really not getting the job done with their horse.

    I do believe that politics can affect the outcome in classes. But I also see trainers not getting the job done justifying not winning to their clients with the politics argument. Also I see rides that are OK but not great with riders claiming that politics is why they did not win when the ride was just not competitive with others in the class.

    My point was blaming the industry for one's own shortcomings doesn't help anyone.......not the people involved or the industry.

    Anonymous, you're right. The red stallion does want to kick Legs's butt.

  5. MiKael, I think we probably agree generally on that then. Must have been something in the way I was reading the posts that made me think there were two different tracks going on.

  6. Poor Legs! That red stallion wants to kick Legs butt! If I could say anything to the red stallion, it would be: Legs's butt is not for the kicking! No matter how much you think Legs is your enemy!...

    Richard definitely spotted it, and you responded well and fast, otherwise there would of been a nasty mess between the two. The red stallion obviously seems to make others nervous, and causes your horse to be "on the muscle" as you say. I wouldn't be surprised if horses communicated to each other in a way we cant hear, like infra sound, the way mice and elephants do. I'd never think horses could communicate through infra sound before, but just the way it seems that the other horses seem to just know the red horse is trouble, makes me believe they communicate in more ways than we know. Of course we know they communicate vocally, physically, body language, and all that, but who knows. If mice and elephants can communicate through infra sound, why not horses? lol.

  7. Holy crap MiKael, I am SO glad RIchard spotted that horse stalking yours. Lord only knows what might have happened had he not called out!!!

    I only hope that the rest of the show smoothed out for you guys!!!