Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Region 4 Championships......The Talk

During one of our trips up to the arena for classes, I spotted the rider of the red stallion coming in my direction. The class was just getting over so I didn't have that for an excuse. I'd play this up coming conversation over in my head about as many times as was useful. There really wasn't any reason to put it off other than my own uncomfortableness so I decided to bite the bullet.

I told the others in my barn where I was going before I left the group. Then I took a deep breath and headed toward the woman now leaning against the railing of the upper teir of seats. From the way my heart was pounding you'd have thought I was confronting some big bad dude instead of the small elderly woman now standing in front of me.

She looked up as I approached. I asked her if we could talk for a moment and she responded "Sure." I could see the curious look on her face but there was no discomfort there.....more signs I suppose she had no clue why I would want to speak with her.

I began, "Ever since the AHACO show where your stallion ran into mine" and she quickly cut me off informing me "Oh no, my horse has NEVER run into any horse in the ring." My mind quickly raced, how could she not know she'd hit my horse. And yet, I had been prepared for this to happen. I quickly shifted gears and proceeded.

" You are riding the chestnut stallion, horse number XXX, is that correct?" to which she answered, "Yes."

"Well, there is an obvious problem between you stallion and mine. Every time your horse comes near my horse, he puffs up and gets stronger. My horse reacts as well getting nervous and speeding up.

Over the last several classes things have been escalating. Observers on the rail have noted your horse has actually moved towards my horse as if reaching for him and he has begun to speak. Because of this behavior I am really worried about our safety, yours and mine and those of others in the ring. The last thing we need is something bad happening during a class.

I have been trying to keep my distance from you and your horse. However, since you have not been aware of the problem between the two horses, my efforts have not been all that successful. I was really hoping that you could watch out for me like I have been watching out for you. If the two of us can keep our horses at opposite ends of the arena, maybe we will be able to both have better rides."

In the course of this conversation, I also mentioned I thought it was two regional classes we would be riding in together. It was then she told me that she was only riding in one. That would be the amateur owner to ride class, the one most important to me.

When I finished my request, the woman responded, "I can do that." Then she proceeded to tell me how she'd been training horses for forty years. I didn't want to get into that discussion for fear of alienating her so I just nodded my head and responded, "I'm glad we had this talk." and I walked away hoping it would make some kind of difference.

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

Select Rider

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  1. Well, actually, I think that was a very good way of putting it to her without making it an attack. Hopefully she'll respond the way you like to see it,time will tell.Good luck!

  2. Well, that is even more curious (and uncomfortable)...I REALLY am wanting to hear more now!!!
    It is good you spoke to her, I always like it better knowing rather than second guessing the intentions of others.

  3. Wow! I like the way you handled that. I'm afraid I wouldn't have been able to contain myself. You invest too much time, money, and energy into showing to have someone come along who repeatedly screws everything up for you.