Sunday, September 6, 2009

Region 5 Championships.......a Little Waiting, a Little Schooling

Part 1

The next day Richard was supposed to arrive around noon. But noon came and went before I ever heard from Richard. When I did it was a brief text telling me he'd see me at about noon the following day.

By this time I was beginning to get worried. Getting everything done with my Arabian yearling colt at the Region 4 All Arabian Horse Championships had taken at least two people and I'd accomplished things over a couple of days. Not throwing too much at the colt at one time had helped keep him from getting anymore stressed than he already was. . I expected I would also need that kind of help here and I had hoped to do it in the same manner........spreading things out over a couple of days.

Also I had some logistical issues that were different here. What lighting there was in the portable barn was compromised by the glaring sun. Finding the "right" spot to clip so I could see what I was doing was next to impossible. Then I wouldn't be able to sand feet or polish them in front of my stall like I'd done in Salem. There the area was paved with asphalt. While in Monroe, the portable barn was set up on sand. Finding a safe place to do Rhet's feet was going to take some searching. Having to do those feet by myself probably next to impossible.

Granted these issues would have been less had I purchased a stall for grooming. Then I wasn't really sure what to expect of Rhet in cross ties at a horse show anyway. The colt can be so off the wall about new surroundings. I would have hated to spend that cash and not been able to make use of the stall for grooming because my colt was bouncing off the walls.So at $135 for a tack stall I just hadn't felt I could handle that added expense for a single horse in a single class.

Being a long term planner having these kinds of issues at the actual horse show really stresses me. I like things in neat little packages. I do ok with the usual little surprises of life throws my way but when the important things I thought I had covered come unraveled, I've been known to unravel right along with them.

The last thing I needed was to have Rhet pinging anymore than normal because of me so I was trying to spend my time "winding down" in hopes I'd roll a little better with the flow. For me that meant a lot of time watching classes. Nothing does my heart better than horses........

Jesse called me again when he was ready to school Rhet. I went through the same process getting to the stall ahead of him and haltering the colt as I had the day before. I hoped by the second day that Rhet would be better, but then I knew he had actually been worse that second day I got him ready for Cheryl so I expected the same on this day.

I went into the stall with everything I needed in my hands. I stored the halters in Rhet's grain bucket as I turned around to lock the stall door. The colt was already flying to the back corner to escape me before I'd even made my deposit in the bucket. By the time I'd retrieved the stable halter to catch the colt, he had turned to face me and was blowing like he'd seen a snake.......or worse.

I looked at the colt standing erect with his eyes bulging out of his head and had to laugh. Now have I mentioned that Rhet doesn't really take to laughing? It hasn't taken him long around me to figure out if I laugh......he's probably doing something really now the sound of my laugh caused Rhet to question his fear.

It wasn't a big question.......but a question none the less. He came down just enough for his eyes to stop bulging and the snorting to stop. As I approached him with the halter he raised up a notch again but didn't spin around to try to escape. Instead he tried getting up on his tip toes as high as possible hoping he could deter me from getting the halter on. It's a good thing I'm tall and my arms are long. I was able to keep up with him to get the halter in place. Once I'd flipped the crown piece over his poll and it was clear to the colt I "had" him, he sighed and relaxed.

That didn't last long, however. As I took him to the bucket to grab the schooling halter his alarm bells went off again. Rhet forgot I already had him and tried to flee. This time he hit the end of the lead and it startled him. The colt almost flipped over.......and I swear it was more of a reaction that to anything I did. I was just standing there watching to see what he'd do next.

The way the colt threw himself, I had to take the lead to catch him so he really wouldn't fall. At first he fought against the pressure until he realized a fall was coming, then he braced against get his feet back underneath. I was relieved to see some sense from the colt.......and more relieved that he hadn't fallen in that awkward way he seemed to be going down. Now if I could just get the schooling halter on before anything else happened.

As I turned the colt around it was clear he was a little rattled by his near fall. I took advantage of this lapse to get the schooling halter threaded onto my left arm and to grab his nose. Before Rhet knew what hit him I had the crown of the schooling halter over his poll. Moving it up into the correct position from caused him to start but only briefly. Once I took my hand away the colt settled again.

We exited the stall just as Jesse Saldana was walking up. Rhet looked at Jesse approaching. Then he glanced at me. I swear the look on his face read, "NOT this guy again! What's he going to want today?"

I think Jesse saw the look too. He chuckled just a little as he took the lead. Then he walked Rhet over to the middle of the open space and began working on Rhet "holding" his position.

It was clear from the beginning of the session that Rhet's impression of Jesse had changed. On this day the colt knew that Jesse was in charge. He was doing what he could to give Jesse what he asked. He was confused part of the time about Jesse's requests, but he was trying. There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Rhet was applying himself.

The colt still favored dropping out to the right when he felt pressured. However, he was beginning to grasp the correction. When Jesse moved the whip towards the right, the colt's drifting would stop.

Rhet was also beginning to get the idea of releasing at the throat. I was beginning to see the kind of length from that neck that I see sometimes at home. Jesse and Rhet were going to make a good team.

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

A Little Discomfort

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by the number of votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. I so love all your details! Very informative posts.

  2. I love seeing the thoughts run over the horse's face. I've had horses that hate being laughed at too...they seem to try all the harder to regain their dignity.
    I can't wait to hear how it went...sounds like Rhet has someone who will get the best from him! YEAH!!!