Thursday, September 3, 2009

Region 5 Championships.......Schooling

Part 1

Of course, the Arabian colt just couldn't walk out of the stall like a perfect gentleman. No, our Rhet had to come bolting out of the stall like a mountain lion was after him. I don't know if it was pent up energy from being coped up or if the horse was still suffering anxiety over his move.

I was glad that Jesse Saldana was standing over by the practice arena instead of up near the portable barn. Rhet probably would have flattened him otherwise. Rhet did gain his composure once he was outside and away from the barn. He was no longer pushing past me anyways.

Jesse asked me to stand the horse up to show him what he knew. While I might do ok teaching a horse how to stand up, I still feel out of my element when asked to show what my horse knows. I just don't get the same thing in front of a trainer I can get at home and this time wasn't any different.

Rhet did stand up but his was light on one hind and not really paying attention. He was quiet and not really the pistol we all know him to be. My attitude about it pretty much is "that's why I hired a trainer" so I pretty much let Rhet be.......and just looked at Jesse like "well, this is it!"

I probably should have my hand slapped for doing this. I'm sure it doesn't help my horse in his learning process but I just feel like I'm the "basics" guy and the trainer is the "finish" person. Guess I need to get over it if I ever plan to show this horse myself.

Jesse looked at my weak impersonation of a halter handler without readable expression but I'm sure his wheels were turning. He probably wondered how this colt could be the same horse he'd seen shown at Region 4.

Before I handed Rhet over to Jesse I reminded him of Rhet's issues in the ring. That floating away from the judges was the biggest issue. Then there was no trotting when asked. Both things would be easily dealt with by Jesse I figured.

When Jesse took the lead, Rhet immediately transformed from the disinterested colt to a horse with a big attitude. It was clear from the start that Rhet's opinion of Jesse wasn't much..........the look in his eye was "Who in the heck do you think you are?"

Jesse knew immediately what that look meant. He made short order of letting Rhet know just WHO he was. I thought a couple of times that Rhet was going to strike at Jesse but the handler saw it too so he diverted the colt's attention to block it.

It didn't take long before Rhet had it figured out that Jesse had his number. The colt was still trying to escape through his right shoulder but it was getting better with each request.

Jesse worked at raising the colt up and then getting him to relax his throat. The closer Rhet got to giving more than he was used to, the more he worked at escaping to the right.

It was interesting to watch the corrections. Jesse slapped at his shoulder with the halter whip but never really quite touched him. The thing just snapped in the air in the vicinity and Rhet bounced off the other way. Quicker than the horse could escape to the left, Jesse corrected that side too. Me, I was still thinking about what to do for the first correction when the whole thing was over. It was a learning process for both Rhet and me.

Jesse didn't work with Rhet for long........but then neither did Cheryl Fletcher......or me for that matter. Short, sweet and to the point then we put the colt away. There would be more schooling tomorrow.

Rhet went back in his stall with a quizzical look on his face. He was still trying to figure out who Jesse was and what he was really up to but his focus quickly changed when I tried to take the schooling halter off.

Now you'd think as much as that colt hates having that schooling halter on, that he'd be glad to get the thing off. However, all Rhet can think about is anything or anyone anywhere near his poll. I had to put the stable halter around his neck to even begin to take the schooling halter off.

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

A Little Waiting....A Little Schooling

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  1. I enjoy hearing how it went...can't wait to hear more

  2. Thanks for the details. I always learn something reading your posts.

    I hope he showed well!