The Adventure Begins
I didn't get much time to digest the enormity of the issues facing Gypcy and Rhet before it was time for the dinner break. I found myself hustling to get the Legs saddled and back to the ring in time to have a reasonable schooling session.
The trip up to the ring seemed to go just the same. The horse jumped out of his skin at every little thing. Legs was convinced it was not safe to be in that aisle way between the Ford Truck Arena and the Mustang Arena. Yet that was the only way to get where we needed to go. By the time I'd got him to the warm-up where I could mount, the horse already had sweat beaded up on his neck from the stress.
Once again I rode a tense horse into the Ford Truck Arena. I could feel the bow in his back and see his darting eyes. The horse was looking for something to get him but still trying to do what I asked.
It's not like these rides at Tulsa were like those I'd had at home. I was still trying to ride the horse I had instead of the one I'd hoped to have. Getting a relaxed horse was not going to happen in the time I had to school. Instead I was working toward responsive and not on the muscle. As long as I had those two things, I was calling it good.
Fortunately no big bad things happened to re-enforce the horse's fear. I'm not going to tell you the horse ever relaxed because he never did. That bow was still in his back when we departed the arena. We did, however, manage to school without major incident.
There's one advantage to riding a horse with a big bow in its back.......at least that back is round. Legs was also working hard to tuck his butt for protect from those invisible trolls .......another good thing for schooling. While it would have been ideal to have relaxation happening along with that kind of collection, at least my horse was round........and boy do I mean r o u n d.
Once out of the arena, I dismounted, pulled off the aperture, removed the bridle and covered the horse with a cooler. Legs was fine just standing for me although I could see he was still vigilant. The minute we stepped out into that aisle, everything changed. The horse was practically twitching as we moved down the aisle. In three schooling session there had been absolutely no improvement in his behavior.
By the time we reached the end of that aisle, both the horse and I were sweaty. As cold as that Tulsa wind was I ended up in my shirt sleeves. I was beginning to hate that walk as much as poor Legs. I was going to have to do something to improve this situation.
I thought about the difference between my horse in the aperture and walking him down that aisle way in a halter. I wonder if maybe I could get the aperture to work for me. The next day I was going to leave it in place and walked him down the aisle to see what I had.
I can tell you honestly, with three schooling sessions in the same day, I was beginning to drag.........and this was just day one. I decided Legs had improved enough it might be ok to skip another schooling session that night after evening classes ended.
I hoped when I resumed schooling the next day I wasn't going to pay a price for this decision. There was just no way to tell if I really was making lasting progress or not yet I didn't want to spend so much time schooling this horse that I had no horse left when it was time to show. For now I was going to take my chances and give us both a break.
By this first day of classes, I had finally moved my trailer down into the assigned parking lot. The show commission had personnel on a golf cart waiting at the gate to show people where to park.
At this late date I was surprised to have them escort me down the second aisle. I was praying for a spot not underneath one of those big lights and believe it or not, that's exactly what I got.
It was amazing looking around at this sea of horse trailers. They came in all shapes and sizes...but most of them were much newer than mine......and most of them were white. Yet, there sitting right on the same aisle was a trailer I knew must have a story. Oh how I wish I knew what it was............
I never did find who belonged to that trailer.........or you can bet I'd be telling you that story. You're going to have to settle for this picture and your imagination to fill in the blanks................ For me it sparks a smile and a determination I can relate to............
To be continued..............
The Show Goes On
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