Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daffodil..............The Show........

Part 1

The next morning I was up at 6 and headed off to the fairgrounds in Puyallup to feed my horse and to finish moving in all the stuff I forgot. My first class was that afternoon and I wanted to be completely settled before I moved on to getting ready to show.

I was still hoping to get Legs' white socks rewashed so I could fix the clipper tracks on those socks and I needed his hooves cleaned up more before I even attempted any sanding. Of course there would need to be drying time before the clipped and sanding could be done but I figured arriving that early it should all fit.

The best laid plans of mice and men never do seem to go exactly as planned........at least for me anyways. I should have known that before I left any kind of washing to the morning "of" instead of getting it done before coming to the show Somehow every time I've planned on finishing up my basic show grooming (bathing and clipping) at the show it's just never worked out for me although I see others doing it all the time. This time was no exception.

Although the show schedule was set-up with three sessions on Friday, the only session with a start time was the morning session beginning at 8 am. After that the times of the breaks were to be announced.

While I'm used to this with the afternoon session, I hadn't ever noticed it had been set up for the evening session as well. The end result for me was a tight day.

As quickly as the first classes were running, I could tell from years of working on horse shows this session was going to end early. However, I didn't know if show management would give us a long break and start up at 1 or give us just a short break to see if they could get the day to "end" early.

I began to worry my horse's white markings would not be thoroughly dry when I needed to school him at the break. Having wet socks would result in mini mud pies instead of gleaming white markings. Not really the best look for the show ring.

Even though Legs' socks were a bit on the sticky side, that was still better than the muddy brown look too damp socks would provide so washing socks and hooves would have to wait. Since I hadn't schooled the horse in that arena the day before trying to let his chiropractor treatment "stick" for a day, skipping this schooling session wasn't a good idea unless I wanted a repeat performance of the first class of the previous year.

The whole idea of riding at this show was about getting some clean rides under our belt instead of racking up more scary ones. Schooling at the break prior to the class is the best way I know to "help" my horse be ready for whatever awaits him in the show pen and hopefully accomplish the clean ride goal. For now Legs' appointment with the wash rack would have to be postponed.

It was a good thing I opted to fore go washing socks to ride. When an announcement was finally made show management decided to only take a forty-five minute break before starting up the afternoon session. Before the morning session ended I have enough time to get my horse saddled and get us up to the ring.

The horse went through the gate already tense. He seemed to remember his last visits to this pen at the Daffodil All Arabian Horse Spring Show last year. Legs was searching for those trolls he knew lived somewhere in this arena. I worked at moving him laterally off my legs to get his mind back onto me.

It wasn't a bad ride.........but it wasn't a good ride either. The horse seemed to be locked up at the poll and a bit faster than usual at all gaits. I worked at getting him to relax using that lateral movement but it didn't seem to stick. A few strides and something else would cause the horse to stiffen up waiting for whatever "it" was to get him.

The far end of the arena is the worst for ALL horses in that ring, not just mine. The horses lunging on the outside of that far wall makes for "strange noises" depending on if those horses get spooked by something outside or if they're just plain hot at getting loose on the end of the line.

If you could just explain to the horse those noises are nothing but other horses, life would sure be easier but since that's not the way it works, Legs and I spent lots of time loping around in a circle as close to that wall as we could get.

Some passes were good......some not so good, depending on what those horses outside were contributing to the mix. I was wishing I had a couple of hours to spend working on this issue instead of just thirty or so minutes but my class was not far into the afternoon line-up, I was going to have to settle for what I had.

Heading back to the stalls, I heard the announcements of cancelled classes. There were only a couple but they were ahead of mine. That left me even less time to get ready than I'd planned. I was glad I'd had the foresight to saddle my horse using my show pad. All I needed to do to get him ready was to touch up with a brush and apply goop to his face. Then I could focus on getting myself dressed.

Back at the stalls, it seemed like I did nothing but rush. By the time I had myself dressed it was time to head up to the warm-up arena to school my horse before the class. I was half way down the barn aisle when I realized I'd left off something important............my cowboy hat was still back in its hat box instead of perched on my head where it belonged.

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

This picture is Legs

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  1. See this is why I am nervous , you do this all the time and it can get you rattled and forgetful ! I am rattled just at the prospect!

  2. That arena is pretty scary. We had a client in a class, when the wind blew the "tarps" on that one end of the arena, her horse spooked. But she handled it pretty well. Also while I was out longing a horse, those gates just blew open during a class. Thankfully there wasn't a horse right there. That wouldn't have been good!
    Can't wait to hear how your class went!

  3. mikael, can you comment on the arabian shoeing rules that fugly brought up on her april 26 post?

    i was shocked to see the feet on the horses at scottsdale, even some of the halter horses had very long feet. people say there is a 4.5 inch rule - but is it enforced? it horrifies me that we are enhancing arabians' gaits in ways that will destroy their longterm soundness. god gave them naturally floating gaits, and it seems that it's not good enough for some people.


  4. fernvalley, I'm not sure if you mean me forgetting my hat or leaving you hanging. LOL

    Paint Girl, were you at the show this weekend? Those tarps are definitely an issue, that and the people who walk right behind them that the horses can't see but they hear them. That gate blowing open is a scary thing too. Saw that happen myself.

    lytha, I haven't read the fugly post. Will have to look it up.
    As for the shoeing regulations, they have just been recently changed. The 4.5 inch rule is the old one. Not sure about the new length because I don't push the limits on those things.

    I do know that the change was made because of half Arabians being bigger horses and sometimes the "experts" thought that 4.5 was not enough foot for those bigger horses. While that may be the case, there are those who will push the limits just because they can whether it's good for their horses or not.

    I'm not sure there really is a "good" answer to this issue. It does make sense to me that foot length should correlate to the size of the horse. How they would determine and enforce that I don't know.