Sunday, May 2, 2010

Daffodil................The Second Day

Part 1

Sometime during the first day at the Daffodil All Arabian Horse Spring Show I realized there was a select rider class that I hadn't entered even though I was eligible for it. Since I was trying to garner qualification points I figured I should be getting them where I could.
The select rider division is an easier place for Legs and I to be successful at this point. That meant it was a mistake to not participate in this class.

I am not one of those people that rides all kinds of classes at the horse show. I learned from my first show horse that over tiring a horse does not make for a happy show horse. I try to keep my schedule within the lines of the conditioning I have done. Pretty much the only exception I make in that thinking is when I have real issues with schooling. Then and only then do I push that envelope to ride a very tired horse.

Now, looking at the addition of the select rider class I had missed, I struggled with what was the right decision for my horse. Because the prize list stated classes must be added before the start of the session in which they are to be ridden, I had to post during the morning session if I wanted to add the afternoon class I'd overlooked. I didn't have the option of waiting to see how my horse was doing first which sure would have made my decision much easier.

My horse was already entered in two classes for Saturday. Just like the day before one was in the afternoon, the other at night. If I added the additional select rider class, Legs would have a total of six rides at this show with three on one day. Was that too much? Or was it what the horse needed to deal with this troll thing?

Up until now the troll issue at this show really was minor. It was clear my horse was seeking them but he hadn't done anything as drastic as last year's show season. Still putting these trolls to bed is a big issue in the overall scheme of getting this horse finished. My gut told me I should enter the class even if my head said three classes in one day was too much. I listened to my gut and post entered the class.

The break between the morning and afternoon session was short, just like the day before. I tacked up my horse with the show pad to cut down on some of the getting ready "nerves" for me before my next class and headed up to ride.

The weather or Saturday was cold and windy. Then there were the torrential rains that came and went with little warning. It felt more like winter than spring. Lots of horses were not liking the far end of the arena on this afternoon. There seemed to be a lot of tension in the air.

My horse wigged out a couple of times down at the far end. By the time they kicked us out of the arena to prep it for the afternoon session, I still hadn't gotten a sigh or any other noticeable sign of relaxation. However, my horse had definitely become more responsive than the previous day. All in all I felt like we were on the right track even with the horse carrying that extra tension.

Schooling in the warm-up before my first class was a mixed bag. There were really got parts and some bad parts too. My horse jumped out of the bridle at least a couple of times but then he went to softer than he'd been the whole show. As the paddock announcer notified us the class in the ring had lined up, I headed on down the ramp towards the arena. Whatever I had wasn't going to be any better staying in that warm-up, of that I was sure.

As I moved down the ramp, the wind began to blow and the sky darkened. I pushed my horse on under the cover at the end of the ring to remove my barn coat. No sooner had we crossed under the roof line of the arena, the heavens opened up and the rain riveted. The view of riders still in the warm-up was blurred by the sheets of rain. I looked around me to see if there was a way I could get in position to enter the ring without going back out into the rain. I could only imagine what all that water would do to my very expensive Stetson.

I voiced my concerns to a friend on the sidelines who laughed at my concern for my hat. Her exact words "oh, you're worried about a several hundred dollar hat but have no concern for you horse worth thousands." While I understood the humor in her point, I reminded her my horse wouldn't shrink because of water while my hat most certainly would.

I learned a long time ago that a good hat can affect a rider's confidence. It had taken me a long time to get this particular hat. While I love my black Stetson, there's something about this silver belly one that speaks to me. It came into my life unexpectedly like it was meant to be. Every time the Hat Lady reshapes it and remarks about what a nice hat it is, I feel like I've accomplished something. Getting a hat better than she can provide is a coup of sorts. The lady knows her hats!

My Stetson is like an old friend. Once I put that hat on my head, I am ready to take on the world. I know I couldn't possibly replace it and I would feel lost without it. It's a basic survival instinct to protect that Stetson. I'm sure many a cowboy on the trail felt the same way about his hat although I suspect the hat loosing it's shape due to rain was probably not a big concern. Anytime rain threatens at a horse show, that hat is the FIRST thing I think about.

I don't know if Mother Nature took pity on me or what but at that moment, the rains stopped AND the paddock announcer called my class into the ring. I had plenty of time to get my horse into the correct position to enter first while the other horses peeked out from under the safety of the warm up ring cover and made their way towards the arena.

I stopped my horse on the ramp just long enough to ask him to round up into the bridle. I took a deep hold of him and pushed him up into his face as he stepped off into the jog. Then I gave him a big release and adjusted my romel reins to the knot I use as reference for rein length. We jogged confidently into the arena making our way past the call judge working our way to that invisible spot on the rail.

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

The Western Pleasure AAOTR 55 and over

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  1. You are right, you just can't replace a good hat!

  2. I'd be freaked out about the hat, too!

  3. Why do I think you blew this class away also? I think Legs is growing up!

  4. In Texas, you don't even think about touching another persons' hat! I so get that!