Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Daffodil................Western Pleasure AATR 55 & over

Part 1

Right from the start this was a good ride........no.......it was a really good ride. It was probably the best ride I have had on my horse during a class at a horse show. My horse was soft and responsive even though he could have been a tad bit rounder. He was rolled over into the bridle without that tiny brace at the poll I'd gotten on my earlier rides. Still I watched how I navigated the horse through the far end of the arena. There was no sense in pushing my luck.

There were six horses in this class according to my results sheet but it seemed like more. It took a while for the other horses to come in behind me and for the gate to close. I took advantage of that situation to acclimate my horse to the far end of the arena. Instead of going down the far rail, I cut short across by the gazebo and circled at that end. My horse stayed relaxed and worked well off my legs in the process.

I timed it just right. We came out of that circle and made our way down the far rail just as the gate closed. There was plenty of room in front of me and plenty behind me. I could show my horse without worrying about the other horses.

Coming out of the last corner at the gate end, the announcer called for the lope. I had cut the corner enough I could push my horse laterally into the corner before asking for the change of gait. It was the perfect way to get a round smooth transition from my horse. Legs glided into the lope like I had him supported when in fact he was on a loose rein. I couldn't have been more pleased.

The horse loped slow and easy down the wall. He was heading deeper into the corner than I wanted so I bumped him with my spur to remind him I'd asked him to make the turn. Legs reluctantly responded still looking at something on the rail but I didn't have to shorten my reins or do anymore bumping with the spur to get it done. We turned behind the second judge and made our way over to the far rail.

Again I used the open space to move the horse laterally off my leg. Legs moved off it and rounded up without me having to pick up on his face. Still I would have wished for a bit more. The horse could have hooked his neck over just a tad and it would have been perfect.

Our transition down was as good as the one up had been. Legs glided into it just like Dandy would have done. Dandy has long been the measure for all transitions for me. It was good to see that Legs was reaching that goal. I was feeling good about this ride.

When it was time to change direction, my horse was off the rail but there was another horse in close proximity. I decided to fore go my usual turn into the wall and go for the easier inside turn. Since I was moving in that direction I decided to cross the arena to complete my turn instead of making a simple loop on the rail.

This put our path right in front of the call judge. I've learned when my horse is doing his best, it's best to be sure the judge is seeing that. This move across the center of the arena was for that purpose. It showed confidence in my ride and my horse.

I noticed the judge smile as we went by. I was pretty sure the judge was seeing the same ride I was feeling. He gave us the time to make the turn down the rail before he called for the lope. I felt in control of this arena and like we were really competitive in this division for the first time.

Again I had all kinds of room for my transition. Being off the wall, I could push Legs towards it before asking him to depart. The wall gave me a barrier so the horse didn't drop his shoulder while making that deep lateral move underneath himself. It was another flawless transition.

This second way of the arena IS the horse's good way. Because the horse's pelvis was rotated three inches down to the right in that accident as a foal, this direction is much easier for him. I knew since the lope to the left had been so good, I could count on this lope being even better. I wanted to maximize our final impression to the judges.

Once into lope, I turned my horse across the center of the arena. I wanted to lope right past the other judge. I had enough room to keep me away from the rail that Legs was afraid of and still leave me room for the lateral movement to keep him round while "showing off" this smooth stride. The best part of all, the horse was responding to squeezes of my rein hand and my leg to round up. There was little movement in my reins.

I did have to remind the horse a couple of times to stay slow. I could feel him building beneath me. "Easy" rolled off my lips and the horse responded as I requested. This was beginning to look like a dream ride or at least the beginning stages of one. I still had things I wanted but all the building blocks now seemed to be in place.

I must admit that having a good ride on Legs scares me just a bit. I found myself waiting for the other shoe to fall. It was not tension in my body or anything like that....... just a brief thought every now and then that crossed my mind. Holding it together, getting through the message telegraphed from my brain. Unfortunately before the end of the class that shoe DID fall.

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

The Wreck

The pic is from the archives. Unfortunately I have no pics from this class.

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  1. Sounds loike a brilliant ride so far , hope the other shoe dropping was not a biggie

  2. Bummer! Did the judge see it?

  3. Did ya fall on your head?! PLease say no. What in the world could have gone wrong? I was right there w you.
    RR, I hope it wasn't a big shoe that dropped.
    Hurry and let us know!

  4. Sounds like Legs did so good for you in the class, now I want to know what happened!
    I wish I could have seen you show. I only got to see a couple of the western classes. We only had one western horse at the show, the rest were all halter, english and hunters. What other shows are you going to this year?

  5. You are great at leaving us hanging!! I like being able to read your older posts, because then when you leave us hanging I can just click on the next one and read it straight away, but when I'm reading the current ones I can't do that, its so frustrating (in a fun way) and I just can't wait for the next day so I can catch up on the rest of this class and what the "shoe" is that happens!!

    Thank you so much on posting about your horse filled life, I enjoy reading about reality rather than what is printed in books, because in the end they always have a happy perfect, unreal, ending, but with reading your posts you are showing that you just have to keep at it and keep trying, and in the end things get better and better, and I know that eventually things will go perfectly for you and Legs in these classes, and eventually you probably will have that happy perfect ending, but at least you are telling us all about what hard work it is to get there! Thank you for your reality, it inspires me to keep going at my daily life as well, and to never give up.

    I have really found it inspiring to read about what happened with your daughter Lindsay. My son Matthew was diagnosed with a brain tumor 17 months ago, luckly his was not cancerous, but it was huge, half again bigger than a golf ball, right in the centre of the brain. It has damaged his hypothalamus and pituitary gland so even though he does not have cancer there has been a lot of damage from the tumor. When I read about what happened with Lindsay, I am thankful that things have turned out so well for her, and it helps me to look ahead for Matthew. It amazed me when I read how old Lindsay was when diagnosed. Matthew was around the same age, he was 10 1/2 years old. So I just want to say that even though that may have been such a hard thing to blog about, there is a good side to it, you are helping me get throught our hard times, you inspire me to keep my chin up, and you give me great comfort in letting me have some sort of contact with Arabian horses! Even as a little girl I dreamed of having an Arabian horse. As a child I thought that Arabians were a species of horse all their own, and all the other breeds of horses were the horses taht everyone spoke about, but when they were talking about my special horse (the Arabian) then it waasn't just a horse, it was the Arabian Horse!! lol, isn't it amazing how our minds make things up as children!

    You don't have to post this on your blog, but I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you, just for being you. Thank you MiKael!

    Karren from Australia

  6. Well the ride sounds good so far, hope nothing drastic happened to mar this great performance.

  7. showing should be something to enjoy (it's so expensive). i'm so glad you do.

    legs looks awesome in this pic. he also looks very big - is he 16 hands?

    how are solidare and son? are they out yet?

    i just realized solidare and scandalous share dare as granddam.

    next time i'm home, i would love to meet you and your horses. i am not sure when that will be. i have family in graham, and baasha lived with a friend in spanaway before coming to germany, so i have more than a few reasons to be down south when i visit seattle: )


  8. Oh that sounds so perfect, and then you go and say the shoe fell, that doesnt sound good, cant wait till the next post.