Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Daffodil Spring Arabian Horse Show....Western Pleasure Select Rider...... The Wreck.......

Part 1

It always amazes me how something like a crashing sound in the stands can happen so quickly but take volumes to explain. Maybe that's because so much happens so quickly, there's a lot to cover. Then maybe for me it has to do with explaining what physically happened as well as covering what mentally happened. In situations like this there are a lot of both for me and my horse.

You'd think I'd know better than to project how the class might turn out before it was actually over. I don't necessarily believe in "jinxing" per se but stuff sure seems to happen once I've decided things are going well. Maybe it's because I've relaxed and let my guard down but I didn't really feel like I'd taken the class for granted and quite riding. That's not really something I tend to do. Yest it was just as I was thinking we could place well that this stuff hit the fan.

I remember the sound distinctively. It had an explosive nature about it like that cell phone dropped in Salem when this whole issue with Legs spooking in classes started. Although it wasn't quite as crisp as the cell phone hitting the wooden floor, this noise had a crack to it like something hard, deliberate almost, had hit the aluminum stands. It almost sounded like someone had deliberately thrown something. I remember wondering who in the heck that could be and what were they thinking but I had my hands too full to figure that part out as Legs responded to the sound.

As my horse reacted to the noise, that sinking feeling washed over me as I realized we'd not only blown our class but started off yet another show season with a stupid incident in the ring. How was this going to affect my horse? Would he be spooking at everything under the sun again? Not to mention that old question..........Why me?? I just can't seem to get away from these things. All of these flooded my mind as I dealt with my horse.

With the loud, explosive like nature of this intrusion my horse responded accordingly. Legs leapt into the air and then spun to the left into the wall hitting his face on the concrete barrier. I remember wondering how in the heck we'd ended up facing that thing as I looked at the grayness in front of me.

There was little time to think about the "hows" of it, still I made mental notes about this wreck. The leap had been less than in times past when the horse had been frightened like this but turning into the wall was something new. At least he was stopped dead and there was no place to go instead of bolting down the rail.

I needed to get my horse back into the lope and showing again. I turned Legs back towards our original line of travel. He was a little flustered but listening so I began setting him up to lope. Before we got into the lope the announcer called for the jog so instead of loping off, I adjusted my response and we jogged.

Down around the corner and on up the long rail the horse moved like nothing had happened. Legs had recovered pretty well considering he'd been frightened and hit his head. He was still a bit fast but no faster than he'd entered the ring. I was pleased with his recovery. It was definitely much improved from times past where he's done what I asked but been very tense between my legs.

As we made our way down the far wall, I looked for my friend, Crystal Baker. I wanted to ask her to look and see who was sitting where that crash had happened hoping for some kind of explanation. She was in the middle of the rail so I made my request as we rode by. She nodded in understanding as she commented about our good recovery.

We continued on down the rail heading to the far end which is Legs most uncomfortable portion of the arena. Knowing this I was surprised when I felt and heard Legs let out a really big sigh, so big in fact, I looked around to see if the judge had heard it. If he had, I couldn't tell but I guess it didn't really matter as long as we were moving as we should. With that sigh Legs dropped his jog down a notch for the first time in the entire class.

Halfway down that rail they called for the line up. Normally I would turn my horse across the ring and enter the line up from the other side so we could change direction before the line up. It's one of those things I do when I can to prevent my horse from anticipating the line up.
This time I had a more important reason to head straight down the rail. Since we'd had that wreck on this portion of the rail I wanted to take Legs by that point where the explosion had happened so he could see there was nothing to fear. As we got close to that spot, I could feel Legs tense up and he raised his head just a little. I responded by pushing him more up into the bridle all the while talking to him.

Legs has always responded well to my voice and this time was no exception. As we got to the place where he'd leapt into the air the horse let out another sigh and dropped his head just a little. I knew by that response he'd figured out the threat was gone so I was comfortable with turning him into the line up.

I remember sitting in the line waiting for them to call out the placings. I didn't know if both judges had seem our wreck but it certainly seemed very likely. With only five horses in the class, I knew I'd get ribbons but I had little expectations of placing anywhere but low.

I was very surprised to hear the announcer call out Legs number and name for second place on Susan Witte's card. We got fourth on the card of Bill Melendez. Not too bad considering all the circumstances. This horse show was surely off to an interesting start.

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

AAOTR WP 40 & over.........

This picture is Scandalous Dare right after she was born. This was Solidare's first foal for me and the esentially this pregnancy was the beginning of the leg issues for her. Also, Dare was badly windswept when she was born so she had some issues in the beginning from this as well.

Visit Blog Village and vote daily for this blog Here They are now measuring the rankings by votes out, so if you find my blog on the site, please click that link too to improve my rankings. TY


  1. Crisis averted! So glad neither of you were hurt.

  2. Good job! That can be tough, he hadn't had time to recover from the first wreck, and then this one too. It looks like your hard work is starting to pay off. I hope the rest of the show went better.

  3. I'm glad you weren't hurt and Legs let out his big sighs. At least he responded to you and disaster was averted. Happy to hear you placed well after all that noise.

  4. You did great, despite the loud noises and spooking. Can't wait to hear more!

  5. Good boy Leggs! Not bad for a first outing and a guy who has already had issues in the ring.A testament to your calm and consisitent work with him. Did you find out who "dropped the ball"?

  6. Oh my! Isn't it wild how our brain registers things that we don't figure out we even knew until much later? Glad you and Legs were not hurt.

  7. He cracked his head into the wall? Ouch! That must have hurt.

    I guess we know which judge saw him spook, but nice to know how well you were doing against the group from the other judge.

  8. Did you ever find out who made the noise? I like the way you handled it--bringing him by the same spot again and driving him forward.

  9. It sounds like despite the spook incident, you and Legs had a great ride together. Congrats on the nice recovery - I hope you two did well at the rest of the show.

  10. Somehow I have a sinking feeling about the noise.

    Good to know you horse was able to pass it all off, listen to you and get the job done. Sometimes the judges will ding your performance in a big way for stuff like that, others will look for the 'recovery' and grant you points on how you handle it. You just never know...

    I like Susan and the way her and Peter handle their horses. Having worked in the same barn as they did, I got to see it first hand. For her to place you second speaks well for you and your horse.

    Way to kick off the season! Bobbles and all.

  11. Good deal! Will you be going to nationals this year? I hope to in select rider WP so perhaps we can meet!

  12. Leah, me too, although I nearly grabbed my saddle horn to stay seated. Guess I should have included that information in the post. Legs took quite a leap.

    redhorse, I didn't really think about the double trouble at the time. There was so much going on in the ring, I had forgotten about the wreck in the warm-up but I'll bet Legs didn't.

    Arlene, I was really glad to see that response too. I think it's the first time he's actually let it go in the same class as the troll.

    Mikey, thanks, I was really pleased with how Legs settled. I hope it's a sign of good things to come.

    fern, I sure am hoping that Legs turned a corner. Crystal was able to figure out what happened.

    Jen, wild indeed. As you'll see I registered even more than I remembered at the time. I actually had an answer about why we ended up facing the wall but I wouldn't realize it until a later class.

    smazourek, yes he did and it made me wince. Still he went right back to work.

    It's hard to know if she saw it and gave us credit for recovery or missed it. Either way she used us well and I was surprised by that.

    Linda, not specifically who, but what happened, yes. I always try to take my horses back by something that frightened them and if possible I keep working it until they totally relax. It sure helps to calm their fears and build trust, I think.

    JJ, I was very pleased with his recovery from this. Hopefully it will affect him in a way that he gets over spooking in this manner all together.

    CMJ, so did I.

    I don't really know if she saw it or not. The prize list says Karen is her first name. Does she go by Susan??

    Pat, hard to say. Dave still is not working. Can't go under those circumstances BUT if he gets a job soon. Things could change. I sure hope so. It was my original plan for this year.

  13. Sometimes they will over look that stuff and its nice when it happens huh? At least that's what I am always hoping instead of the "well they weren't looking at you anyways" explanation....

  14. You posted the second place was on Susan Witte's card. Where did the name Karen come from?

    Is there something fishy going on with Blogger? Been known to happen so no surprises there. Better that Bloggers system is being screwy than us, right?

  15. Stephanie, ya, that's not good when they don't even look at your horse. I hate when that happens.

    HHmstead, TY, it was fun.

    CNJ, no blogger issues just me. Don't ask me where I got Karen, but I did. I checked the prize list again and Susan is right. Guess I'm loosing it.