First Show. Part I.
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Wednesday, August 25, 2010 10:41 AM
The young stallion whom I started last year went to his first 2-day show. Usually it is very wise to take a young horse to a show without entering it in any classes. We decided to enter him in simple Trot-Walk class, one each day. I had mixed feelings about this decision. The priority of course was exposing him to the show experience and not riding the tests. However, because tests were so simple, I thought it does not hurt to have a scheduled regime and certain obligations at the show.
Friday night when horses arrived at the showgrounds I worked the stud in indoor arena which was already set up for the show with flowers and white dressage ring, plus other horses were working in it. He was perfect - calm, curios, a little bit inattentive, but all within easily manageable ride. I was very happy with him.
He had to spend the night in the stall and he stays outdoors at home. I was worried about his state of mind and arrived early to make sure I have plenty of time for warm up if he is very hyper, tense, etc. He wasn't. A little bit nervous when I took him for a walk, called to his buddy a few times, spooked at dumpster and was apprehensive of other horses, nothing major. I didn't even lunge him and mounted right away. He was very willing to go to warm up ring, was happy to stretch his legs and was curios about mares around him but didn't try to come up to them or behave like a stallion at all. Everything went well until the time we entered indoor arena for our test. As soon as other horse left and we were left alone he got scared and upset. He was spooky, stubborn to go close to the judge's booth, eyeing flowers and people. I knew right away we will not make a smooth test. We managed to finish it, though he tried to pull out of the ring and refused to go to the judge's short side at all. We got 47.6% and managed to pull three 6's for free walk, his gaits and rider's seat. I was amazed actually that we got that much considering our long sides looked like counter shoulder-ins all the way, our circles were egg shaped toward the gate and none of our diagonals were of proper length due to cutting arena 10 meters prior to the short side :) Outside he was normal again and obediently walked back to the barn. I was worried of him spending so much time inside so I took him for a walk after my student finished her rides. We walked around all show grounds inside and out, grazed and watched other horses perform. Considering he is a stallion he behaved like a gentleman, I was very pleased with him. It looked like he was taking show life style much better than I expected.
In the next blog I will tell you what happened on Sunday and the conclusions I drew from the experience.
Happy riding...
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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