From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Monday, April 26, 2010

Much Overdue Update

So Sunday, April 18th, we went ot the Haskins 4-h and Open Horse show. He was all braided and clean for once (:

We got there and I signed up and got ready. We bridled him in the trailer so we wouldn't have to worry about him escaping. He was definately interested in everything around him and a little spookier than normal. We gave him a brush and headed over to the warm up arena. As soon as I got on he was ready to go! I made him walk for a few times around before picking up the trot. And started to rain....uggh!
After I was content with the way he was going, I brought him up to the in-gate to await our first class, equitation. We got in the ring first and we walked around a bit. The footing was a lot more different than he is used to. It was a nice, rubber footing. There was also a mirror on one side of the ring and every time we went by it he looked at himself. Silly boy!

Anyways, our equitation class was good. He was fast and not really listening to my aids to help him bend and collect but I honestly wasn't expecting that. We ended up third in the class. The judge went around after the class and gave everyone tips. He said that overall my equitation was great except my hands were too unsteady, which I knew because I was doing tons of half halts, so I was pleased to hear that I already knew my mistake.

As the day went on, he calmed down. Our pleasure class was ok. A gorgeous western paint spooked right infront of us and stopped, so we broke from the trot. The horse was gorgeous but just couldn't keep the jog. Somehow they placed second in the class...we ended up with fifth. I knew pleasure was going to be our worst class since this was his second show ever and the first show at this place.

After pleasure we did trail...which was interesting to say the least. First were four trot poles. I knew those would be difficult since he has been having trouble figuring out where his feet are. He did ok. He got over all of them at the trot. It was awkward, but we did it. The first time we tried it he buldged out of the way so we had two attempts at that. Next we had to pick up an item and place it back. We did that perfectly. We then had to back up through an L. I was feeling ok about this but he really surprised me. He did it PERFECTLY without taking one step outside of the L. I was so proud! Next in line were weaving poles...oh boy. We never tried that before... The reins got caught in my stirrup (I need shorter reins) and I lost my stirrup half way through but I continued the cones and he listened to me. They were extremely sloppy and I messed up which threw him off. After the cones, we had to walk over a pole. No problem there. Last but not least was a step up box. We walked right up to it and his foot hit it and he was like, "Oh! There was something there?" So I turned him around and tried it again and he did it no problem. We placed 4th in trail.

Our last class was discipline rail. It is basically a command class where you don't get "out" if you don't follow the command. You get judged on how well you execute the given commands. He was SUCH a good boy in this class! I thought we should have won it. Our transitions were amazing, our backup was perfect, and we never moved a step during the halts. We ended up seconds though...but I'm proud of that!

We are currently 3rd in our division! Woohoo!

Our next show will be May 9th, at Haskins. Then we will be doing the HHF show on the 23rd and Abby is bringing Elsa

That's all for now!

-Emily and Jet