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

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fall Show October 15th, 2011 and Trail Rides

Since Flatlands, we have spent the majority of our time out on the trails. We have gone here there and everywhere. If you don't already know, I used to own Jet when he was three/fourish but then we sold him because I couldn't train him to canter. The last ride I had on him before we sold him was a two-hour trail ride down some streets to fields after fields that led to great trails. This past week, I re-rode the same trails with Jet.

It was such an awesome time. The trails were amazing and the fields were gorgeous. Mom took Elsa along for the ride. It must have been the first time in months that Mom rode Elsa for this long. It must have been nice for her. We rode for two hours and ended up with two very happy horses. They both enjoyed the ride. A few days later, Mary-Kate and I rode the same trails and had just as great of a time. Here are some videos:

Attempting to gallop Jet...

Off into the Sunset

Anyone have any ideas what his "hitch" in his hind right might be? He always does this with this leg...

After our trail rides, Jet and I had a show at my school. We have our annual "Fall Show" where every major puts on some sort of display, competition, educational demonstration, etc. For Large Animal science majors, there are shows that allow students ro learn how to show various animals. This year we had a horse show, dairy cow show, beef cow show, and sheep show. At the horse show, students can use the school horses or bring their own. I decided to bring Jet.

There aren't a whole lot of classes offered but we managed to find three out of the eight that we could do. We did Open Fitting, Open Showmanship, and Limit Walk Trot Canter Equitation. Yes, our first canter class!

The morning of the show, Jet was all jacked up. The show was on a Saturday and I hadn't ridden him since that previous Monday due to rain and poor I had a bad feeling he would be all prancy. It took a few people to hold him and help me get his shipping boots on and then get him on the trailer. He usually loads himself on just fine..

Anyways, we got to the school and I opened the doors on the trailer and just let him chill. I checked in, got my lunge line, then brought him into the indoor arena where the classes would be held. To my amazement, he calmed right down and was really lazy on the lunge line. So I went back to the trailer and tack him up and warmed him up. He was great! I couldn't get him to pick up the canter on the right lead (his bad lead) but I was thrilled at how he did besides that. I knew going into it that the canter would stop us from placing well but I went anyways for the experience.

The Fitting and Showmanship classes came around and I was worried he would get bored and aggitated in the middle of the class. It was a huge class (16 people!) so we woudl be in the ring for a long time. Each horse was on the rail standing then got called individually to the center to have the judge evaluate the horse and then the handler would have to perform a pattern with the horse.

Jet was a little spooky with all the other horses in the ring and the HUGE crowd on the sides. After a few time around, he was fine. Thankfully, when he was spooking, the class wasn't being judged because some of the school horses were being passed off to different handlers. So it worked out to our advantage.

By mid-class, he was falling asleep. We were in the middle of the pack to get evaluated. He was great except he wasn't perfectly square. I had been fitting him all day long on the rail to get him square. Most of the other kids didn't even know how to swuare a horse so I figured that I'd just let it slide and let him be. He was great for the pattern too!

We placed 3rd of 16 in fitting and didn't place in showmanship. I am guessing it is because he wasn't square all of the time, the fact he was falling asleep, and that the teacher was talking to me on the rail during the class lol Woops. Oh well! I still had fun

Doing the pattern. The draft paint X in the back is the horse I ride for drill team (:
He's a 3 yr old named Finnegan. He's green but is willing to learn!

Not quite square..

Pretty boy!

Then we had the wtc class. There were only 3 in the class thankfully...the other classes had 10-17 riders in it. I was riding against one of my best friends, Julie, who was on the buckskin you see in the pics. He is cleverly named Buck. How original!

Jet was great in our class! He was PERFECT walk trot. I was so proud! He even got both canter transitions and kept the canter WITHOUT bucking for about three times around each direction! His right lead was a mess but he still did it! We were racing around like an idiot that direction and I knew we blew our class but I didn't canter. He got both leads and kept them for as long as I asked!

The judge came up to me after and asked if he was a Standardbred. She went on to tell me how she went to Maine and judged a big Standardbred show up there recently! She said that I have him going very well and to work on the canter a bit more but in no time he should be a star (:

Obviously we placed 3rd out of three. The other horses are school horses with very good riders that deserved to do well. I felt like a winner because Jet was a superstar and proved me wrong that day. Even though it started out iffy and I thought it was going to be a disaster, the show ended up being great!

After the show was a drill team performance...that ended in disaster and an ambulance ride (not from me though!). More on that later...