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Miserable Weekend

Discussion in 'Equestrian Events, Shows, Competitions' started by MzCarol, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. MzCarol

    MzCarol Senior Member

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    I let my horse down and that's pretty tough for me to swallow. I know him like a good book and I didn't advocate for him like I should have. I realize that this being his first season showing it's about learning all the ins and outs but .....

    Cali's trainer Meghan is always there and she gives Cali great advice and her coaching is exactly what I tell Cali when I have her working Chevy between times. I got complacent and left the decisions to Meghan and that's all on me.

    Our division usually has about 7-11 people in it, but this weekend there were about 25. Lots more people and horses with higher energy and Chevy gets nervous and insecure in situations like that. Exposure is the only thing to cure that so I let myself off the hook there.

    When Chevy is nervous and insecure the best thing is to get him busy so he doesn't have enough time to fret. In every show to this point he has been in the first group of 3 (3 riders will do all their go's and then the next group of 3, etc so things run more smoothly) so his energy level has been high and has carried him through his go's.

    This time, however, Meghan wanted him placed in the 3rd group of 3. She had Cali warming him up but he was working so much that he was a ball of sweat before he ever hit the ring. Meghan's thought was to work him until he was too tired to be fretting, but in doing that she worked him so hard he had nothing left to give when it was his turn.

    I don't blame Meghan. Meghan is used to dealing with school horses who are worked at least 4 times a week and are in solid shape. We don't have our arena yet so Chevy doesn't get that kind of work right now. He doesn't have the endurance to push through that kind of workout - a heavy warm up with some jumping, 3 rounds of jumping and a flat class.

    By the time it came to his turn it was awful, and embarrassing. He was soaked and he was tired - I could see it in his eyes. I should have scratched him. Cali got him in the arena and started to do her circle and Chevy locked his neck and drug her out of the arena - 3 times. Class over. For his second round he did the same thing but she got him going on the second attempt and then did the 3rd go immediately after so he wouldn't do it again. He gave that 3rd go all he had to give.

    He had quite a while to cool off and relax before the flat class and that was the redeeming grace of the day. He was so tired that he was calm and flat work was doable. The judge loved him and he placed 4th.

    Just wow. Horses are so amazing and so forgiving when their humans are just plain stupid.

    So.... I've learned that the best thing for Chevy is a short warm up with about 2 jumps and to make sure he's in the first group of 3 so he can get it overwith. Large groups, well, that's just more exposure. The first group of 3 would help there, too, because he could use that stress to his advantage in the ring.

    2 shows left in the series. We are currently 4th overall in points before adding in this weekend. I should be proud - of me and of Chevy and of Cali - for that. Competition is tough up here. My little farm pony is giving it all he's got - no doubt. His try is to be admired.
     
  2. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Don't kick yourself. In my book, shows are not about winning. They're about learning and improving. Take it as a learning moment. For one thing, you know now that he needs to be fitter. Not having an arena makes it harder but not impossible. Trail work, work in a field, whatever you can do to get him fitter is a good thing, especially if he's jumping.

    It's also good to be able to mix things up. He shouldn't have to be in the first group. That's working and that's good but it's also good to keep working so he can be more flexible.

    Sounds like he tried hard and that's great. And good for Cali for sticking it out. You absolutely should be proud.
     
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  3. MzCarol

    MzCarol Senior Member

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    I do kick myself though because I knew. I'm also very hard on myself, but thanks. Just a bummer is all. We learn and we move on. The next show is on March 18th. I wonder if Chevy likes Irish Whiskey *evil grin*

    and totally OT but..... @bellalou when do you get the bar results??? I'm over here rooting for you!!!
     
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  4. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Aw thanks! I so appreciate everyone's support! It means a ton.

    I get results in mid-May. It's a long wait but there are a lot of exams to grade and most of them are essays or writing of some sort so it takes time.
     
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  5. MzCarol

    MzCarol Senior Member

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    Ugh, that would drive me insane - and I can see by the other thread that you are headed that way with all your cleaning. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING????? haha
     
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  6. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    most horses need some type of show prep before a class, and I really love it when the horse changes that up!!

    being a pleasure person, I would have done the same... worked the horse more to get the nerves down.
     
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  7. MzCarol

    MzCarol Senior Member

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    but then what do you do if you worked them hard enough to get the nerves down that they don't have enough oooomph to get over the jumps in the 3 classes that follow? It's a fine balance to find the sweet spot with a horse that isn't worked every day at this point in time because it's not possible.
     
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  8. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    I had a similar issue with April last year at a show when she blew through the alternegist injections and had a CRAZY heat cycle. I arrived at the show grounds the afternoon before. I lunged, rode, had to lunge again and really had to work though some things. by the time we found a good spot to stop, her mind was still going 100mph but her legs/movement was crap. If it was that day I needed to show, I would have scratched my classes.... I refuse to show one whose mind is racing, or is a basketcase.
     
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  9. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

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    I know the feeling, but don't beat yourself up too much. Now you know what not to do. And that's a huge part of riding horses in my opinion.
     
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  10. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    Ditto to what everyone has said but I know its hard. Can you imagine the people who blame their horses? Nuts. But no point getting down on yourself, next time you'll know. That's what counts.
     
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