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.