Horse show help!!
I recently took my horse to his 2nd horse show. When we got there I warmed him up in the arena, and he did great and was really relaxed. Then later on I rode him a little more out in a field away from the arena, and again, great. My 2nd class was a hunter W/T/C class. He had been doing really well cantering so I figured we'd do pretty well. Anyway, from the moment we entered the arena he was pretty tense; then when I asked him to canter he shot off. He was going pretty fast to begin with, but he just kept getting faster and I tried everything I usually do to slow him down when he needs its, but he would NOT listen to me. I finally got him back down to a walk, but then we had to reverse and do it all over again. That way was worse, and it turned into a runaway. I was then supposed to be walking but was still flying around, until finally I got him slowed down. Everyone said I did a really good job staying on and getting him to come down, but I was SOOOO embarrased! The worst part was he NEVER does anything like that, he was so crazy, but he always has a smooth, slow, HUS type canter. He was cantering great that day up until then; then after that class I took him back out the field and cantered him a lot both ways with absolutely NO problems whatsoever; he was his usual self. I had three more W/T classes after that and he did really well, not as good as he can but I was still pleased, and I managed not to get last in those :) But oh my gosh, that one class was a DISASTER!! I don't know how to fix it because he never does that any other time. People suggested using running martingales and stronger bits but he doesn't need that stuff usually! He's always very calm and soft, and when he does get a bit fast, easy to slow down. I don't want to use all these gadgets or force on him, but how can I get him to do good in a show? This was only his 2nd-does he just need more show experience? It's like he gets in the show arena and just acts like he knows nothing at all, when he's really a very talented horse. Please help!!