Horse show help!!

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Horse show help!!

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    08-11-2012, 11:14 PM
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!!
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    08-11-2012, 11:41 PM
Should I try a running martingale?
    08-12-2012, 12:18 AM
No, I think you should take your horse to more shows. Try to go to some more relaxed shows where the competition is not as fierce. Enter the ring and don't plan on winning. If you do these classes enough, I think your horse will calm down. Sounds like the environment just got to him. By repeatedly taking him to shows, he will learn to calm down and listen to you. Expect some disasters like this one, but I think he will settle as soon as he gets used to it.
themacpack and uflrh9y like this.
    08-12-2012, 12:33 AM
Green Broke
This was his second show - you don't need a gadget, you need for him to have more exposure and experience so that he can settle down and get to work the same IN the ring as he does out of the ring.
    08-12-2012, 12:47 AM
Thanks, I didn't want to have to use gadgets either, I just wasn't sure,
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    08-12-2012, 11:53 AM
Any other suggestions?
    08-12-2012, 11:01 PM
So I think his problem is being around so many other horses and wanting to keep up with them. Even at home if my sister and her horse pass us trotting or cantering he wants to speed up a little, but he's still managable. I think it also had to do with him not being completely focused/warmed up. After that I took him out and did lots of cantering with him, and when I came back for my last three classes he was much calmer. But I reallly do believe it's all the other horses and wanting to race them. Any suggestions on what to do at home about this?
    08-12-2012, 11:51 PM
Sounds to me like he's just an inexperienced horse who gets nervous in the ring. Just keep taking him to more shows so he can get comfortable in the show ring. After a while, maybe try plugging his ears? I think I know of more people that do that than people that don't (I don't use them, my horse won't let me put them in, haha).
    08-13-2012, 12:04 AM
Yeah, there's an exercise for this. Use it in the arena or on the trails. Use your sister and buds if you have them, but just your sister will work.

Line up in a single file line and have the leader pick a gait. The person of the back of the line will pick up pace to go to the front of the line. Everyone else has to keep their horse at the same pace while the other horse goes by. Then the next person in the back of the line goes to the front. And repeat. Practice at all gaits.
    08-13-2012, 11:06 PM
I agree with everyone, but just want to check and make sure that you yourself are also relaxed when you go to the show arena. And I also highly agree with don't even worry about winning the first few shows. Takes the pressure off! Happy riding!
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