Every horse show a catastrophe - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-11-2009, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fayetteville, Arkansas
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Every horse show a catastrophe

So I have been showing in Hunter Under Saddle all summer. Simple walk-trot-canter on the rail. My horse freaks out every time we enter the arena. He acts up in ways that he hasn't acted during schooling in years. He will try to run away with me. We end up cantering sideways around the arena(nose to the wall but to the judge.) It incredibly frustrating and I don't know the source of the problem. We show in the same place we school so it's not environmental. He acts fine in the warm up arena. But as soon as we step into the arena for our class he reverts back to the psychotic thoroughbred he was when I bought him shortly after he came off the track. How do I solve a problem that only happens in the ring? Do I just have an unshowable horse?
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-11-2009, 08:07 PM
Green Broke
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Do you find yourself getting nervous in the ring (stage fright?) I know the first time I showed, I was in the dressage ring, and I definitely made an impact on some of our scores, just from being nervous. Things that my horse would normally do just perfectly at home in the arena and in the warm up ring, she was doing terribly with, and it was all because I got really really nervous and tensed up and she could feel it.

Maybe some of it is your nerves rubbing off on your horse? If so, you should feel good that you and your horse have the kind of connection that allows for your feelings to channel through him! But of course, you don't want to have to deal with it in the show ring. If that's it, then time and more shows will definitely help

On the other hand, if HE just gets nervous on his own (which is also possible), maybe he needs something to help him relax? Like Quietex or something like that, starting a few days before the show?

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-11-2009, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think it's me that starts it. Although when he starts acting up I start getting frustrated and then things snowball. How much does the quietex cost? My minimalistic nature makes me shy away from drugs but I might give it a try if it doesn't hurt my wallet to much.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-11-2009, 08:39 PM
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Does your horse have any issues getting along with other horses? Possibly all the horses in the ring for an under saddle class make him nervous. He is a Thoroughbred, and an ex-racehorse. Possibly he sees all these horses in the ring as 'race competition'.

Ihave to add that I did use Quietex with a mare at a few shows, and it helped a lot. It helped ease her nerves, and helped me to give her a very good show experience. The last show I had taken her to she was great, didn't quietex her and she went around the course like a champ. Sometimes they just need that help to calm down. Once a horse gets away with something so many times, it becomes a 'habit'. Quite possibly since he's continued to do, now he knows he CAN do it. Quietex will help him quiet down and relax, and will help you be able to soften/supple him more without his tension in the way.

I am not an avid Quietex user, and prefer NOT to use it, but it is there, as a last resort. Just don't become dependent on it. I only use it until I feel the horse has gained enough confidence to do it on his own. Horses stress like humans do sometimes.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-11-2009, 09:09 PM
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If you don't want to try a drug like Quietex, then you might give Bach's Rescue Remedy a try. It's made out of plant oils, so I'm pretty sure it's all natural. They've come out with this new Rescue Remedy Pet, but I bought the regular Rescue Remedy at my local GNC and it worked great for my horse to calm him down. All I do is put four drops on my hand and let him lick them off. Or you could put a few drops in his water if your horse won't lick it off your hand. There's also a whole list of remedies that might be better.

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That's the chart of remedies and what they do for your animals. I have had GREAT experiences with Bach remedies. I love them.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-11-2009, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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I think the race horse thing might be a part of it. Cause he did do better when we were doing jumping shows and he was alone in the ring. But he also could burn his energy doing his job instead of having to walk along the rail. There is only one more show this season, that I am able to go to, so maybe I'll try it just so I can go out on a not so crappy note.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-12-2009, 08:30 PM
Green Broke
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I think LiveToJump said it very well...I only use Quietex with my horse every now and then, because she's new to showing and does tend to get nervous. And it's actually all natural as well...which means no drugs Although that also means that it doesn't always work for every horse too!

I think once he gets more showing under his belt he'll get better and better. Sandie has only been to 3 shows to far, and I have noticed a marked difference with the latest ones compared to the first...both because I am becoming less nervous and because she is as well!

Best of luck to you both!

"The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you..."
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