First show - ugh - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 07-03-2010, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: northeast ohio
Posts: 88
• Horses: 4
First show - ugh

Background - my daughter is 9, beginner rider. She has an aged pinto pony that she rides, and we also purchased a 5 year old quarter horse/pony for her last fall to use for 4H. She's borderline too tall for her pinto pony, and the pony can't go to the fair due to some health issues (she's fine to show, but being kept in a stall at the fair for a week isn't the best thing for her). The QH is young, but he has some nice training and had been ridden a lot prior to us buying him. His last rider was a 12 year old girl who sold him because she wanted to do barrels, and he doesn't like to go fast.
QH can be stubborn for my kid, but she's doing pretty well with him. She's ridden him at several practices at the fairgrounds with other horses, but we'd never taken him to a show. We decided last night to take him to a show at the fairgrounds to test the waters. Entered him in halter and showmanship, then signed up to ride the little pony in english equitation and pleasure.
QH was fine when we arrived, but started to get agitated when we took him to the waiting area. It was a huge class, way more people there than I expected. When it came time to enter the ring, he started kind of freaking out. Our 4H leader took him in to school him, and had kiddo stand with her. He wanted to turn around in circles, lots of whinnying, shaking his head, that sort of thing. Kiddo was disappointed/frustrated. Not because she didn't win a ribbon, but because he acted up and she couldn't handle him.
I of course am now kicking myself for not buying her a 20 year old horse with loads of show experience.
She did ride her pony in equitation. She did a nice job, but she was competing against all GIANT horses. Saddlebreds, TBs, and an only marginally controlled Friesian that I was afraid was going to run her over. Class was for 9 years old and up, and there was only one other kid her age (that kid has a lot more experience and was riding a 20 year old saddlebred that's been showing all it's life). No ribbon, but kiddo was happy because she knew that she had a really good ride.
So I guess it could have been worse. She is doing well with her horse at home and at practices, but seeing how he acted at the show really shook me. He would have been horrid under saddle. I think we will take him to afew more and just walk him around, let him soak it all in.
artsyjenn is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 07-03-2010, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,228
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I know how you feel about being shaken up, as a mother of a 10 yr old daughter when you see your child in a somewhat unsafe situation the protective nature kicks in.

My daughters Paint gets a little nervous when we take him to shows. He mostly calls out to see if any other horse will answer him , when they dont he calms down. This is the worst thing that he does (thankfully) he gets a little nervous in the ring if he is the only one in the ring -again not hard to control but a little vocal. We have taken him to 2 shows this season so far. Also to one practice ride night at the fairgrounds where he trailered by himself like a pro.
Now the last show we went to , he was with another horse but they didnt show in all the same classes...he was great!
In one of her classes another horse spooked and ran off with the rider, almost right into my daughter and her horse but my daughter kept her head backed her horse up out of the way and her horse acted like nothing even happened.
I on the other hand watching from the rail was thinking oh crap! She really is amazing me with what a great little horse girl she has become.
I think taking your pony to as many off farm events would be the way to go, when he is calm and listening to your daughter she could ride him in the practice ring or even around the show grounds. Hope your daughter has a great time in 4H. We love our 4H club!

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!
RadHenry09 is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 07-03-2010, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2010
Location: northeast ohio
Posts: 88
• Horses: 4
It's definitely about desensitization for this horse. A friend of mine walked him around the show while we were getting ready for the riding class, and he totally mellowed out after awhile. The first riding meeting that we took him to at the fairgrounds was a bit hairy, but he's gotten much better every time.
I told my daughter that since she is only 9 and it's her first year of showing, she should think of the whole year as practice. Luckily because her horse is 14.2, she can show him in pony classes at the fair, which don't have nearly as many kids in them. I told her that even if she doesn't actually get to ride at the fair this year, I'm sure he'll be ready for some in hand classes (we practiced today and he was fine). So she can at least do that, and do some riding in the practice arena, if nothing else to get him used to being at the fair. She's working really hard and making a lot of progress. It can be stressful to watch! the mom of the oldest girl in our 4H group told me that she cried every day at the fair her daughter's first year lol.
artsyjenn is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 07-04-2010, 02:25 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: central PA
Posts: 1,228
• Horses: 2
My daughter has shed a few tears too, new things can be a bit scarey especially if ones pony is acting up. My daughter started riding english in the fall. she sometimes doesnt get the correct diagonal right away. She sometimes get frustrated, it is part of the learning process I tell her. Have fun this summer!

Horses and children, I often think, have a lot of the good sense there is in the world.
Josephine Demott Robinson
Feed, muck, groom, ride. Repeat daily!
RadHenry09 is offline  

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