Tomorrow is going to be Mitchs (and mine) first show of the season.. Very late in the season but it is only a small sports day so I thought well hey, why not. It's a public holiday but it shouldn't be a big show due to many people still working.
My issue is this, at home Mitch is lazy, like incredibly lazy, argues against having to go anything faster than a walk normally... Yesterdays ride however, included one extremely powerful and one very forward moving horse, however he was very well behaved, I've just not ever experienced that amount of power come from him, in a good manner. He was very forward, working from behind, I did not have to ask him to come forward into the bit, he just did it, and that canter.. WOW If I had not been riding in my issy, the sheer power would have left me on my butt in the dirt.
So now I'm crapping my pants.
At shows, he goes from this lazy horse, do anything but make my legs dead trying, to a horse who will still do as I ask... Inbetween spooking at other horses.
Now don't get me wrong, he doesn't kick them, doesn't bite them, he's not nasty in any way shape or form... He just wants OUT. He's an ex racehorse, he is perfectly fine with the horses in his own ring going the same way as him, but as we get closer to other rings that might be going opposite ways, he.freaks.out. And I mean freaks out.
Him freaking out like that makes me freak out, which is obviously going to make him freak out, then I freak out a little more.. And you get the cycle. Then eventually we stop and chicken out on the side of the ring watching the horses go by.
I need suggestions on how to cope, not only him, but myself also. It doesn't scare me that he is trying to get out and away from the problem, that I can deal with, what scares me is the potential for him to hurt someone else and/or their horse, by trying to get out of the situation. He doesn't attack or anything, just wants out, and I would hate for another pair to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Normally I have a couple friends who stay near me in the ring on their horses as they know what happens, and know how to stay out of his way.. He spins sideways towards the outside of the ring, never forward or back. This time however, my usual companions are not with me.
I have thought about putting a ribbon on him, perhaps a green one? As he is not a kicker, so red doesn't suit.
I'm planning on getting there early and quietly riding him around the area before everyone else starts showing up and creating havoc, but it's never the surrounding or being out that bothers him, it's only the horses travelling in a different direction to him. He was getting better, but the day before yesterday we had a setback in my paddock where my mare got out of where she was and proceeded to barge past Mitch while I was riding, and kicked him square in the chest, sending him into a panicked spin, which immediately stopped and had him frozen on the spot when he realized I was going off to one side. (saint horse).
I don't know what to do to help him cope