Horse doesn't listen to me at shows! Help!

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Horse doesn't listen to me at shows! Help!

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    11-22-2012, 12:38 PM
Horse doesn't listen to me at shows! Help!

I started showing with one of my horses this summer (I took him to maybe 4 or 5), and at every one of them he's been really anxious and nervous. He whinnies an freaks out when the other horse we bring leaves him and when I go to warm up he may settle down a little but works himself up again when I go to my classes. While I'm in my class I can tell he's not paying any attention to me and goes really fast. It's not to the point where I can't control him but it's really frustrating because I know he can do so much better! I know he hasn't shown much, but since the first time I took him I think he's gotten worse. He just doesn't listen to me!
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    11-22-2012, 12:40 PM
Green Broke
What if you just took him to get use to the surroundings? Don't ride him. Just tie him to the trailer and let him cry all he wants for his friends when your doing a class with them. Then take him and walk him around the grounds.

Maybe someone else can chime in with something better.
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    11-22-2012, 01:13 PM
He doesn't sound confident. I would take him with out your other horses and work on confidence and bonding techniques at home
    11-22-2012, 01:27 PM
That's pretty normal, especially if the horse is fairly young/new to showing. Think of it this way: he's in a new environment with different sights, sounds and smells than he's used to. There is a lot happening around him, with tons of people and horses he doesn't know. On top of that, he is expected to perform, not to mention that he will also pick up on any nerves you might have about showing.

I would suggest you cut him a bit of a break. As Cowgirls Boots suggested, it might be a good idea to take him to a few shows without entering just so he can get used to the environment. Feed him, groom him, tack him up and ride around in the warm up ring (being sure to give right of way to legitimate competitors). Basically do everything you would at a show without actually being in any classes. Make a fuss of him and let him know he's a good boy. And when you do finally take him to a show where you are entering classes, make sure you are riding at a higher level at home than you do at the show. For example, if you are doing 3' hunters at home, only enter hunters up to 2'6" in shows. That way you know you can do what is expected of you and there will be less pressure on both of you.

Also, although it's more time consuming, it might be helpful to arrive at the show the day/night before to help him settle in a bit more. I find that this helps with my greenies.
    11-22-2012, 01:28 PM
Edit: Oops for some reason the same thing was posted twice!
    11-23-2012, 09:43 AM
JaphyJaphyand Cowgirls Boots: I have thought about taking him to a show and not actually showing. That way I might be able to ride him like I do at home and not have to worry about being judged if he acts up. Make sure he knows that he must act the way he does at home at a show. I just answered my own question there! Thanks you guys!
The problem, churumbeque, with doing those things at home is that he does fine if I take him away from the others for a trail ride or something, so it's not like he really needs it at home, the problem is when he's somewhere new. However I might try taking him somewhere without the other horse one time. My sister and I usually go to the same shows, but once she went to one that I wasn't in and she just had her horse and he acted better because my horse was out of sight, (out of whinny range) out of mind!
    11-23-2012, 10:17 AM
Yes I think if you take him to a show by himself or doesn't have his friends to Winnie to he will be much better
    11-28-2012, 10:02 PM
The answer is to haul him more.
WickedNag likes this.
    11-29-2012, 07:45 PM
Spurstop: Yes that too!
    11-30-2012, 11:28 AM
Hun, its just a matter of show miles. He doesnt have a lot of experience, so he gets nervous. Its like if you were running in a track meet for the first time, im sure you would get antsy too and a little disobedient because of nerves. As for your horse freaking out when the other leaves, its like if your best friend left you in the scariest situation youve ever seen! (people running around that you don't know, paying no mind to you, new surroundings, you don't know anything that's happening, and the ONLY security and thing you know is your best friend, then that person leaves) Its important to keep calm and ride on. Ride whats under you, not whats normal. Try and slooowwwlllyyy separate the 2 "best buds" each show lengthen the time and treat him when he stays calm. It works, trust me. And as for the speed, like I said, ride whats under you. GO GET EM! hope this helps

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