My OTTB's First Show Was Yesterday! - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Washington DC
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Need your advice urgently!!

So, we are only 4 days out from my OTTB's second show on Sunday. His training has gone beautifully, he's working nicely and been a nice calm boy. Getting more energetic and I am (was) getting more confident. We are only aiming for WT pleasure hunter classes and one equitation flat class.

Last evening I went for a light hack. He hadnt worked hard since SUnday, and spent all Monday and Tuesday outside in his paddock. I tacked him up and we went to the ring. It was colder than its been all year. from the ring you can see another farm with two new TBs in the pasture. They just came from the keenland sale, still have numbers on their hips! I got on my boy and began trotting a bit. Then I noticed the two TBs began charging around and making a lot of noise. Then I could hear hooves on the road and saw a guy in full Western garb come galloping by on his palomino. The two TBs were going NUTS and I did the fastest dismount ever. My boy was by then very worked up and focused on those other TBs.

I got the lunge line and got him ready to work that way. When he started out I have NEVER seen him buck like he did on the lunge line. He went into full out bronco mode and squealed like crazy. I kept transitioning between walk and canter and each time he started the canter his back feet went sky high. I couldnt believe it! He I kept bringing him back to trot and starting again and we didnt finish until he cantered calmly in both directions. The only reason we go there at all is because he was visibly tired. I walked him cool for quite a while and he was a nice calm boy then.

Seeing this type of bucking 3 days before our next show is not helpful. He has never done this with me on him (minor crow hops only when he resists something)

My questions are this:
1) Is it normal for a horse to all-out buck on the lunge and never do it with a ride?
2) Did seeing the other TBs get crazy cause him to "follow the herd" and spin him up?
3) What means he wont do this on Sunday?

Any advice is welcome. My trainer is getting on him today to evaluate how he is doing.
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post #22 of 27 Old 10-21-2010, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: West US
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I think you had too many exciting elements going on at once (which was definitely not your fault)! The weather alone can be enough, as my mare is all too happy to show me ;) I think you handled the situation really well. I like that you kept him working until he relaxed (even if it's because he was tired). You ended on a good note, and that is what he'll remember. In answer to your questions:

1) Is it normal for a horse to all-out buck on the lunge and never do it with a ride? "Never" may be too strong of a word, but I think they're less likely to do it when you're on their back. I think horses start to associate lunge time as "play time" and riding time as "work time", so you start seeing more of a difference between the two.
2) Did seeing the other TBs get crazy cause him to "follow the herd" and spin him up? I think it was a combination of everything. He was feeling fresh, the weather was nice, and all the other horses were having fun! He wanted to play too!
3) What means he wont do this on Sunday? Well, you're on his back this time to help channel his focus, and he'll probably have been worked more recently so he has less pent up energy.

Also, I think horses have bigger reactions to changes in their home environment. They're there everyday, they're used to everything the way it is, so when something changes or is exciting, it's a huge deal in their minds. Yet, when you take them away from all of that and put them in a strange environment, everything is new! They're not going to spook at 'the horses that are there today but weren't there yesterday', because they weren't there yesterday to know the difference. They may look around and things that are bright and big, but I they seem to be disoriented enought that instead of throwing fits, they turn to the rider for direction.

That last paragraph might sound crazy, and maybe it is. I'm not basing this off a study, just what I've noticed in my own showing experience. Maybe it's true for other people.

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post #23 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 08:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Washington DC
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My trainer called last night to let me know she worked him and he was fine! She said he wasnt uptight at all. Whew. 48 hours until show!
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post #24 of 27 Old 10-22-2010, 10:06 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Texas
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Good luck with the show, be sure to post pics! And don't worry about the bucking fit, in fact try to put it out of your mind as thinking about it will only make you tense and he will react poorly to that. Relax and have fun!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.
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post #25 of 27 Old 10-25-2010, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Washington DC
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Well, I am very pleased and proud to report that Sousa's second show was a success. He was focused and went to business right away. When I arrived, I lunged him lightly and found him totally relaxed. we went to the schooling ring, which was busy, and I handwalked him around it a few times. My trainer coached us on the flat and we cantered both lines of cross rails. And the results are as follows:

CrossRail Hunter Flat: 5th
CrossRail Hunter 18" Fences: 5th (I am especially proud of this as there were about 16 horses in the class and its his first jumping class)
Pleasure Hunter Flat: 4th


Long Stirrup Equitation Flat: FIRST!!!!!!!!!!!! We WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I couldnt believe it. The judge is a known dressage judge in the area and my trainer said to win with her is a real compliment. She asked for a sitting trot, which we had never done in a show, and he was on the bit and totally relaxed.

For having been off the track for 7 months and to have won a blue ribbon is just great. I am quite inspired and motivated, and the difference in his anxiety level between his first and second show was quite remarkable. I think that he's getting the hang of it. I also worked him hard for 4 days in a row before the show, which I hadnt done last time. We hadnt tried an equitation class before, only hunter. I believe that this means that as far as showing goes, he and are are a good team!

I also truly appreciate the advice from the nice people on this forum. I take it all very seriously.

So, what do any of you advise for next steps? This was a well attended schooling show. Should we try to something higher, or keep doing schooling shows for a while longer to really get a good foundation? And, what is considered the next level?
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post #26 of 27 Old 10-25-2010, 10:40 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Jersey
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Congrats!! That's so exciting! I know how proud you must feel to have put all of that work in- and it paid off in spades!

My advice would be stick with the schooling shows for a bit- get really comfortable in that atmosphere- and as you progress they have some classes with higher fences. Eventually you can work your way up to rated shows.

I think the best thing I could say is stick with your trainer. From what you have said she knows you and your horse, and has really helped you two work well together. She is probably your biggest asset!

Best of luck moving forward! It sounds like you guys are well on your way.
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post #27 of 27 Old 10-25-2010, 01:42 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: West US
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CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'm really happy for you two! I agree with Easy, I think you should do at least a couple more schooling shows to make sure you have a solid foundation. You want to build up your horse's confidence as much as you can! He'll be better at the rated shows because of it :)
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