Okay! I am so sorry I haven't updated yet! Our family came to visit on Friday so I've been running around.
Lets see..where do I begin? I will start at the show! We left at 7 a.m and got there around 7:45 ish. The show started at 8. Rueger kind of calmed down, not perfectly but pretty well. There were probably over 25 horses there. He does like to scream at the others though.
We started with the halter class. I led him in and then when you got to the judge she said "trot" and you trotted around the cone and then went to set up. We did awesome with the walking and trotting. Buuuuut when it came time to set up, he would not stand still! I gave up after about 5 tries to set him up and worked on just getting him to stand. Finally the class was over and we left the arena. We got 4th place in that, and moved onto the next class which was trail. I memorized the pattern and we went and did it! I also didn't screw up the pattern! It started out by entering the round pen and leaving the gate open, weaving through poles at a trot, and then exiting while at a trot and closing the gate. You then went and backed up through a chute and sidepassed over a pole. Then walked back through the chute and trotted to the cone, stopped and walked over a bridge. You then trotted to another cone, sidepassed over a pole, opened and closed the mailbox and you were done. That probably makes no sense without seeing the course, but it wasn't too hard. I walked through it once and then did it after seeing two people go. I ended up getting second in that.
So the show was fun but basic, and we got some good experience. (I may or may not have been completely terrified!) This arena has a huge trail course behind it and Rueger and I went and played in it for a while. There is a bridge over a 7ft deep trench, a net covered in hay to walk over, two pedestals, several logs and trenches to walk through, a long bridge and tires to weave through. We did it all and he didn't hesitate for a second. That was the best part, we just had so much fun! Rueger especially enjoyed the net covered in hay.
The past few days we've been reviewing the basics because I haven't had much time to do more. I've been giving him grain and beet pulp. I'm going to add oil as soon as I can run to the store and buy some. He also gets free choice hay.
I think if you want to include the saddle, it would add to the performance, but you might want to make it fit in more. Maybe add some fringes on it or a sign with something on it? (Quick! to the horsemobile! comes to mind.)
I think it is amazing you have come so far with everything. I think you should emphasize how good his foundation is as much as you can. I feel like alot of the mustang challenges become about what looks impressive but doesn't actually help.
And for the looks (don't know how hard this would be) maybe blue polo wraps and/or ribbon braided into the hair?
I don't know if you have decided what to feed him, but beet pulp is the base of many senior rations because it is like hay. take some of that, soaked or not, and pour a little oil over it will add weight pretty quickly.
ETA: just noticed he had boots on. Please ignore the bit about polo wraps.
I was hoping to attach the cape to the saddle, but fringes are also a great idea!! I am using a red saddle pad so hopefully that will blend in more? I love the horsemobile idea, and the the ribbons in hair idea.
I agree with emphasizing the foundations. Every day when I go out to work with him, we review everything. From picking up feet to pivoting and sidepassing. All the basics are reviewed every day. If we have trouble with something, I work on it until he is consistently doing it well. Once we are doing the basics consistently then we move on to the extras. The WOW factor actually gets you some points with the judges. Literally, it's in the rules!