Grr...I don't want to stop running. [rant]
So it's a little frustrating to me that Selena is so smart.
I mean, really.
She's been to quite a few races this summer, I get that, but it makes me unhappy that she's starting to jig, be pushy, and powerful at the gate.
ESPECIALLY since I have to show her on eq. team in the SLOWWWW Equitation events, reining, and working rancher. I can't do well if she's jigging around the arena like an idiot, and I have now ran in ALLL the arenas at the fairgrounds where the meets are held so she associates them with with running now.
Well long story short, I don't think we are going to race anymore until next spring... I know I'm not good enough to qualify with her to go to state in gaming, and after getting shut out two years in a row for state I really want to go in my senior year because I KNOW she can place in the performance events. We did consistently last year before the gaming. We were winning effortlessly, and the only reason I didn't qualify is because everyone ELSE was equally as good so we had to choose. We were seperated by as little as two points accumulative...
I still have two gaming classes as fillers on her though....
I'm thinking that I just won't practice gaming anymore for awhile, and do some open shows instead. And, I will take her to the barrel races and only let her run when she has a certain bit in her mouth (The Jr. Cowhorse with a roller) and then do some time onlys in her show bit (Billy allen mouthpiece shank) and make her go slow and think about placing her body, so she associates the bits with differant things.
That's my plan at least...Sigh. It sucks to have to rein things back in RIGHT as we were really starting to get faster, and win. She's brought me home a lot of money this summer and she really loves to run now since she's spent her whole prior life with her face snuffed to the ground, bound up, as a reiner (She was never allowed to really stretch and play, even though she was a very good reiner)
Also, I can't fix this at home. I legitimately have TRIED to unearth some sort of issue at the arena we ride at, but it is simply not there. She is perfect at home.
Time to blow a few shows with exhibitions and time onlys until she remembers she IS a performance horse in more ways than one.
I really don't want to stop this but I'm going to put my focus on Ruger for now as far as barrels go. He is finally back to loping the pattern correctly after his chiro visit, and Selena will just have to learn to come back to me. I would like to think my differant bit theory will work but I'm not sure so we'll see...
I know how you feel about this :( i'm having the same problem with my horse... except i'm stupid and i love running as much as he does so we just end up ruining our shows cause we never practice ... but i'm starting to take lessons again so hopefully my instructor can rein us both in :P
Yea that's frustrating. Some horses just can't do both in the fact that they DO get excited for barrels.
Beau was really nice in that fact, that I could walk him into the arena like a dead WP horse, or barely be able to hold him back when we went in for barrels.
I don't know if it would help, but I did a lot of vocal, body, and tack cues for him to know the difference. Obviously for any slow events, I did not have on his sport boots and I used a show-approved curb bit (no gag), and held my reins loose and draping. I also softly and calmly said "walk ..... walk ..... walk ...." as we got to enter the arena so he knew "Hey! We're going to go slow.".
For speed things, he had his sport boots on, and his running bit (twisted wire jr cowhorse). And I would gather the reins, lean forward with my body, and ask him excitedly with my voice "You ready? You ready? Ready to go Beau?" And THAT was his cue that it was okay to get exicted and run.
I would imagine you are doing things of that sort with Selena too. And maybe a break would serve her well.
I want to take Red to a bunch of shows next year and do both showing classes and games. He's a lot more excitable than Beau, and he's also green at this, so I suspect he's going to be jiggy and excited no matter what. But we'll see.
At my show, on the same day, we have reining, then speed events, then working cow. Rosie doesn't understand the difference in bits lol so I have to walk her in and out of the gate between each event, in the morning before anything starts, and while they are setting up for each event. She comes in prancy at reining, but she must walk into the speed events and walk calmly until I let her run.
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That is very frustrating...
JJ is a hotter horse and gets especially hot during the heat of the season so I have to do a lot to keep him focused and relaxed. Part of doing that is keeping a routine...
He has a riding, tuning, and running bit.
When warming up he goes in the Easy 5 or a Snaffle and about 10 minutes out I put his running bit on. He knows we are at a race to run when I have my Polos on his backs as that is the only time we run in them. When warming up I try to oh have bells and Polos on then put fronts on when I put his running bit on. I do lots of long trotting, lope a few circles, then walk a lot and let him relax.
When riding I either have the Easy 5 or Snaffle and only bellboots When tuning I have thr Charmayne James bit on.
For the most part he holds onto the routine but like I said he is a hotter horse so can get hot quick so I do a lot to keep his head in the game. If he is getting not I will camp on him at a Jr Rodeo if my friends daughter has one and make him do what I want and camp on him all day. Or I will haul and do a few exhibitions at a trot. Sometimes it is a serious CTJM and he is shaking, chomping, vein bulging he is so pissed at me lol....but in the end he is standing with his head low, hip shot, and my arms are crossed and watching. He will be walking calmly up to the gates and relax.
But when we are at a race he stays calm until I put my bands on and hears my name for the next drag he gets a little faster when walking. When it is time to run he will walk to the gate for about 5 feet then he gets a little prance which is ok because he isn't pulling on me, fighting my hands, he is ready to go. It is when his head bent to his chest, fighting my hands, and lunging that I get pissed and he gets a serious tuning to back off.
But he knows the routine and respects the routine...when. He is going good and not getting hot I can walk in the arena for exhibitions and is like "ok...whatever".
Sometimes I really have to get after him before he gets it but once he gets it he knows he better back off. You just have to be persistent and if you can haul her to races and just camp on her because that is the environment that you want her to relax most of the time. You can do as much slow work at home as you want and they will be great but you also need to do some at the races themselves.
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