Keeping Her Busy In New Places..
In October, I recieved a new horse. Shes and off track tb mare, that was abused in the past. When I first got her, she was a nut case, and freaked at everything. Over the past months, shes come so far as to relaxing, and trusting. However, I do have a concern. I have her in a very small local 4-h show in 2 weeks, and I am slightly anxious in how she will behave. We have not been able to take her off farm, because the trailer has been broken, and it will be back early next week. I want her experience to be positive, and have her relaxed, and listening to my aids while we are there. Does anyone have some advice?
Be calm and be confident. If you pretend like she's done it 1000 times before and there's nothing to worry about, she won't find things to worry about. In the saddle make sure you're being an active rider and giving her things to think about.
exactly what justsambam said, be confident! There's nothing to worry about. But don't accept a whole lot of BS fromnher either, keep it clear that she still has to listen to you. But you know her better then I do, so maybe don't punish her the same way you would a normal horse, maybe just use an ugly sound like a 'hiss' or growl when she's misbehaving :) good luck and have fun!!!!
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At shows and stuff, do they allow you time to practice in the ring you will be showing in? I was wondering, because I'm sure there are a lot of horses new to the show world, and they have to know that not all horses are going to act like they've done it 1000x. So, I was just curious as to whether or not they give the horses time to get used to the area first.
As others have said, be confident, ride like you're riding at home. Ideally you wouldn't be competing her, just taking her out for the day and if she's calm enough hopping on for a little ride to make it a pleasurable experience for both of you.
Get there with plenty of time, before the other horses start arriving is best so she's not thrown in the deep end so to speak. Get her off the float and tae her straight out for a walk around. Let her stay out on a fairly long rope and allow her to jump around and be excited, just walk confidently around and expect her to come with you and not jump on you.
Get her back to the float, and tie her with some hay or hard feed if she's settled down after being walked out.
Give her a few hours and if she's calm enough, hop on and take her for a walk under saddle on a long rein. Or lunge her if she is good to lunge, you don't want to fire her up by letting her gallop flat out bucking and snorting on the end of the line!!
Biggest thing when taking first timers out is to not push them. If they're worked up and nervous, don't take them into the ring. It's not fair on the horse to expect that much of it and you want the experience to be a positive one, even if it means giving up your entry fees unfortunately!
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