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equiniphile 05-02-2011 10:48 AM

Our first show of the season
I hadn't ridden either Molls or Artie for two months prior to yesterday, so I really wasn't expecting much. It was more of an experience for them to get them both used to showing, as it was only Molly's second show.

We got there to a downpour at 7:30 in the morning, so we waited it out and then I took Molly to her showmanship class. God, she was an absolute pain. I was ready for the judges to excuse us from the ring :oops:. She trotted by my side, and that's about the only thing she did right. When I asked her to stop and stand for the judge, she would not stand still and kept circling, so I was struggling to get to the correct sides when the judge stepped around her. Then he nodded for us to pivot, and she went berzerk--whinnying for Artie in the trailer, nudging me with her nose, spewing saliva all over my coat. I finally got her to pivot, and then asked for a back, but she refused, and by then the following turn was just out of the question. When we lined up, she was an absolute embarrassment, would not stand still and kept hitting me with her nose, I had to cross a big no-no in showing and smack her so she cut the crap. I couldn't let her get away with it, but she did, and whenever I lined her up she'd circle and I ended up just walking her back and forth where I was supposed to be standing. What really sucks is that she behaves perfectly in the lunge ring at home and will stand still for however long I ask her to. Her ground manners at home are impeccable.

Anyway. After that, I took her to a side arena and lunged her for 10 minutes, enough to calm her down a bit and get her to focus. Then I tacked up at the trailer and rode her for hours with breaks. In the ring with other horses, I tried something different in getting her to collect. Instead of squeezing my reins alternately like Jenni has told me to, I gave Molls a loose rein (unheard of before) and kind of wiggled my fingers alternately. Her head immediately went down into a gorgeous natural headset, on a loose rein, and she walked and trotted as slow as I asked for. I was absolutely amazed! I tried her canter and was sorely dissapointed; she put her head where it should be and her frame was correct but her speed was insane. My thighs and back KILL from riding that canter yesterday. Every horse that passed, she needed to beat. It was all about a race. Next time we will definitely be doing walk/trot instead of w/t/c; she's simply not ready for that.

I missed my Equitation class :oops:, preoccupied with schooling, and when I went into the ring for my next class, I thought it was English eq when it was actually English pleasure! Molly was a dream at the walk and trot; she was listening so well on a loose rein and working slowly. When they asked for the canter....all down the drain. Every time they asked for it, she took of barreling at the slightest touch, on the wrong lead as if I asked for a counter canter repeatedly, and when I finally slowed her down, I was so tired I couldn't keep her in check. Like I said, she is DEFINITELY going in w/t at next weekend's show!

So, pictures!

Molly and I schooling:


Crazy canter:

Here's some the photographer took; I haven't bought any yet so I will just post links:

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equiniphile 05-02-2011 10:49 AM

Good ol' Artie and I placed first in Simon Says; it was down to three of us cantering on the correct lead. We were asked to do a flying change on to a counter canter (Artie and I were on a corner, all the more difficult!) and we were the only ones who could do it! We also got 2nd in egg & spoon.

MIEventer 05-02-2011 11:06 AM

Congrats on your first show of the season, even though you had a rough time, you at least have this experience to beable to look back on, so that you can be more prepared for next time.

I suggest you find someone to give you dressage lessons :) That's not meant to be an insult, but meant to encourage you to learn more about riding back to front, so that when you are back in that arena, you can ride more effeciantly, correctly and be that much more prepared :)

You can't sponge your horses reins, nor twiddle your fingers back and forth, to get "collection" that only gives you a false headset - you have to learn to ride seat into legs into hands, riding inside leg into outside rein, getting her to drive from behind and come into contact.

If you want to Event, dressage is going to have to become a very important aspect to your daily training :) You'll get there :)

Congratulations again! I love Artie, he's adorable! I love that his ears are forward and he looks quite pleased with himself.

equiniphile 05-02-2011 11:29 AM

Thanks, MIE! I've only ever had one English lesson, but now that we have a trailer I'm going to try to go regularly to lessons with Molly. Arthur's such a good boy; he's just happy to go along with whatever :lol:

Michelle and Mr B 05-02-2011 03:56 PM

Well done for having a go at your first show of the season. I think what it shows is that preparation is the key.

I agree with the above comments of having an instructor giving you some lessons as this will help you and your horse.

Also possibly just getting your horse out and about at shows, not always entered in them but there working her inhand and under saddle getting used to the 'buzz' of a show so it's not so exciting for her. It's about exposing her to as much as possible so she feels as comfortable as possible in different situations.

anrz 05-02-2011 06:02 PM

Congratulations on your first show of the season! I agree with the above post about getting Molly out to shows and just schooling around. A lot of horses behave differently in new environments, so just getting them acclimated to new places and knowing that they will be expected to listen to you just the same as if you were at home!
I agree with MIEventer about dressage lessons. I know it's difficult, but even with the more forward horses you need to get the drive from behind. With every forward moving horse I've ridden, once they have that drive from behind and are "together" THEN you can bring them back and do so in a balanced manner. It's not easy, but sometimes you have to ride the more forward pace in order to bring them back, if that makes any sense.
And just a pet peeve of mine, your number goes on your lower back in hunt seat, which is what I'm assuming your class was?
Molly and Artie are so cute! Congratulations on winning Simon Says, as well :). Great job.

equus717 05-02-2011 06:32 PM

Great job. You will get there. Your horses are beautiful. That's the best thing about going to shows it will show you what you need to work on. I know that feeling had my first show a couple weekends ago Saturday was great Sunday was downhill but it showed me what I need to work on.

It is always good to take something away from every show.

equiniphile 05-02-2011 06:39 PM

Thank you all! Yes, I know the number goes on the lower back, but my mom was very proud of herself for helping me out with Molly and I didn't want to burst her bubble :lol:

wren 05-05-2011 11:50 AM

You guys looked great! i love her braided tail. :-)
I forget, is Molly a TB? i took my TB to his first show last weekend and ran into a few interesting things. When he was in the ring by himself he was calm as a cucumber! but when other horses were in the ring warming up he freaked out everytime i asked him to turn away from them. I wonder if Molly will stop trying to race as she goes to more and more shows.
Good luck with your next one!

fuadteagan 05-05-2011 04:16 PM

Looks good! REALLY GOOD! But, my second show ever and the ring is grass, apparently. Like literally, all grass! So stupid, whatev. I'm so nervous my mare will try to put her head down and eat it. Because I was taking her to the field and i stopped her midway and took of the halter and hit her butt but instead of going in she spun around, almost running me over! She trotted to the grass. I was so mad! She wouldn't lift her head either so I yanked her head up and I slapped her with the lead rope. I'm so afraid she will be rude at the show. She always tries to run me over to get grass and I have a showmanship class :(. I will be SOO mad if she does..

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