Does showing horses lower our relationship with our horses? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 44 Old 01-12-2014, 11:58 PM
Green Broke
 
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Showing is what me and my horses all enjoy doing. They don't go through intense work outs before shows (or really ever, I just keep them in shape for what they need to do for me). They get to be horses 24/7. The only reason they might run from me is when I have a halter and they are super lazy ;) They get pets and scratches and are spoiled with the love they get, but they are no doubt show and performance horses. When they get saddled they know the job at hand, they don't resent me for it. I never push them more than they need to be pushed, I don't saddle my horses and have them think that they are about to get the crud ridden out of them. They get workouts very now and then, but most of our rides are leisurely working on small things here and there. And they go into the show pen happy.
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post #22 of 44 Old 01-12-2014, 11:59 PM
Foal
 
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I think it can really depend on how you view the horse. If you can only focus on how well your horse is doing in a show, and can only focus on the horse having a proper headset, etc, than you are not going to have a good time with your horse. I show one of my horses and I have the best relationship with her, but I also make sure that we can go out and just have fun. I will take her on a trail and we will just have fun. I think that this is how it should be.
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post #23 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 12:13 AM
Green Broke
 
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I think that showing can alter the sort of bond you have with your horse.

I have two horses: my "show horse" (actually a big league CTR horse) and my "kick around horse" (a little Arabian mare).

Show horse was my first horse. For the first year, we mostly just played. We ran a lot. Galloped the pastures. Took jumping lessons just for the heck of it. We trail rode 90% of the time. Probably hundreds of hours that year, and God knows how many miles.

I started doing more serious competing our second year. We tried out the upper divisions, and I loved it. I loved the glory and the winning feeling. So we started to "play" less and "train" more.

Year three, and it was all about competing. The horse won all sorts of stuff. Became a national grand champion. At competitions she was great. But I found I couldn't stand to ride her at home. She was fidgety, herd bound, barn sour, girthy, and irritable. That year of competition changed our relationship. I can't stay to what, but the relationship changed.

My "kick around horse". We play a lot. We do trick training and gallop. I ride her bareback and free jump her. We do tons of trails. I treat her like I treated my show horse 3 years ago. She loves me like my show horse use to love me.

Maybe there is some truth in the OP's speculations.
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post #24 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 12:44 AM
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Every horse I've owned has been a performance horse. I actually feel more bonded while training. I've had horses ive done rail classes with, you could tell they loved showing. They just acted different like they were actually trying with me.

My gelding loves running barrels. Just today while riding with others who were running the pattern he got all excited wanting to go. Then when I just went to trot through not paying much attention he took off towards the first suddenly on our way to it. He hasn't ran the barrels since August.

I think it depends on the person and horse.
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post #25 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 01:04 AM
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Brighteyes - that sounds to me like ulcers or a pain issue. Not that the horse doesn't love you because you took her to a few horse shows.

We shouldn't anthropomorphize our horses. If we give them an appropriate job and train them in a fair and understandable way, they will excel. They will like their job if they are healthy and trained and maintained well.
I show all my horses and have an expectation that they will progress as quickly as they can. My main horse who is schooling the GP and is coming up on 6 years of maintaining a show schedule gets very mad if the trailer is hooked up and he is not the one going in it!
The horses are also cross trained and I work closely with a vet, farrier, RMT, etc.. to keep them healthy and happy, regardless of showing or not.
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post #26 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 01:11 AM
Yearling
 
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I can't say showing has ever weakened my relationship with my horse, in fact at a show he would call and call if I left his side. He was comforted by my presence and if anything showing strengthened our bond. He also loved showing, mainly because he likes to show off lol. But I also did trail rides down the road, took him swimming, heck I even practiced barrels on him. I think you're more so thinking of people who don't have a bond/relationship with their horse in the first place, and you generally see that in the showing world. It's not the showing that causes it, it's the person's attitude towards the horse in the first place. So no I would not say showing weakens a relationship with a horse.

Sully ~Sullivan's Fly Supply~ [17.1 TB] RIP 2/24/14
Rio ~Camperio~ [18.0 Oldenburg]
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post #27 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 02:35 AM
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Interesting post I tuned in to this one, good topic! I have yet to form a true opinion and while I have worked with numerous trainers and worked towards a goal, I just started showing on a higher level.

The first trainer I picked talked about rewarding a horse, stopped them and let them relax if they did well, gave a standard pat on the rump (scientifically this is not a reward to a horse, scratching is). He had been to world, rode horses like one, horses did work well for him, and they gave some heart. Great clinics, training and lessons. His horses still seemed to lack the personality our horses do, but we spend a lot of time scratching, letting them play in the pasture, trail ride. He has mainly pro caliber horses obviously and ours are not at that level. My Mom sent her show pony to training there and the trainer when we went for a clinic said, "she is a great horse, a real athlete, but she isn't as friendly as your other horses, less personality I was surprised." My Mom walked in horses eyes went from dull to sparkly and she picked her head up.... total change over. My mom since switched from NRCHA to cutting trainer. He also said "Wow, she totally changes under you." (Said to my Mom) "She is soft, relaxed, and really working for you! I have to admit I have never seen such a team before she works better under you then me!" This is a pro guy and I see it myself.

Me: I LOVE the same beginning pro NRCHA trainer I talked about, but he was such a haul to take lessons from. Horses are my babies and I want a bond. I researched a nothing young, very good trainer making waves. I loved the barn, his learn and work with different personalities, and he seemed a perfect match for my new sensitive show filly. I took a lesson before using him on my gelding. He hopped on my gelding and asked me to hold his prize, placing, show mare. She was like who are you? Can you scratch me? Hi!!!!! I was taken back! This was not what I learned to expect from a trainers horse, holy cats!!!!

So I left my sensitive scared filly I basically rescued there. When I took her home she was like hi Mom!!! Scratch me! Where we going! Also, trained beyond what I expected, soft, there, and eager to learn. I took a gamble on the trainer. End of year I looked at his show record thinking I chose the low and new trainer no one knows wonder how he did? GUESS what? I almost fell over, the younger training 80% of time beat the previous trainer I used and other old time top dogs!!!! Does personality plus help? From my small sample!!!! YES!!!!!

Last edited by Nell J; 01-13-2014 at 02:38 AM.
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post #28 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 02:39 AM
Green Broke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
Brighteyes - that sounds to me like ulcers or a pain issue. Not that the horse doesn't love you because you took her to a few horse shows.

We shouldn't anthropomorphize our horses. If we give them an appropriate job and train them in a fair and understandable way, they will excel. They will like their job if they are healthy and trained and maintained well.
I show all my horses and have an expectation that they will progress as quickly as they can. My main horse who is schooling the GP and is coming up on 6 years of maintaining a show schedule gets very mad if the trailer is hooked up and he is not the one going in it!
The horses are also cross trained and I work closely with a vet, farrier, RMT, etc.. to keep them healthy and happy, regardless of showing or not.
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Lol, not just a few horse shows! 50 milers every other weekend all spring and fall. Over 1200 competitive miles logged in one season alone.

I actually took her to the vet to get her checked out after all this personality change started happening. And because she was dropping weight. She was ribby. You could see her hip bones. Scoped her for ulcers, examined her for all sorts of pain. My vet said she was just exhausted. "Spent." My fault, I pushed her too hard. Physically, definitely. Emotionally? Well, depends on your view of horse emotions. Maybe. I just burnt the poor creature out.

Last edited by Brighteyes; 01-13-2014 at 02:44 AM.
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post #29 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 02:41 AM
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With that note. I have friends that got burnt out show horses. They switched it up and the horse perked right up.

Now I really think it depends on the barn, trainer, and face it sorry some horses like it more then others. You pick one that doesn't like the discipline what do you expect? Just opinion ad of course they will do it. My show gelding placed well for me, but he needs hops to trails which HE LOVES!!! My new filly perplexingly is happier in the ring. She trail rides okay but seems to be happier in the ring. Weird....

I also believe it depends what you want one of the top show people around me...the horses are machine like, awesome athletes, and (last part in reference to trainers love) they love every minute of showing. I want both it will be tough, hopefully doable we shall see.

Last depends what the horse is use to. Born to show, brought up in show barn, and trained. Now this is all the horse knows...they know no better and may be happy as they know no better.

Last edited by Nell J; 01-13-2014 at 02:49 AM.
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post #30 of 44 Old 01-13-2014, 10:46 AM
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Since you have had the same issue with both horses, you might look at how you are "prepping" them. Endless repetition will sour a horse and is unnecessary for show ring success. Switch it up, arena work one day, "mess around" the next two. When your horse "gets it", STOP drilling. That, IMO, is the biggest mistake a lot of people make.
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