Well first show ever is over and there are parts I wish I could forget, parts I will never forget, and a horse I haven't seen in a while.
Lets start with Friday...No lets start with Thursday.
It was our last lesson for a little while, and it went beautifully. Mark said several times how great we looked, how Trax was really starting to move off of the hind, and was really responsive. He felt good too. We warmed up, practiced a pattern, and called it a night.
Friday I took the day off, and we practiced again. He gave me a little trouble but not too bad, and we did one run on one of the patterns we had tried earlier in the week, and he aced it! I thought we had a decent chance of not making fools of ourselves.
It took 3 whole hours to get him clean. I'd get him bathed then move to the concrete and try to get him dried and brushed and stuff and each time he'd flip out over a brush or a tube of cowboy magic, run back into the mud, splash it all over, and we would have to go back to the hose. Finally I got him all done and got him put away.
This morning we got loaded and to the show plenty early and he was still relatively clean. A few minor spots but, no biggie. He actually looked fantastic.
|Waiting for our class|
But in the end we were beat out by this guy (whose horse didn't even get a bath)
I was very proud of my boy. I can say that it will probably be our last halter class, ever. With his big head and mismatched front feet, he will always be passed over and truthfully it was just too much work to get, and keep him clean. I really need to focus my attention in other areas.
Trail class was ok. I was a little rushed at first, because I walked over to the dog show to talk to some friends, and when I got back they had the trail set up and I had not even saddled my horse yet. But then I had plenty of time to warm up, but Trax was wound up in the worst way imaginable. He was not the horse he has been lately, but reverted back to the horse he was when I first got him. It could have been the crowd, it could have been that he saw fairgrounds and thought "roping time" or my own nerves might have had a little to do with it, although by then I had really calmed down.
For our first run, we started off great at the rope gate...until I dropped the rope. But I just went to the other pole, picked it up from there, backed him up and closed it. But because I felt flustered I felt him go there with me, and at first he backed up too far. Didn't matter we were DQ'd right there. But we went on. He was doing pretty good, struggled backing through the L, but did execute it. He kind of balked at the bridge, but went over it. Then we had to sidepass over a pole. But I couldn't remember which direction we were supposed to do first. He was all set to do it right and then I forgot my left from my right and started to back him up to reset.. Then I realized that I was okay and so he just did it and did great. I do have a video of that run which I will upload and post this weekend.
Our second run was a little bit different, and he kind of tried to run off with me on a L lead canter, so I took him back and made him start over. He had already failed the L-backup, so there was no reason to let him get away with it. Oh, but we did great on the rope gate. Then there was a side pass over an L. He fell apart there.
From then on it was pretty much down hill.
I took him over to warm up for our reining pattern. As it turned out the pattern was one we had practiced and in fact was the one he aced on Friday. So I was really hoping that we could run through it a few times and he would be set. I could not have been more wrong.
Our warm up was not nice at all. He was beyond chargy and I couldn't bring him back. He wouldn't walk, he wanted to trot. If I wanted him to trot he wanted to run. he kept trying to duck down the race track, but I didn't want too. He wouldn't stop, hell he would barely slow down. I finally took him to the stalll, gave him a drink and went to pee. I had a cold drink myself, and half a sandwhich, and then we tried again. This time was better. I thought once again that maybe we would be ok.
When it was time to go we walked in, I settled him nicely, I asked him to walk he grabbed the bit and off he went. It was run away freight train time. Wouldn't walk, wanted to race, wouldn't stand still to settle for the spins. His spins were all wrong (except to the left) He took off on the left lead lope so I took him back and started over. When we were supposed to stop and then spin towards the end, I couldn't get him to stop at all. I know now that I should have pushed him farther towards the rail and used that as an aide. But instead I played tug of war and lost. I had to one rein stop him. THEN, he gave me a nice left spin and a fair back up. it was awful.
Afterwards Mark said, that I did a great job...of keeping my cool. He said that not many people would have been able to keep their cool with all that he was throwing at me.
Interestingly enough, Marks horse struggled, one of Kim's horses fell apart and the other, struggled as well. All with things they do great at home. So obviously we all need a little more out door big crowd exposure.In fact, there were only a few horses that really really excelled. One of them was Mark's son Dallas. He did fabulous on the trail classes, and pretty darn good in the reining too.
Here's the thing though. I know it may sound like I didn't have fun, but really I did. I mean sure I was almost in tears after our warm up. But I know that it is just going to take more exposure. He has got to get to where he feels like shows are just another day. There is another show in a month. It is on Sat, and the Ranch Horse Show is on Sunday. I had not planned on doing them both, but now I know I have too. Trax has got to get a little more used to all the stuff going on. We have to to work on actual trail patterns, so he gets used to having to go from one to the other at the gait I suggest. We have got to do transitions, transitions, transitions. And I have got to find a way to get out of his face, when he takes off like that.
I do have video of the pattern, which I will upload for you guys to see. Then you can wee what I mean about how he takes off with me. I mean the whole time his head is straight up and I am trying to check him back. I want to let go, but the minute I tried to he was gone baby gone.