I should be at a horse show right now.

But I’m not. I’m convinced that the universe is conspiring against me. First my horse goes bald just in time for the show I’ve been looking forward to for months. Then, two days before the show he comes up lame. Not horribly lame, just tender footed on the right front, but enough to where I can’t ride him. He was without a shoe on the right front for over a week because my farrier was out of town. Then immediately after the new shoe was put on, he started limping. I couldn’t be there when the farrier came, but one of the other boarders told me. He was FINE before the new shoe went on, which makes me think maybe he was trimmed too short. I really don’t know enough about horseshoeing to blame anyone, but it does irritate me that he is lame AFTER getting new shoes. Grrrrrrrr…

The show series I was supposed to do today doesn’t have another show til August! I can’t wait that long!!! I have two options for shows in July. One is a hunter schooling show about an hour and a half away. The other is a local saddle club show that’s fairly close to my barn. The hunter show does not have an adult beginner class which means I will be showing against eight year olds. I’m not sure I want to do that again. I think my husband is right. No judge in their right mind is going to give me a ribbon when there’s an adorable eight year old on a pony. The saddle club show is more geared toward Western riders but they have a few English classes. It will be more low key than the hunter show, which may be better for me. I tend to be a bundle of nerves!

I guess the up side of all this is that Baron’s hair will have a chance to grow back in and I’ll get some more time in the saddle before we show again. I probably should not be so obsessed with showing, but I had so much fun last time and I can’t wait to do it again.

In the meantime, here are my goals:

  1. Work on flatwork- more controlled turns and circles, better transitions.
  2. Work on cantering. I feel pretty comfortable at the canter, but my form needs major improvement. I canter in two point for now, which is fine, but I want to work on keeping my hands still.
  3. Groom Baron meticulously to keep the rain rot away!
  4. Learn to braid. This is more of a long term goal because I don’t have a ton of time, but I want to learn to braid. I would love to show up at a schooling show with Baron braided like an A rated horse! I found a great book that explains how to do all the different types of braids, and now I need to practice.

3 thoughts on “I should be at a horse show right now.

  1. Bridget June 20, 2010 / 12:38 am

    Awwww I’m sorry you didn’t get to show! My horse HAD to get new shoes day before our last show. You know how they say don’t get new shoes to wear to event for first time – vacation, wedding, party, etc.,? Guess the same goes for horses too. It worked out ok for me but I will not let that happen again. Good goals to get ready for August show. I got good tip today – while posting – up for 2 steps then down for 1 step. Really helped me with balance. Don’t worry about diagonal. Also another tip I got today was to be planning my next move and be looking out ahead – look for my next turn, ride into the corner, when I’m thinking & looking ahead my hands stay quiet. Have a good week!

  2. Elizabeth June 21, 2010 / 5:05 pm

    Hello there! I love your blog! I recently got an OTTB back in November, and I have been dealing with a lot of the same problems as you! I have dealt with the rain rot! The biggest thing with that is to make sure you disinfect EVERYTHING that touches your horse. That helped me get rid of it the quickest. I have a question for you though on the trailer loading thing. My OTTB will go in the trailer, but he does not want to stay. He panics when the butt bar goes up. I am using a straight load two-horse trailer. I feel that if I take the divider out it would definitely help, but I also want to be able to take a friend’s horse with me if I decide to go to a horseshow. How did you finally get your horse to go into the trailer and stay calmly? And what kind of groundwork can I do to help with this! I also LOVE to show, and I have gone to only one horseshow with this horse. He got on the trailer and went there, then it took 9 HOURS to get him BACK on! And the only way I got him home was to borrow a stock trailer with no divider in it. Thank you for any help you can give me. I have exhausted books and everything else!


  3. juliaeverheart June 22, 2010 / 4:05 pm

    Wow! 9 hours! That must have been a nightmare. As for the butt bar problem, I would let him get on and off as many times as he wants for a while. I would put him on, let him back out immediately if he wants to and then ask him to load again. Once he realizes he’s not trapped and he can get off if he’s scared, he might relax. Then I would distract him with some grain or treats. Once he loads, let him eat the grain and hold the butt bar up to his rump. I wouldn’t attach it, because if he freaks out you can drop it and let him back out. I would keep doing this over and over until eventually it will seem like no big deal to him.
    The only thing that worked with Baron was repetition. After months of getting on and off the trailer he finally figured out there’s nothing to be afraid of.
    For the ground work, I got creative. I got a tarp and laid it on the ground and asked him to step on it and walk over it. I asked him to walk over ground poles and mud puddles and anything else I had laying around. He learned that I won’t ask him to do anything that will hurt him. If I say to put his feet on it, it must be safe. This was just time and creativity. I didn’t have a lot of time to spend on DVD’s and clinics so I did the best I could with what I had laying around. I think the key is spending time with your horse and asking him to do new and challenging things. He will learn to think of you as a trustworthy leader!
    Hope that helps!

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