The “I like Geldings” Horse Show – Part 4

Lucky for me Lucky was a little bit better. Not great. Not relaxed, but not fighting me. I did my best to just ride the test. The great thing about dressage is that each movement is a totally new score. If she sucked at the centerline and got a 2 that doesn’t prevent her from getting a 7 on the next movement. I did my best during the second test. I am not proud of the ride, but it doesn’t make me hide with shame like the first test. When I came out of the ring for the second time I was okay. Everyone assured me that the test didn’t look anywhere near as bad as it felt. It felt like a 40%, so I was comforted by the fact at least it didn’t look that way. Lucky was still looking around and tense so I told her Owner who had come to watch us not to expect us home anytime soon. I was going to stay until she calmed down.

I took her back to the trailer to untack her and take her braids out. This time I did give her a bath and took care of her at the show. She still wouldn’t stand. I tried everything from standing still myself, to the cowboy “your going to work if you won’t stand” and lots of things in between. After 45 minutes of her rudely plowing me over I was so annoyed I decided to just put her away instead of loosing my cool. She self loaded beautifully and after making she she didn’t want any water and that she had plenty of hay I went to watch tryingtoride’s warm up. I haven’t seen her ride in 2 years and I haven’t seen her horse go in just as long so it was great to see how far they have come. He has a HUGE canter! I have never seen a horse with such jump in the canter! While there I heard Lucky scream…a lot.

I turned a blind ear and just tried to relax and hang out. At the urging of tryingtoride’s entourage I went and picked up my tests. To my surprise we ended up with a 62.5% on the first test and a 60% on the second one. I was shocked, and even a little annoyed because I really didn’t think we earned those scores. It felt so horrible…how could it not have looked horrible??? Apparently it didn’t. We did get last place though, but it was only under 5% from first place. I decided to stop obsessing and go watch tryingtoride’s test. It was great to see her do so well, but super annoying to hear Lucky scream throughout the whole thing. We had been at the show for over 3 hours at this point and she still was not a happy camper. I was so annoyed with her! I said good-bye to everyone and decided to just take her home.

She got off the trailer stressed still and was upset all the way though her hosing off (she had a nice nervous sweat going). Even grazing her was hard because she wouldn’t stand. I gave up and let her loose. She took off to go see her barn mate and peed in greeting. Eww. It was only after she got him excited (he is gelded thank goodness) that she finally took a deep breath, rolled and relaxed. I have a feeling that a lot of her issues at the show were hormone related. Lucky is not mareish. She is normally so even tempered and sweet that I forget she is a mare. A very opinionated one. The show reminded me that when she is in heat she can get a little crazy. You would think at 21 years old she would be over it, but clearly not.

My takeaways from the show are as follows:
1) The white gloves need to go away until my hands get better.
2) I need regular lessons.
3) I need someone to come with me to the shows. It was cool to be able to do everything by myself, but that is not what we need right now.
4) Lucky and I need to go out and about way more. If I can do a show or clinic I have to go until we work though this.
5) She really doesn’t look as bad as she feels.
6) Intro tests suck because there is hardly any movements to them!
7) Sometimes things feel better but score worse…a lot worse.
8) I like geldings.
9) I really do love Lucky. Even after a rough time at the show she came over to me for cuddles and kisses while I was putting stuff away in the barn.
10) I trust Lucky enough that she won’t hurt me on purpose when I ride her even when she is not really listening to me. That is saying something.

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7 thoughts on “The “I like Geldings” Horse Show – Part 4

  1. All good “take-aways” but I wouldn’t ditch the white gloves because WEARING them will remind you to keep your hands down, quiet, and “receiving.” (“Drive the horse forward with your seat into a receiving hand”–dressage rule number lebenty-seben ;o)

    Seriously, I think you and Lucky “fed” off each other at this show and she was as nervous as you were, which made YOU nervous-er and, by extension, she was, too.

    Take the lessons and apply them. Some stuff you cannot plan for, sometimes things go differently than planned. “Stuff” happens.

    It’s ALL good.

  2. Yes – all good lessons and I’m glad your scores were good even if you weren’t 100% thrilled with your rides. I especially agree with #4. Even if you just trailer her to a low-key local show to hang out and maybe ride her in the schooling ring, and don’t even plan on showing, I think it would be good for her.

  3. Spring heat is the worst — it’s likely she won’t be nearly so awful through the rest of the year when she’s cycling. That’s a thought I hold on to pretty tightly this time of year!!

  4. I just need to know if you remembered to go back and pick up that whip you tossed when it wasn’t doing any good.

  5. I have to agree with tbdancer about the gloves and about the fact that the two of you fed off each other (although she started it). You usually have a huge grin on your face at shows both in and outside of the show ring. In fact you smile so much that I call you “Smiley Michelle” to differentiate you from the other Michelle’s in my life when I mention you to my husband. It’s a great thing and is meant as a compliment. But at this show, you were not smiling. Remember that when on the phone the person at the other end can sense a smile – I think Lucky could sense your lack of smile. I think you did great. Not ‘great considering X,Y, and Z’. You took a 21-yo rescue horse from a crazy case to just a little bit nervous. With time she’ll become calm mare. There are no quick fixes and you are well on your way on the slow but correct path.

  6. so…i think i have figured out a huge part of your guy’s problems…. from your comments about how you feel safer up on her, i think you need more groundwork. I really think you ought to check out some of Clinton anderson’s methods… now i am not saying to go out and to buy his dvd’s or his carrot stiick or his string or his halter or his lead rope… i don’t have any of that. I use a rope halter, a 12 foot lead rope of cotton and a buggy whip with a piece of twine attached…and his tv shows are easy to record and understand…

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