Friday night I was running a bit behind, and so by the time I got changed there was only time to throw tack on my beast and hop on. She was her usual chill self while we got ready, but the second she got in the ring we did a 180.

I expected the different horses and people to raise some interest from O, but this took it to a whole new level. She was totally unresponsive, barged her way around the ring, pinned her ears, ignored me completely, and she was very, very forward. I tried very hard to be quiet, but by the time we started jumping I was getting more and more defensive. Big props for pony that she went over every jump the first time, minus a baby roll top, which she stopped at (and I let her check it out) before gamely hopping over it the second time.

Then we moved on to course work.

It was awful.

She ran, I pulled.

My trainer kept repeating as we went speeding by “be brave baby horse, be brave”. Yeah, well that was just not happening. Her brain and mine were on two very different planets. I didn’t have bend, I didn’t have any adjust-ability between jumps, and hell-I was just excited that she stayed in the freaking ring. So we were ‘that horse and rider’ at schooling who was wildly raging around the ring. I actually got sent from the ring to go canter, canter and canter some more in the outdoor before we came back to try again.

When I got back, we were both exhausted…yet much to my dismay when asked to canter she once again fired up her dragon look. Thankfully, there was only one rider left besides us, and she had been in their earlier and clearly knew to stay out of our way. Dragon mare and I made it down two lines with minimal disagreements….and I had enough breaks to stop her after the lines. We ended on that.

What O looked like on Friday.

What O looked like on Friday.

You don't see the resemblance?

You don’t see the resemblance?

17 thoughts on “Showtime-Schooling

  1. One of the best things about horses is they never allow us the comfort of thinking we’ve “arrived.” I can relate to this post very much. Good for you for sticking with her. And like Cesar Milan says, “A tired dog is a good dog,” it applies here too with a horse. Except when I had my TB I would tire so much more quickly than he would!!! I’m sure over time the dragon will revert to horse. Be proud you stayed on and had “fun.” πŸ™‚

  2. I really think that if the schooling day is rough, the show actually goes pretty well usually. Maybe it’s because they wear themselves out and once the adrenaline kicks off they realize just how tired they actually made themselves by being spastic? Hopefully that’s the case anyway. Good luck!

  3. At my mare’s first outing I was “that rider” as well, with my goggle-eyed, tail-flagging mare leaping across the warmup ring like a pogo stick. She settled down fast, though, and ended up being one of the best behaved horses there!

      • Well, at first I tried just walking my mare around on a loose rein to relax her, but that didn’t work at all! She continued to go ballistic. Eventually, I tried the complete opposite tactic – I gave her something to do. I threw her in at the deep end and demanded lateral work, cantering figures of eight, transitions, lengthening and shortening strides – all stuff that she really needs to focus on. And as soon as I gave her mind something to be busy with, she quit looking at everything around her and became more focused, attentive and hardworking than I’ve ever known her. It’s like work is her comfort zone and as soon as she had something interesting to do she latched onto it and settled right down. Once I got her into that frame of mind, she stayed chilled all day.

      • Great advice!! I really tried to give mine a ‘happy place’ where she could work and be relaxed. It didn’t work quite as well as yours did! πŸ™‚ Oh well, try it again next time!

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