dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chapter 4: It's a big world out there

Over the course of the weekend I watched Steele take in all the excitement and activity with wide eyed interest. Wherever we went he was curious. Not that he didn't spook at stuff he did. Often it was something that he had walked by numerous times already. But I think that there was just so much to look at that he was simply noticing it for the first time.

The first day I only led him around and lunged him in the show ring (once the show was over). He attended ribbon ceremonies, listened to applause and saw people coming and going above him in the stands.
day 1 at the ribbon giving

I made sure that I had the same expectations for his behaviour at the show grounds as I do at home. I expected him to be respectful of my space and to lead like a perfect gentleman. On the lunge he was to listen and not run away. While I had to give him reminders those were no different than at home. I believe that he found security in knowing that the boundaries were still the same despite all the distractions.
behaving like an old hand
Someone at the show asked me if mine was the 'big gray' in the front part of the barn. I was confused, Steele was the only gray but he's not big. Not by dressage standards. But in the barn I saw why someone would have thought that- he was trying so hard to take it all in that he was standing with his front feet on the cement lip and had his head up as high as it would go outside of the stall. This made him look a hand taller.

I would take him out of his stall and groom him in the main alley while there were horses and people coming and going. I tied his lead to a single strand of baling twine that was tied to the stall. that way, if he really freaked it would break but I still had a line on him to grab. However, he simply stood there.
check out the braid on the awesome horse 
As always I was touched by how many people at these shows take the time to comment, chat, and help out each other. A lovely rider named Nicole showed me how she did a running braid and then gave me some of her waxed string to use on Steele. That made a big difference in keeping it in. The family across the aisle threw him hay in the morning and checked his water before I arrived. Friends showed up to admire and to assist with the chores.

Many people commented on his colouring. And on how handsome he was. One funny story:
When I was walking Steele around I got to chatting with a woman. She asked about his breeding and I told her he was an Andalusian. She looked at him.
"does he have the gaits?"
I was confused but figured she was asking if he moved like an Andalusian "um, yes"
"oh. Well at least he's pretty"
I agreed that he was indeed pretty and walked away. Honestly, I wasn't even offended it was just such a bizarre thing to say that I found it funny.

I think I'm going to get it put on a t-shirt "at least he's pretty" 

But that was the only negative thing. I do love going to shows.

Next instalment I'll talk about actual riding....


  1. Interesting comment. I think the baroque breeds' piaffe, passage and pirouette beat the pants off the warmblood breeds.

    Steele looks super handsome :D

  2. Maybe she thought Andalusians are gaited horses? Strange comment given that they have beautiful gaits for dressage. She sounds very confused to me.

  3. People say the same gaiting thing about Friesians too. Why does everyone think the baroque breeds gait? Steele looks gorgeous! Love the braid.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.