dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Show Take Aways

I'm still riding high on my experiences at the show. I've been mulling things over and trying to learn from this experience to improve my next one. Before I get into that let me share that I had the best ride on Carmen tonight. She was soft and forward and willing. It was magical. There was no troll corner, no scary zombie birds and no lions advancing in the grass. It took me a while to figure out what to do! I usually spend much of the ride getting her on the aids that when she started there I was caught flat-footed. But we improvised and it went very well. Leg yields- sure. Baby shoulder ins at the trot? Okay. Compressing and lengthening stride? That took a bit but man she tried.

Here's what I learned from the show:

1. I need to buy a watch.
Seriously. I don't own one- haven't for years but I kept bugging the ring steward 'what time is it?' So I need to pick up a cheap on to keep in my show kit.

2. Packing that extra pair of boots was smart.
My zipper came apart on Sunday in my first test. I had thrown my schooling boots in and I was glad I had. I got them out- cleaned them quickly and rode in them.

3. Carmen does better with more work.
I'm used to horses getting tired as the show progresses. I was even planning to scratch the last class if I thought it was too much for her. But she seemed to thrive on the work and, although tired, was not too tired to play the game.

4. I need to figure our my routine.
I am an organized person but it is very routine based. At the show I don't have my routine worked out so I kept walking back to the truck or trailer looking for things. At one point I was convinced I had lost my cell phone (in fact I was convinced I must have dropped it in the port a potty). I found it in the spot I had check 4 times. Sigh. I had rips in the space-time continuum.

5. Carmen is ready for me to up the ante.
I mean we were in a ring surrounded by a moat, trees, waving cat tails, machinery and was fine. We rode up to into the show ring by ourselves. She was hesitant and fine. So there's no need for her to be worried about my ring. This may be why my ride tonight was so good- I was expecting her to be good not scared.


6. I ride better when I'm focussing on supporting the horse than in trying to look 'pretty and perfect'.
I was able to be proactive and work with her issues. I believe this was what allowed her to improve.

And last- I still enjoy showing and can't wait to do it again!



35 comments:

  1. I love this and love that I can learn from your learnings. I know that the routine thing is going to be big for me especially since I haven't shown much. I also really like 6. It's a good point and I feel the same, I'll need to keep this in mind for my upcoming shows.

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    1. #6 is hard and it took me a long time to let go of the trying to look perfect.

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  2. It's good to have a list to get more organized for the next shows. There's always something that I either forgot or couldn't find etc. after a time I made a checklist and things ran much smoother. Glad that phone didn't wind up in the porta potty. That would have been gross. We eventually bought a small camping toilet for the trailer. A lot better than what they usually have at most shows.

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    1. Yes- I need to make a list for myself.

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  3. I am queen of looking for my phone when I am holding it in my hand. I am so glad that the show went so well!

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    1. ha! Good to know that I'm not alone.

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  4. So glad you enjoyed the show and had a magical ride tonight. More of those to come, I'm sure. The best ride I ever had at a show was on Winston -- because I was focused on riding every stride and not on looking good. But, that happened too. You've got this. Review this post before your next show -- its a great list for success.

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    1. I will review it-that is good advice.

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  5. LOVE this and LOVING how pumped you are after that show.

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    1. Yes- it's nice to be back there!

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  6. I'm so glad that not only did you have an awesome show, but you came away with plans for how to make the next one even better!

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    1. Thank you! I sometimes think too much but in this instance it should work for me.

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  7. Great take-aways for your next show! Gosh, knowing the time is so important. Coming from someone who also has no watch, I find there is always so much time at a show, until there is suddenly NONE and you are running for your turn...every gosh darn time. :)

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    1. I'm always either kicking myself for being early or hurrying because I'm late.

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  8. Excellent thinking and I totally agree with you. I would add that in my experience with my mares over the years, I think the more often I take them away from home (lessons, shows, clinics, beach riding, whatever) and they need to look to ME for support and as the herd leader, the more they end up bonding with me and improving at home. So much of what we do is building that trust and I truly think traveling (and esp overnights) helps!

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    1. I think you are right- I noticed that she became very attached to me

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  9. Fantastic!! And a magical ride to top it all off. Life is good :)

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  10. So happy that the show went so well!

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  11. I'm the same way at shows, as far as the time management/organization goes. Maybe it's because I don't show much? Either way, that was something I realized the last time I went as well.

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  12. Smart to make a list like that! It's interesting that she is so much better at home now. I used to send my horses to the ranch with my trainer in spring--for one week. They'd come back so good after working that hard in tough terrain.

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    1. Ah after boot camp home seems great.

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  13. Those are all good thing to make note of and the fact that your ride was so good again after the could mean that you and Carmen have had a break through!!

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  14. Great job Carmen. Oh yeah, you too Theresa!

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  15. Congrats!! I am so glad you still enjoyed showing. You definitely need a routine though, the habits save you when you start going crazy because you missed something.

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  16. This reminds of how endurance riders do what worked/what didn't posts. Maybe the showing world should start doing it too. I could certainly benefit from such analysis. I'm glad you had so much fun showing and plan to do it again.

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  17. I love all of this so much! Focus on the positive. Your routine will come with time. Just like she needs exposure, so do you. Haven't shown in a while, different horse, etc. All these things make for a new routine! Isn't it fun when they show us what they can handle? Have some reasonable expectations for her now and she will rise above them!

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  18. I've always said that horses will meet the expectations you set. Carmen is totally ready for a new bar to reach for maybe she just didn't know it until this show. :)

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