dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Post Show Analysis

I have in the past been accused of over-thinking.

I know, right? Who me?

But I do find it helpful to review these sorts of experiences to help me formulate plans. I think that's part of why I enjoy showing so much- they shine a light on my training and show where things need to filled in. They also show me where we're doing well. So rather then  just think  'yay, I went to a show and survived and even came home with some pretty ribbons', I like to learn from the experience. (For the record I did that to every exam and paper I did in university too).

1. Carmen travels very well. She loads, unloads and hangs out in her stall with minimal signs of stress. She enjoys looking around and seeing what's up. She made friends with the mare next to her but didn't lose her mind when the mare left (a beautiful Kiger Mustang that I would have happily stole). She was less impressed with her gelding neighbour (a lovely little QH who had quite the personality. At least I think he was a QH, maybe not). She drinks the water without fuss and her appetite is unchanged.

2. Warm up rings with horses going in different directions do not seem to bother her. At one point we were cantering to the right, when a horse cantered by us on the left coming from the opposite direction and another horse cantered by us on the inside going in the same direction. She tensed a bit (or maybe that was me) but that was all.

3. Carmen was able to walk from the warm up to the ring, wait outside and go in without too much hassle. Some hesitation for sure but nothing big. Coming out after our test and riding down to the warm up ring to cool off took a bit more discussion but I think that's because she was done and I coud get off thankyouverymuch.

4. Our warm time seems to be about 30 minutes.

5. The issues we had at the show were the same issues we had at home. Which makes me happy because there weren't yet more issues. The spookiness at the ramp was interesting because sunday morning she walked and stood by it completely unconcerned. At first I thought that I need to go back to the venue and ride there to get her used to it. But then I realized that with Carmen there will always be an issue. It's not the ramp. It's the spook. There will always be something to spook at so that my work is not to desensitize her to the ramp but to get her understanding that the spook is not the right answer. I need to figure out how to keep her on the aids and listening even when not sure. It's better but of course I want it gone. Yup, that's me.

6. When I ride 'boldly' she goes forward. I find that I get too fussed as to how she's going and we lose moementum and forwardness. But when I sat up tall and proud and rode down centre line she strutted too.

7. I still enjoy showing. Sometimes it's stressful and I get a little excited. I have to laugh at myself because no matter how many times I go to the washroom before I get on for my first warm up I always feel like I have to go again when I get on. I know it's nerves so have learned to ignore it.

8. I don't remember what I paid for these two products but they are totally worth it: Cowboy Magic Greenspot remover and Mane & Tail Quick braid. Both performed exactly as promised.

9. Taking the day off after a show weekend is a great idea. It gave me time to clean up without rushing and have some relaxation time before going back to work.


Based on Carmen's demeanour I think that she was fine with the experience as well. Not that she loved everythign but she didn't lose her mind. Even the spooks didn't feel like real fear to me but more like a test. We shall see but I have a plan now to moving forward.

Funny story- when I pulled in the drive way Irish lost his mind. He was running around the paddock calling, his whinnies getting increasingly higher pitched until he sounded like a excited mouse squeaking. Carmen backed off the trailer but a bit fast so I put her back on and she came out like a civilized equine. She walked sedately beside me to the barn but really wanted to stop and eat grass- after all she hadn't had any for 48 hours. I put her in her stall, put on her fly mask and let her out. The whole time Irish is trotting around a like a fool. Carmen comes out of her stall and doesn't even look at him-she's fixated on the grass. When it looked like he was going to cut her off from going to the field she took off. Poor Irish, playing second fiddle to food. I had to laugh.

do not stand between me and my grass


32 comments:

  1. In that photo she looks like she's licking her lips, or thinking about grass!

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  2. " I have to laugh at myself because no matter how many times I go to the washroom before I get on for my first warm up I always feel like I have to go again when I get on. "

    Yup. I get the same way!! I also have NO appetite before I get on and end up super dehydrated and hungry when the day is done.

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    1. Add me to the list...seriously, where is all that fluid coming from anyway? It's not like I'm calm enough to drink anything lol

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  3. I love this recap! So great to read through what went well and what you're still wanting to work on.

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  4. Great photo. Looks like she's telling Irish to stop being so silly.

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  5. I love all the analyzing -- I can't imagine how Carmen would be progressing with anyone but you. You guys are so good for each other 😀

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    1. Aww thank you. That made me smile.

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  6. I always got the restroom calling thing as well. The green stain remover was a life saver with Jackson -- great stuff and I also like the braid product. She's doing great -- shows take some getting used to and it sounds like she is well on her way. Tex calls the way Irish did -- must be a male red-head thing.

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    1. ha- maybe it is a red head gelding thing!

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  7. I need to learn to take days off after big horse competition weekends for exactly the reasons you state. It's so hard to go back to work with "so much to do" weighing on me!

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    1. It really is. I love having a leisurely clean up day. I even vacuumed my tack room on the trailer.

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  8. Glad to read 1 and 2, she must be one of those who likes to go. I imagine she'll only get more and more comfortable. Poor Irish though, sounds like he missed her.

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    1. He did miss her. But he's okay when she's not around, it's just when she comes back that he loses it.

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    2. Ah, that happens with mine, too, when I return from trail rides. You'd think they'd been gone for a year when, in truth, they may be gone a few hours.

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  9. This is a great analysis! And #7 is so very much me too!!!

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  10. A girl after my own heart. I pick food over my friends too. I think this sort of post-show analysis is super beneficial on many levels, and it sounds like you guys had a great outing!

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    1. I'm with Dom, food before friends. It sounds like the show was a success in terms of your partnership even if everything wasn't perfect.

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  11. I'm still just so impressed with all your hard work and progress this year! You two are very inspiring!

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  12. Cowboy Magic products are Ah-mazing! I love them all. I think it's good to review how things went, so you can use it for the future! But I can also see how your brain must not turn off very often. LOL

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    1. LOL sometimes I think I need a tranquilizer gun. :)

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  13. I love the feeling at a show when the only real issues are the ones I already knew about, the things we've already been working on. It's very reassuring! Seems like Carmen might actually enjoy this whole thing too!!

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    1. I am thinking the same thing. She seemed to look quite at home among the bustle.

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