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|