This past Sunday, Trainer C held a small schooling show for the Connecticut River Arabian Association at the farm. We were really not sure how many people were going to come, and in the end, only people on property were showing but it was a really good experience for all.
To start the day, in simple terms, Bently was pissed. He watched everyone else go out and then spent the whole morning screaming his displeasure at being left in. He eventually calmed down, but then Mikhai realized he was not being let out either and started the screaming back up again. I wasn’t too worried about his mental state until I took him out to lunge and he was a lunatic outside. Like spooking, running, snorting like the dragon he pretends to be.
Thankfully once I was on, he seemed to calm down a bit. Maybe it was all the cars parked around or that someone was walking their horse that got him, I wasn’t sure. We warmed up pretty soft and nice which I was very happy with. We ended up wandering around while waiting for our two classes because Bently is a pacer and he wouldn’t let me stop and breathe so we did laps.
The first class was rough. Bently wasn’t expecting the back door to be wide open with the ranger parked outside of it, and there were a lot more people on the rail then he was used to in that ring, so he spooked twice. Again, it didnt help he was alone either so it was one of those do the best we could.
We had some gorgeous moments when he did finally figure out he should ignore everything, but getting him to ignore it was a battle. And then he was all fired up and wouldn’t let the ring hands pin him. It took a combined effort from me and Trainer C to get the ribbon on his bridle. Once he realized it was victory lap time, he was all up and in a frame and reaching and oh so pretty.
The second class was infinitely better as I knew what to expect and I relaxed a lot more. We did break at the canter but my horse has very little stamina when it comes to cantering, which is a work in progress. He still was a little wary of everyone coming up to him but he relaxed a lot more. Victory lap was more subdued without the ribbon on his bridle. After he managed a short walk down to the pond because Brooks caught a fish and I wanted to see how big it was. Curiosity killed the cat I guess.
Overall, I am so proud of him. I went in with no expectation and prayers that I would not have a horse that would completely revert into saddle seat mode once he realized he was in a show ring. He had a few saddle seat moments in the second class but they were manageable. Trainer C and I are already planning an upgrade to a Pelham when we go into shows because he does get a bit bigger in the ring and our current snaffle is just too thin to get him to pay attention.
We still have some work to do, and Trainer C has said if he shows improvement in the next week we will sign him up for the May show.
He will be getting almost 5 days off from riding because I leave Saturday afternoon for the lovely state of Missouri (aka Misery) to visit my sister and brother in law. I’m hoping a few days off will do him good.