Saturday, May 16, 2009

64%!

64%! Woot woot!

Warming up

Baby Jasper's first show today. It was a beautiful, sunny day and he did a beautiful, flowing test. We free lunged in the round pen. We rode in the outdoor warmup. We rode in the indoor warmup. We rode all around the grounds- he was much much better if he was moving. When it was our turn to enter the arena, he walked right by the judge's trailer and at the other end of the arena only gave the mares and babies a second look. Intro test B, all 6's and 7's, and a 5 for the free walk. He was so good in the warm-up, I would have been happy to load him up and go home. The test was the cherry on top.


Oh it wasn't all perfect. He got off the trailer and couldn't stand still. He trotted circles around me on the end of his lead rope for 10 minutes or more. BUT he wasn't crazy-lost-my-brain-trying-to-pull-the-rope-out-of-your-hands, he just trotted and trotted. I walked him for about 40 minutes. We walked everywhere. He walked on top of me and got in trouble. Often. When it was time to get saddled I tied him to the trailer. He can buck in place. He leaps up and kicks out behind. While tied. And he paws. Pawing-bucking-pawing-bucking. He hated being tied to the trailer. He pulled back so hard he stretched out my nice leather halter so bad it no longer fits him. He pulled back again so hard he stretched the metal ring the rope was tied to. The third time the knot was so tight I thought I was going to have to leave it there and cut it off when we got home. There were a few riding "baby" moments. I thought he was going to explode once, but he didn't.

Once we got moving- once I got on and we got to go somewhere- he settled right in. He listened, didn't spook too much, didn't rush, didn't pull. He was trying really hard.


*Snort* Who is that boy with the camera sitting in the grass?

First time in an indoor arena. No sweat!

When I got off after my test, he stood still for the first time. I quickly took advantage and started pulling his braids out while also trying to watch my friend Janaira's ride, which was right after mine (it was beatiful- she's got quite the young dressage horse there). And then when we went back to the trailer he wanted to eat grass for the first time. The little guy finally got worn out. My skinny chewed-up not-even-4-year-old-yet OTTB that I've had for 6 weeks wearing a crappy old Wintec all-purpose saddle was a rock star. Janaira's filly was awesome. Krystle is officially a member of WSU's dressage team, she got off the trailer and settled right in with their horses.

We left before the class was placed, but I'm pretty sure we're not in the ribbons. There were 8-10 people in the class, they place to 5th, and I'm sure at least half of them got over 64%.

I'm tired, but not drained. I'm tired, but not frustrated. I'm tired, but don't feel like I went through a battle today. This showing thing might turn out to actually be fun...

10 comments:

jacksonsgrrl said...

Hi! Just started reading your blog! Good for you! Sounds like you did really well, I am astounded that you even considered a show after only having him for 6 wks! Imagine what you'll be doing in 3 months! I've been using a stretchy trailer to tie up to the trailer b/c my AngloArab has had setting back issues and I'm TIRED of buying new tack... I'm sure you knew that tho', sounds like you've got LOTS of great experience! I look forward to following your endeavors! I had 2 OTT as a kid, one was super sweet and the other one would only let my mom near her--go figure, she was a mare!
--Mindy

jacksonsgrrl said...

Meant to say a stretchy trailer tie...:O

Albigears said...

Hi jg!

Oh I know, I am really surprised and thrilled at how quickly things have happened. I'm letting him set the pace, so far he's been willing, relaxed, and pretty trusting.

Hmmm, I thought about a stretchy trailer tie, but I'm scared of what would happen if he pulled so hard he broke a snap. Seems like if it was stretched to maximum capacity and something broke the thing would whack him so hard it could knock him out.

Serena said...

Yeah, don't do it. Eric used to kill bungee ties, and the projectiles that result from a panic snap exploding are VERY dangerous.
Tie him with stuff that can't break and let him figure out that setting back doesn't work. I love my rope halters with tied-in leads.
GREAT job with Jasper!! :) Congratulations!

Albigears said...

That's funny, I was just thinking that from now on he's going to wear a rope halter. They don't break and put a little extra pressure on the poll when they pull back.

BritnieAnn said...

Oh congrats!! I knew he would do you proud. Good job Jasper!! (Cant wait to get to work tomorrow to watch the vid! crappy dial up at home!) He looks very handsome in his braids!

jacksonsgrrl said...

My trailer tie has a quick release snap that I put on the halter end; it's really easy to get off with a flick of the wrist. Who knows if it really will help since he hasn't set back since I've had it! He likes the stretchiness tho'; senses he has more give...We will see! If it snapped back and hit him maybe it would teach him a lesson! LOL! JK!
-Mindy

jacksonsgrrl said...

Also, he BREAKS rope halters, I'll let you know how it works. Seems he can get hurt regardless if he really were to get spooked...
I think the quick release is the key....
:)

Albigears said...

Wow, your horse can -break- rope halters? Does he break the rope in half or what? I've never heard of that before. Yes, keep me updated...

Albigears said...

Oh, and yeah- a quick release when tied to the trailer is a good idea. The knot in the rope was so tight I had to use a hoofpick to get it undone. Not exactly safe if he had got hung up on something.