Reply To: explaining that a show ring is not a race track

Joe-Joe Original Poster Joe-Joe
Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

His classes, except for the three in-hand classes, are back to back. He neither needs nor uses any energy in-hand (and tends to yawn through those anyway). His feed and exercise are carefully monitored. We only show at home, and he is not at OTTB, he is a racing Arabian. They are vastly different. He isn’t at all nervous, he is a brat. My trainer and I have tried just about everything under the sun, and he seems to just prefer to be a soloist – he behaves perfectly then. I don’t know what experiences he had between the track and ending up at a slaughter sale, but since he was rescued he has been used as a show/trail horse (3 years). He always places well (usually firsts or seconds), but every now and then he gets notions. Your suggestions about auditing (don’t know what other word to use) are excellent, and if it were permitted, I would do that, but it isn’t. We only show at about 5 shows per year. He does tend to get bored easily, and I fear that may be part of this issue – he just wants to liven things up and I am too old and feeble to make him mind me when he gets ideas. He wants to do things his way, and I want to do them mine. When we are schooling, he follows his music and knows exactly what to do for “his” songs (sometimes I forget) and does it perfectly. If I could, I’d carry his MP3 player while showing. He also listens to the loudspeaker, and when a change of gait is called for, he picks it up immediately. He just does it way faster than I like. I think he is smarter than I am, and he certainly has my number! I’ve been riding for 57 years, and have shown for decades as well as being an exercise rider, but he is my first Arab, and it is as if he is a different species. He has a huge vocabulary, comes when called, follows me like a puppy, and is generally a sweetheart as long as there are no dragons lurking in the bushes. I can bathe him and clean his sheath without having to tie him, groom and fly spray without even a halter and even put sunscreen on his nose with no issues, which was not the case when I met him. We did try putting him on a longe line before a show, but it made him wake up and act worse, so dropped that idea. When I put him on a calming supplement, he just went to sleep (literally) and acted really dopey, so stopped that also. He isn’t unmanageable, just too fast.

When there are dragons, he does a few caprioles and then sidepasses until we have passed them. He also flops his lips at me to hint that a peppermint would really calm his nerves, but I feel that would be rewarding bad behavior, so he doesn’t get one. He never tries to get away from me, is very careful not to hurt me, and only does it in one place, and only when we are coming in. Going back out, the dragons apparently sleep.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Joe-Joe Joe-Joe.

It is never the horse's fault