Monday, November 5, 2012

Party Tricks

Savin' my energies for evils

Ben and I had the opportunity to go to a schooling show this weekend. I'll be honest, with the issues we've been having, and the lack of riding I've been doing, going to a show sounded about as fun as cleaning my house.

Alas, the opportunity to bring my horse to a venue, and even possibly school him in bigger spaces was too big of a draw to turn down. So on Friday evening we packed up our things and headed back down to Donida.

 The trip took over 2 hours in traffic. We got there, unpacked, and quickly tacked up to get a ride in the massive indoor arena. Ben was pretty good. The funniest/scariest part of the evening was walking in the dark...apparently my horse is not so good at that. He was tripping and spooky. I guess that is because he never has to walk in the dark - he's always in his stall during night hours.

We had a quick school. It was kind of warm and he sweats very easily - and I didn't want to hold up the group by waiting for him to cool off for an hour afterwards. So I kept it light. Ben helped a few of the horses get over the spooky end of the arena- he's so good, he just stood still and created a funnel for them to ride through. We called it the "Ben Sandwich"  Good boy.

The next day we spend the morning busily preparing the other horses who were actually showing. My plan was to pull Ben out in the afternoon for another quick outdoor school. All I wanted to do was let him open up for some long trots and canters in the big outdoor space Donida offers.

Great plan, right?

Well, Ben had other ideas.

I walked him down to the arenas, all tacked up, and he was great. I walked him around the grounds a bit, and he had a few minor spooks, but nothing that made me really worry about his mental state.

My friend helped me get on him, as he was a bit fresh for mounting. However, once on, he seemed to chill out and we walked around a bit. After about 10-15 minutes of walking, I figured I'd may as well get on with it and ask for some trot. By this time there was maybe 4 horses out there. It was a bit windy, one horse was being longed in the background, and the others were in various stages of trot/canter work. Nothing we haven't encountered before. But the big wide open space overtook him and after about 5 seconds of nice, calm trotting, my little 4yr old's brain popped. Out came the squeal and the "OH BOY"

Thoughts of evil fun took over. He wanted to buck, run, jump, do high-school moves. He started rearing. He started backing and hopping from front and to back end, like a lipizzaner preparing to levade. I tried to settle him, but he was just too wound up. So I picked a good moment to get the heck off, realizing, light bulb moment here, that I was with my TRAINER :)

She offered to get on him after her upcoming tests. So I took the liberty of walking Ben around for the next 30 minutes. He was fresh in hand, but he started to settle. I had half a mind to climb back on myself, but I decided against it because I didn't want to climb down again if he acted up.

My trainer climbed aboard, and yes, he still had some inklings of fresh, evil 4 yr old antics, but dialed down a few notches from my attempt. She got him past it and off they went, trotting and cantering from one end of Donida to the other, practically.

At least he got what we came for. I didn't really feel like riding him after that, I just wanted to cool him out and put him back. I was done with Ben for the day.

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