I want to share my experience that I had this past weekend because I must say, it was amazing!!!!
I have a beautiful Andalusian mare, spoiled like you won’t believe, nails done, hair conditioned blah blah blah… footing must be perfect blah blah blah….When done riding, saddle off, when we ride at shows, well… we all know that at Dressage shows people are very good at keeping their distances and are very aware of their surrounding (at least that has been my experience) For the most part, we wear helmets and are very cautious about safety or so it seems to me.
Well, this past weekend I was brave (or crazy ) enough to take my princess to a barrel racing/roping show! OMG!, talk about culture SHOCK!!!!!
First of all, first time my little princess wears western tack! I must say she looks beautiful, but still, she was looking at the saddle like… YOU MUST BE KIDDING ME!!!! Anyways, she took it like a champ… we rode around and we went into the warm up arena…. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO SCARED IN MY LIFEEEEEEEE!!!!! It was a tiny little arena and a bunch of horses there, going every each way, some running, turning, passing us leg to leg…. My little princess was awesome but at the same time acting like if one of those other horses were about to get any closer to her, she was going to NAIL THEM!!!! Total chaos!!!! I finally just stood in a corner and prayed with all my heart that I could make it to the other side of the arena without getting run over. At all this, no one was wearing a helmet, NO ONE!!!!! AND my friend told me if I was to put my helmet she was leaving, so … peer pressure I know, but I did not wear my helmet.
Ok, so… we went in the main area where the people are waiting to run the barrels… once again…OMG!!! Some of those horses (the ones that are reading to run) are rearing, running backwards, crashing into other horses (which are tied up to the fence)… the horse goes in the arena, the rider is all over the place, amazing how fast they can turn and stay on the saddle ( I found out some of them put rubber band on their stirrups and around their boots so they don’t loose their stirrups … if it was me running … I would need rubber bands holding my whole body to that saddle!!!! The horses are running full speed, the riders are whipping or spurring their horses ( some of them were not, but for the most part… that was my observation)… Anyways, quite an experience!... so, I got off my mare, (my main goal was to expose both of us to this new environment) and we hanged out by the gate, we tried to stay out of the way but still… we almost ended up being run over a couple of times.
Once the barrels were done, the ropers came in…they were all around us, stretching their ropes, practicing etc… my little princess stood there and just watched, and took it all in… she was amazing!!!! Well, here come the COWS… WITH HORNS!!!! My mare took a look at them, her eyes got very big, her neck went up and what does she do???? She gets closer to them, start smelling them and … starts licking them (The cows were in the chute) LOL
Their horses were amazing! So well behaved!!! They stood tied up for so long and they did not move! They stood there like champions!
Anyways, I must say that it was quite an experience, here is a Dressage horse, only exposed to the world of harmony and peace and all of a sudden she is thrown into the chaos of Barrel racing/roping!!! It is only fair to say that she did so much better than I did! She was amazing, took everything going on so well!!!!! I was more spooked than she was!!! I believe we will do it again, if not to compete just to get used to different situations and be able to handle commotion without freaking out. It sure will do ME good to chill out once in a while and just…. Go with the flow, but hopefully not get kill in the process and yes… I will wear my helmet, regardless of what my friend says or does!!!
Thanks for reading
Spain won the World Cup!!! Espana! Espana! Espana!
Your horse was bred to be a cow horse LOOOOONNNGGGG before she was made made to be a "dressage" horse. Working cattle and all things associated with it is much more up her alley. In Portuagal and Spain they have virtually no Quarter Horse, they work cattle on Andis/ Lusti/Sorraia as they have for hundreds of years. Spanish horses are fast off the line, can turn on a dime and "come back" extremely well. Next time I say run some barrels, let go of her mouth and let HER figure it out. Trust me she will "get it" faster than you will. She's not as fast as a Quart Horse, but pretty darn close. Your riding the ORIGIONAL ranch and cow horse!
I just might do that!!! she was so comfortable with the cows, it amazed me!!!! I am planning on taking her over there again...One thing that it made me uncomfortable was the chaos in the warm up arena, seriously, it was a mad house and my mare was upset about the horses running right up to her butt!!!! we were cornered a couple of times, but then again, I had no clue what I was doing! And I am a very timid rider as well... I love dressage but man, I can see how those riders can have a blast!!!!
Also, coming from Spain, I know how the Andies are about cows, heck, I have watched plenty of bullfights to see how well they can cut cuttle (if anyone is interested in seeing Andalusians at work with cows, go to youtube and type "merlin, a fantastic horse" Nothing less than amazing!!!!!) Anyways, I was just amazed at my mare's response because she has never EVER seen a cow before LOL.
Last edited by Merche2; Apr. 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM.
Reason: forgot to say that in the video "Merlin, a fantastic horse" the horse is a luso not an Andalusian... oh well... details....
Spain won the World Cup!!! Espana! Espana! Espana!