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I Thought We Were Over This

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  • I Thought We Were Over This

    I have been working very hard to acclimate my pony to the show atmosphere. Taking her out at least once a month to a show or clinic. We went to a show yesterday that was a new place to both of us. It was like starting all over again She was screaming her head off for her buddy and bucked several times during her test. Are some horses just not mentally cut out to be show horses? She is very docile at home. I have been working on this for the last 12 months and I would say there are three different facilities I can now take her to where she doesn't loose her marbles.
    Dawn

    Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

  • #2
    Do you take her to shows or clinics with another horse/pony? If so stop and take her by herself. I think you will find she is much quieter and will bond better with you, and pay better attention to you.
    Contrary to what you may think, most horses are much better behaved when the go someplace by themselves. So long as there are other horses (ones she does not know) around. Don't forget they are herd animals! Good luck

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I don't have my own trailer so I rely on when my trainer or friend goes. There is a show at the end of the month that my friend did offer to take only me and pony to. I feel bad because she would miss work and wouldn't even being showing, just hauling me and my screaming pony. I may take her up on this offer.
      Dawn

      Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

      Comment


      • #4
        To answer your question, yes, some horses never seem to really settle into the show atmosphere; but, that doesn't mean your horse has to be one of those. My stallion still has an issue with showing. He is terribly afraid of other horses getting too close to him (go figure). He's 7 and I've hauled him all over the place, alone, with others and such. He actually is very good in terms of his behavior for the most part; but, once something does set him off it takes a while to get him to relax [again]. I have a gelding who is 15 and has been shown to PSG and hauled all over the map to clinics, shows, etc. He still can turn into a blithering idiot in a busy show situation. I have learned to ignore it and simply work him in a routine in the warm-up that more or less tries to get him to zone out or tune in to only me. It has gradually improved over time but he'll never be a dead head. Then I have another gelding who is the most steady eddie type there is. They're all different. Some take a while to mature, gain confidence and accept change with you as the leader......some never buy the whole concept. You can still accomplish a lot even with the more 'sensitive' types.
        Ranch of Last Resort

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        • #5
          Once a month is probably not enough. Can you afford to have her hauled out one day of each weekend? Show, play, hack, camp. As my boy Carl says; the only way to get over show nerves is to show. It was his suggestion to a caller on a TV interview that if you can you should show every weekend -it didn't matter whether it was schooling or not. So I say adapt that to your horsey, and if you can afford the hauling fees, take her out every weekend.

          You didn't say, but is your barn busy or quiet? That might feature in too.

          Paula
          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Barn is somewhere in between busy and quiet. Occasional clinics, small boarding clientele, lots of kids and an array of dogs and cats.
            Dawn

            Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

            Comment


            • #7
              Once a month is probably not enough. Can you afford to have her hauled out one day of each weekend?

              Certainly not suggesting that this is a bad idea. I do feel strongly that regularly going somewhere and especially to different venues can only build character; but, the two I describe who will likely never be the BTDT types when it comes to shows are hauled weekly to lessons (and not always at the same place). Some horses will always know the difference.....Now that being said all of mine are troopers when it comes to travel, standing quietly both on and off (will stand for hours tied to it) the trailer and simply hanging out. They are all good alone or in company too.
              Ranch of Last Resort

              Comment


              • #8
                Absolutely, exvet. I do think though that even if the horse's behavior doesn't improve, the handler/rider would become more adept at dealing with it.

                Paula
                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                Comment


                • #9
                  At some point, they won't behave unless you EXPECT them too. So if she is twirling around you on the lead with her tail up etc etc, give her one or two good pops on the shank and say, "Hey! Pay attention!" If she squirts past you, pop the shank and say, "Back up!!"

                  If she steps sideways from something while riding, apply inside flexion the other way and legyield out like a cliff is opening up next to you for a few strides.

                  A lot of time people take horses to new places and are all, "There there, nice horsie," about it. For me, stand still means stand, let's go over here still means lead like you'be got some sense, and riding means I get to drive. If I wouldn't put up with it at home the story is not going to change just because we switched geography.
                  The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                  Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                  Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                  The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

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                  • #10
                    If the horse is getting so distracted, you're not asking her to do enough to keep her focused. When you're warming up, try to keep her focused on you - don't give her time to get stressed out and start wondering where her friends are!

                    My mare is fantastic out at shows 99% of the time, but that 1% she'll decide it's all just too much for her. So what do we do? We work on keeping her attention - loads of circling, transitions, changing bend, changing direction, laterals... anything and everything so she has to concentrate on ME, and not on whatever is happening over there that would be SO much more interesting. Work on really getting the submission before you even go into the ring. LOADS of bending, loads of circling, loads of inside leg to outside rein and getting her to stretch over her topline. Spiral in and out, if there's an area that she finds particularly interesting (ie back at the truck, or where her friend is), make sure you're extra vigilant about not letting her fall apart when you're close to that. Flex her away from it, ask for a leg yield or shoulder in past that are, so she can't herself in a tizz.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rizzodm View Post
                      I have been working very hard to acclimate my pony to the show atmosphere. Taking her out at least once a month to a show or clinic...... I have been working on this for the last 12 months and I would say there are three different facilities I can now take her to where she doesn't loose her marbles.
                      think if it in this way....if you only picked her feet out once a month over the course of a year,how well would that go? really?

                      if you want a horse to behave like a circuit horse, quickly,you must invest the money and treat them like one....quickly. As in,be on the road three days of seven,stay gone over night,go from one arena to another constantly desensitizing them to new things...total immersion

                      broke horses in this way are made with hours,and hours and hours and everyone does what they can with what they have....

                      not knowing your circumstances,I'd suggest hauling w/o showing...pay the stall/day fee and just go...stay on the outside of things until she and you calm down...a full day of walk and whoa and seeing the world does wonders...and any horseman that is there will know what you are doing as I promise they have done it also...

                      Tamara
                      Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                      I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Are you working with a trainer who can ride her for a bit? I'll bet that you're expecting her to behave badly, and she's reacting accordingly. Having a pro handle the situation a few times can be wonderful and it will take some of your stress away.

                        I'm also thinking that I need to send Herself to meupatdoes for boot camp.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                          At some point, they won't behave unless you EXPECT them too. So if she is twirling around you on the lead with her tail up etc etc, give her one or two good pops on the shank and say, "Hey! Pay attention!" If she squirts past you, pop the shank and say, "Back up!!"

                          If she steps sideways from something while riding, apply inside flexion the other way and legyield out like a cliff is opening up next to you for a few strides.

                          A lot of time people take horses to new places and are all, "There there, nice horsie," about it. For me, stand still means stand, let's go over here still means lead like you'be got some sense, and riding means I get to drive. If I wouldn't put up with it at home the story is not going to change just because we switched geography.
                          Such a good post. Lots of horse owners/handlers need to read this. Poopsie is not afraid, Poopsie is being a brat. Time to straighten up and act right!

                          **Not referring to OP's mare specifically, just generally speaking**
                          Last edited by Ms Red Britches; Apr. 3, 2013, 02:42 PM. Reason: Clarification.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is your mare cycling right now? A few mares I know are going through springtime sillies this month, and that might have contributed to your show experience.

                            A friend of mine always puts a full divider between the horses who are shipping together to a show- they know there is another horses in the trailer, but they cannot touch noses. This seems to help with the separation issues that some horses have when they haul together.

                            Best of luck with your future shows!
                            Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Instagram | Flickr | Calendar

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thankyou everyone for your responses. Looking back on the day she did ok until we had to leave the big warm-up arena to the small warm-up arena prior to entering for our test. Then from the small warm-up into the show ring. I later heard that there were rabbits frolicking in the bushes by the show arena. Then when we returned to the big warm-up she did settle down a bit. I was expecting to get qualifying scores that day for RAAC because she has been doing so well off property, thus my frustration. We will keep at it, go to as many places as we can and have plan a for those quiet show days and plan b for the not so quiet days.
                              Dawn

                              Patience and Consistency are Your Friends

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                This caught my eye:

                                "We went to a show yesterday that was a new place to both of us."

                                Is it possible that maybe it was a little new for you too, and maybe she picked up on that?

                                Like others have said, she sounds like she really just needs more mileage.
                                \"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it.\" Anne of Green Gables

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Im the opposite. I let them eat grass, talk, whatever until Im on them. I make sure they have food or grass as we go around too sometimes bringing a bucket. I noticed a few grooms who did this (fed by the arenas) and it really works if they are really nervous.

                                  Trying to manage everything, especially on a nervy or hormonal mare may backfire.

                                  At the same time I would get her out more often for lessons, clinics, whatever you need to do.

                                  Ive also found lunging might be an enemy in these situations. Some horses just work themselves into a frenzy.

                                  The best grooms/trainers Ive worked with hand walked the arenas, and then took breaks to graze or bucket feed near the "scary" show arenas and so thats what I do and have had lots of luck
                                  ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
                                  http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/

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