You can see where this is going.
|Pretty much as wild as it got|
Accordingly, the show ran late. Very late. Instead of tacking up and hopping on ASAP, we now had a very long wait. The good news was, standing around is an AWESOME way to teach greenies that shows are boring and easy.
We spent hours standing around in the holding area and just taking it all in. Horses jumped big jumps, kids trotted by to get to their classes, people came and went, the loud speaker got used.
Courage didn't so much as spook.
|His beloved Honey Pie Pony|
He LOVES ponies. The smaller and cuter the better, but pretty much anything under 14hh looks like a good friend to him.
Given the opportunity, he wanted to trot after them and be their friend. I didn't let him, since I thought giant prancing thoroughbred might scare the small ones.
After many hours of standing around and visiting and meeting his facebook fans, it was finally time to saddle up and go. Bear in mind that we were here for the experience. We signed up for ground poles and the whole point was just to go out in the arena and see what it was like and let him see new stuff in a different situation. I wasn't planning to push him or work on contact or do anything he'd find challenging in a new environment.
Courage stood on the buckle on watched it all. What a stud.
Finally, it was off to the show ring!
I let Courage walk around the far side of the arena so he could see the standards and the indoor next to us and the spooky hay barn, then we headed for our course.
He. Was. Awesome.
|A wee tiny jump|
I kept my reins soft and just asked him to follow the pattern. I let him canter after the poles, but brought him back to trot in the corners.
Amazing. I still can't believe it.
|A mighty leap|
It was pretty late in the day at this point, and he cleared them with room to spare. It was definitely the biggest jumping effort he's given me yet.
He got a little hoppy/light in front and I corrected immediately.
When I think about it, I would have preferred to respond differently. It didn't feel naughty or wild--more like he just sort of surprised himself. The excess energy isn't bad, but I would have liked to put him to work on a little larger circle. As it was, we demonstrated an excellent rollback for everyone and then carried on.
The focus was on having a positive experience, so I rode to the next obstacle and forced myself to loop the rein and trust him.
Wouldn't you know, he was fine.
Jumps, ponies, warm up, judge's tent, loose horses, whatever. At six weeks off the track, he was perfectly happy to hack around on the buckle and visit with new and old friends.
And one last shot I have to share--I am an obsessive groom, but I've been strapped for time lately. I broke down and pulled him mane right before the show.
Now he looks like a proper grownup. Too cute!
YAY! Courage! I'm sure you handled that scoot/spook as well as you could have! Based on the photos it simply looks like you were working on your canter pirouettes midway through the outside line:) *Also, when I go back to get your breastplate I'm throwing in one of Bartville's beautiful neck straps!ReplyDelete
What a grown up baby horse. Congrats on an awesome first show outing! And I'm finally breaking down and asking: WHAT are you're breeches?? I am seriously in love with them.ReplyDelete
They are the smartpak piper kneepatch breeches. I'll write a review once i have sufficiently abused them.Delete
How exciting!!! Congratulations! What a good boy :)ReplyDelete
Eek for them leaving jump cups up though. That scares me especially with greenies.
very awesome. He's such a great catch!ReplyDelete
good job for first show!ReplyDelete
Awesome! He looks smashing.ReplyDelete
Super job on the part of both rider and especially, horse. You have discovered a gem indeed.ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your first real outing!
You give me so much hope about getting an OTTB!!!! So great!!ReplyDelete
This post makes me so happy! I love all the pics! He is fantastic and so are you! Congrats on such a successful outing!ReplyDelete
What a superstar!!!ReplyDelete
Congrats on a great first outing! Way to go Courage!ReplyDelete
In which Courage lives up to his name! So wonderful :)ReplyDelete
It's amazing what these OTTBs can do! I have now witnessed my trainer bring dozens of them off the track and with very few exceptions they have all been as easy as this. Way to go Courage!! I think he is definitely living up to his name.ReplyDelete
I love the photos. What an awesome pony you have!ReplyDelete
He is a champ and so are you!ReplyDelete
Yay!!!! Wow he is so incredible. What a good boy. ::pats::ReplyDelete
He is such a GOOD boy!!!ReplyDelete
Sounds like a great first outing!ReplyDelete
Just catching up on your blog... what a good boy!! And SO freaking cute!!ReplyDelete
What a good boy at his first show! Can he come give Dandy lessons? :)ReplyDelete
What a good boy!! Hes so super cute and the pulled mane looks great on him :).ReplyDelete
Sounds like a very good first show experince for him.
I <3 your boy. What a good man he is! And of course one should give flowers respect - you never know if mean fairies live in them ,or there may be a troll or two. I also talk to my horse and tell her good girl for every little thing. She deserves it -- she puts up with me. LOLReplyDelete