Monday, April 17, 2017

Enter a show and everything goes to shit

I scheduled our 4th level debut and first show of 2017 recently, and everything immediately began to fall apart completely. Isn't that always the way?
"Ugh. I hate fourth level. I hate square halts. I hate being sound. I hate not spooking. I hate being relaxed." -- Pig, probably
I knew the first show at 4th level was going to be a trainwreck, but our schooling just before I put in the entry was looking pretty good. Okay. No. It was looking VERY good.
As in, holy shit who is this pair kind of good. 
We'd had some struggles earlier in the spring. One when I started schooling more in the saddle and Pig was pretty sure he forgot how to move in one.
"Wat dis? How do? Plz explain..."
But we worked through that by putting the saddle on more often and being regimented about the work required. Then... oh man. Then we struggled with Pig realizing the double and the saddle meant hard work, and he began stressing out before we even got started. It's really cool when your horse lathers up at the halt. Literally. At the halt.
Pictured: Horse looking for the cause of his sweat-soaked distress, and a dog being Queen Derp.
I thought we'd work through that by riding in the saddle and the double every single day for a few weeks, through hard work and hacks both.
And look pretty damn good while doing it, I must say.
That seemed to do the trick for awhile, but I think overplayed my hand... literally.
Heh. Puns.
Also, WTF am I even doing here?
Pig started to feel trapped in the contact. Instead of lifting up more in front like he had been, he started diving down more and more on his shoulders. Ugh. In addition, his right hind started giving us trouble again.
Mom. The right hind. It needs pharmaceutical assistance again.
Yep, injection time was approaching again. Thankfully, I'd anticipated doing another injection just before show season. This setback wasn't a huge surprise.
#waitingforthevet
What was a surprise? Well, along with intermittent arthritis issues, contact issues, and basic soreness from hard work, we've been dealing with a bit of an...attitude problem?


Yeah... it's been a bit wild and hairy over here. Some days I'm riding a killer 4th level horse, and we're both ready to conquer the world.
"Captain Guinness here, reporting for flying change duty."
Then some days I'm riding a powder keg that doesn't believe he can turn right, or left, or stop, or go. It's been a confidence booster, let me tell you.
Pictured: Me, sweating bullets. Pig, freaking out.
We're trying to cope, though. I'm taking some time off the pressure with Pig. More time in the snaffle doing the work, and more time in the double going for long walks on the beach in the creek.
Yes, yes. Sane people always take the water-adverse spooky horse deep into the woods alone.
The show is around the corner whether we're ready or not. I need to trust that the training is in there. It's better for us both to go in relaxed and happy athletes than to drill the test movements until we die.
Channeling more of this, plz.
Still, I'd really like to run through that test more than once before riding it in the ring. It's funny how time can feel so short sometimes. Anyone else in full panic mode about upcoming shows or am I cornering the market over here?

29 comments:

  1. Good luck! I wish you all the best and hope it goes well! <3

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  2. I have a cool 6 weeks before my next show... and I'm gone so much I'll only have 16 rides. I'm in that panic boat with you! Also, Pig looks AWESOME! (most of the time... ;)

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    1. Yeaaaaah, I might have a 4 day trip to Rolex scheduled the weekend just before my show. But, it'll be fine. I swear. (Where are the paper sacks?! I can't breathe!)

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  3. You guys can do it!!!! Fingers crossed that Pig will show up to play that day.

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  4. I LOVE how out of the box you're thinking here. Katai is pretty sensitive to pressure as well and when we learn something new everything else seems to be optional for awhile. Your posts are giving me some good ideas on how to mix things up for her and make it more fun.

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    1. Haha, I am familiar with everything breaking when learning something new! Hate that!

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  5. You know my own struggles recently. I am attempting to fix them in the next 3 weeks. Ha. You'll do fine! The training is there and Pig knows his job :)

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    1. You'll get there! At the very least, we'll have alcohol and each other. Right?

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  6. I am hoping the real (nice) Pig shows up at the show. he looks amazing in some of those photos. And you know what just enjoy the ride. Even halfassed he is gorgeous so if nothing else we will enjoy the recaps :) Have fun (He looks great btw!!Weight and coat etc.)!

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    1. Aw thanks! When he's on he really is quite good. But if only half his ass (or sass) shows up at the show, I think we'll do okay. Probably. We'll at least live. Haha!

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  7. Well on that logic, I'm almost ready for fourth.

    Except I can turn left pretty consistently, so maybe only 2nd?

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  8. Full panic mode? Nope. Never heard of it.

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    1. eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek

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  9. You can do this thing. You really can. Pig will be so happy to not be in the woods and going through water that he will LOVE the show ring. He may even kiss the judge. :)

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    1. Oh, now. I don't think he'd go THAT far. After all, he doesn't know the judge. The judge is not on his approved people list. ;)

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  10. Wait, should you ride your tests at least once before show season starts? Oh shit.

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    1. Nah. It's fine. Just try to not go off course more than once in a ride. #protip

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  11. Just drink more. It'll be fiiiiiiine. I'll be there to make sure you're taking in the proper libations.

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    1. Might need to make sure you have a big enough backpack...

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  12. you cant corner the market on that shit :P :P :P

    the instagram vid was so sweet and sad. youre like just go forward and hes liKE OH GOD I CANT

    TBs definitely have the market cornered on 'oh god i cant'

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    1. Oh man, they sure do. There's so much want, and try, and energy begging to go somewhere, but that front end is just blocking a bit and I'm maybe riding like total crap, and he just has to let it go somewhere! Gotta laugh at it.

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  13. I swear, it's like horses know the instant you enter a show. I hope that Pig gets his brain back where you want it and that you have a great show!

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  14. You guys look awesome and have done the work, I hope G can find some chill and you can both enjoy the experience.
    Also supes jealous of your Rolexventures

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  15. You guys are going to rock this!!! I totally feel your pain though. Hamps is KING of diving down and onto his shoulders. When he gets like this, I ride him more in the snaffle. For whatever reason that seems to help?

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  16. I know this post is now a bit old. If you haven't showed, best of luck-- the training is there, just hopefully the wheels are too!

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  17. I'm pretty sure my show plans crashed and burned, boo

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