Monday, May 3, 2010

First Show of the Season!

So yesterday, we went to our first show of the year. Schooling show, and for us, just a lot of flat classes. A few aspects of the show were a bit disappointing, mostly in that the morning classes (that were mostly supposed to be for green horses ONLY) were MASSIVE and obviously many of those horses weren't actually green. (Plus some of those people also went in the over 18" jumping classes and this was after one of the ladies in our group was specifically told she could do EITHER the green horse classes OR the over 18" jumpers, but couldn't do both). Even the judge commented on it and told our BO that he didn't particularly like it but he had to judge the class he was given.

The afternoon classes were better but I think this is because a lot of people (and not just many of the folks in our group) ended up scratching, presumably because of how the morning went (or at least, that's my read on it). A couple of classes had only two people! That was kind of nice though because the judge was able to actually spend a moment or two talking to us about his impressions and what he thought we needed to work on.

His comments to me were that I obviously needed to work on the canter with Kieran and work on his brakes. Also that he recognized it's difficult to show a nontraditional horse in traditional show classes but he thought Kieran would do very well in spotted draft classes in draft shows (apparently he's a better example of the type than he usually sees and he's fairly knowledgeable since he's into the draft scene and has drafts of his own).

The funny thing about the brakes comment was that Kieran would actually come back down out of gait pretty easily for me, but when we're in the canter, there was no rating it (and the steering wasn't so hot, either, a couple times he'd be coming up behind another horse and I'd be trying my damnedest to get him to turn so we could do a big circle or cross the ring but no, he was determined to catch up to that other horse!). Also because we came in second in the one two-person class I was in because the judge said though me and the other girl were pretty evenly matched, he pinned her first because Kieran kept trying to stop at the in-gate. *facepalm*

Anyway, it definitely pointed out to me some things I need to work with him on. Up till now, when we've been cantering, I haven't tried to slow him, I've just tried to get him into and keep him in the canter until I ask him to come out of it. Now that he can do that fairly reliably, I guess we're going to have to work on, "okay, now slow down but don't go to a trot". Also, since we usually ride alone (and the ring isn't really big enough to have two cantering. I can't wait till the outdoor gets put in) it means we haven't done a lot of schooling on how to act when riding with other horses.

Luckily, Christine mentioned all of us would have to do more schooling with other horses and that we could trailer out to a local equestrian center that has two nice-sized arenas for use.

Anyway, I'm hoping we'll have this working better in time for the next schooling show. :)

And here's a few pics!

And here's some video of one of the classes:

And there are many many more pics over here in my photobucket.

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