The following was a story I posted to a re-trained throroughbred group last summer. Since I haven’t had much time for writing or posting to OS lately, I thought I’d throw this up for your amusement. FYI – Go Lite is my off-the-track throroughbred (OTTB) gelding, Pumpkin is a grade mare with an attitude – enjoy!
Go Lite looking sharp.
In the name of Chicken Riders everywhere, after a hiatus of 15 years, I rode in a horse show last Saturday! It was just a schooling show sponsored by one of the local 4H clubs which are predominantly Western with some Wenglish* thrown in for grins. I planned on showing Go Lite (his first show since being off the track 2 years ago) in English Pleasure, English Equitation, Walk-Trot, and the Egg Marathon (what was I thinking with that one?) and showing Pumpkin in the Trail Class – she mainly came along as company for Go Lite – BIG MISTAKE!
They loaded into the trailer much better than I thought they would, and we made it to the fair-grounds in time to get tacked up and warmed up a little. The fun began as soon as I tried riding Go Lite away from Pumpkin – then the screaming began (on their parts, not mine). Go Lite proceeded to do everything in his power to verify the OTTB stereotype – we pranced, we danced, we screamed – but at least he didn’t try to run off.
He was unafraid of the announcer’s booth, but the lawn chairs outside of the rail were terrifying! Sigh.
He really can behave when he wants to!
Needless to say, out of 8 riders, we didn’t place in either Pleasure or Equitation – but at least my horse didn’t try to lay down in the ring like the App that got second place in Pleasure…the judge turned around as she (the horse) was getting up but placed her anyway – pretty bad.
Pick me! Pick me!
Equitation was traumatic due to MORE INNANIMATE OBJECTS!!! Yes, the dreaded road cones!!! After that, I decided to scratch from W-T (and EM) and warm up Pumpkin for Trail. Now the roles were reversed, and Pumpkin started screaming for Go Lite. Then my dear husband - after being warned repeatedly DO NOT TIE GO LITE TO THE TRAILER!!! - does just that, so off gallops my OTTB towards the county golf course. Thank goodness my horses were so herd-bound because Go Lite immediately started to follow Pumpkin back to the trailer. Glare at husband, make sure he has lead rope in hand, and off we went to the Trail class.
This was also Pumpkin’s first horse show ever (she’s around 24), and she managed to do more than half of the tests including the bridge, trotting poles, trotting a zig-zag around road-cones, side-passing to and opening the mail-box (prior to sticking her nose into it and looking for treats). No way was the ground-tie going to work with her boyfriend carrying on in the distance.
So to try and put a good, positive spin on things: 1 - I went, 2 - I wasn’t the one who was driven off in an ambulance (that ended up not being horse-related – although one of my friends who came to watch the show immediately worried IT WAS ME…), 3 - we weren’t excused from any classes!
Since Sunday, my happy campers have been going into separate paddocks. There was virtually no screaming yesterday! We’ll see how the trend continues – and they won’t be going to any more shows together!!!!!
Thanks for listening,
Bluesurly & the Worst-Behaved Horses on the Fairgrounds