Schooling Show

Rogo and I went to a training show last Mon. and I'm quite pleased with him. I took him the night before and he was very calm and relaxed - no upsets or stress about being in a new place. I was able to ride him in the show ring and ran through a test quite nicely in a very relaxed manner within minutes of going in.
I tacked him up the next day and was on him 50 minutes before our first test, so he'd have lots of time to get acclimatized and warm up. In the warm up ring he was so laid back I only worked for a few minutes, then went to talk to my friends and watch the rides from his back. He stood quietly with no fuss.
When it got almost time to ride I did about ten minutes of warm up, then took him down to the ring, where you can ride beside the dressage ring while on deck. It was here that I realized I'd badly miscalculated - Rogo was suddenly on fire. I don't think I was passing tension on to him as it was the most relaxed I've ever felt at a horse show. Having said that, I'm sure that as I prepared to go in I did feel 'up' for it. What ever the reason, Rogo wanted to GO. I practiced lots of trot halt while waiting to go in and then rode the test, hoping for the best. Honestly I was holding him with everything I had and half halting every stride to keep him under control. He wasn't spooky at all - horses were running in a field right bedside him, there were lots of new sights - but he was all about going forward. Can you believe this is the same sleepy horse I had a year ago? My friend Alison asked me afterward if I'd been holding him strongly, as he exploded into the canter, and that was a good word for it :). We came away with 63+ and third place out of six, missing second place by tenths of a point. Second went to Alison, doing a great ride on her just turned five home bred warmblood at his first show ever. Very impressive!
Then..... we did First Level test one. I had been within a hair's breadth of scratching two days before, because of the canter issues I've been having with him for months (trying to run off, refusing to canter, etc.), but we went for it. This time I warmed up much longer and again he seemed very calm, but again, once the bell rang and I picked up the reins he was soooo strong. It was all I could do to hold him through riding the test. He did a nice consistent test except for trying to gallop out of the arena during his first canter circle. We recovered quickly, receiving a 2 for the maneuver :) I later learned. He got 60 + for fourth out of eight or nine entries. His mistakes were all about impatience to go forward - jigging at the end of a beautiful free walk, trot steps thrown in when he was supposed to be walking, late transitioning from canter to trot, etc.
These things, the impatience to go forward faster and being too strong, will all get better with practice and experience, and I think the nice forward will be a very good attribute then. I was really happy with him and it was a really fun day with lots of dressage friends, laughs, sunshine and a beautiful facility. Can't wait to do it again!


Congrats on your show! I am glad you had fun even though he wasn't completely behaved. Your hard work is paying off!
juliette said…
Oh that Rogo boy! He is quite the actor. He is calm and relaxed but excited when it is time to go ON! I love to hear about him and his sweet ways. Congratulations to you both - sounds like it was a fun day!
TeresaA said…
Rogo has figured out showing and he wants to go! it's a good thing, you just need channel it. :)

Oak Creek Ranch said…
Wonderful!! Its so much better to have forward than sucking back. Especially since he wasn't disobedient -- just on fire. I am sure you will learn how to channel that fire -- talk about riding every stride! -- and then you will be amazing. This is great progress and excellent scores -- especially after getting a 2 for one of the movements. There must have been lots of high marks to cancel that one out. Congratulations!!
Congratulations to you and Rogo. I'm sure he was just excited to be there and let you know he was more than ready. I'd rather have a forward horse than one who isn't anyday. I'm sure your next show will be even better than this one. Good scores. Nice outing!
Michelle said…
Aren't horses funny? I showed my leased horse last Sunday, and miscalculated as well, only I warmed up TOO much and had a fatigued horse in the ring who exhibited strength issues. And he's a half-Arab!
Well done!! Glad you had fun + succeeded in the show ring. Good on you for doing the first level test also.

Sounds like Rogo is ready for his closeup! ;)
Jeni said…
Congrats!!! Rosie was exactly the same way at our mothers day show. She actually blew through my hands on more than one occasion but THANKFULLY it was a 'fun show' and I was doing "hunt seat/English pleasure" so I was able to circle her and not have it ding me.

When you figure out to get some - not all - of the 'whoa' back please tell me how you did it!
Val said…
Lots of forward is very cool; there is a lot that you can do with a forward horse. It is amazing that he is the same guy.
allhorsestuff said…
Check out this new horse..same name as your beloved Rogo! You did do well, and the changes will be fun to ride!!
allhorsestuff said…
I got your comment about the new horse wirh the same " Rogo" name. It's your Rogo I speak of!! Haha. I mean that he is changing!