Sunday, March 4, 2012

Round Two

Today was the second schooling show at CREC (Columbia River Equestrian Center) in Irrigon. Tommy had some good improvement at this show. He settled in much faster, and there were more horses competing that we had to maneuver around. We still need to work on some things, but that is what schooling shows are around for.
A nice relaxed stand for halter. We had to work on this quite a bit at the last show. The pigeons would fly out of the rafters of the indoor arena and scare the crap out of him, so he would want to wiggle around and not stand still too good. But he has shown great improvement learning to stand quietly with a relaxed head carriage for the showmanship and halter. The birds will still scare him a bit, but at least he doesn't move around so much now. We entered the 18 and over showmanship, open showmanship, halter geldings, solid colored halter class, and open halter classes.

I really liked this judge, he was totally awesome. He would help each person on an individual basis and there wasn't any pressure if you needed some help or messed up the pattern. We didn't need to dress formal or own an expensive show horse, because we were all there to learn. The judge offered help for anyone who needed it. If anybody had issues, he would encourage us to fix it in the class and place us higher overall for our effort in correcting the problem. Since there were a lot of green horses at this show, it made a tremendous difference in the end results. I think that everybody in the arena had a chance to fix their problems today.

It was a fairly sizeable halter class, (for our area). Tommy and I are in line behind the red and white paint.

This was so cool! There was a young junior entrant at the show that was having some serious issues with her own personal horse, (issues that made it a major safety hazzard for her to show in the halter classes). So a fellow entrant was nice enough to lend her a beautiful well broke paint mare to show in junior halter. It was so nice! The mare was a national quality horse, and exhibiting a mellow extremely well trained animal made the experience totally awesome for the little girl. She won her first blue ribbon. It was great.

Warming up for the english classes. Okay, we admittedly weren't the best dressed entrants for english at the show. I have a crappy little close contact english saddle that I absolutely hate, and Tommy really hates it too. We practiced in it at the house, and both of us are in full agreement that we need new english tack that works much better. So, I asked the judge at the show if he would mind if we rode in our endurance gear. I knew that we both would preform better in it. The judge said that he didn't care, and that we were there to work on our riding skills and he didn't have a preference as to what we used. So, we rode in our comfy tack.

I also had a new dressage whip in use at this show too. At the last show the judge made a comment that he would like to see Tommy's butt collected up underneath of him more. So, I purchased a little dressage whip for $7.99 at the local feed store and have been practicing with it at home for the past couple of weeks. When Tommy starts getting a bit strung out in the body, I give him a few soft taps with the whip to bring his hind end up underneath him and engage the hind quarters. It seems to be working alright and he is slowly improving.

The judge at this show was a dressage guy, and he really liked Tommy. He said that he had some enormous potential as a dressage horse and he loved his big ground covering movements. But even though we recieved some good praises, there are still quite a few things that we need to work on. We advanced to the open canter/lopeing classes and missed a left lead twice. But the judge let us work on it until we got it down and could strike off from a walk. Tommy redeemed himself on that, so I chaulked the first two flubs up to my mixed leg cues.

I need to take the whip to myself in this picture! I was trying to push Tommy up into a collected trot, and I have an extremely bad habit of leaning forward to get the momentum going. It makes me mad when I do it - but half the time I don't even realize that I'm doing it. It's an ingrained terrible habit that I need to stop. Somebody needs to belt me upside the head with a dirt clod when this happens.....argh....

We definitely had the biggest ground covering extended trot at the show. The judge was a dressage guy, so he encouraged a lot of movement. He didn't want to see the stock horse shuffle jog in the english classes, so if someone went too slowly he would ask them to move up faster. Tommy and I were cooking around the ring at a pretty good clip. It was really fun!

We did the western classes too, but unfortunately Craig didn't get any pictures of that. Rats. Next time I guess.


  1. Shannon, sounds like the show was also like a clinic experience -- double the value. Makes me want to get out with Danny again!


  2. Great job Shannon and Tommy. Can't wait to see you guys in person at the end of the month!