Monday, July 13, 2015

Room to Improve

Benny and I went to our second show yesterday. He was a super good boy. He came off the trailer totally relaxed and was that way most of the time we were there. It was our first time at this particular show and it was a really nice facility about an hour away. We'll definitely go back next year! Our warm up was decent, although it was pretty crowded so it was hard to do much more than just travel around the arena. 

When we entered the competition arena Benny sucked back, just like our first test at the previous show. He wasn’t quite as spooky but I could still really feel him looking at everything. I gave him a pretty relaxed/low pressure look around the arena while we waited for the bell. [Side note: Our previous show I tried to kick him around while he was looking (through out our entire test) and it really didn’t help us. When I went back in for our second test I just let him stop and look. Once he decided things were fine, he went around as if he hadn't had a problem in the first test] The bell rang and off we went. The test was alright. He continued to be backed off but was obedient and there weren't any big problems. 

After our first test we had around 40 minutes (maybe longer) until my next test. I hung out in the covered warm up arena for awhile before hopping back on with about 15 minutes to go. We schooled a little more in the much less crowded warm up arena before heading back over to the competition arena. This time I put him to work more seriously during our warm up and used one long side to gallop him down before we started our test. He was much more forward and I felt like the test flowed way better than the first one. 

As it turned out, the first test (training 2) scored a 63% and the second test (training 3) scored 60%. I really was surprised the the second test scored lower, since I felt like it was stronger than the first test. I was also a little disappointed that our scores really didn’t improve from the February show to now. I feel as though our work has improved so much in that time, and I was hoping to see that reflected in our scores. 

We got dinged for his lateral tendency at the canter, tight back, and me riding behind the motion.  We picked up points for willingness, his walk, and his elastic trot. Overall it was a great outing and I was so proud of what a good boy he was. So far he is proving to be very easy to show. He’s pretty much the same horse at home or away, and aside from being extra looky his first time in the show arena he’s really good. He got tonight off and I’ll ride again the next few days before I leave for Montana. I have a friend who will ride him a few times while I’m gone and when I return we’ll go back to work to see what we can improve before the next show. 

Seriously, what's not to love about that face!? 


  1. I've been there! I liked it, too.

  2. he looks great!! and congrats on the nice scores :)

  3. Looks like a cool facility! It's hard to gauge scores across judges--what one person likes is less important to another. Keep on working.


    What was that about Emi getting started?

    1. Yes, I agree regarding various judges.I plan to start Emi in the spring, after I sell Benny. Less than a year to go!

  4. Don't let the scores bother you! Different judge and they only see a snapshot in time with your training. They don't see your improvement over the months. You guys did great and look fantastic. You sure know how to turn a horse out for a show! :D


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