This was the show that should have been our first show...
It was quiet, fun and relaxed. If your horse was nervous and silly, nobody would look down their nose at you. We've all been there. This was an all Thoroughbred show.
This time I felt more prepared for showing. I had given Canoodler some calming supplement called "Perfect Prep". It has vitamin B and best of all Tryptophan! Yes, the stuff in Turkey that makes you sleepy. It seemed to help him take an edge off. Also, I turned my horse trailer into a box stall. It was much more inviting and he loaded easily both going to the show and leaving the show.
We got him to the Kentucky Horse Park and set him up in his stall there. I braided him up and "Stable Boy", my husband Matt, checked us in at the show office. Noodle seemed fairly relaxed this whole time.
We headed down to the warm up ring and I got on. I warmed up Canoodler as best I could without any help. He started eye balling everything and looking for excuses to spook. I tried and tried to keep his attention and to ride every stride. It's a whole lot of work physically and mentally. I said to Matt, "I think I'm going to scratch." Then Emily, our coach, arrived. She was wearing capris and flip flops. She had no intention of getting on to warm up my horse. I think my heart sank into my stomach...
I discovered later that Emily planned this. I was going to have to face my fears head on! She talked me through what I had to do to keep his attention. I was getting better at foreseeing his distractions before he did. He wasn't an easy ride at all. But we kept moving. Even while waiting to enter the show ring, we had to keep moving in circles around Emily.
So we entered the ring and did something that sorta resembled our test. Canoodler was sucking back, jigging, and when I gave him more leg to move forward he'd hop into canter. In a nut shell we were perfectly awful. But we did it! Me and Noodle! We entered the ring, were not whistled out of the ring and completed the test! It was a moment I had waited YEARS to do - way back since I had Jaguar Hope. So I cried when we walked out of the arena. I was so happy! I was able to conquer my fears and handle the situation!
I had an hour between my two tests. I headed back to the barn, untacked my horse and let us both eat and drink something. Ten minutes later, I was tacking him back up, and heading back out. Canoodler was a completely different horse. He was relaxed, calm and looked lovely. He was fun to ride! He was the horse I know he can be!
Sadly, Canoodler's evil twin was the horse that entered the show ring. He was back to jigging, and I had to shoulder fore everywhere we went to keep him from getting away from me. At one point I had to do a tight circle with him to get his brain back to our task. -2 on our score but I didn't care much about my score. My entire goal was to just get Canoodler around the show ring and complete his test. He was not going to get away with his naughty behavior.
In the end, our 2nd test was about the same as our first test. Not so great. But my crowning moment with him was his transformation in the warm up. He was so beautiful in the warm up before our 2nd test. In my mind the day was a great success! People there were fun and understanding of a green horse. We had brief moments of greatness in warm up and even in parts of our test. And surprising me were several people from my barn who came out to cheer us on. That meant a whole lot to me! I really like the barn where Canoodler lives! Super supportive people and they make this whole horse training, showing thing fun.
There is no video from this horse show. Not enough helpers so I didn't take the camera. However, I did create a compilation video of Canoodler and myself from when we first started this journey. I thought you might enjoy seeing how we have changed: