Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Be Flexible

This past weekend I had originally planned on trying out the Ranch Pleasure class @TQHAhorse show at Harriman, Tennessee. My barrel horse, SV Shawne Fire N Te, also known as Fireman is laid back and will do just about anything you ask even though he's young. I figured he'd be a good candidate for the class and it'd be good experience for us both. 

Unfortunately, we tried shoeing Fireman differently and he was a bit gimpy so my original plan was out. We have nine horses and I had three more Quarter Horses to choose from. My next victim was Mister Decision, also known as Bubba. Well, as luck would have it he still wasn't tracking a hundred percent from a really bad abscess so he was out too. 

That left two more to choose from but the only problem is that neither of them are truly far enough along to ride one handed in a shank bit on a pattern and I didn't feel like embarrassing myself. I decided instead to haul one of those last options to an open show to get some schooling for us both.

Ryan's Bar Dee affectionately known as Toad, and yes that's another story, was the chosen one for the horse show. He's got quite a sordid history but suffice it to say that he's 16 years old and has been put on the back burner far too many times. He's a timid little critter but he's tough as nails and has more heart and try than the majority of horses out there.

My husband had lost a bet with me, that's another story as well, so he took his Arab gelding that he rides maybe three times a year. Fortunately, the Arab is a baby sitter so that was one less thing to worry about.

We arrived at a little after nine in the morning but didn't show until around five that afternoon. The horses stood tied to the trailer pretty much the whole time so it made for a long day but that's what makes good horses, in my opinion. They were both patient and behaved wonderfully well even though there were peacocks showing their tails and hollering near by.

We wound up having several 'firsts' for the day. My husband and his horse showed in their first Trail and Horsemanship classes, ever. They also won their first blue ribbon in the Walk/Jog Ranch Class. I was proud of them both. My little Toad experienced his first Trail and Horsemanship class and his first walk/jog/lope class which he placed second in.

I had a big smile on my face on the way home and it got me to thinking. The rides we had that day were far from perfect. They wouldn't have been acceptable to a competitive rider and yet I was thoroughly satisfied with how the day went. Why? My horses handled first time events better than I had expected and they had ridden much better than I was anticipating. You see, I hadn't ridden Toad since last fall. My husband's first ride this year was one session the week before the show and yet they had both horses had behaved very well with minimal warm up. So there was a lot to be thankful for!

I was on the fence about what to do and didn't decide to go to the show until the night before at midnight. So it truly was a last minute decision and yet it worked out just fine. I think sometimes you have to be flexible in showing horses. Sometimes with competing we get so caught up with the fact that it has to be a certain way and sometimes things just don't go as planned.

If you'd made plans that have fallen through, I'd like to hear about it. How did you handle it and how did they turn out? Were you flexible? What did you learn?