I have a show this coming weekend. I WILL be driving him!!!! Yes, I am! I have been driving him for a full week before the show and there have been NO issues. We have been practicing lots of circles. Something that we could not practice before the wreck without him getting very upset. He has gotten so much stronger over the summer. Paul has done a wonderful job of working with Little Dude and issues. I have a good feeling about the upcoming show.
The show is at Port Mayaka in Okeechobee, FL. We are going with several people and horses. Paul is taking Buddy. He has been doing really well over the last couple weeks. and I think that he will do really well. I think he has gotten over his people fear.
Miss Anna and Bunny are competing at the Preliminary Level for the first time. They have been training really well over the summer and I think that they are also doing to do great.
Jan and Jack are also going to be competing. He should strut his stuff over the course of the show. They should have some fun.
Afterwards, Paul and Little Dude are going to be driving at the holiday horse fest in west palm beach on December 11, 2011. There is going to be a lot of people at this show and suspect that Little Dude is going to be in heaven. they are supposed to be over 5000 people. I’ll keep you informed about the shows on twitter, Google+, and Facebook.
Well, Little Dude’s show season is officially on summer vacation. His last show was Port Mayaka May Day HDT in Okeechobee, FL. Little Dude did his best dressage test ever (once the judge and the show program actually agreed with one another- but that is a different story). He then did wonderfully in cones on Saturday. He ended up doing really well in the marathon as well. His total score for the weekend was under 100 (to be precise – 97.82 penalties). He won not only his class, but the whole VSE division. There were 4 other VSEs this time & he had 5th lowest scores of the entire show out of 30 entries (horses, ponies, pairs, and teams). It is simply amazing to think how many full size horses & ponies he beat, especially for only being 37″ tall.
He personality is really starting to shine thru as well. We had some weather move in on Saturday & LD showed everyone that he was a ham. He was taking things from people who were standing nearby. He was making sure everyone saw him and petted him as they past. He is such the social butterfly now a days. It has been amazing the changes in him over the last year. He went from being scared of his own shadow, to the strong, confident horse that he is today.
We actually took all 3 driving horses over to this show. It was the first show for Buddy & he definitely made an impression with everyone who saw him. I actually rode on the back of bud’s carriage all weekend. We hitched far away from everyone, just to be safe. But over all, he was very well behaved for his 1st show. LD still takes the cake on the most exciting 1st show ever. We did figure out that Bud seems to be more afraid of people then objects. Paul had a little bit of an issue getting Bud into the dressage ring. He decided to, at first bulk, at the person & the flower boxes, so Paul circled him. Then Bud launched himself to go between the flower boxes and the person standing to the side. He then proceeded to do the rest of the dressage test without issue. After test was over, Bud decided he was not going to exit the ring, with the same things happening to get out. It was funny, in my opinion anyways. Bud is only 6 years old and he still has a lot of the world to see.
Sunday was even funnier with him. Now, we had taken bud over to Cypress Keep for the lesson with Fred, so that we could see how Bud would react in the hazards. Mainly to make sure he would be safe to take in them & he did great over there. Over at the show, there were people at the start/finish lines of all the hazards. Buddy just didn’t know what to think. The official start/finish line of the marathon, Bud was a little nervous but he was okay. We headed out and the 1st compulsory turn flag (CTF) that we turned at, Bud got worried about going thru it. A little spook, nothing big. The 2nd CTF, on the other hand, Bud decided he was going to head back home. We went thru it & then promptly turned 180 degrees and headed back the other way. Paul, of course, talked Buddy into going onto hazard 1. Buddy, by this time, had been seeing all the cars, umbrellas & people standing right were he was heading. So, when we got to the start/finish gate of hazard 1, Bud went “NOPE, I going home” and turned a 180 then Paul turned him back to the hazard. This scene was repeated a couple more times, until bud charged thru the gate. The hazard gates were gone thru without issue, then bud had to leave. Repeat above steps regarding circles and charging. I was doing my best not to laugh. Poor Buddy!
The 2nd Hazard came up on the marathon, and caught Bud off guard. It was located around a bend & there were cars on the right. The water hazard (which Bud’s level didn’t do) was on the left. So, we repeated the circling at start/finish for a little while, then Paul got Bud to charge thru the Start/Finish gate. He went thru all the gates without issue and then this time went right out the start/finish gate without much of discussion. By hazard 3, he went thru the start/finish gates and did his job, then came back out. No discussion about the start/finish gates. But the funniest thing was yet to come.
Hazard 6 was the last hazard on course. It’s called the may pole for a reason. It has colorful streamers going off of a center pole and those streamers go to other poles attached to the hazard. The wind was blowing pretty good & the streamers were really flapping in the wind. Bud went thru the start/finish gate without issue only to stop at entrance to hazard. He flatly refused to enter it. Paul tried every opening he could for bud, but he just would not go in. I think we circled the hazard 10 times before Paul told me to get off the carriage and lead Buddy thru. So, that is what I did. I had the reassure this 900 lb, 14.2 h pony, that the steamers & their shadows were not going to get him. I was laughing by this time. But as soon as he could see me, he went with me. I didn’t have to touch him, he just followed. We went thru gates A & B together and then he went thru C all by himself (Paul was still in the carriage), I just got back in the carriage. So, he is not the bravest soul, but he did make it all the way thru his first marathon & his first show.
He has one more show before his summer vacation is here. we are going to take him the Cypress Keep HDT, June 4-5, 2011. That’s the 1st show LD did and it is a good show for the green ones, as it seems to be a little quieter then the big shows.
LD is not going because he has been doing so well at the other shows. He has earned his rest. He not totally off for the summer, he is still walking 6 days a week for now. I am even walking him in the carriage now. I did it this weekend for the first time. I hadn’t driven him since February. Paul is hoping that LD and I can gained confidence in one another enough to show next season. I am hoping too. Time will tell. For now, I am content to have LD relax with me in the carriage.