Training TANGO and CORKY ~ Training PRETZEL

Friday, May 3, 2013

Yesterday everyone got their vaccinations and teeth floated. Tango even got his sheath cleaned! I checked on them in the evening and none of them seemed to be affected by the vaccinations, thank goodness. Corky still has hives, and I still am clueless as to what is causing them.

Tango was FULL of forward motion today. He was actually cantering too fast, and was getting a bit angry when I tried to slow him down. That's the danger of having a horse that is consistently lazy throughout the training process - when he does actually have too much speed, he is clueless as to what I am asking when I ask him to slow down because he never had been asked that before. However, his canter transitions were nice. It seems I can't have both - good speed and good transitions.

Tango's tendency to buck when he gets frustrating is really getting old. On the plus side, his counter-bending is getting smoother. Are we really improving? Only time will tell...

"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." - Carl Bard

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bucyrus AKC Dog Show

Yep, time for another show! This show was pretty small. We were the only class dog at the show, so we automatically won our class and got Winners Dog. Pretzel is really stacking well - he holds his position perfectly, puts his tail up, and just looks great! He is keeping his head up better when we gait. We went in for best of breed, and got Best of Winners. Yes, another point...we have 9 points now!

Today is Derby Day!. My picks were a complete and total failure! We went to a bar to watch the race, and had a blast (even if I didn't win a dime).

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Bucyrus AKC Dog Show

Today had a few more entries, but the results were the same - Best of Winners and another point! This raises a new worry for me. I now stand at 10 points and one major. 15 points equals your AKC Championship. I need two more single points and another Major win. So basically if I earn 2 single points at the next show or two, I will only be able to show at Majors. So I spend all this money to enter, get to the show, and if i find it isn't a major I have to scratch and lose my entry fee. That is SO stupid, but it is the way of AKC dog showing. It is considered bad sportsmanship to continue showing for single points when you already have enough singles for your championship. I hate that about dog shows. I love showing, I just want to keep showing!

So, I have to plan my show schedule very carefully next month. I am going to a show in Toledo the first weekend of June. That will probably be a single show. If I earn a point the first day I will scratch the next day...because I really really want to show in Lima (my hometown) at the end of June...and in between those two shows is a big show at Troy that most likely will be a major. doesn't make much sense if you aren't a dog show person. I have a hard time understanding it myself.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

I got home from the dog show and rode Tango. More forward motion, woo-hoo! More bucking...not woo-hoo! Corky still has hives, and her hair coat looks awful. I am getting worried. I need to have her checked out if this doesn't clear up soon.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I had a good ride on Tango tonight. My friend rode Corky and she gave her a serious workout! Corky's hives look a little better today. Tango had one little "flipping" moment where he tried to invert, but we got through it.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

OK, Tango's forward motion was a bit out of control today. I worked on asking him to slow down to a more moderate pace. he inverted a couple times, we had to work through it. I have to admit some of his work-avoidance techniques are getting a little tiresome. However, his canter transitions were way better today. I am aiming for our first show in 2 weeks...time is drawing near! I am not positive where we will show, but we will show somewhere on May 25th. First time out for Taylor's!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

It was a gorgeous day out today. I am recovering from jaw surgery yesterday, I probably shouldn't be riding...oh well! I took Tango outside and longed him out in the field. He was really good, not too wild at all. For a brief moment I considered riding outside, but thought maybe I should give it a day or two.

I took Tango back inside, saddled him up, and longed him for about 5 minutes with the side reins. My goal was to have him "fight" himself when he decided to invert. It worked like a charm. I asked him to canter, he tried to invert, fought himself a bit, then gave in and cantered off nicely on the line. I did 3 or 5 canter transitions, then got in the saddle. We had zero inverting incidents and his canter transitions were great! I actually think he might be ready for the show in a couple weeks. I will do a little bit of longeing with side reins each time I ride for a while until he gets past his inverting habit.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I spent the past 2 days at the All-American Youth Show braiding horses for $$$. It helped make a tiny dent in my jaw surgery and trailer repair bill. Oh yeah, I got my trailer back from the repair shop - fixed the brakes, some wiring, and fixed the roof leaks, all for a mere $1500. *sigh*, I will NEVER get ahead!

Today I rode Tango while a friend rode Corky. Our ride was pretty good, transitions are the same, but his canter today to the right was pretty icky. It's now crunch time, since I plan on hauling him to an open show this coming Saturday! I am mainly trying to make small corrections and just keep things light and happy. I definitely don't want to crank on him hard before a show.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Time to be brave! I longed and rode Tango outside today! He longed a bit wildly. The wind was blowing, and the tape-electric fence was waving in the wind and that kept his focus for a while. Under saddle he was a lot better, and we had a few distractions and minor spooks, but things went pretty well. The grass is so tall, he kept trying to lower his head to eat so that was getting frustrating. I had to keep him moving to keep his mind off of the food underneath his feet.

Overall I was pleased with his ride outside. It wasn't perfect, but it was definitely better than I thought for our first time since fall. 5 days til our first show!!!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I longed and rode outside again today. Today's ride was awesome!!! His canter to the left was the best he has ever done - very flat and relaxed in his topline. I think the big, straight lines helped smooth him out. I hardly had to touch him, he was so good. of course, the transitions were a bit icky. For some reason he took the wrong lead twice when I asked him to canter to the left. He hasn't done that in months! I ended my ride feeling VERY confident that we will survive our first show in 4 days. We probably won't win, might not even place, but my goal is to have a smooth ride with a good experience for him.

When I was done, I untacked him out in the field and as a reward turned him out to graze. He was OK, until I started gathering up the tack and walking away. Then he started running...flat-out galloping around the pasture. Obviously being alone is not his thing! As long as I stood out there, he was fine. I ended up standing there a while and then bringing him in. I don't want him to pull a shoe this close to the show, and since he has destroyed every pair of bell boots I own I have nothing on his feet. This reminds me a bit of Taylor. She was one who always felt more comfortable when other horses were around her. That is what made her so tough to show equitation - she never liked being out in the middle of the arena by herself. She always showed best in a pack of horses. It will be interesting to see what Tango prefers when we start 4 days!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

It's show time! I got up early and went out to the barn to braid. I had plenty of time since the hunter under saddle wasn't until near the end of the show. After braiding, I changed sheets and put Taylor's old sheet on him. I have to admit I choked up a little bit seeing him wearing that familiar green sheet with "Spare Me The Details" embroidered across it.

I arrived at the show, and he came off the trailer pretty wired, which I had figured he would. I immediately put him on the longe line and let him kick around on the grass. in usual Tango fashion, he quickly got over his excitement and reverted back to his natural laziness.

I got there in time to do the walk-trot class first, which was a mix of western and English horses and was at least 10 classes before the HUS. Great chance to get him in the ring and practice. I opted out of riding during the break (which was a mistake, as I found out later). We warmed up and he warmed up wonderfully - very calm, quiet, and required a lot of push to move. I likey!

We went in the walk-trot class, it was very easy and low-key. the judge trotted us first direction a LOOOOONG time. Tango got tired very quickly. I couldn't ask for anything better from him, he was so steady and easy at the trot, only a few tiny bobbles that required a very small correction. We ended up second in the class...Taylor's first ribbon!

The wait for the open HUS class was long - several hours. Tango was very good and patient standing tied to the trailer. Of course, it helped that I kept a full hay bag in front of his face all day. That boy does love to eat! When it came time for the HUS, they had a very short break before the class so we went in to ride. It was then I discovered the large hole in my training. He was terrified of cantering in a group of other cantering horses. He flung his head up and screeched to a halt. I worked him through it by cantering him well to the inside and pushing past the horses. As long as I left plenty of room, he was fine - wary and a tiny bit looky, but fine.

The class went really well. First direction trot was beautiful and floaty, but I felt him get tired really fast. First canter transition was kind of icky, but he then rounded up and cantered great going to the left - his bad way. I know his legs were tired and didn't look the greatest, but he held his frame and topline so well, I was thrilled!

On the reverse, our second trot was a lot more flat and tired. Second canter transition was pretty icky. the canter was going really well, we had plenty of forward motion, and then a small pony (who was obviously jazzed up) came barreling up behind us. Tango jumped out of his skin...I stopped him, and then put him right back into a canter and (this is the part I LOVE) he settled IMMEDIATELY back down and was great! However, the judge saw every bit of that, so of course we didn't place. I left the ring on a complete high - who cares about the placing? I was thrilled with how well he behaved. That fear of the cantering horses will go away with time and experience, he just needs more time in the show pen among crowds. I loved how he handled everything, and was SO easy to prepare. No more early morning longe sessions for us! LOVE this horse! Plus I am secretly (Ok not so secretly now) proud that he is 100% amateur bred, raised, and trained. Taylor would be so proud, I am sure. I hope she was watching.

Some pictures from the show:

And here is the FULL, unedited video of our HUS class. My training diary readers are the only ones that get to view it!

Monday, May 27, 2013

I rode Tango today, and even though it was COLD and rainy, he rode like a champ! Feelin' pretty good about things....

On to June....