Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different

For those of you too young to know, the title phrase comes from Monty Python.  Kind of like this:

Life with horses often feels like this-- one moment, it's lollipops and sunshine, developing a gorgeous working trot and seeing your horse come into his own, loving his training, being shiny and fabulous.  And the next moment, something completely different happens.  This is a phrase I use quite regularly, and I think the humor of it helps keep me on an even keel.  Maybe...

So, Sherm and I were supposed to be spending the summer developing a good working canter, learning to jump things, and building to some off-farm, off-road adventures on some hunter pace courses.

It hasn't quite worked out that way.

So now it's time to consider doing something completely different-- like maybe taking him to a local (predominantly AQHA) open horse show to be shown in three halter classes by one of our students.

Not this fat.
No, it's not because he's fat, though that thought has crossed my mind as I watch him work.

No, I blame this one squarely on my friend, Amy.  She sent me an email early last week, asking me if I wanted to go to a show over the weekend, the third in a local show series.  Low-cost entries, no big advance-registration requirement, good mileage for her young horse as well as mine.  Well, I thought, maybe her horse, but Sherman?  Ridiculous!  We're not ready!

Well, the thing with Amy is that she has this way of making the ridiculous seem completely possible.  She made owning my own horse possible by providing a stall in her barn.  She has made numerous horse-related educational outings possible by getting me out of my house to go to them.  She took me on my first hunter pace and let me learn how to gallop, though I'm not sure she knew that was what she was doing at the time.  She's my mojo most of the time, and when she suggests things, I reject them immediately out of hand.  Then I send a follow-up email that says maybe...

So I got to thinking that Sherm does need some mileage, some show experience.  And though I'm not ready to ride him at a show, and I'm not even riding his fatt butt anywhere this week, it might be worth considering the in-hand classes.  Not in time for this past weekend, but maybe by the Labor Day weekend show.  Which of course elicits high school memories of this song.

But I don't want to show him in hand.  I really don't want to show him at all; I don't care for horse shows.  It's not my cup of tea.

Is that a camera?
But, oh boy, does this Boy Wonder love an audience.  It's not my scene, but it will totally be his.  No doubt about it, not since the day he was foaled.

So.... I realized that this student of ours loves halter and showmanship classes.  She excelled at them at her previous barn, and she was hoping to go to this very show with a horse she had out on trial earlier this summer.  When that horse didn't work out, she packed up her shiny show shtuff, and resigned herself to not going.

Well, hell, when you can get a teenager to do it, why not?  Isn't that what they're for?

Trying to learn to "set up"
So I pitched it to her, she caught it, and she and the BBW have been working together for the past several evenings.  He has already caught on to walking and trotting in stride with her, and is getting better with "setting up."  He's got a way to go to find the middle ground between the Morgan parking-out, which I will NOT allow anyone to teach him (and actively discourage accidental posturing in this fashion) and his usual one-hind-cocked-slouch, but they're working on it.

He's a quick study, and he's clearly appreciating the extra attention and the novelty of a new handler.  He's trying really hard for her, and just doing that is a maturing experience for the both of them.

Trotting together
The student is in charge of this-- it's a "discipline" I know nothing about, so she's the one training Sherm.  I've made it clear (I hope) that there are no expectations from this other than that they have a good time and come home safely.  Get Sherm some road mileage, and have fun.  That's it.  His roached mane probably already disqualifies him from even participating, much less placing in the ribbons, so there should be no pressure to bring home bling.

But, oh, speaking of bling... this Bay Boy does look fine in his hand-me-down silver-plated halter, doesn't he?

Yeah, I'm pretty!

1 comment:

  1. And then I ended up bailing on you! Well, good on you for taking him to the show!