Tag Archives: horse show

Rosey Embraces Fame

Well, sort of.  Yesterday Rosey got a visit from a reporter from the Washington Post, who was taking notes for a story on the retraining program.  She behaved like the star she is, and showed off her skills in the Pessoa lunging rig.  Liza worked her in both directions, showing how she is much weaker to the right and showing the things you have to do to work a horse out of that. 
Rosey Gets Famous
Rosey Gets Famous

Later today, they will be coming back to snag some video of under saddle work, and tomorrow they will be learning about chiropractors and the various physical things that need to be taken care of with ex-racing thoroughbreds, and also observing a “learning to jump” session (which, with Rosey, can be particularly interesting).

And then, on Thursday, her royal highness Rosey will be entertaining her first potential adopter.  As usual, this prospect is exciting and sad at the same time, as I’ve grown quite attached.  Little Rosey stole my heart recently, just by turning her head and leaning it on me a little.  I’m such a softy. 
Since I don’t have much to update on riding-wise, here are some more photos from the show.  Enjoy!
Relaxing in Warmup

Relaxing in Warmup


Hey, her head isnt above mine this time!

Hey, her head isn't above mine this time!


Standing In the Lineup

Standing In the Lineup





Rosey Takes Over Showgrounds

Rosey Meandering around the show

Rosey Meandering around the show

Today Rosalicious went to her second show, to do the same two classes we did the last time. Just a nice, easy Adult Eq division with a walk-trot class to get her used to things.

Today went much better than the last time, in terms of her getting used to showgrounds, me conquering the hop ‘n’ spin, and the giraffe-neck of last time not making an appearance. At first, she actually was a little more unsettled than last time, snorting and not standing well for getting tacked up. When I mounted up she speedwalked in a direction of her choosing (towards where I had handwalked her earlier), and we had our only little tiff of the day.

“that way!” she said

“no. This way!” I replied, with a big opening left rein and a kick

“noooo! THAT way!” she responded, with a half hop and attempted pop of the shoulder to the right.

“no… This time I actually mean it, darling.” with a couple swats of the crop and a growl.


That was the last I saw of the attempted Hop ‘n’ Spin move all day. Though she bulged and tried to get opinionated a few times, I think we may finally have that kicked.

Anyway, onwards we went to a warmup area behind the jumper ring, as we had gotten there a little too late to warm up in the actual ring. She started out a little quick, but settled VERY quickly at the trot. Even taking nice big steps and rounding her neck in a way I’ve never seen her do before. Her first canter was lovely, but her second got a little strong- going downhill and away from the trailers she just wanted to go. It was hardly terrifyingly fast, but she wasn’t listening, which is a worrying feeling for any rider. Fortunately (well, sort of), her fitness level is not that high yet, and the solution to this problem was turning her uphill, where she promptly ran out of steam.

I kept her busy for a while just doing lots of little patterns, taking her over some interesting terrain where she had to pay attention to her feet, etc. When we came back to the walk, she was trail-quiet Rosey again. On a floppy rein, and “grunting” with every step. Her ears were even flopping.

Later, as we moseyed towards the ring, she started getting a little antsy and worked up again, so I followed the same drill, just asked her to work around and got her attention back, and it worked very nicely.

When we entered the ring, she was very relaxed- interested in everything but not jumpy. Remembering the trouble I had last time when taking her off the rail, I immediately cut across the ring with her, and made a little circle. She was fine with that. She started off her W/T class with a bit of a high head but not nearly as quick on her feet as last time. Our major problem was her trying to watch what was going on outside the ring, on the side opposite the judge she was very interested in a couple of spectators and the woods (not in a scared way, but a way that suggested she was trying to identify what types of trees she was looking at). At the lineup, she stood like a real lady, on a totally loose rein, not worried in the least about the other horses stepping ahead of her.

The second class went very well- she picked up her first canter like a champ, and though she was a little quicker than I’d like at points, she was very relaxed, and we had a grand time. The second direction, we missed our lead, I think three times in a row, which was her telling me, “hey dork, quit your leaning!” it just took me a little while to get the message. Oh well. Again she stood in the lineup perfectly. Such a lady!

Our ribbons were fourth and fifth, respectively. It might have gone better if I did not look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. (I apparently need a strict lady with a ruler to follow me around and smack me every time I slouch).


Public Outing Number 1

So Miss Rosey went out in public today, and it was good.

What are you all looking at?

What are you all looking at?

I got to the barn fairly early, because I had decided to go to dinner the night before instead of cleaning tack like a good girl.  Rose was easy to catch and seemed quite pleased at the idea of coming in early (“neener neener! I get my breakfast FIRST!!!“).  After getting everything ready, we loaded up and Rose climbed right onto the trailer with no trouble whatsoever. 

Once at the show, she got off the trailer with equal ease, took a look around, and started eating grass like she’d been there her whole life.  When I got on to go take her around the ring a little bit, she pretty much motored down to the ring (the usual Rosey on a Mission and Taking Over The World sort of power walk that she does).  We took a little spin around the small warmup ring just to get her moving, and then went into the show ring.

Jumps decorated with haybales and flowers? Check.

Horses jumping and going different directions and speeds? Check.

Tents? Yup.

Kids? Sure.

Banners/signs hung on the ring fence? No problem.

The mare does *not* know how to spook.  Nothing in the ring really bothered her, she just trucked along the rail like she’d been there a million times.  Occasionally she turned her head to look at something but mostly just went around.  Satisfied with the warmup, I decided to leave the ring and get out of the way, and that’s when things got just a little shaky (now, remember, she’s a young FOUR and only had race training until… uh… a few weeks ago).

Rose got it in her head that she wanted to visit the secretary’s stand, off to the right.  I had it in my head that I wanted to go to the warmup ring or back to the trailer to chill out for a few minutes.  Now, we’ve already established that Rosey is not really scared of things, but when she wants to go somewhere… well, she can be a little bit argumentative when you don’t agree about it (really, she just think she knows better than you. And she’s 4.) .  So, in Stubborn Mare fashion, she tried her Hop ‘n’ Spin, where she sort of hops up in front and rotates in the direction she wanted to go.  I gave her the smack on the shoulder that usually sorts her out, but she just got more convinced she really wanted to go to the right.  After a couple more attempts, I made the (possibly bad) decision to get off and just lead her back to the trailers.  I don’t want her to learn that I’ll get off whenever she does that, but at the same time, I don’t really want to fight and really wanted to go the way *I* wanted to go.

Fortunately, shortly after this, like magic, Allie showed up with her giant camera, and all her wisdom from handling these silly beasts for years and years.  When it became clear that Rosey and I were getting each other all worked up in the warmup ring, Allie took her, and worked on getting her to pay attention and be mannerly just leading around.  Being kept busy helped her settle a ton, and having to work on behaving seemed to help get her re-focused (yes, we have to have some ground handling sessions).

Then, it was hop back on and go in the ring for our easy peasy classes (just a walk-trot, and a walk-trot-canter flat class for her first show experience).  In her first class, we got second, even with her giraffe impression and sort of speedy trot.  The best way to describe the class is to first remind everyone that all of her prior training involved learning to pass other horses- that was the whole goal.  So, we shouldn’t be surprised that she got oddly proud of herself when we passed a few in the ring.  Mostly, she did OK at staying behind the other horses, and I had to use the corners really well to keep the spacing, but we passed a few.  And she wasn’t bad or running off, but had a definite air of “I’m winning! I’m winning!” about her.

work on defensive leg position for next time!

note to self: work on defensive leg position for next time!

In the second class, I realized we had a little problem.  Rosey loves the rail- it is her happy place.  when I wanted to cross the ring to find her a better spot on the rail, she hopped’n’spun, wanting to go back to the rail.  I compromised by angling her so that she could see her destination, and everything after that went fine.  Well, except for the two blown leads and the happy “I’m WIIIINNNNNNNNNINGGGG!!!” thing she was doing.  Later, in the lineup, she was pretty darned good for a horse who has never been in a lineup before.  In the first class, this was not a test, as she got second so got to follow the first horse out of the line.  This time, we were fourth so she had to wait a minute.  With nervous ponies, I usually just get them out of the line and walk them in a little circle, but, as I mentioned before, when Rose wants to go one way and you want to go the other, you get the hop ‘n’ spin. 

We're totally winning!!!!!!

We're totally winning!!!!!!

She made it back to the line and did succeed in standing for a minute before our number was called.  All in all, VERY impressive for a horse of her age/training.  Of course, upon leaving the ring, she again expressed her desire to go off to the right instead of the left.  This time, I understood it a little more, because the food truck was finally there and setting up, and there is NOTHING like a horse show bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich.

Avoiding an issue, I just sort of hopped off immediately, and redirected her into traffic where we eventually got back to our pit crew (seriously, it apparently takes a village to show a horse- there were four other people involved, heh).  Sponged and cooled, we walked back up to the ring to watch our barnmate Jen do her course, and then we went home (and again, she loads like a rockstar, and even backs herself off, so I can unload her by myself (and I am not the best at these things).

So cute! Good girl!

So cute! Good girl!