Got the videos from the June horse show last night, and it was a very eye opening experience. I’ve actually only had videos taken from one other horse show in my life, and that wasn’t with Simon… so I don’t have a lot to compare them to.
That being said, I was disappointed.
Not in the videos themselves of course, it was sooooooo nice to get them (thank you you know who you are!) but I just saw tension. Tension. Anxiety. He practically snaps his mouth open and shut during each course like a dragon-OTTB.
I mean it does get better, but I won’t lie it made me feel a little down. That coupled with the fact that he was off last night doesn’t help anything. I think it’s just a stone bruise. Just the left front, and that’s the same foot he pulled a bell boot off of (which is rare for him). There’s a teeny tiny head bob and a little short, but not really noticeable in the ring where the footing is better. We are treating the soles of his feet and feeling him out to see if he needs a day off or is doing better today/tomorrow.
Now on to the videos. The Warm-Up round (partial video taken halfway through the course) features his run out. My thoughts about this one are OH MY GOD he is tense/anxious, and the run-out actually looks dirtier than it felt. Maybe it wasn’t total pilot error and him just having a greenie freak out moment?
Hunter I is better. I almost go off course, but my trainer saved me and it doesn’t look too bad in the video. Around 00:45 is where I over-whoaed and he got kinda pissed at me – rightfully so. Overall still very tense.
Hunter II is where I had the rail and then did the stride (4) instead of the add (5) when I had been adding the rest of the course. Also, I was a ding bat and couldn’t get my correct lead quickly to start the course. Definitely pilot error on my part. Overall I think he is less tense here, but we still have a gaping open mouth the entire time.
This next equitation course is the one that earned me my ribbon, and I honestly was a little underwhelmed in the video. I knew we counter-cantered down to one of the lines, and also one of our rollbacks was on the wrong lead while the other was counter cantering. Boo. The video starts after the 1st line, which was lovely if my memory serves me right 🙂 You’ll just have to imagine it.
Even if I don’t love how these look, I’m so glad to have them. At home he is not this tense over fences. I mean he will occasionally open his mouth and throw his head up when I give him a firm half halt, but nothing like at the show. I know the answer is more miles, but that’s hard to get when you’re on a budget. Also, I need to relax and eliminate my nerves at show. This isn’t 100% his fault.
When I get into this line of thinking I need to remember that when I first started riding him, he violently flipped his head every 3-5 strides. He has only been to three horse shows, ever. He is only seven. Three months ago he was incredibly lame and I didn’t know if he’d ever jump again.
These issues are just a new series of obstacles we can overcome.