Anna had a 4H pre fair show this weekend, and it wasn't pretty. Friday they had another lesson with Jen and it ended great! They were able to do a line at 2', trotting in and trotting out with any drama. I had high hopes for Saturday.
I had to hold Buddy for the farrier Saturday morning and I missed Anna's showmanship class. I heard they did well and they got a red. Anna had a big break before her English eq class while the other two girls from our club did their western eq. When Anna got on to warm up she was nervous but did ok. I had her run through the pattern a couple times. It was pretty easy, posting trot on a straight line, a sitting trot circle, a right lead canter circle, then posting trot with a halt and back. Somehow in the two minutes it took to do the pattern she freaked herself out. She kept saying she couldn't do it (even though she just did) and was almost shaking. She asked if I could lead her around. I told her no; if I had to lead her around like a beginner I wasn't going to let her show. She got over it and we headed out to the ring.
They had to do rail work (walk trot canter each way) before they did their pattern Anna's rail worked look fine. Phoenix was a little disjointed and slow but looked fine. Anna was first to do the pattern and didn't canter in the pattern. After she said he felt high. I told her that he looked like half asleep. At that point she said she didn't want to do hunter hack, even if it meant that she couldn't show over fences at fair.
The other girl from our club convinced Anna to do hunter hack with her. They had a quick warm up, with a 4 stride cross rail line set up. Anna and Phoenix were great! Trotted over both with no fuss or any problems. Anna was hunched and obviously nervous but I told her as they walked past that Phoenix was the only horse out of the 6 that didn't refuse the jumps. She seemed happy and I figured everything would be ok.
Again, they had to do rail work before jumping. She was fine till the judge asked for a hand gallop. She freaked and brought him back to trot and refused to even do a regular canter. She lined up to go last over fences and that wasn't a good idea. By the time she went she was picking on Phoenix, causing him to fidget and not stand still. They trotted around to the line and about 10 strides out Anna locked up and pulled Phoenix to stop. She was shaking her head and backing him as I motioned to her to circle around and come back. She looked at the judge then walked back to the line up. I was livid.
Once she came out of the ring I told her to get off and proceeded to tear into her a bit. I asked if she knew what she had just taught Phoenix. She said no, and I told her that it not acceptable to take a horse up the jump then back them away from it and not jump it. That it taugh them its ok not to jump. Obviously I know that in some circumstances it ok, but I had to get through to Anna that it wasn't. I told her that she was completely fine in warm up, and that I was disappointed in her for not even trying.
I felt bad after for getting on Anna, but I feel like we've been coddling her and Phoenix has been great since he bucked her off. It's hard to know when to support them and when to push. When we got back to the barn she looked like she had cried a bit and asked when she should ride and jump again and I told her Monday so we'll see what happens. Her mom and I talked today and she agreed with me about trying to push her. Her mom doesn't know what happened either but wants her to push through.