Monday, August 27, 2018

How to Prepare for a Horse Show

In the six weeks between our July show and our August show I think I jumped Peebs maybe four times, and only had one less than stellar lesson.  That's totally how you should prepare for the last show of the season, and a move up in fence height, right?

 After the July show I had planned to give Peebs about a week off.  It was going to be super hot and I figured he deserved it. I think I rode three or four times the next week before he lost a shoe in the pasture. It was a Friday night and my farrier was out of town that weekend. He said he could stop by the following week and put it back on, but his shoeing trailer blew two tires and he wasn't able to make it. And then it was four days before our regularly scheduled appointment, and I was going out of town, so I told him to not bother and Peebs could wait till our appointment.  So Peebs had another 10 days off for that.

Peebs loves his bestie Scottie
Then we hauled over to A's for a lesson and Peebs lost his shit. Normally he's not super phased by time off, but I should have given him the benefit of the doubt and lunged him. A rode before me and when she and Scottie left the arena, Peebs has a meltdown.  My trainer had to go find A and ask her to bring Scottie back so Peebs could have emotional support. We stuck to trotting cross rails for that lesson. I was pretty sure our planned move up to 2'6" at the August show was going down the drain at that point.

Did get some good work over poles, once the chickens crossed the road arena
Then it got super hot again, and smoke from fires in California, southern Oregon, Washington and British Columbia drifted our way and the air quality was firmly in the unhealthy range. My sinuses were killing me, I was having a hard time breathing, and felt bad about making Peebs work too hard in it. We did get a few nice days here and there and I was able to put some good rides in, but Peebs felt NQR.  Not lame, not off, but funky in the hind end and our left lead canter went to crap. And of course my trainer was on vacation so I couldn't ask her opinion. So I called the chiro who was only available to come out a few days before the show. I'm glad I did because he was dropped left in his hips (explains why he couldn't sit on that hind in the left canter). But I had to cancel our lesson before the show to fit the chiro in.  So when we headed up to the show on Friday last week I a touch nervous about how we'd do. Spoiler alert:  Peebs was amazing and I should worry less


  1. Sometimes the time off does them good even if they lose their marbles a little bit!

  2. Ugh! I would have been a complete anxious mess after all that! Glad he went well! I can't wait to read all about it!

  3. I find that I don't need to work as hard once I get in the groove of show season -- by this time, even if I'm moving up and such, I just don't have to PUSH PUSH PUSH to get the results I want. Sounds like you and Peebs are in the same boat!

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