Sunday, September 2, 2012

Having fun at the shows! Check out pictures at

Today was a fun day at the Blue Star Farm Bronze hunter/jumper show!

We had Alexandra, Kristin, and Paige all competing, and all with a different focus.

Alexandra and Cody have been a team for many years now. They have worked hard together to overcome challenges and build successes. Cody appears to be an easy going hunter pony in the ring, but in reality Alexandra has worked really hard to turn Cody into a confident jumper. This is extra impressive because Alexandra rides Cody bitless in her rope hackamore (bitless bridle).

Alexandra headed into the baby jumper ring to work on achieving a year end title. This is from showing at multiple shows at the same level with the same horse over the year, to be ranked 1st or 2nd overall for the year.

Cody and Alexandra put on 3 fantastic rounds placing 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, and reserve champion for the day! To their delight as well, Cody and Alexandra were ranked 2nd overall for year in the division (reserve champion)!!

Kristin and Thetis headed into the show ring with the goal of doing well, but most of all reestablishing a partnership in the show ring. Kristin part boarded Thetis a couple years ago and competed, but Thetis hasn't competed in jumpers since then. Today was about re-establishing a partnership and doing well together.

Kristin and Thetis put on an awesome show and proved to be serious contenders in the ring placing 1st and 3rd!

Paige and Rumple had a different focus too. This was Rumple's first show ever - so it was Paige's job to keep it a very positive experience and not too overwhelm Rumple so Rumple would enjoy the show.

Paige entered in one of the hack classes (a flat class of walk, trot, canter) so that Rumple could see the ring and jumps without being asked to jump them first. This is because the hack class is held in the ring where the jumper classes are later on.

After the hack class Rumple and Paige entered in the Baby jumper division. They had the goal of taking it slow and easy and making it over all the jumps.

When Rumple was in the ring he showed us he wasn't scared of the jumps - in fact he jumped everything that Paige pointed him at very easily. The hard part was that Rumple was nervous being in the ring by himself. Rumple tried calling to his buddies and would try to go back out of the ring.

Paige did an awesome job of keeping Rumple focused on the course by not allowing Rumple to 'change her mind' (so for example when Paige pulled her right rein to go right, she was careful to keep asking for the right turn until Rumple understood). Paige also did a great job because she was slow and patient.

It is better for nervous and green horses to take the jumps slowly - even at a trot - so that the horse has a chance to see the jump and collect his thoughts about jumping. When you go fast the horse has to be really focused, and if they are distracted because they are nervous then going fast will not work out too well.

Paige was also careful to walk a calm circle and give lots of praise before leaving the ring after her rounds. This was important because Rumple didn't get to quickly leave the ring - instead he only left the ring when he was calm, and after he had gotten some praise for being in the ring.

Paige's patient efforts paid off and Rumple had a clear round for his final round with only 1 time fault. They ended up placing 6th!

Congratulations to all the riders - you all accomplished your goal!

Pictures of Kristin and Thetis at

Key tip this week:
When taking a horse to their first show, make it about being a positive experience for your horse. Allow your horse time to be slow and build their confidence. Slow and steady will keep it a positive experience for both of you, and you can build to faster speeds as you go!

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