Hero and Sharon
Sharon's visit this month was all about taking Hero to a show. But because my sister really "gets" horse training, it wasn't actually about how Hero would place in classes. It wasn't actually about being in a class at all (although that is one of the goals). It was about getting Hero comfortable in an environment that Sharon hopes to spend a lot of time in. Making the entire experience one that Hero feels was a positive one and one in which he felt he "rocked his job"! Because a horse that feels successful at a task is just like a person. When they enjoy it, they perform better.
As much as one can try, you just can't quite simulate the show environment at home. You can try, but the stimulation that happens when a bunch of horses show up at a strange place just can't quite be duplicated at home. But we did do our best to "step up Hero's game" these past few days. To the point that when it started raining during my lunging session, we (that would be Hero and I) lunged in the rain.
It was a great session, which could only have been improved by me figuring out how to lunge Hero while holding both a camera and an umbrella. So, lunging in rain and looking at umbrella ended up being 2 parts! Hero wasn't convinced that the prospect of dry ears could overcome the creepiness of the umbrella, but he was really pretty good about it!
Then I dried him off, put his blanket back on his freshly body shaved body and came home to dry out my clothes. Later (when Sharon had finished her regular work day) we headed back over and tacked him up. This session was to sort out which of my saddles suited them best. It was obviously not our show saddle (we used that a couple of days ago). It isn't the best fit on Hero and it is way too big for Sharon. The best option is my old "go to" Circle Y saddle (purchased in the early 1980's omg). This saddle is still too big for Sharon, but it's better. In a perfect world, the stirrups would be hung further back, but it will do for now! We also made a change in Sharon's boots! The more flexible sole on her regular riding boots versus the "fat babies" that are the ones she works in were much more comfortable.
We could not have asked for a better series of workouts. Rain included! One rainy day was spent in the indoor dealing with the incredible din of the rain and some hail.The sunny day we were outside in the trail course! One rain day spent learning to get wet! We shall see what the 5 days at the fair grounds will teach us!