Barbara convinced me to go back to the USET for another horse show. For the first time, almost my entire barn was going – 5 of us all together. That in-and-of-itself was a reason for going. But then there was that she felt PJ needed to go to as many places as possible, so why not go back to the scene of the crime (the bad first horse show of the year). I almost didn’t make it, though, because the show never received my entry, but the secretary was nice enough to give us a ride time at the last minute.
We arrived in two trailers. PJ was with his girlfriend, Hailey, another Friesian cross, and Darby, a OTTB who he used to get turned out with. Two other horses were in another trailer. I was the last ride of our little group, so I had plenty of time and we needed it. He came off the trailer better than he had the last time, but he was still nuts (more nuts than afraid). And then we tried to leave his buddies to walk around and it went downhill from there. We ended up getting kicked out of both the show ring and the warm-up indoor because he was screaming for his friends so much (we were scaring the ponies and their kids). And, of course, Hailey was screaming back at him and then he would scream for her again. I just kept walking PJ around in circles away from everyone else until Barbara could break away from coaching everyone to lunge him.
She got him listening, sort of. Then we led him to the indoor and I got on. I trotted him almost right away. Whenever he got distracted, I sent him forward more. He and I were huffing and puffing by the time we went back up into the show ring to warm up before our test. Unfortunately, there were a number of rides before our turn, including two people from our barn. When they came to join us, it started PJ off again because one of these was his other turnout buddy, Jesse. I had to send him forward again. By the time it was our turn, he was exhausted and I had no horse.
I cheated for the canter departs…I whispered “Ready, and, canter,” to him and he picked up the canter in both directions. He was a slug from the first trot down the centerline, he wouldn’t let me turn him during one of the canter circles, and screamed for whoever would answer him, but it wasn’t horrible. In fact, it wasn’t horrible enough for third place with a score of 63.57! We only did TL2 and I would have scratched if I had signed up for TL3; he wouldn’t have been able to do it and there was no need.
I was pleased that even thought he was still “up” when I got on him, I was able to ride him through it. I rode a little defensively (sat in a little of a chair seat at times in case he bucked or scooted) because I was apprehensive about what he would do when I got after him and sent him forward. I’ll try to fix that next time because he didn’t do anything stupid. I’ll have more confidence next time.
He wouldn’t get in the trailer to go home because now it was Hailey, who was already loaded, who was carrying on for him. Bridget did a great job and finally he jumped on.
I’m sure PJ is passed out in his stall right now. It’s the most work he ever did in his life. But it was his own fault, so I have no sympathy for him. However, he’ll get tomorrow off and I still love him.