The first horse show approved by Central Carolina Western Horseman's Association was yesterday. This is an active club with several shows each year very close to the farm, and I elected to let this be Kasino's first real outing of the year.
As you prepare your yearling for the show season, you can never be positive what you will get. Based on experience and how Kasino was doing during his training the previous week, I did have an idea how this first horse show might go though. Even though I had taken Kasino to these grounds twice over the winter (see What we did yesterday) with success, this week I had been getting a different vibe from him. In addition to his physical growth spurt and sporadic shedding fits, I felt like his maturity level had receded a bit. All of these things are part of preparing a yearling for horse shows, but do need to be observed, noted, and dealt with accordingly.
We arrived a bit early and found a shady spot to park in the corner. I spent the next couple of hours walking Kasino in large circles around the show grounds. I would always circle back to the trailer to re-establish his confidence. He was definitely more at ease near the trailer and Kharma, who I had also brought to the horse show. While walking, I incorporated many of the same exercises I am using at home to prepare him for the yearling longeline, such as longeing, bending, and focusing techniques. I made big deal of nothing. I made a direct attempt to stay away from other horses or items that I could not control to avoid getting us all into bad situations.
Secret to a good first show starts at home
Kasino handled his first horse show with a fair amount of whinnying. I was disappointed but not surprised. I was happy, however, that once I again, there were enough tools installed (a good foundation, if you will), that I worked him through it successfully. A yearling's first show does not have to go off as smoothly as his 20th show as a 4 year old. I believe it's about facing the insecurities and turning them into positives.
I would like to express gratitude to the folks at CCWHA and on the horse show grounds that listened to my yearling's whinnies.
I would like to thank Rickey Moore, our judge for yesterday, for patronizing me in my desire to have a fun learning experience with my yearling before he was a solid show contender as well as his patience in our class. (We showed in the 2 and under halter class. Kasino stood very still until it was his turn for inspection, and then did a bit of squirming.)
Overall my yearling's first horse show was a success. By the end of the day, he had stood quietly by the trailer for quite a while and loaded up to go home without hesitation. We know what to focus on at home and will be ready for next time!
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