Horsemanship Challenge

I mentioned a few weeks ago about filming an entry for an online class with Presto. I didn’t prepare at all (because ME), and I pulled the 3yo out of the field after not having been ridden in a month, made two tries at filming the class, and wasn’t really satisfied with either of them. The show ended up extending the entry date, so I had every intention of trying again to get some better video, but then house stuff happened and I cut my stupid foot, and I promptly forgot about it completely.

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And then they posted on closing date, and I was like “well shit”, and just submitted my original first try. I thought the second try showed Presto a little bit better, but that was the one where we got interrupted by deer and then I forgot the last movement. Whoops.

See, it was a “horsemanship” class. Very simple, just showing that the horse isn’t a totally feral animal. I originally was going to enter the Advanced pattern:

but on the day-of I legit did not feel like dragging two standards into the dressage ring and trying to make a rope gate. Laziness prevails. (To be fair, it was super windy that day and I was trying to do this in between a thousand other things, so…. yeah ok I was still lazy) Anyway, I decided instead to enter the Novice one, since it didn’t require setting up anything special that I didn’t already have in the ring.

On the first try Presto was just very blah. He was like “this is dumb, you’re dumb, I’m bored”. He was good, just… bored, which made him a little dull and lagging on response time. And then, like I said, on the second try we got interrupted by deer. When I watched the videos back I realized that some of my angles in relation to the camera were not good (want a full shot of my ass while I’m picking up his feet?) and I forgot to clean my phone’s camera lens so it’s kinda blurry in general and the Pivo struggled a little. Online class filming fail. I was glad when I heard that entries were extended, but then since I forgot it ended up not mattering anyway. At the last minute I just said “screw it” and submitted the first one. It was a charity show and I wanted to give them some entry fee money, and this was the best I had, so whatever.

You can add “Horsemanship” to Presto’s show resume now I guess. FEH classes, in-hand trail classes, pile-of-poles jumper classes (at a trot, anyway), and horsemanship classes. Ha!

It was kind of fun though, I wish now that I’d had more time and that I’d gone ahead and done the Advanced pattern. I’m pretty confident he could do it well. Maybe in the future we can enter more of these just for funsies. Our brains are always so deeply entrenched in our “real” job, it’s fun to break outside the box and try something else. And I feel like this kind of stuff is good for Presto, right? I mean… things like being polite at the mounting block and standing still for the rider to pick things up and put/on take off jackets – those are practical life skills that he’ll need, which is why I’ve taken the time to install those buttons anyway.

There were only two entries in our division, but Presto won! Good kiddo. Not bad for a 3yo that hadn’t been ridden in a month?

I’ll be really interested to get the scoresheet back and see the feedback. This type of stuff and this world (which is generally more western-oriented obviously) is totally foreign to me, so I’d love to learn more about it and what they’re looking for in a show setting, just to expand my own education.

Either way, we had fun (well ok I did anyway, Presto is to-be-determined) and it was a nice change of pace. Plus it was the first online class I’ve entered. It was a learning experience, that’s for sure. Hopefully we can do some more of these! Thanks to Scissortail for putting it on (and letting me squeak my entry in at the last minute).

What do y’all think about classes like this – would you try it?

5 thoughts on “Horsemanship Challenge

  1. What a great idea for an online-horse-show class. I entered my first online show this year and would like to do more so I will have to check this one out as a future possibility. Presto is turning out to be quite the versatility horse! I love how you expose your horses to a variety of experiences. Such a great foundation you give to them.


  2. I ride with the North American Trail Ride Conference, and they did a 5-month virtual obstacle challenge: following the premise of things that would be judged at a ride. So for example, in-hand sidepass your horse to a “thing” and mount, put on a jacket, trot a figure 8, back a figure 8, etc. It was a lot of fun (and horse and I came in 2nd in our division, of way more then 2 competitors!): what I did to make it extra fun for me was I tried to film everything in a different location each month. So a friend an I would haul somewhere to trail ride, and we’d film that month’s obstacles on our ride (since I don’t have a Pivo I had to enlist help from a buddy, ha).

    They’re running a short 3-month winter series that I’m passing on: I don’t like the first obstacle for my horse and I and I don’t have time to train her to do it to the level I want, and I’ve just been super busy (and a little strapped for cash, honestly).


  3. I had to read the instructions about 4 times because I was convinced it said to pick up both front feet at the same time. I was REALLY confused how you did that…


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