Pre-show Prep

So, uh… turns out I completely forgot to post Foal Friday last week. I drafted it, I just didn’t post it because Friday came and went without me even realizing that it was Friday. On the bright side, that means Foal Friday gets to last a little bit longer?

Anyway, part of why I totally lost track of days is because Presto and I were busy getting ready for our next show. Two shows only two weeks apart… what a luxury. Having so many nice, affordable, well-run schooling shows right here in my own backyard is legit life-changing.

Presto had gotten the previous weekend off, since I was gone to TerraNova, and I hadn’t jumped him since the previous show, so I scheduled a jump lesson with Steph. I thought he might be a bit of a dingaling but nope. He was actually freaking stellar.

We’ve been jumping him a little bigger, since honestly he’s so blasé and unimpressed with anything little these days. As the jumps get bigger, he gets better and better. He’s staying rideable, he’s listening, he’s doing his job, and the quality of his jump is improving as he’s getting stronger.

He was so good that we literally jumped two courses and then called it quits with that. He’s the kind of horse where you really have to know when to push it vs when to leave it alone, and the ultimate reward (in his mind) is being done with work. Plus, like… he’s five. If he’s being super, there’s no point in drilling him.

The show was on Sunday, and on Saturday we went XC schooling. Hillary was with us this time, so that meant Presto had a friend with him in the trailer, and we met up with a group from my trainer’s barn. Presto with friends is never good. I thought, though, that since he’s spent the last few months doing things alone, he might just have an initial hissy fit and then get over it. Spoiler alert: he did not get over it.

He was an actual terrorist. As soon as we walked out to the field to warm up he was screaming, and alternating between wanting to spin back toward our group or staring off into the distance at other horses. And it got worse instead of better, because it went from a little naughtiness to him actually being genuinely Very Very Worried. When we tried to jump a few warmup fences he went to spinning again and was super nappy about leaving the group. He hasn’t done that in months (since, well, the last time he had a friend come with him on the trailer). Steph basically just sent us off by ourselves to jump around the whole course, because clearly the group dynamic was not going to work for Presto that day. To Presto’s credit, he did leave the group with encouragement, and there was no more napping, but he screamed his head off the entire time. Like that deep, soul-shaking screaming bloody murder type of neigh that you can hear from 3 counties away. Constantly. While he was actively jumping fences. The actual jumps themselves were no problem, he didn’t bat an eye at any of that and jumped them all fine. His poor little teeny brain had just completely fallen out of his ear though.

I jumped around a couple times by myself, then went off away from the XC and had him walk around the showjumping arena and dressage arenas. Again, he never stopped screaming, but there was no more napping. He really gets so freaking worried about what everyone else is doing when he goes places with a friend. He needs to travel solo for a while to these one-day outings until he finds life in general to be less exciting and can focus on his own life. My ear drums can’t take it.

That evening was spent getting our costume together for the show. I mean, it’s a Halloween event and it says “costumes encouraged” so yes, I’m in. I decided to go for the low-hanging fruit and do a Punk Rock theme, since I already owned most of what I needed for that.

It’s my usual aesthetic

The only thing I had to purchase was the hot pink mohawk to go on my helmet. Because naturally, a mohawk seems necessary for this kind of costume right?

10/10 it was worth the $15, because I could not stop snickering. It was so entertaining.

I also used the Cricut and some silver glitter adhesive vinyl that I already had to make a little punk rock decal for the back of my leather jacket.

And I made some anarchy symbol stickers to go on Presto’s saddle pad too. Because he IS walking anarchy, really. Hillary also picked me up some hot pink hair spray so that I could do the tips of his mane and tail in pink to coordinate with my mohawk. He already wears spiked browbands on both of his bridles, so that was really all he needed.

I was happy for the costume distraction so that I didn’t have time to overthink how he might end up behaving at the show the next day. I wasn’t sure how badly the schooling had rattled him, and whether or not his brain would climb back up it’s tether, into his ear, and re-velcro itself back into his skull. One never really knows. He’s one of those horses that tends to remember everything, so mostly I was just hoping I wouldn’t end up being That Person at the horse show with the screaming spinning idiot. Lofty goals over here.

4 thoughts on “Pre-show Prep

  1. Seeing as most of the time my goal at a show is not to have anyone say (in a derogatory or pitying manner) “Oh look, there’s the Arab”, I totally get it.


  2. Herd sourness is the biggest issue I’m having with my 5 year old right now. She doesn’t genuinely care about most of the jumps, but any time we have to leave her friend or a group, she gets so nappy and pulls out some really dirty moves in front of fences (that I am not very equipped to sit). She is usually much better when we go alone, but living in the Midwest they are very few opportunities to school/show that are less than 3 hours drive, so it makes it much more affordable to travel with a friend. Contemplating figuring out a way to fund sending her to Ocala one winter with my trainer, and letting her work on the nappiness for a few weeks


  3. Can relate to managing a horse with a ridiculously good memory. It’s almost like having a Malinois or similar dog breed. Phenomenal when the pieces come together but not easy by any means.


  4. Oh baby horses… Isn’t shocking how they can be absolutely perfect one day and utter chaos the next? Al is still a little this way and he’s 7… I’m hoping year 8 will bring some maturity. It’s nice to have dreams anyway. Can’t wait to read about the show! Love the outfit! You should retire the pompom and stick with the mohawk.


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