It is interesting to watch the warm-up areas at different horse shows, and to see the different schooling methods. One thing that is of concern is how riders react when their horse is worried.
If a horse is nervous or frightened, then hitting it will make the situation worse e.g. if the horse is shying at something and it feels the pain of a hit then it will associate the pain with the object. This can make it scared of the object and/or more anxious and nervous generally and yet it seems to be a common occurrence at shows! As well as being a welfare issue, it can also leave a horse with bad memories for life, because horses are much better at remembering things than they are at solving problems.
See this month’s article on what you can do to help your horse if it is nervous.
Anyway, that is the rant for the day. On a positive note, Diva and Lexi have been out and about and Diva has done her first Prelim for a promising result of 68% (yes the judge was a bit generous, but it made up for being under-marked in her very good intro the time before!). There have been a few show cancellations so she skipped intro-to-canter but didn’t seem to notice. Lexi has also been going well getting back into her career and has been going out to play in Elementary tests while she gets fit enough for the higher levels. Some uneven judging has been disappointing (i.e. only half a mark difference for a very good movement and a not good movement), and she has a mind of her own when it comes to what she thinks she should be doing (e.g. half-pass instead of leg-yield) but it all shows promise for the rest of the season.
We continue to wait for the paddocks to dry out, and envy those with all year turnout. Either we have fine days but heavy frosts, or warm but rain. The horses enjoy the sand pens though, which at least lets them get out into the air and have a roll.
Hopefully the Easter bunny will bring more consistent weather in time for the outdoor shows.