The OTTB Strikes Back

On June 23rd, I took Dandy to his first ever show. Things … went.

The minute Dandy stepped off the trailer, he was on high alert. I tied him up to the trailer, gave him some hay and went off with LG to register for my class. It was about 8:30 and my class was supposed to start at 10:00. I already knew that Dandy was going to need a ton of longe work before I wanted to get on him. Little good it did. He wouldn’t even stand still for me to get on him; from the ground or the mounting block. I think everyone from FTF got a crash course in how to walk a racehorse!

To sum up the morning, Dandy was a nudge and scared the hell out of me with his rearing. Once I got him in the warm up ring and moving, things were okay. He did not want to walk but he moved forward, he collected and he would come down from the canter. We went over the practice cross rails and he was controllable. I had to get off for them to drag and water the practice arena and that’s when things got rough.

The second time I got on, we were outside in a field and following LG and her horse around. Dandy was behaving just like a horse being ponied out to the track and would not leave their side. But at least he was being okay. At this point though, I was scared to death at the coiled energy underneath me. One of my barn mates tried to head Dandy and walk us back to the warm up ring and that’s when the rearing went full force. I bailed.

So after a few good rears and a handful of tears, I made myself get back on to do the class. As upset and scared as I was, I knew I had to give him a good experience.

And what do you know… I did! Once in the ring, Dandy did exactly what I asked him to do. Yes, he was green. Yes, he rushed a bunch of fences. Yes, he tried to run out of a few fences because of the scary boxes. But he did the course! And I think we looked pretty good, actually.

We got third of five riders. Go Dandy!

Eric managed to getĀ oneĀ good picture of Dandy with his first ribbon. The rest … well … below about sums the day up:

That was the end of Dandy’s day so we got him untacked and he got to to “relax” for a good long while. He did not of course. There was pawing. There was running around at the end of his line. There was the moment where he got his foot caught in the hay bag (though once that happened he at least chilled out and stood still).

I did not trust him to be tied to the trailer quietly so I had to bring him back to the ring for the rest of LG’s class. He wasn’t very good but at least he was semi manageable.

Next time, Dandy boy, will be better.

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