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Katie Iceton

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SO I have finally realised, after it smacked me in teh face that my horse is not the type for ring work, like country pleasure etc.

We have been working hard all year for the AMHR show in our area, and I felt like a LOT of progress was being made with my horse and we were working hard. I was so excited to show. So we go and he does just fine in halter and the obstacle and jumping even tho we were sometimes the only one in our classes LOL. We get to the driving and I am all excited because I think we have a chance this year. We have been working on contact, impulsion, and tracking up. I go and drive in my 3-4 classes it was. I consistantly placed second, even though I knew my horse was working for me, he was working his heart out. We just didnt have it. So I get out, and as my trainer mum and I unharness, I lost it, I cried. I couldnt help it, I could not figure out why, when I thought things had changed so much from last year, they hadnt. I knew Shadow had given me his all, I knew but then I thought maybe placing would be different. I did not know what to do, but its not Shadows fault at all, I never thought that for an instant. He is just not built to give the action the judges want to see now a days. It probably didnt help that I had a pretty loose check on because I dont train with one and my horse is really figdgety if he has a lot on his face/head. Anyways, hes a very narrow in the front type of horse and thus doesnt have the room for the long strides they want in Country Pleasure and funny story, we actually did a pleasure class by mistake and the horse we were driving against beat us in a pleasure class as well so that told me he is no pleasure horse either. So we figured out he is not going to be in any more ring classes except the obstacle and games and such.

So after the show I was more than a little down. I was hoping that I would be able to go places perhaps next year, farther away and try the circuit I gues you would call it. This told me it definetly would not be worth it. So I was not much into driving my horse.

So I didnt drive for a while and just recently we moved and we have neighbors who also have minis and love driving and what not. And I took him over one day because my trainer was wanting me to drive again because she knew I was down and we took him over to their house and just played. Shadow and I both LOVED it. We had so much fun, he was so full of himself and really enjoying driving. Our neighbours think he is an amzing horse, and I do too, and it took this little play date to make me realise that he was never going to do a show cucuit, and that was ok. He and I are going to get into CDEs. He may not be perfect for dressage but he will be amazing at the cones and hazards, which is what he loves, get him out on teh trail or a big field and he is just a different horse. I will never put him in a ring class again probably, which is fine by me


Anyway just had to get that out guys, you prob have no clue who I am, but I am just a girl with a horse from BC who is now going to get into the wonderful world of Combined Driving. I said that I would try CDE for years and thought I would pursue a show career but now it is finally time to Shadow and I to try something new
.
 

Jill

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Good for you! It's about finding what you and your horse like to do and then having fun at it!!! Way to go
 

muffntuf

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Oh my gosh! On one hand I commend you for your dedication to training and then showing. But - forgive me, I don't understand how you can base your horses' whole career on one show. It takes up to 3 years for some horses to get the hang of driving in classes, especially with other horses.

On the other hand, CDE is extremely fun and may very well be the route your horse may like.

Did you think about Country Western Pleasure for driving classes, they have a more laid back gait and drive than Country Pleasure, just a thought.

In any event, I do commend you for sticking by your horse!
 

txminipinto

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Honey, you cried over 2nd place? There are days I'd kill for a red ribbon!!! You are being way too hard on yourself! You didn't mention if you were showing AMHA or AMHR. In AMHR, we have western CP, which allows for a loose check and more relaxed/natural movement. This class maybe better suited for your guy.

Remember, NO MATTER WHAT you do with your horse, you're supposed to be having fun!
 

Katie Iceton

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Haha thanks guys, well no not just one show, he has been showing for 5 years with me and driving them all, but its just I thought this would be HIS year, and it was sorta lol. Well second place in a class of two horses haha. So it was a bit dissaponting that way.I guess what I really wanted was recognition for working hard, and I guess that would be in the form of one first place...If that sounds bad let me know haha. I completely understand its just I wanted to go the show route and do what people I look up to do, and it just didnt work out. I am fine with that now, and Shad and I are back on track training and what not for our next show. I will be actively pursuing the CDE next year nad possibly attending an event this year if I have time, anyone know of any close to Armstrong LOL!
 

dannigirl

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If he is able to do all those things, maybe you should consider versatility in AMHR. I know that not many shows have it, but might be fun when it is available.

Just keep having fun. If the only way to have fun were to get blue ribbons, we would all be in trouble. Good luck to you and your boy.

Angie
 

txminipinto

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I had a couple horses this year that I thought THIS would be THEIR year too. And it hasn't been. But, I'm not throwing in the towel. You have to remember a couple things when showing: 1) You're asking for an opinion from another human being. It's just an opinion and it isn't the ONLY opinion. 2) There will ALWAYS be someone out there better than you. And that's the reason you have to keep at, every day to stay on top of your game so you can get better! 3) There is always someone out there wanting to beat you. Again, another reason to stay at it every single day!

Many of us haul to shows every other weekend to every weekend. Month after month after month. I have awesome shows, good shows, ok shows, and should have stayed home shows. You just have to keep pluggin' at it!
 

muffntuf

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txminipinto is right, 5 years of showing is great. It sounds like you excel at the other classes, you should try Western Country pleasure, you might be surprised.

Heck I just went to a show and thought I had it in the bag, but then there was a well known, well advertised mare with a trainer there and bam! I was lucky to get 3rd or 4th. I thought it too was supposed to be my mares year.

But there will always be someone better or have a better horse or whatever - its about having fun. Winning is great, but the journey is better.

Someday, maybe I will win, don't know, but maybe. I think I have adjusted my expectations about everyday this summer as to what I would do at the National level. I don't have expectations anymore. I am just going to see if I can be there and at least survive the show this year.

YOU HAVE DONE A TREMENDOUS JOB - KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!
 

txminipinto

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Someday, maybe I will win, don't know, but maybe. I think I have adjusted my expectations about everyday this summer as to what I would do at the National level. I don't have expectations anymore. I am just going to see if I can be there and at least survive the show this year.
I wanted to quote Muffntuf here because there's an important message that I think we all forget! Sometimes the hardest part about showing horses is showing up! The other exhibitors and their horses aren't the only hurdles we have to jump to that 1st place! Keeping horses fit, healthy, and sound can be just as challenging! This year, I've been very happy to just get to the national level shows with the run of bad luck I've had. I've had 2 hoof abscess', 8 sick horses from picking a bug up at a show, mare with sinus infection, and dealing with trying to get mares bred in the middle of the show season.
I've had to leave 3 horses at home from a national show and am just holding my breath that nothing else happens and that I have horses that are healthy enough to show when it's time to leave!

Everyone should pat themselves on the back just for getting to the shows healthy and safely! Then let the ribbons fall where they may.
 
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basshorse

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Hi, If you decide to return to the ring and haven't done it before, I highly recommend having someone video tape you. You can probably get clips of the other horse too...to see the difference...more importantly, over time...you can have a nice record of your hard work and improvement. My videos mean so much more than my shelves of ribbons. There is a cool camera out there right now, called a FLIP, that will plug into almost any computer and play. The software is built in and they run $125 -$150. It is easily uploaded onto websites to share. They are easy enough to use, my 1st grader can work the camera for me. Then, you'll have a more objective picture of how you are performing....I agree with others that you may be too hard on yourself. I'd challenge you to not give up quite yet, unless you really don't enjoy showing. You may find that as soon as you get to where a 2nd place ribbon is no longer your measuring stick, you begin getting the blues...ribbons, I mean. I do commend you for pushing forward to find something you enjoy doing with your mini. With my big horse, I never regretted leaving the show ring for the dressage ring. We were both happier there... Also, what txminipinto said...keeping things in perspective is so critical. What a privilege many of us have to even be out in the show ring. Best wishes!
 

susanne

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It sounds like you and your horse are ready for the step up to CDEs and ADS driving.

Look at the recent post by Dr. Pam on the Driving Trials in which she and Al and Susan B. participated...also hobbyhorse's post on her most recent CDE. It's a whole world beyond the breed show ring.

Good luck!
 

Jill

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It sounded to me like she's really found something she enjoys doing more than shows, and that her horse really enjoys! 2nd place is something to be proud of but if you find something else you like more, why not pursue it? We all should know how it feels when we find something that is just the right match for us and our horse
 
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Keri

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Its only one judges opinions. I take the same horse to several shows, some shows we win, others we place lower. I would never base my horse's ability on one show, let alone his driving ability. I've seen horses win one class, go in for the next and they place last. It just depends on what the judge sees of your horse in the areana. And other times, there's no changing their opinion when they have their mind set on one horse.

Don't give up becuase of one show. You show becuase you love it and the placings are just a bonus.
 

Bess Kelly

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No matter the show ring wins, you have obviously accomplished FIRST PLACE with the connection you have with your horse. He gives you everything you ask, willingly and with enjoyment! You have the best of everything. Go into the classes where he excels and drive him on all the fun things you can.

Congratulations on all the hard work and dedication that you two have enjoyed together. Supreme in my book!
 

sundaymom

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First let me say I know nothing about driving so can't comment there. However reading your posting I can tell that for a young person, you are very strong emotionaly for your years and that your love for your horse is great.

I personaly wish I was able to attend more shows and ribbons of any type are icing on the cake. Going to shows and meeting new people at horse shows is just like the business world. In a way it's the same as networking. You never know when in time these people will be the ones to become your best friends or helpfull to you in other ways throughout your life. As an older person I have learned over time to step back and enjoy the act of doing something. Being to centered on the end result is often like the blinders on your horse...blocking out so many other important things and people around you.

Whatever you decide I'm sure you will do great. Just enjoy.
 

whitney

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From your post it appears as tho you feel your horse is "limited" and I don't happen to agree.

To me a show ring horse is the "LIMITED" one. To have a CDE horse is to have a horse able to handle ALOT more than going in a circle at two speeds.
 

Katie Iceton

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Thanks guys, and I appreciate all the kind words! I am stillundecided if I will enter Shad into the classes at our local fair, its so hard to decide, but when I think about it, its just another opportunity right?Its not about the ribbons, sometimes I do let that cloud my vision so to speak, but there will be plenty of time to pursue a show career but for now I am happy to know myself how hard my horse and I work together and see the progress. As my mom always said, as long as you try your best it doesnt matter the outcome, because its will not be from a lack of tryng. So I will go forward with my horse to have fun, and better both him and myself as a team. I will keep you updated! Thanks so much again, you guys are an awesome network of people and I am touched by the outpouring of support! Thank you so so so much!
 

muffntuf

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Go to the County Fair, the classes are fun and sometimes payback! You would be an excellent representative for the miniature world!
 

Katie Iceton

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Haha oh I will for sure be going with Shad but I forgot to mention I meant enter him in the pleasure driving classes offered, but I will be doin the games and in hand and all that. I am still deciding haha
 

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