Show Stress.

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Celtic Hill Farm

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I'm completely stressed out about the fall classic. It's a annual donkey show in my area and we hopefully are going to it. But I'm stressing out over it, for what ever reason. It's going to be the donkeys first show, I had a horribl training session today.I got completely frustrated with them, and my stress didn't help. They still need there shots and coggins. I have to practice loading. And i have know idea how they are going to be at the show. And Leia, is being really stubborn, and is only geting worse with her training. And she is my only chance placing in halter at the show. And i'm just stressing...
 

DrivinTime

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Hi There,

I hate to be the one to say this, but your stress will immediately be reflected by your equines (at least, if donkeys are anything like horses)! So, avoid training while you're feeling stressed. (I know, easier said than done.)

Now for the good news... Take a deep breath, and ask yourself, what's the worst that can happen? I've been embarrassed many, many (many, many, many) times by my minis, and - it's not so bad. It's survivable, especially if you can laugh at yourself (or them). And the fun of the show is way worth it.

You're going to a show! That should be a blast! People and beasties to watch and chat with, and you can show yours off to everyone and get lots of compliments. Think about the fun, and forget about the showing stuff. Drink some hot chocolate (or your beverage of choice) and envision yourself and your donkeys graciously thanking the judge for that blue ribbon...

Okay, so now recruit a friend to help with the Coggins and do some practice loading sessions. Got treats? Act like you've got all the time in the world, and this loading thing is soooo much fun, you know they're going to love it! (Because, if they don't load, they don't get to go to the show and see their buddies, right?) And, if one's not behaving, ignore her and work with your perfect equine (jealousy is a great motivator) and your naughty girl will come around. (It worked for my 20-year-old soooo stubborn mare!)

I know I'm being a little silly here, but I have done the stressed-out thing and it really takes the fun out of training and showing - so if you can laugh at me and my advice, and relax a little, and think about the fun, I bet things will go better. (And if that doesn't work, picture me and my mini driving out of the show ring BACKWARDS - from the middle! - because my she decided halfway around that she was Not Going To Do It. My face was beet red, everybody was laughing, and I felt like digging a hole and falling into it. But, like I said, I survived, put her back in her stall and went to get some fried dough and Did Not Share.)

I do hope you have a great time at the show, and best of luck.

Lori
 

Carolyn R

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Now for the good news... Take a deep breath, and ask yourself, what's the worst that can happen? I've been embarrassed many, many (many, many, many) times by my minis, and - it's not so bad. It's survivable, especially if you can laugh at yourself (or them). And the fun of the show is way worth it.
Lori is right. Go, have fun, and make some memories.

Heck, I don't even need to have my horse embarrass me, I do it all on my own. I was at our club's mini fun show last weekend, took one of my minis into the 50 yard dash for kicks. She was fast, faster than me, out ran me and when I pulled her to stop, I fell on my can. There were some very kind members that held her for me while I excused myself, I needed to get the dirt out of my pants.
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I had a laugh at my own expense,

Carolyn
 
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kaykay

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You have gotten some really good advice above. Remember when the dress rehearsal goes bad it means the real thing will be awesome LOL.

I have a show coming up and nope Im not ready. Shes not as in shape as she normally is and I still have to bath and clip etc. But I am going to go and have a good time wether we get a ribbon or get the gate.

Whenever I take a green horse (insert donkey) that has never shown, I always figure its a learning session and I dont expect anything but for that horse to learn and get better.

Cant wait to hear how it goes!
 

Celtic Hill Farm

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Thanks, You guys are helped. I'm going to go home and just do some work with halter. I know the one class we can go in and do ok, is Coon Jumping. Leia, is being really weird twards me, i don't understand it.
 

backwoodsnanny

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I too get stressed when getting ready to go to a show but have found its just me. We have a stallion who loves to talk and though he is getting better he still wants everyone to know hes on the show grounds and it has now become a joke and other club members say Hey here comes Roy. At first it was very embarassing as he hollered through all his classes but we stuck with it and the last show of the season he finally is better while in the ring. Not totally quiet but much better until he did Liberty which he screamed through the whole class. It really was funny as it was like he was singing to his music. Everyone loved him. He got two blues and a red in the three classes we entered him in so let him holler. As for loading that does take patience we have some that walk right on the trailer and others that need retraining every spring. Good luck with your show.
 

Magic

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I'm just worried, by donkeys are going to do something wrong in the class


You know what, they might. But as the others have said-- what is the worst that will happen? I used to get so stressed about showing that I was miserable. Finally my husband asked me WHY I was doing it if it made me so miserable? and of course I was making my family (and surely the horses as well) just as miserable. The stress sure wasn't helping our horses place any better! So I decided, either I would go to shows for the FUN of it, or not go at all. And once I removed the worry of how things would go, the shows became so much more fun, and my family didn't dread the upcoming shows any more, lol!

Just go, have fun!

Edited to add: I went to a show earlier this year, it was my first time back showing after two years off. I took FIVE horses, and four of them were pretty showing novices-- for one mare it was her FIRST time showing, she is nine years old, and she was going to be driving. What DIDN'T go wrong at that show? One filly was DQ'd in Liberty when she slammed into me as I let her loose (and I pushed her off of me, sigh); one filly flipped over several times as we were waiting to go in the ring, and then wouldn't trot in the class (she needed her teeth done, poor girl); a gelding was so excited that he would NOT stand still his halter class, nor did the Liberty DQ filly (it was far more a "wrestling class" than a halter class with those two!) My driving mare was awesome in her classes but she looked far more like a Western Country driving horse than the Country that we had her entered in; and then my seasoned gelding, that I love and who was being SO good, started refusing the practice jumps for my husband so I took the horse and made him jump-- and ended up hitting the dirt and getting all scraped up (my faulth, not the horse's). So, all in all, what a FUN show! But really, it WAS fun. We did get some great placings in some of our classes, others not so good (or at all) but I learned what we really needed to work on for next time, and I enjoyed the show. I bet yours won't be nearly as, um, interesting? full of "whoopsies"? as mine was!!
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Bunnylady

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From what I've heard, if your donkeys do act up, they'll be in very good company! I've never taken my little mule to a show, but I hear donkey/mule shows are more relaxed than horse shows, because longear folks are all too aware that their animals have minds of their own, and may just decide not to work today!!

Your little girl Leia may be picking up your anxiety and thinking it means she's doing something wrong. You need to relax! Think about making this fun for her. If you concentrate on making this fun for both of you, the nerves will take care of themselves.

And if your donkey screws up, and somebody laughs, know that they will be laughing with you, because the odds are that they have been there with their own animals. You'll probably have plenty of opportunities to laugh with them before the show is over!
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Celtic Hill Farm

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Yea, i remeber my first show ever was a donkeys show, and i was leading the donkey threw a trail course, and he layed down on the carpet we had to go over and wouldn't get up. (now i'm laughing) and everyone from the shows, remember's me!

Ok, so it will be fun. I wish Leia liked me, for what ever reason, she dosn't and i have never done anything to her. It's kind of werid. The nice thing is at donkeys shows, is there forgiving and if leia is acting up in the class because Aura isn't in there, they will let me bring aura in and kind of "lure" her, i guess you would say. I guess i'm going to have to have alot of Rescue Remidy on hand!
 

Celtic Hill Farm

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i just got back in from working with the donks! well only Aura. I just pulled her out of the run in, her regualar halter, and just a leadrope, and i just walked her around. Then i worked on coon jumping! we were able to bring the jump higher today! i only used the leadrope and a lunge whip, and i was really suscesfull!
 

DrivinTime

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There you go! That's great! See, you're going to have a blast at this show, and your beasties will make you proud. Give Aura a big hug and tell her how well she's doing! (Just pat Leia, give her a sympathetic look and tell her you understand that she's just going through a phase. She'll come around eventually.)
 

Celtic Hill Farm

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I am going to have fun. I just need to crak down on my parents to get them vetted so i can go! that should be easy enough! it's so cute to watch donkeys jump! lol, my best friend is going to kick my butt in jumping, her donkeys jumps so high! But i'm going to kick butt in Showmanship!
 

Celtic Hill Farm

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I worked them this morning, and they did really good. I'm starting to get even more excited about the show. I think the other day, i was thinking *SHOW* and expecting them to do really really good. I have to go into the arena with them, when i am training, and not expect them to be perfect. Even leia started to warm up to me. We actually Jumped, and Trotted.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I'm not experienced with donkeys, but with everyone saying they have strong personalities, I am thinking what your Leia needs is lots of praise. I always heard as a young mom that when my kids were most unloveable, that is when they needed the most love. Try telling her she is a very good girl many many times. Try limiting your touching, and just tell her she's good. Tell her you want her to show because she's the most beautiful. Say her name alot. If she comes up to you and asks for a rub, do so. But otherwise try keeping your hands off. This works for lots of animals, so it might work for your Leia.

Sounds as though I need to go to a long-ear show sometime!!
 

Celtic Hill Farm

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Thanks, I think that it's a trust issue with her. She will come up to anyone, but me. I think i remind her of some one who did something bad to her before we got her. I have been working with my girl Aura, and Leia get interested and comes over and i will pet her, and put a lead on her, and just walk around and she follows, then i give her some treats. The girls get 1/4th of a scoop of Oats, per feeding, and i will hand feed it to them. This is probably a bad idea, but they haven't got nippy yet. But when ever i coem home from school, i go out and say hi, then when i go to let them in with my horse, i will stand out there and talk to them, and they listen. It's been helping them be more willing in training.
 

FlatCreekFarm

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Your donkeys sound so sweet
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I enjoy reading your posts! It also reminds me I need to work (play) with my two jennets more. It is so much fun!

keep us posted!
 

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