Saturday, September 25, 2010

Didn't Notice My 300th post...and thus, 301.

 So I can't figure out how to write above the top picture... :-/ 
Anyway...this was quite the eventful show. The picture above and below are from the show on September 12th with Laddie :) Love that boy.
I look so silly in the above picture...but it's such a cute, typical Ladd-face, I had to share. :P
 And the next two pictures are from today's show. Daisy was excellent. Truly. Now on to sharing my exciting stories. :)

A short time into the show, we had an accident. The father of one of the 4H kids from our county went out to do a run on his Percheron. He'd barely crossed the timer before the Percheron swerved and started bucking...after 2 or 3 bucks, he fell. It was scary to watch (after all, Percherons aren't small; it's a long way down). once he landed, he was on his stomach, face in the dirt. There was this big climactic second where I was just thinking "Come on...he's going to sit up...he's going to be fine"...but then it passed and he was still completely still, lying there. Everyone started running into the ring, and he was still still, and Jean ran in, with the shout that she was a nurse (which she is). It was so scary to watch. I felt sick to my stomach watching. His daughter went screaming to the ring. I didn't notice, but Jean got over and she says he was seizing; moaning and mumbling. He had dirt in his nose and mouth, and she insisted they flip him over so he could breathe.
They did, and he came to. Once he did, he wanted to get up, but they wouldn't let him. They had called an ambulance, and it seemed to take forever to come. It finally did and drove right in the arena, and picked him up. His vitals were off though and the emergency technicians thought they felt something wrong in his spine though, so they called Mercy Flight, which is the helicopter ambulance. It landed just 2 minutes later in the field next to the grounds. (That is how I got the second picture of joke: it's so hard to get her ears forward for a picture, you have to land a helicopter in front of her).
He's still in the hospital now, getting CT scans done. He had a helmet on. This is yet another reason we wear helmets.

Daisy was great at the show. I borrowed western spurs from Oliver and used them...something I have never done. I chose to do it though because at the mounted meeting Friday, she was completely ignoring my leg and rammed me into a barrel with my leg twice. And that hurts.
The spurs made a big difference. She turned barrels much tighter because of them, and had a tiny bit more speed coming home. Our times were closer to the winning ones...Despite the fact that we still only got two fourths and two fifths (but hey--we placed in all the classes! and never last!)

I was thrilled with how she did. I really really was. Twice we were just milliseconds away from a third instead of a fourth or a fourth instead of a fifth.
 On Friday after the mounted meeting I had a 4Her ride Daisy (If you wanna know who, you can spot her in the above picture, in the bottom corner :) This is because...I'm planning ahead. Inevitably, I will be out of high school in 3 years, so God will. At that point, I may go to college and not be able to take Daisy with me. Or I may want to take a different horse. Or choose to ride a college horse, for whatever reason. Or I won't go to college and I'll go somewhere where Daisy can't come along. I love Daisy...with all my heart. I cannot describe the bond between us, she is simply the greatest thing that has ever happened to me (Besides my relationship with God...and being born into my family..blah blah blah ;) :P). I'm so proud of her, and so want to see her go to a good home. I don't think I could ever sell her, partly because I don't think there's anyone who would be willing to pay for a horse that's so angry all the time. But I would be interested in full-leasing her. And so I'm putting my feelers out. This winter, I plan on having some of the other kids ride her and see if any of them like her. So Friday was my first attempt. It went well.  Whether Daisy was tired, or she was testing her rider, or she wasn't sure her rider could handle speed, I don't know, but she was on the lazy side. But said rider did get her to canter in the end for a few laps around the ring, and said she liked her. Good start :)

Onto my last topic. I witnessed someone at the show today using spurs in a way that I've never seen them used. Have any of you ever used spurs so hard that you knowingly made your horse bleed? This said horse went into the ring and, just after crossing the start line, refused to move a single inch. What would you do? Spur your horse so hard it bled(I only saw the aftermath. but apparently it was dripping blood....)? Maybe I'm just naive and I don't have enough experience to know that when a horse is stupid like that, you have to "beat them" like that. But somehow I feel like that's wrong. I was later chastened for taking it too hard and being angry about it. Am I wrong? What are your takes? I've been riding for 11 years now. And I can think of better ways to make the horse go. Yes, the horse did do the next pattern without hesitation, but...did it really need to happen like that? Also...hate to be a know-it-all, or point it out, but said rider hadn't ridden this horse very much coming up to the show. 

The way I see it...why should a horse work for you, or how can you expect so much from a horse, when you have barely ridden it coming up to the show? Shouldn't they have done something different to work the horse through the pattern? 

What would YOU DO? I'd really like to know. This has thrown me off a bit...I'm not sure what to think, but I'm willing to accept that maybe I'm wrong. I know we all have different training techniques, but...that would not be one I'd choose.
P.S. thank you all SO. MUCH for your comments! 5 comments?! That's so cool. Thanks. :) Glad to know people read... :))
Trail Trial tomorrow! :)


Mrs Mom said...

Mel, I'm a crabby old lady. (OK so "old" is relative here... ;) )

What *I* would do in a situation where a rider is spurring their horse to the point of bleeding? Call them on it. Bring it (strongly and somewhat loudly) to the attention of the show committee, the judge, the show secretary-- everyone.

You are right- there is no cause for that. Spurs are a tool intended to be used as an extension of the leg. Anytime an overuse/ abuse of them is present, the rider needs a knot yanked in their a@@.

Should you see it again, get pix. Bring it to the attention of the show committee. Ask what the rules are. Wrong is wrong. Most shows I've shown in have rules and regs against abusive methods- see if the committee will live up to their rules.

Hardest thing in the horse industry? We can't save them all. Not from ignorance, purposeful stupidity, short cuts, neglect, etc.. We just can't save them all. What we CAN do is lead by example, and be strong, firm, and do our best to hold those who make THE RULES accountable for allowing actions like you talked about happen.

Gudl said...

I agree, that is abuse. That came to my mind immediately when you told me this story. No animal or human should ever bleed because of 'correction'.
I am proud of you that you made your point! I lost respect for this man, too.

Monty said...

There is never a reason to spur your horse so hard that they bleed. The spurs are a training tool, just like a crop. They are there to encourage your horse or just wake them up to the competition. But there is never a call for that! I find that unprofessional.
I saw a girl spuring her horse after she was out of the show ring because she was mad for how he acted in the show (the horse was being unresponsive to her leg). If her mom wouldn't have yelled at her, I would have chewed her out.
Never feel bad for being soft-hearted.

Trailer said...

I'm enjoying reading your point of view here in your posts.....I'm a new reader but will be back to check out more!


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