Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making horse shows a little easier

Let me set the scene.  It is the night before a horse show.....  That is about all it takes from me to get your knees shaking and your mind racing.  Not because of your nerves for the show the next day.  No, it is making sure you have everything ready to go for your horse show.  Tack, clothes, brushes, extra tack, food for you, food for your horse.  The list can seem endless and you always wonder what you are forgettting, especially for long distance shows.  You know that one of these days you are going to leave your horse behind. 

One of the easiest and most effective ways to make show a little less stressful is to have a list of items that you may or may not need in each show.  Have a list for local shows and a list for out of town shows that you can print off of the computer before each show.  You canb make a list in excwel and print it with the lines so that it is easier to read and you can check off the things on the list.  I like making it with a 'check box' om either side of each item so that I can check that I have everything the night before and then I can check it show morning before I leave. By doing this you can check off items as you store them in your trailer, and at the end of the show have a list of items that you will need to replace.

One other thing is to have a 'show kit'.  A box of items that always go with you to a show, small things you won't want to be without. 

Here is a list of show kit items:
Bobby Pins
Safety Pins
Hair Spray/gel
Small brush
Ponytail holders
Rubber bands
Hair nets
Black Marker

Now for the list of items that you will need to gather in general to take to a horse show.  What I have found easiest to do is to list out your items "For Horse" and "For Rider"  then under each of those to do what you will need for each class.  So what you and your horse need for Halter, Showmanship, western, etc. I also have a place for grooming equipment, a place for the riders makeup, ponytail holders, hair spray, gel, and things like that.  I also have a place for all of those miscellaneous items that you don't want to forget.

For Horse                                      For Rider

Showmanship                         Western/Showmanship

Halter                                      Cowboy hat

Lead Rope                               Show Shirt

Brushes                                     Belt

Fly Spray                                  Jeans

Body Shine                                boots

Spot Remover

Western Classes                         English Classes

Saddle                                               Helmet

Bridle                                               White Shirt

Saddle Pad                                      Collar and Pin



English Classes                                    Belt



Saddle Pad

Misc.                                                    Misc.

Bucket                                       Bobby Pins

Clippers                                    Safety Pins

hoof pick                                  Hairspray

detangler                                      Hair Gel

rubber bands                              Ponytail Holders

Vet Wrap                                      hair nets

Baby Wipes

I am sure there are things that are missing from this list. Especially of you show in a lot more classes.  so, add in all of the items that you use in your shows.
Next time you go to a show all you have to do is check your show kit for items you need to refill, and check through the list to make sure you have everything, then check it once more the morning before you leave.  Shows will become so much less stressful and you can focus more on getting you horse ready to show rather than worrying about leaving your horse behind. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

4H, Clinton Anderson random-ness

This year will be my fourth year in horse 4H.  I have ended up loving every year by the end and enjoy showing.  But what I really enjoy the most is when I get to work with and train the horses.  That is what makes working with horses fun for me.  The challenge of thinking like a horse and figuring out what I need to do to teach them something new, or do somehthing better.  While I may not be able to go through everything and tell you technically how to do each thing, I do know how to get a horse to move in different directions and it is fun for me.  I have a ton to learn but I think I am getting the hang of everything pretty fast.  I have been to a few Clinton Anderson Tour clinics and have learned so much from each of them.  The things I find stick with me the most are his one liners that make you giggle and/or think.  Like his "One hand for softness and control, two reins to die quickly"  Not only did it sound funny but I it helped me to remember that it is much easier and safer to stop a horse with one rein rather than two reins.  On top of that you won't start to create a hard mouth on your horse.  A few others  I like:
The more time you pick yourself up out of the sand the better your groundwork gets. (everytime you fall off the more you learn how important the grunt work really is.)
Do what you want kill me quickly. (talking about clenching up when you get nervous, pull your arms in, Do what you want, squeeze your legs, kill me quickly.)
I didn't hit him, he ran into the stick! (your horse cant come closer than the stick will allow so if it whacks him it is his own fault.)
Let them commit the crime first! (don't punish for what your horse hasn't done yet, you cant arrest a guy for standing outside a bank with a gun until he walks in and starts shooting)
These are the few that I could think of off the top of my head, there are a ton more.  But Clinton Anderson really is the king of idiot-proof horsemanship.  And listening and watching and reading his material has helped me improve my horsemanship so much over the past 4 years it is crazy!