.. with so much thought and prayer - we have decided to pull Sport from the NTASHA show. He is just not ready.
A couple of things concerned me - starting from the day we shot the videos of him outside. Margaret was recording it with her I-pad and on the first round, he spooked at it and jumped off the rail. Although it was a huge movement, I did not come off, but he certainly did startle me a bit. My incorrect reaction was to dig my left leg into his side and 'hunker down' a bit. I need to be more aware that that is a very real possibility, especially in the show ring. This alone did not phase me though.
This morning on my way to the lesson, I had that uneasy feel you get deep down inside. I prayed thanking the Lord for His protection and the protection of all at the barn, as I was unsure of why I was feeling the way I was.
Arriving at the barn, I first rode Chip aside. I usually ride Rose but she had thrown a shoe. Chip was a bit sluggish at first, but rose up and we had a nice work out.
The guys got Sport ready and put on his show bridle. Sport was ready for training when he was 3...the exact time we found out my husband was ill. I made the decision to pull all the horses shoes and turn them out for the year. One year turned into 2 when my Father became ill and I spent a lot of time with him. Because of that Sport did not get started with training until he was over 5. Saddlebred shows allow the horses to wear training bridles up to a certain age, but by the time Sport was broke to ride, he was past that age. Now, at the age of 6, (turning 7 the first of January) he is expected to wear a full Weymouth bridle with consistes of 2 bits, a curb and a snaffle along with the standard 4 reins.
Although Sport was wearing the most conservative 'baby curb' bit today, he has just not had enough time to adjust to the different feel. I love Sport so much and over the last 19 months he has gone from only being broke to lead, to being broke to lunge, long line, drive a cart, broke to saddle with 3 gaits, being broke to ride with 5 gaits, carry an amatuer rider and then carry an amatuer rider sidesaddle. With almost every task, when he gives signs of not understanding what is asked of him, he does it without anger or tantrum. For this I am so thankful..
Well, Sport is still showing those signs with the double bridle. He is just not ready and although I was so excited to debut him at this show, it looks like it will have to wait until December's TASHA show.
Ironically, my Knoud sidesaddle is scheduled to arrive on Wednesday - back from Lillian after the massive repair job she had to do on it. I needed to leave for the show Wednesday morning, so I likly would have missed getting it.
On top of that, the new suit fabric did not get to Cindy in time for her to complete it either....
...so how many signs do I need ...ha ha .. well truly, it was the one from Sport that I listened to the most.
On my way home I happened to notice that anxious uneasy feeling I had was gone. "....all things work for good to those who love the Lord.." Thank you Lord for opening my eyes to see, my ears to hear and my heart to feel.