Winter Series: February 27 Show

Pretty much me every time I show my horse
There was a couple good parts to this show, and a few bad spots as well. My boss worked Lady on cows in the practice pen before our run again, and she worked really well. I am starting to really see what he's talking about, and understand the more technical aspects of what he's telling me to work on. It's still a bit over my head, and hard to conceptualize in the show pen, but it's all starting to fall together slowly.

I also talked to my previous boss the evening before, and she gave me some great advice about mental preparedness in the show pen. She told me I needed to quit being so hard on myself, and that I needed to just breathe through my run. She advised me to relax in the saddle before getting out there and then gulp some air down to get oxygen to my brain. I did it, I'm pretty sure my show help could hear me expelling and gulping air like a dragon and were wondering what the heck I was doing, but it totally did help calm my down and relax my spine. She also told me that when things got fast, push weight in my stirrups and just push all that anxiety through her neck and out past the horn. I tried all these techniques this show around, and they definitely did help. However, nerves still got the best of me, so next show I may try chugging a beer in the bathroom before hand... haha got to depress this nervous system somehow!

First Cow:

I felt pretty relaxed walking into the herd, more than I have at the past shows. Lady felt really good, and more quiet walking to the herd than she has in the past, which gave me a bit more confidence. Right away a little black cow presented itself at the top, and my help told me to bring some up with it, which is what I did. I could still get my hand down and lower a bit more, and could have gotten the cow more in the centre, but that was still one of the better cuts i've had. Lady worked awesome, like absolutely incredible with this cow. She felt strong, was stopping square, and was landing hard in her spots. We finished really nicely with that cow stopping and staring at us, and had a nice legal quit.

Second Cow:

I have figured out some of mine (and my horses) nervousness issues are coming with her entering the herd. Whenever I quit a cow and turn her back to the herd she feels like she wants to just charge back in. She felt like that at this show and I tried to check her a little and get her to slow down. Watching the video back though, I realize that although my hands were saying that, my body posture wasn't. I just need to get really still and calm with her entering that herd to avoid the pushy/nervous behaviour she exhibits.

I had it in my head I wanted to cut the bald-faced cow that was at the top, don't ask me why, but I just did. No one told me to cut that cow, so I'm not quite sure why I decided THAT WAS THE COW I NEEDED TO CUT DESPERATELY AND ABSOLUTELY.... Mistake. I got all nervous and should have cut something more on the top but instead cut that cow that started to really run us around. We ended up getting off position, and I felt it and started to pick up my hand, I don't know why I did this, because watching the video back, she is still managing to work that cow really well. I did nothing to help her either. Just picked my hand up for the hell of it I guess? It ended running us over right at the end of our run. Another beautiful 60 to take home.... darn it!

Still a 60, but a lot more check marks these days!
My trainer/boss just kind of shook his head at me after this run, haha. He explained to me that picking up my hand but not even schooling on my horse is super pointless. It just made her more and more nervous, and I wasn't even correcting the behaviour I wasn't liking (her getting out of position). Watching the video back, I'm pretty frustrated in myself, in the pen she felt so out of position and sloppy with that second cow, but in the video she doesn't look that at all - the only sloppy one is me, mounted on this great horse that is trying her heart out for me. I need to start trusting my horse. It'll come, and once we get cows at home, which is hopefully soon, it'll be a lot easier to work through some of this cow related nervousness.

The take away from this show is that my horse absolutely rocks, but is feeding off my energy. This was still the best show we've had so far, and so every show we are getting better. I guess this winter series is what that's about for Lady and I. Learning, getting through some show pen issues, getting through some show pen nervousness, and consistently getting better, even if the score isn't reflective of that. We'll get there, I can feel it coming.


  1. I love your past trainer's advice about pushing the anxiety out. And the gulping down oxygen. I'll remember those things. Sounds like you know what you need to do! And I'm sure that score is coming just around the corner. I'll be so excited for you!!

  2. Lots of good things there. You need to get the nervousness out and once you work cows more it will happen. I never even looked at my score, totally thought I got 60, woohoo one more point lol. Oh well there's always next time.

  3. Obviously I have next to no idea what is going on, but she is SO COOL to watch work!

  4. Don't be so hard on yourself! You'll get 'em next time, trust your mare :)


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