Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Champagne Run: Bacardi

I don't know how some of you do this. I really don't.

The only time I ever blogged was when I didn't have time to ride, and now that I'm riding all the time (yay) I never blog.

I only have so much time in the day. HOW DO YOU GUYS DO THIS.

The show for Bacardi was interesting. I went into it with  avery open mind, knowing hes never been off property before this.

He led me into a false sense of security when he stepped off the trailer like a champ (this has been an issue, as well as loading) and settled right into his stall. Like, right in.

Give me cookiez
Yankee was notoriously not great at shows for years. Even back at the stalls, he wouldn't eat or drink and still goes off his feed a little when traveling. But Bacardi settled right in and ate like a racehorse (harhar) and even proved he can be left alone with a stall guard (looking at YOU Yankee, you trouble maker).

You'll note I said false sense of security, because I decided since we had nothing but time on Friday, why not head down to the dressage rings for a little hack-about. I tacked him up and down we went. If you're not familiar with the KYHP, this requires a long walk to the dressage rings from stabling, through other stables and past turnout for the KYHP horses, then down a little hill to the rings.

At first, he was wonderful, and I was like "FUCK YEAH my OTTB is not insane. I knew there was a reason I bought him, score score win win I win na na nananaananaaaa!"

There were probably about 35 horses between 6 rings and hardly any competing at the time. Good, gooood. I chose the ring farthest from anyone and decided to do a little trotwork. He was slightly tense, but otherwise gave me a really nice effort. There was a big grey schooling at the other end, but no one else.

Then it was like everyone at the show decided to come down to school all at once and suddenly there were 20 people in the ring. He was keeping his cool until someone blazed past us at the canter from behind and Bacardi lost his fucking mind. I don't blame him, ex-racehorse and all, but I mean truly list his mind. Like it fell out of his head.

For the next 15 minutes, I shit you not, he just backed up. Would not go forward. It was super fun, being THAT girl at the show. I was literally just sitting there. Doing nothing, and he was having a meltdown, just backing up and up and up.

I hope someone gets this
I was pretty sure the stewards were fixin' to ask me to leave. I kept getting "the glance". Mind you this is a HUGE area and there are like 6 arenas and I'm nowhere near the competition rings. I was like "way ahead of ya champ, but I can't seem to right this horse".

Eventually I was able to steer him, ass end first, towards the top of the rings and away from everyone and thought it woudl be a good idea to get off and let him just look at it and soak it all in.


So wrong.

The most wrong.

We ended up dancing around the bit check tent for another 20 min while he attempted to murder me with his feet. I was furious. This fucking horse knows ground manners, I literally drill them everyday into my animals or this reason, but he was completely ignoring all human attempts to ask him to please behave. All I wanted was for him to stand still for 4 fucking seconds and then we would walk to the barns.

It didnt really happen and I gave up and led a sweating, dancing, half rearing horse back to the barns.


As I untacked and hosed him off (of course he was completely calm for this) I thought back to Aimee's post about why she doesn't event. I thought long and hard. Like, do I REALLY like this anymore? I had already sent one horse away to be ridden because I was too chicken shit to ride him myself...Do I really want to continue to be "that" girl at the show with the almost dangerous insane horse, while trying to do dressage tests with a horse that won't even go forward, and continuously fail and be in last place and hate every second?

No. No I do not.

There is much thinking to do. I know this was his FIRST time, I just don't know if I have the patience to do this again for years on end and throw away money at shows we will continuously fail doing. I appreciate money and how expensive the damn entry fees are, a lot more now that I spend 10 hours a day doing my commute/work adult thing instead of flaunting my tits over a bar and making $300/night.

I almost miss bartending.

I just can't commit to that level of intensity anymore. We might be better suited for jumpers where you get more chances, and ribbons and you don't have to be perfectly calm and on point every second to compete.

Anyways, I was a little dejected after that but still hopped on him 3 more times that weekend and led him around the grounds more than I care to do ever again. I rode alone usually, at a ring near the stadium jumping, but not too close. He could just see the commotion.

And he was brilliant.

Okay so what the fuck.

Like truly wonderful.

Loose rein, OK

S/O to my friend with the camera!
I even walked him up and down the path nearest to the stadium and he was unfazed. So, he hates dressage and is fine with jumping. Cool, sounds like most of us.

Mind you, the weather was HORRENDOUS the entire weekend. CRAZY storms and unrelenting rain. XC schooling got cancelled so we packed up early Sunday instead of staying and he got in the trailer in under 2 minutes. YES TWO minutes. I almost peed.

Absolute fav

Person, do you have food? (my mother)
All in all, a GREAT experience. Just not sure how this will pan out. August and September have a schooling show every weekend & I might try to hit up a few before summer slips away. Hes been stunning at home the last 2 weeks. Completely brilliant. I want to try our hand at eventing, but if he's going to be better suited as a jumper, so be it!


  1. Do whatever you WANT to do. Having fun is one of the top priorities for both you and him! He looks pretty darn amazing in those photos though. What a handsome beast.

  2. Just because you decide to go to a few jumper shows, doesn't mean you have to give up on eventing. Go play jumper and see how you both like it!

  3. I agree with Tracey! Why not do both? Or whatever you are in the mood for right? We adults have to work all day and that is WAY too much work to come home and now have a blast doing whatever we want.

  4. If you don't want to event, I totally get it.

    On the other hand, how a green bean behaves at his first outing (AT THE FREAKING KHP) really has very little bearing on what he's going to be like. Go to the shows. All of them. Courage and I are doing event derbies this year just because they're cheap and accessible (and offer a ground poles division). We're probably going to hit up a trail compeition. Whatever. It's all about teaching them how to show.

    But yeah. Jumpers are great. I'm actually pretty excited about dressage.

  5. My bad baby is fantastic the second or third day at a facility, typically. Maybe the Baby B just needed a little more time to settle in? I'm glad he was a professional and you guys look great. Just do what makes you happy. You're allowed to change your mind whenever you want!!

  6. love the pictures! also yea, like the others said - do whatever feels right to you. nbd if it's not what you originally planned

  7. Sorry it started crappy, but it looks like you guys had a lot of fun by the jumper ring. You can't really blame him for being upset about a horse blowing past him. A lot of horses would have a problem with that. The part on the ground though... that would bother me. I used to have an OTTB who was like that. I literally felt like my life was in danger when leading him if he got excited, so I gave him to someone with more experience (and guts) than I have. I hope that was a one time thing. The way he is makes me really wonder what his past was like.... you would think an ex-racehorse would be used to all kinds of commotion. I don't know. I'm glad you had some good rides though. I bet you guys would have fun doing some jumpers shows at first. Less pressure while he learns to deal with the show environment.