Mylo exceeded my expectations in many ways and we also found some things we need to work on. It was a great first show experience for him and considering his major life changes in the last month he handled it all really well. Although I was worried about loading ( big step up with rear tack so only narrow entrance into trailer) he walked right up with no hesitation and jumped right in and stood patiently to be hooked up. Not a bad start to the day at all! We arrived just in time to register for classes, unload, beautify them, and have a quick walk around before our first halter class. Those that know me know I am no halter queen and since it was a buckle series open show some people were decked out in full outfits and bling halters. It was easy to see that we were out of place HA! He listened great for our walk to judge and trotted into line like a pro. For the most part he stood decently with a few small circles and wiggling in between. Overall much better than I thought he might be! For his lack of handling throughout his life I was very impressed! Definite room for improvement, but I wasnt the crazy lady with the crazy baby who was being drug around the arena so I put that in the win column!
After his first class he got to chill for about 20 minutes before his next class and I took this as a good opportunity to let him stand tied to the trailer. I hung a hay bag, tied him up, and let him be. He did baby stuff and would have rather been out and about with me but never challenged actually being tied, just made it clear he was bored by pawing, rubbing, flinging hay bag around, etc. I just let him have his little toddler moments by the end of the day he was standing quietly and eating hay, good baby! I am not one to tie my horse at the trailer and leave them, but I also like to be able to tie them up with their hay and just hang out so it is something that he needs to learn to do.
|Look Mom, I can stand like a big boy :)|
His second halter class went much like the first except for one thing... little man still has some testosterone running through him and became a little attracted to the ladies. Did he not get the memo about that gelding part?! More specifically he liked the red heads, and if you are a red headed paint you are even better. He was not naughty about it at all but would start talking, arch his neck, and drop. He was easy to handle still and has no idea "what to do" anyways so I wasnt worried but it was a good reminder that he was gelded just a month ago and may need to go out with a bossy mare to put him in his place a little! My friends filly happens to be a pretty red head and also happened to be right in front of us for our class, so we spent the whole class totally dropped but also totally behaved. Ummm... dude, you need to suck it up! He didnt place well in either class, but I didnt expect to place well in classes full of mature halter bred quarter horses. Mylo looked like a little baby, it doesnt help that he is in a totally awkward/angular stage. He did get his first ribbon though and got a 5th place. I told him we will accept that for now but that Mystic and I have a good habit of bringing home the blues. I can take not winning a halter class but riding classes are a whole new story :)
|He has the cutest face, everyone comments on it!|
Just for kicks and giggles we then entered the novice horse showmanship class. We havent done any haunch turns but the rest of the pattern was pretty simple so I figured one more time in the ring would be good for him. By the time we went into the arena his poor baby brain was fried and we had a whole class of showmanship patterns to stand in line for. We spent most of the time walking circles, standing nicely, trying to roll, walking, trying to drop to roll while walking, trying to rub his head on me, etc. Baby brain had been ejected! It is funny how the little ones just hit that wall and you can tell when they have had all they can take. He did his pattern and besides being less respectful of my space he was decent. The best part is that he would walk out of the arena (and all around the property) on a loose lead with no contact. Well, unless that pretty paint trotted by! He loaded right back into the trailer and was a very tired boy upon arrival back home.
|Babies first ribbon :)|
Overall, it was a great experience for him! I am looking forward to working with him more so we are somewhat prepared for the next one. The more he gets out and goes places the easier and easier it will get for him. I was super pleased with how he maintained respect for my bubble, for the most part, and was walking, trotting, and stopping with no contact on lead and just by me changing speeds. Some horses really invade your space and walk all over you when they are in new situations but he maintained respect while still looking to me for reassurance. We have a ways to go before he is more like a Mystic but I am happy to report that he is on his way! He loved showing off his new found trick of "smiling" to everyone too, it was pretty adorable :) Sorry for the bad cell phones pictures. We both had babies, and no other person, so I only snapped some while he was tied up.