First of all, thank you all for your very encouraging comments on my last post. I truly took every one of them to heart. I'll admit that as awful as I felt at the end of the show, by Sunday night I was circling things in the Schneider's catalog that would make showing easier so I haven't given up yet!
I HAVE made a few decisions this week....
1. I am NOT going to show at the 4-day Fall Roundup show in early September that I had planned on. I don't think that it's a good idea to do a multi-day show until he's calm all day for a one-day show. KAT agreed. It's a LOT of money with hotel/hauling/stalls to have a crappy time. We're looking at a few one day shows late in August and in September as being the max we'll do this year. His performance in the ring improved greatly between the 1st and 2nd shows so I know he'll continue to get better.
2. Junior is going into the lesson program. I have talked before about my reservations about doing this and they still exist, but there are possible benefits to it, too. KAT is the only instructor and I know she keeps a close watch on the lesson horses. I've seen many of the college lessons and they are very low key, much more like pony rides than real lessons. Plus she has some more experienced riders in her public lessons that she thinks would match with him. He's really really broke, (he's just not show finished quite yet) and has been ridden by beginners before. I get a decent reduction in my board, he'll get exposed to different kinds of stimuli, he LOVES attention and spends the majority of his time with his nose stuck out of his feed hole (see my video "Junior Wants a Cookie" in the YouTube link on the side bar) so he might just love it. We'll have to see.
3. The next time we go to a show, KAT will ride him in his first two classes so she can work through his out-gate antics and I can see how she does it.
I went out today for the first time since the show. I had a very busy week with work. They were cutting the pastures so he was inside. It was blazing hot out and much cooler in the barn anyway. WAY too hot to ride. I mounted his fan and he chewed on it already...big surprise. I made sure he can't reach the cord. I also moved his himalayan salt lick and Stall Snack to right in front of the fan. I think I had it hung too high from when the thing in the apple was just a treat and didn't want him to be able to grab it. He won't (hopefully) grab the salt and I'm not sure if he could bit it anyway.
He looked fine and was enjoying his fan. His stifle cut is healing fine. I happened to look in the stock tank and found his nameplate. I will not be putting that back on since he keeps managing to lose it. I thought it was gone for good since the grass is so high.
I leave in the morning for two weeks. I have a college reunion and will see lots of family and friends including some of my old horsey friends. KAT and Max's mom are going to keep an eye on Junior. I hate leaving him, but I know he'll be just fine.
Have a great fortnight!