Photo at right: Brianne Goutal and Maria Schaub sign "Horse Power: Road to the Maclay" posters. © 2006 Nancy Jaffer.
This past weekend was the Garden State horse show, Whimsey's fourth show since 10/04. In order to prepare him for Devon, the plan has been to ride him in the Washington and the USET classes. I mentioned last week how Whimsey was a bit fresh, and his behavior was similar this weekend. It's great to see him feeling better, but it's time to remind him that bucking and playing in the ring are unacceptable. Whimsey absolutely adores his rubber bit; he shows in a rubber pelham and flats in a full cheek rubber snaffle. One of his favorite things to do is to chew on his rubber bit and make a squeaking noise with it. He can be a bit of a character sometimes but that's a big part of why I love him so much. Mostly, he has a very light mouth yet when he is fresh, he tends to get curled up, drag you past the distance, land from the jump with his head down, and then, buck. In the past and while in the groove, Whimsey was low maintenance when it came to his preparation for the show ring. He would to be either worked loose or be lunged for one to two minutes so he could get a few bucks out of his system. Lately, we have not allowed him to do either because he could potentially injure himself again if he was "wild." Since he tolerated the show routine well the last two weeks, the plan will be to let him work loose at home before going to Old Salem I. Additionally, I will ride him in a small port pelham until he has more respect for the bit. Whimsey's tentative show schedule will be Old Salem I, a week off and, then, off to Devon!
Garden State will be especially remembered because one of my good friends, Brianne Goutal, won her first Grand Prix on her horse, Onira (they also won the 2004 USET finals)! Like Brianne and Logan, they have been a pair for awhile, and a truly special union at that! Their superb performance was really exciting to watch, and I'm happy to see them reach a new level of success.
If anyone happens to have questions for me, please leave them in a comment and I will be happy to respond in my next entry.