Friday, December 14, 2018

RRP TB Makeover-The First Outing

In my last post, I left off with having a couple of months freed up to prepare Ivan for the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover. We had worked on the basics all summer and it was time to introduce Ivan to the wonderful world of showing. 

Looking like a real show horse, obviously.

With my fingers crossed that I would not meet my early demise, we went to school at a h/j show at the National Western Complex. The trainer and I loaded Ivan and another horse into the trailer and headed on our way. 

The other trainer at the barn told me that if Ivan could stay sane in that coliseum, he could stay sane anywhere. She said it could be very intimidating to horses. Keep in mind he only retired from racing a little over three months before this excursion and was still a bit “racey”. It would be interesting to see how things went.

Intimidating, but still cool.

She wasn’t lying about it being intimidating. It’s in Denver and right next to busy train tracks. The warmup area is small and can get hectic. The loud speaker echoes throughout the complex and it’s LOUD. I started out with hand-walking and Ivan was being pretty good, until the announcer started talking. If he’s sensitive to anything, it’s noise. After a good lunge he settled back down. My trainer rode him, I rode him. We didn’t die. 

“So...what time do I race today?”

Really, Ivan was very good despite some tension. It wasn’t the type of tension that you felt like you were on a ticking time bomb or where he looked like a llama, more like Ivan was thinking that he wasn’t 100% confident in this situation. I was just happy that he kept it together in an environment that he wasn’t totally comfortable with. It was a great opportunity to be able to put him in a show setting without having the added pressure of actually showing.

With that out of the way, the time was drawing close to our first dressage show.

I had a short time frame to get Ivan exposure. Normally, I would have just shown at a quiet schooling show for his first outing. What are your favorite ways to introduce a horse to the show world?


  1. Good boy! We haven't yet introduced Mae to traveling to a show but because the college equestrian team rides out of our barn, we end up hosting a lot of shows. The noise doesn't bother her but the flappy tents certainly do

    1. Flappy tents are definitely scary. What a great experience to have the show environment bought to her!

  2. You learn so much about a horse at show -- how they handle the atmosphere, the facilities... everything. It sounds like Ivan has a great head on his shoulders!

  3. It really was a valuable experience, I learned that I could trust him. Thank you! He’s a good soul.

  4. It is wonderful to take them to a show without pressure. Did you ride in the ring?

  5. ha definitely a big venue - glad to hear he handled it so well tho!! i love getting the ottbs out into the big wide world but in that kind of low pressure way that helps them understand how different their new job is. i'm pretty sure my horse actually enjoys going on field trips and adventures now!

  6. I remember the first show for my OTTB mare. She probably thought I was nuts since everything seemed like it was in reverse. Any time you can get them out and off the property is good. Kind of interesting that a PA system would get his attention since they have them at the tracks. Maybe earplugs are in his future?

  7. Sounds like a really great experience for Ivan!

  8. This sounds pretty amazing for Ivan. You can learn so much by going to a show like this. Thanks for the share. Have a wonderful day.
    World of Animals


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