The conversation went something like this…
Dee: I would like to take my stallion Mojezeh to the Arabian show at the Olympic horse park in Conyers (Georgia, home of the 1996 Olympics Equestrian events) on August 4th.
Chris: Cool! Which one is Mojezeh?
Dee: The 9 year old Chestnut.
Chris: uhmmm… Dee… he isn’t broke yet!
Dee: I know honey, but you have two weeks!
Chris: uhmmm (thinking to myself, she is either crazy or having a lot of fun with me, play along!!)
Dee: I have complete faith in your abilities!
Chris: Oh sure, two weeks will be no problem, he has a great mind! (Chuckle)
Dee: I thought you could show him in hand.
Chris: Sport Horse In Hand? I could do that and I think he would be competitive too!
Dee: Yes, In hand, what did you think I meant?
Chris: heh heh! See if Susan would like me to show Beau in hand as well! Oh, and JB too?
Dee: That is a good idea!
Chris: I didn’t bother renewing my USEF, USDF, and AHA cards this year since I had no idea if I would be showing with the move and all. So, it would be silly to spend that kind of membership renewal money on just one class, one horse.
Dee: I will ask Susan about Beau.
Chris: Cool! Let me know. I don’t have much time, I can work with the horses this Saturday when I come to teach my lessons. Teach them to stand up and walk / trot the triangle. Then we have next Saturday… yikes! That doesn’t give us much time, I will have to try and come out one weekday.
Dee: I am sure that you will do what you can honey.
So, that Saturday arrives and I head over to Dee’s for my regular lesson bunch. I start playing with Mojezeh, he picks everything up so fast and is such a humble well behaved stallion!
Chris: We should probably put his bridle on. Where is it?
Dee: Oh, I think I will have to buy him one, his face is so small and I don’t think any of those will fit him.
Chris: Well, which one have you had on him?
Dee: He has never worn a bridle!
Chris: Ohhh! (what the heck did I get myself into!, a 9 year old breeding stallion, never been bridled, YIKES!)
Dee: He will be fine honey, I trust in your ability.
It is amazing how easy that old gentleman was to bridle, he actually seemed to enjoy it, like he had been waiting for this for years! I taught him how to stand up pretty quick and then I walked him around the triangle. He seemed to pick that up quite well, walking straight from and to the apex where the judge would be standing. then I would halt him again and stand him up once more. This was all going quite well and I thought perhaps there was a chance that I could get through this without looking like a fool!
Teaching Mojezeh to trot the triangle was a little more challenging. He was quite happy to walk thank you very much. I knew if I could get “electric” transitions and with his nicely uphill build we would score well. Since he had always been a breeding stallion and his owner is a single lady, his manners on the ground were important to her, for very obvious reasons! A hand whip was something to back away from! Once I taught him that I wasn’t going to actualy hurt him with that whip, he started to trot off quite nicely. Keeping up with him was going to be my next hurdle!
I worked with Mojezeh for perhaps 3 hours total, 3 sessions of about an hour and felt that we were ready to go!
Then I find out that Mojezeh, who has only been used as a breeding stallion to this point in his 9 year old life, has only left the farm once, yep, you guessed right, to breed mares! So, here we are, going to a show with a 9 year old breeding stallion who has only been in a trailer once in his life and what did he get as a reward for coming off at the other end? Mares!!! And where are we going? To a show where the mares will surely be lined up for him, with their makeup on and all!
Now I know that some of you might be hoping to read the gory details that quite likely should have occurred, however, Mojezeh was a perfect gentleman the whole time. He acted like he had been at a horse show all his life.
I thought I had a pretty good trip around the triangle with Mojezeh, not bad for his first time at a show etc. I knew that there were things we could do better, but I was ecstatic with what this grand old gent gave me. When I saw the score I just about cried!
Dressage judge Carol Bishop scored Mojezeh a 9 on everything! For a total of 90. He won his Stallions 4 and over class and took home the Reserve Championship.
Back at home, Mojezeh is continuing his saddle training. We hope to show him next year in Dressage. I have had my weight over his back, foot in stirrup etc. I think I will take the time though, before I swing my leg over. No point rushing this 9 year old now!