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30 April 2008 – Show Boy at Sheepgate

Wednesday 30th April
We travelled to Sheepgate with Show Boy (Sunny), my five year old stallion. He is still getting used to loading, travelling and unloading. Not to mention the busy atmosphere of being at a competition, which he finds very exciting! We had decided to take him for experience and ring practice. He travelled well and after a nail biting first few minutes in the stables and the quick erection of a half grill on his door, settled very well. I let him rest for a couple of hours and then took him into the warm up arenas for a leg stretch. Apart from being a little nervous of the other horses, he behaved very well!

Thursday 1st May
Competition Day. As Sunny wasn't competing until the afternoon I got up early to take him for a leg stretch as the competition started. This was really good for him to be in the busy competition warm up with a lot going on. A very good chance for him to get used to horses passing him from all directions, the speakers and of course the Geese/Ducks that wander about at Sheepgate!

It is another learning curve for the young horses to have to stand still for twenty or so minutes while we plait up! Sunny is always very busy in the stable, eating, drinking and generally making a mess so it took some very tactful distraction by Clare who is my groom to make him stand still while I plaited!

When it came to the competition Sunny was very relaxed in the warm up so I was pleased I had taken the extra time with him at the show to acclimatise to the atmosphere. We did a reasonably simple Novice test but it was a big ask to take Sunny away from all the horses in the warm up and go on his own to the Arena. He behaved beautifully, although a little tense all the way through the test until a couple of movements from the end. As we came to do the medium canter the combination due to compete after me came right up to his arena. Now this is something Sunny will have to learn to deal with as he gets older but on the day he got very excited! A rather explosive medium cater resulted followed by an excited last few movements. Disappointing for the day, but good experience for the future. More test practice at competitions required I think!

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