Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 5)
 By Polo the Weirdo   •   4th Sep 2010   •   5,897 views   •   8 comments
From Monday 16 August to Saturday 21 August all my time with Moony was spent preparing for his first practice show, scheduled to take place on Sunday 22 August.

Since we haven't been doing anything new, I won't go through it in detail. We've mostly just been repeating what we already know - working harder on the left lead which is now starting to come right with LOADS of patience and persistence. We've been working mostly on grids - and I decided to introduce bascule poles: Two poles placed in a 'V' shape leaning against the pole you wish the horse to jump. They encourage straightness, better shape, and a bigger jump. I found they helped Moony to grasp the concept of lifting his hind legs better, so I was very pleased with the results there.

The 60cm clear round and 70cm jump off.

I also worked a little more on his flying changes so that I would have a better opportunity at getting a smooth round at the show.

Finally, the day of the show dawned not so bright and not so clear. In fact, there was a fair amount of wind and even a spot of rain. Still, I figured it was a good test for Moony, so I tacked him up and walked him down the road, since it was just a little local show, if a very well done one. Moony was a little tender on the road since he's had his shoes taken off quite recently, so we had to take it very slow and eventually ended up getting there a bit late, meaning that I couldn't enter the clear round class as I had originally planned to.

Instead, I took Moony in the 60cm speed class, and decided to just take it slow and steady. They let us walk the course on horseback, so I took the opportunity to show Moony the new jumps. He seemed quite nervous of some of them, but nothing like how nervous a horse would ordinarily be at its first show, at least from my experience. Before I went in for my round, I hurried over to the warm up arena and got him loosened and warm as quickly as I could. I didn't have time to do any proper schooling, but I got him working well and made sure he was comfortable doing the warm up jumps in a strange place. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he was not even slightly phased at jumping somewhere he had never been before. He truly is an oddity, that horse... As such, I took him back to the arena just in time for my round. I used the full time I was given after my bell to get him into a nice forward canter, as he was a little uncertain on the different ground. Once he got going, however, he was simply phenomenal! He jumped everything without hesitance, he went very smoothly, and I only had to change his lead through trot once! He did 2 flying changed on the course, and the rest of the time he landed on the right lead! He drifted and got a little crooked in the one related line, but I managed to correct him and he still jumped it nicely. He finished with a super, smooth clear round that, due to his lovely forward canter, left him 6th in the class.

What I did notice was that toward the end of the round Moony began getting a bit casual. This was not entirely unexpected, as I was already aware that 60cm is actually too low for him - but certainly a good height to start at. Still, I decided that it would probably do Moony good to enter the 70cm competition as well, since he was going so brilliantly.

Thankfully, I had a lot more time to warm up for this one, so I got him going on the bit, bending, and lovely and supple. I made sure to get him striking off on the left lead a few times, then experimented with striding a little over the warm up jumps, and found that Moony seems to jump better off a slightly longer stride.

After that, I snuck off to the teeny little 'almost' cross country course that they have at the venue, and hopped Moony over a little log, a bank and a tiny bench. Of course, he had absolutely no problems there.

Next it was time for our class. I got Moony cantering smoothly, but I think that perhaps I kept him a little too collected into the first jump, and as it was a very spindly contraption, he didn't quite respect it enough and just clipped it down. After that, he had an AMAZING round, and I was so pleased with him! Since he was going so well, I asked the show officials if I could do the jump off non-competitively, and they kindly allowed me to.

Once again, that awful first jump fell down, though this time I think it was probably just because he didn't quite respect it enough, so he didn't give it enough space to clear it as he had yet to notice the increased height. From there, he was brilliant. I could not have asked for a better course! He jumped neatly and comfortably with no hesitance and a smooth rhythm. We were on the wrong lead into the last jump, so I had to correct him through trot there, but otherwise I thought it was a round for the record books.

70cm class Jump
70cm class Jump number 2.

70cm class Jump
70cm class Jump number 3.

70cm class Jump
70cm class Jump number 6.

70cm class Jump
70cm class Jump number 10.

Moony really enjoyed his show, and I know that I for one can't wait to start him in real shows! He just keeps getting better and better, and it turns out he is a much braver jumper than I originally thought.
Great job!
  42 days ago  •  4,631 views
Mystic Magic  
Gee sure is doing well, congrats on getting this far. He has a lovely jump and seems like a pretty genuine horse.
  42 days ago  •  4,563 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Thanks guys. :) He is just super! He has the most amazing attitude, and every time I ride him he seems to enjoy it more and more. ^_^ His jump has improved a lot as well, and he's pretty chilled and brave... It's a nice mix in a jumping horse.
  42 days ago  •  4,445 views
Great job guys!! You both looked great! Good luck in the future with him, Polo!
  41 days ago  •  4,448 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Thank you! :D
  41 days ago  •  4,445 views
Softball Girl  
I love your horse it is sooooo cute!! Did you teach him your self?
  41 days ago  •  4,477 views
Polo the Weirdo  MOD 
Thanks! He's great. :) Yup - I got him off the track on 5 July and have been working with him since. I've trained most of my horses myself. :D
  38 days ago  •  4,445 views
Inactive Member  
Wow, moony is looking great, nice work polo!
  25 days ago  •  4,472 views
 Related Horse News
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 1)
17th Jul 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
I am going to type up, in detail, all my experiences with retraining Moonfire. I'm going to tell you what I did and when, what the results were, what my thoughts were, what Moonfire's progression is and so on. I hope to be publish ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 2)
1st Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
Before I begin, let me make something clear. These are my methods. Methods that have worked for me in the past as well as new methods that I have decided will work for Moony in the future. These methods might not work for every ho ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 6)
12th Sep 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
On Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed, sick as I was, to get ready for the little practice show I had planned to attend. To my absolute dismay, I found that my darling brother had used up all the hot water, so I was doom ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 5)
4th Sep 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
The day of the show dawned not so bright and not so clear. In fact, there was a fair amount of wind and even a spot of rain. Still, I figured it was a good test for Moony, so I tacked him up and walked him down the road, since it ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 3)
21st Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
My instructor was around to help me with Moony, and we started by doing a bit of free jumping. She got him going extremely well, and he soon learned to jump on his own, without the help of a rider. As Moony is uncertain in our jum ...
Retraining a Racehorse - Moonfire (Week 4)
29th Aug 2010   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
I began by free jumping Moony, working him until he was jumping decent height fences in good form and with loads of spring. We introduced a few spreads as well, and Moony popped over everything comfortably. Once I was satisfied th ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Polo the Weirdo
Baby Horse Diaries - If Baby Horses Could Name Things
28th Sep 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
If you’ve ever owned, trained, or otherwise interacted with a baby horse, you will know that sometimes they just seem to see the world differently to us. Whether it’s the shallow rain puddle that’s clearly hiding sharks, or the in ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Sass Levels Reach All Time High
7th Jul 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
This is not fake news. Our sources have confirmed that Baby Niro displayed excessively high levels of sass recently when being ridden in the arena after a week off work. Witnesses report high levels of head tossing and neck flicki ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Starter Kit
16th Jun 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
So you just bought yourself a baby horse? I bet you’re wondering what you’ll need to help you in this new chapter of your life! Well never fear, Baby Horse Diaries is here to answer all of your questions. To create your own Baby H ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Playtime (AKA the Hunger Games)
9th Jun 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
Baby horses, like most babies, are curious, energetic and playful beings that constantly seek out new means of entertainment. In fact, one of the most fun things about having a baby horse is all the wonderful new games that you ge ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Energy Levels
3rd Jun 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
Here is my top 10 SECRET list of master plans for dealing with excess energy in horses. ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Baby Horses Are Stupid
26th May 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
Baby horses are really neat. When you get them they are stupid. You know they’re stupid, any rational human being can expect them to be stupid, and they don’t know they’re stupid because they don’t know anything. Because they’re s ...
Baby Horse Diaries - Meet The Babies
19th May 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
Today I would like to introduce the stars of our series, VanRee De Niro (Baby Niro), and Little Miss Sunshine (Baby Sunny). ...
Baby Horse Diaries Introduction
12th May 2019   |   Horse Training   |   Polo the Weirdo
Some of you might remember that about 8 years ago I created a series on Ponybox documenting my progress in retraining a young Thoroughbred racehorse, Moonfire, for his eventing career. Those of you who continued to follow my (admi ...
  View All News by Polo the Weirdo
©2002 - 2019   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
521 Members Online 253,208 Registered Members 2,618 News Articles 11,079,948 Unique News Article Views 259,081,667 Website Views