Archie Struggles at Recent Horse Shows
 By Dark Star   •   25th Oct 2010   •   9,888 views   •   76 comments
Nothing Lasts Forever - Apparently Archie's attitude does! Here is a continuation of my other story, Trail horse turned Show horse.


This was my first show my mom wasn't going to, so she drives me to the barn at 6am to start loading the horses. I go into the barn and all the horses going have been fed and there blankets taken off. We finish loading tack and hook up the trailers. Archie was the last to load. So I grab a horse named Clarky and lead him out to the trailer.

Then I went back to get a mare named Dee, I lead her out when *BANG* then we hear my friend's mom yelling at Archie to calm down.

Keyhole and Barrels

I hand off Dee and ran back into the barn. Archie had reared up and flipped over in his stall. He was now covered in manure and and was breathing hard. This was a pleasure show! We couldn't do anything about it now so we loaded up and started off to the show. We stop for breakfast and, of course, Archie is acting up in the trailer. Poor Chocolate Man (the horse next to him) was getting pushed against the wall trying to get away from Archie, who was pawing and trying to move. We whack the side of the trailer to make him stop, then we get back on the road.

We get to the show and I'm getting Archie ready for halter. I asked him to trot and he steps on the back of my boot, causing me to fall down, thus staining my jeans from the wet grass. I change jeans just in time for the show to start. He was awesome in the class. The horse in front of him flipped over and he didn't move a muscle. He still didn't place. We go in color halter and he gets 6th! He got beat by a grey horse! A normal grey horse beat my tri-colored paint horse? This judge was making me very mad. Well, we finished the halter and showmanship with only that 6th place. Next was walk trot, he got 4th. Pleasure was next, he was crazy, barrel galloping around the arena, not wanting to do his barrel stop. So we didn't place in that.

Keyhole and Barrels

Horsemanship was worse than pleasure. Archie took off at a mad dash around the arena. I scratched from the rest of my slow events. He obviously wasn't gonna go slow, so I saved him for speed. All the slow stuff ended around 7pm, then we took an hour break. At 8 pm contesting starts. 6 pole classes - pee wee poles, warm up, youth, women, men, and open - I was in 4. I take him easy in the warm up, but the fact that it's dark, and Archie has never ran in the dark, he nearly flips over due to getting spooked and there was a football game going on across the street, so the speakers were loud. He doesn't spook much in the other pole classes taking two 4ths and a 3rd. Then we don't run flags. Did I mention my horse was gate sour? Well, he rears up and refuses to go in gates. My trainer has to practicably drag him in the arena for poles and barrels. Barrels started at around 11pm. Archie nearly flips over the fence in warm up, but is otherwise ok in the rest of them, getting 4th in open barrels. We went home around 12:30am.


This show was interesting. Archie was better behaved than the last show. He took 3rd in the 11-14 age group and 2nd in the 5yr old+ geldings, so he was doing good.

I also took Dallas to this show (that ended in disaster), but he's another part of this story. We got 5th in showmanship. So I tack him up for pleasure. He is getting his leads and everything. I was actually amazed. But, of course, I didn't expect the unexpected.

He wouldn't get on his leads in the event, he wouldn't slow down, he was over it. But Miracles do happen and he got 3rd in open and 5th in youth. That was his last event till contesting.

Dallas had so much penned up energy, he wanted to run! So I got second in all 3 of my gaited classes (out of 2 people) then 1st in the water class (out of 3 entries).

Keyhole and Barrels

It was 2:30PM when gaiting ended. Contesting didn't start till 4PM. So we all took a break. We were sitting around the trailers talking when we hear air escaping. Cole (the gaited horse that beat me/my best friend's horse) had busted something on trailer tire. All the adults tried to stop it, but it was broken. So they put a jack under it and tried to put little pressure on it. We all had a laugh about it. Then contesting started. Archie got DQ from one of his poles cause he missed He got a 3rd in Women's and a 2nd in open. Then was barrels. He was getting better, but kept stepping in a hole right by the third barrel. He ended up with a 2nd in womens and a 3rd in open. Then was our best event of the night - Dash for Cash. Archie was great, he ended with a time of 12 seconds, the winning time was 11. That show ended at around 8pm.


This show was a disaster. Archie was rearing up and spooking. I took him in poles, barrels, pony express, and Keyhole. I didn't place in anything. In Poles Archie was going good until he reared up on the turn and then I realized the poles were too close, so Archie goes way out and rears up. Then I hit him in the head with the whip and got him back on pattern, he knocked a pole and was pulling against my reins the whole time because I was making him lope through it. In Barrels he got the first barrel good then went wide on the second barrel, then got the third barrel decently. For those of you who don't know what Pony Express is, its where you and a partner have a saddle bag and one person gallops around the arena and hands off the saddle bag then the other person runs the lap, fastest time wins. Me and my partner, Carson, have the two most hot headed horses at the barn. His was rearing up and refusing to go in the arena too. I went first because Archie usually has better breaks then Velvet. I waited until they gave the signal and I pounded my spurs into him, making him go. We made it around and I asked him to slow down. That's when my heart nearly stopped, he wasn't gonna stop. I almost ran full force into Carson, but I threw the bag at him. To make things worse, he didn't catch it. So I jump off real fast and hand it to him, staying on the ground. Velvet wouldn't gallop! So we didn't even come close to placing.

I hand Archie off to my mom while I go to get a drink. I come back and they were holding paper towels to his nose. It turns out he was running so hard he busted a blood vessel. I laughed and wiped his nose off in time for keyhole. This event nearly gave me a heart attack. My trainer was at the end of the arena watching to see if anyone went out, so I had to lead him in. He was running into me, getting smacked every time. Then I told them to close the gate before I got on. I got on and he started running in place until I got the signal to go. I asked him to go and he does, but again he doesn't stop. I finnaly get him to stop in the keyhole, but he rears up and spins, getting out of the circle. My trainer tells me to walk him in the arena again, but he continues to rear, so I made him walk home. I went home that day with no ribbons from Archie or Dallas(who didn't act up, but just wasn't fast enough).
Horse News More In This Category:  Shows and Events      Horse News More From This Author:  Dark Star
Riders Up Ranch  
You "hit him in the head with your whip" and "pounded your spurs into him"??? Tsk Tsk. It is no wonder you have such a hard time with this horse. Your relationship with him is terrible. You need to forget everything you think you know and learn something different that might get you results. You have a trainer? You actually pay someone and have problems like what you have described here? Do you think this is normal? Your trainer needs a trainer.
Very sad to read a story like this.
  Oct 25, 2010  •  2,679 views
Dark Star  
I hit him to keep him from flipping over! and maybe pound wasn't the right word. I spurred him to make him run, like he is trained to respond to. The point of Pony express is to FULL GALLOP and he galloped, it turns out his curb chain was too loose so it wasn't touching him as much...don't lecture me on my own horse's training when he is a ex-trail horse that needs a bit more 'go'
  Oct 25, 2010  •  2,554 views
I agree with RUR is this normal behavior or new. If its new something is up with your baby. But if its not maybe get a new trainer since this one isnt working out for you. And perhaps work on your connection with Archie. See if maybe the spurs are setting him off as well some horses are really sensitive.

I have only had to use spurs on one horse and that was because he was a lazy boy. Faster then anything but lazy and as long as you barely touched him with the spurs he would run.

And if he is just a bit green then continue what your doing. But it seems like he is having major behavioral issues. Have you had him long? You might want to check his history.
  Oct 25, 2010  •  2,595 views
River Wood Eventing  
You might want to work him with a tie down. I use it on the horse I ride and it saved my life alot!

But really, you should no go to shows but take him away from shows and just train him better. By the sound of it, he is not very well trained and is very bad behaved. You might have to start with ground basics.
  Oct 25, 2010  •  2,635 views
Dark Star  
its all new..he isn't allowed to run in a tie down as he will buck if his head is down. I've had him for 3 years, and he is usually such a good horse, I've rode him since that and he is fine. He has been gate sour forever, just cause he thinks its gonna eat him..i guess. He loves to run though, he's just lazy sometimes. BTW I show this horse in pleasure also, so he is really slow without spurs. (The reason he acted up that one show was because I had spurs on)
  Oct 25, 2010  •  2,580 views
Perhaps he doesn't like running which is why he is gate sour. My abused QH was gate sour for 1 year before he relised that I am not going to make him run EVERY TIME in the gate. He wouldn't run for the person that abused him because she wore spurrs and beat him with a crop. I ride with no aids ever. And my horses ae happy to work for me because they KNOW I would never ask them to do anything unsafe and against their best interest. You have said in previous articles that you use a strong bit on him. Perhaps you are giving him mixed signals with your reins and he doesn't understand. Or perhaps he is afraid to run because he knows the pain that will come once he's done when you try to stop him.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,588 views
Inactive Member  
ok, I know I don't know Archie like you do, but I think you need to create a better bond between you. Some of your riding methods were really uncalled for, you might have just made Archie more confused! Maybe if you rode him an hour a day, one day schooling, next day hack, next day schooling....ect, he might calm down and learn to trust you! Hitting him on the head with a whip is a no no, escpecially if he is rearing, as that could mean fear or confusion! I'm not saying I know everything about you and Archie, just that vI think you two need a better bond.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,613 views
i don't want to be mean or anything but i don't think you should hhit a horse in the head EVER it can caurse fear and confusion as many people have said and you said he wouldn't stop, maybe then he doesn't need spurs but i also don't know archie so its hard to tell if he does need spurs or not. The thing is though is that archie might rear more if you whip him on his head, their really sensitive.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,596 views
Sonic Illusion  
I agree with everybody here except on ONE thing.

From previous experience I have learned that horses should never be treated as your 'baby'. They will realize that the are the leader and will use it against you. So I believe you should keep a firm, not rough, hand with your horses.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,666 views
Dark Star  
Well, i more of hit him in the neck...not directly on the head...because he is head shy, so maybe 'hit in the head' wasn't the right wording, I ment, I hit him on his frount half to keep him from flipping over(which he has done before with a totally different bit and saddle)....Archie is a part time trail horse, part time contest horse, and part time pleasure horse. He HATES going slow, but he does it because he trusts that I will not ever make him ONLY do pleasure...he would end up killing me if I did that. Also, my reins are really long when I barrel race BECAUSE i have such a strong bit, I barely touch him anytime unless we are turning or stopping, which he knows how to do....THIS WAS AN OFF SEASON FOR HIM. He is treated like a baby at home, but he knows I will 'pull him in the ground' if he acts up (by the way, that is a training thing, its not a literal term)
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,580 views
It's probably isn't a good thing to go back on what you say...if it isn't the truth don't put it in your article.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,601 views
Fox Crest Stables  
"He got beat by a grey horse! A normal grey horse beat my tri-colored paint horse? This judge was making me very mad."

Halter is based off of conformation, not color. Your horse isn't built that well and I'm pretty sure it is quite easy for another horse to 'beat' him in halter.

Judging by how you describe your horse show I really don't think you actually get the aspect of what the classes are about. I would suggest looking up and studying how a halter class and a pleasure class are supposed to be ridden. Your horse is not built for pleasure nor is he built for halter so, in my eyes, its a complete waste of money and time to be showing in said classes. NOT TO MENTION the look on his poor face as you rip on him in the 1st picture. I really dislike your approach to riding and I suggest going back to basics if you can't even get him in the ring.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,858 views
Dark Star  
I said it was a mis wording so chill
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,580 views
Fox Crest Stables  
Not to mention the fact that when your horse gets a bloody nose from being pushed too hard you laugh and make him run AGAIN!? What kind of twisted horse owner ARE you?! You hit him in the head, dig your spurs into him, beat him so hard he nearly flips over. You've got him gate shy, head shy (humm, I wonder why), he throws a fit in trailers, you can't stop him, you can't control him, you blame him for all of YOUR mistakes, not to mention you KEEP pushing him when he's hurt and bleeding... Seriously!? This is stuff people call the ASPCA over.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  3,588 views
No Walkin Farms9  
Poor Archie. If he was my horse, I won't treat like him that. You're lucky to have him. Hitting him on the head and making him run after he's been bleeding, that doesn't sound like the actions of someone who cares about him. He acts like he likes being a trail horse. Showing doesn't sound like Archie's thing. I wouldn't take him back to one.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,586 views
Snowy Brook  
You would have more chance at placing higher in Showmanship if a) you wore bright colors, bling helps. b) you get his head down. even with the top of his shoulder.
  Oct 26, 2010  •  2,741 views
thier are so many things i can say right now about this artical, first of all you risked the life of ever horse and person in those arean being on archie when you knew he was mis behaving. first sign you shouldn't have shown him he fliped over in his stall. do you ever relise that he could have hurt his back and that by riding him you could have done major damage to him? second you don't hit a trailer with horses in it EVER, because instead of stoping the problem you only make it worse Aand can make the horse hate going in a trailier. personaly to me you sound like a sterotyplical rich kid, you want what you want and you don't care who you have to hurt to get it. Thier are soem nay thing i want to point out in this artical but my post would be as long as your artical, but I'm gonna be nice and say i you need to rethink your horse life becuse you have to many bad habbits.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  2,624 views
Dawnfire Equine  
Sounds like your troubles, not your horses.
Smarten up, he might like you someday.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  2,687 views

I have no words for you. Seriously none. I gritted my teeth and tried to ignore whacking the trailer, hitting him over the head.


You are a disgrace to riders everywhere. Everywhere. All over, people should look for you and take away your horses. You disgust me.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  2,731 views
Dark Star  
Well I was trying to keep him calmer, but when your horse will full out gallop when you have him on short reins, then the horse wants to run. And by the way, we arn't RICH we can barely afford to do any of this. I posted this because I wanted to show everyone how a horse can act amazing one time, then act up the next....NOONE COMMENT ON MY HORSE HANDLEING BECAUSE GUESS WHAT!!! NONE OF YOU HAVE EVER MET THIS HORSE....YOU HAVE NO CLUE ON HOW HE ACTS.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  3,309 views
Dark Star  
Oh and Dawnfire....Anyone else who even tries to ride this horse gets bucked with and he refuses to listen or move, so I think he likes me, because usually he listens to me and only me....I can go out to his pasture and jump and his back, no bridle no nothing and he won't do anything.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  2,635 views
Rein or Shine  
You have a very pretty horse. :)

Just try to remember this- as Foxie said, halter/showmanship horses are judged on their conformation, not their color. Although a pretty coloring certainly doesn't place the horse lower, that's not what they're judged base off of.

From what I can see, your horse has a good conformation and build. Maybe if you started (unless you do already) doing some work with him that built his muscles and made him overall something you think would please the judges even more, you would start placing higher. (Don't get me wrong, I have never shown in my life. But I'm not ignorant either, and I know a bit about showing and how to place high.)

One thing you could do that might help you improve is to ask other horse experts you might know. Maybe, if you're really lucky, you even know someone who has shown in the same things you do. Ask them their opinion, and pay attention to what they say and take their advice. If something they suggest doesn't work for you, th
  Oct 27, 2010  •  2,661 views
Not trying to be mean, but he may not like you because he bucks others, he may be a troubled horse, and you have used fear to make him obey, if he acts up he probably knows you will break out the whip or spurs.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  2,672 views
Just because he dosnt do anything now dosnt mean he wont in the future. Hitting on the head with your whip??? Pounding your spurs into him??!?!?! No wonder hes acting up!!!!! Maybe you should build trust with him and a better bond! Oh and go back to the begining so you can learn the basics of riding. This is animal abuse!!! Think about how he feels!!! What if someone hit you in the top of the head with a whip and pounded spurs into your side!!!!!!! How would you feel!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!
  Oct 27, 2010  •  2,766 views
Dark Star  
Last time I tried contesting him without spurs, he went wide on all his turns and didn't run, NOT WORTH IT. Also in halter, I also have used a fake tail (amazing) and I got 2nd and 3rd. And yes, he is on a workout thing. I lunge him almost everyday (especially if I can't ride that day). Sarabi- He actually is 15-20 years old, and will actually be retired in a year or two, but he has always been an onrey horse, even when he was broke to drive when he was 5. He would charge when he got mad (it was actually really funny)
  Oct 27, 2010  •  1,975 views
The only thing I'm going to say is that I would not hesitate to call the Animal Control on you. I don't care what you say. If my horse flipped over in his stall, I would be calling the vet immediately and canceling any show, no matter how important it is. And hitting the side of the horse trailer? That is NOT the way to solve anything. Yes, I'm going to comment on your horse handling. Sorry, but I am.Your horse hates being in a horse trailer because you hit the sides, and he knows he's going to a horse show where he's going to bust blood vessels, get his sides pounded, mouth yanked with a suuuuper long curb bit, hit in the head with a whip, etc.I would suggest getting out of horses completely. You talk about your horse flipping over in his stall, and then trying to flip over at the show. Did you ever think he might have hurt his back or neck after flipping over in his stall? When a horse does something like that, he needs to be checked by a vet immediately. Not dragged to a show and po
  Oct 27, 2010  •  1,980 views
Also, don't get angry at the judge when you don't win every single halter class. You didn't win for a reason.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  1,980 views
Dark Star  
Foxie- I see why he got beat in regular halter, but this was COLOR halter (where your judged on your horse's color)
  Oct 27, 2010  •  1,974 views
Also, don't get angry at the judge when you don't win every single halter class. You didn't win for a reason.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  1,965 views
Also, don't get angry at the judge when you don't win every single halter class. You didn't win for a reason.
  Oct 27, 2010  •  1,965 views
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