Monday, March 9, 2009

Steve Holt! meets flags, bags and green plastic tarps

Combing You Tube as I do, I came across not only that super cool video of the Mounted Police drill team the other day, but this competition as well:



I've been spending a great deal of time trying to figure out what to do with Steve Holt! as the Makeover gets closer. He's just not smooth enough to go into the finals without some sort of gimmick. I'd love if we could just whip out a reining pattern, but that's obviously not going to happen, so finding new and unusual ways to show off his strengths is the plan.

Yesterday we worked on three new elements which may or may not be incorporated into a freestyle. First, I introduced him to one of those light weight painter's drop cloths. It's made of plastic, an opaque green that hung from the top of the round pen gate. Second came a big plastic bag filled with a few more bags (I think I need to use pop cans instead so they make noise) and asked him to side pass both directions with it. Tell me what you think, because to me it almost looks like he's stepping away rather than me asking him to move. And third, I waved my lunge whip full of streamers around while on him. I think I could go a bit faster next time, and maybe closer to his head...or not. At least faster, though.

Take a gander at the video and tell me what you think, and if anything is WOW enough to want to see in a freestyle.

13 comments:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I've got an idea, Tracey. You could dress up like cheerleader and shake some pom-poms around while riding him. Or put a sheet over him to make him look like a ghost. (Just make it short enough so that he doesn't trip.) That bag you were dragging in the video looks like those little ghost bags you stuff with newspapers on Halloween and hang from your trees. If they put a microphone on you, you could squeeze a couple of whoopie cushions under your armpits while riding. (Okay, I'm just getting silly now.) It's got to be tougher to come up with something original as each year passes and all the ideas get used.

Tracey said...

ROFL!!!

You're right, though...jumping through fire's been done...so what is left to jump through?

I didn't really want this to be gimmicky, but need to concentrate on what he does best...and he's pretty darned spook proof! I'll still need to work in the other stuff like lead changes and turn arounds...just need to make the other stuff more WOW factor!

froglander said...

I think walking through that green plastic tarp in the gate was really good. The lunge whip streamers, so-so, maybe if the streamers were longer or closer to him? The plastic bag was good, although you are right, there are few moments when it looks like he is moving away from it and it's hard to see that is because you are asking him to, lol. If you need help dragging any props to the arena, let me know, be glad to help. Hmm, what else could he do....

Christa said...

Well I like what I saw :o)

What about somehow attaching streamers to him. That way they are there with him the whole ride bouncing off him. Maybe you can get some small hula skirt things for around his feet and something around his tail? Just an idea. I know if I put streamers on Gunner he would not be happy lol.

Your doing awesome though and I can't wait to see you both next week!

Gecko said...

Personally, I think you can only show a horse is bomb-proof so much...people generally get the idea after 3 or 4 demos of his quietness. Maybe you could crack a whip while on him? Hey! Do an Australian Outback style performance! =) Make you stand out!

Gecko said...

Okay, I need to stop pressing the "publish" button before I am finished! The tarp at the start is a great idea! I especially like him moving side to side, it's hard to see but I think just from leg pressure is it? Fantastic!!!

Katee said...

I haven't a clue what you should do Tracey. I'm always just blown away by the things people come up with to do with their mustangs in those finals!

Make sure you are able to display all his good parts. For example, I liked Danee Rudy showing how well behaved her mustang was even when she was on the ground. That horse was totally connected to her which is certainly something I look for in a horse:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bU1LFVOvmdU

photogchic said...

Some gimicky things...will he pick up anything and give it to you? Maddy picks up her carrot stick and hands it to me. I think it is a hoot. Can you teach him to lay down? He looks great side passing...will he do it over a barrel? I love to just use a pole on the ground...side pass over it, pivot, side pass other way, go over with just front two legs, then back over the pole. Really fun. It looks like you are being really "cautious" in the video...he looks ready for you to challenge him and amp it up a little. Can't wait to see what you do. Good luck.

Shirley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shirley said...

Sorry, had to delete my comment, there were too many typing errors.
I think the tarp is a neat idea; you could do your entry loping through it; how about carrying a flag- lay the flagpole horizontally behind you as you go through the tarp, then stand it up as you proceed. You could hang it over his head as you do rollbacks, or hold it out on the side he is sidepassing towards to increase the level of difficulty. And then have a place that you can sidepass or pivot up to and place the flag in to continue the rest of the freestyle without it. The flag could be anything from a cloth on a longe whip to a state flag on light pole.Something easy and lightweight to handle.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Tracey - I have to retract my idea of having your horse wear a sheet like a ghost. I wasn't totally serious when I said that, of course, but my husband explained that the KKK used to make their horses wear sheets. So, that deems it socially and politically inappropriate. Sorry. I was just thinking of Halloween and didn't mean to offend anyone. I'm not good about hitting the history books. I am, however, VERY SERIOUS about the whoopie cushion stunt.

Tracey said...

Lots of great thoughts here, thanks!

NM..you crack me up. I wouldn't have thought anything of the white sheet. It's not like kids haven't been dressing as ghosts despite the KKK, and I don't think many people would get all that offended, but you never know.

Now, the whoopie cushion...that I may just have to pass on...

Gecko said...

Okay, so I'll admit I don't know who the KKK are...but kids have been doing the sheet thing for years, I think people are getting a bit too soft if they take offence to that, when it wasn't even your intent! Like a model who is suing Google because a blogger called her a 'skank' (link on my blog if anyone interested).