Special Plaidcast: John French, Adam Snow & Dr. Shelley Onderdonk by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services

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Speical Episode John French Adam Snow Shelley Onderdonk

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Piper and Traci Brooks of Balmoral Farm, Inc. are joined by top hunter rider John French, Dr. Shelley Onderdonk and Adam Snow to discuss how to keep our horses happy and healthy while horse showing. Credit to Rider to Horseman for this special panel discussion concept and the ‘How the Pros Keep Thier Horses Happy at the Horse Show’ on pg. 70 in our October issue. Brought to you by Taylor, Harris Insurance Services. Listen in!

GUESTS AND LINKS:

  • Host: Piper Klemm of The Plaid Horse Magazine and Traci Brooks
  • Guest: For decades, John French has proven to be one of the most accomplished hunter riders in this sport. John received the 2012 WCHR Lifetime Achievement Award and has held the title of World Hunter Rider multiple times. John was also inducted into the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame in 2020. John most recently won the Platinum Performance/USHJA Hunter Derby Finals Championship in Lexington, Kentucky aboard Paradigm. 
  • Guest: Shelley Onderdonk was born and raised in San Mateo, California. She is a graduate of Yale and the University of Georgia, and has continued her medical education through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and The Chi Institute. Shelley’s integrative veterinary practice, active since 1998, incorporates the best of western medicine, acupuncture, manual therapy, equine sport science, and rehabilitation for the benefit of her patients.
  • Guest: Adam Snow played polo professionally for 34 years, achieving the highest rating of 10 goals in 2003. Career highlights include winning two US Open titles, competing in the Argentine Open in 1998 and 2004, winning many Best Playing Pony prizes for his horses, and twice being named Player of the Year. Adam was inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 2014. Retired from tournament polo, Adam now gives back to the sport via coaching, mentoring, writing, as well as announcing polo games for television. Shelley and Adam have co-authored two books, Winning with Horses and Polo Life: Horses, Sport, 10 & Zen.
  • Title Sponsor: Taylor, Harris Insurance Services, Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. THIS places their policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. THIS is proud of their worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and welcomes the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
  • Photo Credit: Shawn McMillen Photography
  • Subscribe To: The Plaid Horse Magazine
  • Sponsors: Show Strides Book SeriesWith Purpose: The Balmoral Standard and Good Boy, Eddie

This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

Piper Klemm 
[00:01:19] Welcome back to a special from the plaidcast. I am Piper Klemm, publisher of the Plaid Horse Magazine. And today I’m joined by co-host Traci Brooks of Balmoral Farm. Coming up on today’s episode, we’re going to discuss how to keep horses happy and healthy while showing with our panelist top hunter rider John French, Dr. Shelly Onderdonk and Adam Snow. Welcome back to the plaidcast, Traci. 

Traci Brooks [00:01:43] Thanks, Piper. Hi. 

Piper Klemm [00:01:45] I was hoping to do a little something a little different today and try to have a little bit of a panel discussion with some different people. We always talk about how silent our sport is, so we’re going to have a couple, a polo player and a vet, couple along with our International Derby finals first and most recent person, last champion John French. 

Traci Brooks [00:02:09] Love that. Can’t wait. 

Piper Klemm [00:02:11] You guys obviously know John French really well from many years of showing together in California. Can you tell people a little bit about kind of his style at the show ring? He’s he’s he’s very quiet and reserved, but also very funny. If you if you’re. Yeah, you’re in range for long enough. 

Traci Brooks [00:02:32] Oh, yes. And part of the reason I think he’s so funny is because he is so quiet and reserved and you don’t you don’t expect it. And then all of a sudden he pipes up with something that makes everybody basically fall on the ground laughing. But you don’t ever discount that that he’s thinking about what he’s going to be doing in the ring. Or there’s a moment of comic relief. But he is always the fiercest and most amazing competitor. And we miss him in California because it was it was nice because it just helped to keep the level up. When you when you have more people who are amazing, I think, you know, rising tide lifts all ships. So we definitely miss seeing John and we always love seeing him throughout the year now. And I feel like we appreciate him more and we try to get together outside the horse show more now and go to dinner and and enjoy him while we can. 

Piper Klemm [00:03:26] And I think, you know, contrary to a lot of a lot of other barns and a lot of other trainers here, he has this inner calm. This this peace that seems to come come through. And it’s such a crossroads with being such a competitor, because I think most people who are very, very type-A, very competitive, you know, have this kind of like almost aggression that comes with it. And his is very low key, which the horses have have loved his whole career. 

Traci Brooks [00:04:00] Yes. It’s always amazing to watch him ride and to watch him get on a horse and the horse just sort of melts. And I think there are different ways that people deal with pressure. And some people go inward and get really focused. And I think that’s a minority of people. I think most people start to freak out and their heart rate speeds up and they get nervous and have a hard time channeling it. And he has always done such a great job with that. That’s when I feel my heart rate going up. I sometimes try to channel him. 

Piper Klemm [00:04:36] So yeah, so we have him and we have a little bit of an ensemble cast. I recently read Adam Snow and Dr. Shelly Onderdonk’s book, Winning with Horses, which has kind of, I would say like half memoir, half, half horse happiness book. And, you know, obviously horse happiness is something you and I talk a lot about, about Traci. We talk a lot about what The Plaid Horse of like how can you have your horse live the life that they want and also at the same time have your horse want to reach the competitive goals you have as well. Yeah, it’s such a fine line because we all want to do everything we can for our horses. But at the end of the day, sometimes the best thing to do too is just to leave them alone. So it’s. It’s hard to find that balance like you want to acupuncture and chiropractic and massage it and do check all the boxes that you possibly can for things to go well. But that’s not always the right thing for that horse. So I think it’ll be interesting to hear their their take on that. How much is too much and when do you stop and how do you mix Eastern and Western medicine and work it in with training? I always love hearing people’s philosophies on that. 

Piper Klemm [00:05:52] Absolutely. And you know and so much of people yeah. Like kind of perfectionism goes all the way down to even like, you know, cleanliness. And we talk a lot about on the podcast how Rueben likes to be caked in a layer of dirt, but he’s the most handsome dirty horse you’ve ever seen. 

Traci Brooks [00:06:13] It’s true, It’s true. And it works for him. But that’s like, that’s his individual thing. It might not work for every horse, just like it doesn’t work for every person. Like not practicing like you Piper that doesn’t work for everyone. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:24] Yeah. I don’t think most horses want t to be quite as mudcaked. 

Traci Brooks [00:06:31] And most riders sometimes feel like they should practice. So there you go. Yeah. You and Ruben are one off. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:38] Yeah. Yeah. We’re lucky. We’re lucky we have each other. 

Traci Brooks [00:06:43] True. 

Piper Klemm [00:06:44] But but that that kind of comes down to all of this. Is this how do you make. Yeah. That individualized program and what works for your horse and you know and what we don’t do a lot with Ruben during the week anymore as he gets older especially you know how do we create that program. And so I’m really excited to talk to this whole group about, you know, creating that program and figuring out what each horse needs because it’s it’s so easy to get in the schooling ring and see someone doing something and be like, ‘Oh gosh, do I need to do that?’. 

Traci Brooks [00:07:19] Yeah, yeah. Or see someone using a piece of equipment that you think you should be trying to. 

Piper Klemm [00:07:25] Yeah, Yeah. And seeing people jump their pool toys in the schooling ring. We only jump pool toys at home. 

Traci Brooks [00:07:34] You’re very specific about your pool toy location. 

Piper Klemm [00:07:38] And that’s actually not a joke. Emily Always has pool tools at home and they don’t travel, they don’t travel, they don’t go to the trailer, but they’re always pool toys at home because they are probably cost effective. 

Traci Brooks [00:07:57] It works. It’s working. 

Piper Klemm [00:07:58] It’s working. So yeah, so I’m really excited to talk to this group. So we have a little bit of a fun, fun special episode here and we’ll take a break and be right back with our three guests. For decades, John French has proven to be one of the most accomplished hunter riders in this sport. John recieved the 2012 WCHR Lifetime Achievement award, and has held the title of world champion hunter rider multiple times. John was inducted into the national show Hunter Hall of Fame in 2020. John most recently won the Platinum Performance USHJA Hunter Derby Finals Championship in Lexington, Kentucky aboard Paradigm. Dr. Shelley Onderdonk was born and raised in San Mateo, California. She is a graduate of Yale and the University of Georgia and has continued her medical education through the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society and the Chi institute. Shelley’s integrative veterinary practice, active since 1998, incorporates the best of Western medicine, acupuncture, manual therapy, equine sports science and rehabilitation for the benefit of her patients. Adam Snow played polo professionally for 34 years, achieving the highest rating of ten goals in 2003. Career highlights include winning two U.S. Open titles, competing in the Argentine Open in 1998 and 2004, winning many best playing polo prizes for his horses and twice being named Player of the Year. Adam was inducted into the Polo Hall of Fame in 2014. Retired from tournament polo. Adam now goes back to the sport by coaching, mentoring, writing, as well as announcing polo games for television. Shelley and Adam have coauthored two books, Winning With Horses and Polo Life- Horses, Sport, Ten and Zen. We’re going to be discussing some of Shelley and Adam’s book, Winning with Horses, which is available at Trafalgar Square Books. I’m going to read the book jacket here. Is it possible to be simultaneously passionate about winning in an equestrian sport and about the welfare of horses? Sport horse veterinarian Shelley Onderdonk and professional polo player Adam Snow answer this question of social license with a resounding yes. They’ve spent a lifetime together nurturing Adam’s astounding career at the top of his sport. He is the last American polo player to achieve the perfect ten goal handicap with the artful, conscientious care and training of the equine partners he needed to be their best. In addition, Shelley’s 25 years as an equine veterinarian have been spent helping sport horses compete at the highest level in other disciplines too, including reigning, racing, eventing, showjumping and dressage, while always prioritizing long term health and well-being. In this book, Shelley and Adam share the keys to their success and the struggles and celebrations that taught them along the way. Smart, engaging and honest. Winning with horses is the answer to the online debates and the boardroom arguments. With intelligence and expertise, the authors provide the much needed antidote to the dark side of horse sports. Our story is an explosive acknowledgment that doing good for the horse is good for results in the competitive arena, they write. Our task is to explain our method, and yours is to prove that it can be replicated. 

Piper Klemm [00:11:03] Welcome to the plaidcast and John congratulations on your championship at Derby finals. I was wondering if we could start with you and how you kind of think about keeping your horses happy throughout the year so that so that they are able to peak at competition? 

John French [00:11:17] Well, first off, I mean, I think it’s important to keep horses happy, you know, all the time. You know, shows might be a little bit harder just because of, you know, the stress of the horse shows and the traveling and and all that. But I still think that keeping your horse happy is what you strive for. And, you know, if your horse is happy and feeling good, it’s going to perform at its best and it’s going to want to do it for you. And that’s what you’re trying to create is a horse that loves his job and wants to do it for you. Talking about paradigm. You know, I just, you know, to keep him happy. I mean, I didn’t overshow him. He’s probably shown, you know, in the division six times this year. And, you know, I sort of saved him more for the derbies. I had an owner who really you know, that was her focus of getting him used to doing hunters and getting him to the Derby finals. So, you know, we sort of geared that way with that horse for this and. You know, I didn’t like I said, I didn’t over train, but when I got there, I mean, a lot of the training you do at home and, you know, to keep your horses happy, I think at horse shows you don’t want to over train over school, it has to be sort of done at home and. And with him, you know, he’s a very brave horse. I don’t need to show him a lot. When I was at Derby finals, I rode him out the cross-country course every day, just brought him out in the field until we weren’t allowed to. We had to stay in the holding areas that were designated for the derby. But, you know, I just try not to over train them and. Try not to just ride him in the ring every day and keep it interesting for them. 

Piper Klemm [00:13:20] Shelley and Adam, your book was so interesting because it was it was very much part horse, Part memoir is how how I read it. Can you talk a little bit about probably Adam first about thinking about kind of that larger picture, thinking about things as your horse, like, you know, kind of playing off what John said about using what you have and in terms of the Derby field and really thinking in that direction. 

Adam Snow [00:13:49] Yes. One of the things we talked about in our book was that word on well, about every creature has their own sensory bubble of perception and trying to put ourselves in the horse’s position in their bubble or imagining what is going on in their bubble. And I think that that is really important in preparation for competition. But in basic equine practices and our everyday dealings with the horse. One thing that John said that rang true with me and it’s something that I’ve found with my horses even when I am preparing for a polo match that is important to me. And you know, finals it used to be a tournament finals that I’m less likely to school them a lot the way maybe I did when I was younger and more likely to do something that I think the horse would enjoy and would put them in a good state of mind and body and basically have a happy horse going on to the field. Is the goal of having a ride, whether it might not even sit on the horse, it might be a session in the round pen or it might be a hack around the farm or something different than what they’re getting a lot of when they’re on the polo field. 

Dr. Shelley Onderdonk [00:15:24] My my perspective as a veterinarian on keeping horses happy in the showgrounds is to try to simulate your home environment as much as possible. One because horses love routine. So a horse that’s used to getting turned out, for example, a lot at home will need to be out of the stall a lot, hand walking, hand grazing, just like John said, you know, riding on a cross-country field outside, if they’re used to that, that’s great. And then also really important to think about is a horse standing in a stall needs to get myofascial and muscular stimulation. So that can be done through massage. It can be done through bodywork, treatments, traditional bodywork. It can be done through acupuncture. It can be done through even like good currying. And a horse’s body is going to be sort of hacked a little bit into thinking that it’s moving more when when you’re doing that kind of work on them. And that’s really important for their physical health. And that, of course, transits to, any time they’re feeling better physically. They also feel a little bit better mentally. 

Traci Brooks [00:16:44] Shelley, can you tell us a little bit about your veterinary practice? I know you you do Western type medicine and you keep the horses going through blending Eastern and Western medicine. But how how do you merge those together? And I know your your overarching view is keep the horses going, but keep them happy. What’s what’s that look like in a day to day? 

Dr. Shelley Onderdonk [00:17:07] Yes, I am a veterinarian. But in 1998, I started my acupuncture training, which has continued over the last 25 years. Now, to keep learning about other integrative medicine modalities as well. And so I just think about it as really trying to. Do the most efficient and. Best medicine I can for whatever particular problem is presented. And sometimes that has a more Western approach, especially with things like infectious diseases. Sometimes it would have a more acupuncture, you know, Chinese approach for, let’s say. Subtle lameness or endocrine issues. But I also have to listen to the owners because people also have strong preferences. Sometimes what they want and sometimes there are choices of what you can do. You can use medications. You can use herbs, you can use acupuncture. And sometimes the owners have a pretty strong feeling about what they want to do. And I listen to that, too, and try to help educate them as to what I think maybe is the preferable choice or option ABC type of thing. But yeah, so on a day to day it’s a mix, I would say. 

Piper Klemm [00:18:53] So John, can you talk to us about kind of that just in case like overprepare, you know, that something that you mature into learning how to have the confidence to not do basically. 

John French [00:19:04] You know, when when you’re at a competition, obviously I’ve been doing this for a long time. So you know from experience I know the. You know, even though you’re nervous. You think you need to do all these things? You don’t really need to do that much because again, you want your horse to be happy. So all of a sudden you’re doing all the training because you see other people doing it and you’re trying all these different things. You know, it could go well, but it could go bad and your horse could be confused. Why are we doing this? We haven’t done this before. So I think it’s very important to keep it simple so that your horse stays relaxed and the horse is happy and wants to do it for you. But also there’s things that you need to do as a rider so you don’t get that way. Normally you get that way because you’re nervous and you want to do well and you are too excited. So that’s one of the reasons why I ride in the field or try to ride away from the ring that I’m showing in. And you know, I have some time by myself to get myself in the right mental state, that I’m relaxed, that I’m not feeling this way, I’m not feeling anxious. I’m not feeling because that will come across, you know, in your horse. So to me, taking my horse out the field to ride in a different ring or going riding by myself or what I love doing is riding before the show at 6:00 in the morning when there’s not many people there. And it’s just relaxing because there’s not all the stress of people riding and you’re watching and thinking, Oh my God, so-and-so got a score. What am I going to do now? You know? And so you use that time to get yourself in the right frame of mind, that when you’re in that frame of mind, that you when you go to compete, you try to recreate that same frame of mind and you know, your horse will only be as relaxed as you are. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:03] That’s, your horse will only be as relaxed as you are. I feel like I need that on a T-shirt at the horseshow. Yeah. And I think, you know what? I think that the less experience you have, the more almost like, susceptible you are, especially to all those people in the ring and not focus on your own program. And, you know. 

John French [00:21:24] Yeah you might come to a show and you haven’t been to the East Coast or have been to see these people before and you think, Oh my God, there’s so-and-so supposed to be a really good rider. I see them doing this. Maybe I should try that, you know. Well, you can try those things at home. You know, if you see something that maybe might work for your horse. But normally trying something new right at the show is probably not the right time to be doing it. 

Piper Klemm [00:21:53] Adam, can you speak as a competitor to that just in case mentality? I think we we all got a little bit lost in that sometimes. 

Adam Snow [00:22:00] Yeah. So when faced with pressure and competition, I like to go to the things that are my strengths and my horses strengths and find sort of the confident path of connecting with the horse, like having those rides that might not be like simulating a polo match or an event course, but are sort of saying, you know, I’m here, you’re here, and helping the horse be comfortable and confident in their own skin, as well as me being confident in my own skin. I used to joke that I feel the most confident when I’m riding my horses or cleaning my boots or preparing my mallets before finals. And all of those things are like in my barn, in my wheelhouse, the horses more than anything. And I feel the least confident when I’m like thinking about the other team or stuff that is out of my wheelhouse. So I think it comes down to really taking care of the things that are in our control and trying to find a way to let go of the things that are out of our control. And I think that that’s applicable to, you know, the dressage course thing that you’re trying to prepare as it is to a polo game that you’re preparing for. But on any competitive arena, I think that’s something to keep in mind that’s very helpful to all of us. And sometimes there’s things that are halfway in our control, you know, and so maybe we spend a little time on those, but then we try to let them go. And my objective is to go out there and have done enough preparation that when it comes time to compete, I can feel free and just think about breathing and looking where I want to go and trusting me and my horse. 

Piper Klemm [00:24:09] Shelley, do you want to add to that from the veterinary side? 

Dr. Shelley Onderdonk [00:24:13] So I do think it’s really important to prepare at home. And then once you get to a show, you have to rely on the things that are in your muscle memory, in your brain that you’ve been practicing, because the show nerves for both you and your horse are going to. Make it more difficult. And so, you know, from a I mean, just from a vetrinary perspective, when the horse is a little bit more up and the endorphins are not quite so strong and the adrenaline is more strong. The the balance shifts a little bit. And so it’s really important at those times to really not pay attention to what anybody else is doing. It’s really important to stick to what you know and what you. Feel confident with. I think that the very best competitors obviously are faced with things that happen that you have to change game plans. And and even in the middle of of course, for example, sometimes you have to change game plans. But that thinking on your feet comes from the confidence of just the repetition at home and knowing how you deal with things when they arise and being able to deal with things when they arise. Comes from a place of calm and sort of being in the right brain. Set a little bit with you and your horse. 

Piper Klemm [00:26:02] John, can you talk to us a little bit more about that, that peaking at Derby finals? I mean, it seemed like some people did like six Divisions at Derby finals before they walked into the ring. I mean, that that, you know. Preparing, you know, that that peak preparing to peak is is almost I feel like a little bit of a lost concept when you talk to a lot of people. 

John French [00:26:25] Yeah, you definitely for big events. That’s your job as a rider to. Peak at those events. So, you know, not only what you do at the show, but the shows that you’ve done, you know, prior to that, you’ve not overshown. That You’ve gone in the right classes. Maybe you did a class that was. You know, real big derby and you go back and if you have a greener horse and you do something smaller and give the horse the confidence and then go up and do the derby, there’s some horses that you might want to just do it the three six before a derby with some horses you might do the four foot. But it depends, you know. On the horse, and it depends how much you show them or if there’s some horses. Milargo, for instance. He didn’t even show just in the at the horse show, except for in the Derby. He just went straight into the Derby, you know. But, you know, I know him and I know, you know, he doesn’t need that. But every horse is different. There might be a horse. You might have a horse that needs a lot of repetition. It needs to go in, you know, a division beforehand and in the ring, you know, stay in the ring for that long as you can, you know, the day before, get the horse used to it. Every horse is different, but my other paradigm, I went in the ring for 15 minutes the day before. I didn’t jump him much in the warm up area, rode him with a hackamore no bit on in the morning and you know, because I know he’d rather go. I ride him a lot without a bit, a bitless bridle. So it’s just knowing your horse and knowing, you know, what will make your horse happy. So they’ll be in the right frame of mind to want to do it for you. 

Traci Brooks [00:28:21] And John, do you think it’s it’s obviously it’s it’s knowing your horse and treating every horse as an individual, but it’s also trusting your instincts. Right. And not not thinking you have to do something because that was your plan or that’s what everyone else is doing. Can you tell us. How. How you sort of plan your year? Because as such an acute rider and great horseman like you could have, you can have a great plan and then all of a sudden you go, Oh no, actually I think we need to change it. So how does that work with you planning each horse’s year and how to peak and when to peak and going to plan A, B and C? 

John French [00:28:59] Yeah, like you say, every every horse is different. And you know, I might have a horse that I want to show the week before in a big event just because I need to. Really be in sync with that horse, and the horse needs that. But there’s other horses that I might say, he doesn’t really need to show. I want that horse to be as fresh as could be and and I’m not going to show him for a month prior to the show and leave him leave them a little fresh so that he is real interested. But you know, you can have a greener horse that you need to show the week before and really make sure that the kinks are out. 

Traci Brooks [00:29:50] How much ahead are you planning your your year? Like, do you sit down at the beginning of the season and say, okay, this is my goal for this horse? And it’s it’s December now and I want to peak at Derby finals. Or do you say I’m going to get through winter and at the end of the winter circuit, then I’m going to regroup again? Do you do short term, long term? What does that look like for you? 

John French [00:30:15] Yeah, I think that’s a good way to do it. It’s to do short term. Long term, maybe at the beginning of the year. You know, I always sort of think, you know, if I have a green horse, you know, the incentive finals is a is a goal and and derby finals for my more experienced horses. But you know, we’ll start a horse in the three foot six that year and then just think you know this horse, I would like to keep going but I think I’m going to drop the horse down. Like last year I thought, I just don’t think Wyatt is ready to do the three foot six doesn’t have enough experience. Even though I started him in the three six, I got a three foot six back and I said, You know what? I think the green incentive is more of the way to go for him and, you know, totally changed my plan. And then I didn’t need to show him as hard because, you know, he’s going to do the three foot three and do the green incentive finals. And he went there and won the green incentive finals. So there’s a couple of times during the year that you have to. Reassess and decide if it’s going how I plan, What should I do to change it or should I be changing my goals? 

Piper Klemm [00:31:34] John, can you talk about continuing to peek over the years? I interviewed McLain a couple days ago and he said it’s just as hard every year as it was the last year. And I think it was kind of interesting to me because, you know, I think from the public’s perception, there’s almost this, you know, at some point it’ll get easier or even easier. At some point you have this. But, you know, I can you speak to the fact that training horses is training horses and it never gets easier to some to some degree. 

John French [00:32:11] Yeah. I mean, it it. It’s always hard to know, you know. What to do, and you try to make the best like Traci said go with your instincts and, you know, come up with what you think would be the best plan for that horse to get it to where you want. But, you know, there’ll be setbacks and, you know, along the way and I know Kent, even with his jumpers, it is very systematic of what horse is going to go in, what class. And, you know, people need to be more like that with the hunters too. You go up a division and then maybe one week you go back a division, you don’t show them too much. He gears up for a special class and maybe he goes to the show before and doesn’t do all the big classes. And then because he just slowly gearing up for the the big class coming up or the big Grand Prix. And I think the same way with the Hunters. You don’t always need to be going in the big, bigger classes. I think sometimes it’s good to step down and. On some horses, then build them back up again or or keep one horse very fresh and don’t show it very much. But that’s our job as trainers and horsemen to really decide the path of the horse. Show schedule so that, you can’t try to do it and peak every single week. You know, it’s it’s not going to happen. So you need to plan the shows. That are nice shows and would be good for the horse. It’s got good jumps. It’s. It’s special. And. You know, then the horse sort of knows when it’s special. That’s the thing about Rumba. When I had rumba. Rumba really knew when it was special and. When he went for the Derby finals I don’t know. I never felt him go like that before. He just puffed up and he was like, ‘This is something big’, you know, ‘this is the big event’. And there were other shows that maybe I wouldn’t have gone to and I could tell during the year that he was the show was kind of boring. He was you know, he’d done this show so many weeks in a row or whatever, you know, this isn’t that fun for me. And he would maybe rub a jump or just not be impressed. But then when I knew that I was taking him to Derby Finals, then I could decide what shows would be special and what shows he would think was special. And when he went to Derby finals, you know, he rose to the occasion. And that was that was one horse. He knew when it when it was special and he knew when I needed him to, that this was a big thing for me. And I could I could tell that he would do anything that day because I didn’t over show him. I didn’t over school him and he knew it was a special event. 

Piper Klemm [00:35:23] Thank you so much for joining us on the plaidcast. 

John French [00:35:26] Sure. 

Piper Klemm [00:35:26] To learn more about anything we’ve discussed on today’s show, visit theplaidhorse.com. You can find show notes at theplaidhorse.com/listen. Follow The Plaid Horse on all the social medias. You can subscribe to the print edition of The Plaid Horse Magazine at theplaidhorse.com/subscribe. Please rate and review the plaidcast anywhere you listen to it. And if you enjoy this episode, please share it with your friends. I will see you at the ring!