Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Deep in the Heart of Texas CTR

Well, after last week, I wasn't sure I was going to go. I was depressed but knew I needed to clear my head with a weekend with my horse and friends. I am glad I went now. I still had some crying bursts when I was alone, but that is okay. I needed those too.

Friday morning at 5am, I got out in the rain, got in my SUV and went to the barn. Hooked up my new/used trailer (in the rain, yuck!) and prayed that Summer wouldn't throw and big fit about getting into a trailer she has never been in, in the dark and, did I say rain? (yuck). Well, after about 20 seconds of twirling the end of her lead rope and tapping her butt with it, she got in. Thank you Lord. I was supposed to meet Mary at the corner of Garden Acres and I35. At that time I had a "D'oh" moment, I couldn't find my cell phone, crap! Summer and I drove back to the house, now I have my cell phone. Drive back to I35 (thank goodness I don't live that far from it), got to the "meetin'" corner and was 12 minutes late. But there was no Mary. I called, she is running late too. Once we finally hooked up, we were off.

We got there at about 10am. I got electrical hookup cause I brought a heater and 125' of extension cord, plus it is nice having water right there for your horse. I have to say, sleeping in my little trailers tack/dressing room was quite cozy.

Well, on to the ride. The HMS judge was TOUGH! I though Patsy was tough, but Cheri Jeffcoat was TOUGH! There were things I just couldn't do that she asked of us. I do not ground mount Summer. I use a mounting block or good natural terrain, which the hill she was at was very small and Summer's saddle rolled every time I tried to get on. After 30 seconds, she handed me my mounting stool. My pad is fleece as is my girth, Mary thinks that is my "rolling" problem, and I bet she is right. Anywho, at least I tried, if you pass you loose one extra point. She asked for a couple of in-hand obstacles, one of which Summer aced and one we need to work on. She asked for a few more on trail obstacles, like walking on brush and a gait obstacle. Summer and I did pretty good to my standards. I know I just need to slow down and Summer will do much better as well. But I knew that I was not going to place. But at least I would get my 4 completion points.

The vet judge was Carter Hounsel. He was the Christmas ride judge that called Summer grade 1 lame and I pulled her before she started. He is a real nice guy and really puts the horse first and will tell you what he feels even if you don't like it. To him, the horse is number 1. I really like that in him. Anyway, Summer checked in sound with good metabolics.

Well, the weekend weather could not have been any better. I know that Granny asked the Lord to give me beautiful weather. And I know she was watching me.

Summer only lost 1 metabolic point on gut sounds and 1 other for something else, I can't remember, but she lost 6 points for pain in the loins on Sunday. OUCH, 4 for her right side and 2 for her left. I felt horrible. We had a saddle fitter there that sales Specialized Saddles and he had a saddle pad that he could hook into a computer and it would show where your saddle was not doing well. Even the vet wanted me to let John (saddle rep) check my saddle. Well I did it and was shocked (as was John) that my Big Horn endurance fit Summer surprisingly well. No hot spots at all. So the vet asked me if I was having pain issues myself, I told him my back had been giving me fits all weekend, he believes that was it. I was over-compensating for my own pain, which caused her to have pain. Loosing all those points on her back, I was sure she would not place either. We had 8 competitors in our class and two tough judges. But I was truely okay with that.

I stayed for awards just to see who would place. Well, surprisingly Summer and I both place. I got 4th and she got a 5th. Once again, I was shocked. I guess that if the judges were tough on me, they were tough on everyone. I just have to figure out the loin issues with her. I told Carter that I was going to start driving her more, as she trots under harness that would strengthen her loins, he agreed. I have lost 5 pounds and have several more to go, that will help too. And I hope my back isn't hurting in two weeks, cause that is the Horsemaster's CTR and I plan on going to that too.

Well, that is my story, there was more too it, but I just don't feel like typing anymore.


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