Well, we made it.
I left Friday morning around 8:15, got to Big Sandy and the ALERT Academy about 10:45.
It is so pretty there. Pine trees that go on forever they are so tall. And they were everywhere. Just absolutely beautiful. I parked near Mary and Kim and they saved a place for Liz cause she was coming in last. It was real nice. Pat (Mary's husband) took care of us girls. He cooked for us and made a real nice fire both Friday and Saturday night for us to sit around.
At the academy, there are shower and restroom facilites. And I don't mean a few, there are quite a few. So it sure was nice to get to take a hot shower after the ride.
There were 15 in my class. It was the biggest class. So once again, I felt like I was just there to get my completion points, no ribbons for us.
Friday we checked in. This vet is Miss Metabolics! But that is okay, Summer's mets have not been too bad. But, this vet called her "findings" out different than the other vets, so you didn't know where your horse stood on their mets. During trot out and the lounge, Summer decided to trip all over the place, but luckily she was not counted off for it. It is a sandy loom out there and she kept hitting soft spots.
Saturday morning we had a judged mount. The HMS judge gave me a good, but the vet judge said Summer took a step and gave her -1 point. I honestly do not recall Summer moving at all until I told her to. Oh well. Then we all timed out. I decided to time out right in front of the pack. I was going to do this ride alone just to see how she would act. Well, she was on booger patrol from the get go. But when the Mustang gang came up behind us fast, I could not keep Summer's mind on me. They would pass then slow down or stop and Summer and I would pass them, then they would pass me again. It got old, so Summer and I really slowed down to stay away from them. Summer fought me almost the whole ride Saturday. I just don't know what was with her. I guess she was just having "one of those days". Another observation on trail was to back up a small incline. Well, Summer and I do that all the time at my barn in the pasture, so she aced that. The vet judge did mets again and once again, I didn't understand and just hoped Summer's mets were where they should be. The HMS judge also did a hidden obstacle, which I never saw her. But I got a good on it. It was going down a steep hill. The judges check for your position on the horse and if there is any body sway from the rider. When we passed the two mile marker, there was a friendly little goat running loose in the field, well most horses (including Summer), just knew it was a horse eating beast from outer space. But we got past that with no one injured. We got back into camp and the vet judge took mets again, then told us to drop saddle at our trailers and come back when the horn blew for more met checks and a soundness check.
At this ride, it was not all flat land like I was told, it was as hilly as the last ride we just did. But this time, I used my gel pad instead of my Skito. I figured though, that will all the fighting Summer did and the hills, I just knew that she would have sore loins yet again. But I was ecstatic when I check her loins myself and there was NO soreness! Another thing that could have helped was we didn't do near as much pacing which is not good for their backs. We did more RW and racking. Anyway, I was just so happy about that, that I could care less if we placed. The vet checked her and she found no soreness either and no lameness issues. YIPPY!!!
Sunday morning we did a trot by for the vet and had to trot straight to the HMS judge. I got a good on that too. I rode out with Jenny for a little bit but Summer walks much faster than her RMH Magic. At least in the morning she does. Jenny said Magic had to want to walk that fast and he is usually a little slow in the mornings. I am sure he just didn't get his cup of java! (smile). Of course we left them and I rode with a man named David Walsh. He was on his BLM Mustang, Rocky. He gentled Rocky in that Extreme Mustang Challenge. And out of over a hundred and something horses, Rocky placed 14th in trailabilty. Very cool. But of course, Summer out walked him too. Then I caught up with George and his SSH Beau and Sue on her mule Sugar. Sugar's horse half is TWH. I rode the rest of the ride with them. Summer did great with those two. She didn't crowd them and every 10 minutes or so, we all changed places, kinda leap frogging. We only had one on trail observation and Summer blew it. But, she is just now learning to side pass to the right, so I didn't get upset with her. Had they asked us to go to the left, we would have aced it. Oh well, I got some work to do. At the two mile marker I hooked up with Liz and we tried to ride in together, but Summer out walks her APHA, Jazz. No biggy though.
We got in, dropped saddle and went straight to get in line for check out. Once again, Summer had NO loin issues!!! WOOHOO. I used my gel pad again. I guess that will be my pad of choice for these rides. I will us my Skito on more relaxed trail rides as to extend the life of my gel pad.
Well, Summer and I both received 5th place. Hey, at least I placed. With 15 in my class, I really didn't see that happening, so I was happy about that. I just know that there is some ground work I need to do with her.
This sure turned out to be a long post, so...