Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Region 4 Benefit Ride

What a great weekend. Beautiful weather, wonderful friends and fantastic horse.

Okay, where to start.

I took off work at noon and headed to the barn to load Summer and take off. I love this ride as it is only about 1 1/2 hours away from my barn.

I got there about 2:30pm and Tracey had me a spot saved so I could park near her and plug an extension cord into her trailer for my little fan. I must have my little fan to be able to sleep at night now. Another plus was that there was a water hose right behind my trailer as well. A great plus was I was surrounded by some great people. Elaine, Tracey, Candy, Kate and Jenny.

I set up camp and got Summer all spit shined and ready for check in. I have to brag, it was the best check in we have done to date. I took it one step at a time and we did great. Summer got a 3 on her MAW score, so I was real happy with that. If you check in with a 4 and check out with a 3, you loss a point. So 3 is where I like to be.

Saturday morning we rode out and there was an immediate obstacle. A down hill, cross log without touching and up hill. I was down in the saddle so lost points, but got an excellent on the log. The up hill part, Summer was a little "up" and, I believe, went up too fast and made me bobble in the saddle. So points lost on the hill. But good on the log.

It is hard to remember all the obstacles in the order that we did them without my cards in front of me. So I will just write what they were as I remember them. There was a mounted obstacle where you could ground mount, use a mounting stool or a stump. I used the stool and Summer stood like a rock and I got an excellent. Then a trot out for soundness. We had to do that twice as Summer was using every gait she had! LOL - We had a steep up hill and stay between ribbons, got an excellent. She really listened to me and took her time going up. - There was a soundness check Sunday morning, where you were mounted, trotted or gaited in a large circle, halt, turn on the forehand, and trot/gait the opposite direction. I was so proud of her on the turn. We have only done that a hand full of times and she did great. Her halt however, lost us a point or a minus, I don't remember. - Our horsemanship judge likes to hide, so there were a lot of hidden obstacles where we lost a few points or gained pluses. Our vet judge did several metabolics and Summer only lost one metabolic point all weekend. She lost no pulse and respiratory points, so I was REAL happy about that. The grass lands is FULL of gates, so we were all shocked that there were no gate obstacles.

Summer had some buddy issues on trail. But I think I am learning how to handle that without having a big ol' fight with her. I just turn her to opposite direction and just wait. Just let her settle. When she drops her head and takes a breathe, then I turned her back around and we moved on. That really seems to work with her. No circling, no fighting, just turning her around, and relaxing. Of course the only place I couldn't do that was the 2 mile marker, but she was great there. She got a little excited when a horse passed us in the 2 mile, but she just did a fast flat walk of about 6mph. She had that head nod going and was just moving. I told her if she wanted to wear herself out, go ahead, we were almost done anyway.

Once we timed in on Sunday, she seemed tired. Got her to the trailer and she ate her beet pulp and drank heavy. I was a little worried because she kept yawning. After I let her rest and cleaned her up, I took her up to check out. I bet we stood in line for 30 minutes or better. But I stood with good company as Kate L was behind me. Summer grazed and ate her hay while we stood there, then next thing I know, she was dozing off. I just knew I was going to have a hard time getting her to even trot out for the judge. But boy, did she surprise me. I trotted her out and started her right circle and she bucked and popped up in the front and started into a canter. I had to snatch her up as some judges don't approve of that. But I secretly loved to see that she still had that much energy left in her. Well, remember when I said she checked in Saturday with a 3, well she checked out Sunday with a 4! No points lost if the MAW goes up. I loved seeing my girl feeling that good. I had some open riders tell me that I needed to take her Open. I am sure she could handle it, just don't know if my butt could handle it. But I am thinking about it.

My big thing is, I would love to have her earn at least one Novice first place ribbon. I would love to be good enough to actually novice out and then I would HAVE to go CP or Open. I would probably be Open. All I can do is just keep praticing and just trying to be good enough to help her win.

Okay, I am making this a long blog.

Anyway, I had some GREAT horses and riders in my class. There was (horses) Lilly, Beau, Gus, Misty, Red and so many more great horses in my class. It was like when I watch drag racing with David, it is nice to watch a real competition. And boy did I have one this weekend. I felt honored and a little nervous having so many good horses in my class.

During awards, once again, I wasn't really concerned about me. I know that a good horseman helps their horse, so I did the best I could to help her do her best. I got 3rd in my class out of 14. The bad part is, for the last several rides, I have been placing better than Summer. So me getting 3rd actually made me feel even more nervous about her placing. Once they started calling Novice Heavyweight horse, I had a sick feeling in my stomache. After they got to 4th, I really started feeling sick. I KNOW I should not be this competitive, but I so just wanted Summer to do well. Kate L put her hand out for me to hold. I grabbed her hand and squeezed. I remember the last time I held a friend's hand like that, I was in labor! LOL They called third and I thought it was over for me. There were just SOOOO many good horses, then they called 2nd and it was Summer!!!!! She is out of her slump! She has been 5th for the last 3 rides! I was soooo happy. Of course, Lilly got 1st again. But I don't care, she is a good horse with a good rider. So I am happy to come in 2nd to such a good horse. I actually went up to Justin after awards and bowed. He laughed and we hugged. Summer has come in 2nd after Lilly one other time this year. So I know that I have one of those great horses too. It is just be consistant with her and doing all I can so she can do the best she can.

We have two more rides for this season. She had yesterday off and is getting the next three days off as well. Saturday we have the Rides for Strides ride at the Grasslands, but that will be a nice relaxing ride. Then back to work after that. Horsemasters is the 18/19 of this month and Last Chance is 1/2 of November. Then a Texas Trail Challenge on Nov 8th. Then, she is getting a professional massage from Dana. It will be $65 well spent. Summer deserves it.

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

Larry and Michele said...

Hi, My name is Michele and I live in Lubbock. I found your blog on the TWH forum and it looks great. Looks like you have a great time on the trails, something I hope to do someday, when I can get out of a trot comfortably ;). Take Care!