WOW, what a fun weekend. Even though I woke up Friday morning nauseated and stayed that way all weekend, I still had a great time. Tracey went to town for ice and with the advice of Fran, got me some Ginger Ale to settle my stomach, it did help considerably.
What can I say about my first ride of 2009? Well, I went to have fun. To visit folks and to have a nice ride. I chased those points last year. Well, that is, after I found out in the middle of the year where Summer and I were standing for year end results. I don't know if I want to do that again this year. I don't want it to feel like a job again. I don't want to dread getting ready to go to the next ride. I was excited about going last weekend and just decided to have fun, and I did. If you remember my posts from my last two rides of 2008, Summer didn't place. I think I was getting too serious, even tho her scores were good. Anyway...
Friday, I got to the 7IL Ranch which is in Cat Springs TX, got camp set up, went and picked up my vest and got ready to check Summer in. She checked in real good except the part where she thinks a bee flew up her bum. She started moving around and acting silly. You would have thought the vet Pat Reiger was examining her and not Darlene Wehr. I got onto her and settled her down pretty quick, but not quick enough to not loose points. I lost a half of a point with Shirley, the horsemanship judge. Summer never acts like that unless it is Pat checking her. Of course she wasn't near as bad as she is with Pat, but it was still embarrassing. Little fart. Other than that, her mets were good and she was sound and cleared to start the weekend.
I rode the ride Saturday by myself. I wanted it to just be Summer and I since she does have some buddy issues. Plus her BFF Amira was there and that didn't make it any easier on her. I think she moved out so fast on Saturday because Open and Novice/CP used the same trails. The only difference is, Open timed out first and went at a faster pace. Tracey timed out at the head of the Open pack. I timed out mid to back of the pack in Novice/CP. But I know Summer could smell Amira and that is why she moved so fast. It wasn't bad or uncomfortable, just a quick 5.5 to 6 mph TWH, head noddin' walk. I was real proud of her for that. No pacing, no trying to canter, just that lovely walk. She did good on her metabolics Saturday, her P&R's were good and I thought she executed her obstacles to my liking. I only lost a half a point at the mount because my reins were uneven. Summer stood stock solid for me to mount. I didn't think about my reins being uneven. Summer lost a half a point at the "downed fence" obstacle because her last hoof to go over the fake fence, drug the fence about 4 inches. Oh well. What it was, was this...they used a yellow rope to simulate a downed barbed wire fence. You had to dismount, stand on the fence, get your horse to cross the fence with all four feet while you stood on it. Once that was complete, you had to remount. You had a minute and a half. We did it in probably 30seconds or less. I thought it was a wonderful obstacle. Due to the fact that it really happened to Tracey and I about a week prior at our barn, with 3 strands of real barbed wire. And it was Summer and I that it happened to. It was a team effort by Tracey and I to get Summer clear of it though because of all the mesquite trees around us with those big ol' thorns. Anyhoot... the other Saturday obstacle for Shirley was follow directions, stay to the left of some ribbons and go up a hill. Summer tried to rush it and I pulled her back, said walk in firm voice and she listened. I got a good and didn't loose any points because she listened.
Sunday morning ride out was a bit different. First, we did a trot by for soundness and control. I lost a half point because Summer decided she wanted to show the judges just how many gaits she really had. Silly horse! I thought it was funny, oh well. LOL When we timed out, we had to walk and you could already see an obstacle waiting for us. It was a trot through the brush and when you rounded corner, they had laid some wood in the trail for you to trot over. Or whatever gait your horse does. As for me, it was rack over. There were 4 pieces of wood, Summer's back foot hit one piece and she was dinged a half a point. But again, I was proud of her as I have never asked her to do that before. I guess we need to practice that at the barn.
The other Sunday's obstacles were approach a log, stop at it, not over it, and side pass down the side of it, go down a hill and then up the other side. Now, that would have been a breeze but...during the day, we had started riding with Candy and her TWH, Tuck and Linda and her TWH, Blue. They did the obstacle first and Summer saw her "herd" leave her. Now, she didn't throw a fit, but she didn't know what the purpose of side passing down that log was. Why can't we just walk over it and get to Tuck and Blue faster. She did do the obstacle as requested, but she paused half way through and looked at the boys and it was like she was thinking, "why am I doing this?" But I urged her on and she completed it. But, because she hesitated, she lost another half a point. She did the up/down hill part like a champ tho and didn't rush it.
The last obstacle on Sunday was pretty good. But I lost a half a point on it because once again, Summer didn't see the point in the obstacle because Tuck and Blue had already done it and they were on the other side of the pond waiting on her. It was cross the pond and walk to Mary. Once to Mary, you had to stop at a ribbon, then back your horse down the small hill as if fixing to back into the water and you had to stop with your horses front feet even with the ribbons at the waters edge. Would have been a piece of cake if not for those two hunky TWH geldings waiting for her on the other side. LOL But really, she did it great, I only lost half a point because she backed a little crooked going back to the water, other than that, it was great.
Once back at camp, we cooled down, got us a bite to eat and a drink. I let her eat and rest a bit before checking out with the vet. Now, Summer had perfect metabolics all weekend and I was crushed when she lost a point for gut sounds at check out. But after I thought about it, it was a hot, dusty, dry, windy weekend and she did great for me. 10 horses pulled from this ride for one reason or another, but she finished strong. However, at check out I am glad she listened to me during the trot out and lunging part, I forgot my lunge line and had to use my lead rope. Had she acted like her usual goofy self, don't know if I could have held the rope. LOL
At any rate. I went to have a good time, and I did. I didn't go there thinking, "what place will Summer and I end up?" Patti (Open LW rider) asked me to get her cards and awards if any. Leslie (someone I just met and who was in my division, Novice HW) also asked of me the same thing. So this weekend, if it makes any sense, I felt real comfortable and happy, not anxious at all. So they called Leslie for 4th place HMS, I went up to get her award, then Elaine told me not to sit down as they called my name for third. I was real happy with myself. I took the weekend in stride and got a bonus at the end. So I guess you would know that I was real happy when they called Summer for second place horse. Once again, being beaten by a horse trainer! LOL There were 15 horses started in my class. So again, I was real proud of her and was happy to take home that "icing on the cake."
Thanks for reading and sharing my joy...
Tammy in TX