Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Sorting jackpot win for Summer!!!!

I just don't think I can truly express my excitement over another jackpot win with Summer. Just thinking about the events of this past Friday night, I get that excited feeling in my chest.

This was my forth time since I have been ranch sorting (about 3 months now) that I have competed in the beginners jackpot. So few times, that I can actually still remember each one. LOL The first was with Cynthia and Robin...bust and bust. The second was with Cynthia and Robin...1st place win with Cynthia, with my girl Summer. The third was with Connie and Robin...2nd place win with Connie, with me on Lark N Lena. And this past Friday with Connie and Robin and another 1st place for me with Connie, with me on my girl again.

Friday I took a vacation day and Tracey and I hung around for most of the day. Going to Horseman's Supply and Teskeys. Bought a little of this and that. Had a really nice day.

We got back to the barn and rode a couple of miles around the barnyard before I had to load up and go to the arena. I think that was good for Summer. She had been out of her stall all day in a grassy turnout and then I had a chance to warm up her muscles before taking her to Roy's. Got to Roy's (the arena), tacked her up again and warmed her up some more.

She was really on, she was really good for me during practice.

As the evening crept in, the temps started to drop pretty good. You could see the steam coming off the horses rumps. About 30 minutes before practice was over, I tied her to the trailer with a bag of hay. I went back inside and just visited with some folks and watched the rest of the practice session. At about 9:15, the Pro-Am jackpot started. I watched the qualifying/first round of the jackpot. That took about 35 minutes...maybe. I didn't watch the second round as I knew I needed to go get Summer and slowly warm her muscles back up. It had gotten down right nippy. I was wearing a sweat shirt, and light jacket and gloves, pretty chilly out. I walked Summer quite a bit in the warm up arena and then gaited her. Got her good and ready for our jackpot runs. Most everyone else runs 3 to 5 runs. My finances (after buying, feed, hay, shavings, stall rent, etc...) only allows for me to run the minimum of 2 runs. (Beginners have to run a minimum of 2 times) Anyway, There were a total of 11 teams. Being the nervous nelly I can be (aren't we all that compete in anything?), I just continued to ride Summer around at a walk to keep her muscles and such warmed up. I didn't want to watch and see what we had to beat. LOL Of course, I couldn't help but look over when a team was running. Most qualified for the second round. Robin and I busted on the first round and I think another team busted. But my other partner, Connie, and I qualified with 3 head. However, Connie and this new guy qualified with 4 head. That made me a little more nervous. I sure did want to win. But don't we all want to win at whatever we are competing at? Isn't that the point? LOL Anyway...I couldn't help but watch the second round while keeping Summer warmed up. (Did I say it got down right cold? LOL) I watched as Robin and a male team mate finish with a total of 6 head. She was happy. But Connie and her male team mate finished with a total of 7. All I was thinking (and I always tell myself), "slow and diliberate, slow... and diliberate." I have learned, going in as a beginner, don't go in with guns a blazin'. That's okay if you have been doin' this awhile, but not good for a beginner to do. You will end up busting. Well, Connie and I got 4 for a total of 7! I threw my left fist in the air and then laid on Summer's neck and gave her a good pat and hug. I was just happy we finished with 7 and no bust. Then the announcer gave us our time, our head count and stated that we were sitting in first!!!!! OMG! She and I gaited like champs out of that sorting pen. I was so happy! However, there were still 2 other teams to go. I couldn't watch. I just kept riding Summer to help her muscles cool down slowly after that fast exersion with the calves. Once again, couldn't help but watch as I rode. (I know...I'm bad) Both of those teams busted. Then Reedy (the announcer) tallied the placings and I heard that Connie and I had won! Connie and her male team mate came in 2nd.

I didn't cry this time. I was just over excited!

But to be honest...I didn't think this would happen again. So why did I compete her again? Hmmmmm? Maybe, deep down...I knew it would happen again. Maybe I have more confidence in Summer than I even know I have. Maybe only Summer knows how much confidence I really have in her and she just sets out so show me everytime I get on her back. Kinda like, "Let me show you what I can do today mom!"

Thank you for reading...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trinity Trails ride with friends....

Well, I didn't realize how long ago this had been, but here it goes.

Saturday, September 20th, Tracey and I went to the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth. I have driven Summer on those trails, but never ridden them. It was quite nice and not muddy like every other place there was to ride.
We met Cythia and Emily there and a couple of other boarders (Sarah and John) from our barn came with us. The weather was gorgeous and it is kinda cool riding near the city. Don't have much to write about as it was a month ago today, but have lots of pics. Here you go:

*************************The city of Fort Worth to the right.
**************Summer's ears and Fort Worth...what a combination!

Fixing to ride under a train trussle, that is Cyn and Em in front of us.

*****************A metal recycle facility...pretty huh? LOL

******************************The Trinity River

**************************Under University St bridge

Very pretty trails through here. There was a large cemetery on the left. And the horses were a little spooky as there were people there that they could hear but not see. LOL

The pedestrian bridge we had to cross. It was little creepy for me but the horses took it in stride. It is used for runners, walkers, bicyclist and of course us.

******Cyn, Em, Sarah and John in the lead to cross the pedi bridge.

Here we go. Actually, this was the fourth time to cross such a bridge. We crossed this one going out and then crossed another one a short time later. We crossed the other one coming back and this one again going back to our trail head. I took pictures this time as I knew Summer didn't care about crossing them. I wasn't sure what her reactions were going to be the first couple of times and didn't want to take a chance dropping my camera if she boogered at something.

***************On the pedi bridge looking to the right.

***********************Trinity River looking towards Main St. bridge

Summer and I after the Main St. bridge with the Tarrant County court house and the Tandy towers in the back ground.

Crossing the wooden Davis Bridge. I drove across this when we drove our carts and buggies out here. My most favorite driving picture of Summer is her crossing this bridge while hitched to a cart.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Another weekend of sorting...what a blast!

Well, Summer and I met Robin and Taz at Roy's Friday night. I tell you, those calves were rank and the horses were "up"! I am guessing it was the weather.

Well, I decided to go ahead and run the beginner jackpot with Robin and Connie. But Summer was extra nervous and I was starting to feel bad about agreeing to run with them. I am sure it was because the calves were so "up" as she was good the previous Friday. But I was afraid that Summer might get too nervous and blow it. I would have felt like I had wasted their money. About 8:20pm, Robin and I were near the front of the right pen. James was riding by on one of his horses and I hollered out to him that I was ready to ride one of his horses. (Back up to the previous Friday. He offered for me to ride one of his finished horses in the jackpot. I just didn't feel right about it, but was very honored that he would entrust me on one of his horses. I did tell him I would like to ride one during practice sometime and he said, "okay".)

James was on a big bay when I said I was ready. He told me to do my run and come to the warm up arena to get to know the horse. After our run, I went and tied Summer to the trailer and met James in the arena. The horse was a clients horse and was for sale. Well of course he was! LOL But I felt honored once again, that he entrusted my riding abilities to ride a horse of this caliber and it also being a clients horse. But I guess you have to test drive the Corvette before you buy it! LOL

OMG! Could this horse move or what! I know I am a big girl, but thank God I have a pretty good seat and have taken riding lessons. This horse was so sensitive to everything I asked of it. And boy could he spin! He and I worked together for about 10 minutes and then James and I got in line to practice. It was just a rush! I love my Summer and am VERY proud of what she is capable of for not being a cow horse, but this horse was just awesome! Then again, he was trained as a cutting horse. (The horses name is Lark N Lena)

After our practice, I asked James if he was using Larkn in the jackpot. He wasn't. He was riding his blk/wht paint mare. So I asked if I could ride him in the jackpot. And he let me! There were 11 teams. Robin and Connie got 1st with 4 head and Connie and I got 2nd with 4 head. Robin and Connie received a little bit faster time. But with 11 teams competing, 2nd place received a cash prize as well! WOOHOO! LOL

James invited me to his place on a dry day to ride Larkn. Well, Robin and her hubby keep their horses at James', so I asked Robin what day she was going to ride. She said she was riding the next morning (Saturday). So I met Robin on Saturday morn at 9am. I thought we were just going to ride around in the arena and the pasture. But no, James had other plans for us.

James met us at the barn and we all saddled up and went out to the pasture and brought about 10 head of calves in. We got them in the pens and James cut one from the herd and put the other 9 in the opposite pen. He told me he wanted me to see what Larkn could actually do! OMG, I was going to get to cut! He gave me some instructions and boy did I have a blast! I have never rode a horse that could turn on a dime and give 9 cents in return! LOL James was using lingo I wasn't used to. Like how Larkn "rated" a cow. I kind of understood what that meant, but asked my friend at work who used to ride cutting horses. Now I understand completely.

I almost came off the first time Larkn moved from left to right as he was "rating" the calf. But I didn't, it was a good save. LOL James told me to be more relaxed and just let my body move with the horse. After a bit, it became easier. Once I saw what Larkn could do, we started sorting. We sorted for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It was so much fun. I wish I had brought Summer. It was a more relaxed atmosphere and the calves weren't near as rank as the ones on Friday. Once we were done, he had me cut one from the herd and play with it on the back wall. Once that one finally got away he made me cut one more and play with it for a minute. That was just so cool. As long as he has this horse, I am hopeful he will let me ride it, but if I can find the money, I want Larkn to be Summer's baby brother (as he is a year younger). LOL Besides his abilities, he had such a sweet personality.

Yes, I know what James was doing. I'm not stupid. Get me to fall in love so I would buy him. Well, he did it. Now I have to play the lotto, find a buried treasure, sell a kidney or something to get this cool animal.

And I was reminded that I say Summer is my do it all horse. Well, she is. She is fine for the kind of sorting we do at Roy's. But if I want to really advance and up my playing level in sorting, then I will need the caliber of horse that Larkn already is.

Oh, and nobody tell me to sell Summer to get Larkn. Cause that ain't happening.