Monday, November 16, 2009

What a first "cart accident", my first trophy halter and a guardian angel.

What can I say? I have a lot of "thank yous" for this blog, but my first thank you goes to God. You will read more about what happened later. But first...
Well, I have been getting my cart and harness ready for the first ever Driving Trail Challenge on Sunday, November 15th, hosted by Candy Bradford and Kate Love.

Thursday, while at work, I wondered what time ride out would be for the TTC to be held on Saturday, November 14th. I thought that if it wasn't too early that I could make that drive in the wee morning hours and do that too! So, Tracey texted Kate and found the ride out wasn't until 10:30! I could do that! So I called Kate and told her to hold me a spot.
Friday night Summer and I went to the sorting arena and just practiced. I didn't even stay for the entire two hours. I was exhausted. I also told my friends that I was just too tired to jackpot and besides, I was leaving at 6am to head to C-bar for the weekend. They were a little bummed but understood. Heck, I was a little bummed, but I was just SO tired, I just didn't think I would do anyone any justice by jackpotting that night anyway. Even though I was very pleased with our practice runs. These were some HUGE calves. They were the biggest Summer and I have ever worked and I was real pleased with her performance.
I awoke Saturday morning and got to the barn at 5:30am as I had a several horse and ponies to feed. Barb, June and Paula were at a CDE in Navasota and Tracey was already at C-Bar. So I got everyone fed and loaded Summer up. She looked at me like I was nuts, but was a good girl and hopped in.
We got there at about 8am. Got settled in and I went and checked in. Trot out at 10am. Your horse was tacked up but you did the trot out in hand. There was a question prior to the trot out by Linda Courts. Mine was, where is the croup? So, stupid me, points to under the dock of the tail to where a crupper lies. Duh! What a Homer Simpson moment! LOL Once Tracey got done trotting Amira, I asked her, let me know if I am wrong when I point to the croup. So I pointed at it and Tracey said, "yes, that's it". LOL, I was just thinking crupper instead of croup. Oh well, brain fart.
The ride went pretty good. One thing I am noticing with Summer, even if her "buddy" is in front and does the obstacle first, she still does the obstacle quite well herself when it is her turn. I still like to leap frog obstacles as I don't want her to always have to do them after her trail partners, but she keeps her head for me. And I also must remember to stay out of her mouth. She just walks so darn fast that I just can't keep doing this. I am just going to have to ride out in front of the pack. She has that 4.5 to 5 mph walk and I can't keep staying in her mouth to slow her down from something she was born to do. So game plans are going to have to change for us. I think it stresses her when I try to keep her at a 4mph walk. I know it stresses me cause I feel horrible for holding her back when she isn't being bad.
The obstacles were technical and I LOVED that! But once again, Tammy read too much into an obstacle instruction and lost 1.5 points at the mount obstacle. Complete horsemen error, NO error on the horses part, she was just trying to do what momma was asking, even tho momma was asking it ALL wrong! LOL But the rest of the day went very well. Too many obstacles to go over, but I loved them all. But I have to tell you about one. It was the last mounted obstacle. Candy had a timed obstacle. It was, once you go between the flags, your time starts. Go to a tree, get a clipped ribbon, go over cavalettes(sp?), do a bow tie figure around some cones, come back, clip the ribbon back on the tree and go back between the flags. Summer kicked butt there. She was hauling some TWH butt! LOL When we were done, one competitor asked me if I did speed events with her, I told her we did team sorting and she said she wondered where the speed came from. LOL I took that as a compliment. And we got a perfect 10!
Awards were very cool! Kate makes BEAUTIFUL hand made lamp shades. And each placing got a lamp shade. The higher the placing the bigger the lamp shade. I looked at them longingly as I have always wanted to win a Kate Love lamp shade. When awards started, and they got to our division, they started at 6th and went up. As any awards do. I about fell out when they called me and Summer for first place!!!!!! I finally have a huge KL lamp shade!!!! It is SO gorgeous! Here is pic:

It is bigger than it looks in the picture. It is almost taking up one whole cushion of my love seat. I have a floor lamp that it is going to go on.

Tracey and Amira came in 2nd and Amy and her new boy Knox came in 3rd! What was cool was, we rode the whole trail together and came in 1st, 2nd and 3rd. LOL

There were 45 riders at the TTC with 7 different classes. So you know Kate worked her caboose off making all those lamp shades for all those placings. Thank you Kate!!!!

After the placing, Candy walked out with 2 trophy halters. A red one for reserve high point and a blue for high point. We were all joking about them and how bad folks wanted them and to give Kate a credit card if you wanted one bad enough. Okay, I know it doesn't sound funny now, but it was funny then. LOL Well, when they said my name for the reserve I almost cried. I put my hands over my mouth and just sat there for a second. I sucked that stray tear back into my tear duct and got up to get Summer's first ever trophy halter from Candy. I was just overjoyed! Once again, my girl did me proud.

And here is Summer's halter. The picture looks orange, but it is red. *
I am so proud of this, I don't know if Summer will get to wear it or if it goes on her wall of fame at home! LOL
Sunday was the first ever, Driving Trail Challenge. Saturday evening, Tracey and Jim Edmondson helped me unload my cart and put it back together. Now, to let you know, my cart had pneumatic wheels. I noticed during the TTC that the trails were pretty rough in some places. And Sunday morning, Rea, a driving friend of mine that came in the AM, told me that pneumatic wheels don't hold up too well on this kind of terrain. And she was right! Read on...
Let's back up to several days before the drive. I had been bugging Tracey to be my navigator. I don't know why, but something was nagging me to have a navigator for safety reasons. As of Sunday, I realized it was the voice of reason/the whisper of God telling me, I REALLY needed a navigator. Paula was my navigator for this DTC. Tracey went and worked with the judge, Linda Courts, on her driving obstacle. I had all my safety gear with me. Spares kit, whip, map, lead rope. Summer had her driving halter over her bridle. We were set. The first two miles went GREAT! Summer was a little antsy when we had to stand still. She must have had a bug up her butt or something, but she just wouldn't settle when we had to wait at some points. There were a couple of areas where we had to wait and she was good, but she was full of herself yesterday. There was a cones course that we FLEW through and that was FUN! There was a bow-tie obstacle that, due to pilot error and not listening to my co-pilot(Paula), I missed completing the bow-tie.

The obstacle that Summer was most antsy at was the water crossing. It was VERY muddy and boggy, but that isn't what was making her antsy, she is plenty used to water and mud. We caught up to the three other horses that were in our class. Oops. The reason, the first QH had to be whipped to cross the water. Now don't get me wrong, she didn't flog the poor beast to death, but she was DEMANDING he cross the obstacle. The second QH was hand walked by the driver because he was refusing to cross it and the mule driver refused the obstacle. I think Summer got so antsy was the pure fact she could hear the horse getting the whip and she was just like, "GET OUT OF MY WAY AND LET ME SHOW YOU HOW IT'S DONE!" When it was our turn I told Paula to hang on. Summer plowed through that water like a tank. LOL We got wet and muddy but it was so much fun! And we got a perfect 10!

Once we completed our first loop, we got back into camp to time out for our second loop. The two QH drivers were going to allow me to go out first since Summer is so fast and we knew the trail. We were started out on the road which is VERY rocky and rutty, at a nice little clip. I was trying to be aware of our terrain and trying to avoid the ruts. I saw one coming on my side and before Summer veered to the left, we hit it. I had the momentary feeling like Summer was now dragging the cart instead of pulling it. When I looked down, the entire wheel on my side was underneath us. I quickly pulled Summer up and stopped her. Paula jumped out and grabbed her halter. When my wheel collapsed, Paula's wheel collapsed due to being the only supporting wheel. But Summer was wonderful. She never lost her cool. She just keep trying to pull us and not trying to run from the horrible noise of the cart's wheels being drug on rock. Both the wheels were lying on their sides under the cart on the rocks. So it was a horrid noise. But she just kept trying to truck on. We unhooked her and drug the cart off the road.

Needless to say, I was bummed. But, looking for the blessing, I found these: I got the navigator I knew I needed, and a professional navigator at that. We broke down right next to camp instead of out in the middle of no where. And Summer didn't loose it when the wheels were torn to shreds. I definitely had a guardian angel by my side on this day.

I was told by more that one person, that Summer would have had first place had the cart not broke. Don't know if that would have happened, but she was out there whipping butt and taking names. But you know, that is okay that I didn't get to finish the trail. What she did do, she did with my extreme approval. And when she messed up, (except for not settling in some areas), she messed up due to pilot error. And the best win was her not exploding when the wheels fell apart. That was a 3 way win. One each for Paula, Summer and me. Here are a pic of the tires. They are in the trunk of my car so my hubby and daughter could see them. Wish I had gotten one while they were on the cart. But you can see how badly they were damaged.

Guess what I get for Christmas? New, solid metal wheels! YIPPY!
Now for the continuation of my thank yous. To Candy and Kate for one heck of a weekend! To the judges for the fun and challenging obstacles and the friendly smiles each of you had. To the volunteers for all that you did. To Paula for keeping your cool during an emergency situation. To Kim W. for helping me bring my cart back to camp with your truck. To Jim, Kim and Cheryl for some outstanding photography! To Alanna for some awesome stew! And to Tracey for being my tail lights all the way back to the barn from the ranch when I lost the light plug on my trailer.
Thanks for reading...


txtrigger said...

Ah, now you have first hand experiance as to why many events and CDE's do not allow wire wheels. lol Glad it did not turn out worse, and that your girl is so steady! Congrads on a great weekend for you

Tracey said...

I see you figured out the blog backgrounds from cutest blog on the block. I love them as the backgrounds that provides are so BORING and I like to keep mine looking FRESH.

Love this background! I'll be changing to a Christmas theme sooner or later I guess.