Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Well...where do I begin?

I guess at the beginning. Makes since I suppose.

Sounds like the start of an old western novel don't it? LOL

I haven't blogged in over 2 months. Not for the lack of wanting to, but I started a new job within my old one here at the county and have just been real busy. And on weekends, just busy there too.

All my equines are doing pretty good. At least they aren't complaining. Course, they might if they could speak "human" I suppose. : P

Guess I will just skip all that and talk about my last minute entry into The Galloping Goblins Texas Trail Challenge this past weekend (Saturday October 30th).

It was like this...I'm going, no I'm not, I'm going, no I'm not, I'm going, no I'm not....I could go on but I am sure you get the gist of it.

Well, I ended up going down there early that Saturday morning. Now, it isn't a far drive at all, about 68 miles or so one way. And it was a nice quiet drive for me. When I got there it was still dark. But the neat story of that was right before I turned into the ranch's driveway off of CR 172, about a 1/4 mile before the driveway, I noticed something running down the middle of the road about 100 yards ahead of me. I thought to myself it was a buck as I could see what I thought was antlers. But the closer I got the more I realized it wasn't a buck, but a huge mountain goat with a very large set horns. So I will honor him by calling him a Ram. Huge! And he ran that entire time down the middle of the road with me behind him. And just as the road curved right and my turn was on the left is when he finally jumped off into a wooded area. I thought it was pretty cool for God to send me an escort.

Once the sun came out, the office opened for check ins. I went in and this day decided I would step out of my comfort zone. My comfort zone would be anything novice in NATRC or intermediate in the TTC world. The intermediate class in a TTC is called Maverick. So this day I decided to step it up a notch and do the advanced class which is called Horseman. There is Adult class and Senior class. These are the hardest obstacles in the TTC competitions. I told the gentleman checking us in that I would do it for "poops and giggles" and whatever we bombed on I could go home and practice. And that is really what I said.

It was about 10am or so when the show got on the road. Here were our 14 obstacles and 1 extra credit:

**Mount your horse, but your left arm is broken. My first thought, "well, here is our first obstacle to practice at home". LOL But we did it with flying colors. Summer stood like a statue and didn't move until asked. Which is what she is supposed to do, but sometimes she forgets.

**Back threw an "L". We do this all the time at home so it was no biggy for her. Course I say that now and she'll blow the next time we are asked to do it. LOL

**Show the judge your hoof pick. After that, she handed you a magazine. Side pass to the mailbox, place the magazine in the mailbox, side pass away from mailbox. Another one we do all the time at our place.

**A steep down hill with judge watching.

**Approach the judge, a slicker is handed to you on the near side. Take the slicker to a large boulder, and pull the slicker over your horse and place in on the boulder from the off side.

**Emergency stop.

**Side pass thru a mud bog.

**Ride thru a pond. Half way thru, turn your horse 180* and finish by backing out of the pond.

**Approach a judge sitting in a wheel chair. She rolls up to you and hands you a creepy looking Halloween hand with streamers hanging off of it. You are to take the hand from one side, pull it across your horses neck, to the other side, take a horse treat out of it and give it back to the judge. Summer tried to stick her nose into the hand. No fear with that obstacle. I guess her stomach is stronger than her right brain. LOL

**Cowboy carwash. Back thru it.

**Gate with wood debri all over the place and several strands of surveyor tape tied to the gate and the wind was blowing. We had to dismount, open the gate and back your horse thru the gate and remount.

**A wooden bridge. We had to stop in the middle of the bridge and answer a question.

**Pulse check. The judge was looking to see if your horse would stand quietly while you either did this or learned how to do it.

**Trailer loading and unloading.

**And the extra credit was a side pass obstacle which Summer got a Good on and an extra 6 points as she bumped one of the logs and it fell. But she didn't kill the obstacle like a few others did.

I felt that we did have a good ride, and decided to enforce what my very first instructor told me 20 years ago. "As long as you are pleased with you and your horse's performance, then that is all that matters. If you win, then that is just icing on the cake." And I was very pleased with our performance. I couldn't have been more pleased, especially when awards came and Summer and I took first in our class, Adult Horseman. When I got her card she either got a perfect score or an almost perfect score. But more perfects than almosts. (Can you hear the pride in my typing?)

Once again, that sweet but tough mare of mine showed me what she was made of. True grit, but with lots of "pretty" on the side. ; )

Thanks for reading.


Wolfie said...

Congratulations and welcome back. :-) BTW, that mountain goat running down the highway was very cool.

Lloyd said...

I really enjoyed reading the posts on your blog. I would like to invite you to come on over to my blog and check it out. God's blessings. Lloyd