Friday, September 30, 2011

September 2011 SWTPA

This was a good day for Shelby and I. Once again, I tried out what penning skills I may or may not have and I was very happy with the end results.

I knew I was going to do one run in the 6 penning, which is for novices only. However, right before the 10 pen was to start, they needed 3 novice folks to round out the class. (the 10 class is for Pro/Am and novice) They asked me a couple of times and I said no. This class is for much better riders/competitors than I. Well, they kept calling out that they needed 1 more novice rider. I looked at Anthony and said I just wasn't good enough for that class. He then told me I was and I should do it. So I did. I drew up with 2 guys and then learned that one of them was well known across the states as one of the best penners there is. WOW! Now I was nervous! I told Anthony who I drew up with and he told me how to ride with him. DK also gave me some etiquette advice on how to act when running with folks of this caliber. That way, they learn to respect you as someone trying to learn if you respect their talents/abilities. I was totally okay with all the advice I was getting. So when it was our turn, I told them that this was only my second time and said what DK told me to say. Both guys were very nice and very helpful. Mr. Lesh then told me how he wanted me on the flank of his horse and how he wanted me to work and it was spot on what Anthony had already told me. Well, we got all 3 head on our first go! It was wicked awesome!!! There were like 25 teams in this class. On our second go we only got 1, but that is okay, I still had a blast. I think we got like 5th place. So I ain't complaining!

In the 6 penning, I drew up with Jason, who boards his horses at James' and we have sorted together before, so I knew he was a strong rider. And I drew with Sid again, just like last month. There were 18 teams in this class. We knew to qualify for the short go we needed 2 head, so that is what we did. On the short go we got 1 head and 3rd place. Once again, not complaining! I can't believe that I have only penned 3 times ever and have placed all 3 times. I am starting to think that maybe penning is my true calling and not sorting.

I sorted 5 times and did not have one short go. Not all the busts were my fault, but I'm just not doing very well right now in sorting. Robin used to talk about that "wall" you run into, I think I am not only running into it, but slamming into it head on! LOL

I am not giving up on sorting, but maybe I need to take a step back, re-group and quit over thinking it. I really do think that I am way over thinking it.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Summer's weekend to shine!

Well, this past weekend, it was all about Summer. She got back to her roots as a safety horse for the R4 NATRC Benefit ride. Besides being in season, so a bit spooky on trail, she was awesome!

Friday evening, Ronald and I made plans that he would ride Open on Saturday and I would ride Novice/CP and then Sunday we would switch. Saturday I rode with Annette Thurlow and Kristen Fisher, and Ronald rode with Donna DeYoung. Donna is an endurance rider so rode Open on both days. On Sunday, Ronald rode Novice/CP with Patsy Davis.

So I guess what I am saying is, as Safety Chair for this ride, I had a real good and capable group of safety riders.

Right out of camp on Saturday, Summer and I went after a loose horse. Once the horse ran past us, off we went. No, we do not chase, simple watch where the horse goes then try to quietly go to it to catch it. The horse stopped shortly after passing us, Summer approached it and the horse let me unlatch one side of it's reins and pony it back to the rider. That was our only excitement for the weekend, so it was a good weekend.

After a mile or so out of camp, a rider was dismounted and asked if I would hold her stirrup so she could re-mount. I dismounted Summer and told her to stand. As I walked away, Summer lowered her head to take a bite of grass. I made my "no-no" noise and her head popped back up and she just stood there while I helped the rider mount her horse. Kristen told me later she and Annette were impressed with Summer's actions while I did this. I am so happy I taught her to ground tie.

Due to no one getting hurt or not having to go after a lost rider, it felt like a pleasure/conditioning ride. Summer had to do more moving out than usual on Sunday. Since I have taught her to trot under saddle, I bet we trotted almost 10 miles on Sunday. And stupid me forgot to raise my stirrups so she ended up with a sore left loin. I must raise those things one more notch.

Okay, now why did I teach my gaited horse to trot? Because it is good for strengthening the muscles in their backs, plus it makes me exercise my legs muscles while posting. Cause there is no way to sit a TWH's trot. It is like a jack hammer. But she does know the difference in what I am asking her. We did do some racking, running walk, step pacing and some cantering on Sunday. So she used just about every muscle she had as well.

Anyway, the trails were beautiful, the weather was gorgeous and getting to visit folks I haven't seen since the Christmas ride was awesome. That is why I love riding safety, I get to ride my horse and visit with friends, but there is no pressure of the competition.

What a great weekend!

TTFN and thanks for reading!