No, I didn’t win obviously or it wouldn’t have taken me so long to get back to the computer to tell you, my faithful crew… it was fun but I didn’t even place. Wow. That was a lot more than a trail ride. Of course I knew it would be but I was thinking that Minnow and I would do so much better.
So the first obstacle was a controlled stop. We had to start from a stand still at a flag, go into the lope on either lead and then stop about 30 feet away at another flag. Minnow was watching the horse that had already gone through this obstacle, leave to go to obstacle # 2 and all he could think about was catching up to them. When I asked him to stop, he threw on the brakes but he also threw his head up out of protest, which looked ridiculous, kind of like a giraffe looking for leaves in a tall tree. It was messy.
So the next one, I asked the rider in front of me if she would wait for us, so Minnow wouldn’t have the separation anxiety. Obstacle #2 was an “L” back-through. He had to back through two telephone poles laid about 4 feet apart that were in the shape of an “L”. We got a perfect score. I say we, because the rider and the horse are scored separately. We practice backing a lot at the ranch.
On to obstacle #3, which was a steep downhill. We slid a bit but I think we did alright. It was very steep and rocky.
Obstacle#4 was the uphill climb which was also very steep and required him to be very careful not to slip on the slick rocks with his shoes on. He did great but the judge said I stood up in the saddle too much. I can lean forward but need to stay seated.
# 5 was a sidepass over a log. I got a perfect score while he got one point off for a front leg crossing behind the other. If we side pass to the left, his right front needs to be crossing over in front of his left. Oh well….
It was #6 that we just blew it. The cavalettis were spaced for a trot and he nicked a couple of them and was not very smooth. That was the obstacle that knocked us out of the running.
We did make a new friend, though. Donna from San Antonio on her pinto saddlebred, was our trail buddy and they were really great to ride and visit with between obstacles. I had such a good time, in fact, that I will be going to at least one competition a month to get ready for an audition for a competition that will be televised on a horse riding channel that is on cable. It is called, America’s Favorite Trail Horse and my audition is in March over in Comanche, Texas. I hope i haven’t bitten off more than I can chew…as they say…
More on that later.