Last weekend my friend from work and I packed our horses up in her spiffy new LQ trailer and drove over to Payson (about 2 1/2 hrs with trailer) for a competitive trail ride with ACTHA. (Horse and Rider did an article on them recently, which got me interested.
We got there friday afternoon, and the ride was Saturday morning. So we went for a ride Friday... we were on this huge ranch and it was very pretty... unfortunately my camera is broken so I didn't get any pics... and Lic was being a fool anyway so I wouldn't have had use of a free hand anyway... LOL.
Lots of people were riding so Lic would stop and stare every time she saw more people on horseback. No matter how many times I explained it to her, she still thought they were gonna eat her. At one point, there was sort of a round area and my friend was trotting her mare, who was being lazy... Lic trotted circles around them, which was good to burn off some energy. Then my friend wanted to sidepass her mare, so I sidepassed Lic... she sidepassed to the right just fine, but apparently she had crossed some wires in her brain that made her believe my cue for "sidepass to the left" really meant "throw a hissy fit and rear." Mares. The left is her "bad" way to sidepass anyway, but usually at home she just shakes her head a bit. Finally got her to take a few steps over and left it there. We also managed to spook at a cattle guard, and when we got to the river, I got her to go in, whereupon she suddenly realized she was in water and blew up, spooking her way out of it... I made her go back in but the mud was kind of deep and sucky which also freaked her out, so I left it alone. But this time it was going on 6pm so we headed back to camp.
It was Lic's first time on a tie-line and I was worried a bit about her and my friend's mare, especially since she is a bay paint and Lic notoriously hates anything spotted... but they actually got along together quite well. By the end of the weekend they were inseparable friends.
The next morning, before the ride I took Lic over to a field and lunged her for like 20 mins, and then got on and loped her both ways for another 20 min or so. I was the only asshole with a sweaty horse when we started, but she was still acting a fool! She kept spooking at a tent, wouldn't hold still and kept goofing off and getting in other horses' space... I ended up having to circle her for like 15 minutes waiting our turn for the first obstacle. My friend then did the obstacle first and Lic was so upset that she had to wait her turn and not just follow her friend that she threw a full-blown mare hissy fit... trying to bolt after the other mare, spinning, stomping, rearing... it was literally all I could do to keep her under control, and barely, at that... by under control I mean we didn't just bolt into the obstacle.
The first two obstacles, BTW, involved sidepassing both ways... I was like "Oh, great. Because sidepassing went so well last night!" Amazingly enough, she aced the first obstacle... the second one was a bust. Her friend went first again... We had to sidepass through cones. We got halfway through, and Lic reared straight up... it was a pretty impressive rear. She was just so wired she couldn't listen or deal with the excitement.
We continued to ride for a while without any more obstacles... everything was okay until we came to the river again... this time it was a rocky river bed with just a stream of water running through it. Lic decided it would be so much easier to jump the stream several times, but finally there was no choice for her but to go through, as the river literally was the trail for a while. She finally put a foot in, and lowered her head to sniff... which I hate because I have to give her her head to figure it out, but it means I have to reel in my reins if she blows up... but that fear was for nothing, she started pawing at the water and realized that rather than eating her, water would be great to splash around and play in. It was our big accomplishment of the weekend.
The rest of the ride went about how I expected... Lic settled in, but she was still a bit hot- we had a few rodeo moments when she would spook at one thing or another, but no major disasters. She was definitely trying to play catch up, and would have trotted to the front if I had let her, so loose reins were out of the question. She wasn't the only one though, there were a lot of hot and excited horses. We completed the water crossing, the log step-over, and the log-jump... which was really a step-over because I am terrified to jump her... we have been working over teeny-tiny raised poles at my trainers, like 18"... trainer can get her to jump, I just trot them. I am too scared she will do something dumb while I'm off balance and throw me. We flunked the gate obstacle- we were able to open it and get through, but not close it, so we got zero's for not completing... I think we should have gotten partial points though, because some people couldn't even open it, but oh well, no big deal.
At the end of the day, we took 38th out of 45 riders. I was thrilled- we weren't last place!!! LMAO! And I finished, and didn't get dumped, which is an automatic DQ. We are doing one in Dewey in June, I am only hoping the wind will cooperate, it was very calm and pleasant in Payson.
And on a totally different note, I won 2 two-day passes for Clinton Anderson's tour, in Vegas June 12-13th...I cant use them, if anyone is interested, I'm trying to sell at half-price... the passes are $40 each, I will sell both for $40 OBO, or possible trade for ???
Service Dog People
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