~No one can tell me what is best for me;
only I know that.~
~Laura Benchly 1900~
Thursday mornin' comes all too early...My Man brings me coffee at 4 AM...in bed...what a Man!!! I get my butt in gear and head to the barn to feed, clean stalls, and brush the horses while they eat. Then it's feed the dogs, feed myself, make the bed and back to the barn to saddle. I only saddled Whisper at home since it would be quite a wait for Colt's class.
We leave at 6:15...right on time. The race track is in use from 6-7 AM, so we can't cross it with our rigs while they have use. I just want to get there early enough to ride Whisper in the arena before the two year old class starts at 8 AM.
She was a star!!! There wasn't one thing in that arena that spooked her...and she'd never seen bucking chutes, the digital scoreboard for the race horses, grandstands...all that normal stuff that you see at a fairgrounds arena. We loped some circles and did a general warm up...she was perfect.
There were 21 horses in the 3 year old class and we were in the middle of the pack. So, we had plenty of time to relax before our go. We're at the gate chatting with friends and watching the other horses do their dry work (reining pattern). That's all she has left to do as a 3 year old.
So, our turn comes up and we trot into the arena and go past the crow's nest and there's a few guys sitting under it and she gave them the one eyed look, but didn't spook! We then make our way to the center, stop and start our pattern. I make my circles and then get to the first turn around and something felt off...like I was turning the wrong way, but I kept going with what I thought was right. We finish the pattern and they announce my score: a zero...off pattern...hmmmm...
I'm racking my brain trying to think where I went wrong and finally found a friend of mine and asked if she saw what I did wrong..."Yep, you started out in the wrong direction...circles started to the right and you went left." Well duh me!!! I couldn't believe I made such a "grey haired" mistake!!! Boy did I feel stupid...but, her owner was fine with it. We wouldn't have made a high score anyhow because she's so green...she was just thrilled that she went in there and tried her lil' heart out!
And I do mean little...
|Whisper and Colt...the little and the big! But, isn't she cute?!?|
Everyone teased me that I finally found a horse my size!!!
Well, you can bet your boots that I wouldn't make that mistake again!!! My circles on Colt were going to start to the RIGHT!!!
The 4 year old class was next, and they also just did a dry work. The 5 year old and 6 year old classes are required to do the fence work. As each horse finishes their dry work, the rider calls for their cow and they immediately box the cow at one end, make their two or three turns on the long side of the arena and circle up the cow to complete the pattern.
Watching a reining pattern can be like watching paint dry, so I won't bore you with all that. I put in a couple of circles and a turnaround...then the video moves on to the fence work. I think this was Colt's best effort yet with the fence work. It was the same score as what we got in Lakeview the week before, but I felt he was rating much better with the cow...like he was really beginning to understand where he needed to be.
I couldn't help but come out of the arena with a big cheesy smile on my face!!! We scored a 69.5 on the dry and a 68 on the fence. Some day when we get our stops down, we'll make much better scores. I heard from a friend that the judge was hoping I'd do a big run down with him for my stops, but they never work for me...they always look and feel like crap. So, I played it safe and decided to take the penalty for not being as fast as he should have been. But, I was really pleased with his turn arounds and everything else...the fence work is just a kick in the pants no matter how you look at it...what an adrenaline rush!!!
We get a break after this while the Ranch Horse class takes place...next up...the roping event that is required of the 6 year old class...to be continued...