|Cowgirl in the rain and mud.|
Did I need a full change of clothes? Where is my rain-gear? Will that be enough? Are my split reins in my show bags? Do I need cash? Food? Water? Should I bring my real camera or just my phone? What should I wear? What if Junior freaks out being in a totally new place where there are COWS?!?! What if Junior freaks out after a yet un-tested two-hour trailer ride? Would I be DQ'd for our short mane?
I didn't sleep much.
The morning started miserably rainy and they delayed the start by over an hour. I was SOOOO tired but a good 'ol Starbucks Double-shot and a cliff bar got me through. It rained and rained, but it got lighter and lighter and by the time B did her final class (Breakaway Roping) it was sunny and warm and lovely.
Luckily we snagged the last two open stalls in the barn so the boys had a dry place to hang out between classes.
We competed in Ranch Riding Walk/Trot/Lope and got 6th out of 7. My first green ribbon ever! It's sort of the pleasure class of the day. I didn't think I had time to warm up in the small indoor arena so I ended up going into the class without so much as a jog-around. In true western fashion, we rode the class in enough rain to make several people's numbers fall off and for it to be hard to see at times. The arena was very very wet but the footing seemed fine. I didn't see one horse slip all day, even in the crazy cow classes. Junior did NOT trust the footing right away so that first class was wicked. I was just happy we didn't DFL it.
I then took him into the small indoor and schooled him a LOT. I had a good sized break before my next class so I sat and watched the reiners and the reined cowhorse classes. B won her Reining class 'cause she's awesome.
Our next class was Ranch Trail. There were 8 obstacles including a log-drag and a plastic steer-head roping, neither of which Junior & I had attempted in over a year and a half. Nothing like going in cold AGAIN!!! Thankfully he was more trusting of the footing and the rain had stopped. He drug the log like a champ. We had to do a 360 in a box at the far end of the arena where the cattle were. He didn't seem to care they were there earlier in the day but something spooked him (again from that &*?#^% right side) and he leapt out of the box sideways so I backed him up and took him in again to do the turn. He got over the spook quickly and stood like a champ while I awkwardly tossed a rope at the plastic steer head. Yes there's video, no I p I surprised myself by getting it around one of the horns! All was going better than expected until the back through "L" where he wasn't having it followed immediately by "F-You I'm not side-passing over those same demon-spawn logs you tried to make me back through." He DID it but it was a hot mess. Thankfully we ended strong with a really smooth gate (the first narrow solid gate we've ever done!) and a perfect dismount and re-mount. We got 5th out of 12!!! But the judge DQ's 7 entries for various reasons. B won that class too, cause she's awesome.
Here's us in all it's fuzzy detail...
Then we did the Ranch Riding Pattern class. THIS is the kind of pattern class we can do. It was like a horsemanship pattern but a big one taking up the whole arena instead of just a small area. It had walk, jog, extended jog, lope, extended lope, stop, 180, jog, lope, walk, stop, back. I was very pleased with how Junior responded to my cues. Certainly not a flawless performance but quite respectable. We were 5th out of I think 7. B took 3rd.
After the show was over and we packed up the trailer and cleaned up our stalls I took Junior over to see the calves. I was told he'd been started on cattle back in Texas but this was the first time I'd had him around cattle. He was interested in them but showed no signs of nervousness or fear. He went up to the fence and grazed and when one of the calves tried to say hello....
He sniffed it and even let it lick his nose before he went back to grazing. Wish I had caught that moment, too!
What a fun day playing cowgirl!