Sunday, October 16, 2016

September Ranch Show

This post is 6 weeks overdue...
Poor quality photo or "artistic"... maybe both.

Failed at photos from this show. :(

I must frame this post with a bit of a recap:
August 25, 2015- brought Huck home.
Early September - ended lease on Kevin and started working Huck back into shape.
December - stitches for facial laceration.
April 2016 - Staples for leg laceration.
June - SI joint injections
July - injection recovery.
August - A week of coughing, lost shoe.

So the longest we went without a complete restart was 4 months, and during that 4 months I was battling scratches.  Not that scratches are a huge deal, but THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING.  And mixed in that is a string of lost shoes.  The tough part is that Huck tends to factory-reset to feral-pony when he's out of work. He's not awful, but when he's in regular work it's so much easier to keep him focussed on work and less jumpy and reactive.

If the August and September shows hadn't gone so well, and he wasn't the sweetest most affectionate fellow, I would be seriously considering selling this accident prone lemon of a horse. 'Cause guess what?  We've had MORE issues.  More on that later.

Back to the show:
It was a beautiful weekend.  I was very pleased with Huck.  This is our cancer awareness show so we are encouraged to wear pink.

August was a little crazy.  B and her family went on a trip to Africa for 2.5 weeks and left me to farm sit. I am grateful for the experience - just in case I had momentarily forgotten how much work running a farm is, this was a solid reminder.  Nothing major happened and thankfully the only vet call I needed to make was about my own horse.  One night he suddenly starting coughing up a lung while we were riding.  He is not a cougher and this sounded like a horror movie.  The vet said to watch it and he did get better each day and as we got closer to the show he stopped.  Not sure what it was, but probably mold exposure (it was the hottest muggiest month EVER) triggered some asthma.... add that to the list...

So a mere TWO days before the show the coughing was done, I got a shoe put back on, and got the okay from the chiropractor that he was in good shape to show.

On Friday night was the Freestyle Reining.  I threw a costume together for a nod at Gazelle (Shakira) from Zootopia including making gazelle horns and ears to add to a wig, and designing some makeup. I choreographed a routine in my head (it's a long drive to the barn and back and my ipod was set to repeat the song over and over), only being able to work pieces of it a few days before the show. I wasn't ever able to run it in it's entirety.  I used modern technology (videos of us riding/showing) to GUESS if the timing of my routine would actually work.  Thankfully the timing worked pretty well.  We ended up 4th, which was the best I could do considering how good the top 3 are, and we also won Most Creative Freestyle so I was even happier with that.  I'm a little embarrassed to post the video because the stops were awful, like cringe-worthy awful, but the rest is alright considering how little practice we got... and I don't believe in editing your life. ;) There's good things about this experience and I think the song was appropriate for celebrating this year...

Saturday's Show:

We won the Walk/Trot Ranch Riding (rail) class again!  I was very irritated after the class because the judge never called for an extended jog. I don't think you can judge a RANCH class without an extended jog and it also happens to be our best gait.  On the second direction I revved up our jog a little in case our regular jog wasn't enough.  6th in year-end placings with only two shows!

We WON the Green Reiner class!  I failed at getting a video which made me really sad, but such is life. Top 5 for the year with only 2 shows!

We didn't place in the Green Boxing.  I'd like to blame it on the quiet cow we had, but I really must blame it all on myself.  We didn't practice at ALL after the August show, not even on the flag, so I can't expect much better than that and besides, cow work really isn't my favorite thing. 7th for the year.

We were 3rd in the Conformation and ended up 3rd for the year-end as well, so we got one class in the awards!

Even though I practiced loading many many times, on Sunday morning Huck wouldn't load again.  I didn't let him escalate the situation this time, and instead worked his butt for a while and then got one of the big roper guys to help by putting a rope behind him.   I am grateful for knowledgable KIND horsemen who can gently convince a horse that his best option is to just get on the d@mn trailer.  For our next show (whenever that may be) I will ride/work him before I even bring him over to the trailer.

His refusal antics included his famous pony yoga...

Upcoming posts include Huck's latest non-life-threatening injury and my thoughts on how to move forward and improve our riding, working to understand his weirdness, and see what we might make of ourselves in the future.