Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saddle time

I flew in for the weekend. Unfortunately there is no more direct flights between Mke and Bna, so it's now about a 5 hour commitment. But by 1pm or so, it's Bourbon time....or more correctly, saddle time.
Clifford the big red horse!
B gett'n ready for a test drive.

B was excited to see me, so much in fact that he kicked up his heels.....literally. Ummm, with me on him! Twice, or maybe three times. Ok. Now back to work. I unfortunately decided I needed to make up for the past few weeks not riding him, in the first 5 minutes in the saddle. Not a good idea, and it went down from there. With a little time out (for me, not B), I did end the practice ride on a better note. Lesson learned, relax, and try to have fun. Quit the workin. And God bless Hannah for hanging in and pushing.

I had a little time to rethink it all between practice and show, which included a consult call with Scott to get my butt kicked into the right gear. By which I decided it was truly best to regroup and shake it off. A spritz of parfume and freshening up did part of the trick. And a decent warmup topped it off. Plus I got to wear my black and silver western outfit for the first time....and so I knew if nothing else, I certainly could win first place for bling effects.

The Lions show is held at the Ag Ctr. Or more endearingly named the 'rock pile'. And the entire area is basically rocks, stones, or grindings....including the warmup area and the showring track. We're not in 'Wisconsin' Dorothy, this is a far cry from the deep sand rings of home. And while it is a completely different feel, it's really cool as well. You can clearly hear the echo of your hoof beats to keep your gait, or know when it is off. And I listened with a thrill as Bourbon entered the ring. A nice four beat gait, for sure. Hannah has brought him a long way on that, and so now it's just me learning a looser way of riding while still maintaining his frame and headset. An oh so more easily said then done responsibility. But I'm determined to crack the code on it! Saddle time. My friend. More saddle time. And god bless Hannah!

My class tonight is the trail pleasure, and at least a dozen horses enter the ring. It's a big class, and all ages of horses-not a junior class. So B is at a bit of a disadvantage against the aged horses that enter. We enter the ring right about in the middle of the pack....and before I'm around once, everyone is in and it's show time.

My ride is good, I am trying a bit looser hold but keeping his headset...but I do struggle to keep him going while he decides to deposit some apples on the track! Ugggggggh! Really? At least I'm saved by the call of the reverse. I luckily turn around right on the end of the ring by Hannah, and as we lock eyes, we both say 'spurs'. Lesson learned, wear spurs every time. Then you'll never need them! Or if you do, ya have em! So on the second way of the ring, I did what anyone who didnt have spurs on, but needed them, would do.....I kicked like a toddler on a naughty Shetland pony. Lol. All the way around the ring. And just when I didn't think I could kick anymore, they called for the running walk. And when I thought I'd just give up...they called for the lineup. Yay......said my legs.

As I lined up and then backed. I relaxed a little...and took my first look around. And there to my right is Barbara Kenehan! So I said hi, and we both laughed. How nice to see a wisconsin face. And Lisa Weaver is just two horses down. She's also at hannahs place and has a fab little horse named Juan Carlos. In fact lisa and Carlos won that class that night. And I'm very proud to report that B got fourth. So we are movin on up....and in a class with many horses, some that are aged, and many really good winners! So while my practice was a struggle, my ride under the twinkling lights was a huge success. And some validation that just maybe we have something going on here.

After collecting my ribbon, I rode out and gave B a big hug as I handed him off to be broken down and taken back to the trailer for some well deserved hay. This was followed by some fist bumping and celebratory moments. And a 45 min call back home with Scott. He said he was able to see quite a bit of my ride on the stream. And he said B looked great...especially in the running walk. Huge backend, that he said stood out against the other horses. With a little more shake (and saddle time for the rider) who knows!?

The rest of the night I got to enjoy the classes with Jane and Carlan and her girls. But I was happy....progress made. Tomorrow I'll go back and practise more.... We'll get it! Im determined. And God bless Hannah through it all! ;)

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