I took both ponies home on Thursday for the trail competition. Jetta loves being home because she has the 3 acre pasture to roam and I didn't even bother bringing them in at night. Misty was just glad to have a buddy this time around because last time I brought her home she spent most of her time whinnying at the neighbor's horses.
Friday was the competition and I went out early-ish to avoid the heat. But it was still really hot.
The way that these trail competitions work: 40 obstacles. You don't have to memorize them. Each obstacle is individually timed and you have one minute to complete each obstacle. Unless it's a jump or a really steep hill you must walk. You are placed based on the number of obstacles you complete and then on time. This is a series of three competitions held at two different places so I won't know how I've done until the end of September.
Misty was up first and I rode her through. I was actually really, really pleasantly surprised. She completed ALL of the obstacles in the first section I rode her through! Even dragging this super scary pipe contraption that rattled loudly was totally fine, as was holding the end of a long pipe and walking it all the way around a water trough that the other end was in while it scraped and squeaked its way along.
We ended up completing 36 out of the 40 obstacles. Two of the ones we couldn't do were sidepassing over things (a large black pipe was one and a log was another). Misty was convinced that she couldn't sidepass over something, but sidepassing out in the field was just fine. Then the other two were ones we completed, but went a couple seconds over 1 minutes so they didn't count :( One was a hula hoop you had to pick up and figure 8 around two trees and she spooked at it at first so that couple seconds made us go over time. Then the other was picking a big stuffed monkey up off a barrel that was covered in a cow hide. It was terrifying apparently and when I brought the monkey around to set it back down, she wouldn't walk up to the barrel close enough for me to set it down, she just kept sniffing the cow hide so I had to toss the monkey and we timed out :(
Overall, I was super happy with how she did and it was a lot of fun!
I took her back to the trailer and got Jetta. I was worried how doing one horse at a time would work out because I didn't have any hay for the horses to munch on while I took their buddy for their turn on the course. I tied Jetta loose so she could graze and when I left she was whinnying and pacing around so I had my fingers crossed she didn't do anything stupid.
Upon my return, she was standing super quietly and I was impressed. I cantered Misty up to her, thinking as soon as she heard her coming she'd whinny. Nothing. I got off Misty and called out to Jetta. Still no response and I was worried something had happened to her, like she had a foot stuck in the side of the trailer or something. Misty whinnied at her and Jetta gave a start and whinnied back. Silly pony had been sleeping but I couldn't tell because she had her fly mask on!
With Jetta, I decided to lead her through, even after I tacked her up. I just figured it would be the safest option since I hadn't done ANY practice with her. At all. I mean, I open gates from her back on a regular basis, but that's about it and I had visions of her galloping away when I tried to drag the tarp or rattly pipe from her back.
Jetta did ok. I was less than pleased with her ground manners and we'll have to have a tune up day. But afterwards, looking back, I realized she did 34 out of the 40 obstacles which was way more than I was expecting. She didn't do either bridge or the ditch which I was a little ticked about because those are three of the "easy" obstacles that she has done before. She wouldn't put her two front feet in the tire. And she wouldn't sidepass over either of the two sidepass obstacles, though she'd do it in the open field. The cowboy curtain was scary to her and she barely did it. I had to hold the whole thing back so she'd have a wide opening to go through and she ran through it so I want to go back and work on that.
Obviously both mares need some work on sidepassing. And I'd also like to work on Misty with picking up scary items, so a hula hoop purchase is in our future. And I'm going to go school Jetta on the course so she can have some manners. But overall, it was a good day!