Sunday, September 29, 2013

Third and Final

Went to the last trail competition on Friday. It was SUPPOSED to be nice this weekend, which was good since this was going to be a three day competition. But, the weather changed and it decided to storm. The whole entire weekend. The competition was supposed to go from 9-4pm but with the rain, everyone ended up packing up and leaving at 1pm. Everything was just getting too slick with the rain.

But, Misty and I completed the course, despite the rain with no issues. Of course no one got pics of us this time, but that's okay. I barely took pictures anyways because of the rain. I wish I could do a complete write up with pics like last time, but I'll at least do an overview of the obstacles.

She's definitely improving. She was super good this time, despite two obstacles that she decided to be a bit of a pain on.

The first section was mostly on the ground:
  • Ground drive your horse through the pylons, weaving out and back
  • Ground drive between two poles on the ground, then back all the way through
  • Ground tie your horse and pick up all four feet
  • Get on them from a mounting block, horse must remain stationary
I was curious to see how Misty would do with ground driving, since I haven't done it with her yet. I was very thankful that I'd taken the time to desensitize her to ropes around her body since she was afraid of them when I first got her and there were several horses that I was sure were going to turn into a train wreck they were so afraid of the driving lines... But she was awesome! I stuck close to her and clucked to get her to go forward, I definitely could have used a little dressage whip, but it turned out ok. Steering wasn't super on point, but I didn't really have any problem getting her to do the obstacles!

Section A:
  • Pick up the big bouncy ball that's in a hay net and walk it in a figure 8 around the two trees
This obstacle last time was a hula hoop and I picked it up too close to Misty's face and she spooked at it so we didn't complete it. I didn't make that mistake again!
  • "Car wash": walk over the bristle brush thingy and through the curtain
  • Walk down a trail on the side of the hill and back up. It was slick!
  • Walk over some rail road ties
  • Walk into a ditch, then turn around and back out. The part you backed out was steep and slick and Misty just would not put her head down to back out, so obviously she didn't have enough power to get up that little hill. She threw a little bit of a fit. 
  • Walk over a big mound of dirt
  • Walk over the large, raised bridge
  • Walk through a zig-zag made of fencing, tarps and cow hides, including a nice and fresh smelly one. Lots of horses were afraid of this one 
Section B:
  • Weave through pylons, sidepass left over a ground pole, weave more pylons, sidepass right over a ground pole. Yay! We actually were able to sidepass something like it was no big deal!
  • Pick up a tall pole with an owl on top, walk around a teepee and put the pole back. Didn't get a time, because somehow the timer failed to mention that we were required to stay within the white line painted on the ground. Half way through she told me "try to stay inside the line". Fail, on her part really.
  • There were like 5 little trails you had to do in this section. Kinda boring. There was one with a bridge, Misty went right over it despite how narrow it was though!
 Section C:
  •  Toss a "noose" up into a tree and get it to land in between two hankerchiefs tied to a branch. I thought this was going to be really hard because of how high up it was, but I got it on the first try!
  • Pick up the (absolutely terrifying) stuffed money and walk over a set of poles arranged in a "wagon wheel" formation. Actually completed this obstacle this time around, but just barely!
  • Do yet another trail, pick up a bag of gold coins along the way. The theme for this whole course was "bank robbers", lol. 
  •  Drag a really heavy tire from one cone to the next. Had to dally it, which I was nervous about but Misty could care less. 
  • Pull a stuffed "bank robber" that was on a pulley all the way into the air then lower him. 
  • Open and close a rope gate that had hankerchiefs dangling from it. This was pretty cute. I tried to get Misty to get really close to it, and she thought I wanted her to go through it like it was a curtain, so she shoved her head under it (it was pretty high) and I had to rein her in before she decapitated me, lol. Then she spooked at it when I unhooked it, but luckily I was able to bring her back and get it rehooked again. 
  •  Walk under some empty feed bags dangling from a branch, they were just low enough that the horses had to duck their heads under it.
  • Walk over two different sets of logs
  • Back through a zig zag of poles on the ground. My fault really, since we barely practiced this at all. It's so weird what a fit she throws about backing through these poles... I don't know why it freaks her out so much, mini rears and everything, so we'll need to work on this lots more.
 Section D:
  •  Walk up to a fence, haunch turn one way, then haunch turn the other way
  • Walk over a white tarp "runway", at the end of which, there's a tarp covered mattress. Took us a few tries, but we eventually got it.
  • Put two front feet on a tire filled with dirt and pause.  
  • Pick up a tennis ball from a bucket and throw it into another one while standing a good distance away.
  • Walk up the three banks carved into the hill and back down. Slick! We almost slid all the way down...
  •  Walk across a set of stall mats arranged in a line and spray painted with white stripes. Scary, but we did it. 
  •  Sidepass up the hill over a large black pipe and then sidepass back down. Super bummed on this one because she did it! It just took me too long to convince her to do it, so we timed out at only four seconds over a minute :(
  •  Walk into an empty "pond" that's lined with tarps/carpeting and jump out over a log. 
  • Same "pond" as above- step down off the log into the ditch part. 
  • Drag some empty water bottles around a cone and back
 Section E:
  •  Walk over a short bridge, go around a barrel, then back over the bridge
  • Walk over another short bridge, stop on the bridge and lower a bucket to scoop up some water, walk around a barrel, get back on the bridge and dump out water. 
  • Walk down and back over a long and narrow, downhill bridge. Be very thankful your horse is super careful with her feet. 
  •  Walk down and back over a "bridge" made of sand fenced in with railroad ties. 
  • Open and close a gate
  • Walk through a ditch filled with rocks. Ha. I kept thinking Misty was going to do this one, she'd get her front feet in and then do a little bit of a panic/sideways skitter and wouldn't put her back feet in. 
  • Pick up a loud cow bell on a rope and hoist it up
  • Walk between a pig that was penned up and a tree. Only one person couldn't do this, the guy on the mule named Bailiff that is a very competitive pair... they were one of the few people that Jazz and I had to watch out for ;) He has a weakness!
  • Walk up to a tire, dismount on it, turn horse around and remount
So that most of the obstacles I remember! Only missed five, so we'll have to see how we measure up. Since the rain came and they cancelled the rest of the competition they're going to do it again for people who missed out next weekend so we have to wait that long to see where we placed... 

I finally got it explained to me how the scoring works because I was really confused. The first competition I got first in Novice... then we got 4th in Amateur at the second one. I guess you get placed in the category based on how many obstacles you do, with open being like the top 6 people, then Amateur being the next 6 people, then Novice, etc. At the end, you get points for your placing... for instance if you got first in open you'd get 50 points, then less points for each plaing, so first in Amateur would be 40 points, 3rd in Amateur would something like 38, and so on. Then at the end your points are added up and you place accordingly. 

So it's supposedly like how barrel races are placed (except those are on time, but same idea). It makes it a little more even playing field I guess, though I wished it was based on whatever class you entered... that way I'd have a better chance at winning a belt buckle! Essentially, I'm trying to get 7th or 13th place in order to get a belt buckle for Amateur or Novice. Unfortunately, I just don't think that's going to happen. Bummer.  But it's been fun and I'm super happy with Misty.


  1. That sounds like a ridiculously complex scoring/placing system 0.o

  2. Yeah, but I probably made it sound more confusing than it really is!

  3. That sounds really fun and confusing... lol

  4. Fun! Sounds like you two did pretty good...Can't wait to see your placing.