Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Last CTR of the Year

Terrain at Kanopolis CTR, Kansas

Kanopolis CTR was 2 weeks ago. The Last CTR for the 2008 year was the Hill & Dale CTR at Hillsdale, Kansas was the last CTR for the year. We rode this past weekend and we were cold, at least most of Saturday morning! We even had a little ice in the buckets on Sunday morning. The sun didn't show at all on Saturday, and it was brisk. We rode near the lake, and the breeze off the lake was cold! We did have sun on Sunday morning! By the time we got back to the trailers at 1, we could take off coats. But when we left to come home about 3, truck temp only showed 42, but it felt like a heat wave when you weren't in the wind!

Everyone did well. Shari got 2nd in CP and 6th in horse. Taylor, Shari's daughter, did well in the youth division. Robin got 2, 3 or 4 (I can't remember exact placings for her and her horse, but I think they both placed), and I'm not sure if David placed. I got 1st and Finny got 3rd in Novice Lightweight. Virginia, who I ride with, got 2nd and her horse got 3rd in Novice Heavyweight. Shari is bringing our cards home for us since we had to leave early and couldn't stay for awards.

Shari at Kanopolis, KS CTR

The ride was fun! We did have some rocky trails, and most were negotiable, but there were a few places where you were going up and down a trail that was solid stone and few areas to step. This ride taught both me and my horse to work on individual foot placing! We had some boggy areas - I like those the least as it could put a lot of strain on the horse's legs. The obstacles were fun, except Robin did NOT have one fun obstacle and she can share that. We had a lot of log obstacles, standing over big logs (glad Finny has long legs), walking down a steep incline into a muddy/boggy area, then back up (that was not fun - Finny backed up, 1 step and that leg sinks in, next step the other leg sinks in, and when he tried to lift his leg, he almost sat down. Luckily, the judges said that was good enough, and to walk forward, which was easier than backing up!) Finny stayed quiet, but he still chomps the bit at obstacles. I'm working on slowing his mind down so he doesn't have to anticipate anything. He stayed really quiet for the ride, and had great P&R's, so I'm really happy about his conditioning. I'm sure that if it was a hot weekend, that would be different. The previous ride 2 weeks ago was good, but he did have higher P&R's after rest time, even though they were still below the maximum numbers without losing points. My goal for next year is to condition a little harder and continue working to have good P&R's. We'll work a little harder on maneuvers over the winter, as I think a lot of the scoring is how well you, and your horse, perform the obstacles. Riders need to ride centered and up off the horse, and the horse needs to perform trail obstacles quietly and slow. Lots to work on and I'm just as excited to continue as I was to start!

Finny has learned to stay very quiet at the hitching posts. I definitely prefer hitching posts to tying at the trailers. The hitching posts are permanent and well built. The horses are tied long so they can lay down and rest. The posts are high enough that the horse won’t try to jump over it. There is a higher line above the hitching post to tie hang bags from. I have learned to strap, and tape, the water bucket to the upright post. No banging at night. On the trailer, the horse, hay and water buckets are tied to the trailer! Finny lets me know when he runs out of hay during the night. He has a full bag late at night, but he is resting. It appears that he gets his second wind after we go to bed and eats his hay. Then he must get his third wind at 2:30, AM! Very early morning! He has learned to bang his water bucket. I can’t sleep. The neighbors told me that they heard him too! So, I’m up feeding my horse at 3 AM! I have learned to hang 2 hay bags if he is on the trailer at night!
Now, it's time for more coffee. My face was red last night, like I was sun burned, but I know it's wind burned! I am starting to feel really tired! I am going to do a little paperwork today and maybe work on my store website! I need to get my specials on it!!! Have a great day, and drink some coffee - it's Monday! :-)))

I’m taking a week off before the next ride! Come along on the ride with me!

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