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)

Friday, March 20, 2009

NATRC Convention

A few weekends ago, I attended my first NATRC (North America Trail Riding Convention. After competing for my first full year in Competitive Trail Riding, (I did attend 1 ride the fall before, but we had lots of rain and didn’t ride for as many miles as we could have). I was excited about attending the annual conference, which was held in Kansas City. There were speakers who talked about pasture and grasses, nutrition and Carbohydrates, lameness issues, and parasites, primarily ticks! We definitely found out that ticks were bad!!!

Besides these clinics and topics that were given by professionals in their respective fields, we had a small vendor area to wander through and look at tack and supplies. We defiantly ate well. We had a taco bar and music entertainment Friday night and a Saturday night dinner buffet at the Convention awards.

NATRC gives out awards per region, with the United States divided into 6 regions. Each region has an Open, Competitive Pleasure, Novice, and Youth division. Open Riders ride about 50-60 miles over a 2 day weekend. The riders or the horse have earned enough points to advance out of Novice. Open Riders have the most advanced and hardest obstacles to perform on the trail. Competitive Pleasure is for riders who have pointed out of Novice, but don‘t want to ride Open mileage. They ride about 40 miles on a weekend, and have the same obstacles as Open both days. Novice Riders ride the shorter distance, but have easier obstacles. Youth is for ages 18 and under and they ride the same distance and have the same obstacles as the Novice Riders.

Even though I have had some disappointments on the trail, my horse and I had an awesome year. My Quarter Horse, Finny, and I were high point Novice team for our Region. Finny won first place for Horse and I won 2nd place for Horsemanship. Many of my friends who competed this year also placed very high. My friend, Virginia, who I ride with, won Top Horsemanship in her Novice division. Her Fox Trotter placed very high also. My friend, Sheri, won Top Competitive Pleasure Team, Horse, and Horsemanship on her Paint, and placed very high overall in the nation.
My husband, Tom, came along, and decided to shop one of the afternoons while I sat in on the tick presentation! Lucky him! Tom highly recommends that anyone visiting the KC area should go to Cabellas. The mule/deer display in the back of the store was well worth the time to visit. It was better than a museum. He spent over 2 hours looking and reading about the wildlife displays.

Back to horses… My next competition is in less than 2 months and I need to get to riding. Both my horse and I are out of shape!!! But with cold winter months and long hair on Finny, working hard is not an option when we have a few warm days here and there. I sure hate to warm him up and have him sweating, then he spends a cold night outside! But with daylight savings time now, and warmer days, I don’t have an excuse to wait any longer! Conditioning starts now! Oh, Tom, we need to hit the exercise equipment because 2 pointing is going to kill my thighs if I don’t do some weight training! I need a partner to stay focused! Next time you all see me, I should be buff! Come along on the next ride with me!

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