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May 9, 2013: Trail Trials

On Saturday, the Morgan Horse Club is going to sponsor a trail trials competition. This event is going to held in an arena setting. The winners (there are going to be three classes) will be those who take their horses cleanly over the obstacles in the shortest amount of time.

The Icelandic horse contingent will be well represented. Vickie is going to ride Hunar, and Dick Stoffel is going to ride Karmen. I mulled over taking either Raudi, Signy, or Tinni (gosh, I have choices), but then I decided that this would verify in the minds of others that my horses aren’t very well trained. However, I changed my mind after taking them all over a self-constructed home course because they all did really well. The home-based winner was Raudi, who more so than the others, really enjoyed doing this. It was like she was saying “gosh, why don’t we do this more often?” Equally as impressive was the fact that I did the course bareback on all three horses. Dick, upon learning that I had no way to get the horses there (we sold the trailer) offered to take me. However, I bowed out upon discovering that I’d need to have EIA papers. The veterinarian is coming on Tuesday, so I was s.o.l.

This was in its own way just as well because instead, I can continue to do what we did yesterday, and give Dick an assist with Karmen. She’s a big, beefy pinto mare, who cannot stand still. All she wants to do when a rider is on her back is to move, and to move fast. She’s strong, like bull.

So I chunked things down a bit. I first had Dick walk the course with Karmen. Then I had him do it bareback. Then I had him do it using our Len Brown saddle. The course consisted of a gate (open it, go through it, close it), a bucket with an attached rope –rock in bucket (lift bucket over the horse’s back, set on the other side), three cones with a stick inserted in first cone (pick up stick in cone, do serpentines, put stick in furthest most cone), two barrels, two buckets, and a rock (go up to first barrel, remove rock from first bucket, side pass to second barrel, put rock in second bucket), sawhorses, poles, and tarp (step on tarp, and walk over makeshift bridge that spans a water-filled trench), wood planks (boundaries for backing), and a teeter totter.

The course was fun and easy to construct. Pete also helped. I figured after doing it that the course would be a cakewalk for Dick and Karmen because they have a lot of trails experience under their belt. Much to my surprise, the two did find this to be challenging. In particular, the driveway gate and side pass exercise were problematic. I haven’t yet figured out why this was, I am still thinking about it.

Afterwards, we went for a ride around the loop. Mariann, Dick’s wife, accompanied us on her horse Kohlfaxi. I rode Signy and Pete, riding Siggi, ponied Hrimmi. Signy was clearly bothered by the other horses, and at one point pitched a little fit, bucking in place. I, who was not at all phased by her behavior, instead took it in stride, and just stayed out of the way of the other horses.

All in all, it was a very fun afternoon. Dick’s coming back tomorrow. I’m going to reconstruct the course, and the second time around, do things in a slower fashion.

Next: 130: 1/10/13: Life of Alys