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October 2, 2017: We are the Champions

The results of the September online agility competition were posted this morning. Raudi is now 17th in the league standings and Hrimmi is 23rd. Both came in fourth in their divisions. Raudi had a score of 95 and Hrimmi had a score of 90. This was far better than I expected.

The course, which mainly required horse and handler to weave through six poles was – dare I say it? God awful. I didn’t like it and neither did they. Give me a good old scary corner and a five bucket weave and we’re all happy for hours. Add to this a curtain and a few poles to back through and we are ecstatic.

I got really discouraged in doing the September course because it just did not seem to me to complement the Intrinzen play that I’ve been doing. I felt like I was dragging the ponies through it. This seemed antithetical to intrinsic behavior. It was as though I could hear the poor animals say “oh no, not this again.” And for this reason I considered giving up doing agility.

But the October course – this is really to our liking. One of the obstacles is a tunnel – I draped a huge tarp over jump stands and poles – horses must walk under it and then through the scary corner. Off lead, Raudi sauntered through. And off lead, Hrimmi sauntered through. I can just imagine other horses and handlers having a tough time with this. But not us.

I do have to be careful and not do this course with the ponies too often because they who already have seen and dealt with these obstacles in the past could easily become bored. With this in mind, I have a game plan, which is to continue to play with them off lead, at the same time doing other things, like stand on the mat and chase the fun noodle.

Hrimmi did have her own game plan when I had her back. She stepped over the poles, sidled up to the fence and began doing crunches. I know I ought not have rewarded her for this, but crunches are really good for her back.

There are, however a few challenges, one of which is that they must stand in front of a ball for five seconds and then kick it. I don’t see any problem with standing still. I will stop directly in front of the ball so that when either horse moves forward they’ll just naturally kick the ball with their front leg. The kicking part will be difficult because they’ll want to push it with their nose. Grr, grr, grr.

I get so obsessed with agility that I sometimes don’t ride. Today Pete was the motivator – he was the one who said that we needed to get Tyra and her buddy Hrimmi out. And so we did. What a great ride. Tyra is now feeling more comfortable both being out front and trotting.

A great time was, of course, had by all.

Next: 273. 10/3/017: Living the Drama Free Life

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