Sunday's ACTHA ride was also the Halloween Costume contest. I didn't officially dress up for this ride as I was more interested in staying warm and comfortable enough to finish the course. Next year however I just might dress up. There were some really awesome costumes through out the ride. Lots of people did a great job to dress up.
I was really pleased with Ladybug working the obstacles on this ride. We completed all seven obstacles and did quite well even with the blowing wind. The weather was a bit colder and the wind was pretty strong most of the day. But I grew up knowing that here in New Mexico, If you don't ride in the wind, you never really get to ride because the wind blows so much.
The first obstacle of the day was the mailbox obstacle. At our first ride in June, I didn't complete this obstacle, but today we did. We were to walk up to the mailbox, open the door and get out an object on a stick, then ride over to a post and place that object in the hope on the post. We got scores of a 6 and a 7. It wasn't a perfect run and we need more practice, but it still was a good run.
The second obstacle was to cross a tarp. They had the tarp all weighted down with pumpkins all around it. All we needed to do was walk across it. The wind was blowing and made the tarp edges flap and move quite a bit. Ladybug looked at it as it flapped and hesitated, but finally stepped right on out and over that tarp. We scored a 7 and an 8 on it.
Our third obstacle was a vine simulator. We practiced at home with a bunch of hay bale twines hanging between two trees, but what they had was more like a ripped up plastic banner of some sort. It also didn't help that the wind was flapping that around really hard when we got there because one of the parts almost popped Ladybug in the nose as we headed in to walk through it. Ladybug decided she wasn't going to walk right into that screen, but she walked close up to the side of it. I'm not sure how a plastic banner can really simulate vines, but overall we got a decent score. Ladybug got a 6 for not totally freaking out and I got a rider score of 8.
Obstacle 4 was to cross a wooden bridge, My division was to dismount before we started, lead the horse across the bridge and then mount up and head out. Ladybug did awesome! She quietly followed me across that bridge like she'd had done it a million times, but we've never actually practiced this one either. I messed up when I went to get back on and got the reins hung up for a few seconds on her bride as I was preparing to get on. So Ladybug got a score of a 10 and I got an 8.
Obstacle 5 was the noise obstacle. We usually do really good on this one. Ladybug is used to all kinds of noises. We are supposed to place the horse inside a square and they use some sort of noise device to test the horses reaction to the noises. This time was the first time they walked all the way around the horse. Ladybug didn't move her feet, but followed the lady with noise maker with her head. She wasn't spooked by the noise, but I'll bet she was wondering why that person was walking around in circles around her. We scored an 8 and a 9 on this one.
As we were leaving the noise obstacle, Lisa from Laughing Orca blog got a photo of us beside the spooky ghost dude at the end of the obstacle. Ladybug was on alert to see if it was going to eat her, but she did fine with it. Thank you Lisa for this pretty photo.
Obstacle 6 had us walk over some logs to a point near the opening of an L-back. At the L back my division only had to complete the first part of the back. I had a little bit of difficulty getting Ladybug set up for the back, but as soon as we got straightened out we did great. Total score there was a 7 and a 9. Not bad.
Our final obstacle was a trot transitions. We started out at the beginning in a posting trot, transition down to a sitting trot at the first flag, then transition to a walk near the end and walk on off. The whole while trotting over a bunch of little logs in the path. We did fairly well there and scored a 7 and 7.
Over all the day was awesome and with the completion of all the obstacles, we managed to finish just out of the money in 7th place. I was extremely excited. That's our highest place score yet.
After the ride during the awards ceremony, there was another raffle. One of the rescue's volunteers built a beautiful wooden saddle stand. When I saw the raffles that were offered, I decided to donate $50 total to the cause. I really wanted the Easy boots that I won on Saturday so I put in $30 towards them. The other $20 I put on the saddle stand. Well guess whats now in my tack room holding up my antique sidesaddle right now. Yep you guessed, it's that awesome saddle stand.
It really was a great weekend and I had a very good time.