Monday, April 11, 2011

Saturday ACTHA Ride

Well I decided to brave the weather and take Ladybug on her first competition of the new year. I swear sometimes I think I must be crazy and this was one of those days. Even with the predicted high winds, I decided to ride sidesaddle in a dress. Yea buddy let me tell you,  riding six miles in 30 mph winds sidesaddle in a dress sure tests you and the mentality of your horse. Ladybug did totally AWESOME especially considering the overall conditions of the ride. We did miss a few obstacles but that was mostly because I had not practiced reaching down from the sidesaddle much before. 
Our first obstacle was a trot over unevenly placed logs. Ladybug did fairly well at that but she didn't go straight and missed a few of the logs. Part of that I'm sure was because of me leaning the wrong way due to the winds and pushing her off balance.   

The second obstacle was the curtain. The curtain is basically a tarp or banner cut into strips hanging from a roper over your head. This is one of those spooky obstacles even on a good day. Ladybug has already seen this one, but the winds had the strips blowing flat out above our heads. After a small hesitation Ladybug went right on under and spooked slightly at the end when the wind slacked for just a second and then picked up again so the strips popped out straight again. She jumped a little at the noise, but settled soon after. 

The next obstacle as seen below is the drag the two stall balls from post A to post B. We didn't finish that because I hadn't practices the correct way to lean over and pick things up from the side saddle. Thanks Christy for the advice on leaning forward, I'll remember that for the next time. So here we are attempting the ball drag. I'm sure if I had been in the western saddle, we would have completed it because we have been practicing. I just couldn't get a hold of the rope.

 And here we are at the end of that obstacle on our way out on the trail again. Thanks to Lisa from Laughing Orca Ranch for taking all these great photos.
 The next obstacle was the turn on the forehand. we had not practiced that much with me giving cues from the sidesaddle so we didn't do so great on that, but the more time I spend in the sidesaddle I'm sure we will get that cue down pat.  

After the turn on the forehand we came down to a trot weave through some cones. Ladybug did great again, but missed one of the cones. Again I think that one was my fault for being off balance in the wind. 

The next to last obstacle was a slicker tied up with a boot hanging off each end. You were supposed to pick up the slicker off the first barrel and place it across the horses neck with one boot on either side and ride to the second barrel and place the slicker back down on the barrel. I skipped that one because I didn't feel comfortable with the reach down from the sidesaddle. We have practiced the slicker quite a bit before and Ladybug walked right on past without a problem so its one of those things that I need to practice more from the sidesaddle. 

The last obstacle was supposed to be a tarp tunnel, but they couldn't keep the tarp from flying away so they improvised and created a walk across the tarp between the uprights with the flags blowing. Ladybug didn't even hesitate. We started walking back where the judge said to and just kept on going. She didn't even look like any thing here was spooky.
 Here is one of my riding buddies for the day and I posing at the end of the last obstacle before we headed back to the trailers for the end of the ride.
So here is the end of our first day of riding in the Gone with the Wind CTC at Walkin N Circles  Equine Rescue Ranch.


  1. Looks like you did well, with all the wind the dress and sidesaddle to boot! Sure do like that Ladybug mare!

  2. Yay! Terrific post! I was there, but so focused on what I was doing that it is nice to read about a rider's own experiences with the obstacles and ride itself.
    I think you and Lady Bug did an amazing job that day.


    ps I mailed out the 2nd day's photo CD today.

  3. I like the white horse looks like a dalmatian because of its black spots. Thanks!