Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July ACTHA Ride

Last Saturday I took Baby Girl to her second ever ACTHA Competition. She did really well for her limited training and competitions. There were 64 total entries in my division, 2 riders either didn't show or didn't complete any obstacles. Three riders were disqualified for what ever reason so that left a total of 59 competitors earning points. Baby Girl completed all the obstacles but still finished 21st out of 59.

Our first obstacle was this huge white bridge and then we were to walk between two wooden long horn cows. Baby girl just wasn't sure about the white bridge. She hesitated a few times before she waked across the bridge, but she never really even looked at the wooden cows on the other side.

The second obstacle we needed to dismount, pick up a big white stuffed toy. Place it on the horse and remount the horse and then ride over to the assistant and give them back the big stuffed gorilla. Baby Girl did well on this one and didn't hesitate or spook.

The third obstacle was the vine simulator. They used a long white shower curtain that had the little magnets at the bottom of the curtain. It was a bit windy when we got there and baby girl was a bit spooked at the "vines", but she eventually went through both times within the time limit set for the obstacle.

We then rode over to the Slicker and hat pick up obstacle. This one we had practiced many times at home, but baby girl spooked a bit when I went to take the slicker off the tree limb. She settled well though and then we picked up the old hat with a stick and finished all in good time.

After that we had a log drag. We also practiced this one regularly at home, and things worked out well until I tried to get the rope hung back up at the end. I missed the branch and had to drop the rope, but we still scored pretty well. 

The next one we had never actually practiced before, but it turned out to be our best obstacle of the day. It was the Rope gate. We had to ride up to the gate, open it walk the horse through and calmly drop the rope and continue on. We got perfect scores on this one even though it was the one I was most concerned about in the beginning.

The last obstacle was a trot weave through cones. They had two silhouette cowboys at the start and one at the end of the cones we had to trot through the opening between the two, trot the cones and around the single one at the end and then back through the cones and the two cowboys. They set this obstacle up on a hard packed pea gravel road right next to a large open softer dirt area. Never figured out why they would set it up on the pea gravel when there was more softer dirt area beside it. Baby Girl wasn't to keen on trotting the gravel so we broke gait and didn't gain good scores on it. 

Overall I'm quite proud of my Baby Girl. She did well for her second competition. We do need more work, but that only comes with more time. 
Then on Sunday we attended a training clinic for another 4 hours and I got tips on working with her and practicing obstacles as we went along. It was a great weekend and I can't wait for the next ride!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Busy times here on the farm

Up until this past weekend we had not had any rain so my garden was looking pretty sad. I've been busy watering almost every day because the wind would blow and dry out the ground faster then the water could soak in. Now that the rains have started, I'm not needing to water every day. I've also been harvesting a few things here and there. We finally had some fresh lettuce for salads, the dill is ready to pick and dehydrate the leaves for dill weed. We had cooked Kale for dinner tonight. But the biggest thing is we finally got our first ripe tomato. Only one so far and it was a cherry tomato, but at least we did get a tomato. The rest of the garden is just barely getting going. Even the Rhubarb has been lagging due to the hot dry conditions. You know it's bad in the garden when even the weeds aren't growing well.

I've also got duck, geese and chicken hens all setting on nests. I've had one crop of young chicks and ducks that are at least two months old now and I've also got a new set of one gosling, three ducklings, and 4 Turkey chicks. The hens on nests have nearly 30 eggs between all the nests. The vast majority are all duck eggs, but one hen has her own set of about 8 chicken eggs and there is at least one goose egg in the bunch. I'll have to wait and see what all hatches, but if I do get over-run with ducklings, I think we will have duck for Thanksgiving Dinner. I'll also have to wait and see if I have any turkey hens in the batch of turkey chicks. I'm hoping for hens because I already have two Toms. If I get more Tom's then I guess it will be Turkey for Christmas dinner.

The horses are all doing well. I hauled Baby Boy and Dream Girl over to the vet for some wolf teeth removal last week. Then I'm off to an ACTHA ride this weekend, but Keith had some work stuff to do so he couldn't go. I got a new saddle for Dream because of her wide shoulders, but I haven't had a lot of chance to use it because I've been busy in the garden. Now with the heavy rains and thunder and lightning each night when I get home, I'm also not getting much riding done.  Pretty soon though I need to get Baby boy started on the trails. Until then I'll be in the house crocheting or reading books on my new birthday present.