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!


  1. You guys did great! Sounds like a good ride for Baby Girl.
    Interesting to read about how you two did on the obstacles.
    We did the exact same thing that you guys did with the log drag...we made it calmly all the way to the opposite branch, but were a little too far to the side to reach the branch, so we had to drop the rope. We got zeros for our score, though! And my friend Roni and her mare made it almost to the branch, but got the rope and logged to close to her mare and it twisted around the legs and her horse freaked and she had to drop the rope. But they ended up with 4's and a PLUS! I just don't understand the judging on that obstacle. Oy!

    And you know that I always give a score for a team if they have tried an obstacle unless a horse completely balked, but there were several 2-part obstacles, like the bridge/cows and slicker/hat, and we did the slicker perfectly, but couldn't do the hat. And we did the bridge with no balks, but couldn't get through the cows. I thought we'd at least get a half score or something, but instead we got zeroes...same as if we had never completed any of the obstacle at all. Isn't that weird?

    And I agree about the gravel road trot/weave obstacle. Didn't make a whole lot of sense for the poor, tired, hot, sore horses.

    Of course, at the end of the day, I was just glad to finally be riding my mare again.

    It was great to see you again, too.


  2. Sounds like you did a great job!! How was the training clinic?

  3. Sounds great ! I hope they send you pics, I always love to see your pretty mare . And you