Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sunday ACTHA

Sunday's ACTHA competition was a bit better than Saturday as far as the wind goes, but it was WAY colder. Sunday I had on a t-shirt, a long sleeve cotton shirt, a wool vest and my lined canvas duster and I was still cold.
Many people decided not to show up because of the wind or the cold, but I rode anyway.

Our first obstacle was a sidepass.  Ladybug is still learning that one but she tried and even though it wasn't very good she did get a score on it. 

The second obstacle was to open and walk through the gate. If you kept control of the gate, they suggested you would get a better score. Problem was the wind was so strong it pretty much ripped the gate out of your hand anyway.  Here we are opening and coming through the gate. Thanks to Lisa from Lauging Orca Ranch for the photos.
 The next obstacle was a walk up and back down an embankment. It was a short fairly steep rocky hill and a pretty easy obstacle for Ladybug.  She scored well on it. 

After that it was on to the Pinwheel. That is a 2x4 board laid across two barrels. you pick up one end of the board and keep the other end on the opposite barrel as you walk around the two barrels and then place the other end of the board back down on the barrel you got it off of. I still need to work on that one. I dropped the board again. 

Then there was a jump trot up to a rail road tie and hop over. I don't think Ladybug actually jumped but she didn't hesitate and went over the tie instead of going around like some horses did. She scored pretty well on that one also.

The next obstacle was the bridge. I don't know if she stumbled a little or slipped off the bridge with one foot, but she came off one side and I just rode back around and lined her back up and went back over it. There wasn't any hesitation and she wasn't spooked about anything so I'm not sure why she went off the side. 

Our last obstacle was by far the best. They called it the mail carry. They had a small mailer box with a wire handle on it sitting on a barrel. Then an L shaped obstacle and a second barrel. you were supposed to walk up and pick up the box from the first barrel ride through the L and place the box on the second barrel. We scored perfect 10's with a plus each. 

Ladybug was again the only appaloosa spotted horse at the event. Everyone is starting to recognize her now since she's been to 8 local events and she's pretty hard to miss. Keith didn't get to ride this time because he had to go to a work related convention in Nevada. Maybe at one or more of the rides in June, I'll be able to take both Keith and one of the other Appaloosas. 

And for those interested my new horse trailer is quite comfortable for sleeping in. We haven't fully insulated it and I didn't have the heater hooked up to the electric but I didn't notice the freezing temps Saturday night into Sunday morning. Ladybug's water in her tub froze over night, but the extra water inside the trailer never did.  The only thing is that I didn't completely follow up on my check list and ended up leaving a few things behind. I'm working on stocking up the trailer before the next ride. Can't wait!

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.