We have returned all in one piece:)
We had an interesting ride. As happens to many of us, I wasn't able to ride it like I had planned because my horse had other plans :)
We started out up front because I had no idea where we were starting and when they announced the leader taking us out, I realized I was hanging out right there. So I walked out with them anyways and he went along nicely. Then we started trotting out and he got a little more excited. No worries, I expected it. We those three get ahead and we hung back a little. There were about 50 some odd riders behind us, but about a 1/3 of a mile or so back.
Luka screamed for about 3-4 miles of the start of the ride, looking for other horses, but he didn't try to turn around or run off with me...just bunchy and excited. He settled a little and we loose reined it for a little while with an occasional check in :)
THen we hit the cow field...complete with all colors/ages of cattle. Yay. He went left, he went right, his head went the opposite direction as we encountered some stern looking cows. Saddle slip was occuring and so I hopped off real quick. Some nice riders coming up asked if I was okay and I answered I was, but that I just needed to adjust a bit. Got back on and asked him to move out and quit being a looky-lou. He did and they complimented his nice movement :)
We kept on and he was going well. There is a mix of trail there, but most of it is squishy deepish sand...so a lot of cantering was going on. My two friends caught up to us and we headed on. Our horses didn't drink too well on that loop, but mine did a little and ate any bits of tender green he found in the watering holes. So that was good.
We knew we were getting close to the end and then we noticed a horse with no rider in the pasture behind us. We had just politely asked to pass their group of five riders. We blocked both exits with our horses and the horse eventually came up to us. I caught it and when she arrived we handed it over. I was a bit surprised at the teen boy who came through us, without saying a word or asking us to move-that was not very polite. We didn't notice him until he was right on us. He ended up 30 sec ahead of us at the in-timer...what comes around goes around buddy. We walked into the vet hold to check in.
Vetted in with all A's, except a B on Skin Tent and an A- on Gut Sounds. Pulsed in 5 min after check-in at 15, but vetted in at 14 and after his trot out he was down to 13.
Got him sponged down, covered and he dug into his bucket of soaked watery hydration hay/feed/alfalfa cube mix. He ate the half bucket (which was a lot of water so that was great) and then we saddled up and headed back out. We left out a few minutes late because I didn't quite realize how fast 45min goes :) and I picked up my junior rider because her mom had to pull. So she and I headed out. All was going well and he was energetic. Until we came to another field of cows and calves lol. This time he dead stopped. Two cows were standing about 100 ft apart and facing each other but looking at us....I had to really push him to get him to slowly creep through the space! He wanted to trot off from there, but I made him walk and when we turned the bend, we let them move out again. Loose rein still and we come to a sharp turn...whoops... a little saddle slip as he spun to the side and popped his rear up and around, thus popping me up onto the knee poly's (OUCH). I've got a nice little bruise. But he stood still and I readjusted. This is an issue since he blows out and is shaped like a 55 gallon drum, lol.
We headed on, passed a few other riders who were walking along and we stopped at every available water area to allow them to drink. They did so a few times so that was good. Came to the in timer and found out that we were possibly in the 9th and 10th places! Woah. Did not even think that was where we were.
Vetted in, all A's, except A-'s in Mucous Membranes, Jug Refill, and Skin Tent. I expected that since he wasn't drinking as much as I'd hoped on the trail. Pulsed in at 13, 3 minutes after the time in and vetted in at 10 with a 12 after the trot out.
Then we headed back to cool off, clean up, feed/water and get ready for the check-in on Best Condition. He got 7- 10's, 3- 9's, 1- 8 and 2- 7's (for Gut sounds and Back/withers). He trotted out nicely for me (after I had to give a little swing with my lead rope), but I he went along beside me quite perky and calmly. I am very proud of him and his effort. I never had to push him and he did very well. The vets complimented how he looked and he only misbehaved for our vet-in when we arrived (spinning around as the vet tried to pulse him, lol. But he'd vetted him before at another intro ride we did and remembered that he was so calm then :) )
We ended up in 9th place with my junior rider right before me. No best condition, but the vet said he looked like he did his first ride very well.
We will be checking out our saddle fit since there was heat back there. I cannot have him sore.
All in all,a very great ride and I'm glad we went. He'll now get the week off to recover and we'll be back to work after that. 20140103_115455.jpg 20140103_160854.jpg 20140104_120458.jpg 20140104_124916.jpg 20140104_132754-1.jpg