The games continued without further incident and it was soon time to break for lunch (chili: yum!!!). By that time, Helen had arrived from work so after lunch we went to get Obie. Some of the horses were getting ready for the costume contest. The two in Obie's barn were dressed up like giant sheep, with white sheets with cotton balls draped over them. I thought it was super cute.
Obie did NOT.
He looked at them wide eyed as we walked through the barn and once we got past one, he decided he'd had enough and bolted forward. I figured it was no big deal and just gave him a bit of lead rope to work with... then I saw the small child directly ahead of us.
I planted my feet and cranked on the rope to stop/turn him. Thankfully he listened and the only one worse for wear was me: with a sprained/bruised pinkie finger from the lead rope.
Obie is Helen's first big training project, other than her own horse, so I think the fact that Obie got unnerved by the sheep made her a bit nervous herself. Still, we made jokes about giant sheep while we led a still wide-eyed Obie to the groom area to tack up.
He was good, if still a bit nervous, for tacking up and we walked to the indoor arena, deciding to remain hidden from the horses in sheep's clothing until their costumes were removed.
Helen lunged Obie, walk-trot-canter in both directions. When it was time to mount, I grabbed the mounting stool and said a little prayer.
I think Helen did, too.
She mounted and he tensed up, but after a few seconds she moved him out and he relaxed. It was the best I've seen him do in awhile. She worked him for awhile at the walk and trot. Her first words as she trotted him were, "His trot is HUGE!!!"
Both Helen and Deb love riding my horse. I sure wish I did!!
I was watching out the door for the costume contest to be over and after a small incident where someone got kicked while removing a sheep sheet (horse was getting shocked by static electricity -- dear God how does Deb deal with the stress of playdates?!?), it was time for us to go to the outdoor for the rest of the games.
The first one was pole bending. We weren't sure how Obie would react to the poles and flapping ribbons so Helen led him around the arena for awhile before she mounted. She walked him through the course and he did beautifully... just one solid spook at the far end.
Spooking I can deal with... especially Obie's style of spooking. It's quite comical.. just like a cartoon horse.
He sort of just splays his legs and just plants and stairs. I'd MUCH rather have that then a runaway or a horse that bucks or rears when they spook.
After a few more riders went, Helen decided she could try trotting him through and ended up taking fifth place. :)
He also did great at the keyhole (no place). She walked him through the pennant race because we weren't sure how he'd handle the flags.
Bobbing for apples was last. Since it was so cold, we did not use water but had a deep tote with apples in it. Riders were to ride down, dismount and get their apple with their teeth, and then somehow make it disappear before they crossed the timeline. Most of the competitors decided feeding it to their horses was the best plan... but the horses didn't realize it was a race and certainly took their time chewing, when they bothered to eat the apple at all. Most riders were confronted with a slobbery, dropped in the dirt apple trying to figure out what to do with it so they could cross the finish line.
One girl actually took a bite of hers after it became clear her horse wasn't going to finish it. Now THAT'S dedication!
Soon the competitors figured out they could utilize the horse standing out in the pasture observing to eat their apples for them. I think bobbing for apples is now Turner's favorite game.
By this time, Helen had been dismounted for quite some time so she led Obie back in the arena to mount when it was her turn. He shied away from mounting so had to be worked from the ground for a bit, but then when she did get on he softened almost right away. Obie is a champion apple eater, so they ended up getting third.
All in all, it was a great day, but left me in confusion once again. I'd all but decided to sell him the day before, but now I'm not sure.
Should I sell him, or not?