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SorrelHorse 10-08-2012 05:34 PM

Update from the first barrel race of the season.
Okay so just a little update from the race yesterday for you guys.

I took Selena to run and Ruger to stand and be ridden in the warmup pen so he can get used to things. I was going to enter him in the Open for kicks but he was just too frazzled when I got there so I left him be.

First, I ponied Ruger behind Selena but he was just way too frisky and Selena was getting frustrated. I've ponied him everywhere behind her before, but since a) it was cool out, b) he was fresh, c) he had gotten a bath the day before so he felt good, and d) he was excited about being in a new place, I decided just to ride one at a time.

All in all Ruger worked very well for it being his first time at a big race. He was been to Gymkhanas before but this is a bit bigger. He was nervous at first by the other horses but once he worked out his wiggles he was okay.

Also, funny story, he was being a little gate sour so I was taking him to the gate opening and working his butt off (figure eights and rollbacks along the fence) and once he thought it'd be cute to try and jump out of the opening to the gate, and on instinct I kicked him hard back into the arena, so he ended up banging his front legs on the metal and cut himself. Purely cosmetic wounds; a little blood but he was not sore or hurt and he did not swell. I let him rest in the middle of the arena, then made him stand and watch the others run for a little while, then put him up.

Selena however, felt wierd that day. She felt really reactive and jumpy, which is the polar opposite of how she normally is. She ran good, and our time was okay, but she stalled coming out of the first barrel and was anticipating turning the second so she kinda did a "squiggly squid" manuever going into it. She turned it tight and got out of it fast but that definitely lost our time. Lost both stirrups leaving it too, typical me huh? :lol: :lol: so going to the third I just kicked really hard and held onto the horn, and she smoked that one. She ran the hardest I've ever felt her going home and we ran a 17.8. I know she is capable of going faster (We have clocked 16's in that arena) but obviously that issue at the first two barrels cost us that time. She also has not been running for very long so it's okay, I don't mind a blip every now and then. I rode her on the practice pattern a little more and got her to stop anticipating that second barrel by running past it and counter-arcing away from it.

I don't know where/if I placed in a D. I believe that is the bottom of the 3D with her. My original plan was to sand-bag and aim for the 4D since there was a lot of girls running in the higher Ds, but with that mess up I thought that would be enough to put me in the 4D. Apparantly not though. When the results are online I'll check though just to be sure.

So yeah that's my day. :lol: I'm at a 50/50 split, successful because I'm proud of how my baby horse worked (despite the gate thing. Btw he's not gate sour anymore :rofl:), I enjoyed running there again and seeing everyone, and I am glad that I found a hole to fix and work on with Selena. I KNEW she couldn't be that good without developing a problem! Lmao.

beau159 10-09-2012 03:09 PM

Well 50/50 is better than nothing! Glad little Ruger learned a good lesson too!

I'm amazed you can remember so much about your run! It all usually happens to fast for me, that when I get done, I'm like "what did I just do?". Hope the autopilot was working!

I always use rubber bands when competing for some bucks. I do not lose my stirrup very often at all, but I sure don't want it to happen at an inopportune moment.

I took Red to another barrel race 2 weeks ago for another experience exposure. I did try one lope-through during his 3 exhibitions, and he did not do it as nicely as at home (typical). BUT! He was so calm and relaxed at the jackpot, I was so very proud of him. Granted it was the 3rd time he had been to this arena now, so it was a little familiar to him, but it was a huge improvement. He got pretty "spazzy" when we were riding in the arena with other horses and riders buzzing by, but all-in-all for the day, I was very happy with how calm he went for the day.

And I will get you some picture soon!

Which, ahem, where's YOURS from the day? :-P

SorrelHorse 10-09-2012 03:49 PM

Oh dear, if my Dad was coordinated enough with a camera I would of taken a TON. He tried to video the run but we only succeeded in looking at the ground. :/ To make up for it, I will be taking pictures of my new prospects tonight for everyone when I go to ride them.

I'm glad Red is working good! I think him and Ruger have similar flight issues in new places; We should compare notes. lol

As for bands, I have long since been out of my good bands so I only had some thick ones that have never really worked for me. I tried in the warmup to ride iwth them but I'm not confident that they'll break so I went without. I really need to get new thin bands, because even though I survive without my stirrups I'd like to give myself a good chance! lol

I think I will enter Ruger up for the next race. He's loping a smokin' pattern right now so I think he'd like to play some.

beau159 10-09-2012 04:31 PM

I always buy the big bags of assorted rubber bands, just so I can pick out the thin big ones to use on my stirrups! I've never had them break on a run, but there's been times when I've even lifted up my stirrups to take them off, and the bands just break they're so thin.

I don't mind, because I want them to break in a situation like that. I just have a lot of other assorted sizes I don't need, haha!

**sigh** Red's not loping a smoking pattern yet. But we've got other issues to work on, so I guess that's okay. He did, however, have a smoking second barrel when I loped him through one time on Sunday. It was the very first time he got his butt down in the turned, and actually turned hard on a barrel. It felt great. Granted, it was one barrel out of three, and it was a slow lope, but it's the first time he did it, so I'm hoping he does it more in the spring when I put him back on the pattern. I'm just gonna give him the time off from speed stuff over the winter.

He does, however, have a HELL of a first end pole turn. I must hold onto the horn and wedge myself against my elbow to keep my body in position. He's so powerful he'll throw my weight and body to the side. (Now if I can just get him to figure that out on a barrel!!!) And he can pretty much lope through each weave (the middle turning pole we are working on). I'm honestly thinking at this point that he may be a better pole horse than a barrel horse! He's picking the poles up pretty naturally. Flying lead changes and all. (Even though I can't actually cue him for a flying lead change otherwise .... one of the things I am going to have the trainer help us on.)

I'm already seeing that Red is going to need a lot of seasoning to get his little boogers out. But that's okay. Next year I'm gonna take him everywhere!! Hopefully some team penning, for sure some local association shows (reining, competitive trail, halter, WP, and speed), and of course, lots of gaming shows. My goal next year has nothing to do with placing, although if we do, super! But my goal is to haul, haul, haul him and get him some seasoning that way. He'll need it.

SorrelHorse 10-09-2012 05:01 PM

You know Selena is the same way. She is a lot better on poles then on barrels. I have a theory it's because they feel like they have more space to turn, since a barrel is bigger, they may be more concerned about hitting it. I'm really excited to run Selena on poles. The problem is that she doesn't change leads automatically, and it's hard for me to keep her up in the weave, but she's getting better. Her end poles are SMOKIN'.

I think Red will be a good horse for you once he gets some experience. He's just in his greenie stage, even though he's six. Lol. That's okay though. I'm sure that soon he will find himself and grow into himself some.

beau159 10-09-2012 05:59 PM

Yea, I'm sure my ownership has been a shocker to him, haha. He basically never left the farm, with his previous owners, and they bred and raised him.

I actually ran into them at one of the small shows I took him to for experience. It's no wonder he's pushy and in your space .... they always LET him!

I really think next year we'll get on the right track in February with the trainer, and hit the year off on a good note. He's had a while to transition into his new situation part of this year, so he should be good to go next year, with some time off over the winter.

Yea although I taught him the poles with two-tracking in between them, he really just kinda picked up the flying lead changes on his own. Which is strange because if I don't change his leads on the barrels, he'll go into the turn on the wrong lead and won't switch by himself. But he'll do flying ones through the poles. Silly horse.

SorrelHorse 10-09-2012 10:51 PM

Haha that is so cute.

I'm really lucky with Ruger, he'll do a flying change in drills. Obviously they aren't very refined, and he couldn't do it in say a reining pattern, but between poles and barrels he is fine.

I'm sure it has been a change for Red... A lot of spoiled horses like that get a little resentful at first. :)

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