(Pt. 3) Chances Are
(A continuation of http://www.horseforum.com/member-journals/pt-2-lets-run-107975/)
I went on a trail ride today. About two hours at a brisk walk. While I was out there, I starting thinking, "What do I want out of this year?" Usually, I have a set of goals already thought out weeks before the new year. But there I was, on January 2nd, 2013, with only the vaguest idea.
I felt pretty good about last year, even though most of my competitive ambitions were superseded after the tie-up incident by my immediate goal of just getting back on the trail. But now we're back and healthy and (theoretically) there isn't anything we can't do. This will be my last full ride year before I head off to college... I guess it's time to take a chance and go for broke.
So I'm going to go for the big three of the junior open division: Junior Grand Champion, Junior High Average Horsemanship, and a Junior National Championship.
Chances are... Well, hard to say. At the end of it all, it's going to come down to luck and staying power.
Inevitably, I’m going to get discouraged and want to quit. I’ll decide that this is pointless; we’re no good and never will be, and we don’t belong in the game. My attitude is my main problem. All my problems are attitude problems. So this year, instead of focusing on correcting my horse, I’m going to correct myself.
This year, I will:
1.) Do hard things.
2.) Never waste a ride.
3.) Remember you only lose if you aren’t happy with what you did. Never do anything you wouldn’t be proud of.
4.) Never give up.
5.) Be proud.
6.) Be patient.
7.) Be quiet.
8.) Be appreciative.
9.) Give an unlimited number of chances, and always believe something good just might happen.
Happy New Year! I hope it's gonna be the best.
Ha ha, pressure's on! :lol: Now I gotta make this good!
I began fighting the thrush war on the 3rd, and I think I'm winning.
When Micheal trimmed BG's feet, he said she had thrush -- the most worrying of which was deep in her sulcus. The sulcus is the line that divides the frog in half. When thrush gets down in there, it's mighty hard to kill. Especially with the rainy weather we've been having. Daily I have been picking her feet, scrubbing them with Dawn dish soap, allowing them to dry, and then applying "Pete's goo."
Pete's goo is super simple: it's equal parts anti-fungal and antibiotic creams, mixed together and placed in a large syringe. You squirt the stuff up into the sulcus and there you go. People have said it's very effective and more gentle than bleach or other homemade cures.
Compared to last week's rank, gooey frog, we're starting to look good:
This foot thing is generally starting to go well, I think. She is no longer tender on pavement and her soles are slowly starting to harden up. I'm going to need some easy boots to compete with, however, if I choose to keep this up. :? I've had two experiences with easy boots: once with Coco at Uwharrie last year and once with Thunder at Leatherwood. Coco's boots came off twice the entire 60 miles (each time at a gallop); Thunder's came off every other mile. It's all fit fit fit. How tedious. I might need to start experimenting soon if I want to be booted up by Spanish Trail.
My friend Grace and I stayed up until 2:00 AM last night making flagging ribbons for the NATRC clinic at Mingo this coming weekend.
We cut 150 one inch wide/two foot long strips of (uber tacky floral print) fabric and attached them to 150 clothes pins.
The morning after, BG and I set out to flag some trail. I attached a bunch of flagging to her breast collar and stuffed the rest in my saddle bags. I had five miles of trail to cover.
"Really? Five miles of stop and go and sidepassing up to trees and BLAH." And fires me the mare glare.
But she was a very good girl and did a lovely job helping me flag.
Mingo is a sand box! We did those five miles as fast as reasonable through a sea of sand. BG was ready to walk by the end. :lol:
Her favorite man Thunder was there. She stood tied next to him like a little lady during our lunch break.
We're going back tomorrow to finish up. When I took off her saddle at the end of the ride, I noticed dry spots near the middle of her back on each side. Maybe bridging? I made a couple adjustments to the fitting cushions, so we'll see what everything looks like tomorrow.
She doesn't seem uncomfortable. In fact, she acts damn comfy! Her movement has really improved. The most dramatic difference is in her flat walk. It's so free and easy. She no longer has to jig pace to keep up with faster horses. She seems happy.
Almost finished with the trails at Mingo. We timed it today and identified places that need pie plates, white flags, etc. We concluded our five miles will be paced at roughly 3.2 MPH. With obstacles included, total time on the trail will be around 1:45. We'll send people out in three groups (fast walkers, medium walkers, and slow walkers) five minutes apart. BG and I will be leading the fast walker group and riding point. (We'll also go back to Mingo on Thursday or Friday to do a quick run through to make sure no one has tampered with our ribbons.)
"I hate walking. Especially behind other horses." *grumpy ears*
There is a lot more to be done before the clinic, but at least the trail is almost set up. I'll also be heading at least one station during the in camp portion of the clinic; I'll probably do metabolics (I hope) or demonstrate an obstacle.
I also played in the pond. But it was cold, so I got out.
And I believe my saddle adjustments may have finally hit it. The sweat patterned look good and uniform at the end of the day. She didn't sweat much, so it's hard to tell from this picture. But I didn't see the giant dry spot that worried me yesterday.
Just wanted to say I've spent the last couple of days reading this journal and I have learned a lot from your posts! You are a talented horsewoman AND writer - keep up the good work!
Wow, thanks! :D
I arrived at Mingo late on a Friday afternoon. It was almost dark. The boss had brought the horses over around noon and had BG high lined with a bucket of water and a little hay. After I got her better settled in, we went for a little ride with my NATRC friend Emily and her pony George. BG historically hasn't done well in strange locations without a buddy from the barn. She was a touch nervous going out with only George (and she was leading). She jigged some and acted a little hot, but I was still impressed that she was only a little hot and jigged only some.
Back at camp, I had the best bed ever waiting for me.
I cleaned out the back of Amy's (massive warmblood sized) trailer, blew up an air mattress, and made myself a suite. Now that's camping in high style.
The clinic officially started Saturday morning. Courtney, Keri, and I worked at the vet-in station, with BG was a demo horse. Poor BG wiggled and snorted for the first couple rotations. Keri pretended to be our vet judge and did a mock exam. BG grew tired of having her feet picked up and her mouth messed with over and over again. She would stand in tense frustration until Keri was finished touching her. We were then directed to lunge a couple circles. BG took this opportunity to blow off her annoyance and proceeded to pin her ears, jump, and canter her circles.
"And that's how not to do it."
The riding part of the clinic followed shortly after. BG was a mixture of annoyed, tired, and irritable. The mare glares were impressive, but we couldn't quit yet.
(Yes. She her rope is being held down by the top of my tool box. She doesn't know she isn't tied. Don't tell her. :lol: That truck is my traveling tack room.)
I was promoted to point rider and had to keep 10 minutes ahead of the main group. Emily and George rode behind us.
We kept a 7 MPH pace for 4.5 miles until we reached the obstacle Emily and I were to judge. The obstacle was to walk your horse to a log, straddle the log, count to five, and proceed down the trail. Everyone, for the most part, did awesome.
BG was pretty anxious, but not overbearingly so until we were riding the final half a mile home after the obstacle. Frustration levels had crossed the event horizon by that point, and there was nothing I could do to pacify her. It had been a hard day, so I didn't start a major fight. I half halted the rest of the way back, asking for a walk but not insisting. Sometimes, it's not worth winning if your horse was to lose.
She quieted down once her saw her friends over the hill and walked the final two minutes to camp. I untacked her, hosed her off (it was 80 degrees today), and gave her half a tube of electrolytes. All was well again. That ride wasn't so bad. The world didn't implode and wasn't going to. Hopefully BG noted this.
I love your new journal ! Awesome job !
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