CoCo and JenKat travel uncharted territory - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-21-2016, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana
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CoCo and JenKat travel uncharted territory

I wanted to start a journal documenting the progress my mare CoCo and I have made along the journey that is: showing.

When I got into horses...about 10 years ago, now, I had no ambition to do anything other than just plod around on a horse. My horse, your horse, anybody's horse! I had no aspirations to really learn and push myself past what I was comfortable with. As a beginner, that wasn't much. I definitely had ZERO plans of ever showing because I have quite possibly the worst case of stage fright. I was blessed to acquire a wonderful babysitter of a horse in Ragtime. As a senior horse, whatever spunk she did have still left me feeling pretty comfortable in the saddle, and she built up my confidence into thinking I could handle anything! As she aged and her arthritis progressed I made the decision to let her enjoy her retirement...and I started the search for another horse. One that was younger, spunkier, better trained and one that would teach me instead of babysit me. I brought home CoCo. A Mt. Dew stealing bulldog of a horse that was well trained. Perfect. Exactly what I wanted. I learned one thing REALLY quickly, though. I didn't know how to ride a well trained horse.

I took my time learning. I was able to get some lessons on CoCo from a really great reining trainer. It got me by. CoCo was gracious during that time. I think she knew I didn't know what I was doing. She pushed back more and more as I progresses, never allowing me to really feel comfortable, like I was always climbing a hill. I'm thankful for that now. She was really making me into a better rider. Fast forward to today, I can ride a trained horse! BUT I'm learning the finesse to it. I'm having to refine my riding and sharpen/refine my cues.

So what are we up to? Ranch sorting. Something we both love. CoCo loves it a little bit more than me I think. She's all business in the pen and that can intimidate me sometimes. She can be a lot to handle. I have a wonderful trainer who sorts and pens with her and he helps me quite a bit, too. One of the great "side effects" of sorting has been the stage fright issue. It's relaxed me a lot the point of now I'm not completely terrified of someone watching me ride.

I've pushed myself a lot with the sorting. I've accomplished things and learned things about my horse and myself through it that I otherwise wouldn't have. It's made me want to do see what we both are made of! Introducing...Ranch Horse shows.

We have a really great charter of the American Ranch Horse Association here and the shows are about 15 minutes from the barn. I've been to several of their shows (never to show) and loved how "beginner friendly" they are. Our goal 2 years ago was to start showing...that didn't it's been pushed back to THIS YEAR! Our first show is in just over 4 weeks. I plan on showing in the novice amateur classes which are-

Ranch Riding
Ranch Trail
Ranch Reining
Ranch Cutting

Those are the only classes I'm looking at, and doubt I will do them all...

So...I'll be coming back here to post updates of the sorting and ranch shows for this year!
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-22-2016, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana
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I need to start working on putting these patterns together. It's been rather challenging for me to say the least. I start the pattern, then end up schooling CoCo in the middle of it and then I forget the rest of the pattern and we both end up frustrated.

I started out looking at things all the patterns had in common- turns, spins, backs, lead changes and I worked on all those separately. In all honesty I feel like NONE of those are 100% solid. I went back and schooled her in a snaffle last didn't go as planned. She doesn't care for anything other than a curb, which is fine I guess...but I'm not very comfortable riding one handed yet and I CANNOT GET A RIGHT SPIN. It's completely trainer get's it every time. I'm not asking right and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. My trainer watches me and tells me EXACTLY what to do...I just can't get it. It makes me want to pull my hair out. But she fought the snaffle allllll night- then she wasn't planting her right hind- she just seemed really off. The chiropractor is coming out Saturday so I'll have him take a look at her. I just didn't feel like we got a lot done last night. I'll give her a few days off- let her rest that leg a little.

In other news...I have to go shopping! I need some shirts and jeans to show in. We don't have many stores that carry what I'm looking for though. I bought a shirt off amazon last week. It's supposed to arrive today. I'm crossing my fingers it fits well and that I don't have to return it!
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-25-2016, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana
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Why do things like this always happen for my indecisive self. Our first ranch horse show (and first show ever) is Memorial Day weekend, which we have been preparing for. I find out last night that we have a big sorting that weekend, too. My first initial thoughts are, "Oh bummer, guess I have to skip out on the ranch show." We are more prepared for the sorting, it's less scary for me...and cheaper...but I think those are all the reasons why I need to actually do the ranch horse show, minus the "cheaper" part.

We will see how much progress we can make in the next few weeks. That will really determine what decision I make.

I had the chiropractor come out Saturday for Coco. She was REALLY out, she was dragging that right hind really badly. Super uncomfortable. The chiro had to work a little harder than normal but he finally got her adjusted. She immediately started moving better. No hard stops, spins or rollbacks this week. Lot's of long backing, trotting poles and deep sand for the week. She's going to love that.

On top of that we have a nice little mess of rain rot going on. She got a medicated bath last night and for once didn't seem to mind it. It could be the fact that I let her eat grass the whole time...
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-29-2016, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana
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Well it looks like my decisions were made for me this week. We received a few different graduation and open house invitations for May 28th which is the second day of the first show. I discussed it with the husband, and I just don't think it's a good idea for me to skip out on the graduations. That side of the family doesn't really understand my "horsey life" and we agreed that if I went to the show and skipped out on the graduations, it would probably cause some tension.

That's OK though. More time to prepare. Honestly, I am disappointed. I'm nervous for this first show, but I'm very much looking forward to it. It's kind of discouraging to push it back like that. But, now I we should have no excuse to not be ready. I think the next show is June 17-19. Roughly six weeks away. I think we can make some good progress in that amount of time.

CoCo's hip has been moving better but she's still not at 100%. My trainer is friends with a lady that runs an equine rehab center. She has lasers and thera-plates and an aqua treadmill. He wants to take CoCo over there and have her use the treadmill. He thinks it will allow us to see what her muscles are doing a little clearer, and we can push her a little more. I'm all for the idea! I'm ready to get this girl sound so we can start making some progress!
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-23-2016, 10:16 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Indiana
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We had sorting practice yesterday. Yesterday was the FIRST time in 2 years it just finally came together. CoCo was great and we worked really well together. Had two perfect sorts too!




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post #6 of 8 Old 05-26-2016, 02:09 PM
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Nice read. CoCo is very cute, shes nice and lean. Love the last picture especially. And I love that trailer :) I know ranch sorting is not the same as cowboy challenge but it has some aspects that I find relate to cowboy challenge.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-26-2016, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Indiana
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Originally Posted by Hoofpic View Post
CoCo is very cute, shes nice and lean.
Thank you! Lol...she didn't always used to be nice and lean. She was a little fatty about 4 months ago! I'll see if I can't find any pictures of her then.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-09-2018, 12:14 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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This journal has been closed due to prolonged lack of participation by the author. Journals that have no active participation by the author for a period of time greater than 18 months will be considered abandoned and will be closed until the author asks for them to be reopened.

Just winging it is not a plan
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horse shows , ranch horse , ranch sorting , showing , western

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