A very good friend gave me a good luck charm to keep with me....
Jill, this is for you! Thank you! :-)
After seeing my performance in the horse course, you would think the good luck charm didn't work - but it did work! I got to ride! Woo hoo! It was touch and go for a while because of the girth rash thing. It isn't only the neoprene area that was irritated...it was the whole area, including the rings. They seem like heat bumps. We got to thinking about what is different, and we think it might be the shavings. He seems to have a few hives elsewhere on his body. They aren't big - but you can tell there is something there.
He still made faces at me this morning when I went towards the girth area, but we think it was a habit and anticipation of pain. I massaged it and he finally relaxed. That was when I decided to ride because I could not feel anything foreign. I didn't get any practice time in the past couple of days, so I spent a couple minutes riding in a small area before I was due to take my turn. I was afraid to ride too much and have him get irritated again.
First of all let me tell you I came in 34th out of 42 people who showed in my division. And if you look at the bigger picture, I was 34th out of 200! HA! If I could have salvaged the horse course, I would have done very very well.
I was very nervous, and I know that did not help him. We got out there, I mounted using the block, and I headed to my 2nd thing to do. I decided not to canter - trotting would be fine. Well, it wasn't fine. You all know how a young horse is learning how to steer at the trot and he is zig zaggy? Tripp got all wide eyed in that arena and when we started trotting, he was all over the place! No worries....I decided I would work with what I had.
I am attaching pictures of the course - it looks very easy...but all I have to say is yes, it is easy, but not when your horse has not seen some of the stuff before in a room full of energy. ACK! There was a rope gate that was right at the 'L', and Tripp did not want anything to do with it! I thought I would ride around the obstacle first to let him look at it better, but it was close to the wall and banners, so that didn't work either. The announcer finally called my time and said I could start my 2 minute free style. Ahhhh yes.....will get right on that. :-)
I headed to the far end of the arena where it was more open, and as I was headed towards the poles/bridge, Tripp stopped. I could not get him moving, then his tail started swishing 100 miles a minute! He had to poop! He still has not figured out the walk and poop thing, so we sat there. I waved to the crowd and laughed, and they laughed too. Hence, horse poop is good poop! You all know how you sit in the crowd and are mentally trying to help the rider? I feel like everyone was doing that for me, but when I waved and laughed, they relaxed. We trotted over the poles and headed to the bridge. We would have been fine there except there were 2 plastic plants on each side of it. HORSE EATING PLANTS! :-) So no bridge. We did come back on the back side of the obstacles close to the wall and exited the arena.
Here is the cool thing.....well, there are a couple of things. One is I ended up getting 54 points today! No, that isn't a lot, but it is A LOT when you think you aren't getting anything! The other thing is Ken McNabb scored me higher on a couple of things than the other judges. Hee hee!
Even tho I was nervous, I was sooooo happy to be out there riding! So it was all good. I will admit that after everything that happened thru the day soaked in, I was disappointed in myself. I felt like I did not show what the mustangs can actually do, and I felt that I didn't do anything to convince the average person that they can gentle and work with a mustang, which was my goal. I was not belittling what I had done - I know we did great and am very proud of where I am at. Brian had to give me a pep talk and reminded me of a few things. He really has been great! He doesn't just talk the talk...he has been there for me and is so proud of me, which is a bonus in all of this.
Here is another really cool thing...I had people approach me and tell me how great I did, and they appreciated that I didn't get all over Tripp and yank around on him to try to make him do something. I stayed patient with him and tried to work with what he was going thru....he was stressed and they loved that I tried not to add to it. That meant so much! Our stall neighbors were laughing because they said they could see my non-stop grin from where they were sitting. :-D
Here we are done! I am relieved to know we are done....this is the beginning of Tripp being a real horse for a while. :-)
Okay, just another me and Tripp picture...I am proud of this shirt!
We did not win anything for the stall decorations. Hmpf! But it was fun! Brian and I have been wearing our tie-dye shirts, and people would stop us to let us know that they knew what stall we came from. It is pretty cool!
Okay, here is the 'L' and gate. It freaked out a lot of horses - then again there were a lot that trotted right in there. I need to learn how to prepare for something like this. Tripp really did try, but I think with him being alone out there, and me being nervous, it was a recipe for something other than what they wanted. :-)
I was excited to be one of the first ones to go this morning - but after sitting there watching some of the others who were having problems, I learned that there is so much more I could have done to salvage the course itself. My mind just doesn't work that way, so I will have to retrain it.
I have a story to share I forgot to tell the other night. I have never had hay bags before, but we got one for the trip down here. I had it hanging in the stall the first day, but it made me nervous. You know Murphy's Law - if it can happen it will. I was working on my scrap book and Tripp was moving around but looked like he was limping. Then he moved again and it looked like he was holding his leg up and I got scared - just could not image what happened to make him hold that leg up. I looked in and he had his foot in the hole of the hay bag! Nobody was around but me, and I was internally freaking out! I have to tell ya, Tripp was awesome! I went in there and he stood still. That leg was as high as my lower waist and he let me heave ho it a little bit to get it out. I was so proud of him for not fighting it! It took me a full 2 seconds to get that bag out of there! I will put it back up in the trailer, but that is it.
That is all I can think of for now. How do show people do this? It is after midnight, and we need to be up early again. I want to be there early enough to get a seat to watch the Legends perform. The days have been full ones and there isn't time to rest.
Tonite we watched the yearling finals and it was great!
We also got a mini concert put on by Templeton Thompson. She sings a lot about horses...very cool!
Okay, I really am headed to bed.
Until later....Karen and Tripp