Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Having a great fall!

The new blog template doesn't add the date we make a post, so I've added it to the title. Rich tried to use a blog template outside of Blogger and now he can't change it. We may just wind up scrapping this blog and starting anew, or not.

Last weekend my dad and his girlfriend, Bobbi were here for 24 hours. It was a nice but quick visit. We had a great sushi lunch at Sushi Sasa. It's a pretty trendy place downtown. After lunch we went over to the barn so they could meet Little Horse and watch me ride. It was a quick ride since it was pretty warm in the sun (81 degrees) and everyone was getting hot, especially LH, who's sporting her winter coat. She was pretty miserable to be working in the heat. I can't say that I blame her. After a bit of relaxing at home, we went for an early dinner at The Flagstaff House in the foothills of Boulder. We got there at 5-ish, which turned out to be a perfect time. It was daylight when we got there, but turned dark during the time we had dinner. The scenery was spectacular! We had a fabulous dinner with some excellent wine that my dad picked out. The next morning we made breakfast, then took dad & Bobbi to the airport.

This weekend was a boys/girls weekend. On Saturday Rich scooted with David on his new big yellow motorcycle. It sounds like they went all over Denver, covering close to 50 miles. I trailered Little Horse over to my old barn where I went on a trail ride with my friend, Mary Jo and her 3 year old Saddlebred mare, Scarlett, or "Ms. Scarlett" as she's known. Since Ms. Scarlett is still new to being ridden, so we kept things at a walk. Little Horse was very accommodating, even doing a "courtesy spook" when Scarlett spooked so she wouldn't feel silly by spooking alone. We were out for close to 2 hours and had a great time. Afterwards, Mary Jo wanted to show me a Mexican restaurant she'd recently discovered, El Pelicano in Aurora.

On Sunday I went for a 3 hour trail ride with Aliza (David's wife). It started out cold and windy, with temps in the upper 40's. By the time we were 1/2 way through the sun came out, the wind died down, and it got up to 62. We rode over to Mary Jo's barn where they were having a horse costume contest. That was really cool to see! I should have taken pictures, but I didn't. On the long dirt road on our way home, we let our horses run. Little Horse was going so fast that it was scary fun!

While we were riding, the boys were mountain biking in the foothills at White Ranch. They called us when they got done, so we all met up for a Korean lunch/dinner (it was 3pm by now). It was a great weekend!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Last Gymkhana of the Year!

On Saturday Rich (my official photographer), Little Horse and I loaded up the truck & horse trailer to head over to the Coal Creek arena (5 miles away) for the last gymkhana of the year, put on by the Aurora Horsemen's Association. This one wouldn't have happened, except it was a make-up date for a rain out 2 weeks ago. Normally I don't go to gymkhanas there because they don't start until 4pm and can go until 8pm, which means a loonnngg time in the hot sun. This time there was no hot sun, but the threat of rain, and the small number of people made thing go much quicker than before.

Because of the threat of rain, I only signed up to do barrels and in-line barrels. In-line barrels is a line of 3 barrels that you weave in & out of. Since the barrels were arranged in the "normal" pattern, Little Horse could get used to them during our 1/2 hour warm up. She's used to blue or black barrels, but there were 2 white ones. That can be scary! So we spent the majority of the warm up getting used to the scary white barrels.

Here's a pic of Little Horse and I before we got warmed up in her finest gymkhana bling:

Here we are doing our barrel practice:

Then they called the end of the warm up so they could start the gymkhana. We had to wait for the kids to go through before they called our class, Novice 19+. Little Horse was a little hesitant to go in the arena, but once she started, she shocked even me. She dug in and turned barrels far better than she ever had. Here's an example:

We wound up beating our previous best time by 4 seconds, turning in a time of 23 seconds, which was good enough for 2nd place. Here's how I looked after our barrel run:

Our next event was in-line barrels. But before our turn it started to rain. It wasn't a downpour, but the wind kicked up, so there was blowing rain & dust. Little Horse showed me what horses do and turned our butts to it. I have to say, rain and wind on the back was better than full-on in the face. After we waited our turn, it was time for in-line barrels. But they changed everything around, so the white barrels were totally scary again!!! The first two were white, so she shied away from them, then she carved the final (blue) barrel. When I turned her to run back to the gate, I could momentarily feel her coil like a spring, then she shot forward, at a full gallop! I could barely get her turned so we didn't run into the gate. Our time for that event was 22 seconds, good enough for 3rd place.

All in all, it was a good day!