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!