Well, I had a busy weekend and there may be too much to say to get it all on one posting. On Thursday, Rich and I headed to T Cross Ranch, between Colorado Springs and Pueblo, to participate in a ranch horse clinic on Friday and Saturday. Since they only had outdoor pens made of temporary corral panels, sharing a fence with a strange horse, we elected to board our horses at a nearby facility with luxurious box stalls. It’s a little bit of a pain in the neck trailering back and forth and adds about a half hour to your morning, but we wanted our horses to be comfortable. Plus Rich’s horse is still a stallion (for at least three more days) and he can’t be kept next to a strange horse without some fence remodeling.
It turned out to be a good decision because it rained all night Thursday and most of the day on Friday. This is a very unusual occurrence here in the high desert. I can count the number of times we get rainy days in a year on one hand and still be able to make a peace sign. Usually it is the hot blazing sun we are protecting our horses from by boarding them indoors in a box stall.
Because of the rain, all 34 horses and riders crowded into the indoor, instead of breaking into three groups and utilizing the outdoor arenas too. So we practiced cutting most of the day, but with so many horses, we spent most of the time waiting to go for your two minute run. Dually cut remarkably well considering I hadn’t had him on a cow in 6 weeks (since the last cutting clinic I did). We putzed around on the trail course for a short time too, but Dually’s pretty good at that stuff too so I didn’t’ want to over-practice on him and have him get bored. I ended up putting up Dually early because I don’t like to sit there on him for two hours then have him go cut a cow. That sitting around kills you and then he’s not really warmed up adequately for the cutting. I nurse too many physical issues with Dually to do that to him. Friday night there was a great barbeque, conveniently held at the ranch where we were boarding. Most of the group was there and it was fun to sit around and swap horse stories and get to know your fellow riders.
Saturday the weather was blue-bird Colorado—cool and crisp in the morning, warm in the afternoon. We spent most of the day practicing the classes for the competition the next day. Rich did not ride in the reining/cow work in the morning because Diggs had a sore spot on his hip. Turned out he was fine (I think it might have been a welt from a bug bite) so he rode later in the ranch riding (pattern work and rail work) and then in the roping and he was very happy with his progress.
I tried a new saddle pad on Saturday and Dually worked awesome. I am not sure if it was entirely due to the pad but I was happy with the results. I’ve been trying out a lot of pads in search of the perfect pad. Dually’s a great guinea pig because he is so very sensitive and I can tell even before I get on if he likes the pad/saddle/bit or not. I’ve tried a few pads I really like but before I throw my name behind a pad, I want to be sure it’s the right one and to look at as many different pads as I can. I don’t really think there is one pad for every horse but I’ve found some pads that I love and some I hate.
Rich and I came home on Saturday night, electing not to participate in the competition this time. Rich is still getting to know his new horse and does not feel ready to compete on him yet (even though he would probably have done really well). Probably a smart decision; with horses, it’s best not to do something if you don’t feel totally comfortable about it. It takes time to get in sync with a horse enough to compete on him in such a demanding event as Versatility Ranch Horse.
We also wanted to come home early because here in Salida this weekend was our annual VRH event, a memorial event for a friend and trainer from the area which we sponsor so we wanted to support that event—plus one of our sale horses was entered and we wanted to see how he did. Tequlo, our cute little buckskin cutter, did quite well—winning the halter and placing in every class, winning third overall. He possibly would’ve won but his rider two-handed the reins in one of the cow classes—resulting in a DQ for that part of the class. We all make mistakes at some time when showing, especially when competing in such a complicated event. I can’t criticize her at all for her mistake because Dually and I entered the ranch horse jackpot (a 4:30 minute class where you ride a pattern with trail obstacles, do a little reining, then cow work) and we should have won it but I went off pattern in the trail portion of the class. Dually was nearly perfect but I let him down. Stupid. Oh well. I am not sure your horse knows the difference in a blue ribbon and a yellow one. Actually, I am not sure how I finished because I left before it was over but I am guessing with my bone-head mistake, we would be knocked down a few places. I wish I could say it was my first or last mistake, but it’s neither. But the more you compete, hopefully the fewer mistakes you make.
I am looking forward to a few weeks at home—four actually! Wow. I can actually unpack and put the suitcases away! I bought a new horse this weekend—a pretty palomino reiner– and I think he is going to be a great addition to our sale string. So I am looking forward to some casual riding and being at home and maybe even working on some of my projects—videos and audios. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
Thanks for reading and for your comments,