Each time we lined up for the gates of an obstacle or cones, Kat brought it down to a trot on his own. Apparently he has things under control as well. We whipped around and around in the Kokopelli pipes going through gates 1-4 pretty quick.
*Photo credit goes to Jessie & Craig Zamboni*
Here we are coming thru gate 1 and Kat is giving the stink eye to the piece of foam laying on the ground on his right. This is supposed to be capping off the end of the one pipe.
We cantered to cones 5-8, trotting through them and followed by an exuberant burst of speed across the short space to the Poles for gates 9-12. Number 9 and 10 were aligned perfectly so we could take it at an angle and go straight through them both. We circled around a pole to get to 11, circled around again to get through 12, a short canter to the cones for 13-16...
another canter off to the gate going out of this area to the area with the Covered Wagons hazard for gates 17-20. At this point we had to go up the slight hill back through the gate and across the field to the middle and the start finish line. Once we were clear of gate 20, Kat took off again with very little urging on my part. He was cooking along at a nice canter going up the hill and through the gate.
As we came along the fenceline there was a person standing there helping to judge the course, reset the cones and balls as needed. I decided to cut loose and have a little fun. Why not? I put my reins in my left hand, leaned forward a bit, put my right hand and whip up and out and said "Charge!" Pretty much everyone heard it and we all had a good laugh.
Kat responded by kicking it up a few notches and really letting go. He started to gallop pretty strongly forward and we were blasting across the grass. It was amazing and so much FUN!
And as always, all good things must come to an end. We made the turn heading towards the finish line and I was slowing Kat down. I didn't want him blasting through the finish line, straight through the gate and out into the 'holding area' where everyone else was at. I managed to slow him down, circle around to the right and bring him back down to a walk before leaving the course.
Peter Atonna, our timer and club president joked that as we brought it down to mach 10 and left the arena the last entry would be ready to go. At the awards banquet it was announced that I had not only won the event for the division, for which we were awarded a cake, but I had the second fastest time on course behind one of the mini entries. Yeah, we were tearing it up!
For the ADT series we also placed second with Reserve Champion. We were awarded an organizer that fastens to the stall front with two huge pouches on it. Inside the top one is several pockets for brushes, fly spray, etc. The bottom pocket is huge and has room for storing blankets, sheets and in Kat's case a lot of stuff!
Something else was also mentioned that I hadn't thought of. Of the entries for TP-GD (Training Pony Green Driver) I also had the best dressage score average with a 54 or 57 point something or other. I didn't catch the number and haven't found it online anywhere... I had focused on the year end points that I hadn't even thought about our dressage scores other than how they compared to the next level up. This was a pleasant and unexpected surprise.
Our first ADT for next year is January 26th in Coolidge again. The Goree family is generous in hosting it and the CDE in March. Both events promise to be a lot of FUN! Although there is no galloping or even cantering allowed in training level or prelim, Kat and I will be working on that as well as something else a couple of club members and I had casually discussed that sounds like a wicked amount of fun. Besides, I was reading online on some of the ridden dressage blogs/forums about their 'disastrous' training level scores for horses who went on to later be PSG and upper level mounts. Some horses seem to really flourish as the work becomes more intensive. I am thinking Kat is one of them.