Jim had picked up our
other bell boot that went astray and I was thanking him for a great course. It
was challenging, kept your attention and made you focus. Something I apparently
had issues with last Saturday. I respect Jim's opinion. A LOT.
He's one of those people that are easy to talk to and you just know that
he knows his stuff. He was one of the votes at the CDE last year in favor
of moving Kat up to Prelim.
After helping Jim pick up the cones course, we talked about the course and
the challenges he seen in it. As a course designer and judge, he notes
which balls are knocked down the most often, then he tries to figure out
WHY? Was it the red one at #6, the white one at #17 or several of them in
a multiple? Was there just not enough room to line up for it
properly? Were people just Not lining up for that one properly? Or
was there something else...
Saturday’s course had a lot of balls down at #1, the white one on the left.
He looked at it up close, he looked at it a little further back, he backed up
even more and that's when he realized why. When we entered the starting line,
heading for #1, we were aimed right at the back of the grandstands for the
rodeo arena. We made a left to line up for #1. Apparently some of the horses
ducked thru the turn, cut it sharp and wiped out the cone on the left, as if to
get away from the 'big, scary' grandstands.
He mentioned another course he had done a while back. Most people wiped out
the red ball on this course. Same thing, he stood up close, he stepped
back, stepped further back and looked around... There in front of the cones,
but off in the distance was a saguaro cactus. Coming off the
previous cone, lining up straight at the cactus before turning right to
line up for the next one, the horses were ducking their corner again,
cutting it sharp and close- to get away from the cactus.
I'm not sure if Kat's attention has ever been outside the ring in cones and
that's why we wipe them out, if he is just so dang excited and acting like a
twit that he loses focus or if we just get going too fast and get sloppy. I
know I will now be looking for things outside the ring and paying more
attention to possible distractions for when we are on course.