I have to start off by saying that the wind blew all day on Saturday and it blew pretty dang hard. It took me a tank and a half of gas to get down there and only half a tank to get back if that tells you anything. One of the other entries said it blew so hard the night before, her trailer rocked all night from it. I don't mind breezes, but I find wind like this is a pain in the butt.
I got Kat out of the trailer and let him settle down. I got him a drink of water, brushed him off, cleaned his feet, put his boots on and was getting him ready to go. Little man was ALL. JACKED. UP! I lunged him for a little while and he didn't seem to be backing down at all. He kept turning one way, ripping around, then turning the other way and ripping around some more. That got old real fast. I had to step it up, get in his face and back him down some. I put the rope over his nose, gave it a tug or two so he knew it was there and sent him off to the end of the line again. This time he had better listen to me. He still went around and around for a little while, but he was much more respectful of me and didn't change directions until I said so. He worked both ways and finally settled down and relaxed. That was more like it. I also kept telling him to save it for the cones.
He was still a bit wound up when I hitched him and driving over to the arena he was trying to jig and jog and just get going. We got over there and I let him work a bit. As we circled left and right, did a few serpentine's a handful of halts and up and down transitions with walking thrown in, he started to slow down and relax. He was still calling a little but nowhere near like he did in AJ, where he screamed constantly. By the time we got over to do our pre-trip inspection, he still wanted to move, but was a lot calmer about it. He was creeping as the TD was looking over our harness to make sure everything was adjusted right, buckled, straps thru their keepers and we were good to go.
Finally it was our turn to go. As we trotted in to X the wind was blowing pretty hard, right in our faces. I knew our halt might be dismal since he may not hear me say whoa. He stopped, but then wiggled and fussed and moved over to the left. I saluted the judge and we trotted into our test. As we trotted our circles I kept reminding myself- Look thru your turns. He seemed to be doing okay. The extended walk went fairly well, or so I thought. The judge did remark that there was some lengthening shown.
We trotted some more, did our serpentine with 3 turns, our extended trot also got us a 'some lengthening shown' remark, and our halt, stand for 3-5 seconds was decent. Then Kat just started to back up on his own so I went with it. Again, I couldn't remember if we were to walk or trot to the judge to halt and salute so I went with the walk this time. He didn't want to halt for the final salute, but stopped squirming around long enough I could manage it and we were done. Whew!
Because of the wind, the judge and the scribe sat in a truck at the end of the arena. This is pretty common at our driving events. There was no horn honking signalling we were off pattern so that was good. I reached forward and patted Kat on the butt as we headed out of the arena. A few times I had to really pull him around to the left to get the correct bend, but he had it and that was good enough to me. We did get nailed for being counterbent on the rail, thru our turns, etc. which is not unusual for us either and I have almost come to expect it sometimes. Now it was on to the cones...