After lunch it was time for the hazards. I had no major expectations going in, we had already E'ed out in cones, so our times wouldn't count for anything, just that we showed up and went thru them. If we screwed up any more- it's not like we could get any more Eliminated... lol
Down in the holding area, we warmed up in the dressage arena. A few of us were in there using the space to school our horses. Kat was again amped and acting like a twit, but the screaming was minimal because he had gotten in trouble enough already that I think it sank into his pea brain, I wasn't putting up with it anymore. He trucked around the dressage arena like a champ, still a bit fast, but not pulling or fighting me the whole time either.
Finally we were up and ready to go. The horse ahead of us was a lovely, older Norwegian Fjord mare. She was cute, it was their first time doing an ADT and the driver and I exchanged admiration of each other's horses. We finally got the go ahead and headed up the hill to hazard #1.
The first hazard was a box for the most part. In one corner, straight out the other side, around and in the third corner, make a right half way thru and out thru D in the middle of the top of the box. The dirt was loose and sliding conditions were excellent! Kat was on the run and there was so much dust in the air, I almost couldn't see anything in front of us. Thankfully I had worn my bandana over my face to keep the sun off and the dirt out. It was a simple hazard and a lot of fun.
Down the hill and around the back to hazard #2. The Fjord mare was coming out of the hazard as we were approaching it, so I slowed Kat down to give them time to finish up and clear out. I waited a little bit too, to give the volunteers scoring a chance to finish up their notes and get ready for us.
We headed in, I called out our number and level as we approached and went thru the "In" gate. Kat picked up a canter and we went thru A, made a U turn to get thru B, stayed in the hazard to loop around thru C and I was watching the tracks on the ground as we followed them out, before I realized- we still needed to go thru D. I stopped Kat, backed him up, moved him over and we went thru D and out. That was almost another big mistake and again, all on me.
As we headed down the hill again to venture off and find #3, the Fjord mare ahead of us was walking. It was a good time to make Kat do the same and he almost seemed to welcome the break. He walked on behind the mare and kept a steady pace, distanced behind them. They were still in the hazard by the time we made it, so I parked him a little ways back and watched them complete it as we waited. Again I gave them time and room to clear out, the volunteers time to finish up and get ready for us and Kat patiently waited.
When the volunteers were ready, I urged Kat on and let him run. Called out our info on the approach and got ready to go thru the gates as I had planned when I walked it. We went in thru A, wove thru the bushes thru B, around the tree and headed off to gate C in the part of the hazard across the field. We were blasting along, all lined up for it and as we approached, Kat ducked out on me to the left at the last minute. I hauled him in so hard and so tight, he was literally bouncing up and down, trying to stop the cart and I had pulled myself up off the seat, standing in the cart as I verbally laid into him asking where in the Hell this Bullshit was coming from? He finally stopped, I backed him up and got him moved over so we could go thru C, loop around for D and thru the Out gate.
I made him walk to the next hazard and literally had no idea what to expect of him once we got there. He had reared in the holding area before dressage, ducked out right on me in cones and now had ducked out left on me in a hazard. Sonoita he had refused to go into the water until it was clear to him that I wasn't giving up or letting up on him until he did, so this water hazard was one of those- anything could happen here, kind of deals.
We picked up a canter on our approach, ran thru the In gate, thru A and headed down to the water. Kat slowed to a stop at the edge of the water. I heard Sheri's husband Dave yell from behind me- Give him Hell Linda! I clucked to Kat and encouraged him on into the water. He must've known he would be in for it in a big way if he didn't go in, so he oh. so. s.l.o.w.l.y., gently., on his tippy toes... waded into the water. He walked across it, but he had gone in, so I praised him and told him what a good boy he was. From the bank behind us, I could hear Dave and the others cheering for us thru the water. That was cool!
Now we had to do it again, twice, going into the water in different places. We went thru B and again, he slowed it down before going into the water, but with very little hesitation. We were soon out on the other bank, went thru C, looped around to come back into the water to get thru D. This time the water was deeper and so was the mud underneath it, but Kat went in with only a slight hesitation and actually started to pick up a trot as we cleared D and the water became more shallow. Once out of the water, Kat again picked up a canter.
The dirt and mud, sticking to the cart, started to fly off as we sped up to leave the Out gate. I let him canter on a ways after we left the hazard. He deserved some sort of reward for his effort, even if he had been a twit in one of the other hazards. He seemed proud of himself too, for getting a bit bolder about going where I pointed him even if there was water involved. He had done well enough and although we got eliminated in cones, we had fun.