Last weekend I had several opportunities to get the photos for the next post of putting a horse to a cart, but since we were in a constant state of Hurry Up & Wait, they didn't happen. They will come, I promise. Just not yet for now.
Since the pony at the barn that I have been working with has been on a bit of a hiatus in her training, I dusted off the harness and worked on bringing my ponyman back into work. I mean, Pine Hill is in May again and who knows? We might be able to go..... At least this time I would be giving him a better chance at being in shape before we did it instead of 2 weeks to throw things together.
Kat is admittedly getting up there in years and after being asked by my man what the ratio of horse to human years is, we kind of agreed it is somewhere around 3 years to our 1. When you think about it, horses live to around 20-30 years and we humans live to around 70-80. If you multiply 20-30 years by 3 you get 60-90 years so we're somewhere in the ballpark.
With the little man aging, I keep thinking that at some point he is going to eventually slow down and is not going to be AS competitive as he has been. (I'm trying to be realistic people. Stick with me here.) So we found an upcoming show and sent our entries in. Our number for the event? 19 just like his age. I didn't even make that connection until well into Sunday.... Doh!
Saturday we were entered in Turnout, Working, Reinsmanship and Ladies to drive. Turnout has never been our strong suit, just like dressage hasn't been in the CDE's or ADT's. It's important to know your limitations. We ribboned in Turnout, though the class was small. It was for modern carriages (metal) or traditional (wooden) and competition for either one was pretty tough. On to Working Pony and we did our best but did not pin in that or Ladies to Drive. Ribbons were only thru 4th and Ladies to drive had 12 entries. They split the class with mini and long ears going seperately from the ponies, horses and multiples (pairs or 4 up).
One of the judges comments to me in the lineup of the Turnout class was to watch the curb chain of the bit, that it doesn't pinch his lip when I use my reins and engage it. I had put him in the butterfly and used the curb setting for the reins since I thought he might be a bit fresh and I would need a little something more. Instead, during our break between Working and Ladies to Drive, I switched him back to the plain ring snaffle. With Reinsmanship being after the lunchbreak, we got to take about a 2 hour break.
Reinsmanship Pony was a pretty good sized class and after our rail work, we were given the instructions for our pattern. The judge likes to use simple patterns that focus on the basics. I have shown under her before and like she said, "It seperates the men from the boys. It might be simple, but if you haven't done your basics it will show now."
We were to come forward out of the line and go to the left to the rail, then follow it around behind the line up across the short side of the arena. Coming down the long side, there was a pair of cones set up parallel with the rail on both sides of the arena and one pair set up in front of the judge. We were to make a small, two loop serpentine- left and go straight thru the first set of cones and across the arena, make a right coming thru the next set of cones, another right coming up the center line and stop with the ponies nose at the cones. We were to stand for a few seconds and establish the halt, then back 4 steps, halt, come forward the same 4 steps and halt and salute.
We did everything correctly until the reining back part. We did our 4 steps and halted and I saluted. As soon as I did it, I thought "Whooooops. Shit!" We did our 4 steps forward, halted and saluted again. Yep, I blew that one! Hahahaha Since there was plenty of time, the judge came thru the lineup and explained to each of us, things she seen where we could improve. "Part of the rein back, is to walk forward." Ummm, yeah....
When she had come to us, Kat decided he needed her attention. The moment she started speaking to us, he backed up so he could be near her and hear what she had to say. I asked him where he was going? The judge asked him where he was going? When I explained to her what he was doing, we all had a good laugh. Kat wanted the judge to explain things to Him. Because in his mind- "I've got this. Her back there in the cart? Yeah, I have no idea what's going on with that." As he rolls his eyes and shakes his head...
She placed us 4th in a good size class so I have no complaints.