Friday, September 25, 2015

Dreamer & Cupid - My Super Boys!

Last weekend I went to my first Obstacle Challenge at Turkey Run Ranch – what a blast!

We strolled in a bit late at 10:30am which only left us 30 minutes to get saddled up and practice the obstacles. The warm up actually started at 9am but because it was raining and a 3hr drive we were a little sluggish getting there.

Cupid and Dreamer came for the show – Kahleesi is still taking time off hoping she’ll be sound for Kentucky after getting a mysterious hoof bruise while out in the paddock.

I was so incredibly proud of my horses as they approached all of the unique obstacles.

Obstacles included:
  • ·         Kiddie pool with water and floating wood
  • ·         Raised bridges
  • ·         Sand filled tires
  • ·         Piles of pine cones
  • ·         Straw jumps
  • ·         Tarps and sand hills
  • ·         A sprinkler car wash
  • ·         Water crossing
  • ·         Narrow back through

There were really a lot of choices and I loved how they have the are set into 3 different parts. The sand ring was all Halloween/fall themed. One grass field area was set up Indian themed with a teepee and other decorations. The third area was set up as the cowboy field.

The only things my boys were weary of were the rope gate – because there was scary cornstalks on either end, yikes they might bite!

I planned out a good route to try and get as many of the 60 obstacles that I could. I rode first on Cupid and got a lot done. Cupid was so confident and really focused on the task. It was definitely his best show so far and I was such a proud mama.

Next up was Dreamer – I rode a very similar pattern with him and just had to change things a bit because he knocked down 2 of the jumps which makes it a ‘dead’ obstacle meaning you can’t do it again (otherwise you can do them twice). Dreamer did everything with confidence and speed making him a super star.

Results - Way to go Boys! 
At the end of the day we shared an amazing potluck and got to find out our scores. It was great to see the score sheets to see what exactly we did. There were 19 competitors and 10 of them (majority) scored between 67 – 106 points, with only the top 5 placings finishing above 106 points.

I was extremely thrilled when Cupid was announced as 5th place with 121 points – wow has this boy improved! 2nd, 3rd, and 4th went to very good rides finishing with 131-127 points which were extremely close scores!

Dreamer and I were flying like the wind and smoked up 148 points for first place. Crikey I knew he was a dreamer, but buddy you’re seriously an over achiever! Not too surprising that Dreamer had an admirer at the show wanting to buy him… but not to worry big guy, you aren’t going anywhere :)

I am super in love with Obstacle challenges and if you want to give it a go I super recommend Turkey Run Ranch – what a lovely set up and amazing people that are so kind and supportive… plus they know how to serve up one delicious potluck!

Tips from this show:
  • ·         Put the focus on your foundation. Get your horse to trust you and build his confidence in you. Then when you start to see new obstacles it doesn’t matter that they are new because your horse knows you can keep them safe and they can do what you ask.
  • ·         Get out there and try something new, take a chance and leave yourself open to find new passions, dreams, challenges, and fun.
  • ·         Really make sure you have a plan heading into the obstacle challenge and know where you are going .
  • ·         Ride the little obstacles on your way to the bigger point obstacles.
  • ·         Do the obstacles that you can complete quickly – just because you can move the cows from one pen to another (which is a hard obstacle that scores high at 5  points) doesn’t mean it’s the best use of your short 5 minutes in the ring.
  • ·         If you aren’t sure how to do something make sure you ask. One of the reasons I scored so high was because I clarified that one combination obstacle could actually be done 3 different ways and each was considered a different obstacle at 3 points– this meant 3 obstacles right beside each other could be done back to back for 18 points. Some other competitors only rode 1 or 2 variations of this obstacle and didn’t get the extra points.
  • ·         Put the focus on fun – I project a confident smile to my horses and they know we are there for a  good time. Then they were able to have fun too.

On Sunday we started rehearsing for my freestyle patterns for the Kentucky TB Makeover. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks. Thank you so much for the team that is coming to support me and be ring crew!

Extreme Cowboy at Ancaster Fair tomorrow followed some more TB Makeover practice. See you at the fair!

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