Monday, April 11, 2011

2nd horse show

Saturday was the second horse show in the series of four at SCR. I don't show until the afternoon so I didn't jump out of bed. I was having a cup of coffee on the deck with my husband when we heard a large crash. Upon further examination - ha ha - it was a chunk of our ceiling in the kitchen that had fallen. We got a lot of rain this year and our house has a section of roof that is flat and it ALWAYS leaks. This year we thought we had it under control. Obviously not. Last week hubby called me and told me that a section had come down and how I owed him for cleaning it up. He has been obsessing over repairing it all week. So when this piece fell, I laughed and was immediately given a very perturbed look. No appreciation for my sense of humor at all. I helped him clean up some and then he told me to get going. He didn't have to say it twice. :)

I left the house and stopped to get a sugar-free non-fat mocha with carmel- it is better than it sounds. As I was waiting I looked one more time at the entry info and realized that I had memorized the wrong pattern. I had been memorizing pattern 2, I was supposed to be running pattern 8. OOPS. I got to the barn at around noon and they were just getting ready to break for an hour lunch. When they started back up it would be my first class - the Rookie Class. I got Semper out and warmed up. I really worked hard in the warm up. I "raised my expectations" and asked him to do things perfect. I worked until they were about 3 in front of me. I figured it would give him about 15 minutes to air up but still be ready to go. I entered the arena still feeling good about our warm up. I did the spins to the left, then to the right and then went blank. I knew I was supposed to start to the right but I couldn't remember how the circles went. Crap. So I ran half of pattern 2 and half of pattern 8 and basically just schooled through. He went where I told him to, he was soft and compliant. I was brain dead.

The next class is Green Reiner. I had gone back and really looked at the pattern and had it down. Spent some more time warming up and he was working hard. Ran the pattern like I knew what I was doing. We scored a 69.5 - only lost 1/2 pt on the right roll back. I was stoked. I was the 3rd to the last to go so I decided to wait to see where I landed in the grand scheme of things. I ended up tying for 3rd (out of 11). I think that 69.5 is my best score to date. Very happy with my boy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Taking advantage

Yesterday was another beautiful day in Northern California and I took advantage of it. And I don't feel the least be guilty about it either. We took Scooter up to the trainer yesterday and dropped him off. He is going to spend some time learning the basics and being a ranch horse. I told the trainer that he needs a lot of time at the thinking post, just standing tied and learning patience.

When we got home I threw Ms Lily in the trailer and went to the lake for a ride. I love to ride the Potters Ravine trail. I don't love that the state has raised the parking fee to $8. That is just ridiculous to pay $8 to park your truck and trailer. Being the rebel that I am, I usually just chance it and don't pay at all. Unless there is a human in the box there to take my money, then it is a little hard to get around it. Yesterday there was a bass tournament and the place was crawling with state workers. I figured that I better pay or I would surely get caught. I could have trailered over to Saddle Dam and rode for free but I knew everyone and a their brother would be there. Saddle Dam is an equestrian only trail. Springtime at Saddle Dam brings out the crazies. People who haven't seen their horses all winter long except at feeding time. The first nice day they catch their horses, knock the major dirt clods off, load up and they are off. Horses are excited about being out, but completely out of shape. Riders are out of shape and stupid. Not a good combo.

So I chose the path less traveled. It is a multi use trail. It is open to hikers, bikers and horses. I was a little apprehensive about the possibility of meeting bikers on this trail but I figured it is going to happen sooner or later, might as well not prolong the inevitable. I have never encountered rude bicyclist. They are always thoughtful and pleasant. I always let them know I am there and they do the same. So off we went.

As luck would have it we did meet some bicyclist. I could here them coming and knew they were moving pretty fast. When I thought they were close enough that they could hear me, I stopped and called out - "I'm here". Four guys came around the corner and put the breaks on so fast that I thought they were going to go ass end over tea kettle! Ms Lily and I kind of snickered. They all got off their bikes and moved off the trail. You have to love polite bicyclist. We exchanged greetings and then moved by them. My little girl was so good. Even with all the shiny bicycles and Lycra clad, helmet wearing riders she didn't even give them a thought. As we passed one of them hollered back "I'm single". My only thoughts were - I'm not and I have ten horses! I just smiled to myself and kept on going.

This ride is above the lake. The lake is almost full! By late spring the water will be almost up to the trail. In the picture below you can see the debris. That is how high the water will get. All that grassy area will be under water. This is one of the spots that I like to let the horses play in the water. The footing stays good and it isn't too rocky or steep.

This is a new addition to the trail this year. Someone has a sense of humor. That is a piece of Styrofoam from a buoy. They painted a face on it, stuck some twigs in it for hair and an arm. Ms Lily wasn't quite sure what she was seeing but she just kept an eye on it and went right on by.

Another reason that I like this ride is Dead Cow Trail. Marked by dead cow bones - how appropriate. It used to have a sign but someone must have thought that the bones were enough of a clue and took the sign home.

The views from Dead Cow Trail are beautiful. The trail is narrow and rocky but Ms. Lily did just fine. Have you ever notice how a young horse always wants to walk on the edge? Why is that? I am constantly pushing her over - away from the edge. I have noticed this with all young horses I have ridden. Weird. The real reason that I like Dead Cow Trail is that after you get past the rocky, narrow part there is a wide road going up the hill. The footing is good and it is perfect for long trotting or loping to the top. It has a few twists and turns and a pretty good incline. We trotted and loped to the top. Ms. Lily was breathing pretty hard when we made the top so I stopped and let her air up before we started down the hill.

This was supposed to be wild flower but as you can see, you can't see any. There are millions of wild iris along this trail. They are a very soft lavender and ever so delicate and dainty. It was right here that I noticed that my Iphone was running out of juice. Great. This being one of my favorite rides you would have thought I would have went out with a full charge. Duh. I decided against taking any more random photos because my favorite spot on this trail was coming up.

This is Potter Point. This will all be under water in a few weeks (hopefully). But for right now, what a view! In the distance you can see the Bidwell Bridge, and the boats in the marina. I could have taken pictures of the back side of the Dam and the north fork of the lake if my battery had any juice.

This is the last photo that I took before it went completely dead. But what a great picture. Ms. Lily looks like she is enjoying the view. We came out of Potters Point and started for home. The thing that I really like about Ms Lily is that she stays alert and forward on the trail. Her ears are always forward and she walks out like she's got somewhere to go. She will spook at little things but she just jumps in her tracks. No whirling or taking off. She seems to be aware of her surroundings and picks her path like a pro.