wrapping things up ~ 5th and final in the winter trail course series

After four days of rain, the final trail course day came - and so did the sun! Thank goodness for well-draining outdoor arena's!! It was a gorgeous day to be outside!

Altho Koda's heel bruise is much better, I did not take him to the competition. We've barely ridden at the trot, and not loped for weeks. It wouldn't be fair to ask him to ride for hours, and risk setting him back. The kind hosts offered sharing their accomplished seasoned horse Chance, but I even turned riding that beautiful boy down. My lower back is in bad shape after trying to get the borrowed Back on Track boot off Koda. Sigh. My back woe's have come and gone for years, I should have known better...however, I turned my lemons into lemonade and shot photos of the event!!  


Beautiful Friesian cross

April Trail Course:
Start: Gate, left hand push, Walk through gate and close
Back through L poles, walk out over pole
Jog through serpentine, over four poles (small letter h shape)
Lope over wagon wheel poles (four poles) right lead
Lope to side pass pole, stop, side pass right over pole
Walk to pole, side pass left over pole
Jog to and over poles (one single pole, turn over three)
Walk over bridge and over poles
Lope over two poles in left lead and into house

Perform a 360 turn either direction, walk out of house
Walk to and over four elevated criss cross logs
Exit arena

Brad & Cierra over the criss cross logs

Jogging over the h shaped poles

Chance stopping in the house

Getting ready to side pass

Snapshot of how our horses did:

Cierra: She was quiet, but uncharacteristically distracted and unfocused. Our trainer thought Cierra was coming into heat. Somehow when it came time to ride the scored course, she pulled her focus together and took first with our trainer!

Patty & Cierra loping the wagon wheel

Nemo: What can I say but he was very Nemo, nothing out of the wonderful ordinary to share. He placed third with Brad!

Brad & Nemo practicing

It was a very different experience to be an observer. I really don't have a good sense of how the course was, altho I heard it was tough. Saw a lot of improvement, but no super clean courses. Chance competes (and wins) in trail, and even he had trouble spots. Attending numbers were down, only eight course's competed (hosts scores don't count). With six places, every rider went home with a goodie bag - which is nice. Altho we all felt kinda bad about the turn-out for the hosts, and can't figure out why there aren't more people attending?! It is such a welcoming friendly learning environment, with all different levels of riding capabilities and disciplines. It's fun to see how much every horse & rider improves! They mentioned starting the trail competition up again in November. You can bet we will be there! 

These cuties didn't compete, but they stole the show

High Point winners
(Cierra) Kris, Brad, and Patty (on Nemo)

Our trainer Patty took home Highpoint, a pretty embroidered halter. Brad tied for second, and gave the embroidered Reserve hay bag to Kris. He opted for a nice set of polo wraps! Well-deserved congrats goes out to these three great riders!! We wrapped up the series with a potluck, and headed home with forever kinda memories. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

I think you were wise not to take Koda. Why take a chance.

The competition looks like a lot of fun. Congratulations to all the winners! Even when you don't ride there is always something to do and learn. And, of course, everyone will enjoy the pictures you were able to take!

C-ingspots said...

Oh, I'm sorry you're backing back trouble! I have had back issues on and off since my teenaged years...no fun. But, oddly enough riding usually helps my back loosen up and feel better. Hopefully you and Koda will be back riding soon. Congratulations to the winners! I'd go and ride for good experience. Maybe it will catch on with more riders as time goes on. Oh my stars - that spotted pony!!! Just adorable!!

aurora said...

I actually intentionally left my boots at home and wore tennis shoes, knowing how tempting it would be to ride. The photo opportunity has been rewarding. If I can't ride, taking photos comes in a close second!!

aurora said...

RIding normally does help me loosen up too, but unfortunately not when it's at this level.

Shirley said...

Congrats to Brad and your trainer! I do love that Cierra horse, what a beauty. I love doing photos of horse events if I can't ride in them, but I need some serious lenses for my camera if I want to get any better.