Monday, August 3, 2009

Our First Trail Trial

What is that white thing flapping around Red Horse's face? OUR FIRST RIBBON!!!! In the scope of the world, it is a tiny, tiny, insignificant little 4th place schooling ribbon from the Cuneo Creek Trail Trials. For me it is a huge symbol that Red and I are becoming a stronger team and that Red is moving (baby steps here) towards feeling more confident being away from his friends on the trail (away = a few hundred feet).

The Trail Trial event was incredibly fun and challenging. Each trial is supposed to represent a situation that might be encountered by a horse and rider on the trail. Horse/rider teams compete in novice, intermediate, and advanced categories for the lowest score. Although ribbons were given at Cuneo Creek, the schooling category is really meant as a training opportunity. Riding Over the Hill has an informative article on the growing sport.

I am really proud of my horse. He did well with the unfamiliar sights and sounds of the event. The second day had a pirate theme and we faced challenges like "the gallows" where we had to take a rope that ran up over a tree limb and down around a pirate's (fake) neck. Our job was to hold it safely and back up until the pirate dummy was fully upright, hold for 5 seconds, and drop the rope. That was one of our best challenges. Red worked with decent focus as long as he could see his friends in the distance. When they moved out of sight he got pretty upset, but we were still able to finish each challenge. We were given a lot of points for his buddy sour behavior, yet Red's progress in dealing with being by himself is tremendous. Good Boy, Red Horse!


mj said...

Congratulations on the 4th place ribbon, but more importantly it's so nice to hear you say that you are enjoying the process. I think that many competitors focus too much on the ribbons and not the goal of simply improving. Yeah for you, and yeah for the red horse!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Ahoy matey,glad you and your red horse had a wonderful time and are progressing and having fun. You should be proud of him and yourself, my horse might not have been so well-behaved when a pirate stood up at the end of a rope!

gtyyup said...

Congrats indeed!!! You are making great progress with Red Horse...and buddy sour issue is not a quick fix and it's great to hear and see that there is improvement for you two!! And that's a memento of good times and success...good job!!

Lori Skoog said...

Sounds like a good experience to me. You two made a good team for the Trail Trials.

One Red Horse said...

mj - I honestly didn't even know that schooling folks got ribbons, I was just there for the training opportunity and the fun. Should have seen me, I almost fell over when I heard my name called.

GHM - Ahoy and permission to board! My friend Laura and I wished we knew about the pirate theme in advance. We would have dressed the part.

gtyyup - thanks so much! My goal is to be able to safely ride Red solo on the trail.

Lori - thanks! Yesterday I was able to ride Red through the scary junk & storage area behind where the trailers are parked at Freshwater. This was real progress, first time I haven't had to fight him for forward movement.

Adrienne said...

Thanks for mentioning my blog post Trail Trials: Testing your Horse on the Trail from my blog.

Congrats on the ribbon. You should feel proud. That pirate obstacle sounded tough. My girl is pretty calm but I am not sure how she would have done with that.

Aren't Trail Trials fun? A great mix of fun with a little dash of competion thrown in.