Although I was planning on competing bareback I am glad that I chose not to. We didnt get the course until it was set and we were walking it right before we had to ride it and when we saw that you had to lead your horse in and mount from the ground we decided that it would be quicker with a saddle, not to mention less embarrassing!
Here is a quick outline of the course and how we did (video to come later):
-Enter, halt at cones and mount
Great, nothing too hard about this!
-side pass over 2 hay bales with a pole over them
Took some time but we made it over the first hay bale and over the pole but didnt get past the second hay bale and instead decided to hop over the pole lol! It really was a tight fit for a little guy!
-go over a bridge with a tarp off the end
He pretty much got right on the bridge. But how it was set up they didnt see the tarp till they were on the bridge and it looked scary! We took an alternate route off the bridge but then walked right over the tarp.
-halt at a cone and do a 360 forehand turn
Awesome! Especially for not working on forehand turns ever
-"leg yield" from one cone to the next
This was really confusing for me as to what to do so we just winged it. Seemed to work for us!
-get a hula hoop from the ground person and throw it over a pole
Well... they eat horses and he really wanted to let me know! After I got the 1st one he took off but stopped at the wall and I was able to throw it off him without too much more of a fuss. I opted not to throw the second one just to save time (it is timed!) and I knew he didnt like it anyways
-kick a big horse ball thru 2 standards
He really surprised me here by acting terrified of it! The only difference is that the cover on this ball was in a soccer ball pattern. But without too much convincing he kicked it right through the standards!
-go over a fan of trot poles
Going through poles has never been his strong point but we trotted, hopped, and jumped our way through
- pick up a pitcher full of water and do a figure 8 around 2 1/4 rounds on their sides and put the pitcher back
He tried to be scared of the stand it was on but once I got it we did our figure 8 just fine.
-pole bending pattern with 5 poles
What a stud! We cantered right through and even got a lead change or 2!
-back a zig zag thru poles (definitely not made for a Gypsy Vanner or a Belgian!)
I was super impressed with how he did with this. 1- we haven't really done much backing (kinda weird but true!) and 2- it was TIGHT! He did it great but did get a front leg outside of the pole on the last turn.
-canter around the whole arena and thru the end cones
Run pony run!
Was it a perfect go? Far from it. But I was SO happy to see that even though things were a bit scary to him, he never flat out refused to do anything. This was something completely out of the norm for him and he took it all in super well. And just to think he is only 5! Yes we have practiced some stuff at home (mostly our bridleless stuff) but it is completely different in a situation like that. He of course got lots of cheers and laughter from the audience, we are aiming to be fan favorite on Saturday to get us to the finals :)
|Making some friends with this adorable little girl who came to watch us. How cute is this?!|