I've been so involved with getting "the herd" going that I have forgotten about the most important one of the whole bunch...at least he is the most important to me...
Yea...It's time to get busy with my competitive horse. Sheez-what was I thinking?
This has always been a "flaw" for me. I love training. Usually when a horse gets to a competitive level...I sell him. I told myself several years ago that Moon was not for sale. You have no idea how hard it was to turn down a couple of offers for him. But, I said "No, this was the horse that I get the chance to be competitive on"...and here I am spending all my time on others...again.
I think part of it is because broke horses are boring to me. Moon is only a challenge in terms of his distinct personality and that only really shows up when he is trying to bully other horses or is guarding his feed. Other than that he's a pretty bland horse to ride on a daily basis. I got a kick out of that last year at the barrel races though. He ambles around and it takes some work to make sure he is properly warmed up. No one looked twice at him. He certainly does not act like a competitive barrel horse. Go fast only clicks when they open the gate and he sees the barrels. Every single time we finished a run, I would see people looking at him and you could just see the confusion on their faces. He would immediately go back to his pokey, I'd-rather-be-sleeping demeanor too. That's great and I hope he hangs onto that attitude as long as possible. I definitely work hard to keep my barrel horses quiet, but once most of them hit a certain level, it's inevitable that they get a bit hot before competitions. They know what their job is!
Alas, as boring as he is to ride, I HAVE to start taking him out for a trek at least 5 times a week from now on. It won't be so bad once I start hauling him out to mom's a few times a week for some hill work and pattern time. In town, I can go for long walks in the big pasture that passes for an airport in our tiny town. And now they have the arena worked up and the ground will be in good shape until we get some heavy rains.
I found a barrel race to go to on June 1st, so having a date to be prepared for also makes it much easier. There are some bigger barrel racings later in June as well that I am hoping to enter. If things go well after the first few runs, I think we will be ready to enter some regional rodeos.
Wanna know a secret? The thought of having a horse that is competitive at a higher level is scary. It has been forever since I have been seriously competitive. I've kind of forgotten what it takes. It's one thing to poke around at some playdays and open shows, even some of the smaller 4-D barrel racings. It's entirely another to make the leap to a more serious level of competition. It makes me a little nauseous just thinking about it.