I did not have good runs in Eagle on Saturday.
On Moon's first run he slammed around first and then started ducking and diving. I barely managed to get him around the second barrel.
But we left all three standing.
Normally, if there are multiple runs available, I will pay the entry fees for both and carry over my time from the 1st run. I'm not a big fan of putting multiple runs on a horse in a single day.
However, because Moon was so radical, I decided to run him in the second race.
That went better, but Moon was still trying so hard that he just did not make good time.
Rather than stay overnight and blow another $75 in entry fees, I decided to come home and do a major back pedal.
This morning I hauled Moon to a playday down the road and was determined to figure out what our problem was.
I'm happy to say that the problem is simply....
I tell ya, it is such a relief to figure out exactly what the problem is.
I have gone over every thing in my head, over and over and over...until I thought I was going to go crazy.
I am not one of those people who defines the definition of insanity...
'Someone who does the same thing over and over, expecting different results'
Things can and often do go slightly awry during barrel runs. Minor bobbles here and there. Those don't bother a person so much.
But when the same thing is happening over and over again, it's time to start breaking everything down, piece by piece, stride by stride, until you figure out what is causing the issue.
In this case, it didn't really hit me until we got home this evening and I pulled out my two bibles, Ed & Martha Wright's and Charmayne Jame's barrel racing books and started reading. There it was, word for word exactly what I was doing to exacerbate Moon's natural tendencies.
I would say about 90% of what is going wrong is happening because of where I am looking during my runs. It's an old, re-accuring problem of my own. One I've had to work on repeately over the years. It has never cause this much of an issue before, but after our particularly wild, slippery saddle run, Moon is a little off kilter himself. He's not a particularly forgiving horse.
Well, now I know what I have to work on. I'll be taking Moon over to a friend's to work on a full sized pattern on good ground, cause we are going to have to work on things with a little bit of speed.
Oh, and I hauled Frosty to the playday and used him in all of the events. We just long-trotted and loped through everything. He did good in the arena. We just need to keep going to smaller events like this, as he is very nervous about being around other horses milling around during warm-up and outside the arena.