I have been quite impressed with how incredibly friendly and welcoming the horse people have been in this area, but this afternoon I had my doors blown off.
One of our new neighbors often rides the road ditches like Megan and I do. Most of the time in the evenings he rides with his daughter and son. Often he is ponying a horse and occasionally he has one loaded up with a pack saddle. It's pretty obvious he is a working cowboy.
Actually, all of our new neighbors have been very friendly. We couldn't be happier with the location of the new place. It is so nice to be surrounded by pleasant people. Not that the neighbors we have now are not also pleasant. They are all very nice people as well and we often stop and visit when we see each other on the roads.
This afternoon, as I was working on the irrigation, I see the cowboy neighbor riding down the road as usual and waved. Instead of riding on, this time he comes riding into the yard. He introduces himself and tells me that one of our neighbors at our current house told him that Megan and I were 'rodeo people'.
He offered an open invitation to Megan and I to come over to his place to use his arena any time we needed it and amazingly enough offered the use of his roping steers and break-a-way calves to us as well. No charge. No need to call and make arrangements, just come on over anytime.
It's like a sign right?
And who the heck is that nice these days?
Apparently a good portion of the horse people on the western slope of Colorado!
A couple of the barrel racers who are also local to me have also invited me over to ride with them and use their arenas as well (although I haven't had time to take them up on that). I was very surprised. Barrel racers can be an odd lot and are not always prone to offering up the use of their facilities to others. So to have several ladies ask me and Meg to come ride with them was pleasantly surprising.
But to have the use of an arena just around the corner and roping stock as well is like Christmas coming early. I have so wanted to get some of these horses tracking cattle and work on my heeling and break-a-way. Megan has been dying to get to rope to.
This is going to be excellent for Moon as well. I think all barrel horses should have something to do besides run barrels and tracking cattle and roping off of them is excellent. Maybe if we get to working on something else, he will quite trying to over-achieve when running barrels and if he does not settle into that, then he will be all refreshed on the roping end of things.
I'm skipping the barrel race this week-end since this opportunity came up. My heart just isn't in going and fighting with him and a few days of tracking cattle and repititious patterning after Moon is a bit tired and more focused may be just the ticket. I may still end up having to work things out in the competition ring with him, but then again, maybe this is fates way of stepping and saying...there is always another option.
Thanks for your guy's support.
**And to answer Breathe's question, I look more at position than expression when it comes to looking at pictures of horses during competition. Expression is hard to tell, unless it is really bad-gapping jaws or flinging heads. Not all of us have a tendency to look really 'happy' or pleasant during the heat of a run. Did ya see the poor girl's expression on picture #63 (the last picture on the link I put on the last post)? That's an 'oh-sheee-iitttt' look if I ever saw one. Poor thing.
As far as good body position for the horse and rider, I have to say there are several there-#6 and #29 is the same rider on different horses, but both her and her horse's are in very similar and excellent positions. # 8,9,13,15,16,17,21,23 and 56 are also good examples. Different from each other, but all good form. #49 has almost the same body position as Moon, except you can see that he is really pushing from behind. He would have enough momentum to carry him on around the barrel, whereas Moon is setting up and attempting to roll back. You can really tell the difference if you look at that girl's hand position compared to mine. Mine is up and over Moon's neck trying to keep him from diving in. Her's is out and in position to bring her horse around when he gathers for the next stride.
Careful about offering me an Appy barrel horse there fern. I have a soft spot for those spotted butts. I don't know if I could say no. ;)