Friday, June 10, 2011

It's Not A Myth...

...I really can get Moon to turn a smoken' good 2nd barrel!!

(Doing the happy dance...taking my 15 minutes of happiness and punching the sky in victory!)

Gotta say...sending a HUGE bear-hug to GoLightly...

Her question about sprinting Moon to get comfortable with his speed?

Yeaaa...Got me to thinking...

(A dangerous and not always productive passtime)

Anyway, I answered her, that Yes, I have sprinted Moon and am actually quite comfortable with how fast he can go...


I wondered about setting a random barrel out in the field and just practicing running to it and making that left hand if I was coming off of 1st, but not actually practicing the entire barrel pattern.

Well, I didn't get that barrel set out, but I did practice a few sprints this week and mentally envisioned getting ready to turn the 2nd barrel.

OMG...Just the thought made me tighten up and start riding funky. Talk about a mental freak-out. Over an imaginary barrel and turn?...I guess you could say I needed to get my head right.

So I just kept practicing...with no barrel. Just the mental picture in my mind. By Wednesday, I had my brain and body working together and I could sprint Moon off in a straight line and get him to turn the exact circle I wanted.

Now how the hell would I have ever figured that out without GL's innocent question?

Now we are just going to work on consistency. If *I* can get it right, Moon will obviously get it right. Right?

Now for the funny part...

Moon was getting a bit goofy on me about going in the gate the last 2 runs. Nothing serious, just a few half-hearted lunges sideways. At the last barrel race, after our run, I just kept him saddled and hung out at a comfortable distance from the gate. During rakes, I would tighten his cinch, get on and ride him into the arena. The first couple of times he was a bit silly. After the 4th time, he was my nice, calm Moon again.

So at tonight's run, I was the 6th runner and up immediately after the rake. While the arena was being raked, I rode into the arena and moved Moon around a little bit. When the rake was done, I just stayed in the arena. Moon was nice and quiet, so I thought that would be good for him.


The girl closed the gate and it flitted across my brain, that Moon might not realize it was time to run. I thought about asking her to open the gate, so I could ride in, but thought...Nawwww...That's being silly.

I started for 1st barrel and do not ask me what the heck I was doing, but rather than gather Moon up and send him to 1st barrel like I do every other time, I just kinda picked up with my right hand...I guess Moon thought we were going to do a circle, cause he just headed off to the right. If we hadn't already been past the timer, I might have just let him make that circle...but it was too late. I had to get my reins gathered up and straighten him out. About that time Moon realized we were running and gassed it....

We went flying by 1st barrel.

I'll give the horse credit, he whipped around and came out of 1st in perfect position to run to 2nd. I really was laughing out loud as we ran past that barrel. What else can you do? I made the error and Moon fixed it for me as best as he could.

Oh more lesson learned. Experience sure is expensive...LOL.

So anyway, even with that major bobble, we took over 3 tenths off of our last time at that arena. Moon ran a 19.13. Without a doubt, we would have finally broke back into the 18's less my brain-fart.

I don't care...Moon turned a smoken' good 2nd barrel and I wasn't freaked out. Thanks GL!!

(More happy dancing)


Laura said...

Wow - that is awesome! I love this sentence you wrote:

"Experience sure is expensive.." - that is soooo true! I love how GL's question got you thinking and trying some different things and you make a bit of a breakthrough.

I'm sure you'll be into the 18s in no time!

Allenspark Lodge said...

It looks like all that smokin' brain work turned out well this time. Congratulations on barrel #2!

About the "experience is expensive"? We should never quit spending, though; it improves our horse time.


Breathe said...

Incredible! It's amazing what tiny things in our head unravel things much greater on our horse.

GoLightly said...

(blushes to my receding hair-line..)
Whew, I had a hard time typing that question. I didn't want to insult you, but it did sound like there wasn't a plan for the second barrel, and that you weren't thinking about how different it was to ride.. You have to break down any training behaviour into it's itty-bitty parts, and train each part separately, then you will get this beautiful behaviour chain..
This from someone who rode in one barrel race, when I wuz 11 years old, over four decades ago.
MAN, I'm old.

I wondered why I was getting so many hits from your blog!
snork, how disappointing for them, reading about Stinky Stanley;)
Thanks, BEC, you made my day:)
For your show of gratitude, I demand a big bay pic;)

Shirley said...

This sure proves how even our thoughts affect our horse's performance. The trickle down effect. It's wonderful that you fixed 2nd barrel! Go Moon! Hope your next run is spectacular- in a good way!

ACountryCowgirl said...

Love hearing how much you are learning about you and moon:) I am so excited to come watch you run tomorrow. It will be great to see ya:) Miss ya lots!

Crystal said...

Wow that is pretty exciting! Now that you got second barrel figured out, you should be smokin!

cdncowgirl said...

LMAO Oh girl I have SO been there. Not quite the same scenario but same as in having a total brainfart and rider malfunction (thank goodness for good honest horses is all I can say lol)

I love that GLs innocent question took you on the path to figure out something that works. :)

Vaquerogirl said...

Hey BEC- I read an article by Bob Avila a while ago that said he will sometimes just walk his horse into the arena and stand there awhile, then walk him out again.
Expensive- sure. But he didn't want a chargy horse, or one that is anticipating- but one that will listen to his rider.
Good post!

Michelel said...

Sweet! If I ever get around to running again, that would be a great thing to try. I do the same thing, and I have a super turny horse so it really messes with my times A LOT! Good tip. Thanks!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

VG-I can see why other disciplines may have to pay an entry fee to do that. I know of big name trainers that take horses to little local shows to do training/tune-up runs, but have never heard of anyone going to a big show, paying the entry fee to walk in and walk out. Barrel racings usually give you ample opportunity to accomplish the same thing for free during rakes. The local associations also have time-onlys before every race, so for $3-4 you can get about the same feel as a competition for your horse and not waste entry fee money. 'Camping' is a good thing to do if you start to have anticipation problems...but it doesn't have to be expensive and I would never waste an entry fee like that.