Friday, June 3, 2011

A Second Set Of Eyes

Man, it's good to be back to running barrels with the crowd I have gotten to know. I didn't have a stellar run on Moon in Montrose tonight. First was great. He came out in perfect form and headed straight for his pocket at second. And has become all too familiar...things got wonky. We made it around 2nd, although I did have to yank Moon to almost a dead standstill to keep him from knocking the barrel over. Third was good.

What it feels like to me is that when I ask Moon to give me his nose and rate for the turn, he just thrusts his shoulder into the turn. I KNOW it's because of something I am either doing or not doing.

Thank goodness one of my friends met me at the gate and said, 'I know you didn't mean to do that, but it was almost an awesome run.' (I'm thinking...Of course I do not mean to do that...)

I told her, 'I just cannot seem to get his nose to come before his shoulder. I thought using the new bit I got would help, but I'm doing something to cause this and I am at a loss of what to do with my hands to help my horse.'

She said, 'Yea, it might help if you didn't start checking him at the halfway point.'

I'm like, 'What? Seriously, I started checking him way back there?'

She's like, 'Yea. You checked him 3 times before you even got to to the barrel and I could see him squatting for you every time, so by the time you get to the barrel, he has no momentum left and just dives into it.'

Well, good, freaking, night! No wonder the poor horse is doing what he is doing.

I had absolutely NO IDEA I was even checking him.

I'm guessing that is the reason I can make nice runs in smaller arenas but when we get into the big patterns, I start having problems. I'm not even going to lie...Moon's speed is a little intimidating when he gets room to unwind. I keep telling myself to ride him forward into his pockets and I can on 1st and 3rd. I guess we have just had so many problems with 2nd that I can't shake the 'oh crap' feeling I get when he is really rolling toward 2nd.

Oh well, it wasn't a disastrous run. We didn't knock a barrel and I got some good insight from a second pair of eyes from someone I trust knows what she is seeing. We placed 7th in the money, but there were 8 of us packed in the 3D with times ranging from 19.3 to 19.48. Our time was a 19.46. In spite of our problem at 2nd, Moon felt like he was running free and easy and at a comfortable speed for him. Not nearly as fast as he can run...which is fine with me. If I can't ride him when he is running a 3D time, I can't even imagine the mess it would be if I actually asked him to really run. He wasn't even blowing after his I know he wasn't even trying (He's not in that good of shape).

On a funnier note...I took Frosty with to keep getting him used to being ridden around activity. He had quite the hump in his back when I saddled him, so I left him tied to the trailer until the barrel race was over and then headed to the arena. Frosty was really looky-looing, but was moving out nicely. I bumped him into a long trot. The second time around the arena, he noticed the open gate and tried to head that way. I pulled him around and bumped him with my spur. He stuck his nose in the dirt and started making these ridiculous high-pitched little squeals. I pulled his head up and kicked him forward. This time, he really bogged his head, bucked in one spot and kept making those ridiculous high-pitched squeals. I was trying not to laugh, because seriously...if Frosty wants to buck me off...he CAN. I was really hoping he wasn't going to go there. I finally got his head pulled up, but he kept hogging around, not wanting to move in any direction but the open gate....and squealing. Talk about a temper tantrum! LMAO

I finally got him lined out and when I came around the end of the arena again, there was like 10 people standing there watching us. One guy says, 'You all right?' I just laughed and told him, 'Yea, I think he got over his pig imitation.' Thankfully, that was the end of Frosty's antics. I didn't get him rode down like I wanted because it got dark on us, but he did pretty good. I'm going to start hauling him with me everywhere and taking the time to ride him. As much as I like the black horse, I don't think he has the kind of speed I'm looking for. Frosty is really learning to stretch out and the power just oozes from him. Hopefully, I learn how to ride a fast barrel horse one of these days. ;-)


cdncowgirl said...

Frosty aka Drama Queen lol

Funny the stuff we do that we have NO CLUE we`re doing while we ride. Sometimes even a video of it doesn`t show it, because we`re not looking for it. That 2nd set of eyes from a trusted source is invaluable. Sounds like you had a good night (or day) overall :)

kestrel said...

Cool deal that you've got a possible solution! I just hate it when I get stuck, and it does help to have someone watch...either they catch me or they catch the horse!

Frosty the funny one...! You are brave girl.

fernvalley01 said...

Glad your friend caught what was going on, I am sure that will help.I laugh when they sqeal when they buck a almost seems like they are trying to scare you off with the noise

Shirley said...

That's great that your friend was able to point out what was going on with your run; now you know what to work on.
Rio was squealing yesterday and I had to laugh at him, what a pout!

ACountryCowgirl said...

I would have loved to have seen frosty. So not proper but I am sure it looked funny. What a silly horse! Alwasy fun to learn something about yourself huh, just easier for others to see it from the outside. Miss ya lots!! We really need to get together soon.

GoLightly said...

This widdle Frosty wants to wee-wee home! Too funny!

Have you ever just let Moon run on, BEC? Take him out, blast away somewhere? I don't mean run him into the ground, legs/fitness wise. Just so you can get used to feeling the quick? It may be intimidating if you don't get to do it very much.
Just a thought?

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Yea GL, I have. Moon runs pretty effortlessly and really covers the ground, so he is easy to ride like that.

LOL-No one in the family will horse race me anymore, nor will anyone ever play arena tag after just one time when I am riding Moon.

The thought did cross my mind to take one barrel over to the field and practice running to it. That might help.

I've got a lot of runs coming up this week. Hopefully, I get it together.

Michelle said...

Ha ha...I can just picture Frosty's pig imitation! My old show horse used to scream for his girlfriend and he got in trouble for it, so he started to jog around the arena grunting under his breath. It was so funny that I spent half of my class giggling at him. Sounds like you had a very productive show!