I don't think I will ever get tired of saying...
Moon placed and won money.
Actually twice since the last time I posted. :-) (grinning from ear to ear)
Last Saturday, I ran him at an NBHA race...mostly to see if I could break through the mental block I have when it comes to running him at the 'D' races. That very well may have been the hardest race ever for me...mentally. Coming off a win, I sure didn't want to have a wreck of a run. And I seem to have a hard time getting the same kind of runs at these divisional races as I do at rodeos. I decided the best thing to do was just let myself be nervous. Apparently, I need that sick-in-the-gut feeling to have enough of an adrenaline pump to ride fast enough to keep up with Moon. ;-)
The run was a little rough. I watched several horses slip coming out of the first barrel, so I knew that I needed to make sure to keep Moon picked up as he was finishing his turn. I don't know if I was late picking him up, picked up too much or just a bit of an old habit showed up...but he blew wide coming out of 1st. Moon has had a problem with blowing off the first turn a little wide in the past, but hasn't done it in a while. Anyway...one of my big goals this year is not to 'fight' with Moon in his runs. It's taken me a long time to really understand and accept that he may not ever be a horse that makes really pretty runs...but he is so stinking fast, that if I can just sort of get him around the pattern and let him r.u.n., he can still makes awesome times. So as he was canting across the arena after blowing a little wide off of 1st, I didn't fight to get him over. I just kept my eye on the spot I wanted him to be and kept my hands pointed that direction. About 2 strides before the 2nd barrel, he was still not over to where he needed to be and I did something I never do...I gave him a little 'Yah, Yah, Yahhhh'. LOL...I'm not a yeller...at least not when I'm making runs. (smirk) But I knew I needed to do something to get him thinking about coming over. In one smooth motion, Moon moved over and made that turn. I really do not know how he does some of the things he does. He can be in the most god-awful positions and if *I* just keep riding him...he makes it work. It's taken a hella long time to not only understand that Moon can make maneuvers like that, but to trust that he will.
Because he came into the turn so awkwardly, he dropped on his front-end and had to regather, but he did not blow out of 2nd by very much...not nearly as much as he did the night he won. I felt him wanting to set up on 3rd a little bit and gave him a little more, 'Yah, Yah, Yah!' He eeked around that barrel and I have to say...I remembered to keep my hand up!!
He ran a 17.504. A half a second better than his fastest time at this arena. He placed 3rd that day.
Not to be outdone...Good, old Spooksy boy went out and ran a very clean and pretty pattern and won the 4D. Spooks is racking up the $$ and points again this year in that division. My hope that he keeps doing exactly what he is doing.
That was a very good day for my boys!!
Since Moon is doing well and seems to be more confident than ever...on Monday, I decided to re-up my Colorado Pro Rodeo card and enter an upcoming rodeo. I have never been to this arena, but I heard it was a big, sandy pen...the kind of arena that Moon excels in.
*I* was the one who really needed to get just one more run on him. I guess I am having a hard time believe that it's finally coming together. So I entered him in the local Tuesday rodeo again. I was really hoping to draw up in the performance, just to give Moon a chance to feel the rodeo vibe...in case we ended up in the performance at the other rodeo...but I was not lucky enough to get a performance draw (at the local rodeo). We ran in the slack. You know...I don't think it really matters to Moon. Once he locks onto the barrels, I don't think he sees or hears anything else anyway.
Oh and he was firing too. His first barrel was picture perfect. I felt him hang just a bit coming out of the turn...but he didn't blow off, so I was stoked. He ran into his 2nd barrel pocket in absolutely perfect form and boy did he snap back around that turn...and all of the sudden...he was just gone. His whole front-end just dropped out from under me. All of the sudden I was standing straight up in the stirrups and when I looked down, all I saw was really wet ground and I knew he had stumbled in that damn hole that can show up on the 2nd barrel at this arena. I dropped my hand and gave Moon his head. He re-gathered and took off running again. He wasn't even a bit wide running to 3rd. He took that turn in awesome form and then kind of blew out a little bit. He was far enough out of the turn that I let him take that one step over and then he blasted for home.
He ran a 17.55. I knew there was another 17.5? that had just been run a few horses before me, so wasn't sure it he was leading it or sitting 2nd. I thought it was still pretty good considering I knew he had bobbled hard at 2nd. L come running over and was very worried. She asked if I was okay. I was like ?? huh??. Yea, I was fine. I know I got stood up when he bobbled, but L said Moon went almost to his knees and it looked like I had gotten jerked into the swells. Weird! It didn't feel that bad...but I guess it looked a lot worse than it felt. Then I told her I wasn't sure what had happened as he finished 3rd...he was turning perfectly and then kind of took that step off to the side and L was like...'He was really scrambling to get a hold of the ground.' Oohhh...Well, good thing I didn't try to pull on him. He was just trying to keep his balance.
As it turned out...we were actually sitting 3rd after the slack. There had been a 17.48 that I didn't see and the other run that I knew was close was a 17.53....I was still pretty thrilled. All that and Moon was not outrun. After waiting for the last 10 racers to go in the performance, we ended up 4th. And it was still a paying slot. Whoo-hooo!
Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked for the rodeo this coming weekend.