Wednesday, June 20, 2012

He's On A Roll

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.

11 comments:

Shirley said...

You and Moon got it going on! Without that slippery footing he would have won that last race. Kudos to you for the time and effort you've put in to making this horse right- and for working on yourself to get him rode right.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Holy Moly! To be slip sliddin away and scrambling like hell around the barrels and still in the money? Dang Girl! Had it been a perfect run you would have blown their doors off for sure. That's why stayin on top can be so tough. Good luck on the next go'round. You know we will all be here cheering you on!

Laura said...

I'm so happy for you and your boys!! Nice to be in the money!

I have no idea about rodeos/events - do you win enough to cover your entry fees/gas? You don't need to answer that - just wondering...

I just had a look at the Colorado rodeo site - there are so many events to go to! How fun. The east is so boring that way...lol

Crystal said...

Wow that is amazing! Good for you guys. I cant believe he almost fell and you still got in the money! Wow! You are really firing along this year :)))

in2paints said...

Congratulations!! It must feel so good to go home with some money... make those boys earn their keep! Lilly only won money once. She's slacking!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Laura-LOL...The simplest version of that question is, Yes, you can win decent money. The difference is really if you are hauling a 1D/Rodeo horse like Moon or a 4D/fun horse like Spooks. Moon continuing to be in the money definitely covers entries, fuel and even some of his specialty care costs. Spooks generally recoups his entry fee money, but that is about it. Only occasionally does he win enough to cover fuel costs as well...definitely NEVER enough to cover his extra-care costs.

But, on the flip side...Spooks won way more cool prizes in his first year alone than Moon has ever won and it looks like he is on track to be right in there again for cool prizes again this year.

cdncowgirl said...

Awesome! Can't wait to hear more "Moon's in the money" stories :D

Paint Girl said...

That is so awesome!! Except for the slippin' and slidin'. Can't wait to hear how the rodeo goes!!

fernvalley01 said...

Whoo Hoo!!! Go Team BEC!!!!

WishIHadAHorsey said...

That is wonderful! Congratulations!

kestrel said...

I used to ride a horse that sounds similar to moon. The visual I used was it was like riding a minute man rocket. That horse never did run what you'd call pretty, but I learned to sit deep and let him run, make sure I had him aimed at the general vicinity of the destination, and never. ever. fuss with him enough to slow him down and focus the explosion on me!

You've done a perfect job with Moon, because he LIKES his job. Fierce competitor that he is, he'll just keep getting better. Congratulations!