Wheww-wee...This is going to be an interesting weekend...
There is a $2,000 Added Money barrel race on Friday, in Delta that I will be running both Moon and Spooks at...
As soon as we are done there, I will have to jump horses in the trailer, haul 20 miles down the road, to Montrose and make another run on Moon in the slack at a CPRA rodeo.
On Sunday, we have a 5 hour drive to another CPRA rodeo, in Westcliffe. We are up in the performance.
It's not exactly how I had hoped my preferences would work out...Was hoping to get up in the 1st CPRA rodeo in Saturday's performance, so that Moon would only have to make 1 run per day over the weekend, but all in all, this may work out much better. The two runs Moon will make on Friday are both at arenas we have run at and they are very close together, so he will still be warmed up and loose.
This way, we can come home Friday night, Moon can sleep in his own pen and get all day Saturday to hang out in the pasture. The more he moves around the better and if he does get a bit sore/stiff, I can work on him throughout the day.
Sunday, we'll load up and head to Westcliffe...which is an arena we have never ran at before. I hesitated to enter this rodeo. It is notorious for having very shallow and somewhat slick ground. I did hear that the ground was usually acceptable during the performance runs, so I requested a perf run and if I didn't get that would have not been entered.
When you call in to enter a rodeo...You have to give them a 1st preference and a 2nd preference of when you would like to run. If neither of those preferences are awarded to you...you are not entered. Of course, if you chose slack as one of your preferences, you are pretty much guaranteed to get in.
Timing and ground conditions are generally the biggest considerations when you are making the decision of when to enter. The rodeo committees are supposed to do their best to give every segment of the barrel racing competitors the same ground to run on (barring things that are out of their control....like buckets of rain)...but that doesn't always happen.
I have heard that at Westcliffe, they have refused to work the ground before the slack, which resulted in girls running on a hardpacked arena (which is why I only requested performance runs there). Last year when I ran at Norwood in the slack, they dumped an astronomical amount of water on the arena right before the barrel racing...which resulted in a soupy, slick mess for those of us in slack, whereas the girls in the performance rounds had great ground.
So now I am pretty careful about picking slack...I prefer it to be in the evenings AFTER a performance than in the a.m. Chances are, the ground is as close to the way it would be for a performance run as it can get.
Timing is the other consideration...Basically, you have to make sure you can get from one rodeo to the other in time to get prepared and make your run. I may have messed myself up a little bit on that...
I am also entered in a CPRA rodeo in Durango next Friday. I got up in the perf...but I also want to enter the Norwood rodeo again. When I am getting ready to enter rodeos, I make a list of when the perfs are, when slack is and how far the rodeos are apart. Then I write down my preferences so that I have enough time to get from one to the other. I messed up when I wrote down that Norwood's slack was after the perf on Saturday...the slack is actually after the Friday's perf. Since I am entered in Friday's perf in Durango, and Durango and Norwood are 4 hours apart...I am left with Saturday's perf as my only option, if I want to enter both of them. I will either be in or out, because when I call to enter, I will give Saturday's perf as my 1st choice and 'Out' as my 2nd preference.
There is a whole lot more strategizing to all of this than a person thinks about.
On a good note...
I drew up super good in all three of the rodeos I have already entered. I am up #2 at the Montrose rodeo, #7 at the Westcliffe rodeo and #3 at the Durango rodeo. That also matters a bit more at rodeos than it does at the association runs. Association runs rake the ground after every 5 barrel racers. Rodeos only rake after every 12...
I am exceptionally fortunate that Moon is not as bothered by where he runs in the pack as much as some horses...mostly because he runs so tight to the barrels that if the ground is deep and he is a bit farther down in the rake, he stays inside the bank. But as we have progressed, I have noticed that it does matter what kind of grip is left on the ground inside the bank. If there is good grip left, he uses the banks like a NASCAR. If it's slick at the base, he has a tendency to kind of slide into the bank and of course that always slows a horse down.
Anyway...Keep your fingers crossed. Lotta money on the line this weekend. Sure would like to bring some home. ;-)