Friday, October 5, 2012

We Cannot Forget Mr. Consistent

It is horribly unfair of me to not include a post on how Mr. Consistent did at the CWBRA Finals...

Yea...Spooks finally gets his very own post. LOL

I tell ya...the closer it gets to the end of the season...only one more race for me and the big black horse...the more sentimental I find myself getting about the big lug.

Spooks is not fast. We all know that. He's not even all that agile. What he is though, is a supremely honest horse who gives it his all...every. single. time. I don't care who you are...you have to respect and appreciate him for that. I know I sure have. That is why, regardless of his lack of speed...Spooks has received the same high level of care that Moon gets. The feed, the conditioning, the feet, the grooming, the massages, chiro, you name it...Every bit of it is earned and deserved!!!

Which is why I am happy to say that Spooks won't be retiring just yet...

I am lending him to a friend for her 10 y/o step-daughter. Spooks will continue to receive the same high level of care that he so deserves and yet not have to work quite as hard as he does for me. This little girl needs a step-up horse so she can become a better rider and maybe even start competing. I am thrilled!! The best part is...Somebody will still get some use out of him and when they are done, he comes home permanently. They aren't stuck wondering what to do with a horse they have outgrown and I never have to worry about what happened to him.

I know I always talk about Spooks as if he is 'old'. Truth be known, he is only 14. He's not old. He has many good years left. He's just an old soul.

So anyway...Spooks was tied for Reserve High Point 4D horse in the CWBRA this year. I missed too many races in the beginning of the year to catch up to the leader. So I was shooting for the reserve position. All I needed was for Spooks to go in and make his regular run...

It all started out that way. I have been working a little bit on Spooks' first barrel. He's picked up a little more speed going to it and I realized I hadn't really bothered to instill a proper rate in him. We touched that up a little with some practice and this time I felt Spooks rate and shape nicely...

He started the turn in good form...


I felt him sort of lose his position on the backside of 1st (Spooks is a 'lefty'...he runs to the left barrel first), but didn't think much of it. Spooks has an old scar across the inside of his left hock, a cut that damaged the ligament. He can't pull that leg up as effectively as he should, so very often I get a little 'hop' from him so he can get his hind leg up pulled up where it belongs so he can push off. I didn't realize at the time that he had slipped badly on the first barrel...

All I felt was, as he was going across from 1st to 2nd, I felt him keep wanting to shut down on me. That is not like Spooks, but I couldn't really afford to let him slow down...so I went to the bat and spanked him back up to speed...


And as Julie Robert's told the sales lady in Pretty Woman...'Big mistake! HUGE!'

Spooks laid into his 2nd turn, shoulder first...

And the next thing I know, I feel his front feet skittering out from under him...

Spooks panicked! He doesn't slip going around barrels and he decided he was out of there...

I was trying to keep him from running toward the gate, but I also knew if I just let him get straightened up and get his feet under control that he would turn and head for the 3rd barrel. That's exactly what he did too. And finished his run properly...




I was sooooo mad at myself. I have never had that awful of a run on Spooks before. I knew I did it to him by spanking him instead of keeping him between my hands as he was starting his 2nd turn. But...Gahhhh...He was going soooo slow. :-/

Once I felt his feet skittering out from under him in that turn, I knew why he had been shutting down on me between barrels...Even though I did not feel him slip on the 1st turn, I figured he had felt the sand shifting under his feet in the 1st turn and wasn't taking any chances. Spooks is a cautious soul. He was trying to prepare himself for that slippery footing in the turn again.

The thing about Spooks though...the whole time he is running...he's waiting for any indication that you want him to stop. You literally have to ride him every. single. stride.

'Cause if you slow your body energy even the tiniest bit...he'll just slid to a stop. THAT is probably the biggest reason Spooks is not much faster on the pattern, cause when you watch him run...he's actually striding out...he's just not flowing forward. He's waiting...hoping...for any indication that it's okay to stop. THAT is going to make him a perfect kids horse!!

Since I had run Spooks toward the beginning of the race, according to what times had been running...I figured I was screwed. Spooks usually runs a 20.1-20.4 in this arena and this time his run has been a 21.197. But the more I was listening to times, the more I got to wondering exactly how this was going to play out. Sometimes crappy ground works in funny ways...it will slow the fast horses down, but the slower horses handle it just fine and run their 'normal' times, so there is actually less of a gap in times. That is exactly what was happening too. I lost track of everything when I was getting Moon ready to run...and of course, he set the fast time...so then I just had to wait to see how it broke down...

Moon set the fast time of 17.840 and won the 1D. Our associations run on 1/2, 1/2, 1 second splits...so technically the 4D 2 full seconds slower than the fast time. The weird thing was...the majority of the girls ran well within that 2 seconds. Oddly enough, only 4 of us, with some kind of messed up, but clean runs ended up with times that was greater than that 2 second split. So Spooks placed 2nd in the 4D and picked up an awesome check too. Hahahahaha... He was 4 seconds off of the fast time and still placed...

I have always said that horse had the luck of the Irish.

He also picked up the necessary points to break the tie for Reserve...so he won that title and this beautiful headstall and breastcollar set...
                                              (Of course I would be looking down. LOL) 

I'll get better pics of the headstall and breastcollar after I get all of Spooks' prizes for the year and can show them all at once. ;-)

One last run on the big guy...and it's for the Champion 4D position for my district NBHA. We are leading by a slim 4 points so I can't screw this one up. Nobody gets that lucky twice. Hahahaha

7 comments:

Laura said...

Cool - you sure had a good day at the finals!!! I hope Spooks and his new girl do really well together.

It is pretty neat that both horses did so well for you this year, in 2 different categories!

Shirley said...

Bet Spooks would have made a good reining horse.
Congrats on doing so well with both horses, and good luck on Spooks last run.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

He still could make a nice low-level reiner...he has all the moves...AWESOME flying lead changes btw. :-) He is rather limited in his capacity to spin though. He has limited cross over and doesn't pull his other front leg back far enough. Really good up to medium speed, but anything faster and he starts knocking his front feet. Megan had the same problem with Spooks' 3/4ths brother when she reined on him. The judges always told her she was super correct, but lacked the flair. :(

Crystal said...

Good for Spooks!!! Nice to be consistant anyways and who cant like a horse that is always winning something :) Sounds like a perfect job for him to help that girl next year!

Paint Girl said...

Awesome Spooks!! That is so cool that a young girl is going to be riding him!! I am sure we will get updates on how they are doing! And hoping you have one last fantastic run on Mr. Spooks!!

fernvalley01 said...

Good for Spooks sounds like the perfect fit for him, and congrats on all the swag the big guy is getting to bring home

Cut-N-Jump said...

Sounds like things with Spooks are going to work out just fine for everyone. How awesome is that! I'm sure we will hear how he is doing and what new things he wins for her too.... What a great chain of events for a good horse like him.