Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Planning And Strategy

Vay-cay is over...

It's back to work for me and the ponies. I'm down to 5 head to ride and it feels like a tremendous weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Beretta and Gunner were safely delivered to mom's place...and while home, Meg and I loaded my yearling filly up and moved her from my brother's place to mom's as well...
Belle is the one in front. I thought I was going to get the opportunity to get some nice pictures of her after moving her to mom's place...but the weekend fell apart and Meg and I got the heck out of dodge a.s.a.p. (Some of you can relate to that when it comes to 'family time'. ;-)

Belle is a doll. An absolutely stunning little filly. Actually both of these fillies are drop-dead gorgeous. My brother has done a fine job of raising them up...and they are even gentle and halter-broke. BONUS for me! The only reason for moving Belle was because my brother is short on corral space and these two girls really need to be in individual pens. Belle has sucked up to the older filly for security and the older filly is getting crabby about having someone always in her space. So Belle went to mom's to be placed with a more appropriate and accommodating 'nanny' horse and to give the older filly a chance to just move about without a little shadow always hovering and touching.

Belle's name didn't exactly fit in with my 'gun' theme...but after being around her for a little's very appropriate...she really does remind me of the dainty, little Belle from the Beauty and The Beast cartoon movie. LOL But I couldn't resist slipping the outlaw theme into her registered name...Fastdraw Belle Starr.

But back to the big boys...

The goal this winter is to head to Arizona and hit the winter rodeo circuit down there. It's back to the big, (mostly) outdoor pens for Moon. I can't say that I was disappointed with his times at the little, indoor arenas. He ran right in the money...we just couldn't leave all of the barrels standing. Moon was catching them with his hip on the way out. He is simply working so hard and is so ratey indoors that I had to make a lot of adjustments to the way I ride him. One more run and I think we would have had it. LOL. I had lunch with a friend that runs Pro and asked her if it was normal to have to develop such drastically different riding styles based on the type of arena you are running in and she said 'Absolutely'. She also enlightened me to the fact that as you go may become apparent that there are just certain places that don't work for your horse, so you learn to avoid those particular places/types of arenas. She has a big, racey kind of horse, that you would think would be awesome at the big pens, but in fact, his forte' is smaller pens and he just smokes them at the indoors. It helps keep his speed controlled and he focuses on turning. Moon is the total opposite (at this point)...He is so ratey and so focused on turning, that he does much better in the big pens because those few extra strides between the barrels frees him up and he stops thinking about turning just enough that he is more relaxed about getting around the barrels.

I did take the plunge and buy my WPRA permit (gulp). I was so hesitant to do that because most of the  winter 'permit races' in my area are held at indoor arenas. That was not going to help me fill my permit, based on Moon's last few indoor runs. To be eligible to buy your official WPRA card, you have to buy a permit (which allows you to enter whatever Pro-rodeos that accept permit holders) and then win $1000. The permit costs $300. After filling your permit, you get the opportunity to fork over another $375 to buy your card and that is when the money you win starts counting toward year-end. So's not cheap to take this step. But after looking at the available Pro-rodoes going on in Arizona at the time I am going to be down there...I may have a little better chance of filling my permit, as those are arenas that are more Moon's type.

In the meantime...there are still the Semi-Pro rodeo circuits, like what I have been running in. And this is where it gets funny...

Last season, I just missed the top 12 for the Colorado Pro Rodeo Finals. I was #14. I was really mad at myself for not entering the last rodeo of the season to see if I could have won just a little more money and put myself in the top 12, but it was the same weekend as the NBHA State Finals and I was really focused on Spooks' accomplishments this year, so I opted out of entering the rodeo.

Well, anyway...I got to talking with a friend and she asked me why I didn't buy my Wyoming Rodeo Association membership and I was like, 'Huh? Why would I do that, I'm not rodeoing up there.' She laughed and told me, 'Most of these rodeos are co-sanctioned. What you won would have put you in the top 12 in the WRA.' So I looked...and sure enough...Had I known to enter the WRA, I would have been eligible to run in their Finals. Well, WTH???  Sheez!! I knew most of the rodeos I entered were co-sanctioned...It just never dawned on me to buy the other membership. But that is not a mistake I will make again.

After some research...I also found out I would have been eligible for the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association Finals. Good lord...I really missed the boat by not paying attention who was co-santioning with who.

So boy, oh boy...Have I been double checking last year's rodeos and ya know what?

Looks like I will be buying multiple memberships this year;

Most of the Colorado Pro Rodeo Association rodeos are co-sanctioned with the Wyoming Rodeo Association, some are co-sanctioned with the Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association and the New Mexico Rodeo Association. Not to mention that the GCPRA and the NMRA have multiple co-santioned rodeos in the winter...and the NMRA also co-sanctions with the All Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association.

What that means is, if you enter and win money at a single can earn standings in multiple associations, which can really pay off at the end of the year. In fact, this year, the gal that won the CPRA Year-End Awards also won the NMRAYear-End and the GCPRA Year-End. It wasn't that she went to a ton more rodeos than everyone else...she just hit a winning streak that earned standings in multiple associations at once and it really paid off for her. Now that's strategy. I'm no dummy...I'm going to be doing the same thing this coming season and hoping it pays off.

Luckily, association memberships are not as expensive as the Pro permit/membership thing. I can buy all 5 additional association memberships for about the same cost as the WPRA permit (alone)...and some are discounted if you buy them early, so that saves a little money too.

I have to tell you...the scariest thing about all of this is...

What if something happens to Moon?

But that is a post all in itself...


Crystal said...

Sounds like it is gonna be an exciting winter and summer for you!!! So confusing who is co sanctioned with who though. Something can always happen to your horse, but just keep doing what you are doing and hope for the best. seems to have worked for you so far. I always worry something will happen to Jessie right after I buy all my memberships too.

in2paints said...

The year Lilly hurt her ligament was the year I bought memberships to all the show circuits. They didn't cost nearly as much as the one's you're buying, though. Just stay positive and enjoy all the rodeos. Sounds like you're going to have a blast!!

Paint Girl said...

Belle is adorable and I love her registered name!! Very creative!!
All the memberships sound so confusing, but that is so cool that a lot of them are co-sanctioned! I am excited for you and Moon and can't wait to hear how it all goes!!

Cut-N-Jump said...

Thankfully with driving it is the local club and the national one (ADS) and that's pretty much it. The entries CDE's can get pricey and there is no paybacks.

With shows- you choose not to show under certain judges, speed events- you choose not to run in certain venues. Some of it is where you horse does well (indoor/outdoor) and sometimes it is the footing and other important factors.

So when are you comin down & where are you ridin?

cdncowgirl said...

Oh my... how long did you kick your butt for missing out?
I'm actually really really shocked that you did that, you're so detail oriented and knowledgeable!

Hmm... sounds like you'll need to get one of the other horses working as a backup, JUST in case! ;)

ps I love Belle!

Laura said...

Too bad about missing out on those other associations finals, etc.! At least you know now and can register with all of them for this coming season and kick some major butt! :-)

The rodeos in AZ sound fun - do you need a personal assistant to keep track of all your stuff? I'd be happy to volunteer! lol

I agree with CdnCowgirl - sounds like you're going to need a string of fast horses to keep you all ready to go! ;-)

Shirley said...

Well that should keep you running this coming year! Congrats on taking the professional leap- hope you do really well.

kestrel said...

That is a lot to keep track of! Yow, I never knew!

Danielle Michelle said...

First off - how are all the endeavors going? How's Moon and when are you going to be in Arizona? When i first learned about multiple sanctioning for the circuit I was blown away too. I think you are making a good choice to have multiple cards. Let us know how it pays off!!!

Your hubby's business looks awesome! Best of luck in that 'arena'!