Saturday, May 4, 2013

It Doesn't Work

Well, here I am in Arizona rodeoing again...After putting together three good runs...IN A ROW!!...I was pretty excited for these two rodeos down here....

And I flubbed up again at the first rodeo. I was so goll-danged mad at myself that I went straight to my trailer, went into the living quarters and pitched a little fit. I will have to pick all of my stuff up later. LOL.

Moon breathes so good down here in this Arizona air and he was ready to roll this morning. His tail was up and he was prancing and dancing through his entire warm-up. I actually gave him an extra long warm-up because he was so amped up. He wasn't being ornery or anything...Just felt really good.

It always psych's me out a little bit when Moon feels that fresh because I know he is going to fire like a rocket and I have a hard time keeping up with him. And fire he did. He inhaled his 1st barrel and left so hard for the 2nd one that I didn't even have time to get up there with him, so I was playing catch-up across the arena. That is never good for me because even though in my heart I know Moon is running on target, I get that urge to sit up and pull on him....and I did just that before I got to 2nd barrel. I caught myself and mentally forced my hand to go forward and we just barely eeked around the 2nd barrel.

Moon left just as hard for the 3rd barrel and I got with him and got him lined up for that little wider pocket we have been working on, got about to strides from the barrel and I pulled on him again. This time Moon really bore down on the rein, so I did what I do...That one thing that DOES NOT WORK!!...I sat up and really pulled on him.

That time Moon went, 'Oohhh, okay, you want me to turn?'...and he did. Doinking the 3rd barrel.


What really made me mad at myself was the whole time I was pulling on him, I was thinking to myself...THIS DOES NOT WORK DUMMY!!...and yet, that time I could not make myself stop pulling on him.

Sooooo...THAT cost me some more money. Even with me pulling on him, Moon had a smokin time and we would have been in the top end, far enough up to draw a check. If I hadn't been pulling on him...


So here is how this works...It was inevitable that I would at some point revert back to my bad habit. It happened...Over and done with. Next run, I will get back to where we were. But there is going to be one minor change...

I'm putting Moon into a smooth snaffle. I'm leaving the tie-down on because Moon really does seem to like it. It's obviously not slowing him down and I can feel how much more confidently he would like to turn. But I am removing all 'whoa' from his headgear. If I cannot stop myself from pulling on him, then I am removing any temptation. I KNOW I can't make him do anything with a snaffle on. I either have to get up there and ride him or sit there and let him do what he does. Either way...It can't be any worse than me pulling him into the barrels. :-D.


cdncowgirl said...

Crap. Crappity crap crap :(
BUT at least it was pilot error, it seems more frustrating trying to figure out what's wrong when you need to fix your horse.
Then again, and I know from my own experience, it's just as frustrating knowing what YOU'RE doing wrong and not being able to stop yourself.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

In my head I keep going over and over why I keep reverting back to the sitting up and pulling and I think I figured it out...

I'm trying to make Moon rate and turn like a rear-wheel drive horse, one that runs into their rate spot, rocks back onto their hocks and give you the opportunity to move that shoulder around. Moon is an all-wheel driver...When he rates he drops his whole body down and leans into the turn. As long as I don't start pulling on that inside rein, he doesn't drop his shoulder. But the instant I think I need to try to lift him up...he just bears down with his inside shoulder and I panic and start heaving on him.

What works is to just get his nose a little bit and then tap on the outside rein once or twice to keep him straight and his hip under him until he is in his pocket and then let him turn.

I have just been trying to make too much happen with my inside rein and Moon doesn't need it.

It all goes wrong when I start worrying about 'the turn' and think I need to 'help' him. Mentally, I have to completely block out 'the turn' and just focus on riding Moon to the right spot in the pocket...and then let him do his job. Which he does, without fail.

Cut-N-Jump said...

Old habits die hard. I know this and I have one that I will admit to on some days. Riding and driving it shows up now and then to blow everything to crap. Biggest thing is catching yourself doing it and telling yourself to STOP IT! NOW!

I like the tizzy fit in the trailer. I'm sure if anyone heard it from the outside, they probably wondered what the ruckus was all about.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Yep. I think this will be something that will re-occur every so often for awhile. The whole 'panic attack' thing started last summer when Moon actually started smoothing out and running. I remember the first Salida...when he was running perfectly to 2nd and I panicked because I didn't know what to do.

Learning to just leave him alone when he is running right is tougher than I thought it would be because it just feels like I should be doing 'something'....

In reality, I don't need to do much of anything. Just keep my inside hand forward and tap on the outside rein if I feel him starting to lean too early. That's it. It's so ridiculously easy that I have a hard time slowing my brain and hands down and just letting it happen.

But it's coming. We got 3 good runs in a row in before I reverted back. Now I'm mad at myself again and will be focused on NOT pulling on him. I was just reassuring myself that what I was doing before really didn't work. LOL

kestrel said...

You'll get it. Made me laugh about the snaffle, good plan! He's inside an arena, so it's not like he can get to Mexico, but dang it sure feels like it when you're sitting on a mach speed mountain being deafened by your cheeks flapping on your eardrums!

Sherry Sikstrom said...

holy crap! you are a brave gal, taking all the whoa out a horse with all that go!!! Love Kestrels analogy too!

cdncowgirl said...

lmao love kestrel's comment!!

I've been thinking about this some more, it's probably hard for you because it's the first time in awhile that you've had an "easy" horse that you don't have to ride every stride.
Not to mention it seems the popular thing in barrel racing training/tips/advice the last little while is to beat it into us that you ride with your body & mind all.the.time.
Just not the case with a horse like Moon. I wonder how many other horses are getting frustrated for the same reason?