Home from the Apache Junction rodeo...And I have pics and videos to share.
It was a veritable blogger fest, Cindy D. and TC were there as was Nuzzling Muzzles and her hubby and CutnJump and her girls joined us later.
...And I am kinda pissed that my cheering section wasn't wearing Team Tiller gear! Hahahahaha. Just kidding. I threatened life and limb if banners and such are actually produced.
More than anything I was praying that Moon wouldn't pitch a fit at the gate. He was not good at Buckeye. But he was actually perfect in AJ.
I'm getting the distinct impression that these open fairgrounds, with room to get away from the arena and warm him up is more his forte'. Him and I hit the desert for quite a bit of long-trotting and just wandering around out in the open for about 30 minutes before we went to the arena and waited for our turn. Moon was as quiet as he has been in quite some time and headed into the arena with only one spin out...Which is not uncommon for any barrel horse.
He didn't fire hard, just started his run with a nice ground eating lope and built up a little speed. The total opposite of what he felt like 2 days ago. And I'm getting smart enough not to push him. This is what I have been working so hard for. A cool, calm, thinking start to his run. And that is when Moon clocks the best. That light, effortless, ground-eating stride...THAT'S his signature and I was grinning to myself, thinking, 'There's my boy. We are going to have an awesome run.'
And Moon set into the 1st barrel and the next thing I know...I'm going over his head, scratching and scrambling for anything I can get my fingernails into so I don't bite the dirt in front of all of these people who came out just to watch us. Sheer embarrassment is ALL that kept me from going right over Moon's head. Luckily for me, he didn't whip back around that turn or I would have been toast. He just glided out a little bit and let me catch up.
Nuzz caught the frame after whatever happened and it's not pretty...
I think Moon set into that turn thinking he was going to slide on the ground and he didn't. He stuck. He went down in the front end and I was committed to the turn and got popped plumb out of the saddle.
Cindy D. video-taped and even put some music to it. It's rather appropriate. LOL...
The 2nd barrel felt a lot better than it looks. I did keep my eyes up...AND my hands...LOL...
And that picture tells why it's so hard to get Moon around that turn. He doesn't want to run around the barrel, he wants to set in with his shoulder and flip around it. I honestly don't know it I will ever be able to fix that entirely. I can only keep working on driving him deeper and deeper into the pocket and hope that he will eventually get more correct. His poor hind legs are in such an awful position, it's not hard to see how he hurts his stifles.
These are the pictures that I found the most interesting, because by all rights, our 3rd barrel was by far the best set-up turn we had and I am slid forward in the saddle...
And then down in the well...
That should not be. This is telling me I have a real saddle fit issue going on. For me. This is the only saddle I have that fits Moon. I have known this to some extent and it was my intention to buy a new saddle this year...and then I took that money and invested it into injections and Back On Track sheets and Little John. :-/.
I am going to run this saddle up to a saddle repair place and take the Sharon Camarillo that has the deep seat that I love so much (but doesn't fit Moon!) and see if they can build up the front of the seat on Moon's saddle in the next couple of days. That aught to help keep me from sliding forward. Slopping around in the saddle like this has to be a big reason I have such a hard time staying with Moon. Unless I sell Little John, I can't afford a new saddle now...And I'm torn. I really need a new saddle...and I really like LJ. Hopefully, having a build-up on the front of this saddle will keep me from sliding around...And then Moon and I can win some checks and buy a new saddle?
Of course, there was lots of other conversations going on between Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, but I'll share those in the next post. :-)