Finding things to do around this area isn't hard. My schedule is filling up fast.
Before we went to Pennsylvania, I contacted a guy about a Ranch Horse Clinic and Show he is hosting in May. Come to find out...He lives just down the road from me...And is the same guy I bought a couple of 'free lessons' certificates from, at a benefit, a few years ago...And never got around to using...
He actually remembered me and not only offered to honor those certs, he told me to come on over and ride at his place anytime. He has a full Ranch Horse trail course set up and a flag. No cattle until April, but that is no big deal. I have a feeling the ponies and I are going to need a lot of work on the trail obstacles, reining maneuvers, and working the flag well before cows show up.
Along with that, to help get us in the swing of things, I've registered for a Versatility Ranch Horse clinic and show in the middle of March. There are 3 buckle series shows over the next couple of months after the clinic.
The first horse show of the season is the first weekend in April and has a full list of both Western and English classes. There is like 5 shows throughout the summer. We will see how I do at the first one, but I'm thinking I need a refresher course in 'showing' again, so will most likely attend a Showmanship/Horsemanship clinic and then a Reining/Trail clinic the first weekend in May.
I cannot forget my barrel clinic in April. I liked Ronny Clampitt last year and hopefully I will have 2 horses ready for this clinic. I'm hoping to take Little John and Jet, but if Jet isn't far enough along, I'll take Frosty and Little John.
A couple of the barrel race producers are offering pole bending at their series this year too. I LOVE pole bending. Usually, the only place you'll find it anymore is at the gymkhanas, but when the suggestion was made to offer them at the barrel races, the support was huge, so they are including it. Yay!! However, there are 3 for sure, maybe 4 different gymkhana series around and those will start up in late April and early May. So lots of fun, speed events to attend.
I don't know that I am interested in going to any of the purely reining horse shows around...I'm just so icked out by how u.g.l.y. that class is looking. The peanut rolling, trashy moving horses I see on RFDTV make me gag. But...I do have access to a really good reining horse trainer and since I have to take Shooter to his place for P3 treatments, I'm thinking I need to get a few lessons while I am there to brush up on some of my maneuver execution. I'll be able to increase my finesse in the reining portion at the Ranch Horse stuff. :-D
I also found out that another neighbor of mine does some team sorting. It's a bit of a travel to get to the practices now. The guy that used to put them on locally moved away, so everybody that he hooked on it, now drives 70 miles to practice. But talking to her, I did find out there is a cutting horse trainer in the area that I didn't know about. I'm more interested in cutting than sorting, so hopefully I can make a connection there and work on that a little bit.
And last but not least...The local Dressage club wants to start offering Western Dressage. I'm going to their introduction clinic at the end of February. I'd rather do classic Dressage, but not knowing ANY of those people has made jumping into the local mix a little intimidating. I figure I'll spend a little time getting to know some of these people through the Western Dressage end of things and ease my way into the classical aspect over time.
The only thing I haven't managed to get a fix on (again!!) is the roping end. Last year I finally got a guy to agree to let me come track some of his roping steers and get comfortable roping again and he ups and gets divorced and moves away. Dang the bad luck!! However, I just found out one of my barrel racing buddies is going to start roping and I am going to twist her arm 'til she lets me come practice with her.
;-). Her husband is a calf roper/team roper and hangs with some of the best (NFR-quality) ropers around and I gave her crap for 2 years for not getting them to teach her how to rope. She finally caved. LOL. I think she owes me the favor of letting me come practice with her because, after all, *I* was the one who convinced her to run barrels on a horse that wasn't working out as a rope horse for her husband. They were trying to sell the horse and I kept telling her, 'Put that sucker on barrels. He's going to surprise the hell out of you'. She was all, 'But he's 14 and he's lazy, and I really just want to sell him to buy a back-up rodeo horse, blah, blah, blah', but she finally got him going on the barrels and within 10 runs, he was clocking a 1/2 a second off of her good rodeo horse. Hahahahahaha!!! Now he is NOT for sale! So really...Don't you think she owes me? ;-). I found her, her back-up rodeo horse right in her own corral. :-D. All I need is an 'in' and I'll worm my way into the roper clique after that.
There is one weekly rodeo just down the road from me and I really haven't been able to take advantage of it. The slack barrel racing was at the hottest part of the day, which was not good for Moon and I started to take Frosty there last year, but the ground was so bad and he was timid yet, so I stopped taking him, but this year, I'll have 4 horses to choose from.
**And just like that...I ran into a friend at the ag store and he has roping calves coming that will be ready to rope in June. Guess that problem is resolved too. :-D.
This is going to be a GREAT year!!