It was a
The funniest part was when Moon saw the open arena gate and decided to hell with that...He was heading back to the trailer...And there wasn't much I could do about it. We had people scattering like a flock of startled chickens...and I'm telling them...'Don't run away. Stop him'. Nobody did. Chickens!! LOL.
I did finally get him stopped and back him up almost all the way back to the arena gate and then the gate man came over and put his hand on him and Moon followed him right up to the gate.
I'm sorry. I can't help but laugh. One second Moon is standing there, practically asleep and the instant he heard my name called...He skied out. Next time I will have a friend standing by to walk us up to the gate. Once Moon starts moving f.o.r.w.a.r.d. he's fine. But he can't quite seem to get over that running sideways first thing. And if there is no fence there to stop him...He just keeps going. I'm not too worried about it anymore. It's just an adrenaline rush thing with him.
Once Moon got moving forward, he lined up and was ready to take off. *I was looking at the left hand barrel, but Moon was thinking 'Go right!!'...And almost all the way to the left barrel, he was pushing to the right. This is more along the lines of what I expected him to do at the last race...And he didn't. This time though...He was really wanting to head to that right barrel first. It was only at the last stride that he finally committed to the left barrel. And in typical Moon fashion...he just abruptly changed directions and whipped around the 1st barrel. We were way out of position, but I still thought we got around it not too bad. I was trying my best to just keep my butt in the saddle and use my legs, but with Moon pulling to the right so hard all the way to the barrel, I was really having to use everything I had to get him to go left.
After that turn though, I did just sit down and use my legs to drive him. The whole way to the 2nd barrel, I just kept thinking...Drive him on by! Drive him on by!!
By golly...It worked!!!
Moon drove into the 2nd turn, I was actually sitting down and using my legs, reins totally loose and he made a b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l. turn.
He got a little lost again heading to the 3rd barrel and was starting to get way wide, but I did get him moved back over a little with my leg and just kept telling myself..'Legs...Not rein. LEGS!!'...and even though he was a little wide coming into the turn, I did keep using my legs to keep him moving...Never touched the rein and he finished the turn in perfect position.
Well...That's when I noticed that the 1st barrel was down. Phooey!!! I let him gallop home. We must have tagged it with the hip...because I didn't even know it had gone down. Probably because he was so out of position coming into the turn and then just abruptly changed directions.
Well, other than that...I finally had a fun run on Moon. FINALLY a practice technique that made sense to both of us and helped get us around the barrels. I can't fault Moon for getting confused and wanting to go to the right barrel first. It's bound to happen for a few runs.
I didn't clearly hear my time...I think it was (would have been) like a second and a 1/2 off of the fast time. That's not too shabby for an out-of-shape horse, who got lost...and I wasn't pushing him. I'd want to just let Moon set his own pace for now and get used to going left...not getting pulled on...and me using my legs again. That's a lot changes for any horse to take in.
The most important part...I had FUN on him again!!! I cannot remember the last time I had FUN running Moon.
The only disappointment of the evening was that I didn't get to run Frosty. He's been struggling with tender feet...then he came out of it...but the gravel and the hard packed warm-up arena was just too much for him at the race. The competition arena would have been fine for him, but I was worried that he wouldn't just relax and run, after having to tippy-toe across the hard ground. Plus, I wasn't really able to get him properly warmed up in the hard packed warm-up arena. With Frosty...Things kind of have to be just right before it's worthwhile to make a run on him. He's a big sissy boy and of course his favorite response to pain or discomfort is to blow up. I don't want to be bucked off at the first barrel again. That sucked!! Plus I was wearing my new straw hat. I would have hated to get pile drived during a run and smash my new straw. ;-).
The tender-feet problem will be resolved soon enough though. As soon as I get back from the Sturgis MC Rally, I have a farrier coming to shoe Frosty and LJ. Everyone else is doing just fine barefoot, but those two are struggling and you cannot properly train or condition a horse when their feet hurt...So shoes it is.
We'll see how many barrel races I get to go to from here on out. The association that I support the most just started implementing paid ride-times before the race. There are other associations that do that in this area, but I don't go to their races (for that very reason!!). I'm not paying a local association $10 to ride in the damn arena before a race. In my not humble opinion....These local associations are like training grounds. If they are going to start nickel and diming us to death with this fee and that fee. I just won't go. I'm not going to pay $20-30-40 extra dollars (money that is not even part of the payback pot), on top of my entry fees just to get my green horses exposure. When you add it all up...hell, you might as well be paying a rodeo entry fee. I told them that too. If they continue with charging members to ride in the arena, then I'm not going to any more races, nor will I be buying memberships anymore. I don't think that set very well with a couple of the directors...But I don't care. Hell, I'll take my horses to a gymkhana and pay $5 to make a practice run. A person has to draw the line somewhere and I drew mine with a big, fat marker!! LOL