I finally got a run on Frosty....And I am just so tickled with that big, dumb, bronc.
You know, it's been almost a year since I have made a run on Frosty and haven't done anything but a little freshening on the pattern here and there throughout this whole summer and that big dork just went in there and worked.
Now, I'm not going to say he blew the doors off...but he went in and make his usual picture perfect pattern, well-within his speed limit and was still only just a little over 2 seconds off (2.4 to be exact)
I know that doesn't sound like much...But...It's FROSTY!! Last year he had to work to get within 2 seconds of the fast time. LMAO!!! I was just going for...not getting bucked off during the run and hopefully not more than 4 seconds slower than the fast time. LOL. Mission accomplished and far better than I even dared to hope for. It seems a bit silly to have a smile plastered on my face over a 2+ second off the fast time run...but I do. :-D. I forgot how damn fun that horse is.
On the Moon front...He got gate camped. I asked for my exhibition run to immediately follow the last barrel racer and Moon and I worked on gate etiquette. I don't know how to really explain exactly what I did, because I did a bunch of different things. Moon would get chargy and we would do little circles. He would sull up and I would just tip his head one way or the other and keep bumping him until he unsulled and started moving again. We walked up to the gate. We rode into the arena while they were dragging (which btw...Moon knows perfectly well when that tractor is going around the arena he isn't going to make his run, so he just walks right in...To damn smart for his own good, that horse!!). We camped by the fence. We left. We came back. Everything I did was mostly just to get him to think and breath again when faced with going into the arena. By the time the race was over and we could do our exhibition, Moon walked right into the arena on a loose rein. When I picked up the rein with both hands, he did want to spin and leave again, but I just continued to tip his head and bump him until he was lined up to make his run....And then we t.r.o.t.t.e.d. the pattern. Well....trot/lope/started-to-blast-off/got-checked back to a trot up to the first barrel. And then trotted the rest of the pattern. I tried to leave his head alone and let him place himself because I wanted to see what he would do and he did exactly what I thought he would...sucked into the barrels so tight he couldn't even trot around them.
I let him be the first trip because I just wanted him to expel the anxiety and breath. No one else was in the arena after our little 'exhibition', so I just brought Moon back around and began to make him work the pattern properly. He was still wanting to suck into the turns, but every time he would go to duck in. I would stop him, roll him away from the barrel a full circle and then ask him to pick up the CORRECT position going around the barrel. It took a bunch of work, but after a few trips, Moon had relaxed and was holding his position in the turn and could comfortably maintain forward motion. That is where we quit.
I could tell when I was pulling his saddle that Moon was mulling things over. He thought I was trying to trick him. LOL. I was...but not the way he thought I was. He was thinking that the exercises was just in preparation to make a run. When I stripped him down and began his after-run routine, he wasn't sure what to think then. That made me giggle too. I guess I can still get one over on the dun horse. ;-). It will take a lot of that kind of work to really get Moon settled, thinking and breathing before a run again, but that is fine. I can tell his breathing is not where it should be to make a run on him, so we will just keep doing what we are doing until it's the right time to make another run and both of us will be mentally prepared to just go cruise through the pattern.