Monday, July 20, 2009

2nd Trail Competition

Last Sunday, Guinness and I attended the second of the SWVA Natural Horsemanship Club's Trail Obstacle Competitions for this year. It was attended by 8 participants, plus judges.

There were 18 obstacles in two divisions, Mounted and Unmounted:

1. lead horse on loose lead around roundpen
2. ground tie horse and walk around pen
3. join up with horse and walk around pen (no lead)
4. position horse at mounting block & mount (or simulate)
5. go though Noodles of Death suspended from upended hay ring
6. back down incline (20 feet?)
7. enter and exit a dark run-in shelter with steep ledge
8. cross a creek
9. cross a tarp
10. turn a 360 degree circle within a pole box
11. drag a drainpipe (15 feet?)
12. back through a series of fence panels (sort of "L" shaped)
sidepass over pole to mailbox, retrieve small flag and wave it
14. 3 laps around a
15. retrieve and transport large American Flag
16. cross ground poles
17. cross bridge over creek
18. load onto stock trailer

We came in 4th in Unmounted which was cool since Guinness was the youngest horse and the only one not yet under saddle. (We would have done a bit better if I had just led him onto the trailer instead of attempting to send him on.)

He didn't lead very well - instead of being by my shoulder he hung back. He ground tied well. He wasn't too interested in "joining up" (not something we've practiced much) preferring instead to wander around. He stood at the mounting block (no halter) and did fine with my leaning over his back. No problems with the Noodles. (See photo.) He backed perfectly without being touched. No problem with the run-in, creek (although he doesn't enjoy mud), tarp, 360 turn, or drag. His backing through the "L" was perfect, as was his sidepass. His Circling Game was lousy and we lost points there. No problem at all with the large flag, ground poles, or bridge. Finally, at the trailer, he had done everything so well (except the roundpen stuff & the circling) that I attempted to send him onto the trailer. He went in catty-cornered with his front feet up and then stopped. Oh well.

We had lots of fun! I also tried to convince him to get into a pond with me, but he wouldn't have anything to do with it. We will save that for another day. :-)

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