Thursday, October 18, 2007


Had the test today. I have to point something out here... a pattern designed for a large outdoor arena is a bitch to accomplish in a small indoor arena. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing pretty hard today and we performed our test in the indoor, rather than the outdoor.

We also didn't get our scores because there were three people grading us. Sparky got to judge because he has a pinched nerve in his arm, and isn't supposed to do anything with that arm or hand for the rest of the semester (yeah, that's gonna work out real well) plus JJ's wife was judging, as well as Marilyn.

I'm nervous, because no matter what they say about "it's on the rider, not the horse" the horse's performance has an impact. Here's what I did wrong:

1. My first stop wasn't as pretty as I might have liked. Monkey still hasn't mastered the sudden stop from a lope, unless I'm not set properly for it, and he can throw me forward with it, which he thinks is just hilarious. Fortunately he doesn't pull that one often.

2. My circles. We circled to the left, and were supposed to do one big circle, and one little circle. I had one big circle, and one slightly smaller circle.... but they were vaguely circular in shape, which wouldn't have happened even a week ago, so go Monkey!

3. The rollbacks. They sucked. I've been ignoring roll backs in favor of other things that we've been doing, and it showed. Plus, we were supposed to lope out of them, and I haven't gotten Monkey to the lope from a stop point yet, so there was some trotting where there should have been loping.

On the bright side, my 180's were beautimous, Monkey is doing really well with planting that hip and pivoting around it. The lope was nice and steady and relaxed, which makes me happy because I put a lot of hard work into convincing him that he didn't have to go fast all the damn time. The circles were at least as circular as the worst in the rest of the class, which is a major improvement, and I did get a few steps out of him two-tracking. I think I may have gotten counted off for not asking for more, but he's not very good at it yet, and if I keep asking, he gets frustrated because he thinks I'm asking for something else instead, and doesn't know what it is. His stop at the gate was gorgeous, and he backed up nice and soft for me there.

All in all I'm happy with the performance but I'm nervous to see what the scores are.

Monkey's been working pretty hard lately, so I think I'm going to give him a day or two off, let him out in a round pen or the indoor arena if it's clear. Marilyn gave instructions not to train this weekend, which is good because I was going to let Monkey relax anyway.

Oh, and Farmmom? I was wrong, we do get a show. Same time as the colts. So you get to come watch your horse perform after all!


Horse prof said...

Sounds like you did a modified reining pattern (What, no spins?) Was it graded like one as well? (70, plus or minus 1/2 to 1 1/2 per manuever). Good luck on it anyway, sure you did great.

BTW, you should really work on those walk to lope and halt to lope transitions, they help a LOT in the long run.

Farmgirl said...

Not really a reining pattern, it's one that one of the students came up with, and the scoring system is, as far as I can tell, unique to this college, it's just 10 points per maneuver.

Monkey is good on walk to lope, he'll jump right into his lope for me when I make it clear that's what I want. I just haven't figured out how to get across to him that he needs to do it from a halt, as well.

Considering how much else has been going on, it's just a time thing. Sure, I could probably get a lot more done with him with a couple more hours a day of riding, or if there were cattle here that I could work him on, but that's not the way it works out.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a pretty good day
if you doubt this, think back to when you started him, and all the problems you had...You both have come a loooong way. we are looking forward to more good reports on both of ya.
Keep up the good work.

Love Ya

Horse Prof said...

I know this doesn't sound real scientific but with roll backs just turn into the fence and kick like hell. Don't let up until he's going Mach 10. He'll start associating turning into the fence with needing to get up and go. You do sound like you've come a long ways with him - just like everything, takes time. Go for 1% a day, in 100 days you'll be 100% better.

Holly said...

REmembering what your posts sounded like at the beginning of the semester...this sounds like a HUGE improvement. Don't be so hard on yourself, FarmGirl, or Monkey. Both of y'all are on a learning curve. That's what college is all about, Learning, not gettin' there and bein' perfect.
Good Luck with the rest of the Semester.

Holly said...

one step at a time. I haven't been reading since the beginning, but others have commented on how far you have come so remember that.

and it's good that YOU are satisfied. Although working for others is also imortant, it's at least as important to meet your own goals too.