Didn't win in that event, but that's OK. Most of the other BCH members were going all out, or were letting their finished gaming horses go all out! The next event was barrels. While they were setting up the course a baby pigeon fell from the rafters. He was moved out of the way into the corner behind where Chrissy and I were waiting our turn. After half of the riders had gone, the bird waddled (hmm, do pigeons waddle?) out into the arena. Not wanting it or any horses who spook to get hurt, Mercy and I attempted to herd the pigeon back to its corner. Unfortunately, I think Mercy would have just stepped on it, or bit it, so I got off and herded it myself. Too bad, pigeon herding could have been the next great equine event! NOT!
When it was our turn at barrels we got right to it. I have practiced barrels at my friend's place whenever I trailer out to ride, but I don't 'let her go.' We work at the walk and trot until she gets the point of rating and pockets, then if she's lucky, I let her lope a go. I started out here at the trot by she was responding so well I let her move into the lope. Coming out of the third barrel she stumbled a little, but still got around and did a great job listening and feeling for me to stop her. Sorry the pics are so blurry. It's not operator error, I had it on the wrong setting. Sorry mom! :)The next event was 'Simon Says,' but Mercy thought it was 'Mercy Says.' We were walking along great, then we were trotting. First ones out too, sigh. It actually worked out fine because that meant I had the whole end of the arena to practice standing still and pivots.
The walk-trot relay was where Chrissy and I shined this day. There was a barrel at the end of the arena and the first horse had to walk over to it and around it without breaking gait. After crossing the finish line the second rider leaves at a trot, goes around the barrel, and trots home. Fastest time wins. Chrissy was my race buddy and volunteered to go first. Luna and Chrissy were off and (kinda) soon made it back to the finish line. I had Mercy in a trot long before she got back and crossed the line as soon as Luna's tail was past. She tried breaking into a lope a few times, popping up, but never completed the lope stride. I can get her moving pretty well and going home I past the horse in the other lane. We waited for the awards. I thought maybe 3rd or 2nd cause we did complete a clean run at a decent pace. When they said Chrissy and my name, we both must have looked almost horrified! There was no way we won! Really!?! Naw.... but here they came with the ribbons. Wow. A blue ribbon. A silly blue ribbon. I was ready for more!
TP race was next, another partner race. Unfortunately, Chrissy and I were already in trouble cause both of us were riding green horses and only mine *kinda* knew how to neck rein. We didn't run into trouble until they asked us to turn left. I told Chrissy to let me push her horse around cause I knew Mercy would turn for me. Well, we made it around and Chrissy decided to keep Luna turning. In order for me to catch up I had to trot, so we were out. Never broke the TP though!!!!
We participated in the baton race, but Luna had a little melt down so that was that. I think Chrissy did a great job handling her little mare and all ended well. The last event was team flags. So many teams had DQed, so all we had to do was complete the course. Luna went first and it took some time getting her positioned correctly to pick up the flags cause she just wanted to eat them, but after that was worked out Mercy and I were off. Now, I have never practiced flags with her, but I do use a flag around her in training, so I wasn't expecting a big deal. She just went past it like she didn't even know it was there. I reached over and picked it up, carrying it to the neck barrel. After dropping that one and grabbing the next flag we headed for home. I let her lope and she travel straight and true, so I got it in the barrel and flew across the finish line. At thins point most people had left the arena and were packing up. Before we left, we were informed that we had been awarded 3rd place, a white ribbon! Yup, that's right! Persistence and green horses do, in fact, mix!
We decided not to hang around and ride in the free arena just in case they wouldn't load. We loaded Luna up first since, supposedly, she has really only been trailered up front. Of course, it didn't take long and I loaded Mercy up like we had for the past year: point and load. Automatic. Since Mercy was in last, we dropped her off at my place first before heading to Landsburg to drop off Luna and Chrissy for their ride home.
All I have left to say (er, write...) is driving an empty trailer is a real treat! ;)