First I have a confession, I was a BAD photo-documentor! I was more concerned with having my video camera to tape the other girls' runs. :( Please forgive me!
Okay, this is the part most people seem to have been waiting for:
Kimfer brought two horses - Isis, her 4 yo filly was entered in the Barrel Bonanza (which will now be referred to as BB) and Baron, her gelding who was entered in the Open.
BB is to promote stallions standing in Saskatchewan. To compete horses must be 3 - 6 years old and the offspring of a nominated stallion. BB is also ran on the 3D system.
Kimfer wasn't expecting too much from Isis (reg name JLS Eyed Bee A Jewel). She, like myself, doesn't believe in pushing babies too hard or fast. Isis was started under saddle last year, had a month of barrel training early this spring and was hauled to jackpots to lope the pattern. Kimfer wanted her to have the experience of going to something bigger than a regular jackpot.
Some of the BB horses are running the pattern and competitive with the Open times. But Kimfer stuck to her game plan and loped the pattern. There were only about 3 or 4 horses that were 4 year olds, most of the BB horses were older. Isis did quite well, she wasn't the fastest but she was running (loping) the nicest pattern. Kimfer never had to fight with her head, unlike a lot of the horses... no matter how fast or slow they were. When Kimfer got to her pocket she'd say "Hup" and Isis would move over on her own and rate for the barrel. Very pretty to watch.
Kimfer also had about a dozen people ask if her filly was for sale. Now we all know there are a LOT of tire-kickers in the horse world, but most people inquiring about a BB horse are fairly serious as a lot of the young horses are for sale. (at this time Isis isn't for sale)
Baron, oh what can I say about Baron... Kimfer renamed him Master of Disaster. Oh, and he drank a bit more than usual. He doesn't drink well out of a pail, no matter where he is or where the water is from. We tried the tip from Mugwump about using a lighter coloured pail. He did drink better but still not a lot.
He also crashed barrels both days. I do mean crashed. Poor Kimfer, she works so dang hard with that horse and even if she is having good runs at home it falls apart at finals. :(
She thinks that this will have been Baron's last year for finals, maybe jackpot him at home next year and just take Isis to the finals.
Raincloud, he was such a little Applejack! (no "ass" added!!) He wasn't too keen on all the pavement, it was a bit slippery for his taste. But he settled right in to being stalled, warm up pen was fine as well. He also had his first "real" bath since we've owned him and he was a star! (Steph, he could teach your boy good bath behavior! lol) He was also considerate enough to not put manure stains on his shiny white areas... he did get a couple but they blended right into the darker areas of his coat. How thoughtful! lol
I got him into the competition pen as much as possible, even if just on a lead line. I knew that the signs would cause him to take a second look. He was very good though, no spooking just really eyeing stuff up. Unfortunately I couldn't get him in when there was a lot of activity in the stands... and I knew that would be an issue as he's quite a little "looky-lou".
Our first run... OMG that was funny. Yes I said funny. It was officially a no time because we broke pattern but the clock was stopped at about 36 or 39 seconds. *sigh* My horse was crowd shy. :o
We happen to go left first, and the left hand side is where the vast majority of spectators sit. It is also where the announcers are, right around where the barrel is. I walked RC up the alleyway as he hadn't been in the arena yet with the quads by the fence and all the skeery people in the stands. So we took it easy until we got to the gate area. If he was to pull something I'd much rather have it happen at a walk or jog than a faster gait!
I kicked him up to a lope and off he went... until he got to the pocket for first. Then he slammed on his brakes, on the front end yet. No nice soft, rounded stop on the butt. Slam stop on the front end with his cute little ears pricked right forward. Looking at the announcers and crowd. I could just hear his thoughts: "OMG who the HECK are they!?! WHY are there all these people!?!"
I got the forward motion going again and we headed for 2nd. Unfortunately he was thinking more of going out of the arena and we ended up on the wrong side of 2nd. This is where the no time came in. I doubled back in a loop and went around 2nd. At a trot. *sigh*
Fortunately coming out of 2nd he remembered that barrels are a speed event and cooperated with a run to 3rd, decent turn and nice run home, only slowing up a little to run out the gate down the alley.
Oh yeah, we haven't run anywhere where we could run out before this. I had practiced it when we had arena time on Monday though, thank goodness!
Second day of competition was better. Raincloud was super responsive in the warm up pen, which was nice because I was making a point of blowing past the inconsiderate jackasses that where leading their horses in the warm up pen (more on that in another post). Yeah, I can be a bit of a bitch when I want to be. lol
In the holding pen Raincloud was nice and relaxed, went in the alley nicely and jogged to the gate. Approaching the gate I asked him to pick it up and off he went for the 1st barrel. Nice turn, headed to 2nd... better than the previous day, nice turn and off for 3rd. 3rd was wide and off we went home. He ran better, still not too fast though. Any mistakes on the pattern were totally pilot error so I was happy with him. Our official time was 20.09, quite a bit faster than the disaster run but not competitive.
We finished up about halfway through the 3D pack. Which I am happy about, as that was my general goal. We beat the horses I thought we should be able to beat and he adjusted very well to the experience. This year was all about getting out there and seeing stuff and getting to know each other. I have to say (yet again) that I am very pleased with "my" little man. (he is still technically Pie's horse) ;)
For next season I really need to have him (and me) in better shape. He is wanting to run and turn harder than he is physically fit to do. He also seems to want to be a competitive little guy. :)
OH! The youth was won by one of our girls! Robyn won the 1D Youth, in her final year being able to compete as a youth. She also broke her curse of always hitting a barrel in the final go! Congrats Robyn!!