Last Sunday was the first outdoor jackpot I've been able to go to this year. The rain should have been an omen...
I'll back track a moment to the Monday before the jackpot. I haven't barrel raced since the clinic this winter so Kimfer & I saddled up Applejack and Isis and did some barrel exercises. Applejack warmed up nice and was working well. In fact he did the 4 barrel drill better than ever. We set up a regular pattern and made a couple runs. Everything was good, all systems go.
Skip ahead to Saturday. Kimfer and I went for a ride, something seemed kinda off to me though. When I brought the saddle over Applejack's legs had a little tremble go through them. Like he was nervous.
I ran my hands over him to see if I could find any ouchy or warm spots. Looking for a sore spot. Everything seemed fine. We rode out and he didn't seem off.
OK back to Sunday. We got to the jackpot, weather forecast didn't call for rain but there it was. I was relieved that I had brought a hoodie to throw on over my t-shirt! We waited for the rain to let up and then we unloaded the ponies and tacked up. During our warm up something just didn't feel quite right. There was nothing obvious, he didn't seem sore. Just something wasn't quite right. When I say it didn't feel quite right I mean more like a guy feeling, not that he felt off or anything. Also he was calling, not loud calls just little nickers. Normally Applejack isn't a talker.
I chalked it up to nerves and went ahead. I'm still not sure if it was anything or just a flukey bad day. On our first run he ran nicely to 1st barrel but as we approached the bobble he had a bit of a bobble. Kinda like he spooked at something or wasn't sure which side of the barrel he should go to. He also didn't have much run anywhere on the pattern. And to be honest I didn't ride like I should have (so I take full responsibility for the crappy exit from 2nd lol)
On our second run he just wasn't there like he usually is. He fought a lot (well for him) and just seemed like he would rather do his own thing.
Needless to say we didn't place. Boo.
It just seemed so odd, especially after the awesome practice Monday. Oh, and he's not the kind of horse that works nice at home and then you haul out and he's a turd so I don't think that was the problem. I'm considering calling the chiropractor or massage therapist to come check him out - just in case there is something, even minor, wrong.
Hopefully this Sunday he's feeling better, and more co-operative, for team sorting.