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Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened.

Ride with your heart and soul ~ your horse can feel it


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Slowly but surely

After the Ed clinic my game plan was to not worry about the speed but focus on correct.  After all if you can't turn them it doesn't matter HOW fast you run, not to mention he is still a fat little pony lol

I missed getting qualified for provincial finals but managed to get enough jackpots in to qualify for our district finals (barely!)  We went to a double header that my friend Jewls hosted, didn't place but he worked nicely.  Then I hosted two double headers.
(actually three but I didn't ride in the first one)

Our first runs at home were good.  Not fast but nice and correct.  He did try to stiffen up on me a bit but nothing horrible.  However... Mr. Hotshot "I-think-I'm-an-NFR-horse" decided he wanted to be a drama queen at the gate. 
He has, on a very few occasions, gotten a bit goofy at the gate.  Acting like he doesn't want to go in and prancing around.
I know a lot of people think that's resistance because they're sore or burnt out.  And for some horses it is, but not for all.  When Voodoo gets like this it's usually because he's so eager to get into the arena it's like his brain is misfiring and not giving directions to his body properly lol

This time when he got gate goofy it was a bit different, he actually popped up a bit with me a few times.  As a matter of fact he was a bit high strung all night.  After our run in the first jackpot I took him over to the barrel patch to lope some circles and play with him to see if he had his brain on. 
He was listening, he'd bend and flex, change direction and speed as I asked.  But holy heck... when he was "loping" those circles, it felt like the verge of a runaway.  He felt almost panicky he was so hot and on the muscle.  I would have been scared actually, but every time I asked for anything I got it. 
Since his gate antics were a bit different than his normal silliness, and he was so hot & bothered,  I was considering that he might be sore, but he didn't feel off AT ALL and the energy I was getting from him was just "Let me GOOOO" so go we did.  Once he went through the gate he took off for 1st like his tail was on fire (keep in mind, that's still not very fast... fat, out of shape, shorty horse lol).  We had a really nice run, as in the quality of the turns not the speed. ;)  And again, no money.
My friend JL and I were joking around that Voodoo was acting like a "crazy barrel horse" because I'd FINALLY gotten around to putting his bling breastcollar & headstall on lol

This past Monday night we had our last double header.  Well, last to qualify... I'm hoping to host more jackpots this year now that I got my birthday present :D
Voodoo was really calm and relaxed.  I kinda think he didn't realize it was a jackpot lol
(pretty low turnout, only 12 open entries and 3 youth)
He warmed up really nice and easy.  He stayed relaxed in his lope circles but had more speed if I asked for it (and he remained calm). 
When we went in the arena for our run there was just the teeniest hesitation and he went in, he seemed almost surprised when I put my hands forward to let him run lol. 
I was sooo happy with our run.  The time sucked but his turns were soft and fluid.  He went where I asked, when I asked and with flex (he had been pretty stiff before our clinic).
We didn't place in the first jackpot but we "won" 3D in the second.  Just don't tell Voodoo that we only won because everyone else in 3D either no-timed or hit barrels ;)  I'm not going to complain though, I finished with some money. 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Balance

I've been trying to find that balance... 
time for work, riding, chores, etc etc.  
So far I've managed to get a few jackpots in on Voodoo.
(more on that another time)
With luck he'll be qualified for district finals.
Cancelled any plans to qualify for,
 and attend, provincial finals this year.
Lots going on, just never seems to be enough time.
Enough time to get it all done,
or enough time to tell y'all about it.
Gotta find that balance!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Papa Ed

Last weekend was our yearly visit from Ed Wright.  I was entered into the regular clinic which was Sunday & Monday and took Voodoo... poor, chubby, out of shape little Voodoo.
The plan had been to take either Lefta or Applejack but for various reasons they weren't able to go and Voodoo, who had been sidelined for a bit, had to step up to the plate.
After the classroom portion of the first day I asked Ed if he had a moment, we stepped aside and I told him about how I had planned to bring other horses and couldn't so the horse I had was really out of shape.  Obviously he would know that, I just wanted him to know that *I* knew, and was feeling bad about it.  Ed just told me we'd work with what we had.
When it was my turn to ride with Ed he asked what I wanted to work on.  Well the only runs we've made lately had been a few practice runs at home.  First barrel was really bad, Voodoo was going in all stiff and turning very flat and I wasn't too sure what I was doing that was causing that.  Second was okay, not great but not too bad, my main concern was I felt like I was asking for the turn a stride too soon and that we weren't set up quite right for it because of first being bad.  Third I was pretty happy with, he was leaving second well and turning nicely.
After a bit of work we were turning first really nicely.  Voodoo was bending, grudgingly at times lol, and working the barrel to the point where he was turning it better than he ever has.  We didn't work him too much because he's so out of shape and it was H.O.T. out.
When we came in for our second turn of the day Voodoo was being a bit of a goof.  During our first work there weren't many people watching and this time pretty much everyone was hanging around.
Voo was prancing and dancing home from third when Ed commented that if he was feeling that good we'd use him a bit more.  I kinda laughed and said that he was doing it because he had an audience now, unlike me Voodoo's quite an extrovert. ;)  That led to a bit of discussion about what a character he is and how much personality he has.  Someone mentioned his name, not sure who, but Ed said "WHAT is his name?" and whoever it was repeated "Voodoo."  Ed just laughed and said it fit, and he'd never heard of a horse with that name but back in the day he'd dated a woman down in New Orleans who did it lmao
The second day we worked with a bit more speed, and like usual it fell apart a bit at first.  Things came back together fairly well though and I was pretty happy with the end result.
The Ed way seems to finally be clicking in my brain and it was feeling more natural.  Ed himself said I was riding a lot better and seemed to get it :D  I know it's not for everyone, but for me it works better than what I was doing before.
Ed liked Voodoo, I'm pretty sure not in the "hey he'll make a barrel horse" way but more in the "he's a character" kinda way.  I'll take it as a compliment though, Ed's not one of those clinicians that blows smoke up yer butt or tells every person there that he likes their horse or that it's pretty.
So the game plan for now is to get everyone going again... work on doing things correctly and slowly add the speed back in - or, in Lefta's case, work correctly and then add speed... we haven't really had that as part of the equation yet.