Monday, January 9, 2012

High Cotton Obstacle Competiton

The adventure began at 5:30 that morning (1/7/2012). I loaded Seven and headed over to get Christina and Oakley (Poco King Cloud). We left Zebulon at 6:45 and headed to Fuquay-Varina, or so I thought. I somehow missed the road and ended up in Lillington. So with a call for new directions, we got Reed and her horse Fortune packed onto the trailer. OK, now we could start heading south! We arrived at Lake Waccamaw at 11:00. I spotted Aimee and her group and we got to park next to them for more fun! Aimee had brought her mule Henry, her husband Tollie brought Flash and Caroline, and Aimee's daughter brought her big horse Mike! They also had another two friends with them and another horse.

We all walked over and got signed up, watched Mary Miller Jordan and her mustang perform. Her mustang's name is Magic Carpet Ride, so Mary dressed as a genie! They did some neat tricks and she rode well for a mustang who only has 90 or so days of training. Mary will leave in about two weeks to go to Texas to compete in the Extreme Mustang Makeover Competition!
Soon it was time to warm up and for the in-hand class to start. There was a mix-up in my numbers, and they were still calling my old number until it was time for me to go into the ring. All of a sudden, I heard "Shannon Hoffman and Seven, please come in the ring." So in we went, cold turkey. I would have loved to have worked with him and warmed him up a little, but we just made do!
We had to do all sorts of things like step over poles, cross bridges, and go through curtains, but the worst on was a Water Box. A short 2x2 foot square with sides and about two inches of water. The horses were to step into the box of dirt-colored water to cross it. Seven was not really sure about all this and only stepped one foot in, but at least he tried. I was not too happy with our go, and I was hoping that it would not set the tone for the rest of the day. The classes took a while to get through because she had so many entries! Once the Novice class was done, there were only four youth kids to go, and then they would start the Open. I was second to go in the Open, so I wanted to be prepared! I warmed Seven up and he seemed to be listening well and being soft! I had hopes... Right as I was standing at the gate all warmed up and ready to go they announced someone else to go in next and had moved me back. Oh no, I was all physically and mentally ready. The lady who went in before me thanked me so much and said something about having to go home early. So I fidgeted around and finally it was our turn to go! The two who went before me did the pattern wrong so Mary was telling everyone to check their patterns. I said, "shh... don't tell them all the secrets." We just laughed and then she was ready for me to start.

Seven did well with the plastic bottles and then it was on to that Water Box again. I had counted on just having him sort of skip over top of it, since that would cost fewer points that fighting with him to get him to walk into it. But he stopped, put his head down, and to my amazement, walked right into it!
The Super Scary Water Box!

Then it was time to weave through some poles at a jog, dismount, fly spray his shoulder, pick up his right hind foot, and then remount. We walked quickly over the bridge and nearly picked up a trot over the exercise mats. We got through the curtain and I stopped him to try for extra points! We proceeded over the mixed-up poles on the ground and I don't think he even touched them! He walked quickly through the pool noodles and we turned left and picked up a nice jog. The halt at the cone was not as smooth as it could have been, but was still OK!

So now it was time for the money shot, as they say! Seven had to put his left front foot into a round circle a little bigger than the size of a dinner plate on the ground. We had practiced till I thought we could do it. I asked him, held me breath and BOOM, just like that, in that foot went! I was so excited! The crowd clapped and Mary gave me a big smile!

Seven with is foot in the Orange Circle!

Mike and Caroline placed 2nd in the In-Hand Class
Seven and I placed 4th in the In-Hand Class
Oakley and Christina placed 5th in the Novice Class
Fortune and Reed were overjoyed just to make it through the Water Box and Pool Noodles!

Seven won the Open Class out over over 30 participants.

Boy was I proud of him! We won a $25 gift certificate to The Celtic Horse, a local tack shop, a nice embroidered cooler, a handmade rope halter from, and a bunch of other neat stuff!
I had a great time, and the win just added to the fun! I met a lot of new people and ran into some buddies from showing! Everyone was so nice and we all had a good time visiting and riding with each other! Seven got lots of petting during the day, and I answered many questions about mules!

Thanks, Mary, for putting on a great competition that really did accomplish what you intended. Mary said at the beginning of the competition, "This is about your relationship with your horse!"

So we packed up and headed home! After stopping to pick up dinner and dropping everyone off, Seven and I got home at 12:30AM!!! WoooHooo, what a day!

1 comment:

Donna Campbell Smith said...

Congratulations to you and Seven!