Monday, August 20, 2012

Seven's First ACTHA Ride!

Aug. 17th Seven, Levi and I headed to Ivanhoe, VA to the New River Trail for an American Competitive Trail Horse Association Competition.  It was cooler there and the camp was right near the New River and the trail that follows a rail road bed along the river.  We got settled and I saddled up to ride for a little bit! I met a lot of new people and then ran in to a few I already knew.  I rode down the trail with a nice gentleman I met who was my camping neighbor. He had a nice palomino Pleasure Horse.
The evening we had chicken dinner and then we all messed around in the arena till 11pm that night! Great fun to watch everyone and play with the obstacles. There was a small pedestal there and I got Seven to put all four of his feet up on it! (all that work at home really pays off!)

I dressed up really nicely and also groomed my mule up as much as I could. I figured Seven might not do well because of the Judges in the woods at each obstacle! So I was going for Best Dressed and Best Groomed awards! 

The next morning we had breakfast and the morning riders meeting at 9AM. Riders started going out at 10AM with the first obstacle being pool noodles in the main arena. I rode out with Vickie riding her pretty mare Gigi and her husband Jim riding one of Jay Lankford's mules Sammy.

Seven did well with the noodles and so I hoped we were off to a good start!
The trail was really pretty with all kinds of nice views of the river and rock formations. We rode along and would come to each obstacle, work it and then move on. We did not have to keep any specific pace and just rode in a relaxed but fast walk!
Some of the other obstacles were to trot over a tarp, climb up a short hill get some Gold (Gold colored Candy) out of some saddle bags and then come back down, back up a short hill, do some transitions at specific cones, etc.
When we returned they had one last Mystery Obstacle to work. It turned out to be four cones and a long stick in the middle. We were told to do as many things with the stick as we can. So I trotted over, walked over, backed over, side passed, put each front foot over, halted over it. Then at the suggestion of Paula and Brian, I tried putting Seven so he straddled the pole between his front two feet and his back two feet, then backed up and walked forward. I was not sure I could do this and it took a little to get him to get started, but he did it!

At 4:30 they gave out the awards. I was surprised and pleased to win the Open Division and then also won the Mystery obstacle too!  I was am excited that Seven did so well! Vickie won 4th place in the huge Pleasure division and Bryan was 2nd in the Open too!

 Our first ACTHA Ribbon! Open Division!
 Seven & Shannon with Joe and Penny Most -Ride hosts!
 All my Loot from my win and placings this weekend! 

Later that evening they had some obstacle competitions in the arena. Seven got 2nd place in the in-hand and tied for 2nd in the mounted competition. I was so pleased with Seven because there was a stuffed dog, a scarecrow with an alligator face and a black cow head stuck into a black covered hay bale. He handled it all pretty well, but kept and eye on them! Too funny! 

 Seven keeping an eye on the stuffed animal Dog, while I check the mail!

Brian & his nice Mare working the Mattress Obstacle! 

I did not have a rest-full night on Saturday. At 1AM there seemed to be a loose horse or something going on that woke me up. I got up to check and there were head lights a scooter, a horse and people all around. Not sure what was going on, but Seven was doing fine. Then at 2AM I heard scrambling feet out side the front of my trailer, so I got up again to check. This time it was a guy letting his horse graze about 40 feet in front of my trailer. When I came out he apologized for waking me up. He said the horse was having some kind of problem, he did not know what.  I told him that maybe it was because he was riding her at 2AM in the morning??..... Too funny... he apologized again and I went to bed. I was then awakened at 5AM by RAIN! UGH..... 

I was going to haul over to Iron Mountain and ride with Vickie and Jim on Sunday morning but the rain never let up. So we packed up and went home. It was disappointing not to ride but, I was glad to get much needed nap on the couch then we got home!
Thank you to Joe and Penny Most and all their helpers for putting on such a great event! Also thank you to the sponsors and ACTHA who make these events possible! 

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