Sunday, November 16, 2014

North Texas Whip Games Day 11/15/14

I'd say that went pretty well, wouldn't you say?

Did I win?

Once again, O completely surpassed my expectations at the driving playday yesterday. She was just. So. GOOD. I could not have asked for anything better than what she gave me!

It is easy to forget that O is a horse who has only ever seen minis once before, and other horses attached to carts once before. There are a lot of horses on this planet who just FREAK when they see tiny horses, or carts, or carriages, or anything that isn't in their realm of understanding, and they never get over it. O, on the other hand, is always interested in new things but is rarely upset by them. She acclimated to the sight and sound of rattling vehicles the first time she saw them (after her first initial surprised reaction to them), and this time she didn't even bother to look at any of them. As is her usual way, she assessed them, accepted them, and moved on with her life. This is one of her truly great and admirable qualities - she approaches everything in this way.

Ok so are we getting on with this or what?

It was cold today for Texas. I mean cooooollllllllddddd. The sun never came out, the wind howled all day, and the temp *maybe* reached almost 40 when the wind died down. I'm actually glad that I haven't clipped her yet.... she would have frozen! It is one thing to be riding in this weather, but it is another to be sitting relatively still in a cart, especially when you have to stand around for large periods of time and do nothing at all. With the icy wind and the immobility for long stretches, I was pretty much frozen all day long. I decided at the last minute (last night, actually) that I had better bring my quarter sheet for O, just in case, and I am SO glad I did. I think she would have been a very cold, very unhappy critter without it.

Because of the cold weather, the organizers decided to start the show at 11am instead of 10am, so I got an extra hour of sleep! It was too cold to bathe, so she got a vigorous rubtown with a damp towel and a tail wash (and leg wash too). I left her to eat hay with P for about an hour, and then popped on her Gloves, loaded her up, and headed off to WD. She unloaded, looked around, and went "oh yes we did this before, that's nice," and started in on her hay. It was SO blustery and cold that I decided to let her trot in the roundpen for a few minutes to get her willies out.... of course, she had no willies at all and was content to just trot around the pen bored for a few minutes before I let her stop and took her back out for more hay. 

The plan was to do two games, then break for lunch, then do the cones course and the final two games. There were quite a lot of people that turned up - 20, which is a lot for a freezing day! - and a lot of them were horse sized horses. I had some competition! After our warmup (in which O was very quiet, very buttermouthed, very responsive, and very awesome), our first game was the Hazards course. O got into it and whipped around the gates at high speed, zooming across the finish line to finish first! (Note to self: wheeling around hazard obstacles so fast that your tires spit arena dirt is serious fun.) We had a length wait between games, and O was the perfect carriage horse, parking herself up next to the arena to stand with total immobility and a leg cocked for as long as she was supposed to (which was a really, really long time. Thank god I wore layers!). The second game was the root beer barrels game, which O also attacked with gusto, earning herself a second!

After lunch (which was awesome cause one of the organizers made us all hot potato soup!), we all walked the cones course and hoped we'd remember it. After another period of hurry up and wait, O went in and smoked around it, earning yet another second. The final two classes were the double barrels and the cloverleaf barrels. O had been in harness for a very long time at this point, and had long since realized her martingale was not on for the day, so in her boredom she had started to fling her head around while standing still. Once she was in the ring, however, no nonsense happened, and I had a super fast but super responsive horse. She slung dirt around the double barrels course, and finished first! Pilot error on my part prevented her from taking the fastest route in the cloverleaf, but she was well behaved and had her first and only actual break to the canter in that final course on the way back to the finish line. If you remember at the last show, she was very hot and strong by the end of the day, and revved up enough to break several times because she wanted to go! She did none of that this time, and never got strong or too hot. She was super forward, definitely, but only when we were on course. The rest of the time, she was asleep!

I have no complains whatsoever about the show. All of our placings earned us the horse division Champion, again! Her behavior was lightyears better in every way this time - and she was already better than I expected she would be at the last show! Sadly I have no more video or pictures, but you'll just have to imagine how awesome it was to watch her whipping around those courses at high speed. (Well, trotting speed. But you can go mighty fast at a trot.)

Let's go lady!

That probably ends our show season this year - there are no more NTW shows, and the only show remaining that I know of that has driving classes is this coming weekend... and woudn't you know, I *just* realized that my Coggins expires in a few days. Dangit all.

Three cheers for the red beast!


  1. Yay!!!!!!! So awesome! Congrats! O is the best! I'm so glad you both are enjoying the driving so much. I have to agree the taking everything in and being okay with it and the ability to stand around and doze are two awesome qualities to have in a horse. :D

  2. She is seriously a super-mare! I am so happy she seems to have found something she likes. Congrats to you, and her on the win!

  3. The Red Beast ROCKS and so do you. It's inspiring to read your stories and see how you have both evolved. Especially helpful when I'm not sure where I'm going and what I'm going to do with my own brown beast in the future. Change is good!

  4. O is rocking the driving games!! Congrats to you both

  5. woooo hoo! congrats O! sounds like she loves the job and is practically a seasoned veteran at this point :) but i was cold just reading this tho lol.

  6. face full of ribbons well earned!!!

  7. Woohoo! I'm so happy for you and the chestnut beast :)

  8. Congrats! I'm so glad you'r ehaving fun with her AND winning tons of epic satin :)

  9. Congratulations! She really seems to be telling you that she wants to be a driving horse. I'm so happy for you guys!