Monday, November 1, 2010

Im Sorry Milo!

Sunday was the Thunderbird Cowgirls Drill Team Try-Outs. We had a large turnout of girls trying out, 11 to be exact. They were all given a pre-tryout questionnaire as well.

Brittany hauled Milo and I up with her boy, Cuss. There is limited parking at the facility, so we thought that car-pooling would be a good idea. The saddle Ive been borrowing had been previously arranged to be at the facility that day for my usage, so I didnt bring mine. The try-outs were to begin at 10, and we got there at about 7:30. But it gave us a chance to get the trailer out of the way (and by the arena, so when our horses were tied we could keep an eye on them), and the boys a chance to munch some breakfast. I tied up Milo with his hay net than went to the tack room to retrieve the saddle.

Hmm. No saddle. Where is the saddle? I called Sarah, asking if maybe the saddle was left somewhere other than the tack room. No answer. I texted her. No reply. Crap. I told Brittany I could ride bareback, as thats what we have been doing anyways, but she advised that bareback holding the flag might be a bad idea. Good point. Brittany had an extra saddle in her trailer, so we threw it up on Milo. It pinched behind his shoulders pretty bad. But I didnt have any other options. So I longed him in it than hopped on. Worried and upset about the situation. Another Cowgirl said she had a spare saddle in her trailer, that she believed would be wider. So I threw off the Hereford saddle and put on her Billy Cook. Better, but not by much. By this point, I was running out of time and needing to warm up.

I got on Milo and trotted around. Man he felt awful. Choppy strides, angry ears, and hollow back. Poor Milo. He probably was wondering why mean ole Mom was subjecting him to this torture.

Milo and I were designated to set the pattern that the girls trying out were to complete. A figure eight lope, lope to the wall, walk to first cone, rollback to left, trot to second cone, rollback to right, lope to first cone, stop, back four steps. Milo did well. A lot of pinning ears and swishing tail, but he did the pattern well. We had three judges volunteered to critique the girls and give their input. Oddly, the first girl in did the pattern as far wrong as you possibly could. Really? Did you not pay attention to my ride? Oh well.

I tied Milo up to the trailer with his hay and watched the rest of the girls run their pattern. There were a few girls who really stood out based on their pattern, a lot of girls that were questionable, and a few that were definite no-s.

Next, four of us Cowgirls were there with our horses, so we rode a drill with the try-out girls. We taught them the pattern, than split them into three groups. We ran one trot through of the pattern and one lope through of the pattern (all with flags - although one gal opted to not carry one, and another had to ditch hers due to a bucking horse) giving this enough time for the judges to get an idea of the girls' abilities to work on a team, as well as their horses skills.

Milo was upset the entire time. At one point he broke into a small fit of bucks. I pushed him out of it, feeling bad because he needed a reprimand from bad behavior, but I knew exactly why he was upset. I pulled him out after the second group, because not only was he tired and angry, but it was an odd numbered group, so we didnt need four Cowgirls in it.

I tied Milo up again, yanked the saddle off of him, than threw his cooler over his sweating, steaming body. I found a bucket and quickly filled it and carried it over to him. Milo eagerly drank and drank from the bucket, nearly drinking the entire five gallons. I gave him a pat then left him at the trailer.

The girls were going to have their interview with the judges next, for an insight as to why they want to be on the drill team, along with some knowledge questions about our rodeo. Again, some we really liked, some mediocre reponses, and some definity no. They each had a final run through the arena and were finished. Sadly, a few of the horses looked a little lame, one very lame.

The afternoon was the try-outs for the rodeo Queen. We stayed and watched, but we were not involved in the decision making for that portion.

I was very proud of Milo. I think that was the longest he was expected to stay tied at the trailer, especially without Mom standing nearby. Although like previously mentioned, he was in a location where I could keep an eye on him, but he didnt do anything. Stayed quietly tied to the trailer munching on hay for probably close to two and a half hours. By the time it was all over and done, we loaded up and got back to the barn at 3:30. Milo was a tired boy (im sure his back was hurting and fatigued as well) and was happy to be released back into his pasture.

I still feel terrible about the saddle though. I know it may not seem like one ride in a bad saddle is that big of a deal, but it was apparent how upset Milo was about it. Its my job to make sure he is comfortable with our gear, I wasnt able to provide that today. Only a matter of time, Milo, until my saddle sells and I will own one custom made to your contours.


Angelina said...

But think about how lucky Milo is, who has an owner who understands why he's upset! A lot of horses have to struggle with ill-fitting saddles every day, while being punished by their riders for not doing things good enough, when the horses are just trying to say that their backs hurt.

in2paints said...

I've had similar responses from Lilly at shows with her saddle, but she's not as stoic. She will refuse to walk if the saddle is pinching her and I end up not being able to ride at all. I always have problems with one specific pad.

Sounds like Milo was a good boy for the circumstances and I'm sure he's just fine today. Hopefully you're able to get your new saddle soon so you don't have to worry about the saddle stuff anymore.

I know it can be terribly frustrating!

paint_horse_milo said...

Milo is a good boy. He tried to do what I was asking but at the same time said "hello? hello?? this hurts!"

Fortunetly, Sarah will be giving him a free adjustment on Friday. She feels bad about forgetting to leave the saddle.