Monday, November 8, 2010

On the Road to the 70

Milo and I completed our second reining/sorting show this past weekend at the Tacoma Unit. With Boyfriend hunting again during this show, I was able to hitch a ride with Sarah (saddle fitter/trainer) and Melissa . We hauled up Friday evening to get the horses all settled in and ready for the show Saturday morning. Friday evening we were able to ride in the arena, and I got some amazing pointers (basically a lesson) from Sarah on getting Milo to use his body together and not be "crooked" as she put it. He was lacking in implusion and was really requiring a lot of spur to keep moving. She gave me a few good exercises to work on to get him supple, able to use his body independently and as a whole and how the two work together to create an overall balanced working horse. She also reminded my brain that I can use multiple aids at the same time. For instance, right hand with in inside bend, push the hip out to the left, but I can support Milo with my outside (left) hand for him. I knew this, but for some reason never took into practice. No wonder when I would ask Milo to move the hip with an entirely loose outside hand, he would bulge his shoulder out and generally felt unbalanced. He had no support on the outside from me. Overall, I learned a lot and was extremely appreciative of her advice and help.

Saturday morning was our reining class and it was only Melissa and I entered into the Beginning Reining. I hadnt ridden the pattern since the last show - for lack of space available from sharing the indoor arena at the barn, and also for concern with not over patterning Milo. But of course, we worked on individual parts of the pattern. I didnt get much of a chance to warm up in the show pen, but wasnt too concerned as we had worked in it the night before. However this meant that I wasnt able to school on our simple changes in the warm up arena. Instead, I was able to work on the few excerises Sarah gave me the night before and get Milo thinking about my aids. He was a bit looky in warm up, and wasnt coming up over his back very well, but we got a decent enough warm up in. I was called to begin my pattern first.

Same pattern as the month before, this pattern will remain the same during the winter series. We walked in along the wall than came to the center to face the judge. I remembered that right was right. We begin our spins to the right. I was not going to make the same mistake of beginning the pattern the wrong direction as previously done in the show before.

Part of what Sarah showed me was in arching. And while I cant remember which name she called it goes to each exercise, this one was focusing on keeping Milo in a forward motion throughout the turnaround. I had previously been working on getting Milo light to my outside rein, as described in a few posts back with the video series from Larry Trocha. And while Milo has been working well off the rein, he was continueing to plant his outside leg instead of the inside. I was more focused on getting a correct inside leg versus a tight fast spin, and keeping his body in the correct frame as depicted from Sarah. This includes turning him with my outside leg in C, holding his hip in on an arch, and turning the shoulder with the rein. Milo did well, he will get there eventually. But he was picking it up nicely after only one lesson on it! I was scored a -1 for each spin.

Our circles were as fabulous as they could have been, but again, I havent been able to work on circles much in the indoor arena - too many lessons going on all the time. Our left circles were scored at a -1/2. His lead change was surprisingly well as was our three circles to the right. Those were scored at a 0. As we came back around and down to finish with a slide and back, I was focusing on keeping Milo straight and trying to maintain our last stride the largest/fastest. With so many things going on in my head, I didnt time the stop very well, popping me out of the saddle. But I did say Woah this time, and Mio did put on the brakes. Our stop and back was scored at a -1/2 and -1/2. Our final score was a 66 1/2. Not sure if it is better than last months, but Milo did feel much better. He didnt come up under the saddle as well as I know he can do, but did work much more relaxed and forward than the month before. Irregardless of the scoring, I felt we did much better this time around than the month before. The icing on the cake was when we were called to take the blue ribbon. I didnt expect that outcome, but Milo sure pleased Mom!

More on our Sunday cow runs to follow...


Story said...

Nice ride! Well done on scoring a 0 on those circles. Husband says I'm geometrically challenged since I can't seem to make a circle round for the life of me. You should be very proud. You both looked nice and relaxed.

Kate said...

Nice to see you guys in action - you both looked great!

paint_horse_milo said...

Thanks! This one felt better than the previous too. I was surprised on my 0 for circles, I felt like they were a little wonky, but I guess the judge didnt think so.

in2paints said...

You two look great, and congratulations on the blue ribbon!