Monday, December 6, 2010

A Cold Show Morning

The post you all have been waiting for (well, maybe)! Keep in mind that this was written the day after the show, so things have since changed in what I know/didnt know about Milo's movements, etc.

The weather fared off well enough to be able to haul out for the reining show this last Saturday, Nov 27. Since I still plan to put Milo on dry cows again before going back into the sorting pen, we only hauled up for the reining on Saturday morning. I had loaded the trailer up the night before and we were set to go once we got Milo. We arrived at the Tacoma Unit at about a quarter to nine, and unloaded Milo in the empty parking lot. The show stewards werent there yet, nor were any other competitors, so I tied up Milo to the trailer and let him eat from his hay bag for a while. I thought he might need a little settling-in time, since this was the first time he hauled to the Unit on his own. But he hardly even looked around. He only called when I left to the show office once the stewards arrived. Momma's Boy!

It was a cold morning, 31 degrees. And the roads out of our house were a little icy, frightening me for the haul to come with Milo. But once out of Seabeck and on the highway to Milo, the roads were fine (as usual). I signed up for our Beginning Reining class, then went to groom Milo. Boyfriend naturally had to laugh at Milo's clip. Poor Milo! I got him saddled up and went into the show arena. There were more people entered into Beginning Reining this time (four) than the two shows prior, and surprisingly, there werent very many people for the bigger classes. I think there was a total of seven of us for the reining portion. I think the cold weather or the holiday weekend must have deterred people from coming.

Milo warmed up well but wasnt coming off my leg very well. He felt odd at the left lope again. Still not lame, but not what he usually is (I sent an email to Sarah btw, hopefully she can come check him out). There were two people signed up for the beginning reining schooling so I kept Milo at a jog in the warm up pen to keep him warm (we were third into our class).

When it was our turn into the arena, we entered in like we had the two times prior. I wasnt expecting much from this show being as he hadnt been really worked since a week after the last show earlier this month, but thought it would be good to go to this one anyways. I was a little disappointed on or spins, being that he had been really starting to plant that inside hind and was even doing well in the warm up pen. But oh well. At least I kept him forward around that foot, further emphasizing that that is the correct one to pivot on. We finished off center, and started our left lope. I was really trying to emphasize the speed difference between the two fast one one slow circles, so I was very proud of Milo for our circles - he stayed relaxed and fairly round, and maintained a circle (I think we only came off center once). Our lead changes were crooked and not pretty, but Im not too upset since they hadnt been worked on. He started to give out on me on our run down - when I asked for more he didnt give it but rather seemed to slow down. Our stop was a hop and our back had hesitation. But overall I was still pleased with Milo trying hard for me after having some time off (and it was so cold!)

I jumped off in the warm up pen and walked him into a cool out. He wasnt hot, just a hint of sweat behind his ears, but he was puffing enough for a cool down. My feet were frozen, so it was a bit of a warm up for me too. I gave him some good pats and Boyfriend met me at the gate, saying he thought I would take first or second (Boyfriend also doesnt know how reining is scored). The first place rider surprised us all, but was on a very seasoned horse. Second was a teenage girl on a nice gelding, with her trainer there that was riding a nice horse. I took third, following by a young boy on a pretty grey Arabian.

Top score was 66, 65, 62 (mine) and 60. We had a different judge at this show, I believe she was back up for the gal we usually have. Her score sheet was confusing to decipher, as she didnt have a scribe. I had a -1 on spins, which a notation that just said spinning lost center. A -5 with no description, and a -2 with no description. I am assuming that the -5 was a total of my six circles, and the -2 my run down, stop, and back. I thought about asking the judge for a clearer description, but it was cold and I didnt want to wait around until classes were up. *Edit: upon later reading the NRHA handbook (something I should have done prior to showing, but didnt know that the shows may comply with NRHA rules), I discovered that a -5 penalty may be incurred if any hand touched a horse for praise (taken from the NRHA Handbook) 5 Point Penalies, Section 1. There are four situations that require a judge to apply a five (5) point penalty. These situations are: spurring in front of the cinch, use of either hand to instill fear or praise, holding the saddle with either hand (except in the Youth 10 & Under Short Stirrup class) or blatant disobedience. I believe that the mysterious -5 with no description on my score card was for touching for praise. I will review my video to see if you can see it, but I do remember touching Milo on a circle because he was being such a good boy :) I also discovered through the reading, that a -2 penalty can be given for executing a stop not clearly past the marker. 2 Point Penalties, Section 4. NRHA patterns require a horse to run past a marker placed in the arena prior to stopping. If the horse does not completely pass the specified marker before assuming a stop position, a penalty of 2 points is to be applied. I thought that you were supposed to stop at the cone, not past it, because I knew that you had to stop at least 15 feet away from the wall. Wow, if only I had read the rules beforehand, my points could have been much better (if these were the reasons behind the penalites). I could have literally had a 69 score had I known these rules!*

So overall, my score was drastically lower from the last time, although I truely feel like Milo and I did better than we have before. Milo was relaxed and cadenced on our circles, and even gave me a good speed change. I was very proud of our run. Boyfriend was miffed, but I told him as long as I feel like we are improving, thats what I wanted to get out of the shows. And I feel that I am.


Amy Lou said...

Yep, you're exactly right about the penalties.

in2paints said...

Well, at least you know for next time! :) I'm sure it still stinks to think about the score you could have had, but Milo is improving and that's good.

He looks very relaxed at the canter... and you're right about showing. Some days you'll think you had the best ride ever and you still won't place where you think you should have. As long as you're having fun and Milo is too, that's all that matters. :)