Sunday, February 13, 2011

Our Highest Score Yet!

Yesterday was the last show for the 2010-11 Tacoma Unit Winter Buckle Series. We hauled out Milo in the early morning and arrived with some time to get everything and everyone all adjusted. Milo quietly munched on his hay, I filled up his water bucket, then waited around a bit for the show steward to arrive. She came quickly and opened the show office. I entered our class, Beginning Reining, just as I had the five shows before. I asked her what the turnout was like at the last January show (the one I missed due to the abscess) and she said it was a remarkably low amount of people. Wonder if everyone else had injured horses too?

I stretched Milo as our Fitness Route describes, then threw on Sarah's saddle. After everything was just-so and his sport medicine boots were in the right place, I put the bridle on and was off to warm up. The show wasnt to begin until ten o'clock and it was only nine now, but I hoped it wasnt too early to get on.

We were surprised to see in the arena that the far end wall was opened up to allow daylight in (and the very cold, sharp wind unfortunetly). Milo was quite unsure about it our first few passes, but soon he figured out it wasnt that terrible. We had a fantastic warm up - Milo was working over his back nicely, had good lope circles and change of speed, and nice stops too. I was ready for the class to come! Then the show manager announced the current standing for the Series awards. I was tied for first place with another exhibitor, a nice gal whom I had been chatting with throughout the show series. She and I chatted anyways after the announcement, competitiveness put aside momentarily.

I stopped Milo on the rail by Boyfriend who was sitting on the bleachers. We chatted for the next twenty minutes before the arena would close to be dragged. I was a bit worried about Milo getting cold and stiff and didnt want to continue working him as he was at a perfect place to warm back up and show. Then to my surprise, MiKael from MiKael's Mania came around the corner and introduced herself. It was great to meet the lady behind the blog posts and we had small chat before the arena was cleared out.

I kept Milo walking in the warm up arena while the main arena was being dragged. There were two schooling runs before my class, so after the first schooling run I brought Milo back up to the jog. I was second in for the class, so I would have just enough time to get another lope in before it was my turn, which I did and Milo loped off nicely and gave a nice stop too. I watched the first exhibitor, the same gal I as tied with. She had a nice run, good circles, but incorrect lead changes changing on the front then even going down to a trot to correct it. Her horse was tired and didnt put her rear down into the stop as well.

It was my turn now as they called my name, and I walked Milo calmly into the arena. We came around the corner nicely, then halted in the center facing the judge. I had to remind myself that right is right for the first spin (they have kept the same beginning reining pattern throughout the series that I havent even been re reading it before the show. Probably a bad idea, but all I needed to remember was right is right, from my off course I did in the first show of the series). Milo did a nice spin, wasnt totally on his pivot leg and was a bit resistant to move the shoulder over, but it was better then our last show -1/2. We spun the other direction and Milo did much better on keeping an inside pivot foot and even added a little speed toward the end, -1/2. I recentered Milo then adjusted myself for the lope departure, which Milo leaped into. He was a looky-loo to the in-gate when we first passed by, but settled down a bit for the second large circle. He didnt come back to me like he did in our warm up earlier in the morning for our small slow circle, and didnt want to round himself up for it either. -1/2 for the left circles. We had a somewhat decent lead change, then as we approached the open end of the arena he tried to scoot away from it and completely ignored my inside leg trying to keep him on the rail and round. He was a bit better for the second circle, but didnt come back to me again as I tried to slow down for the last small circle, -1 for the right circles. -1/2 for the next lead change, and as I came around the end and set him up for our rundown, Milo was starting to feel good. I good feel him getting away from me and I bumped him back up with my spur just in time as our end cone was approaching. I oiled up the hinge to my lower back and softened it (but I believe I forgot to say Woah again...). Milo gave the best stop he ever has in the show pen with a little bit of a slide, thats far better then a hop-stop. I asked him to back, which he was again resistant to comply well, and then it was over. -1/2 for rundown, stop, and back. This scored us a 67 for our run total, the best score for us yet to date, although I dont feel like it was our best run however this was a different judge then the last few shows.

I finally got past the 66 1/2 score though! I jumped off Milo and walked him out in the warm up pen. About ten minutes later, MiKael and Boyfriend came out to meet with me. She talked with me about what she saw was good and bad, and during the conversation they announced the placings, which I didnt hear. Boyfriend asked if I heard it, then told me I got second of three. The competitor after me got a 67 1/2 placing him first, and the gal before me placed third with a 62 1/2. That meant I had won the buckle!

We walked over to the show office and as Boyfriend held onto Milo, MiKael and I walked in and got to see my score. I was then told that they wanted all of us in the arena for our awards. So back into the arena I led Milo, and was presented with not only my second place ribbon for my run, but also a beautiful Gist buckle for the series!

Good Boy, Milo!!

The beautiful buckle!

All in a day's work, huh Milo?


Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and your boy - that must feel really nice!

Rising Rainbow said...

Congratulations to you and Milo! That's pretty cool!

It was great to meet you, Milo and boyfriend.

paint_horse_milo said...

And you too, RR :D

Thanks Kate.

Molly said...

Congrats!! That's awesome!!
He did really good on his turns! Pivoted good is his feet.

Good job Milo! :) and Nina!

Story said...

That is so awesome! Congratulations!

Laura said...