Sunday, August 5, 2012

Well That Didnt Go As Planned...(Added Photo)

I was really excited about this final show for Olympic Peninsula Zone in Port Angeles. I felt that it was finally my time to get a first place ribbon in the Novice Reiner class - I knew Milo had it in him. We left on another early morning trip up North, and as usual, we got there with enough time to spare and get Milo and I ready. Forms had already been pre-mailed to the show secretary, so all I had to do was get myself and Milo prepared.

Boyfriend suggested working Milo down pretty well today. I wasnt so sure that was a good idea. It was already hot and expected to reach the mid-eighties, and we were going into three reining classes. From experience, I didnt want Milo dragging too bad on the final run. But, Boyfriend had a good point though, because when I tried to load Milo up earlier that morning, he stopped cold and took a few efforts of coaxing to get in the trailer (even did the same thing on the way back home). When we arrived at the showgrounds, Milo seemed complacent; not in a bad mood, but not really in a very trying mood either. Maybe getting him to think about actually working was a good strategy this time.

So I prepared him faster then normal, although still in a calm manner (I really hate feeling rushed), and brought him into the arena with all the other reiners. He warmed up really well, was working nicely, I wasnt quite as soft in my seat as I could have been, but after noticing this was able to make a more conscious effort to be. I needed to get a couple lead changes in before being comfortable with getting off. Right after the last show I took the shim off of my saddle, which when K was out watching me ride, she suggested my doing so as it had been over a year of constantly using it. She thought it may have become a crutch in my riding and I needed to allow my left seatbone to become level with my right one, I had to agree. But since taking it off, I think I only did about four lead changes at home. I asked for a couple here now at the show, and boy were those first few sloppy. I had enough impulsion from Milo, but the change from left to right was still rough because I wasnt getting on my left seatbone well enough. I focused on it and remembered to sit back in my saddle without leaning forward. Then I got a couple of nice ones so I got off before Milo got too hot.

The first class was the same I had been doing all summer - Dave Reaume Memorial Novice Reiner, Pattern 12. I briefly glanced at the pattern, but I knew it! I had been doing it all summer long. I was first draw, can you guess what happened? I went to the wrong left. I got a quarter of the way around the first circle and thought, "well crap". Coming to center I joked to the judge, "I guess I'm schooling this now". She laughed. I couldnt believe I had made such a dumb mistake. This was the "easy class" - no lead changes, only one rollback, and it was novice friendly. I blew my chance at my first place ribbon today and blew my contention for Year End Awards. Oh well. The pattern was still ok, and it was good to get some things out of the way - like Milo's anticipated lead change, his anticipation to lope off when we needed to do two turnarounds, and it got me to practice a few stops and realize I needed to really roll my pelvis. She still scored each maneuver, and I think we would have had a 66 1/2. After looking at all the scores that day, she judged pretty rough. This class took -1/2 on left circles, -1 on left spins, -1/2 on right circles, -1/2 on right spins, -1/2 on right rollback, and -1/2 on stop and back.  I had a lot of questions by the end of the day on the judging...can someone point out what I have been doing awful wrong? For the circles the pattern doesnt call for a speed change or size, so I have been shooting for consistency, which still seems to get me minus points...I guess the scoring in reining still sort of gets me.

The next class was Reining 1st/2nd Year, and I briefly went over the pattern. Seemed pretty self-explanatory. Once I got in the arena though, I blanked after my first set of spins. Was it three circles to the left, or right? As it turned out, I went the right way, but did the order of the circles wrong. It was one large, one slow, one large, change lead, wash, repeat. I guess I really needed to READ what the pattern said and not just look at the picture. Oh well, Milo did well, I thought, I was happy with his run, although he still didnt come back to be very well for the small slow like I knew he could. We would have scored a 64 1/2, with a -1 1/2 on the left spins, -1 on right spins, 0 on right circles, -1 on left circles, -1 on left rollback, -1/2 on right rollback, and -1/2 on stop and back. How the heck did I get a -1 1/2 on the first spins? I know they were kinda rough, but that bad?

The last class was Open Reining, and after going off pattern a SECOND time, I read over the last pattern carefully, even chatted with one of the other reiners about it. I KNEW what this pattern was. Initially I was concerned because it was another run-in pattern, but I hoped for the best being first draw again, and decided I would walk Milo in and not stop, but lope right off, hopefully avoiding a charge-y take off. He loped off really nicely, stopped ok, but once we backed to center I completely blanked on which way to spin. So I hoped for the best, which was wrong. Wait, which way were we circling first? I headed to the left, and did my circles, Milo slowed down at a hum beautifully, lead change was nice, repeated. Rollbacks felt awesome, and I felt pretty good about the pattern. The judge got up at the end to check bits, and I asked her if I did the spins wrong. She said she felt sorry to tell me this, but the spins were wrong AND my circles were wrong. I was dumbfounded, I read that pattern carefully! How was the circles wrong? Apparently, it was slow then two fast, not two fast one slow. Freaking A, how on earth did I do EVERY pattern wrong?? I exited the arena feeling pretty stupid and defeated. Then I noticed that Boyfriend didnt record that one (of course, since it was the best one). "I thought you only had two" he said. "Then I saw you in the arena a third time" ... and... you didnt get out of the truck..? Oh well. The scores would have been -1/2 on run in, stop, back, -1/2 right spin, -1 left spin, 0 left circle, 0 right circle, 1/2 right rollback, 0 left rollback, 0 stop, total of 67 I think. 

I did get a lot of compliments on Milo though from some of the really nice Open Reiners. They mentioned how in just the last month of coming up to the shows he has greatly improved. Everyone recommended he needs slide plates on, and I agree. I'm still wondering why my trainer keeps saying no when he's really trying to bring his hind end underneath him. Im concerned that hes going to start hurting if we keep stopping without them, and cause him to not try and stop anymore. 

All in all, it was a good show, Milo did really well, I didnt seem to have my brain on, but it was still good to get out and compete. I think part of the problem with the patterns was that I normally write down all my patterns about two days before the show. It gives me time to read them over carefully and really get them committed to mind. I also think that drawing them out on paper really helps me visualize the pattern being ridden, and I can clearly differentiate between the circles. My next reining show is at the end of September, by then, who knows, we may have slide plates on, and I will have had a long time to figure out the pattern!

A gal at the show who took photos last time and this time is finishing up my CD, which I am eagerly looking forward to! But look what she just sent me! :D


Story said...

This is where reining just kills me! In dressage they'd just tell you that you messed up the test and make you do the movement again. In reining they let you ride along oblivious only to give you a big fat 0 at the end no matter how well you rode everything else! And I'll say that I have no concept of left and right at all. You know how kids will hold up their fingers and thumbs in the shape of an L to figure out left and right? Well to me if I do that with my left hand or right hand both things look like Ls to me. Husband always teases me that while I might think they both look like Ls, one is a better L lol. Anyway...

Shame about that left spin where you got the -1 1/2. Milo was just hitting a rhythm at about 3 1/2 revolutions. He certainly knows how to do a clean spin! When you school do you always do 4s or do you practice different counts? All I can think is that he needs to think a bit more forward. I've seen a lot of people school by walking or even trotting into and out of their spins to keep forward momentum. That said, -1 1/2 was perhaps a bit harsh!

Interesting you mention worrying about Milo hurting himself on the stops. Dee's trainer told us that they started doing reining with her (she was originally just a western pleasure horse) because she was always stopping so hard they felt they needed to put baby sliders on her to ease the pressure on her hocks, and at that point decided to see what else she could do. Now I don't have enough experience to say sliders vs not but I have seen bad dirt (inhibiting a good slide) scare horses into not trying. But I've also heard too much shoe too fast can scare them the other way, too. I'm sure your trainer will know when the time is right.

Really, I think Milo is looking great. It's getting down to nit picking he's doing so well. Sure you went off pattern but still you should be very proud! I mean, even the pros go off pattern! He looks like a reiner!

SillyPony said...

Well, poo. Things just don't work out how we plan sometimes, do they? At least you both look great and you have a new goal for September! Just remember how far you've come!

paint_horse_milo said...

Story, I practice all that for the turnarounds! Different number almost each time, I do a TON TON TON of walking turns, turning on a square, just using rein to keep him centered, anything. I do way more walking turns then actual spins. He just seems to cheat me on going backward in his turns and its really frustrating because I know he is doing it wrong, I can feel the difference now, but when I try and walk him out of it he tends to try and go faster.....

I do think he needs baby sliders though, because he is trying to get into the dirt but tends to do that hop when the friction is too much...

Story said...

Nice picture! He's really got that classic head low, butt low stop going on! Absolutely love it!

I suspect we've watched the same episodes of Inside Reining for spin exercises lol!

I tend to get the problem where Dee wants to spin around her cinch. Drives me crazy because I can't feel her doing it and always need someone on the ground to tell me she's screwing with me.

in2paints said...

Even if the patterns weren't correct, you and Milo still look great! He looked a bit more relaxed in those videos than he did in the ones from the previous show. I'm anxious to see the pictures from your CD!

I think even without the slide plates he's doing really well getting up underneath himself on his stops. Is the arena footing usually nice and loose, or do you have to worry about that when you take him to the shows?

paint_horse_milo said...

The footing at this location has been hit and the weather has dried it out it has made it less deep and less sticky. This show had the best footing yet. The last show of the season (at the Tacoma Unit where we go a lot) has pretty poor footing...unfortunately. I worry about that with him not having any sliders on.