Monday, October 1, 2007

1 October 2007

Well I missed three days in the end. We left at about 1.30 on Friday but still got caught in a traffic jam while trying to go around Indianapolis and ended up taking 6 hours instead of 3, crazy traffic. The show was hectic but the weather was wonderful to us, last year this show was held indoors because it rained the whole day on Saturday. Got a bit hot in the afternoons, mid 80s but bearable. We only left Edinburg at 7pm on Sunday night and it was 10pm before we got home, I was exhausted and actually still am.

Todays pictures of of one of the Trail classes. I think I would like to do this with my filly if I ever get to ride her and compete. It is done in the western style of riding, sont be familiar to anyone outside USA. The horses have low head carriages and very slow walks, trots and canters. Most of the riders ride with only one hand on the reins (there are a few bridles which are exceptions) so all of the movements are done with leg pressure (most use spurs - not those mean old cowboy ones LOL) and rein pressure on the neck and of course weight adjustment. The first picture is of the horse going over the "wooden bridge". This is a pretty well times shot, with the rider giving the reins so the horse can put its head down and watch what it is doing as it steps up onto the bridge. The other three are a series where the rider has to open the gate (in this case a chain and rope), and while holding on to the rope with the same hand, back your horse up, pivot your horse through the gate opening, back the horse up on the other side and replace the chain to close the "gate" without letting go. The trail course consists of all sorts of other obstacles such as trotting poles which you have to trot over (they are evenly spaced laying flat on the ground) them without touching the poles. Another obstacle would be a four sided square made up of 8 foot poles which you have to trot into and halt in side, then do a 360 degree pivot without touching the poles and walk back out of the box. Lots of others which I wont go into or It will take all night LOL.

I only have a few print orders to mail out as we managed to get most of them printed at the show and the customers took them home with them. I have a few editing jobs in the process still from previous shows which are going to mean replacing bad backgrounds with nice ones and are a lot more time consuming so I do those here at home.

So guys I am still in the land of the living, am going to get an early night so that I can get started early tomorrow. I hope you all had a great weekend.




Mike said...

Amazing story. I can't imagine the hours that rider and horse have to spend to get to this level of training. Looks like fun too though.

Thanks for your comments. I have been working hard on the passion. Going to Colorado helped, it is easy to become passionate there!

Take care Lori. I appreciate your comments and advice.


Anonymous said...

Are the horses actually trained to perform like this and that's all they do?

I would have thought almost any riding or saddle horse would do these things almost automatically. I mean the rider and his or her horse are one unit.

I have seen horses on the range do things automatically without any coaching by the rider especially riding fence, herding cows, roping. But that was a long, long time ago. I suppose things have changed a lot. I know most of the jobs we did are done by jeeps, helicopters and pickup trucks nowadays.

Rising Rainbow said...

Hi Lori,
Glad that you are back safe and sound. Sounds like it was a good show for you. That's a good thing.

The western horses that can be ridden with two hands are considered junior horses. For the Arabians that is 3-5 years of age. I'm not sure about AQHA, they might be 4 and under. To be ridden with two hands, the horse must wear either a snaffle bit or a bosal/hackamore (non mechanical on the hackamore).

I love trail. It does take a lot of time to teach the horse. Unlike the working cow horses like Abraham is talking about, trail horses must never go on auto pilot. Part of their training is to do as they are told, when they are told even though the horse might know what it is supposed to do. The team would be scored down for a horse that was not following the rider's cue. It is a very interesting class with lots of nuances to it, if you know what you are looking for.

Hope you have a good day. Glad to have you back.

CG said...

Very interesting post, Lori. I had no idea western style riding was so different from English, until I tried. It was like the horse and I spoke a different language!

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