Fleck and I have broadened our horizons today. :) We went on a competitive trail ride with Cindy Phillips and Buddy. It was FUN!! I really had a good time and was so proud of Fleck. He was much braver than I expected. Especially considering we've never even practiced that stuff.
This particular one was put on by Flat Creek, the old eventing farm. We got there and had the briefing and then had a brief delay before our ride time. Fleck was so confused. He didn't know what was going on. You could see his little brain saying "This isn't an event.... and definitely not a dressage show.... what on earth is going on?!". When it was our turn we got tacked up and headed out. Fleck was pumped!!! He recognized the start box signs. Hee hee... And then we walked off. What?!?! Hee hee. He was cracking me up. Such a silly looky boy. But not spooky... curious! He kept looking off into the fields that had the cross country jumps. He knows... he KNOWS!.
The first obstacle was the vines. It was about 15 hoses hung from above and the horses had to walk through it. Fleck was a little hesitant because he didn't understand. But his friend was on the other side and I was encouraging him so he ended up going in. Once he poked through he was fine. Until they came back to his butt and then he spooked a little. But considering, not bad at all!
The second obstacle was the gate. It was apparently causing a lot of problems. It took me a lot of wiggling and maneuvering to get Fleck lined up right, so that cost us. But then he was good for me to pull the gate. He even let me swap hands under his neck. We almost got the gate closed too, but the rope wasn't long enough and he scooted a bit. But we were close. After the gate, Cindy and I did a little mini detour and had a little gallop. Wheee! It was fun.
The third obstacle was the "Papparazzi". For this one they had an open shed (roof only) with a small piece of plywood on the floor. You had to walk onto the plywood with their front feet and then turn in the saddle and take a picture of the three hollywood celebrities they had pinned up. For the open division (instead of just pleasure), you had to do a turn on the forehand to take each picture. Fleck marched right up and stood, so I opted to try the turn on the forehand. He actually did pretty darn well! Our final turn was a bit more all over the place, but the first two were decent. We even got two stars for that one. :)
Apparently Fleck was hungry. He carried that around for at least two obstacles. :)
The fourth obstacle was the toughest one. They had an old barbie horse on a pulley system. The open division stood with their backs to it and it had to come up behind them. It was slowly pulled, not raced! The pleasure division was allowed to face it as it moved in front of them. It was supposed to stimulate a deer or a dog. And quite frankly, Fleck wouldn't care about a deer or dog. But the freaky floating hovercraft horse doll was SCARY!!! In his defense, he didn't bolt or run away, but he was snorting and bug eyed! They offered to let him sniff it and I tried but Fleck said "No Thanks!".
The fifth obstacle was super easy. You had to walk a few steps down a small hill (mogul really) and then trot up it. Easy peasy. Though I don't know that we scored that well.
The last obstacle was the funniest. There was a big pile of trash - plastic water bottles, empty buckets, etc. The pleasure division had to walk through it. The open division had to walk through it and the rider had to pick a piece of trash up with the grabber sticks and then put it in the trash can. Fleck walked through very bravely but was a bit high steppy. He stepped on one water bottle and somehow FLUNG IT into the air and it landed.... IN THE TRASHCAN!! Ha ha. What? What??! Of course when the plastic hit the trash can it made a noise and Fleck scooted a little. Hee hee... Awesome.
We finished in good spirits and the boys chilled while we waited on results. Cindy came in fifth! I was just glad that Fleck did as well as he did. And it was fun because as usual, he had admirers and old friends. :) So proud of my boy!