Friday, July 31, 2009

The Region 4 Championships......The Class

As I watched the horse in front of me jog into the arena, I took a deep breath waiting for the right spacing before asking my Arabian horse to jog. At first Legs didn't respond to my request but with a push he rolled over into the jog. It was nice and slow just like it should be.

Entering the arena the first thing I did was check for the location of the red stallion. He was clear down at the far corner. That was the kind of distance I wanted to keep the entire class. I pointed my horse towards an invisible point on the rail and we jogged in past the call judge just like we knew what we were doing.

My horse was not as soft as usual, still much softer than he'd been in yesterday's class. The treatment by the chiropractor had definitely made an improvement. I shortened up on my reins just a bit trusting my horse would respond appropriately. All the time watching for the whereabouts of the red stallion.

The gate closed as I came down the far wall. I was able to stay on the rail riding deep into the corners. I wanted to keep that distance between the red horse and my own. Every decision I made about my line of travel was directly related to the other rider. It was an odd way to ride my class.

When they asked us to lope, I checked to see where that stallion was. I didn't want any repeats of him barreling up behind us. I watched the horses around me as well, not wanting to rush up behind them either.

The woman didn't rush right into the lope as she usually does. This gave me the time to set up my horse and wait for those horses in front of me to leave. Our transition at the lope was pretty decent. My horse stayed together through several strides before I even had to pick him up. If it wasn't for the focus on the red stallion, I might have noticed this was shaping up to be a pretty good ride.

They called for us to walk and I exhaled a huge sigh. Halfway through the class and things were still ok. I was beginning to think maybe this ride would be uneventful. What a relief that would be......

When we reversed, it was the closest I came to the red stallion up to that point. He was about a third of the way up the rail ahead of me. As we were instructed to lope, I waited for him to lope off first. I didn't ask for Legs to lope until the red stallion was well into the corner.

It was another decent transition.........not perfect but good and solid. My horse stayed rated pretty well, only speeding up slightly when we got into some traffic coming down the rail.

Coming around the corner by the ingate something got Legs. One of those trolls suddenly appeared and the horse jumped.........just for an instance..........but he jumped. Straight up, then he rolled back over and loped. Gary Dearth, the call judge, was looking straight at us. I watched as he scratched us off his card.

It wasn't the red horse at all, that had ruined the class. It was something I didn't see or hear.........but something got him for that brief instant and it was over. I was grateful when they called for the jog..........and I could hardly wait for the line-up. I wanted this class to be over and done with. I needed it to really end without any issues with the red horse.

It seemed like forever before they finally did instruct us to line-up. I watched as the red horse made his customary way to the last position right in front of the in-gate. I headed my stallion to the opposite position, right next to the gazebo. As I pulled into the line-up both the photographer and the ring steward smiled at me. I could see the relief I felt reflected in their faces. This scary class was over and everyone was safe. I felt my body begin to shake from the relief of all that tension. My horse sighed his own sense of relief.

To be continued.........

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1 comment:

  1. A disappointment, I'm sure, but glad you both came thru it safely.