Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nationals Go On..........as does the rain........Excuses for Trail Watching......

The rain is still pouring down despite predications it was going to break this afternoon so I'm still sitting at my computer watching the US National All Arabian Horse Show. At this point I'm getting a bit crabby not being able to ride but watching horse show sure beats doing housework.

The last two days I've watched mostly reining and trail classes. At least in those classes I can see most everything the judges see so I can get a better idea of what's really going on instead of wondering what might have happened beyond the camera's view.

The trail courses were designed by Lorne Robertson and I absolutely loved them. They made me want to get out there and show trail. I've already got a guilt complex about not ever taking the time to get serious about trail when I have the a horse that loves it just standing in my barn doing nothing so it's not much of a leap to want to bring Dandy out of the retirement he hates and let him do the thing he loves most.........if there was only more time in a day I might actually be able to accomplish.

For those quarter horse people that think the Arabian courses are designed to accommodate our "spooky" horses, you should have seen these puppies. I'm pretty sure they would have hung right in there with anything that's ever been done at the AQHA World. They were just darn cool.

The courses reminded me of a trail course with Mark many years ago. Mark was an awesome trail horse but it scared him to death and the Regional Championship Trail in Region 4 one year pushed him to his limits. We were supposed to lope into the ring but Mark saw all those white poles everywhere (and believe me they were everywhere) and the horse wheeled around and tried to gallop out the gate. While that might be another story for another day, these national courses really reminded me of that day and how much fun that course was to ride...........even if my horse wasn't ready for such things.

Anyone who knows me knows I'm up for a challenge. I like things tough so I have to work and use my brain as well as my skill and these courses fit right into that. They were complicated and tight and I'm going to be tracking Lorne down to see if I can get copies of them. I don't want to forget a single element so maybe I can practice them in the future. Who knows, I might actually get the time to show trail one of these years.

Trying to draw them for what was visible on the screen left much to be desired. My first day's attempts are pretty good except for the jogovers before the bridge that I could only guess at because clear view was blocked by elements of other obstacles and the added landscape. I could tell the flow of the obstacle had serpentine like qualities to it but I have no idea exactly how those poles were set. Also, I'm pretty sure there were elements in other obstacles not visible because of similiar obstructions.

I didn't even attempt to draw today's courses.By then I figured I should be able to track down the courses in one way or another and I could tell right off there were even more elements I couldn't see. Still I'm intrigued by what I could perceive was there.

As complicated as these courses were they had a great flow to them. Sometimes course designers get so caught up in making things tough they forget the components need to fit together in such a manner the horse can transition from one obstacle into another. That doesn't mean they need to be made easier, just that things need to be laid out in such a manner that the strides "fit" where they're supposed and there's "flow" into the next. That way a well trained horse can show off its talent while a not so trained horse will still be exposed.

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

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