Friday, March 14, 2014


Bobby and I were both really intent on celebrating World Sleep Day today. I dragged myself to the barn around eleven feeling seriously unmotivated to do anything.

I was all, "Ughhhh. I don't want to do another dressage ride, but ughhhh I don't want to pull out jumps either. And ughhhh the thought of being in half seat for longer than half a second just sounds so strenuous."

Bobby was all:

"do whatever you want, as long as it doesn't involve me."

So I broke out the western tack. Not that riding western isn't work of course, but there is a massive difference between cantering twenty meter circles and cantering tiny barrel sized circles. One is way more fun than the other by the way.

Once I finally got Bobby on his feet, tacked up, and in the arena, I set about warming him up in his barrel specific routine--trotting with lots of changes of direction, and then spiraling in on a 20m circle at the canter before skipping the spiraling out part and going straight down the long side to do it again at the other end. Bobby can barely contain himself through this exercise and goes ripping off as soon as he comes off the circle.

We practiced some rollbacks off the rail both directions and finally started breaking down the barrel pattern. Bobby gets really hot and tense coming into the first barrel in our tiny indoor. I think the first turn is tough for him because he doesn't have a lot of room to navigate it, and he's anticipating the flying change that comes up. His canter gets very up and down and is usually coupled with a baby buck or an anticipatory and very early flying change.

I made him walk back and forth between the first two barrels for a long time to settle his cray cray brain before moving up to the trot. Once he was acting like a normal horse, I let him pick up the canter. He was actually really sane when I turned him in so we spent a good amount of time just cantering in a big circle around the right barrel. He got hoppy one time when I let him pick up a little speed, but he regrouped his brain right away.

We finally moved on to the full barrel pattern which was great Bobby fun. I don't know how barrel racers look so serious as they're running around because I can't keep myself from giggling like an idiot. Maybe it's just because I know how absurd my giant Thoroughbred looks lumbering around in slow motion. But he's such a pro at it despite his size, and he really likes to get down and whip himself around the barrels.

I can't wait for July and August when he takes a vacation from Event Horse and becomes Gaming Horse.

to top it off, the snow mountain and ice rink melted enough so that we could
actually get out of the fucking arena. yayyyy!


  1. The therapeutic center where I worked had a barrel racing series over the summer as a fundraising effort, and working all those races made me ALMOST want to switch disciplines. It looks so fun!

    (The one time I attempted Moe around a barrel pattern at a fun show, he totally did not understand the whole turning thing.)

    Looks like a super ride!

  2. I knew today was pi day, and i plan on eating pi, did not know it was also sleep day, glad I slept 10 hours!

  3. That sounds like a lot of fun. I want to play!

  4. Event horse turned gaming horse. I like it! Something fun with a different twist!

  5. I loved "running barrels" in 4-H... although I have to include quotation marks around it, because any real barrel racer would be offended if they actually saw my attempts at it. Bit it was tons of fun!!

  6. "Do whatever you want, as long as it doesn't involve me."

    I. LOVE. THIS.

  7. You definitely make it sound like a blast!

  8. I need to throw the western tack on O sometime and take her for a spin. I have a feeling she won't be as stellar on the barrels as Bobby is.


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