|barnmate: what does he need the figure 8 for?|
Speaking of show season, I felt like the best way to prepare was to throw a borrowed jump saddle on my horse and gallop him around the ring willy nilly with a bunch of other horses. I mean, he got to wear a ribbon on his bridle for the first time so it was basically training for future victory gallops, right?
My barn throws various low key events throughout Never Ending Winter to keep everyone from going bat shit crazy. We missed the last game night because Opie was too foot sore to participate, and I've opted out of jumper nights since I'm trying to conserve every dolla dolla bill for dressage shows (and, you know, Opie is not currently a jumping bean). I was therefore really looking forward to hanging out with barn mates I don't usually get to see because of conflicting schedules and participating in loosely structured hi jinks that always result in hilarity.
|plus the barn moms feed us. #macandcheeselife|
Game night involves a bunch of Games for
Grown Ups Children, varying on which ones we remember to do and if we veto something. For instance, the adults wisely vetoed potato sack race this time in which you run your horse to the end of the ring, throw it to a handler, and run stumble and fall back to the finish line.
See? Straight shenanigans.
|"need more cookies inserted for this venture, plz."|
Our games this night were, in no particular order:
- Ribbon race
- Egg and spoon
- Pony express
- Musical stalls
- Scurry race
- Command class
- Sit a buck
We started with Pony Express which is a two man relay race. We teamed up with fellow OTTB Oz. Opie started the first lap, "baton" in hand. I let him get a running start into the canter instead of bursting forth at the start cone because transitions are sometimes hit or
miss throw a giant shit fit. The little fucker picked up the canter at the first touch of my leg and cruised around totally balanced. Then he got his first lesson that game night involves lots of sprinting followed immediately by having to stop right away.
|proven sprint winner on the track. not a proven stopper.|
We won that, finished mid-pack for musical stalls (wherein "stalls" are set up with poles and you run into one when the music stops) and egg and spoon, possibly won poles, and did pretty well with barrels. Dopie had the speed games figured out right away: run fast to the end, sort of maybe do some steering in between, and then as soon as you get turned around, you get to run really fast again.
The first couple of times involved our run back ending with me yelling, "Stop, stop, stopstopstop!" between breathless giggling because I'm a grown up for sure, but we all figured out that if the horses waiting their turn just left a chute to the closed arena doors Opie had a solid stopping point and no one died. #winning #??
He was adorable for scurry race which I've always heard called barnyard jumpers when I was gaming Bobby. It's two jumps (tiny Xs for us) set a couple strides apart--run down, jump the jumps, turn around a cone, run back over the jumps. Opie got to the first jump and was like, "I got this! I'm a jumping horse!" and bravely jumped it like he knows he's supposed to. Then he landed and was like, "Wtf there's another one!" but hopped that one, too. He trotted them both on the way back, but landed in the canter on the last one and ranhomefast because gaming horse. Obviously.
BM eventually called a tie for win because we were just too talented to be defeated. I was super proud of Opie for steering with one hand though as that has historically not been the case. And he didn't try to kick Oz even though he was feeling a bit like a rage monster after coming in second in the command class which involved his first group canter and five thousand transitions, neither of which were his cup of tea.
We finished the night with bareback sit a buck where we also finished mid-pack after I lost my dollar while cantering to the right--Opie's first time cantering bareback which definitely made him a rage monster.
|BM: this is a cute picture opportunity!|
opie: fuck you.
We ended up doing well enough to get the giant high point ribbon so mission accomplished!
Overall though, it was just a really fun night of introducing the baby horse to some of the stupid things he's going to be expected to do in his new life. He learned about standing still surrounded by other horses, even if you're not being a fed a constant stream of cookies for doing so. He learned that he can be passed by lots of horses and not have to race them. He learned that he can't stop and molest innocent bystanders for snackies while his rider is trying to steer one-handed.
|he really wanted to turn his head to get his cookie|
but couldn't figure out how to see around the ribbon
Just about six months off the track and already doing all the stupid shit I love to do. Better than satin? Maybe.
|"plz just get off and give me the cookie already."|