Now that Fall is here, barrel shows are starting to dwindle down and everyone is starting their winter hibernation. Well not exactly, but you catch my drift. For some horses and riders, winter is the time to take a break and let your horse have a break and just enjoy being a horse for a few months. All the point shows are over and now there are only random fun shows and benefits.
I don’t know if this will be our last show of the year or not (I hope not) but if so, we ended it with a lot to be proud of.
We started out the year with my nerves and her anxiety getting the best of us. We had alley issues and we were SLOW. Over the course of the year, we’ve worked really hard to get faster and control our emotions. This past show all that hard work paid off and we ran the best pattern and time we’ve run yet.
The show was at CCRA arena in Eagle Springs, NC. Rumor and I have run there before and when we did our time was a 17.9 something. The fastest times in this arena vary between 15.0-15.4. Well this past weekend there were 90 riders in the draw. I drew #44. When it was Rumor and I’s time to run the leader was sitting on a 15.4.
Knowing that I get nervous and Rumor can feel it and gets anxiety, which then causes us to have alley issues, I have started to get on about 20 riders before its my time. This gives us just enough time to warm up and not think to much. Before this run I warmed up a little different then I’ve done in the past. Normally I would warm Rumor up away from the arena and the action. However, this time I decided to warm her up close to the alley way and do a lot of trotting. We trotted in circles until my name was called. Then we stopped and walked towards the alley and then up the alley until we could see the first barrel. Then we took off.
We ran in a little faster then we had been, turned a little wide around the first, when we came out of it she popped me up out of the saddle which made me lose my balance a little but I hung on tight, switched the reins into my other hand and went into the second turn. Again wide around this barrel but it was smooth and we came out balanced and off we went to the third. Wide again around the third and when we came out we tried to make up time by running harder and faster..
As I cross the timer I hear the announcer say your time was a 17.4 something and right away I couldn’t hide my smile. At this point I was sitting in the lead for 4D and we had improved our last run by 1/2 second which is huge. Now I know we didn’t make the tightest turns which cost us some time but hey that’s alright! Once we get our turns tighter we’ll be clocking 3D times which means we have room to improve!
Unfortunately, one of the riders who went after me clocked a 15.0 something which meant the 4D would start with a 17.0 something and therefore pushing me to the back of the pack for 4D. In all honest, I was a little sad at first because I was so excited to be in the running to win some money but considering how much we had improved, I didn’t stay sad long.
Leaving this show, I’ve felt the best yet and left with more confidence then I had going in. Rumor trusts me, I trust Rumor and our nerves didn’t get the best of us. As a team we are getting better and next season we’re gonna kill it.