Sitting here in my camper, listening to the rain fall on the roof, as darkness has fallen on Colorado Springs. Horses have their waterproof jammies on, although, I found out this weekend, the ones on Flag are not as waterproof as they once were. But, they have had a lot of use since 2003 or so, when ever we got them. Checked radar, and this should end soon, and I will See if Flag is wet, cold, or both. He is such a cold weather wimp, but it is not THAT bad. About 55 or so.
Today we had 20-something miles to ride. The sky was a solid grey, but I could see blue sky on the horizon. So, I pulled the waterproof saddle cover off, tied the rain jacket on the saddle, and wore my tights, without the rain pants covering them. Had some comments. lol Many more ride in jeans in Region 3, than they do in Region 4. I imagine out heat and humidity is the big reason. Anyway, we head out, and have an observation by the vet and horsemanship judge, about a mile out. Just a bit of off trail, down and up some small terrace type "bumps". Hank was a good boy, but I heard my butt smack the saddle on one up hill. Oh well. We had a mandatory trot into the first pulse and respiration stop was a little more warm, no breeze, and it felt more humid than I'd expect for Colorado. I noticed a couple horses with elevated respiration. Our living in TX helped, as Hank had no issues. I decided to get him alone again, away from any other horses. He went fine for awhile, then I felt him start to get a tiny bit uptight. His poop changed to more soft than not. He was not being bad (yet) but he was worried about something. Horsemanship judge had us do an obstacle at a creek, then we were on our way to the next P&R. We caught up with a couple horses, and followed them in. This one was at the top of a hill, with a mandatory forward motion in to it. Again, Hank had no issues, and we were ready to leave. This is where the aliens must have sucked Hanks brain out of his head. He got more and more uptight, and just stupid. Fretting, and his chin was so tight with anxiety. I thought it was because we were heading towards camp, but he passed the turn to camp, and was still upset. He had the same two horses out in front of him, and wanted to catch up. He did not drink well at the creeks, and would not graze. This went on for about 6-8 miles. Finally, after we passed a stable, and I got him to stop there, and relax, he got his brain back. Aliens must have had fun with it, trying to figure how something so intelligent kept thinking of carrots. So, not I had my horse back, and the sun was out, and it was a lovely day. we went up and down more little goat trails, and moved out along some wide dirt roads, as the timing seemed like we were behind again. Cantered through a section of woods with lovely soft sandy soil, but not deep. We were both having fun again, but earlier we were both pretty irritated.
With about 4 miles to go, I caught up to the front horses, and we headed in to camp together. The rain held off, and we could hear the thunderstorm rolling in our direction, but it again, slipped to the east. Over all, for the whole weekend, the weather was dang nice. We got rained on some, but not bad, and it was cool enough for the horses, but not cold to "me". Layer of clothes seems to be the standard for this area.
Got back to camp, took care of Hank first, then took Thelma for a quick walk, and checked Flag. What a good boy he has been all weekend to stay tied to the trailer and watch everything that went on, including Hank come and go. He so wanted to get attention, and I am sure, go for a ride. Cheerful little guy, who really does enjoy the trail.
Now it was time for the final check out. Hanks legs and back were great, and when I had him lunge his circles, he was perky, forward, and I thought moved very well. Little did I know how important those circles would be later.
This is the part I hate. Packing to go home. Two horses, a dog, and myself have a lot of stuff. I got the feed repacked up in the first stall of the trailer, tack etc. put away, camper straightened out some. Later I would remember to pull the tire where the bearing was hot, and have my hubby talk me though pulling it out and checking it, including repacking it. Will know tomorrow if I got the job done. Hopefully it will not still run hot, as the one I bought on the way up turned out to be too big.
Region 3 is very social. They had an auction before awards, to get folks up to gather around, and maybe spend a little money to support the region. I sat and watched, bid once, and ended up keeping my money for today. Finally, it was award time. I knew Han had pretty good metabolics all weekend, and was excellent for the vet on his manners, and he is a very sound horse, and my Specialized Saddle is working excellent, so his back is always good. But until awards, you never know how you compare. Region 3 has some wonderful horses, that we were honored to be sharing the trails with. Horses that ride in hills a heck of a lot more than my little flatlander. Even with Hanks brain going missing for awhile, the ride was worth the trip, even if we did not place well. Had moments on the trail that I just had to hug him, as I was feeling so lucky to be there sharing the trail with him. So, when they announced Hank for first place in the large class of ten horses, I was speechless. I sat down and sent a text to some of Hanks fan club, and then was going to turn the phone off, as any replies came back to me, but it is a newer phone, I could not change the ringer to silent, or turn if off, so it kept chiming as I sat there, with it under by butt, trying to not have it annoy anyone. But I had to get up off of it when they announced Hank had also won sweepstakes. A total of 17 Open horses I think at this ride. They gave him a lovely blanket, and before I could sit down, he got the high score Arabian award, which he got a pretty blue halter and lead rope. I have watched others win a bunch of items, and tease them about needing a bigger truck to haul it home. Today, someone teased ME! And the icing on the cake, was the fact Hank had a perfect score of 100, with a plus mark. Remember those circles we lunged. He had some nice movement, attitude and willingness, he got a + from the vet. The second place horse had a perfect score too. But missed out on the plus sign.
So, the rain is still falling as I finish this up, and I guess I'll get to put on that rain coat for one more trailer check before bed, and kiss the horses on the noses (Hank will get TWO kisses) and get some rest for our trip home tomorrow.
A full photo report will follow! I promise! Oh, and that butt smack on the uphill, cost my horsemanship score 2 points. lol I placed 4th. Which was still pretty darn good in this large class of great riders.