Sunday, August 2, 2009

Horse shows call it getting the gate

Well, at a Horse Show, when you do not get a ribbon in a large class, we
called it "getting the gate". Cuz that was all you saw on the way out,
just the gate. I knew with a large class of 12, Hank could not really
afford any big issues or mistakes this weekend. And he lost a total of
3 pulse points again. While I am still very puzzled by what is going on,
I discovered a few things on Todays ride that I am going to investigate
further. More on that in a moment. First, a bit more about the ride.

The ranch the ride is on, is about 3500-4000 acres. They were very
creative with marking trails to get the distances needed (we did about
28 Saturday, and about 23 miles Sunday) for each division, and have
access for judges and P&R volunteers to meet us along the trail. Often
the trail would come close to itself, twisting and turning around
through pastures, woods, up over rocky mountains / hills, and along some
of the local county roads. I was surprised at how little natural water
was on the trail. No real streams, a couple ponds, but mostly the water
troughs for the cattle and ranch horses, and the troughs the ride
management hauled out to locations and filled for the horses. The grass
was mostly native, small blade, short clumps of what one called buffalo
grass, which the horses liked, and then occasional taller clumps of
something with seed heads that he liked. Lots of up and downs, some good
climbs, and areas to move out to make time for the slow going through
the rocks etc.

A really beautiful area, yet different than the other two CO rides I
attended. The photos will tell more of that story when I get home and
can post them, but all weekend I felt blessed to have the opportunity to
see this area from the back of my horse. We were challenged and tested,
and I was pleased with how Hank did.

Now, a little more on his pulse. He has learned how to drop his head
really nice and low for me at the P&R's, and relaxes, and stands super
quiet. I have been kneeling down, petting his head, as he sort of
snoozes. But he had pulse points lost on Saturday at 2 of the P&R's, and
I was not only frustrated, but mildly concerned as to why, and if
something was going on I did not know about. But all of his other
metabolics were super. So, Sunday, I watched my heart rate monitor
close, and saw that as I had his head drop really low, his pulse did not
drop, and often went up a beat or two. And, as I pet his face, even
though he never indicated it was an irritation, again, the pulse would
go up. So, I left him alone, let him hang his head what ever level he
wanted, and only pet his neck a little, and did not lose points. Will
try to figure out if this is indeed something causing the higher pulse,
or just coincidence. Something I will consider is as the head goes
really low, that he gets some sort of mild pain or such. Maybe through
the neck or back. But, it could be a mental issue too, and he just
wants me to leave him alone! But the Heart Rate monitor was sure
interesting to watch as we stood in the P&R line and did different things.

I ended up placing 6th in our big class in horsemanship, and Hanks name
was not called for any awards. :-( But I did not tell him that. He will
still tell his pasture mates how proud I was of him, and about the
adventure. He does not need a ribbon for me to tell him he did good,
but we sure would have liked a few ore points. lol

Photos and maybe more on the adventure after I get home. Now it is bed
time, so we can hit the road in the morning.

1 comment:

manker said...

sometimes you get the gate.. sometimes the gate gets you..
last weekend i was o so pleasantly surprised at a second in showmanship in a class of 12 and other times i dont place.. but me and alle had a great go and things we've been working on worked...

so let said equine boast..:)
happy trails
gp