Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Last ride of the season nerves

After going to 5 rides in a row in as many weeks,in 5 different states, we had last weekend "off" from a ride. The weather had been really nice, and hubby and I got to go ride a few times. Just some easy, casual short rides on our local trails. The colors on our trees are just starting to change, as we have not had any super cold weather snaps yet.

Flag really seemed to enjoy getting out on the trails again. He and my hubby really get along great, and I'm so glad we have had this cute pinto come in to our lives.

And I'm glad hubby is getting to enjoy the trails again, and all that we might see while out on a ride.

We have had rain most of the day, and tonight it is coming down a bit stronger. Tomorrow I am heading over to the last ride of the season for us. This ride will be the one to determine if we win the NATRC Presidents Cup or not. The rider who we are so close in points with will be competing in MO. this weekend. We won't know who won the award until we call each other Sunday night after each of our ride awards are announced. We are only 4 points apart for the Presidents Cup, which is given to the horse with the highest number of points in the first 16 rides of competition in a ride season. We are also only 6 points apart for the Jim Menefee award, which is given to the horse and rider with the highest number of points from the horse and horsemanship combined. I am amazed at how close we are going in to the last ride.

I will admit, I am nervous. I have competed with horses since I was a child. I started in 4H, and then moved in to smaller open horse shows, competing in everything from english, western, gymkanas, jumping, trail horse, you name it. I competed in Combined Driving Events with my last Arabian gelding. I started in NATRC when I was a junior rider in the mid 70's. Hank and I have done endurance, and he completed the 100 mile Tevis Cup in 2005. Competing is nothing new to me. But, I will admit, I have been nervous all week. I have been worried the horse might do something stupid in the pasture and hurt himself, or one of the others would kick or bite him. All I need is a big bite under the saddle! With the rain tonight, he is locked up in the stall. I even worried that he could some how hurt himself in the stall. lol

This has been an awesome year. I have ridden in placed I never thought I'd get to see. I have met many wonderful people who love the sport as much as I do, and made new friends. The time, effort, and expense has been worth it to get to see so much of the country from the back of my horse. But, I am competitive, and will freely admit, I really want to win. Many years ago my competitive nature had made me really horrible to be around, and often the competition would mess with my judgement, and I eventually ended up hurting my horse at a ride. Bowed both tendons. It was a very hard lesson learned, and a big slap up side the head that I was forgetting that competing with a horse means that I am in charge of BOTH of us, and that I needed to remember to put my horses needs before anything else. No award is worth hurting your horse. I still see riders who have not learned this, and push their horses beyond their limits. I have said that if my horse and myself are not having fun, and enjoying what ever sport or activity we may chose, then it is time to change things up, so we are having fun again. Competitiveness can often make things not as fun. So this year, I made sure that we were BOTH enjoying ourselves at the rides, even when staying as focused as possible to do well.

So, this weekend, I imagine will be the toughest test on me to enjoy the ride, my horse, and all our friends, while concentrating on doing well. If we don't do well enough to win the Presidents Cup, I am still ecstatic on how well Hank did all year, and the opportunity we were given to travel so much to compete. This will be a year I will never forget.

And thanks again to all of Hanks "fan club" for riding along with us on this adventure. I know that our adventures will not end with this ride, and this season, but it was sure not a direction I ever thought this blog would take!

Hopefully I will again be able to blog from the ride. I will have electric power, so the computer won't have to get its battery recharged, and the coverage map shows I will have 3G for phone/internet.

Now it is time to listen to the rain fall, and worry about what I have forgot to pack. ;-)


Kathy said...

good thoughts are being sent your way for a fun weekend ride.

Boots and Saddles 4 Mel said...

Glad you posted about the double bow. Sometimes I feel like only *I* was that stupid to cause something like that.....*sigh*.

it's been great following you this year....*crossing fingers for you*.


Tammy said...

My money is on you and Hank! Best of luck to you both.

Curious, I had thought the other competitor had rode D.O. for some of the rides. Do those rides still count toward the award you are competing for?