December 4, 2013
Normally I do not take my ponies on a trip to visit my parents, but this Saturday was the first Taylormade Winter Games Competition of the season. Taylormade Stables is just down the road from my childhood home and my parents are awesome enough to welcome my ponies to visit for a few days.
After two days of family fun, I loaded up and headed to the Taylor’s. I spent a few hours setting up equipment for the masters sessions, taking some photos and cheering everyone on. It was exciting to see some of the intermediate riders moving up into the masters division. What a fabulous time I had socializing with my horse family.
When it was my turn to ride I tacked Poe up early and walked him around. Because he was anxious and fidgety I was happy to get extra time in the saddle before we went in the ring.
There were four other riders in my division. Sarah rides on the team, Red Solo Cup, and was on her new pony, Chip, who is brand new to games. He did fantastic and I think Sarah was happy with his performance. Anne rides on the team, Time Flies, and she was on her Morgan. Although he has been with Anne for 15 years, he is new to games. He also performed exceptionally well and seemed to take to games. Laura rode her TB mare, Annie, who is an unusual tall mounted games pony. For a TB she really seems to take to it with level headed enthusiasm. Mackenzie was on another larger mount, who was lovingly referred to as, “the fox hunting rhinoceros”. A lovely looking mare that’s new to the sport. Poe and I completed our division of five.
Poe certainly did his part and ran like a pro. After the first few races I decided I needed to stop checking-up to slow down so early in an attempt to set Poe up for a nice smooth end turn. Eventually he is going to be making faster end turns, and I felt this was the time to step it up.
We started with balloon race, I let him run all the way up. He executed a much quicker end turn. Next we had barrel end turns, which require the pony to turn around a barrel while the rider performs a skill. This is a task that has been a little sloppy for Poe and I. The goal is to get close enough for the rider to pick or place equipment, but not so close that the barrel gets knocked into. A pony dropping a shoulder or even a hip into the barrel is very common.
We had Hug-a-Mug, Bottle and then Association race, all required making an end turn around a barrel. They all went really well. I kept Poe moving into the turns with minimal set up, just keeping my inside leg on. It really shows how far Poe has come that he responded so well. I was particularly happy with his association turn. His starts were also much improved. He stood and waited before races and was calmer moving into his starts. Towards the end of the second session, as night was coming on, he started to get less tolerant between races. But was still completely cooperative during the races. He is moving out much more confidently as he learns this sport. It really fits his mind well.
I was telling a friend how Poe tolerates schooling at home and has tolerated the two trail rides I have taken him on but he really likes games. His heart and mind are both there. He doesn’t just tolerate it. He loves it.
Poe and I after Hug a Mug Race – Photo Credit: Little Belle Photography
Mitchell and Cowboy in Flag Race – Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Poe and I in High Low Race - Photo Credit: Little Belle Photography
Poe and I in High Low Race – Photo Credit: Little Belle Photography
A fossil pony that will canter up to an object, stop and then stand, is a goldmine!
Courtney in Bottle Race – Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Bella and Misty Litter Race – Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Poe and I on the start line – Photo Credit: Little Belle Photography
Jill and Sara in 3 Mug Race – - Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Kimi and Pepper in High Low Race – - Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Poe and I in Flag Race – Photo Credit: Little Belle Photography
Colleen and Sasha in Balloon Race – Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Hunter and Happy in Flag Race – Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Poe and I finishing in Ride and Run Race – Photo Credit: Little Belle Photography
Sarah and Chip at his first games competition – Photo Credit: Little Belle Photography
Jessie and Baily in Toolbox Raced – Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony
Brian and Nelly making a correction in High Low Race – Photo Credit: Krista/Blue Ridge Pony