Mad Tack Solved my Saddle Situation 

July 4, 2015

I have had Poe for two years now and have had continuous saddle fitting issues.  Luckily Poe is not picky and has not seemed to mind any of them.  But when your saddle rolls around your pony it can make it difficult to mount up, or lean effectively.  Both mounting and leaning are pretty important skills in mounted games.  

A few days ago I decided call Mad Tack in Madison, Virginia, where I heard they have a large selection of inexpensive used saddles.  I talked to Samantha on the phone and told her my saddle situation.  And sure enough. She raddled off a good selection of possible saddles that fit my criteria.  He suggested I bring Poe with me and we could try saddles to my heart’s (butt’s) content.  

I had Friday off for the Fourth of July so I loaded Poe up and off we went. 

Mad Tack was mad easy to find.  right in Madision just a quarter mile or so off rt29.  Samantha had me park ou back next to a grass area.  She took a look at Poe and then we went inside to select some saddles.  

We started off with four saddle and, putting each one on a naked Poe to see the fit. Samantha was knowledgeable and competent.  She commented on the fit in the front gullet area, thought the should, along the panels and back.  Taking note on length compared to Poe’s back and how level the seat sat.  

After looking at a few on his back we girthed up one and I climbed aboard.  Now my main issues is the saddle rolling when I go to climb on, so paying particular attention to that, I was instantly pleased to see that it did not move.  Score! I rode around and worked up some heat and a little light sweat and we pulled off the saddle. It was pleasingly even.  We sat that saddle, which I’ll refer to as saddle #1, on the “maybe” stand. 

The next saddle we girthed up and I climbed on, let’s call it saddle #2, was not as pleasing as saddle #1. 

We looked at the fit of a few more and then Samantha our saddle #3 on Poe’s back.  She liked the fit on him and so did I.  We girthed him up and I climbed on and it didn’t move.  My butt it the seat and my legs settled along the laps and off Poe and I went, trotting some circles, a short stop, some leaning, another mount, and I announces saddle #3 as the hands down winner!   

While I was there I dropped off two of the saddles I have that do not fit Poe for consignment. Oh, did I mention that the store has all kinds of stuff? Lots of used stuff, new stuff, great prices, simply awesome!  

   
    
   

Vet Wrap – Always on Hand 

July 3, 2015

What self respecting horse person runs out of vet wrap? Me! I was even at a honest to goodness tack store (Mad Tack) this morning.  Dag-nab-it.  Daisy came in with a cut on her ankle about an hour ago.  I used a little Betadine and put some Furison on it but no vet wrap to finish up the job.  Poor pup has a piece of gauze wrapped around her ankle and held on with some electrical tape.

Vet wrap is on my shopping list.  

   
 

MGAA Nationals 2015

July 2, 2015

This years MGAA Nationals was at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.  They set up a huge 350×600 grass arena for us to play in that was right next to the camp grounds.  Not only did this make for excellent spectating, but the riding was awesome on so much grass with so much space.

I rode Poe with my team, Gone Rogue, and we sorted our orders per Val’s suggestion.  It worked well.  With the added challenge of being the anchor rider for many of the races, and the support of my awesome teammates, I really pushed myself to pick up the pace.  Zoe also pulled anchor duty quite a bit, with me handing over to her.  Kristin was our main starter, and she really launched her new to games borrowed pony out there to eat up the field.  Averi and Matt also took a few turns at the start, Sparkles even did an uncharacteristic excited little rear on one of her starts.

There were quite a few very close races, and I just love those types of runs, even when my team doesn’t come out on top.  The top four teams really played around taking turns leading the pack from session to session.  In the end Border Patrol, a four rider, four pony team, trumped us all, taking the blue.  Full Tilt really got their game on for the last session and pulled one point ahead of Time Flies for second, with my team bringing in fourth, followed by Black and Blue Crew and Antiques Roadshow.

I personally felt really good, and back in the game.  I had some stupid, uncommon mistakes that were just pure sloppiness on my part.  I also need a bit of brushing up on my handoffs.  But all in all, I felt very on.  And Poe loved the footing.  Go us!

Nationals is always an awesome competition, with bigger prizes, more races and social activities.  this year we ran five sessions with a total of 54 races.  Interestingly, for Sunday’s 15 race final session, the masters division wanted races cut, but the fossil division almost unanimously did not want to miss a single race.  Nearly all of the races in the last two sessions were sponsored.  We missed out on the best prizes but we still went home with a bucket full of treats and other goodies.  Every rider also got a small tote bag that contained some pony treats, sample supplement, a last-rider-helmet-band, an MGAA logoed Klean Kanteen bottle and a commemorative MGAA Nationals 2015 patch.  Really fantastic prizes!

I skipped the Friday evening trip to Kings Dominion.  The lazy river was pretty tempting, but I enjoyed some down time in the camp grounds with teammates Matt and Zoe before turning in.  The Saturday night party started out awesome.  It was catered by Chipotle with a cotton candy machine too.  Zoe and I played some of the carnival games, enjoyed the DJ and watched some people ride the mechanical bull.  Unfortunately a massive storm rolled in with tornado warnings, rain and wind.  This sort of shut the party down just as it was kicking it up, and although it did continue after the storm passed, it still took some of the flame out of it.

The campsites were fun.  Jeannie picked up a blow up pool and we sat ringside in the shade with our feet in the nice cool pool.  That was probably the best part.  Carl put a pool in the back of his truck with chloride and a filter!  The ice cream truck swung through a few times a day, and we had more food than we could eat.  Oh and did I mention that Wendi kept us stocked up in fresh cold tea?

Nationals is certainly the most exciting competition of the year and this year was no let down.  Now I have to wait a month for MA3 to get here!

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I love this photo.  Its Karl from Northern Ireland riding Mitchell’s pony Cowboy.  Photo: S Thornton

Jill and Kimi set up this Snapchat thing that puts the MGAA Nationals 2015 logo on your Snapchat.  So we had a little fun with that.
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the camp grounds

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The storm and party

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There was a riot at MGAA Nationals! no no, there was a “country fest” across the road and the cops had their meeting in front of our camp grounds.

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PC: Maddie

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Zombies will not get my ponies! 

June 30, 2015 

My mom sent me this image. And it really fits me well. 

(Real posts coming soon!) 

  

Mid Atlantic #2 ~ 2015

June 18, 2015

Mid-Atlantic #2 was nearly two weeks ago, but life has been extremely busy and I have not had time to blog about it.

Team Gone Rogue was again without member, Val.  She was home recouping from having her little girl.  Abby stepped up to the plate, borrowing the amazing Captain from Stacey, and rode like a pro.  Abby played games many moons ago, and now mostly events.  But you would never guess this watching her play.  Not only is she accurate, but she vaults and he is an awesome person to ride with.  Laid back yet supportive.

Reflecting on my own riding, I was moderately happy with myself.  I made a few silly mistakes, although they were quick fixes, they still ate up time.  I had to circle in Windsor for my put down of the turret.  My balloon stick was way too long and I had to circle for my pop.  I did have one horrible race, ball and cone.  Poe was a total asshat for that race.  Everytime I leaned down to place the ball, he backed up.  When I was leaning he did a backup swing (one of my pony moves) and threw me up on his neck.  He even pushed off and let out a nasty little buck.  Every team finished and I was still going (third rider on my team) and just waiting for the whistle when I finally got it.  Lame.

My one happy mistake was in the fossil specialty race, Margarita Race.  I went first and had the cup salted and needed to place it on the end bin.  Typical me, I over thank it.  ‘The glass is light plastic, slow down.’ And in my over thinking I knocked if off the bin.  I dismounted, replaced it, remounted, and finished the race.  Now this may sound like a typical correction for 99% of the games population.  But I in particular have had a lot of issues mounting.  Not only do I have back and leg issues but my saddle has been rolling around on my round, narrowed withered pony.  I *almost* have these issues worked out, but my confidence is not solid, nor is my saddle.  When I turned from my correction to get back on I thought “oh crap”.  I actually glanced around to see if there was a rise in the ground to use to my advantage.  While I was thinking about this, my body went into auto play, and remounted on its own.  Go Me!

As a team we finished fourth.  Not bad and I am certainly not complaining.  We had a few rough races but all in all we rode pretty decently.  I think we mostly got trumped in speed.  Which is something we were lacking at this competition.  Poe is not the fastest pony out there, but I am still riding rather conservatively.  Although I did feel I did better with some of our ride order changes and pushed myself along a bit more.

It was a good competition.  Go Team Gone Rogue!

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This photo has an image of Averi on her pony Peyote on top, and an image of Averi on my pony Poe on the bottom.  the ponies are in nearly the exact same positions.  The rider in the background is also the same rider in both photos, also almost in the same position.  Averi noticed this and I found it pretty neat.  I believe it was Windsor on top and Quoites on the bottom.

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