MGAA Mid-Atlantic #3

This past weekend was the MGAA Mid-Atlantic #3 Mounted Games Competition held in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.  And team Old School was in attendance. 

All weekend, Kick Kick Kick, Yell Yell Yell!
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

 My teammate, Carol Ann and I drove up together and arrived Friday afternoon.  We got the ponies settled in and then set ourselves up in the camp with the rest of our team and friends.  We had some evening entertainment in the form of silly songs and ruckus laughter.  And Tommy lent his new skill at performing ART physical therapy.  Which led to more ruckus laughter. 

Linda and Blue in Bottle Shuttle Race
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Saturday morning we started the day with an 8am session.  We hit the ring and got in the game, well all of us got in the game, except Simon.  He seemed to think he was out for a leisurely morning stroll.  I am not joking when I say he killed the team with slowness.  He just would not go. It was all I could do to get him into a easy lope and get him to hold that pace down the lane.  At the end of the lane he would break down to a plodding walk to slowly turn around the end. 

AHHH!

Litter Race
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

I have never had a pony that required encouragement to get it to go.  I have never had a pony that needed to be kicked, or even squeezed.  And I am not a yeller or a growler either.  But Simon is not the typical games pony.  I gave it my all and I kicked and I yelled and I growled at him for all I was worth.  My legs felt like jelly after the session.  But Simon really did not seem to notice.  I felt like he was out there plodding along with a grin on his pony face just enjoying the morning and all the spectators watching him and I was just some gnat on his back making a pointless fuss.  

Carol Ann and Zeke in Sword Race
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Needless to say, I left the ring extremely discouraged and really frustrated.  I love that bugger, but my goodness, he was just ridiculous.  Even at his normal top speed he is well on the slow side, but he was just unreasonable during that session. 

photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Before the afternoon session I gave him a pep talk and brought a ‘pony motivational device’ to the warm up ring.  I didn’t even need to use the crop, just carrying it was enough to wake him up. 

Luckily that message stuck with him when we went into the competition ring and he was moving out at his normal dawdling speed instead of his pervious, near nonexistent pace.  My team did pretty well, but Simon just killed us that morning and it was too much to make up.  We finished the session 2 points behind the Red Solo Cup team, which was holding second behind the Time Flies team.   

Kim always smiles!
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Sunday morning we headed into the final at 8am and Simon kept his pace up and as a pair, we rode clean.  I did bunch the flags on my flag fliers pull, which killed me!  I usually have a pretty clean pull and I was a bit more than disappointed in myself.  I suppose I will be doing some extra flag work at home!  Otherwise there were a few minor mistakes, and one teammate was rather off, but all around, it was not a bad session for our team.  But as is typical for our division, it was not a bad session for any team, and even a circle around a barrel or cone by one rider cost a race completely.  So just the few minor errors were too much and we finished in 3rd behind Red Solo Cup who was behind Time Flies. 

I was a bit disappointed in our finish, and in Simon’s lack of enthusiasm.  But you can’t win them all, and we did try our best.  I am even more determined to get a new pony to train as my main games pony, and have Simon as my backup pony.  He just does not have that edge to put him at the level I want to play at.  He is still well suited at a slower pace, and certainly enjoys the game, but speed is not on his side, and he really does not seem to understand that he is in a race.  One thing I do quite enjoy about him is that, unlike nearly every other games pony out there, Simon does not speed up when I lean over or perform a skill, he continues at the pace I have set him at until asked to change it.  This is not typical of a games pony. 

“Go Pony GO!”
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

I love my pony, I just wish he has a bit more fire in the hooves. 

Team Old School
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Bottle Shuttle Race
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Mug Shuffle Race
photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

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