Gobbler Games 2013

November 26, 2013

Saturday was the annual Gobbler Games, gamblers choice competition held in Nearsville, Virginia. This is always a really fun and laid back schooling competition that I enjoy.

This year Carol Ann and I drove up together. It was cool and crisp, with some sun, making it a great day for a competition.

In gamblers choice competitions everyone draws a teammate at random for the first session. Everyone draws a new teammate for the second session. So everyone gets to ride with two different people. This makes for a really fun opportunity to get to ride with people you might not get to ride with otherwise.

Carol Ann and I were paired up for the first session. She was on her newer pony Jinny, who is still green and was a little distracted. She did well and I was particularly happy with our handoffs.

Poe was very good. We still need to work on our starts, which improved greatly in the second session. Mainly he needs to settle in more and learn to stand and wait quietly. I have to keep him moving between races which makes my start timing sketchy. Sometimes he will stand nicely with another pony but as his anticipation builds he starts to back up, so I move him forward in circles. This is something that should improve with experience.

He was really into taking handoffs this weekend. He was eager to roll out full tilt, and eagerly began anticipating his turn. This is something I think our team is ready to speed up too so it was encouraging to have my pony so eager for handoffs.

His breaks are also greatly improved. And he stood like a rock for me to perform steady skills, like picking a ball off a cone and placing a flag in the four flag holder. He seems to really understand this and can set his impatience aside for these skills. He also seems much happier in the hackamore. Which I am sure helps.

His three mug was much smoother than at our last competition. That is a race that when performed well feels really cool.

The one skill I was a little unsure of was barrel turns. This is something I really need to work on. End turns in general really. Our carton turns were clean and appropriately tight, although we need to up the speed a little. Our first two barrel turns were not bad, although again, lacking the speed we need to build up to.

On my third barrel end turn I did not set the turn up as cleanly and I did not push Poe out enough through the turn, and he dropped his shoulder into it and we took the barrel out. Bloop.

Consequently I begin half halting and checking up very early in most races to set up my end turns. I really need to work on our end turns so we can push speed to the end, and not loose so much ground setting up the turns. This is again something that will come with continued training and experience.

In bottle race, which was the race I took the end barrel out in, I pushed for some speed on the way home. After I leaned and picked the bottle on the fly, Poe porpoised a few times. Not quite bucks, but something verging on bucks. I needed to pull his head up and kick him on but honestly, I grabbed the pommel and cantle, and let out a half hearted squeaky yelp, before I kicked on. Luckily I survived. Close one! (Insert cheesy grin).

My partner for the second session was Eliza. I have never had the opportunity to ride with her and she was a whole lot of fun. I really enjoyed her attitude and how upbeat she was. I think we made a pretty good pair.

I totally blew balloon race for us, blowing past it with out even being close to popping a balloon. I shocked myself at how crappy that was.

Eliza also made a mistake, which turned out to be pretty hilarious. She missed her put-in, in two flag, but quickly circled around, and picked the flag up off the ground at a trot from her pony’s back. Total skill. But then her saddle rolled around to the side of her pony. I laughed pretty hard. It was such a fantastic correction until, whoop.

Eliza was also super awesome in hula hoop race. We put me first, and being a non-vaulter, I was a little nervous she would forget and leave me in the dust. That, or Poe, who has only done this race once, and was not super excited to be held by another rider, would give her some issues. But boy, Eliza held into Poe like it was life and death, talking to him and me all along, and she stayed with me until I was mounted enough to give her the “Go!” Then for her part, Eliza had a superman vault, and we were over the line in no time like we play the race together all the time.

It was a super fun competition. And I was happy with Poe and my performance. We ended up in third place, behind Eliza, who was behind Paxton. I won a gift card to Sheetz! Score!

As always, thanks go out to Stacey and Anita or putting on another fantastic competition.

*photos by Lindsey M*

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the follow, I love your blog, it so cute 🙂

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