Performance Trail Challenge – VA Horse Festival 

March 26, 2017

Saturday I took Simon and we went to the Virginia Horse Fesrival at the Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.  We were entered in two events.  The first one started at 11am in ring 1 and we were tacked and ready.  

This was the Performance Trail Challenge put on by Cornerstone and it had a few regulations and rules to adhere too.  This is why I found myself struggling with bitting Issues.  

So I could not use his normal Little S hack or his backup Myler Combination (without riding with one hand).  So we went with the Dr Cook bitless bridle. 

The top 10 we’re going through to the final on Sunday and I was not expecting to make the cut.  I was number 13 to go and after watching the first two riders, I had reaffirmed that no, we were not making the final.  

I did have a bit of luck and found several people from the Rusty Stirrups Riding Club were there, and a few mounted games extended friends and we had a cheering section in the crowd.  I was smiling like crazy at the cheers. And You know Simon ate it up too. And we got to ask some questions and for advice before our turn too.  It reminded me that horse people are good people.  

When it was our turn we started off and trotted through the poles, one tap, and then Simon bulked at the gate.  Weird.  Then he tried to check out the bucket that was hung right where his head was going.  He was pretty flustered and wound up at that point.  The gate was sloppy. 

We went right lead and did a clean simple lead change, and through the chute.  We stopped at the cone, pivoted and began the L back pattern.  It was not lovely.  See the video. 

On to the drag which actually went pretty well.  Simon wanted to look at it but we mostly went forward, around the bales, and we pivioted and backed.  But then we kept backing and in the wrong direction. I ended up having to drop the rope.  I still am really pleased with this obstacle.  It was a big improvement for us.  

The teeter totter I was not expecting issues at but Simon was not having it so we moved onto the bridges, which I was also unconcerned about. But nope Simon was not doing it. He saw that gap in the middle and nope. We did finished in time, completing the last obstacle by trotting into the box and doing a 360 turn both ways.  

We have work to do but I was so happy with Simon and I had so much fun.  The cheering and support really felt amazing.  

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