Emergency Games Practice 05/19/18

May 20, 2018

It’s been raining and raining and raining all week and this has caused crazy record flooding up and down the east coast, trees uprooting, mudslides, power outages, bridge and roadway washouts, and just craziness. In response to mother nature’s outburst our big Mid-Atlantic #2 competition in New Jersey this weekend was canceled pending a reschedule date. This is the first time any of us can remember a major team competition being cancelled in advance.

This is never an easy call. Carl, part of the organizing committee, went to the grounds Thursday to investigate and the ring was already wet and he sighted puddles, with heavy rain pending still before the competition start and more scheduled rain for the entire Saturday of the competition. Not only is riding in the rain and slop not as much fun, but it can pose a safety hazard. We were faced with ponies pulling up lame during monsoon like rains back in 2011 during MGAA Nationals held at the same grounds. The footing in the arenas could not hold up to the amounts of rain we were getting then. Which we are getting again now.

Photo: Poe does love his job. I swear.

All that said, I would certainly still have ridden. I know my pony and I am comfortable bringing back my speed and adding support to my pony in compromised conditions. But, I know not everyone else is. And even so, no mater how much I bring him back, it’s still a risk. And I certainly respect the organizers decision. I wouldn’t want to see anyone or any pony get hurt. And it sure is nice being dry!

Knowing we had some flexibility this weekend we decided to set up a practice at the indoor at Frying Pan Park in Herndon Saturday afternoon. $15 a rider, 2pm till dark. We got a group of nine of us together and two lanes of equipment and we met up for some fun!

We ran through at least a dozen races, riding for about three solid hours before our group really broke up. In the end it was mostly the ponies who were done, not so much the riders. When Poe was done, I switched to Simon, who could have gone all day! But by then most everyone was about done with games so I only got to do a few races on him.

Video of Pony Pairs:

It’s been a while since I have played games on Simon but he felt good. He was responsive and ready.

Video of Simon doing Four Flag – outside and inside turns:

But since everyone else was done, Zoe, Jessie and I decided to hack out and around the cross country course for a bit. This was a really fun time. The course has some massive jumps. Most are not very well kept up but there are quite a lot of them through the woods and fields. We played around at a few, measured a few to our ponies, and gawked at others. We saw a fox, twice, some ducks too. And there was this crazy crow that really was all about attention.

Video of Zoe and Jessie playing on the cross country course:

We finished riding and headed out of the grounds around 7 and decided to stop for Tai for dinner. It looked like just a little place from the outside, nothing special, but inside it was so neat and the food was amazing. This was a really nice cap to the end of an awesome awesome day.

Photo: the bears were wearing costumes!

I love my games family.

Now we have to wait two weeks until Mid-Atlantic #3. Lets hope for dryer conditions. I don’t think it has ever been this wet around here. At least not in my memory.

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