Popsicle Pairs 1 – Upper Marlboro, MD

February 6, 2019

This past weekend I took Possum to his first games competition.  It was a one day laid back competition at the PG Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland in their covered arena.  I rode him in the Green/Novice division paired with Val on Izzy.

It was a really fun day with a great group of people.  Other than Green/Novice there was also a heat of “mixed” division players which pretty much encompassed everyone else; Intermediate, Open, and Over25.  It was a lot of fun and the laid back atmosphere was perfect for the off season.

Possum started out our first session very nervous.  Shaking and screaming.  I joked that he was like driving a car around with the alarm going off.  Leigh Anne stood with him behind the line for the first few races, which immensely helped him relax.  I am happy to report that even during his nervousness he still listened to me the entire ride.  By the end of session one he had settled down and was standing mostly quiet when waiting for his turn.

Session two started out with him nervous, although not as nervous as session one.  He started to escalate before we got started and Jeri jumped in and led him around a bit.  Again this really settled him down.  He was very responsive throughout the session and listened to me, moving off my leg and standing during a race when asked.  This round he settled down and stood behind the line nicely much more quickly.

It is hard to replicate the competition atmosphere and that was the one thing I was unsure of with him.  It is a lot going on, and a lot of ponies zooming around.  Particularly so for a pony that has generally done mostly trails his whole life.  But I am sure he will take this in stride and adjust quickly like he has with everything else.

Throughout the day he did have a few moments where he swerved around after a hand off and bowed away from a barrel here and there.  The balloons he didn’t notice until the last second and did a small jump away while I was popping, but still carried on.  Nothing extreme or detrimental, and I am sure with some more skill work and his ability to relax he will over come these minor infractions quickly.  All in all I am very pleased with him and his progress.  He was an awesome Possum!

With the start of the season fast approaching, and me wanting to get him as much experience as possible, I made some arrangements for the second Popsicle Pairs since I am unable to attend myself.  Friend Jenny is going to keep Possum for the week and take him to the event for me.  Friend and teammate Jon is going to ride him in the event.  Jon has such a quiet seat, and is a very strong rider and games player.  It is also helpful that Jon is rather insightful and notes things that are often missed.  I am very much looking forward to his report and suggestions of what I can work on.

A third event is also being planned for a larger outdoor arena in March.  You know Possum and I will be there ready to get him the experience he needs.

Video of Possum:

Green/Novice division video montage:

Mixed division video montage:

photos: Gina video: Kennedy

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1 Comment

  1. I love the intensity of the expressions on the action shots.


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