Popsicle Pairs 3 – 2019

March 19, 2019

This weekend was the third and final Popsicle Pairs for the year.  The first one was Possums first time out and as I said at the time, he was like driving a car around with the alarm going off, loud and anxious.  I was not able to make the second PP but Jenny was amazing enough to host Possum for the week and get him there and teammate Jon was awesome and rode him.  I was told he was much improved.

Myself and Matt chatting between races.  (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

The first two were held in the covered arena at PG Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, MD.  The third was at the large outdoor arena at Woodstock Equestrian Center in Darnestown, MD.  This venue would be amazing if it put in stalls and more parking.  It is something like 600 acres of trails with a cross country schooling area, and the large arena has jumps and a dressage ring that can be set up.  This is the same location that Val hosted my 40th Birthday Games Competition at.

Leigh Anne had her first go at being a ref and did a great job.  She also, rode, ring crewed and scored!

The day started off quiet chilly, but it was very sunny and when the wind died down it was sort of warm during the apex of the day.  Val was organizing, and she broke us down into four heats.  Novice/Green pony and three heats of “Mixed” which was a combination of Intermediate, Open and O25 riders.  I paired up with Fred and we were in Mix 3 for the day.

Hug a Mug – Possum and I rolling along. (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

Possum was a bit anxious when we started out, but after the first few races he settled down.  Other than the first PP, this was the first time I have been in a location with enough space to let him really run with some speed and he really enjoyed it.  He kept checking in during the sprints in session one, “you sure I can keep running?”  He didn’t so much bow away from equipment like he has been doing with some stuff at practice as he would sort of scoot a little at the last moment.  Nothing bad and I didn’t miss anything, but just enough of a scoot that my bottle would end up on the edge of the barrel and not the center, or when I placed the toolbox down he scooted just a smidge and I drug it sideways just a bit.  All in all a big improvement.

Val organized, rode and ring crewed, all with a big ol smile on her face. 

For session two he entered the ring quietly, and he seemed to have one of those clicks where he put some of it together.  Run, stop, turn, run, check, turn, run, stop, etc.  He really seemed to genuinely enjoy playing, and was very happy to work.  This pony has such a good attitude.  He did not scoot or bow at anything in the second session except the dreaded balloons.  I did pop them but it involved circling the board and reaching very far while he faced them head on.  except for balloon, I am so proud of Possum!

Elise on Possum in Hug a Mug looking way more like a badass than I did in the same race on the same pony.  (Photo: Genevieve Arena)

After I hopped off from my second session, Elise hopped on and rode him in the final session of the day.  I figured an additional session would be good for him and it would also be good for me to see someone else riding him.  And it was! Elise did a fantastic job with him and made him look amazing.  she pushed him through his turns and he was quick and responsive.  It was certainly a boost for me to see what she could do with him.

Caroline attempting to pop Sadie’s temporary butt implant (a balloon).

As for the rest of Gone Rogue, Val and Jon were in mix 1 and looked amazing.  They won both of their heats against some top Open players.  Babyface has really come into his own.  He was lama-rocketing around with precision and skill like the truly made games pony he is quickly becoming.  Val whipped her skills out at top speed, and together they looked amazing.  Jon was also amazing.  That guy has some skill that just won’t quiet.  I think some of it is from starting games at such a young age, he just has the muscle memory to be amazing, because he always has been amazing.  Jeeter was also right up there running like a pro. These two and their ponies did the team proud.

Val rocking through Hug a Mug (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

Matt rode in the same Mix as Fred and I.  Matt has only been back in the saddle for about two weeks after his very long injury recovery.  I did not get to see much of his ride, but what I did see looked great.  He wasn’t pushing too much and was getting himself and his pony back in stride.  Him and Hero make a really nice pair.

Sadie showing off her temporary butt implant (a balloon down the pants).

Carly was in the second mix with Leigh Anne and they looked like they were having a great time.  Remy is another pony that is really coming into his game and stepping up this year.  Carly had done a fantastic job bringing him along and making him what he is.  And Carly too.  For coming to games so recently, the pair of them have really improved quickly.  Carly did have a small silly tumble at the end which I did not see but I hear it is on video.  She was unhurt and laughed it off.

Caroline preparing for a sock dunk (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

In sum it was an awesome day.

Jenny worked her butt off doing ring crew when she wasn’t riding.

Carly rolling through Hug a Mug (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

Sadie and Caroline being too silly.  They entertained me all day long. 

Possum and I in either two flag or 3 pot flag.  (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

Jenny on her new pony Hacksaw.  (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

Teammate for the weekend, Fred (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

Sadie killing it in 3 pot. (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

I love when photos are synced up like this.  Aidan and Nike and Val and Babyface in Balloon.  (Photo: Genevieve Arens)

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