November 2018 Mid-Atlantic Pairs #3

November 20, 2018

Earlier this month we had a pairs competition at Meadow Event Park in Doswell, Virginia.  This competition was the final wrap of the season, and we were lucky enough for decent weather that was not even too cool for November.

At Doswell we are able to run 8 lanes out in the big parking fields, with a massive run off and optimal distance between lanes.  This is the only venue like this and its quite enjoyable.

Zoe and I rode together and took our time working on some training.  She was working on adjusting her pony’s speed back and forth.  Cantering away, but walking back, and changing it back and forth at her pleasure to help teach him that its not all running.

I worked on pushing Simon at some key points, like turns, and just had a good time being laid back.  He was his usual frustrating self.  Slow, fast, and everywhere in between.  He even decided he wouldn’t go to a barrel in one race.  sigh.

I love the pony and he loves playing games at a slow speed, helping new people learn.  But he does not seem to really enjoy playing even close to the level I need him to be at.

Out side of riding I also organized this competition.  This is the first competition I have completely used the race list guideline to develop the race list for.  I think it worked out really well.   It was actually quite easy and I felt the sessions were pretty balanced.  I will certainly be more dependent on this guideline in the future.

Pairs is also tough to have a full set of accomplished officials.  But it is a good chance to get some new people out there filling those roles.  Two of our refs were brand new and I think they both filled the roll well.  We also had some new faces leading ring crew and again, everyone did a fantastic job.

Carl debuted a trial video set up across line A.  This new set up is amazing and has the capability to video lines A and C from both sides all onto one screen located in the equipment trailer for easy viewing by the ref.  I am excited to adopt this system next season!

Finally I want to close this post by thanking Carl and Patti in particular.  The three of us set up the entire field on our own, Carl doing the heaviest lifting.  He had to resize the prepared measurements at the last minute do to a snafu with the fencing set up.   The three of us were out there until well past dark setting the ring, and Carl was back out there at 5am in the rain putting in some finishing touches.  Not to mention that Patti and Carl brought the equipment down for the event!

Thanks everyone, it was a nice close to the season.


Mid Atlantic #6 – October 2018

October 23, 2018

The season wrapped up with the last team competition of the year.  MA6 was held for the last time at the PG Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  We have out grown the facility, which is a good thing to have ample growth, but its also a piece of nostalgia for those of us that have been playing for a long time.

Team Gone Rogue was two riders short for this competition so we were joined again by Tommy.  He is always a pleasure to ride with and his personality meshes so well with our team.  We were also joined by long time friend Lindsay who has been out of the sport for about ten years.  I believe the last time she really played was when we rode together on an Open team.  You would never know she was away for a decade.  She was still smooth and accurate, and as easy going and simple to ride with as she ever was.  Nothing has changed.

Our first session was ok.  We were all playing decently, nothing spectacular but nothing too poor either.  Simon was a little wound up, but he was moving out so that worked.  Our second session was horrendous.  We uncharacteristically dropped and missed things all over the place.  The only one on the team who didn’t look like a boob out there was Lindsay.  Again, she just rolled along, nice and smooth.  Simon was a total jerk for the second session.  He switched from not wanting to go near equipment to trying to run it over.  I was so frustrated with him at the end of the session that I was ready for pony burgers for dinner.  If there had been any doubt, which there was not, that I need a new pony, this certainly cleared it up.

We wound up in the B final, which was no surprise after our afternoon session.  Luckily we did end the season strong and came into the B final with our heads on.  We rocked the session pulling out 11 firsts, 3 seconds and only 1 third.

We also finished fourth in the series, thanks to our strong start to the season before we lost Matt to injury.

As for the Novice division, I was lucky enough to coach this team pictured below, Main Attraction, and they really rocked it.  This team started the season as a scramble team, stuck together, and improved with each competition.  They absorbed knowledge like sponges and used it out on the field with excellent play.  Each of their three sessions looked good and they took the blue for MA6.

They are also the series champions with blue ribbons all over the place.  They really earned it and the work they have all put in has really paid off.

I also managed to snag a snap shot of their placings for the final session and they really did amazing.  They consistently got first and second with just one third and one fourth place finish during the 15 race final.

After the final session the referee asked to speak with three of them.  uh oh! But it was a compliment and feather in their caps.  He said that they had improved so much this season that they need to move up to intermediate next season.  A fourth rider was also encouraged to move up but given the option to stay behind if she felt more comfortable since she has a bit of a challenging pony.

With smiles on their faces the four of them have decided to move up to intermediate together and continue on as a team.  I think this is an excellent move for them.  They all get along very well and work together smoothly.  Their skills compliment each other and I think the unity will aid them with the transition to a faster field.  They also made my day by asking me to continue on as their coach next year.  I cannot wait to be part of their growth and help them as they continue to improve!

We also had a fist time player in the Leadline division, Mr. Wesley.  He rode trusty Simon for all three sessions and did an amazing job.  I can say without a doubt that his favorite race was the balloon race, which he did awesome at.  Wesley is an excellent teammate and enjoyed cheering his teammates on and high fiving them after each race.  He rode with his new friend Bennett and his cousin against the mighty X’s, Dexter and Paxton.  Everyone rode very well in the Leadline division and were awarded trophies at the end.

Wesley was also helpful when it was time to untack Simon, and helped by taking off all the boots on his own.

So that wraps up another season of team competition.  We just have one pairs competition left in November and then its onto a winter of practices and prepping for the 2019 season.  Team Gone Rogue is planning to come back five strong with Val, Jon, and myself sticking around, and the return of teammate Matt.  He just had his final surgery and is recouping and healing up so he can be ready to start back on the field come spring.  We are also picking up new a new Rogue, Carly.  This was her and her pony’s first full season and they grew and improved with each competition.  Carly is a really fun person and her attitude and dedication will match the rest of us perfectly.

We are also anticipating a new pony for myself.  Hopefully I can get the shopping underway soon and I am keeping my fingers crossed for an easy and quick shopping experience.  Simon may be a decent back up pony for me but he is certainly not first string material and I am excited and eager to train something new.

Bring on the winter practice sessions!

Mid-Atlantic #5 – September 2018

October 5, 2018

The Mid-Atlantic series is almost over for 2018. We just finished up #5 and just have the final leg left later this month.

MA5 was held at our favorite grounds; the Grange in Centre Hall, PA.

It was a packed weekend. There was a special football game going on at Penn State so the majority of the fairgrounds was rented out to RVs and campers there for the game. They had food and merch vendors, music playing and they tail gaited Saturday like pros.

Mean while we played games!

I again coached Main Attraction in novice and really enjoyed working with this team. They are all so into it and receptive. They all rode amazingly. I was particularly excited about their incredible handoffs. I think they only had one hand off bobble all weekend!

This weekend was a particularly strange one for Gone Rogue. It was just Jon and I from the regular roster. We picked up Carly, Tommy and Katie. So things were a bit messy to work out.

We actually finished third in the first session but we went down to fourth and then 5th as the weekend progressed.

Simon was also particularly sluggish which was a little frustrating.

All in all not the best competition for Gone Rogue. But it was a good time with friends!

And, it didn’t rain! And it wasn’t super hot!

Product Review: LikIt!

September 27, 2018

Simon is still living alone and still bored and into mischief. With this in mind I remembered to pick up a LikIt refill and strung it up from a tree in his paddock.

I didn’t realize he had used it the first day I had him in the paddock. When I moved him back into it he walked right over to the tree and started licking away. That’s when I noticed he had already licked a good portion of it away.

Video of him licking his heart out.

He also enjoyed tossing it around, biting it, and just playing with it in general.

Video of him playing

I give the LikIt two thumbs up!

Trail Report: Turner Run 9/21/18

September 26, 2018

On Friday I got out of work a little early and I had just enough time to fit in a quick trail ride before dark. Score!

I drove up to Turner Run which was a bit sketchy driving in. It was slippery and a bit muddy for going up hill pulling a trailer so I used 4WD and made sure I kept going.

The fire road gate is open but I parked at the circle. Annoyingly the circle was overgrown and trashed making it hard to turn around.

I would not have been able to continue driving up the road passed the gate with the trailer this time. There were some wash outs and rather rough spots from all the rain. The truck would have been fine but not pulling a trailer.

Off we went enjoying the gorgeous afternoon. We got in some nice trotting and some leisurely walking.

And then it started to rain.

(Do bears poop in the woods? I am not sure about the woods but they do poop on the fire road)

And then the sky opened up and it poured.

It rained for a good half hour. Completely soaking us.

And then the sun came back out.

And the day became gorgeous again.

There were tons of old mushrooms along the way.

And some Berries.

And some amazing views.

We got in a few nice gallops and then enjoyed our time riding back to the truck.

It was an excellent start to the weekend.

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