Game Night 8/20/20

September 1, 2020

Just shy of two weeks ago Jenny and I met at Game Night at Red Horse Training with Amanda Brunson. We have hit a few of these and they are so fun. This week we started off work a timed obstacle course. I admittedly had trouble remembering the course – which you can see in the video below.

Simon loves this stuff. He eats it up. I swear he would trot through fire in this course if I asked him. On the turn to the flower box I asked for a turn and he took it so tight he made me squeak. And that ball, he is not fond of the big pilates style balls but in this course I just pointed him and he charged ahead like a warrior.

Next we did the team relay obstacle course. In this game Jenny and I take turns going through obstacles, retrieving a token, and depositing it in a basket before our partner goes, swapping back and forth.

Again it was so fun. Simon really gets into it. And Jenny and I have so much fun partnered together. Woo! Maybe we will have to wear our Ponynado team jerseys one of these weeks. 😉

I am looking forward to hitting up game night again this week.

Red Horse Equine Training: 2nd Game Night

July 12, 2020

Jenny and I both headed back to Red Horse Equine Training’s second Game Night where Amanda had new obstacles and games for us to play.

We started off with the pairs timed challenge taking turns going over obstacles. Jenny and I teamed up again and cruised the course.

Then we did the simon-says follow-the-leader game. I really enjoy both of these games.

Last we did musical obstacles. We all rode around the outside of the obstacles while music played. There were tall cones in the middle. When the music stopped we had to go through an obstacle and reach a cone. The last person was out. This was also tons of fun.

A Good Evening

October 11, 2019

Here is a quick snap from my hack out on Simon the other night.

Nothing better than some relaxing time with you pony and your dog.

Driving Simon – August 7, 2019

August 7, 2019

I hooked Simon up to his cart for the first time in about a year and a half. It went particularly well.

Since it’s been so long I started off by ground driving him for a few minutes with a few Whoas and Stands. Then I attached the cart and walked behind to the field with some more Whoas and Stands.

Next I had him Stand for a solid three minutes before I got into the cart. He was all business and stood like a statue except for a fly stomp.

We drove around the field, wove through poles, did a couple Whoas and Stands, and did some “come around” turns for about forty minutes. I think all of this was very good for his mind. Lots of thinking and a complete change in activity.

I have no driving background or experience and am essentially cowboying it. Today really reminded me that I should get a lesson from a professional. I think I will set one up at the end of the games season. I would like to learn the basics and I also want to make sure Simon is properly and comfortably hooked up. I wouldn’t ride him in tack that didn’t fit so I don’t want to drive him in tack that’s not well fitted either.

I also noted that he seems more annoyed at the blinkers than I think they help. He seemed frustrated when he couldn’t see things. And he seemed more “looky” since he couldn’t look. I think I’ll try him in an open bridle and see if that is an improvement.

The over check also seems to frustrate him. I had it set how a friend had set it originally and when I released it he stretched hard. So I loosened it up and he seemed much happier. I’m not positive he needs it. But he is a fat-butt and may snatch at grass if he doesn’t have it to stop him.

Things to try and lots of things to learn, I’m looking forward to some more driving sessions. I think I’ll do a little googling now and see what info I can absorb.

STRHA JPR 2018

May 5, 2018

Today was the local Judged Pleasure Ride, part of the Crystal Crown Series, hosted by my local trail club, the Shenandoah Trail Riders and Horsemans Association. This is my favorite ride for a couple reasons. It’s the closest, it supports my trail club, it’s a nice length, and I also really enjoy the laid back vibe and easy fun feel of the ride.

I have met Val and Zoe here before and we had a blast, and some years this ride has conflicted with Mid-Atlantic #1, which takes precedence. Last year I came on my own and poor Simon was a mess all alone. And honestly, it’s not so much fun with no companions. But I was befriended by Andrea and Lacy who were the pair ahead of me on the course. They offered me to join them and I felt like we hit it off. See last year’s blog post for details on that. Click here for it

This year I was going to be headed out on my own again so I reached out and Andrea was also headed out on her own and happy to join forces. Woo! Simon and I met up with her and her big boy Quinn and we had an awesome time today.

Obstacle 1: The Chainsaw Massacre. Stand on a plywood platform and be approached by a chainsaw. When you horse moves the chainsaw is stopped. The closer the chainsaw gets the higher you score.

I was happy with Simon although he gave in quick, he was sensible. This was our lowest score, 4.

Quinn was like a rock! He stood there without a care. I am pretty sure he rocked a solid 10 here.

Although this was my lowest scoring obstacle it was also one of my favorites. It was unexpected and different. I have not seen an obstacle anything like this one before. Pretty neat.

Video:

Obstacle 2: Off Side Mount. Have your horse step their front legs over the log so they are straddling it. Dismount, leave your reins, walk around behind your horse to the off side, and remount.

This went well. Simon did great. I was a little sloppy but I still managed to remount from the offside way better than I expected. Score: 10

Quinn was a goof here. He walked off when Andrea went around him, like “haha”. So she reattempted and he did this silly jump to heave his front end over. It is so cute. She mentioned he ground ties and in retrospect she should have dropped his reins on the ground.

I liked this Obstacle a lot too. Simple but also different.

Video:

Obstacle 3: The Gate. The typical rope gate obstacle. Pick up the rope by the knot (not the loop), only use one hand, don’t put it over or under the neck of your horse or let it touch the ground, go through the gate and close it.

Andrea killed this one. I am pretty sure she got a 10. Quinn was so chill.

Simon impressed me here. Last week he was moving so fast on this one and just backed off of it and I had to drop the rope before closing it. I had a moment of confusion at the start deciding which hand to use and switched from left to right at the last second, but all went well except for me letting the rope touch the ground. I believe a judge made the comment that being on a short pony is an advantage on some obstacles but on this one it put my rope closer to the ground. Ha-ha yep. I am super pleased with how this went. Score: 9

This is a classic obstacle and I have no excuse for not having worked on it at home. Note to self – work on this at home.

Video:

Obstacle 4: Back up. Back up the hill through the zigzag pole pattern and through the red markers.

We did super well at this. I started off backing up next to the course then started over on the actual course and it went super super well. Like surprisingly well. If we had only started off on course! Go Simon. Score: 8

Quinn was so big for that course. I doubt Andrea could see the poles around his belly. Be tried though and got most of it. I really think there was just a little visual issue because it was really not bad.

Video:

Obstacle 5: Soccer. Pick up the broom, use it to push the big ball across the yard and out the end in 60seconds. Re approach if you pass it.

I expected this to go pretty poorly with Simon’s weird aversion to big balls but it went surprisingly well. He was a bit quick, and we had to re approach once, but we finished in 30 something seconds. He was apprehensive of the ball. And it was heavier to push than it appeared. Score: 10

Quinn was doing ok but Andrea accidentally bopped him in the head with the broom and then he was audibly upset with the broom, snorting and all. But he was actually pretty good for being unhappy. He did bust out the side of the course, but all in all was reasonably “freaked out”. He did not care about the ball. And Andrea mentioned he eats brooms normally so I assume he was just that offended at being accidentally bopped by it. Reasonable. Andrea did get the ball half way across which was a decent feat.

This was another cool obstacle. I really liked it.

Video:

Obstacle 6: sidepass mailbox. Step over the rail on the left hand side by the flag, side pass along the rail to the right, open the mailbox, remove the box and hold it over your head, shake it, return it to the mailbox and close it. Side pass back to the left along the rail.

This was our second worse obstacle. Not a bad obstacle set up either. And Simon is a good lateral mover. He was rather concerned about that flag, which is just silly, and too busy looking at it to focus on what I was asking. So he backed off the rail instead of side passed. Score: 5.

Quinn is not a lateral mover and you have to watch him on the video it’s so cute. Andrea is trying to move him over and he just stands there like a rock. He also stands like a rock for the mailbox. Such a good boy.

This was a good obstacle but eh. I don’t have a good reason to not love it accept we didn’t do well at it. And it was a pretty typical one so we should have done well. We have side passed to and from mailboxes before. Maybe that’s why it was meh. Been there done that, but did it better before. I guess they can’t all be winners.

Video:

Obstacle 7: The Tire. Walk through the tire. The tire was filled with bottles.

Quinn yet again killed this one. He just marched on through like a champ. Done and done. I am sure he got a solid 10.

Simon was a bit apprehensive but listened. He was not nearly as smooth as Quinn. Score: 8.

You know, this one was cool. There are only so many things you can do with a tractor tire and this was cool. Simple and cool.

Video:

Obstacle 8: The Tunnel. Ride through the tunnel.

Quinn walked on through. Simple and perfect. Beasted.

Simon also crushed this one.

I believe we both got a 10.

Probably too easy but I liked it. I think this would be a good #1 obstacle to get them warmed up.

Video:

Obstacle 9: Step Up. Ride up the steps.

Quinn killed this one too. It’s a crap video but I am sure he walked off with a 10.

Simon ducked a bit on the second step but nothing too bad. Score: 9.

This is a cool built in obstacle and this is the only place I have seen one. We have gone down it once before too.

Video:

Obstacle 10: The Pond. Get into the pond, pull in the whale. Keep your horse in the water until the whale hits the water.

Quinn did so well at this one. He is such a solid boy. He really did a great job at this one.

Simon did so much better than I expected. He really wanted to run but he held it together until just when that whale hit the water. This was such an improvement for him and any type of dragging. I am super proud of him. Score: 8

A challenge. I like this obstacle. They always have something here and it’s always a challenge. But it’s always a good one.

Video:

I had so much fun with Andrea and Quinn. We chatted the whole time and it was so much fun. I felt completely at ease and myself and I think she did too. And Simon loves Quinn. He was constantly nose bumping him and giving him sniffs. Quinn was such a calming body for Simon to be with and a had a similar pace too. Two cute ponies.

I hope to ride with Andrea and Quinn again. 😊

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