Litter Race Update, Again

Yesterday I posted about Simon’s litter progress.  I explained how he is now moving at a walk or slow trot for his litter pick up, when previously he had to stop for it because he had difficulty making the turn while I was leaning over. Our goal is for him to be moving at a full canter, making a nice sweeping turn while I lean for my pick.

Setting up the turn and preparing to lean down for the scoop. Simon is still holding a slow canter!
Diane on team Red Solo Cup is already scooping to my left. For perspective my litter would be lined up with hers, so just in front of me and just out of the photo frame.
Photo credit: Ryan Crowley

This is a skill all of my previous ponies picked up very quickly.  The pony essentially learned the race, and as long as I set up the turn properly, they were capable of completing the turn on their own, or with very little assistance from me.  Simon is not as quick to pick up the races but he also continues to look to me for instruction during races rather than taking the initiative on his own. Which has its advantages, and like with this skill, its disadvantages.

Scooping at a strong trot, only breaking stride briefly.
Photo credit: Ryan Crowley

Simon also does not turn as smoothly as most of my previous ponies, or most agile ponies for that matter. He is stiff and clunky.  Part of this derives from his breeding, but it is also something we have been working on, and have made significant progress with over the past year.  So when turning, I need to do more than just lay the rein on his neck.

And dunking our litter into the blue bin at full speed.
Photo Credit: Ryan Crowley

Anyway, blah blah, right?  My whole point in posting about this again so soon, is that last night friend, and fellow games competitor, Nancy, posted some photos her very talented photographer son, Ryan shot of Simon and I in the litter race last weekend.

and just for fun, another cool photo Ryan took of Simon and I doing Balloon Race You can see the stick poking into the board on the right of Simon. This is just a fraction of a moment after the balloon that was in that same spot burst.
Photo credit: Ryan Crowley

Nancy is one of my favorite fossil rivals.  She rides on our greatest competition, the pink clad, Time Flies team.  Her and her pony, Marley are a fantastic pair.

Nancy and Marley making the turn while picking a flag in the Three Pot Flag Race.
Photo credit: Ryan Crowley

Side note: The footing was very very deep at this competition, which is pretty viable in the photos.  The ponys’ feet are all gone under the sand.  wow. 

MGAA’s Mid-Atlantic Games #2

This past weekend team Old School competed in the MGAA Mid-Atlantic Games Series #2 in Centre Hall, PA at the Grange Equestrian Park. 

Dunking in the Old Sock Race.
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

The competition had a pretty full roster with 10 intermediate teams, 13 masters teams, 1 green pony team (that rode during the fossil session) but only 3 fossil teams. 

We arrived Friday afternoon, got the ponies settled in and set up a massive camp that we shared with close to 20 friends.  I tried to get a good photo of the camp set up, but there was no angle that really showed the awesomeness. 

Placing the final mug in the Mug Shuffle Race
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Saturday morning after an outstanding camp breakfast prepared by teammate Linda, we started our first session at 8am.   We whipped through 11 races, when we had a scary pause, as green pony rider, Leah, had a mishap.  She turned too tight and set her pony off balance.  He fell, and landed with her under him.  It was scary, he just laid there with his legs up in the air like a turtle on its back, with Leah under him.  Luckily one of Leah’s teammates and an assistant referee were able to roll him off of her.  Also we were lucky an EMT was on grounds and able to check Leah out. 

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

 As a team we rode pretty well.  We had a few mistakes throughout the session, perhaps a few more than ordinary.  I know I made a mistake, although exactly what has slipped my mind.  Oh darn, guess I can’t tell you about it.  The mistakes were enough to leave us 3 points behind Time Flies.  Like normal, they were our greatest competition.  Red Solo Cup, the other team in our division also held their own, only 5 points behind us leaving the spread; 28, 25, 19.  

That afternoon we rode our second session of 12 races.  We had a few mistakes but as a team we were a bit more on than the previous session.  I missed my ball pick up in High-Low and had to hop off to retrieve it.  It was an out of character mistake, reminding me that I need to practice this skill more frequently.  We tried a few different orders in a few races, and that seemed to shave off a few seconds here and there.  We left the ring one point ahead with 27, followed by Time Flies with 26 and finally Red Solo Cup with 19 points.  Of course that still leaves Time Flies in the lead since points from each session are combined, but whatever, we took that session, even if it was only by one point.  Got to take the glory where you can, right?

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

With so many heats across all divisions, the final one of the day didn’t end until nearly dark.  After a quick potluck dinner and some perfectly roasted smores prepared by expert marshmallow toaster, Lucy, everyone turned in pretty early. 

Bottle Shuttle Race
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Our final session started at 8:30 Sunday morning and with us entering the ring only 2 points behind Time Flies.  Unfortunately we did not perform as expertly as necessary, myself included, making two mistakes, and Time Flies brought their A game for the 15 races.  They whooped us 42 to 27, with Red Solo Cupholding steady with 20 points for the session. 

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

The total scores in the end were Time Flies taking the blue with 96 points, Old School in the red with 79 points and Red Solo Cup taking 3rdwith 58 points. 

Sword Race
Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

It was a fantastic weekend, and most of the races were finished with the three teams crossing the finish line just lengths apart.  Although all teams made their share of mistakes, as always, the fossil division ran relatively clean, with nearly any mistake taking a team completely out of the running for a first place finish.

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Team Old School decided not to take part in MGAA Nationals this year which is being held in Batavia, Ohio.  This means we have a lengthy break with no multi day competitions until the end of July when we are hitting Charlestown, WV for the International Pairs competition.  We have already planned a few practices and some of us will be keeping our game on at the Nearsville, VA afternoon mini competitions, the Summer Sizzlers.

Photo by Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

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