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. 

Litter Race Progress

I blogged a while ago here that I had been working with Simon to improve our Litter Race.

The litter Race requires riders to ride to the far end of the lane with a 4 foot dowel in hand.  At the end of the lane are a line of 4 litter cartons with the open end facing away from the start line.  Riders circle behind the litter, scoop one up on the end of the stick and then ride back up the lane, dropping their litter in a trash bin on their way.  They then hand the litter stick over to the next rider who repeats the race sequence.

I am sure this all sounds a lot easier than it is.  I challenge you to give this a try at home.  If you do not have any MGAA standard litter, you can use a tennis ball tube or really any drink container that has the end cut off.

Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

 Previously, I had to stop to pick up my litter because Simon was having issues making his turn at speed when I leaned over to scoop my litter.  I was working to improve this portion of the race so we could pick the litter up while moving.

scooping on the move
Mid-Atlantic #2 June 9, 2012
Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Sadly, the progress on this skill has been slow for Simon, but we are now picking our litter up at a walk, and on occasion, a slow trot.  Not exactly a flying pick up, but we are moving, and that’s a big step.

and off we go
Mid-Atlantic #2 June 9, 2012
Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

MGAA Team ~ Old School

This weekend was host to the second competition in the MGAA (Mounted Games Across America) Mid-Atlantic Games Series held in Centre Hall, Pennsylvania at Grange Park. 

It was a fantastic weekend, which I’ll blog about later, but for now, I wanted to leave you with my new favorite photo taken by the amazing, Genevieve Arens. 

Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

This is MGAA Fossil Team, Old School, directly after the final session on Sunday. 

Kim, Linda, Carol Ann, Krista and Zoe. 

4 of my favorite people, and myself.  And Simon of course.

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