PA Horse World Expo 2018

March 5, 2018

This past weekend was the Horse World Expo in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I spent two days up there.

Saturday I left home in the dark with both ponies, met Lindsey along the way, and arrived a little after 9am. We checked in and then We helped Fred and Caroline get the equipment to the arena.

Soon the rest of our MGAA crew showed up and we all got racked up and ready to showcase our sport in the large stadium arena. Ironically the arena with more seating is a smaller riding space. We were staged and ready with excellent ring crew, an outstanding announcer, and a top rated referee.

I didn’t get any photos of poe! How horrible of me!

There was a driving demo in before us, and when it was our turn to go in, we entered, going right, and the driving exited behind us from the left. Poe and I led our group, followed by Lindsey and Simon. Poe was brave going in, with the stands across from us being rather empty, but once we were in and turned the corner and he saw the full stands behind us, his big pony pants were gone. He sucked in on himself, began jumping out lines (which Carl got down in record time, really, he was like super-liner). I held on, pushed Poe along, chuckled to myself that it would be hilarious to fall off before we even got started, and rode on. He settled in after the rest of our crew caught up and passed him. Relaxing and becoming more brave as we got started and a race or two under way, his head got into work mode and he forgot to be afraid.

Mean while Simon was busy showing off, nose flares, bouncing along, like some type of fancy show cob, full of energy and fire, tail flagged. Lindsey looks great up there on him, mane flying in front of her.

We broke into out four mixed teams and the show got on. I rode with Brett, Jaycee, Caroline and Ben. We did a great job jumping to it and getting our job done. It was a great time riding with new people, and no pressure. There was no scoring or placing to worry about, we were just demoing our sport. It was a good opportunity to remind myself “don’t over check for your put” which I did, ” don’t over check for your put” which I did, “lean for your pick” which I didn’t, and so on.

The demo went on for about an hour, mean while the bleachers co to yes to fill out, one side was picked, the other not so much. At the end we greeted people and introduced or ponies, handing out pamphlets on MGAA. It was very successful. And a very fun time.

Saturday night we headed back to Lindsey’s, put up ponies, grabbed a good dinner and hit the sack early. Then back to the expo early Sunday to spend the day working the booth, talking about games all day! What could be better?

MGAA board member and Over25 rider, Fred, organizes the whole thing and worked nearly the whole event. Amazing dedication. And amazing turnout!

Daisy loved being in the booth and was a big attraction herself. I took her for one walk around the expo and then out for a quick bathroom break. Look at how well she walked in the parking lot!

Games Practice 02/25/2018

February 25, 2018

Another good practice. What can I say, they are always awesome. This practice turned out to be small, just Val, Zoe, and myself. But that made it possible for us to whip through a bunch of races.

Today we realized why I kick butt at litter in practice but flick it on occasion in competition. Val noticed it. I do not lean as well as I used to so I do a stop and pick. In practice I let Poe coast up to the litter, lean, stick the litter, lean a bit more, lift, and go. Slow and easy. In competition Poe and I both ride harder and we stop short right at the litter, putting me right on top of it. So it’s harder to get the litter out in front of me. And I get one lean, not two. Which is just unnecessary anyway.

Solution, push up to the litter in practice, and just one lean. Be serious.

In competition, pull up a half stride earlier so the litter is out in front of me and not directly below me.

It’s these little things.

Val’s pony, Babyface is really getting some wicked turns. Adding that to his natural speed and he is getting to be crazy amazing. His hi low turns today were so on. Really impressive. And Val was vaulting that tall drink of bay steed like she was still some 18 year old kid. Crazy. Crazy.

Zoe’s new pony, Dice is coming along so fast. He was at his first practice two weeks ago, and I believe it was only her second ride on him. She has clearly gotten in quite a few more rides because he is toning up already. She also managed a few practices since then and the pony is a natural. Zoe took him through balloon for the first time and the pony didn’t flick an ear or anything. Zoe found a good one I think.

Today was also Daisy’s first trip back out since her surgery. She gets to run around while we set up and again during break down and then chills in the truck while we ride. She was so pleased to get to go out again. It’s been breaking my heart to leave her home while she’s been recovering and weird driving without her.

I didn’t get many photos and only one video clip today.

One group “crazy eye” shot!

2016 Mid-Atlantic #2

May 31, 2016

Ahhh I am already behind in my blogging of the 2016 MGAA season and its just getting rolling!

Mid-Atlantic #2, May 7/8 was held at Grange equestrian Park in Centre Hall, PA. This is a new addition to the MA series.  Hosted by one of the MA organizing duo teams, it was added to the schedule this year as a fund raiser for the MGAA Equipment Fund!  So the profit goes towards equipment.  It was originally going to be at the fairgrounds in Sussex, NJ but there was a scheduling conflict causing the move to the Grange Park.

It was an awesome competition, as expected. It rained at night, but was nice during the day.  Unfortunate the rain flooded the ring.  The footing was still decent, but there was standing water on top.  Not so nice for the ring crew, getting off the pony, or putting equipment on the ground.  By Sunday, even the cones were starting to float.  The race list was modified to eliminate races that involved things needing to be picked up from the ground (ie. Socks, tools, hula hoops, etc).

The masters division was a good show. This year we have quite a few new teams, with riders mixing it up.  Which certainly makes it more exciting.  Anotha One has come out as a power house, with some of our stronger male players and equally strong ladies.  Another killer team, Renegades has been formed this year consisting of some of our old-hat stand out riders matched up with some up and coming players.  Adrenaline Rush, has shuffled their team roster a bit and is really hitting the field hard.  There is also Buckwild, who moved up to Masters this year.  They have been holding their own and proving that they do belong in Masters.  Previous teams like Punk Rock Ponies, Northern Lights, Inception and Crash need no introduction and are still contenders.  Not much has changed there.

I did not get to watch too much of intermediate during this competition. Sometimes you just need a break to tack up your pony, grab something to eat, or sit down for a few minutes.

Fossils is always a good show, and since it’s the division I compete in, it’s the one that gets the most action on this blog. We ran 8 lanes, and had 7 fossil teams for this competition, so we were able to run 3 cumulative heats for the final placing.  Sometimes this is really fun, being able to count each session and ride in a larger heat.  It is pretty cool to have seven teams going at the same time.  It adds a whole other complex when you look at scoring.  In a well matched competition, no team can ‘take an easy session’ knowing they just need to make the A final.  Its *Game ON* for the whole competition.

This competition was no exception to the point to point and head to head racing this division is providing. Time Flies brought their A game, as always, and were ON as always. My team, Gone Rogue, stayed close in points with Time Flies throughout the whole competition and finished just two points behind in the end.  When total points are well into the 100s, 2 points is such a small margin.  These two teams are by no means the only two riding at the top.  Border Patrol, Bomb Squad and Full Tilt were also major contenders with Quicksliver and Groppits also showing some skills.

My personal performance was ok on Saturday. I was not bad but not my best either.  I felt much more ON on Sunday and felt like my level of play was more at my usual standard.  My team was awesome as always.  Val had to sit this one out so Heather took her place and was amazing.  This girl and her pony are skilled and fast.  Any team will find them an asset.  And, most importantly, Heather was so much fun to ride with.  Her laidback personality really fit with our team, and I would be privileged to ride with her again!

I want to give a shout out to Brinley, who helped me warm up and untack Poe throughout the weekend. She is amazing and took great care of him.  She was a life saver!

My memory is a little fuzzy so Ill leave the competition there. I cannot remember how Masters or Intermediate placed, or how Fossils placed behind my own team.  But it was a great weekend.  And I think the MGAA Equipment Fund got a tidy chunk towards equipment!

ma2 2016 poe 02 dina

Photo cred: D Dungee

ma2 2016

Photo cred: J Northington

2016 Mid-Atlantic #1, Let the Season Begin!

April 19, 2016

The MGAA games season kicked off this past weekend with the Mid-Atlantic Series #1 competition in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, April 16/17.  There were 10 teams in the adult division that my team, Gone Rogue, competes in.  We were in the first heat of session 1 on Saturday and hit the field ready for speed.

All in all it was an excellent session for Gone Rogue, with very few fumbles (I actually can’t remember any) and a lot of nice change overs.  We finished the session at the top and feeling pretty good about ourselves.

We hit session two in top form, and scooped up the points.  We won all but two races, which we took second in.  Not bad if I do say.  I will credit part of this awesomeness with a practice the weekend before that four of the five of us made.  We managed to work out some orders for races like hula and pony pairs that really require team work.  This was our only team practice to date, with us living several hours apart.  It was totally worth it.

Saturday night we had a grand time hooting it up around a camp fire, sharing pot luck and general shenanigans.

Sunday we went into the A final as the first place team, but of course our scores are wiped clean and we, like all teams, started from scratch.  It was a really well matched heat of five top teams.  We played well, but not like we did on Saturday.  There were a few fumbles, and as usual, in the A final, a fumble takes you out.  I don’t remember making any fumbles myself, but I did realize I was riding more and more conservatively as the session went on, checking up more for hand offs and not gunning it out as hard as I should have been.  This is a typical Krista move and something I really need to work on.  Its just as bad as making a mistake when you add it all up.  The fumbles that were made on our team were also very uncharacteristic, and not anything to feel bad about.  It was a tough heat.  We generally took first or second in most races but had about three dead last races.  This is out of 15 races and with our main competitor, Time Flies, mainly napping a more consistent first and second place finish in each race, they ended up grabbing the win with about a seven point lead over us.  They played like a winning team and earned every one of those seven points over us.  I am mad happy with my team and super proud of us.  We played well, just not well enough.

I was, as always, super pleased with Poe.  He was his usual bad-ass-rock-star self.  He is so responsive at competition, even more so than at home.  In session 2 during four flag, I did our inside turn for the end flag pick, and when I said “TURN” he sat and turned so fast I nearly flipped off him, missing my pull.  It was a simple quick squiggle back around to pick the flag, and the race proceeded on but I did manage to jamb my leg which ached worse and worse from that point forth, making leaning to the right, and remounting a painful task.  Stupid old falling apart body. But hey, not Poe’s fault.  He is just too awesome and blows my mind sometimes.

The Fossil/Adult division as a whole was looking great.  This division just keeps upping the game.  Time Flies was amazing as always.  Boarder Patrol was a four man with two new ponies, which showed, but they still brought some real play to the field.  I have no doubt they will be back on top before long.  Chaos had a minor roster change, and seemed to be having a good time with a fourth place finish.  A new team, Bootleggers, held their own, finishing out 5th in the A final, with a meshed up team of new and old.  I think they surprised everyone this past weekend.

The B final included the Bomb Squad, made up of three members from the former team Antiques Roadshow.  I was expecting a little more game out of this team at MA1, but they did have two new riders and two green ponies, and actually did quite well.  Full Tilt was made up of the same riders as last year, but with one their top ponies being replaced by a new pony.  I am sure this swap was a big change for them.  Groppits, Black and Blue Crew and Quicksilver were in their usual form, having a good time and plucking points across the board.

MA1 was held at the PG Equestrian Center, which is nice in some respects, and lacking in others.  But the main pro/con is that there are two rings being run at the same time.  Pro; we get through the games efficiently, con; its hard to watch everyone ride.  I did catch some highlights, and was amazed with Buckwild.  This team just moved up to Masters at this competition from Intermediate last year and they really held their own, finishing in the B final, and looking good at it.  They really showed they belong in Masters.

There are also quite a few new formed and refreshed former teams in Masters, and lots of skills across the board.  I saw some riders out there looking great on new ponies and others bringing back their usual skill from last year.  The A final was a good run, and a mistake really killed a team in that race.

I also caught some Intermediate play, which was well divided between the more experienced teams and the newer teams.  The Intermediate A was a well played final, with some competitive teams playing hard.  I did spend some time watching the kids on this year’s MGAA International team play and really enjoyed seeing them in action.  This is going to be a fun team to work with.  Two of them, Eliza (on a new pony) and Steph are on Buckwild, which I already mentioned as being awesome.  The other three were in intermediate on different teams.  Cora has certainly brought her pony Tank along.  They looked like a new pair our there compared to last year.  Mackenzie was also on a new pony, Cotton, and she was eating up the field.  I was really impressed with both of them.  The only one I didn’t catch live was Anna, but I did take the time to watch some video of her this weekend and was also well pleased.  It looks like she has put in some practice time since last year.

I am looking forward to MA2 at Grange in three weeks.  This is a new competition added into the line up this year and is a fund raiser for the MGAA Equipment Project.  The Grange boasts the best ring and camping facilities of all MGAA venues, and is sure to see some teams having working out a few kinks from MA1.

The season is here!

Photo: M Cardamone


Joust Race

Monday ~ October 15, 2012

Joust race is one of the favorites of most games riders.  It is generally played at full speed.  The joust rod is heavy and awkward and handing it over at full speed can be challenging.  The joust board is a specialized piece of equipment that is relatively expensive in comparison to all other pieces of games equipment and not everyone has one to practice with at home.  The targets make a loud clanking noise when they are hit down and some ponies find it a bit scary.

In this photo, Simon and I are in the second rider position. He is pushing hoof up the field and I have just successfully speared my target down.
I love Simon’s face in this photo. It matches how I think he feels playing this race, like a bad ass. I love my pony.
Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography
Mid-Atlantic #5 October 14th, 2012

In the joust race two riders on each team start at either end of the field.  Rider one starts with a joust rod in hand, and gallops up the field, spearing down one target, and then continues to the end of the field.  Rider one then hands the target over to rider two, who returns up the field, also knocking one target down.  Rider three and four continue the pattern.

Here is the official MGAA instructions for the Joust Race from the 2012 Rulebook followed by the diagram of set up.

Click on the link below to see a youtube video of my team playing Joust Race last June at the Mid-Atlantic #2 competition in Doswell, Virginia.  This was Simon’s second competition.

MA #2 2011, Joust – Old School

And here are a few more Joust Race photos.

Masters Rider at Mid-Atlantic #4 2012
Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Teammate Carol Ann at Mid-Atlantic #5 2012
Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

Intermediate Rider at Mid-Atlantic #5
Photo: Genevieve of EquiStar Photography

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