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!

Games Practice 02/11/18

February, 11, 2018

Two days ago we had a practice and it was freezing. Today we had a practice and it was nice and warm! Both were fun, but I got to say the warmer temperatures were nicer to the joints.

Today’s practice included three of us from Team Gone Rogue; myself, Val, And Jon, and our friend Zoe on her brand new pony Dice. This was Zoe’s second ride on Dice, and his first time playing games. I think Zoe picked a good one. He hardly batted an eye at anything and he seemed pleased to trot on through everything. I believe I caught his very first race, Twitter, and his second, mug shuffle in the compilation video.

We rocked through quite a few races, trying to hit ones today we didn’t get to on Friday. And since it was warm, we ran through quoits a few times. For me I worked on my leaning in quoits, more for my leaning in general than to actually get the ring out of the bucket in competition. I am very happy with myself for touching the top of the bucket, go me! Val of course was whipping around, grabbing a hoop and in most runs (except the one in the video) slapping that ring over the cone. And Jon, his stirrup is so fast. He certainly challenges a vaulter with this skill.

About half way through practice one of the long horns came running into the indoor and started to toss a trash can around. Jon ran over and closed the gates to our section just before another one ran in. Turns out the cows had gotten loose. We called up to the house and they had them rounded us and back in the field quickly but there was a lot of mooing going on for a while. It made for a rather exciting mid practice break.

Video compilation from practice!

Matt’s Bday Games Practice 2018

February 9, 2018

This morning four of the Team Rogue riders got together in Berryville, VA for practice in honor of Matt’s bday! This was Averi’s very first practice with us and I think she enjoyed it even though we started off early. Early means cold! We all pulled a “Michael Jackson” and rode with one glove (you need the right hand free for equipment handling).

It was a really good practice. We busted through a good array of races including hi low, ball and cone (yep we did it), hoopla, 3 mug, litter, sword, 4 flag, flag fliers, mug shuffle, association, bottle, pony pairs and I am sure a few others. Pony pairs was particularly nice to be able to run through since we had four of us there.

Matt’s pony, Hero was fresh from having some dental work yesterday and seemed to settle down on his head tossing as the practice went along. I worked on pushing Poe up to equipment and not over checking, and we worked on a turn for Babyface. I think Cider was just happy to be out and enjoying himself.

What do the rest of you people in your 30s (ish) do for your birthdays?

Below are some photos of us practicing our “smoldering selfies” which Val recently read about and is instructing is in to jokingly help us all stay young. We are having a lot of fun with it. Clearly we did not follow the instructions with our group selfie. The angle is all wrong.

2017 Mid-Atlantic #1

May 11, 2017 

The mounted games season really kicks off with MA1, which has historically been at the PG Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  This year it was moved to Mullica Hill, New Jersey in response to an equine herpies outbreak.  

Gone Rogue, my Over 25 team, hit the field with our full usual team of Matt, Val, Averi, Kristin and myself.   Val was on her new ride, Babyface, and the rest of us were on our usual rides.   Game on.  

We held strong through our two qualifying sessions, stepping cleanly into the A final for Sunday.  All in all Saturday was relatively clean and smooth.  We had our usual jell, mostly clean, with just a few fumbles divided up pretty evenly between us.  

We went into the A final and we played hard. We battled it out through the whole session with two teams in particular, Time Flies and Boarder Patrol.   The three of us were race for race, taking turns holding the lead and then swapping back and forth in the top three positions.  It was an awesome final.  We ended in a very respectful third place ahead of Chaos, and left the ring feeling solid.  

The mistake that sticks out to me the most was my bottle during the final.  I am usually a clean center setter, but I pulled the bottle over, and when correcting, knocked it off the barrel.  Booo.  But, focusing on the positive aspects, I did remount relatively quick and without much difficulty.   

I also did inside turns for my end pick in 4 flag, and I am really pleased with how they worked.  The first one, during a Saturday session, was not as smooth, but still felt solid.   We played this race again during the final and this time we asked for the yellow flag to be propped in the #1 pick up position and I started, selecting it on a smoother inside turn. I am very happy with this change in my play.  I credit the Bluegrass Open team I rode with earlier in April for this confidence.  They encouraged me to try it and then praised it’s success.   So thanks Bomb Squad.  

Babyface was awesome.  I am not sure if Val was able to recognize how amazing he was, always expecting the best from herself, but that pony shined.  He is wicked fast and has such a good (although young) head.  He got “stuck” a few times on his end turns, and he got upset in the barns when his buddies left him.  But otherwise that pony has games champ written all over him.  

Another pony I want to comment on, Peyote.  That stinker was so good.  He has had most of his winter off, and he is not the straightest running or smoothest pony even when in work, so I was really floored at how well he did.  I am still apprehensive to say more and jinx us, but he looked like a real games pony out there.  

Matt and Jitter and Kristin and Tex, bah, those four are always amazing, so what can I say? They were just as amazing as always.  

The Open A final was also super hot.  Just like in o25, three teams were really fighting it out hard, race by race.  

I am excited to see how this season goes after MA1 having a head to head final in both o25 and Open (I am sorry I missed the majority of the intermediate and the novice finals).  


This one cracks me up.  Val was like “I need all the rope” and I was like “got ya dude” and just neck reined Poe along.  But you might note, she literally kept 1/2 the rope.  Lol.  We were clean in the qualifying heat but we busted up in the final. 

Averi brought her bottle goat Marshall.  I am not a huge fan of goats but this guy is so cute.  If she walked out of sight he called for her.  So sweet.  

I do not like how I look in this photo (sort of like a cartoon shaped character) but I love Val and I smiling together.  Love that girl. 

My hover pony. Haha 

%d bloggers like this: