We are at a most beautiful ranch here in Texas with streams and ponds and grass lawns! It is a Christian retreat center and the peacefulness here is amazing. I have met wonderful people and horses and already last night I had more fun that in a month of Sundays! Cavallo Horse and Rider has brought a gift for each and every one of us. We are being treated like celebrities, with thought for our every need. Cold water, ice, snacks, information, pamplets, and the chance for one on one time with some of the worlds most famous horse trainers. I had a great chat with Carol Herder of Cavallo and she is on board to take a test drive on Junior. I asked Guy McLean....if you don't know who that is please google him....said he has never been on one and I offered a ride to him. I had 5 people ride yesterday and they were amazed at how smooth our favorite breed is! My goal is to get 50 people to ride Junior.....in between all the filming that is!
So today we had a Competitive Trail ride, 6 miles, 6 obstacles, 12 judges, yep two at each. However, no matter what the judges thought of our performance doesn't matter.....this is a popularity contest only with American being the ultimate judges. That said, at obstacle one, a log jump at the canter.....I decided to go "mainstream" and actually canter the jump. So I have probably done that only a handful of times with Junior. Well canter he did and jump he did......and Lynn Palm said..."What breed of horse is this?" So I told her. And then she said....You are my pick for the best jump of the day....what do you think Monty (Roberts) and he said something like yes absolutely! What a rush! So glad I did it that way rather than gaiting..
Next was a steep downhill to a water crossing and a long trek through the water. Junior was very cautious with little steps and went in nicely....as we dredged down the water, a professional was snapping still pics as well as the TV camera...gosh it was fun and can't wait to see the photos! The judges for this were Guy McLean and Aaron Ralston. Aaron suggested I ride with a longer rein....but other than that.............it was great.
Next was a rock bridge. It was natural rock shaped like stairs. Junior was on a mission and went on it hesitantly but dead straight up the center. Unfortunately, he slipped on the flat smooth surface on the downstairs part....but caught himself and kept his composure. Ray Ariss said that Junior handled his slip well and that he liked how centered we were.
The next three obstacles were optional and not televised due to the very warm temperatures here in TX and they did not want to overface anyone. Horses are here from nearly every state. I have met folks from Tenn, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Illinois, TX, Kansas, Iowa...well you get the idea. There were top ACTHA instructors including Carrie Scrima there to give us feedback if we went on and our group decided to continue. I got some great feedback and Junior, who actually has only been doing competitive trail for 6 months learned a lot today. Overall, was on a mission today. He was nervous, but he was going to do it the best he could. I felt he was being competitive! I was more relaxed than him today, and ususally it is the other way around...
Tomorrow we get individual filming for a few minutes only....the rest of the day is ours to attend clinics or trail ride.......or get people to ride my horse!
Lots of love from TX
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