Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Ranch Cutting Under Our Belt!

Wow yesterday was a looooooong day! But a fun one!

But first I have to tell you about Friday night and how it effected my Saturday!Friday night Chuck attended a conference in Mobile at Dauphin Way Baptist Church. So I took the boys to a friends house (whose husband was working late) along with another friend whose husband went with Chuck. All 6 kids had fun playing while us moms hung out and talked about girl stuff! The boys and I got home around 10:30 and Chuck arrived home around midnight.Of course I waited up for him,so we didn't get to sleep until 1 am or so.The alarm went off at 5:30am. Some of you are probably thinking something along of the lines that I need to buck up and perform fine on 4.5 hours of sleep.But let me just tell you-this girl needs all the beauty sleep she can get! I need 8 to function normally!(Normally? What's that?)

Being that this was the first time I have shown in a long time, I wanted Chuck to go and watch (and take pics).But he's really not the horse show type."Show hubby/dad"is NOT a title he longs to have.I knew he'd be more comfortable if he had a place to get out of the a trailer with a living quarters(LQ-for all my non horsey readers)in it.I happened to have a very sweet friend who offered hers to me for the day! (Thanks Lisa G.!)

8:00 a.m.-Luckily Chuck (and the boys) went with me to get this trailer. It's a beautiful 44ft. 3 horse Sundowner,complete with bunk beds,dinette and a queen-size bed. It had all the amenities like fridge,microwave,stove,bathroom,shower,mud room,etc.Even had flat screen TV with DVD player. We packed a cooler,picnic stuff,and DVD's and Playstation for the boys.(Mind you the show was only maybe 4 hours long...)

8:45a.m.-Trailer and truck are hooked up.Lights work but brakes are locking up.Great.
Call numerous neighbors around to find out who has an adapter that works. Decide to just go to parts store in town to get an adapter.

9:15a.m.-First parts store doesn't have the right adapter.Wonderful.

9:30a.m-Second parts store doesn't have the right adapter either.Call the neighbor who we think has the right adapter that we can borrow.Wait in parking lot.....tick,tock,tick,tock. My grand plan was to have everything loaded by 10:30 so I could start to load the horses up a few minutes early since this trailer had a ramp they had never seen.Not looking good,but we kept the faith!

10:10a.m.-The neighbor with right adapter shows up! Yay! We now have lights and brakes!

10:30a.m.-Arrive home.Load up stuff for 2 horses.(saddles,pads,bridles,brushes,buckets,hay bags,leg wraps,etc)RUN in and take the fastest shower known to this cowgirl! Run back out with show clothes,make-up and camera! Load up horses! Neither of them thought twice about the ramp! I love horses that load!

11:15a.m.-Down the road!:) This would have been a great time to take a nap but it didn't happen.

11:45a.m.- Arrive at show barely missing a power pole with the trailer as we drive in! Whew! Unloaded,went and signed up,paid. Chuck settled into the LQ and made sandwiches! Yum!

12:40p.m.-Tacked up and headed out to arena.Get in the arena that we have had lessons in for the past 3 weeks and there's a new fence with a scary sign and 2 herds of cattle in a holding pen that wasn't there the last time we were there. Hayden wanted nothing to do with that general area! Great.How was I supposed to ride into the herd when he wouldn't go into that scary,horse-eating area? But we loped around and seemed to settle in finally.He had me worried there for a minute!

1:00p.m.-The show started with the Open Class (these are professionals and folks who have won the big $$)There were 12-13 entries.I sat on Hayden and watched and chatted with my new cowgirl friends and of course the friends that rode with me there,Miss Dee and Miss Lisa A.! That was the best part!

3:00-ish:My class started around 3 and there were 12-15 of us I think.I warmed him back up after sitting on him and suddenly he's not stopping great or backing the way he should! OH no! My name is called and we enter the pen.(We start with a score of 70 and one can go up or down) Our goals at this point:"Keep the horse between you and the ground!",BREATHE,Don't embarrass anyone (namely myself!)Thankfully there were 4 sweet guys called "turn back riders" in the arena with me and one of them,"Les" coached me right along.(Thank you sir!) My first cow out ran us and got back to the herd.(Minus 5 points). The second cow quit on me and Les told me to go get another one. I heard the announcer say we had only 30 seconds left. This cow worked well for us!

I ended up with a score of 61.We did let a cow back to the herd and I was having to rein Hayden the entire time since this was our first time and we've had only 3 lessons on the flag.Overall I was happy with our go! (Is it time for a nap yet?)

4:00p.m.At this point I get the motion from Chuck that it's time to GO! We have a birthday party in Bay Minette at 6pm! After untacking,saying good byes,exchanging phone numbers with a few folks,hugging a few necks and loading up the horses it was time to go!

4:45p.m:Arrive home! Unload horses,tack,hay,clothes,picnic stuff,etc.! Rinse and feed horses! Run into house and change into pool clothes for birthday party!

5:15p.m:Stop by McDonald's for dinner to go! Take the trailer back to Lisa G.! (Thanks Lisa!)

6:30p.m: Arrive at party.Nearly fall asleep in lounge chair.

8:30pm: Leave party

9:00p.m. Arrive home.Let dogs out,get boys ready for bed,check email,take shower.

10:00 p.m. In bed and too exhausted to sleep. But finally do dreaming of working cows and continuing the journey.

So I am reflecting today.I have made a list of changes for next time. I think that's the smart thing to do;to look back and see what one can do to make the next time better,smoother,faster!

1.)I may leave the men folk at home.Or maybe they can just drive down for my class!

2.)I will take my own trailer! All my stuff is in it,it's familiar.Of course there's no bathroom or AC but I was on my horse the whole time!

3.)Next time I plan on getting there and letting the horse stand at the trailer! I will stand and watch or get a chair! I think sitting on him got him stale and stiff.Part of this competing thing is figuring out how and when your horse works best.I think Hayden would do better with warming up closer to the class.

4.)Don't schedule something else after the show!



  1. Lovin' it girl!!! Don't know a darn thing about horses....but I enjoy your writing!!! Keep it up!!!!

  2. Thanks Christina! Regardless of your lack of horse knowledge,your support means a lot to me! "Love you,GIRL!" :)