Just a quick note today to let you know yes, I am still among the living.
Been riding here and there can't seem to get into a schedule around here, there is always something happening. I did take Frank on a few trail rides with friends and we did well, he has gotten a bit nervous on the downhill transitions particularly if he is following a horse. I am wracking it up to being nervous that the horse will leave him because when he leads he is quiet as a mouse on the downhills. Hmmmmm....more stuff to work on.
I also did a competitive trail ride with Frank on April 17th. It was fun! There were 54 riders total and it was a lovely day. The object of the competitive trail ride is to ride 6-10 miles of marked trails with 6 obstacles worked in along the way. You receive a rider score and a horse score. The score is 1-10 with 6-8 being average. Frank did OK, the bridge obstacle threw him. It was kinda tricky in his defense, you had to go up a hill then down onto the bridge which had rails and this totally freaked him out. The next obstacle was working a gate which he scored a 10 on. The third obstacle was an embankment and stream crossing, he bobbled a bit on the down hill and scored an 8. The fourth was a log crossing and he scored a 10. The fifth obstacle turned out to be our downfall. It was a simply creek crossing or so it seemed. Frank was negotiating the somewhat steep downhill approach when the entire bank gave way. This sent Frank straight to the ground, it was like his legs folded up under him. He saved me by putting his face down on the ground so we did not flip. He was very cool under pressure he stayed down and did not panic. I was worried he was injured and proceeded to step off to the right (only solid ground I could see) but Frank slowly placed his front legs out in front of him and calmly stood up and proceeded to cross the creek. We scored a 1 on that, but I was happy he was uninjured and handled it so well. The last obstacle was a step up of about two feet and then walk through a forked tree. He scored a 10 on that as well. We finished the ride but out of the placings with the bridge bobble and the creek disaster but I would definitely do it again. I found out later that three horses fell at that crossing and I did make mention of this to the ride coordinator later.
I had hoped to put him on cows last weekend at a friend's house but mother nature had other plans....rain and tornadoes. We were spared the tornadoes but got tons of rain and that is what they are calling for this weekend as well.