By Patty Wilber
Walkin N Circles, the horse rescue in Edgewood, NM, held their first fun show of the year last Saturday (2/15/20) and despite the big snow earlier in the week, a fair number of people were able to get their horses demudded and their trailers out to come show.
I took some photos before I started judging trail and then I accidentally deleted all of them before I had uploaded them to google photos…
Fortunately Patty Shuert was there, hung out with me the whole time, helped keep my score sheets in order, and took a bunch of pictures!
I was worried that my trail pattern would be too easy, but it turned out to be just fine.
The hardest parts in order of difficulty, based on my recollection, not actual data, were the back through and the bridge.
The back through had two components that made it difficult. One was that the animal had to be turned first and then lined up to back. Getting aligned with the chute was tricky. If the logs are offset so that one sticks out farther than the other, it is easier to line up because there is an outside log to line up against. These logs were not offset, so one had to use the landmarks in the arena to know when one was lined up properly. It is also possible to look down and back at the logs, but that shift of weight can result in the horse moving out from under the rider in response to the weight shift.
The second tricky part was backing(!),
The bridge was a bit narrow, so that was a good challenge, and even if a horse is fine over the bridge at home, whenever the obstacle changes location or is a different size or shape or color, equines often notice and become suspicious! With enough practice, they usually begin to generalize and then are less thrown by variation.
Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and I had fun judging all sorts of equine, from small to big!!
In other news, my arena was way too wet to use after Tuesday’s snow last week, so I hauled the three girls down to Vista Sandia, a public arena in Albuquerque, on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, I arrived just as a friend had finished and on Saturday, I had the whole arena to myself. It is a really nice facility and I will try to make more use of it this year!