By Patty Wilber

A Para Dox (Buckshot) and I went to Santa Fe last weekend for our very first National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) event.

Old shot of Buckshot

It was fun…I think.

The horse is the best.

I learned a lot.

Ok, so I train horses and I get paid, but I want to continue to improve, especially in reining and cow horse.

For this horse, Terry Berg of Santa Fe Reiner’s and Troy Rogers of 4R Performance Horses have really helped me.

Buckshot can now perform all of the moves, including sliding stops and spins, needed to rein at a reasonably high level.

But someone still needs to show him.

That would be me.

The challenge is putting all the pieces together into one cohesive whole.  This past weekend I had six different reining runs under two  judges, which gave me the chance to try various permutations of speed, rein position, body position etc.

I never quite got everything I wanted all in one run, but all the parts are there, just waiting!

And we did win a bit of money, so Buckshot is now officially an NRHA money earner!

Oh and he did ride one handed instead of two handed.  That was a big change and it went really well (just as Terry Berg predicted when she taught me some snaffle bit rein handling techniques). Two handed gives a lot more control, in that you can pull the horse around and babysit better (I am a very good babysitter).  One handed–the horse better respond to the rein and the leg cues and be responsible for doing his job with less help from the rider.

Here are some other tidbits.

Don’t slam a beer and eat a bag of chips after a long day in the sun.  Neither my head nor my stomach approved.

I slept out under the...clouds…(The Persied Meteor Showers peak around  Aug 11 and 12, so I was hoping to see the show.  Nope.).

After I was successfully snoozing, it started to drizzle, so I gathered up my belongings and stuffed them in the truck.

It quit.

I spread my tarp, pulled my sleeping bag and pads back out, and was asleep in a jif (three sleeping pads = very comfortable by the way).

Drip drop.

I rearranged the truck to sleep in the front seat.

I just finished and…

it quit…but I slept in the truck anyway for awhile, until I got too hot.

Then, I pulled all my stuff out again and fell asleep only to be re-awakened by MORE RAIN.

(Truthfully, these eight inch rains–one drop every eight inches– were less annoying than being awakened by mosquitoes doing ear-ial  fly-by’s and then coming in for a snack, which is what happened two weeks ago when I camped out at a Stock Horse event. I ended up sleeping with a bandana on my face.)

For this third sprinkling, I decided that I could hold out for a few minutes and if I got really wet, I would move.  Another eight incher.  It lasted a little longer, but I toughed it out and went back to sleep.

I did end up with some mud on my pillow (but oddly not my face…no egg either), and despite everything, was functional the next day.

(Buckshot was in a nice stall–perhaps I should have just slept in the barn.)

A productive weekend.  Can’t wait to get after the stuff I need to improve and give it another go soon!







About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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