As usual, it takes a little time to recuperate after hosting any event. Our ACTHA ride at the beginning of December went off without a hitch. The weather was a perfect 70 and sunny (discounting the 5 minute shower in the beginning) and the riders were a happy group of people.
We had both a Competitive Trail Challenge and an ACTHA Obstacle Challenge. The trail ride was a long 8 mile ride. To some this seems short, but it's on the long side for an ACTHA ride. To make it worthwhile for my riders, I also had 8 obstacles on the trail. I have some fantastic judges and volunteers, so it went well.
We had riders there that ranged from Platinum ACTHA Medalists to first time competitive trail riders. Everyone did fantastic and everyone had a great time. The trails were just perfectly beautiful and varied from one mile to the next. Some wide open two-tracks and some single file winding in the pine trees. Dry dirt roads, grassy paths and long water filled puddles. You weren't going to be bored on your horse.
I worked hard to be sure the obstacles were challenging for my experienced riders and safe and simple for the newbies. For example, on the back up obstacle the open riders had to back a U turn before backing between 2 posts and backing another U turn, whereas the Rookies just had to back between the 2 posts.
Diane is the mother of one of my lesson girls and she volunteered (really, I'm sure I saw her hand shoot up in the sky when I asked) to push the baby stroller in the close encounters obstacle. This wouldn't seem to be a big deal except that, well….. Diane is afraid of horses. So when the horses were snorting and dancing past her and the stroller she had to work very hard to maintain her composure. And she did fantastic! What a gal! (you may take note here…. run for the hills if I ask if you are busy.)
My husband didn't notice his dove decoys were missing from the garage until he saw the pictures, but what great props they were for the wildlife encounters obstacle in the AOC!
I'd love to thank all of my many volunteers, friends, riders and especially sponsors for stepping up, yet again, so that people can enjoy the greatness that is ACTHA! Thank you Cavalor Feed, Brevard Farm & Ranch, Horse Grooming Solutions, Cavallo, Sneak-e-Snacks, Carr & Day & Martin, Manely Long Hair and more.
If you haven't tried an ACTHA ride yet, you really should. You can get in on one without joining. Just try one out, the riders make the ride.