I'm a trail rider, yes, but I also ride competitively. I have most of my equine life. I enjoy the challenge of it. I've done everything from breed show pleasure, barrel racing, gaming, reining, cutting and cowhorse. I've learned NOT to discriminate against any discipline or any breed, because ultimately I will eat my words.
I almost fell off my horse the other night. It wouldn't have been the first time this year, but it would have been the first time that she was standing still. I managed to pull myself back into the saddle, but not without some effort.
Life gets crazy, you work, you have kids, you have a home to care for, errands to run, food to cook, chores to do... the list is never ending. Pretty soon you realize that you just don't have the time to ride. The fun is gone, it's just work.
In what has now become my Never Ending Search for the next ACTHA venue, Pine Island has been mentioned several times. Pine Island is on North Merritt Island here in FL. I've been several times, but not in recent years. In recent years I've turned into a broodmare and when I do haul off the property it seems to be...
Do you recall when you were a kid and you did things just because you wanted to? It didn’t matter if it was horse related or not, there just wasn’t any real thought to the reason behind doing something.
If you hadn't caught on by now, I'm primarily and Appaloosa person. I have an appreciation of all breeds and all disciplines. I learned long ago that there is no such thing as a bad breed, just good and bad representatives of breeds. I've had experience of one sort or another with a good number of horses and breeds, be that training, owning, boarding or more. None the less, I always come back to an App.
Thanks to the holidays, in this case Thanksgiving, I’ve actually had the opportunity to ride frequently. My husband took off the whole week of Thanksgiving and was willing to help with the kids so I could ride the fantastic Ruby!
I have been doing competitive horse trail riding and obstacle challenges for a little over 5 years now. I quickly realized that a large portion of my success in doing so was due to my horse's training, not her "street smarts." After all, Ruby isn't the bravest soul on the trail. No really. Her motto is "you go first, if you survive I'll follow."
Jenn and I make it a point to ride a minimum of twice a week with each other, and then if somehow the stars align and we can ride otherwise, we do. Of that twice a week, we try REAAALLLLYYY hard to get someone to watch the kids so we can leave the playpen area. I would say this happens 1 out of 3 rides or so.
The American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) offers two types of competition. The Competitive Trail Challenge is a trail ride that includes judged obstacles. The ACTHA Obstacle Challenge is just the obstacles, minus the trail. All obstacles must be approved and used from the ACTHA obstacle list on their website. The idea behind the obstacles is that they are to simulate something you might actually encounter out on the trail. ACTHA allows their hosts to use a little creativity...