Look Ahead, Breathe, Release…..

It was Versatility week at Bear Foot.

Practice at started Thursday night with the DREADED teeter totter. Jigs hated it last year- hates it this year too.

But after two nights of working at it, he not only crosses it, he’ll stop and patiently wait for me to complete the red solo cup exchange of the poles before stepping off.  (Yes, all the while humming the Red Solo Cup song….)

Saturday we headed over to Spring Willow for the real deal.

My grandson, Caleb, did awesome on the kids’ lead line course, taking first and second. During round two Jigs, nailed the soccer ball into the goal with his nose!

Caleb and Jigs Spring Willow Versatility Challenge June 2012

The grown up course was not so easy. No teeter totter (bummer, had that down) but there was an unusual obstacle that simulated crossing mud. It was put together quite cleverly- brown tarp over a squishy mattress with real water in the middle.

Even on the trail Jigs prefers to GO AROUND the mud.

Round one, did NOT go well. Jig freaked at the log pull.  Huh? That is not usually an issue for us. Worse, Jigs would not even STEP on the mattress. We timed out.

Round two I was so nerved up I forgot to breathe and release when he did step on the mattress. We opted to skip the obstacle so we wouldn’t time out.

One of the other competitors kindly gave me some pointers. “When he steps on it, keep looking ahead, release and breathe.” She was so right.

Round three started off smooth. The sorrel and I were in a rhythm until the mud hole. He stopped to sniff it. I exhaled, let up on the reins, concentrated on looking forward,  and he stepped his front feet onto the mattress. I breathed, released, and asked him to move forward again. He did. One more time and we were over!

It took all of 30 seconds.

We picked up the rhythm again and flew through the course.

Good enough for third place. WOW! And I expected nothing!

Not only did we get a yellow ribbon, I learned that I was a big part of the first few failures. Best to remain calm, look where I’m going and breathe.

Seems like that applies to non horsey areas of my life too!

Explore posts in the same categories: Family, horses, Living in the moment, Responsible horse ownership, trail riding

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