So far, November is abnormally warm. With winter coats well started, Jigs sweats even at a light trot. He’s out mostly 24/7 and is only blanketed on extremely cold days, so I do not clip him.

Yesterday was near 70!  Sweaty day for versatility and trail race.

The race goal was to photograph 10 check points in the fastest time.  There were two bonus hands hidden on the 2-mile route that took 5 minutes off your time.

My friend and I entered as a team. We photo’d all check points but moved too fast to find the hands. Although the last check point had a spooky Chucky doll with hands, just not “THE” hands.

The route crossed around and through fields. It has been years since I have been as comfortable at the canter in an open field. It felt wonderful.

Near the end of the race, my phone tangled in my pocket zipper, and we fell behind. Jigs got ‘jiggy” when he lost sight of his friend and I decided to get off and run up the hill to catch up rather than risk an unplanned dismount. Once his buddy was in sight I got back on, and we cantered off.

Unfortunately, my three minutes of nonsense cost us first place. We finished sweaty second.

The versatility was challenging. I stepped out of my ‘comfort zone” and entered the advanced division, knowing I probably would not place. My goal was to canter and we did, all the way through a U shaped pole pattern. I could hear my instructor, in my head, “look where you are going.” It worked. We even stopped as required at the last pole for the back up. Unfortunately I steered Jigs crooked and we timed-out at the second pole set. It didn’t matter, I accomplished my goal!

Another obstacle was an hourglass pattern with 5 small jumps. I hate jumping but we went for it.  Jigs touched the first rail. It stayed up, but we lost a point for the nick. He cleared the rest.

I am proud of our third place!

My friend was champion!

The versatility was the same day as the Mountain Lane Trail Challenge year end awards. I was pleasantly surprised when I got home and learned we were Reserve Champion in Open Level 1, even though the last two challenges, we only competed in level 2!

There is one more judged pleasure ride next weekend that will be for fun only. When I look back to January and where Jigs and I are today, I feel blessed.

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2 Comments on “Progress”

  1. Versatility and trail race- what a neat competition idea! Sounds like tons of fun. Congrats on your goal accomplishments and winnings!

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