Saturday – Testing the trails and Distance Riding Clinic

Saturday we slept in, in other words – we didn’t get out of bed until 8… very late for me!  It was quite the decadent feeling.  Then we cooked up some french toast and bacon and enjoyed breakfast as the rigs started to appear.

Then, because we could, Linda and I hit the trails for some fun and to help check to make sure there were no confusing parts.  We chose to do the red trail which was a 6 mile loop, and what the 12 mile riders would be doing.  We would do the blue loop on Sunday, so this gave us a chance to try both, and generally the shorter distances have less experienced riders, so we figured it was the better one to double check (or triple, quadruple etc…)  There were a few places we got confused, and I thought how handy it would have been to have actually BROUGHT ribbons to mark trail, or at least have some sort of voice recorder so we could memorize the places we thought could use a touch up.

Thankfully there weren’t too many, and it was cool and short so I didn’t get rider brain and forget the whole thing.  When we came back, I  agreed to go out with someone on the ATV later and do a few small fixes.  We had just enough time to grab some lunch and get to the clinic.

The clinic was well attended by old riders and new.  OCTRA clinics aren’t like other riding disciplines.  Instead of having one guru talk for hours while everyone listens, we have at least a hundred years of combined experience sharing their wisdom with those interested in trying the sport.  So for about 4 hours, we had great open discussion with everyone asking questions, getting involved, and hopefully learning something new.  I am sure I learned something new too, but I cant remember it at this point… one of those great tidbits that will come back to me when it is necessary 🙂  With 4 disciplines and all of them being nothing like any other competitive sport, there can be a lot of information overload, but I think everyone left a little better prepared than they were before.  Of course, most things get forgotten the moment you put your foot in the stirrup for your first ride, the learning curve is great!

I left my camera in the RV after the weekend, so no pictures to attach to this post yet, but I will add them as soon as I can!

The truly memorable part of this day was the vetting.  Lindsay watched and participated in the vetting demonstrations and was eager to do it the first time, I went with her to coach her through it of course.

She did everything right, but had some concern at the trot out, where she came back looking upset because the whole crowd of people at the vetting area were laughing hysterically.  She thought she had done something terribly wrong, and the explanation was hard to get out.  She had not done anything wrong, but Bentley was a little too relaxed through his vetting and let his man parts hang down.  He did not pull it back in before the the trot out, and there it was, smacking his legs from side to side the whole way,  causing him to run just a little funny.  What a silly horse!

I have not decided yet if this is funnier than Pee-Lame.

We put the ponies away, and went down for dinner.  Fred was desperately trying to get me drunk in order to sabotage my chances against his wife at tomorrow’s ride and tie.  I was polite enough to accept one beer, and smart enough not to fall victim to his schemes haha!  We enjoyed another (much smaller) fire, and had an early bed time to be fresh for the rides next morning!





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