I made a lot of mistakes that could have been prevented if I had just slowed down and concentrated, but my nerves got the best of me. I went with Remington first (draw 3) and then I had to wait a while before going with Risk (draw 24). There were 26 entered total.
The course was all things that I had done before.
You started by working the gate, then you went to the middle of the arena where you did a figure 8 at the trot, and then the lope with a simple or flying change in the middle. Both of my horses did this fine, but Rem wanted to look at the course obstacles, and Risk just wanted to rush.
After that, you continued on to start the course and the clock started.
The first obstacle was a tire walk-through. Rem was hesitant but walked forward just fine, Risk was a little more confident than Rem, but she still gave it a good look.
Next was the water bucket dump and bridge crossing. There was a full water bucket hooked on the fence that you had to go unhook and then carry over a bridge to the other side, dump the bucket in a large tub and then hook it on the fence again. I had trouble unhooking the bucket when I went with Remington, so that obstacle was not one of my best with him. When I went with Risk, we did it very well. Both horses crossed the bridge just fine, but it gave many others trouble because there was a pool "noodle" stuck under the bridge for some added scariness...
Following that was the "?" cone weave. You had to weave through cones shaped like a question mark. This was relatively easy, but it took some precision and you had to do it at a walk. I got through this with both of my horses without knocking down a cone.
Then it was on to a turn on the forehand with your horse's front feet inside of a hula hoop type hose. That obstacle didn't go well for either of my horses, they both ended up walking on the hose.
The next obstacle was a box made out of ground poles with cones at each corner. You had to do a 360 both directions and then side pass with your horses front feet outside and the hind feet inside. Both horses did the turns well, but on the side pass, Rem destroyed it and Risk just ticked the last cone before we finished.
Then it was on to some weave poles that were really close together. You had to weave forward and then back. Rem did this really well. Risk did okay up, but back she knocked a pole over.
Next up it was 2 jumps made out of half-barrels. My horses jumped them, but it wasn't pretty. There was plenty of air between my butt and the saddle... that's all I have to say about that!
Following the jumps, we had to drag a log around some cones. I went at a trot with Rem, and galloped with Risk. They both did really well.
Then it was on to rope the dummy. Of course my horses are familiar with rope work so this was a cinch.
The beach ball toss was next. They had a giant beach ball that you had to knock out of a circle drawn on the ground. Your horse had to push it, you couldn't use your feet or your hands. My horses have that giant soccer ball at home, so this was no problem!
Finally there was the tennis ball drop. You had to pick up 6 tennis balls out of a bucket on the table and then ride over to another bucket and drop them in. When the 6th ball drops in the bucket your time stops. Rem was way better at this than Risk was. He did it really well, Risk on the other hand... knocked the table over after I picked up all the balls. Then some of the balls bounced out of the bucket when I was dropping them in... oh well.
The course awarded bonus points for being fast. As long as you completed each obstacle in under 40 seconds... if you took longer than that at an obstacle you wouldn't get bonus points. So, you got 20 extra for being under 6 minutes, 15 extra for being under 7, and 10 extra for being under 8. I got 15 bonus points on Rem and 20 bonus points on Risk. I think Risk had one of the faster times, but we were pretty sloppy. A lot of people ended up staying at an obstacle for more than 40 seconds so they didn't get any bonus points, in the end, I think the bonus points are what saved me.
I made my money back by the skin of my teeth... they paid out 6 places and I placed 5th with Risk and 6th with Remington. So I got $30 and $40 back to make up for my entry fees. If I do this again, I think I will only take one horse, then I won't be so worried about making money back, and maybe my nerves won't be so bad!
It was a fun experience though! Sorry I don't have any pictures... maybe I will be able to post one later. The owner of the show grounds took a picture of all the winners, but I haven't seen it posted yet. Hopefully I can get it up here once it is.