I didn't mean to go so long without posting, I've just been so busy.
After being sick for a week I then had to make up all the work that was left undone while I was ill, so last week was extra busy. Then at the end of the week, Maggie and I had plans for one last CTR at Horsemasters, in East TX.
The best part of the ride this weekend was that Peter managed to pull off a big surprise! He drove down to the ride and met us at the first P&R. I was really shocked b/c when he didn't come on Saturday, I figured he was going to skip it. I didn't blame him really. It was 150 miles one way. There was no need to spend the gas money just to come hang out. But when I got to the first P&R I did a double take and there he was. I threw my arms around him and starting kissing him and hugging him madly. It was way, way cool.
The guy next to me in line, Mark Carter, missed the introductions. When Peter went down the line to talk to Maggie, I said something about my husband. He said "that's your husband" I laughed and asked him who else I would be kissing in the woods on my birthday. Mark said he didn't know for sure since he didn't know me that well and perhaps I was meeting my boyfriend (not exactly, but I can't remember the exact wording) He was kidding. So, when Peter came back through I introduced them and Peter joked about not telling my husband that he had come to see me. It was funny.
Too bad Freeley had to ruin the fun and good intentions by mashing Peter's hands. There goes Orchestra for a few weeks. Having him come was just the best birthday surprise!
It was great to have him in camp to help pack up and just hang out. I made the mistake of getting in the check out line way too early and blew precious time from my afternoon that I could have spent hanging out with Peter.
This ride was not one of our more shining moments. The weather was beautiful and Freeley was hyper all weekend. Maggie wasn't as overly sensitive as she was at Bigfoot Boogie, but she was not as relaxed as she had been at the benefit ride. I did not like the way the horsemanship judge talked to me or the girls. I had no quarrel with her message to any of us. She has an opinion of how things should get done and I now have more information about what she expects in the future, but all of it felt very patronizing and snotty to me.
We got fussed at for wearing our sandals in camp. I pointed out that we would never wear sandals to the barn, but that when you're camping you are in your "home" for the weekend. We came over to the horses b/c the judges were there. It wasn't like we were running around, frolicking with our horses with our sandals on. The girls were told they hadn't groomed their horses well enough. I saw them bathe the horses, so I wasn't sure what the problem was, but evidently they didn't do a good enough job. Some judges care more about baths than others. Jena called her horse an idiot for not doing something and was docked 2 points. There is some question as to whether the judge said to Jena, Maggie's friend, that her horse wasn't the idiot. I'm still looking for confirmation on that one. In any case the message was fine, but the delivery wasn't and I'm still not happy even after a few days. Riding safety is looking really good right now.
All of this brings me to the dilemma of Liberty. If we are going to back off NATRC for the next little bit, I don't need him. I like him and I'm having fun with him, but I don't need him. Maggie has never committed to riding Freeley yet and I"m not sure that he will behave for her in that setting anymore than he does for me. I just don't have a clue really. He might be perfect for her in that setting and he certainly has enough experience to be a good boy and take her down the trail. In any case, if they thought Brody was too green for Maggie, Liberty is no better, but he is smaller, which is a good thing. It will be 6 months at least before I'd trust him with Maggie on the trail and based on what everyone else tells me about kids/horses, maybe I should wait even longer. I see a different kid with a different set of skills than others see and I'm wondering if it's time to see her through their eyes...which isn't easy to do.
Originally before Deli was lame, we were going to do a few of the colder weather rides and then take the rest of the year off till the foal came and then start riding Deli again. WE don't know if Deli will ever be able to do NATRC again or not. Some people say that Ringbone can go away and she may be fine. Others say that to do NATRC is probably out of the question and chances are they will always be looking for her to have problems. We can do trail trials, but they don't happen that often. They also don't check for lameness.
Many of my friends think that even Deli is too much for Maggie. They don't see her when it's just us having fun. They have only see us stressed out, in a group. I don't know if she is or not b/c she certainly wasn't this summer when we were in Arkansas.
I just don't know the answer.
I did figure out the cost to keeping Liberty each month. For the first time in my life I find myself wondering if the new furniture I'd like to have wouldn't be a better idea.
I have one more week to decide. I have to get several rides in so I know. He's such a cutey and a good deal I know he'll make a great horse. But, I do already have some great horses.
So the question is, change sports (don't compete) or get the horse that will let us compete if Maggie will ride Freeley. The problem is that she will tell me that she will, but I won't know if she's sincere until after I buy the horse.