Pole Canyon Ranch in Quitaque, TX is my most favorite place I have ever ridden. It is just a gorgeous place to go (photos will be at Tierone Photos when Peter gets them finished) The rocks and the flat lands, the trees and the cows, the coyote and the deer all add to the rustic nature of this gorgeous place to ride.
The weather was just beautiful. It was chilly, but tolerable at night and sunny and just warm enough during the day. The obstacles were challenging, but very doable. Some of the obstacles were things I had been practicing "just in case" I was ever asked to do them in competition. For example: we dismounted onto a rock on the near side and then had to turn our horse to the offside to remount. I can successfully do this in reverse, but wondered how well I would do it the opposite way, so I had been practicing. All those off side mounts paid off.
Maggie and I rode together in the STC on Saturday. We both had really high scored and I was very proud of Liberty. We are consistently getting 8's and a few 10's instead of all 6's. I had the pleasure of riding with Jeanne Dover, a newcomer to CTR, though not at all a newcomer to riding. Her horse, Harley, was wonderful and paced well with Liberty. She said he could be hard to stop, though I confess, I never noticed it. I was once again tickled that I have a horse who listens to me so well. Once, while galloping across a field with Maggie, Jeanne, and another junior, I decided I was ready to slow down. So, I asked Liberty to walk...and he did. The girls kept on running and he just picked up a nice walk and walked on. This is probably his best feature! Now, to perfect more obstacles.
In the end, Maggie was the only junior who finished. Rachel, the other junior, had a lameness issue with her horse between 12-16 miles and had to pull, which was very disappointing. Maggie placed first, as a result. I placed 4th and Jeanne placed third. Annette Thurlow, who has had her share of terrible horse problems over the years won our division, her first time in level 1...Everyone was tickled for her. On the year end awards, Irene Henry was the Supreme Trail Champion and I was reserve with Maggie a close third.
On Sunday, I got to judge for the first time and I really enjoyed it. I thought carefully about what I was looking for, so that I could explain at the end what I was judging. Maggie was again the only junior and placed first again. I believe she has now passed me in the year end NCTHA standings and depending on what happens in the next few weeks with our rides, she may end up being the high point winner. Of course, the year isn't over till the end of December, and no telling what will happen, but I can't think of anyone I'd rather be beaten by than my own kid! Maggie is asking when she can ride with the adults, as she doesn't like always winning b/c there aren't any other kids. I wish that we could get more juniors to participate.
My eating wasn't as hot as it could have been this weekend. I did great on the trail and around camp, but Alanna, the ride manager, fed us so well. I took small portions and lots of salad and didn't overeat dessert, but I did have a lot more carbs than I have been used to. Now I'm going to have to 'detox' myself all over again...and that's hard. I don't have to weigh in till the end of the week though...and that's good.
One more ride in the NATRC season and then we have 2 more TTC's and we're done with that for the year. In November, I am looking forward to taking a little break, but the Christmas ride is the first weekend of December and I plan to start riding open at that point, so I can't take too much of a break.