Wednesday, July 17, 2013

4-H Practice and Playday

It sure has been a wild ride (pun intended!) this summer when it comes to our horses. Brailey's beloved horse Tex came up lame at the beginning of June, and we didn't know if he would be ready for her 4-H Fair or not. So in the meantime, she has been riding Maggie and Alvin and then we got the go-ahead from our vet to ride Tex a couple of weeks ago, and just in the nick of time. So needless to say, I have kept the little B's busy, busy, busy this summer, riding their horses every day. Last week, we not only worked on our trail and showmanship and western equitation, we also prepared for their first "Playday." We have mainly been focusing on Brailey's 4-H riding, so the gaming aspect, which is what the Playday was, didn't get as much attention. However, time in the saddle is really all that matters, and now they both have the "gaming bug!" Above, you see them practicing the trail course down at the Hartley's barn. And below, practice at a different arena for poles, barrels, figure 8 and key race. 
 Britt and Mag-Doll, learning the poles. 
Brailey and her baby, Texi-Man. We have to be careful with him, so she took it easy. But that is about the speed she needs to go, right now. Once he gets healed up, she will be ready to go faster, as well. 
 Brady got to come to one last practice before the big day of gaming fun. Britt was a happy boy to see his dad!
 And here they are, ready to roll! They were both nervous, Britt especially. It was his first time doing anything like this, and Maggie's, too! Brady was also nervous, believe it or not. After it was all over, he admitted he was worried about how Maggie would handle being in a new place with Britt. Well, guess what? She totally impressed us all, and handled it like a pro! She did everything Britt asked her to do, and wasn't the least bit ruffled by the strange place. She was perfect!
Britt was the only boy entered.
 Because we were late entries, Brailey and Britt were back-to-back in every event. I filmed while Brady helped them in and out of the arena. It was so great to have him there with us! 
 Happy kids after the fact...! Brailey ended up placing in a couple of events, and her confidence went up every single event. She is really excited for Tex to make a full recovery so they can start their barrel racing career. And Britt had a great time, much to his surprise, and he was so proud of his horse! She did everything he asked her to do (including going around the barrels in a pattern he designed himself  - the announcer didn't know any better, so Britt got a time, anyway. I told him he's the only person I know to do the pattern incorrectly and still get a time!). Brady and I had a ball watching them do their thing, and the best part was how well they handled their horses. They were in control through every event, and a lot of kids weren't. At all. Anyway, it was a great day, and one we will never forget! 

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