Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Friday Night Lessons

Every Friday evening, Brailey has a lesson with Patsy in her fabulous new indoor arena. Last week, we had it on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, even though Patsy was hosting Thanksgiving at her house. She is an amazing woman, truly! It was the start of our super cold weather that prevailed for the next few days. But when you are having fun, you don't even notice the cold. Brailey got to "really" ride Mater for the first time. Talk about thrilled - she couldn't wait! She warmed him up and loped him for the first time ever, which was exciting for all of us! He is coming along nicely and is such a love. Best of all, so far, he likes the barrels! Patsy is doing a fantastic job with him. 
Usually Brailey rides Tex, of course, but this time she started out on Mater, and Patsy rode Tex, who she had for a couple of days in order to tune him up and figure him out a bit. He has been a real stinker for Bray all of a sudden, trying to duck in front of the second barrel, ducking in poles and just completely ruining her confidence. It has been a rough patch of learning for Brailey. Of course, Tex was pretty much perfect for Patsy, and she can easily ride him. However, Brailey is not advanced nor aggressive enough to handle his little quirks, at this point (as we learned at the barrel race on Sunday). So we are going to have to move on to Mater a little sooner than we anticipated, but everything happens for a reason, so it will all work out just the way it is supposed to. Rome wasn't built in a day, and isn't that the truth?!
Adjustments were necessary, and it required teamwork. Brady couldn't figure out Patsy's stirrups. So funny! He is quickly figuring out barrel racing saddles. If it was a rope saddle, he would have known exactly what to do, right?
I rode Alvin a bit, which is how I managed to get this angle on Brady above. Alvin was alone for nearly four days, and he was so happy to see Tex, it brought tears to my eyes. As soon as he saw him, the nickering started. His whole face changed as he came up to him, and then, he started licking Tex on the neck! They have been together since they were three years old. Needless to say, they love each other. A LOT. It was super sweet to see Alvie so happy to see Tex and vice versa.
Loping Mater for the first time, and below, trotting him through the pattern for the first time.
Coach and student. We are so lucky to have this amazing trainer helping Brailey! Patsy is the perfect personality for her. They are both a lot alike - sweet, shy, and kind. I love the picture I got of Brady taking a picture of them. The proud dad! Moral of the story? Barrel racing is a lot of work and it has it's ups and downs, but at the end of the day, it makes you a stronger person. Better to have Brailey in the practice pen on a cold evening than shopping at the mall, right?

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