OMG a Joe sighting :-)
Joe, got ya beat hands down on the ugly rider award. Fortunitly Woody and Jett are good looking fellers so all eyes should be on them not us. Is Jenn camping in the trailer or doing the hotel thing? If there is anything we can offer to help let us know. Sounds like you and Woody did great, based on the pictures he seems like a calm horses that listens well to you so I am suspecting you will do awesome. Are you going bitless also?
You and Woody will do fine. Horses will be horses, so practice when you can (and feel like doing it) and just give it your best shot when the day arrives. And I bet many of us don't consider ourselves to be pretty riders either, so don't worry about that! I think the fact that 4 of you were chosen to do this and brave enough to apply speaks a lot for MHWF.
What's the problem with backing? Just sticky doing it? We can give tips if you need any. Or does Jenn have that covered? I liked the visual of the 7 year old rolling around the pasture in the tarp too. Maybe that's an idea for next Christmas. Tarps for everyone!
Karen is definitely right on that one. If this opportunity doesn't come up again, I will regret not applying with Aria. But I will be on it next time, even if I have to lead her the entire course because she's too overwhelmed. You can always wait for just the right time, but I promise you it will never come. It sounds like he is phenomenal and I am excited to meet him!
I agree wholeheartedly that you sure dont need to worry about embarrassing anyone. Everyone is going to be very proud of both you and Woody, in fact, I think we all already are! Sounds to me from your first practice session that you two are going to be awesome. Just keep exposing Woody to the same type of stuff and he will only get better. Love the rolling kid wrapped in tarp obstacle...smile....
He underplays, Joe and Woody blew me away yesterday. The tarp thing that he went under...if you could have seen it your jaw would have dropped. Picture a huge blue tarp held up by me, Cole, Cade and our niece Madelynn, we are all very short people, Woody went under basically blind because there was no way he could see out the other side, it wasn't up high enough add in the factor that all the kids were laughing and giggling and jumping around and what they did was absolutely awesome. When Cade decided to lay down on the tarp and roll himself up into it like a ball it was so loud and crinkly and Cade was giggling like a mad man I thought for sure Woody would be like "omg it's alive!!" but nope, not even a blink of an eye. Dragging the log was just hysterical. Poor Joe trying to hold the reins, grab hold of the rope on the log, get Woody to go in a straight line and then he pulled the rope too tight and the log started swinging next to Woody, Woody just sidestepped and kept going. I agree backing will be their greatest obstacle, we need to work on that. Does anyone know if they ask them to back in a straight line or do they have to turn corners while backing in these trail competition things?? He can back just fine straight but we are clueless on how to get him to swing his butt around the bend to take a corner. Honestly we all had so much fun yesterday practicing, kids included. Just for the record my husband looks better than the Marlboro man and Clint Anderson all rolled into one up there on his mighty steed :) Just my opinion. Also, as far as cheering loudly? Loud yelling screaming and hooting does not bother Woody, those are the noises he lives with on a daily basis thanks to our loud children, add in the goats bleating, the dog barking, and the ducks quacking and it'll be like home for him. We cannot wait to see and meet everyone there, we are going to have a fantastic time!!!
Sorry forgot to answer these.
Yes Woody is going bitless, he always rides in his bosal. I will be sleeping in the truck, we have an SUV put the seats down and it's quite comfy in the back.
Jenn, it could be a straight backing, it could be done between poles & could be in the shape of an L. Theses are 4 poles set approximately 28"-30" wide. To back them & turn that butt, take it nice & slow, when you get to the intersection , the trick is to take it one foot/step at a time. Almost a pivot on the forehand, but remembering once you've moved the butt/back feet into the 2nd section, the front feet have to make it around that corner too. So there's a bit of a side pass with the front feet also.
I'll list a few other measurements on the chase the dream thread. I'll also see if I can find a video of an L back to help visualize it. Learning to side pass the L is also helpful.
I've also seen people asked to back in a circle. You might think about starting in hand, on a lead rope, having Joe use his hand where his leg would be to ask Woody to turn the corner. This way Joe can see exactly where Woody is putting his feet, and reward him quickly as he learns. Then get in the saddle and try. For some horse/rider teams this makes learning an L or other shape a bit easier.
OMG, I am so stinking happy!!!!!!!! It really, really sucks and hurts to have an abscess, but so relieved that this is what it was and he is on the road to a very quick recovery! (I feel for the Woodman, I had a tooth abscess last week...so very painful.)
Thank you so much for your kind words Jenn, that means a lot to us. We are always here for everyone and hope that people feel they can call us any time, that is why we are here. We will always do what we can and if we can't find the answers we will surely try and help you find them. Big hug to Woody from me and wishing him a very speedy recovery! He's in SUCH great hands!!!
P.S. Love the tarp pics too! Go Woody and Joe! :)
Thank you Karen for the compliment :) feels good to know you have faith in us. Woody is very very loved here by all of us.
I know alot of people probably have a pretty nice set up as far as a practice ring and I know ours is downright rustic but we are confident Joe and Woody are a great team and can handle anything put in their path. :) Besides, they've already won, they have each other and they have you guys out there backing them up, the rest is just gravy.
So happy Woody is doing better already! Your practice area is fantastic and you guys are awesome!!!!!
Wohoo! Crazy to be happy about finding an absess, but it's being able to treat it quickly & move on thats the great thing!
The fact that Woody trusts Joe is testament of the work & bond they have. With that, they truly can do anything! It doesn't need to be in a fancy indoor arena with artificial props & sanitary conditions. We had to trailer to a neighboring stable. In the meantime we used whatever we could create in the pasture. I can't wait to watch Joe & Woody rock this!
I know! It feels so weird to be happy about an abscess but holy cow it's a fact! He looked good this morning. He likes his soaks I think. Such a willing and sweet boy he is. It's a shame we don't know his whole history, I would really love to thank whoever started and trained him.
Yay, so happy that it's an abscess and that he's feeling better already!! I love your obstacle course too!!
Ive had a foot abscess myself and man does it HURT! But it feels great once it is opene and drained. He should be good as new soon! He looks really calm!
He is calm and goofy and joyful and lovable and just so packed with personality. He can't wait to meet everyone!!
Wow! Where to start! Thursday went down to pick up Haze and Woody had to go and get ornery with him and scare the poor little paint but eventually with the help of a bucket of grain he did load and off our little convoy went. Get to the fair and it is just trailers and trucks and horses everywhere. Pretty much just find an empty space anywhere and park and unload as fast as you can. Woody was not a happy boy and definitely let us know what he thought of his new digs with a lot of yelling and banging around. He had himself all sweaty and steamy in a hurry and Joe threatened to take his boy home and skip the whole thing. I kept telling him he'd be okay but I wasn't sure if either of my boys believed me. After unloading and throwing everything in the tack stall we moved the truck and trailer up onto far far away land up the hill and went back to the barn. Jenn V helped us get the pellets watered down and spread out and shavings dumped into Woody's stall. Krissy came over and the decision to get our horses clean was made and it was off to the shower for Woody. Peggy was a lifesaver and quickly helped us suds our boy up and rinse him off. Back to the stall and once again Jenn V came to our aide with a nice warm blanket for Woody and by that time he was too tired to call or bang the stall. Now it was time to organize the tack stall/bedroom. Everything was set up in record time and before I knew it Joe and the kids had to get home. My first night in the barn was rough, horses were calling and banging and people in the barns way late but in the morning I did find a nice warm bathroom with a shower all to myself...little did I realize it was a handicap shower and quite short but I made due :) good thing I'm short. Friday was spent trying to stay out of the snow/sleet and keep warm. Not easy. I did get Woody out for some walks with Haze, Jett and Sancho, that was fun. I love watching people's reaction to Woody when he does his fancy prancing walk. We all rode in the arena Friday night which was a blast. Woody did great and enjoyed stretching his legs, he even gave Jenn V and Kenzie a quick ride!! Saturday was much nicer with the sun out and Joe and the kids came back. Joe took Woody for a few walks and even managed to get a ride inside the outdoor practice arena. I think it helped his nerves getting to spend some time with Woody, I know Woody definitely loved having Joe there. Made it to the meet and greet just in time for the picture. Joe and the boys went home around 6 and came back on Sunday by 11:30. Sunday morning I took Woody on a nice hour long ride around the grounds, he handled everything like a pro. I was so happy to share that time with him. Time for competition...Joe was nervous, Woody was fired up like you wouldn't believe and it didn't help that they were last and had to stand and wait for what seemed like a long time. Finally it was their turn. In went Woody with feet flying! They did a quick lap around and then it was time to get to work. They dragged the log nicely and pranced over the tarp with a little hesitation. Next were the poles to walk over and he kinda stumbled his way thru with his little steps but oh well he tried. He was going quite fast but Joe did manage to get him to the start of the bridge and stopped in front of it. He put one foot on and and bailed off to the side, Joe said he wished he would have circled him back and tried again because he goes across bridges all the time for Joe but Joe said his nerves got the better of him and he just said forget it and went on to the next obstacle which was pulling the little pole out of a cone and walking on and putting the pole back into another cone. They did it very nicely and the last challenge was backing thru barrels. Well Joe lined him up pretty good but then Woody swung around and both boys caught sight of freedom and hot footed it out of that arena and that was that!! They were for sure the quickest ones out there! They only got a score of 25 and Chase Dodd got a 28 so not quite good enough to beat him but I was so darn proud of them both I could have burst. I thought they looked fabulous together in that arena, especially when they did their lap around. Woody was just flying and even Chase remarked that he bet Joe could cover a lot of miles on the trails with Woody. It was cute.
There are just so many people to thank for everything, I love how everyone came together and helped without hesitation. A huge thank you to Jenn V for taking such good care of Woody and I and even buying me breakfast Saturday morning haha. I could not have made it through this without your help Jenn, you are an awesome person. Peggy thank you so much for the help washing and also the calming experienced voice outside the arena waiting for our turn. Krissy for helping us wash Woody also and just being there, also a huge thank you for the custom halter for Woody you totally didn't have to do that but we are so glad you did! John and Cindy you guys were a blast to hang out with and always willing to help when I needed it. Marisa and Dan for checking on the horses Saturday night and making sure they were safe, I hope you know how much that meant to me. Karen and Scott for making all of this possible, without you two this would not have even happened for all of us. Please know that meeting each and every one of you just made my heart so very happy and the support you showed this organization was just unbelievable. We consider all of you family and were so proud to share this with all of you. I didn't get many pictures but here is one of Joe and Woody enjoying a cuddle, one of all my sassy boys together, and one of Kenzie, Raiden, Woody and I in the arena. Attached Images
Wendy W - WI
They were great!!!! I loved watching them and loved Chase's comment on Woody traveling down the trail. Love the pictures woman and the hug and gabbing was topping on the cake. What a great weekend.
I had the pleasure of meeting Jenn & Woody & Joe this weekend....I brought some beer for Joe since I had it left over from the samplings I do (I don't drink beer, other stuff is my preference) so that worked out well for me too since it helped me clean out my fridge. haha. Woody's gait looked like so much fun. His little legs can really move! Super nice people and yes, I was there to see Woody protest a bit with some whinnying in his stall. :) Great job Joe & Woody!
Was very happy to meet you in the barn, Jenn, and then see Joe and Woody strut their stuff! Joe, you definitely got the fastest time around the arena...so cool to watch!
Awe...Jenn..you're awesome too! I loved riding Woody and meeting you and your family, you are great people. I was happy to help. I look forward to more adventures with you guys!
What a great adventure! I was smiling reading all about you guys! The pics are great! I know so many people are just bursting with pride for how well you did, Joe & Woody! Big grins, and lots of WAY TO GO's for both of you!
Looking at all these great photos of trail riding makes me want to go trail riding! C'mon summer!