We were the first to arrive this morning at just prior to ten. Within an hour the second mustang arrived, then a few more until by mid afternoon the bulk of the trainers competing here at the Western States Mustang Challenge were here. I led Sandy out to the arena around noon to lunge him, then again a couple hours later when I hopped on and took my first ride on him outside of his 'home' arena. He performed like a star! Of course, he was tired as all get out after two days in the trailer, so we'll see if he holds onto his great attitude tomorrow.
One of the trainers here that I've been exchanging emails with throughout the training process has been Saunya Bolton of Reno, Nevada. She trains Quarter Horses and has qualified and competed at the world show several times, even making it to the top ten on multiple occasions. She's riding a little mare she calls Little Diva. If any of you are in the Reno area and in need of a trainer, look her up, she's a real neat lady.
The weather here is wonderful. In the 80's is what I've heard, and the wind is blowing just enough to keep us cool. After ten minutes of working under saddle, Sandy had only one thing on his mind...and to keep my saddle in one piece I made sure to high tail it back to the tack room before coming out and granting him his wish!
We've received our packets with the in hand and riding course patterns. Friday is our in hand class; Sandy and I are the fifth pair to go through. The pattern consists of walking over poles, trotting into a 'chute' (poles on the ground) and backing out, then backing a bit of a zig zag to the left and another to the right. From there we trot out towards the trailer and load, then unload. After the trailer we trot towards three poles that are set in a U pattern and trot towards them at an angle, crossing two poles then making a turn and coming back to hit the third. It's kind of tight and I'm glad Saunya brought poles for us to practice with. After the poles, we stop and pick up all four feet, make a 360 degree turn to the right and walk to finish.
The trailer loading is the only thing I'm really concerned about, but we'll just have to do what ever can be done, right? I'll be back again tomorrow with more photos and updates!
Thank you for your faithful prayers...they've helped to ease my troubled spirit tremendously!
Please say your prayers for Sandy! Ask God to find him the perfect new home so that I don't need to worry about him :)