Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where I am...Where I am going

I didn't get to ride last night due to super high winds, a trip to town for xrays for my sons sprained wrist, and a long night with a grouchy senior citizen. (TC's dad is with us for a couple of days to have a surgery on his jaw. This visit has been a story in itself which someday I will write about)

Where I am now is that my horse cannot compete in AQHA events, or even APHA events. Because he is not registered anything.  Which is really quite fine with me. We just aren't that good.  I am happy with the events the club puts on.  My main goal is and always has been not a great show career, but something with the words, Ranch Horse, in the title.  After all, that is what he is. The only reason I am even entering the open show is to get used to competing and to prep for the Ranch Horse Competition in June.  But since I am moving I decided it was time to explore a few options for AZ.

I did a little on line research.

I found the NVRHA website.  (National Versatility Ranch Horse Association-for anyone who didn't know)

I thought, "Now that sounds like something right up my alley"

It isn't the first time I had heard of them, but I had never really read what they were about.  I knew that it is what my friend Jay wants to do, so I always figured it was out of my league.  I was wrong. It is all about helping riders improve their skills.

I signed up for the newsletter, I read the rules, I read about the competitions. Here is what I love about this organization.  Many of their competitions are 2 day events.  Day one is a clinic, and day 2 is a schooling competition.  That is EXACTLY what I am looking for.  They have all different levels, and they will always having you competing against riders of your own skill level. You can level up if you wish, but you cannot level down, which I think is cool.  The have the AZVRHA also which, of course, is their AZ affiliate.

About 10 minutes after I signed up for the newsletter I got an email from the director of the Arizona Division of the NVRHA. Her name is Becky.  This is what she wrote:

Hi Cindy,

Welcome!  We have a GREAT group and tons of fun, look forward to meeting you.  I will add you to our email list so that you can follow what is going on.

We have an event coming up on June 22nd and 23rd in Alpine Wyoming!  You can find the information at  Get on out there and get started.  November 1st  weekend we are holding our National Championships here in AZ, you only need to participate in two events to qualify for the Championships.  If you go to the Wyoming event in June and the Arizona event in September your there!

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call.


You mean all I have to do is attend 2 events and I can compete in the championship??? 

That is crazy! 


So I talked it over with TC. (actually I called and said "I need three hundred dollars" he said "What for" I said, " You don't want to know."  He said "Well then you can't have three hundred dollars"  Then we discussed it)

It is $300.00 total for the event in June, aaaaaaaaaannnnd I'm trying to get moved in June and July. He didn't tell me no, but we both agreed that as cool as it would be, the timing is all wrong. So I will skip the event in June. But I will go to the one in Sept in AZ. Then I will go watch the Championships, and maybe volunteer a little to get to know people.   Then, next year I will hit every event I can.  I have plenty of time so there is no sense in putting anymore stress on the next 2 months than I need too.

I'm really pretty excited about this. I mean it is more expensive than my little club events here, but it isn't outrageous, if I save up for it.  I think it will be good for Trax and I both. It is designed to help us train and compete at our own skill level and from what I see they encourage participation of  folks who haven't been doing it their whole lives. The clinics help with every aspect of the classes, including the cow work and the little bit of roping they expect you to eventually work up too.  Uh Oh...I just said the "R" word.

With Trax's history of roping, which seems to have ended badly for him, I hope that I don't unleash a demon in him by trying a little roping.  I don't think I will because I have one thing going for me that a certain previous owner didn't. I have compassion and understanding of who he is as a horse.  I know what helps him excel, and what shuts him down.  I know that a little trust goes a long way with him, and if I don't feel like I can rope off of him without hurting him mentally or physically (due to my lack of experience) then I flat out won't do it. It would not be worth it to me to take him backwards, our goal is to help him get over his fears, not give him new ones or make the old ones worse.  Anyway, roping is a long ways a way for us, if ever. First we want to get better at the rest of it.

I was afraid that I would get to AZ and it would set me back another 3 years as far as having people to ride with and work with.  It seems as thought that isn't going to be the case at all. I am so happy for that, because I feel like we are finally making forward progress, and I don't want to lose it.

Suddenly, I know where I am going.  Amazing!


  1. Sounds like everything is working out!
    I suspect you will be able to rope off him, after all you have come a huge way already with him and ropes, whats a little farther?

    1. I hope you are right Crystal, It would be cool.

      My theory on Trax and ropes is this. With the ground work that I have done with him, just getting him over his fear of ropes, a really good roper could probably rope off of him just fine. What I am afraid of is that because I cannot swing a rope to save my life, I may end up undoing the good work I have done. I need to make sure that if I am learning to rope I am learning the right way, and drilling him into the ground will not be the right answer.

      What I know about Trax's "career" is that dude's mom had him and ran barrels and trail rode, and he was a "pretty decent horse". Then Dude starts team roping on him. Dude told me himself that one day he took to bucking on about the 6th or 7th cow. This happened every time he practiced or competed on him. His exact words were, "He wasn't nice about it either." What I translate that into is that something was going on that made Trax say, "Enough!I am not doing this for you anymore today." I have heard that this family is known for their tempers, so I can just imagine how dude retaliated when Trax said, "I'm done." Three owners later and we have a horse with a tongue cut in half, who is terrified of a rope.

      Right now Trax is having fun even when we are working. At least it seems like he is. It seems like he is enjoying learning things, and really seems to enjoy showing off his skills. He has never once said, "Enough" to me. If me learning to rope takes the fun out of the work, then I won't pursue it very long. But as long as he seems to be enjoying it, then we well keep going. I hope that makes sense.

  2. That's so cool! It sounds like a totally awesome organization! That's exactly how I'd like to learn something, a clinic one day, then a competition the next! Awesome! That will be so much fun! Plus, its cool to know that other people would be supportive, or on the same page as you!

  3. Wow! Wish I was closer to AZ - that sounds absolutely ideal. Will have to check and see if there's anything like that around here.