The World of Peruvian Paso Horses
I am writing this from El Paso Tx and I can barely see my screen....But I know you are curious so here is day 2...
We started each morning with a meeting to outline the days events as a in the dining room.On day two, I learned I was 5th to go in what was called an obstacle garden. This was a small area with natural trail type obstacles in succession so that cameras could get a good up close and personal look at the horses in a short amount of time. We got a chance to walk the course and look for the difficulties that were designed to challenge our horses.
First was a natural stone bridge which was across a stream...with a taxidermy fox staring at the horse on the uphill climb out. Then it was a hard left turn to a jump which was a natural log and flowers. Then it was a straight shot to two plants that required a quick halt stop in between them. . Then we were required to back up a steep grade lined with poles and flowers but there was a tree root that was prominent which caused a natural back step up and over. Next we were to go down and cross the stream where there was a lot of rock. Uphill out of the stream from that to the left was a set of natural irregular raised trot poles. Last was a pole to straddle and then sidepass away from...with a rubber snake on the left side.
So I went to the barn to tack up and and get dressed. My new competitor campanion Jen helped me get ready and then Junior and I rode down the hill about 20 minutes to get to the garden with the course running through my head.
We arrive and the camera crew is getting ready. We had a giant lawn to use as a warm up area. Now the first rider is ready to go. We are told that if we cannot complete any obstacles in 30 seconds we will be eliminated or asked to move on. So I watch as horse number one goes down the hill to the rock bridge...Horse is spooking...and she can not get him to cross the bridge.
Here I am with Junior watching this....uh oh...and then the next rider I believe makes it, but then the one right before me cant' do it even after she dismounts and tries to lead the horse over. Oh gosh...my turn. I hear each camera shout out my number! 219 219 219 219 219 Rolling! Ok, here we go Junior. Please cross the bridge. I get to it, and Junior is super hesitant. Oh no I am thinking! So I urge him on. Ok, no, he is not refusing to do it but he is terrified. He puts a hoof on it..takes a little step...and puts the next foot nd takes a TINY step...and more and more teeny teeny tiny steps...are you picturing this?
We we got across...Junior gives the fox no attention and we turn left for the jump. I am confident about this since we had the best jump of the day yesterday...So I ask for a canter....and he doesnt'. Instead we get a quasi canter that turns into a big gait and we fly over the jump.
Next the back up....here we go....we are about half way up...and Junior feels that root and will not go further. I keep urging, and he steps sideways and gently kicks the flowers...oh shoot we will not go over that root....you know how Peruvians prefer their feet on the ground!
So then down the hill to the water, and again Junior is taking these mini paso fino but even smaller steps through the water and then it dawns on me...he slipped really hard the day before so he is making sure we don't slip and get hurt! Awww...Ok lets go gait the poles...Junior never hits those. Whoops yes we did. Ok the straddle stop...we never hit that. Uh, yeah we did...but it wasnt huge just a tap I think.. Ok certainly not flawless and it is over!
Aaron Ralston interviews afterward and we discuss the round. He was very engaging and I told him about the slip and my mistakes. Then I realize I am ON CAMERA oh my it I forgot about that. After my round I hung around and watched as the course took more and more prisioners.
Several could not cross the bridge. The jumps were wild, most went, but some refused. The backhill back up with the root took lots of prisioners in the way it did us. Trot poles and sidepass had llittle mistakes for nearly all. It was well thought out. I noticed that after some others went they were not interviewed on camera. Not sure why....so I rode away from the competition area and there was Guy McLean doing a demonstration with his horses. Please search him on youtube and see what he does with his horses!
Well I have TONS more to tell about day 2 but this is a good stopping point!
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