As one of the four in hand teams were going through the obstacles, the flags caught my eyes. They were blowing and flapping in the wind. I need flags.
The flags were way above the horses heads, but they were there, they were flying and they were pretty. It was right about then that I realized, if Kat is going to compete at any level in competition like this- I need flags!
As I watched the video a few more times, I noticed I wasn't paying (as much) attention to the horses. I was watching the obstacles themselves and all the other stuff around them. I need flowers!
I was noticing the little things on the sidelines. I need cones!
I was picking up the little things that they set out to make the course visually appealing to the spectators. I need barrels!
Sure there are obstacles to navigate, but there is also the stuff to make it pretty or challenging looking too. I need bales of hay or straw!
Suddenly my mind was on a mission to build obstacles in our back pasture/arena that could be easily set up or taken down. Things to teach him about navigation- go though, over or around. I need a bridge!
While one of Kat's first shows coming up is most likely a pleasure class, simply going around the arena in both gaits, both directions, we are working towards a higher goal. My aim is something along the lines of Live Oak. From there- International competition. Talk about setting your sights on something BIG! Yes, I am. Why not?
Realistically? We will go as far as we go. I am not at all disappointed by my pony's efforts. He has already done a lot and come a long way in a short time with little work on my part. Time is a huge factor in his workouts and whether or not we get them in. I can usually drive him on the weekends, both days either in the morning or evening. The rest of the week- hit or miss at best! If we fit in 4 workouts in one week, we are really pushing it full steam ahead... If he were at a training facility for this- he should reasonably be at 4-5 workouts a week as the norm. Such is life.
In one of my trips to the dollar store to see about the fake flowers and pots to put them in for my obstacle course, as I came around the corner- there they were. Nice, big, red and white signs (with stakes to put them in the ground), signs that stated
Since the obstacles follow suit with the jump courses having red and white 'flags' on either side to tell you that you are going the right direction, I figured these would work. For $2, it is no big deal if they didn't! Besides- If I drive him down the street and someone has them out, he should be used to them.
I found cones at Wal-Mart in the sporting goods section-> $3.50 for a set of four. Best $7 ever spent. They really brought out the WhhhheeeeEEEEeeee factor in driving. Now we have things to go around, an 'alley' to drive through and the garage sale signs? I stuck them in a couple of gopher holes for now. They are in the center and we walk through there because of them. The plastic stakes they are on just aren't very durable. I will find something else to put them on. I may just stick them into the hay bales. Just have to knock a few down and drag them out there. We have barrels. We have the wood for a bridge....
The rest? Might mean another trip to the dollar store.
Or maybe a garage sale.
Just gotta be creative.
Damn the luck!