Every year one of the local 4H groups puts on a fantastic event. It’s about a 6 mile ride through the horse park where you look for hidden clues on the trail and stop at stations to answer questions and complete tasks for points. The team with all of the clues and most points wins! There’s a bunch of different categories – costume, lead line, family, individual, etc.
I also may or may not attend specifically for the amazing food they provide – SO good!!
This year, the barn decided on ‘Classic Horror’ as our theme. Our group consisted of Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, Pennywise, Samara Morgan (from the ring), Michael Myers, and Shelly went rogue, dressing her horse up as a mummy. We like to be the first group out if possible, so we headed out early and spent time before registration slashing up our horses. Poultice and fake blood make convincing wounds!
Dressed and armed with our gore, we rode over to the start for costume judging. Mechele had created a well over herself and Rose but wasn’t intending to ride the trail with it on, and someone had given me Jason heads that played the Halloween theme song that I wanted to ditch (I was dressed as Freddy, with Jason heads all over my saddle playing Michael’s theme song… um whut? Ha!). There were lots of people, trailers coming in, and I wanted to get out of the way so I let Nakai trot the remaining 50 yards to the trailer. Apparently that set off Rhev and Beamer, who were bucking and starting to rear. (How I did not hear this commotion beats me, I was not that far away). Rhev scares Karen and she needs time to compose herself. She blames the majority of Rhev’s behavior on Rose and Boy’s mummy costume. I am a jerk for trotting.
Eventually everyone composes themselves and we can start! Between the first and second station we pass riders asking if we saw station 3 year. Hmm? Confused, we look at our card. The first station we came to wrote our score down in station 2, and the second station wrote our score in station 4. How were we missing two stations?!? Panic ensues. We are competitive and to quote Mechele, “This is NO!!” We go back and forth through the serpentine. No stations. We go back to the start. First we’re told Pet Cemetery station is station one. Then it’s one AND two. They argue with us over what number the Bigfoot station is supposed to be. Gah.
Long story short, the start (where costume judging was) is station 1, but whoever had filled our card out didn’t put our costume points in the correction spot, station two is correct, Bigfoot is station three, not four, and we went back to get our card fixed and tell that the nice lady operating the station what number we were told.
That kind of set the mood for the ride, but despite that we were able to make up time and finish in an hour and 39 minutes. Nakai was convinced we were working too slow, wasting too much time, and Beamer was hot as well. We competed the obstacles with flying colors, nailed the majority of the questions, and fouled up only on some pretty tricky throws. I let Kai rip up our favorite galloping spot on the way back. Usually a solid gallop on a decent incline is enough to settle him, but occasionally it just riles him up more. This was one of those times.
Sometimes I can’t help it – we both love to run. The thrill of a 30+mph gallop on my heart horse is worth having to handle him with kid gloves afterward.
(Slow-mo of a quiet gallop at home. Watch in HD, quality is better)
With our clues and ride card in hand, we headed down to the pavilion to check in with our score and grub. As it turned out, we were only 1 point ahead of Shelly and Karen! We were hoping to do pretty well in the costume class, but as we were heading back to the trailer we see a horse completely decked on as an elephant, complete with ears and trunk! Sigh, I’m betting that will take first place. I’ll never understand how all the cutesy stuff wins over the gore. Cute is boring!
One thing that Spook made me rethink is riding in jeans. I can do short, slow rides without an issue in them, but anything with speed just wrecks the side and back of my knees. These rubs are awful! Note to self: breeches next year – no exceptions.