Pete was one of our horses we took to the trail challenge hosted by Horsemen of Arkansas. He did well considering he had never been to a competitive trail challenge and the weather events. It was pouring rain during the morning and the horses were all put in the trailer to dry off just a little. We saddled in the trailer and led them over to a covered arena with open air walls. There was a thunder and lightning storm taking place and Pete found himself in the a new environment. Lots of strange things to walk over, under, jump and go around in a big room with lots of strange noises. Pete, like most of our horses, has seen a lot of trails and natural obstacles. He hadn’t seen many of the manmade obstacles or this arena.
We were pleased Pete held to his training as did all the horses we took. It wasn’t our plan to take home prizes or ribbons. Instead, we wanted to test the training Pete and the other horses had received. We want and expect these horses to face new obstacles and situations calmly and quietly. We don’t want to see a panic, buck, rear, or other improper behavior. It is fine to be a little uncertain or question what is taking place, but it must be done with a willingness to try to overcome the situation without getting overly excited. You can never anticipate what a good trail horse may eventually run across and maintaining a calm disposition is essential to safety.
Pete ended up in a division competing with horses and riders that had previously been through previous trail challenge events and some were even familiar with some of the obstacles at this event. The competition, though friendly, was filled with experienced participants. In the AQHA class, Pete performed well with Shawn riding him and got a pretty red ribbon to hang on the wall. The photograph on the top shows him in the afternoon session after the weather broke taking a run at stepping up on the black box. Overall, we were happy with Pete and his willing attitude. He’s a great little gelding!