I asked my son the other day if he would like to come with me to a CTR (Competitive Trail Ride) and see how he went on my 17 year old part bred morgan mare, Gypsy. He is learning to ride and she is a wonderful teacher. He said, 'why not' so off we went last Sunday down to Waitarere Beach and registered ourselves and our horses.

 I was Riding Secret's Cochise, a 6 year old part bred morgan gelding, who had been shod a couple of weeks before in case he was needed for 'who knows what'. The poor boy had had no rides out save a quick 2 km the night before. Having never competed in anything before all of us were new.

We  registered and were patiently taught what to do by the marshal. We prepared our horses for the first vet check then tacked up and waited our turn to ride out. It had been explained to me that we should go out on the ride harder than we come back in because it gives the horses heart rate time to calm down as we come through the gate. So, that is what we did. We got off to a brisk trot and put some ks under our belts then settled down for a walk or two. The horses, who are both used to extended treks, really enjoyed the outing and when we hit the beautiful forest trails, couldn't resist a nice canter.

Gypsy, my mare that Leighton was riding, behaved herself beautifully. She  walked trotted and cantered on cue and coped with Leighton's lack of proper seat during the different transitions and his slightly rough hands. I rode beside tweaking what he was doing and he responded well which knitted the two together even more. Gypsy was having a ball. She would have gone like a stung cat if we had asked her to but she was quite happy to follow orders.

I made Leighton responsible for the time keeping. In a CTR, like golf, the lower your point score the better. Your points are made up of your horses heart rate. It is taken when you come in from the ride straight away then again after 30 minutes rest. These two rates are added up to make the bulk of your score. We were given 1 hour, 50 minutes to complete the course. You are awarded a time penalty of 2 points per minute for every minute you are either before or after that time.

We came in one minute early so both received a 2 point time penalty. Gypsy's heart rate was 64 when she came in the gate and 52 after 30 minutes rest. That added with the time penalty of 2 gave him a  score of 108. That was good enough for first place for him. He came away delighted about it and is keen to do another. I came away thankful for my morgan and how she had looked after my son.

  • Tuis Oklahoma Song
  • Tredway Aristocrat2
  • kaycee mirage2
  • tredway aristocrat