On Saturday, Pate and I headed north to Black Raven Stables for a trail clinic taught by Trail Judge, Jackie Davenport. We signed up for the Novice class with hopes to practice obstacles with a critical eye watching.
Pate found the multicolored poles and configurations a challenge, but lived up to his nature by trying really hard to do his best. Jackie, an Arab trainer, was very impressed with Patriot and how far he has come in the short 90+ days. She also said, "You can see it in his eyes, He just ADORES you!
While I have never shown western trail before, I was intrigued with the technical aspects of it. It reminded me of a time I used to jump 4'-9" fences. The words stride, balance and chip were all words and concepts I was familiar with and therefore related to quickly. BUT, trail is not easy! Pate has a more forward trot than a western pleasure horse and we had to figure out how to slow it all down to what seemed like a crawl.
While the work we did on Saturday was more technical that what we will be asked to do in the challenge, it was good experience. Pate was required to stay in his frame properly over the poles and bend through his ribcage while trotting through "L's". I am proud to say that Pate was the only novice horse to carry a trot the "L's"!