Monday, March 26, 2012

Blessi's Rules of Team Sorting--The Icelandic Version

Blessi and my dressage instructor Dannelle are competing in the Northwest Horse Expo All Breed Competition. I will be repeating some of the "Best of Blessi Blog" at this time. Enjoy!Team Penning is a western competition. Two circular arenas are put together. There are 6 calves with numbers on them from 1 to 6. The timer calls out a number from 1 to 6, let's say 5. Two riders attempt to move the cows from one pen to another in the order of 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 4. For the beginning riders, chaos now begins as all the calves want to stay together. You spend a lot of time waiting your turn at this event so Blessi came up with his own amusements.

1. As you walk around the outside of the arena, be sure to nuzzle and/or pull down any abandoned jackets or sweaters draped over railings to check for treats.
2. Make sure your owner apologizes profusely to clothing owner when you knock said item on the ground.
3. Also, pause before anybody you know and see if they have a treat.
4. Just to make sure, pause in front of complete strangers, in case they have a treat.
5. Repeat all of the above as needed as you circle the arena waiting your turn, in case you missed a treat.
6. Approach all children gently—they always say “What a cute pony!”
7. Position yourself in front of a cute mare as you stand in line for your turn at the cows so she can nuzzle your butt. If it’s a gelding, that’s OK too.
8. Stand by the arena fence, and try to get the youngest calf to approach. Just don’t act surprised when the calf starts to clean your face with her tongue.
9. Be especially slow and pokey in the arena for your owner so she feels safe.
10. But try to get your owner to find a nice rider so you can go
faster in the arena and really chase those cows.
11.Be sure and volunteer a tolt for the nice rider so they know
what they are missing.
12. When the nice rider dismounts and acts surprised because
the ground was so close, don’t act too smug.
13. When that green horse spooks and slews by you, don’t do anything since you calculate that the horse is going to miss you by ten feet. Your owner may startle but be calm and patient with her—she’s only a human.
14.Let your owner know you are enjoying this event when she is leading you by gently putting your head on her shoulder and giving her a horsey hug.
15.Let your owner know when you are bored by raising your upper lip and giving everybody a big, horsey grin. Repeat process when everyone laughs.
16.Be sure and tell your owner to proudly tell the stranger who asks that you are a chestnut Icelandic and not a Haflinger.
17.Make sure that when the team sorting event is over, that everyone thinks Icelandics are awesome.

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