Sunday, February 27, 2011

Road to the Horse

It was wonderful to be able to experience the "Road the the Horse" from your own living room. This year they offered a webcast for $29.99. The first day we had a few freezes and audio problems, but they worked them out and the last two days went smoothly. What an amazing opportunity to watch 3 successful trainers, with three distinct methods, with three very different horses. It was fantastic.

Some things that happened along the way. Pat was bucked off on day two. He said "he had green lights the whole time, then it switched to yellow then red really quickly." He wasn't hurt and continued on. For a time, Pat went into teaching mode which riled both the audience there and those watching on the webcast. Many felt he was being disrespectful to the other clinicians. He came out for his finale speaking from the heart and seeming a bit more humble. He did an amazing job on his horse "Partner" and he announced that he would be taking this horse home with him after the show. Pat welcomed people in attendance to follow their journey.

I wasn't sure who was working harder, Clinton or his horse. They both were wringing wet and panting. There was definite tension between Pat and Clinton. At one point Pat offered free passes to his Colt Starting classes to attendees of RTTH, Clinton said "if it good, you don't offer it for free." Later they argued over a rule in the finale that got pretty heated before Tootie Bland calmed them down. I think Clinton struggled with his horse. He just never seemed to get him soft and was fighting his bit hard throughout his finale. Clinton took off his bridle at the end and galloped full speed around the was a bit exhilarating to watch, but the horse almost jumped out of the arena twice. The crowd went wild for it. It was clear, the majority of people in the arena were rooting for him.

Chris Cox was rock solid the whole weekend. He had a really difficult horse (reminded me of my own!) She was sensitive and escalated quickly if confused. Today on the way into the arena, the horse panicked, and nearly ran over a crowd of people. You could tell Chris was upset by the way the wranglers were bringing horses into round pen, so he had them change tactics and do it as a herd thing. In his finale, Chris shined. He was soft with his hands and did an amazing job with her. He deserved to win, no question.


Lori Skoog said...

Thanks for posting this. I was totally unaware of the event until you wrote about it. Had to be pretty impressive!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Thanks for the video clips. Clinton gave me some tickets to one of his clinics for free, so he's not above doing that. I think in any business you have to give out freebies to keep the word of mouth going and to open yourself up to a new client base. I'm sure he was just kidding and taking a jab at Pat.

Rising Rainbow said...

I wish I had remembered this was happening. It would have been interesting to watch.

I don't know anything about Chris Cox bue will have to give him a look see.

It doesn't surprise me there was some tension between Clinton and Pat. Those are two pretty good egos on the line.

Dream Valley Ranch said...

I love your write up. I heard lots of people who laughed that Pat Parelli was bucked off. I think that's sad...we should never celebrate a moment of failure between any person and their horse. Pat or his horse could have been seriously injured.

I've been hearing more and more good things about Chris and from how he handled this competition it is clear that there's foundation to the compliments.

All in all I am not a fan of these colt starting competitions because I think we should choose a timeline suited to the horses' needs rather than those imposed by an event. That being said, it was interesting to read and see how each of these trainers handled their horses and the situations they encountered.

I agree-Chris was the clear winner in this event.

Beautiful horses all around, that's for sure!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the overall event.
Sue and the Crew