This weekend I will be taking Galahad to another trec event. It will be his first outing since August and the first trec PTV (basically an obstacle course) for almost a year.
I haven’t really practised a huge amount over obstacle since then. The idea of the obstacle course is to recreate the sort of things we might find out hacking and obviously we get to do a lot of that. We are well versed in opening gates and I try to make sure we walk over all sorts of different surfaces. We are also very much used to riding under low branches!
The trouble is that doesn’t necessarily transfer well to the man-made obstacle course. Take the gate opening. Galahad has got very good at this and unless the gate is particularly tricky I rarely have to dismount nowadays. In a competition though, marks are lost every time the rider lets go of the gate. Galahad is not too keen on the gate closing behind him so at the moment I normally have to let go. It is fine for hacking but not so great for competition.
Apart from that, sometimes the gate is not a real gate at all but made of rope. Galahad doesn’t like them much either, although he was getting better. I think he has regressed over the winter but that is entirely my fault for not working on it. I did build a little course in the last couple of days so at least we aren’t going in entirely unprepared.
I know we will have fun and it will be interesting to see how we do compared to last year. There will almost certainly be some brand new obstacles we have never seen before anyway!