After winning our first small competition we were getting ready for the bigger one. There is a circuit of competitions and one of the major ones was held in our city Cagayan de Oro. It would be barrel racing and an obstacle course. At the same time, there was a rodeo. Dadz had a team he wanted me to join. I would use his horse, Shakira, to join the ribbon-picking event. I rode Shakira a few times for barrel racing practice. Sahara and I prepared for the competition poorly since she had to stay at the farm. I just rode her around like usual as had no clue what the obstacle course would be like. I was going in blind and wasn't too concerned. Winning was never really the main goal. Just being able to do it was enough for me since it was an opportunity to do things we have never done. I will admit I was envious other people got to practice in teams and had mini-courses to practice on.
About 10 days before the competition Sahara and I were hit hard by hormone shifts. I started my period. And yes I was on day 11 during the competition while Sahara was on day 5 being in heat. She wasn't eating very well 3 days before the actual competition and she was up all night flirting with a stallion at Dadz place. Maybe kept Dadz up with all the noise. Whoops. I was definitely grumpy myself and not feeling it.
I had fun with Shakira despite her being not so fond of cows. I have never chased a cow on horseback so I was just making it up as I went along. We didn't win the ribbon picking but if it was a competition about who was the most entertaining. We would have won. I finally cornered the bull and had to lean as Shakira refused to get any closer. Dadz said even though I didn't win his team got a lot of attention and the rest of the team nailed whatever they had to do so we won overall and Dadz came home with a huge trophy. Super happy for the guys, they did awesome!
I was exhausted from all the attention, noise, and running around. I had to head with Sahara to the obstacle course. I will say she was extremely distracted by all the good-looking stallions running around. If there was an award for the loudest horse. We would win that too.
They really should give out other rewards, just for fun. We did a walk of the course. I will say the environment of this competition was not light-hearted. People were unfriendly and maybe my resting bitch face didn't help but people seemed very serious. Sahara was afraid of the water obstacle. It didn't slope down like the river, it just dropped in so the first time she went in she thought it was a slope and we face-planted. She kept me dry bless her but when she came back up she was like. I AM OVER THIS!
I totally understood as I felt like crap too and it was hot and humid. We were not in our best shape physically or mentally. I told her, give me whatever you want. Let's just do our best. Suffer together. During our run, we basically cantered or walked and the water part took time for Sahara to get over her fear and get in. I guess I could have skipped it but I was like. We are here you can do this and she did at her pace. We definitely did not win. Not even the barrel racing.
My mom had other ideas about that. She was pretty upset we did not win. We didn't even look like we were trying. 😵
At the time I was upset for letting her down and upset she was upset with us but I was also to tired to care. Honestly, I decided that Sahara came 1st always and that is what I chose. She hadn't eaten well, she was dealing with herself being in heat and this competition was way more chaotic than the one we went to before. It was a lot and her just doing it without freaking out and hurting us. Good enough for me.
After the competition, we hung out by the truck. Just me and Sahara. My mom and her friends went to watch another event. Dadz was busy with his rodeo team, I didn't know anyone else so we were alone.
I was feeling pretty down and period never helps. I was sitting on a chair super tired holding Sahara's rope. She was dead tired and falling asleep next to me. People were still riding their horses around. I think someone fell or something because before I knew it I saw this big grey horse galloping towards us full speed without a rider and people chasing him. I got Sahara's attention but just had no clue where to go as he was coming up on us fast. Left? Right...uuuh Sahara's eyes got big and we huddled together as the horse swerved and went off to slow down elsewhere last second.
I swear me and Sahara were holding our breath as we both sighed as someone else grabbed the horse before he reach the road.
At that moment, I knew me and Sahara were just a great pair as we just have the same reaction to everything and were usually on the same page. I felt a little lighter as I realized my bond with my horse is the most important thing. I saw a lot of horses get whipped and spurred and I get that winning is cool and all but not at the cost of the horse. Sahara could have bolted away or into me with that horse coming at us. Heck he could have been a stallion and she could have abandoned me for him, that would have been fun but she just stood there accepting our fate together hahah. I wouldn't trade that for anything.