Lessons, Lessons Everywhere

I’ve decided that one of the best things about the junior riders being off from school for winter break is that the lesson options open right up and I can sign up for all kinds of lessons.  Since my funk last week, I opted to throw myself back into things and see where it got me.

Well it got me into two really great lessons.  One I had to work hard in, so did Dee.  We struggled, but hung in there and ended on a great note.  The second lesson was a private and my trainer really took some time to dig into some minor things and get them fixed up.

For example-my two point.  Sad, but apparently I’ve just gotten lazy and am mostly sticking my butt out.  Time for that to be over!   We jumped around and did not have an ugly jump the whole time.  Dee was on, I was on track, and we really drilled into my head that I need to stop micro-managing (my favorite) and let the mare do her thing.  Because O was a stopper, we were really riding her like I would maybe ride a jumper, a more involved ride.  Dee would prefer me to fix the problem, and then sit quiet and let her jump up to me.  Dee does not want to be messed with on the other side of the jump either, so adding that to the “to do” list.  Not that she’s nasty about any of it, but when I do it correctly, she jumps cute as a button.

I  have thought about, and talked to my trainer about the confusing Ugly Sweater show as well.  The summary is that Dee had not been in a show environment in over a year (like me).  And since she was significantly overweight a seriously fatty just this summer, my trainer wanted to opt to end on a positive and happy note.  She was so happy with Dee and me, and really sees us doing more at our next show.  I felt much better after our discussion and have made plans to show in February.

Ugly Sweater Horse Show

Apparently I do have magical powers, or perhaps God just took pity on us horse people because the morning of the horse show dawned dry and miraciously warm.  It was a toasty 40 degrees while I was tacking up, and even thought a slight mist started down a few hours later when I was actually mounted, it wasn’t anything I couldn’t handle.

The weather man scared most of our entries away, and it ended up being a very small show, mostly competing against people I knew.  Which is fine, if not a little anti-climatic.  We were put in the 2’6” classes, and so our flats went first.  I got on only a few minutes before to stretch out Dee’s legs outside before meandering into our class.  It was pretty full, with maybe 7-8 horses.  We did our thing, and undersaddle snagged a 2nd place to start off the day.

Ugly sweater vest ftw

My trainer asked that I come out for equitation round.  So Dee and I wandered back out into the rain to get her martingale on for jumping.  I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed to not flat again.  (Don’t judge) Flats are not the most exciting classes-but she’s a cute little horse and I was eager to be in the ring.

I was the first back on Dee, so I was lined up and ready to roll into our warm-up.  Dee stood like a lady in the misty rain.  A little chestnut gelding came out, and in we went.  We were supposed to do the add step this round, and so I started out with a little pitter patter canter and headed on our way.  Considering how much I’m having to cram her step in, I think she jumps around nicely-if not a little under powered.  Coming down the bending line I half halted a bit too much, and we threw in an awkward trot step/tranter jump over the oxer.  I get awkwardly jumped out of the tack, but we land and canter on just fine.

After completing my courtesy circle, my trainer tells me to just stay in for the 1st hunter class.  I reverse and off we go again!  It’s much the same struggle of really keeping her step small and I then over-corrected to the single on the bending and we have to “climb” over the vertical.  But again, Dee is a correct and smart little horse and we make it around easily.

When I leave the ring after that class, my trainer mentions to me that she thinks we should be done for the day.  I just nodded.

I wanted to write all this last week when I was fired up about it in so many ways.  I was fired up because not only did I make it back to the show ring (abeit a small one), but that we took home a 3rd place in our one judged jumping round!  Yay?!

I also wanted to be fired up about how I have been dying to show since the day I stopped showing in March of 2015…yet only managed to get into 2 judged classes at my home stable.  But now I just feel deflated by it all.  Getting the stomach flu the week after didn’t help either, but I actually haven’t ridden since the show.  Honestly, I haven’t really wanted to.  Maybe my lesson tonight will help drag me out of my “blah” fest.

I adore Dee, that’s not really a question here.  I love riding, also not a question.  But I’d liken being pulled from classes at a home stable kind of like being benched during a home basketball game or something.  It really gives you a hit in the gut.

I don’t know.  Maybe I’m just struggling to see the good side of things?  Whatever it is, I’m glad I got to show at all, and am hoping to get back out there soon.  If anything to prove to myself I can!

Ugly Sweater Schooling

Since the Ugly Sweater Horse show was on Sunday, we opted to school mid-day on Saturday in the hopes to use as much of the warmer part of the day as we could.  When I drove up I could see Deedee asleep by her bale of hay in the field, so I practically had to drag her in to get tacked up.

The whole objective for this show is to get Dee and myself around a few courses and do it with a positive note.  Dee hasn’t shown in several years, I haven’t shown since February…2014.  So survival is key here.  Not that I had any doubts in Dee or myself, but you know, I didn’t want to make a total ass of myself.

We tacked up, hopped on, warmed up, and proceeded to jump around.  Little mare was jumping her pants off, super careful and with ears pricked up.  We were schooling the add steps, and after Dee bounced around the course without so much as a bobble we decided to call it quits.  Possibly the fastest schooling I’ve had, but hey, why drill the horse into the ground?  Another perk to having a well educated horse as a partner.

Also, I didn’t realize until after, but Dee and I matched.  Go us!

Show media and more next time! 

The Horse Show Curse

I think everyone has, at one point or another, witnessed or been victimized by the the horse show plan curse.  You send money, time, and effort getting ready for horse shows, planning…then bam….horse throws her shoe, or goes lame, or stops jumping jumps, or you get the flu.  Whatever.  But I swear it is a real thing.

This Ugly Sweater/Holiday horse show curse, is a teeny bit different. (At least for now)

It went from 50 degrees last weekend/Monday….to 16 degrees today.  It is painful to be outside for very long, and even the powder puff highland pony wannabe Dee, is not so sold on the temperatures.  We’ve still managed in a lesson (while it was a toasty 22 degrees), but I think I’m ditching all my Christmas cheer-gear I was going to don for the Ugly Christmas Sweater Themed show.  It’s far too cold to be funny.  I can barely think straight in those temperatures, let alone succeed at things.  And taking off my coat, to show off my ugly sweater does not seem worth it.

Also, sleet.  It’s supposed to sleet the day of the show.  Hello winter…and why do you suck so much?

It seems like everyone is getting their dose of the craptastic weather that December can bring, so stay warm people!  If you need me tomorrow, I’ll be feeling like an IDIOT, dressed in 50 layers, attempting to horse show.  Wish us luck!


Thursday (Random) Thoughts

Because I can’t seem to gather my thoughts all into paragraph form.  Here you go.

photo (15)

Remember this beastie?

  1. I got an update on O last weekend, she’s living the life, pampered like crazy by her new people.  I miss her a lot lately, but hearing that makes it easier.
  2. Also, I rode my butt off last night.  As a result, Dee jumped like the trained horse she is.  T-10 day  until pony show.
  3. Dee will be a posing as a mountain (show) pony since we are not going to clip her and she is so FLUFFY.  #pastureponyprobs
  4. My daughter is already perfecting her two point.  Grab mane little squish.IMG_1269 (1).JPG Also yes, that’s a mule. My father-in-law is a die hard mule lover.  He’s got two riding mules right now.
  5. Bummer my daughter rode a mule before I got to.
  6. I take entirely too many pictures of my child.  But…cannot stop.  Especially when equines are involved.

She rode this one too, because when you’re a year old you do what you want.

6. I came into a bending line last night and thought my trainer said it was a six stride.  It was a five.  She corrected me right as I crawled over the first jump…so naturally “Oh shit!” was my response and then Dee and I hauled it down the line to make the five.  I was riding with a young teen.  She thinks I’m cool now.  Undecided how her parents (who were watching) feel.

7. Check out Equinpilot, she’s celebrating 500 posts (and is hosting a giveaway)!  Congrats!