February Schooling Show

Since our facility was hosting another show at the end of February, Dee and I were all set to go out and bop around the 2’6” classes again. The week of we had some good rides, some meh rides, and decided that schooling the morning of the show wasn’t worth the details.  I know that if I’d been on O again, I would’ve had a meltdown…and I’m guessing we would’ve had like 10 stops (one for each fence).  However, I felt pretty good about going in on Dee.  She doesn’t have a stop button, so I figured we’d be fine.

Okay so onto the media stuff: I do not remember the order, so I’m just winging it.  I believe there were 8 or so of us in these classes?  Also, my saddle pad does NOT fit Dee’s saddle.  I refuse to buy a saddle pad for her because I have no idea if we’ll show again.  So ignore the eye sore please.  Anyway.  Off we go.

We won this class (below).  The outside line by the crowd isn’t perfect, I avoided the chip, but had an ugly takeoff.  But I loved the way we rode this long approach green oxer and I think the diagonal rides really nice, even if we both got a little quick over the fence.

 

We got 2nd in this class.

It rode really nice, Dee couldn’t stop staring at the really bright sunspot in the corn of the ring, and cut it too close on the crowd outside line’s single.   But overall, happy with this round.

We got 3rd in this class.  I believe this was equitation, and  I was the only rider to ditch her coat for a sweater.  Worth it.  This round was fine, nothing glamorous, and I feel like maybe I couldn’t let off the gas pedal a bit.  I definitely had enough horse.

Dee and I also picked up a 2nd on the flat for under saddle, and a 5th on the flat for equitation.  The week before my trainer was calling this a sweater/winter coat affair…but then everyone showed up in jackets.  Except for me.  (wah wah)  It wasn’t a huge deal, but do feel like I was a little under dressed.  I guess I need to finally buck up a buy a new jacket eh?

feb show

At the end of the day I was so pleased with Dee.  All of her family was there (showing/riding/cheering) so I was even more happy to give her a decent ride.  Trainer was happy, horse was happy, I was happy==big time win.

Dee and I had a quiet week last week because of my 3rd (and hopefully last) bout with the stomach flu.  Day care is atrocious sometimes.  Good think kids are cute, because they are little germ cities.  Fingers crossed this week we’ll be able to get back to regularly scheduled programming.

Conclusions at Almost 2 Months

More reports from the ranch that O pony continues to be an easy going, quiet riding horse for whomever needs her.  They teased me a bit saying that after two days straight of working and moving cattle my ‘super fit’ jumping horse was a hot, sweaty, sore mess for a few days.  But besides her having to adjust to a different type of workload, they continue to have zero issues with her doing anything they ask.

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She’s pretty much been a “yes mam” ride for them.

Which brings me to a few conclusions as we approach the 2 month mark of her being out there.

1. There is nothing wrong with her brain.

2. This was a good decision.

Off she goes!

3. It’s looking like the program we had her in all winter may have been what made her meltdown.  (Process of elimination/Duh moment)

3a FYI: The program included getting ridden 5-6 days a week, jumped two or so times.

4. She’s doing really well out in big spaces, with or without other horses.  We need to accommodate this new positive aspect when she comes back with more time out of doors, even if it means skipping a ‘training ride’ or two.

5. Maybe she’s not happy doing ring work as much as hunter/jumper calls for.  This is the bad news, as obviously I am a hunter/jumper rider.  Perhaps we can find a middle zone with #4 and make both of us happy when she gets back.  Cross training here we come.

6. That really lovely, quiet mare is still there.

7. I miss my horse.

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HG Blog Hop: Every Day Tack Set Up

Stephanie at Hand Gallop asks:

It’s fun to try new stuff and experiment with the latest goodies, but I’m curious to know what your every day tack setup is like.

Maybe it’s because I mainly focus on hunters, and by nature they are pretty boring…but I am the epitome of boring in almost every way.  (it’s kind of sad.)  On my plain bay mare with limited white, we rock:

Bay pony.

Bay pony.

My tried and true Devoucoux saddle.

Loves it.  It's the 14th birthday/christmas gift that keeps giving!

Love this saddle. It’s the 14th birthday/Christmas gift that keeps giving!

It fits O really well, and I’ve loved it for years.  Sadly, there are some concerns about my knee flaps being forward enough (legs=too long with shorter stirrups), but it probably won’t be an issue until we move up more.  Or at least I hope so.

O goes in a super simple, cheapy white foam bump pad.  I tried a few wither pads, including the beval pad I loved for years.  Sadly she goes best in Mr. Boring Foam Pad.  Jealous?  Buy your own here!

Can you see the foam pad?

Can you see the foam pad?

And on her cute face, we have one of two options available.

The favorite child: Bobby’s English Tack Raised Fancy Stitched Snaffle Bridle, find it here.  Bobby’s has a great rep around my stable, and I can see why!  Since I’ve used mine mainly for show or the occasional lesson it hasn’t gotten a ton of use, but the leather was soft upon purchase and I love the look and feel.  Oh and the reins, something about the reins I love.

Can you see them?  Urgh, most of the close up's of this one also involve her stopping...

Can you see it? Urgh, most of the close up’s of this bridle also involve her stopping…so this is all you get.

The worker bee (aka schooling bridle): Picked up an HDR fancy stitched bridle on the cheap last year and we’ve been hacking and riding in it every since.  It is a great buy for a basic, working bridle, and I actually really like the way it fits on her larger face.

HDR in action

HDR in action.  Also, look at her lashes in this one.  Daww.

There’s a variety of saddle pads that get rotated through, and a cheapy girth that I picked up in college when I was at the eating ramen every day stage of broke.  Like I said, we are thrilling over here in Hunterland!

Next post is lots of photos and updates from O’s time at the ranch!  Sneaky preview….

Coy and Olive June 3

Stolen Post Idea to Fill the Void

Stolen from Monica at Chasing the Dream, because I have a ton of crap going on, and may not be able to ride for another day or two.  Thanks a bunch workload.  Being an adult…the struggle is real.

1. If your horse was a person, who would they be? (you can generalize personality if you can’t think of someone).
O would be one of those ridiculous, overly perky camp counselors who totes around a clipboard ordering everyone else around.

2. What is one (or two…or five) piece(s) of equipment you CANNOT live without.
Bell boots, my saddle (I’m obsessed), and a pair of gloves.

3. When did you start riding/ what discipline?  
11 years old, hunter/jumper

4. Do you have a barn dog? If so, what breed?
I do not, there are several around, but none I can claim.

5. Do you like doing stalls or nah?
I don’t wake up thinking “I really want to clean some stalls”, but I really don’t mind and it’s a great workout.

i-said-clean-all-the-stalls-thumb

6. What treat(s) does your horse go nuts over?
Currently she’s super into Charleighs Cookies-they smell amazing, and I finally munched on one myself to see what the big deal was.  It was pretty good, I get it!

7. If you’ve switched disciplines, why? If not, also why.

Not really, but I bounced into the jumper world for a year or two in high school when I didn’t have  hunter to ride.

Loved this boy!

Loved this boy!

I used to not learn forward....

I used to not learn forward….

8. What is your least favorite discipline and why (yeah, I aint afraid to be scandalous)? 
Gaited classes are just confusing, and I don’t get it.  That said, I still think they are pretty.

9. Who is currently your favorite rider? 
Lillie Keenan, come and teach me all the things!

10. What is your BIGGEST pet peeve regarding horses?
Hmmm welllllllllllllll……  If you aren’t a professional, a close friend, or someone I’ve consulted…DO NOT tell me what to do with my horse, or what you think he/she is capable of.  I will be forced to attack you.

Viva Carlos Blog Hop: Why I Chose Her

What made you interested in your current horse that led you to buying them in the first place? I was assigned to ride O in a lesson one week, and had no idea who she was.

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Not quite what you’d call pretty.

She was quiet on the ground, but almost droopy, sad quiet.  Once in the saddle I was dismayed at how much effort it took to keep her at the walk.  Seriously, pony club style kicking.  Her trot threw you out of the saddle, and I felt there was no way it could look nice.  And dear god, her canter was a hand gallop.  We flew around the ring, and really she was too unbalanced and too unwilling to do anything else. I was not a fan AT ALL.  

We started jumping and seeing as my legs were already half -dead from keeping her forward on the flat I half-assed my way to the little vertical and squeezed some more.  She jumped me hard out of the tack and I cannot believe to this day how I stayed on.  I came back around, less squeezing and realized little mare for the first time all ride had her ears up, and trotted happily to the jump before greenly launching over it. This time I rode like normal person and it was much better.  

She had a natural, easy way of jumping if still a bit overkill in the power department.   It was a blast to jump her.  Everything else was kind of sucky.  

I was untacking her when my assistant trainer at the time asked if I was looking for a horse.  She said she thought we were a great match.  I kind of shrugged it off, I was getting married in 4 months, living in an apartment, and just getting used to having a real person’s paycheck.  Any horse was just not in the mix, definitely not this one.

Not to mention O belonged to the Asst. Trainer….so any compliments I took with a grain of salt.  She threw out a number anyway, and I laughed and put O away.  No thanks, was the answer I repeated week after week.

I continued to ride her while other people tried her out.  No luck on selling her, even as her price went down. Meanwhile, I had started to figure her out.  Husband came to meet her, and as a farriers son his biggest concern was fixing her poor tootsies.  Another big negative for her.  Parents came to meet her, and my Dad vowed he was taking her home if I didn’t.  She really is the kindest mare I’ve known-big positive in her favor.

Besties.

Dad and O: Besties still today.

But she was still so lazy, and green, and….I still loved every second of jumping…and being with her on the ground.

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Please ignore me…she was exhausting to ride and I OBVIOUSLY am not photogenic here.

My trainer was watching me go around once on her, and after the ride said something to the figure of “she’s in awful shape, but I think we can make her into something pretty nice”.  My resolve to avoid buying her lessened even more.  

She was growing on me.

She was growing on me.

One night, I was talking to my fiance (now husband) and said I couldn’t deny that I wanted her and thought she had great potential.  Maybe I had found my adult hunter horse…just a few months/years earlier than I intended. He told me it was my choice. I called the trainer, and it was done. And then all the hard work started!

After one of our first rides.

After one of our first rides.

A year and a half later!

A year and a half later!

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She’s grown up so much!