Monday, July 17, 2017

Craziness that is life

It sucks when life is so busy you can barely get things done.  Usually I can do blogger things while I am at work or during lunch, that just isn't the case lately.  Blah!  I am struggling to get time to keep on top of everything.  Some family was in over the 4th of July weekend.  I had tried to powerwash our front porch before they came in preparation for getting a small storage shed we were going to put on it.  That resulted in the porch needing to be repainted as old paint flaked off and then we found porch posts had rotted and needed to be replaced.  So that has taken up a LOT of free time.  Plus de-landscaping the back of our house and selling SO MANY plants...  I have been a selling fool these past 2 weeks.  Next will be some tack, LOTS of girths, one day it will be quiet again lol.
Rotty rot of a porch post.  NOT cedar.
So before the 4th, the farrier was supposed to come out.  He canceled 2 hours before he was supposed to show up and refused to reschedule, saying he would "let us know" when he could come.  Except he has done this 3 times and it takes weeks to get rescheduled so the horses are then long overdue.  This last time, the other boarder had enough (it was originally her farrier anyway) and was able to get a barefoot trimmer out of New York to come visit us.  She has been talking with this farrier for about 3-4 months and we just went ahead and decided to try her.

Hanging porch post
What a difference.  I gave zero instruction as to what I was unhappy with currently, just let her do her thing.  She made a huge difference in App.  App went from a grade 4 lameness to walking off a 2 at worst.  OMG.  She brought his heels back (FINALLY), changed his bars and the overall balance.  He is standing so much more comfortable and when she finished his front feet, he let out a huge sigh and did some licking and chewing.  Awwww!  Poor man must have been uncomfortable for a while, damn farriers.  I have complained ad nauseam about his hoof balance and underun heels and no one would actually fix them.
New cedar bottom for porch post
Mia wasn't nearly as big of a change, she really addressed Mia's slightly clubby foot and brought her heels way down.  She changed the balance of her fronts and said her hinds were in very good shape.  The downside is this farrier is more than double the cost of a typical trim (because she has to travel so far) but if she can make App almost sound so I am not considering putting him down for the winter?

The barn got 3 new boarders this month so we are now full again and 2 of them ride at night!  So far, I have had someone to ride with every single time I have gone to the barn for the past 2 weeks.  It is really cool!  It is really different, after riding by myself almost exclusively for 16 months, but really cool.  The one who rides with me the most is a good bit older and a fearful rider but I am being a "good/bad" influence and having her do things like walk up/down a hill, trotting outside and she even cantered on her own.  Cantering is something she hasn't done outside of a lesson in a very long time (her words).  She is thrilled I am riding with her and encouraging her to push her boundaries of comfort, hopefully, she gets her confidence soon.  She has ridden in only lessons for the past 9 years, has been an "indoor arena only" person, and only with other people with her.  I told her she is welcome to ride with me, but I ride outside as well as out and about.
New porch post, "new" paint later stripped off
as "paint+primer" was not primery enough.
Primer added and new paint put on top of that.
I have more updates, so many updates, so another post is to come this week.  What did we do?  Where did we go?  Who did we see?  Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Trying again

So after our last show was canceled, I ended up not riding for a solid 2 weeks.  That isn't helpful when we have another show scheduled in 2 weeks!  EEK!!  We had the abscess and then the family emergency immediately followed by relatives who came in this past weekend so no riding was done.

"new" relaxed trot
I am curious how well Mia will do with full Novice XC course, the courses are much shorter here in PA then they are in MI so I am not super concerned.  Any fit horse should be able to canter 5 minutes when full of adrenaline, and Mia is surely fit.  Never fear, I am not planning on taking a pasture puff and doing a Novice course.  On Tuesday I rode with a lady from our barn, let's call her B, on the trails and I was able to both trot and canter with her.  Not a full fitness set of either gait, but enough of a duration that both Mia and I got a good workout in.  Fitness FTW!


Last night we played with dressage and while it isn't where I had hoped, it was decent enough. I rode for 25 mins and worked on our new relaxation frame.  I don't think we will be able to get it when we are at the show but baby steps, right?  I ride again tonight and it should be a full dressage ride, I need to step up my game to make sure we are prepared!

This weekend we are going XC schooling so I am excited for that.  We haven't gone XC schooling all year, just making do with what is at the barn, so I am excited to go over some Novice and Training stuff!!  And!!!!  AND!!!! We should meet up with another blogger!  How fun will that be!
Not too bad, but holy short neck Batman!
Someone asked how App was doing, App is still trucking right along.  His weight isn't great but isn't bad at all for a broken old man.  His soundness has gone significantly downhill over the past year, from NQR in March/April last year to a grade 4/5 lameness at the walk.  See?


But you know what?  It doesn't slow him down.  Like... at all.  I have been informed that within the past 2 months App has:  Escaped from his pasture (regularly, not once or 5 times), run people over to escape out of the pasture, knocked stuff out of people's hand for no reason, JUMPED THE FENCE and encourages the 29yr old that he is pastured with to escape, run around and create havoc with him.  Ahem.  Yeah App, you are supposed to be broken and in retirement.  Being paired with this old buddy has apparently inspired all of the mischiefs that had been kept at bay for a full year.  The barn people have repeatedly said "I just can't believe it!  He is normally so calm and perfect!"  Yeah... no one believed he was an ass when he wanted to be.  They do now!

I am trying to overlook his limping because if he is creating this much havoc, like JUMPING OUT OF PASTURES and trotting to see Mia, he isn't in so much pain that he is unhappy.  He certainly still has that spark in his eye and will to live and he hasn't let life get him down.  I'm hopeful we can get him through another year, he doesn't seem ready to go that is for sure.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Not as planned

So Tuesday we went on a quick walk trail ride and Mia stumbled and acted off immediately.  I hopped down and dug around with a stick but found no rock.  She seemed to walk most of it off, as at first she didn't want to put her foot down, but was still off at the trot when we got back to the barn. She got some poultice and thrown in the pasture.  Wednesday she was still off but we couldn't really tell where.  No heat or swelling, we determined there was possibly heat in her heel.  She got her massage, more bute, some ickthammol and kicked back outside.

Mia had only a few unhappy moments
My PLAN was to give her Thursday off, check her again Friday and scratch from our (first of the season) Novice HT on Saturday if needed.  That flew out the window when we got a call that we had to rush to OH for a family emergency.  So the show was canceled as we were not even in the state dealing with family stuff.

Most of the time, she was simply content and hanging out.
We finally got back from Ohio Weds am.  I went out to the barn last night and my horses were alive and kicking.  Mia was being eaten alive by gnats, she had big sores on her chest and on her udder, so they were both covered in fly spray.  Mia looks like she could possibly still be lame?  But it is very mild if she is.
Writeup of the findings, sideways bc technology.
This weekend I have relatives coming in to visit so I won't be doing much riding, it lets her have more time off I suppose.  Things simply came to a very abrupt halt and it is disappointing horse wise.
Diagram of the muscle groups corresponding to above
So I suppose the best way to finish the post is to talk about Mia's massage.  I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but I am not sure I got it.  They use a big vibrating cylinder over her withers and a handheld one for everywhere else.  They didn't use their hands on her as much as I expected and the knots that were found were better, but they weren't eliminated.  She was pretty tight in her cheeks and shoulder and they gave me some assignments to do on her to help keep her loose and comfortable. I know Mia did enjoy it, I guess I was just expecting more.  Holding a vibrating massager and running it over her body to eliminate knots is not what I expected.  Has anyone else had an equine massage?  Should the knots have been eliminated?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Less is more

Why yes, I am super busy still, why do you ask?  Oh the blog silence?  Well, it hasn't been THAT silent, geez.  So what has been going on.  Well, my trailer got it's pinstriping put on, or rather stripes since they are 2" and 1" tall.  The trailer got delivered back to the barn.  Powerwashed the entire front porch of our house, got shelving and lighting up in the garage and some yardwork done.  Phew.
So happy this is done, back to the barn we go!
Mia was going to have an easy trail ride last week but decided instead that she had to lose her marbles and actually smacked me in the face with her head by drama llama'ing so badly.  She's done this before, but had not actually hit me yet.  I was surprised I didn't have a black eye, because she hit me pretty hard.  She got spanked pretty good and then I made her trot along the road for about 2 miles, including over the ouchy rocks she didn't like.  Her attitude greatly improved after that.  Damn horses.
Ready for fitness!
Another day, one of the barn ladies watched me ride and commented I am over riding, I need to ride with less.  Mia carries a lot of tension in her chest/neck and suggested I really need to focus on relaxation as my next stepping point.  When I rode (what felt) like a newbie and flopped all around, Mia trotted around all relaxed and they said it presented a much better picture. Hmmm.  Personally I think it was more that Mia wasn't being put into a frame, as that is when she gets tight and tense, but I'm up to try anything.  Feedback from almost anyone is welcome at this point.

The next day was super hot so I we worked on getting into that outside rein.  The barn friend hopped on Mia and remarked how soft and responsive she is.  Well, I hope so, I am the one that put every bit of training on her!  Sometimes I just have issues putting it all together, it's why I keep asking around for lessons.  I have actually tried really hard to train her correctly and not use shortcuts or gimmicks.  Yesterday I rode dressage and while it was super humid, Mia was pretty good.  I tried to focus really hard on not micromanaging and instead, apply more leg.  What's the answer?  More leg.  Head up?  More leg.  2+2?  More leg!  We still have our spots of inconsistency, and I am not sure we will be there by the show, but I am trying.  Her being relaxed is more enjoyable to ride, that is for sure.

Tired mares tend to look very downhill #fitness4lyfe
What was that?  A show you ask?  Why yes, a show this coming Sunday.  Hopefully we are ready for it.  It isn't supposed to be too bad weather wise which will be nice.  And MC from the barn is going to go to the same show, so we may be able to haul together.  I tried to go xc schooling at the facility but the owner just wouldn't return my calls so schooling is going to be over the logs at the barn and hope for the best.  Mia is a beast, we haven't had a single issue since our very first horse trial, I need to trust my pony more.  This is the mantra I have told myself every time I think about the lack of schooling we have done.  Ack!!!

Roll all of the stress away Mia, roll it all away
Mia has her first ever massage scheduled for Wednesday in hopes that any residual tension will melt away and she will be amazeballs.  MY last massage was in 2009 so I am not quite sure how it is fair, but it is what I have scheduled.  Fingers crossed!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trailer Maintenance Time!

After a year of not, it was finally time to address my trailer and do some needed maintenance.  We have always been good about maintenance and usually work on it a little every year, however after the move it hasn't gotten anything except some grease for the wheel bearings.  It didn't even get a bath last year, and it showed.  Badly.  EEWWW!!  To say it was dirty was an understatement.
So clean!!
At the beginning of the year, I ordered 4 new tires with galvanized wheels.  After tax time, I bought 2 sets of brakes, hubs, hardware for it all, trailer jack (the one I bought last winter sucked badly), new rear door locks and a breakaway battery kit.  Phew, that's a lot of stuff! should really be giving multi-customer discounts for realz.

Brakes in progress, steel not cleaned/painted
Brakes after, steel scraped/painted
Last weekend we were only able to do one set of brakes due to the pouring rain so we finished it all this weekend.  Despite being an all aluminum trailer, it does have a few steel beams so I crawled under the trailer and got all of the flaking paint/rust off with the air tool.  Next I put on 2 coats of paint via spray paint, I had bought some good Rustoleum Professional paint but SO had me use up virtually all of our old paint so my trailer beams were grey, white, blue, orange, bright orange and black.  Ha!

New wheels and powerwashed
Sunday after it dried, I put on a 3rd coat of paint using my good black paint so it wasn't multi colored any longer.  I would strongly recommend that Professional paint over regular or other paint, after using 5 different brands putting the 1st and 2nd coat on, wow that Professional paint went on SO easily.  One coat coverage to get great color, it sprayed so much better and was much easier to work with.  Whodathunk?!
New jack and breakaway box
After the paint dried, we applied a new undercoating called Fluid Film.  It is a fantastic lubrication and is apparently used in Canada as a rust protectant on cars and has very good reviews.  The ease in which this stuff applied was amazing, I was expecting a huge mess and there really wasn't.  Super easy to apply, within 20 minutes I was done!  Am really curious to see how well it works as we have enough to put on all of our vehicles this summer.

New rear locks, no longer need to literally assault the lock to open it!
SO tore all of the wiring apart at the hitch and replaced all of the scotch locks with real butt connectors and hooked up the breakaway battery with the trickle charger.  Apparently, my breakaway wouldn't have worked even with a charge, one of the posts on the battery had broken completely off!  We tested the new setup and it works, and now we won't have to worry about the battery being dead.  I was even able to get the fender LED light to work again with some cleaning and TLC, I didn't have to replace it.

New 2nd tire rack on the right
After the wiring was done, the new wheels were slapped on and the trailer lowered to the ground, it was time for deep cleaning.  The mats got drug out (ewww, do NOT skip a year on this folks.  For real) and power washed, the inside got a good cleaning as did the outside.  I power washed the pinstriping off because it was very cracked/faded/peeling and the trailer looked good.  I cleaned up the adhesive on one side without problems but when I did the passenger side, it was taking paint off!?! OMG.  New pinstriping is now ordered to cover THAT up.  The difference in one side vs the other?  Who knows.
New saddle racks, cost $8 total!
Lastly, I added 3 new hanging saddle blanket racks and a second spare tire carrier.  SO insists I carry 2 spares and now both are wall mounted instead of one laying on the floor.  Woohoo!  All hinges got a good squirt of lubrication and the only thing left to do is to wash the windows and load everything back up into the trailer.  We should be all ready for our show on the 25th!

Monday, June 5, 2017

In which I fall....out of a plane....and other updates

I am so glad things are starting to slow down, hopefully in the next week I can actually breathe.  Memorial weekend was the (car) race and it went really well considering it was a brand new build.  We do endurance racing so it is not necessarily how fast you are going, but if you can go and not break down.  Both Saturday and Sunday had a 7 hour (nonstop) race, for a total of 14 hours over the weekend.  It went well!  Saturday we had rain and wet to contend with but we placed in the top third of competitors.  Sunday we were doing very well (top 20 out of 90!) until we had a suspension part break so we had to fix that and ended up just better than half of the field.  We then came home Monday and unpacked (omg all the things...) and rested.

On Tuesday I simply free lunged Mia because she had SO MUCH energy, despite being out on actual pasture.  I expected she would be a little more sedate with all of the extra walking around and having a non-broken pasture mate (Mia and App are currently in different fields) but apparently not!  Lots of head flinging, bucking and galloping was to be had lol.  Wednesday I rode for fitness, Mia is good and solid at 3 min canter sets so it is time to bump that up to 4 min sets.  Myself, I can do 3 minute sets while standing in my dressage saddle but I need to really start focusing on two point because I don't think I can hit the 4 minute mark right now.  Well, maybe....but certainly not the first try haha.

Thurs/Fri is Mia's standard days off.  Saturday I went skydiving (for the 2nd time) and was even able to convince 2 others to join me.  I am nothing if not a bad influence and a good time ha!!  Not only did I skydive....OMG I was the COPILOT on the way up!!!!!!!!   I am not sure I can adequately convey my joy in this, I love to fly.  LOVE to fly.  The only thing stopping me from getting my pilot's license is the fact that I don't need a third, very expensive hobby.  I have loved to fly since I was a little girl and this was a wish came true.  It was so cool chatting with the pilot as we went up, listening to ground control and feeling the plane move around as he brought us up to 14,000 ft.  Dream came true people, dream came true.  When I am finally broken enough that I can't drive race cars or ride horses, I am totally getting my pilot license and a little plane to cruise around in.
Just hanging out, letting gravity do it's thing
 I enjoyed skydiving and will certainly do it again.  I liked my first experience better though, the instructor I had this time was a little off putting and I was simply tense on the trip down.  In an experience like that, the employee really does make or break the experience!  The freefall is probably my favorite part, with the twirling in the sky my next favorite. I am such an adrenaline junkie :)
Why yes, I do like jumping out of perfectly good airplanes!
Sunday I worked with SO and we blew apart my trailer for maintenance.  It is getting a new breakaway brake battery (mine stopped working, this one has a trickle charger on it), new brakes, new hubs, new door locks, powerwashed and a scrape/paint on the few pieces of steel frame underneath.  Unfortunately, the company that I ordered the parts from only sent one set of brakes, not two, so we didn't get the trailer done.  And then it rained for 3/4 of the day.  We have one axle left to put together, powerwash the trailer and then paint the few pieces of steel and it will be all done.

Finally, the saddle fitter came back out last night for the initial adjustment of my County saddle.  I have been trying to get her out since November, but she ended up in FL before she came back out for the adjustment and so I have had to wait for her to return.  At least she came back out!  She actually did a lot of adjustment, put more padding in the withers to raise the front up (my biggest complaint was that it sat way too low in the front), did a lot of adjustment to the left rear panel and smoothed out some of the right panel.  Wow, it fits so much better!  She said she suspects Mia had an injury to her right hind at one point in her life, she puts a lot more weight on her left hind and steps to her midline with her left but not her right.  She likely had an injury, walked this way to compensate and it simply became a habit.  Similar to how we walk funny after surgery/injury except we go to Physical Therapy to help us remember to walk properly again, only horses don't usually get that part.  As a result, it is likely why Mia's right shoulder is more developed and is also why the left side of the saddle moved more than the right.  All is adjusted now so we will see how it goes.

This week and next week is quiet, like really quiet with not a single thing written on my calendar!  I am excited to get back to riding.  We have our next show on the 25th and I want to be ready!

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Very busy but we did have a SHOW!

Things are so busy right now, I am so looking forward to June 1 when things are going from 100mph to about 20mph.  Last weekend was a horse show, a test and tune on the racecar, packing for the race this weekend and trying to do the household things like mow, weed whack, dishes, laundry, etc.  Add getting sick and it was fun.  UGH!!! 

No awesome photographer, but better than no media
So Mia's second Novice show was on Saturday.  Friday night I got horrible food poisoning and was so thankful for a 2p ride time on Saturday because otherwise I would have scratched.  Heck, at 9a on Saturday I would have scratched if I had to leave at that moment!  It was bad.  Really bad.  I took a double dose of pepto, immodium and some advil and finally went to the barn at 11a.  Barely.  While I hauled with MC and her 19yr old daughter, I was totally by myself and it was a time I really could have used help  Oh well, I have shown alone a lot and the quiet focus of not puking got me through.  Mia had been trimmed Friday am and unfortunately was a little footy on the outdoor substrate so she wasn't as awesome as she could have been in dressage, however we still got a 38.  Why is that a good thing?  Because the best score of the entire DAY for all divisions was a 33 so I don't feel so bad.  The judge really didn't like Mia's haunches falling in during the canter circles and docked us a 5 on those but everything else was a 6-7.  And she gave us NO feedback at the bottom.  Thanks, lady.

Getting there.  That TAIL though. 
I went and changed tack and waited for jumping.  It was supposed to be a Combined Test (dressage/stadium) but the show set it up as a derby (dressage/xc/stadium jumps) so that was cool.  I had known ahead of time and had jumped over some xc fences last Weds to prepare and Mia couldn't have cared.  She loves to jump.  We popped over the xc warmup jumps a half dozen times before simply waiting for our turn.  We went in and Mia just ate it up, the height is so easy for her.  As we came around to fence 6, I looked at fence 10 before I realized CRAP!!  That is fence 10, not 7!!  I pulled off of it about 5 strides out and ended up jumping 7 at a very severe angle to get over it.  Mia was all "Angles?  NBD.  Crazy human has me do these ALL THE TIME".  The 6 people hanging over by the in-gate were extremely impressed. Haha!  As I was leaving, I was asked to stay as there was one other horse and it was going nuts because it was being "left behind".  No worries, I stayed and just delayed my departure home for about 30 mins.  It was fun though because several people came up to me and said hi and that they really liked Mia's jumping and flexibility.  HAHA!!!  Mare is a beast.  We ended up first....out of our division one LOL!  Oh well, I was much more happy with her jumping than the fact I was the only one in the division.  Yet another show in the books where we did not have a rail in stadium!

Let's see if you can see my Fence 7 near miss HA!

She gets this week off because of the prep that is being required for our race, but next week we are hitting the training hard.  The barn has cut the fitness paths and it is dry enough to use them so starting next week, fitness is becoming a focus again.  Lots of hill work and two point will be had, I have 4 weeks to be fit as a fiddle for our first Novice HT!  Here's to keeping fingers crossed I can maintain life until then.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

So what else is going on?

I know, I know.  Rolex is AWESOME!  I suck because I got to have all the fun and you may not have, get on with it lady.  Fine, I know, you want to read about my horses.  Not listen to me brag about my vacation. Okay, okay, fine.

I didn't get to ride last week after getting back from...well you know where :).  Tuesday the horses looked horrible with their half shedded coats so they each got a thorough grooming day.  App even got a full on spring bath, with two wash cycles.  He is SO soft now, still!  Nothing like a good bath to make a crappy coat feel so much better.  SO made me a knockoff Slick EZ after seeing someone use one at the barn and it works so well!  It really is a hacksaw blade in a piece of wood.  One piece of 2x4, about a half dozen swipes with a hand saw, tap in a 24 or 32 tooth per inch blade, voila.  It works so very well on loose hair!  If the horse is groomed daily and isn't having a heavy shed day, it isn't worth it but if you skip a few days it is awesome.
Who wants grainy cell phone video screencaps?!  
Wednesday I tried to ride but didn't get a chance to because there were people who showed up and they wanted to catch up with me so instead I groomed horses again, organized stuff and was social.  Sunday I went out to ride and it was crazy there.  I knew that the barn was throwing a birthday/pony party at 2p so I went out at 11a and it was crazy how many people were there.  On a busy day, there are 4-5 people there at once.  This Sunday there were 11?!  People working on fencing, people cleaning stalls, people setting up for the party.  On top of that, Mia was flipping out because App had been put in an "old mans" temporary pasture to eat grass without her and even after running around on a lunge line she had too much energy so I just called that day a pass too.

I finally got to ride on Monday and Mia was again all crazy.  I threw the jump saddle on and we did fitness, what better way to burn energy!  We are both terribly out of shape (unless you count round?), it is funny how quickly trot/canter sets will settle a mare down haha!  After the 4th 3 minute canter set she was tired and finally soft.  We stayed mostly on a circle that had a 12-18" jump at each end and I worked on forcing her to stay in a collected canter, to politely jump the cross rail and canter off without antics the entire canter set.  There were some antics, but not many.  It was a success!
Better than no media, right?
Tuesday was really amusing.  First, apparently, my lame, broken App who doesn't walk well decided to leave his grassy, flat area with a buddy and water and go brush whacking through some dense briars, up a small hill and over a fallen tree to "escape" and meander around the farm by himself.  What a dork.  They had a "fenceline" (just a strand of tape, not even hot) on 3 sides and used this tree/brush line as the 4th line.  Apparently App wanted to walk around and let himself out.  I told them he is crafty, just because he is old doesn't mean he isn't trouble.  There is a reason his nickname was Captain Asshole by SO in OH and MI!
But look at how consistent she is in her frame!
The other amusing thing was I rode Mia.  She was not happy.  The horses were fed late so she hadn't eaten yet and App hadn't been returned to her pasture (still in the old man pasture from the day) so she was head flinging, whinnying and sassing all about.  We started a dressage ride and she was very much "Oh leg?  Do I need to do anything about that?  Okay.....I guess....if you insist...." and extremely slow off of my leg aids.  After a good 10 mins I borrowed a dressage whip and gave her one tap.  One.  Suddenly her quarters would shoot off in any direction at the slightest hint of leg pressure.  Okay mare, you know there is there a middle ground?  Then she was all "I have no idea what this 'canter to trot' thing is that you talk about, have you taught me that?" and "I must pull you out of the saddle, my head is heavy, hold me up".  After a good 20 minutes of her pulling HARD and being a general pain, I hopped off and switched bridles to the pelham that I hadn't bothered to bring home.

It took all of 3 bumps with the curb chain before we went from uncooperative horse to wonderful partner.  HA!  We rode the Novice test A and the 2nd run through went beautifully.  All it took was one tap and 3 bumps, haha!  Ahh horses, you kill me.
And her canter is getting so good too! Though I have no proof
Just stare in awe of her trot and how far it has come.
Wednesday we had another dressage ride.  I started in the pelham but hopped off and switched to her eggbutt after about 15 minutes because I didn't need the pelham.  It wasn't a 100% perfect ride, but if I had to bring her to a dressage show tomorrow I wouldn't feel uncomfortable about it.  Win!  We ended with more fitness, 3 min sets for her, no stirrup during the sets for me.  We need to get our fitness back up and we can only do that with work.

We now have to get ready for our show on the 20th, plus learn Novice test B.  After this weekend things get crazy until June 1 so I am not sure how much I will be riding, esp after our show on the 20th.  I have a test day with the racecar on the 21st and then a race with the racecar on the 26-28.  It's going to be a crazy couple of weeks!  After June 1 my schedule is wide open so I am hopeful for XC schooling, we need to get on that!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Who's ready for a Rolex Media dump? Part 2 - Videos of XC!

So yeah, I may have taken a lot of videos.  

But that means I was doing it for you, my followers
Andrea Baxter - Indy 500
Boyd Martin - Steady Eddie
Buck Davidson - Petite Flower
Sarah Cousins - Tsunami
Madeline Backus
Bunnie Sexton - Rise Aagainst
Clark Montgomery - Loughan Glen - Where he lost 1st place :(

Lisa Marie Fergusson - Honor Me
I enjoyed watching the corner jumps, it is where we ended the day
And of course Michael Jung
James Alliston - Parker
Jessica Phoenix - A Little Romance
Philip Dutton - I'm Sew Ready
Joe Meyer - Clip Clop
Joe Meyer - Clip Clop
William Coleman III - Obos OReilly
Katie Ruppel - Houdini
Be warned, this one has a fall
Buck Davidson - Park Trader
Boyd Martin - Cracker Jack
Katie Rupel - Houdini
Courtney Cooper - Whos a Star
Lillian Heard - Share Option

Be warned - This one has a fall
Allie Sacksen - Nio

I so enjoyed Rolex and got great views of the action.  It is also my 3rd Rolex, and the first in which I saw people fall off.  Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, I can't believe I hadn't seen people come off (well on the replays, but not in front of me).  Can't wait until next year, cause I am already planning on going!

Who's ready for a Rolex Media dump? Part 1 - PICS!

I hope it is you, because I actually went through the trouble of creating a YouTube account so everyone can see the videos!  Since, you know, apparently you can't see videos when they are uploaded into Blogger.  So this is pretty pic heavy, videos in the next post :)

1st part of dressage

Enjoying the shade of covered stadium

But then had to get up close and personal

My fav
Did anyone else go to the Champions Live seminar?  I did!
Hi Wofford, peeking around Philip there :)

Go go go!
Buck Davidson - Petite Flower

Ellen Doughty-Hume - Sir Oberon

Philip Dutton 

Maxime Livio - Qalao Des Mers

Michael Yung - fischerRocana FST

Michael Yung - fischerRocana FST

Michael Yung - fischerRocana FST
Seriously, our stadium seating was THE BEST.  Even if the sun made for hazy pics of it.   What a  great weekend indeed.  And I got a lot of video, like a LOT of video.  So I am breaking it up into two posts, never fear though because I am posting them BACK TO BACK!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Rolex Recap

Rolex was such a good time, BESTWEEKENDALLYEAR for sure!   It started back in November when I bought tickets the minute they went on sale and scored some amazing stadium seats for Sunday.  I had K coming down with her BF and dad as well as a group of 5 from the barn, plus meeting 3 people that the barn people knew.  Group pricing for the win!

On Wednesday we started our long drive after work (5p) and drove until 730p before spending the night in a hotel and continuing on Thursday.  Nothing like a good 12 hour drive head of you to want to get a few hour head start the day before.  We got to Lexington at 430p on Thursday and met up with everyone at the hotel before going out to Roosters for dinner.  Roosters is a chain of wing themed restaurants, like Buffalo Wild Wings but so much better.  Wings are much larger and they aren't nearly as stingy with their sauces.  <3  Their cinnipuff dessert?  OMG that was beyond amazing!

Friday we left the hotel at 8a and went to Rolex.  My original plan was to scope the shopping before watching dressage warmup as I hadn't bought stadium seating.  I bought stadium seating in 2013 and felt it was a waste so didn't bother this time.  People had other plans and the barn group bought me a stadium seat for dressage as a thank you for organizing the shindig.  Not wanting to appear ungrateful, I left K to watch warmup and I watched a couple of hours of dressage in stadium after doing some preliminary browsing.

There were a few coursewalks I was interested in but K really wanted to go on the Smarkpak hosted one with Boyd Martin.  I told her it would be super crowded but she persisted so we went to it. And regretted it.  There was easily 200-300 people, likely more.  Enough people that you couldn't see the jumps as Boyd talked about them due to the crowd.  After the 2nd jump (13), where we couldn't see anything but people, I suggested going off on our own and K was very eager to do that.  I think she learned to not pick the course walks with the top riders ha!  You can get good info, but you are swarmed with crowds and can't see anything.  The smaller course walks are the ones to do.  As we left the 2nd jump and was almost to 18ABC, Boyd said that is where they were headed next.  I kid you not, at least 75 people literally ran down the hill to get to the jump "first".  It was crazy!!  At this point, we had walked to the far side of 18ABC and didn't have a crowd so we got to listen to the commentary and see things lol.  He announced he was going to the hollow (I think) and, again, a large segment of people literally ran off.  SMH.  I can't run very well anymore, I will pass.  So K and I walked the fences 8-19 and had a good time.

On Saturday, K didn't stick to me like I expected and so I did my own thing most of the day.  The men set up "camp" at Head of the Lake while everyone else wandered around.  I went with one of the barn ladies to jump 3 and then 5/23 and then 6 before going to Head of the Lake to sit and relax.  SO was quite impressed, he knew things were big but was impressed at how well the horses handled such big obstacles.  After an hour or so we packed up their "camp" and went to the Land Rover area to see more jumps and watch the jumbotron.  We met up with the rest of the clan and watched Michael Jung over the corner jump of 13.  That night we met up with the instructors (M and B from 2015) from MI that I had really enjoyed and had dinner with them and a small group of people.  Really enjoyed catching up with them!

Sunday was stadium and was the only day we didn't get to park right next the camping area, we had to walk (The horror haha!) a small distance, much closer than 80% of people though.  Makes sure you arrive between 8-830a if you want good parking spots peoples!  It fills up FAST.  We did another round of shopping/browsing/chatting before heading to stadium to watch the Double Dan Horsemanship presentation.  Dude, sitting 2nd row from the arena is AWESOME.  We were literally in front of the final jump/timer and had a great view of everything.  Love!

After that, there was the long drive back to PA.  The barn people drove straight through, we broke it up by staying in WV for the night and arrived home at 4p on Monday.  Not bad at all!  I am a terrible tack ho though, I had went through things before I left and found NOTHING I needed.  Saddle pads?  NO.  Bridles?  NO.  Halters?  NO.  The only things I could have used were consumables, poultice/fly spray/liniment.  Anything and everything I tried to pick up I talked myself out of because I have multiples of.  I have almost a dozen bridles and one horse....I have 24 (? low estimate) saddle pads, 5 half pads, a show halter, a backup halter, 2 rope halters, 4 new breeches, more tshirts than can fit in my drawers, 4 Kasteel sun shirts, blah!  A girl doesn't need anything, it is a waste!  What did I buy at Rolex?  One measly pair of schooling gloves.  Yep.  That is how pathetic I am.  I did, however, get a bunch of free stuff.  1.5 months of HA powder, 2 medium bottles of fly spray, a fabulous, large canvas tote, a Smartpak Coursewalk tshirt, 10 day supply of the new Buteless Performance pellets, 5lb bag of treats, several treat samples, a hat, a Yeti tumbler and a County saddle keychain.  So happy!

So I have a ton of media and plan on posting most/all of it!!  Lots of video clips of cross country fences and of course pictures.  I will work on getting them uploaded, keep an eye out!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Novice CT Photo Dump

There was an overwhelming request for a photo dump, so...okay!
Dressage warmup looking great
Mia is responding so well

Position LOVE

Who thinks 2'11" is too small?  Mia....
After this fence, Mia comes right back to me.  Wow!

Very short approach, nailed it anyway

Do you see how I am riding?  So much better!
Someone is going here....
This makes me so happy!
This is not a racing mare, this is a controlled mare!
Someone ends up with a pretty yellow
When we got back to the barn, I applied hoof treatment to App and when walking by, he stuck his head in the trailer.  I asked him if he really wanted to hop on the trailer, he actually did!  Weird right?  He hasn't willing hopped into a trailer, like, every?  Let alone wanted to.  Ha!

Old men shed a lot
He is doing decently enough.  He is holding his weight very well though he is pretty uncomfortable.  His left shoulder causes him a lot of pain, even though he is on a lot of drugs.  It is all about managing his pain levels and trying to make sure he is sort of limping instead of really limping.  It's tough seeing him as uncomfortable as he is

He is currently on Equioxx and Gabapentin for arthritis pain, Pentasan and MSM for inflammation, Polyglycan for the joint fluid that is left and Buteless Pellets.  I am hopeful this isn't the last year with him :( but he is still happy and love attention so I am doing what I can for him

And finally, this girl turned 11.  She doesn't go along for trail rides anymore, nor chase the ball for more than a throw or two, but we have her separation anxiety mostly under control, she hangs out at the barn when I go and she is much happier than she was after we first moved to PA.  That is a win.