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!