Back Home and Another Horse Show

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I was feeling pretty guilty about not having seen my pony in weeks.  And not having ridden him since Memorial Day (although I doubt he was upset about that part)  So I decided to stay home from the Westmoreland Horseman's Association Show.  Friday night I headed out to the barn after work.  I was planning to clean X's stall and maybe a few others, but I couldn't find either of the wheelbarrows.  And since I wasn't about to drag buckets out to the manure pile, that just didn't happen.  Instead, the little dirtball got scrubbed clean and then tacked up to ride.  I didn't do too much with him, just a little bit of walking, and just picked up both canter leads.  But I did do a lot of walking.  And focused on getting him to relax and put his head down.  And more importantly keep his head down on the the downward transitions.  Which we were actually pretty successful on.  So yay!

Saturday morning I had to feed at Tom's before heading out to my barn.  Started working on cleaning stall first thing.  And then when Rachel came we tacked up Naughtie for a lunge lesson.  Rachel was up first and then I got my turn.  And actually I had a really good lesson.  I was relaxed and going with the horse.  I hardly ever had to hold on.  And I wasn't grabbing her with my legs, which was very evident in the relaxed and happy horse I had under me.  So that was great.  Astrid actually ended up lunging me while Rachel went and tacked up Kaye to jump a bit. 

After Rachel rode Kaye, then Astrid had a short lesson on her.  And then finally I rode with Rachel and Airy.  We had a good jump school, jumping the single vertical and then the bounce.  All the fences were right around 2'9"-2'11"  God it felt good to jump Kaye again.  I haven't been on her since the last South Farm Combined Test, and it was good to get back in the saddle.  We had a good jump school.  None of my usual mental issues came through.  Although I still keep having that crappy first fence and it's driving my crazy!

Saturday night it was back out to Tom's to feed.  And of course I run into problems.  Bring the three horses in to feed.  And the new boy's eye is completely swollen shut and really weepy.  Great!  So I call to see what he wants me to do.  He calls Nikki who says to wash is out with saline solution and that Maryann has some for her contacts.  Walk down the hill to the house, get the saline.  Walk back up the hill to the barn and squirt some in his eye.  Decide to keep the two boys in for the night, so I tuck them in with some hay and say goodnight.

Sunday morning, the boy is looking somewhat better.  Eye is not quite as swollen, he can actually open it a little.  So I rinse it out again and kick the two of them out for the day. About 9:00 Maryann and I head up to Crook Creek to meet Tom and see the last day of the show.  We made it just before Tom headed into the ring for the Open Western Pleasure.  Dalal was a complete shit and did not want to listen to anything.  And so they ended up in 5th place ahead of Emily and Tony.  Which really didn't make any sense because Emily had a pretty decent ride.  The only horse they really should have beat was the quarter horse that was two beating.   I really have no clue what this judge was looking at.  Tom headed back in the ring a few classes later for the Jack Benny.  He had a fairly decent ride, and he ended up winning the class and beating Tina!

And then it was right back into the ring for the Open Western Pleasure Championship.  Dalal was again a little snot and he gave Tom a pretty tough ride, leaving them in 5th place.

After that we had enough of a break to take Dalal back, untack him and hose him off.  I'm sure he appreciated it.  Then he chilled in front of his fan while we watched a couple of classes.  It wasn't too much longer though before it was time for me to get dressed and Dalal back under saddle.  There were quite a few scratched classes.  I don't think too many people were up to showing in the heat.  Anyway, we didn't do much in the way of warm up, jogged a bit and picked up each lead.  And then we just hung out in some shade.  Dalal was pretty good for the little warm up we did.  However he turned into a little shit as soon as we went in the ring.  Would not keep his head still, did not want to walk at all.  I was lucky to keep him together as much as I did.  Needless to say I wasn't exactly happy with him.  Unfortunately the championship class didn't go much better.

See what I mean, he would not put his head down

I do think this one's cute.  If only he didn't have the jackass ears


Inter-State Triple Points Show

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So the past weekend found me in Randolph, Ohio at the Inter-State Triple Points Show.  Dalal's first class wasn't until Friday afternoon and it was the Jack Benny, so I decided that it wasn't worth it for me to take the day off work.  I did talk to Carol about leaving an hour early, so I could make it out for the evening class.  As it turned out though, there were some scratched classes so we weren't sure I would make it in time.  And Nikki ended up riding Dalal against Kelly and Lark.

Saturday was HOT!  We didn't have any classes in the morning, but a bunch of C&G kids were showing halter.  And one little girl took Image in Pony Halter, Jr. Exhibitor.

Dalal and I didn't have to be ready until late in the afternoon session.  So that was kind of a nice relaxing morning.  Unfortunately that means that it was HOT when we rode.  Up first was the Ladies Western Pleasure and I was going up against Nikki on Lark.  It was kinda interesting once I got into the ring.  Because although you could hear Terry everywhere else on the show grounds, once you were in the ring, you couldn't hear anything!  So I was pretty much just guessing what gait they were asking for, and looking around to see what everyone else was doing.  I figured the judge couldn't penalize us if we all were loping when he wanted a walk.  Loudspeaker problems aside, I had a really good ride.  And the judge agreed with me when he pinned us first!  Woohoo!  And I beat Nikki, only like the 3rd time Dalal's ever beat her.  Of course I'm sure the outcome would have been different if she had been riding her own horse, but I'll still take my victory.  LOL.  We then had a break for one class before it was time to head back into the ring for the Open Western Pleasure.  Dalal and I had another great ride, unfortunately the judge liked the saddlebred better and we were second.  Still very respectable.  Tom was up next in the evening session with Men's Western Pleasure, which he won.  then just a few classes later was the Open Western Pleasure Championship.  It was a close class until Lynn's horse took a disliking to the mud puddle on the rail.  And so Tom came home with the Championship ribbon. 

Sunday morning we only had one class, Arabian Western Pleasure Championship.  Tom let me have the ride, mainly I think because he didn't want to have to get dressed in show clothes in the hot weather.  I had a good ride in the Championship class, bringing home the Championship ribbon.  But it was somewhat disappointing as Kelly and Lark were the only other pair in the class.  No other western Arabs at the show!  But we still had a good round and so I was pleased with that, regardless of what competition we had.

All in all it was a good weekend.  And the best part was getting home by 1 on Sunday!


ICHA Double Points Show

Sunday, June 13, 2010

So this weekend it was over to Canfield again for the ICHA Show.  Tom wasn't getting into town until the evening so I volunteered to take Dalal in the Arabian classes on Friday so he could qualify for the championship.  Astrid ended up coming with me to groom and generally keep me company that first day.   I wasn't scheduled to ride until class 21, so I figured I had until about 1:00 or so.  Well as I was helping Kim and Rita get Cinco ready for his halter class, Tina came up to me and asked me to show Sally in her Morgan Halter class.  Tina had sprained her ankle the other day and although it was feeling ok, she didn't want to push it by running on it.  I warned her that I hadn't shown halter in like 10 years, and even then it was Arabs not Morgan, but she was fine with that, she just wanted Sally to get in the ring.  So we got Sally all cleaned up and then I had to run down to the ring to make it in time for my class.  I let Daphne go in ahead of me so I could at least watch what she did and get an idea of what was going on.  Sally and I ended up 3rd out of 3 in class.  Which I guess isn't too bad considering I really had no clue what I was doing.  And Tina was just happy that Sally got her card punched for the halter class.

So then it was time to get Dalal out and start getting him ready.  A quick hose off and he was ready to tack up.  And that was the time I was really missing Tom being there.  His new show saddle is HEAVY!  Astrid was helping Tina get Sally ready so I didn't even have her assistance.  But after some work I did manage to get the saddle up and Dalal bridled with the snaffle bit.  I still had quite a bit of time before my class so I decided to just hop on in my jeans, get a feel for what kind of horse I had under me, especially since no one had ridden him since the last show three weeks prior.  Dalal was a good boy though, settle right down into the work.  I jogged and loped him a bit before heading back to the motor home to get myself dressed and ready to show.  Astrid helped me out down at the show ring and got us all presentable before we went into our class.

First up was Reg. Arabian Western Pleasure-Amateur.   And we had a good ride.  Ended up second behind a woman I had never seen at the local shows before, but she had a nice chestnut gelding.  But I was pleased with how my ride went, especially considering that Dalal has just been hanging out in the pasture for the past 3 weeks.  After the class Dalal got a nice hosing off and some hay to munch on in his stall.

Astrid and I helped out Kim and Rita and Tina get their horses ready for the afternoon.  And before too long Tom and Maryann made it out.  And they actually made it in time to see the second class.  We returned to the ring in the evening session for the Arabian Western Pleasure-Open.  We had an okay class, but a couple of bobbles kept us out of the top placings.  We ended up finishing 5th out of 6.

Unfortunately on Saturday I had to leave for a couple hours to go to Megan's bridal shower.  So I ended up missing Tom's Men's Western Pleasure class.  However I did hear the results immediately as we had a little bet going for who got to ride in the Open class that night.  Tom and Dalal had a nice first place finish in their class.  Which means that I will have my work cut out for me in the evening session and my Ladies to Ride class.  I was able to get away with sneaking out of the bridal shower early and made it back to Canfield in plenty of time for my evening class.  Tom was actually first up with the Jack Benny class, in which he did manage to beat Tina.  And then I got on and two classes later headed into the ring for the Ladies Western Pleasure.  I had a good ride in a very tough class with several professional trainers.  And in the end I came out with the red ribbon.  Very respectable considering my competition.  And well, a bet is a bet and Tom did have the better placing.  So we swapped places again and he took Dalal back for the Open Western Pleasure.  The two of them had a very good class and came out the winners.  Good day overall for us.

Sunday morning we were able to take it easy, no classes until after the lunch break.  I was up first with the Arabian Western Pleasure Championship.  We had an ok ride, a few minor mistakes, mainly because Dalal was a bit tired and sore at that point.  Tom's new saddle does not fit quite right with the neoprene pad, something we need to fix before the next show.  And since it was a tough class, those mistakes cost us: 4th out of 5 in the class.  Unfortunately Tom didn't fair any better in the Open championship.  4th place ribbons for both the championship classes. Oh well, we'll just have to redeem ourselves next week at Randolph!


South Farm Part 3

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

And we returned to South Farm for the 3rd Combined Test weekend. And it was a busy weekend for us. Friday after work I headed straight to the barn and Bonnie and I loaded Pele up in the trailer and took off for South Farm. Unfortunately by the time Dr. Maro finished up with Tru and Fanny it was a little after 7 by the time we actually left. Which means we didn't get to South Farm until like 9:30. Searched around for our stall, finally found it and unloaded Pele. Well the stall didn't have an actual door on it, only a stall guard. Which would have been fine if it wasn't set at TB/dumbblood height. So as soon as I turned my back to get him water, he just put his head down and slipped underneath it. We improvised and used a piece of fencing to lock him in. It was after 10 when we finally got him all settled and were able to head home. Which put us home after midnight. I didn't get home till 1 and had to be back at the barn to leave by 6:30. All that means Jennifer didn't get much sleep. But that's ok since I wasn't riding Saturday.

We did manage to make it out of the barn on time and we got to South Farm about 9:00. I fed Pele and then went to pick up packets for the kids. Then we started to get Fanny ready for the two Intro dressage tests that Astrid was going to ride in.  The two of them had a couple of nice tests, Astrid just rushes things a bit, like her halt.  But it was much better in the second test.

After she was finished Fanny got a nice bath and she was able to hang out in trailer and keep Kaye company.  We had some time to just hang out and watch some of the other horses go until it was time for Henry to ride.  I have to say I am so proud of Henry this weekend.  He did so well at his first show, he was nice and relaxed, rode a great test with Fanny.  And such a ham!  I love his very dramatic salute to the judge.

Fanny then got to go hang out in Pele's stall while we got him ready for Bonnie to ride.  Bonnie and Astrid both headed down to the dressage ring together as they were both riding in the Very Green and Baby Beginner Novice divisions.  Astrid had two nice tests again.  She really is improving every time.  And Pele, well he was a little snot for his walk/trot test.  But he was like a different horse for the canter test.  He and Bonnie had a very nice test especially considering that was only his second show ever. 

Henry's stadium was next.  He had a very relaxed round, just trotted around.  Fanny pretty much just stepped over everything, she decided it wasn't worth it to jump.  But Henry just went with the horse and had fun.  A big difference between all the other kids who were yanking and jerking on their horses.  And it paid off when Henry won his division!  I was so proud of him.  And he was so excited to get that blue ribbon.

Bonnie and Astrid then had their stadium for the 2 foot divisions.  Pele was super excited to finally get in the ring and jump, he had been watching the other horses jump all day.  He was a good boy for Bonnie, unfortunately they did have a rail at the first fence in the second round, but otherwise he was very good.  Astrid of course had two clean rounds with Kaye.  And Kaye of course was looking for the fences to go up.  Astrid ended up winning both the divisions.  And Bonnie was second.  She would have won the Baby Beginner Novice if it hadn't been for that rail.  Oh well, still really good for his first show.

Katie and Kaye then went in for Beginner Novice.  Unfortunately I had taken Pele back to untack and put away so I ended missing both her dressage and stadium.
Sunday morning it was back to South Farm.  Tricia and Pele were going in both the Intro and Very Green divisions.  Rachel was riding Kaye in Beginner Novice and I was taking her in Novice again. 

Tricia was up first and of course it had to rain when she was riding dressage.  Unfortunately someone decided to turn out a horse just as she was riding down the centerline.  And Pele saw it take off around the pasture.  And he had to spin around to look at it.  But Tricia recovered nicely and had a pretty decent test considering.  Her second test was really good, apparently Pele just needs the first one to screw around.  Once again when it was time to jump, Pele was all ready.  He jumped everything really well for Tricia, no dirty stops and not too much over-jumping either. 

Rachel was next for dressage, and other than almost going into the ring with her running martingale on, she had a great test.  What a difference when you learn the correct test!  We then asked if I could ride my dressage early, rather than having to ride after Rachel had jumped.  Luckily there were some scratches so we were able to sneak in.  Kaye was awesome for me.  Right were I wanted her, not too much above the bit.  Every time I just feel my dressage has improved. 

Kaye then got her boots on and it was time for Rachel to jump.  They went double clear, Rachel didn't waste anytime trotting this time.  Although the way Kaye was going I don't know that she could have trotted.  Kaye was definitely strong for her.  Probably going to have to bump her up to a slow twist if Rachel moves up anymore.  Once Rachel was finished I was able to hop up and warm up for my stadium.  Pretty much the same course as last week only this time we had a 1 stride combination rather than a 2 stride.  Eh, no big deal, still easier than what we school at home.  Even though I didn't really feel like it at the time, I realized now that I was a little nervous about going Novice last week.  Not this time.  Stadium was so much fun.  And Kaye was a Rockstar!  She was bold and forward, but at the same time I still had control.  She was listening to me and I was able to take all the shortcuts in there.  Which no one else was doing.  It's hard to say who had more fun.

Finally after we finished Kaye was able to go back to the trailer and get a well deserved bath.  As I was walking her around to dry, Bonnie came out to give me the good news.  We won the dressage!  Kaye won dressage!  Incredible, and since we jumped clean we won the division.  That felt so good.  To win not just because someone else had rails, but because we actually had the best test.  And Kaye is so not a dressage horse.  Our dressage score still wasn't all that great, but I'll take it.


Boyd Martin

Friday, June 4, 2010

Boyd Martin is coming to South Farm for a clinic in July. It's $350 to ride with him. Some how I will come up with the money. I need to ride with Boyd!