Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Years Resolutions & Contemplations



So, it occurred to me today as I was making up the new schedule for work for the month of January, 2011 is going to be over in 4 days!  Looking back on the entire year I can't say I really have too many regrets.  Some different things I've learned this year and the resolutions to go along with them (equestrian and otherwise):



1.  There comes a time when you get tired of trying to make everyone happy and you need to make yourself happy.  A time when you're done with the drama and find that the people who are important to you are the ones who you are important to.
There is definitely no reason to put up with drama.  I guess maybe it's because I'm older than the girls I go to school with (I'm 27) but I have found several times this year that I am really over drama.  I don't want to listen to it, I don't want to deal with it, and I certainly don't want to be around people who cause it.  Between working 3 jobs and a full load of classes, my horse, and my family I do NOT have time for friends with drama issues.  This year I vow to cut as much of that out of my life as I can... I don't want friends like that.


2.  Don't bother reserving a space in your heart for people who do not make an effort to stay.
Again, I have joined a couple of different groups over the last year with people in them who claim to be my friends but when it comes down to it I don't feel like I can really count on them for anything.  So one of my resolutions this year is to cut out the people in my life who aren't really friends at all and who cause more drama than they help


3.  If you want to fly, you have to give up things that weigh you down and doing something wrong ten times is more productive than doing nothing at all.  Every success has a path of failures behind it and every failure is one step closer on the path to success.
I'm sure by now this is starting to sound like some sappy life lessons sort of post but I would like this next year to be the year I really do something with Buck.  I think he deserves it for me to take him on to shows and really make something out of him, whether I keep him and continue to progress or sell him to someone who can really make something out of him.


4.  While you're busy looking for the perfect person, you will probably miss the imperfect person who can make you perfectly happy.... Relationships must be chosen wisely, it is better to be alone than in bad company.
I have found (I guess this goes along with 1 and 2) I do not have the time or the energy anymore to put up with drama and bad friends.  Also, my husband is my best friend and we were just married in March of 2011 and I can't imagine my life without him.  No resolution here except to keep a good thing going lol!


5.  Someone will always be better looking, smarter, or charming, but they will never be you.  Be proud of who you are, your knowledge, and your skills, it's what makes you an individual.
I have a hard time with this and I have learned this year more than years in the past to just be excepting of who I am.  The people who really matter in my life do not have to be impressed all the time and those that I feel need to be impressed, are not worth having around.  I am who I am and if people can't be happy with that then there is no reason for them to be in my life.


6.  Making progress involves taking risk.  Step up to that next level test, push yourself, push your horse.  You will not know how far you and your partner can go until you make that one bold move.
2012 I am hoping will be the year Buck and I really accomplish something.  I want to start riding more with Cheryl when she gets back from Florida.  I want to start going to more events, and I want to really move him along and see what he's got.  I think there's a lot of untapped potential in him and it would be a waste for me to leave him sitting around again for another year.


7.  It is alright to fall apart for a little while.  You don't always have to pretend to be strong.  It is healthy to shed a tear and as soon as you do, the sooner you can smile again (R.I.P Dolly and Casino).
I try to be the tough one all the time but this year more than most has shown me it's alright to cry, it's even beneficial.  With the death of Casino and then Dolly last month, I have learned that getting it out helps you grieve and recover faster than if you bottle your feelings up instead.


8.  You can't take things too personally.  Rarely do people do things because of you, they usually do things because of them.
I want to stop worrying about what people think so much.  I want to stop ruminating over the mistakes I make at work or in my personal life and for goodness sakes stop taking things so personal.  I am not too bad about it anymore, but I need to realize that just because my supervisor at works tells me I messed something up, it does not mean he's going to fire me the next time I mess up.... mistakes happen and it's ok.


9.  You end up regretting the things you did not do much more than the things you did do (please see #6).
I don't know if I've learned this in the last year but definitely over my life time.  I regret not joining the Air Force, I regret not going to one University and sticking to it from the beginning... blah blah blah.   In 2012 I want to stop questioning everything all the time and be more spontaneous.  I don't mean I want to make a bunch of stupid mistakes but I want to be able to look back at my life in another 30 or 40 years and not see a bunch of things I wish I had gotten to do when I was younger.


10.  Regardless of how messy your past has been, your future is still clean.  Don't start every day with the broken pieces of yesterday.  Every day is a fresh start.  Each day is a new beginning.  Every morning you wake up is the first day of the rest of your life.  Live like you're invincible, but love like there's no tomorrow.
I think this is just a general good rule to live by.  You never know when your last day will be, but you can't live your life waiting for the other shoe to drop either.  Get on with it!  Live your life vicariously through yourself and make it exactly the way you want it to be because no one is holding you back but you.  You want to ride at Rolex some day?  Get yourself in gear and run for it!  You are only waiting on yourself...

Friday, December 16, 2011

Survival of the Fittest

I think when Herbert Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" they were talking about college finals week!!

I had 5 finals this week, 1 Monday, 1 Tuesday, 2 Wednesday and 1 yesterday!  2 of them had nothing but short answer and essay questions and the essay answers I gave were at least 2 pages long and I actually had to take the entire time left open for the tests (2 hours!).  2 of them weren't exactly the worst things in the world and were pretty much what I expected lol!

Finally, I am an Equestrian Science minor (when I went into college I went in as an Equestrian Science-Pre-Veterinary Medicine major and switched to Psychology with the equestrian minor).  I had to take a class called Stable Management this semester for my minor and found we did not turn in any homework all semester, did not take any tests all semester, and really we didn't even take any notes all semester.  When it came to finals week the teacher decided to give us a "common sense" final....

Not so much!  There were things on there I don't remember ever talking about in class like load weights and ply on tires that are needed to pull a trailer.... I'm sure it's probably common sense, all I know is I put tires that are meant for a truck instead of passenger tires and I usually get the ones that are 10 ply...

So maybe it's just me but I don't feel like it's very fair she didn't give us an idea what to study on a test that was the only graded thing in our class all semester...

Thus, survival of the fittest... Those with common sense are going to survive the class and live to see another semester... those of us without it are going to fail the class and live to take it over again next semester... epic failure.

On a lighter note, finals are now over for me and I can relax over winter break because there's nothing I can do about that grade now should I not pass the test...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Promise I Have Not Died...

Just in case, in a few days if you start to get worried about me, have no fear it is only finals week and I promise you I have not gone M.I.A or died.  The simple fact is, I have 5 finals this week over 4 days so come Thursday evening you will probably find a post on here with a GIANT sigh of relief (given that I actually PASS all 5 finals).

So no worries all, I will be back I promise, just have a little patience with me this week, even Porkchop is getting annoyed with my lack of attention on him and I believe in his mind (and really mine as well) way too much attention on the textbooks and laptop.

Hopefully, after this $@L* week is over I can go back to finishing Christmas shopping, riding my horse and having a normal (lazy) life style, at least until next semester.  Good news is, after this week I have ONE semester left in my undergraduate career FINALLY!!!

Doesn't Porkchop look like he feels completely neglected right now?  I think I saw him putting an adopt me ad on Craigslist earlier this evening....

Friday, December 9, 2011

Virtual Reality?

Here's an interesting little thing I came across on Facebook this morning thanks to The Chronicle of the Horse.  Apparently you no longer have to even leave the comfort of your own facilities to enter a horse show.


HorseShow.com has now made it where all you have to do is enter your information, video yourself and your horse performing say the movements of a First Level dressage test, upload it and voila, instant show entry.  You can compete and win prizes including money and ribbons.  One show in particular, the Fall Harvest Dressage Festival gives you 21+ days to enter at this point (Entries actually opened November 7th), the classes are judged from December 31st until January 9th and the results are posted on the 9th.  1st place wins $250, 2nd wins $100, and 3rd place wins $50, plus the classes only cost $15 to enter!  All the classes are still judged by legitimate USEF judges by USEF standards.  Generally you can wear whatever you want, with the exception of a helmet which is required, but if you want to have a chance to win the money obviously you would treat it the same as any other horse show.


Some of the advantages to showing like this is obviously that it is CHEAP and you can enter over and over again without having to worry about transportation costs, stalling fees, office fees, etc.  You can compete against all kinds of people all over the world.  The ribbons and trophies are virtual but the money is for real and you can also win other things depending on the shows you are entering (I wonder if they are going to give away saddles???).  You still get the judging cards like you do from all the classes (even the ones that are not dressage shows) with all the judges comments which could greatly help with training and learning in general. 


So here's my question?  What do you guys think about this??  Do you think this is going to become the future of horse shows?  At some point are we all just going to get so paranoid (from the scare of Equine Herpes earlier this year) and are things going to be so expensive we can't afford to or want to travel anymore?  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oh The Weather Outside Is...

So here's what we woke up to this morning...



I'm pretty sure this is Bentley's first encounter with snow at about 9:30 this morning when I got up to take him outside (my 9:30 class had been canceled this morning due to "inclement" weather).



 Bentley and Porkchop both were a little thrown off by this new development outside.  It's been pretty warm for most of the fall here with temperatures ranging anywhere from 70 degrees to 50 degrees during the day.  Then yesterday we woke up and it was only about 25 to 30 out all day and then here is what we found this morning....  It's still only about 32 degrees out right now and as far as I can tell it is still snowing a little bit.


Finally, this is what I can see right now looking out the library window at school (I came up here because I thought I was going to have a class at 3... it was canceled too!  Drove for an hour in the snow for no classes today... Awesome!).

Now my husband says there will only be 6 more snows this year because the first snow (today) happened on the 6th day of the month... I think he read it in the Farmer's Almanac or something.  Anyone else actually believe that or are you kinda like me in thinking that this winter is probably not going to be so nice since we had such nice weather for most of the other seasons (we had a particularly mild summer with temperatures not really getting too bad until right before school started)?  I don't know how this can actually be since there were some places in the states that received snow back in November...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Silver Lining

It's been hard trying to go on about everything after my disastrous weekend with Dolly.  On Monday in my stable management class the lecture was about horse slaughter, then today we had to talk about what we would do if a boarders horse died on our property (of our imaginary boarding stable we are all going to own after graduation).  That really sucked to have to listen to (so I tuned it out by reading Dressage Today behind my laptop).

So after the crappy lecture I decided to go out and see Buck who is still at New Spring at this point.  I thought I'd take advantage of the fact he's in a barn with an attached indoor arena and go ride.  He was brilliant as alway but we are having a couple of different problems I can't seem to get past.  First, I just can't seem to get him around my leg.  On a circle he feels like he's tilted into the circle, kind of like he's dropping his shoulder in, but his nose is pointed towards the outside of the circle.  No amount of pushing him off my leg or opening reins seems to make a difference and I'm kind of confused.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.  Secondly, he is LAZY!  I am constantly having to push him forward the entire time I ride him.  If I do not ride him with a whip or spurs it's almost impossible to keep him forward.  If he could get the head set right, I think he would be a fabulous western pleasure horse haha!  Not to offend any western pleasure riders out there, I definitely do not think those horses are lazy I just think his normal gaits are slow enough to be good at that.  He's got a gorgeous natural canter and a good active walk when I keep him motivated but by the time I get done riding him my legs feel like jelly.

Finally, the silver lining behind Dolly's tragedy.  I am probably not going to be buying another western riding horse any time soon since that's not really what I'm interested in doing anyway.  So I think I'm going to sell all of her tack and stuff.  With the money I get from the saddle, bridles, and other western stuff I have I am going to put in a saving account with Buck's name on it so I will have money for different horsey things I might need (such as a cross country safety vest or the broken reins that I finally replaced last week).  I never seem to have the money when I need something, this way that's no longer a problem.  Has anyone else ever done anything like that before?  Is that a little horse crazy?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Seriously?!?

I came back outside last night after the horses had been fed to take the dogs out and the pasture gate was completely torn off the hinges, it looked like someone had blown it apart with a hand grenade.  I grabbed Bentley and ran back inside and hollered at Shawn telling him the gate was gone.

I put on boots and a coat and ran back outside first towards the highway because I just assumed the worse and I was going to find them both out on the side of the road hit or something or they were just gone....
When I didn't see them out there I went back over to the gate and looked down towards the back of the pasture.  Shawn saw her before I did and started to walk in that direction.  Buck was down there with her and as we got closer I noticed she was standing funny, with all her weight in the front end and her right back leg was up, I knew this was not going to be good...

When I got down to her, her leg was broken at the ankle.  I won't go into details but needless to say there was nothing anyone could do to repair it.  She had torn up the backs of her legs, I assume she got sided up to the fence and got shocked by the electric fence and some how got her leg caught in the pasture gate (it was just a galvanized gate).  There was nothing we could do but call the vet and have him come out and put her to sleep (it took him an hour to get there though).

When the vet finally showed I grabbed Buck and walked him back up to the top of the pasture and gave him some feed to distract him while Shawn was down with Dolly and the vet.  Buck kept watching her of course and was fine for a while until she started to go down.  When she laid down he got very agitated and made the strangest low whinny, I've never heard anything like it and I hope not to again.  It sent chills down my spine and made me cry, I know he knew what was going on.  He basically dragged me all the way down to where Dolly was laying.  When we got down there he snorted really hard and flipped out and dragged me all the way back up to the top of the pasture where he proceeded to dance circles around me and holler for her.

After the vet made sure she was down we decided the best solution for Buck would be to load him up and haul him to New Spring Farm (about an hour trip with a trailer, it was almost 2 in the morning at this point).  She was going have to stay out in the pasture over night until we could get someone to come bury her or something the next day and I didn't think it was right to leave him out there with her all night long, he would have been panicking all night anyway.  I was really afraid he might go through the fence in the middle of the night and get hit on the highway.

Once he was comfortably in a stall we left the trailer at the barn and went home.  I went to bed about 4:30 this morning.  We got up this morning and spent the entire day trying to find someone to help us.  Luckily we have a great neighbor who just happened to have a huge bulldozer with a bucket on the front, he took care of everything in about a half an hour, I was so grateful.  There are few people out there who will still drop everything and help someone just because they can, I don't know how I'm going to repay him.

I feel so guilty for what happened to her and right now I feel like I'm not fit to have horses...  This has just not been the holiday break I had been hoping for.  I feel like a horrible horse parent today...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bentley!


Porkchop got a new brother and his name is BENTLEY!  He is the cutest thing on four legs!  I finally got to pick him up last night.

My only concern was the advertisement said AKC (American Kennel Club) registered (I've shown conformation dogs in the past and thought I might like to get back into it with Corgis because I love them) and as it turns out after all the arranging to meet his current owner and paying for him, he's actually ACA (American Canine Association) registrable.  So now I guess I can't show him in AKC shows unless the AKC can prove he comes from AKC registered stock or something like that.

I went ahead and sent in his registration papers with the ACA (it was only $17) so I can get a pedigree back on him and then send in the registration papers and pedigree to AKC and see what happens.  I've never heard of the ACA before, they hold some dog shows but I'm not sure about the legitimacy of the registry itself.  I'm ready to get his registration stuff back and pedigree info to learn more about him.

On another note: I FINALLY got to take Buck and Dolly to the farrier this morning.  I had the address so I just punched it into my GPS which said it was only 20 minutes away from where I live.  I got going, went out on a 2 lane little rural route road for a ways and then ended up having to go 2 or 3 miles down a gravel road.  The GPS took me to the wrong address and the gentleman told me it was about another mile down the road.  There are a lot of Mennonite and Amish families in my area and I was pretty much right out in the middle of no where and there was no other cars just horses and buggies! 

I arrived about an hour early so I hung out and watched him and his father put shoes on a gentleman's buggy horses, a really cute Saddlebred gelding and a not too shabby Standardbred/Saddlebred mare with a quirky attitude.  He was really good with them even though the mare tried to kick out at him a couple different times and always laid her big dark ears back every time he came back to size up her feet.

Once he finished with them I unloaded my two, brought them into the shoer shed and they went right to work on their feet.  It took them maybe 15 minutes, it didn't seem like any time at all and they were done since I didn't have shoes put on this time.  Loaded the horses back up and went on home.  Total cost... $40!!  A reliable farrier at the same price as the one I never could get to show up... I'm pretty much sold on this guy!!  Needless to say I will continue to take Buck and Dolly out to him.  They're feet look great and I feel much better now that I know I have someone I can count on to take care of them.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Ahhhh!!

I have to say this is my FAVORITE time of the year (ok actually spring and summer because warm weather = horse shows!) because of PRESENT!!

I have the best husband ever because I'm getting a PUPPY for Christmas hahahaha!


I am going to pick him up tomorrow and I can't wait!!  Merry Christmas to me hahaha!  I'm so excited!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Woo Is Me

I have been having a really rough time getting a hold of a farrier since my husband and I got married (March 2011) and we moved to our current residence.

When I was boarding Buck in Columbia life was great, the barn already had a great farrier lined up who came to the barn about once or twice a month and you could guarantee he would show up exactly like he said he would, clock work.  You just signed your name on the list, left him a check, and your horse would have pretty and perfect feet when you came back out.  It was like a trip from the hoof fairy!

Well now that I've moved I had to go searching for a farrier on my own.  Needless to say it was an almost impossible task since neither of us actually knew anyone down here, especially horse people.  So finally my father-in-law found out from his barber there was a kid who lived about 12 miles away who was a really good farrier.

The first time I called the kid he called me back a week later.  I decided I'd give him a shot anyway since I still didn't know anyone, we set something up for a couple of days later.  He then called me a half an hour before he was suppose to show up and cancelled and wanted to reschedule for the next day.  Ok fine, I'll go for that, he showed up TWO HOURS late after the reschedule.  All I needed was Buck's feet trimmed at this point, took him all of like 15 minutes and cost me $20 (heck of a deal in my opinion since my old farrier cost between $60-$100 depending on the work you needed done).  The weird thing was he then hung around for like a half an hour to forty-five minutes longer, flirting and trying to chit-chat.  I actually had to start saddling Buck (even though I hadn't planned on riding) and walking away with him before the guy finally left.

So 8 weeks later I called him again and he didn't answer, never called me back.  I called him a few more times until finally another 8 weeks went by before I finally got a call back and we set up an evening for him to come out again.  At this point I was getting annoyed with the phone tag and decide to start snooping for a new farrier again.... UGH!  Doesn't do me any good to have a nice horse with messed up feet... I started thinking maybe I needed to take up trimming his feet myself but quickly changed my mind when I remembered how picking up furniture and moving it can cause me to throw out my back!

The night he was suppose to show up this time he called (a half hour before he was suppose to show up) and left a message on my phone because I was away from it.  He stated he had something come up at home and he was wondering if it would be alright if we rescheduled for the next night, if it was not that was alright he would come on out anyway.  I didn't get to my phone until almost an hour after he was suppose to show up.  He left that message with no intentions of actually showing up that night I believe.  If it were me and the person didn't answer and hadn't called you back by the time you were suppose to meet, I would have shown up like I said I would!

I called him back and left a message letting him know I could not work it in the next night because I had to work but I wanted to know if he could come on Tuesday night instead (this phone call and situation all took place on a Thursday evening).  He NEVER called me back!!  Not until the day AFTER I wanted him to come out.

So, I am NOT calling this kid back anymore and I have found a new farrier thanks to the local saddle club (yay horse people!).  The unfortunate thing about this one is I have to load up both the horses and take them over to him.  Guess if he does a good job it will be worth the effort (except Buck is a nightmare to get in the trailer when you don't have help! Not mean just stubborn).

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When Is Too Much Really Too Much?

You guys probably read my post a few weeks ago about the ad I found in the Dressage Today magazine with the picture of the horse they were asking $225,000 and I thought that was a little excessive... I now retract my previous statement and that is a heck of a deal haha!

When is too much too much to pay for a horse?  This past weekend was the 2011 Breeder's Cup Classic, a race I watch almost as tightly as the Triple Crown races.  On November 4, 2011 a cute little filly by the name of Royal Delta swept the Ladies' Classic by 2 1/2 lengths which I considered to be pretty impressive.  Anyway to make a long story short at Tuesdays Keeneland Sale, Royal Delta was the only 2011 Breeder's Cup winner to be offered at the sale.  Needless to say she blew the roof off the sale going for $8.5 million, a Keeneland record for a horse still in training.  She was purchased by Benajmin Leon's Besilu Stables and cosigned by Chanteclair Farm.

This puts Royal Delta as the 3rd highest price for a racemare or broodmare after the $10.5 million paid for Playful Act in 2007 and $9 million paid for Ashado in 2009.  Of all the horses sold the day Royal Delta went through the ring (285) 22 of these horses went for over a million dollars.

So somewhere along the way I think I got involved in the wrong end of the horse business hahaha!  Here's the video of the sale if you'd like to see what it looks like to purchase a horse for that amount of money.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Superstar Show-Jumper Dies Today

A world class competitor has died today.  Hickstead, partner of Eric Lamaze and Olympic medal winner in the 2008 Beijing Games collapsed after finishing a 13 fence course at a World Cup event of what they believe to be a heart attack.

According to one story from The Associated Press Lamaze stated they had just finished their round, knocking one rail and were circling to leave the ring when Hickstead collapsed of an apparent heart attack.  Vets tried to revive Hickstead in front of a speechless crowd at the Rolex FEI event in Verona, Italy.

After the veterinary service took Hickstead off the course the riders requested to have the competition abandoned and all held a moment of silence for Hickstead and Lamaze.

I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like to experience something so devastating with Buck, who I've only had for 2 years.  My heart goes out to Eric Lamaze who has been working with the 15 year old Hickstead since he was 7 years old.

I feel the equestrian world has lost a once in a lifetime horse today.  Horses with the kind of talent and willingness of Hickstead do not come around every day and I believe thanks to this horse and Eric Lamaze the show jumping world will never been the same.

R.I.P Hickstead :'(

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pan-America Games

Not sure if anyone has been following the Pan-American Games this year but the United States CLEANED UP the medals this year!

The USET received Team Golds in Dressage, Jumping and Eventing as well as Individual Golds in Jumping (Cristine McCrea on Romantovich Take) and Dressage (Steffan Peters on Weltino's Magic)!  To make it even better the teams also received individual silvers in Dressage (Heather Anderson Blitz on Paragon), Jumping (Beezie Madden on Coral Reef Via Volo), and Eventing (Hannah Burnett on Harbour Pilot).  Along with Individual Bronze medals in Dressage (Marisa Festerling on Big Tyme and Eventing (Bruce Davidson Jr. on Foxwood High)!

All in all I would say October has been an incredible month for our favorite equestrians and a HUGE congratulations goes out to every one of the participants in the Pan-American games.  No matter your placing, at the end of the day it is a great honor to be a part of any of the teams which travelled to compete at Guadalajara this year.

The U.S teams have not just done well in equestrian events but in most every event they have competed in bringing home 92 gold medals, 79 silver medals, and 65 bronze medals, putting the U.S at the top of the medal table followed by Cuba (136 total medals) and Brazil (141 total medals).

Needless to say it's been a great month for all of my favorite sports teams.... USET gold medals, St. Louis Cardinals 11th World Series win, the Kansas City Chiefs upset the San Diego Chargers, and Mizzou upset 16th ranked Texas A&M this weekend.  I'd say the U.S and Missouri have had a great October.... can't wait to see what November has to bring!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Money Pains

Everyone knows horses = money... of course for some people that means people with horses HAVE money.  As those of us who actually have horses know it actually means people with horses are BROKE! 

I don't know what hay prices are where you come from (I know Texas and Oklahoma are having it rough this year) but I just spent $400 on 100 bales of lespedeza and prairie grass bales for my two horses.  That's not going to last me the whole winter and I'll probably have to get at least another 100 before the end of the winter.  What are hay prices like where you come from and what are you feeding?

Also, I can't remember if I wrote about this earlier but Buck broke his bridle after he decided it would be fun to try and do a back flip while we were riding, not a good idea!!  So I need to replace the reins on my snaffle bridle and I haven't really found that are worth anything that are less than $50.  So if you know of any good, black reins which are not going to break the bank hook me up!

I was also planning on purchasing a double bridle at some point in the near future.  I was looking through the Dressage Extensions magazine I received in the mail yesterday and here's kind of what I noticed on that front...
Cheapest Double Bridle = $189.95 (good news it comes with handstop reins for the snaffle and plain leather reins for the curb so you don't have to spend money on that part)
Cheapest Loose Ring Bradoon = $18.95 (not sure this is what I'm going to go with I just use a loose ring on a snaffle bridle I have now and it seemed like a good choice for this purpose)
Cheapest Curb = $39.95
So with all three of these things a new double bridle is going to set me back $248.85.  Don't get me wrong, I think for a double bridle that would be a heck of a deal and honestly, the cheapest bridle in the magazine was not the one I REALLY wanted (I really like the ShowTime Weymouth Bridle with the crank caveson which is $258.95 and you still have to buy the reins separate which range from $73.95 to $109.95... totaling $332.90 to $368.90!)  Guess it's gonna be a while before I invest in that bridle.  Good thing we're a long way from those levels yet!

Finally, my riding teacher is great, I love her to death, I just wish I lived closer to her.  I have been working and getting paid every month for the chores at the barn but she's getting ready to leave for the winter and go to FL (LUCKY!).  Anyway, I want to keep riding at the barn while she's gone so the idea is to bring my horse up one night and ride and do chores that night, leave him there the next day and do chores and take him home that night.  So basically I'll do two days of chores and he'll get to spend the night up there.  Good side is the barn is awesome!  Indoor arena, outdoor jumping arena, outdoor grass dressage arena and trails and cross country course all over the property.  Pretty much if I died this place would be heaven for me haha!  Not to mention it would solve my problem with his anxiety over watching Dolly while I'm trying to get some work done with him!

My only concern is there will be no money involved, just the trade of my horses stay for the work (which it only take like 20 minutes to feed during the winter because there's only like 6 horses at the barn and the owner makes my life SO easy... it's really the easiest barn job I've ever had).  It costs about $70.00 to fill up the truck right now (gas is $3.15) and it take me it's a half of a tank to get to the barn and home again (it's about an hour away).  So I guess I wonder if the cost of driving up there is worth the pay off. 

I can't afford to board him permanently I don't think (I think $350 a month) so I drive and ride for a while and bring him home again.  I go to college in the town where her barn is so I'm driving up there and back every day anyway (although I'm driving a car that gets 32 mpg)which makes during the week would the best so I wouldn't have to burn gas going up there on the weekends.  I just don't know what to do.

Obviously my first instinct was an automatic yes because she's great and I love the barn and it's the perfect training facility for a prospering eventer. Then I started worrying about the gas money.  My husband is the most supportive person ever so he told me to do it because it does no good to have Buck if he's not going to get ridden hahaha!  He's not a trail horse and he's not a pasture pony... he needs a job!

So after this LONG post that is my money rant and worry, I just don't know what to do with myself.  Why can't I just win the lottery??? Oh right.... I have to buy a ticket first :-p

Friday, October 21, 2011

How Far


I received my latest issue of Dressage Today and there were some ads in the back for horses for sale.  Great read by the way if you're in or interested in getting involved in the FEI Junior & Young Rider Program.  It's really my favorite magazine.  Anyway, I've never noticed the ads in the back before and I was flipping through them day dreaming about which ones I would buy if I had more than $10 in my checking account. As I flipped through the pages I just happened to spot this guy thrown in there with horses anywhere from $3,500 to $60,000... $225,000!!!

My question to you is, how much would you be willing to pay for a competition horse?  How far would you go to compete international?  Honestly, if I had the money to spare, it wouldn't be beyond me to consider a horse who's purchase price fell into the 6 digit range hahaha!

Here is the link to his full ad on Equine.com, Aristo.  He is gorgeous, beautiful gaits and obviously has proven himself internationally...  If I could only win the lottery (of course you have to buy a ticket first).  So just how far would you go (given you had the financial means of course)?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Halloween Creepiness Begins

I am a member of my local H.O.G (Harley Owners Group) Chapter and they decided it would be an awesome idea to ride from Columbia, MO to Jefferson City, MO (approximately an hour on the back roads) to take a tour of the shut down/haunted Missouri State Penitentiary!  I snapped some pictures along the ride and thought I would share them with you guys.  I know it's kinda off topic but it was still pretty neat!


The capital building as we were driving up to it and the other picture is the federal court building across the street from the penitentiary. 
The gargoyles and the entry way into the prison.  The Gargoyles had spouts and would run rain water out of their mouths... I wanted one lol!

Some of our members listening to the tour guide (the guy in the white shirt with the barcode on the front).  He REALLY liked to talk... the tour took an extra hour because he liked to tell so many stories.  It was awesome!

 

The first picture is of the first hallway we came to and the middle picture is of a cell (they were smaller than a stall I would put my horse into!) and the last picture is of different knives the tour guide had collected over his time working for the department of corrections (30+ years).

Just some razor wire and part of the wall in a section of the yard.

I believe the guide said this is the oldest section in the prison and it's green because the lighting was so dim.

The gas chamber... this was a particularly creepy section of the tour because the guide had A LOT of information about it!  I don't know that I should really blog it but I'm going to anyway.  He said the gas chamber was probably the worst way for someone to be executed because it was extremely painful (like mixing bleach, drain-o, and any other clear together and taking a GIANT sniff of it!).  He also said up until lethal injection it was the most effective way because no one ever survived it until the electric chair, hanging and firing squads.  Oh, and if you have ever had a surgery you have had one step in the lethal injection process... creepy!!

So that was the beginning of my Halloween "festivities" lol!  I don't think I will need to visit any haunted houses after that little experience...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ride-Alert

I saw this nifty idea on a link posted to my Facebook by Mary King.  Ride-Alert seems to be along the same lines as On Star or Life Alert but for riders.  I tried to do some searching and I couldn't really find a lot of information so I was wondering if anyone else knew if there was something like this in the US yet?

I would say for those of you who trail ride frequently or those of you who spend a good amount of time riding alone, this could be some what helpful if you fall off your horse (excluding instances where you're unconscious and unable to call).  What do you think?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Random Thought

So I was reading one of my Dressage Today magazines earlier today and there was an article about the men in dressage.  The article is Wanted: More Men in Dressage if you're curious.

I was then thinking about all the dressage shows, or any english shows I've been to for that matter, and I think I only remember competing with one guy and he was in the junior division.   I live in the midwest, a world of rodeo, roping and western riding.  Every guy I know who rides either ropes, rodeos, or just trail rides for fun.  I don't know any who actually ride english.  Here they even make fun of the men they do see competing in english events saying it's for "sissys" or it's a "wimpy" sport... little do they know!  I'm just making an assumption but I would venture to say in other countries there are many man who compete in english events.

Anyway, it's as though you go for years in lower level dressage competitions rarely seeing men at all and then one day you get to an upper level, national or international events and suddenly  they are dominating the competition (Steffen Peters, Guenter Seidel, John Williams, etc.)!  Now granted I understand some of these men do compete in eventing but still, a lot of them are still clearing out those "blue ribbons" in dressage.

What I wanna know, does the same apply to other parts of the country?  Are your dressage or english riding competitions dominated by women or do you compete equally against both genders?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Apple Lovers Everywhere are Mourning

I'm sure it was as depressing to all of you Mac lovers out there as it was for me to hear the news of the passing of Apple's Co-Founder Steve Jobs today.


I remember the first Mac I ever bought (not to hard to remember considering it was only 3 years ago). I was so excited! I had to wait for almost 2 weeks because I had to add some different things to the basic model (better hard drive, more memory, etc.). When it finally came I ripped into the box and carefully pulled out the cute little while laptop. I couldn't believe how light and thin it was and I was skeptical about how it would compare to my $2,000 Dell laptop I had received for my high school graduation from my dad.

Needless to say I was instantly hooked, and have been ever since. Since the Macbook I have also acquired an iPod Touch and will, hopefully, soon have the latest iPad. I love Apple products and I fully intend to buy another Macbook when this one has run it's course.

Steve Jobs (1955-2011) passed today at 56.  He was a visionary and really a genius and he will be sorely missed.  The technology world was forever changed and bettered thanks to this man.

"You're time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life, don't be trapped by dogma -- which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary." ~Steve Jobs

Season Changes and Blankets

So it's getting closer to the time of year when I have to start thinking about blanketing Buck for the winter. Now, normally it wouldn't be a big deal because he usually lives in a stall and the sheet I have for him works pretty well. Now I have moved to a place where there are no stalls, just a shed he can go in and out of with Dolly whenever he wants.

My concerns are 1) he doesn't really grow a good winter coat so he needs something pretty thick I think, 2) since he is out all the time it makes it difficult to keep him from tearing up the blanket so I need something which will hold up and 3) like most college students I am running on a limited budget so I need to find something which has 1 and 2 but is also not a ridiculous price.

Last year I had purchased a Wrangler (I think) blanket for him when he went out to the pasture during the day but sadly one of the girls who turns out turned him out in a pasture with a horse who ended up almost ripping the blanket right off of him. Needless to say I do not think it is repairable.

I'm hoping maybe some of you will have some suggestions on blankets you've tried and liked because at this point I'm not really sure which way I want to go with this.

P.S. I don't blanket Dolly because she turns into a wooly mammoth in the winter and some how always manages to get blankets off and wrapped around her no matter how many straps they have on them!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Lame!

Sorry guys! I have been REALLY lame about updating lately but my life has just gotten 100x more stressed in the last couple of weeks!

First off... School started... again... UGH! So there are classes of course, study sessions, homework... you know the deal.

Since school has started the sorority stuff has gone back into full swing as well which means meetings and what not. I'm also the Panhellenic Council Treasurer (Panhel is the governing body for the sororities) so I am dealing with all of that as well. Don't get me wrong I love it but it's just very time consuming. This week is rush so I've been very busy with all of that.

Also I got promoted at one of my jobs and since I have three jobs I have that schedule to work with as well haha.

AND somewhere in between ALLLLL of this I have to find time to ride my horse and get on here for you guys lol! I'm not making excuses I'm just letting you know what's been going on and where I've been. How come no one comments on my stuff anyway?? Let me know what you all are up to!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I love Dolly... She's a great little horse and fun to have around when I just want to go for a ride and not actually "work". She's a great trail horse and it's kind of fun to go run barrels every once in a while just to do something different.

So here's my problem. Buck has some SERIOUS separation anxiety when I take him away from her to ride. The anxiety is so bad I really have a hard time getting anything done with him. Lately he's even been scary, he rears back and jumps around and cries for her. He has to spin around to where he can see her all the time and it's just getting frustration and discouraging.


I really don't want to sell Dolly because I really love having her around, not to mention I'm the only person she's never tried to buck off so I feel like she kind of likes me too. I'm starting to think this may be my only solution to this little dilemma. I love her but I want to be able to keep working Buck without worrying about the safety of myself and him anymore than I already do. Plus, his training and career is more important to me then how I feel about her considering she's only really around because I love her and she's fun.

I also don't know that I like leaving him out in the pasture alone all the time, horses as we all know are herd animals and I would think for him that would be kind of depressing and boring...

So I'm asking you for your opinion on this one. Should I just suck it up and put my little painted pony up for sale, or is there another way to get him to behave while we work.. I mean really he could stop being a baby for the whole hour or so that we're working...

P.S. the little black pegasus really isn't relevant to this blog... I just thought he was cute haha!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cutest Pet Contest

Ok guys I wanna ask you a favor!

I entered my dog in a contest to get on the cover of my towns magazine in November and I need people to vote on him as the cutest pet!  I'm gonna give you the link so PLEASE vote :-)




It goes straight to his page and all you have to do is rate him from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest and then vote!

Thanks so much guys!! :-)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to school... Back to school

Today was my last first day of my undergrad career... FINALLY!  It went by alright my Monday, Wednesday, Friday classes don't seem too bad.  I had Psychology of Gender, Abnormal Psychology and Stable Management today all pretty normal classes since I'm a Psychology major with an Equestrian Science minor.

My only problem with this week is I had classes at 11, 1 and 3 and then I had a sorority meeting from 8 until 9:30 and now I'm waiting around to go to work at midnight to 6 in the morning and don't really have any place to sleep until then because I live 45 minutes away from where I go to school and work...  Maybe it wasn't such a great idea to give up that dorm room when I got married... Kind of regretting that decision now even though it saved me about $5,000 a semester.

I guess what I'm going to have to do is suffer through tonight and tomorrow and HOPE that I can get out of working tomorrow night and go home and go to bed... otherwise it will be 3 days with no sleep... NOT GOOD!

Tomorrow I've only got two classes.  Research Methods in Psychology at 9:30 in the morning and then I don't have another class until my 3:15 Psychology of Personality class.  Again regretting the lack of dorm room because I don't know how I'm going to entertain myself for about 4 and a half hours between classes...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hometown Tragedy

I grew up in a town most people associate with fiction, Hannibal, Missouri.  Home of Mark Twain's famous Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher, not to mention the "unsinkable" Molly Brown.  Tonight the quant little tourist town was devastated by the lose of one of it's iconic businesses, Grand view Nursery.

Not that Grand view was really all that iconic, but the company had been in business for over 30 years.  It was Hannibal's headquarters for John Deere small equipment, small motor repairs as well as four-wheelers and other ATVs.  It was one of the last places you would see as you headed out of town on Highway 61 towards St. Louis and one of the first places to greet you as you hit the Hannibal city limits.

Tonight, at approximately 5:30 pm, this Hannibal landmark went ablaze in a massive fire which as of 12:00 AM central time, was still in progress of being brought under control by at least 3 area fire departments.

The building pretty much burned to the ground by 8 PM despite the relentless fight from Hannibal, New London, Palmyra, and other area fire departments.  The picture to the left is from the Quincy Harold Whig, not my own.

I guess the reason I decided to write about this tonight is because it really hit home with me.  I never really payed attention to the business before unless I went in with my parents.  It was always just there and I expected that.  Now when I go back to visit Hannibal it will just be an empty space.

Also, I wanted to put out that stopping on the side of a 4 lane interstate to take pictures or video on your phone is just stupid.  You are a danger to yourself, other drivers, the firemen and police officers trying to deal with the already highly dangerous situation.  If an officer comes up to you and tells you to move on, just do it... what do you get out of arguing with them about it anyway besides the possibility of going to jail for the night??  I only say this because my husband had to work traffic control on this situation and was put in danger because people wanted to argue with him instead of letting him do his job.

It is not a good idea to walk up on a scene like this and hang around the fire trucks so you can take pictures.  Again, if an officer comes up and tells you that you are in danger and you need to leave... odds are FAIRLY good that he might know what he's talking about... WALK AWAY!!  Why is that so complicated??  Sorry for my soap box like rant, but from the perspective of a police officer, we are not telling you these things because we are trying to ruin your fun, we are telling you to leave because we don't want to have to send you to the hospital in an ambulance or worse to the morgue in a hearse...

My thoughts and prayers go out to Joe and Vince Howald, the owners of the nursery as well as all the employees who are now out of jobs.  Thank goodness no one was injured.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

European Championships

Thoughts?  Comments? Feelings? Anyone?

Typically this event is dominated by Germany and the Netherlands but this year was definitely not the case.   Between the stunning ride by Carl Hester on Uthopia  and Charlotte Dujardin the British team is making a shocking sweep of the competition it seems.  Carl Hester and Uthopia scored an 82.568% and even scored a perfect 10 from all the judges on their extended trot.  That pair was amazing.


Obviously this video isn't from the European Championships but I thought I would share it for those who haven't seen them in action.  I don't know if I feel this horse is as flashy as Totilas but I do think his tests are flawless.  When it comes to raw talent and natural movement, Uthopia is definitely not lacking in either.  



This video is from the same competition as the video of Carl but this is Charlotte Dujardin.  Between her and Carl the British team may show a team record score now since the two of them are both averaging 80%.  It's nice to see, no matter what training fads come into the competitions throughout the years, after it's all said and done flawless equitation and spectacular talent can still bring home a gold medal.

Totilas ended up scoring a 79.453% which seated him for a third place individual medal and the highest score for the German team who acquired him from the Netherland team after their house cleaning 2010 year with him.  This years championships were one of two times he's placed outside of the top two positions.  

Laura Bechtolsheimer, who makes me feel like there's hope for me she's only 26 years old with a fabulous show record for the British team so far in her career, finished 5th with a decent 77.280%.  So far she's received a silver medal at the 2009 ECs as well as three silvers (two individuals and one team) at WEG in 2010 and 3 gold medals at the 2010 World Championships on the gelding, Mistral Hojris who she competed on in the 2011 ECs.

So for the first time in the 25 years of the FEI European Championships Britain claimed a well deserved team gold.  I am interested to see how the rest of the competition plays out for the rest of the week as well how things unfold and line up for the upcoming Olympic Games.

**Update** I found a video from FEI TV with some highlights of the championships!


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Problem Children

I rode Buck for the first time yesterday since our horse show and since I moved Dolly back home.  Epic failure on that!  I figured he would be a little hard to get a long with since she was out there but I didn't realize exactly what I was going to be in for.

First off I have to tell you, the only place I have to ride at home is an approx. 3 acre pasture, the same place where the horses live when I'm not riding.  Which already makes for an awkward situation since Buck is never really in the mindset to work when we're out there.  Dolly followed us around for a little while which worked out fine until she got bored and started to walk away.  Buck FREAKED out!  He reared up and spun around so I had to bail off to keep from falling off.  When I bailed he got even more panicked and backed up really hard, in turn breaking the reins *sad face*.  After the little panic attack and broken reins I tied a lead rope where the reins had been and finished the ride... he of course was perfectly fine because Dolly decided she didn't really need to go any where after all.

I'm a little torn, I don't want to put her up for sale but at the same time I can't continue on dealing with spastic outbursts every time I ride, not to mention replacing multiple sets of broken reins.  What to do, what to do....

After a decent ride with Buck I decided it was time for me to "Cowgirl Up" and get on Dolly.  No worries, I'm not crazy (she hasn't been ridden for at least a year and a half) I put on my helmet like I do when I ride Buck.  I saddled her up and put the long line on her, prepared to see how she was and then decide if I would get on.  

Definitely got a bigger surprise than I was prepared for.  I was walking out to where I ride with her on the long line beside me and she grunted loudly and started bucking!!!  When I say bucking I mean I should seriously consider selling her to a rodeo stock contractor!  She stood up, threw down her head and proceeded to jump straight up and down, all four feet off the ground WHILE she was spinning around!  I can't even begin to paint you a vivid enough picture of exactly what happened.  As she spun she wrapped the long line around the saddle until I couldn't hold on any longer.  Afterwards she ran around the pasture with Buck on her heels until she ran out of breath (about 5 to 10 minutes).

Once she was done I walked up to her, unwrapped the long line and walked back up to the top of the hill where I ride.  Then I long lined her for 15 minutes or so.  She was perfect than walk, trot and canter both directions without even a bobble....  I decided I'd brave it and get on (I didn't want her to think I was scared of her!)

Helmet on I proceeded to climb up onto the western saddle.  She was already pretty out of breath so I decided we'd stick with mostly walking and maybe a little trotting.  I rode her around until her breathing went back to normal and I figured I didn't want to test my luck any longer...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Curious

So I know this is an old controversial topic but I was reading some different articles on the topic because I am interested in the whole subject and thought I'd write about it... Cloning.  What are your thoughts on the whole thing?  Particularly in our sport.

From "Gemini" the cloned colt of Gem Twist to "Clayton" the stallion owned by 11 time World Champion barrel racer Charmayne James, cloned from her gelding Scamper.  Both horses are probably what Dianna called "once in a lifetime" horses so I completely understand why Charmayne and those around Gem Twist would want to clone them, but should they?

In 2004 the AQHA (American Quarter Horse Association) passed a rule stating that any horse produced from cloning could not be registered with their association.  Which, if I understand the rules of AQHA registration, means their offspring can not be registered with the association.  Now in most events... such as barrel racing and show jumping... breed registration doesn't really matter that much, your horses can still participate in events where breed associations are not sponsoring the event.

My concern is does this make it easier for those to have the money to win because they have a clone of a horse who probably set the bar in their events in the past.  Consider having to compete against Gem Twist again (that is to say if Gemini comes out with Gem Twist's talent of course) he was a horse who definitely made a mark in the Show Jumping world and now because a particular group of people could afford it, he's back and competing again (to a point anyway).  Does that give them an obvious advantage over those who can not afford to clone a horse like that?

I know that it's usually those who can afford the expensive horses who tend to do well in certain events (it's not always the case but more often than not) anyway but does this give them an even larger advantage over those who can not afford to clone?  What would happen in dressage if they decided to clone say, Totilas or Brentina?  Do you think cloning will have an effect on dressage competitions or not?


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vacation!!

Sorry it's been a while since my last entry here, I went on vacation for a week!  Much needed I have to say.

So every other year my husband goes to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.  We've been together a while now so this is my 2nd rally with him!  I LOVE South Dakota.  If I thought I could get away with it I would move there.  Not likely though considering he hates the cold.  He wants to move to Florida some day, not too bad a choice with all the horse shows and things that go on down there it's like horsey paradise down side... I hate being hot and the summers there are HOT!

Anyway, nothing too interesting to say I just didn't want you to think I'd given up on the blog already.  The rally was epic, lots of craziness and beautiful rides.  Also I think I got a LITTLE too close to some buffalo, I'll try to post the video of that and some pictures for you to see.  Nothing too risky though, I'll save those for a scrapbook or something hahaha!

I've been out to South Dakota several times, I lived in Washington state for a short period of time so I've been all the way across the western United States.  Some how in the 10+ trips I've made out west, I've never seen Devil's Tower which is the picture on the top left.  It was amazing to see and Wyoming was a beautiful ride.  

There is a native story about how the rock was made.  Some young women were playing out in the woods and came across some bears which chased them.  The girls climbed on top of a rock and prayed asking the rock to get bigger and taller to save them from the bears.  As the prayed the rock began to grow and as it grew the bears would claw at it trying to climb up to the girls which is how Devil's Tower got the weird markings on the side.  Another story involves aliens or something and I wasn't all that interested in reading that one haha!

The second picture is obviously Mt. Rushmore which I never get tired of visiting.  The third picture is at Roughlock Falls, a stop we made on the way to Deadwood, SD.  The waterfalls are absolutely breath taking.

 



So here are some other random (appropriate) pictures from the motorcycle rally and different rides we took throughout the week.  Just and FYI the picture of the buffalo was not zoomed in, he was really that close and you'll see in the video at the end just how close they were.  I also got lucky and got my picture taken with Rick Petko from American Choppers if you know anything about that show you know him if ya don't... Google him haha!


video

This is a short video, I have one almost a minute long but I didn't think it was a good idea to post it because I was cursing in it haha!  Enjoy!



Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Riddle Me This...

And slightly off topic...

A week ago Sunday my new dog (a 2 year old Rottweiler I rescued from the pound in the city where I work) slipped out the back door after my in-laws left the house and ran out on the road.  Tragically he was killed because the lady "thought he would stop" and never bother to hit the brakes.

Now mind you, my yard is about as long as a football field and just as flat... for miles...  There was no excuse for her not to at least attempt to hit her brakes and avoid the impending collision.  But she decided he would probably turn at the last second or something and she wouldn't have to worry about slowing down since where ever she was going was obviously more important than my dogs life.  Now don't get me wrong it is our responsibility to watch our pets and make sure they stay away from the road I am not trying to take away from that fact at all, but things happen and he was rather sneaky.

After said accident, my husband had to spend the rest of the afternoon and evening (Casino was killed at 12:30 PM) digging a 4 foot deep hole to bury the poor dog in.  He finished and we buried him at approximately 9 PM that night.  It was devastating and I still feel horrible about it and I think my husband feels even worse.

Yesterday, that lady had the nerve to show up out the house while my husband and I were gone and got a hold of my father in-law who, being the good person he is, exchanged our insurance information with her since of course now a week after she murdered my dog she wants to make us pay for the damage to her car.  There is no way I could possibly put into words how PISSED OFF I am right now!!  If it were the other way around and I had killed a family pet, I couldn't even think about going back to the people and trying and make them pay for my vehicle.

Also, she is claiming the headlight on her car fell out along with other damage.  I distinctly remember looking at her vehicle while we were standing on the side of the road and yep, the headlight was definitely still in it's spot.

So my question is, how do people have the nerve to do the things they do???  How could you, after seeing how devastated the family was over the death of their dog and WATCHING the dog die yourself, go back and try... well not try MAKE them pay for damage to your vehicle because you were too stupid or in too big of a hurry to slow down a little??  There was no squeak of the brakes, no nothing... I guess she just assumed he was the smarter animal in that situation and would yield to her before crossing the road.

Tell me you couldn't see him coming from a mile away??

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dressage Queens

Sorry this is probably going to be REALLY long.

Saturday I went to my first show of the year, the Show-Me State Games/USDF Region 4 Competition (it's been almost a year and a half since I went to a show with my Thoroughbred).  It was epic!  The weather was AMAZING!!  It has been basically 200 degrees around here for almost two weeks now and yesterday it was a blistering... 75 degrees!  Oh Missouri how I love you.

My first ride was at 7:45 in the morning so I wanted to get to the show grounds no later than 6:30... that sure didn't happen.  We pulled out of the drive at 5:15 AM (already behind schedule) to go pick up my horse from my trainers barn.  The electric brakes on my trailer started grabbing really hard, even when you weren't touching the brakes on the truck!!  I had to jump out at a stoplight, yank the plug from the truck and jump back in.  So now the brakes stopped grabbing but it was still dark out and we didn't have any lights.  We had to sneak to the barn (which is 45 minutes from my house) without getting busted.  Thankfully, we made it, but we were seriously running behind because we didn't get to the barn until 6 and still had to load all of my tack AND Buck (my Thoroughbred)! AHH!  I am starting to stress out.  We got everything loaded and Buck decided he wanted to be a good boy and didn't fight getting into the trailer too much, we pulled out of my trainers drive at 6:30.  I tried to hurry as best I could pulling a 5,000 pound trailer with a 1,500 pound horse in it. 

It was 7:00 AM when we got to the show grounds and got parked.  I raced to change into my show clothes (red polo, white breeches and dress boots), ran to check in, and threw my tack on Buck.  My trainer showed up some where in the middle and we went to the arena to warm up (7:25!).  One of the show stewards (who was not a horse person) came up and snapped at me about not being out in front of the arena for my test (7:40).  Luckily for me, my trainer, who is an 'R' judge and has been around the block once or twice at dressage shows caught her, telling her that my ride was not until 7:45 so I still had time to warm up, the lady was NOT happy.  My trainer saw the person in the ring was headed down the center line for her final salute so I made my way to the big standard arena for my turn, I was SO nervous!!

Buck was a ROCKSTAR!!  Despite the crazy hurried morning he was brilliant and did everything just the way I asked him (even though I did not do the best job of asking).  Going back and looking at the video later I was very impressed with how far he's come since our last horse show (which was a DISASTER). Hopefully at some point in the near future I will be able to post some pictures from this horse show and our last one so you can see what I'm talking about.  After the ride I took him back to the trailer since we didn't go again until 11:13 AM.  I waited around for our score, watching the other people in my Training Level Test 2 class and also watching an awesome FEI test performed by a gorgeous Fresian stallion.  Scores were up and tragically... 48%, sad day.  Considering how well he did I thought we would have done a little better, but I was just happy with the way he performed either way, he was such a good boy.

I did my second test, Training Level Test 1, in the small grass arena and it was much worse than the first one despite the longer, amazing warm up.  Buck kept trying to out run me, possibly because of the cross country jumps he could see since the small arena for this test was on the grass in the barns cross country course.  There was a different judge for this test and surprisingly he scored a 59%.  I wonder what he would have scored on the first test with that judge...

I was done and got to sit, relax, and watch the rest of my team mates go the rest of the day.  Sadly for them it started raining about noon and didn't stop until almost 3 PM.  2 of my team mates rode beautifully (in my opinion) even though it was pouring rain on them the entire time.  The final team mate had a decent ride I had thought, but she was not happy with the way her horse was performing and pulled out of her final test.  He had some serious fly bites on his wither area she thought might have been hurting him.  I had heard before she rode we were sitting with a good chance at a team silver medal, but because our scores on our 2 tests are added up and divided by the number of riders on our teams and she left before her second test, we received a bronze medal instead.  I can't say for sure what I would have done in that situation but needless to say your horses health and happiness comes first above all else and if he was in pain there was no reason to ride the second test.  

All craziness aside, I have to say after not going to a show for a year and a half, Buck was brilliant and I hope to get to show more this year with him.

**Edit** I finally received our team photo from the show so I decided I should at least post that up here :-)  Buck and I are the ones on the far left!