Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pictures From The Show

Jelaine and Charlie spinning

Lee and Polly loping circles

Missy and Boots sliding

I had a BLT from Subway tonight and it was delicious!
I am starting my vacation tonight and I have a head cold, a sun burn, a cold sore and lots of mosquito bites... but I don't care because I don't have to work tomorrow!!

That is all...

Monday, June 29, 2009

1st Reining Show - A Lesson In Counting

So, the show went pretty good... or as good as a first show doing something new can go I guess. My biggest goal was to do the pattern while remaining upright... that goes for me and Remington, and we accomplished that. There was no falling over or falling off. My 2nd goal was to do the pattern correctly. I didn't exactly meet this goal, but that just leaves me something to improve upon at the next reining show.

I entered the green rider reining class and that is the last one of the day. So, I had all day to memorize my pattern, and memorize I did! Pattern number 2 was chosen for my class.

The plan was to just go in and complete the pattern. My trainer told me not to worry about doing fast spins or flying changes. Just go in and find out what it's like to ride a reining pattern. So that's what I did. It was a lot of fun too! I was pretty nervous so I know I wasn't concentrating as hard as I should have. Our circles were more like ovals... and after I did my simple change to the left I thought I heard someone in the stands say something about being on the wrong lead so I broke to a trot before I started my large fast circles. Turns out that wasn't needed and I had the correct lead in the first place. It was pretty sloppy, but I know I can improve on that.

It was very windy, so when I was doing the first rundown my hat flew off. Then after the rollback to rundown to the other end of the arena, Rem wasn't sure what my hat was doing sitting on the ground in his path, so instead of running straight we ran diagonally...

Then it was time to spin... thus the counting lesson. I don't even remember counting wrong, but I do remember being unsure... so it's quite possible that I did 5 spins instead of 4. That's where we zeroed out. There are so many things you can get a zero for, and over-spinning is one of them. So, I was glad we got a zero at the end of our pattern... that way I could still see how I scored on the previous maneuvers... which was not good! Ha, but that's okay. Can't expect much when we don't do flying changes. Our stops and rollbacks (which he could have done better) were only -1/2 so I was happy with that. He doesn't have sliding plates on, so he doesn't slide the way most of the other horses did that were there.

I'm not sure when my next show will be, but I know I will be way more confident when we step into that arena.

I don't have any photos of me and Rem, but I've got some good ones of my friends. I still have to get them off my camera though...

I have to go to work tomorrow, but then I've got the rest of the week off! The only bad part about that is I'm broke(reining shows are expensive), so I won't be doing anything that require cash :-P That's okay though, the weather should be nice enough to ride during the day and I've got 2 horses that could use some work, so I'll have a great vacation riding them!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Because Everybody Else Is Doing It...

Here is a fun little reining freestyle to MJ's Thriller...

May he rest in peace...

In other news, I am going to a reining show with Rem tomorrow. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Too HOT!

It's way too hot out...

I haven't ridden since Saturday. Jess and I went to Palmyra and I'm glad I didn't bring Riskie. The trails have gotten so rocky. Rem's feet didn't chip out, but Nash had quite a few chips by the end of our ride. I know Riskie would have been hurting.

It was a good ride, we were probably out for two and a half hours. The bugs were bad and it got progressively hotter as the ride went on, but it wasn't miserable. When we got back we gave both the boys a bath and let them roll in the sand pit.

Sunday we put hay up. I am so glad I had help from my friends, Kate and Tim, as well as Aubrey's dad. It would have been so much harder without them. It's about a 30 minute drive with a hay wagon from where we get the hay to the barn, so it was nice to have 2 trucks hauling wagons back and forth. There were 4 wagons all together. We've got 560 bales, so that should be good for the Winter. I am only feeding a flake or two a day to each horse since we have so much pasture. They are all fat and happy. I told Aubrey's dad that we won't need to get anymore hay for the year and he said "As long as you don't buy another horse". I told him to tell me "no" when I ask... haha. It's best if I don't get any ideas.

Yesterday and today have been the hottest days yet... the humidity is pretty bad as well. When I got to the barn after work the horses were standing in the dry lot just sweating. I am guessing the bugs are pretty bad out on the pasture. I have been letting them out pretty early, so hopefully they're getting their fill of grass before retreating to the barn.

They looked so miserable today that I hosed them all off. I think they enjoyed it, and their bodies were much cooler after that. I hope it helped them to be a little more comfortable.

It's supposed to be warm all week, but I'm hoping the humidity drops some by the end of the week. I'd like to get some riding in, but I won't ride my horses if they are sweating bullets just from standing around.

Next week I have Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off from work, so I'm really hoping for decent weather. Otherwise I'll just have to beat the heat and ride early in the morning.

Sorry for the boring post... Here's a picture that will make things more entertaining...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Me and Dad on one of my Uncle's rope horses - 1988 or 89??

Me and Dad, High School Graduation 2003

I haven't shared this story with too many people, so I thought today would be a good day to do it.

My dad died in February of 2005. He had Leukemia.

Before he passed away he was determined to buy one of the new 05 Ford Mustangs. He had always liked the Ford Mustang, but he enjoyed the older body styles best, so when the new 05 model came out he had to have one. It was a throwback to the older body styles he grew up with.

I remember him telling me about the test drives and showing me the new catalog. I still have that catalog... He even told me that when he passed away, he'd leave the car to me. I thought that was pretty cool, but I'd rather he not talk like that! He was on his second round of Chemotherapy by then.

Dad never got the chance to buy his car.

It seems that he found a way to keep his promise to me though. You see, Remington is my 05 Mustang, the year is even branded in symbols on his neck. My dad knew that I would much rather have a real Mustang than a car. That is one of the reasons I had to keep my horse, and I knew it was meant to be when Patti let me take him home for free.

So Happy Father's day to all the great dads out there!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sunday's Lesson

Aubrey and Chocolate, Me and Rem

Sunday morning was the group lesson. Aubrey really liked the lesson she took back over Thanksgiving break so she wanted to come along again. There were quite a few new people at the lesson, and the most we've ever had at one so it was a little more disorganized than usual. The levels of horse and rider were so different so it was a little hard finding something we could all work on. We mostly just worked on transitions like at the last lesson.

Aubrey got some really good insight into why her pony looks collected, but feels heavy. Chocolate is quite the mustang... she is pretty much all pony as far as her attitude. When she drops the attitude and really tries for Aubrey, they make a great team. I saw some really nice moments during the lesson that made Chocolate look like a miniature reining horse.

Remington had some really nice walk to lope transitions that made me happy. It really isn't an easy thing for them to do. I think I'm ready to start slowing his lope down and collecting him more... maybe at next year's June show I'll stick around for the afternoon Western pleasure classes :-) Who knows... maybe by the August show I'll have him ready to do a pleasure class.

I still can't decide if that walk/trot class was a fluke or not... I never thought we'd get 1st against those nice Quarter Horses...

I don't have much planned for this week as far as horse stuff goes. I think I will give both horses a break... at least until the end of the week. They both worked hard for me this weekend.

Saturday I might go trail riding with Jess, depending on the weather. I would like to take Risk, but if we go somewhere with rocky trails I'll probably have to take Rem... Riskie's hooves are flaring out pretty bad. I will probably have to put a set of shoes on her next time the farrier is out. I thought once Luna was sold my farrier bill would go down... I think it's going to go up if I have to put shoes on!! Oh well... that's the way it goes I guess.

We were able to get a wagon load of our hay on Sunday night when they started baling it. I'm going to have to pick the rest up this Sunday. At least when I put hay up I don't feel bad about not going to the gym... The weight loss thing is going okay. I am still losing, slowly but surely. The hardest part is not over-eating when we have potlucks at work. The desserts just sit there all day, calling my name... *sigh*

Okay this post is getting random and off-topic... maybe because it's 2 in the morning? Why am I not sleeping!?! Okay I am going to shut the computer and turn out the light and hope that when I wake up it's Friday... hahahaaaa, yeah right... well, have a good week everybody.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Videos From The Show

Sr. Showmanship

1. Start at Cone A
2. Walk to Cone B
3. Trot from Cone B to past Cone C, make a circle
and continue trotting to the Judge.
4. Stop in front of the Judge, back 5 steps and complete a 360 degree
turn to the right.
5. Set up for inspection.

Jackpot Walk/Trot Equitation Pattern

1. Start at Cone A trot to Cone B.
2. Stop at Cone B and back 4 steps.
3. Trot a circle and continue past Cone B to Cone C.
4. Stop at Cone C.

Sr. Showmanship

Jackpot Walk Trot - Pattern work

Jackpot Walk Trot - Rail work

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Open June Show 2009

Remington and I after the pattern work in Jackpot Open W/T

Riskie and I in Sr. Showmanship

Today was a lot of fun. The morning started off with rain, which was disappointing because they did cut our hay on Thursday and it got rained on. I am hoping since it cleared up in the afternoon they will have raked it and it will be dry by the time they bale it... Anyway, RAIN! In the morning. I wasn't going to let a little rain ruin my fun so I caught my two grumpy horses and loaded them up. Aubrey decided to leave Chocolate behind today. She didn't think it would be fair to take her to a show when she hasn't ridden her in a few months, I can understand that. We got to the fair grounds at about 7:15. I sat in the truck for a good while to see if the rain was going to let up. I figured the horses wouldn't mind standing in the trailer, at least they'd be staying dry.

Once it got closer to 8:00 I headed over to register for my classes. I signed up for Sr. Showmanship and Trail with Risk, and Jackpot Open Walk/Trot Pleasure/Equitation and Trail with Rem. My first class was class #8 so I had lots of time to get ready for it. I unloaded the horses and Aubrey hung up their hay bags, that made them a little less grumpy. It was still spitting rain, but it was tolerable. The show didn't even get started until 8:30 so Aubrey, her friend Ben, and I just sat in the truck and watched classes until it was time for me to go.

Showmanship was my first class. There were 8 in the class. Risk and I went first and we had a really great pattern for the most part. Our back-up was slightly crooked and when I set her up she moved a hind foot as the judge started inspection. Then, I hesitated while doing my boxes and I thought I screwed them up. I was really disappointed that our pattern ended the way it did. As I watched the other people go, I noticed that I wasn't the only one making slight mistakes. There were people who took too many steps back, as the pattern called for 5 steps. There was another competitor who misjudged her distance from a cone and that put her in an awkward spot to pivot. A few horses stepped out of their setup, more noticeably than my own.
By the end of the class I was unsure how my own faults would measure up against my competitors, it seemed like nobody had a flawless pattern. It turns out the judge was on our side and we ended up placing 1st! I was really happy with that. Riskie is such a good showmanship horse, I can let her go all year without practicing and she still remembers what I taught her as a 2 year old when she was my last 4-H project.

After showmanship there was a lunch break so I saddled Rem up and took him into the arena to warm up. He did great. I wasn't sure how he'd react to all the chairs and people sitting just on the other side of the arena, but he did fine. He didn't even look at them. He sure has come a long way... He warmed up nicely so I kept it short and headed back to the trailer.

After warming Rem up I saddled Risk and decided to get trail out of the way. I was disappointed with the pattern because there were some really tight lope-throughs. I guess I shouldn't be upset with whoever made the pattern, but I just knew my horses wouldn't be able to do it. I know there were horses that accomplished the lope-throughs correctly, but neither of mine did. It was one of those situations where you needed all kinds of collection and I am not at the point with either of my horses at the lope. So, I ended up placing 4th with Rem and 5th with Risk.

My last class of the day was the Jackpot Open Walk/Trot Pleasure/Equitation. You had to pay $10 at the gate to enter this class and money awards were given to 1st through 3rd. I originally wasn't going to enter because I wasn't sure we'd have much of a chance, but decided it would be good for Rem and I was curious how we'd place since I've been working on his trot lately. There was a pattern with this class because 50% of the judging was Equitation (judging the rider's skills) and 50% was Pleasure (judging the horse's movement). The pattern was - Trot from cone A to cone B. Stop at B and back 4 steps. Trot past cone B and complete a circle continuing on to Cone C. Stop at cone C. My pattern went pretty smoothly, though I was a little disappointed that Rem threw his head out and grabbed the bit on our first stop. I also felt like I was working hard to keep him straight as I trotted out of the circle and to the last cone.

There were 8 riders in the class, and I didn't see everyone's pattern, but it is harder for me to pick out riding errors than it is for me to see errors in a class like showmanship. I think the class would have really been hard to judge because there was a huntseat rider, a few green horses with snaffles/bosals and finished western horses with curb bits.

After the pattern work we did some rail work. I am unsure how to present Remington as there is no written standard of how a mustang should be shown. I suppose it depends on the type of mustang you have. Western Arabian horses are shown with a higher headset than a Quarter Horse, but it is more acceptable for a Quarter Horse to carry his head slightly in front of the vertical where as Arabians are always on or slightly behind the vertical. I also didn't know how much contact I should have. I know in a cub bit on a finished pleasure horse you don't want any contact, but I rode Rem in a snaffle with two hands, so I thought a little contact would be okay. I just tried to show him to the best of my ability.

When we came in to line up, I honestly had no idea where I stood in the placings, so I was more than surprised when my name was called for 1st! I won my entry fee of $10 back and got an additional $10 on top of it. I was so proud of my little Mustang, because there were a lot of nice, finished Quarter Horses in that class!

I have video to share, but it will have to wait until tomorrow! It's getting late and I have to be up at 7 for our lesson tomorrow. Thanks for reading, I hope you all have a great Sunday!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Looking Forward to the Weekend!

So last weekend I didn't do a thing with the horses except feed them. It was rainy both days and I just stayed inside all weekend.

I am hoping the weather cooperates this weekend. Aubrey is coming home! She was originally coming home because we thought we might be putting hay up this weekend, but with all the rain we've had, the hay isn't even cut yet. I doubt it will be cut and baled by the weekend, but who knows... So anyway, there is an open 4-H show at the fairgrounds on Saturday that we just might head over to. We don't want to stay the whole day so we would probably just do the morning classes. I want to take Riskie and Remington. I would do showmanship with Risk, walk/trot with Rem, and Trail with both horses. The show starts at 8 so I imagine we'd be finished by noon. That's about all the showing I can take these days. I get cranky pretty fast when I have to wear show attire.

Sunday is a group lesson, and Aubrey will get to bring her pony! I am very excited.

Now if only it were Friday night instead of Wednesday...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

She'll Make A Rope Horse Yet...

I took a half day of work today, so I could go roping again! Risk is really coming along, and enjoying this team roping business. She is getting good about getting up behind the steer and staying where she belongs. She is beginning to anticipate the turn when the header dallies, which is good and bad. Good because she's learning her job, but also bad because she doesn't always turn the way she should. She likes to leave her hip hanging out there, so I have to use my spur to bring her hip around before we can get in behind the steer.

The good new is that spurs don't bother her anymore! We were tracking a steer pretty good and he stopped to drag right in front of us, Risk hit the breaks and I accidently dug my spurs into her belly as I tried to keep my balance. She wasn't bothered at all this time around. That made me happy, but I also felt bad for sticking her when she was watching out for me. But, she knows when to tolerate it and when to respond now :-)

I think her favorite part is breaking from the box. I just move my hand forward and she goes! That might be my favorite part about roping too. I do like to go fast, and it's so much fun to go from a standstill to a full out gallop in 3 strides.

Breaking from the box (on the wrong lead)

Taking a break.

I know a few of you are wondering what I decided about the Mustang Makeover. I thought it best to sit this one out. I will consider doing the Midwest one again (if there is going to be one), but the gas prices keep jumping up and summer is just beginning. I am going to concentrate on my 2 horses this summer, because I am still learning so much from both of them. Doing the Mustang Challenge really showed me how much I don't know about finishing horses, and that's something I want to get a handle on before I do anymore outside training. I know you can't finish a horse in 100 days, but I feel like if I knew what I know now I could have gotten Remington going better in time for the competition. Anyway, enough of this nonsensical babbling!

Tomorrow is FRIDAY! Yay! There's rain in the forecast for this weekend, so I'm not sure what I'll be doing yet, but if it has anything to do with the ponies, I'll be sure to write about it on Sunday. Hope you all have a good weekend, and stay on TOP of your ponies :-)