Wednesday, February 26, 2014

HITS Here We Come!

Poppy and I are off to HITS in the morning!  It is a miserable day of rain today so likely no riding for us.  That means a busy evening of packing and likely a wild horse tomorrow at the show. I had not planned to show tomorrow but with not being able to ride today I might change that plan...

I will try to update from the show!  Woo hoo!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Birthday Boy

Luxxx is officially 3 today!!!  I talked to his breeder yesterday and he is going to send me some baby pictures of him.  Eeek!!   I.  Can. Not.  Wait.

Birthday boy has no idea what treats are so not sure what to spoil him with.  He is so adorable with peppermints.  He sucks on them then spits them out.  I pick it up and give it to him again.  He sucks on it some more then spits it out.  He hasn't figured out how to eat them.  So cute!

Adventures with Pool Floaties

Saturday morning husband and I went out for an early breakfast.  As we were finishing up I got a text from trainer N telling me I should get some spooky props to decorate my jumps to prepare Poppy for the Classic at HITS.  Off to Walmart we went.

I had also heard that the new Grand Prix ring has large plastic pink flamingos in it. I'm in Florida, how hard can it be to find those?  This became a mission for the husband.  He was having so much fun with it that I started to wonder was he being a supportive partner or did the idea of spooking my horse while I'm trying to jump sound fun?  I decided some things are best not answered...

This is what happens when you call a husband in for help.  I picked out the plastic flower pots which I planned to put upside down or stack.  He picked out the blow up pool items.  A blow up crab baby pool.  I am soooo going to get lawn darted...

Three stores later and we found the pink flamingos.

Say hello to my little friend.

She was sooooo good!  Didn't even bat an eye at the duck or flamingos. A little wiggly over the flower pot jump (which I forgot to take a picture of).  I hadn't jumped her in a few weeks and since the crab pool is huge I decided to save it for Sunday and jump bigger.

Unfortunately I live in the swamp state.   This was Sunday...

Tanks's old stall is now pool floatie storage.

Monday was still too wet to jump so I put the floaties in a paddock and hacked around them.  The horses didn't go out Sunday night due to the rain so Poppy was great even after being stalled so long.  I was hoping to get Luxxx out to groom but the stalled baby was really anxious to get out!  More on him in a bit...

2 more days until we leave for HITS!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Drum Roll Please...

And now the moment I have been waiting for.  The moment where I can spill the beans!!!  I have to give you the back story first and explain why I didn't want to reveal anything.

The second week that I was at Winter Series I met a Holsteiner breeder.  My trainer was looking at one of his sale horses for a client of hers and I wanted to learn all about his baby horses.  I told him that my goal was one day to purchase a two or three year old with upper level potential.  Buying something that young would be the only way I could afford a Grand Prix prospect.  I also explained that I have to downsize and have 2 horses that I need to sell in order to pursue this goal.  He educated me about Holsteiners, his stallion, their lines etc.  He also told me that he does sales and to send him videos and pictures of my horses as he might have some clients who would be interested.

I sent him the info and he later contacted me with an offer of working out a deal that included trading my 2 horses Tank and Ketel for one of his 3 year olds.  I took some time to think this over and discussed it with trainers K and N.  They felt I should at least go look at his horses.  When Winter Series finally ended I made a trip out to his farm which was a good 2 hours away.  He showed me 2 of his 3 year olds.  A filly and gelding.  He said that after watching me show Poppy he felt I would be a great match with the gelding.  The fuzzy gangly chestnut 3 year old didn't look impressive on the cross ties but then he took him to the jump chute.  OH MY GOSH.  Helllloooooo.  I was in love.  I liked the filly too.  She is smaller and dainty.  She jumps beautifully but definitely belongs in the hunter ring.  While I was there I also looked at another sale horse for my trainer and while I watched and videoed him riding it he let me ride one of his 4 year olds.  At 4 it went in a frame, lead changes, and jumps little courses.  And HUGE stride.  He is the same sire as the 3 year year old gelding.  

I went home and sent all the videos to K and N and got great feedback from them.  They agreed that the gelding showed great promise and could JUMP!  So then the following weekend K and I drove back out there.  The breeder graciously agreed to allow us to take him back to K's and have him vetted.  A few days later my vet came out and we did all the pre-purchase tests and x-rays.  My vet also sent the x-rays to UF Vet School for a second opinion.  When she heard he had old x-rays she wanted to see those.  Several days later, which seemed like years we got everything back.

FINALLY on Friday morning in the pouring rain I hauled Tank and Ketel to their new home, picked up another sale horse for K, drove to K's barn to drop it off, and take my new baby home.  I have tried to make this short and to the point without boring you with all the unimportant details.  At times I didn't think this was going to work and it was stressing me out beyond words because I didn't have any other options.  I worry, I fret, and I stress out.  So much went into making this work and with so much effort from several people.  I am so thankful to have each one of them in my life and so happy to report this worked out.  I miss Tank terribly.  I have had him for 6 years.  I just hope he gets a new owner to spoil him and give him all the time and attention he craves.

Ok without further delay here are all the pictures.  Meet Luxxx T.  He is a 3 year old Holsteiner gelding.  His sire is Lotus T, an imported Holsteiner stallion who did Grand Prixs until he retired.  His dam is also an imported Holsteiner.
Here he is flatting:

Jump chute:

My what a large head you have.

It's been an exciting weekend.  He is settling in and getting into his new routine.  I will also update you on my FUN ride with Poppy next!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sea of Uncertaintly

Right now I feel like my world is a complete mess and upside down.  I am going to therefore focus on the one thing that I do have planned.

I just secured someone to take care of my horses so I plan to leave next Thursday for HITS.  If all goes well in my division I will do the $15K Classic that Saturday night in their new Grand Prix ring.  None of my division classes go in there so I am sure Poppy and I will be a nervous mess but we are going to go for it anyway!

The weather has been great this week so I've gotten hacking in on her.  The rain comes tomorrow so tonight may be my last ride for a few days.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Horse Show Picture

So I have run into some issues with my plan.  It is stressing me out more than I can put into words.  I am trying to remain calm and not let this get me down but it is...

On a better note I just got the picture I ordered from Winter Series.  It is not a pretty pic but I thought Poppy looked so cute I just HAD to get it.

Get it Poppy!!!  1.10m

Monday, February 17, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

Just a short update.  I am terrible at keeping secrets so if I write too much I will blab.  Hopefully just a few more days and I can FINALLY spill the beans!

I had a really busy weekend so no riding for me.  I hope to get back into the swing of things this week.  I have HITS coming up in less than 2 weeks so it would probably be a good idea to ride my horse.  I still haven't found anyone to help with the horses that weekend. Uhg!

Saturday I helped N at the local show.  She had tons of kids showing.  Many brand new to the show world so it was a bit chaotic.  A few melt downs and lots of nervous kids asking when they ride (like every five minutes asking....).  We survived but my gosh was it a long day.

We finally have some sunshine.  I sure need it to dry up my jump field so I can get some practice in!  Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy V-Day!

Not only is it Valentine's Day but it is also my Anniversary with my beloved Mini Nugget.  9 years ago today my S.O. came home with this wonderful Valentine's Day surprise!

Kiss your ponies.  Kiss your honey. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Plan A

Okay.  I have a plan.  I don't want to reveal anything until it is 100% in place.  I'm superstitious and I'm scared I'm going to jinx it somehow (there is no plan b).  My fingers and toes are crossed and I am going to bust if I can't talk about it soon!

Monday I rode Poppy and lunged Tank.  Poppy was slightly up but she had a week off.  Tank was WILD on the lunge.  

Tuesday I rode Tank and lunged Ketel.  I slightly feared for my life since Tank hasn't been ridden in a couple weeks.  He jigged and cantered when I wanted him to trot but he eventually got it out of his system and worked nicely.  Ketel was a bat out of hell on the lunge line.  Seriously.  It was like his tail was on fire.  I think I will lunge him awhile before hopping back on.  

Wednesday is was gross and raining so no riding and the horses stayed in for the night.  I'm hoping it dried up enough to hack Poppy this evening.

I hope everyone is warm and safe with this terrible snow storm hitting the east coast.  Kiss your ponies and I hope to have good news soon!

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's a New Week

After so much rain I am happy to start the new week with some sunshine.  It is much needed to dry up my place and all the mud.  I am hoping today has dried up enough to ride.

Between some major stress at work and the stress of my schedule at home I may take a few days off from blogging.  Hopefully to return with a plan to de-stress.  

This weekend I will be helping my trainer at a local unrated show.  They take a ton of lesson kids so they always need a hand tacking horses up and making sure kids get to the ring on time.  

So cross your fingers, toes, and think good thoughts and I hope to return with the "Life Less Complicated Plan."

Friday, February 7, 2014

This Too Shall Pass

Another day and night of rain.  I groomed all the horses and tucked them in last night.  We had too much rain and storms for turnout.  More rain today so they might be in for another night.

Thunder is scary so the feed room is the safe place 

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ground Hog Day

Thank you for the encouraging words.  How do I do it?  I go to work and take care of the horses.  Not too much else...

Morning Routine

I  get up 5:30-5:45am on weekdays.  I get Hobbs' Cushings meds from my kitchen fridge, slide on my boots, and walk down to the barn with 4 dogs in tow.  

I'm met at the barn gate by a hungry barn kitty and 6 chickens all demanding to be fed.  First I open Cotton's stall, place Poppy's feed in her stall, then go get Poppy and Cotton.  I always lead Poppy in from her turnout and let Cotton walk himself to his stall.  Without fail every morning barn kitty hides in the bushes and waits for Cotton to walk by so she can pounce and scare him.  Sometimes her timing is off and she scares the shit out of Poppy and I.
Barn Kitty

Next I bring in Ketel, then Tank, feed kitty, feed chickens, and feed Hobbs outside.  Due to his medical issues he does best to live outside however he spent many, many years as a show pony and does not want to be away from the barn.  We have compromised and he has free roam.  I leave his stall door open so in case the weather is bad he can go inside.  It appears he only uses his stall for bathroom purposes though.  He seems happy with this and loves that he can visit everyone while they are in their stalls.  He also likes to turn on fans, lights, and let horses out of their stalls.  I feel like my barn is now booby trapped to prevent these shenanigans.  Lastly I take off or switch out sheets/blankets based on weather for the day, clean everyone's feet and make sure shoes are attached.


Evening Routine
I get home from work, change into barn clothes, slip on boots, and walk down to the barn.  4 dogs in tow.  Again.  Feed chickens and lock Hobbs in his stall.  I get out whoever I am going to ride, ride, possibly lunge or ride another.  While those horses are cooling out I throw hay in the turnouts, blanket as necessary, then prepare feed and feed.  Then I turn out.  Since Ketel is a baby I make sure he is groomed daily whether ridden or not so that he practices standing in cross ties etc.  After I get everyone turned out I clean all the stalls, stuff hay nets for the next day, clean/fill water buckets (I am anti-auto waterers), and prepare morning feed.  My evening routine takes about 2.5 hours and sometime more if I clean tack or in the spring/summer when I can ride more than 1.

Are you tired yet?  This is what I do 7/365.  There are no sick days or days off.  If I want to go out of town I have to make arrangements for the horses.  If I want to go to dinner or plan an evening with friends I have to plan so I can feed the horses a little early that night.  I LOVE having my horses at home.  I LOVE that I see them all the time.  I love how they whinny for me when I pull in the driveway.  But I have to shorten this routine and the only way to do it is downsize.  5 is too many.  It took me learning this the hard way.  So now I am wracking my brain to formulate a plan.  Something that is best for me as well as the horses.

If only it were simple.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On the Brink...

Work and horses are a love hate relationship for me.  I work so much to afford this sport that I don't have time for it.  I get home later and later then feel stressed to get a horse ridden, groom the others, do my chores, and head to the house about 830-9pm.  Then feed the dogs, run the vacuum or some laundry, shower, eat, and by this time it is 10/1030pm.  And it starts over again the next day.

I've always had good intentions but by now I am over whelmed.  I bought Poppy thinking I had time to ride 2.  Then I bought Ketel thinking I would sell Tank.  Now here I am with 3 that need to be worked, plus the retired one, and the mini.  Something has to give.  I HAVE to downsize.

I got home late from work last night.  It was too dark to ride so I lunged Tank and he was wild.  Then the rain started so his lunge was cut short.  Everyone got a short grooming session before dinner and bed.  Fortunately the rain stopped so they could be turned out.

So here I am trying to come up with a plan cuz this ol' gal needs a break.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter Series Finale Wrap Up

The past three weeks of showing and working have been hectic to say the least.  We had heavy rain last week that made the 2 outdoor rings at the show unusable.  This meant having to combine 4 rings into the 2 indoor rings. 

Friday I didn't show but went and helped my trainer N who competed in the Hunter Derby.  They had a great 2 rounds and came in 3rd.

Hunters went first in my ring on Saturday which meant I showed at about 6pm.  

My copilot.

Poppy doesn't have much experience riding under the lights in an indoor.  She was brave and jumped well and we were second place in our 1.10m High Adult Jumpers.  Yay!

Then Sunday jumpers went first and I did the $10K Classic.  

My focus was to be careful and clean.  Poppy jumped clean but I was way too conservative and picked up time faults.  I was mad at myself for not being better aware of the time but thrilled with how well Poppy did.  We came in 8th and won enough money to cover our weekend entries. Woo hoo!  I bought a picture from the photographer so I will post it when it comes.

I'm trying to plan to go to HITS Ocala next.  The lady who takes care of my horses when I am out of town is now working full time so she is unable to help anymore.  Now I am scrambling to find help so I can send in my entries.  

I will give Poppy a few days off this week and focus on trying to get Tank and Ketel back in shape.  I have decided not to show Ketel in our local show February 15th so I can save the money and put towards HITS.  2 weeks to get him back in shape wasn't reasonable anyway.