Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hunter Princess Blog Hop- Your Dream Horse Shows

We all have certain horse shows that we admire and wish we could compete at. Some of them seem more attainable than others, and this week for the Hunter Princess Blog Hop I’m asking what shows would you want to do if you had a nice enough horse, all the vacation time you needed and a big budget for traveling and coaching fees.

Easy peasy...INDOORS!!!  I would LOVE to ride at Harrisburg (PA National Horse Show).  I qualified for NAL Adult Jumper Finals twice in the past and passed on going due to the ginormous expense.  I have always regretted it.

I would also love to show at The Washington International Horse Show.  I used to go and watch it as a kid.  Who doesn't dream of showing there?
Too bad the National Horse Show moved from NY to KY.  That would have been awesome too.  People that I know that showed there said it was a nightmare.  Shipping in, walking the horses down the streets of NYC, then having schooling times in the middle of the night.  Totally worth it though!!
I also for some reason really want to show at The Hampton Classic.  Maybe to spot a celebrity.  I don't know, just one of the shows on my bucket list.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Horse Show Wrap Up

The past few days are sort of a blur.  I am so exhausted from a long 4 days at the show.  I will do my best to recap.  Friday was round 2.  We showed about 4:30pm.  I spent the time before showing getting Poppy cleaned up, taking her for a walk, doing some shopping, etc to kill the time. 

Poppy enjoying a graze before showing Friday
Then it's time to show and you are scrambling.  Order of go was reversed from Thursday night's placings.  Thursday I finished 11th so I was 10th or so in the order of go (I think, I can't quite remember).
Friday's Course, Round 2
A picture of the ring.
Sitting in 11th, I had some catching up to do.  That meant going clean.  I didn't take any risks such as inside turns.  I could have from 4 to 5 (going inside 10) but jump 5 was a triple bar and I wanted to get there straight and be able to set her up.  We had a nice clean round, she jumped fantastic and we came in 5th in round 3.  And I actually have video!!

I got home about 8pm Friday, much better than the night before but still had horses to take care of at home.  Sooo tired..
Back at it on Saturday for the final round.  They took 16 riders for the final round.  We were 11th in the order of go and it went about 11:30am.

Round 3 Course
So for round 3 you had to jump the course and when everyone was done everyone had to go jump the course again.  If there was a tie for 1st place then there would be a jump off.  Again, clean rounds are the only way to stay in it.  I wish I had video.  Poppy was amazing.  Jump 2 was huge with a big wall and flowers on the wall SPOOKY!  It was also 10.5 strides from 1 to 2.  Alot of mistakes there.  I made sure I took the inside track and the 10 was right there.  Then you had to come around to jump 3 which was a skinny.  We got there tight but she was good to me.  Then 7 strides to a tight 2 stride (4ab) then 4 tight strides to 5.  Jump 6 was a huge swedish oxer, jump 7 was a weird plank on flat cups.  We opted to go around jump 5 so we could get nice and set up for the triple combination which was a tight one to one.  Then 6 going strides to 9.  Jumps 9 and 10 were very plain verticals so it was important to not get flat.  Then left turn to jump 11 and 4 long strides to 12.  Whew!  Another clean round.  Then back again, again reverse order so I had time to cool her out and boy were we both exhausted.  The second go my goal was to just smooth it out and stay clean.  She rocked.  We nailed every distance.  My trainer gave me the thumbs up.  I was so happy with my little grey mare.  We finished in 6th.
Woop Woop!!  I went to college at The University of Florida so note the saddle pad :)

Hot and sweaty
So proud of her!
If you want to check out proofs from the show go to http://www.mustphoto.com/ and select Southeast Medal Finals 2013.  Enter my number 437.  If I am wearing a polo shirt that was from Thursday's 1m class.  If I am in a jacket that is the championships. Tan breeches were Thursday and Friday and white breeches were Saturday.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Longest Horse Show Day Ever

Have you ever been so tired you can't sleep?  What a long day.  Up at 5 am to take care of my horses then out to the show.  I did a 1m class as a warm up and to get Poppy in the ring.  She was great and had a blue ribbon round.  

The first round of the championship class (1.15m) was supposed to start at 6:15pm and didn't go until about 7:30pm.  I drew 15th in the order of go.  Poppy had her first experience with showing at night under the lights.  She handled it well but I could tell she was nervous.  It wasn't my best ride but she was so good.  I got a little deep to fence 9 (a big oxer) and she pulled the back rail.  I really need to focus on keeping my pace.  It was a course full of roll backs off a short turn.  I think only 8 went clean.  We finished with 4 faults which has us in 11th place.  Round 2 is tomorrow.  Top 15 will go on to the finals on Saturday.  

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I made it...

We made it to the show.  Any guess on what time I left???  I didn't leave the house until after noon.  Ok here are my excuses.  It was raining.  The weather was even worse on the side of town where the show is and the news reported accidents all over the interstate.  Soooo, I got my list done and left a little later.

This show I actually did get a stall.  We live a little south of town and the show is at the furthest point it could be from us (56 miles away).  So when you have to be there really early it is nice to not have to also worry about bathing your horse then loading and heading over to the show all before 6am.  I think Poppy will be happier too.

So I got to the show to school.  They opened up the jumper ring for hacking and they had 2 schooling jumps set up.  Our ring is a fully enclosed indoor.  Much like what you see at Indoors so great practice to see how she handles it.  Much like Indoors there are a ton of people in there schooling with you.  The Maclay Regionals are also being held in the jumper ring so I was schooling with all of them too.  Poppy was great.  She didn't bat an eye at anything.  Not the all the people zooming by or the people sitting in the stands.  We just did a few schooling jumps and let her be done.

They are opening the ring again in the morning from 5:30-7am.  I would have to leave here by 5 to get there by 6am.  I don't see that happening.  We will plan to do one schooling class tomorrow and then round 1 of the championships start in the afternoon.

Poppy after her bath

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Am I packed? Hahahaha that's funny...

I got home from work and hacked both Tank and Poppy.  Then by the time I fed and cleaned stalls it was already after 9pm.  Uhg.  I at least cleaned my tack but I have done nothing else.  I am taking Poppy over to the show in the morning.  True to form, before I leave I have to:
  • go to the feed store and get hay
  • unload hay
  • maybe grocery store?
  • hook up trailer
  • load trailer with trunk and tack
  • clean golf cart
  • pack feed and hay for show
  • roll wraps (which are in the dryer as I type)
  • wrap and load horse
  • load golf cart
And my goal is to be pulling out by 10/10:30am.  Want to take any bets if THAT happens???

Sunday, September 15, 2013

I Can't Wait!!

I am soooo excited for this week!  Due to my show getting cancelled last month I have not shown since July. I can't wait to get back in the ring this week.  This show is going to be fun so I am that much more excited.  The only draw back is that I show starting on Thursday.  I guess show management assumes we don't work???  The Maclay Regional Finals are on Sunday and will be in the jumper ring so my ring needs to be done on Saturday.

I had a great jump school on Poppy yesterday.  She will just hack up until Wednesday when I take her to the show to school.
Perfect jumper mane!

I also jumped Tank around this weekend.    He was great.  He's always the same so nothing exciting to report on there.


I also rode Ketel on Saturday.  He flatted pretty well so I set up a cross rail with a trot pole.  He was good the first time then tried running out.  The joys of a 3 year old...  So we will be working on that this week.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Hunter Princess Blog Hop- A Princess Stereotype You Break


What stereotype do you break in the "hunter princess" mold?

People see me without my helmet or maybe out of my show clothes and assume that I am a hunter princess.  Tall, long blonde hair.  I must be the princess type (ahem...never assume).  My friends do call me Barbie, but they only do it because it pisses me off.

Why am I not Barbie Hunter Princess (aside from not looking like Barbie)?   To start with I do the jumpers.  I do all my own care.  No grooms holding my horses or tacking them up or washing them off or cleaning the stalls.  I am lucky to go into the show ring not covered in horse slime or dirt.  This may not sound like much but at the rated shows grooms are the norm.  I am usually the only English speaking person at the wash rack.  I am there at the show from sun up to sun down because I am doing my own care.  Also not the norm.  And here's the kicker.  If it is an A rated show in town I don't get a stall.  I tie my horse to the trailer (gasp!!! ).  Yes, I am the lonely truck and trailer parked way out in that field marked "day parking."  And yes my pretty little grey WB mare is tied to my trailer eating from her hay net.

Poppy sleeping after competing.

My chunky marshmellow puff


I think she looks like a hunter princess here

We have an annual show series in town called Winter Series that goes anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks during January.  It is an AA rated show with an International Hunter Derby.  It also used to also have an FEI jumper class.  The series attracted/attracts riders such as Jennifer Alfano, Kelley Farmer, Richard Spooner, Georgina Bloomberg, Ian Millar, etc.  It was big (In the past 2 years it has gotten a tad smaller since they stopped doing the FEI).   And there I was, trailering my horse in and tying her (or him, Tank trailer ties too) to my trailer like a western pony. Stalls are $225 per week excluding shavings so yeah, I prefer to save the money.  Not to mention my horse gets to go home and be turned out instead of staying in a little 10x10 stall.

Yes I do ride a pretty WB.  Yes I do ride my golf cart around the show (it sucks to be stabled or parked a mile from my ring and having to check on the ring).  Yes I do have a cute chihuahua.  However I think the horse snot stains on my breeches and my horse tied to my trailer excludes me from Hunter (or jumper) Princess title. 

2 of my pups

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Almost Friday Woop Woop!

I rode Kete for the first time since he has come home from my trainer's barn.  I rode him Tuesday and Wedneday and he was great.  We have so much to work on but the fact that he is moving forward makes me happy.  He is so unbalanced and trips alot.  I am attributing this to the fact that he is butt high at the moment (by almost 3 inches).  I am hoping after this growth spurt his balance/tripping  improves.  I am planning to take him to his first show in a couple weeks.  I will decide what to take him in once we get there and see how he is.  I am hoping to do cross rails however even if I just school him and don't show that will be fine.  He needs the get the exposure of being at a show.  It will be an unrated H/J show run by one of our local organizations. 

This week I've also alternated riding Poppy and Tank.  Both have been great.  Hopped Tank over some jumps last night, his first time since pulling his shoe and a chunk of hoof off.  He was full of himself but so fun to ride.  Tonight I rode Ms. Poppy.  I am taking her over to the show on Wednesday of next week so I am sticking to our pre-show plan/workouts.  I jumped her around a little tonight, only about 3 ft.  Saturday I am hoping for no rain so I can put the jumps up big.  I like to jump a little bigger than we will be showing to tune her and then the jumps at the show always look smaller too.  I will also make sure she is clipped and touch up her mane Saturday.  Saturday will be busy with getting all the horses ridden and then the ultra fun job of de-cobwebbing the barn.  It's to the point of embarrassing.  I tried to pay my 15 year old neighbor the come over and do it but that was over a month ago so I am assumming she doesn't want/need the money because it's still not done.  I'm not looking forward to it...

I tried to take some pictures after I rode tonight.  Whenever mine see my phone/camera they immediately come in for a close up.  So I can never get a good shot.

Fine, I will perk my ears up if you stop waving your gloves in the air...

Here take a picture of this side...

If you don't have a cookie, I want no part of this...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Non-Horsey S.O.'s

Sometimes I envy those that have horsey S.O.'s (not that I would trade mine).  If mine was maybe he would understand this horse obsession a little better.  He thinks it is completely insane.  He's right.  I equate horses to a crack addiction.  It's expensive, you always want more horses, more shows, more clothes, more tack, and you can justify the hell out of why you need all those things.  I can horse show all day then come home and spend the evening watching a big class somewhere in the world on the USEF Network online (this REALLY drives S.O. nuts).

When we met I had one horse and I boarded with my trainer which is a high end full care H/J barn.  I spent a moderate amount of time at the barn and was slowing down with showing as Hobbs was getting older.  Once we bought property and built a barn it was on.  I grew from 1 horse to 5. 

I sort of took on the perspective that it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.  I seriously put him to the test when I bought Poppy.  I told him nothing.  While he was at work I brought her home.  I thought I could buy a few days before he noticed. 

Yup, that is me
He didn't talk to me for 2 weeks.  It also didn't help that during the same week I bought Poppy I brought home a puppy (dog #4) when he told me no.  Although I envy those with horsey S.O.'s that get to ride together, show together, buy horses together, etc they probably can't do the things my non-horsey S.O. can.  He thinks the horses are ridiculous however he lives in the middle of nowhere on acreage for me.  He endures the smell of horses, maintains my truck, trailer, golf cart, and all the other joys that go along with horses and horse showing.  I don't ask him to take care of the horses when I am away at a show but he can feed or turn out a horse if need be.  He doesn't come to the shows with me and I am ok with that.  I kind of like hanging out with my friends there all day and not hearing "are you done yet" or "how much did that cost?"  Although he thinks horses are ridiculous he always asks how I did.  He might ask how the truck ran first, but he does ask.  Even when I got home from lessoning on Saturday he came over to the barn and asked how Poppy did.  Or maybe he came over to count horses.  I'm not sure (yes there was the one time I took Poppy to lesson and came home with another horse.  But that's another story).  Soon after he came over my eye rolling at the non-horsey S.O. began.  See Ketel is still new to shipping and I have a step up trailer.  Not all horses take to the step down when unloading.  I tried to convince him to unload backing up versus turning around and coming off.  The trailer is tight and it is not pretty when he turns around.  But he would not have it.  He was not backing off the thing.  S.O. steps in and decides he can get him off (you see he had a horse once when he was like 10 for a whole summer so he is an expert).  Ketel planted and would not move.  S.O. pushes and then we had a stand off.  Trying to explain to him that it's ok, he's 3 years old, he is scared, by letting him just turn around and unload is not letting him "win" fell on deaf ears.  This is when I think "oh why didn't I marry a horse person?"  But I will admit it was hilarous watching the stand off and S.O. thinking he could push the Ketel off all while telling him to stop biting Poppy's butt (she was still patiently waiting on the trailer during all this).
Do you ever envy those with horsey S.O's?  What are your challenges with a non-horsey S.O.?  Oh and what about non-horsey friends???  That's another topic for another day...
Quick update on the horses.  I just rode Tank tonight.  I felt like he has been a bit neglected so I spent time grooming, clipping, and riding.  He was a good boy. 
When he got out of his stall I notived he was stocked up behind.  This is not normal for him.

After riding, puffiness gone
I suspect the stocking up could be due to a supplement I started Tank on.  I am going to stop it for a few days and see what happens.  My horses get regular turnout and work so it is not typical for any of them to have stocking. 
Ketel worked Tues- Sat of last week so I think he deserves a couple of days off. Poppy too.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lesson Day

I spent Saturday at my trainer's barn lessoning on Ketel and Poppy. First I got on Ketel. I was so proud of him. I rode him while a couple of kids were lessoning and although he was nervous he handled the other horses in the ring so well. And ta-da I have video and a picture.

Cute BABY!  I will never claim to be an eq. rider.  Eeek!
He was so good about trotting the cross rail with a pole for the first time. 
Next I got on Poppy.  I had given her Friday off and she was a little full of herself.  My next show is in 2 weeks and my trainer told me she was going to prep me like we are going to indoors.  Meaning the courses will be technical.  N also told me if we didn't nail the course we would be back the following Saturday.  So she set all the jumps up to 3'6 to 3'9 and only leaving me one line to warm up over.  This meant not giving Poppy the chance to practice over any of the jumps before they got bigger.  So we started on the line, a 4 stride.  We began with adding up in 5 strides.  We did this a few times then did the 4 strides, then again in 5 strides.  Adjustability is key.  Often times lines in the jumper ring are set on half strides.  This makes you have to come up with the best plan.  For example, maybe adding up is better because you want to make a tight turn after the line.  Or the out jump is a skinny so you want to get there at the base so you add up versus a leave out.  We started the course with a simple 3 standing barrels, right turn over a skinny oxer, 6 tight strides to a gate, 7 strides (broken line) to the liverpool, tight left turn to the 4 stride line, a very airy single, another single, then a narrow box 3 very tight strides to a solid panel, left turn to a single, 7 strides to a one stride, then a tight 6 stride line.  She was great.  Our only issue was the boxes (which can I add was 2 brush boxes stacked) and the three tight strides to the panel.  She lands so far on the other side of the jump I could not make the 3 fit.  I even set her up to jump in deep.  We did 2.  But it worked.  My trainer said I "passed" and we didn't HAVE to come back and lesson next weekend.  If all goes well this week I probably won't.  I want to keep her fresh.  I will focus on flatwork this week, a little jumping next weekend and then hopefully we will be ready.  And boo for me having my phone in my pocket and forgetting to have someone video :(

Hunter Princess Blog Hop- Your Ideal Show Outfit

Part 3 of the Hunter Princess Blog Hop: if money was no object what would your show outfit wish list be.

For me I show frequently and compete at A rated shows so I do try to look nice.  I am on a budget so I try to find items on sale and take care of them so they last.  I don't really have a "wish list."  I like the things I have and don't really drool of the things I can't afford.  Even if I could afford them I don't see the point in spending that kind of money.

First I LOVE my GPA speed air helmet.  It keeps me cool living in hot humid FL and it's comfy.
In non money classes I wear a nice polo shirt.  In the classics I wear a show shirt.  All of mine are Essex brand.  Farm House Tack Shop is awesome for having great sales on them.

I'm still switching over to the new snap collars.  I have a hard time justifying getting new shirts when there is nothing wrong with the ones I own.  I tend to stick with pastel colors.  Lots of pinks, blues, and yellow.  I wear a white shirt for my larger money classes.

I love Marigold show jackets.  They are comfy and I love their colors. I typically choose a navy color.

But if we are talking money is no object I wouldn't mind an Alessandro Albanese custom coat.
For breeches I only wear Tailored Sportsman.  I have both front and side zip.

If money were no object I would probably try a pair of Pikeurs.

For belts I like bling.  My trainer hates it so my goal is to try and find barrel racer big buckle bling and make her roll her eyes at me.

I supposed if I chose to be more conservative I like the Tailored Sportsman belts.

And for boots I have custom Vogels.  I really wouldn't choose anything else.

Here's my getup.

Lastly I also believe in proper turn out whether it be in the show ring or schooling.  My biggest pet peeve is looking sloppy.  Tuck in your shirt and wear a belt.  If you are schooling at a show, wear a collared shirt.  But ALWAYS look clean and neat.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I have video!!!

I got to cut out of work early and go see Ketel.  He had his teeth floated yesterday and I shamelessly photographed his  missing teeth.  The dentist removed 2 of his caps.  The adult teeth are coming in but he still looks funny.

I took lots of videos of my trainer N riding Ketel today.  I only had time to put the jumping ones together so far.  I will work on gettting together the flat work ones.  But here he is jumping!!!
Still alot to work on, but not shabby for his second time jumping.  He's weak behind so he needs lots of flat work to build that up.  He is in a growth spurt and is very butt high at the moment so that doesn't help either.  I am planning to ride him there on Saturday. 

I got home and rode Poppy.  She was great as I suspected she would be.  She obviously needs a tune up before our next show so I am going to take her for a lesson Saturday.  It was incredibly hot today so I also have to share of picture of Puff hogging Poppy's fan.

Poppy says, "Hey, you're blocking my wind!"

A bad storm rolled in so I didn't get to ride Tank.  Hopefully tomorrow!

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Lawn Darting

Lawn Darting: When your body becomes a projectile and you are hurled from the back of your horse on to the ground.

Tonight's game of Lawn Darting results: Poppy 1     Me 0

Poppy was sort of cranky tonight.  We have been doing lots of pole work which she hates.  I jumped a small jump with a landing pole (9 feet out) a few times then on to a bigger vertical.  She was fine, just sort of blah.  So I went on to a bigger vertical, nice distance, and ...lawn darted.  Yes, I took the whole jump down.  Got up, fixed myself, picked up the poles, and got back on.  Stopping is not an option.  Not when it's a 3 ft vertical that she could trot over and one she has jumped many many times.  This is where you make a point and prevent a habit.  This being said, she got one firm stick behind my leg.  Then as I cantered to the vertical I put reins in one hand and used the stick once more behind the leg just before take off.  Point was made and we jumped the vertical each direction a few times, then I let her be done.  She will work again tomorrow and I'm pretty sure she will be good.  I got comfortable and she got dirty.  She has been a tough horse from the beginning.  I knew this when I bought her.  This is what I love about her though.  She has a phenomenal jump and is the most careful jumper I have known and she knows how good she is.  I once read that the tough, arrogant horses are the ones that go out and win for you.  Those are your horses of a lifetime. 

I put Tank on the lunge this evening to see how he felt.  Even though my farrier got his shoe back on,  due to losing so much hoof he had to put the nails up high.  I was really expecting Tank she be ouchy but he looked good.  Yay!

I am saving the best news for last.  My trainer said Ketel was GREAT today!  So good in fact that she trotted a cross rail three times then cantered it.  Awwwww my little baby is JUMPING!!  I am going to try and cut out of work tomorrow afternoon and go watch her work him.  I am so excited.  I will take video and pictures!

I don't have any pictures tonight of the horses.  But I do have one of my barn mascot.

This is my little love Puff.  Ok she isn't little but she is dieting.  How can you not love that face?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Ups, Downs, and Back Up and Down Again

It was a busy 3 day weekend so I had little time to write anything.  Friday I rode Tank and he was a good boy.  I am getting the idea that on the web if you don't share pictures it didn't happen.  I was by myself so this is really the best I can do. 

We had plans all day Saturday and Sunday so I didn't get to ride.  Saturday I got to see my friend's new project who is a 3 year old TB/WB cross.  He keeps telling me to give him 7 months on her and she will be my next horse.  I look forward to seeing her progress.  My friend does a great job bringing up the babies.  Poppy was sent to him for 30 days of training which is how I found her.

I am on a mission to keep my horses feet in good shape after we have had such wet weather so I make sure I clean all the horses' feet every morning and treat with Koppertox.  That stuff is like smelly green gold.  Anyway, on Monday Tank came in with his hind right shoe shifted.  No biggie, I am friends with my farrier and he is really good about coming over when I need him.  He said he would be by that afternoon.  

So Monday afternoon I dropped my baby Ketel off at camp.  He is going to spend a week with my trainer.  I was bad and didn't get any pictures.  He loaded in the trailer like a good boy but did not ride well.  He pawed and raised a ruckus the whole ride.  When I got there he had a cut on his head, was covered in foam and sweat, and was shaking.  It was a smooth 35 minute ride there so I don't know if the poor guy was scared he was going back to the track or what.  I got him settled in and then spoke to my farrier who said Tank was missing a hind shoe.  Apparently while I was gone he pulled that crooked shoe off as well as half of his foot.  And the farrier said he was lame.  UHG!

I found the shoe, packed his ouchy feet and wrapped them and he already walked sound.  So farrier tacked it back on today.  I didn't check to see if he trotted sound.  I figure I will give him a couple of days, he really did a number on it. 
He already has terrible feet but now he took off part of his foot with the shoe

shoe and part of his hoof

I don't know how my farrier was able to get a shoe on him.  Now I have something else to obsess about.  Hopefully it will grow out soon

The dentist will be at my trainer's barn while Ketel is there so he will get his teeth floated.  He is scheduled to get scoped on Friday.  This afternoon my trainer got on him and she said he was bratty and tried to buck and rear.  She got him through it and pointed out his behavior was nothing compared to Poppy when I first got her.  He worked through his brattiness and was good EXCEPT she felt he was weak behind and "stabby."  UHG!  I can't get away from work the next couple of days to go see him.  I am thinking he maybe is sore from his antics on the trailer.  We will see how he is tomorrow and go from there. 

HP Blog Hop: A Circuit Horse You Would Love to Own

Part 2 of  the Blog Hop.  What horse showing on the AA Circuit would you love to own?

There are many upper level jumpers that I like to follow.  My current favorite is Kent Farrington's mount Uceko. 

His nickname is "Little Grey."  Part of the reason I love him is that he reminds me of Poppy, but mainly because he is just amazing.  Quick, tight, and a huge jump.

I enjoy watching the hunter derbies and on occasion I think that I would like to own a derby horse.  I really have no desire to ride in the hunters but it would be fun to watch my trainer ride one for me.  Of the derby horses my favorite is Jersey Boy.  This picture was actually taken at a horse I where I was competing and I was able to watch him.  He was just as amazing in person.