Monday, August 8, 2011


We finished an entire event!

But wait. Didn't Bobby and I finish the event at Dansville last weekend? Yes we did. But Bobby got replaced by Red the morning of Bucks Co. Horse Park Schooling Trials so this was the first event Red and I finished together.

Saturday, Hubby dropped my off at the barn to get Bobby ready. Bobby, while his weight has remained the same according to my weight tape, has looked even skinnier than usual. To the point where I am seriously ashamed of myself for riding him and he is not going to get ridden again while I have him. But more to that later. I started giving him a bath, throwing around how to break it to Hubby that our $80 entry fee couldn't be refunded when I noticed a huge swelling on Bobby's stomach. Great. I poke it. He ignores me. I poke it some more and he whips his head around to try to bite me. So, despite common sense, I crawl under him to get a better look. Lo and behold, there's a tick buried in his belly, just in front of his sheath! Yuck. I yanked it out, but if I was selfishly on the fence about withdrawing him before, there was no way he was going now.

It went down to nothing more than a little pouch where the tick was by last night, but still tender to the touch. No temperature, so at this point I don't think it's infected or anything; I think he just had a bad reaction. While I was waiting for Hubby to come back to pick me up, I decided to practice my braiding skillz on Bobby while he ate his alfalfa. He was mostly patient with me, and I think he looked rather cute when I was done.

ohh, boredom.

Hubby picked me up about half an hour after I braided Bobby, cleaned literally all of my tack, groomed Red, and sat around for awhile. We sat down and had a looong discusion about the state of the boys and the boarding situation. Basically what we came up with was that BO can't be trusted for shit, this situation sucks, and we really need to make some changes. But more on that later, too.

Then Red came into play. He was ridden all last week and a few times the week before so while he hasn't just been sitting there like a big potato, he's certainly not in tip-top shape either. But since Bobby was only entered in Elementary Horse and Intro Horse was so ridiculously easy the week before, we figured why not take a chance with Red, and if he gives us any indication he's not fit enough, we'll yank him. So we made some last minute phone calls and emails, and at 6:30 am the morning of, we heard back that it would be no problem to switch the two horses out. Onto the trailer Red went, bathed and clipped in world record time.

And guess what? We got there with warm up time to spare! Tah dah! I let him have about forty minutes to warm up so we could do alot of walking and stretching and bending work. He was great in warm up, picking up his right lead like a superstar, and totally attentive to me.

cheesing while trying not to cause any collisions.

trying to revert to hunter pony mode.

I went into dressage with a great mindset. I wasn't spot on with my test as I had barely practiced it, so I was a little early into some of my transistions. I totally blew the canter transition to the right, not giving Red enough time or set up to nail it, so he kind of trantered half of the circle before picking up a great canter on the correct lead to finish it off. We got a 5, but the judge commented that it was a better quality of canter. She also commented on his free walk that he should stretch deeper and was sluggish. I'll agree with the latter part because he was just poking along, but Red is a champion stretcher at the free walk. His nose goes almost to the ground and he reaches out and swings along really freely. I thought her scores were pretty hard overall. She gave us a 39.0, but I still felt good about the test and kept a great attitude. We ended up in 10th out of 12.

Hubby only managed to video half of the test before the puppies decided to maul innocent bystanders--a.k.a. beg for attention by wiggling and barking.

We walked the cross country course in timely fashion as well, and I was totally impressed by the BN riders on course. I was not prepared for how much of a "real" event this was! The show last weekend was seriously a backyard get together compared to this. Anyway, I thought the course was very straight forward and I didn't see any potential problems with the exception of a fence between two trees leading into the woods.

Stadium brought us back to our old friend the stone wall; the same that got us eliminated at Plantation in June. Red decided to be a diva about the flowers and refused the third fence--the first that had them--but I kept my head and brought him back up to them from a good spot at the trot, gave him a smack on the butt, and over he went. The next two went fine, then came the stone wall. I think this time it was as much the stone standards that were scary than the wall itself. He refused, despite what I thought was a good effort on my part to get him over. But again, I stayed cool (unlike at Plantation), brought him back around at the trot from a good spot, gave him two solid smacks on the rumpus, and he jumped it! Mission accomplished! We could have ended it there! He went clear the rest of the way, but we ended up with 22 times faults and 12 faults overall. He didn't have a pole, so maybe I went off course at one point? Or got a fault for using my whip on his shoulder to a fence (the stone wall, of course)? That knocked us down to 12th out of 12.

warm up.

fence two

fence five leading up to the stone wall

We walked the twenty-ish minutes between stadium and xcountry to give him a breather. There were two small log jumps right out of the box, and I let him trot those. Why? Bad decision making. We trotted the third fence--a tiny ramp, then trotted the fourth--a coop. He stopped at the coop, but I dug my spurs in and he stepped/hopped over it. He must have taken a step back though because it got counted as a refusal. I put my thinking cap on after that and asked him to canter and he jumped the next jump perfectly fine--as he would have done the previous four.

Fence six was down into a ditch (not a jump ditch, a water runoff ditch), up a hill, over a raised log, straight down hill again. I made Red trot down the first hill, he picked up the canter by himself, jumped over the log, and cantered down the hill by himself. I would have preferred to trot down it, but he thought that was nonsense. Good thing he's part mountain thorougbred!

getting into the groove.
Fence 7 was a gate after an immediate left turn from the log.... the jump between the trees.... the railroad ties.... a sharp turn around two trees to the planks.....

partnership right there, boi!
red: where to next, mom?
me: to the right, brave stallion! a really chopped up road that I made Red trot over before cantering off to finish over another coop.

and we finished our first event together!
We moved up to tenth after xcountry, but one rider was elimintated, so we really only beat one person. I was a little bummed, but it didn't last long. I know exactly what mistakes I need to fix and what to do next to go clear both rounds. Red came out of it a little tired, but when we got back to the barn, I turned him out in the field to stretch his legs and he bullied Bobby around for awhile before rolling in a fresh mud puddle and trotting off to find a good place to graze. I think he was proud of himself and all the cookies he got.

Which brings us to:

While Hubby cleaned out the trailer (thanks, Hubs!), I put all my stuff away, gave both horses hay, then checked to see if they'd been grained yet or if I needed to give Red his dinner myself. Well, BO had set out AM bags of grain already. For both horses. Which means he had already fed out the PM bags of grain. Both bags. Confirmed by the empty PM bags. So I checked Red's feed bucket, thinking he had just dumped it in. Nope. Empty. Hubby walked in just then and I burst into hysterical sobbing. BO had fed Red's PM grain, but not to Red! Who the fuck knows who he fed it to. Red gets his SmartTendon in the PM, not to mention its 4lbs of grain and 1/2lb of Calf Manna. Who knows if he's been feeding him OR Bobby their own grain at all this whole time?! No wonder they're so fucking skinny!! IT'S NOT FAIR that I'm doing EVERYTHING I can to get weight on these horses with zero help from BO and now THIS!

They will be out by the end of the month and you can bet your fucking ass I'm not telling BO that until I'm pulling out of the driveway. I cannot afford to bring two horses somewhere else or they'd have been gone months ago. So Bobby has to find a new home. I will give him away for free to the right home, but if I can't find someone by the end of the month, I'm going to put him down. I'm not going to let him literally starve to death where we are now because of BO. I'm going to talk to CL's trainer tomorrow to see if she can take him, or if she knows someone that will. Red will either go to Walnut Hollow Farm or Hidden Hollow Farm. Board is $400/horse, which is what I'm paying for both horses now. This is such a fucking unbelievable situation I'm in right now, no one not boarding there can even understand it.

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