Monday, June 30, 2014

Grab Mane

Dudes--dudettes, whatever--I am pretty bummed about the lack of media that's about to go on in this post. I had high hopes for pictures, and video, and downright awesome shit all-around. But no. You get nothing. Well, you'll get something, but it won't be anything fun.

Sorry for having a blogger fail. Maybe next weekend.

After folding my very long legs in half to stuff them into a "saddle" I had no business being in on Friday, I woke up crippled Saturday. That wasn't a surprise, but I still navigated the stairs all weekend like a recovering paraplegic. By Sunday it was seriously like I was dominating my recovery process. "I was able to take the steps one at a time instead of sliding down on my butt! Champion status!"

But I did man up and put in a dressage ride Saturday morning. I dropped my stirrups a hole and contemplated moving the knee blocks back, but ADD brain struck and that thought was gone pretty much as soon as it entered my head. Next time.

fail horse outtake of trying to get his monthly conformation picture.

Bobby was pretty good for our dressage school. I guess he was at least good enough that I don't really remember much of it. I worked on getting his canter straight to the right. The judge from our last dressage show told me to push him over with my outside aids instead of my inside aids, so I focused on that. His haunches drift in, and I want to swing my inside leg back and shove them over to the rail. Now I'm trying to shove his front half into line instead.

It's very tricky. Really he just needs the chiro, but someone decided to go all lumpy and have the vet out which emptied his chiro budget. Way to go, Bobby.

dressage: the celebration of spit.
foamy lips after saturday's ride.

Sunday was supposed to be the big media day where Hubby came out to finally take some jumping pictures of us jumping big jumps. I told him I'd go canoeing with him in the morning in exchange for barn time in the afternoon. That turned into being on the lake for six hours and not getting home until nearly 5:30. Too late for barn time, plus I was about as pink as the tank top was wearing. Mission to even out the farmer's tan on my arms accomplished? I guess so.

But I was committed to make up for that by bringing my helmet cam and regular camera to the barn today and figuring out a way to make my rescheduled jump school still awesome for blog land.

Here's how that went: "I can't wait to see how this helmet cam turns out. It's going to be so balling. Better go grab my phone before I head out. Oh, I have to grab my brush too. I'm so going to forget that brush. Get phone, get brush. Get phone, get brush, Get phone, get brush. Ha! Didn't forget you this time, brush! To the barn we go!" Then I got to the barn and was like, "......DAMMIT! Forgot cameras!"

Story of my life.

Since Bobby hasn't been jumped since PlantationI thought today would be a good time to put him back in a bit assuming he'd be a little cray getting back to business. I dug out Sarah's figure eight bridle (Thanks, Sarah!) and swapped out her Dr Bristol for my french link elevator.

oh, boo hoo. it's not two reins. get over it.

I set up really simple jumps: a giant X on one long side, a 3' vertical on the other long side, and a 3'6" oxer on the diagonal. Since we're not gearing up for any events, I'm not working on anything specific. I just wanted to jump a couple of big jumps for the fun of it.

Bobby was a dream flatting around for warm up. I know people have opinions galore on how to use an elevator bit, but I've never had a problem with Bobby getting fussy with this set up. He really goes well in it, and he's not one to hold back his opinion on a bit.

I started him with the X which for some reason he didn't quite get a read on the first time. He bunny hopped over it, and then spent the rest of his trips over it jumping the raised sides of the X instead of the middle. Bobby wants big jumps, not cross rails.

He rubbed the rail of the vertical the first time just barely sliding it out of the cups because I think he was surprised to go from an X to 3'. I put the rail back up, and on the next trip he nearly jumped me out of the tack. He didn't make the mistake of touching a rail again.

no touching!

I was trying super hard not to pick, but with limited success. I don't want him to revert back to the "Hackamore of NOTHING" mindset because I can barely control him at shows in it now. To keep him from getting rabidly annoyed with my busy hands, and to keep from inadvertently screwing up our distances, I finally convinced my brain to grab mane (because I'd forgotten my neck strap in my locker, just I'd like forgotten everything else fun and useful today), and sit still.

Obviously that was the recipe for #winning.

I finally felt like I was being quiet enough to add in the oxer. We landed after the vertical and I was all, "Yay! So good! Your canter is strong though. What a strong canter. This is probably too fast for turning into that oxer. Wow, sunbeams!"

And then I was all, "Oh, right. Thinking and acting on your thoughts are imperative here." So I half halted, he adjusted his canter back to where I wanted it right away, and we turned in for the oxer.

Three strides out I saw we were spot on for the perfect distance, and I grabbed mane instantly to keep from fucking it up. Bobby jumped easily out of stride and I quit there. No need to jump his legs off when I got exactly what I wanted the first time.

It makes me pretty happy to feel how easily he clears 3'6" now. It still seems like it was not that long ago that he was having serious shit fits over 18" verticals. He's a tricky fuck because he's so easily offended by things, but I like where his brain is this year. At nine years old, he's starting to finally feel like a grown up horse.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Fotos: Racehorse Camp

My barn has summer camp going on every week right now which I've been careful to avoid by going really early in the morning before it starts. Small children that ask a lot questions while roaming the barn are not really my thing. But this week was the intermediate group which consisted of five girls that lesson regularly and actually mostly know their way around a horse.

bm tells the history of her tiny saddle.

This morning I finally decided to take Bobby for a brief w/t/c. I got there well before camp started and BM told me they were doing a racehorse day today. I told her to sign me up, hacked Bobby quickly, and ran home to grab my camera.

the unsuspecting pony

I have a love-hate relationship with racing. For a long time, I thought I was going to work with racehorses forever. Fuck, I even have a pretty worthless associates degree in Thoroughbred Management! I hot walked in high school, did all the things for our college racehorses, and walked, groomed, and galloped at Saratoga also while in college. But after awhile, working with some of the people I did and finally blowing my knee out, I was kind of over it. And the passion for the backside never really came back.

ponying BM to show the camp kids how it's done

That said, I still really love horse racing, and I have all this now-useless knowledge stored in my head just waiting to be shared with preteens that think PONIEZ IN TINY SADDLEZ IZ THE BEST!

i am way too tall for this nonsense.

BM used to train Thoroughbreds (and eventually Standardbreds) so she brought along what she had left of some of her racing tack which included a postage stamp sized saddle she thought was about eighty years old. A friend gave it to her; he'd had it made when he was ten when he was riding on fair tracks. This thing was nowhere near the size of a jockey saddle you'd see today, and not even remotely close to the big fat exercise saddles I'm used to.

silver take his racehorse gear a little too seriously

After ponying all the campers around, I got on Silver--who might have Thoroughbred in there somewhere...really, really far back somewhere. I'm 5'10 and the majority of that is legs so sticking my feet in those fucking stirrups was no easy task.

aw, cute fake racehorse!

Not gonna lie, I mostly just posted which was a feat unto itself. After I'd done all of three laps of canter, I fell to the ground in agony dismounted and went to retrieve Mr Magee. Obviously he was going to get in on this.

look how excited he was!

Being on my own horse who knew exactly how this game was played made my job so much easier.


seriously. how cute is he?

BM took a spin on him when I was done which was cause for much giggling as she tried to convince us she couldn't canter him because her hips would fall off. So she cheated and dropped her stirrups to do it.

I made all the campers win pictures of their rides on Silver, so of course I had to make one for Bobby too since he's never won a race before.

winning!

I feel like I can skip my yoga workout tonight with no guilt. Twenty minutes of glorified stretching ain't got nothing on five minutes of two point with six inch stirrups.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Well that got weird

I guess my subconscious has been more concerned about Lumpy Bobby than it was letting on.

Last night I had a dream that I was taking care of the lumps on Bobby's shoulder, only the lumps were pouring pus and blood. There was a pair of Asian exchange students at the barn--because why not--and they were standing by watching me clean the wounds. Apparently they were very interested in the process because they'd learned all they could from the video games they played about first aid, and now they got to see it put to use in person.

The open sores on Bobby's shoulder were actually more like giant lacerations in my dream, and they were really not looking great. However, that was the least of my concerns as half his body was missing!

Yeah. That's right. Bobby ended at his shoulder.

When I noticed this affliction, I immediately called BM over and she was like, "You know that when he gets reconnected he'll probably never be completely comfortable. Plus he's going to have issues with his breathing and dressage work." Which made me panic....

....and then wake up.

What. The. Fuck.

 Back in the land of reality, Bobby was almost back to normal yesterday.

still a little fluid, but no heat and no gross drainage

the right leg still has some fluid as well, but the left looks good.

Now that the majority of the fluid is gone, you can see each individual bite lump. His legs are covered in them, and it's no wonder they blew up like they did. I still don't know how he's the only horse in the barn of 25 that ended up like this. One horse was at the same show as us earlier Saturday morning, and half a dozen were at the same place for a hunter show on Sunday. He goes out at night with four other geldings in a pasture where five geldings go during the day. No one else got a single lump!

Yesterday I stuck him on the longe for a few minutes mostly just for something to do, and he went around looking completely comfortable. He's done with his Dex today so by tomorrow he'll probably still be a little lumpy, but at least he won't be swollen.

In summation, leave me the fuck alone, crazy ass bitch brain. My horse is not, you know, splitting in half.

also, the world's stupidest fawn was having a frolic in the parking lot yesterday.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Vet Visit

AKA, "Ew, you're lumpy!"

Bobby had Sunday off after our show, and I had every intention of giving him Monday off as well. I wasn't even planning on going out until today, but apparently Bobby was feeling neglected and came in Monday morning looking a hot mess.

BM saw his front legs before noticing anything else and immediately checked him out when he got into his stall. She thought he'd bowed on both legs before she noticed the lumps on his chest...and then she also saw weeping lumpy wounds on his left shoulder. Um, ew. She tried like crazy to get hold of me, but the allergy medicine I'm on has made me a literal zombie. Combine the construction going on right in front of my house with serious sleepy meds and I heard nothing from my phone until three in the afternoon.

I went out to the barn right away and saw this:

RF

LF

from behind

super swollen, hot, and weeping pus

I didn't get any pictures of his chest, but that was covered in lumps as well. I'm not one to call the vet over every little thing, but this was nasty and my vet was able to head right over.

She agreed with BO and I that it didn't look like hives but instead bug bites. Having a ridiculously swollen and painful arm myself from a bite, I was definitely feeling for the dude. Vet gave him IV Dex and left me with more for the week. She said if any of the other lumps start erupting (gross) then he's going to have to go on antibiotics, too.

This morning he looked maybe a little less swollen in his legs, but his chest was the same and his shoulder had opened up and drained more. Which I guess is good that the fluid is leaving, but it still looks pretty nasty.

legs today

shoulder today after getting cleaned.

I did notice a couple of really tiny spots on his legs that were leaking fluid, but I'm going to hold off to see what they do until tomorrow. He's still got two days of Dex to go through, and I'm hoping tonight and tomorrow morning's doses will take care of this.

In the meantime, since he was pissed he had to stay in last night per the vet, I covered his lumpies in hot pink SWAT and took him for a walk and graze.



We're going to try putting him out tonight since it's supposed to be pretty cool out. Hopefully he evens out soon. I wouldn't want to be covered in that nastiness.

Monday, June 23, 2014

NPHA Dressage Show

I really should have forced myself to do this show recap over the weekend. Now I'm drooling all over thanks to an excess of antihistamines in my system to bring down the swelling in my thigh. Oh, wait. That's just my fucking forearm. The dogs and I all managed to get stung this weekend, and we're pathetic looking. And also very sleepy.

prepare for total dressage domination.

So Saturday's dressage show. I'd never been to this place, but the barn shows there all the time. I got directions the night before off of the show's website which was a mistake. I should have asked BO how she went because our route was not trailer friendly. We were stuck crawling through construction in Scranton which made the hour long trip turn into an hour and a half.

We got there with ten minutes to spare before I was supposed to be in the ring. I was one of the last riders to go, so I knew there wasn't going to be much leeway. I did the fastest speed tack of my life and swung up as the organizer came over to walk and talk as we made our way over to the ring. There was a rider in the ring doing her test, and then it was my turn.

this is not going to go well.

I'd forgotten my test copies in the trailer so I was desperately trying to remember how each test went (Why no, I haven't ridden or even glanced at them since showing last month. That would include preparation.) while walking Bobby back and forth along the narrow grass strip above the ring that served as "warm up". There wasn't even enough room to trot up there. There also wasn't enough room in the ring trot all the way around the dressage court, so my warm up was a circle of trot off to the side of the court and away we went.

First 1

Bobby was definitely not pleased with missing out on his warm up and this test was a mess. We had a hard time getting on the same page, and it was overall just very sloppy. His stretchy trot circle was nonexistent as a horse went trotting by the ring just as I let my reins slide and he was far more interested in watching that. He plodded across the diagonal for the free walk, then changed things up by cantering our final lengthening.


The judge, however, was amazing. Her comments were extremely kind and honest while still critiquing in a really helpful way. She said to focus on getting him more uphill and engaged behind, and work on keeping his hindquarters from trailing in. All things that probably wouldn't have been an issue if we'd had our usual thirty minutes of warm up.

She gave us what I thought was a pretty generous 61.724% which put us in third for 1-1.

First 2

There was supposed to be another rider go after me, and then I would go in again, but I ended up doing all of my tests back to back since no one else was around. That involved less time for working and more time for standing there trying to remember how the fuck my next test went.

Regardless, Bobby came into the ring for the next test a lot more settled. He still bombed his lengthenings which got to me more than anything else. My spurs were adjusted to fit over my fat paddock boots and half chaps so they were way too high on my tall boots which rendered them useless. His lengthenings at home have been awesome this past week, but I just couldn't get him to duplicate them Saturday.

Again with the drifting haunches, especially in the leg yields, but those were miles better than our last show so I wasn't too upset there. Then I completely blanked finishing the test. You're supposed to change rein at the canter at K, trotting at X. I was like, "....another lengthening or something somewhere in here? But then how do I end up back here to go down the centerline? But...I'm still cantering? What the fuck comes next?!" So I got a 3 for blanking out and trotting too soon.


Still, we somehow managed to squeak out a 66% which won this test.

First 3

Bobby was done with the fancy prancing when we came down the center line. The judge's comment was "Drifted on move off" on the first halt which was a very nice way to say "Horse is ready for the jumping. Fuck this dressage shit." His first leg yield was a little crooked, but the second was better. He finds that tiny, weird figure eight at X really hard so he lost some energy trying to maneuver through that one, but at least he didn't throw a tantrum.

He saved the next tantrum for picking up the canter. Judge's comment was "Miscommunication to trot." Sometimes known as "Anticipating, and proceeded to be a douche." Neither of our 15m circles at the canter were very good, and we kind of bungled our way through the entire canter tour as my reins got longer and Bobby started getting a little tired....and pissed.


Our collective marks were a lot better this test at least, and we got a 65.806% which put us in second.

the WORST at posing. srsly.
and i don't know why he looks like an emaciated mule here. he's plenty fat.

After waiting for nearly two hours for scores to get figured out, we were finally able to get our placings and prizes. Bobby's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd made him Reserve Champion for First, and his 66% on 1-2 was High Point which got him an additional Champion ribbon. It also meant I got to pick a prize, and came home with a super fancy dressage whip that I will probably only use once a year. But still. Fancy.

Now we finally enter a little showing down time. We've done two dressage shows, two gaming shows, two horse trials, a jumping clinic, and my barn's fun show so far this year. I've got a family reunion and a week of vacation to budget for in July. We're doing the rodeo 7/15, but I don't know if we'll be doing much else next month. Prepare yourselves for boredom.

Friday, June 20, 2014

VCBH: Travel Bug


From the boss lady: Most of us have been somewhere with our horse, whether its camping, a trail ride, a horse show or just moving them to another barn. Like most things with horses, sometimes success is just a measure of trial and error. What is your best tip for traveling with horses?

Here's where I'm coming from with my travel tips:

  • I bought my trailer for $275...and that's really all it's worth.
  • I travel an average of 2 hours one direction for each show, an average of once a month.
  • Lately I've been hauling alone for the first time in my life.

So what deep insight on safety/ease of travel can I bring to you? Well, probably nothing. But here's how I get ready for an outing.

First of all, gas up your truck without your trailer attached, and obviously do this more than ten minutes before you're supposed to be leaving the barn. It can be a serious bitch trying to maneuver a truck and trailer into a gas station, especially if you live in a "quaint, rural village" like my own bumble fuck town where the streets are barely as wide as your arms spread apart and turning into parking lots without scaling the three foot high curb is difficult enough in a car. 

Now it's time to hitch up your trailer! The best tip for this: Find someone else to do it. Preferably someone male because when you silently slink away and leave them to do it on their own after you fail to align the truck to the hitch properly for the fifteenth time, they think they're being manly by "fixing the problem for you." No, they don't have to know it didn't bother you any to randomly drive forward and back three inches while texting, blasting the air conditioner, and not paying attention to them in the first place. 

Before you grab your noble steed, make sure all your shit important things are in the trailer. No doubt your noble steed will throw a shit fit having to stand on the trailer for more than the thirty seconds it takes you to get to the driver's seat, so don't give him a reason to stand even longer. Oh, wait. Is that just my noble steed? Asshole.

Anything imperative that you should be bringing along for your trip besides the essential show gear, water (always bring a bucket of water with you should you find yourself stranded on the side of the road for hours), hay, and first aid (both human and horse) kits? I have a Very Important Box that lives in my trailer filled with Very Important Things. 

With it I can change a tire, rewire all the lights, duct tape Bobby's fucking legs together in a hobble so he stops pawing, replace the hook on the trailer chains (Um, surprisingly handy as I found out last weekend when I pulled into the barn and one of the hooks had come off and disappeared down the road somewhere. Awesome. My new one has fancy latches.), start a fire in a survival situation, light up the sky with flares, map out a dressage arena with orange safety cones, eat mint Tums for a week straight, ride a rodeo bronc with great big spurs, rebuild the truck's engine on the side of the road, and various other things I have yet to discover. 

Yeah. VERY Important Things.

Put on your seat belt, tell your batshit crazy dogs to sit the fuck down so you can see out the windows while backing up and not hitting your BO's valuable property, and Roll Tide! 

When you get back from your adventure, I've found that it helps to have the things that must go back into the barn with your horse right away in arm's reach. This includes his lead rope and cookies. Everything else stays in the truck and trailer. That shit can get taken care of tomorrow.









Wednesday, June 18, 2014

EiC: Mid Year Photo Challenge


Another photo challenge from Sarah at Eventing in Color!

1. A between-the-ears shot:

can't beat the view!

2. Anything blooming at your barn:

everything that was blooming was killed by either intense heat or intense rain.
these are plastic blooms. close enough.
3. A picture of your horse taken at a weird/random/artistic angle:

awkward horse is awkward.

4. The most attractive horse at your barn other than yours:

blackberry, still looking fine at 23.
(also, he really is dreamy. i just snapped this since he was in for the farrier.)

5. Bath time photo:

awkward horse is really awkward.
6. A sweet picture of you and your horse:

um...bobby and i don't really do "sweet".
here's us warming up at plantation and not killing each other. that's as friendly as we get.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lift

You can tell when a dressage show is coming up when there's nothing interesting to blog about.

"Oh hey guys. Did some circles today. That went pretty well."

"Flatted around for thirty minutes. Sure was hot."

"Did a few leg yields. That was okay, but boring. Went for a short trail ride afterwards."

dressaging with memphis.

It would be one thing if Bobby was being a serious sass pot, but alas he's not even pulling any bloggable stunts. Such a shame, I know.

However, the blog must go on so I'll try to make today's ride readable. Or at least short.

I rode with Sarah on Monday after giving Bobby Sunday off. As always when riding with other people, I had a really hard time concentrating on my horse, and Bobby just kind of plunked around. I managed to finish with some real work, but it was brief and probably not as great as it could have been.

To make amends, I went down to the indoor this morning (because yay mirrors, and shade, and watered down footing) and did work--real work. Our warm up was a little discombobulated as Bobby kept tricking me with his stretching. Any time he offers to stretch I let him because he sucks so very much at it, but then I get complacent and he gets lazy and turns his stretch into a strung out plodding fest.

The canter was actually pretty good though, and after that we worked lots on free walk to medium walk while catching our breaths/trying not to die of heat stroke.

blurry cell phone pick of post bath bobby to break up wall of text.

I finally picked up the sitting trot and focused on my position while keeping Bobby forward. I started doing yoga for the first time ever at the beginning of the month and it's so majikal. It's like a dressage lesson on a comfy mat...but, you know, still totally usable in your daily riding! It's all about a strong core, and a straight line between shoulder, hip, and feet. The most helpful tidbits I've picked up are tucking my pelvis so that it's aligned with my hips instead of hanging out by itself and tipping me forward, and opening my collar bone while dropping my shoulders.

Guru lady knows what she's talking about. My sitting trot felt rock solid, and Bobby felt like he could actually move out without jostling my sorry ass around.

We did some leg yields both directions before another long walk and picking the canter back up again.

The canter started off decent. Nothing exciting, but at least he was forward and not on his forehand. I would do a 20m circle at each end of the ring, lengthen down the long sides, and then a simple change across the diagonal. The first set was good.

The second set Bobby was crooked and picked up the counter canter. I brought him back to the trot which immediately offended him, and then asked him to canter again which offended him even more because hellooooo, I had just asked him to canter and then told him "No, trot." SO MUCH ANGST.

However, Bobby seems to go a little better when you get him wound up. You just have to be supremely careful to not cross the line where he can no longer function. He wanted to suck back and curl so I put my leg on, brought in a little extra help from my new spurs, and pushed my hands forward. He responded by tucking his booty up under his chin and bitch slapping fancy prancing in the fucking face with his front end. Ugh, he was so light and dreamy and jumpy and dreamy and fancy.

I'd originally wanted to do a few more things, but I quit right there and gave him all the pats in the world.

Also, that was not short at all. Whoops. Here's a puppy picture to make up for it:


Sunday, June 15, 2014

SVC Gaming Show

I didn't even know this show was going on until early Friday afternoon when L posted on our barn's facebook page asking if anyone wanted to go with her. K and M jumped on the band wagon since the show was only thirty minutes from us, and I figured "Eh, why not?" It was $15 for the day to add on as many events as you wanted. I obviously signed up right away for keyhole, poles, and barrels, and then L convinced me to try something called handy horse.

he skipped grazing to watch the horses in the ring.

There were nearly forty people in the adult division which was just cray. When I went to the gaming show in Williamsport in May, there were only fifteen people. All of those people were also here--and I thought all of them treated their slightly nutty horses well, and both horses and riders looked liked they enjoyed and knew what they were doing--and then there were the people that crawl out of the backwoods with their skeletal, mostly lame, still dirty, rank as hell, and clearly miserable beasties. It wasn't everyone, but dang were there some riders I wouldn't let near a horse, and some horses I wouldn't take in public any day. Not to mention the absolutely absurd amount of whipping I saw going on.

ponying ranger around while waiting for his mom to arrive.

Keyhole

After a looooooong wait for all the junior and youth kids to go, and then nearly all of the adult riders to go, we finally got to go in for keyhole. Bobby had his gaming horse persona in full gear and was dancing around at the gate as we watched L go with her mare.

The ring at SVC is a lot smaller than the ring at WRC so there's not a lot of room for a leaping, flailing horse to do his thing without having to worry about tripping the timer. Instead, I just let Bobby loose from the gate which is a very good way to create a proper nutty gaming horse. If that's what you're interested in.


Again with the stupid turn! He does so well with it when I practice on the rail, but he just hasn't gotten it figured out yet out in the open. Grr. That doubtless cost us a placing, as our 11-point-something seconds was right up there with the leaders.

Handy Horse

Handy horse is in theory really easy. You run around the outside track of a set of cones, stop in a box for five seconds, and then gallop away past the timers. If your horse leaves the box, you have to start your five seconds over again.

I was feeling pretty confident Bobby would not be standing in the box. I watched riders with horses that didn't want to stand still spin their horses inside the box to keep them from leaving, and while you took the chance your horse would be facing the wrong way when the five seconds was up, at least they stayed in place. I figured that was the way we were going to go.


Bobby, however, was totally game. He came around the corner and saw the poles, and instead of slowing he picked up speed. With a very unladylike "You've gotta stop, bro!", deep seat, and hard pull on the reins, he adorably popped in and stood in place with tiny dancing feet before being allowed to pop back out.

His 24-point-something seconds was good enough for sixth.

Poles

Ah, poles. I'm going to have to see if I can get Hubby to set something us for up to practice these. This was only the second time in his life he's seen the pole pattern--the first being our last show--and he was not so great this time around.

For one, he came in staring at all his admirers along the fence. His first turn wasn't bad at all, but then he got overzealous and tried to do full flying changes between every pole. Bobby. While admirable, I did not ask for them nor were they necessary. Also, AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT. Hustle, dude!


That was a bit of a bummer, and while not terrible considering how little experience he's had with them, I think he did better last month. We finished with 33 seconds which wasn't even close to the real pairs, but still better than quite a few people.

Barrels

We skipped out on the wild lark event because the pattern looked too complicated on paper, but it actually rode pretty easily. Unfortunately, that meant a long, long, long wait of doing nothing which made Bobby's brain get a little loosey goosey. I waited until the last second to get on for barrels so I didn't have to deal with my new loco rodeo king, but he was pretty much done at that point.


Worst barrel run to date. He can even do better in our tiny indoor at home. For shame, Bobby. His last barrel wasn't bad, but the first two were just pathetic. The timer died at 20 seconds as we came around the final barrel, so I don't know what our actual time was. Not great, that's clear.

someone needs to work on their grr face.

I was so ready to go home by the time we were done. It was cold (like 50 fucking degrees in the middle of June!), no one was wearing anything heavier than a light long sleeve shirt or zip up (because, you know, it's the middle of June!), and I was bone tired. Hubby and I speed untacked Bobby, got him brushed down, and then threw him on the trailer. That was at 10:30 p.m.

We didn't leave the show grounds until 12:49 a.m.

Sunny decided he'd never been on a trailer before and he wasn't going to start that night. How did he get to the show? Oh, that's right. On the same fucking trailer. The same trailer he walked right on at the barn. The four of us tried literally everything to get him on while Hubby was forced to babysit one pissed of Bobby Magee so he didn't paw or thrash his way through my trailer. It was not a good time, and it did not have a happy ending, but I'm going to refrain from sharing those details on the blog.

Overall? Long fucking show, long fucking day/night/early morning. We've got the dressage show this Saturday, and then it will be a nice break until the rodeo on July 15th. I need a weekend dedicated entirely to napping.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Teaser: Impromptu horse show tomorrow

what better way to prepare for a dressage show than a last minute gaming show?

also, puppy sleeping in the hay. why?
because PUPPY SLEEPING IN THE HAY.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Off with their hair!

After ten bajillion polar vortexes this winter, NE PA has jumped right into lava burning vortexes. My poor little baby animals are not feeling it. Or they are feeling it--by dying of heat stroke.

The Kelpie started acting lethargic over the weekend, and she didn't even have the energy to try to eat any of our blogger visitors at the show. That's not at all like her, and when she ran after the ball once on Monday only to flop down at my feet already panting hard, I pulled out the clippers. I've been using the furminator on her daily, but it clearly wasn't cutting it. The result is one ridiculously silly looking cow dog, but she's a million times happier and back to being a complete nut case.

"this is so embarrassing. please don't document this."

Clearly I am a legit dog groomer. Send me your hounds. They'll come out looking just as majestic!

Also on Monday, Bobby got a massage. He started cross cantering to the right which is his tell tale sign he needs his butt rubbed. So my friend F came to work all his knots and sore spots out. However, I wasn't so impressed this time around. I don't think she spent enough time on him, and he swapped behind twice in our ride today. So I'm out $60 for pretty much nothing. Time to start saving up $160 for the chiro to do real work. Grr.

On Tuesday he got all his hair shaved off. When I body clipped him in March, it never actually warmed up so he just grew in another winter coat. It hasn't been shedding out fast enough, and he's been absolutely soaked after hard work outs. The nice part about clipping this time was that you can barely tell it got done. No blade lines ftw!

naked horse waiting for a dressage school wednesday.
he had monday and tuesday off.

Wednesday morning he got an easy w/t/c ride with a few leg yields thrown in both ways. He was feeling really light and forward, but he didn't have to do much so it was hard to gauge if the massage had done anything for him.

Today he got another dressage ride. We're back at First next Saturday and I really want to improve our scores from last time out. With that in mind, I pushed Bobby for bigger, more uphill, and straighter gaits than we usually loaf around in. After he had a long stretchy warm up and a brief temper tantrum over me switching the dressage whip from one hand to another, he was a total stud.

I still don't have spurs (and I might have to shank the lady I'm trying to buy them off of on facebook if she doesn't invoice me...or at least buy from someone else), but today he was absolutely on point with any lateral work I asked him to do. Maybe it was the looming threat of the dressage whip in my hand, but whatever it was I'll take it. His leg yields in particular were super straight and not rushed. If today's horse can stick around for awhile, we'll be golden.

in other news, PUPPY!!
one of the barn girls just got a hound puppy and we all died of cuteness.
taking a nap on bobby's lead rope while i got him ready.

He'll probably have tomorrow off, and then get worked through the weekend and on Monday. Having a show Saturday instead of Sunday is going to mess with my neurotic, tried and true riding schedule. I'll have to think this one out some more.

AND!

Video of our cross country run from Sunday, link HERE. Youtube is being a whore and pretending I don't know what I'm talking about.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

WW: Bobby Gets a Massage

These pictures are actually from his last massage last year, but I never got around to sharing them on my blog. He got worked on on Monday, and F pronounced him in much better shape than last year.

But Wordless Wednesday. My bad.