Tuesday, July 26, 2016

WNYDA Summer Fest I

If you guys are friends with me on facebook or follow me on Instagram, you probably already know most of what went down this weekend. There were awesome highs, some silly lows, a few giggle worthy comments from a judge, and a whole lot of blood--all of which ended with me passed out on my living room floor at 7:30 Sunday night because exhausted.

completely oblivious to any injury.
typical cow dog.

The fun started Friday evening when we were at the lake playing with the puppies. Mags is super dominant over Pig when they're playing, and Pig doesn't give a shit about anything as long as the ball/stick/toy just keeps getting thrown. We've tried yelling, spanking, and a shock collar with Mags, but she doesn't connect getting punished with biting her sister...or really anything. Before this, she's taken a couple of chunks out of Pig's ears which is bad obviously, but in the grand scheme of injuries pretty harmless.

Friday she grabbed Pig by the throat as she went running by, and all I saw as they hit the water was a cloud of blood. I quickly got Pig out and tried to find where she was bleeding from, but she had a curtain of blood streaming down her face and chest and I couldn't see anything. Covered in blood, we hoofed it back to the car where I stuffed half a box of Kleenex under her bandanna and tied it off on top of her head before jetting off to the emergency vet.

I finished off the Kleenex doing "bandage changes" on the way there and had pretty much gotten the bleeding to stop, but I wanted them to look at it anyway. Holy fuck, is the waiting room of an emergency clinic awful and depressing. Three hours and much sympathy crying later, we were handed our hound back with a week's worth of antibiotics, a cone, and an invitation to come back any time because "She was the best patient we've had all week!" Yeah, well, when she's used to being injured in some way or another pretty much every day of her life because she's the most accident prone creature I've ever met, she's used to vet treatment. Needless to say, no more joint ball time with those two.

freed from the cone on sunday because we were
tired of getting bashed around by it.

Thank fuck for later ride times Saturday! I was able to get an almost normal amount of sleep while still having enough time to get the last of my stuff packed up in the morning. It was an easy drive down to the show, I grabbed my packet and saw that they'd changed my first ride time to a little later, and we set up our canopy and settled in.

We didn't get that crazy heat up here that so many of you got, and while it was still plenty hot, there was a strong wind blowing all day that made it bearable. I still planned on keeping my warm up short so I wouldn't tire Bobby out, and I got on with about half an hour until my first test. The indoor next to the show rings was packed, so I headed into the outdoor on the other side of the barn. As I went in the gate, I thought I could hear my number being called over the loudspeaker, but the wind was blowing so hard and I was far enough away from the announcer's booth that it was hard to tell. Deciding it was better to be safe than sorry, I walked over to the rings to check.

The ring steward hurried over and told me I was due in the ring right now. I was like, "Whaaa? But they changed my time to later. It's printed on my packet!" So she called the TD over just as they judge made the call to eliminate me for not showing up on time. Then for real I was like, "WHAAAA?!" I've never been late to the ring in my life, and I was so glad to have such an awesome ring steward and group of volunteers that rallied around me and worked their magic on the TD who at first told me, "Oh, well. Judge called it, too bad so sad."

But one of the girl's ran down to my trailer and grabbed my packet, and then she and the TD went in to talk to the organizer and secretary while I stuffed Bobby into the indoor to carry on warming up since I had my 2-3 test coming up before too long at that point anyway.

Fortunately after all that the TD went over to the judge and explained what had happened, and the judge allowed me to ride at the end of the class. Turns out they had printed the new time on my test as well, but the judge was going off the printed schedule they'd given her. Much stress, holy cow.


We finally made it in the ring! This judge was very much a 6 judge--she was going to give you one no matter what unless you really fucked something up or really impressed her. We started off accordingly with sixes down the board until we got a 7 for the first TOH. Hallelujah, finally something resembling what we've been working on at home! Of course Bobby got stuck in the second one, but still okay enough to get the sixes rolling again.

Our canter transition also snagged a 7, and then our boring canter work was again all sixes until the second simple change that also got a 7. Another six for our lackluster final medium trot, and then a generous 7 for a wiggly halt.

Her overall comment was basically "MOAR COLLECTION" which I one thousand percent agree with. He looks okay, but he looks okay in a First Level sense. Shows are still a little bit frustrating to me because I know how much better he goes at home, and that he's capable of upping the ante so much more. He just gets tense at shows, and I go into management mode where I work with whatever he'll give me instead of getting after him to replicate the work at home for fear of him losing his shit. I think that's something I have to work on more than him. He's perfectly happy coasting along barely working.

Thanks to the ride time change, I only had two tests between 2-2 and 2-3, so I scampered back into the indoor to try and wake him up a little before heading right back out again.


Yeahhh, that didn't really work.

I had to boot him just to get him to trot out of the first halt. He slept through the first medium and we got a 5, and since there was no transition because he didn't really do a medium we got a 5 for that as well. He was slightly more alive for the second one, so that sent us off on a 6 jag for awhile before a 5 for a shitty travers. He ran a little bit in the rein back, but got another 7 for the first TOH and a 6 for the second. He's doing them now which is good, but I wish he would not include a llama face while performing them.

From there, more 6s until I made a completely stupid rider error and didn't ask for the right lead in the first simple change. And then I didn't even bother checking until halfway around the ring! Total ditzy blonde moment, no excuses. Well worth the 4. We finished with a mix of 6s and 6.5s. Judge's comments were that he needs to be more expressive and collected at this level, but that he's balanced and obedient.

Yes and yes. In truth I know Bobby is never going to be an expressive horse--at least not in the way a judge is looking for if you know what I'm saying. He's more collected at home, and that's on me to make him work as hard at shows. I'll take the obedient, balanced, capable, and honest horse comments any day of the week. That's what I go into a show hoping to get out of Bobby, nothing else. We're not ever going to beat fancy warmbloods that are coasting through Second at six years old. I'm cool with that.

almost as fancy as it gets right now, though the fuck is going on with my position idk.

I got Bobby all cooled down and plopped a soupy bucket of soaked hay cubes in front of him for a job well done and some extra hydration before going up to the office to check my scores. For 2-2 we were third with a 61.15%--our first score at Second towards our Bronze! We just missed another 60% (which meant nothing except yay 60%) at 2-3 with a 59.76%. Maybe if someone was paying attention to their fucking canter leads...

finally got some proper fancy ribbons you dressage queens are always getting!
bobby was obviously super impressed. or possibly just wondering wtf we were doing.

With that, we loaded the pony up for the hour and a half drive back home before going back the next day to do it all over again.


  1. What a fancy prancer!! :)

  2. Congrats on the bronze score!! How super exciting! I also forget how to ride my pony in the show ring... I'm so focused on keeping him GOING KEEP GOING DON'T BREAK FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE that I just clamp on him and make him tense. Blergh.

  3. Glad that the pig wasn't hurt more seriously!

  4. I'm glad pig dog is ok. Reef and Thule are still figuring out who is dominant, but when fetch is involved Thule will bark at dogs who get too close. Reef stands up for himself, and they have gotten into it a couple times. Nothing serious, but a little blood that I could NOT find the source of one time. It was enough that we do not play fetch unless Reef is occupied by something else or far enough away.
    On the other hand, Reef fell into a cactus the other night and didn't notice the quills sticking out of his face.

    1. Also, during Thule's surgery last year, we had 3 vet techs offer to take her off our hands if we ever decided we didn't want her. Cattle dogs are special patients.

  5. Oh I so know the brain management ride. Hope it improves for you because I want to believe that it can for me. :-)

  6. Bobby didn't freak out! Good boy! Sounds like a pretty great day once past the are we eliminated or not question. I think it's so hard when you have a sensitive one to know when they're ready to do more and when they'll come undone. I'm sure the more you get out there, the more he'll start to relax. My horse Jamp is really pretty good at places he's been to a lot. New venues are tough for him though.

  7. Well aside from the prior evenings events (glad Pig is ok!) sounds like a successful day! Congrats on the bronze score especially!!

  8. Balanced and obedient is nothing to be sad about! I got a ton of needs expression and collection with Mikey too. He was never going to be able to compete with the fancy warmbloods, so I was happy to have my 60+ scores and leave it at that. Glad you got your first 2nd level score towards your bronze!

  9. Holy crap, what a weekend! Glad your pup is okay and was a good patient. My dog (who is an angel 99.9%) is a nightmare at the vet...adds an extra layer of stress to an already difficult experience. Congrats on the bronze score and the satin! :)

  10. Whew! What a show, so glad you did not have the crazy heat. Congrats on the bronze score.

  11. Cattle dogs are the best, never owning anything else. Glad Pig is OK!

    Serious congrats on the bronze! It can be so difficult to RIDE when you get in that ring and you guys did great. I actually watched both videos all the way through. Love it.

    Sidenote, I don't remember second level being this difficult. Last time I rode 2nd was 2.5 years ago and there was no simple change, walk thingy (was that turn on forehand? or like a legit pirouette? My dumb is showing) and shoulder in/fore. Unless I'm completely forgetting that, having ridden it what seems like ages ago. I remember leg yields at trot, extended canter and simple changes through the trot, not walk. Is that just me or am I missing something?

    Either way, bravo!!

    1. Just looked the tests up and feel really stupid. I rode 2-1 only, haha.

    2. They changed in 2015. I hate the 2-1 test because the canter serpentine involves simple changes through the walk in it instead of maintaining the counter canter the whole time, and Bobby just ain't got time for that.

  12. I think my mare may have stolen some of your expression and collection, and you've stolen all her obedience. She's lovely to watch 50% of the time, and terrifying the other 50%!
    In all seriousness though, good on you for getting in the ring. It's easy to back out/chicken out if you feel like things aren't perfect, but you can't beat the experience you get from showing and riding tests.


  14. Congrats! Bobby decided to show up to play (a little) and was able to contain his brain. That is an accomplishment and is awesome. Made better by satin! Love that last pic, Bobby is such a special child.

  15. Poor Thule! Our border collie is the same way, he did not care that he was in a cone when he cut his paw on the 4th of July. He was running around the house leaving bloody footprints & had no idea why we were going to the vet.

    Congrats on the scores & lack of Bobby drama at the show! Balanced and obedient is awesome. He looks so fancy, love the last pic!

  16. OMG what a stressful way to start your show weekend... and an even MORE stressful way to start actually showing. You should be proud for keeping your shit together and pulling out some AWESOME tests despite the mind games going on.

  17. Bronze score waaaaat!!!! Yay congrats! I don't even care that I'm like a week late on reading this haha - that's awesome!


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