Sunday, June 28, 2009

Anything and Everything...Beware, ***Long*** Post

Sooo, I haven't posted in ages. If that isn't apparent, I don't know what is. I mostly haven't posted because SO much has happened, and I have so many pictures I didn't know where to start. So I solved the problem; I'm not posting pictures. Maybe in another post I'll post pictures with captions, but here I'm just writing.
Please grab some popcorn and refreshments, or you may not make it through this post. It's a long one.

Last I wrote, I was on the verge of going to a Memorial day parade with my 4H club, the Yautzy Road Yahoos. We went. We rocked. The end.

No really, that's not the end. oooook, here I go.

We all arrived at the parking lot of a bank right near where the parade would start. Jean recently got a 9 horse trailer, and one of our club member's has a dad that kinda half-owns it and pulls it for us. It's awesome. We had 4 horses on the trailer: Jean's ponies Scout, Mouse, and Bella, and my Daisy. We also brought Jean's trailer with our club member's horse, Mari. Or maybe Bella was on that trailer...idk, anyway, it doesn't matter. Our OTHER (There are a lot of members) members brought two horses: Liza and Molly. In total, there were 7 of us riding. Some of the horses were a little excited as we tacked up; the band was rehearsing and lining up right next to us. We spent awhile tacking up. I braided a ribbon in Daisy's tail and a flower in her forelock (My new profile picture). She looked great. Finally, we headed out. We have some pretty amusing pictures of us riding through the bank tellers. We were at pretty much the end of the parade because the parade marshall didn't want firetrucks to drive in horse manure. (BIG deal, right? FIRETRUCKS. Can fight fires, go to accident scenes, drive through woods in brush fires, but can't handle horse manure. I don't get it...) Jean's husband is into old cars (Nice old cars :-P) so he drove behind us, which was kinda nice, there were maybe one or two other people behind him, so he made sure he gave us room behind the horses that those people might not have given us. Daisy was pretty good...she was excited. I don't think she was necessarily afraid; she was "looky" but more interested then nervous. She did want to walk fast, though. Daisy is not a horse that enjoys meandering around, especially around other horses. She'd much rather run; race them. Sooo she had a little trouble walking slow, but it was ok. Sometimes she really got annoyed, and ended up walking sideways down the street....soo we look like idiots, but at least she wasn't rearing, bucking, etc, right? Right. Finally, a 4H mom and then my mom held Daisy for a bit so she'd slow down, and she really seemed better after that little "attitude adjustment". Jean had grown up in the area where the parade took place and rode in it as a teen, back when a lot of people rode. Unfortunately, there hadn't been any horses in the parade in years. Fortunately we came along :). I was surprised how quiet it was; not many people clapped or cheered. I wonder if it was because they were bored and didn't want to or actually knew not to scare the horses...who knows?

At the end of the parade we rode back through a graveyard and back down the street. The worst part was then. We were going back to the trailer, fairly close, across the street from a gas station. Two guys were on motorcycles (Daisy's only fear, aside from cars that splash water on her on the road after it rains) and they revved their bikes just as we were going to ride by. I can tell you one thing, Daisy was already busy looking at a flag when that happened, and you better believe she was not a happy camper. She half-reared, half tried to bolt, but I was like "Oh, man" and one of the 4H mom's heard it and grabbed Daisy....the guys kept making noise, and she was signaling for them to stop. After a few steps they did, but it was enough, damage done. Daisy was like "Where are the noisy beasts that are trying to eat me?!?!!!!!" lol. But we survived. We got to the trailer and all as well.

Lesson learned; next time we do a parade (*cough*-this Saturday) I'm round penning her a ton first. Let off some of that steam! :-P I'm glad we went; our club was pretty popular. We had 'walkers' who threw candy to the crowd, and held a banner with our name. Pretttttty cool. If you'd like to see pictures right away, check my mom's post here.
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Next event was a pleasure show the following Sunday. I rode alllll day long; English in the morning, Western in the afternoon.
It was another club event (you finding a pattern here?)


Daisy is not an English horse. You know what? She's not a western pleasure horse, either. She had been doing very well getting her right-lead canter, but it still wasn't automatic. I really had to work to get it; not hard, but I couldn't go trot to canter, walk to canter. For me, it's side pass, stand, canter. You can't do that in a show ring. We ended up not placing all morning in English; she never got her right lead on the first try (not always on second try, either). One time we technically got 7th place, but they don't ribbon to 7th :-P. She looked pretty good, though, I'll say that. But not at a canter. We finally placed half-way through the morning in hunter hack. They set up 2 cross rails that you had to go through. We schooled over them twice before the actual class. The first time, Daisy went over the first one, but then swerved the next one. I blame it on my not being totally focused and giving her leg. She wasn't afraid; she was lazy and hadn't expected it, so she wanted to take a look. We tried again and she was fine. When the class started, she was fine. A few horses refused (repeatedly), some wayyyyyy over jumped (Daisy kinda did), others swerved away from the jump, some didn't enter. In the end, I think we got 6th place, which isn't THAT good, but at least we placed. I was happy. :)


The best part of the day is always Trail class. We rock at trail class because we only do trail riding at home :-P. This trail class was kinda boring, and a little disappointing. It had rained the day before, so there were puddles in the ring that all day we just avoided. Now, they took the biggest puddle and Incorporated it into the class. They set up jump standards at the side so you couldn't go around, and you had to walk through. It was a big, deep puddle; covered Daisy's hooves. She plunged right in.


The next part was a mailbox on a barrel. We are used to mailboxes on posts, so Daisy was kind of confused, but she got over it fast and we got out the paper, flashed it to the judge, and moved on.

All winter long, when I was sick (which was more often than usual this year) I would do ground work with Daisy instead of riding. I worked a lot on side passing over poles, because last year at the county fair we did bad in a trail class because we couldn't do that. I worked hard with her on the ground, and finally moved to doing it on her back. She's good at it. She's awesome if you start standing just over the end of the pole and side pass over the pole. She's not so great at going down AND back at the same time. And that's what we had to do. Figures. However, we were better this time around then we were last summer, so that was good. The pole we used was a small tree (not a true "pole") so of course Daisy wasn't as good. Of course. I got her over going left pretty well, but then she put up a fit about going right. That was frustrating because I knew I had a limited amount of times I could try before the judge would ask us to move on. I tried about 3 times, and I knew the judge would ask us to stop any minute. I figured at that point, I had to ignore placing and just get my stubborn little mare to do it. I turned to the judge (half-way across the arena) and called (very unprofessionally :-P) "Can I please try again?" and the judge nodded sympathetically and held up one finger. There we had it: one more try. I got her to do it. Pretty messily...we ended up stumbling a bit and really only going well in the middle of the pole, but we did it. It was better than other people, because the majority couldn't do it at all. After that, we hopped over a cross rail and we were done. Pretty boring trail class compared to others...but we got 4th place. We always do well in trail. Always (knock-on-wood).


The rest of the day wasn't that great. Daisy got more and more tired as the day wore on. We stunk (as always) in Western Pleasure and Equitation...and western horsemanship...we didn't place in any of it due to Daisy's right-lead dilemma. We still had fun, though...at least, I did. The end of the day, we had command class. That is truly, besides Trail Class, the most exciting part of the day. It is, in essence, Simon-Says on horseback. Except without Simon. Whoever doesn't do what the caller calls out within 3 seconds is disqualified. In the past at this particular show, Daisy and I tied for 1st place. At the county fair we got 1st, too. I'm not sure how we did so well back then, because Daisy was even more terrible at her leads back then...I guess those wins were miracles. But in any case, I was excited for Command. Daisy wasn't; she was very tired. I was soon to realize just how tired she really was. But we forged on.

There were a lot of entrants, as usual. I don't remember how many, but probably about 20. We went on and on; Daisy's responds fast. Especially when she gets into command class; she knows what to do. Miracle of all miracles, she ACTUALLY got her leads right. At the end, it was down to 3 of us in the ring (I thought at the time it was 2, but apparently I didn't see the other person). They called for counter canter. Guess which direction we were going? Right. Guess what Daisy FINALLY did. Of all times.

That's right. She did a right lead. And not the left that the judge was looking for. I noticed it right away. When they said counter canter, I got confused (I'm not the brightest person, if you haven't noticed). I was so sure they'd ask for a canter, that I'd been preparing to ask Daisy for a right-lead canter. When they said left, I knew I wouldn't have to try hard for left. But I kinda squeezed her and turned her and sidpassed her and somewhere in that jumble of commands she did a right lead. It's a shame that I don't know just what I did; It could've come in handy.


In the big picture, I was happy that Daisy did her right lead. That's what I'd wanted all day; she just picked a nasty time to do it. That's alright, though. One of the other people did the lead wrong, too (well, technically right...you know what I mean? :-P I'm probably confusing you) so we were disqualified at the same time. I thought that'd put us in a tie for 2nd, but somehow they picked and put me in 3rd...soo I'm just going to say I got 2nd. It sure felt like 2nd. I left the ring and another person congratulated me, saw the yellow ribbon, and said "What? I thought you got 2nd!". I just said I thought so, too...so please just agree with me and say I got 2nd. :)


I trailered and exhausted Daisy home and put her up for bed.
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It took Daisy a week to get over that show. I'd ended up riding her for 7 hours. 7 HOURS. Now, I wasn't really "riding" her so much as sitting on her back that long, but it really drained her. I thought she was having a week-long colic afterward. She was lying down ALL the time. Not just a lot. All the time; she went so far as to GRAZE lying down. I still rode her, but she wasn't as peppy, and she pawed the ground a lot, and was constantly sleeping. She finally got better the following Saturday (the day I had decided to call the vet if she wasn't better; luckily she was). I've learned that I have to pick one division to ride in next time, either English or Western, or part of both. Daisy can't handle it all, poor girl!
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We haven't done much since the show; we just hung out at home. Daisy hasn't (Knock-on-wood again) gotten lame yet this spring, without shoes but with Smarthoof, a great hoof supplement. I'm praying and hoping that she'll stay strong so I don't have to shoe her.

Maybe I'll post pictures tomorrow or the day after. Until then, thanks for reading this long post. You must be a dedicated reader. Thank you, I appreciate it. :)



If you didn't make it this far and just skipped stuff, that's fine, I forgive you. :)




3 comments:

I Love Jesus said...

I don't think I skipped anyting. ;)
Can't wait to see pictures. :) Are you doing the July 11th show?????

Lydia said...

I don't think I skipped anything either... :]
Sounds like you had some fun, even though it drained Daisy, but since it effected her so heavily, I think you're smart to take a step back next time. =D
Have fun!

Lydia

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Very interesting post. I thoroughly enjoyed your moment by moment accounting of the events. 7 hours is a very long time. Wow. I wonder if you were even a little sore at the end of the day, too.

I hope Daisy gives you that right hand lead when asked from now one, too. Maybe she has just figured it all out from all your training. The show might have helped make it sink in better.

I'm glad she's back to normal again now, too. And hope that the barefoot suits her well.
Have fun!

~Lisa

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