Saturday, July 31, 2010

County Fair Week Daily Overview

Fair week is was jam-packed. I'm going to attempt to summarize the main points of each day.

Tuesday: English Day (on Bubba)
I was in the senior division for the first time this year. In past years, there was always this one girl who won every single class, it seemed, with ease, and I was sort of jealous of her...or impressed...or felt she was arrogant...etc. She "graduated". This year, I was her. Bubba and I took blue in all the flat kidding. Class after class after class Bubba and I got the blues....I was tempted to go into a class and do everything wrong (wrong diagonals and ask for counter-canter ;)) so someone else could win for once. I felt bad! Bubba was
amazing as he generally is. I rode him in a Kimberwick...and my arms were saved. Thank God.
We moved on to jump classes. Turned out max height for seniors is 3 feet. I've barely jumped 2. Jean coached me over the jumps in the schooling before the classes, and he jumped everything, including the "scary, big oxer"... (we all got cheers after getting over the oxer :P). I was pretty nervous...just ask Bethany, my friend who came to visit ;) I did the two jump classes, hunter over fences and hunt seat equitation, and got 2nd out of 3 in both classes. The other two riders were very good, too...competition was close. Looking back, I guess it's pretty cool that I got 2nd because I always thought my jump equitation was really bad. :P I was invited back for the judge's invitational jump class. Bubba was tired by then (an ex-event horse in semi-retirement; he's not used to jumping so much) and he knocked two jumps I we got last place, but that was ok. I was still immensely proud of him; and proud that I actually got over those jumps---3 feet! It was incredible to jump them. Bubba was sooooo good. We received Senior Divison English Day High Point. :) We qualified for state in quite a few events....we are
considering going.

Wednesday: Mounted Games Day (teams) on Daisy
Not much to say...our team wasn't that fast but Daisy made up for the other member's and we placed in 1st and 2nd a few times. She was funny; we always ran last in the relay races, and as soon as the first horse left, Daisy couldn't stand still, moving all over the place. I had to turn and face the fence to keep her from taking off.

The loudspeaker had problems all week...making crackling noises for no reason. It didn't bother Bubba, so it didn't occur to me that it would bother Daisy. Learned the hard way that it did :P I lead her through the barn aisle one of the first times that I went out to the practice arena, and it crackled behind me, and another club member was swinging a rope behind Daisy...this all unbeknownst to me. All I know is, Daisy shot forward behind me, and ran me over. I fell, and Daisy stepped on my ankle, stopped, with me pulling my boot out from under her. My ankle swelled up and hurt. It's still swollen today, but at least it's not painful. Later that day, Daisy walked through the same aisle, and put her head up just as we passed under our club banner hanging from the ceiling...I looked back, saw her ear touch it, and instantly she tensed up...and I knew it was only a matter of seconds before she exploded. Explode she did, forward, luckily not on top of me that time. She was alright, too.

Thursday: Western Day on Daisy
Western day started out with Daisy in a pretty frustrating frame of mind. First class, after showmanship, equitation, got us a 2nd but I didn't feel we deserved it. I guess I deserved it as a rider, but Daisy was being dumb. She was spooky for no reason, her trot was too quick, she was ignoring was the worst she ever was in the show ring. Needless to say, I was annoyed. I took her to the warm up ring after that class and worked her. 8 steps forward, 5 steps back, literally, to get her mind on me. Then the same at the trot and canter. I did that in both directions...and after all that good mind work, she was focused back on me and she
shined the rest of the day. :) Each year there's a reining pattern, but I've never done it because I didn't want to memorize it, and I thought I couldn't do it. I wasn't going to do it this year, but...I sort of accidentally memorized it by watching all the other seniors go. By the time they were at the second to last, I changed my mind, bridled, and went out. I had the whole pattern right...except part of it. You had to do circles, and after two circles in each direction you would do 4 small, tiny ones (like pivots) in a row. I accidentally did 5 once :-/ and so we were DQed for being off pattern :( She was so good otherwise! I was actually surprised how good her roll-backs were. I'm definitely doing it next year :).
Daisy and I always shine in trail classes. I worked hard one winter teaching her to sidepass over a groundpole, something that all the horses seem to balk at, and since she knows that, we generally have trail in the bag. We went out as the first seniors to do the trail, and we seriously breezed through...walk over bridge, trot poles, sidepass over a pole to a mailbox, get mail, put back, sidepass back over, pick up a slicker from a pole and move to another pole, go through a "bent" back up station, canter a just went perfectly. We got first :)
There's also a class called versatility. You go out, starting in English tack and clothes, do an English flat class, and then you have 2 minutes to switch clothes and tack. "Pit crews", including 2 people, are at the edge of the ring to help, one to tack and re-tack the horse, the other to help the rider change. Once they change to western, you ride a western flat class and run a cloverleaf pattern. There were 10 people in our class this year. Last year Daisy and I had 2nd. This year, we got 1st :), and a nice plaque. And we got Senior Division High Point for the day again :)

Friday: Gymkhana Day on Daisy
The day started off with Daisy stepping off the trailer with an injury. It seems Laredo the Evil (who kicks and bites other horses a lot) snapped at Daisy on the trailer...

It was a surface wound. I washed it out (to Daisy's dismay) and tried to put ointment on it, but it was too wet to stay I let it just stay. It dried into a scab now, with hay unfortunately stuck in it because Daisy was eating :P. I'm curious...will it scar? Horses grow white fur in when their hair gets rubbed out...with this get white skin? ;) haha.

Gymkhana day wasn't as good as past years. We did get some great advice though from one of the people timing. This guy watched a few runs, and then as I came in for one he stopped me. He said that he was watching and that Daisy is really responsive to me, but that I move my hands around to much and so make her worked up. He said if I hold them completely still and give short, small tugs just as we get in the pocket of a barrel, our runs would be smoother...I put that to the test Friday and Saturday. It definitely helped a lot! Daisy's turns around barrels were much tighter and smoother. Daisy gave me trouble the whole day with taking the bridle on and off because it touched her fat swollen lip.
We had done costume on Thursday as biker chicks. I joked that Daisy took her Harley out to a bar that night and got in a bar fight, hence swollen lip. ;)

Friday ended with me getting the Overall Senior Division High Point trophy. I got it for junior last year. It means we accumulated the most points for the week (points are accumulated based on placings in class...the better placing, the more points). I'm so proud of Daisy-Mae! :) We were also published in the paper again on Friday, with the same article. :)

I also got to ride a draft on Friday...eek! It was comparable to the lake swim-SO. FUN. It was "bareback", but with harness everywhere...I got her to canter a few times, but I was swinging my legs out and hitting her in the side just like a little kid trying to get the lazy lesson pony to trot. So funny! They are SO SMOOTH and very light in the hands-I was surprised!

Saturday: Open Game Show on Daisy
This game show was fun, as it is each year. They do some really unique patterns, which is nice, and sit-a-buck (we got 3rd this year). Daisy actually got 1st once, in Quadrangle barrels! I was SO proud! ;) Her turns remained tight and quick. The rider teacher that I had from the time that I was 4 'till I was 12 was there, her daughter showing the pony I started out on way back then. It was pretty cool to see the little pony going. :) I did pick-up race on Daisy with Sara, from our club. I also did pick-up, as the pick-up person, with a friend of mine and her draft mare(that I rode Friday). Pick up requires one person to ride down to the end of the ring and let another person waiting at the end swing up behind them in the saddle, and then race back riding double. It was a riot doing it with the draft! We actually placed 5th out of 9, too :) Daisy was a really good girl as the pick-up pony, too.
I did ribbon race, too, with three different partners (racing around the ring to the timer holding a ribbon between two horses; not letting it break or fall). I did it paired with Lydia (on Stewy), and my friend and her draft, and Jean on Bubba. Going with the draft was funny; I put Daisy next to it, and Daisy sort of turned her head away standing there like "Oh man...I'm not even gonna look." :P Daisy ran the fastest I think she's ever ran with me on her when we did ribbon with Bubba and Jean...she was HAUL.ING. Crazy!
It was a really fun open show...definitely the best of the year. :)

Daisy got today off. She's exhausted.
I'm going to put together a video of Bubba and I jumping...and maybe post some pics from the other days. There are so many!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Boot Update, Fair to Start...TOMORROW. :D

Sooooo....guess who was on the front page of the paper today?! ;)
ABOVE the fold. Mmmmmhm. Moi. ;) It was pretty cool.

I took the boots for a real spin today once Daisy was at Jean's. One sounded loose as I was cantering, and it suddenly came off, stuck still to Daisy's pastern...she just sort of spooked, but I got off. It was loose...only on one hoof. (her front left). The trimmer came out 20 minutes later (he was in the area) and got me a 1/2 size smaller boot to exchange for that left boot, and some Power straps for the boots. Bright green :) (He had no black). Otherwise...I liked how she rode with the boots on the flat. She seemed to be stepping lighter.....

I'm going to enter Costume Class with Bubba tomorrow as a headless horseman ;). And Daisy and I will be biker chicks on Thursday. Should be fun!

Until...some other time,

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Easyboot Gloves (....t-5 days)

My natural trimmer has become an official easycare inc. boot supplier...and I got me some boots today. I got two easy boot gloves for Daisy's fronts.
I cannot believe how great they are! Granted, I have not ridden in them yet. I only walked/trotted her over the gravel driveway...but...she...tracked up!!!! (Tracking up is when a horse steps so that their hind hooves land where their fronts leave off....) She is known to always trail in the hind...but she was floating. Over gravel.
Needless to say, I'm really excited to try them out. I hope I can harness some of that boot magic when I'm on her back ;) I'm pretty excited. She liked them, too. I let her out to graze a little with them still on, and she galloped to the grass so fast, didn't give the stones a second thought, and bucked like crazy (in joy).
Pretty sweeeet.
I will keep thee updated on the boot deal :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fair Prep: t-6 days!

County Fair officially starts on Tuesday! Tuesday is English day, on Bubba, Wednesday is mounted games on Daisy (the rest of the week is on Daisy), Thursday is Western Day, Friday is Gymkhana...
Jean and I are discussing doing costume classes with the horses...I wanna dress Daisy and I up as biker chicks...any suggestions as to how to do that? Or what music to play (as we gallop around the ring)? I wanna dress up in all black, and her too....makes me wish I had a black quarter sheet ;)

I've also been working with her walking (and trotting) over a tarp...The first day, I started out over a blanket, then progressed to a folded up, 1 ft wide tarp, and made it wider and wider as she got comfortable...but when it was full sized, after walking over it a few times, I had her stop in the middle and I let her smell it, and she flipped...back to square one. I took her back to the blanket, and she was skeptical, but went over and we ended on that good note...I went back the other day and did it all over again... She's alright with it, but you can tell she's not comfortable. One time she'll walk over, the next she insists on rushing over. If I ask her to stop, she'll either stop, and then shift all her weight back and suddenly shoot backwards, or she'll stop and walk over's always different. I've been using food rewards for each good step she takes...but she's still not totally comfortable. The only thing I can think is that at least if it were to come up to a tarp in a trail class, I could probably handle walking her over...but not if we need to stop in the middle ;) :P.

So...I would love suggestions for the costume class Thursday... ;)

P.S. We sent pictures of our lake swim to the paper...and a reporter emailed and said that our swim was legal, but they brought the subject up before a city meeting to decide whether or not an amendment should be made to ban the swimming...I don't know yet what the outcome was. But we'll be in the paper with an article and interview :) Daisy goes public. haha

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Swim in the Lake!

Yesterday was absolutely a blast...Jean and I took Bubba and Daisy to the lake and went swimming! It was SO FUN!
They were both a little unsure about it to start off...but once Bubba took the brave plunge, Daisy followed suit. The place where we went in got deeper very gradually, so to be able to truly swim we would have had to go pretty far we only "waded". That was fine with me! I got pretty wet :) Once we were in, I think the horses liked it a lot. Daisy was so good! It was truly really really fun. :D
There are a lot of pictures...soooo....I don't expect you to see them all :P but they are pretty cool. We drew a crowd down there; from the start people were stopping and pulling out their camera phones. So funny! Pictures taken by my mom and Jean's mom. (the majority are my mom's)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lots of Things in the Future!

Not much has been going on...I visited my friend Wednesday and Thursday, and Thursday I watched her riding lesson and took a ride with her, she on Abel and I on a horse named Willie. It was fun :) I made the video up there (dressage stuff first, then jumping pics and video toward the end).

Daisy went to Jean's yesterday morning in preparation for my horse show tomorrow. I rode her there yesterday and jumped in the ring and she was really good :). She had trouble at first sticking her nose in the air so she could rush the jumps, but I worked with it and got her to do it "on the bit" with her head low and not that was good :) Today I have a mounted meeting on her at 2.
I also rode Ladd. Jean's been riding him a lot more now and he was incredible when I rode him yesterday...she's using a martingale on him and I've never ridden one, and initially wasn't impressed, but it did seem to help.
Other big news...I'm tentatively planning on doing my first event ever (!!), probably intro-level :P, at the very end of August! :D Should be pretty awesome...hope I learn a lot before then though.
And on Monday I'm giving a beginner lesson on Daisy...and Tuesday Jean is tentatively planning on going swimming in the lake, me on Daisy and her on Bubba. I hope it works out! Neither have ever gone swimming from what we know...I predict that Daisy will refuse to go in at first, but with persistence, she'll do it. (I hope so anyway!)

Until later,

P.S. I will not be doing a Sunday Stills tomorrow.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Parade and My Coming Adventures with Daisy-Mae

I did not end up getting better in time to take the lesson on Ladd. Jean took it instead and it went well :)

I rode Bubba in the parade on Sunday and he was absolutely wonderful, again :) Such a handsome boy. I took red, white, and blue duct tape and wrapped it around his boots. You can sort of see it on one of his front's the the picture. What a good boy.

Picture by my Dad. (!!)

I found the picture below on my Mom's computer. It was taken just before I left for the XC schooling in May. I love how sharp Daisy looks :)
And my most exciting current news...I'm going to camp for 5 days with Daisy in August! :D I'm beyond excited. It should be really fun, especially since she gets to go with me. We're going to Forrestel Farm Camp. We'll be there over her birthday, too! :) And we have a pleasure show coming up this Sunday.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunday Stills: Frame It

This challenge was a fun one. The job was to frame something with something else. An example given was to frame the moon with tree branches.

I chose to frame my latest "ride", my trainer's 17hh Thoroughbred gelding, Ladd. He's a handsome man :) So sweet.

I'm not too happy with these first two was so bright out when I took the pictures that his face was dark and the sky was editing sort of compromised it. But the sky still looks a bit pale...but oh well.

The second two shots are better (I think).
Ladd, framed by the sky.

Check out some more framed shots at Sunday Stills!


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