Monday, October 24, 2011

Stacy Westfall

I watched Stacy Westfall's 2011 Quarter Horse Congress Freestyle reining pattern today.

Most horse people have seen the video of her tackless 2006 championship run. She's an amazing horse person.

She's incredibly inspiring; if I could spend a day with her and watch her work, that would be amazing. I so wish I could have a relationship with even one horse the way she does with all of hers. What gets me in the 2006 video is that the horse is so willing; you can see it licking and chewing as she rides. The horse is so submissive, even with Stacy on her back.

The 2011 run is equally captivating. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it, you won't be disappointed: 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

 I went for a trail ride today with Daisy. I like to mix it up a bit with going with my mom when she walks the dog. Daisy enjoys that :)
 For the first time ever, I trail-rode helmetless! I didn't realize I forgot a helmet until we were already away from home. I normally always ride with one! 
 Daisy lovesss trail riding :)
This is Daisy and I with the new dressage saddle.... the girth from smartpak is great! Maybe we'll get some dressage lessons this winter? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Driving, Riding, Friends, and Colored Feet

Well hasn't this picture been a long time coming: 

That was Daisy and I and my driving instructor. I'm supposed to get Daisy out driving at least twice a week but it's tough because I don't have many helpers to come along and pull Daisy in the right direction when she misbehaves ;)

The woods around here are beautiful this time of year: 
Daisy and I have been emarking on our usual road rides.
Visiting the minis is pretty much Daisy's favorite thing to do:
There are now only two mares. The little girl in the pictures is Jewel; She's Daisy's buddy. 
Daisy's hooves were a shocking orange/red color the other day when I picked them out. I called my trimmer immediately, thinking it was something serious. Upon further inspection I realized she was completely sound on her feet and they weren't hot at all (a sign of inflammation). We're not really sure why they were such vivid colors, except perhaps that the leaves she's been eating have changed the color. As long as she's sound, I can take a colorful-footed mare any day ;)
I bought a dressage saddle off a friend a few weeks ago, and yesterday I got my new girth from smartpak in the mail :) So hopefully today we'll be girthing up the saddle and taking it for a spin.

That's all my news for today.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Still Playin' Catch-Up

In August at one pony club lesson, Lyd took some great pictures. 
 The one below is of a 2'7" vertical. I was so proud of Daisy!
 Pony Club was an interesting experience this year. While I did think some rules and such were over-the-top, I'm glad I did it. For one thing, it was very cool to have weekly English lessons; I've never taken regular English lessons, and it gave me stuff to work on. 
 For another, it made me realize that Daisy can in fact jump stadium-style jumps, and isn't too shabby either. We had fun! Our biggest issue is both of us trying to rush as we get close to the jump, and me anticipating too much.
 We jumped a full course a few times, which is something I've never done with Daisy, and I don't think she's done either. We met some great new instructors who graciously volunteered their time. I had a blast! And I might just jump Daisy at fair next year; who knows?
This jump below "Ok, she's probably going to refuse this one. I'm just saying, this one will make her look."
Umm...nope. Just went over :) I love her.
 Fall is here, and Daisy is turning dark again. 
We're finished competing for the year. We're keeping busy with driving and riding and giving lessons :)
 Last, I rooted through an old box of photos and found this beauty:
Me on Dancer, when I was 5 or 6. I look so tiny, yet I was riding by myself! I love it.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

And without Further Ado, County Fair (July 26-30, 2011)

English Day, July 26, with Ladd:
Laddie arrived at the fairgrounds quaking with nerves, and after trying to tie him in his stall and him looking like he was ready to explode out of it, he grazed on the lawn for a little while until he settled in. Once he did, he had no whims about the tie stall. 
He and I did well. As I recall, we didn't place in our showmanship class or our first riding class, but from then on we placed, and I think mostly in the top three placings, mostly first. I know we placed first in Sr. hunter under saddle,and then in our jump class, Sr. Working Hunter to Jump. 
We schooled first and had pretty smooth schooling. The jump below was refused by most horses, and although I could feel Ladd looking and slow like he was going to stop, I just spurred him on and we were fine over it. He's a beautiful jumper. I had to really concentrate to remember to slow him by sitting still, not so much using my hands, but we did it and made it around the course in the end to place first :). Such a good boy!! 
I made a video of our jump round like I did with Bubba last year. Here it is:

Ladd and I even got a first in trail class! I had decided we would just do trail class for the schooling experience; considering how spooky he can be on a real trail and how unmanageable, I didn't count on placing. Boy did he show me! I unfortunately can't remember the pattern anymore, but we did place first. :)

Mounted Games with Daisy, July 27th:
There isn't much to say about relay games with Daisy; pretty much the same as every other year. 
Daisy did a fabulous job as usual as far as I remember :)) 

At the end of that day there was a draft horse show going on, and the wash stalls were empty (and free of cows). Daisy has been worried about the wash stalls in the past, but I seized the opportunity and took her in. She ended up being fine, and I had two fine helpers to help me give her a bath.
I had to get her clean and pretty for western pleasure classes the next day.
This photo below is one my mom took at the draft show. A friend of mine, Lisa, has owned this horse since this past winter. He's a 5 year old percheron named Max. And he stands 19h tall. This is him in his halter class with Lisa's sister. He may be young, but he ended up placing quite well in his driving classes! He's one big boy for sure. 
Western Day with Daisy, July 28th:
I, unfortunately, have no photos of western day. I did Daisy's mane in a gypsy pattern again. We showed in the pony class. I chose to show pony because our senior class for English day was very crowded and uncomfortable in the ring. I had the choice of riding pony or senior, and I chose pony because the class was smaller and I hoped for more room in the ring. And yes, at 14.2hh, Daisy is considered a pony in 4H. 
We placed really really well all day :) Daisy was a good girl. 
We participated in the reining class again. Last year we did it but were disqualified for pivoting 5 times instead of 4 (oops. . . I had lost track.). This year we were careful with our pivots and placed first (not a great feat; it was only out of one or two in the pony class):

On our last roll back and lope, we had the wrong lead, and I couldn't get Daisy to switch it either, which was a shame. . . but otherwise it went alright. We never ever practice reining stuff, and Daisy is disgusted with pivoting ;) so I was happy with it. And considering it's just flat work, it really gets your adrenaline and your nerves up, but it's fun! 

Gymkhana Day with Daisy, July 29th:
Nothing memorable to say about this day. We were in pony division and there were faster ponies, so we didn't place that well, but that's alright :) It was fun. We did place first in the quadrangle pattern.
Straight line:
Potato Race(for the first time, I rode it too confidently and didn't get the potato. Oops :P):
There it goes. . . 

Second to last race was ribbon race. We didn't really race though ;) I rode with Katie and her sweet mare Phoebe. Phoebe kicks out at the horse beside her if you go faster than a walk or very slow jog, so a slow jog was as fast as we went. Our "sunday stroll".  
Last event was ready-aim-fire, squirting water at balloons. Just thought I'd post this funny photo ;)

Open Gaming Show with Daisy and Paulie, July 30th:
I ended up last-minute deciding to show Paulie, a 4 year old I believe?, as well. It was for the schooling experience for him, we didn't go very fast. He has a very lifting trot. 

And I rode Daisy as well: 
And had my first fall during a show! I rode in my endurance saddle because it's lighter, but I've never barrel raced in it and I slid across the seat on the return of a run and slid off her. We had passed the finish though, so we did get a time! ;) 

And that's pretty much county fair 2011 in a nutshell. Best week of my year. I love it.
Hey, maybe next year we'll do some driving classes?!


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