Saturday, October 20, 2012

I'm Driving Miss Daisy....

Today, Daisy's trailer came home. Looking forward to our maiden voyage in the near future. . . 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

So Much to Catch-Up On. . .

Hey readers!
I am still alive.
Unfortunately, I haven't posted since before my Costa Rica mission trip. Which seems ages ago.
Here are the quick facts:
-Costa Rica was great! I completely loved the trip.
-Daisy's back was sore before I left, and she had a slight sneeze/cough. After so much time off, her back issue resolved itself completely the week I got back. I tried anti-histamines to illiminate the sneeze/cough issue as being allergies, and they actually worked!
-I got my own car and started my classes at the college in town, working toward an associate's in Business Administration (that's actually where I am right now... in class. I'm always early...)
-I made a new friend through trimming :) and went on a couple long rides on one of her mares to help her condition it for endurace riding. She trailered her personal endurance mare and the one I rode (which she leases out) to a state park and we had a blast. The mare's name is Dot, and she is part draft... so it was pretty incredible to ride her nine miles and have her want to continue! She competed endurance and clearly enjoys it despite her breeding. Pretty cool!
-This same person trailered Daisy an hour and a half away with her mare to a different state park. The park is massive (over 9,000 acres) and the day was a blast. Daisy absolutely loves going somewhere new, and she enjoyed her time there immeansly. Daisy had to load up on a step up, slant load trailer for the first time since I've owned her, and she was a really good girl.
-I've still been trimming Daisy myself, and am super pleased with how her hooves are doing. I get off while we ride regularly to check them, because they're super clean during a ride (all the wet grass and movement rubbing and cleaning them out) and I'm very happy with their condition, and she's been very sound on gravel (whoot!).
Yesterday my horse trailer finally got to town! We'd been waiting so long for the title and now it's here. It's at the trailer shop getting everything checked out. Soon enough I'll have it home and I'll put up a video tour :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Ontario County Fair: Gymkhana, July 27th

Gymkhana day. . . barrel racing and pole bending. 

Daisy's favorite :) 

The end of the 4H shows for horses always end with a little banquet pizza party where awards are handed out. 
Drumroll. . . . 
Daisy and I got Overall Senior High Point again this year! :) 
The extra exciting thing was that for the first time, they had ribbons for the high point horses to wear. How fun! 

And so fair week came to a close. 

I had a riding lesson through pony club on Thursday morning. . . unfortunately, it turns out Daisy has quite a sore back, I assume from county fair and all that riding. She's been standing parked out, trying to alleviate pressure, for the first time since 2009 when she got on her natural trim. Her right buttock is especially sore. I haven't ridden her since the lesson. I'm heading out in a few minutes to ride her over to Jenny's, where she'll stay while I'm in Costa Rica, and I can assess the situation. Hopefully the many days off while I'm gone will do her some good. 

My trip to Costa Rica is a mission trip that our church youth group is doing. I am so excited! This will be my first mission trip. We're going to take part in campus evangelism, and some kids programs in poor communities. 
Talk to you all when I'm back!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ontario County Fair: Western Day, July 26th

When I was in Alberta at course, we went shopping at a western store one day and I got sucked into spending a hefty price for a show shirt. 
After seeing the pictures of Western day with it, I have no regrets ;). 
 Daisy was happy to be going western, her comfort zone, again. 

Trail class was the same pattern as Tuesday's. We placed first again. 

It started with a bridge obstacle. 

Then curved trot poles, to a mailbox. 

Then to a slicker transfer. . . 

Followed by a 360 box. 

A U-shaped back-up station was followed by the corner sidepass station. 

That evening, I entered the Versatility class again. Versatility tests the versatile nature of the individual horse (pretty self-explanatory). On western day, the versatility class starts out in english tack and clothing. We do an english flat class, then do a quick tack and clothing swap. Then we ride a western pleasure flat class, and a barrel pattern. In years past, the class has been very popular, with as many as 12 riders. The past two years Daisy and I have placed first. This year it was raining lightly, and only three people rode. Daisy an I won first again. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ontario County Fair: Mounted Games, July 25th

Wednesday was a low-key day of mounted relay games. 

Daisy was a good girl. She loves to barrel race and run fast, but we generally went in the middle of the relay team, so she had to be good about stopping in the middle of runs to pick things up, and wait at the end to hand off items. Once she got into it and figured out the routine, she had a nice set of brakes :) 

Wednesday evening was costume class. Daisy and I dressed as hippies and rode to the Beatles' "Revolution". 

Costume included tye dye fabrics and ribbons, non-toxic Crayola finger paint, fake daisies, and a fake butterfly, plus my most colorful tack. 

I was quite pleased with how it all turned out. 

We had fun :) 

As for my trailer, it turns out we won't have it for awhile probably... because the old owners never signed it over to their name, so in order for us to get the title for it, they need to get the former owner's signature on their title in order to hand it off to us so that we can title it. A bit disappointing, but we've made do without a trailer for 5 years; what's a couple months? 

I'm going on a mission trip with my church's youth group to Costa Rica on Tuesday of next week. We will be in the country for 11 days. I am SO excited! It should be pretty awesome.  

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ontario County Fair: English Day, July 24th

After deliberation, I've decided to make posts for each individual day of fair. . . that way, it's less work for me, less reading at once for you, and. . . etc.

The first day of fair was English day. I only decided to take Daisy a couple days before. I've received a lot of criticism lately about how Daisy and I look english (awkwardly paired), so first I thought I wouldn't bother, but then I did anyway. The fact is, I'm borderline too big for her. . . in an English saddle. Put me in a dressage saddle or western saddle with long stirrups, and somehow it looks fine. 
Daisy was lovely for English day. We ribboned mostly in the top 5. We didn't have many firsts and seconds, but we did decently well and I was pleasantly surprised with how the day panned out. 

Our best class, as usual, was trail class. The fact is, we win first 99% of the time ;), thanks to the work I put in with Daisy teaching her to sidepass over a ground pole. 

The jump course for the seniors was 3' max. . . which is too high for Daisy and I. I asked to be allowed to do the junior course (2'6") exhibition style, with no ribbons, just for fun, and we were allowed to. The course was perfect and Daisy was really lovely. She's turned into a steady jumper, which is so surprising compared to how she used to be. She has gotten soo much better at not rushing between jumps and just popping over them as-is. Unfortunately, we have a limited number of jump pictures. . . In fact, the photo below is basically 'it'.

Trust me, she sticks her ears forward once she's mid-air and looks much happier ;).
Overall, I was very pleased with the way the day went, and we did walk away with two blues. A good start to the long week ahead. . . 

P.S. I should probably include this in the Thursday post. . . however, I think containing my excitement for that long could be detrimental. Therefore, with great pleasure I present to you the official Daisy Mobile of Red Gate Ranch: 
My dad broke the news to me on Thursday that we could begin trailer shopping. Yesterday, we took a road trip and signed the papers for this baby. A complete tour will be provided once we bring it home sometime this week. I am SO. THRILLED. :) 

Friday, July 27, 2012

County Fair is Going Well

:) More details later this weekend :)
(First post from my mobile phone!)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not Our Finest Moments

 A neighbor down my street invited the horses and riders in the neighborhood to have unlimited access to their pond for swimming. I was pretty excited to finally have some place so close by to swim Daisy! I headed down to the pond with Jenny on Jolee on Tuesday morning. While Jolee went in relatively easily, Daisy would have nothing to do with the pond experience, which was a bit disappointing. I think the issue was simply that the pond is a step down into water, rather than a gradual slope downward like everywhere else that we've swam. 

On Saturday, I rode Daisy 4.7 miles through the hamlet below us and out the other side to go to my friend Katie's farm, where I had Daisy last year during county fair week. Last year, I rode Daisy home from there and while she did have some spooky moments, they were relatively insignificant. This year, going the opposite direction, Daisy was on high alert as soon as we reached the bottom of the big hill and entered unknown territory. I admit, I was frustrated and angry with her. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. 

I spent a considerable amount of time on foot, leading her forward. When I was on her back, she was too spooked and uncomfortable to move. Once riderless, she moved on fine.
My theory, after the fact, is that she felt too pressured when I was on her to be the 'leader'. She was in foreign land and couldn't trust where she was, and wasn't confident that she or I would be safe moving forward. When I was off her back, the leadership role transferred to me and she was happy to follow me along, assuming that if I was ok with going forward, she could be too.
Does that seem like a valid possibility?  I could also of course say that she didn't trust me that I knew we were safe, so that's why she wouldn't move forward with me on her back.... but she did trust me to move once off, so I'm not sure that explanation could hold water. 

My mom met us at the base of the hill just outside the hamlet to take pictures. Once she started calling out to Daisy, the familiar voice gave Daisy confidence and she trotted forward all too happily. 

I got off and on a few times throughout the ride. This is us passing the little convenience store/antique shop. 

Last year, going in the reverse direction, we had issues where the picture below was taken because Daisy couldn't handle the stress of Dumpsters and the sound of the air conditioner at once. This year she was still spooky, but with my mom leading she went forward. 

I was first quite disappointed with her behavior, but like I said, in retrospect, I'm not mad at her for how she behaved. I almost see it as another gesture toward her intelligence. What do you think?

A couple of our 'finer moments' ;). Some graduation pictures. 

I've been trimming more . . . I gave Daisy a fresh trim this week. I apprenticed the majority of the day Wednesday. That day, I had my first true moment of "I got this". I wasn't really questioning my ability before with trimming, but I wasn't feeling 100% confident that I "got everything" when I would put a hoof down the final time, and I would ask Daisy's triminologist to double check. On my second horse on Wednesday, something clicked and I put down the hooves and really felt like I got everything and it looked good. Trimming is such an art, and very rewarding once it's done; I have such a sense of accomplishment when a hoof is finished. 

On Friday I took my first official client by myself! Family friends of ours whose horses were trimmed 'naturally' before. I did one of the horses Friday, and one Saturday. I'm painfully slow at this point with trimming (1 horse takes me an entire hour) but I do know I'm doing a good job. I'm planning on asking for a hoof jack for Christmas, so at this point I'm using a bulky cinder block... which, besides the bulk, actually works quite well with a towel over top. 

County fair week is this week! The 'biggest' week of the year for Daisy and I. After going back and forth, I've decided to show her English day on Tuesday. I may skip some classes in an attempt to take it easy, since I will be showing her Tuesday through Friday... but we will be doing it :). Wednesday we'll be taking part in costume classes as hippies!
 ♫ Do you want a revolution, well you know! ♫

Happy summertime, folks. Stay cool and bug-free :) 


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