Randoms

So I was going through some of my pictures and I realized that there were a couple of things that I forgot to post!

The first is happy. I finally got the boys’ Christmas presents in. They both got stall name plates. I went simple because I really like the clean look of just the brass name plate not mounted on wood on our stalls.

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I considered putting Lucifer on the second line but I was nice and put Luther. Lol

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Then on January 24th Winn had to get stitches. It happened outside and I am thinking it was a wicked game of halter tag. I was not there when the vet was but I got a text from the BO that “your boy was horrible!” When I did get to the barn I was stopped by multiple people and told what an a$$ he was. The vet had to tranquilize him so much that the tranq cost more than the stitches! Winn says hey man it was in a scary place! God love him!

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Winn: “Mahm that was SO traumatic!”
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Extra kisses to make it all better
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Forget extra kisses. I take extra cookies!
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2018 Horse Show Season Opener

Well we completed our first show and we did not die! YAY!!! We may not have placed great and I may have almost fallen off (we will get to that) but overall I am SUPER HAPPY with how the show went!!

This was not a typical show in that it was only a one day show with mostly schooling classes but also a few rated classes too. Because it was smaller the adults and juniors were combined, at least for my division they were. There are a lot of things I do better as an adult but riding is not one of them. Lol. Let’s face it the skinny little 16 year old looks a lot better on a horse than big-o-fatty me but hey what the hell we were here for the experience.

Normally I would enter all the hunter and equitation classes but since this was a one day show I decided to only do eq. I didn’t want to over burden my boy. If you have read my previous blog posts you will know that Winifred is a high-strung, ex-jumper who is known to spook so I was pretty nervous.

We schooled on Saturday afternoon and the ring was CHAAAAAOOOOOS! There were people going in every which way and some had to get yelled since they were in the way of people jumping down a line and one horse had a major meltdown right in front of us. How did Winifred handle all of this???????? Like a complete pro!! Seriously folks he was calmer in the middle of that than he has been in our lessons this past month! What a champ! Our crew did little canter fence to start that I biffed solely because Winn was being lazy and I did not know how to jump a lazy Winifred. He woke up a bit but just enough to do the adds quietly. I wanted to be one of the first to do our course so we could get out of there. He went around super quiet without me having to pull much at all and I immediately jumped off before the metaphorical shoe dropped and he changed back to his normal self. Lol

For the show we did the 2’6” warm up, eq O/F, Intermediate Adult Medal, and the eq OTF. I still can’t believe it but I had schooling day Winifred again! During our schooling time there was around 20 horses in the ring and with jumps up it made it even tighter, the club house was packed and even had a young girl swinging her legs right at the window but Winn was on point!

Trainer and I decided to do the adds the whole day because the indoor is so small there would not be a lot of room in the turns to calm him down if he got too lit up. He was phenomenal. The only line in the warm up that I had to pull him was the diagonal coming home but we fit the add. The last jump was a long approach to a single and Lord help me but I still have been having spot issues and could not make a decision. I dropped my hands, leaned forward and we chipped a little. Could not have been that bad though cause the warm up was an open card for every one so I was being judged on eq against a lot more than those in my division and we took 6th out of 17. That is not bad for my first class in 2 and a half years!

We stayed in for our eq O/F class. Sadly, it was really just a hunter course though. Again we had to jump the long approach single but this time I nailed my spot. The last line was the diagonal home. It was set to be a 4 stride but since we were doing the add I needed to do 5 strides. I was asking for the 5 but Winn said NOPE I do a 4 now! We placed 6th out of 10.

Our medal class had an interesting turn to a skinny that I was concerned about but we totally nailed it! After the skinny was a roll back to an oxer and that rode great too then to the damn single vertical again! Why can’t I see a spot?????? This one ended with me almost going over his neck. Thank God he was a saint and did everything he could to safe me and safe me he did! I was so excited that while I was still on his neck I was shouting, “I didn’t fall off! I didn’t fall off!” I started to walk to my trainer until she yelled at me to finish my course. I was seriously so excited that I didn’t fall off that I forgot to finish! I am so pissed at myself for again dropping my hands and leaning in because every other jump was perfection in that course!!! A friend who watched all the rides said that I was likely 1st had I not did that. Another friend asked why I insist on trying to kill myself and called me the Embarrassment of the Barn for the day. I swear we really do like each other! Lol. There were only 3 in the class and we got 3rd.

Ending the day we had an eq on the flat. This had 8 riders which with the jumps made it a little tight. Winn was being a perfect gentlemen but we had to make a tight turn at the canter in a deep spot which caused him to trip and break right in front of the judge. I can’t be mad at him it was a complete fluke. We still placed 6th.

While I have had better placings at shows I am absolutely thrilled with how our 1st show went!! We ribboned in all of our classes and my confidence with Winifred has grown so much! Now I just need to get my eye back but I think that the trust I have him my boy now will help get that back in focus.

**Thank you Kristen from Stampy and the Brain for videoing my almost fall and to SK for videoing my other rounds!

Not so lazy Luther

I know that most of my blogs are about Winifred because he is my show pony but Luther has been incredible lately. I broke my winter of bareback and saddled him up a couple of weeks ago. He was doing great bareback but really I only started that because this winter was ungodly cold. He didn’t need to work too much in those frigid temperatures. While it is still cold here there were a couple of days where it “warmed up” so I saddled up and Hello FancyPants Luther!

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Why yes, I am a handsome beast!

Apparently his months of bareback was the time that he needed cause my old man feels great! He is never going to completely move out at the trot anymore but he has really been stepping up. I have even had to whoa him a lot at the canter. He is so much fun to ride when he is like this. Sure he threw in a couple bucks but none of them were his nasty bucks so I can’t be mad.

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Give me that whip mom, you don’t need that.

I have been wanting to take him over a few fences but I haven’t been lessoning on him and in our barn you cannot jump without trainer supervision (safety rule). On Tuesday  his owner came out and rode him during my lesson. I knew that he had been feeling good but it was so much fun to watch him go around. His owner even jumped! SQUEE!!!! He looked AMAZING!!! My old man even did lead changes even from his good lead to his bad lead!!! It was only back and forth across an X but man was I proud of him! Crazy how proud I am of a horse that isn’t mine watching someone else ride him. Lol

So at the beginning of this I said that Win was my show pony but mark my words I will be taking Luther in a flat class this summer. Not sure which Luther I will get but which ever it is we are going to have some fun!

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Horse AND puppy! I can’t stand the cuteness!

Finnley Friday

It has been a long day for baby Finn. As I have mentioned before he can be a bit naughty and today that had some major consequences.

He electrocuted himself. I am re-doing my home office so in the meantime my office is in my dining room. He chewed on the plug part of an extension cord for my monitor an docking station. I could hear him chewing but when he laid down next to me he had a bene bone he was chewing on so I didn’t even think about the cord.

He was shaking for a while but I am sure that was nerves too. His gums were grey and 2 of his teeth were black. I of coursed ran him to the ER immediately which was slow because of the massive amount of snow we got last night.

Vet couldn’t see any burns so that is good. She said the big fear is fluid in the lungs. She said it is usually immediate and she can’t hear anything but it can show up later so I need to make sure I monitor his breathing. She said that his tooth will die but the big concern is what it will do to the bone. Need to bring him back in 4 weeks to go under anesthesia to get full mouth x-rays. But if he is drooling, having a hard time eating, or his breath gets bad I need to bring him in right away. His neuro check was good. She said that it must not have been that bad since it didn’t leave a burn.  😢

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On a happier note earlier this week his beginner’s agility course came in this week and we worked on his tunnel.

Another brick added

Well I added another brick to my confidence wall last night. It was such a nice small lesson and since everyone else was just flatting it turned into a private jump lesson for me. Trainer put the jumps down small 1) for my self-esteem and 2) it was cold and there is no reason to jump big in this cold when you don’t need to.

We did the exact same start as we did on Saturday. Warm up trot X, then a warm up of trot X, roll back to cavaletti, roll back to another X, then long approach to a skinny oxer. The oxer was one of the jumps that I really had an issue with 2nd guessing myself over. This time was much better. Next was our hunter course. Did the steps on the outside line to the long approach to a single vertical on the diagonal. He got a little spunky after that one so I circled before going to the outside line which was a 3 stride. I felt that rode nice then on to the diagonal that I flubbed on the lesson before. We jumped in and I wanted to do the add since I failed on it last time. We got the add but let me tell you it was not pretty! I failed to start to ask for it until our 3rd stride and given that it was set up as a 4 stride it was a little late to ask for it and have it fit nicely but he did listen and fit it in. As ugly as it was it reminded me that this horse does listen to me! Well he listens to me when I ride correctly. Since we flubbed trainer made us canter around and do it again. This time I asked right away and *wala* 5 fit perfect. Next we did an equitation course of X, roll back to other outside which was now a vertical, to the cavaletti, broken line to oxer, then broken line of the skinny oxer to the single vertical on the diagonal. Thanks to Kristen from Stampy and the Brain I have this on video, unfortunately, Maestro wanted to help video so I am out of the frame a little but I am still grateful for the media. Anytime I watch our videos it amazing me how little you can tell how hard he is pulling. Lol. Again the jumps were some but it is what I needed. I felt like myself again making the choices of where we take off and the pace I wanted. I also need to remember to breathe and talk to him. He really does seem to do much better when I talk to him.

I really needed this since I am out of town for work next week this was the last time I get to jump before our first show! The jumps will be a lot bigger but I feel like we can do this! I stated to get that fun feeling again.

Side note: You can see my baby Luther a little in the video. His owner rides him once a week and it is usually during my lesson. I just LOVE seeing him go around and how happy he has been lately. I need to do a whole post just on him soon!

Building

Is there Perfect Prep for people? A few years ago I started wine and cheese before my Tuesday night lesson. It was a lot of fun where those of us in the 7pm lesson would get together at 6pm to watch the 5:30 lesson, eat cheese, and drink wine before we had to go saddle up. Trainer said that we were all a bit more relaxed and rode better. It fizzled out as the weather got warmer and lessons moved outside. I am thinking maybe I need to bring this back. Perhaps wine was my Perfect Prep. Lol

I had a jump lesson on Saturday and jumping started off still shaky. The X trot warm up was fine. I hate trot fences but it was alright. Next it was a trot X, roll back to a cavaletti, roll back to another X, then long approach to a skinny oxer. The first roll back we missed our hind change because I was so concerned about not letting him get fast that 1. I was not asking for it and 2. I didn’t let him move out enough to get the change even if I was asking for it! Then as we approached the oxer I knew my spot but then right before hand I waivered. Trainer not only saw it in my riding but knew from my face that was 2nd guessing my instincts. I took us to a corner and had a long internal talk.

I reminded myself that Winifred and I are a team and the only reason that we are flubbing is because I was not trusting in him or myself anymore. I needed remember that he and I have fun together.

Time for our first course. Trainer suggested that for my mental state to do the adds. Outside line was great, long approach to a single on the diagonal was great, other outside line was perfect, then the diagonal on the way home…. It was a 4 stride so I wanted to do 5. Mental counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 but actually was 1, 2, 3, 4, take off! I was left so far behind! Win is such a good sport he was fine about it. Here is the issue, if I want an add I actually have to ask for an ad! Noble concept. LOL. He was being perfect and in my head I wanted to do the add but I literally did nothing to TELL him that I wanted the add. The 4 was PERFECT but since I planned on the 5 trainer made me canter around and do the 5. He was SUCH a good boy!! I am pretty sure the second we landed is when I yelled “I’m done!” I was so happy and feeling so much better about us being in stride together that I wanted to end on a good note.

I am so fortunate to have such an incredible barn family who is so supportive of each other. After my lesson I had a great talk with LT about different relaxation techniques. She suggested visualization which is to basically remember a time when we were on our game the best. For me that was the clinic. We definitely had some misses in the clinic like dropping strides but I left the clinic feeling on top of the world because I was able to make him do what we needed and it was so much FUN. And neither of us had Perfect Prep. Lol

I have another jump lesson with him tonight so I can continue to build my confidence. Wish me luck!

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Omg did someone say she is jumping me again tonight?!?