Monday, May 25, 2009

Blue Ribbon Style

We survived our first horse show. Whew! We walked away with a blue ribbon and 68+% in our first ever dressage test. Yahhh B! We received 66% in our second test and third place. Yahhhh B! Sorry, is that getting annoying yet?So, B rocked it out in Training Level 1 and 2. Now, for the gritty details.

My ever-supportive husband and I arrived at the farm around 6:30am to get ready for the day's adventures. B was still out in the field after a long night of grazing, so we quickly brought him in for some last minute primping. Lucky for me he chose not to roll and was therefore as shiny as I had left him the night before. Yahhh B! Ha ha...sorry...I digress. I gave us a solid 45 minutes to load, as this is not B's strong suit. Plus, I hadn't loaded him since our last outing in March. I was perfectly willing to accept his possible refusal, but, once again, lucky for me, B climbed on up within the alloted time. Off to the show! 

We arrived at the farm 15 minutes later ready to rock. Woot! We soon learned that the farm where we were showing was in a low lying area that 8 gazillion nats had made their home. Within the first minute, one flew in my ear. In my ear. After dropping the F-bomb one hundred times the little bugger flew out. Ok, ouch. Meanwhile, I was walking B around the show ring. He was uppity-up once in awhile, but overall he just wanted to make friends and graze. Longeing proved difficult as we had to attempt it on grass. Mission aborted. 

By the time I had given up on longeing I realized that it was 9:25am. We showed at 9:44am. Oops. We ended up doing some trot diagonals, a couple circles and one quick canter each way. By the end of that warm-up I was seriously wondering why I couldn't just be doing Intro. I heart walk/trot. Here goes nothing...

In classic first show style, B and I walked up to the judges box and the scribe shuffled a bunch of papers. Yee haw! To the middle of the ring in one swoop. The judge thankfully told the scribe to put her papers away. Awww 4 year olds. After a brief jaunt around the ring, the whistle blew. I'm not going to give you the complete blow by blow as I don't want to bore you completely to tears. In summary, it was a blast. :0) I have never had so much fun showing in my life. We boogied around that ring and I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. It was another "first ride on a pony" moment.

Our second test was more contained, so it felt better to me, but, as a result, wasn't as brilliant to the judge's eye. Fair enough. Our only snafu was when two people on dirt bikes decided to be a little bit evil and rev their engines right behind the ring (which was maybe 10 feet from the road). B jumped in the air, but then came right back to me. I definitely didn't blame him for that one.

Both of my tests are up on my you tube channel. You can access them on this page directly or go to my channel: The tests aren't exactly polished and perfect, but I think it was a delightful first outing. 

I can put a big check mark beside another rite of passage in this Baby's career. Yahhh B!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Unexpected Vacation

Ahhhh! It has been way too long since my last post. My apologies. I have decent excuses though. Just quickly, I went to Canada and it was fabulous-great weather and many long nights spent with friends and family. But, alas, I ended up catching the Flu on my journey. This bugger knocked me out for two days of my first week of work at a new job and out of riding B for five days. Five days..?! Can you believe that? So B pretty much enjoyed a two week vacation. He looked so sad when I was finally able to visit him on Sunday. Oh ya, and this past Saturday when I was finally feeling better I was bitten by some alien bug that landed me in the urgent care center. I'm now armed with an Epi pen and the knowledge that when your lips start swelling maybe you shouldn't ride that third horse. Whoops.

Anyway, I was able to take my weekly lesson on Monday but my other allergies began acting up. Here's my old lady tales of woe...I get fluid in my ears so bad it gives me vertigo. After not riding for five days nothing was stopping me. I warned my coach and she was sensible enough to remind me to take it easy and we only did walk/trot work. B was a fabulous little solider as he carted his discheveld mother around the ring. Guess what? We're going in a show this weekend. ha ha...ya seriously. It's only a schooling show and even if we have to scratch our classes and just walk around I know it will be good for him.

I'm feeling much better and was able to get back into the normal routine tonight. It was lovely out and since I now get to the barn by 4pm we were able to workout outside. We were both a touch uncoordinated, which was probably cute to watch in a sad kind of way. he he. I took him out for a walk in the front field afterward and just enjoyed the ride. 

I think I have taught B a trick that hopefully will come in handy at horse shows. Remember one of my last posts where I talked about B having to pee really badly during the entire ride? Man, this is a sexy blog...ouch...meh. Ever since that day he has peed after every single ride before getting back into the barn. Today we were walking in the big field and he stopped and peed while I was on him. Of course he received uberpraise and a mint, as always. By george I think he's got it! If I ever doubted that I have a horse that wants nothing more in the world than to please this proves it. He even pees for praise. How adorably cute is that? I heart my pony. :0) 

Sunday, May 10, 2009

When Paper Attacks

I arrived past the Mason Dixon line around 4 pm on Friday. First stop? You guessed it-to see Mr.B! Armed with fresh stud muffins, 5 pounds of english mints and maple leaf embroidered polos, my husband and I walked around the corner to see B's sleepy face in the corner of his stall. "B!" He immediately nickered back. I gave him a molassasy muffin and all the "you neglected me for a week" bitterness melted away. Apart from a bit of mud he looked fantastic. The cut on his fetlock had healed up completely and he had his slight belly back. Yahhh B! Wearing flats and jeans I was not quite up to riding, but I gave him many guilt-ridden carrots, mints and apples.

After a long, but enjoyable, day of teaching at my other farm I was only able to muster up enough energy to groom B on Saturday. When you think of the square footage on a 18.2 hand horse it's practically like cleaning a studio apartment. With that, he once again received his bucket full of treats, a kiss on the nose and was tucked back into bed.

Sunday was our first ride post va-k. My trainer said he had been really good for his in-hand work during the week so that made me smile. As I brought him in from the field I knew he definitely needed to get back into his normal routine. I forgot to mention that yesterday while I was grooming him it was crazy windy. I had him on the cross-ties with the lead rope around his neck while blankets were rustling and dust flying. I thought, well we're going to be at a horse show one day and it's going to be crazy windy so he might as well get used to it, right? Wrong. ha. Actually, he did pretty well until this giant, horse-eating monster came to attack him. That was B's version. In reality, a fluorescent-green piece of paper escaped from whence it came and blew right toward B. I didn't notice until B's eyes grew as big as saucers. I tried the useless, whoa but he proceeded to back up at warp-speed and break the cross ties just to cower in the corner by his stall while the paper blew by. I heart babies. The rest of the grooming session was cross-tie less. He stood still all by himself in the whirling wind. Good pony.

Back to Sunday. B certainly had a quality "edge" on him. There was no lowering of the head on the cross-ties and the usual ear rub seemed only a nuisance to him today. Fine. He ended up being a pretty good solider in the arena although one end of the arena was totally off limits for the first 10 minutes. I did my best to use his excess of energy for good instead of evil. We did our usual exercises and had a soft, uphill canter at the end. Once back on the cross ties, B was back to his usual self: back leg cocked with sleepy eyes. 

Entries are due on Friday for our first schooling show, which happens on May 23. I'd better start memorizing my tests now...I've heard there's more than one circle in Intro B. ;0)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back to the Mother Land

I have to get packing for my trip to Canada, but I wanted to write a quick note first. B was super fantastical at the Manolo clinic. I posted a short video of some of the highlights. You should be able to click on it to your right. I'll expand more when I get back from Canadeeeaaa. 

B will be in good hands, as my trainer will be keeping him in work. She promised to give him a couple extra carrots on Thursday. Why you ask? My little boy is turning 4. Awwwwwww. It seems like only yesterday that I saw his timid 2-year-old head peaking around the corner in Wisconsin. They grow up so fast. ;0)