Thursday, July 30, 2015

Launching

Per usual with my posting lately, this is a little bhind, but better late than never amirite?

Amy from Slow & Steady has essentially adopted me as a 4th child and puts up with me begging her to ride with me every weekend. Generally, this consists of me hauling to her house and using her land and her jumps and her time, so lets all praise Amy for a moment on her wonderfullness!

She even videos for me.

Such love. Many thanks. Very friend.



So last Saturday we hauled over to jump, now almost a week ago.

I only think of this song when anyone says "about a week ago"
B has been LOVELY to trailer lately and I'm not going to say "it" for fear of jinxing us, but its going well. We are keeping it under 5 minutes now and he is stepping off like a gentleman. So proud I could cry. My jaw still drops everytime he steps on up like a grown ass horse.

Having not jumped in a while we started off low, but he felt great, really in sync with me and moving forward and back when I asked in each gait.

Shiny OTTB
Sidenote really quick- you'll notice that girth is black. That is not mine. I lost my girths somehow. Yes, lost. I haven't found them since the show and I have zero clue where they could be. How did they get displaced from my other tack? Did someone steal them? Where did they go? Do they miss me? These are questions I ask.

Little upsetting considering my dressage girth was a TSF and they are NOT cheap, and I have no girth for my non-mono-flap saddles and my monoflap jump doesn't fit him. So I've been using my shitty spare dressage girth and dressage saddle to ride this week, but yeah, girths nowhere to be found and I'm fucking annoyed because I just bought Piper breeches as a treat to myself and now I have to replace TWO girths unexpectedly & the moneypit only can give so much. Fuck!

Anyways, he was great. I'm STILL, yes still, learning to ride his very awkward jump style and we are still learning how to jump together. Since we've only done it about a dozen times, I'm not too upset that we still look awkward AF together. A saddle that literally hasn't fit me for years does not assist.

Seriously what is happening all over in here
So we popped over a 3 jump course, switching up the turns and raising form x-rails to low verticals. Bacardi was doing really well. He refused a certain x-rail a few times which is always baffling to me, but whatever. He was being super honest for the most part.

This one, to be exact, when it was a X-rail


Mostly, I was just working on figuring him out. I noticed he prefers a forward ride. Leg on, sit down and push. I tried sitting there and letting him figure it out, I tried holding him back...and we got some real awkward distances...

What are horse doing?
OKay, shove hands shove hands stay out of face, whatever it is
This is awkward


I mean, he looks kinda good actually, minus the fact he took off ten bajillion feet away and he skimming over the jump with zero bascule.

Literally the flattest jumper on earth until you raise the fences to 3ft then he's like "oh, okay, I'll try now"

After a while, playing around with our course and raising the fences, I discovered he jumps best when we take the longer (not longEST) spot and I stay on the aids.

Typical OTTB really.

Yankee is the exact same way. But he jumps "smaller" if that makes sense.

How a flat jumper cracks his back SO much I will never know but he tosses me so often its dumb.

I wonder if I will ever look good on him.



Its fine. We're fine. Just two discombobulated try hards working towards....? Betterness. Yes. Be better.

I just got a promotion at work, so MAYBE I can afford to get a new saddle soon. Fingers crossed I can work out a deal with the Voltaire reps I spoke with at Rolex.  I've always considered the horse first and how the tack fits them before me, but seriously this saddle is 7 years too small for me. My femurs are just too long and my ass does not fit a 16.5. At some point its gotta give and its obviously affecting how I ride him and our growth together.

Completely justified purchase right?

Sadly, not made of money and the saddle it too sentimental to sell/wouldn't fetch much anyways.


Overall, a GREAT learning experience. We are going back this Saturday, obviously, because BFFridingbuddiesforever, & work on some gridwork hopefully to get his shoulders up a bit and that weight back on his haunches.

Sometimes we look great all around
Bonus Corgi

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Champagne Run: Bacardi

I don't know how some of you do this. I really don't.

The only time I ever blogged was when I didn't have time to ride, and now that I'm riding all the time (yay) I never blog.

I only have so much time in the day. HOW DO YOU GUYS DO THIS.

The show for Bacardi was interesting. I went into it with  avery open mind, knowing hes never been off property before this.

He led me into a false sense of security when he stepped off the trailer like a champ (this has been an issue, as well as loading) and settled right into his stall. Like, right in.


Give me cookiez
Yankee was notoriously not great at shows for years. Even back at the stalls, he wouldn't eat or drink and still goes off his feed a little when traveling. But Bacardi settled right in and ate like a racehorse (harhar) and even proved he can be left alone with a stall guard (looking at YOU Yankee, you trouble maker).

You'll note I said false sense of security, because I decided since we had nothing but time on Friday, why not head down to the dressage rings for a little hack-about. I tacked him up and down we went. If you're not familiar with the KYHP, this requires a long walk to the dressage rings from stabling, through other stables and past turnout for the KYHP horses, then down a little hill to the rings.



At first, he was wonderful, and I was like "FUCK YEAH my OTTB is not insane. I knew there was a reason I bought him, score score win win I win na na nananaananaaaa!"

There were probably about 35 horses between 6 rings and hardly any competing at the time. Good, gooood. I chose the ring farthest from anyone and decided to do a little trotwork. He was slightly tense, but otherwise gave me a really nice effort. There was a big grey schooling at the other end, but no one else.

Then it was like everyone at the show decided to come down to school all at once and suddenly there were 20 people in the ring. He was keeping his cool until someone blazed past us at the canter from behind and Bacardi lost his fucking mind. I don't blame him, ex-racehorse and all, but I mean truly list his mind. Like it fell out of his head.



For the next 15 minutes, I shit you not, he just backed up. Would not go forward. It was super fun, being THAT girl at the show. I was literally just sitting there. Doing nothing, and he was having a meltdown, just backing up and up and up.

I hope someone gets this
I was pretty sure the stewards were fixin' to ask me to leave. I kept getting "the glance". Mind you this is a HUGE area and there are like 6 arenas and I'm nowhere near the competition rings. I was like "way ahead of ya champ, but I can't seem to right this horse".

Eventually I was able to steer him, ass end first, towards the top of the rings and away from everyone and thought it woudl be a good idea to get off and let him just look at it and soak it all in.

Wrong.

So wrong.

The most wrong.

We ended up dancing around the bit check tent for another 20 min while he attempted to murder me with his feet. I was furious. This fucking horse knows ground manners, I literally drill them everyday into my animals or this reason, but he was completely ignoring all human attempts to ask him to please behave. All I wanted was for him to stand still for 4 fucking seconds and then we would walk to the barns.

It didnt really happen and I gave up and led a sweating, dancing, half rearing horse back to the barns.

Cool.

As I untacked and hosed him off (of course he was completely calm for this) I thought back to Aimee's post about why she doesn't event. I thought long and hard. Like, do I REALLY like this anymore? I had already sent one horse away to be ridden because I was too chicken shit to ride him myself...Do I really want to continue to be "that" girl at the show with the almost dangerous insane horse, while trying to do dressage tests with a horse that won't even go forward, and continuously fail and be in last place and hate every second?

No. No I do not.

There is much thinking to do. I know this was his FIRST time, I just don't know if I have the patience to do this again for years on end and throw away money at shows we will continuously fail doing. I appreciate money and how expensive the damn entry fees are, a lot more now that I spend 10 hours a day doing my commute/work adult thing instead of flaunting my tits over a bar and making $300/night.

I almost miss bartending.

I just can't commit to that level of intensity anymore. We might be better suited for jumpers where you get more chances, and ribbons and you don't have to be perfectly calm and on point every second to compete.

Anyways, I was a little dejected after that but still hopped on him 3 more times that weekend and led him around the grounds more than I care to do ever again. I rode alone usually, at a ring near the stadium jumping, but not too close. He could just see the commotion.

And he was brilliant.




Okay so what the fuck.



Like truly wonderful.

Loose rein, OK



S/O to my friend with the camera!
I even walked him up and down the path nearest to the stadium and he was unfazed. So, he hates dressage and is fine with jumping. Cool, sounds like most of us.



Mind you, the weather was HORRENDOUS the entire weekend. CRAZY storms and unrelenting rain. XC schooling got cancelled so we packed up early Sunday instead of staying and he got in the trailer in under 2 minutes. YES TWO minutes. I almost peed.

Absolute fav

Person, do you have food? (my mother)
All in all, a GREAT experience. Just not sure how this will pan out. August and September have a schooling show every weekend & I might try to hit up a few before summer slips away. Hes been stunning at home the last 2 weeks. Completely brilliant. I want to try our hand at eventing, but if he's going to be better suited as a jumper, so be it!




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