Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Suing Quietex

Yep, yesterday was AWFUL.

I'm not posting the video because the boyfriend and others are sitting around bad mouthing said barn owner who kicked me out who  owed me $125.....and it was F****** horrid. Like, worst test ever. We got a 47 in USDF dressage with about as many 3's as fingers I have on my hands.

I wasn't even going to ride since Yanks got eaten alive over the past couple days and has massive bug bites and sores on his back and I didn't even want to try, but I did anyways...prolly shouldn't have and I feel bad now.

Anyways, it was 77 degrees as I headed out to the show at 11am ( I ended up not going with Ayla, and slept in after working 13 hours :)) and felt glorious! The boy was with me and I couldn't be happier! 

Then it started raining...Yankee was kicking the trailer to death (which he never does), I couldn't find a reader (since I didn't memorize my tests because of so much working and schoolwork-my bad) and I was soaked to the core.

Our warm-up went reallllly well, considering all things. I was trying to avoid she who must not be named and the group, but it was difficult in the warm-up, ha.  He was only a tiny stiff feeling and tense, but I went into the test anyways. 

The instant we walked out in to the rain, he tensed way up and started doing this weird rear/prancy thing. And basically didnt stop throughout the whole test. He was sucked under the bit, so I had nothing in my hands and no amount of push would make him come forward into my hands, he squealed and bucked about every 5 strides, and was blowing through my leg aids liek crazy. We were a hot mess and I'm sure the judge felt a little unsafe, like the crazier TB in him would explode out and attempt to take us all down with his mighty galloping. It was bad.

I figured it was all too much for him and along with the bugbites, I decided to not do my second test. As I was on my way to find my team and tell them, I heard people yelling, "LOOSE HORSE!!"....then...I heard people yelling MY name....awesome.

My horse galloped about for the good part of ten minutes, elusively dodging his captors. Jerkface!

Yes. I was THAT person at a show. 

That was my final final decision not to finish showing. The team ended up with a bronze medal, but I definetly did not help that at all.

It was not an awesome day.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

MMM YEAH leg yeilds!

HA. Sorry about the sideway ness...just...turn your head for 17 seconds. Or one whole minute of you want to see and UBER fail!

So today Ayla and I were goiiiing to haul to Fox Run to school in the dressage rings since a) I've never ridden in a standard arena and b) neither of us have practiced out tests. Yeah none of that happened...blame it on the heat was 102 at 6:30 and we said NOPE and put it off till about 7:45.
Yankee and his wonderful trot today :) He was SO relaxed and willing!

We walked to her neighbors arena and practiced some of the movements for our tests. I am riding First Level tes 2 &3 and I havn't practiced leg yeilds in ages. HE WAS SO GOOD! Despite the video...
Ayla and her mare, Fancy

I had ridden for almost 45 minutes at the point of the video and he was getting rather tired of doing sideways stuff, haha. Wish you could have seen it when he was on, though. I think 4 days off did my pony some good!

I still have NO IDEA where the letters are in a standard ring, but we are going to attempt the tests tomorrow in the same neighbors ring with no will be interesting. Add to that that I have to get up at 6 to ride, feed and muck then be at work by 9a.m. and work ALL THE WAY TILL close at 11:30 PM! GAH! THEN, wait...wait.... get up saturday at 4:30a.m. to make it to the show grounds by 6 since Ayla rides at 7...wait around all day for my turns at 1:30 and 3:30....OMG I will be so tired.

In other good news though, finished up summer school today! 2 more assignments and I am HOME FREEEE...for two weeks. Wawh wawh waaawwhhhhah.

In some bad news.....I need a horse sitter! I am going to Ohio to visit the family for a few days and Ayla is going to be gone then as well and...I need a horse sitter... one thing after another huh?

Early day tomorrow. Peace lovers

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weensy Update

Normally I'd leave a show post up a few more days since I am a comment whore, but I think 12 is sufficient :P

Just a wee bit of an update for ya'll...

Yankee isn't too happy at the new barn. I'm hoping he will adjust, but I am still on the prowl for another barn that has an arena and an indoor. He whinnies and paces every night when all the horses go in their respective pastures and rarely finishes his PM grain. Plus there is no arena or place to ride in general. Few and far between my friends.

One that is here in Como is a dressage barn, but the wait list is MONTHs long and since we only plan on living on Como 10 more Plus its super expensive...

Hopefully the one I am calling today has room. I visited there before and it was quite nice for the price. :)

I work 46 this week and the OT pay will be super nice!

I went to pay Yankee's outrageous surprise vet bill and I asked if I could only pay half..she said yes and was even MORE kind by waiving the late fee on the other half if I pay it by the end of August...very do-able!

After this Saturday (USDF Region 4 team champs) I am done showing for at least a month, and he will get some relaxation time. Maybe only 1-2 days a week hacking out.

I'd like to do 1 more show midway September, but we will see of I can afford that!

ALSO, check out my friend Nancy's blog. She has a saddlebred and just recently started eventing him. They are awesome and he is the most eventing-est SB I've ever seen! Follow her!

Off to cower in my AC apartment since the heat will melt you. SO SICK OF SUMMER.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Horse People Are Batshit CRAZY.

...We all know its true, right? Shall I name the ways? WELL, I will get to that in a minute.

This might be a long post, but I PROMISE it will be a juicy read.

As you all know, (hopefully) the show was a 3-day, and I was gone for 4
 days in Illinois for Hunter Oaks.

We (Nancy and I) left Thursday with the 3 horses in tow and all their crap. I was a BIT worried, since my trailer alone weighs 3, 3 horses, 5 bales of hay and 100lbs of grain and ALL our tack and suitcases....yeah thats a LOT of stuff. The truck was a trooper though, and got better gas mileage than it ever has before on the 260 mile trip (14MPG-wow!). The drive really sucked, since it was blazing hot and the truck has no AC....but we made it in one peice.

As we unloaded without mishap, I was looking around thinking how happy I was to be here and leave ALL my worries behind for the weekend. The grounds were beautiful, the truck drove great and all the horses arrived in great shape despite the heat. happened. It seemed my life ended. I got a text from (name removed), the owner of W_______ and the barn I boarded and worked at. Her text read something like this, "Hi, you need to do EVERY waterer every time! One at 63 did not get cleaned. At this point I need you to take your horse and leave and not come back. I will get people to cover your remaining shifts. Thanks"....


I was completly STUNNED and shaken. What in the world did I do? Right, I missed ONE waterer, which someone does on a regular basis every week. ONE! I had no warning...she never said a word to me about displeasure of any kind...I tried my hardest to keep y corner clean, do my shifts well and even go above and beyond my duties almost everytime. Even when I didn't have a shift, I did work at the barn. I was flattened. I sat down and cried for about 10 minutes. I LOVED that barn...the horses, the boarders, the trainer, the arenas and the area. I had NOWHERE to go. I was at a show for crying out loud and not allowed to return. I had exactly 3 days to find a place, in a city where hardly any eventers reside.

After my 10 minutes of sobbing, I stood up, wiped my eyes and mass texted everyone I knew an SOS. Most people just wondered WTF and asked what happened, of which I honestly had NO IDEA. I texted her back, asking for an explanation, but she did not. This had to be something else besides a waterer, but I could not figure out what...

This could not be happening. Not only did I almost get fired from my main job, but I just got fired AND kicked out and now my horse was  homeless. I had a major problem...I am poor. She let me work off board...what now? I cannot explain to you how distraught I was...

WELL, my sweet angel of a friend texted back letting me know we were welcome to stay at her place, even though she has no indoor, for a reasonable price. I was SO relieved....I cried again, ha. What a way to start this weekend off.

Anyways, after that crazy-ness, I hopped on Yankee around 8pm to do some schooling around the dressage rings. He was HORRID and I was having a difficult time holding my shit together. I gave up at dark and just prayed he'd come through for me.

Friday, Dressage Day, dawned early, and after the worst night of my life (not going into that here) and 3 hours of sleep, I crawled to the barn. I rode at 9:47, so I prepped early.

Our warm-up was freaking horrible, again. He was SUPER calm for the first 30 minutes and I was really happy. No bucking, crookedness or head tossing. So I let him rest and watched a few tests. with 2 in front of me, I woke him back up and attempted a, HELLO! NEW horse here under me now. The MOST crooked, teeth chomping, bucking, retarded, psycho, squealing horse I've ever sat on. I was crying again as I dreaded our test. Well won;t be doing THAT again will we?

As I headed to the ring, Yankee refused to relax and stop walking crooked and I was seriously about to withdraw. Instead, the INSTANT (again!-rem. MCPC) I walked by the judge, he dropped his head, relaxed his back and chewed softly at the bit. Um, ok?

And he gave me this...
The best dressage test to record for us :) I know he was a titch stiff on the first turns, and he tripped badly twice in a row but the ring was holey (wtf is up with holey rings in the midwest area). Otherwise, he was absolutly PERFECT. Perfect people...for him. I have NEVER had him be as relaxed and willing as he was in this show AND (drumroll please!) we got a NINE on our free walk! A 9!!!

Mostly, we got 7's and 8's but for good reason, a 5 on our halt (how many times did he move? lol) and our first movement a 5, since it sucked bad.

I was high as a kite on the way back, and he starting playing the second we left the ring but I didnt care...that was SO good for my psycho OTTB. I didn't care what score or placing we were in, I was just excited we had ONE good test, for once!

We ended up with a 34, to put us in 10th out of a field of 21. The leader had a 30, so competition was tight. If I had been in the other division, I would have been first, which sucked a little, but I was STILL happy nonetheless. I was excited, going into XC, since Novice is cake for Yanks.

XC Day was hot as hell.

I rode at 11am and by then it was already like 97 (H.I. of over 100) and I was concerned about my horse. The course was tough for Novice but I wasn't worried since he has gone training so many times. I had mom at the start box sponging and scraping him and it was working. He was feeling fresh.

TOO fresh....I was SO tired after our warm-up and was feeling faint. I had been drinking gallons (literally) of water all weekend but you can't fight heat, sun and humidity with a stuffy vest and a crazy horse that won't listen to half halts.

He basically bolted with me for the 1st half of the course, and I was struggling to remain in the tack. Beginnings if heat stroke. He was SO fast, by the time we got to the halfway point, it had only been 1:23 seconds....WOW. SLowing down needed immediately!

I slowed to a walk between fence 11 and 12a/b and since it was so long of a walk (2 minutes) Yankee got his wind back while I was still struggling to not pass out and die...

When I told him to canter again, he basically grabbed the bit and took EVERY OUNCE of my energy to bring him back to a nice Novice canter, but it took a major toll. By then I was barely hanging on....I couldn't breathe...

....He took the half coffin no big, but I don't remember him jumping it. We came up to fence 13, a BABY coop, but half hidden in trees. OH and so were the jump judges. he spooked at them bad, and refused the fence, but by the time he did that, I hadn't even noticed. He was cantering off to the left and I was like "ohh....he...refused, shit"....he went over it the second time just fine but I don't remember that either...

....the last 4 fences I 100% do not recall and we galloped across the finish with me hanging onto his neck. The only way I did not fall out of the saddle was by grabbing his breastplate, but I still fell on my butt while * gracefully * dismounting. The Medics were on me like dogs to a cheeseburger and mom took Yankee and began the intense cooling process. (She dumped buckets, scraped, walked, let him sip ...repeat. He worked himself into a tizzy trying to run off with me, but cooled down 100% in about 15 minutes.) It took me about 3 hours to just stand without was rough...

I knew I was sensitive to heat, but NEVER did I think I would come so close to passing out on a Novice XC. Guess the heat will do that to you.

With the refusal, we dropped from 10th to 18th, the bottom of the division. I was a sadpanda again.

Stadium day....what a day.

I was still very upset with  how the heat affected me, and how I let Yanks down. I simply did not ride the last 6 fences, and we in turn put in a poor performance.

I got to the barn early, again. Plus I wanted to watch the Intermediate and Prelim go.

The sky looked scary, but they started SJ on schedule at 8 a.m.

FOUR horses went before this warlock blew in and scared everyone back to the barns...
Is that not the scariest thing ever???????? That is literally how dark it was outside. I was scared shitless.

At approx. 8:10a.m., people scurried to get horses inside, tack, hay, chairs..everything.

Then, the wind blew like a hurricane and the sky opened up. I have videos, but have yet to upload them. It was insanity. It rained for an hour straight, and we were getting bored, cold and wet huddled in the barns. Beginning to wonder when they were going to call the show. 

By 10a.m., two hours after the rain started, they called a meeting for all competitors. they explained that from the footing expert and vet reccomendations, continuing would be a bad idea. Um, DUH!?

WHO STILL wanted to ride in that footing? I for sure was ready to go and not even risk riding outside on that ring. But Prelim people and others were relentless. WTF!? You seriously want to put your horse and yourself in danger, JUST to qualify for the AEC's? I mean, sorry, but there will always be more AEC's, sucks, but it'd suck worse if your horse fell out there on you and broke itself or you, for good. IDIOTS.

The TD still decided to give it 2 more hours and then decide.

Many people left.

We stayed, since Abby was in 1st place and wanted to see what was going to happen...

3 hours later, the rain stopped its pounding, and the organizers had set up a makeshift, but legal SJ course inside in the tiniest indoor ring I have ever laid my eyes on.

OK, since we were here, why the hell not?

Insert rushing to get dressed, tacking up and convincing bewildered horse that we were indeed riding today.

It was kind of funny in retrospect, and I'm sure he was the most confused. 

Divisions went fast, and it took only 30 minutes for my division to go. We had no warm-up and got to glance at the course before going. Since I was only Novice, I was not concerned about no-warm-up (injury wise) since I had trotted and walked him for 30 minutes on the driveway. I was however, concerened about remembering the course, and getting him to turn that tight!!

He ended up going clean!! He was a STAR! Turned on a dime, came back and extended when I asked and I was super duper happy!!!!!!!

What a ridiculous weekend.

Oh wait, doesn't stop there.

SInce we got about 7 inches of rain in 5 hours, you can only imagine what the grounds looked like. I will help you imagine...

Beautiful isn't it? Actually, no. Since I had to get my rig out of that. It refused. So I had to get pulled out by a massive was a ridiculous sight. After ALLLLLL that this weekend, the mud...was just....funny. All I could do was take it in stride and laugh my ass off.
watch a video of the mud!

Overall, we ended up 5th out of 21 starters. Tons of people that stayed had issues with the SJ since it was indoors, but Yanks pulled it off! 

My pretty ribbon is the pink one next to our Queen park 8th. I've won all this this year :)

So....I've come to the conclusion...that who else would drive over 200 miles, spend over $600, sleep in no AC for a night (Thursday), put up with the heat, the braiding, the horse, the rain, the mud, the heat strokes...

...Only horse people. Because we are batshit crazy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


WHOAH. Got my paper written...but I didn't have time to do one assignment...whats 15 points? HA. Hopefully the hotel has internet....

Anyways, quickie here...headed out to Illinois in the blazing heat for Hunter Oaks. Coats waved all weekend!

Dressage at 9 something tomorrow

XC at 10 something Saturday

and Sunday is stadium

ugggggghhhh I HATE Yankee having to be in a stall with no turnout for 4 days... sadponyface.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Procrastinating is Easy

I look at horses for sale... with my woggie dog True Blood the boyfriend play World of Warcraft

...think about how I can make my horse gain weight without adding MORE grain (he already gets 1 1/2 scoops at every feeding)...

I wants him to look like this...fat and black...

...check off my to-do lists for the weekend (always fun for me actually)

...Play World of Warcraft (funnest most time consuming game ever)

...let you all know what I am doing...since I am sure you care SO much

...repeatedly re-check facebook for NO reason whatsoever..

...occasionally half heartedly find articles for my paper...and THINK about what I want to write then tell myself tomorrow is a brand new day...think of what I can accomplish! But th
en I realize I told myself that yesterday...however, I did finish both assignments (took like 2 hours), now I just have my 2 papers to write....

Daydream about this....

...look up the weather for Bloomington this weekend (crappy in case you were wondering-highs of 94, thunderstorms all weekend) music videos....check out Grayson Chance...adorable AND better than the Biebs dinner...




...figure out my ride times...9:56 Friday for Dressage....10:27 Saturday for XC...much better than the other 2 girls with me..

...ok. I MIGHT go finish my paper now. But I will prolly leave it for last minute tomorrow. HA. I'm pretty excellent at stalling.


I haven't jumped my horse since July 3...

Horse trials this weekend...

Leaving Thursday now, not friday...

2 papers and 2 assignments, 2 shifts of work yet...

oil change needed in the truck...

115 heat index....

I  might esplodsies.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Due Dates and Horse Shows

WOW. I am absurdly horrid at due dates apparently.

In the past week I have missed the due date for 1 paper, 1 exam and completely F'ed up this weekends event...

...yeah I assumed the show would just be Saturday and Sunday like EVERY SINGLE EVENT I HAVE EVER attended in the past 7 years. Nope. It is a 3 day event. Dressage Friday, XC Saturday and Stadium Sunday. Meaning I need to leave Thursday. Meaning I need to convince my boss to give me that day off too...meaning she will be pissed because I've RO'ed like...12 days this month already...ooops. and then I bitch about not getting hours on the days I CAN be at work. hmms.

I need to actually WRITE dates down and actually READ what I write in my planner...gah!
So, the Hunter show(s).

Hotness. Sweatiness. Tropers. Late nights. Wild children. Caramel Apples. Half gallon mugs. Horse sweat. Motorcross. More sweat.

For those who want to read further...enter...

Since my mind is SO scrabbled..I can't remember the days I showed so it'll be days 1-3.

Day 1 was hot and muggy. per usual in Missouri. But extra hot since I had to be outside in my breeches and tall boots. The shows start at 7 though, which is nice for the heat, but bad for pictures.

Yankee remembered the show grounds from the hunter/speed show last weekend, so he was pretty chill...even if he did look (gasp) kinda coat ugly and not shiny at all. Thanks sun.

Whatever mom.

Tracy and her mom had most of the rides that day on their mares (L-R) Billy and Grace. They showed quite a bit and did quite well! Tracy is your typical hunter/western rider. She enters everything and wins or places well in pretty much everything!

Tracy and her Momma

Yanks and I only had 2 classes so we chilled a TON. He was MUCH better on the show grounds and it was HELLA busy. It was fair week so motorcross was going on (LOUD) and tons of bratty kids were running about and lotso peeps were watching. He really could care less about them, he only gets hyper when other horses passs by him in the ring.

Strategy: stay in the middle of the ring to avoid idiots who cut you off and to keep the horse paying attention to moi.

It worked! His transitions were beautiful and he listened SO well! we came away with grand champ in the hunter division. Crazy since tropers (trantering lopers. you know, the head dragging, dead looking, lame looking QHs) usually kick ass...why, I don't know.

I've always had a tiff with hunter judges and people (thus why I quit) since usually the most lame looking, typey ones get placed high. BUT the judge liked Yanks and he was perfect, so obviously..we kicked ass at that show :) Won some Cha-Ching too...something EVENTING doesn't do....hardly.

Nice one Yanks. He was tricky and waited till we posed. Bad pony.

Day 2 i didn't show, but Tracy went to the fairgrounds, so my fridn Lindz and I went to STL and then I played with my pony :)

She was SO good! originally, I was just gonna ground drive her a bit, then drag the cart next to her since she's never been hooked up. However, she was so chill, I hooked her up. Then, I chanced it and sat in it as well! She was still like WTF ever mom. I'm bored now. I was proud!

My shiny baby pony!

Later that night tracy took me to the fair. and DAMN was it a fair! Nothing like the Greene Co. fair where I've shown. Its AWESOME. We stayed till 1am watching motorcross, tractor pulls and chatting. It was SO FUN!

Day 3 was actually not too bad heat wise and I was was the big $$ show and I was counting on winning some. Yankee was SO CHILL (which was my MAJOR goal in doing these-besides hangin' with the BFF) and I was happy :)

The first class was the water glass class and it was SO fun. All the others had gaited horses and Iw as the only one with a reg. horse, but he trotted so slow for me, I came in 3rd! Won like $15 outta that, ha! Pictures on FB if you're friends with me.

The other 2 classes were hunt seat or english mixed and there were so many arabs! The judge was an arab judge so even though Yankee was on the money and was PERFECT (amid the demo derby right next door and the Travis Tritt concert goin' on), we had no chance. Sucks huh? highest we placed yesterday was 5th, still outta about 14 horses, but the arabs ruled it. Silly arabs.

I was still amazingly happy with Yankee and how well he behaved compared to last Saturday, and couldn't be happier with him!

However, no more hunter shows for a while..they are tiring and not really my thing. Mostly I did it for Tracy...but I did get a nice trophy and some $$ out of it.

For now, Ponyface is getting sun/mon off, light jumping school tues, dressage run through wed then we leave thurs for Illinois for the LAST event on our ticket this year. I am super sad and mopy about it...but I am realy poor...hopefully I can do a few in sept/oct but we will cross that bridge when we get there.

My awesome half gallon mug I bought! I drank 3 of these yesterday (water of course, I don't like soda much).

More pictures of the show on FB!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Where To Go?

So, procrastinating writing this paper...

I've been thinking deeply about where to live after I graduate. I want to live in the (deep) south, but I HATE heat. But I LOVE the southern hospitality. The boyfriend is from the deep south, and his family is just so amazing. Nicest people, rib-stickin' food, scrumptious sweet tea, hospitality...

But I REALLY despise the heat. Like, really. There is AC for that, but the WHOLE reason I want to move to the south is for the horses. 

So, places to live

  • Aiken, SC (or around Aiken)
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky 
  • Maryland
  • Tennessee
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • Ocala, Florida (or around)
Top 3 being,
  • South Carolina
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
I've done some pretty extensive research on these 3 states, but I am sure as most of you know, moving is EXPENSIVE. And the BF and I don't want to risk moving willy nilly and not being able to get a job.

TONS of things are going into this decision. Community, crime, COL, weather (big one for me), horse community (Horse Trials, instructors, prospective clientel, etc)  the ground (for barns, arenas, etc), travel (from home, OH, airports, etc), schools (for future childrens)...etc etc 

I am ancy to move away from MO and OH (since Ohio is the asscrack of the midwest) but I want to choose the right place for us. I LOVE cool weather, but I also LOVE the horse world. I am willing to give up my love for cool weather for the best horse community.

I am looking for an area that is rich with eventing, or dressage/jumping for that matter. A place where I can call home. A place where I could start up a business, wether it be with horses, art, etc. 

Any suggestions, readers?
Where do you live?
Whats it like, horse community wise?

I'm Melting.

Its SO hot.

Currently, 102 degrees.

110 with the heat index.

It was 103 yesterday, 112 with heat index.

I. am. melting.

And missing my horse.

I think I might die in the next 24- hours so if you don't hear from me, send out the search party. I have work from 10am-2pm, barn duty from 3pm-430pm (in the raging heat) back to work to cover a shift from 5pm to 9pm. Also, a 10pg. paper due by 11pm tomorrow, a 7pg. one due Tues, a 2pg. one ALSO due tomorrow and 4 sets of questions due by 5pm tomorrow. UGH. 
Thanks a heap prof for NOT telling us we had the 10 pager due tomorrow.  THEN from there, I am heading out to STL again to show my wonderous beautiful (hopefully calm) pony and that show will go till about 3 am....Friday we are hittin' the town GONNA SEE HARRY POTTER!! WOOP! The BACK to showin on saturday, that will go till 2am or so, then BACK to Columbia, with horse is tow, and I work SUnday night 4-midnight. OH mah GAH.

I might die. Or melt. Whichever comes first.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hunter/Speed Show

Yesterday I got off work at 1PM and blitzed to the barn to hook up and head out. I made it to Tracys house by 3:30 and we headed up to the showgrounds after that. It was super crowded, there had to be at least 100 horses there. 

I signed up for the flat classes hoping he would behave and we could rock out like we used to, even though hunters aren't my thing. However, the hunters in my class were all jumpers or dressage horses, lol besides Tracy's mare, Billy, who won the hunter classes.
The tiny pony stallion! OMG!
Tracy tacking up BIlly for warm up
tacking Yanks up
small, small, small, XL

Both of the flat classes actually really sucked. Yankee thought he was on the track again and everytime a horse passed him he tried to bite them, or kick out or buck, so it was a beautiful trainwreck of 2 classes, ha. However, he had his moments....
...where he looked good. Tracy and I laughing at something.

When he loked good he looked great, but the judge told me in line-up she caught him all 4 times he bucked in one class, and the class where she was going to pin me 1st, she caught him the ONLY time he bucked. Brat!!! I was kinda mad just because I came to this in hopes he would get some show experience. Oh well, still had fun with Tracy.

My very red looking registered black bay TB, wtf.!

Kim, Tracy's mom, showing her mare, Billy.

So yankee got a huge break (like 4 hours) while the western pleasure was going on when I decided if he wanted to be a retard and run like crazy. Fine then! Remember when I said I wanted to try barrel racing in the spring? WELL. WE did!

HE LOVED IT! Too much...he started off great, fast, sitting on his booty, turning with the lighest cue, coming back from the dead gallop to a halt...almost like a QH, in ALL ENGLISH tack, ha!! All the Westerners couldn't believe I STAYED in the tack. Um, not hard when you KNOW how to ride! It cracked me up how terrible they were, balance wise. If they didn't have western saddles, or a horn, I am certain half of them would have fallen off.

There were about 40 runners in each class, 2 poles and 2 barrel classes. He was so quick, he was only about 5 seconds off the pro QH leaders. I was impressed that my big TB could almost keep up with the quick, nimble, tiny, QHs trained for this. He even switched his leads through the poles!! Crazy.

After a while though, he started getting kinda hyped up. for the 1st 2 runs he was fine afterwards, standing calm and cool like a gentleman. I was so happy! It was getting really late though by the barrels class (1:30AM), and he started to get bored, ancy and tired. I ran the first barrels and he was pretty bad, pulling on me, on the forehand, etc. His gallops were great, but since we were only doing this for fun, I didn't want him to stop using himself properly and running through my aids, so I scratched the last class.

Tracy and her mom

Overall, it was really fun and I hope next time he behaves a bit calmer...I want him to get better at enhancing his calm, but also, some cash payback would be cool :) Tracy finished and all I wanted was sleep and food. i hadn't eaten in 16 hours or slept for 21...I was pooped. We konked out at 4AM and today I got up at 10:30AM. Kinda tired.

Yankee is staying at Tracy's for 3 days, and he is getting the days off. Its supposed to be 105 with heat index of 112 till Wednesday...ZOMG!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The (real) Ponyface and Cows

Thanks AGAIN for the encouragement! I LOVE  my readers...might be doing a contest soon...heh. Stay updated!

For the 4th, Brandon (the ever amazing BF) and I went to see my BFF her her BF at her farm in Saint Louis. What better than eating and having fun with the best of friends right?

Seeing your pony!! DUH! Well, it was really great to see Tracy, but I hadn't seen my pony, Zephyr, since December. Tracy's mom graciously lets me board her there for free since I cannot afford board here in columbia for her too.

My fat pony is no longer fat either! Tracy's mom has her on a diet and a dry lot. She eats only hay, and always has fresh water available. I'm pretty sure she has lost AT LEAST a 100 lbs. No joke.
The very slim after pictures!

The very fattie before pictures....with my moms cow in the BG

She CAN be ridden :P

Z with my brother about a year ago

Z is 3 years old now, born in March of 2008. I bred her myself with the intent of her being a companion animal for Yankee. Also, she is trained to the cart and eventually I want to saddle break her. I've sat on her, but I'm too big to canter or trot or jump her.

The cows!!

After I played with Z and made sure she knew I loved her still, we went out to the cow pasture to feed them treats! Who knew cows like horse treats? Apparently it makes them friendly, and easier to handle come sale/breeding/calving/moving pastures time.
Haha, they were like enveloping our whole hands with their tongues! It felt funnnny! Disregard my fattie boomblattie midsection. Someone hasn't been working out.

Brandon is some sort of cow whisperer or something...they loved him!

Tomorrow, Yanks and I will be making the short trip to STL for the hunter show with Tracy. He will stay there till I come back the 14th for the other 3 day hunter show, I will miss him :/

Until nextime :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

How Would We Clothe Our Horses Without Ebay? And Other Things.

I am such a spoiled brat. Sort of.

Sometimes I wish I Didn't WANT things as much as I do. Because really, I have more than I need...most little girls don't ever get horses and I have two!

....But still there are things I would like. Is that a crime? And some things my horses need. Even though I don't technically NEED horses to live. I beg to differ, but by societies definition, all I need is food water and shelter. Whatever.

Not ebaying has been ...really hard.

But since my bank account is DANGEROUSLY low (like below $1000 total, omfg!) and I realize I was pretty frugal with my spending at horse shows and maybe 3 USEA shows (at about $700/weekend) in a month and a half just isn't a smart idea when you make minimum wage, HA. I only have 4 more shows planned until October...and they are ALL in July. More on that later.

So ebay. I caved. I bought the waterford. It has not been 30 days since I self-banned myself...for shame.

And I am still LUSTING after new duds. I reaaaalllly want a Charles Owen skull cap, silver please. A newer bridle for the hackamore I bought since I hate switching the reins from my XC jump one to the crappy 10 year old bridle the hackamore lives on. It is merely a convienance factor, but finding a legit bridle for $30 isn't difficult (I honestly just can't spare the $). I also really sorta need new tall boots but I have huge calves and freakish long legs and no retail boot would fit custom is all that seems will work. great. I would like to get a better fitting fly sheet for Yanks, his is always hanging around his neck when I find him because the belly band is too large. I need  new starts in a month, and that means new books...

I hate surprise bills too btw...I got my EPM vet bill from the vet. They said it would be $87....yeah $247 later...Also our windows are HORRID in my appt. and the AC bill was $193! For a 600sq. ft appt! WTF! I know a girl who lives in over 2000sq. ft and her bill was $100 less than mine. Wish the management would give us new windows...heres the horrible thing, they replaced all the windows of the appts. whose windows face the streets. yeah, mine doesn't.

Ok backing away from $$ problems. 

Did you guys keep up on the test event in Greenwhich? I sort of did. It blew my mind!! Look at these pics. CRAZY! I've never seen horses that close in the middle of the city.

Also, 2 of the shows we are doing are hunter shows. I know right, Crazy huh? Well, I don't think so; as much as I loathe the hunter world (no offense hunters) I think this will be fun. Let me say why I hate the hunters...they are usually quite mean. And not very good riders. Usually, I've seen great ones though but most are cruel to their horses, their people and other competitors. I rocked in hunters and therefore people tried to sabatoge me all time. How F****** rude!! And dangerous! Eventers are SERIOUSLY theeee nicest people and I will never go back to the A circuit. Luckily these cute hunter shows aren't A rated and I am doing them for fun with my best friend. They are $$ back and not much competition, so I am hoping to win some $. Class fees are only $5/class, which is crazy awesome. Also, this will give Yankee more show time. He is always nutso at shows, even after 6 years of it. Maybe a few more will help. Maybe?

The other two are Hunter Oaks in Illinois and the USDF Area 4 championships, both at the end of the month.

I am still pretty depressed about the whole $/still being at training level a 20 deal but your comments REALLY honestly DID help! I'm a natural sadsack and I tend to spiral into self pity parties quite often about some (seemingly) trivial things. Thank you to all 47 of my readers!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Brian Sabo ICP Clinic Rundown

Prolly the longest post I have ever or will ever do. Bear with me...

DAY ONE-Dressage
Dressage day dawned hot. It was about 102 degrees all day with a H.I. of 105. We were dumb enough to hold the days lessons outside. What were we thinking?

The way this clinic worked was this, Brian was here to teach the candidates who will be testing for their ICP rating to become certified USEA instructors. What he did was give demo rides every day before the candidates were given a chance to test their skills on us guinea pigs. I was SUPER excited to have the chance to audit and ride for free. Basically I got 10 free lessons a day! Listening sometimes proved more beneficial than the actual riding, since the riding just frustrated me. I am not a fan of taking lessons for one, and definetly not a fan of taking lessons from people with DRAMATICALLY different methods than from what I was taught and don't seem to understand that.

Brian Sabo-the man of the moment, USEA President, teaching Jen and her 15yo warmblood mare. They currently school 2-3rd level.
Brian Demo-ing a leg

Brian is HILARIOUS and spending four whole days with him was an experience. For someone who is so high up in USEA, he sure is down to earth and just plain nice. He knows his stuff though, obviously and listening to him talk and give lessons was amazing. SOmeone as in demand as him have the craziest schedules! He said he is only home 2-3 days a MONTH! And only rides ONCE a month. INSANE! He is so legit though. I wish he lived closer...

The theme of the weekend seemed to be, GET YOUR HIPS FORWARD and GET OUR SHOULDERS OVER YOUR HIPS and DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE SIT TO a down transition. Whoa. Hold the phone? DO NOT sit? Whatnow? Everything I have EVER been taught, ever, has been to sit during down transitions, to collect, before a fence...etc. Am I wrong? Apparently. This is a hard concept for me to grasp. Yankee and I's little brains were blown. Into itteh bitteh smitherin-ehs.

Raquel and Herman, a 3 yo? (he might be 4) trek. out of Windfall. Schooling Novice/1st level dressage. He is SO nice, I want him...
Callie Judy and her training level stallion, Bada Bing. I want Callie's polo!

Callie by far was the best at staying back with her shoulders, but not sitting deep at the same time. She has taken prolly hundreds of lessons with legit people like Brian and Jon Holling and whatever, so obviously, she is up on the crrent methods of training. I want her life. She is competing in Rolex next year and she is my age! Depressing. 

The only dressage pic of Yankee and I :(

So our dressage lesson was DISMAL. Everything I have been taught or done to train Yankee was deemed incorrect and wrong by the ICP cand. perspectives. It sucked ass hard. The concept of NOT sitting deep into down transitions or collection was SO hard. So hard my friends. Oh and I was informed I have the "wrong" saddle. Awesome, since I basically broke the bank buying this one. 

Yankee was mega confused since I have trained him, the lighter the seat, the more forward we go, and the deeper I go, the slower or more collected.  I understand I don't want to be banging on his back, but I never thought I was since I sit, but use my core to keep from bouncing. Hard to explain, but I'm sure many of you dressage riders know what I mean.

So anyways, we started off just warming up then went straight to leg yeilds and shoulder-fore. Easy right? No. Not by a fat chance. Apparently, I use the COMPLETLY wrong aids for shoulder -fore, even though they work to get a good shoulder-in/fore on my horse. So, when I was forced to use the "correct" aids, all he did was stop or go was frustrating. 

I feel that not EVERY horse HAS to be trained the same way. He is an OTTB, not a warmblood who was bred to do dressage and has been classically trained since the age of two. I had to use crazy different methods inhis training, not only because he is off the track, but because he was SO freaking unbalanced from the get-go. I don't know if I can convince or relate my struggle with my differences on this issue to you all, but the instructors were not grasping that this is how my horse was trained and that he produces a pretty dang good shoulder fore with the aids I have used, which btw, are NOT that different-I just use my legs opposite than what is "correct".

So anyways after the horrid shoulder-fore, we moved on to counter canter practice. My instructor wasn't the best at communicating her ideas, even though she was very experienced as a rider, as a teacher she seemed weak. I was confused easily, since she seemed to have contrasting ideas. Anyways, after brian redefined the excercise, we finally had some beautiful work, but I felt slashed. Not only was I about to pass out form heat exhaustion, but I felt like I had been made an idiot. EVERYONE was watching me sucked.

Hannah on her half Perch/TB, Pronto. He is 9 and schooling 2-3rd level dressage. Hannah has ridden up to PSG and was working with Callie Judy, a 3* Young Rider who is also a ICP candidate. Taking a water break in the EXTREME heat. 
Fav pic of the WHOLE weekend.  Pronto, for being half perch, has an AMAZING trot (and canter).
Emily (Cheryl's assistant trainer) on Kallie, a 6 yo trek. mare, out of Windfall. LOVE this mare and her trot!
Emily working on her two point to give Kallie a lighter, more adjustable canter.

There it is!
Raquel and Actress, a trek., Grand Prix dressage mare turned broodmare turned project horse. She likes to make faces!
Raquel and Actress workin' that fab trot of theirs. This mare can extend and move like no other I have ever seen, even with that big belly of hers!!

Mostly all the instructors worked on lightness in the horses and how adjustable they are. Transitions and lateral work was a huge fav too. Yeah, I was the only one who looked like a complete idiot in front of the USEA president, countless CCI* riders, my friends and Cheryl and Tim. UGH.

DAY TWO-Flatwork for Jumping
Since it was so hot Thursday (102 without heat index.) we decided after melting outside the day before, that we'd try indoors. Even though it was stuffy, we weren't dying-just sweaty.
Again, Brian showed the candidates how to give the lessons by giving lessons demos. Today was all about position and how adjustable a horses gait can be when you use your body correctly.

 Again, I had problems with this concept. I am not stupid. I am not a horrid rider. I was just ALWAYS taught (drilled even) that the lower you are to the horse, the better. Granted that was 7 years ago and possibly styles have changed, but ever since I left Janice in Ohio 4 years ago, I have kept what she taught me all this time. Apparently, this is wrong. What a surprise.
Brian and Tori Holekamp and Angie, a 4 yo trek out of Baron Verdi? (I think)...discussing.
Callie Judy (3* rider and ICP candidate) and Brian discussing logistics. Callie is on her 5yo Holsteiner? stallion Bada Bing, he currently goes training level.
Callie and Bing working on turn on the forehand to loosen his butt
Cheryl Holekamp and Brian watching
Emily (Cheryl's assistant trainer) and Kallie, a windfall "baby". She is 6, going training level and in foal to Baron Verdi. Allie, from LA, the ICP candidate, using canter poles to lighten Kallie's canter.
Hannah a PSG rider, with her Perch/TB cross and Jim, an ICP candidate. Discussing how to use her seat to lengthen and shorten Pronto's stride.
Yanks and I

So, again, new f****** concepts were introduced to me Friday that I struggled with pretty hardcore. Callie taught me Friday, and even though she is a new teacher, she was pretty good.

Like I said before, I was drilled that because Yanks is an OTTB, the closer to his body, the better since he was (and still can be) a squirrely little bitch. The lower the center of gravity on a baby OTTB makes sense-its what they're used to and it helps with staying on! Well, I probably shouldnt've stuck with that method, but I can't afford lessons, I've just stuck with what I learned with Janice. Again, I know it was prolly proper at the time. But he is a big boy now and I have my big girl panties, so its time to become adult riders with proper galloping positions. Tis' most difficult after 7 years of galloping in the same, scrunched up fashion. Woot.

Callie set up "chutes" on a 20m circle that I was to make my transitions in. First we went from trot to walk. Shall we look at the complete fail that was this transition? Feast your eyes....
Yeah tthats bad...and I didn't even know it...look how horrific this is, hollow/collapsed/tight back, stiff joints, and open mouth. All from my seat driving into him like I've always been taught to do. Sit to slow, lighten to go forward, not lighten to slow and lighten even more to go forward...totally retarded concept in my mind.

So obviously, my methods are the root of my problems. Easy to identify. Easy to change? Not so much. However....
A HELLA better transition than the previous....isn't it? Yeah look at me sitting tall and light.

After a bit of work on that, Callie wanted me to practice the positions, which btw are freaking retarded hard to do when your muscles are programed to scrunch, not stretch. I lost my balance like a noob about every 3 seconds. Poor yankee.
Gettin' that canter extended but full of impulsion

So we kept working. Sitting tall without falling back, but NOT touching the saddle into down transitions is about damn impossible for I just tried my utmost hardest. It was a complete fail. Again. I couldn't even get a decent trot to halt or canter to trot transition. What am I, a beginner? UGH. Doesn't help that Yankee was confused beyond belief and was getting so frustrated. He started to anticipate the transitions and they turned to crap. He was all uppety and angry...he started pinning his ears, kicking out, carrying his head high, prancing...the whole deal. I TRIED saying that this was new and confusing to us and I can't help how we've been taught, but it was frustrating to both of us. Obviously, Callie's method works, but we both need to get used to it before everything gets better. I basically was crying by the end of the lesson. I felt like a complete beginner and was SO embaressed. AGAIN.
A better transition  from the canter to walk. His back isn't collapsed and he stayed active and relaxed.
Callie Judy (a ICP candidate) showing me how to use my seat and bring my body up. I laugh so hard every time I see this picture!
Jim and Raquel on Windfall. Jim showing Raquel the proper two-point position.
Emily demo-ing the counterbend to straighten

Overall, Firday was a hot, humid frustrating day for everyone. The Instructors were being pretty hard on us, and we were tired. Blah. I was excited for XC though...

DAY THREE-Cross Country
Also dawned seriously humid, but only 96 degrees! WHOA!
The humidity I think is worse than heat though. 
Again, Brian gave demo's and the goal of the day was rider position to improve horse's gaits and jump.
Brian Sabo showing Tori Holekamp the correct galloping position
Brian  teaching the group about something important, lol
Callie Judy (3* rider) on Kallie (6yo trek., out of Windfall, training level, in foal to Baron Verdi) demo-ing the perfect low (forward) gallop position and forward movement.

This one isn't so hard for me. Its when we are supposed to lighten the horse (prep phase) where we raise our shoulders/hands and push the hips forward without falling back. Yeah. Not used to it. Hard. Taxing. New. I hate.

A really bad take-off that Emily saved, Thomas is the horse.
Emily on Thomas (out of Windfall), a 4 year old trek. going novice
Emily (Cheryl's assistant trainer) on her prelim level OTTB, 60-60
Callie Judy (ICP candidate, 3* rider) on Windfall
Windfall making the intermediate fence look like cake

My XC day lesson sucked even worse than the flatwork, and I had the same instructor as dressage day. The was I compare her teaching is to a scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall when the guy is teaching him how to surf. He says, "ok do less. Ok do more. Ok, no you're doing too much. No, do less than that. Do less. OK that time you didnt do anything, do more. Ok, no do less, just lay there" Yeah like that. Or the Yoga scene. The lady says "arch your back while keeping it flat." He says, "Um, I feel like those are contrasting ideas." She says, "No, see, you arch your back...while keeping it flat." YEAH, she was that confusing. It was like, "OK sit tall, but down. Ok, no, sit more tall, but don;t lean back. Ok, no move your hips forward but down" WTF!! I was so you want me up or down!? 

The whole position thing killed me and we spent like 30 minutes on it. I only got to jump one fence and it did not go well. I am not used to not driving, and yankee is NOT by any means used to me trying to find my freaking balance and not driving him to every fence. Something we need to work on I guess....AGAIN I felt like a total idiot since we only jumped one BABY fence and each time it sucked. WTF! We do not suck, these are just WAY too new of methods, way too fast.

DAY FOUR-Stadium
Day 4 started off super hot as well...and really humid. It was 92 by 10 am! Thankfully there was a slight breeze.

AGAIN, position, position, position, po-freaking-sition.

Tesa, BN level. I love action shots, yankees twin too btw! They look so similar in the face!
Yankee's twin captured mid-air

SO. I honestly did not think I was THAT bad of a rider. I knew I had a habit of jumping ahead, but I never realized how badly that affects my horse. he kept the fences poopy low, but he wanted me to fix my body-which again seemed impossible since I was a hunter for 6 years before I became an eventer and from that I've just never been able to totally cure that. Doesn't help that Janice had me scrunch low to Yanks in lessons.

Yankee was rather lazy for once, and I had to push him on rather than slow him down. Jim wanted me to hold my "balanced position" 3 strides before the fence, which is difficult for me. I felt liek it tipped me MORE forward, almost like I was throwing myself into position rather than letting Yanks push me into position. It didn't work. As you can see....
Trying to keep my body back while Jim looks on
Working on the canter, my position too far forward for anyones taste here this weekend.

So instead of forcing myself into position like he wanted me to, I just let Yankee push me into it, and kept my body very still...he was like "OMG so much better!". DUUUUUUUHHHH? Pitching yourself forward before a fence is not a good thing, DUH. Also, IDK about ya'll but doing baby fences at a trot is almost NOT even worth it. hike those bitches up and THEN we can work on position.
He says this is so boring mom...geez. Not easy to work on a jumping position when all your horse does is canter over the fences.
The biggest fence we jumped all weekend...sadface! WTF! So yeah, All this new shit addled with our brains and I am burnt out. And depressed. EVERY DAMN DAY I felt like an idiot, a worthless rider, misunderstood and a complete failure.

Callie Judy and Windfall and his funny tongue

Callie  and Windfall jumping the square oxer nicely

I considered the weekend GREAT for learning. It was SO cool to meet Brian and see how the legit people teach and all that they know. I will take away tons of information from this.

 But I think it was a fail on my part. Possibly I am being too hard on myself, though, since all of this is not my fault. I'm sorry I'm poor and can't take lessons with the most legit people ever. Or even once a week for that matter. Sorry I'm poor and can't afford the best of the best saddles that fit both of us perfectly. Sorry I'm poor and can't afford a 30k eventer who was born doing flying changes and extended trots. Sorry. Sorry sorry. can you tell I'm depressed now and totally down on myself? i was feeling GREAT the past 2 weeks with the "progress" we've made. I was confidant in myself and my horse. But, the whole revelation of the fact that EVERYTHING I know is outdated and/or wrong, I feel like shit. It doesn't help seeing riders like Callie who are already at the 3* level, major national/international champions, and going to Rolex, all before her 21st B-day. 

Sometimes I REALLY hate being poor. Its like I will NEVER make it just because of that fact.

So if you actually made it this far, congrats, sorry I'm a sad Sally.