Thursday, December 17, 2015

Post Show Rub Down

I have  two, yes TWO posts chilling in drafts, which never actually happens. But I did want to discuss some things after the show this weekend. Excuse formatting, always. Posting from iPhone app. 

First, thank you ALL (even non-bloggers on Facebook who wont see this but, whatever) for the congrats even for 3rd and 4th place. Its no AECs win, but hes come so far this year, I'm just elated.

That being said, he was very veryyyyy ouchy after his two days off.

I came back on Monday for our evening ride and he was just wild. They had been in since the show because of insane rain and mud and he was ancy as could be.

Second I got on his back I felt him hump his back, brace and shorten his neck and I though "ohhhh lord The Real Bacardi is back in town, its gonna get spicy"/

It wasnt spicy. He was just feeling his oats and his soreness.

I never did pinpoint where it was stemming from, but it was most apparent a the left lead canter. I could just barely feel it, and the people on the ground couldn't really tell either. A couple of EMEM girls were like, what are you talking about crazy lady. Then I sat and asked for PROPER bend (holyshithowevil) and it was obvious, the dude was sore. Not limping in pain, but definitely not feeling fantastic.

I felt bad. I know how awful I feel after a rough workout even days later and theres only so much active recovery that feels good. Brought him back to a walk and worked some lateral movement for a bit, but he really wasnt feeling it at all. After some turns on the forehand and backing I let him chill and watch the lesson and the girl trying out horses. It was bustly, per usual.

Later, the girl who came to try horses compliments how nice of a mover Bacardi was and I was SO tempted to hint he might-possibly-could-be-maybe-for-sale for the right price, but didnt.

 That did make me feel good though, on a bad day, he was still impressive to someone who doesnt know him.

Damn straight, thats why I bought him. Flashy AF. Lord knows I didnt buy him for his brains. [loljk B, I love you.]

I let him rest another day, hoping they would get turnout and some space to run around, and they did. Oh did they. Somehow, I'm done even trying to figure out how he destroys blankets, he snapped the buckles in half off the front of his medium TO blanket. How B, how?

Solid repairs right?

Annoying bastard. Now I need two more blankets that I can't afford. Maybe there's a repairman around here. 

I did get the chance to try out my new toys that I purchased on a whim during a flash sale at smartpak. They own me haha. 

Those of you may have read sprinklerbandits review about her polo liners, and it solidified my excuse to buy them. I ended up getting the eskadrons since Aimee had recommended them and I trust her. Plus they really are better.   I've wanted them for quite some time (try two years) and justified it with the sale. 

Happily, I have no idea they came in a four pack! Bonus!

My only small complaint is that the whites of the insides show. Like the edges aren't clean or seen. Looks a little messy. Otherwise I really loved them and so did B! I might do a review on them later. 

With his yummy polos and wraps, he settled into a very stiff, but well behaved  20m circle on the lunge. He was so stiff, it hurt me. I asked for tons of transitions and about 20 min later asked for some stretches. 

We did carrot stretches with sugar cubes (which he LOVED) and some flexin and extensions on all four legs. I could really feel his inflexibility in his hinds. Need. MOAR. Stretching. 

The sugar cubes must've possessed magical powers though, and he was a dream to ride from there. Either the stretching and lunging really helped him unstick or the sugar was making him work his jaw and therefore was making magic within his usually tense neck. 

He was perfectly content and WANTED. To trot around on the buckle, so we did for like 10 minutes. Paused to watch some of the jump lesson, did some more stretchy trot, and worked on more turns on the forehand without any tantrums (huge deal for B, huge). 

SUPER interesting ride, I know, but I felt it was major progress/breakthrough/bonding, whatever you want to call it. Just a damn good ride with a lot of relaxation. 

All the foam. All of it. 

I have all week off next week, which gives me tons of time to ride. For once I won't be complaining about warm temps in December and will take full advantage of all the free time!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Real Show Update

I waited a few days to post about the show this weekend for a few reasons. One, life in general. Two, needed video evidence. Three, I wanted to make sure my horse show high wasn’t false.

It wasn’t.

He was amazing…for a baby.

Keeping in mind this the first show hes been to with me, maybe fourth EVER and I had no expectations. Mostly, I just wanted to get out there and school a little bit.

The show day dawned way too early, since I woke up before my 4:30 AM alarm, and I forgot how much I love/hate being up on show days before the sun. I was the first to arrive, which was surprising, since I was running a tad late. Someone had cuddled with Levi/sipped on coffee/watched re-runs of Forensic Files too long. I was part of the hauling crew, but luckily my father was amazing the night before and hooked up my trailer to the truck AND checked all the tires. Dad wins!

It was a balmy 65 degrees at 5:30 AM in DECEMEBER and I was actually rushing around sweating my butt off. My body is not enjoying the random fluxuations in temperatures one bit. Get it together OH.

I digress.

Like I said, I was the first to the barn at 5:50 AM…which was peculiar because departure time was supposedly 6:30AM. I went ahead and gave everyone a flake, loaded my tack and twiddled my thumbs for 20 minutes until the show party arrived. I helplessly “helped” feed the horses (all 30 of them), since I dont work there, but we got it done. By that time it was close to 6:30 and we hadn’t loaded one horse. I HATE being late…more than anything, especially with a young horse, who doesn’t load well, for a show…but I kept my cool and rolled with it.

Luckily, Bacardi, nor none of the 6 other horses going, gave a fuss loading and we were on our way by 7AM. (Good boy! But also, eeeek.)

Show started at 8AM.

We arrived about 20 minutes before the beginning of the show and our party ended up being most of the Jumper Classes.

I registered for 6 classes, not remembering whatthefuck the difference was between them, figuring I could scratch later and tacked up so quick I don’t think Bacardi knew what was happening.

We had ten minutes to warm up in the ring, with the jumps, and hell yeah I wanted that opportunity to do so.

Unfortunately so did the rest of my barn and the others competing , so the relatively large indoor was cramped with massive OTTBs and WBs flying around the ring jumping jumps every which way. It was a madhouse.

not a pic from warmup

 Bacardi handled that situation quite well. In fact, better than I did. I was all jumpy because we literally had no time to warm up, much less over fences, and I WANTED TO DAMMIT. The ribbon whore inside me secretly wanted some satin.

Luckily, we were able to pop over every jump on course. In which he refused the first time.

Oh, so its going to be one of those days? Cool. Cue worried ribbon whore into argument with adulting, rational self.

The hurried second and third times around he jumped just fine and without fuss and I got our butts out of that ring.

Just Chillin
He could’ve care less about standing around in the crowded waiting area, which was pleasantly surprising and I made The Boy snap a few photos to prove it.

How to make your 17.2hh gelding look small; be me
Speaking of, The Boy volunteered to come, brought me coffee and videoed our rounds. What a guy!

After that whirlwind of a warm-up, ALL of us from EME realized not a single one of us knew our rounds. Where were they even posted? What are jumps?  How do we do this?

There were three separate rounds with two having jump offs. No way were we going to memorize those. Um…halp.

EME devised a plan to photograph them with our handy dandy cellphones and DURING our rounds, shout them out to each rider. SOMEHOW I was delegated to do this after a few times of riders missing jumps due to soft voices or unclear instructions and we soon learned that “WHITE WITH YELLOW DIAGONAL” meant the white jump with yellow flowers on the diagonal and “RED WINDOW TO WALL” meant rollback turn left to a red brick wall fence, etc. Apparently I have a huge, booming voice with clear and concise directions. It was fun, but disastrous for most. I eventually ended up learning the courses, kind of, and still got lost on one of my rounds because I barely knew the course and couldn’t hear my caller. Thanks guys, love you too.

Less than stellar SS but you get the gist
The organizers were totally chill with our shouting and crazy cheering/laughing antics and thanked us over and over for making the show fun and showing up… but some of the boarders and trainers were totally not chill.

One trainer with a mean RBF I even caught muttering, “this shit is ridiculous, how is this allowed” and I fueled the fire spitting back “Well this isn’t hunters and we just got here, its within the rules and the organizers are fine with it. This isn’t dressage either. Would you like us to tell your riders the courses too?”

Yeah, that put me on her shit list for the morning.

She hated us for cheering for her riders, even asking us to “calm down” when they went double clear. They were very obviously hunter riders, in full braids and tailcoats and quite serious about winning. I think RBF trainer was mildly pissed our frazzled group of eventers, totally dressed in polos, were kicking their butts in some classes, but whatever.

RBF trainer even said to me once, noticing the red ribbon in B’s tail, “Why did you bring a horse who kicks to a show where other people are around him? Can you stand like, over there, away from everyone”. Um, OK lady, who are you? Queen?

I spy a red ribbon
I politely said back with a smile, “Well that’s what the ribbon is for, and I’m pretty sure he could care less right now *gestures towards half asleep horse*, and the ribbon is just a precaution, but sure I can go stand where you want me to”.

Obviously giving a lot of fucks
And I did because I’m a reasonable human being. I can understand the reasoning behind her snide remark, but seriously, he hasn’t kicked anyone in ages. The last person he kicked was me. But I would feel horrible if he bashed someone, knowing his propensity to lash out when nervous, and not give warning. Like I said to her, precaution.

I’m going off on a tangent again though, apologies.

Bacardi’s rounds were more than I could ask of him. We had two refusals total for the day, one in each class, but honestly, I could care less about that.

I was ill-prepared, it was his first jumper show ever, he was rushed into the arena and it was all a little overwhelming.

Our first round, I still cant figure it out. He was locked on to the first fence, I was riding (for once) and then he just sidestepped and was like NOPE. We swung around and nailed it the second time, and the rest of the round was marvelous.

Video HERE

Turn N' burn
His canter was a dream and he was really listening to me. I wasn’t ducking horribly and we were working as a team. I was so proud, even if we didn’t make the jump off. Only 2 riders did, mostly due to going off course or a fence knock down, and we ended up 3rd out of 10! Still beating those hunters who had had the courses memorized probably for days, HA SUCK IT. If he hadn’t refused that first fence, we might’ve actually been in contention for the blue. That was so cool for me, getting our first ribbon together.

The second course was the speed jumper round. It was twisty and had 3 rollback turns. I literally did not know it at all, and pretty much missed the rollback to fence 5 and we had a run-out. Again, not his fault. we also had a weird disagreement from 1 to 2, and he really didnt hear my outside leg and blew right through and we almost crashed into another fence. Fantastic, haha. This might;ve been his fault, since he geeked at fence 1 again, but whatever. Baby moment. If I had known the course I think I could’ve ridden much better and we would’ve been fine. He was nailing his rollbacks and felt so responsive to me- I was elated.

I actually really love this blurry SS

Really really good picture of us over a fence *eyeroll*
Video HERE

My favorite thing is The Boy telling Supertrainer the course, hilarious. He had them all memorized in five minutes and none of us did! HA.

 In time, he will be able to cut turns out and be a little quicker between fences, but hes still green AF. 

Some sass
We ended up 4th out of 10 in that round, as we had that refusal and the one hunter rider was QUICK in her turns.

Again, really cool to think that we could’ve placed higher with a little more preparation and I cant wait for the next one. Its in January by the way, my birthday weekend!

I ended up scratching from the 3rd round classes since I figured his little brain had done enough for me and I wanted to keep the experience positive. Almost all of my EME barnmates placed or got a ribbon and one of our ladies ended up Champion and got a nice trophy and a tri-color. Comin’ for you next time!

Ends Meet Eventing Team
Altogether, a really well organized show and wonderful barn. It was to DIE FOR. I’ve never seen a cleaner, nicer, more organized tack room in my life. There were ponies in the aisles getting braided/washed and I almost died looking at their dainty, shaved faces. They had four Corgi’s and a heeler “running” around and they were friendly and adorable. Their show office/viewing area  was jaw-dropping. It looked like the inside of someones house mansion! The arena was gorgeous and the footing was definitely well maintained. For a barn that was so lavish the entry fees were reasonable, even for me. We were so pleased that the office staff and organizers were so warm and kind to us, we almost forgot about RBF trainer and her riders.


I will be going back to that barn, it was such a worthwhile experience!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Show Update

So without any explanations or video or pictures I decided I couldn't hold out on sharing how the show went yesterday!

I won't go into much because I'm posting from my phone, but I'm too excited to hold out for video uploads and a real post. 

Bacardi was amazing, and I'll explain more in my next post for those who are curious, and we even came away with some satin!

Those placings were out of about ten riders too!! Good man. 

Hashtag proud.