Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lay me down

I've been running nonstop since the L program and today was the first day I experienced sleep past 7 am. But the pleasure was interrupted by my alarm and no fresh pot of coffee waiting downstairs. It was further punctuated by cold floors, frosted windows and no remote starter for the car outside.

Winter has revisited us in the Bluegrass, and this time it struck with single digit temps and more ice. The three day window that I had for riding was promptly nixed due to the errands and other items that weren't taken care of while I was away.When the weather closed in on Thursday I knew the ponies and I were officially down with cabin fever.

The weather never really bothers me in regards to plans, but it did manage to cause a bit of stress when it came to today.

Today we were taking Sincere off the property for the first time by himself. Normally, we would have waited until spring to attempt things like this, when the weather is warmer- but this was a long standing, and very overdue appointment.

Today we castrated Sincere. It was a decision that I had made in November.

After discussing this with my vet, I had opted to do this not on the farm, but at a hospital.

I've seen both sides of the spectrum when it comes to gelding. I've seen everything go absolutely well and look like they haven't been touched and then I've seen horses keel over and die from sepsis, post-surgery colic and be crippled from having stifles and joints torqued out.

I wasn't going to run that risk, and even though it was twice as expensive, I'm at least sleeping tonight.

He shipped well and acted incredibly mature for his age, the attending barn manager was helpful throughout the process and he settled in about 10 minutes into the entire check-in ordeal.

We left, had brunch, got the call that he's now incapable of reproducing- and we have the option of picking him up today or tomorrow. We opted tomorrow. I checked in on him around one, and he was happy, bright, alert. Demanding his usual cookie. On enough pain killers that he probably doesn't realize what just went on down there.

The only thing that had bothered him was the straw. For the life of him he couldn't understand why anyone would put that much inedible hay in front of him and that deep. He eventually figured it out to his disappointment that the vet's barn wasn't not an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Now for that paperwork...

Monday, January 17, 2011


1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

1. I actually was nominated twice, JJ of The Joy of Horses and Checkmate over at Chasing the Dream. Thanks for both for reading and supporting the ponies egos.
2. a. I dislike winter immensely. I become crabby almost intolerable during winter. But I know we're not ready to go to Florida.
b. I'm a pedigree geek and meeting a few larger midwestern breeders this past weekend only proved it. I love looking over pedigree and seeing how it relates to performance and train-ability. I hope to get my r in DSHB in a few years.
c. I co-own a business that specializes in equestrian education ( I work around the coolest people in the industry, and also some of the nicest. I really enjoy this part of my job.
d. My aim is to eventually compete FEI as much as I can. I truly enjoy this part of dressage. I didn't understand the lower levels until I began working through PSG and beginning the L program.
e. I found Sinari in a back yard in Central Kentucky with my mother when visiting Kentucky the first time. She's now my up and coming FEI horse. No one can pronounce her registered name correctly.
f. In my spare time I like to read and watch movies. My Iphone has a list of books and my netflix is continuously updated.
g. I strive to be a positive force in the community. I feel far too often that people are too self-involved to not look around and help grow the sport in a collaborative fashion.

3. I nominate the people on the left, many of them are very new to the list. 
4. Check.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


January is a dead month for a lot of reasons, namely because temperatures dip into the teens and the great indoors looks much better than frostbite.

January is also the start of several educational programs at USDF around the country including the L Program.

Signed up in December, I trekked up to Ohio this past weekend for Session A: biomechanics and conduct.

Truth be told, when the word biomechanics is uttered, I glaze over faster than hot sugar on dough. On paper, its naturally boring material between abducting and adducting legs, center of gravity, non-brilliant movement, lateral gaits, origination and creation of bend (it'll surprise you), engagement, impulsion and diagram after diagram.

Add a little kinetic energy to that dry material and it actually comes alive. Throw in different breeds and types, and you have a party.

Judging, first and foremost, is a systematic use of language and scale applied to standards. While, as a rider you know what the movements are and you may know what a good movement or gaits are, but applying a figure and appropriate language per directives and with the knowledge behind correct bio mechanics is difficult.

It's much like Helen Keller learning associating the right words with the physical thing. It's learning to recognized water in different forms and learning to adapt the language to it. Everything still the same, is now different. 

We went through four marathon sessions of biomechanics, biomechanics in relation to the pyramid and threw in conduct for good measure. It was an incredibly pleasurable while challenging in certain areas.  In the end the group was grasping it, now comes the difficult part of finding willing subjects to perform tests (good and bad) in front of you.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Calendar Girl (and boy)

Show season is almost here in Kentucky and I'm being forced out into the world due to the list of goals, and obligations.

Being from the north, there is usually an indoor series or two by February, but moving south and watching the season start late (April), it's rather frustrating. Over the years though, things have started earlier. Currently there are a few small one day recognized shows in March and if I have my way in the next few years, there will be an indoor series.

In a way I miss a 30 minute drive time to reach a horse show, average time to get to one here ranges from 15 minutes to 4 hours. Being budget minded, I'm looking towards the 15 minute to 1 1/2 hour range for Sinari and keeping it strictly Lexington for Sincere.

To add to the difficulty there are NO USDF/EF young horse shows that are nearby. KDA did away with theirs about two years ago, and MSEDA I don't know if they will be running theirs. Spy Coast farm is doing a low-key young horse series (non-rated with USEF/DF judges) which we'll attend as well. It even looks like they'll provide runners too.

So far it looks like we'll be double-timing in April and maybe May.

June is questionable as well as August. September, October and a bonus round in November if a clinician's dates fall through.

Tentative schedule.

January 14th-16th: L Program
March 11th-13th: L Program
April 30th: L Program
May 21st-22nd:  Three Phase Event at Shaker Village
May 25th- 29th: Sitting hours

For Sinari: 
April 2nd-3rd: Christoph Hess clinic
April 8th-9th: April show at Majestic Farms
May 6th-7th: Run for the Roses at Majestic Farms
September: Christoph Hess Clinic
October 15th and 16th: KDA Fall Classic I and II

Various: Spy Coast
June 28th-July 3rd: Silverrama 
September: Sport Horse Nationals (depending on how he'll look)
Various: SAHIBA

Maybe I'll get lucky next year and get to go to Florida where they have 15 events in a span of three weeks.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Process the progress

I'm late on posting the December recap, I blame the recent nice weather which allowed us to get outside consistently for a few days.

Sinari did well with the time off, although I suspect the lack of turnout (weather induced) gave her a lot of rest. When we did return to work she was rock solid after three days of refreshing and reminding that the standing rules are still standing.We worked mostly on adjustability, re-affirming the inside leg and half halts.

Goals December:
-1/2 Pirouette to full pirouette
Much better, less schooling size more competition size.  Still have to be aware of the last step and pivots.

-Quality between-gait transitions
Better, started doing medium/extended to collected.

-Changes on different lines/set ups
Good not quite there. She's behind the aids.

 Not quite where I like it to be. With two weeks off due to weather,

Goals January:
-Ride as many time as the weather will allow
-Refine half halts
-lateral work
-Develop show schedule