Thursday, June 27, 2013

Blue Ribbons and other awards

 I don't know why this post got deleted, I just know I had to re-type it. I was nominated a few times
for the Liebster Award (Sixth Stride, Cob Jockey, Woven Web). So thanks for the nomination!

(I tried re-creating the post exactly how it was but, of course things get jumbled)

11 Facts About Me:
1. I ride two to three horses, six days a week on top of a forty hour a week job. Two exceptions to this are weather over 100 and sub 30 degrees. I maintain my amateur status, clean stalls, hang the tack, work for Christoph Hess, and manage my own company in addition to all of this. 
2. I was a vegetarian for 10 years. Animal Science changed this. 
3. I started my company wanting an education, and got much more than I bargained for. I've met countless people, and it's made me a better person and rider.
4. I was a professional journalist for 8 years. It's how I saw much of the world, and I wouldn't exchange the experience. I stopped because the industry was unstable, and the hours really pushed out riding. I made a then-choice to take a crappy job with stable hours so I could train.
5. I am dyslexic. I was in special education for 9 years.
6. I'm way excited about the quality coming up in my barn, but it's also intimidating that I have to live up to it.
7. I'm a pedigree geek. I love qualitative relationships and theory that doing ped work provides.
8. I live next to a pretty cemetery.
9. I love to sleep. You'll often find me conked out on the couch with a book, a cat and the TV going.
10. I used to hate texting and resisted forever about getting an iPhone. Now, I prefer texting and can't live without it.
11. I have good people. I couldn't do anything without them. 

  1. Why did you start blogging and who in real life knows that you blog?
    I started blogging to track the progress and chart goals for Sinari. From there its evolved with the goal set and various things that are happening, the cast of characters also evolved as well. A lot of people know I blog, the cool thing (aside from getting comments) is actually meeting readership and getting to know their stories. 
  2. Black or brown tack
    Black, but I covet a pair of brown (dark brown) schooling boots. 
  3. Favorite Comfort food?
    Chocolate, and various mediums thereof.
  4. Favorite Color?
    Red, blues, second runner up black. 
  5. If you could ride any horse (living or not), who would it be?
    Too many to list. 
  6. What other pets do you own?
    Two cats. Although they would question the word owner. 
  7. What is your "hidden talent?"
    Being driven. 
  8. You win the lottery, what would you buy first?
    More Grand Prix horses and pay off the house.
  9. You can travel anywhere, for an infinite amount of time, with an infinite amount of money, where do you go?
    Europe, to train. 
  10. You're intimidated by?
    Lack of knowledge, being out of my depth. 
  11. Favorite movie?
    My favorite thing to do at the end of the day is to watch movies. I really don't have any favorite that I can specifically recall. But my Netflix and Amazon Prime accounts are well abused, and on my truly off days (rare) I love going to the movies if there's anything decent playing.`
From Woven Web:
1. Favorite racehorse and why?
Curlin or Rags to Riches. Classic distance horses have always been a favorite. I hope I see offspring in the sport horse arena.
 2. First racetrack you ever went to or wish to visit if never been?
Saratoga, made Keeneland look a little shabby.
 3. Favorite horse real or fictional?
My own. Perk of the job is I know wonderful horses, but seeing mine and how they're developing is the most exciting. 
 4. What color of horse do you prefer and which markings on it?
Inadvertently partial to chestnuts with bling. Bays and blacks are apparently popular too. 
  5. Who is your riding idol?
Kyra Kyrklund 
 6. Best place you've ever visited that isn't considered a major tourist attraction or is 'off the beaten path'?
 7. Favorite breakfast cereal?
Raisin Bran, otherwise granola in milk. 
 8. Favorite non horse animal? Can't be cat or dog either...
  Blue Heron.
9. What are you most afraid of? 
Being out of my depth. 
10. Could you ever see yourself training or competing in dressage?
I too aspire to make pretty twenty meter sand circles. 
11. Three people, dead or alive, real or fictional you'd have dinner with?
 a. Christoph Hess (I have dinner with him frequently)
 b. The Klimkes
 c. Felicitas Von Neuman Cosal

Monday, June 24, 2013

Crazy Kids

Photo by Susan Black
After a week of travel, Danazdor finally arrived over a week ago, Sunday morning, as I was pulling in with my morning coffee and plans to run horses through the jump chute.

His original ETA was for Wednesday that week, then pushed to Friday, then Saturday, and by that time, I just threw my hands up and wished that we crated him up with UPS.

Surprisingly, he came off the trailer no worse for wear. He was dusty, a little thirsty, and hungry. He hadn't dropped a single pound on his trip. Silly air fern.  We are just in case- going to start him on ulcer stuff because of the rapid change in grass quality and the long travel. He was popped back into place by Thursday by the chiro, and will probably have more body work done by my regular girl, Dr. Tummlin. But for a four year old that just criss-crossed the entire western US, and arrived at a busy barn, he is surprisingly mellow and no worse for wear.

After I rolled through everyone in the chute, I got to play with him a little bit. He's a ham on the ground, doesn't want to be chased, would rather be cuddled and thinks he's the best. He's the first horse that I know automatically poses for photos. He's also a carrot whore.

Because of the travel, the body work, the change in everything we're keeping it light this week, he was lunged the first day, and the second day was lunged/ridden to no drama or fireworks. After the adjustment, we rode one more time in the arena and hacked out, already feeling better. Sunday was a hack day, we took him and a barnmate out to Masterson to work the hills a little more extensively. He was quick to settle into the routine and worked very well in the arena and went trotting/cantering outside with very little fuss, just a little looky. The only thing I can fault him on is that he doesn't like water, and has no idea how to go through it.

He's incredibly obedient under saddle, but after riding horses with a lot of gears, this guy hasn't found his yet. This is mostly because he has to develop physically. He also carries tension over the back which really diminishes his gaits (which are flipping fantastic) so there's a lot of work to do with developing his hind end and more looseness. We've developed a plan of attack for his schedule (it involves hills, an aquatred and alot of transitions). Despite all this, he's easy and easy to sit, just lacks developing.

Looking at schedule, we might go out and do a few schooling shows through July and early August, and one of the local barns is hosting a low key show with a materiale class attached to it. It sounds like a good precursor to the fall shows that we're taking a solid aim for.  

But honestly, for a four year old, couldn't be more thrilled. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Beat this summer

With the rain we've had, I feel the switch from hay to rice is in order.

Despite rain, horse show season is still going strong up here.

I'm currently sitting out with Sinari while we develop, the focus is really Fall and Florida for her, which makes me excited. Lately we've been returning to full collection (pir's and piaffe/passage work), while we clean up our act. The low-pressure year has really done well. I'm happy, she's happy, my gas bill for the truck is reasonable.

I'm really looking forward to taking her to a three-day clinic with a piaffe/passage specialist. It's been my one of my main weaknesses that I don't have a good feel for. I've ridden a lot of pi/pa, but never had to really put a full 12-15 steps on a horse before. The two's are cooking right along and the one's I don't know about yet, we have three. Which I suppose is better than one. 

Reba made her eventing start last weekend, scoring a respectable 36 and change in dressage (ending up first on the leaderboard), a double clear in stadium (no brainer), but cross country there was a bit of a disconnect and hang up and an untimely departure between horse and rider. More than a few people had hangups and issues on that maxed out course, including a few friends who were schooling training height and had uncharacteristic time penalties and a tree fall in the middle of their stadium round.

It happens, but this is why we have schooling shows. Otherwise, very happy with her and the progress she's made in a year. Her new rider is enjoying her very much.

Sincere's owner also keeps sending in updates. From the photos, he's matured incredibly well, developing more bone and a tad bit more height. His owner is incredibly happy with him (despite young horse shenanigans), and I couldn't be more pleased about the match. I think he'll go out to show in the fall too.

Fritz has put on massive amounts of topline and has been working his tail off with me, his owner and one of the other girls who is brave enough to hack him on hills (as a rule I don't do baby's first outings). His main problem is, as with all driving breeds gone to the sport, endurance. He gets the connection, holds it for about 20 meters and drops it. Takes about 20 meters to get it back. With the hotter weather, he can only really last for thirty minutes. So it's more and more emphasis on conditioning.

Finally there's another new face in crowd, Danzador MSM kinda rounds out the "hair
crowd". He's a co-owned project that I'm actually kinda excited about. He's another 2009 baby, bay, leggy, tall and a PRE. When I saw his tape he didn't wasn't a-typical PRE that I saw in Texas (short with legs tending going everywhere), but naturally uphill and this freaky for the breed front end. He passed vet and is somewhere in the US currently heading to Kentucky. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Get Lucky

Since Reba made the switch to jumping, things have been progressing rapidly. She's gone from a fairly cranky dressage horse to a very bold, outgoing individual. She really enjoys her job and I'm happy to let her go and do it.

The mare has gone from simple questions to more complex and bold combinations. I've recently paired her with an ambitious local young rider who's good horse is out of commission from pasture accident and needed a leg up on quality.  People have been asking whether or not Reba was for sale or lease for a little while now (I typically sell my jumpers, keep the dressage horses) and until recently the answer was no, she was not for sale, but if the right rider came along, I would consider placing her with that person to keep her progressing and to give her owner a better candidate for when she breeds her.

From the tryout, it was pretty much a match made after the first ride. The kid has tact and good hands. Plus velcro for a position. The combination have really gained traction in the training and competition schedule. Reba is to be entered in a mini trial this upcoming Sunday at Spring Run and from there proceed to qualify for American Eventing Championships for BN or N.

Her barn (family owned/operated) is a departure from a one-person training operation as a training horse in a field. From what I've come to understand she's one on one with her girls and is getting worked everyday in some capacity.  In the end I think this is another progression Reba's career.

It seriously wouldn't surprise me if she ended up top ten at AEC this year in Texas.

It also kinda makes me wish I still evented in some capacity, but I'm still a bit of a weenie DQ these days to work anything bigger than a ground pole and do gallop sets. So vicariously living for the discipline is what I do best.