Monday, September 28, 2009

Deezie Update and the Tulsa State Fair

Hello my YaYa Sista's! My Kansas travel schedule has really kept my yaya rides limited this past summer but I keep hoping for good riding weather at the same time as my riding availabity.

Meanwhile, after several months of founder-recovery, Diez has been calling from the round pen for attention and moving around pretty well. So, Sunday afternoon, Alaina rode her at a walk around the arena and over some cavaletti poles for 10 or 15 minutes. Diez seemed to enjoy her outing and Alaina was happy even without trot or canter. Later this week, we will visit Doc Shipman for a laminitis checkup. I hope her reversed shoes will have done the trick and that Dr. S will release her for some more riding workouts.

The girls rode in the Tulsa State Fair Horseshow on Sat. so Splash and I didn't get our party lesson at Patty's. But Shannean rode Splash in both western and english classes - even placing 8th in Hunter Under Saddle - very impressive. However, Hunt Seat Eq didn't have the required canter - surprise-surprise. Ivy rode Pico well with her cast but the Judge didn't look twice at the arab cross with correct canter leads. Alaina and Sunny got placed in Showmanship, Hunter Under Saddle, Hunt Seat Eq, and Wst. Pleasure even with a couple of incorrect leads. Sunny's (OSU Taris Two Grand) half-bro Charlie (OSU Triple My Check) was there with Madison from Ponca City and it is always fun to have the palomino girls riding together. Charlie used to be Amanda B's mount in 4-H back in the day. We also got to see Ruthie and Istari and hang with Jean.
I worked Splash a little on Sunday afternoon, a little leg yielding and some turns on 4hand and haunches. Leftover puddles from last weeks 4-in rain hampered canter work. Ruthie dropped by and worked Pico, who was VERY good. Now, if we can get just plain Good at the next dressage show, Ruthie will be sitting pretty.
Looks like I will miss the ride this Wed. (Ks again) and that Patty will be at a clinic this weekend (so no party lesson) but I will work Splash SOMETIME.. So, until we ride again..... YaYa

Saturday, September 26, 2009

GCC Ed. Program- Tai Chi for Equestrians!!!

Howdy all you sista's! Today was the Tai Chi program for equestrians at Kay Kamish's lovely Rivendell Farm. First Kay explained to us the basic concepts of mind and body control and finding your center. SO that we can join with the horses' center! Tension is as we all know, a no-no!
Then we did ground exercises which I found very beneficial. We learned how to breath letting our stomachs get soft and breath deeper into the abdomen(well not really but you let your center of gravity fall this low...) Then we learned how to stand and meditate and step side to side without leaning to keep our balance. We did single iron arm stretches and lifting/pressing exercises with our breathing. This last part can be very beneficial to helping one sit the trot as it helps get that center lower and channel it's power. Some hip circles and bending with an arch then rolling the back finished off our ground exercises. Next were some partnered exercises which we mostly opted not to do in lieu of taking a short break before watching Jennifer demonstrate Tai Chi on horseback which you see up top. Then Shannean rode Finnegan to demonstrate how we can easily learn Tai Chi to help us allow the horse to perform.

If you missed this program, we missed you! Still an enjoyable, educational, fun day was had by all as we soaked up some early fall sun. Laughter was included, free of charge.

Hope to see you all again soon! Marsha

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fair Report

Ah, the 2009 County Fair was here and we survived. Ivy got to ride some classes even with her right arm in a cast.
She got buckle fractures in both bones a week ago racing with the neighbor kids and her sister. Her doctor gave the OK for riding - I said NO jumping, speed or halter/showmanship.
Both girls had some good rides - most impressive were their 3rd and 4th placings in trail and Ivy's 1st place in Hunt Seat Eq. Shannean rode Splash and had some good moments.
He was not so good in the pattern classes - being very resistant to prompt canter transitions.
The fair ended with the fun show and cloverbud show today and it's a good thing - I was getting tired.

At the fun show on Sunday, the kids did the Magazine Relay, Water Cup Relay, Tennis Ball relay, and TP races; in the TP race, Alaina and Ivy rode their horses around the barrel holding a length of TP between them without breaking.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

GCC Sept Show at Wind Valley 9/19

Well it was a wonderful day at the GCC schooling show at Wind Valley! If I could have gone to both it and the fair, I would have but Ms Tender Lil had banged up her left hind leg kicking through the fence at another mare at home so we counted it good to make it to one show today! And what a show it was! Mild temps, good scores, good company, beautiful horses! You just cannot beat that! Patty had good looking rides on Silka and Denise and Jurgen were looking fantastic as well. A rider error or two and a sore left hind leg may have cost Lil and I our ever illusive score of 60 in T4 but our walk scores have improved and we even got a 7 for our FXH change rein working trot! The judge put straight and active! WooHoo! Hope all went well at the fair, sorry we missed it but we may come out for cloverbuds show tomorrow.

Until next time, happy trails to all!

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Rogers Co. Fair is ON

The girls and I are riding in the horse show starting at 2 pm and will show halter at 10. Sunday's schedule is the fun show at noon and cloverbuds at 2. Come on down and share the lovely weather. To bad we miss the dressage show at Sandy Thompson's tomorrow.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Splash and Stuff

I will start with the good stuff - Splash and our lesson yesterday. I worked without the famous German Neck Stretcher and Splash was fairly responsive - for him. And, compared to his performance at the show last week, he was lovely. We worked on walk/trot transitions and then some canter/circle work. Splash tends to come above the bit both up and down but improved during the lesson. Our circles tend to be unbalanced and cut in but because Splash wants to stop constantly, we have lots of work keeping the canter; transitions from straight to circle keeping the canter is difficult too. But, all our leads were correct - which was a first.
Then we worked on leg yields from C to B/E followed by a turn on the forehand. Both directions, Splash was very resistant the first time but then did several lovely turns promply and without resistance. Lesson over on a good note.
Now the bad stuff - Ivy broke both forearm bones Friday evening, but refused to admit to much pain until Sat. morning when the swelling was really hurting her. So, we headed to St. John/Owasso to check and hoped for a sprain. Steve posted the xray on the As the world Turns blog - but both the ulna and radius have buckles along one side. St. John put a temp splint on her right arm and we are referred to an orthopedic for the real cast. Although painful enough, Ivy is really upset about the likelyhood that she will not be able to ride in the Rogers Co Fair (the last 4-H point show) or the Tulsa State Fair or the rest of the Dressage shows for the year. We will ask the Doc if riding is permissable - cross fingers, but for sure, there won't be any halter or showmanship since Splash is very pushy and a right arm is really needed. Oh, the injury is not horse related - there was a 3-kid pileup at the round bale when Ivy, Alaina, and Riley were racing; Ivy was 2nd and trying to pull a Michael Phelps win by reaching over Riley at the finish - Alaina was in hot pursuit.
So, cross fingers for rain to stop and yaya's to be go.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


We didn't go riding or anything in Colorado. However we did see a bunch of Elk and a Pica.  
When growing up in Colorado, I never saw Elk or a Moose.  Elk are so beautiful and this time of the year they are getting their herds together. The big guy on the right and about 20 of his herd were in downtown Estes Park tying up traffic.  I just hate that when it happens!  ha

We hiked up to Dream Lake.  


THE ORBAN'S ARE LOOKING GOOD. Glad to see everyone last night. Your trip (except tent camping) sounded wonderful. Although, I would have endured the tent to see the country you'll saw. I wonder if it is going to rain for forty days and forty nights. I guess it is better than a drought. Of course Patti and Denise didn't look have bad themselves. Go ladies!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lily Pond and horsey stuff

The Lily Pond Show was fun and, at times, a little to exciting. Alaina rode Sunny in 2 intro tests without incident or enough impulsion.

But, Ivy and TC had a different story. After a calm and obedient warmup, Ivy and TC were waiting a few minutes before their Intro B test.

Suddenly, for no apparent reason, TC seemed to panic - we got Ivy off and I dismounted to help. We went into the warmup/indoor arena and TC calmed down. Richele helped Ivy re-mount and work out the stress. The ring steward re-arranged the riders and a few minutes later, Ivy tried to enter the arena to complete the test. They never got to the ring; TC dumped Ivy and bolted back into the covered arena and blasted around full speed 2 or 3 times like wolves were after him. Ivy was shaken up but OK and an hour or so later, rode Pico in T2 for a good ride.
Possible causes for TC to spazz out: bug up TC's nose/ears/lungs; red ants biting legs; or mold causing an asthma attack. The last year or so, TC has had 2 similar episodes when exposed to moldy air - not quite so extreme. I guess he really will have to give up dressage shows.

Ruthie and Istari had a great dressage test scoring a 10 on one movement but having a little trouble on the cross country course. Jessie had good jumping/dressage runs with Denali and then Ruthie had some nice rides on Pico.

Christiana is really making great strides with Ardemus - he is a really nice young horse and they are running rings around me and Splash. Denise rode Tater Dee really well and looked fab on Jurgen - woo-hoo. Kathy and Call were looking mighty fine and Patty and Dante had 2 beautiful rides to end the day.

Nancy and her new buckskin/dun/paint cutie pie will be joining us shortly. Yippee!

Alaina got a chance to ride Istari and loves him since he reminds her of the Dezzie Doo.
And on Monday afternoon, Ivy worked Pico over cavaletties, crossbars and low jumps and had a great time. She talked Alaina into trying Pico over crossbars, and after a slow start, Alaina discovered how much fun Pico can be. Later, the girls taught Jet how to jump jumps too.

Splash escaped working this evening since RAIN messed with our yaya ride - but don't worry, we ate, socialized and laughed together anyway.

Splash was difficult at the Lily Pond show, but when you consider my recent travel (i.e., non-riding) schedule, then we did as well as could be expected. In T4, we were VERY late with our first canter transition (Rt Lead) and scored a 5 (should have been 4). Then recieved 4s on the next 2 movements which were much better. hmmm. Our Intro test was very tense on my part because Ivy had just had her TC incident, but the score was over 62 (63.something) - I might have 2 Intro qualifying scores, but I still don't have even 1 qualifying score in Training level. Perhaps I won't have a decision to make about the schooling show championships. Our lesson on Sat. was good although I had quite a lot of trouble with the turn on the forehand in motion. Splash and I really struggled until I envisioned a leg yield where the hind moves faster than the forehand around a point (thanks Patty). I will work on that next chance I get. Next Sat., another lesson and then the following weekend, the county fair.
To show or not to show...... that is the question.. I probably should just to get Splash in the ring....


16 Dangerous Hot Flashes - Well, 3 of us were not there yet. Grace set up the trip and she and my sis Trisha came up with the name so we could have matching T-shirts. I still think we should be the WY Halter Mares.
Steff-F, Cathy, Nancy, Dana, Dawn, Purple-Steph, Grace, Linda, Kristi, Tami, Denise, Trisha, Marcia, Carla/Chrissie, Marianne, and Jill. Trisha, Dawn, Dana, Stephanie and I arrived in Jackson Hole on Sat. afternoon and met Grace, Carla, Tami, Jill, and Denise for a little pre-trip sight-seeing. We gathered in Duboise, WY where Grace has a beautiful WY style home; Marianne and Marcia live in Dubois too. Nancy is from CO, Linda from Ohio, Jill from Boston, and Kristie from CA. Trisha is from FLA, Dawn from TX and the rest of us live in OK.
Trisha brought Gator meat and Avocados from FLA for our Sunday evening dinner before the big trip into the mountains. So, early Monday morning on Aug. 24, we headed west to the Turpin Meadow Ranch headquarters for a great breakfast and to settle the logistics. Casey, the trail boss, assigned our horses and we saddled up and headed out.

Our route was along the South Buffalo. We rode into the mountains on fabulous draft cross (mostly) horses well trained for their mission; i.e., to carry fearful passengers up and down ridiculously steep terrain...

for a long time.... We had a 5 hour ride with a 1/2 hour picnic lunch stop. The scenery was spectacular - when we had the nerve to look at it. We lunched in a mountain meadow along a mountain stream and saw the pack-mule train (carrying all our stuff and provisions) pass us by. By the time we got to Lower Pendergraft Meadow (our base camp), we were all ready for assisted dismounts - but we were still 20 min away (wrangler time); our tents were already set up halfway down the meadow. A beautiful meadow complete with the South Buffalo flowing along between Terrace Mountain to the north and Angle Mountain to the south.

Our 'wranglers' were all YOUNG, PROFESSIONAL, and FUN. Casey - the trail boss, Rick - Cook/Chef, Troy, Dan, and Andrea - wranglers and expert horsemen/women, and Mike - fly fishing guide. 16 on a pack trip was a Turpin Meadow's record - and 16-women only...... When Casey told Grace he could take 18, he imagined 8 at most. The Turpin Meadow's crew took good care of us and helped make the trip a great success. (l-r are Dan, Casey, Andrea, Troy, Mike, and Rick)

Rick can whip up Good Eats on a campfire using traditional cast iron cookware. Treats included pancakes, eggs (with the toppings of choice), oatmeal, bbq chicken, camp stew, and steak as well as apple crisp and peach cobbler - yummy. Lunches were make-your-own sandwich fixings to take on the trail or enjoy in camp with very good bread. Water was available in camp - filtered from the camp spring and Rick made gallons of camp coffee every morning to wake everyone up. Evenings around the campfire usually started with a campfire game led by Rick - guess your occupation or favorite movie and movie scene. Then talk and Laugh time before heading to our tents. Tents for 2 or 3 included a therm-a-rest and sleeping bag - some of us had an extra pool-type air mattresses brought by Trisha. The ground was hard and lumpy and the nights got VERY COLD. It could be that I am OLD....

So, each morning in camp, we had to option to ride into the mountains. On Tuesday, the riders went to South Fork Falls and met the hiking party at the falls for our picnic lunch. On Wed., riders went out on the Cub Trail to lunch in a meadow before returning to camp and on Thurs., riders went to a beautiful cliff meadow on the way to Nolin Meadows. BEAUTIFUL and way fun. Meanwhile, non-riders could hang in camp, hike or rock climb, or go fishing with Hiker Mike. Mike is an expert fly fisherman who will do anything to avoid getting on a horse - including hiking 12 miles, uphill, backwards, through mud and snow, fending off bears and wolves. OK, maybe no snow and no backwards and no bears....

Now, about my horse. She was the best mare ever (for packing up and down mountains with a heights phobic rider). My mount started with the name Thunder but she is a now Percheron cross that earned some additions to her name. By the end of our adventure, I called her "Majestic, Magnificent, Marvelous, Mystic, Magic, Midnight Thunder Mountain." She never put a foot wrong no matter how much I twisted around trying to get a good picture or how rough or steep the trail. By the end of my time with her, I was comfortable riding along the very edge of the cliff trails and going up or down the steepest terrain. In fact, I could ride closer to an edge than I could walk along on my own two klutzy feet.
The Buffalo is teaming with fish - easily caught by Hiker-Mike. The area is the only home for the famous Cutthroat Trout but also has Brook and Brown trout in abundance. I tried fly fishing and caught myself - twice. It was fun, but Horsing around is way more fun - and safer for me. I am sure that the scene of me hooking my face would have been worthy of America's Funniest as I floundered on the slippery rocks in the swift stream in funky waders and boots, but, luckily, that was not documented on film. Several other fishing attempts by OTHERS were more successful and we got to sample Brook Trout cooked over an open fire.

Our last morning in camp (Fri) was a flurry of packing - our duffels were needed in the packing area by 7:30am... We had breakfast and loaded our ponies to head out of the wilderness with a couple of wranglers, the rest loaded up the mules. Our ride out was about an hour faster since the horses know they are going home - but we stopped for lunch near the pack bridge to break up the trip.

We got back to Turpin Meadows base camp before the pack mules which gave us time to get branded and get a few sodas with ice.

We were all sad to end the trip even as we looked forward to showers and Linda's Amish wedding chicken. But, Linda got a new grandbaby while we were in the wilderness and headed back to Ohio early Sat morning. She left her secret ingredients and we ate great chicken and got to have Joe's presentation on Indian culture. Look at those great models! We all want to ride again but have requested cabins.... Thanks to Grace, Turpin Meadows Ranch and my Hot Flash and Not Flash Sista's - all YaYa's in spirit.

For more pictures, check out the WHF Shutterfly site: