Monday, October 26, 2009

Rocking C / ODS-GCC Halloween Show Report

Rain again mid-week soaked the Wild Orban Arena before it dried out from the last rain. I shopped the Walmart in McPherson, KS for the halloween costume supplies and the girls and I worked dilegently to make dozens of tassels to decorate horse blankets, bridles, manes and tails. Meanwhile, the arena stayed WET!
Even so, Ruthie came out Friday evening and tried to work Pico between the mud puddles. No canter since it was pretty slippery but she still dominated as required. Sat. morning I took Splash to Patty's for the weekly lesson and we struggled with impulsion. We were preparing for the show with Roberta Clark as judge and Louise Waring as 2nd judge. And of course, mighty preparations for the costume class.

The predicted rain held off while we showed at the Rocking C on Sunday. Alaina and Sunny had good Intro A (57.0) and Intro B (59.5)tests. Alaina has been tentative with Sunny since he bucked her off at the summer Rocking C show. They had nice rides, if a little lacking in impulsion, but I think they will be prepared to canter come spring. Pico was a good boy for both Ivy and Ruthie although he thought 4 tests was 4 to many. Ruthie had nice rides and Ivy did a good job with consistancy and obedience but lacked impusion especially at the canter in T2 (60.714 from RC 62.857 from LW) and T4 (54.80).

Both girls needed the last show for year-end award qualification since both had to change horses mid-year.

Alaina started off the year with Diez who, even at the advanced equine age of 28, was still going strong and looked great. Then, the week before the show in July at the Rocking C, Diez got serious laminitis and foundered in all 4 hooves with 4 to 5 degrees of rotation in the front feet. So, Alaina had to ride Sunny in the summer show and he bucked her off before her fist test and she was so injured/scared that she couldn't ride either test. So, Lily Pond was her 1st show with her replacement mount where she recieved 2 scores from Louise Waring. With the cancellation of the Parie Lane show, she needed 2 judges at the Rocking C but with any judge except Louise W - since Louise was the 2nd judge, she is out of luck for year-end.

Ivy was a little luckier. She started the year with TC who is 23. After the first couple of shows, TC developed wheezing during canter work, so we decided Ivy would just show TC in Intro Walk/Trot for the rest of the year. Shannean decided to concentrate on Paige Marie rather than Pico, so Ivy planned to ride Pico in Training Level in the remaining shows. She got one TL score at the Rocking C summer show and then another at the Lily Pond show. At Lily Pond, TC had a breathing problem that resulted in the decision to retire him from the dressage show ring. That left Ivy with only Pico and Training Level possiblities. So, at the Rocking C Halloween show, she rode Pico in TL2 and Ts 4 using TL2 as the double judged test - squeeking by with just enough scores to qualify for year-end. And, since she was the only junior under 13 in TL - she won HighPoint and was thrilled.

Splash was fairly well behaved - although I resorted to a new set of very short/mild spurs so I wouldn't hurt him. We scored 69.0 in Intro B and 60.0 in TL 4. Fantastic! The best scores ever with the slugmaster. So, I can't complain since I placed first in intro - woo hoo....

About the costume class - it was impressive! As usual, the dressage riders and their mounts outdid themselves. Patty and Silka were "the Scream," Miranda and Cindy were big cats, we had Alice and a huge white rabbit, a hippy and her hippy horse, an indian pony and indian princess, Zoe and Jasmine were a gypsy on a gypsy vanner, Kathy and Call were M&Ms, Ivy and Pico were an elf on his reindeer and Alaina and Sunny were an Arabian Rider on an Arabian Horse (Sunny thinks the costume suited him and it is not a stretch) and, last but not least, Jessie, Andy, Denali and the wiener dog were Woody, Jessie, Andy and the wiener dog from Toy Story. Great costums and Jessie, Gypsy, Alice, and the Elf were declared the winners.

Ah, the excitement. The good news is that Diez seems to have recovered enough for light riding which makes Alaina very happy. And TC is looking great as the resident pasture pet. I think both will still be ridable for small children and we will limit TC's trips to minimize any breathing attacks.
With darkness falling earlier all the time, weekday yaya rides are over for the year. However, this week yayas will meet for dinner and celebrate the October birthdays (Sherry, Marsha, and in absentia, Kathy). YAYA

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Colors at Morning Star Ranch

For a moment last friday evening there was sunshine at Morning Star Ranch. I just had to post this picture. Don't the trees look like they are on fire with fall colors???

Sunday, October 18, 2009

No Party Lesson

Even though the rain has finally stopped, we didn't get sunshine until Friday and it was a lovely day. The WOR arena was pretty muddy in several places but the girls and I rode a bit in the afternoon. Alaina rode Diez around bareback and Ivy wanted to work Splash so I rode Sunny in der German Neck Stretcher. It was fun to ride a horse who really does leg yeilds when asked and Sunny was so good that Alaina decided to ride him too. Ivy did a good job with Splash but it was to muddy everywhere to do any canter work - so we took a mini-trail ride around the front side of the property.

On Sat., Patty, Rita and Denise were all down in Guthrie for the recognized show so there was no party lesson in Inola. Ivy wanted to work Sister so we did a little round pen work and then some showmanship while Alaina rode Diez a little bareback. It was colder than Friday so we went inside for hot chololate. Then in the late afternoon, we got Splash, Sunny, and Pico out for a little work. Alaina rode Sunny in the American Neck Stretcher (i.e., a training fork) while I used the GNS on Splash. With mud still pretty deep in several places, Ivy worked on some canter departs while Alaina did some trail (gate and box) practice. I got a couple of very short canters out of Splash - all correct to the left and the 3rd and 4th correct to the right. Progress - sort of since a year ago there would have been NO canter in such tight quarters and 6 months ago, they would all have been on the wrong lead.

Sunday morning Ivy wanted to work Sister again so we did a little lounging in the round pen with saddle and bridle followed by more showmanship out in the arena. Alaina walked around on Diez and the neighbor horses supervised. Then Christina H and I went up to Foyil to test an appendix Qrt Horse as a possible mount for Christina at next years' schooling shows. Rocket's owner is in her second year at Arkansas and Rocket is not getting used - he has lots of experience - 4-H, pony club, jumping and dressage in his background. Christina walked and trotted him after Sara warmed him up with walk/trot/canter. He is a good mover, a people horse with a lovely, calm disposition. I hope the match works out because Christina could have lots of fun on a horse like him.

Then, back to the wild O ranch and the girls and I rode Sunny, Pico, and Splash in the arena. Still muddy in both ends, but slowly drying out. The horses were pretty good and the girls finished with a mini trailride in halters with Sunny and Splash. Pico showed great bravery passing the new graveyard the mysteriouly appeared. What a good boy. Just a warm up for the halloween events coming in the next couple of weeks. yaya!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Well, another show was cancelled due to excessive rain. The Prairie Lane show scheduled for today was a no-go because the mud generated by last week's rain couldn't dry out in time. However, we still managed to do a bit of horsey stuff.

Kathy, Marsha, Shannean and I rode with Patty for the party lesson yesterday morning. The girls missed out on their lesson because we had to work the Cowboy Mounted Shooting at the Tulsa State Fair - arrival needed by 4:00pm. But I did manage lunch with the riding club at Graham's in Inola.

The lesson was a mix of good and not - that's what I get for saying Good and Splash in the same sentence last week. We started a bit stiff but it was a chilly morning. After warming up, Splash gave me some good trot work and fairly decent leg yields from quarter line and center line. Canter departs were decent as well but canters were difficult to keep when going from straightline to bend. The bad was our work on shoulder-in. We would try a small circle in the corner after going across the short end with the idea of keeping the bend into the straight away along the long side. But Splash would loose ALL of his forward movement in the circle and we would come to a real standstill instead of any shoulder in. Very frustrating. When we skipped the circle, we got a couple of slight shoulder in's - so quit while were were not behind. I think I strained several muscles in the attempts. So, more work needed.

Home to drop Splash and pickup the girls to go to the Cowboy Mounted Shooting (CMS). Fair traffic was awful and we started out trying to park near Gate 7, were sent to the track infield and then to the other side of the fairgrounds by the Golden Driller. Even though we should have been an hour early, we were at the wrong gate 5 min. until our scheduled start time. So, a fair angel rode us in a golf cart around the grounds and delivered us the the Mustang Arena a 4 sharp - we rode the cart without helmets and survived.

If you haven't seen CMS you are missing an exciting sport. The riders run a pattern of poles/barrels and shoot balloons as they go. A missed balloon adds 5 seconds to the time and gun issues sometimes cause missed balloons along the whole line. The shooter takes aim at 5 one color balloons, changes guns and then goes for the remaining 5 different color balloons. Ear plugs would be a good idea if you go see this event. Check out info at

The cool thing is that one of our own YaYa Sista's was competing in the CMS - Julie G was looking glamerous as she hunted down those pesky balloons. And! Under all that western glamor, she was in breeches. I think a CMS yaya name is in order. Also competing were Lisa V, Brittton C (4H boy) and Tammy E and Abby E (former cloverbuddy).

The 4-H horse club worked the shooting by setting balloons for the shooters. Very hard work with lots of running in the worked arena. During a break in the shooting, Texas Thunder made an appearance in the Mustang Arena. They were fabulous. The picture is of Kong, the biggest of the Priefert Hitch called Texas Thunder ( Kong is 19 hands tall, weighs 2370 pounds, and is a wheel horse on the hitch. The lovely Priefert staff (Rose and Jason Goodman and crew) showed the 4H kids some of their work un-tacking the hitch and then brought Kong out for a close up inspection. What a fabulous animal. Remined me of the Magical, Magnificent, Marvelous, Mystic, Midnight Thunder Mountain - my wonderful WY mount. YAYA!

A Riding Song...

Let us ride together,
Blowing mane and hair,
Careless of the weather,
Miles ahead of care,
Ring of hoof and snaffle,
Swing of waist and hip,
Trotting down the twisted road,
With the world let slip.

Anonymous - Storey's Horse-Lover's Encyclopedia

Sure missed our show today. HAGO! Marsha

Sunday, October 4, 2009


October is beautiful - crisp air, colorful leaves, blue-blue sky. But also, it is the month we lost Jaime. This first weekend of October, I planned to ride and ride some more.
Ivy and Alaina rode Pico and Sunny with Patty in the 9:00 am lesson. They started with elevated and angled caveletti and then worked on canter transitions including correct lead exercises. Both girls really made improvements. They ended their lesson with jumping for Ivy and gate/trail practice for Alaina.
Marsha and Lil, Kathy and Call, Shannean and Cappy (AKA Al Capone AKA LB) and Splash and I rode in the 11 oclock lesson. We started with trotwork and Splash was really good. We worked without the German Neck Stretcher and Splash was forward and mostly on the bit. If I didn't know better, I would think he is a good horse. Next, we did leg yeild exercises and canter followed by shoulder in and angled side-pass along the rail. Splash was very good overall, but our shoulder-in was difficult for both of us. Even though Splash was forward during trot, when we dropped to walk and tried to do 10 meter circles, our forward disappeared - I need to remember inside leg into outside hand and try to lessen pressure on inside hand as soon as we try to shoulder-in along the rail. That - and figure out how to keep forward at the walk....

Patty had to race to the Sara Martin Clinic, so we went to Ron's in Claremore for SPANISH FRIES..mmmmmm

Sunday was cool and cloudy but mostly rain-free. Alaina rode Diez around a little and then we got Sister out. We groomed her and worked a little showmanship in preparation for some additional training. The winter plan is to send her off for a month or two so that I can start to work her. Then, the 3 of us worked our usual mounts. Alaina got Diez out again and Splash and I joined them for a mini trail ride.
I used my day off on Friday to support the Veterinary Arts. In the morning, Jet took a little trip to visit Auntie Doctor Frantz for his life changing surgery. In the afternoon, Diez and TC went to Dr. Shipman's for a hoof update (Diez), a breathing evaluatation (TC), and tooth float (both). The good news is that Diez has no tenderness in any hoof - yippeee! Long term laminitis management will be required but Diez is released for light, wk/trot riding. We will keep shoes on her front feet and change her to a low starch feed. Alaina was thrilled to just sit on her first horse love.
TC got a lung check and then a scope to check out his breathing apparatus. We started with a big plastic bag over the nose (w/ stethescope for lung listening) to simulate the O2 reduction of hard work. TC's lungs work fine and there was no evidence of congestion. But the scope showed that there is no infection but that TC has partial paralysis of the left larynx. This is a condition common in race horses and could be the result of nerve damaged caused by injections often given by owners or by the intense race training in TC's youth. TC's problem is only now in evidence because of the weakening of his muscle tone due to advancing age and the increased alergies he has developed. This is the reason for TC's recent panic attacks. Because the left larynx is thinned, the airflow is reduced. When TC works, the airflow is restricted and, if he continues to breath hard, the airflow on the left side is reduced more. Then, poor TC thinks he is being strangled and panics. So, TC really is in retirement because he really can panic with just a little work when he has an allegic reaction at the same time.
I am sure that he won't mind staying home and eating regularly...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sox is Growing!

Hello Yayas,

Just wanted to post a picture of Sox, our 5 1/2 month old red dun colt. Isn't he cute?

Hope you are all doing well and getting out riding in this lovely weather we have been getting.