Sunday, February 28, 2010

Show Season Starts!

YaYa's celbrated Jan/Feb birthdays with a dinner gathering at Olive Garden Tuesday evening.  Alas, I was working late and could not partake.  I trust that my YaYa sisters had a toast for me and I look forward to our next outing.  Perhaps (a girl can dream) it will be a riding outing?  Ya think?

This past weekend the Rogers County 4-H Horse Club hosted the annual Will Rogers Classic horse show - it's part of the Rogers County Spring Livestock Show.  Two days of halter, english, western and speed events to give everyone the opportity to breath more dust than is good for you.  We moved the horses into the barn on Friday evening and then bathed (socks and manes and tails only since it was very cold) and banded in preparations of Sat./Sunday's classes.

Kathy B and I rode the English classes together and both of our mounts were fairly well behaved.  We alternated placing over each other and determined that we were the over all winners since the women who placed over us were either professional trainers or had been showing horses since they were 3 (or both).  I ended up with the reserve English award because Kathy and Call didn't do showmanship. 

Call was really very good and Kathy was rightly proud of her.  Even Splash was on his best behavior - because I LOUNGED him both mornings for attitude adjustment.  Sat., he was a little more consistant in the Hunter Under Saddle Class but Sunday, we either were rushing or trying to drop gait.  Our Hunt Seat Eq classes were decent.  The pattern on Sat. required counter canter and Splash got it.  Sunday's pattern required left lead from a standstill to start the pattern, followed by a trot sequence and then right lead canter and he got them too.  I did have to use VERY strong leg including some English spurs.

The girls had very successful show days too.  Alaina and Sunny focused on Western only and placed 2nd and 3rd in Trail.  Although she didn't win any of her classes, all of her rides were obedient and smooth.  The competion in 9-11 Western is very stiff.  Ivy and Pico had good rides as well; they did English, Western, and Speed events doing barrels/poles/stakes in a lovely dressage canter.  Ivy managed to win 9-11 English Reserve High Point and recieved a lovely monogrammed garment bag.  Also, Splash and Ivy won reserve halter high point and received a trophy to prove it.

The show ran very late this evening, but, overall, a way fun show.... Now, when will I get a chance to re-organize the trailer and take bands out of manes?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

RAIN - again

Well guess what?  It is raining - - and cold.  What a surprise.  The ground was starting to recover from the past onslaught of water/snow/etc. but a new system brought more rain last night and most of the day.  Full creeks, soggy pastures and flooded arenas are back.  But the weekend was not a total lost cause.

Friday afternoon Alaina rode with Dawn D and both she and Sunny are looking good when in the small arena under Dawn's watchful eye.  Hopefully, the show next weekend will not result in to much backsliding- but we all know that Rome was not built in a day.  Then, Sat. afternoon, Ivy got a lesson on Pico and Alaina joined in riding Jetter.  Ivy and Pico are making progress although Ivy's lesson on Thursday evening was really good.  Then Kathy B and I had the 3:00pm slot with a 4:00pm deadline so K and R could get in to Tulsa in time to see Reba. 

Splash was so hateful right off the bat that I had to dismount and longe him for 15 min.  He bucked and carried on as if he resented the end of his winter retirement.  Back in the saddle, we had adequate trot and canter work although it took a lot of effort on my part.  Our horsemanship was really bad.  Canter departs were either non-existant or wrong lead, headstrong and difficult stops, and worst of all sloppy geometry (we were back to fighting over who was driving).  Yuck!  Call and Kathy were LOTS better.  So, I made plans to return Sun PM and work some more. 

After our rides, Pico and Splash got some pre-show trimming including shaving off all the white on all 4 of Pico's stockinged legs as well as bridle paths, ears, and whiskers.  Rain was coming in but the temps weren't bad. 

Sunday, Alaina and I went to Owasso and Alaina rode Sunny and worked a little showmanship.  Then we trimmed his white foot, ears, etc. although I had to resort to twitching to get that pesky left ear done.  While we were at Dream  Maker, Heather gifted the girls with some hand-me-down show cloths!  The girls spent Sunday evening trying on outfits and both girls lucked out since there were western and english items in their size with some bigger items for future use.  WOW!  THANK YOU HEATHER! 

Then, home to pick up Diez, Splash, and Ivy to head to Inola to work the boys down there.  Alaina just wanted to play with Diez - she cantered 'no-hands' down the south side doing a 'dances with wolves' imitation.  Splash was MUCH better than yesterday, but still needs lots of work.

Some Very Sad News is that Bob Heidlage (senior) died on Tuesday and his funeral was Sat.  Bob was a pillar of Rogers County and Oklahoma 4-H horse activities and he will be very sorely missed.  Bob announced all the local, district and state horse shows when Jaime and Diez started their horse show careers.  When Jaime didn't ride well enough to get transitions in the very early days, Diez would take verbal cues from announcer Bob.  I feel very lucky that all four of my kids got encouragement and equine and character guidance from such a wonderful man.  Horse shows will never be the same.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Valentine's Day is cold and was even white first thing this morning. I took Diez out of her stall for a hand-walk around the spread and realized just how cold it was with the wind blowing. We both got to stretch our legs and then went to huddle in the house/stall.  No riding for me this weekend but Alaina got to ride Sunny with Dawn D on Sat. morning.  Dawn has been working with Sunny for a few weeks and Alaina is learning how to ask for level topline and to try to slow his speed.  Both are making progress.  Kristina F and her entire family spent their Sat. providing a fund raiser clinic for the 4-H horse club.  Julie H with Abby and Alaina and I helped all day at Kristina's clinic, the WOR and Sherry's barn, ending at the Rocking C at 5:30 pm.  So, Abby and Alaina got a quick ride on Ritzie and Pico before we headed back to Claremore. I spent last week in Houston and will be in Kansas Monday and Tuesday but plan to be back in time for ride night Tuesday night.  Since Sunny is at Dawn's and Pico at Patty's, the girls will have to ride Diez and Splash.  I might take TC just to get him out.  Next weekend, we will ride the party lesson, so get it on your calendar.  YaYa.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Horse Communication Contest

Snow in the forcast for next week - AGAIN.  Bleek.   I have to go to Houston for most of the week but it still sounds like a rotten forcast.  I did manage a ride with Splash and Donna got to work Pico a little on Friday afternoon.  It wasn't pretty.  Pico was particularly rotton.  But I did get a horsey fix to try to help me make it though the week.
Splash had to tolerate the german neck stretcher but we worked for long and low which was a lot easier than on-the-bit.  Consistancy is lacking but since the weather and all that other stuff for the last couple of months has limited our work - it could be worse. Hopefully we will have a chance to make some preparations for the Will Rogers Classic at the end of Feb.
Meanwhile, no party lesson today since the girls had the 4-H State Horse Communication Constest in Stillwater - 3 quizbowl teams and 4 team problem solving teams - a total of 12 kids.  We headed west at 6:30 am and got back around 9:30 pm.  No one ever said 4-H contests of any kind were brief.  The kids gave speechs or illustrated presentations and presented their team problem solving skills in the morning.  Then, quizbowl in the afternoon.  In quiz bowl, the 2 competing teams came in 2nd and 3rd after a semi final round against each other.  Very dramatic.  Our non-competative team had a practice game with an Adair County team.  The kids worked hard and had a good time too.  Then, we got a brief visit with my favorite son before heading back to the ranch.  So, here is hoping for better riding weather ahead.  YaYa....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ground Hogs and Horses

Ok, I didn't see any ground hogs today but it was very foggy early this morning so ground hogs and prairie dogs wouldn't have seen any shadows.  So, spring should be springing any time now.  Cross all your fingers and toes that the winter weather is out of here for the season.  Splash is going with the theory that he is a pasture pet - he is in serious training for that life-style. 

Patty C, Nancy E, Donna O, Paula W, and I did manage a "ground hog lunch" at McNellie's today which will have to do for my horsie-fix for now.  We will try to plan more in advance next time.
The first winter storm of 2010 came in Thursday, Jan. 28 and coated the Wild Orban Ranch in 1/2 inch of ice and then added 7 or 8 inches of snow on top of that on Friday.  Saturday was bright and cold and the girls harnessed up their trusty sled dog and had more fun than is good for them. Each trip outdoors required hot chocolate as soon as they came back inside - by the end of the day, no mugs were spared and marshmallos were GONE.

Since the sun was out and the wind was gone, I got Diez out of the round pen and took a stroll around the WOR.  Great ride but the dismount was not graceful - I landed in a snowdrift but it was not my fault.  Diez has very slippery hair.  The girls saw the whole thing and laughed their heads off.  Then on Sunday, Sherry and her gang took us sledding at the memorial - very fun.

As for Splash's dressage training.  No chance for this weekend since the girls have a 4-H horse communication constest in Stillwater and the following weekend we have the vacination clinic.  So.... who knows when I will make another party lesson.  Meanwhile, I will plot for more lunches with my sista's.  YAYA!