Sunday, May 22, 2011

Right Bend

It may feel like summer, but it is still stormy-spring.  The unsettled weather continues this evening with storms headed this way even now.  Tornado warnings east of here as well.  Mayfest brought it on.  Maybe.

I took Splash to the party lesson on Saturday and I am happy to say that he feels and looks sound.  However, bend to the right is not easy for him.  We warmed up with trot and cavaletti work alternating between extended and collected spacing.  Sitting trot helped get collection and lots of leg helped get the extention.  No neck strecher but spurs.  Trot felt good and left lead canter was good as well.  Right lead canter - not great.  Splash was counter bent and really struggled to keep canter when we worked on right bend.  So, Patty suggested using side reins to build his strength.  Stay tuned for updates.

Meanwhile, Velcro is growing fast but still cute.  He likes to bite so Ivy is trying to nip that in the bud.  HaHa.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dressage and 4-H Fun - All in ONE weekend

 The weekend was a blur.  And it was cold again - brrrrr.  So in preparation for District on Saturday, I took Sister, Pico and Sunny to the Claremore Expo Friday afternoon to bath, band/braid/trim, and complete other show prep. 

The horses shivered and I put blankets on them... I shivered too but had no blankie.

The girls moved up to the intermediate group this year, so qualifying for the state 4-H horse show was hard.  Ivy and Sister placed 4th in Halter Mares (6 and up) - Alaina and Sunny placed 10th in Halter Geldings (6 and up) and 11th in Showmanship.  Whew - they get to go to the State Horse Show and riding classes still to go.  Ivy and Pico placed 2nd in Hunt Seat Eq and 1st in Hunter Hack.  Alaina and Sunny placed 6th in Western Pleasure, 3rd in Western Horsemanship, and 2nd in Trail.  Yippeeeee.  The girls hung out with their horse show friends and Roxanne rode in her first 4-H show placing in Hunter Hack with Trouper and Western Horsemanship with Misty (both beautiful Morgan horses).

The weather was beautiful for the Rocking C dressage show in Inola on Sunday.  Insanely, we took Pico, Sister, and Splash.  Alaina rode Sister for the first time in the show ring (she aspires to Pre Caprilli by the end of the year); they were 3rd (60.62) for Intro B and 2nd (57.5) in Intro C.  Canters were rushed but on the correct lead.  Judge Lee Ann Alf said: nicely forward with energy but needs soft connection.  Ivy and Pico were 2nd (61.6) in Training Level Test 3 and 1st (60.68) in First Level Test 1.  The judge said: needs more suppleness and connection, nice freely forward horse.

Sister and I attempted Training Level B.  Although the score wasn't awful (56.87), we were 6th and Sister resisted every step of the way - very fussy in the bridle.  Lee Ann said:  nice energy but needs to be softer and more supple.  Yes.  Then, I switched to Splash with very little warm up (Kathy B had worked him for me because my ride on Sister and Splash had one ride between).  We placed 2nd (64.5) in Intro C and 2nd (60.0) in

 Training 1.  Really pretty good considering the year he had off recovering from injury last May.  Judge LA said:  nice free-moving horse; work on connection in/out of canter and keep hands closer together to help connection.

After my rides, I manned the paddock and was reader. 

A lovely, serene ending to the day. 

It didn't start out that way at all.  We arrived 3 hours before ride times so that the girls could help in the concession stand over lunch and so I could lunge Sister and Splash without a rush.  After checking in, I groomed/saddled both and headed to the arena to work Sister.  She was very good on the lunge and I had high hopes because she had been good at the District show.  While I was working her, a crisis at the trailer.  I raced back to discover Pico cowering under the big district blue ribbon - Alaina had decorated hi
m and left him to the vicious attack of a big blue ribbon flapping around his neck in the breeze.

I rescued him and finished with Sister's lunging. 

Next up, Splash.  All was well until another runner brings news of chaos at the trailer - AGAIN.  Pico spazzed out when a white bag blew by and broke the halter rope.  Marilyn caught and tied him back up and I went back to finish the lunging extravaganza.  Yikkes.  So, Splash is lunging nicely when, suddenly, he bolts away and rips the lunge line from my hands.  Blasts around the outdoor, into the covered (luckily, no test in progress since the show was on break), charges around and then back out for more charging until captured.  Completed lunging wondering what had caused "that" and thinking two shows in one weekend is a bad idea.  Turns out, there was bucking behind me that started the whole thing.  Got in trouble for having a bad horse (or two).

After 2 days of showing, Alaina wanted to work Sunny on some trail obsticles Sunday evening.  I wanted to lay on the couch.

I guess we survived, but I am really ready for serious equine therapy with my wonderful YaYa Sisters - if they will still ride with me.  Please?

Friday, May 13, 2011

District Horse Show - Sat. May 14, 2011 / Dressage Show Sunday

Whew - I am tired already.  Come by the Claremore Expo on Saturday and hang-out and watch the girls show Pico, Sister, and Sunny.  Show starts at 8:00am with Halter/Showmanship, then English, followed by Western.  Then, cross fingers, we will show at the Rocking C in Inola on Sunday afternoon with Pico, Sister, and Splash.

It was a long week and I didn't post my usual Sunday envening Blog Post because I was stressing about TC.  Long story short - I went and picked him up on Tuesday and he is now boarding at Cheval Lake.  We had a nice weekend wrangling horses at the Tatonka Ranch in Chandler on Saturday and I spent half a day at the Arabian/Dressage show at Tulsa Expo on Mothers Day - I saw Patty ride Dante and Jurgen, Nicole ride Elvis, and Marilyn on Willy.  Lovely. 

And saw Debbie Wester on Merlin and Jesse Korver with Denali.  So, since a picture is worth a thousand words.....

PS - Ivy wants me to mention our new non-horse pet - Velcro - longhair, gray tabby, five weeks old.   CUTE

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Show - Oh Nooooo

But Jolie organized a quick clinic on Scribbing when weather forced her to cancel our Saturday show.  Lee Ann Alf and Judith Brown presented great information based on their experiences as scribes up in the big leagues.  Believe it or not, some judges are fun to work with and others - not so much.  After some basics were covered, we "practiced" scribbing a 3rd level test ridden by Judith (on video) and judged by Lee Ann.  Those movements come fast but I kept up without any problem... alas, my writing was not legible.  Hmmm, further training needed.

Here are some of the things I learned from Judith and Lee Ann.

Scribbing Rules:
1) Match the horse in ring/number to the test and confirm correct test in schedule – things can get OOO (out of order) - its your job to fix problems before things get bad.
2) Judge will generally give comments first followed by score
3) Score of 6 or below must have comment; comments/score may be late to allow the judge to see the entire segment – don’t worry
4) Keep an eye on the arena to keep score/comment with correct movement
5) Write judge's words EXACTLY – abbreviations are OK
6) Write legibly so that the rider can learn from the judges input

Judges vs Learner – dressage judge candidates have to qualify to enter the Learner Program; once graduated from the L-program, the candidate is an L-graduate (not a judge) and then can pursue the sequence of judge progression: little “r” -> big “R” -> “S” -> I …..

Scribing Abreviations -
CL - centre line
O   - circle
CT  - collected trot
diag - diagonal
d trans - downward transition
ext - extended, extension
ET - extended trot

Ht  - halt
hur - hurried
imp -  impulsion
L - left
reg - regular, regularity
R - right
sal - salute
serp - serpentinest
trans - transition
u ­trans - upward transition
WT - working trot

I did manage to ride on both Friday and Saturday before the rain moved in early Sunday to wash out the day.  Splash and Sister got a field trip to Verdigris Springs to work with Christian and Mallory joined us with Flame Friday afternoon.  The wind was blowing hard enough to cause unintended dismounts.  Sister and I worked through warmup, trotting, and canter with minimal resistance until, after a little break, she was certain she didn't want to work some more.  Then, while cooling down, we had to get past resistance to backing.  But, not bad since the new dog Teddy, chased us a couple of times barking and Sister handled dog and wind in stride.
Splash was pretty good as well, without the german neck stretcher and showed a bit of energy (likely due to the excessive wind).  Taking left lead canter is a bit of a problem but Splash is going sound so I hope to work through the lead problem with more work.
The cancelled show ment we were on for the Party lesson.  Splash got to go and I used spurs rather than the GNS.  Again, trouble getting and keeping that left lead canter but otherwise, pretty good work. 

In other news, the white yak living in the barn was Diez under dreadlocks made by pounding rain - she still cleans-up good.