Monday, February 27, 2012

Rotten Horse?

Yes, Splash was rotten.  The Will Rogers Classic was my opportunity to ride in an open show so we did showmanship, hunter under saddle and hunt seat equitation.  The adult competition was pretty tough - including Tami C - it was fun to have a friend to ride with.  Saturday, Splash was like riding a run-away train.  Not much fun.  Then on Sunday, he was pushy (more than normal) in showmanship and stubbornly would NOT take the right lead canter in hunt seat eq.

Perhaps he needs to have some real training. Or perhaps his rider needs more training.
The good news? I didn't fall off.

So, the girls rode their main mounts and rode well. Their age group has some serious competition but Ivy won jumping both days and Alaina placed 1 and 2nd in trail.
Ivy got an extra treat when Rita brought Jurgen and she got a chance to warm him up. It was hard to get her back to Pico who was a little miffed that she was enjoying another horse.

Alaina rode the speed classes on Sunday just for fun.  She and Sunny - the golden bullet -
were under 50 seconds for all their speed classes.  Woo Hoo.

Next weekend is the first dressage show for the year and I will have a trip
to Kansas between now and then.  May the riding season begin - YaYa.

                        WRC I                         WRC II
                        Ivy  /  Alaina               Ivy  /  Alaina

Showmanship    --  /  NP                     NP  /  NP
Hunter Under     2  /  5                          5  /  6
Hunt Seat Eq      6  /  3                          3  /  2
Hunter Hack       1  /  -                          1  /  2
West Pleasure    9  /  7                         9  /  7
West Horse        7  /  4                         4  /  6
Trail                   6  /  1                         8  /  2
Barrels               -- /  6                          --  /  4
Poles                  -- /  4                          --  /  4
Stakes                 -- /  --                         --  /  4

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Left Diagonal

It may be President's Day Weekend, but sadly, I don't get Monday off.  But the girs do, so we will try for a lesson late afternoon to give them a chance to practice one more time before the Will Rogers Classic.  I plan to meet the gang at Patty's and get a quick ride in on Splash too.
Poor Splash got to work Friday and Saturday, not surprisingly, he didn't run to the gate to meet me when I went to catch him this morning.  He didn't run away either.  So, we loaded up and headed to Cheval Lake on the most beautiful Sunday in February.  Mallory worked Sister on "one-rein" stops (trot only) but Sister is resistant and not happy in her work.  She still expresses herself with tail swishes and even a kickout - she is not an easy mare and I will refrain from saying evil mare.  She is still a green mare.  Splash and I concentrated on trot and leg yeilds after warm up and brief canter both directions in the deep, sandy arena.  Our halts need a lot of work but at we no longer back at every halt.

The girls started their ride in their western tack and all three were cantering merrily before Mallory and I could get up the hill to get started.  Fairly soon, Roxy and Ivy went to swap to English so they could JUMP!  Alaina watched until she couldn't stand it and swapped to English too.  Sunny CAN jump.  Roxy/Trooper jumped Fri/Sat/Sun, Ivy/Pico jumped Sat/Sun, and Alaina/Sunny jumped on Sunday.  Roxy is working to slow and steady Trooper so he doesn't rush the jumps.  Ivy needs to help Pico have confidence to really jump and made good progress this weekend.  Both Ivy and Roxy rode an 8 jump course at Patty's including the scary barrel jump.  Sunny is willing and Alaina needs to work on her balance to help Sunny land balanced.  It looked like they were having to much fun.

Now, about that left diagonal.  If I am not paying attention, I always come up on the right diagonal.  This is probably because Splash is stronger on the left hind.  So, on Friday, Roxy and I worked on getting left diagonal first try during our equitation practice.  My method is to chant "up - up - up" with the left shoulder as we approach the transition.  After a couple of tries, I was getting it every time - except - when Splash would throw in a mini canter stride.  Was he trying to push me onto the right diagonal or was he just slipping into canter because I was pushing for impulsion?

At the Saturday Party Lesson, Splash had really good canter work - correct leads every transition and only one dropped canter while on the right lead.  He feels better all the time at Patty's - he seems to like the footing.  At Mallory's, he really labors in canter work in the deeper sandy footing.  Our arena has deep and solid areas and Splash goes well in the solid areas and labors in the soft spots.

In addition to 3 sessions of equine therapy, I also got to see a musical, Deer Camp, with my YaYa Sisters on Saturday evening.  It was a silly presentation about 4 men who go deer hunting every year but never really hunt.  They are just hanging with their buds drinking beer and teasing each other.  Very enjoyable and a good way to celebrate Nancy's birthday.  Spring is almost here so I hope to have a YaYa Trail ride soon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Riders Remorse?

Not Me...

I rode my horse. 

The Lovely weather in January morphed into winter last week and tried to ruin our party lesson and preparations for the Will Rogers Classic.  It was so cold - never made 30 on Saturday - so we skipped the lesson and just did lunch.  The sun came out, but it was to windy to warm up. 

Cindy and Donna planned to visit and play with the ponys on Sunday Morning but it was in the teens first thing and was still cold.  So we waved at the horses and had lunch.

Finally, after 4, it made the mid-thirties so I went out and worked Splash very lightly.  The arena was dry in spots, mushy in spots, and slick in spots.  Hard to gage so we walked/trotted and worked on some trail obstacles.  Splash and I were all alone and he was really pretty good.  So, a little equine therapy and hope for better weather by next weekend.  I still plan on riding in the Will Rogers Classic in less than 2 weeks, I guess it won't be pretty.

Splash and Pico on a cold winter's day.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Equine Therapy Delayed

Rogers County Orange
Reserve State 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl Champions

The girls (and their 4-H friends) competed at the 2012 State 4-H Horse Communication Contest on Saturday so I missed out on the Party Lesson at the Rocking C. 

Luckily, I was not alone herding all those 4-H Kid-Cats.  Mallory and Julie were there to help along with a couple of other Moms and one Dad.  The contest started with Speeches, Illustrated Presentations, and Team Problem Solving in the morning followed by Quiz Bowl in the afternoon.  The girls each gave illustrated presentations with a friend; Alaina/Emily won Reserve with their presentation about Horse Show Cloths and Ivy/Abbi were 3rd place with their presentation about Feed for Your Horses. Both were on separate teams for Team Problem Solving.  The Rogers County Quiz Bowl teams played well with the Orange Team fighting hard (including a tie-breaker round with Cherokee County in the finals) only to place 2nd to Cherokee County.  There were more teams this year resulting in very long day finishing up after 6pm.  The Rogers County Contingent had dinner at Mexico Joe's before heading back to Tulsa.

Alaina and Ivy had culinary projects on Sunday - preparing a "European Desert" and report.  Alaina made scones (a scottish quick bread) and lemon curd.  Ivy made baklava.

My equine therapy for the weekend was limited to horse transport for Coggins testing and vaccinations on Friday and some therapy by proxy on Sunday afternoon when I watched Mallory's progress with Sister.  The arenas were all very wet after a deluge on Friday afternoon but Mallory did round pen exercises before mounting up and riding in the big arena.  Sister is still pinning her ears but did fairly well at walk and trot when you consider that it has been several weeks since her last ride.  We are on for the SPL and LAL next weekend - YaYa.