Monday, June 30, 2014

VCBH: The Simple Life

Other than money, what would make your horsey life easier?

Other than money ... well, it all comes down to money in the end, doesn't it?   

A truck and trailer would solve a LOT of my immediate and near-future problems; but that's a matter of money!  I'd have one if I had the money.

More time to ride and take lessons - time that's currently taken up working to make money to support myself, time that I could spend if I were independently wealthy.

A new saddle - which would be purchased with money.

I think if there's anything intangible I could use, it would be better self-discipline.  I could use it to work out and get fitter, break through the tiredness, yank myself out of emotional/mental black holes, etc.  That would solve a lot of problems!!   So yes. If you find any self-discipline at a garage sale or anything, let me know!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OMG! Prairie's Mom is a GENIUS!

Side note, why don't we get to register for new horses??? New horse owners are JUST as inundated with endless gear... plus the cost is also crazy.. I vote we start having "horse showers" and registering for things!

This is one of the single best ideas I've heard in a LONG time!  We could register for new horses, big barn moves, and our first big shows.  :)

So -- maybe L. Williams wants to make this a blog hop!  I know for sure that I'd register for at least two of those occasions, and here's what I'd register for:


* Monogram stickers from Personally Preppy.   Just so my stuff doesn't go walkabout.
* A new Ovation schooler helmet to put said monogram on; just seems like a good time, since I've fallen a few times, even though I haven't hit my head much at all.
* Shirts with the Mittleider Eventing logo so I can rep my roots.  Um, yo?  ;)   Long sleeve technical material for cross-country, t-shirts or polos for lessons!


* Woof Molded Galloping Boots, white, front and hind, unless someone wanted to get me Dalmar boots in white.  ;)
* Show coat that's actually in my size.
* FITS show shirt
* Handy caddy for carrying show things
* A portable chair
* Extra armband and insert
* Rulebook
* Yknow, funny first-big-show stuff like that.

Let's totally start a registration revolution!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Little and less - ALSO: Father's Day for Apollo!

Not much to report, honestly - life can get in the way sometimes, as we all know, and letting people yell at me all day can sometimes sap my energy by the time I get home.

However -- I did get out on Saturday for a completely amusing and relaxing ride.  I had intended to just longe, check to see how his scratches were doing, but when I saw he was going well, I just couldn't stand not getting in the saddle.  On the other hand, I just wasn't up to Work, either.  I just kind of wanted to hang out with my horse.

So that's what we did! I gave him a long rein and just ... let him pick the direction.  He advised me that he'd really like to go west, please, preferably to the fillies' pasture where the grass is REALLY REALLY green and oh by the way the hay barn is there too.

I replied that even though he could pick the direction of our ride, I reserved the right to veto things I deemed unsafe, like trying to ride through the hay barn to get to the green green pasture, like going too far down the road to the well machinery, and going down the paved road off the property.  Not that the paved road itself is dangerous, but I hadn't told anyone I was leaving the property or when I would be back, I haven't wandered far out that way yet, and I was alone.  All of that adds up to "Not right now" in my mind.

So poor Apollo didn't get to go very far west, but maybe someone will want to walk down the road with us next weekend, and Apollo can find out what lies in the lands to the west.   :)

Meanwhile, I'm planning to get back to Work as of this evening, back to the dressage.

Also?  The Sprinkler Bandit is super awesome.  :)  Also also, I have more of her secondhand stuff than anyone else's.  I know FITS aren't for everyone, but I admit to being baffled by it ... *grin*

ALSO!   Happy Father's Day to Apollo, the stallion that sired Apollo's Double:

Apollo Pensioned

Monday, June 9, 2014

VCBH: Fess up to your mistakes

Says Viva Carlos, "Horse ownership is kind of like trial by fire. I for one am all about transparency, I own up to my humanity so today I am gonna fess up to one of my biggest horse care mistakes. Will you fess up to yours?"

Other than not riding as often as I should?  Because that's a mistake.

I handled a colic episode as wrongly as can possibly be.  I was operating on old information and was freaked right the hell out to boot, and things went to utter shit.   It's the biggest and most painful regret of my adult life.

So maybe you'll forgive me if I don't go into detail.

Monday, June 2, 2014

First BN under our belts!

So the derby and clinic was this weekend.  TSB will have photos, I know, but I am camera and picture-taking challenged, so you'll have to wait for her photos and her show story.  :)

BUT!   My show story is this, perhaps abbreviated ...

Hawley Bennett came up on Friday to teach two days of clinics at our barn prior to the clinic.  I am entirely impressed with her teaching style, very positive in her critique: very helpful without being harsh.  She clearly understands how to teach riders as well as ride her own horses, and she clearly understands the ideas behind the ICP training.  Everyone came out of the clinics feeling like they'd learned something and progressed, and everyone came out with a smile.   Personally, she's very pleasant, too.  She's friendly and workmanlike and entirely nice to talk and listen to!  I would ride with her without hesitation.

I wasn't able to clinic with Hawley, though -- I have champagne taste on a Faygo budget -- but I did manage to get into a group with MT on Saturday.  Apollo was a little bit up and excited, having been penned up all day watching horses do all kinds of crazy things around him.  That plus my sudden inability to jump made our first 15 minutes a little tough -- somehow I managed to forget to not exactly release over the fences, but keep steady contact, and I was catching my poor pony in the mouth.  Sigh.  Cardinal sin. I did manage to get it sorted, though, and the next 30-40 minutes went well.

I'd looked at the full Beginner Novice cross-country course the day before.  It was a nice course, flowy but with some lines that I knew I had to ride very carefully in order to set myself up for problem-free jumping.  There were a few jumps on course that we hadn't jumped before, including a few big table/coop thingies (slant front, flat top) that were close to max height for the level, and a hanging log with brush under it that was max height.  I figured Apollo would take a hard look at the log with brush, and I knew I would give the coopie thingies a look, even though we've jumped one of them before.  I didn't think the definitely max height cabin would be an issue at all. I mean, we've jumped it a lot!  How bad can it be?

Oh, silly, silly me.

Apollo didn't think twice about the log jump.  It was nothing to him, not a worry, nothing.  The cabin?  HOLY CRAP WE CANNOT JUMP THAT!  BREAK RIGHT!

Honestly, I just didn't have a good enough line or enough motivation for him, so he did indeed break right, just in front of the fence.  I hit the ground.  Sigh.  Not hard, so I picked myself up and got back on (getting on the cabin to mount was harder than mounting the horse!).   Came at it again.   He ducked right again.   I stayed on; MT said line and straightness.   Came at it again.  He ducked right again.  I fell again.   This time, once I picked myself up again, MT said "Go get your spurs."

Heh.  I've never ridden Apollo in spurs before, or if I have, only once or twice.  I got back out to the field, after some atta-girls from some friends (much needed encouragement!), and went back to it.  We did the loop on that field again - blue barrels, kind of small; coopy thing, large for the level; log, not big; coopy thing, large; cabin, max.

Before the cabin, I put my leg on HARD and poked him with the spur, and damned if he didn't go.  :)   I lost my balance a little, but all was well, and we continued on our merry way.  Hooray!

After the lesson, MT had a bit of advice or kudos for each rider - to me, he just said, "tomorrow, wear your spurs."  

So that was Saturday.  It took me several hours to realize that OW, I bruised my elbow something fierce, but other than that, all was well.

To be continued ...