Thursday, July 28, 2016

That Horse Thing

Part of my vacation last weekend/this week was going to a surprise retirement party for a former neighbor.  The family that lived across the street from me moved about four hours north, on the outskirts of Seattle.  The daughter of the family was throwing the party for her dad.  My parents had flow up to visit me, and then we went up for the party.

I've know this family since I was four, and while their daughter is a few years older, we played a lot as kids and had dinners/bbqs/pool parties as neighbors.  While their daughter moved out and eventually away to Seattle, and I moved to Oregon for school, we've kept in touch via email and social media.  So we've kept up on the big things in each others lives.

So it was a bit odd that I was asked buy both the mom and daughter if I was still doing "that horse thing".  Um, yeah, still doing it. 95% of what I post on social media is pony related. The daughter asked if it was my job, and while I do work with animals, it's not horses. I had to explain that nope, not my job, I just spend all my free time and money on it.  The mom, who is very OCD about dirt and germs, asked about it in a tone of voice that made you think I was an alcoholic or drug user.  And she followed up with a "Oh, I'd have thought being an adult would change that."


I know everyone reading this has had some form this directed at them at some point.  I wish I had the balls to flat out say that I never plan to marry and never, ever want to have kids and that I will always be the crazy horse girl doing that horse thing.  I know it wasn't said mean spirited or intended to hurt my feelings but it ruined what was otherwise a pretty nice day with old friends. Like I'm not an adult, or on the fringes of society because I'm not married with 2.5 kids. It's been a long time since someone made my choices seem wrong or dirty and it threw me big time.  But at the end of the day screw them, I'm going to ride my pony then go home curl up on the couch with my cats, a book, and a bottle of cider.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

After the Show

Peebs got last week off after our show.  He's living outside 24/7 in a big paddock so he can at least move around.  I was planning on doing some light rides with him but between work, getting ready for my parents to visit, and some major horseshow hangover I didn't.  I was gone all weekend with my parents and cousins but I managed to lunge Peebs Sunday night.

And of course he was NQR.  He was crossfiring and wouldn't pick up the correct lead behind tracking right.  I had to force him into it and while he didn't look *lame* he was for sure NQR.  He's never had an issue crossfiring before.  I've called the chiro to see if she can come out this week because I'm going on vacation this weekend and won't be back till next Wednesday.  Looks like the Peebs gets an extended vacation.  At least he waited till after the show to be lame!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Overheard at the Show

One of my favorite part of horse shows is watching and listening to other riders and trainers.  I almost like watching the warm up rings more than the actual show ring.  These are a few of my favorite heard/observed/random things from last weeks show.

Saturday morning as I got ready to warm up I dropped off my add slip to the back gate girl for my trot a pole class.  Once we warmed up my trainer and I went up to the gate to put me into the order.  The back gate girl goes "This is a little weird, but I follow you on Instagram and am excited to see Peebs in real life!" She runs the Insta accounts for the show management and her barn, both of which I follow.  She followed me back on both accounts. She did say Peebs is just as cute IRL as online.

While watching the Big Eq classes one of the local BNT was very vocal with some of her clients.  As one was having trouble in the flat for the Maclay, she goes "He's awful for the flat, we know this.  Don't worry, we'll get you a better horse next time and get rid of him."  I've never been very impressed with that trainer/barn and that just cemented my opinion.

We saw a few stops when watching the jumpers on Sunday, especially at a wide oxer with a liverpool.  As one girl came out her trainer gave these words of advice: "When I said get your eye on it I didn't mean stare it down and forget to ride.  Get your eye up and on it, get her eye on it, sit down and ride her forward!" And what do you know, they nailed that fence in their next round!

My favorite overheard moment was in the barns as I was wrapping Peebs.  A junior was complaining to her trainer about how cold it was (57* with wind and sprinkles)
  • Junior: It's so freaking cold
  • Trainer: Well, you should have worn your winter coat, not just a sweatshirt
  • J: It's July!!
  • T: It's Oregon! But don't worry, when we're showing in Bend in two weeks it'll be 105.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Team NW Bedrock Show Day Two

Sunday dawned cold and cloudy.  It felt like the temperature had dropped 10-15 degrees from the day before and I was slightly worried that Peebs would be feeling the affects.  But again, I didn't need to worry.  I fed breakfast and unwrapped and groomed while he ate.  We then went for a walk down the rings to see the order of go and figure out approximately when I would ride.  Not only was Peebs super lazy just hand walking to the ring, he kept trying to stop and eat stall decorations and the grass along the edge of the walkway.  
Master of the baby fences
Warm up wasn't great.  It started sprinkling and the wind picked up just when I got on and Peebs wasn't happy with his head getting wet.  There was some major head shaking going on, but princess pony finally got over it. By the time we started jumping it stopped.  Trainer really had me focus on getting him straight to fence and not letting his hind end drift sideways.  The warm up fences were set in the middle of a big open ring so we had no rail to help guide us.  It's the first time I've ridden or jumped him in such a ring and it really showed off our weaknesses.  After three or four times of me asking Peebs to move off my right leg, he started getting pissed and decided to canter and launch at the fence.  I stopped him hard and tried again, but we were both mad at each other.  Trainer yelled to take a walk and calm down.  After a lap she had me come back to fence, off the left (our good side) and Peebs trotted it like no big deal.  And we were straight!! 

We had two rounds over fences and it was the same course for each round.  Our first round was very nice, he trotted the first fence but jumped everything after that.  Coming into the first outside line, he felt a bit bold to me but I contained him down the line.  Trainer said it was the correct pace, not the little baby pace and I stride that I like.  Guess I have to get more comfortable with the open stirde! The second round wasn't quite a good, we had a bit of a drunken sailor moment off the first fence on the quarter line when he landed on the wrong lead and wanted to fall in.  Our flat was an eq class and my whole focus was keeping my hands up and quiet and shoulders back.  We nabbed a third and fourth over fences, and a fourth on the flat. Good pony Peebers!!

Much photogenic. Very thrilled.
It started raining again as we ended the flat class, but by the time we got back to the barn and untacked it stopped.  Between the rain, sweat, wind, and an ice fill show shirt I was freezing.  I ended up wearing jeans over my breeches and a sweatshirt and vest over my show shirt once we were done.  My friend BS came up to watch and we got burritos and watched the jumper ring for a bit.  After about an hour we were both cold enough to call it quits and she helped me pack everything up before she left.  I closed out at the show office and loaded Peebs up and headed home.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Team NW Bedrock Show Day One

This is what I saw Friday night before our show. Icky, nasty, poopy pony legs.  He got washed, twice, with Dawn and thankfully I didn't actually need to use the pony spray paint.

Friday night I spent at the barn, sleeping in the office/music room attached to barn.  My BO was out of town and had left their dogs in the office for the weekend for boarders to let out and feed.  By spending the night Friday, I could feed and let the dogs out and hook up and load the truck Friday and not have to do it first thing Saturday. They have a nice futon that I slept on, but I didn't get that much sleep. I could hear the horses moving around and at about 10:30pm one mare had a full on melt down screaming, running, and generally scaring the crap out of me.  I went out and checked on everyone, thinking there must be something wrong, but I couldn't see anything. Needless to stay I was pretty tired when my alarm went off at 5:30 Saturday morning.

I loaded Peebs and we headed off just over an hour north to Hunter Creek Equestrian Park, home to most of the rated shows in Oregon.  We were showing at a local show during the rated show.  When I got there, I didn't see us down on the stall chart so after finding somewhere to park the truck and trailer I scurried off to the show office to get checked in.  Apparently they were waiting to see how many stalls they had before giving me one, which seems a bit sketchy to me especially since I had already mailed a check for entries and stall fees. And of course, the stall I got had a wonky door that you had to kick the bottom of for it to close properly. 

But once I had the stall set up and Peebs settled in my trainer showed up and we got Peebs groomed and tacked up.  I was showing in the 12" trot-a-course and we decided to add a trot pole round before had to get him into the ring.  Which was not needed as Peebs couldn't have cared less about being at a show.  He was almost lazier than he is at home and other than giving the tree on the mound a good look, he didn't seemed fazed at all.
Tiniest jumps ever and scary tree
For our first round over fences, the plan was to trot in and trot out of the lines.  And it was pretty easy to accomplish considering Peebs never actually jumped any of the jumps.  He trotted over all of them and even managed to trip pretty hard on the first fence in the judge's line. I was told in no uncertain terms to add leg at base and make him jump for our second round.  I did, and we cantered the lines.  I hadn't paid attention to what they were set at and I know we added strides, even trotting in, but the lines felt even and flowed well so I was happy.  We had a under saddle to finish the day and let's just say that I have no idea how to ride a u/s class and Peebs will never win the hack.  We finished with a fourth over poles, a fourth and sixth over fences, and a seventh u/s. There were about 10 in the division, all freaking little kids on ponies, so I was happy with how we did.  Considering we were just going around to get mileage and confidence, satin is just icing on the cake!

I put the pony away, parked the rig, watched some junior eq and then proceeded to take a nap in my truck.  Trainer had to head back home for her kids, so once I woke up from my nap I cleaned tack and headed over to check into the hotel.  I then took another nap and went back out to feed and walk around 6.  Peebs seemed perfectly content and not at all upset by being alone at a show, which made me feel great. It's a great feeling to know you can trust your pony not to do anything stupid away from home, and they're going to be the same steady eddie at a show. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

ALL the Cookies

Cookies come from this room
Peebs earned himself ALL the brownie points and ALL the cookies in our lesson on Thursday.  He was relaxed, quiet, and happily went around trotting in and cantering out of the lines.  Made me feel super confident for our show this weekend. 

This is my "You're going to land on your left lead damn it!" position
We did have a couple little bobbles.  We were supposed to trot in and trot out of a bending line, and I asked too politely and he kept cantering.  About half way down the line I gave in and let him canter on.  It was a nice line, flowed well and looked good but I wast told to not let him get away with that.  We fixed it the next go round.  Our second oops was when he tripped coming into the outside line and it felt like he almost fell over the little plank at the first fence.  It doesn't look as bad as it felt on the video.  Isn't that always how it goes...