Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Tale of Two Days

Saturday I hauled out bright and early for a lesson over at A's. It was hovering right around freezing and I was cursing myself for saying yes to a 9am lesson. Peebs has been a little up lately, and spookier than he normally is. I figured I'd lunge him a little at A's if I needed to, but he'd been worked pretty hard all week so I though we'd be fine. We haven't jumped much in the past month, so my plan for the lesson was to get back into the groove and flow of jumping again.

Peebs was very up when I got on, not spooking and taking off, but stopping to stare at things in the distance or my trainer setting fences.  He also got mad when I asked him to trot away from A's horse Scottie, his BFF, which is not like him at all. I think I cantered two strides before I got off and put him on the lunge.  He did buck and leap and play and felt marginally better when I got back on.

"Me, be naughty? Never!"
Trainer started us off by trotting two single diagonal fences in a figure 8. One was a cross rail and the other a 18" vertical. He got a little fast to the vertical and tried to play and go sideways when I corrected, but we made it over. I started getting a little nervous and tense when he wanted to play but kept it together while we did those fences a few times. 

Then I was told to trot into the outside line, that was maybe 2ft. Cue massive panic attack. If he wanted to play to the single fence, how would we make it through a line?! I voiced some concern to trainer and she told me to stop him between the two fences if he felt bold. So that's what I did.  Only I used way more hand than I needed and Peebs got rightfully upset and popped up his front end with his head straight in the air. It honestly felt like he was going to go up with me, but I'm sure it looked much tamer. We tried the line again but same thing, only this time Peebs took more offense and flung his body sideways and backwards to show his displeasure at my heavy hands. Which only fed my panic and caused me to curl up the fetal position holding onto his face even more. Trainer talked me down, explained what was wrong, and what she wanted me to do instead.

We went back to one of the diagonal fences and my instruction was to pretend to be a beginner pony kid, hold my two point, and for the love of God, DO NOT TOUCH HIS FACE. "Commit to doing nothing" was what she kept saying. The first time trotting up to the 18" vertical felt awful, and landing and holding my two point while not doing anything honestly felt like I was going to die. Peebs landed and cantered away fine, a little fast and unbalanced in the corner, but in my panicked state I felt like we were going down. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. And then trainer made me do it again, then a third time. I hated every second of it. But it worked; Peebs was much softer and happier. When we went back for the fourth try and trainer said I could pick him up before the corner on the off side, I only had to use a tenth of hand I had used before. We quit with that since I still felt like puking and was mentally done.

Peebs loves all of Scottie
Trainer said I need to jump more.  Both for my confidence and keep Peebs from getting bored and wanting to play. She suggested I haul him back Sunday to ride with A again and A said they have an empty stall and I could leave Peebs overnight. After untacking I ran back to my barn, got Peeb's blankies and grain and then went back to A's to tuck him in.

What a difference a day makes
A and I agreed to ride Sunday afternoon together.  She ended up being a bit late which worked for me as I was able to do my warm up alone and focus on not being too handsy.  Peebs felt much better than Saturday; not as distracted or playful and more focused on his job. We trotted over the fences we had jumped the day before with no issue so I got brave and cantered them. Other than picking and not having as much pace as I should have, we were fine.  I wasn't panicked and using way too much hand and Peebs was his normal la-de-da self. I then got really brave and decided to try the single oxer, set on a long approach as a single on the outside. The first couple of times I was picking as we came to it, but on the third try I sat up and put my leg on and moved him up. All three times he didn't care what I was doing and landed in the same canter as he had before. It was a complete 180 from the day before.

I'm going to make an effort to jump more, for both Peebs' and my sanity. Even if they're just crossrails I need to get out and get the reps in.  As long as the weather's good I'm going to haul to A's at least once a month to jump, probably leaving Peebs there on a weekend so I can use her arena both days. And I'm going to be more diligent in setting lessons with my trainer. Hopefully we've had our very bad no good lesson for a while and we'll start getting back to bigger and better jumps!


Friday, January 11, 2019

They Grow Up So Fast

Since it's the new year, I've started calling Cinder a coming two year old. She's closer to two than one at this point, but it's still weird to think of her as a two year old. She still acts very babyish, has the attention span of a gnat, and is go go go all the time. It's exhausting.

Looks pretty grown up to me
She's taken a break from growing taller, but has grown longer and filled out a little. My farrier called her a wiener dog last time he was out.  She grew out of the 69" sheet I got for her in about 6 weeks, but thankfully the 70" blanket still fits pretty well. I figure she and Peebs can share his 75"-78" clothes next winter.


I had the two of them out together a few days ago. I haven't been putting them out together since they play pretty rough and last time Peebs got kicked hard and was off for a few days.  He probably deserved it.  This time he was really vocal to her and nuzzling her a lot.  I thought it was cute at first.  Till Cinder squatted and peed. My 20 month old filly is having her first heat, in January. There is something wrong with this. I'm not prepared for this. I don't think she was prepared for this. Do I need to have a birds and the bees conversation with her? There is a five month old colt on the property; I don't want Cin getting any ideas. I guess I'll add this to the list of things to talk to my vet about.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Blogger Secret Santa

Many thanks to Tracy for hosting the annual Blogger Secret Santa!!  My secret Santa this year was Amanda from Bel Joeor.  She nailed it with my gift!!


She made me a custom fleece saddle cover in my colors, with Peebs' show name on it.  I absolutely love it!!! The chances of it walking away in the tack room or at a show are minimal.  Amanda also included a bag of mints, that I fed before getting a picture and the ponies loved them.  Thank you again Amanda!

Monday, January 7, 2019

2018 Year End Awards

The Oregon Hunter Jumper Association Year End Banquet was this past weekend. this year Peebs and I pulled off a third (or as they called it, second reserve champion) in the long stirrup hunters, and a fifth in the long stirrup equitation. My trainer and I went up for the banquet and to get my ribbons.

The night before the banquet, at 9:30pm an email was sent out and a post put on Facebook saying that the 4th-6th place ribbons weren't going to be available at the banquet and would be mailed out at a later date. But only if you replied to the email saying you wanted your ribbon. After a few angry replies to the FB post, and I'm sure a few angry emails, they said that the vendor had an issue and it wasn't OHJA's fault. I was bummed to not be getting my 5th place ribbon that night, but quickly replied that yes, I want my ribbon.

OHJA took out a section of a local sporthorse magazine and published all the year end placings.  It was pretty cool to see my name in the magazine.
The banquet itself was pretty fun. They have a silent auction and a live auction during the event and I managed to get a division's worth of entry fees ($75) for a show for only $50. Both my trainer and I missed seeing the sheet for $150 towards chiropractic fees for my chiropractor till after the auction ended.  It went for $60 and I totally would have paid more for it.

Trainer and I


The 1st-3rd place ribbons were very well done, and very big! I know I'm short, but it's as long as my torso. Getting one big ass ribbon kinda makes up for having to wait for my other one.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2019 Plans

I'm currently praying to the god of horses and horse shows so this doesn't get jinxed, but I've got PLANS for 2019.  My big goal this year is to qualify for and compete at the Oregon Hunter Jumper Association's Medal Finals in the Adult Mini Medal.

 In order to qualify you either have to get 10 points or have shown in 3 qualifying classes and have 6 points. I don't exactly get why they have the difference, other than entries have been down over the past couple of years in the Finals and they want more people to show. The Finals are held at a rated show so this will be Peebs' first rated show, and my first rated show in 10 years. Luckily it's held at the same venue we show at most in the summer so I'm not worried at all about Peebs settling in. Same arena, same jumps, more money!

Medal Finals are held the last weekend in August, usually Labor Day weekend. So working back, I've started to plan out our show season. There's usually a few shows end of April/early May that I've gone to that I won't be able to do this year because my parents and I are going to Tanzania for 12 days. I know planning a major family vacation like this shouldn't revolve around a show schedule, but that was the first thing I thought of when my mom gave me dates. Luckily some of the shows have moved their dates so I'm only missing one show instead of 2-3.

So, without further ado here's my tentative show schedule for 2019:

April 7: Lake Oswego Hunt Club Spring Show
May 18-19: Quiet Rein Show (This is a maybe. I get back from Tanzania April 30th and will only do this show if we're ready)
June 15-16: Team NW Bedrock I
July 6-7 or July 13-14: Team NW Bedrock II or III (The series we usually do in the summer added a fourth date to their list, but two shows are on back to back weekends.  I don't want to do two shows in a row, so we'll see which date works better for us and my trainer.)
August 10-11: Quiet Rein or
August 11: Lake Oswego Hunt Club (With two shows on the same weekend, I'm torn between which one to do.  LOHC is cheaper being a one day, but I like QR's facility better. And QR has derby classes! Will play it by ear. Also if we have the points we might not do either of these and save $$ and Peebs for medal finals.)
August 28-Sept 1: Team NW Northwest Spectacular and OHJA Medal Finals