Monday, October 28, 2019

FHF Fall Schooling Show: The Show that Wasn't

The morning of the day Peebs colicked I saw a FB even for a schooling show one of the H/J barns outside Portland was hosting. They had had one show this spring and were seeing if there was interest in having more.  For this show they had jumpers Saturday afternoon/evening, and hunter/eq all day Sunday.

They had 3 .70m classes, starting at 3pm. The entry fee were slightly higher than other shows around here, but they didn't charge a haul in fee and with a 3pm start time and our classes going first I wouldn't need a stall. So it worked out to being a fairly cheap showing opportunity for us. Once Peebs recovered from his colic episode I sent our entry in.

The facility was freaking gorgeous
A few days before the show I got an email from the show manager saying they were limited in parking, and that haul ins would have to park at the bottom of the hill, while the barn and show was at the top.  But they had some empty temp stalls, and I could use one to put Peebs in and unload my stuff and then go park. So I basically got a day stall without having to pay $65 for it. Score. And the night before the show she emailed everyone with current class counts and estimated start times for the later divisions. That's super rare for H/J shows and I thought it was super nice and helpful. A++ for show management.

Schooling the Halloween jump at A's earlier last week
This barn has a huge outdoor ring that was open for schooling, a small indoor that was being used for lunging/schooling if needed, and the big indoor which was the show ring. It was honestly one of the nicest barns I've been to in a long time and I was slightly taken aback by just how nice it was. The show ring was open for schooling prior to the start of the show so we had planned to school there before my classes. The course was set to .7-.75m when I went in and everything was built up, oxers, planks, boxes, skinnies, you name it, they had the fences decked out. They also had pumpkins at the base of all the fences painted with the fence numbers. Cue me starting to feel intimidated and like we don't belong.

I would happily take that outdoor arena home with me
They had doors on the long side of the arena, one that was being used as the in gate, and another that looked out to paddocks.  Peebs did one big spook when we walked past the paddocks the first time, then seemed to realize they were just horses and there was nothing to be scared of. Once I asked him to trot he settled more and was all business. There was a few other people schooling so my trainer lowered a skinny plank for us to warm up over. I'm not sure if Peebs didn't get his eye on it, or my slight unease trickled down to him, but he ran out the first time to it. We came back and got over it and on the third time I remembered (or my trainer yelling "other right" clued me in) that we were supposed to land and turn right in the course so we schooled that.

We then picked up a diagonal line that actually rode well, but I couldn't see the distance to the second fence for the life of me. I was starting to go fetal and lock my elbows so Peebs was shortening his stride and distance would be gone.  When I did actually sit up and let him go it was a perfect 5 strides. We tried another line and a single and I kept panicking about my distance and either pulling up or circling. It was like my brain switched off as soon as I started thinking about putting everything together.

Enjoy Peebs and Cinder sharing breakfast the morning of the show. Peebs spent a few days at A's last week
I was getting more and more worked up and finally asked my trainer if we could go take a break in the outdoor. Peebs was being a saint and didn't care about the fences, or me having a panic attack on his back, bless his heart. No one was in the outdoor so once I had walked and calmed down a bit my trainer set some tiny fences and had us work over those. She just wanted me to find a rhythm and let him go. It took a few tries, but I finally remembered how to ride and let Peebs do his job. Both Peebs and I were pretty tired and I asked my trainer if we could scratch. She agreed and said this was schooling and show, and we schooled. It doesn't matter if I didn't actually make it in the show ring, we had issues and schooled through them. Peebs probably could have gone in a done a round, but mentally I couldn't, so why push ourselves?

I walked Peebs out while my trainer went to scratch me and then we untacked and put Peebs away. Nicole stopped by as her barn is just down the street and some of her barn mates were showing. We chatted for bit before I loaded up and headed home. Did the day go as I had planned? Hell no. But my horse was a saint and took the best care of me, I didn't cry or fall off, and I was able to fix our issues in the schooling ring. I don't know what it is about jumperland that makes my brain shut off or intimidates me, but we're going to keep working at it. Show management said they're planning on 4 shows next year and we will definitely try to make it back for some of them. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

Bloghop: Playing Favorites

Thanks to Raincoast Rider for the hop!

1. Favorite Show Venue
That I've show at, probably the Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego. I showed there as a kid, and my first ever jumper class was in the Del Mar Arena at night, under the lights. Walking down the ramp into the ring was amazing!

Del Mar Arena. They set up other rings behind it for shows and part of the track is blocked off for warm up areas

2. Favorite Discipline
Right now, for me, I'd say the hunters/eq. Peebs has such a natural hunter rhythm and he's so fun to ride in those classes.  If I'm spectating, I'd much rather watch the big jumpers.

3. Favorite Horse Color
I'm a big believer of a "a good horse can't be a bad color" and don't really have a preference. I will say I'm not a fan of blue eyes on horses.

4. Favorite Tack Store
In person, Mary's. I grew up shopping there and was totally spoiled as far as tack stores go.  Now I mainly shop online at RW or SmartPak but whenever I get the chance to browse Mary's in person I take it.

5.Favorite Breed
QH cross. I love their brain, and their willingness to do whatever despite my ammy moments.

Must love QH crosses!
6. Favorite Place to Ride
I love wandering the grass seed fields after they harvest in the summer. Just a nice meandering walk with my pony with no agenda or plan.

7. Favorite Piece of Riding Apparel
Probably my custom LM boots. It's hard to not like something custom made for me that I designed!

8. Favorite Horse Related Website
Probably all the horse blogs I follow

9. Favorite Piece of Tack
My saddle! It makes my butt happy.  I really, really hope it'll fit Cinder. But if I have to get her her own, oh darn!

10. Favorite Horse Book
I haven't read many horse books lately, but as a kid I loved the Thoroughbred series.

11. Favorite Horse Movie

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

So Close

Sunday I got to TCF right as A was getting ready to ride. I had vague plans about doing something with Cinder, so I decided we'd do some mounting block practice while A rode. A let me use her old saddle on Cinder since mine was at the other barn with Peebs.

so grown up looking
I also had to borrow an extra girth from A, and honestly the size 50 fit Cinder better than Peebs' 48. Cin still seems so narrow and unfilled out yet and seeing the 50 fit perfectly was a bit of a shock.  I haven't measure her in a while, but I'm estimating she's about 16.2hh right now. I hadn't pulled her sheet off in a couple of days and she had withers that weren't there earlier in the week. She's also in a horse sized bridle now, and I need to lower the nose band a hole from where I had it adjusted.  I know I've said it before, but I'm worried about just how big she's going to get!

We worked on standing still at the mounting block then I climbed up and started flapping and tugging on the stirrup leathers, and leaning all over her back.  Other than an ear cocked back at me, Cinder really didn't care.  I then started leaning more of my weight on her.  I was so, so tempted to just swing a leg over, and honestly, if I had had my helmet on I might have just done it. I'm thinking I might just sit on her once or twice this winter before sending her off to get started in the spring.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Heartsick to Actually Sick

When we left off Peebs had been slightly off his grain after moving barns. Otherwise he was his normal Peebers self. Last Wednesday I got a text around 3pm saying he hadn't eaten any of his breakfast, hay or grain, hadn't drunk anything, had one tiny pile of poop and no pee in his stall. Well shit.

I blasted out of work and made the 10 minute drive to the barn in 7 minutes.  When I got there Peebs was just hanging out in the corner, not looking sick at all, just a little depressed. I did call the vet and talked to him and he suggested a dose of banamine, hand walking/grazing, and seeing what he was like in an hour.  Thank god I had brought my bute and banamine with me from TCF to GS when I moved Peebs! I medicated him and off we went for a walk around the hay field.

Peebs did graze a bit, then pooped and peed. I let him dictate where we wandered and he went into one of the empty paddocks and drank a bunch from the trough. At the end of the hour he was not quite his normal self, but looked much better. He still had no interest in the grass hay in his stall, but GS also feeds orchard grass so I gave him a little of that. He ate that right up so I asked the BO to switch him to that. Peebs is the easiest of easy keepers so he doesn't need the orchard, but he needs to eat, so for now he can eat what he wants. I also tossed a bunch of salt on the hay to encourage him to drink.

Feeling much better

I checked on him before work on Thursday morning and he had a couple of cow patty poops in his stall. But I knew part of that was the abrupt switch from plain grass to the orchard. He was happily munching his new breakfast and while he hadn't had as much to drink as I would have liked, he did drink overnight.  I tossed more salt onto his hay and went to work.

I was supposed to haul out to TCF on Thursday afternoon for a lesson, but I cancelled it. I wanted to give Peebs a couple days to recover and not stress him out. I know horses don't think this way, but it seemed cruel to haul him over to his old home and then back to GS when he doesn't want to be there. Like, hey you're going back to the place you love, just kidding! Thankfully Peebs has seemed much more normal this weekend and we might try hauling out for lessons soon.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Bye Bye Summer

Fall is here in the PNW. In the past couple of weeks the temps gone from 70s to 50s to back to 70s with lows in the 30s-40s. I had to break out sheets and even put Cinder in a medium weight for a few days. And worst of all, Peebs has moved back to his winter home at the other barn (GS).

She doesn't look too bad from this angle
Earlier this summer I had switched Cinder to a new grain, Triple Crown Naturals, because her old grain (made from a local feed mill) had some of her allergens in it. She ate the TC ok for a few weeks, then decided it was awful and went on a grain hunger strike. I tried adding alfalfa pellets to it and she still wouldn't eat it. She dropped a fair amount of weight and looked rough for a few weeks. I put her back on her old grain and added alfalfa hay as well.  She's eating again and started putting the weight back on but I've decided to blanket her a little heavier than I normally would so she doesn't waste any calories being cold. She's not showing any allergy symptoms while on her current grain, so I'm going to keep her on it while I do more research into what she can have.  And fingers crossed she'll eat whatever I put her on next!

She would like to eat my hair and glasses

I moved Peebs back to GS last Thursday and while he seemed to have settled in fine, he took a page from Cinder's playbook and went of his grain for a few days as well.  Peebs is a garbage disposal, so for him to not eat is a big sign.  He was eating his hay, grazing out in the field, had normal poop and pee, and his attitude was normal, so I didn't think he was colicking. I did give him a dose a banamine and he's gotten a few days worth of Ulcergard. I think he was just depressed/stressed.  He went from being out 24/7 to being out 4-8hrs a day. Normally he's not one to care much either way, but apparently this time he did. In the future if he has a dramatic shift in his turnout/living situation I'll be proactive with the Ulcergard. Sorry Peebers!