Saturday, June 25, 2011

Hard Work

By the picture, you would think I gave him an Olympic level workout! Pilgrim after an hour. I swear he's still standing! In fact I was sweating 3 times more than he was! I'm saving my pennies to send him and Chip to the chiropractor next month. I think they both need and deserve it. Well, Chip deserves it and Pilgrim needs it!


Cooling out after a tough workout

Faith and Lora Grace enjoyed some ride time together. They got to work on their canter work in a group and both worked on simple and flying lead changes. Both had a great ride....and what's better than riding with friends?

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Can I trade my pot of gold for a horse that listens?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

7 Stages of Aging on Horseback

Stage 1: Fall off pony. Bounce. Laugh. Climb back on. Repeat.

Stage 2: Fall off horse. Run after horse, cussing. Climb back on by shimmying up horse's neck. Ride until sundown.

Stage 3: Fall off horse. Use sleeve of shirt to stanch bleeding. Have friend help you get back on horse. Take two Advil and apply ice packs when you get home. Ride next day.

State 4: Fall off horse. Refuse advice to call ambulance; drive self to urgent care clinic. Entertain nursing staff with tales of previous daredevil stunts on horseback. Back to riding before cast comes off.

Stage 5: Fall off horse. Temporarily forget name of horse and name of husband. Flirt shamelessly with paramedics when they arrive. Spend week in hospital while titanium pins are screwed in place. Start riding again before doctor gives official okay.

Stage 6: Fall off horse. Fail to see any humor when hunky paramedic says, "You again?" Gain firsthand knowledge of advances in medical technology thanks to stint in ICU. Convince self that permanent limp isn't that noticeable. Promise husband you'll give up riding. One week later purchase older, slower, shorter horse.

Stage 7: Slip off horse. Relieved when artificial joints and implanted medical devices seem unaffected. Tell husband that scrapes and bruises are due to gardening accident. Pretend you don't see husband roll his eyes and mutter as he walks away. Give apple to horse.

Dear Back,

  This may come as a shock to you, but throwing bales of hay and riding horses is a part of my job. Please stop hurting so I may do this job better.

P.S. Getting older sucks

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Faith's Jump Practice

We have a break in our show season until August, when we will be attending an East Tennessee Hunter Jumper Show at Stonegate Farms. For all of our English riding team members, this will be their first "hunter" show and they are all looking forward to it and working hard to get ready. Faith has set herself a goal of being able to canter jump the Beginner rider class....which is an 18" course that can be trotted our cantered. I would be thrilled if they could trot it, but Faith wants to work to cantering the course. This means hard work ahead of her until the show. Chip is a great pony and takes good care of Faith....but that doesn't mean he is push button, and Faith has taken her fair share of spills to prove it. Chip was used for Show Jumping previously, so while he loves to jump he tends to get a little too excited at times and likes to go fast and throw himself over them....not exactly what we are looking for in a hunter round. So Faith worked today on trotting the course (we started with crossrails, then added in verticals), which went great so we introduced cantering. He does great over the first jump, but then tries to gun it to the next and over jump it. Faith worked on circling him when he gets cranked in between the jumps until he settles back down, then taking the jump. It seems to be working well and he is slowly getting it. I want to set up some gymnastics for them their next practice to make the pony think a bit....if anyone knows a great intro gymnastic send them our way!
Warming up
Out in the Jump Field

Riverdale Washout!

Faith getting ready to Barrel on Billy
Well, we made it to the Riverdale Show and crossed our fingers that the storm that was heading straight for us would suddenly make a U turn. That didn't happen. I will say I was very proud of LuLu! She loaded like a dream, trailered out great, unloaded calmly, and seemed totally unstressed by her change of environment. She hung out tied to the trailer like a champ! I'm very excited for our next show....I think she'll do great. Maybe I'll even get to ride her!

So we got to the show and got all the horses unloaded. The first classes were the speed events that we were able to get through. Lora Grace raced her horse Larkin in Youth Pole Bending and Faith raced Billy in Youth Barrels. Lora Grace won her division! Faith took 3rd. As always, I was very proud of my little girl! She beat out many other girls and the only two that beat her were both 16-17 year old girls racing 17 second times (they probably should have been in the open division, but I'm not going to complain). Faith came in at 24 seconds....great for her and that little pony! Faith won $10 for coming in 3rd and was so excited! Right after the speed events ended the storm rolled in and we loaded up and rolled out!

Lora Grace on Larkin start their Pole Pattern
Turning for home
Running home!

Barrel 1
Barrel 2
Barrel 3
Turning for home!
Go Girly, Go!
Run Pony, RUN!

Friday, June 17, 2011

We Have A Winner!

After narrowing it down to our final favorite 3 names:

Lucy's Limited Edition
Skip To My Lu
Lucy's Lady Luck
We finally have a winner.....LuLu's show name will be "Skip To My Lu"!

Wish us luck!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Anderson County 4-H Show Re-cap

We had 11 students compete at the Anderson County show! The show this year had a great turnout! Poor Lora Grace and Caitlyn were in the first Showmanship class that had 17 kids in it and took over an hour! Lora Grace took 2nd!!! It would take me forever to list everyone's outstanding accomplishments at this show, so I'm going to do a quickie re-cap of some of the highlights and happenings:

  • As all shows do, it started late and ran late...after arriving at 7:30am, we didn't get back til after 10pm
  • We got rained on multiple times during the day, and the weather rotated from sunny and hot, to cloudy and chilly. How we all didn't end up sick is amazing.
  • Victoria did great in Hunter Showmanship taking 1st, but unfortunately Leah came up lame and had to scratch all riding classes. 
  • Lora Grace took 2nd in a large, long and very competitive western showmanship class, then turned around to take 1st in Halter out of 15 horses! She also placed 3rd in both of her Ranch Riding classes. It should be noted she was also always the youngest competitor in her classes!
  • While Caitlyn H. did not place in either Halter or Showmanship, she competed admirably in large, tough classes...and went on to take 5th and 6th place in her Ranch Riding classes respectively. 
  • Alexis took 2nd in Hunter Showmanship. She placed in both of her hunter classes, but I honestly couldn't tell you what! We had 6 of our students all competing in Hunter rounds....I know they all placed at least once!
  • On that note: Caitlyn K, Emma, Alexis Faith, Emily, McKenzie all competed in Hunter rounds and did excellent!
  • One I can tell you her placings is Faith! She took 5th in a large Hunter Showmanship class....and while she was disappointed, I was thrilled! It was a tough class, she was the youngest, and she did a great job! She did not place in Hunter Halter which upset her pretty bad, but redeemed herself in riding classes. Both Hunter rounds she took 2nd place in! Both classes were large, she was always the youngest and she was competing against all of our other students along with other very skilled riders.
  • All of our students scratched Beginner Hunter Hack 18" when the judge suddenly decided to make it a 3' crossrail and added in a group Hand Gallop. It was one of the scariest classes I've ever watched!
  • Jordan was our only Gaited competitor and she did us proud placing 1st in Gaited Showmanship (not sure her Halter placing...I was at the trailers and Jane was coaching her), 2nd and 4th in her riding classes. 
  • Our final competitor of the day was Victoria's mom, Cynthia. They have one adult class at the end of the day called the Bill Payers special that is a walk and "go as you please" class. Cynthia is a very new and very nervous rider, but placed 5th! Go Cynthia....many more ribbons to follow!


The Graduates!

Dwight in Cap and Gown
Dwight has officially graduated from Kindergarten and is moving on to 1st Grade! He's getting so big! Faith also graduated from 2nd Grade....with straight A's no less and on the High Honor Roll, and is looking forward to 3rd Grade. I am so proud of them both!

Upcoming Events

Craft Time!
The Campers visit with Bubbles!
Pony Camp 2011

Pony Camp just finished up as we begin to gear up for Horse Camps and Show Camp. We've made it through 4-H regionals, and have several preparing for state and I'm getting Lulu ready to show this weekend at Riverdale. Here's a list of several of our upcoming events:

Saturday                    June 18, 2011         All day               Riverdale Horse Show
Mon-Wed                  June 27-29, 2011   8:30-12:00          Horse Camp (Full)
Mon-Wed                  July 11-13, 2011    8:30-12:30         Show Camp (Full)
Mon-Wed                  July 18-20, 2011    8:30-12:00          Horse Camp (Full)
Saturday                    August 27, 2011     All day               ETHJA Show at Stonegate Farm
Saturday                     Sept 10, 2011        All day                Rarity Bay Horse Show
Saturday                     Sept 24, 2011        All day                CDCTS Dressage Schooling Show at Windrush Farm

Blog Challenge: Alright folks, so LuLu, AKA Lucy, is not a registered horse, but I would like for her to sound like a pro at her first show. So I need help coming up with a show name for this pretty girl that will incorporate her barn name "Lucy". I've been playing with "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Lady Lucky Lucy", etc...  See what you can come up with and send them along! The winning name will be announced Friday and used at the show!

Soaring Temps!

Yes, the thermometer outside of our arena is reading 108!

With temperatures soaring into the upper 90's and even the 100's with the heat index, riding and teaching has become at times....well miserable! Staying hydrated during these record breaking temps has become a sport in and of itself! I've spent the last few weeks shifting everyone to morning lessons and have been trying to go in extra early to ride. It makes for a long day....especially when you are already pouring sweat by 9am!

For all my horsey friends out there battling their own heat, stay hydrated, stay safe, and always remember horses can overheat too! Take lots of walk breaks while riding and try and find some shade! And if anyone is looking to donate an air conditioned arena....I'll be glad to take that off your hands!

Jazzy Rebound

Jazzy has been feeling a lot better over the last several weeks. She has had no coughing, congestion, or drainage. I started lightly lunging her a couple of weeks ago just a few days a week and doing some groundwork. She has done well and still no coughing. A lot of times with the COPD, it is aggravated by exercise, so I wasn't sure if she was going to be able to go back to work. I was honestly just thrilled she was feeling better. But two weekends ago, on a whim, after lunging her I hooked her lead rope to her halter like reins and climbed on board. Again, the extra weight usually causes a coughing fit, but she stood quietly. So this weekend I put her bridle on her and climbed on board bareback and walked her around the arena. She was a little nervous (due to being sick she hasn't been ridden in close to a year, and the girth of the saddle would cause her discomfort) but coughing! She settled into the walk and was an angel the whole time. I don't want to push her too hard too fast, but I'm so excited about the progress I'm seeing! I'm going to try to saddle her next and see how she feels about that. She's been dying to get out and do some work, when we go out to her pasture for any horse other than her, she will follow you around putting her head in the halter! I just love this horse and am so glad she's starting to feel herself again.