Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stonegate Hunter Show

Faith attended the Stonegate Hunter Show on Saturday, her first rated show. We were very nervous, me especially. We got Chip loaded in the trailer at the crack butt of dawn and headed to the show. Freaking out because I didn't think I would have time to braid, I was pleasantly informed by the lady parked next to us that most don't braid at this show, even though it is rated and was one of their medal shows, they are super beginner friendly. Totally relieved, I got Faith dressed and pony tacked and off to warm up.....that's when we saw the peacocks!

Yep, the whole farm was covered in them. So while walking around the arena and letting everyone settle in, I look over and see a peacock heading straight for Chip. It had actually ducked under the fence and was wandering around the arena. Chip spooked (he was already fired up from being in a new place) and was looking panicky. Faith worked him through it and he eventually never even gave them a second glance (by the end of the show he was hand grazing next to one!). They warmed up on the flat and then started working over the crossrails at the trot. He was excited but all was going well. Faith started working him over the fences at the canter. One of the fences had red flowers under it. Chip doesn't seem to care about any flowers or brush, except he hates red! Sure enough he rushed the jump, over jumped it and tried to run off afterwards. Faith tried to pull him up but he was barreling towards another rider and pony and she one rein stopped which he stopped and chunked her off the side. She dusted herself off and got back on and finished her schooling with no other issues.

Waiting for her first class to begin Faith ran to get the sand out of her butt. She then climbed back on and headed in. She did Hunter Ground Poles and took 2nd out of 5. She then did Equitation Ground Poles, 1st out of 6, Equitation Under Saddle, 1st out of 6....and took Reserve Champion of the division! She then took first in Hunter Under Saddle and 1st in Equitation over Crossrails! She rocked it out! We were so proud of her, and more importantly she was proud of herself! She wants to go back to their schooling show on September 24th.

Waiting for 1st class
What a great day! All that hard work paid off!

Hello Charlotte

This giant spider has recently taken up residence right outside our back door. He or She can be found everyday and night repairing and weaving it's beautiful web. Now those who know me know I HATE spiders. Like run and scream like a girl when I see one. But I have to say, this one is pretty cool. It's always working hard...a real type A personality, much like me. It also has dramatically reduced our bug to light ratio outside which is a major plus. As long as it makes no attempt to come inside the house, I will happily leave it in bug killing peace.

Kill it Charlotte!

Need Rain!

I normally would never ask for rain, but Jazzy is coughing again and wheezing. We haven't had any significant rain in weeks and it looks like another week in the forecast of sunny skies. While this would usually have me smiling, we could really use it to get some of the dust and pollen out of the air. Poor girl has come so far and is back on rest. Stupid COPD.....I hate this!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Faith has been working hard getting ready for the Stonegate show. She has really come a long way, but we are still battling getting the lead changes and the occasional rushing the fence. We still haven't completely committed to which classes we are going to do yet. I know they are going to do walk/trot ground poles and walk/trot under saddle, that way they can get in there and see the arena and the course with little pressure. We are still deciding on the Crossrails class....we have to see if they are ready to canter the full course and get their leads. She is also doing 14 and under Equitation under saddle. Wish us luck!

Good Boy Payton!

Payton is finally getting back into shape and working nicely. We are doing nice workouts in the arena and out on trail and some hill work for his butt. He's collecting nicely and really moving well off the leg. He's done his first lessons and was soooo good! I'm so proud of him. I'm excited for his first show in September. I think he's really going to do well in his Ranch classes. He's got a ways to go for his pleasure classes, but we are getting there.


Monday Chuck and I celebrated our anniversary. We've actually been so busy we didn't get much chance to go out and celebrate, but as long as we have each other, that's all we need. My hubby surprised me with some beautiful flowers, similar to the ones he sent me to my work the day after he proposed and I said yes. He's so sweet! This weekend is also busy with Faith's first rated hunter show and a select group of the show team will also be competing. Next weekend the kids are suppose to go to Grams, so maybe we can go out for a romantic dinner!

Monday, August 15, 2011

First Day of School

The kids had their first day of school today. Faith is starting 3rd grade and Dwight is going into 1st. It was less a first day of school and more registration and meet teachers (both got the teachers they wanted so they are super excited), then leave. So by 8:45 we were leaving the school with a whole day still on our hands. With the high being in the upper 70's - low 80's that meant we could enjoy some time outdoors! We headed to the farm to feed and work horses. Faith continued working on her jumping to prepare for her upcoming show. She also rode Jazzy again with me outside the arena. I worked Payton and lunged Pilgrim. Pilgrim gets his shoes back on tomorrow and we can finally get back to work. While we were all busy, Dwight got a little mud on the tires of his new bike!
No first day jitters here!

After we got home, we met Chuck and took the kids to the park for some more fresh air. Faith is deciding whether to do the Knoxville Track Club's cross country season this year. Her age group does a mile. Her school unfortunately does not participate so she has to join as an individual participant which means that we are responsible for her training. To give it a test run....literally, Chuck (who used to be an avid runner as well as an officer in the military) helped coach her through warm ups, stretching, and running about 3/4 mile. She did great and is a natural runner, but she is still deciding....and honestly so are we. It's tough having so much on our plate but if she really wants it I think we can make it work.
Dwight's new bike
Enjoying some quality time outside at the park
Wore Out
Battle Scars!
Run Faith, Run!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


One of the full-care stall boarders has a registered Paint named Payton. I've been absolutely in love with this horse ever since we came to the farm. He's gorgeous and sweet and everything I like in a horse. I haven't sticked him but I'm guessing he's right at 16hh. His owner has been unable to do much with him for the last several years and he has been kind of left sitting. She is wanting to try to take lessons on him this fall and get back to riding him. We have reached an agreement with her that I'll start re-working him, training him and showing him for her, in exchange we can use him for lessons and let one of our students show him as well. Only down side is, the more I ride this horse, the more in love with him I become! He hasn't been ridden since I worked with him some in the spring, so Thursday I got him out and lunged him and hopped on him bareback and just walked and trotted around. Friday I warmed him up in the arena and then took him out on a trail ride with one of my students. I then hung out on him while Faith jumped, then her and I went and rode around the farm for a bit. It was nice to get to ride with Faith, we haven't been able to do that since late last fall. I worked him again on Saturday, working more on him collecting himself and traveling in frame, lateral, pivots, bending around my leg, etc...
Payton is a stomach with 4 legs who enjoys eating trees out on trail!
On board Payton
Enjoying some ride time with Faith

Independence Day!

Yesterday I allowed Faith to ride Jazzy off the lunge line. We rode in the round pen. Prior to mounting I reviewed the one rein stop with Faith and and bending and flexing. Faith practiced these once she got on which made me feel more comfortable about turning them loose. I stayed in the center to help act as a gas pedal. Jazzy is responding to Faith's leg to move forward but then dies out after a few strides of trot without the help. We are working on getting her to move more off Faith's leg and less off the lunge whip. It seems to be working, by the end they made it several times around on their own without my help at all. Jazzy is slowly gaining her confidence under saddle back and Faith is really enjoying working with her. I may have to change bits on her though and put her in a D ring or full cheek. She was turning well but I'm having Faith open rein her right now and she's in a french link O ring and it keeps pulling in her mouth. I think it'll help with her turns and be more comfortable in the long run for her. I have one in a single jointed snaffle but not in a french link, which I really prefer to keep her in so I guess I'll have to order one due to our severe lack of tack shops in the area.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Off And Running!

Faith rode with Lora Grace today. They both had good lessons, Larkin was wanting to chase the pony a bit today, which was good to work on since she has a show in September. Faith jumped a full course of verticals today. Not one refusal and only chipped one rail with a back hoof....Chip jumped lazy and needed a bit more leg before the jump. Faith's hands and eye were really good and she made good equitation turns throughout her course (instead of some of the wilder routes she has taken that are only seen in Show Jumping). Really excited....hopefully they will be ready to rock out the Stonegate Show on the 27th. 
Faith let Dwight help groom Chip to ride.
Clean those hooves girl!
Enjoying some "girl time" in the field....horsey style!
After their lesson the girls helped with farm chores and we worked Jazzy again today. We were finally able to get some pics of her under saddle.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Cute Pics of Jazzy!

Again, I wasn't able to get pics of Faith riding Jazzy. I kept Jazzy on the lunge line again today, but handed most of the control over to Faith. She took over steering and using her leg to ask for her to go into the walk and the trot, and she was in charge of the brakes as well. I also put her in a group with other riders/horses so Jazzy could get used to working in a group and with distractions. Everything went super well...better than expected...and I think I'll be comfortable turning them loose in a ride or two.
I have to say, I'm a little sad school is starting back up next week. I'm going to lose Faith as a helper around the farm. This year she has really been a huge help...feeding, grooming, moving horses, helping get horses ready for lessons, showing timid new riders the ropes, being a camp counselor during Pony Camp, helping work with Lulu, and now helping me re-train Jazzy....not to mention all the ride time she has gotten in this summer. Darn responsible parenting.....guess she has to get her edu-ma-cation at some point...does horsey education count? I give her an A+! On a serious note....I was so proud she made the High Honor Roll last year and hope she can keep up her high marks this year as well. And Dwight is starting 1st grade this year!

Who needs a halter?

Faith was getting Chip out of the pasture today and through the early morning fog I noticed Chip was following her up to the gate with no halter on. Who needs a halter when your pony loves you this much?

These two have become such a great team this year. They are really starting to trust each other and work together. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We were super excited to welcome out newest addition to our new critters, but a Port-a-Potty. We have a bathroom inside the barn, but it's quite a ways away from where our pastures and arena are. We can be found often doing the potty dance while trying to teach, or in desperate times "wilder-pee" in the woods if we can't make it over to the barn. Now with our new potty...."wilder-pee" is a thing of the past.