Friday, September 21, 2012


That's what I need to keep telling myself, breathe! Pilgrim's 1st show is tomorrow and I feel as prepared as we can be, but am still a nervous wreck. So on that note:

Dear Lord,

Please don't let me poop myself tomorrow.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Faith Running, Johnny Jumping/Trail

Faith is doing cross country again this year. She's already run 2 meets. The first one she took 13th out of several hundred elementary girls. The second she took 12th. She is very excited for this season and took 2 minutes off both her run times already from last year.

Keith sent us some pics he took from the show of Faith and Johnny. We weren't able to get any from her trail class or her jumping, so I was excited to get these. They are working on their canter coursing and leads for the next show. Faith is very excited. They make a great team!

Thank God for Quietex and Green Lights

Pilgrim and I are getting ready for our first show next weekend. We are showing Training test 2 and 3. We have been having a tough time running through our tests as the arena at the farm is too small and strangely shaped and slightly sloped. It's fine for daily schooling but impossible to get the geometry right for each movement....and putting an entire test together is insane. So today we did a trailer in lesson at my trainers. Chuck could not get off of work to help, so other than the kids, I was on my own. This made both Chuck and I very nervous. Pilgrim is notorious for his trailer antics....loads like a dream but freaks out once this would be the first time ever he was trailered anywhere to immediately ride and then trailer back home right after. Part of me felt like I was just asking for a disaster to happen. I even got a stall for the day of the show so he could hang out for a bit once we got there and relax before we had to warm up for our ride times. It also allows me to volunteer at the show which is always good.

I should also note that after many, many really good weeks of daily riding and weekly lessons, our last lesson was a mess. While working on haunches in, Pilgrim suddenly got super claustrophobic and went back to his old ways. I was able to work through it, but it was a huge battle. We were doing 10 meter circles to the rail, then leg yielding with haunches in, then asking for bend to create shoulder in. We did this the week before at the walk and he did well. At the trot, the minute we would ask for bend he would piaffe, then pop up in the front when trying to send him forward with my hip and seat. It took a long time to get him to relax and work well again, especially with anything requiring sit trot. So this lesson was in the back of my mind looking forward to today.

So saying I was nervous was a massive understatement. Trying to push the odds in my favor, we bought 2 tubes of Quietex. I dosed him in the morning 2 hours before when I needed to leave. When it was time to hit the road, I got him out and wrapped his legs and loaded him up. Not only did he load quietly, he stood like an old pro the whole time while I got everything settled. Once on the road I worried about all the lights we would have to hit. Stopping too long makes him anxious and panicky. Luckily I hit almost every light green and the few that were red we were able to just coast through. Not that I think it would of been an issue today though. Apparently he was out to prove me a liar the whole day. He munched his hay the whole hour and a half trip to the trainers and was an angel unloading and tacking up once there. I started to wonder if my horse had been mysteriously replaced with an identical twin. Once tacked, I mounted, honestly expecting some kind of throw down to take place. Instead I got a beautifully relaxed and soft horse who listened, warmed up, and ran through both his tests, then worked on problem areas in each. He allowed me to stop and hang out on him and talk through things with the trainer without jigging and dancing around. It was.....well......awesome! I have no idea if he will be this calm at the show or not. He may do a 180 and be insane, running around tight backed and bracing, running through my outside aids, and just freak out....but if he could be even half of what he was today, ribbon or no, 70% or 50%, I'll be thrilled. My main goal is to just get through this. I have to learn how to ride under pressure again, and Pilgrim does too. I know if he'll just trust me enough we can get through this together and work towards an awesome show season next year....when he can show everyone how amazing he really is.

Needless to say, I'll be using the other tube of Quietex the day of the show. Anyone used B-calm? It got really good reviews from SmartPak customers so I ordered some of it before I had a chance to try the Quietex. I wonder if it works as well. I used to use one of these before on the younger horses before big shows to help them stay focused, but I can't for the life of me remember which one.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Dear Sinus Infection,

Please go away. I feel like crap and have work to do. It is very hard to ride when the arena is spinning around you and you can't breathe.


Oh, while I'm at it:

Dear Pilgrim,

When I ask you to "whoa" so I can catch my breath, the fact that I am doubled over does not give you an open ended invitation to prance around the arena with your nose in the sky after halting for a total of 3 seconds. No I do not feel good, this is one day you could actually take care of me for a change. On the other hand, thank you for picking up the right lead canter correctly every time I asked for it and actually attempting you trot lengthenings today without adding in random steps of canter. You Rock!

your loving and very forgiving owner

Monday, September 3, 2012

Johnny's 1st Show!

Faith took Johnny Cash to his first show on Saturday. They went to Stonegate and entered 17 classes, placing in 16 of them and winning several! I am proud of them both! Johnny acted like an old pro, just as quiet as could be. Faith was cool as a cucumber. Daddy was a bit panicked when we first got there, but settled in as he saw how good Johnny was being. They had a lot of competition, most classes having to be split with over 17 entries, so we were just thrilled to place and shocked when they won several. I am very proud of both of them. Faith is very excited and plans on showing him at the next show as well. The highest division they did was cross rails this time and she wants to work towards 18" verticals and 2' division.