Sunday, September 30, 2012

Wet Ride

Our saddle club had a trail ride/cook out on Saturday.  V decided to come home from school to ride with us.
 She was in very good spirits at the beginning of the ride.  Thumper was being good as gold.
After 15 minutes of lunging Jessica was being good too.
 I rode Otoelene on this her second group trail ride.  There were 9 total riding.
 Then it started to rain.  I had rain ponchos but since I hadn't practiced with one on Otoelene I skipped putting it on.  V didn't want to put one on either and she started to freeze.
 Our ride was cut short because no one wanted to ride in the rain.  We did go by this interesting section call "the caves'.
 You can tell by V's posture her attitude had changed.  She left and  J and I waited out the rain.  When it stopped, us and another couple went on another ride that was much more pleasant without the rain.  Otoelene was great, going over numerous logs, fallen trees, rocks and rivers.  She is really turning in to something special.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Yard Ornament V

Who can pass up clearance items in Lowe's garden section?  Not me. 
 I found this trellis half off and had to have it.  Surely there would be a place in the yard to put it.  This spot between the garage doors looked perfect.  
 Perfect that is until I realized that there was two feet of gravel and there was no way I was getting the base of the trellis pushed through that.
So I am trying it out here, next to the front patio.  So far I'm happy with it.  Maybe I'll do some seasonal changes with the hanging part.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Garden Surprises

The biggest garden surprise is that we have anything in the garden at all after how dry it has been here.  
 I still have some peppers coming on not to mention plenty of tommy toes.
 I don't know how this cucumber hid for so long.  I've been watering them like a flood but they have finally about disappeared.
Then there was this guy.  A different sort of surprise.
What's growing in your neck of the woods?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Me and Jordyn

This was Jordyn's first show.  I'm not sure she has even been to a real show to even watch.  She was very nervous and wasn't even talking to her parents that morning.
 Her mother said Jordyn had brought all of her tack into her room and had laid everything out the night before.  My saddle was too big for her so she brought her own and coordinated the pink vest with her purple pad.  Not much of a smile there before the class.
 Her first class was Beginner Horsemanship.  There were two others on ponies that stuck to Hank like flies.  Jordyn did her best but couldn't remember "outside" diagonal when posting.  Hank was a dream and managed to tolerate the ponies.   I can't help but remember one of my horses when I was in 4-H.  He HATED ponies and would kick them if one came up from behind or try to bite them if they were in front.  One show my sister just stood on the rail and warned me about any impending pony approach.
 Anyway, back to Jordyn.  Check out that smile now.   E asked her later if she wanted to go to another show but Jordyn said, "I think this is enough."
 Her second class, Beginner Pleasure,  wasn't any better on the pony thing.  In fact, now there were 3 ponies with which to contend.   Her and Hank kept it together and...
 WON first place.
 Her first show and a first place and a saddle pad.  I asked her about her earlier comment that one show was enough and she said she changed her mind.  Her mother told me the next day that Jordyn was wanting to find out how to show at State next year.
 For myself, I have decided instead of getting all worked up about the horse's behavior or the judging, I would just concentrate on the fun classes.   So, Thumper and I have been practicing Ride-A-Buck.   This is a bareback class where you keep a dollar bill under your leg while doing the gaits the judge calls for.  It was a very long and hard fought class.  I was against several gaited horses that wouldn't canter despite repeated calls for the canter both ways and stopping from the canter (sort of tricky bareback on a horse that really puts on the breaks when you say whoa).
The judge finally called for an end to the class when the last horse against me never would canter.  Me and Thumper now have a class we can do and we have our first blue ribbon together (and $21 in the envelope).  I guess we'll be practicing for Egg-And-Spoon next.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumn Show

J has been waxing poetic about the start of Autumn so here is our Autumn Horse Show.  Our local saddle club had it's fall show Saturday.  We took 3 horses and had 4 riders.  I worked the secretary booth then ringmastered while J took over my spot in the booth.  Then I went  to shuffle riders and horses around while J took over as ringmaster. 
 V has never really ridden Thumper before but wanted to show western so we pulled him out of the field and took him.
 It had been a couple of weeks at least since I rode him last.
 She showed in Juvenile western pleasure.(13-18 year olds), his first canter class at a show (and only his second show).
 V did really well with him and walked away with 1st.  By the way, no hat because of the hurricane force wind that blew all day.
 I had Hank there for Jordyn to show in the beginner classes but V wanted a turn on him too.  She showed him in Juvenile Go As You Please.  Hank did perfect and V looked great but 2 gaited ponies beat her some how.
 E rode Otoelene for 5 minutes on Friday but agreed to go ahead and show her for me.
 Otoelene is really developing a nice flat smooth stride.
 E said this was her second new show horse in a week.
She was 3rd in Jr Horse Go As You Please, and 5th in Stock Horse Go As You Please.  This was only Oloelne's second show under saddle.   I was very proud of both V and E for taking on new challenges and of the horses for staying calm and doing their job.
Stay tuned for mine and Jordyn's results.  We sure have been doing a lot of horse stuff lately.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday's Fences #50

I was out in the yard when I noticed the goats running down the hill.
 What's the hurry.
 They seem to be congregating at the gate to the new barn lot.
 I guess it's getting close to that time.
The billy goat has been smelling particularly offensive lately.  Or attractive as the case may be if you're a nanny goat.

Click HERE for more of or through a fence pictures

Monday, September 17, 2012

State 4-H Horse Show, Part 2

E started Saturday with the finals in the  Sr. Hunter Trail Class.  17 of the original 76 made it to the finals and only 7 completed the course for a placing.  This was Hank's first real trail class.  They set it up in 1/2 of a small indoor ring making the obstacles very close together adding to the difficulty for a big horse.  
 It started with walking over poles with other poles crossed on top, then over a bridge.
 Then a sharp left turn and stopping with the back feet between 2 close poles and then side passing out to the right while keeping the back feet between the poles.
 Trotting over poles with the last one elevated.
 Serpentine backing around cones confined between 2 poles. (they started out on this one well but then fell apart 1/2 way through.)
 Then from a stop pick up the canter and go across 4 poles in a lane between other poles,
 to come to a stop inside a box and do a 360 degree turn without stepping outside the box.
 Open and shut the gate now with decorations hanging off of it, and over 2 more poles.  E did a great job guiding Hank through the course and Hank did great trying to do everything.  They ended up with 6th place. You can tell a good trail horse when you see one.
 They had a few bobbles in hunter pleasure 2nd go (wrong lead) and got 10th.
 Then the class E was dreading, Equitation.  They had to do a pattern that involved 2 diagonal changes, a long sitting trot (Hank's trot is IMPOSSIBLE to sit) cantering around a cone, stopping, 360 turn on the hindquarter and backing.  This is judged on the riders seat/hands and leg position and ability to perform the pattern accurately.  E did the pattern great but couldn't hid the fact that she has only been doing hunter for 3 days.  She had some issues with her hands and of course the bouncing  I mean sitting trot.  They did manage to trot away with 8th out of 15.  
 Not too bad for the last minute substitution.  It was so last minute that I didn't even have time to make a new stall sign. Plus, I didn't even have a decent picture of E on Hank.
And E's highest ribbon came in the photography contest, 2nd in the At Liberty category.
Now we can start dreaming about next year.
Update on Pep.  She had an abscess finally bust out on her rear hoof.  She's getting better now.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Virginia State 4-H Horse Show Championship 2012

We have not fallen off the face of the earth for the last week but it sure does feel like it.  As a lot of you know, E has been working hard with her horse Pep this summer.  She has had her sights on the State Show and really wanted to do well.  Unfortunately, Pep had other plans.  On Monday Pep went lame while E was riding her.  She has a hoof issue from a previous injury which started acting up.  No amount of soaking, pain meds. or antibiotics was going to fix her in time.  The two choices E had were 1. not go or 2. take Hank.
 She decided on taking Hank.  The problem was, Hank is a hunter horse and E rides western.  The only time she has ridden hunter was at a 2 week beginning jumping clinic she went to 3 years ago.   So, with just 2 days of practice we went to the show.  (Plus, Hank had only had 1 day off from the endurance ride.)
 V's clothes sort of fit and there we were.  The first class was Showmanship on Thursday night.  Hank has never been shown in a showmanship class before.  His first one was against 50 other hunter  horses.  It involved backing, 180 degree pivot, trotting around  a cone, standing for inspection, 90 degree turn and trotting off.   Hank acted like he had done it all of his life.  E and Hank pulled off a 12th place finish.
 Friday we got some visitors.  Grandma, Aunt L and V all came to the show.  We haven't seen V since she went off to college last month.  It was nice to get to visit with her a little.
 E had 2 classes on Friday.  She started with Hunter Pleasure in the coliseum.  I thought Hank did great.  He looked good, went at a steady speed and picked up his leads right.
 We were very hopeful for a high placing and he really looked good in the line up.
 They ended up with 6th place. E's first ribbon with Hank.
 Next came the trail class preliminary.  There were 76 hunters with senior riders (ages 14-18) signed up for the class.   
 They had to open and close a gate,
and back through 2 poles.  E got Hank to do and excellent job and they made the finials with 16 others for the next day.
Of course, E had to watch all of the classes Pep would have been in and constantly laminated the fact that they would have done so well in them.  To which I constantly replied, "Be thankful for what you have."
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