Blog .:. May 2012 7 Entries

The Potty Trained Pony

26 May 2012 Comments

The other day I had turned Dexter out on the grass for a bit and was hanging out by the arena when the barn manager came over.

“You might as well put Dexter back in the paddock,” she said.

Since she turns her horses out on the grass often as well, I thought that was a bit odd. “Why?” I asked.

“He’s in the barn, eating all the hay out of my wheelbarrow.”

Oh. Well, yeah. Once he decides he wants to be in the barn, there’s no coaxing him back out. Although why he wanted hay more than grass is beyond me.

“Also,” she continued, “he went into one of the stalls and pooped, then went back out to eat more hay.”

I’ll be honest. That cracked me up.

He’s potty trained? Really?

I kicked him back out in this paddock so he’d stop causing trouble and cleaned out the stall. And I probably should have been annoyed that I had to clean the stall, but really—he’s potty trained? It still cracks me up.

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Dexter

The secret to conquoring show nerves

20 May 2012 Comments

First, timing. Schedule your show while your mare is in heat. In a pinch, you can schedule it for when she is just coming out of heat—the important thing is that she be in heat while you are doing your final prep leading up to the show. You should go to bed the night before the show knowing the best you can hope for is to keep all four feet in the arena, although perhaps not on the ground at the same time.

Second, blow your warmup. I recommend bucking during every canter attempt, but anything that leaves you certain spectators will be cringing will do.

You are now ready to show.

It was amazing. I had no show nerves at all going into the ring.

To be fair to Ro here, other than throwing in some bucks at the canter, the warmup went really well. And despite the bucks, the canter in the warmup was much improved from the rides this week—still not straight and connected or anything like that, but at least moving in the right direction.

But somehow it all meant that I went into the ring completely unconcerned. Maybe because I had no illusions or expectations that we had to be perfect, since we were so clearly NOT going to be perfect? Whatever it was, I rode up the centerline confident that this was my horse, and I would be showing my horse, and whatever happened, happened.

The test was an honest reflection of where we are right now. I was underriding her just a touch, but it was so much more consistent and balanced than the tests we rode in April. She did NOT buck at the canter, and the canter was a little more balanced than the warmup canter. We were still not connected at the canter and she broke multiple times going to the right (so yay for my first “2” on a scoresheet, ever—who says judges don’t use the whole scale?!), but honestly—I was just so happy that we rode an honest test and that despite breaking neither one of us had a meltdown. We just picked up the canter again and went on.

I think we ended up with a 53% or so on that test, which was a fair score. The judge had some very nice comments (of course, my scoresheets are in my trailer, so I couldn’t tell you what those comments are right now), particularly one about the canter work just killing us, but that everything would improve as we sorted out the canter.

Incidentally, a huge shout out to schooling show judges. At both the shows I’ve been to this year, the judges have been so encouraging and made comments along the lines of “yes, you’re having this problem, but you’re on the right track, so keep working.” I think that is awesome, and I really appreciate both the honest assessment of our ride right at that moment and the encouragement to keep going forward.

I had about an hour between tests, and when I got back on Ro to warm her up again, I could tell neither one of us had much left in the tank. I decided to keep what we had left for the ring and just trotted her enough to get her moving again, then called it good.

The test was a little more inconsistent than the first test, in that Ro was definitely tapping out and would lose her balance and start rushing at points, especially during transitions. However, it was more active overall. And the canter work was better—I was less worried about bucking this time, so a little more proactive about the canter, and actually ended up tapping with the stick during the last canter a couple times when I felt like she was about to break. (I know there are people who would rather die than use their stick in the ring, but honestly—why carry it at all if you won’t use it? The judge’s comment on the rider score was “very tactful rider,” so clearly the judge was not phased by it.)

We ended up with a 56ish, I think, on this test. Again, an honest score with some nice remarks from the judge.

Overall, I am very happy with the way the day went. The biggest thing for me was the complete lack of show nerves. It was awesome to come out of the ring knowing that I’d ridden an honest test and any issues that showed up were training issues and not a result of my shutting down from nerves.

Ro was fabulous. Really, really fabulous. The canter warmup—no, not cool. I was not happy about that part of the day. But I was happy that she was all business when she went into the ring, and I think that as she gets more fit and we start focusing more on really improving the canter that is going to disappear.

Everything else, though—she handled herself so well and was so focused and responsive. I’m very, very happy with her.

With both of us, really. The only feeling that can top riding down the centerline with confidence is coming out of the ring with confidence, and we did that today.

Tagged: Bad Decisions, Horse Shows, Horses, Horses - Ro, Riding, Riding - Dressage

The secret to conquoring show nerves

20 May 2012 Comments

First, timing. Schedule your show while your mare is in heat. In a pinch, you can schedule it for when she is just coming out of heat—the important thing is that she be in heat while you are doing your final prep leading up to the show. You should go to bed the night before the show knowing the best you can hope for is to keep all four feet in the arena, although perhaps not on the ground at the same time.

Second, blow your warmup. I recommend bucking during every canter attempt, but anything that leaves you certain spectators will be cringing will do.

You are now ready to show.

It was amazing. I had no show nerves at all going into the ring.

To be fair to Ro here, other than throwing in some bucks at the canter, the warmup went really well. And despite the bucks, the canter in the warmup was much improved from the rides this week—still not straight and connected or anything like that, but at least moving in the right direction.

But somehow it all meant that I went into the ring completely unconcerned. Maybe because I had no illusions or expectations that we had to be perfect, since we were so clearly NOT going to be perfect? Whatever it was, I rode up the centerline confident that this was my horse, and I would be showing my horse, and whatever happened, happened.

The test was an honest reflection of where we are right now. I was underriding her just a touch, but it was so much more consistent and balanced than the tests we rode in April. She did NOT buck at the canter, and the canter was a little more balanced than the warmup canter. We were still not connected at the canter and she broke multiple times going to the right (so yay for my first “2” on a scoresheet, ever—who says judges don’t use the whole scale?!), but honestly—I was just so happy that we rode an honest test and that despite breaking neither one of us had a meltdown. We just picked up the canter again and went on.

I think we ended up with a 53% or so on that test, which was a fair score. The judge had some very nice comments (of course, my scoresheets are in my trailer, so I couldn’t tell you what those comments are right now), particularly one about the canter work just killing us, but that everything would improve as we sorted out the canter.

Incidentally, a huge shout out to schooling show judges. At both the shows I’ve been to this year, the judges have been so encouraging and made comments along the lines of “yes, you’re having this problem, but you’re on the right track, so keep working.” I think that is awesome, and I really appreciate both the honest assessment of our ride right at that moment and the encouragement to keep going forward.

I had about an hour between tests, and when I got back on Ro to warm her up again, I could tell neither one of us had much left in the tank. I decided to keep what we had left for the ring and just trotted her enough to get her moving again, then called it good.

The test was a little more inconsistent than the first test, in that Ro was definitely tapping out and would lose her balance and start rushing at points, especially during transitions. However, it was more active overall. And the canter work was better—I was less worried about bucking this time, so a little more proactive about the canter, and actually ended up tapping with the stick during the last canter a couple times when I felt like she was about to break. (I know there are people who would rather die than use their stick in the ring, but honestly—why carry it at all if you won’t use it? The judge’s comment on the rider score was “very tactful rider,” so clearly the judge was not phased by it.)

We ended up with a 56ish, I think, on this test. Again, an honest score with some nice remarks from the judge.

Overall, I am very happy with the way the day went. The biggest thing for me was the complete lack of show nerves. It was awesome to come out of the ring knowing that I’d ridden an honest test and any issues that showed up were training issues and not a result of my shutting down from nerves.

Ro was fabulous. Really, really fabulous. The canter warmup—no, not cool. I was not happy about that part of the day. But I was happy that she was all business when she went into the ring, and I think that as she gets more fit and we start focusing more on really improving the canter that is going to disappear.

Everything else, though—she handled herself so well and was so focused and responsive. I’m very, very happy with her.

With both of us, really. The only feeling that can top riding down the centerline with confidence is coming out of the ring with confidence, and we did that today.

Tagged: Horse Shows, Horses, Horses - Ro, Riding, Riding - Dressage

Listen to the voices in your head

18 May 2012 Comments

Last night, I went out and saddled up a gnat horse with the attention span of a gnat Ro.

We proceeded to… well, I was on her back, and she was in the arena, and we were going in a direction that was, well, a direction. At one point, she was cantering on four separate tracks and doing her best giraffe imitation. It was impressive. Less try-that-at-home impressive and more what-not-to-do impressive, but still, impressive.

And because I worry when my horse goes around traveling with her body in multiple zip codes, I immediately started trying to figure out the issue. Rider is riding like a monkey with ADD, true, and Rider’s body… let’s not discuss Rider’s body. Horse was mentally looking for every excuse to check out, true, but there didn’t seem to be a physical reason for it. Well, besides the excusable response to poorly-applied aids. But the aids were not THAT poor. Not multiple-zip-codes poor.

It nagged at me all night—Ro doesn’t do stuff like this without a reason, and being distracted is not sufficient reason. The voices in my head kept coming back to something physical. Since I was at the barn this morning, I repalpated her back and lunged her quickly to see how she was moving. She was fine.

Unhappily, I told my doubts to stuff it. Apparently, it was all crappy riding. I was glad she wasn’t in pain—of course I was—but I hate the thought that I was riding that badly.

This evening, I was back at the barn and brought her in clean her up a little—trim her bridlepath and such. Then I turned her back out. To get to her turnout paddock, we have to go through the gelding paddock. This is fine; we’re all used to it.

One of the geldings was hanging around by the gate to the mare paddock, but he retreated a polite distance. I unhooked the gate and started to lead Ro in, but she balked. I looked back to see why—surely, standing still for two whole seconds hadn’t turned her feet to lead?

She took advantage of those two seconds to spread her legs and proposition the gelding. Who looked very confused.

I tossed her in the mare paddock and even though her new BFF had come down to the gate, Ro was miserable. Girl just can’t get a break—no one ever lets her have a good time.

So—coming into raging heat last night. This explains a lot.

But she got today off from riding (planned in advance, the timing was just good) and hopefully in the next couple days she’ll stop thinking with her ovaries and we can go back to our regularly scheduled program. I think this was still an improvement over her spring transitional heats, but clearly she and I need to sit down and sort out our schedules so that only one of us is having an off day at a time.

And my instinct was right after all. There was a physical issue.** I should trust myself more.

** Ro would like everyone to know that there wouldn’t be a physical issue if the two legged creatures would stop interfering and just let her get on with finding a suitable mate, TYVM.

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Ro, Insects, Insects - Gnats, Riding

What’s in a pedigree?

11 May 2012 Comments

I toy off and on with breeding Ro and for a long time had been resigned to the fact that any foals could hope, at best for a COP from the stallion’s warmblood registry. However, recently I found out that ISR/Oldenburg will allow mares with 75% blood (TB or Arab) into the Main Mare Book. And this caught my attention, because Ro is 50% Arab and has a fair bit of TB behind the QH/Paint.

The million dollar question was how much TB?

I’ve done rough estimates before and ended up around 16-18%. I decided to do a little more thorough research, and this time ended up around 21%. I doubt I could find another 4% in there—I was going pretty far back into the pedigree already.

However, going pretty far back into the pedigree brings up some interesting TB bloodlines.

For example, the direct sire line goes back to Chimney Sweep, whose direct sire line continues back to Whalebone/Waxy/Pot8os/Eclipse—and so back to the Darley Arabian. Also thanks to Eclipse: Regulus and the Goldolphin Arabian. Also through Waxy: Cade (by the Goldolphin Arabian out of Roxana). Also through Pot8os, Oroonoko and so back to the Byerley Turk.

From Whalebone’s dam line, Matchem (by Cade). And Highflyer/Herod, thus Flying Childers. Also Snap (so Flying Childers again and also Bay Bolton).

Other TBs via Chimney Sweep, in one way or another: Woodpecker, Australian/West Australian/Melbourne. Lexington/Boston/Timoleon/Sir Archy. Galopin (The Flying Dutchman, Bay Middleton, Blacklock). Voltigeur. Hanover (Hindoo, Glencoe, Birdcatcher). King Tom (Pochahontas).

She also has Three Bars in her, who traces back to a lot of the names already mentioned and also Don John, Faugh-a-Ballagh, Stockwell, St Simon, Rataplan, Isonomy, Bend Or, and Sir Peter Teazle.

I’m not being very systematic here—this is just skimming through the bloodlines of the two most obvious TBs and picking out names I recognize and that are ringing bells as being influential in some way.

Obviously I’m more familiar with sires than dams.

I think that once you get back to the 17/1800s, the pedigrees tend to become pretty standard, with the same names showing up all the time. Still—those are some impressive names.

And it amuses me no end that Pot8os is in her pedigree as much as he is. I love that horse. Actually, I just love his name. Always have.

Pot00000000!

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Australian, Horses - Bay Bolton, Horses - Bay Middleton, Horses - Bend Or, Horses - Birdcatcher, Horses - Blacklock, Horses - Boston, Horses - Breeds - Arabians, Horses - Breeds - Paints, Horses - Breeds - Quarter Horses, Horses - Breeds - Thoroughbreds, Horses - Byerley Turk, Horses - Cade, Horses - Chimney Sweep, Horses - Darley Arabian, Horses - Don John, Horses - Eclipse, Horses - Faugh-a-Ballagh, Horses - Flying Childers, Horses - Flying Dutchman, Horses - Galopin, Horses - Glencoe, Horses - Godolphin Arabian, Horses - Hanover, Horses - Herod, Horses - Highflyer, Horses - Hindoo, Horses - Isonomy, Horses - King Tom, Horses - Lexington, Horses - Matchem, Horses - Melbourne, Horses - Oroonoko, Horses - Pochahontas, Horses - Potoooooooo, Horses - Rataplan, Horses - Regulus, Horses - Ro, Horses - Roxana, Horses - Sir Archy, Horses - Sir Peter Teazle, Horses - Snap, Horses - St Simon, Horses - Stockwell, Horses - Three Bars, Horses - Timoleon, Horses - Voltigeur, Horses - Waxy, Horses - West Australian, Horses - Whalebone, Horses - Woodpecker, Pedigrees & Registries

Page 1 of 2  1 2 > 

Recent Comments

Carlos on How to make a ribbon quilt (22 June 2017).

Log Buyers Of America on Looking for a Hand? (Product Giveaway!) (19 May 2017).

mechanics in St joseph mo on Looking for a Hand? (Product Giveaway!) (19 May 2017).

nice people on Looking for a Hand? (Product Giveaway!) (12 April 2017).

hemorroides normales on Looking for a Hand? (Product Giveaway!) (1 April 2017).

Links

Maintenance Note

Previous blog comments are currently not displaying due to some data migration issues.

New blog comments can be added and will show up as expected.

Old blog comments will be fixed when I have time.

Top