Blog .:. June 2012 4 Entries

Obvious, but brilliant, solution

26 June 2012 Comments

As you probably realize (since I realize, and I am always way behind the trends) ribbon jars are the current trendy way to display old ribbons.

I thought they were a cute idea since I first saw them, but it’s taken me a while to remember that 1) I kept the most important rosettes when I made my ribbon quilt, and 2) I have a jar appropriate for displaying ribbons. More than appropriate, actually, as it’s the 2nd Level Jr/Young Rider year-end championship jar Jim and I received. In all fairness, we were the only Jr/Young Rider team showing 2nd Level that year, so its significance is purely sentimental and personal. But, I should point out, no less meaningful for that.

Anyway, as I was saying: I have rosettes, and I have a jar. And now I have a ribbon jar:

I swear there is more than one ribbon in there. It’s just that that ribbon is rather large… but it was our first hunter show championship, so I wanted it front and center. The medal was from State Fair our first year showing, when we won the Dressage High Point award. And the jar, as I said, is from our last year showing.

The rest of the rosettes are all show champion/reserve championships or year-end awards. I should really get another jar so they would actually be visible, but at least they are (sort of) out in the open instead of hidden away in a box in the closet.

Tagged: Horse Shows, Horses, Horses - Super Saint

Change is good, right?

19 June 2012 Comments

Every three years or so, I get the itch to change things around.

And when I say “change things around,” I normally mean “move halfway across the country (if not the world).”

I blame my upbringing as a military brat.

This year, the urge to turn my world upside down never really materialized.

I thought that was odd, but then I realized: my horses are busy turning my life upside down for me, so moving on top of that would be overwhelming.

First of all, Ro and I made it to the show ring. Schooling shows, sure, but we made it in the ring and didn’t die. Then I moved Ro to a new barn. Then I decided that I needed to change Ro’s show name. Sure, “they” say changing a horse’s name is bad luck. But “they” also say to be careful what you name a horse, because they will live up to it. I decided the second superstition was definitely proving true while the first was just, you know, superstition.

But being superstitious, I’m not sharing her new show name until I have the papers in my hands. It is, however, much better than the Twelfth of Never. I promise.

All of that was Ro’s contribution towards turning my life upside down. Certainly she was doing her best, and succeeding.

Meanwhile, I had Dexter. Back up a bit: meanwhile, I bought Dexter and adjusted to Life With Two Horses. It turns out that’s much like Life With One Horse, just with much less money. And time.

Just as I got into that routine, I moved Ro and began to experience the fun that is having horses at two different barns. Even with the barns very close to each other, that quickly became more difficult and time consuming than I expected.

So, safe to say my life is plenty chaotic, right? Chaotic enough to explain why I wasn’t feeling the urge to pack up and move across the country, anyway.

And then in the middle of all this, some health problems cropped up. The details sound a whole lot more melodramatic than they are, but suffice it to say that you should not randomly drop “Hey, I may be having exploratory surgery” in the middle of a conversation, because it upsets people. Even when you try to explain that it’s minor outpatient surgery, perfectly routine, and you aren’t in danger of dropping dead. No, really. I mean it when I say this sounds much more melodramatic than it is.

But still—the reality is that this is all very inconvenient. And traveling to two barns was going from inconvenient to a major burden.

Fortunately, there was an opening at Ro’s barn, and I managed to work things out at Dexter’s barn so everything is on good terms (never burn bridges if you can avoid it), and Dexter moved to Ro’s barn today.

One more change in a roller coaster spring, but it simplifies things.

Dexter loaded and unloaded from the trailer easily, and when he got to the new barn he ambled around his new paddock for a minute until he found the hay. Then he buried his head and still had it buried when I left. I’m not sure it’s possible to phase this pony—or rather, it’s not possible to phase him as long as there is hay in his reach.

He is ultimately going to be turned out in the big field with the geldings, and I am sure he will love it.

In the meantime, I do not know how much I will have to report here. I will not be doing much at the barn beyond reminding the ponies that I am the one that dispenses… I’d say treats, but I’m awful and never buy treats. Attention, I guess. At the very least, that I am the one who pays the bills so they can live the life of Riley.

Hopefully this is the end of upheavals for this year, though. I’m optimistic that everything is turning out for the best, but I’m also ready for things to settle down and find a new routine.

Or else I will learn to take Dexter’s philosophical approach to change: Things are different? But there is food? It’s all good.

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

And so it begins

17 June 2012 Comments

I set up a jump chute just to see what Dexter would do with it:

I’d change the setup a little next time so it was a little longer before the poles and a better barrier on the left, but he has the general idea. At least he picks his feet up over the poles—Ro thinks ground poles are her personal hoof-buffing machines!

Tagged: Groundwork, Horses, Horses - Dexter, Riding - Jumping

It’s true what they say about two year olds

4 June 2012 Comments

Dexter is, well, he’s the type of horse that will always be called noble.

I don’t think anyone will ever accuse him of being a stunner, and certainly handsome is not the first word you reach for.

Don’t get me wrong—he has an appeal. But it’s the appeal of something so homely it’s cute. And I say this with all the affection of someone who likes Roman noses.

But I admit: there was a day in there when I looked at him and had a glimpse of the horse he could become, and noble will certainly fit him. In all the good senses of the word, and not in the “inbred, nobbly” kind of way.

Unfortunately, that moment came and went. Now he’s just nobbly.

His head is as long as his neck and he’s butt high. He’s also butt wide, and worse than that—it’s almost like he took any width he had at all in his chest and transferred it to his rear end. He could be an arrowhead the way he is proportioned now. A downhill arrowhead.

This, people, is why breeders hide their two year olds in back pastures.

The good news is that he is definitely growing. I used to be able to lean on him and drape an arm across his back and it was quite comfortable. Now I have to reach up just a little to drape an arm across his back and it’s not so comfortable.

Yes, I know there are people out there who buy sticks and talk about height in hands and inches. Boring!

“He’s the perfect height to lean on while you’re standing by the ring watching others ride” is much more useful. Assuming you’re the same height as me, I guess.

Eventually, I’m sure he’ll get through this nobbly stage and back into a noble stage, but he seems pretty determined to try out all the variant sized parts he can find, so it may be a while. Like a year.

At least he is still the same sweet, troublemaking fool he’s always been.

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Dexter

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