Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I need less helpful horses

From feeding time this morning...

Do you ever get that feeling someone is breathing down your neck?

Shhh, don't tell her I'm here!

That someone might be contemplating doing things they shouldn't?

Schniff...

Or maybe even... actually doing something they shouldn't?
Nibble...

That never happens around here.
CHOMP!

All our horses are complete angels.

Nothing to see here, move along...

Monday, April 18, 2016

Taran was right all along

Taran has always been suspicious of the tar stripes on the road. We've joked that he thinks they're snakes or something, and they're going to get him.

These are all terrifying, all of them. Giant horse-eating anacondas EVERYWHERE.

Well, MC and I were riding on the road over the weekend, and one of the lines WAS ACTUALLY A SNAKE. Taran and Paddy both took a HARD look at the rat snake desperately slithering across the road trying not to get trampled, but were otherwise not impressed. The snake was definitely more afraid of them than they were of it.

Not actually as scary as imagined.

So next time your horse tries to convince you that there's something terrifying lurking in the bushes/log/car/tree/road/ditch/manhole cover/patch of flowers, you should probably believe them!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Not a supermodel

I've gotten spoiled taking pictures of Paddy - it's basically impossible to take a bad picture of him, because he's always adorable, his hair is always perfect (I hate him a little), and he always poses for the camera. He's basically a supermodel in horse form.

Taran, on the other hand, is not so camera-friendly. He's plenty cute in person, but man, getting him to pose for a decent shot is basically impossible. After his first show where we couldn't get any decent pics of him, I figured he was just tired. But nope, he really does suck at posing for pictures - even with his mom! See?

Oh no, not this again.

Am I supposed to be impressed with that? Because I'm not. Maybe if it were edible.

Nope, it's not edible. You tried to trick me.

Making faces at me will not help.

Trying to suffocate me also will not help.

OK FINE. ONE PIC. HAPPY NOW?

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April Taran confo shots - still so many changes!

I just can't stop with the monthly comparison pics. He's still changing so much!

Dec 23, 2015

Feb 1, 2016

March 6, 2016

April 10, 2016

Is he even the same horse???

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

... if only I could remember my stupid dressage tests.

Some of you maaaay have noticed that our 1-3 test had a bit of red on the second canter serpentine, and our last halt was a 5.0 instead of the 7.0+ we'd gotten on all our other halts.

Naturally, those were my fault.

Despite being confident that I knew my tests COLD before I went in, I forgot about the second canter serpentine. I realized it halfway through a trot lengthening across the diagonal, before the judge rang the bell. Whoops. There goes my 100% remembering test average this year. Boo. And of course two points for the error. Double boo.

I am so tired of seeing red ink on my tests.

I *also* neglected to do the final halt at the correct letter. 1-3 is weird because you don't halt at X, you actually halt at G... and I halted somewhere that was not G, for a 5.0. Which sucks because that was a pretty decent halt.

Nice, just in the wrong county.

The upshot of all those lost points? If I'd remembered my test AND gotten an 8 on the final halt, I would have had a 69.6... and beat the pro for first level champion. Heck, even if I had JUST remembered the test, I would have had it, because it was only .2% points difference. 

I'm not even mad about it, just more of a *facepalm* kind of moment. Taran was a super star and I was proud of our rides overall. Still... you think I'd learn by now!

What are YOUR tricks for remembering your dressage tests? C'mon fellow bloggers, HELLLLP MEEEEE!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Bluebonnet Show - one for the books

I'm just going to dump a bunch of pictures because in a nutshell:

  • Taran is awesome
  • I shouldn't doubt myself
  • Taran is awesome
  • BEST RIBBONS EVER
The reader's digest version of this is:
  • 1-2: 68.125 (1st) (second score at 1st level toward USDF bronze medal)
  • 1-3: 67.353 (1st) (qualifying scores for freestyle, SWDC regional championships, and GAIC championships)
  • 1st level reserve champion (.2% behind a pro)
Seriously, this show had the best ribbons.

We missed out of any media for 1-2, but Taran was super and I rode reasonably well.  I did get vid for 1-3, where Taran was even better and I rode even better, so here you go:

Look, a 10 meter trot circle with bend. 7.5.

Lengthen stride keeps getting better and better. 6.5.

I wish our leg yields were always this good. 7.0 right, 7.5 left.

Look at my horse, my horse can do a stretchy trot circle. 7.0.

My horse can also do a badass square halt on a dime and trot off like a MF pro. 7.5, coefficient of 2.

He can even sort of fake a decent free walk. 6.0, which is a gift from the judge.

He can lengthen canter too... he just can't come back from it without going splat. 7.0.

We uh, can't do a canter/trot transition very well though. Nice pogo-sticking behind. More leg needed. 6.5, but only because it wasn't scored individually.

Did I mention he can halt square? 7.5

And the video, which doesn't make us look quiiiite as good as the stills (because let's be honest, I can cherry-pick the good moments with stills): 



Here's the scoresheet for 1-2:

And for 1-3:

Yeah. It was a great show. :)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Pre-show questionnaire

Last night, as I was doing my usual oh-crap-show-and-nothings-ready panic, I started texting with Jan about my woes. This led to me sending her several quiz questions about prepping for shows, and it got funny (the cider might have helped) so I had to share.

Lists for your show stuff
  1. I sort of have a list of what I need... in my head.
  2. I have a packing list I use every time.
Sometimes I get fancy and put it on my phone.

Cleaning tack for the show
  1. It's a good thing I show because otherwise my tack would never get cleaned.
  2. I clean my tack sometimes so getting it show-ready is NBD.
  3. I wipe my tack after every ride so it just needs a touch-up for shows.
  4. My tack is always ready to go to an A show.
At least it's not *dirty*

Packing your trailer for the show
  1. I have to clean out my trailer to pack for a show (also known as, "Honey, here's the jousting shield you've been looking for!")
  2. My tackroom might need a little sweeping, but it's usually pretty quick to get it ready.
  3. My trailer is always tidy, so I just toss in my show stuff.
  4. Everything is in it's place, neatly labeled and stacked, so I'm always ready to go.
Getting your show clothes together
  1. I have everything I need... somewhere (except my $@%^(@#$ stock pin, which has gone MIA again). Stuff may or may not be clean.
  2. I have everything I need, I know where it is, and it's all clean. 
  3. I have everything I need cleaned and packed together in a bag that has its own place in my closet, so I just toss that in my car.
Getting your horse show-ready
  1. I think there's a horse-like object under the hair and mud. Can someone pass me a gallon of shampoo?
  2. I need at least 3 hours to tidy, clip, trim, and bathe. 
  3. A quick bath and maybe a little tidying is all I need to do.
  4. My horse is ready to go to an A show at any time.
He's half Fells pony, so I'm sure feathers are OK.

Drinking cider while packing for a show
  1. Why didn't I think of that?
  2. Best idea ever
  3. You might forget something!
  4. Crazy.
If you got more than a 14, can I hire you as a groom? Pleeeeeze?