Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Quite Possibly the World's Only Jousting Haflinger

Wow, 5 weeks from my last update. Bad blogger. 

Things have slowed down here a little – the dressage show in May is our last competition until September, so Paddy and I took a week off. Then it started raining… and raining and raining and raining…. So we both sat around eating and packing on the pounds. 

Oh look, IT'S RAINING AGAIN. Yay.

I almost had to by floaties for the mutant dog, who can't swim very well.

And then Brego went 3-legged lame and proceeded to blow out the world’s largest abscess.
Seriously. It’s over 2 inches long.

I'm good with blood-dripping wounds, but something about holes in horse hooves makes me gag.

See the giant hole? 

Two visits from the vet, some rads, and a $300 pair of custom front shoes later, and Brego still wasn’t sound. The consensus was that the shoes helped the bruising on the bottom of his foot, but that it would just take some time to grow out the abscessed area up near the coronet band. Unfortunately, hubby had a big international jousting tournament and benefit June 13-15, with a week of practice beforehand. Brego got better each day, but he still wasn’t 100%, and there was no way we were going to joust a horse that’s NQR. We had a backup jousting horse lined up, and then another jouster’s horse blew out a suspensory. 

So two weeks before the tournament, Paddy got requisitioned as a jousting Haffie.

It was a big risk. His last experience with armor (the week after I got him) did not go well. I’ve cantered him up and down a jousting lane a few times, but never against another horse, with armor, or with lances. He’s never done mounted combat, except when I used him as an attack platform when we were working on Brego. In other words, he was pretty much a dressage Haffie.

Turns out, I might need another dressage Haffie, because Paddy is pretty much the best jousting poneh EVAR.

This is his attack face.

So here's my jousting Haffie:

Paddy jousting at SIRE.

Paddy positively stole the show. He was calm before the runs, launched beautifully, ran straight, and stopped neatly at the end of every run. He actually did better than some of the seasoned jousting horses that have been doing this for years! 

On Friday, the first official tournament day, we had a bunch of school children in the stands. They all asked each horse's name, and of course they all recognized Paddington Bear from the movie. Every time he was up for a run, the kids would chant "PAD-DING-TON! PAD-DING-TON!" They all wanted to pet him after, and Paddy obligingly stood for lots of photo ops. All weekend, we had people come up to us and tell us how adorable he was, and he schmoozed for cookies for all he was worth. 

This is his favorite person in the whole wide world to mooch cookies from. Meet Holly. 

Funny story about Paddy and the cookies. Hubby was up for a joust, but didn't know which end of the lane he was supposed to start from. We were all waving and yelling at him, but the jousters can't see or hear very well when they have their helms on. Suddenly Holly yelled "PADDY! COOKIES!". Paddy's little ears swiveled around, locked on to Holly, and he promptly dragged hubby across the arena (to the proper side) to Holly so that he could get a cookie. Yes, my horse will apparently do anything for a cookie.

Oh, and Paddy was by far the smallest jousting horse there:

He's the one on the left.

Entry procession (photo courtesy of Roxanne Moore). Paddy's on the far left, anchoring the formation.

Paddy also participated in the mounted combat melee, which his is apparently awesome at. The video below is a bit long, but it's got some cool action!

(Video courtesy of Roxanne Moore)

The entire event was to benefit SIRE, a theraputic riding program in Houston, Texas. We had the privilege of meeting a number of very special individuals who clearly love horses just as much as we do, if not more. We also had the help of the most amazing volunteers I've ever met - we even had our very own squire for the entire weekend! They really made the weekend so much easier and special for us. We were also very honored to be able to help raise money for such an amazing organization, and we really hope to do it again next year. Paddy will be there for sure!

Jousting Haffieeee!

51 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It was a ton of fun, and for a really good cause!

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  2. Oh my goodness! I just love your pony!!! What a GOOD boy he is!

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  3. Clever Haffie!! I think Petrus would be great at this...but I suppose there's not many jousters looking for a 14hh Lippi!

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    1. Alas, no, and at 15.1 Paddy's on the smallish side. But he's super sturdy, so it all works out.

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  4. I just love the very cute, cookie-eating jousting pony! Hope Brego is feeling better!

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    1. Brego is actually 100% - I'll do an update on him soon!

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  5. GO PADDY GO!!! He is absolutely spectacular!!

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  6. Awww yes Haffie power! Love his little explosive starts (so much push!) and his uphill braking.

    Where's that shit in the dressage ring? ;) But seriously, it's obvious you've been working hard with him

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    1. Haha, RIGHT? One of the international jousters, who does classical dressage in German, was really impressed with him. Apparently he does a terre-a-terre/mezaire at the beginning of some of his starts, and totally didn't believe me when I told him that we couldn't canter a 20 m circle in a test. Of course, a kimberwicke (which is what he was jousting in) makes a world of difference ...

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    2. Straight to the double, obvs. ;)

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  7. You definitely need a second Haffie... Paddy is destined for jousting stardom.

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    1. Yes, yes I do.

      Seriously, if you find a 4-6 yr old gelding by Nobleman of Tudor Oaks or Arno van het Nieshof that's over 60 inches tall and broke to ride, I'll take him.

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  8. He sure looks like he's having fun!! Is Brego going to learn to dressage now?

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    1. Brego actually does 2nd level dressage already. I've joked with hubby about trading horses... ha. ha. OK, so not really...

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  9. Hooray! What a good boy. He deserves all the cookies he can stuff into that cute mouth! ps. abscesses are horrible/gross to begin with, but especially ones that blow out of the coronet band!

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    Replies
    1. He can fit a LOT of cookies in his mouth, especially over the course of several days.

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  10. I want a Haffie. I think Chloe needs a buddy. :)

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  11. That. Is. AWESOME. I have pony (and horse) envy! I swear, you have the best two equines ever :)

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    Replies
    1. I'm kinda sweet on them both... ;)

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  12. I didn't think I could love Paddy any more, but I was wrong.

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    Replies
    1. Everyone loves Paddy. Possibly except me, when he's "escaped" for the third time while I'm doing chores...

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  13. Oh my gosh, Paddy as jousting pony is THE BEST THING ON THE INTERNET. He looks so agile and fast compared to some of the larger horses!

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    Replies
    1. Haha, if only he were better than cat videos. Alas, he's got a way to go.

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  14. Aw! Good Paddy! The brain break from dressage probably excited him!

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    Replies
    1. Sigh, and it's going to be hard to convince him to be a dressage Haffie again!

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  15. Replies
    1. He really is... I'm kind of surprised!

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  16. You own the coolest pony in the lands.

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    Replies
    1. Possibly, but I may be slightly biased...

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  17. yep your horses are pretty much amazing! that LIP when he reached the end of his run in the first video??? omg, too stupid cute! i hope Brego's back up in action again too :D

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    Replies
    1. He actually perfected running his upper lip on his stall to beg for treats. Worked EVERY time...

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  18. Uck sorry about the abscess but glad Brego is on the mend, also don't drown, And isn't he just the cutest little jousting poneh ever!

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    Replies
    1. He is adorable, but then, I'm kinda biased...

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  19. He looks fantastic! Such an all around cool horse :-) Did you stop eventing?

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    Replies
    1. I actually haven't jumped anything with Paddy in over a year. Just haven't wanted to... strangest thing ever.

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  20. How cool! Out of curiosity, there was a TV show on a couple years ago called Full Metal Jousting. They had mentioned there's a competition circuit in the US for jousting. Is that what your husband competes in?

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    1. There are a couple of competitive jousting groups. The one that the SIRE benefit joust was affiliated with is the International Jousting League. I believe the folks on Full Metal Jousting are part of a different league, with different scoring, armor requirements, etc.

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  21. But really, what ISN'T Paddy the best at?! SO CUTE

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    Replies
    1. Uhhh... I'm sure I'll think of something, just give me a minute... ;)

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  22. He's a natural! Sorry but you are either going to have to find some Jen sized armour or kiss you pony goodbye...

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    1. Hubby and I have agreed that Paddy can moonlight as a jousting horse one weekend a month. The rest of the time, he's a dressage poneh.

      We'll see how that works out... ;)

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  23. Really interesting. I would love to see this sport in action. Not sure if jousting happens here in CA, but it would definitely be fun to see. :0)

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    1. There's actually one in San Diego in October. Here's the link: http://www.tournamentofthephoenix.com/

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