Monday, May 27, 2013

Chantilly's Grand Adventure

This past weekend was my first horse show of the season. Or rather the first horse show of the season where I too have brought one of my ponies. Prior to the show, I was wavering back and forth "Should I bring Delight? I mean Tillner needs the experience, but Delight is so much more solid. What if Tillner loses her shit and I'm out 60 bucks?"

So I sucked it up and brought the Tillner.
But I didnt bring my trailer, which led to precision packing of the truck
And she didn't lose her shit. As a matter of fact, we had a darn good show. Her warmup on Friday was pretty "up and excited", to put it nicely...But there were no witnesses, so it's like it never happened. Her perfect pony reputation remains in tact.
Horse show poodle was wiped out
The way the show was set up made it pretty easy for me to train and show. The jrs rode in the morning and the adults were after lunch, so I could get all of my nervous students and their horses through their tests before worrying about the Tillerina. Unfortunately this meant that she didn't get her little pony mane braided, but if that's the worst that happens at a schooling show, I'll take it. Know what I mean?
It's not easy being horse show poodles
Anyway, My group walked away with bunches of blues, High Point jr, High point Adult and High point overall (* coughTillycough*). I'd say that it was a good show.

Excellent Show, Ladies.
And since Tilly's scores from this show were a respectable 73% and 75% at training level, I think that she's ready for the big leagues. 

And then, the next day was the clinic with the judge from the schooling show, Jesse Collins. It's been a long time since I've taken a lesson. And I thoroughly enjoyed it.  

Warming up with Annie still in the arena.
Don't we look tiny...
Jesse asked what our biggest issue was, and I had to say connection on the right rein. Tilly has a tendency to hang on the left, no matter which direction we're going, so I have been giving the rein away (oops) since I thought the resistance came from too strong of a contact. This is why one needs lessons.
Trot, Trot, Pony
By the end of the lesson we were working of collecting and lengthening her in the trot and before transitions. I think that I really progressed, and honestly can't wait for another lesson.
 And now, more pictures:
More trot, this time actually using the right rein

Awww, pony

Pretty sure that I didn't know how to ride, here. 

Pony Canter

Back and forward at the trot

The sum total of Pony Resistance

Awww Pony.

Friday, May 17, 2013

An Update.

Well its been another gap between postings, I know. But hey, its not easy being me... I mean I have a farm to make presentable, horses to work, and a barn to clean. 
This is how poodles help with barn chores...
 And poodles to deburr after their romp in the swamp. They will be lucky to escape a full body shave before spring's over.
"You can't see me"
Anyway, its been a full wek. I've worked ponies and RC. RC's a champ, per usual and the ponies... well they are quite the ride. Not to say that I don't enjoy the ride, but sometimes I wish I bought well trained horses that I could just hop on and go. Of course this thought stays for about half a second, but its there.
Tilly and I are working on getting her solid on the outside rein. She'd love to just chill on the left rein 24/7, no matter which direction we're going, but that's not really conducive to  an upper level dressage horse, so straight and supple we go! Lots of serpentines and circles, but we're getting better. Which is good since we're 8 days out from our first show.
I like to think that I hand select my Sport Ponies based on their work ethic....
Delight has her moments. When she gives me her back and losens her shoulders, it's like riding a pony Totilas. Amazing. I really makes me wish that I was showing her this year, but I've made my plan, and I'm sticking with it. And that's that.

Which leads me to my 'around the house' project.... Wasps. 
I don't knwo where they came from or when they showed up, but I've been invaded. They have taken up residence in several eves and I'm not a fan. 
The little nest
Can you spot the big next?

Here it is!
Fortunatly Walmart had a deal on a 2 pack of wasp spray with a 27 foot spray. Bingo. Hasta, suckers!

Normaly I would love nothing more that to make my anti-wasp adventures into a thrilling documentary, but I've had a shitty day on the personal life side of things, so you'll just have to take the abridged version.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Go Home Winter. You're Drunk.

So... Saturday was a crappy day. I mean  for me personally, it wasnt bad... But weather-wise, it sucked. It was cold and windy and had spurts of icy rain. I was thinking that it couldnt get too much worse....

And today I woke up to this:
That's right. Snow on May 12. Ridiculous, I say! Ridiculous!

 On the plus side, Bacon was ready to help me with my chores. By the way, have you met my awesome new chores wagon? I assembled it myself with very few droppings of the F Bomb. So we'll chalk that up as a success, shall we?
"Uh, Alison.... This cart isnt gonna pull it's self!"
 Of course since my herd was in for over 12 hours yesterday (hey, what kind of horrible horse owner could look into Tilly's big brown eyes and condemn her to stand out in the rain?), everyone was more than ready to escape the barn this morning.

This grumpy face brought to you courtesy of RC

More snow...

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Well, I have no pictures for today (boring, I know!) so I'll keep it short and sweet.

As of today, Tilly is entered in her first show of the season. It's a 'local' schooling show. And by 'local' I mean that it's still in this state. So that's a plus...

Anyway, today's my 'get stuff done day'. I promise more pictures next time!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The Great Big Outdoors

So far this week, I've worked all three horses.
Uh, don't you do that every day?

Well, yeah.
But this week I rode OUTSIDE.

I'll repeat....


For the first time in god-knows-how-long I was able to actually work my horses in a full sized outdoor arena.

And all three ponies were amazing. Not a spook/flinch/buck out of either of my mares....
The Ponies in my back yard...
Of course RC was a little 'tard on our first ride. He wasn't naughty (I doubt that he could pull off 'bad' if he tried) but he was excessively enthusiastic about his work.
He even threw in a few bucks... well, little leaps through the air... Well, more like in the air - or slightly less on the ground- but either way it was funny. And adorable.

Delight and Tilly showed their true warmblood-ness by showing off their gaits to the maximum expression when allowed the room to do it. It was nearly too much fun.

Oh and I think I have a sunburn on the back of my neck. Turns out there is a learning curve to applying sunscreen for the first time in six months.
Face, check.
Arms, check.
Neck and chest, check....

Back of neck... missed.  Whops. 4

 Anyway, since I have some extra time on my hands (which is good considering the amount of mud on my ponies), I gave all three a thorough grooming, including hair cuts.
I cut three inches off of Tilly's tail because, while long, it had that ratty uneven thin pasture pony look to it. A bang job later... She looks like someone loves her and she could show her face in the show arena. Success.

Deli's tail is already short (but thick!), so I only conditioned it and picked it out.
RC has been cultivating tail all winter, with his tail in braids of varying intricacy for the past few months. And now, after nine years of work... It touches the ground. I conditioned it, but couldn't commit to banging it just yet.
I mean what if I ever enter an open show? I understand that best tail wins...

Guess we'll have to fall back on good training.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

There's No Place Like Home....

So today was the day. All of the ponies came home.Of course I took full advantage of the indoor arena prior to our departure since I assumed that introducing three tired horses to each other in a new situation might be easier and smoother than throwing three fit show horses our together on a cool windy day.
It was a thought....
"We're ready!"
I will say that I have had three amazing rides in a row on Delight, so I'm more than looking forward to riding her out in a full sized arena  (finally!). Even Tilly has really got her stuff together this week... Show season here we come!

Anyway, back to the story.

I rode the horses, loaded all of their gear then drove them home. I had one section of fence that I wanted to fix before I turned them out into the 'sacrifice pasture' that I have freshly fenced off; so the horses went into the barn to enjoy some of my nice timothy hay for half an hour before I kicked them out.

I started with Delight, because she's the most self-secure pony that I have. If she's out all by her lonesome, she's not going to get overly worried about anything.

They seem quiet...
Next out was Tilly, because she's my least secure pony. I really didn't want to leave her by herself either in the barn or out in the field.
The mares said 'hi'... then it got exciting.
 There was some leaping.

There was some squealing.
 There was some bucking....
Even from Tilly!
After five minuted for so of showing off how athletic they really can be when not held back by their rider, both mares chilled enough to snatch some bites of hay. I took that as a sign that they were ready for the Instigator. 
"Oh look! Food!"
Enter, Mr. RC.
Dramatically, per his usual.
"Dun da-dun DA! Here comes RC!"
"Trot on!"

"OK, two minute breather, guys"

"Watch me BUCK!"

"Oh, Hi Alison. Any treats?"

I'd really rather not ride that movement

And Tilly gets in on the game. 

Finally, a nice calm herd.
So... now everyone's home and the real work can begin!