Friday, October 31, 2014

And the Best Part about Halloween is....

The Costumes!

Of course, had it been any other time and you answered "candy!" you would be 100% irrefutably correct... However, I'm going somewhere with this so just take a deep breath and follow me down the rabbit hole!

Anywho, I've been semi-crafty all friggin' summer .There were windchimes, boxes, painting, etc, etc. So when the fall schooling show was announced in Escanaba in October with a costume-friendly-freestyle class, I was so in.

Until I realized that ti was on the same weekend as the championships. Then I was so very sadly out, I emailed the organizer my regrets and wished them luck... Only to have them tell me that it'll be moved to the following weekend to accomodate the Championship-goers. Which was me.
The freestyle was back on!

Coming up with music and choreographing was no big deal. Honestlym I'm pretty good at that kind of stuff (thank you ten years of drill teams). Costuming was the harder part...

Now, sewing is something that I have never done. Ever.
I did not take home ec. I took welding and home improvement and repair where I learned to rewire shit and fix a leaky faucet... Because, I assumed, when would I ever need to learn how to cook or sew? Seriously.

In hindsight, I'm still glad that I didn't take that class.

However, I decided that ti was time to try my hand at sewing, in my quest for a non horse hobby, to create a little costume to go along with my roughly edited music and fan-freaking-tastic choreography. I mean, since The Blackfish will have had a good week off while I'm in KY showing Bucky, I was really kind of leaning on my costuming choices to carry this freestyle.

I found a little pattern in Walmart that I LOVED and gave a nod to my favorite design aesthetic. How hard could it be? Seriously... 8 year old indonesian kids can sew up designer labels that people pay big bucks for, surely I can whip up a costume that will be only viewed as I trot/canter/buck on by the meager dressage audience. Surely.
Where are the sleeves? WTH, Alison...

It took me about three days of cutting, sewing, lining and hemming before I actually believed that I might have created something AMAZING.

Blingin', part 1
Two days later, I had embellished it with enough flair for an off broadway production.

Screw the freestyle, I'm going to ride All of my tests in this baby!
This is why Ponies buck....

For the full freestyle, please click:

 Enjoy with your speakers up on HIGH!

Trick or treat!

Monday, October 20, 2014

2014 USDF Championships.... Part 2

Show Time!
Well, since the whole point of this practically cross country drive was to show…. You would think I grabbed it with both greedy little hands.
But I rode one test a day for four days. As did Courtney. It was the easiest, most relaxed show ever…. 600+ other horses nonwithstanding.

Because Prix St Georges is so much easier than 4-3, I chose to ride PSG for my open show rides, saving 4-3 for my championship ride only.

For those of you who haven’t read it, Fourth level test three was designed by monkeys on LSD. The canter work has no rhythm and is increadibly haphazard. It’s a silly ridiculous test.
Anywho, my Thursday open show ride was easily the most accurate that I have ever ridden.  We scored a respectable 64, and I honestly don’t remember the placing or class size.  Sorry All.

My PSG championships ride was on Friday.
 Dun- dun- DUN!
Prophetic fortune cookie....
We were forward. We were powerful. We were on the very brink of control!

We might have continued our extended canter through our turn onto the centerline. We had one break in the pirouettes where I half halted a touch to hard for a canter-walk-canter pirouette transition. Other than that little flub it wasn’t a terrible, terrible test. Considering that there were ponies gleefully running through the Rolex water hazard within sight, we kept our shit together.
Cause, let’s be honest, Bucky identifies strongly with the cart horses.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it that the National Drive was held on the same weekend.

Anywho, We earned a 65% for our less than totally-accurate-but-powerful test. And ended up 17th/50 horses. Top half! Yes! My whole show was already a success!

Saturday’s ride, also PSG was easily my best. We were less spastic, more accurate and mistake free. And we actually won a large Open FEI class! Which, of course, I treated with the dignity and blasé expected of established professionals….

That's a $1000 coffee cup, folks!
Or not.

By Sunday, let’s face it… We were all exhausted. Whoever invented four day horse shows was obviously attempting to kill the entrants. By day three the enthusiasm and adrenaline has worn off, by Day four it’s sheer perseverance. And it was our fourth level championship class.
Bucky was (slightly) tired. I was tired. But we pulled off a mistake free, if not spectacular test. We may have had moments that went full-cart horse. You never want to go full cart horse….

But we earned a ribbon! In a 30 horse Open Championship! SQUEEEEE!!!

See? See that ribbon?
SEE IT?!?!

UDSF Championships... Part 1

So... It's been a hell of a month so far. But I'm back, faithfully chronicling my horse showing saga....
Smoke detector lying on the sink.
Super legit.

Unlike the fateful Kentucky Championships of 2012, nothing went categorically and catastrophically wrong. Whew.
I had reliable and trustworthy pony  sitters at home, the truck and trailer(s) all made it to KY and back to their respective destinations. The weather held for all of my tests (not so much for Courtney's... but that's the risk you run at horse shows).

Who does this?
The seat doesn't fit the toilet!
I broke the drive down into two days, overnighting in Columbus, IN at a nice little horse motel. Bucky settled in quite nicely after his 13 hour trailer ride where in we only had to wait out on Tornado Warning. Easy, right?
The poodles and I settled into a Motel 6 one exit over. Good news is that is accepted dogs, no questions asked. Bad news is that it was just a touch shady. In true Horse show tradition, wherein my family tries to counter balance the decadence of high powered show horses with slummy hotels.  So far I've survived.

Alison, Up your game. Seriously. 
Since I stayed nice and close to the Horse park, my Day 2 drive was only 2.5 hours. I made it to the Horse Park by noon. Of course, I beat my mother and my sister there... because, why not?

 The tack stall was set up.

The horses were settled in.

The Dog Party had commenced.

Its Show Time!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Preparing for the Kentucky Invasion...Take Two

Welp, it's that time of year again. The leaves are turning reds and golds, the temperatures are dropping... it's time for the Championships!

Now, I'm sure some of you all will remember the god awful 2012 Championships..also in Lexington KY.
Delight and I came in 26 out of 26.
The truck broke down.
I received a call from home saying that my barn was in shambles.

Yep. That's the one. You can read all about it back in my archives.

So, here I am all set to do it again. And this time, we're going to go Big or Go Home. At least that's what I've been telling myself.
Bucky, are you hiding behind your ponies?

The trailer is washed and packed (mostly).
The ponies are ready to spend a week (or so) at their "sitters".
The poodles are still filthy little farm dogs... Bathing is still on the to do list.
Yes. This is the wimpy french poodle stereotype

Bucky and I have secured lodging in Indiana on our way to Lexington (because Grand Prix horses do not stand on the trailer for 13 hours).

I've had the start of stress- induced acne.

Yep, it's show time!

Well... Almost.