Sunday, June 29, 2014

And...More Pictures Again

Hopefully I will get back to real world blogging tomorrow, but how about some more show photos.
Look!  A whole body shot.  Doesn't look too bad for living outside, does she?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Taking It Easy

It may be a little bit ridiculous, but I haven't ridden since before vacation. 

The SFM has certainly enjoyed her vacation.  Lots of green grass, a gelding to heckle, and her daughter to boss around.

My expensive pets this afternoon

My goal: Ride both horses Monday.

For real. 

If it's not like 90 degrees and 99.9% humidity.  

I can do hot.  I can even ride in hot, but the humidity just makes every pore ooze ick.  I also haven't felt very well since the horse show and that's sapped the bit of non-existent energy I have.

However, I did do barn chores today and that seemed to go fine.  I helped a friend with clipping her young foal (yahoo!  he's a spunky one!) and then decided I should probably do something besides pretend to own some expensive field art.

I grabbed the SFF, brushed her down, gave her a light bath, and decided to go see if I could find something in the arena to play with.  There are lots of objects but the first one I found was a pool noodle.

Now the SFF has seen a pool noodle as a young weanling, but I don't really think she's seen one since.  I had her walk over it, look at it, wear it, and poked her in the butt with it.  As long as it wasn't moving too quickly, she seemed cool with the endeavor.  But then I think she got a little bored, as she went ahead and was trying to take giant chomps out of it and stomp it to death.

Point taken.

So I put the pool noodle away.

I then found the hula hoop.  She has definitely seen a hula hoop before, but hasn't always been thrilled about the noise that it makes.  I can't hear the noise, but I assure you, my horses do.  

We practiced dragging it around.  I like to drag and object in front of the horse and have them "chase" it a bit to gain confidence.  Eventually I would like to actually have her drag it, but for now, chasing is fun.

She caught the hula hoop and wanted to stomp it and gnaw on it.  What kind of beaver are you, horse??  

I also went ahead and decided to put the hula hoop on and off of her.  The SFF isn't thrilled with things by her ears, whether it be reins being slipped overhead, a flymask, clippers, whatever.  But today's thing was a hula hoop.  I rubbed the hoop on her, let her sniff it, and then went to go put it up.  She wasn't thrilled with the idea, but let the Crazy Human do whatever and I was able to put it on and off pretty easily.  

Pool noodle vanquished and the hula hoop not as interesting, I called it a day and put her back outside.

From show ring to hula hoops, I am glad that my little Arabian filly seems happy to take it in stride.  Poor horse.  Doesn't know her owner is really a bit of a weirdo.  :)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Blog Hop: The Simple Life

Another blog hop from Viva Carlos.  :) 

Other than money, what would make your horse life simpler? 

A better/different job.  My commute isn't bad compared to some, but it's still about half an hour (or a lot more when it snows....) from home to work and about 40 minutes to 50 minutes from work to the barn. 

But my job has some pretty long and weird hours. 

Basically it goes like this.  I work Sunday to Thursday which sounds cool.  Sunday I start about 8, except I have a part time job at a vet clinic so I am out the door a lot earlier to do clinic check before starting work.  Go to work.  Do my thing.  Except, I won't be done after 8 hours.  :( 

Monday, I work at 5.  See the issue here if I don't get done Sunday until later?  It basically means I cannot go to the barn Sunday PM since I'd get very little sleep with all that driving, let alone actual pony time.  Usually I get done with work Monday about I try and go out after then.

Tuesday through Thursday I start at 9:30 am and am usually working until 9 or later.  I have actually been there past midnight more than once.  I am fortunate that my barn doesn't have set barn hours, but I just run out of energy to go ride that late, although I do try and make it out Thursday evening when it doesn't matter if I get up first thing Friday morning.

There are some issues with the physical aspects of the work.  Lots of standing in one place with poor ergonomics.  Repetitive motions.  Long hours.

The pay isn't really spectacular either.

So rinse and repeat. 

It makes it hard to try and make plans with other friends to ride because the schedule and hours can be so long. 

So to simplify my life, I'd like one of those mythical 9-5 jobs.  Maybe even working from home.  ;)  A true unicorn indeed.  :)  Bonus would be a pay increase.

How about you?  How would you simplify your life?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rare Glimpse of the Person Behind The Blog...

I am not actually 16, even though everyone thinks I am.  I am just not photogenic. 

I was also told that I looked like I was 16 this weekend.  LOL!  Glad to know that I'm aging well.  I hope I can always subtract at least ten years off my age.

I'll have to try and get photos together of what we won.  The SFF won the neck garlands of course, two top five ribbons, two championship ribbons, a blue ribbon from the pre show, a white ribbon from the pre show and two giant embroidered green coolers.  I could probably wrap the coolers around the filly twice and still have some left over.  :)

My first blue ribbon in a class with real competition and ended up with championship ribbons at the end.

What's your most memorable show?  When did you first win a "big" ribbon? 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Expect The Unexpected

Yesterday was a day filled with some pretty incredible moments.

My friend showed a beautiful buckskin Morab mare in a half Arabian sport horse in hand class (judged on conformation, movement at walk and trot, manners & attitude, and so forth).  It's similar to USDF dressage suitability classes.

Well, a little Morab pony type against some very big warmblood crosses doesn't always fair well, but Rita the mare was beautiful and so well behaved that I was proud of her regardless.

My friend (and the rest of the crew) went to go get lunch while I was waiting for some friends & my mother to stop by the show.  I managed to wander over the board where the results are posted as there is a delay between finishing the classes and results since the cards have to be tallied, entered, printed, and then posted.  Well, her class results were up and little Rita took second after a three way tie was broken.

Holy smokes. 

Pretty danged awesome.  

Too bad it took so long for friend and crew to come back from lunch so I could tell them.  :) 

Later yesterday afternoon, I had regional championship classes.

My classes Friday were a typical Arabian Class A show.  Nothing to sneeze at, but not regionals either.  I bit the bullet and entered regionals in a moment of weakness, but not expecting too much.  

When I won the blue ribbon Friday, I was pretty sure that was the highlight of the show.  I am fairly certain other people thought I was nuts for being happy over a blue ribbon.

But you know, we have to start somewhere.

So let's progress to regionals.  By the time I was approximately forty-five minutes before my class, I started to freak out a bit.  It's a little ridiculous, but I was pretty anxious.  It's a big show.  It's a lot of money.  And I have the SFF, who lives in the field being handled by a goof of an owner.  I am definitely not a pro at prepping or handling show horses and I know it.

So I had the moment of WTH am I doing here.

But I had my super friend J that came and helped me out.  My mother actually stopped by to watch the show and she met the SFF for the first time. 

My other friend and the crew brushed and braided and told the filly to be good while I picked and sat down and generally thought I was going to die and this was a bad idea.

Dramatic I know.

SFF was getting a little frustrated with all of this attention.  She had been very good about being locked in the stall for days, not rolling around in mud, and not trying to be a cheap date for every gelding and stallion on the property.  But she was starting to get crabby and I don't blame her.

So, horse in tow, with about 35 seconds to spare, I showed up to the gate.  The judge and scribe were being a little bit slower getting the cards together, so we waited patiently.  Then the SFF decided to do a full body shake from the bugs bothering her and she lost her running braid.


Do I unbraid my horse and risk going in without a braid?  I can't switch places to go in later.  Or do I go in with dopey braid half falling out.

We opted for option number one.  I held the SFF, while friend tried to braid her in lightning fast speed.  Thankfully the judge was feeling a little slow that evening.

I had two regionals classes.  One was for open purebred Arabian mares and the other was for Arabian mares 2 & over amateur to handle. 

I was to go first in both classes.

I went in the first class and the judge was very cordial.  It's always hard when you don't know a judge or their perspective since some prefer more manners or others prefer a flashier trot and it's OK if they break into a canter while trying to get that flashy trot.

But I went ahead and did our typical thing.  SFF was pretty alert and irritated, so she actually decided to look around and have her ears forward instead of her occasional sleeping position she likes to use while showing.

We finished.

Then time for class number two after a bit of waiting.  She was fine in the second class, but a bit madder about the bugs.  She didn't want to stand as well and broke into the canter on the top of the triangle.  Oh dear little filly.

I was hoping and just happy to come home with any ribbon from regionals.  It is of course, an honor to show there.

So I was sitting there when they started to announce results for my class and my group started cheering.  Holy smokes.

They had announced my number.

They announced the results of the second class immediately afterwards, but my group was still being so loud that we couldn't hear. 

Holy smokes.  Two for two.

Hopefully better pictures coming soon.  This was just on the cell after she spent more time trying to shake her braids out. 


So talk about a completely unexpected and very surprising weekend. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Quick Show Update

Just a short update since I am very tired.

1.  I managed to drive truck and trailer by myself for the first time.  SFF got from point A to point B.  Very good indeed.

2.  SFF was quite well behaved given the fact she is in heat and thought that without her beau, death (or something quite dramatic) was imminent.  She loaded well (for her) and quiet on the ride over.

3.  SFF won her first class today against some nationally titled horses.  Way to go SFF. 

4.  I survived today.  I showed several other horses in amateur to handle classes.  There was much running involved.

5.  Tomorrow is regionals.  Time to play with the big boys.

I wanted a "win" photo.  I cropped myself out.  We both look like we are on something special. 

Oh dear.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Of Owning A Midget Horse

So I went out to the barn after work today.  So many things to do, so little time.  I need to start writing a list before I manage to show up at the show with nothing but a horse in tow.

But, anyway, I bought a new pony dressage bridle to try and fit the midget horse (the SFF).  The cob bridle I have was too big.  Pony bridle almost fits except for the cavesson.  So now I need to try and find a cob sized cavesson that won't overwhelm the little head.

Oh bother.

So many issues.  

Oh look, a Texas Longhorn.  Nothing to do with anything, besides another vacation photo.

But first step is that the truck and trailer are hooked up.  A good first step towards surviving The Show.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Big Things Coming

Big things are coming and not sure if I am on board!

Before I left for vacation, I went ahead and sent off show entries.  I enjoy showing at the Class A (breed show level), but have never done anything beyond that.

SFF qualified for regionals.

So I went ahead, closed my eyes, and filled out the entry form for regionals as well. 

So, I have a ton of things to catch up on after being gone for nine days and I leave for this horse show on Thursday.

Should I also mention I have to put on my big girl pants and drive the truck and trailer by myself to get to this show?

Good grief.

Dear SFF,

I have no idea what I got us into.


Your insane owner.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Honey I'm Home...

If anyone noticed my absence...

It's OK if you didn't.

My one cat is completely indifferent to my return as well.

But I was in South Dakota & Wyoming for a week.

I did however, try to make my week escape somewhat horse related.

 The husband and I took a two hour trail ride in the Black Hills.  They are some twisted rugged hills filled with switchbacks.  It had rained off and on for several days, which apparently is quite unusual for this area.  The downside of the rain was that it made some of the footing a bit slippery.

My mount was a black foundation Quarter Horse mare named Shadow and the husband rode a 3/4 Friesian 1/4 Shire gelding named Patriot.  Both are owned by the woman who took us out on the ride and well trained.  She also rides Patriot sidesaddle in parades and all over.  Pretty cool.  

We also spent some time in Custer State Park.  There is a herd of wild donkeys living in the park.  They are the feral descendants of donkeys formerly used to carry tourists to the top of Mt Harney, which is one of the tallest points in the US.

This is a lovely spotted jenny.  She also had a foal at side.

Another donkey jenny.

The donkeys are quite docile and happy to come up to vehicles to beg for treats.  My husband and I purposely bought some carrots to feed to them and they were overjoyed.  Even the little foals at side were more than happy to come up to be petted.

Quite an usual adventure!

Let me know readers if you'd like to see a non-equine related post.  I took a lot of cool photographs that I wouldn't mind sharing if anyone would like to see.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Oh Bother

Think I need to call the vet in the morning again.

The SFF has a blocked tear duct, which has been flushed before, except it is weeping again.  So this should be fun.

But the topper is that for whatever reason, she was responding pretty violently when I went to handle her right ear, as in putting the bridle over it or just touching it or whatever.  Left ear is perfectly happy.  Right ear makes her want to commit horsey suicide.  Oh dear.

She can be a dink about her ears, but not to this extent.

Horses=money eaters on four feet.