June 29, 2015

Dressage Show

I helped organize a combined training schooling show this weekend that was once again held at Tri-H. This meant that Gentry got to go to his first dressage show. I entered him in Intro B, and thank goodness we were the 2nd ride of the day at 9:08am. It was already 75ºF when we rode! Mid-day the temps were in the upper 90's.

When we arrived at 6:45am, both the boys hopped off the trailer nice and calm. They seemed to remember where we were from last month, and settled in much more quickly. Being a combined training (CT) show vs. a hunter show, everything was much more laid back and calmer in general too.

It was a schooling show, so aside from bathing Gentry the night before, cleaning my tack, and washing my breeches, there really wasn't much show prep to stress either of us out. After he settled in his stall, I tacked him up and started schooling around 8am. He was a little anxious in the large outdoor arena when the barn staff were turning out horses, but he quickly got down to business without much fuss. I was quite happy with him, so I didn't work him too hard, or for the full hour. We schooled just enough to assure that he was listening to my cues and was halting and trotting off nicely. Then they called us in the gate and off we went. My entire goal was that he would trot (not tranter) and stay in the court. Anything above and beyond would be icing on the cake!

See for yourself!

I was so pleased with his test I couldn't resist giving hugs and scratches immediately in the court after our final salute! I was amazed at how calm he was for a horse that hasn't ever seen a dressage court or judges booth. I didn't care what our score was I was so happy with him. The only thing I felt that really needed improvement was our medium walk. It was...a bit sticky, and my score card agreed with this.
Right After our Test. A little blurry, but I love this photo.
Later in the day we got our score. We earned a respectable 64.7% and a blue ribbon! If I wasn't already proud of the little guy before, I couldn't get the stupid grin off my face after that.
At the end of the day with his ribbon.

More interested in the grass than the blue...he's still a horse of course.

Today he's getting the day off, as the weather is still very hot by the evening when I can ride. But he can't have too much time off because we have the next CT show coming up on August 1 & 2. That will be a two-day show and I am really looking forward to it.


June 9, 2015

Visiting Rose

I was in Colorado this past weekend to visit some friends, and I got the opportunity to go visit Rose.

With Rose. My sweet girl.

A little dusty, but otherwise looking great.

Update on Miss Thing:

Rose continues to be the princess that she's always been. She looked wonderful. Did she remember me? If she did she didn't really show any affection. It was definitely just the same old same old indifference to my existence that she always had. I'm not sure if that made me feel good or not. Perhaps it's taken the edge off my pining for her a bit. Had she appeared ecstatic at my sudden appearance it would have been much harder to leave. She seems quite happy where she is at and her current owner is taking wonderful care of her.

Shortly after I sold Rose she had a bad hock injury in turnout, followed by lots of surgery, and then six months of stall rest. She healed and was in work again from July-February. Then she went lame again, had surgery again, and was still not quite right. So they decided to try and give her cortisone injections to see if that fixed the problem. The injection was just last week.

Rose. Oh, Rose.

Come to find out, Rose is one of the 8% of horses that is allergic to cortisone. She currently has a volley ball sized right hind hock from the reaction. It looks much smaller in the photo I took than it did in person.

Where does that leave Rose then? Well her new owner has now scratched rehab, beyond turning her out for a year. If she's turned out then she might as well make babies, yes? YES! I am so excited to see what stallion she chooses and how the baby comes out. Maybe, just maybe, baby #2 will end up in my pasture...just a wild and crazy thought. The timing would be perfect.


June 1, 2015

Gentry's First Horse Show & Goals

I took Gentry to a MHJA show this past weekend! I was the announcer at the show and would be there all day, so I decided to take advantage of the situation and bring Gentry along. EB and Hugo also joined in on the fun. The show was held at Tri-H, the gorgeous barn that I boarded Rose at when I first moved back to Bozeman. It has recently gone under new ownership, and has been opened up to the community for shows once again. Pulling into the parking lot felt like coming home and it was a nice although bittersweet feeling.

Posers - happily my very dated, pre-baby show clothes still fit...barely.
Dang new hips! Time for some new TS breeches. Love that my old
Effinghams still fit perfect though!
My goals for the show were just to take Gentry to the show, throw him in a stall for the day, see how he handled it all, and let him get used to the scene. Anything above and beyond that would just be a bonus.

To justify my MHJA membership, I also entered him in the walk/trot class. I would say that for his first show ever, he was a good boy. However, he definitely needs more experience on the show grounds. We hauled in that morning and the walk/trot was the very first class...and one of the biggest classes. This meant he didn't get much down time to settle in before our class.

Next time, I will haul in the night before, despite the grounds being so close to home. That will give us the added bonus of schooling the night before. Assuming we will be cantering well by then, I will also enter Gentry in whatever flat class has the least entries, rather than the walk/trot...read on to understand why.

Walking down to the event barn

It had poured rain the night before the show, so the show got moved indoors. I am fairly positive that Gentry had never been inside an arena before, let alone among a huge group of other horses or riders. The whole thing kind of blew his mind, but bless his heart he handled it all well, despite obvious anxiety. I decided not to school him in the arena after hand walking him in there. He seemed rattled enough by the other horses, riders, and jumps that I didn't think that it would do us much good. Interestingly, he could care less about the mirrors in the arena. Perhaps a sign that we should just be dressaging?
Schooling in the outdoor after our class

Walk/Trot Class Re-cap:

To my surprise and dismay there were 14 riders in the walk/trot class. I assume people were using this as a schooling round. But sheesh! I think there was only one kid in the class. In my imagination I was going to be in a baby class with a bunch of seven year olds on their ponies, me looking like a total tool on my "big" horse.

The class started well. We had a nice walk and trot going on and our own space on the rail. Then the judge asked everyone to spread out. At that point the other horses started passing us in a huge mob and Gentry kinda lost his mind. He didn't do anything bad and was trying really hard to listen. However he proceeded to tranter instead of trot for the rest of the class. He was fine at the walk, but kept trantering at the trot. At that point I resigned to the fact that we would not get a placing and just focused on keeping him listening and calm to not cause a scene or problems for other riders. Then, after placings were announced the audience made an applause. That was his first applause clearly, and he spooked in place, but didn't' do anything explosive. Just startled.

After that I took Gentry to the outdoor schooling arena (hence the outdoor photos) to see if he could still trot, which he immediately did. So, I am rest assured that the trantering was indeed just his anxiety to the indoor/large class/new situation. I had to get back to my announcing duties shortly there after so he then spent the rest of the day in his stall, eating hay, and just dealing. Which he did well. At 9pm when the show ended and we loaded up to go home, he happily jumped right back on the trailer, and we were home just at dusk.

To conlude, I am very proud of the little guy. I think he handled his first show quite well and I can't wait to drag him to a few more this summer. We have a total of four shows in town to go to!

Kisses for a good job
Oh, and EB and Hugo took 3rd place in the walk/trot. It was Hugo's first show ever as well, and he acted like a seasoned champ. Granted being an OTTB, he's seen the "scene" plenty of times before, but it was a huge trust/bonding moment for the two of them. I am so happy for them!

May Re-cap

  1. Cantering & canter transitions - started working on this. Needs improvement still.
  2. Leg yielding - this has improved a lot, but still needs improvement.
  3. Pawing in cross-ties...still...this is going to be ongoing for a while.

June Goals

  1. Dressage Schooling Show on June 28 - Intro Level Test
  2. Cantering & Canter Transitions
  3. Leg Yielding
  4. Pawing in Cross-Ties
  5. Riding alone in our outdoor arena



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