Friday, March 3, 2017

friday foto finish iii

I'm kinda loving these photo dump posts as a way to collect all the various pictures and whatnot on my phone that haven't made it into any posts of their own.

Maybe they're kinda the 'B Sides' of blog pictures haha, but idk, maybe it's a nice way to run through where we've been recently without spending a whole awful lot of time on it?

Anyway, as it is, Charlie and I have in fact been up to stuff since our lesson in the apocalyptic rain last week haha. Actually tho, I think boarding at an h/j barn with an attached indoor has made me go a little soft. Brita might feel similarly about boarding at OF, which also has an attached indoor.

We spent the last few years riding outside come hell or high water (literally), but last week suddenly found ourselves darting to the OF indoor the moment big fat rain drops started falling from the sky (pictured above). Such wimps!! Still glad they convinced us to go back out lol...

Really tho, the weather has been so nice that I definitely shouldn't complain. Trees are blossoming!!! Except... well. I'm complaining a little bit bc we're looking down the barrel of a relatively mild cold snap this weekend and I'm afraid all these pretty, delicate little buds and blossoms won't make it. Sad :(

But onto happier (but still pretty in pink!) thoughts: Here's what went down with Isabel this past weekend. Basically, she's looking for a lease rider. A previous test ride with a student from the lesson program apparently went poorly - much bucking and bolting and reportedly scary equine shenanigans, and the parents noped right out of that situation. Oh Izzy, you devil.

The owner contacted me and I immediately thought of another rider from the program who loves Arabs, has a quiet way of riding, and is fascinated by dressage. Perfect. So I went out Saturday and Sunday to ride the horse first, then get the student in the tack for mini lessons. Day 1 found both Izzy and student a bit tense as they sought common ground, but Day 2 showed BIG improvements. (And let's just not talk about my own inner turmoil stemming from how good it felt to be on that mare again...)

I think they could be a really great partnership - the student has worlds to learn from Izzy, and frankly Izzy needs a job. Obvi any arrangements are between the student and owner at this point, but I think they're at least going to give it a try! I deemed it a good sign when the student texted me that picture of Izzy in a bright pink and SPARKLY bridle. Yassss. 

Shifting gears back to Charlie before I end up totally consumed by all thoughts Isabel.... Charlie's had a good week. A solid schedule of a mixture of purposeful schools and hack-abouts. We especially enjoyed being able to get out to explore more of the campus grounds with another barnmate and her horse, Tip, who happens to be the big boss man in Charlie's herd.

While not hacking around, Charlie has dabbled a little bit with hopping over fences at home, since trainer P said I needed to keep putting jumps in front of him now that he's starting to figure it out. But we've also been trying to dig a little deeper into our flat work. Because.... 

We have another schooling dressage show tomorrow!!! Much excitement!! Same venue as last time (OF) and same test too. I'm not totally thrilled about the early start time, as it doesn't leave a lot of space for easing into the day. But I'm choosing to see that as an advantage.

By this point, OF is a fairly ho-hum venue for Charlie. But I personally would really like to get more exposure to busier, electric atmospheres. So maybe by making it an earlier morning with more of a time crunch between shipping in, warming up and actually riding our tests, it'll serve as a test for putting a little more pressure on the horse (and me?)? 

Because guys. Guys. I'm doing it. It's happening. Entries are in for Charlie's first real big boy event at the end of the month. Ahhhh!!!! So excitednervous haha. I love Loch Moy. Really truly. We'll just do the lowest of the low unsanctioned baby CT divisions: 18"/2' fences and the Intro B test, which hopefully Charlie can navigate with confidence.

The question mark? Loch Moy can draw a crowd. It's not unheard of for these starter horse trials to have 300+ entries. That's a LOT of atmosphere. The trailers pack in close and horses are legitimately in every direction. My focus for the day will absolutely revolve around setting Charlie up to handle that atmosphere successfully.

So anything I can do between now and then to start introducing Charlie to more atmosphere and pressure to perform in distracting circumstances will only help. Starting with this weekend's dressage show! And maybe some other stuff too we'll see ;)

I'm also exploring ways to keep Charlie's inner dinosaur away from any potential tar pits. He continues to be SUPER in this regard - changing to the fuzzy girth really has made a massive difference (the spurs help too haha). But since adjusting that element of tack, I've avoided schooling in my dressage tack - for fear that it could also be part of the problem.

My hope is that Charlie acted out in the dressage tack too bc his girth groove was generally sore and any pressure aggravated it (in addition to the behavior just being a standard trick up his sleeve anyway). But, just in case, I've been experimenting this week. See - I bought this fuzzy stretchy terry cloth-esque girth cover from Hawk like... years ago. 

It's obviously way longer than a dressage girth, but I snipped a slit on each end where the billets meet the girth so that the cover reaches all the way to the saddle flap, but the girth is still adjustable. The terry cloth material isn't great for this - it'll probably eventually fray (and might not survive a trip through the wash) - but it covers up Charlie's problem zone: right where the leather billets would otherwise sit against his skin.

I rode in this arrangement twice in a row this week, and will do so again for the show. It's not the most attractive setup ever... but it's also not super hideous. Actually esp when I'm in the saddle you might not even notice.

We'll see how it holds up, I guess, or whether it's worth the effort. This particular girth fits fine compared to the leather one that started the problem in the first place, so this cover might not even be necessary. For now tho I'm rollin with it haha. Anything for the princess, right?

Anyway, Charlie gets today off after a good week's full of work, and we'll see how he comes out tomorrow morning for our tests. I keep telling him he's got to defend his "Undefeated Champion Dressage Horse" title lol, but idk how he feels about that.

Regardless it should be a good day no matter what, esp since we'll be hangin out at the show with some other friends and ponies and puppies. It might be cold but I don't care - it's just so exciting to be showing again!

Hope you all have a great weekend planned too - whether it involves setting the stage for the season to come or not!

41 comments:

  1. Nice recap of your adventures. Have a fun time at the show!

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    1. Thanks I'm looking forward to it!

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  2. Have fun this weekend! And you are so right, anything for the princess. :)

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    1. We gotta take care of these delicate guys haha, right?? Lol

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  3. Good luck at the show! And happy that hopefully Izzy has someone new to show the ropes 😁

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    1. My fingers are seriously crossed that this works out with Izzy!! I just want to know she's in a good position!

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  4. those cherry blossoms are GORGEOUS!

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    1. things have gotten really pretty around here in the last week or so!! i really REALLY hope tho that the cold snap this weekend doesn't wreck our chances of having a full spring in bloom tho! damn early warm weather lol...

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  5. thats great about izzy finding a new kid - especially for dressage. she's really great on the flat and she can learn a lot and eventually win some stuff for sure.

    a cadre of students from my barn are going to loch moy at the end of the month. my trainer told me I should go during my epic awesome schooling and I was like yeah... we'd have to stable overnight... and he's been out for the past 48 hours... so, no. (or at least, not YET)

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    1. yea i don't blame you. loch moy is close enough for us that it's just a day trip so that helps a lot. we'll see tho.

      but does this mean that you're tagging along with your barn mates for the show??? bc it would be awesome to see you!! i'll be there with brita and a few others, and probably for ages and ages since we're all going different divisions. lmk!

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    2. I actually cant that weekend (i am quite literally going to a military ball) BUT I will DEFINITELY be out and about more. eg we're gong to fair hill in may......

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    3. oooooh military ball, fancy! yay for getting out and about more this year tho.

      fair hill in may is on my list - and actually i have a fairly giant list on my events page - it's not totally up to date with everything (like plantation isn't up there yet) but it's all the stuff that's on my radar. definitely lmk if you're thinking about any of the same events bc it would be great to meet up!

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  6. Loch Moy! I cannot even wait! Good luck with the dressage schooling show :)

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    1. haha i'm not exactly on the edge of my seat yet bc i feel like we've got some serious work to do before then.... and i may or may not be sliiiightly freaking out haha. it's exciting tho!

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  7. Huzzah for the first event!! Text me the date...maybe I can come watch...

    Also, out of the box idea from the endurance world, but Q's girthing issues resolved when I started slathering body glide around her armpit areas before girthing up and then at each vet check (when saddle would come off and go on). It's a cheap idea, too. He may be totally tactile and thin skinned about every inch of the girth, so this may not work at all, but I at least wanted to mention it. Helps oodles of thin skinned arabs with tack issues in endurance!

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    1. march 26!!! actually take a peek at my events page bc i've listed basically everything on my radar (tho there's still a few more to update) and see if anything looks interesting to you too. our calendar isn't set in stone even a little bit so it would be cool to organize plans around potential group outings too!

      and re: the girth - it wasn't rubbing actually, or at least, not in the traditional sense. the leather girth was actually not distributing pressure evenly around his barrel. so some areas were MUCH tighter than others (esp bc he has some unusual muscling from weaving) and he developed sensitive pressure points. the fuzzy girth has eliminated the issue with uneven pressure distribution, and the fuzzy jump girth cover will hopefully help prevent any pinching where the leather billets meet the dressage girth. we'll see!

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  8. ohhhhhhhhhh maybe i will come south to watch at Loch Moy (kill two birds get to see the property as i keep being intrigued about hauling elsewhere for shows AND SEE CHARLIE AND EMMA ROCK IT! :) OOOHHH how exciting! :) Have fun at dressage show tomorrow and can't wait for the blog....

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    1. ooooh yas you are absolutely invited!!! i'll let you know my ride times when they are posted, tho i'm afraid they may end up being pretty early. we'll probably be around on the property for a while tho and we always have a good time chillin at the trailer so you're definitely welcome. loch moy is one of my favorite facilities so it's worth a look!

      conversely - i'm hoping to get out there to spectate at some of their bigger events this year (see my events page for examples) so that's always an option for a meet up too

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  9. HOLY COW, 300+ entries at a unrated HT?!? What is that even like?? The one I'm going to this weekend has 17 entries lolz

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    1. yea the starter trials around here can be GIANT. and there are SO MANY of them too. that's honestly one of the biggest reasons why i never really feel compelled to do anything recognized at this point. the starter trials can be just as big and exciting!

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    2. Stephanie imagine if we could get 300 entries at a starter trial at either of the shows we run... we would make so much freaking money for the facility!!!

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  10. So excited for you! Shows galore! Good luck! Also love the girth solution. Princess ponies are so fun......

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    1. we love alll the shows around here!! hopefully!!

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  11. Good luck and have fun at the show!

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  12. I think that pink bridle proves that your girl will be just fine if that arrangement works out!

    It's so much fun watching Charlie check off all these "firsts" with you and I hope big event numero uno is a safe and fun experience for all. Lots of luck getting your dressage on this weekend!

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    1. ha right? i never thought a pink sparkly bridle could be so perfect! and thanks, i'm looking forward to checking off these 'firsts' too!

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  13. So excited for you both- Have fun at the show and yay for first big boy event! I think Charlie will totally take it in stride, like he has with everything else ;)

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    1. i sure hope so! and i'm gonna do everything i can to help him be successful in that!

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  14. I hope it's a super outing! Good luck this weekend!

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  15. I am headed to Loch Moy at the end of the month also (with my chestnut Arabian gelding)! Hope to see you there! Good luck at both shows!!

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  16. OMG! Showing!! I can't wait. Good luck!

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