Friday, October 28, 2011


Okay it's cold. Like really cold. And I'm going to an event on Sunday. And it might snow.

The high for Sunday is 48 degrees. That is the high! Which means it will be 48 at like 3:00pm. Well, my dressage time is 8:48am and it very well may be snowing during it. Screw the polished presentation, I'm wearing my old warm, tan, warm, fleece, did I mention warm? breeches because I am not going to freeze my butt off. On the bright side, I'm done by 10:00am so we can pack up and get outta there! I'm bringing Ben's heavy blanket, cooler, quarter sheet, my Mountain Horse coat, and I'm wearing long sleeves cross country. I refuse to freeze!

Of course tomorrow we have to go walk the course in the pouring rain in 40 degrees so that will be fun too. But not nearly as much fun as getting up even earlier Sunday morning to walk the course in the dark would be. Which is why we're sucking it up and walking it on Saturday. I'm not looking forward to braiding in the cold tomorrow... Bring on the hand warmers!

So, my "I refuse to be cold" rant is now over and I can resume to the normal conversation of my blog. Ben has been really good lately. As he came back into work from his ulcer ordeal he was being super resistant of the bit so just for the heck of it, I put him in a thick mouth, super huge ring, single jointed, loose ring snaffle. He loves it. We don't jump in that because I don't have a death wish but his flat has been much lighter and softer in it. So we're sticking with that for a while. We've been practicing our test a lot. Of course this test has about five billion diagonals and my horse is terrible at straight lines because he can't rely on the rail or a bend and so he runs around with his head in the air. But we're working on it...

So, I'm very much looking forward to this weekend despite the weather forecast. I just want to come home clean! Literally, that's my only goal. Actually, I don't care if I come home clean, I just want to come home period!

He's been jumping super well and acting perfectly normal so we'll see how it goes. I plan on wearing my helmet cam so let's hope that works out. Who knows? Maybe it'll be snowing during my cross country round too...

I'm going to pop Ben over some fences today and try out a new idea I have for a ditch simulation. I'll let you all know if it works or not. Sometimes my horse is just too smart. "Don't be stupid mom, that's a tarp in between two trotting poles..." is often the response I get to any ditch simulation I try so we'll see if this will work...

Then tomorrow I'll do a flat lesson with my eventing trainer because she has an indoor and I don't...
Hopefully I'll thaw out in enough time tomorrow to give an update on how the ride went, and how the courses look.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Positive Update

I know that I never wrote a results post about the Frazier Farm HT. That would be because I was waiting for something positive to write about...

Took him to Frazier, parking field was an absolute mess which is where I would've lunged him so... there was no lunging. Warmed up for about 35 minutes, then went in to do dressage. We had an awesome test, very calm, pretty consistent, definitely one of our best. I thought the judge was a little harsh, especially considering it was a schooling show but we got a 42 putting us in 6th out of 10. There were only two scores in the 30s, one a 36 and one a 39, the rest were in the 40s. We even got a pretty green ribbon for placing in dressage. Unfortunately that was the only ribbon we came home with but I'll get to that later.

We then went to walk the XC course. It looked so fun! The course started with a little palisade type fence, then right turn to a big, fat log. Through the tree line to a rock/lattice type jump, then right turn downhill to a hanging log fence. Across the dirt road and left turn to a big rails and bales oxer-y type jump. Looked really fun! Then left turn uphill and across another dirt road to a log, bending line to a stone wall. Left turn after the wall to a log, a short gallop, then right turn, up a mound, over a log at the top, and down. Then a slight right bending line to bounce steps. How fun is that? Then uphill a bit to another log before going down an incredibly steep, long, slippery downhill with a big bank off down the bottom. I planned on walking down that. I really wish I had brought the camera with me because I would have loved to have both a picture of the top of the hill down, and the bottom of the hill up. Describing here just doesn't give it credit. When I made my move up to Novice there last fall, we had to jump up the bank and go up the hill. I never imagined they would ever make anybody go down it! Once off the bank of doom, you made a left turn to a skinny chevron fence then straight ahead to a drop fence made of logs. Another left turn over a raised log, then up a hill and off a stone wall bank. Then a nice long, straight, flat gallop to the last fence and over the final log.

I was so excited to ride xc because there was no ditch and no water and I was absolutely sure that we would go clean. Frazier runs dressage-xc-stadium so off I went to go get Ben ready for xc. He warmed up just fine, a little behind my leg which was unusual but I didn't think anything of it. Out of the start box, getting slower and slower to the first fence, crawl over the first fence. That earns a smack with the crop and he shoots off into normal xc Ben. Come up to the log, get there with a funny distance and major chip but we made it alright. Locks on to fence number three and stop about 4 strides out. Smack, circle, re-approach. He stops, and starts to climb. Seriously. We physically climbed over this fence as in, hooves stepping on the fence, up then down. I would've called it a day right then and there but about 3/4 of the horses had had a stop at that fence so I though it was just the jump. Make the turn to four, wiggle all the way down to that, have to give all I have to get him over it. Cross the dirt road, trot through the yucky footing there, pick up canter, he sees the line of jumps and stops about 15 strides out. That's when we called it a day. That was most definitely not my horse.

We call the vet. He draws blood as we suspect Lyme. Negative. Vet suspects beginning of ulcers. Bingo. Ben is now happily on Neigh-Lox (That name is so cute!) and he is back to his normal self not letting me catch him in the paddock and jumping around a little course today with ears perked the whole time:

I was just so happy to have my horse back! Obviously we did not attend the Ethel Walker School HT this weekend but the woman who bought my entry received 2nd place at her and her horse's first Novice so at least someone got to go and had a good weekend!

I am now planning on heading to Fall Mystic on October 30th and going Beginner Novice and coming home clear with my happy, healthy horse!

As always, thanks for reading!