Monday, November 03, 2008

Let's Show Photos

These photos are courtesy of Linda, who boards her horses at the training barn.

Hunter Class on Friday Afternoon.

Watching the others go before us. Yes, Mom, we can do this. No problem.

Heather and Luke.

Hunter Class on Saturday.

Hunter Class on Sunday.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's Let's Show Halloween Time

Well, Luke and I are off to the annual Halloween Show. He was a very good boy today, but didn't place. We moved him up a division and he has to work a bit harder. I ride on Friday and Saturday. Photos to follow. Hopefully, by Sunday, but Monday at the latest. (There it is writing, now I HAVE to follow through).

The costume class is Saturday night. If I can find one more piece to the outfit, we are going as Winnie the Pooh, Eeyore and a honey bee.

Ta, Ta for now.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

A few photos of Luke and Me

These are a few photos from our Confidence Building Clinic May 31st and June 1. And as you can see in the post below, it was a well worth it weekend. Thanks, Muriel. Photos were taken by Kevin Amey. He is very good. Thanks, Kevin.

Oh, no. I wasn't quite listening to mom's leg again. Here come those nubbie spurs.

Look at us go.

Nap Time.


Yea! It is Great to be Back in the Saddle

Oh Yea!!!!!!!

Luke and I went to our first jumping horse show in 27 months yesterday. (I was way too excited and exhausted to write this yesterday). Oh, and I totally forgot the camera. Sorry.

Our day started out well. We got to the barn to meet Heather at 5:30 am. I gave Luke a quick bath and loaded our gear into her trailer. She didn’t get home from the show the night before until 12:30am so it was a short night for her. She also had Seth with her. They got there about 6:30 and we left at 6:45. Since I-5 southbound is closed until tomorrow, we went surface streets. Made, relatively speaking, good time and entered the show grounds at 7:45. I was on my noble steed at about 8:15. We headed for the warm-up arena.

Now, the rest of this ramble is FULL of Firsts. First time I did this or that on my own. LOTS of major mental accomplishments, which is so stokingly cool. (Is stokingly a word? Yea, it is now). The first FIRST is that Luke has shown at Brookside for years. I never have. I have always gone to watch him and Heather.

The second FIRST: All the shows I have gone to, in all the years I have gone to shows, I have never gotten on my horse (any of my horses) until I got to the warm up arena. Show grounds scare the buggers out of me. Last year, at the Let’s Show Halloween Show, I got on in the warm-up but managed to ride back to the barn. That was a huge milestone. But I digress. Heather, Dana, Amber, Sara (thanks, guys) or someone else has always been on him first. They have warmed him up a bit. (Warm-up arenas are even scarier than the show grounds themselves).

So I, mounted on Luke, head to the warm-up arena. I enter the arena and Heather heads to the show office to get my number. I walk around. BREATHE. BREATHE. BREATHE. I trot around the arena. The eight and under walk/trot class has begun. I can hear the announcer. I pretend I am in the class. I BREATHE. Check the diagonals. I stretch. Heather returns. We are ready.

Our first class is called. Walk/Trot Pleasure-Open. This class is judged mainly on the horse and “what a pleasure” he is to ride. I am now competing against the previously mentioned eight-year olds and some older youngsters. There are big tents along each side of the arenas for shade for the spectators. There are scary chairs and noises. We enter the ring and because the class has not been called to order I trot in and trot along the long side. I BREATHE. The class is called to order. We walk. We trot. I GET MY DIAGONAL. We are moving beautifully and guess what. Yep! I am BREATHING. Nice loose rein. Ah, this is fun. We are asked to walk. Reverse. Trot. AGAIN, the diagonal is nailed. And as I relax and adjust my leg just slightly, Luke decides, oh let’s canter a few steps. It was only about two and half steps. BUT it was directly in front of the judge. I regain my composure, but not my diagonal and then the announcer commands us to halt. In a Walk/Trot class, when they didn’t have you halt going to the left and then they ask you going right, it usually means someone has been involuntarily dismounted. I am at the far end of the arena near the timorous timbers rustling in the slight breeze on an already hot day. I hear Heather say, “Sit back. Breathe. Here comes a pony.” I hear others saying “whoa” to the pony. Ponies in and of themselves are not frightening, but Luke LOVES ponies and if one is running and playing, he wants to play to. So I turn my head and look for the pony and I begin to say ‘whoa’ too. Luke turns his head and knickers at the pony and the pony finally halts and is apprehended. AND I STAYED ON. The class continues. We line-up in the center. We place fifth out of six; the sixth being the rider of the pony who fell. Hey, you just can’t canter in a walk/trot class, in front of the judge and expect to place well, now can you?

I have Heather get our ribbon as we are in the next class Walk/Trot Equitation. This class is judged on the correctness of the rider and her position on the horse. There are two in the class. Luke is still feeling pretty frisky. So we go around. I miss my diagonal while tracking left, so what else is new? Then, the judge asks for the sitting trot. BREATHE. Go slow Luke. What a good boy. Keep your legs still so he won’t canter. Hands quiet. Good. Nice head. Yea. This is fun. As I near the far end of the arena, where those formidable firs are, a guy a flat bed truck with an empty trailer comes bounding down the road. BUMP, RATTLE. Yes, it unnerved me. I have Luke walk even though we haven’t been asked. A major faux pas, but I don’t care. I am breathing and moving forward. We go back to the trot and then we are asked to walk and line up. Yes, we received a second. We exit the arena on a loose rein. (another first)

There are four additional flat (non-jumping) classes before our two jumping classes. We hang and wait. We are jumping in the Kindergarten Hunters. Trotting is allowed. Normally, in the Hunter Divisions the entire course is cantered. The fences are very elaborate with pretty flowers on each set. There is a red set; a blue set; a gold/yellow set and a purple set. My goal is to trot into each line, canter out and then prior to turning to the next group, resume the trot and repeat. There are seven fences. One single and then six sets of two, also known as a line.

In the first class, the first fence is a single near the judge’s stand moving away from the entrance. Then a left turn to the outside line in five strides, a left turn up the diagonal in four strides and a right turn to the judge’s outside line. A circle and we are done. We were nearly perfect. I remembered to breathe, exhale over the jumps and I even cantered the last four fences. We exit the arena on a loose rein.

The second class is very similar to the first, but somewhat in reverse. The first fence is a single moving away from the entrance, then turn right and go down to the judge’s outside line in five strides, turn right again go up the diagonal line in four and turn left and finish the far side outside line in five strides. I wasn’t as perfect in this round and broke to the trot in the middle of the line. BUT, I remain composed, BREATHED, and resumed cantering the last two fences. I also forgot to complete my ending circle.

We placed second in the first class and fourth in the second class. There were eleven participants in each class.

And, that was our day. Luke is so pleased that I am finally getting the hang of this jumping stuff. Yea! It was a blast. Can’t wait to do it again. Neither can he.

Thanks, Heather.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Photo from Wine and Cheese Weekend

Here is one photo of Luke and I at our weekend at Muriel's.
More photos to follow and there is a riproaring egg race video, but I can't figure out how to download so I can upload to the cross load thing. YES, it is because I refuse to read. So there. I admit it. That's half the problem isn't it?


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wine, Cheese and Equines

I am going to a friend's house Saturday morning and returning late Sunday afternoon. She is hosting a clinic for Confidence Building Skills for you and your horse. Since she lives in a beautifully set home atop a hill overlooking a lake and has outside swing porches and gardens, I like to call it Wine and Cheese bonding with Luke.

I participated last year and had a blast. Really learned MUCHO stuff that has really helped in this past year. Luke even seems to appreciate my new found assertiveness. This year, I am hoping to refine some of those skills and learn lots of new ones. I will keep you posted. I will try and remember to take photos and even possibly have someone video me for all my readers to enjoy. It will, at the least, be entertaining.
Here is a photo of Luke, taken last year after spending 6 or so hours packing me around. (Sorry about the quality, it is a scan of a scan of a film based photo.) It is truly a peaceful, yet stimulating place to think.

Thanks, M. Looking forward to a beautiful time.