Sunday, May 25, 2014

First Show of 2014.

The first show of the season was...disorganized. I'm sorry to say it, but that is the best way I can describe it. I was on it, Armani was braided and put up by 8:30pm the night before. Yes, I braid the night before because it works in our situation and Armani doesn't rub (yet).

We had a colleague of my husband's staying over night, which was fine since he had to get up at around 4am anyway. I got home at around 9pm and had some tack cleaning to do but not a lot since I had already done most of it. When I got home, I was met by two very happy (and very drunk) Geologists. Oh boy. So I poured myself a glass of wine and cleaned some leather. By 11pm, I announced I needed to go to bed regardless of what they did.

This year, we are moving up from the Bronze circuit to the Silver/Trillium circuit. I decided to do the Silver Hack division and the 2'6" Child/Adult Hunter. All I can say say is I've never seen a ring empty for as long or often as I did that day. Sooo many delays. It was awful. I am afraid that many of those delays were because my coach asked the ring to wait but I'm not even sure of that yet. Ugh.

I was at the show grounds from 7am to 5pm, for only 2 divisions that were supposed to run in the morning, last division starting at  noon at the latest.

First show at a higher level and we didn't do as well as I am used to. We did pin 2 fourths in the hack division (it was a crazy division with so many asked to hand gallop at the same time, Mani was great but bucked once when another horse crowded him. After a winter of being in an indoor with one other horse at most, I can't blame him for being sensitive to it. He even started off warm-up reactive to other horses.

I did not pin in my hunter division o/f (2'6"ch/ad) over fences but took 6th/18 in the under saddle portion.

Disappointing but I am very happy with our rounds, especially for the first of the year.

First Round.

Second Round.

I learned we have to be a whole lot more serious and prepared if we are going to be competitive at this level. Armani has the quality but that won't come out unless I school him well and train myself well. Cardio and core strength boot camp? I think so!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Quick Update.

Life has been pretty busy but mostly in a good way. I painted my living room and dining room and it looks pretty fantastic. Armani is fantastic and we are gearing up for show season - first show on Saturday!

Oh, and this happened:

That's right, I put shoes on Armani a few weeks ago. I did not make the decision lightly at all. He has great feet that are sound on any surface so it seemed like a shame to mess with that. At the end of the day though, all it takes is one slip to do serious damage. Our jump field at home is on grass and almost all competition venues are on grass. Although Mani was very sure-footed last year in all kinds of conditions, he wasn't as confident in the takeoff as he is on sand and he did have some slips around turns. So, shoes it is.

He was not very good about the whole thing. Is there anything more embarrassing than having a horse who is bad for the farrier/vet etc? He wasn't mean or anything, just very nervous and then bored and wanted to be done with it. Thankfully he had been around other horses being hot-shod, so the smell wasn't new to him. Hopefully this will get better!

Also, we went to another clinic with Erynn Ballard. We had a great lesson and Erynn liked Armani a lot. She said he was easily a high-end equitation horse and I could get serious money for him. Nice to know, but he is not for sale :)  We went so I could school over scary jumps outside and that we did!

Photo is a bit late but still pretty nice.

Erynn (in white) giving Armani some lovin'

This pretty much sums up how I felt about it all.

Ok, now off to attend to more show-prep!