Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Unorthodixically Overly Ambitious Part 2

Shortly after I "decided" I am going to scratch the rest of my rides for the day, a friend comes up and says.  "Amy you can't scratch!"  uhhhh why?  "because you're in 1st place!"  Are you kidding me?  That seems impossible after how I felt it rode and making an error.  I went to pick up my test and low and behold even after all that I scored a 32.5...lol.  Not our best score but still a completely respectable score even on a good day.  Well that didn't make the decision any easier.  I then decided that I'd take it one ride at a time. If warmup went bad I'd scratch, good then I'll go in and so on. So let the chaos continue.  The next set of ride times were again all close together.

I went to untack and sent LK to tack up for her first dressage test. She gets all ready we head over and no one is around.  Apparently there was a weather delay announcement that we did not hear.  Back to the trailer, untack load horses into the trailer and put one in the our nice neighbors trailer and wait out the storm.  The storm that never showed...haha.  Not complaining but it was anti climactic.  Back on for LK and over to warm up.  The little break actually helped Penny's energy level come down a bit which made LK's job a little easier than normal.  Like mother like daughter right?  She had and error too.  In her defense she had to memorize 2 tests and got them mixed up.  Well and she is 10!  They were perfectly adorable and perfect in my eyes.





Then it was off to quickly tack up and warm up for my ride in 15 minutes.  BE was already on and warming up.  Man it's nice to have independent amazing kids!  Macy would have had my horse tacked up for me but I didn't trust that job to anyone after the morning episode.   I get to the warm up and trot all of about 4 steps and realize I will not make my horse even trot in that mess that was the warm up, let alone actually jump something.  So I guess my warm up was some walking and my dressage test from earlier?  Meh whatever, we'll see how it goes.  My warm ups are typically unorthodox as it is anyway. Why change now?   I go in, trot to the other end(that can be considered part of my warm up too right?) pick up my canter my horse feels lovely and off we go.  He was superb.  He jumped like an old pro up until about fence 5 then he, in typical Steady fashion, started rushing.  He rushed 5, 6 and 7 the worst. With a tight turn to 7 we had to trot a couple steps. 8, 9 10 a and b were a little rushed but he wasn't unmanageable.  People wonder why I put up with some of his issues but have you ever ridden a horse that you never had to question if they would jump for you or knock a rail?  One that you know will do anything you ever ask of them?  If you have you know why this horse has my whole heart.  If you haven't it's hard to explain but there is no ride like it.

And then BE and Lego go in and kill it too.  The day is starting to look up.

I untacked and headed over with LK for her Stadium round.  We are in warm up and she says "MOM you never told me what the course was!" What goes through my head: M(&^$%&F*^&^%^%! You're a f*#*%%$ failure as a mother and coach!  What I say to the kid.  "No worries honey we'll go over it real quick, it's simple. You'll have no problem."  Honestly how do these children survive?  We do go over it she says she gets it..  She watches a couple people go and goes in.  Another thing I didn't mention to her is that those jumps made me nervous with Penny.  They have had too many experiences where she has come off at a competition and I hate it for her.  She is a perfectionist and it always crushes her little heart.  And I thought her jumps looked big.  They went in and stole the show though.



 (A short aside here.  This little one has always struggled with her lower leg and the base of her position.  She has always come off easier than I'd like and could never figure out how to fix it.  She is a tiny thing so that doesn't help but I wish she was more secure.  She took a lesson with a really good local trainer a couple weeks ago and she told her something that I would have never told her to do.  And it literally changed LK's position and security 180 degrees.   Which also gave her confidence like I've never seen in her before.  Night and day! ) She went into her round and was awesome! 

They did have one minor run out but it didn't bother either of us because she went in handled it all with confidence and didn't come off because she is now more secure in her lower leg.  HUGE win for LK and Penpen!

If you noticed LK has 2 ride times at the same time.  They told us to just go to dressage on time and go XC when ever she is ready.  Oh good considering it's a big course, she has never ridden a full XC course and we haven't walked it. 

I thought we'd have a minute to breath but nope with the weird weather delay some how the jump rings were running behind and the dressage rings were running ahead and they are calling MM and LK over the loud speaker to go to their dressage tests.  LK heads over and starts to warm up.  I stayed back to help MM because she was running behind.  By the time I made it over I only caught the tail end of LK's ride but they did really well.  MM went in after and did great.  Again the least experienced and Lily not good at dressaging.  She is the perfect hunter pony in her way of going but we don't do hunters.  The most you can hope for with them is accuracy and good tempo.  She does not get contact, connection or any such things.  Which is all fine.  MM was happy that she didn't get a comment about her circles this time.  So that's a win. They were accurate with good tempo which makes momma happy.

Look at that! So far we have survived 9 rides and only 4 to go. It's all down hill from here right?  Well one can hope!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Overly Ambitious Part 1

I cannot realistically cover every step of this unimaginably crazy day but I will attempt to get the point across without making 20 posts about a single day.  We must first start with a recap of the cast of characters that are my tribe.  This will make writing and reading a bit easier in the long run.  Remember I have so many children and animals that even I am unable to keep them all straight.  Most the time they are referred to as That One and Her.  Names are hard.  This story contains myself and my wild steed Steady.  Elaina the 14 year old with lovely Lego she will herein be referred to as BE= Big E.  Macy the 12 year old and Lily the Happy Haflinger= MM=Middle Macy.  Kelcie the 10 year old and the pouncy Penny Pincher= LK= Little Kelcie.

It started out with a cheap and very close one day HT being put on by a local Pony Club.  I couldn't pass up this rare opportunity and signed each of us up.  Myself for the Novice HT and Training Level 3 test. BE for the Novice HT.  LK for Starter HT and an extra dressage test.  MM for a dressage and 2' jumper class because they aren't quite ready for XC yet.  That is 13 rides between the 4 of us in one day.  Things I didn't think about before mailing the entries: That I am their coach and thus need to be available to warm them up for each ride, walk 4 stadium courses and 3 XC courses and still be able to groom, tack up, warm up and ride my own horse.  See if you haven't seen a theme with me I have a tendency to underestimate and over extend myself pretty regularly.  Also I failed to mention that having a 3 horse trailer and 4 horses meant I had to make 2 trips in the morning just to get everyone there.



The day started with getting dressed and kids starting to wash ponies.  I helped wash a pony then we started with load #1 while BE stayed behind to wash the other 2 horses so they were ready when I returned. I dropped MM and LK off with their ponies and headed back home.  On the drive back it all the sudden hit me that while I knew we would be short on time to get tacked up and to dressage that I had not yet once looked at my dressage test.  I made a sad attempt to glance at it on the drive back.  Great Prep right?  Who has time to think about your own test when you have a bajillion kids and ponies to worry about.  Picked up BE and remaining 2 horses.

We arrived with the final trip at approx. 9:45 and the day began.

Here is the ride schedule for the day:
Me Dress. 10:23, Stadium 12:11, XC 3:54, Dress 4:54
BE-Dress. 10:32, Stadium 12:06, XC 3:45
MM- Jumper 10:30, Dress 1:51
LK-Dress 11:40, Stadium 12:51, XC 1:45, Dress 1:45

I quickly came to the harsh reality that I am a complete dumbass for thinking any of this was a good idea when 3 of us needed to be on our horses ready to go into our tests within 45 min of arriving plus the Jumper course walked with MM. I did the course walk with her told her to go over it again until she was confident then come back and tack up, get on, warm up WTC and wait until I get out of my test and I'll send her over some warm up jumps.  Don't worry kid, I am not feeding you to the sharks I promise, you'll be fine. I still needed to get my show clothes on so I put LK on saddling Steady. Elaina was already on and warming up and finding out how Lego was going to behave that day.  I am nearly done getting ready when I hear a big ruckus outside. I come out and LK is holding Steady by the halter.  She had tightened his girth too quickly and he set back and broke his halter and busted his lip.  No time to fret it was fine. I loosened his girth and  bridled him.  Then I put it up one hole when I was about to mount and my goddam horse almost fainted, fell backwards and pulled away from me.  WTF?!  He didn't go any where and was quite stunned himself.  This has happened maybe 4 times in the 7 years I've had him but as long as you go up one hole at a time he us usually fine.  I grab him and go to walk to the mounting block and he does it again.  Except this time I was even more caught off guard, I had my back to him so when he fell back he drug me backwards.  I spun around only to see both of his front shoes a foot or so from my face.  I was already off balance and the reins were yanked once more and I hit the ground.  Thankfully on my butt.  He came down, again quite stunned and I got up as quickly as I could and ran over to loosen his girth.  I was rattled to say the least.  I was now even more behind and thankfully the ring steward was nice enough to switch BE and my ride times which gave me a few more minutes to make it on time.  I left the girth looser than I'd normally but I was NOT tightening that again.  Did I mention I had my white FITS breeches on?  Of course, spend a stupid amount of money on a pair of pants and roll around in dirt and gravel before you even mount the horse, awesome.  I mounted and headed over the ring.  I watch BE and Lego go and they put in a very respectable test.   No thanks to me.  They were on their own %100 but I knew they could handle it and they did.  They have improved tremendously in the 1 year she has had him and they will continue to work on his dressage this summer as she is now a working student for a biggg name dressage trainer.


 

As I sat there in the nasty muddy warm up area deciding that my only warm up would be the walk to the ring and maybe 90 seconds of trot work at the end of the arena before the bell was rung.  I also realize that vaguely reading through your dressage test once while driving down the road is probably NOT the best show prep plan.  But I could do nothing about it at that moment except go in and hope for the best.

My test- I would like to post the video but it's really quite painful to watch.  You must be kind and remember I am slightly insane and really had no business being out there in the first place.  I could take the time to edit it and make it look like we are rock stars but I don't have patience or time for that and I am sorry people but my life is fucking real and if I have to face reality of when I really screw shit up then that is what you get to see.
 


 I can pick the whole test apart but the worst part about it is that I forgot the test and couldn't get my head on straight and figure out where to go.  UGH!!!  I was SO rattled still from what just happened with Steady just a few minutes ago, I was shaking and my head was not in that ring.  I rode crappy.  What's with my hands?  Why are they in my lap?  Why won't they give?  Over all it was a complete mess in my mind.  My kids watching their Momma completely flub it up.  Proud moment.  But remember I have ZERO time to wallow. I have poor MM waiting to get warmed up for her class.  I jumped off because Steady started hopping and being stupid and I could not mentally handle him at that moment.  I handed him off to LK and headed to jump warm up.

Lily was a bit rowdy after the first warm up jump so I had Macy put her on a tight figure 8 until she decided it was not worth the work to get excited.  Best thing about having a horse since she was 8 months old is you know the exact buttons to get what you want.  The rest of her warm up went  great and we headed over to the ring.  It was the first jumping class of the day and the stewards didn't really have it together yet so they were randomly sending people in.  First kid goes, maybe early teens and after an ugly jump at jump 3 she hits the ground HARD.  She ended up getting up and being OK but I could see Macy's face start to worry.  Next rider goes in, she's an older lady with her coach hollering at the in gate.  Same jump #3 has a refusal.  There is NOTHING interesting about this jump and completely coincidental that these two went before Macy and had problems.  She then has 2 more refusals and is excused.  MM eyes kept getting bigger..lol.  Poor kid she has the least experience of all the kids and this is not a great way to build confidence.  As we watched I assured her that they are %100 prepared and that nothing in that course concerned me in the least.  I knew they would be fine.  She wasn't as sure about it as me but she did go in.  And of course did awesome then went straight into their jump off round and did awesome!  It was kinda cool for her too when they announced that she was the first clear round of the day!  She comes out beaming!  At least something went right that day so far.

Not from the show but same kid same pony <3




The more I thought about it the more I didn't want to continue for the day.  It just seemed like the best decision to scratch the rest of my day and just focus on the kids.  I was shaken up.  Though I had no time to process what had happened at the trailer with Steady it was one of the most dangerous things that has happened to me with a horse.  I could have been hurt very badly and was still unsure how I wasn't either kicked in the face and/or landed on, on the ground.  I was pushing it to get to a show after only being back on for maybe 2 months after an 8 month recovery.  I was out of shape and out of practice and it was not going smoothly.  Not to mention that this is supposed to be fun.  My mind was made up and I was going to scratch.  Only 3 rides down, 10 more to go and I already felt like I was stick a fork in me d.o.n.e.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

How to go broke in 4 simple steps

I am posting this super helpful tutorial in case anyone was hoping to find a fun and simple way to go broke and go broke fast.

I kid, I kid,  hahaha sort of.  This is actually another Rolex post for those who were hoping the best weekend all year would never end.

Steps to going broke-

1.  Love horses

2. Have kids

3. Have kids who love horses

4. Take yourself and said kids to Rolex

Done!  Yes folks it is just that simple.  This isn't a gimmick. It is all true.  You too could be broke like me if you just follow these 4 simple steps!

All kidding aside Rolex IS the best weekend all year and I look forward to it as soon as I pull away on Sunday.  This year I tried some new things for our annual adventure and some were a success and some I learned I need to stop being dumb AF.

Fan girl photo and signatures with the winner and amazing creature that is Micheal Jung?  Why yes!


New thing #1 I rented this thing with my Rolex BFFs!

It is a 35' beast to haul!

I'd do this again with some minor changes but so fun!

New thing #2 I decided to have a party and feed like 30 people.  This is the only photo I got from the entire nights experience.



 I must preface this section by saying that I am REALLY glad everyone came and that it seemed like everyone had a good time.  That is the only bright spot about all of this is that at least someone enjoyed it!  I am not upset at anyone or blame anyone else but my own dumb ass self.  I know better than to commit myself to such things.  You'd think at 36 I would have learned my lesson by now.
But I will NEVER do this again.  It sucked.  Well not for anyone other than me but I spent a shit ton of time and money making it happen in prep before leaving, getting food out at the party and making sure everyone was fed and in cleaning up after.  I can tell you it SUCKED balls.  I did not enjoy myself because I was working my ass off, completely exhausted and stressed trying to make sure everything got done.  I didn't get to know any new bloggers which was kinda the whole point in doing it.  And I learned that even my kids clean up after themselves better than some grown ass adults.  Beer cans, bottles, cups, plates all over my site when I woke up in the morning and no one bothered to take the trash to the dumpster which meant I got to pick up a bunch of nasty garbage bright an early in the morning.  Again all of this is on me for doing it.  Lesson learned!

A few photos of the night stolen from a friend.
I just LOVE these two ladies!

Walking by and popping in some random photo.  I only new one person in this photo...lol.  but the next day I got to know the other two lovely ladies.

Again don't know this person and I'm not sure how amused he was by my friend putting $ in his beard.

This did happen.  Again me walking by and one of my besties grabbing me trying to make me dance I indulged her for a moment.


The rest of Rolex did not disappoint.  I just love all of it.  Catching up with old friends, drinking to our hearts content and laughing, laughing, laughing until the camp office shuts us down for pissing off the neighbors!  I figure that is a step in the right direction from the cops being called last year.

Corgi's love Rolex too!  He has a large fan club at the event as well.


My favorite things about Rolex:

Shopping I always save lots of money to shop at the vendors because it's just what I like to do.

Here is the total haul!  I'll go over deets later.


I watched a total of one dressage ride on the big screen in the covered arena so that was a win.  Haha spoiler alert I don't come for the dressage.

My afternoon with friends at Dubarry's!  It's kinda tradition to head over to the Dubarry tent and get our drink on and try things on Friday after dressage.  We always have at least one friend buying something so it's how we justify taking over the place.  Spoiler alert!  This year that person was me!  I also learned this year that they have more than just champagne at The Dubarry tent!  Uh hard liquor anyone...hahaha

LOVE these PeePs!  and photo bomb by sales guy..lol

<3 I'll always be an IEAer at heart.  <3


XC day of course!  I think no matter how many years I've been tears will always well up when I am standing a few feet away as a competitor makes beautiful work of one of those jumps and gallops away.

Best of times!


I have THE best hook ups.  Land Rover Tailgate party!!!

Mom fail!  Not used to seeing the sun on XC day.  I did sunblock the rest of the kid just not the back of her legs obviously.

Our annual visit to the Liquor Barn!  Made even more exciting by my friend's broken foot and the use of their super handy wheel chair cart.  Just in case you need some serious liquor but are unable to walk through the store but happen to bring a friend along to push you?  Is driving a wheel chair intoxicated in KY legal?





Time with my girls.  They all came all 4 days this time for the first time and it is going to have to be tradition.  School Schmool...I decided last minute to let them miss 2 days of school for Rolex because they haven't missed a day of school all year and every single one gets straight A's all year.  They really wanted to go so I caved.  I am so glad I did.  They are the coolest most self sustaining kids evar! And we are making irreplaceable memories.  Some of them might be of their Mom being drunk and acting afool but mostly of watching horses, shopping and fan girling with them!  It is THE best!

Patrick the Mini horse~

Gratuitous Head of the Lake water testing of our new Dubarry's!


Mah gurls <3


I am noticing a trend in the riders the girls pick out to get photos with.  Clark Mongomery

Boyd was a good sport though I could tell would rather not be oogled by a few hundred tweenage girls after a not so great ending to his day on course.  His son is adorable.

The Damage

The overview

My boots left. I went with a newer more contoured model and I love them!  I went out to dinner and drinking in them one night then traipsing through mud puddles XC schooling at KHP the next!  Sexy and functional! Elaina's boots right, damn spoiled kid! and Macy's jacket center.


New Gatsby bridle for Lego.

One of two adorable back packs for M and K that they got many autographs on.

My new sun hat and E got a show shirt.
A pair of Pipers and gloves for E.  A pair of pony rubber reins for M and a pair of extra long rubber reins for me.  This year was the year of the hat!  We scored 3 Horseware, 3 Land Rover and 1 Purina fo free!

Horses got a bag of treats, E a new lime green glow in the dark C4, M hunter green pony polos.  And another hat.



And this is what we all feel like after 4 days of RK3DE!!


Until Next Year My Friends!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Ch-ch-changes: Farm name

Here we go again.  First it was with the tack room and now with the farm name. We have this entry to our place that is quite grand.  I don't necessarily feel that our 6 acres with 4 horses, 2 goats, a few cats and a dog really constitutes a farm or ranch or the grandiosity of a name to go along with it.  But if you have ever pulled into our driveway and seen the entrance it appears naked without some sort of sign.  There are actually two really great spots for a sign.  The previous owners had a sign.  You can see their sign hanging in the spot that now has sat empty for 2 years.



Then there is that huge over hang, arbor thing that would look amazing with some sort of sign.  It might work with a farm name sign on the posts and maybe WELCOME on the arbor.  BUT the problem with that is we aren't really all that welcoming...lmao.  Unless I know you, you are FedEx or you have given me notice that you plan to come down my driveway you will be greeted with a hello and one of our many guns in tow.  So welcome seems a bit inappropriate.  We also plan to put a gate in and gates don't really scream, welcome.  So we will most like just have to leave the arbor empty.

I heart our entrance so I do not plan to change that.  So I've determined that a sign is a must.  The problem is I always feel I'm terrible at naming things.  My husband is no help and I am not quite ready to pull the trigger on my ideas. That is where you all come in to help.  Help me decide on a name for my farm.

 The only name I have come up with is, Fly by G Farm.  It has a personal meaning but I am not 100% convinced it makes sense to the outside world as a farm name.  But then again does it need to?  It is a dressage reference with a pun on the letter G for our last name Grayson.  It came from a specific dressage test with my trusty, yet exuberant stead, where I commented that I thought I was going to "fly by F" in the test. The person I was talking to said, "that would make and excellent farm name".  And I thought yeah that does have a ring to it.  That is the only name that I have come up with that has stuck at all.

Here is where you come in!  Make your suggestions, ideas and thoughts on that or any other name you come up with.  Then I can put it to a poll if there are other options you recommend.  If any of you have the super power of design skills you are more than welcome to come up with sign options which of course would need horses on it.