Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Starter or Beginner Novice? THAT is the question!!!

No, seriously that IS the question.

I have decided to enter Octoberfest CT at Hoosier Horse Park on 15-16 in October(obviously!).  I am completely torn whether to enter at Starter or BN.  Really the only difference will be 4" in jump height that really would not be a problem.  It would be stiffer competition for us and we most likey will not place(which really isn't a concern for me).  The dressage test is no more complicated.  It is the difference of BN test A at starter(which we did in April and scored 41 straight out of winter) or BN test B at BN  I don't know.  I haven't done this very long.  When you make a move up you don't really start out winning on your first move up anyways, right?  It is about the experience in a schooling show anyways.  We did starter in April and it was fun and not a huge challange but good coming out of winter.  I cannot imagine starter being a challange at all.  But we will be at a new place and he has pretty much only shown at CAF.  So maybe that will add a challange, though for a horse how has raced in over a hundred races in different countries I cannot imagine it being a huge deal to him.  Hmmmm your thoughts? 

Off the topic of the CT though is that it is a 2 day show and they have OTTB classes which I would love to enter with Steady!!  And I have already purchased a XC schooling armband for HHP so we will get to school while down there!!!  I am starting to get excited!!  Yay! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Free lunging!

At least I am training someone right!  I was impressed with my view from my kitchen window this morning.  Take a look what I saw.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I am the minority and I know why.

One thing that really stuck out to me at event camp that I doubt anyone else really payed much attention to was the fact that of all the people I met while there I did not meet one person my age that had small children.  I doubt that was just coincedental.  I met a few people my age, non with chldren, alot that were younger and many that were older than I.  Out of everyone I met I only met one woman who even had children.  She was a probably 10 years older and her children were too.  It just really became clear to me that it is not the norm to be able to juggle a young family and this sort of consuming hobby.

Come to think of it out of all the blogs I follow I can think of only 2 that have young children.  This may be known to all of you but for me it was  revelation.  I mean it makes total sense why but I just never realized it before.
I have wondered many times why it is so hard for me.  I mean it seems like everyone else can juggle all of it.  But now I can see why it is probably more of a struggle to manage, family, school, finances and time.  On one hand it makes me feel better.  That I can kind of give myself a break when it comes to the guilt of not having it all balanced properly at all times.  On the other hand it has made me think I bit off more than I can chew. 

I have homeschooled my children the past two years and this year we sent them to the local schools.  I honestly thought with all this time I would have on my hands I would be able to ride and train and amazing speeds.  Well that has not been the case.  Actually the opposite I have had very little time that I have been able to ride.  Or that I have had the motivation to go out and ride.  The weather has really been ideal but the best time to ride is in the evening.  Mornings are wet and slippery and afternoons are the hottest part of the day.  But when the kids are in school evening are just a mad house around here.  So I have not ridden much but I do feel like I make my rides I do get in count and that makes me feel better.  But over all I feel I am doing a good job atthe balancing act that is my life and am satisfied at the moment.

On to my weekend plans!  I am soooo excited that the temps are so nice and my daughter and I are trailering out in the morning to the state park to trail ride!!  This is seriously the highlight of my life being on the trails with her.  I plan to make an early day of it and hope to get down there by 8 am.  That way we can beat the heat and bugs and be home in time for an afternoon nap :)

Then Sunday we are taking the kids to a local production of the Suessical Musical and go out to dinner with friends.  I am excited about that too but the trail ride beats all!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ya little sh!t!

Not Steady this time.  He has been just fine on our rides recently.  We are not going to win any awards for amazingness in our efforts but I am happy with them non-the-less.  This time it is Moonlight that was being a shit.  I didn't ride today because of the heat. I am sick of it and and sick of riding in it.  So I opt for the nicer temps to ride.  Which we have had some nice days lately.  But when switching horses from one pasture to the other this evening I thought I would jump on Moonlight bareback with a halter and lead rope and go around a bit, just for fun.  Alot of fun that was.  He was so concerned about the fact that Steady was not there and that Steady was eating that I just worked the whole time to get him going in the direction I was asking.  What a shit!  But he has such a big broad back that he is nearly impossible to fall off of, which is nice.

On another note about Moonlight.  That horse needs a grazing muzzle, BAD!  I have been looking online and I need to purchase one.  With the new pasture he is getting too fat and I really want to see him drop weight.  Then when I bring Steady in to feed he gets all nervous so I feed him in the pasture.  But that means I have to stand there the entire time fighting away Moonlight.  He is relentless when it comes to the feeding.  Moonlight needs nothing extra and even when I have tried to give him a little something to keep him busy he is such a pig he finishes in seconds and then is right back at Steady trying to sneak his food.  He will push the bucket, grab it with his teeth and pull it, knock the underside with his head to knock it off and no matter how many times you fight him off he will do what ever it takes to get back to the bucket.  It is very annoying.  But a muzzle would really help Mr. McFatty control his over indulging ways.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Catching up on rides.

I have been riding though I have not been writing about it.  We have been getting out at least every other day in this crazy unrelenting heat wave.  I have been concentrating most of our rides to lateral work and the other part to field galloping/cantering.  We are trying to get our steering under control.  Which is improving with the lateral work.  Steady seems to have been kinda jumpy the last few days.  Not sure what that is all about but it could very well be the drop in temps the last two days.  Boy oh boy has that been a relief!  Last night I couldn't even get him to go out into the field he is normally turned out in?  Kookey!  So instead we went out into the back field. 

Lateral is coming easier for him and our steering in open spaces is improving, slooooooooowwwwllly but improving.  Being new to this whole galloping thing I have found something interesting that I am wondering about.  We are galloping in an open area but we stay in a bigish section surrounded by soy beans.  He seems to pick up the incorrect lead so I will change the direction of our turns so that he will be on the correct lead and he will automatically switch leads?  I am wondering why.  When galloping/cantering should I not be concerned with leads?  Peter said don't worry so much about the lead but improve the lead you are on.  Now I don't know how far he actually meant to take that.  But he was more concerned that he be balanced than what lead he was on.  So if Steady is galloping to the right on the left lead and in balance do I just let him be?  On a side note, galloping is fuuun!  I have been afraid to do so up until now.  I am becoming more confident in Steady to stay on his feet and me to stay on his back no matter what speed we are going.

Goal talk.

Hmmmm....alot of talk going around about goals and I think it is a great thing to periodically reevaluate goals and set new ones.  Just keeps some focus and perspective.  I have short term goals long term goals and even day to day goals, week to week goals, month to month goals and year to year goals.  I guess it is safe to say I am a goal setter!  If I don't set goals I am easily discouraged and distracted, in other words I get depressed and ADD.  So goals are my way of dealing with my issues the non medicated way.

Here I will post my long term goals.  Don't worry this shouldn't take long because my sights aren't set real high.  Drum roll please..............Novice long format 3 day event!  Like I said my goals are lowish but I am a 31 year old mother of 3 young children and for now in this phase of life and the horse I have I feel 100% comfortable taking years to acheive that goal.  As for how long term this goal is for me?  I would say easily 5 years out.  Now if all goes well, HAHAHAHAHAHA, oh sorry, got distracted.  What was I saying?  Oh yeah in a perfect world which obviously wouldn't have me or my horse in it we would would knock this goal out in 2 years.  Buuuut we all know how perfect plans go so look for Steady and I out rocking a Novice 3 day event in fall of 2016!!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Horseback riding and Mt. Everest??

Now what could those two things possibly have in common???  There is a documentary on Netflix called Everest.  It follows a team of climbers on their journey to the top.  Sadly a group that was climbing at the same time left for the summit a few days earlier and 8 did not make it back.  1 climber made it back to camp but lost his hands, nose and other parts of his face to frost bite.  The team they were following strongly questioned whether or not to continue but decided to follow their dream of climbing to the top of the world.  I found myself asking, why in the world would these seemingly normal people sacrifice time, money and so much of their life and even risk thier life for this goal of climbing this insane mountain?  People have died before them and others injured.  The strain that is put on the body and the amount of training they have to put in to even attempt it.  The subzero temperatures they have to camp in for weeks.  And they lay life and limb on the line.  For what?  To get to the top of this mountain for just a few mere minutes because it is too cold to stay on top for any length of time. 

These are people who spend all their free time training, working, saving, sacrificing for something that will push their mind, emotions, relationships and physical well being to its ultimate limits for a dream.  Crazy people!!  I don't see any similarities in horseback riding and Mt. Everest, do you?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Everybody's workin' for the weekend!

At least at my farm they were.   All for this and I am very very happy with this view.

 I was dreaming of sneaking in early morning rides but sadly that didn't even happen one time.  Ok we have 15 acres, 2 fenced in for pasture, 9 are used by a farmer to plant soy beans, 2 are my front yard, and 2 are my side yard.  I spend most of my riding time in my side yard but as the months have gone on we did not mow with hopes that we would fence it in so the grass has gotten out of control.  Problem #1 very little grass in our current pasture.  When we fenced in the 2 acres I was not mature enough to do the responsible thing and wait to get a horse for a year to let the pasture be planted and get established.  Me mature?!  HA!  Nope, not a chance, I bought my horse about 2 days before the fence was actually completed!  I had waited 15 long years since having my own horse in my life again I didn't want to wait another day.
That brings us to problem #2 we have lovely grass and lots of it just on the other side of the fence.  With out the money to put a permanent fence that I would love to do I really wanted to at least temporarily fence off the area so I could stop feeding hay and they could eat the over abundance of grass.

The idea of feeding hay and paying someone to mow down all that grass went against every bone in my body.  Thankfully I have a husband that hates horses!  OH wait, thats not right. Let me try again.  Thankfully I have a husband that hates horses but love ME!  He spent most of his weekend outside in the 105 degree temps (with HI) sweated through multiple shirts.  Cut down small trees, ripped out bad fencing, pounding in posts, stringing up poly tape and ultimately making it so my horses could put themselves to good use and mow down that pasture.  I too spent my weekend doing those things but I did it out of the love of my animals and the sake of saving money.  He has blisters, I have calouses, we both have sore muscles but it is done.  The most fun part was ripping out a good amount of the fence along with small trees and a huge post with my truck, haha that was awesome.   And now we have some happy horsies!

Putting my truck to good use!