Thursday, February 21, 2013

Soap boxes and stuff...

I could go on and on, on these rants.  This Pony Club stuff.  I am NOT suitable for leading this club alone.  I am more of a 'I'll help someone else lead' type.  Deadlines and paperwork?  Not my thing.  I am a procrastinator and get busy and forget about things.  I get easily frustrated by people and the lack of knowledge, effort and the simple desire to learn.  I do well with people like me.  People that know just enough to know that what they know just scratches the surface of the depth of equine knowledge.  It seems thought there are way more 'I am a beginner but I know everything and I want horses but I don't want to spend any money' type folks that I have the privilege of working with.  It makes me crazy.  Not just a little crazy, like a lot crazy.  People that say things like, "well my daughter is such an amazing rider and her last trainer says that she is a C3 in Pony Club so she doesn't have to do all those other levels, right?"  Gah, ha, bah, fa?  I can't decide if I should laugh, cry or curse.  So instead I drive myself ba-na-na-zzz.  Yes your daughter will have to prove herself at every level.  And considering the fact that no one in PC has ever even seen her on a horse we have a ways to go.  Well that is just unacceptable and ridiculous because she is obviously a C3, I mean she jumps and stuff.  Ah-Hem.  I don't make the rules I just have to follow them...ah-hem...coughcopoutcough.

Then there are others who it seems they say things to others within the group in order to manipulate them into thinking or doing something they want.  Now this is more devious yet quite subtle so not as easy to confront and solve.  One day someone says one thing to me. Then the next something different.  Then they tell someone else something completely different and then come to me as if I should agree with them.  I am I the crazy one here???  Cause I sure as heck start to feel like it.  In turn I am driving my husband crazy too.  What does one do?  I like ponies, I like pony club, I like kids, I cannot stand adults!!!!!  Unfortunately you can't have the 3 former with out the later.  Makaladeecrazee!!!

On another note baby Corgi's are adorable and so fun! 

And they can fly!

With complete lack of riding Steady's body condition looks fabulous super bonus!  I am counting down the days until March 1st when I am going to start trailering into a local indoor to start getting back to work with Steady.  I find myself droooooling over pictures from last season.  I look at my ass out of the saddle for an entire XC course and stadium round and think to myself ermergerd I am 32 years old and riding like that?  Then I start to panic thinking, will I be able to get that back and then some this season?  I need to start working!  So before panic completely sets in I have to tell myself that I have a plan and I am going to stick to that plan and trust it will get me where I want to be.
I will get my summer ass out of the saddle super cool old lady, mom galloping position back, I will get it back, I will get it back.  There, now it must happen.  This is us two jumps to the finish flags not even winded!

Denny Emerson is inspiring and if you don't follow Tamarack Hill Farm on Facebook then you are just lamo and if you want to stop being just lamo then go right now and start following Tamarack Hill Farm on Facebook.  Period the end.  He posts a lot and all of it is great wisdom from on high.  Here are a few from the last few days.

"So once you have BEGUN to acquire these ways of "doing business", the next step? Practice them until you own them."

"What will give you black marks as an eventer, from other eventers, is not being able to sustain your galloping position for an entire round.
 When other event riders see a rider coming through the finish flags so tired that she`s sitting in the saddle, rather than up off her horse`s back, they don`t feel sympathy for the rider, they feel sympathy for the horse, and scorn for the rider. Learn this fact about this sport and get fit accordingly."

"When I hear talk about rider fitness, especially as it pertains to being able to sustain rider security and balance at the gallop for the length and duration of a cross country round, I think the key word is RIDE, which is the key part of the word RIDER.
 To get fit to ride, one must ride. Even if the rider doesn`t have a great place to gallop, she can do trot sets anywhere, including in an indoor ring, get in a half seat, and gut it out.
 That screaming you`ll hear will be your thighs! Tell them to Cowboy up!!"

One of my faves for obvious reasons.
"Race record:
 Maybe it doesn`t matter for some riding sports whether or not an OTTB could win races, but in eventing, I`d far rather buy the sound winner over the sound loser.
 I think it reveals "character", that a horse could dig in, persevere, and "get it done.
 So given the choice between one that raced and did well and one that raced and did poorly, assuming all else seems roughly equal, I`d advise choosing the former."

The photos are awesome and the wisdom is awesomer.  It is way better than wasting time reading most of the stupid stuff people put on Facebook.  I found "evention tv" on youtube yesterday.  I am I the only one that has been in some hole and did not know this existed?  If you are two just now coming out of your hole and didn't know it existed then here is a link to their channel.  Oh and follow them on FB too or you can just stay hiding in your hole and we will all be none the wiser.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not just my dream, and the difference it makes.

First off I want to thank you all for your kind and encouraging words after my last post.  You have really helped and are such amazing ladies.

I have 3 girls ages 6, 7 and 9.  So far all of which love horses, but what 7 year old doesn't love horses?  I am not foolish enough to think that all of my girls will love to ride or even silly enough to think that they would have learned to love it so much had I not been so in love with it.  I mean I AM my 9 year old daughters idol right now.  She is my biggest cheerleader and help.   For her the sun sets and rises on my command.  Hahaha I have done a really good job fooling her, right?!  I would guess if I had some obessesion for space travel that they all would want to be astronauts.   But alas space travel would be too cheap an obsession for me.   Instead it is horses that consume me and thus is being passed on to the young and impressionable in my life.  I don't see many kids look at their mothers the way my kids look at me.  It is a huge responsiblility and equally a joy to have such an impression on another human being.  I think many mothers fall into the self sacrificing life of a wife and/or mother.  I see it all the time.  In nearly every mother I meet.  They have put their dreams somewhere they can't see anymore so that they can give themselves to their family.  They have lost their drive somewhere along the way and who knows if it will ever be found again.

Maybe not all too surprising that depression is rampant among these same women.  And tell me what messege are you sending to these people you are giving so much too?  That you are not as important as everyone else.  That you are only as valuable as what you give of yourself.   That you are not worth time or money.  Don't get me wrong there has to be a healthy balance or you then become a selfish, self centered person.  But the balance, yes you give but you also require.  You give some of your time, you give some of your money, you give some of your energy but a portion of each of those things should be kept solely for yourself.  I see such lack of respect between mothers and daughters and tell me if your number 1 role model in life did nothing for themself and was depressed, had no goals or ambitions would you respect or look up to them when they told you how to live your life?  I have two rules in parenthood that I abide by.  1) raise a person whom I would enjoy being with.  That may seem like a strange statement but it has worked well for me.  There are many children out there that I would not want to spend 10 minutes in the same room with them let alone every day of my life.  And tell me how will those kids just magically become less annoying, selfish, unhelpful adults one day???  Most likely they won't.  #2) be someone who your children would want to grow up to be like.  Parenting is 2 part: what we teach and what we live.   You can't be successful with out both.  We cannot expect our children to live something we don't purposfully teach them to do just because we did it.  Nor can we expect them to live what we teach if we ourselves cannot live that way.  I do it in any lesson I ever give.  I never ask of a student something that I could not get on a horse and do that very moment.  And if I ever start doing that then it is time for me to stop teaching.  If I tell you to two point for five minutes and I can't?  Then shame on me.  I keep the same standard in being  someone my children can look up to.  If I tell them to be strong, love and respect those important to them and live life with passion then I must be doing the same.

Aside from this becoming a post on raising children which was not my intent I want to address the ever so present challenge that I am just now having to face.  If you think pursuing your own riding dreams and goals is hard try attempting to pursue your own while also helping pursue someone elses.  It is twice the work, twice the cost and twice the time. many of us have double the time, money and effort we put into our horses just laying around???  Up until now I have mostly pursued my own riding goals while slowly bringing along my children and nurturing in them the love and deisre to learn to ride.  I have done nothing but try to make it safe, happy and fun for them to have horses in their life.  Here is just one example of the childhood with horses that my kids have had.  Them on their ponies in their back yard on long summer days. 

 So far I have exceeded my goals.  My girls love horses and have not once cared a bit about winning or losing.  They have competed at the fair and whether they won a trophy or never even placed they come out of the arena with a smile on their faces and loving their horses.   My 9 year old (soon to be 10) is a d-1 pony clubber going for her d-2 this year has put in the time, work and proved her passion enough to me that it is now becoming time for me to share some of the alloted equine training and competing budget.  She won't do much competing but she has asked to do a combined training in April and I would like her to do and event derby in the fall.  Then she will be attending two pony club camps.  Our local club camp and our regional d camp.  Then there are PC rallies, dressage rally, games rally and D rally all of which I would like her to attend but that may just not all be possible this year.  Each rally is probably $100 x 3, club camp $100, D camp $300, CT $100, clinics? $75 x 2 totaling about $1000 and those are all just entry fees not fuel and accomadations.  And that is just my kids not to mention my goals.  I am not willing to put my goals on the back burner but I am willing to cut back a little to help her pursue her equestrian education.  She is young and if she continues on this path it will just get more and more expensive and extensive so I know it is coming down the road I may have to cut back even more but I won't go down that road yet until I have to.  For now we will take it one step at a time and make adjustments as needed as we tread new territory and I learn to share ;).  And at some point go from being my daughters instructor to her being my instructor.  I know that day will come one day.  It may be down the road a ways but some day that girl will be great!

Friday, February 8, 2013

May I please take a moment?

I just need a moment to have a mini meltdown.  It is about that time of year anyways where the weather is depressing even on the nice days.  Simply because I know I can't get out there for a fun ride because it will be a huge waste of my time and possibly dangerous.  It was beautiful weather today and that should make me happy but it doesn't.  I want to run change into breeches and grab my tack and go for a ride but I can't.  It is all nice to say that I am taking a break for the bad winter months but I am going to say this in my most immature, whiney voice. "BUT I DON"T WANNA!"  I want to ride I want to be making progress I want to kick the 2013 show season right in the ass from the word go.  I want to go to Pine Top and Aiken, SC like I hear of all of the other Indiana folks.  I want an arena to ride in so that I can feel safer atop my 17 hh winter maniac.  I want, I want, I want...

I am frustrated because I just feel like others are moving forward while I am moving backward.  And no matter how hard I try to tell myself that we are just standing still and not moving backward I still can't believe that.  I am frustrated because I just don't think that this barn deal will actually work out for me and really a huge reason that I want to do it is so that I have a place to train.  I feel like that will be the only way in my forseable future to any sort of year round place to ride.  Dec.-March the weather is too shit to ride in because of snow, mud, rain, ice and an over zealous OTTB, then July-September the weather is to shit to ride in because we don't see rain for 3 months and the ground is cement.  So that leaves me Apr.-June and Sep.-Nov. to do anything productive.  ahhhh I am just frustrated.

I know it is not that bad and it is really spoiled brat problems and that this too shall pass but I am not a good idling type person.  I don't do sitting by watching others move past me very well at all.  I also know my time will come.  I have every intention of spending a chunk of my winters in SC but now is not my time.  My time will come when my children are grown and I can realistically take off for a month at a time.  I also know that my friends that are going out there now were not doing it at my age either.  I understand the reality of it and that is why I just had to come and whine about it and get it out of my system.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What is going on here?!?! Another what would you do?

I don't know what is going on lately but these opportunities keep arising and this is looking too good to pass up.  Here is the deal this time around, there are a couple different options on the table that I am talking over with the property owner we will call it options A, B, C.

I have spoken to a man who owns a facility.  The only down side to the facility is there is only 5 acres of land with it.  What it does have is 20 stalls, a small indoor and large outdoor, 2 turn out areas a brand new 2 bedroom house.  He wants to rent the place for $1,500 a month.  He would also be willing to sell but we have not discussed that option.  You read that right $1,500 a month!!  That is crazy low even for this area of the country.  The facility is about 15 miles from my house.  Now I don't need a house I already have one.  The owner and I have talked and he explained his situation.  And we are discussing a few different options.

A) We could just rent the property as it was advertised and renting out the house separately to someone else.  Or even consider renting our house out that we own and moving down there.

B) I just rent the facility minus the house and in that case he would charge me only $1,000 a month.

C) He would live in the house and we split the facility.  He would use half of the barn and I would have half of the barn for $700 a month.  I could use 10 stalls, the arena's and the property any way I choose.  He would use 10 stalls 2 of which a couple that he has used in the past to feed and clean stalls for board.  That would make it so I didn't have to drive there twice a day every day to feed.  He would need the indoor 2 hours a day 4 days a week and I could use it any other time.

This is the only picture I have of the place as of right now.
 So many things to think about and my husband and I are going to see the place and talk to the man in person on Saturday.  I am so excited, yet trying not to get my hopes up too much yet.  When my husband and I discussed the previous option with the 40 stall facility we both agreed that  maybe something on a smaller scale would make more sense for us.  Then this falls out of the sky.  Saturday can't come soon enough!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Photographic proof that my horse is not always a jerk face just seems to be a winter trend.
 Thoughts on the clinic:  Some of you may have wondered why I would pay to ride in a clinic when I out right admitted that I knew that Steady would not be cooperative and it wouldn't go well.  Yes it is true that I did know this when I agreed to ride in the clinic but for the last nearly 3 years I have felt like I was living in a equestrian black hole.  I have tried to find and meet anyone in the area that rode english let alone evented.  So when my friend told me that she was going to bring in Nad to the local college barn in my mind I had two options. 1) enter the clinic, pay $75 to have a wild ride in front of an audience or 2) donate my $75 and audit the clinic.  I did not feel I had an option to not support the efforts of getting a good trainer to this area.  For some reason #1 seemed a little less insane at the time.  All in all I am pleased with how it ended up.  It helped me gain a bit more confidence to push through some of these issues that we have been having.  Getting bucked off did start the tiniest bit of fear in me of getting hurt.  And I am NOT a fearful rider and I didn't want to start down that road.  But reality is if I get hurt who will take care of my girls and farm?  Anyways he helped me think through it better and pounded into my head that forward is my friend and when he starts in with his antics that making him gooooo is my best defense.  Using the analogy of a bucking bronco that the ones that come of easiest are the ones that stay within 6 ft of the gate and the ones who stay on are the ones who use the whole arena.  At the time all I heard was bucking bronco and neither of those options sounded remotely appealing.  Now that I am safe on the ground I can create a plan of action for next time.

Pictures are of Steady and I in a clinic with Peter Atkins last May that was far more productive than the past one.

The exercises he had each group do were quite challanging.  I mean challanging for everyone not just if your horse was a fire breathing dragon.  He started us off with some flat work.  Each group was differnet in what he had them focus on during the flat work.  My friend S and I:  he had us as we were going around the arena do a 10 meter circle then to the rail and do a shoulder in for a few strides then 10 meter circle and repeat.  I have to say that I was quite proud of our shoulder-in's.  I have never been instructed how to do them and I have only ever attempted them at my house in a field where there are no walls to work off.  It is a little more difficult to gauge movements in an open field.  Nad seemed happy with them.  Then he had four poles set up on a circle, the inside of the pole was probably 25 meters making the outside about 35 apart.  He started by having us trot over them on the ground.  Then he raised them to small 2ft jumps.  For every group it was the same the jumps never got over 2ft even for the training group.  Then had each group canter the same exercise.  It was basically jumping 4 jumps on a 30 meter circle.  I thought it was fantastic for straightness and collection.  By going out to the college barn I got to make some super awesome connections in the area that I think will be a huge benefit down the road.

I stuck around to audit all of the lessons but one, when I had to run home to pick up Steady.  One group in particular had 4 young girls in a starter/BN group.  And by young I mean 16-21 young.  For a reason that Nad saw I am sure he had them spend a lot of time up in two point.  As I watched these young girls ride around and struggle to stay in two point for even a couple minutes I couldn't help but get a sense of, 'damn I am a badass old lady, I could put these young thangs to shame on their two point.'