This blog is about my life, a 28 yr old filly; working in the city, balancing her career, passion for horses, dogs, and the life they deserve. Following my dreams, and getting there takes a lot of patience and a sense of humour. This is my take on life, and the amazing and stupid things in it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Parker and Mia Show The Hunters!

On Saturday my student Nicole and I attended another local hunter schooling show at ADK Stables.  I love these shows to give Parker some miles without having to spend a fortune and be at a crazy busy event - which can be a lot to handle for a youngster.  Nicole was entered in the 2'3 and 2'6 hunter divisions and myself and Parker were set to ride in the 2'6 plus the hunter derby.

 It was forecast for lots of rain but it was a beautiful morning when we arrived.  We had plenty of time to tack up and warm up in the arena before heading to the ring for our warm up rounds.  Both horses warmed up well - and were very well behaved.  No issues with the fences or attitudes in need of adjustment!

that's Parkers "go" button

  Nicoles division ran first, the 2'3 hunters.  She did an excellent job piloting Mia around and placed 3rd in each of the over fences classes, and to a 5th in the under saddle classes.  We then started the 2'6 hunters which we both showed in.  Parker was just amazing, getting all his leads and distances.  He placed 4th, 3rd, and a surprising 1st in the hack!  Nicole did another great job and was 3rd,5th, and 6th in a very competitive division.  

 After the hunter classes we did the derby which included an adorable array of cross country type fences.  Of course, for Parker this was all very exciting and he cruised around the course like a pro.  We included some inside turns for handiness points and ended up placing 2nd!  With our blue ribbon also came an Ogilvy Baby Pad as a prize....not too shabby for this green OTTB!

 We finished by 11:30 and were home by 1pm - just beating the rain - an awesome morning of showing!

posing for pics :)

Go hunter Parkie!

all the goodies

Monday, August 18, 2014

Penny Does Dressage - Archie Continues his Winning Streak

   I know!  It seems like we are doing a lot of showing.  I guess we are!  I am liking the change from eventing.  Local schooling shows to work on my dressage and jumping skills.  Saving money on entries, gas, and the days are shorter (minus the Pony Club show lol).  PLUS I get to show with my bestie and her (my old) horse Archie!

  Not knowing how long the day was going to be Saturday, we signed up for the Temperance View Short Course on Sunday.  Dana was entered in the Grasshopper division full short course and I entered the dressage only portion for the Pre Entry division (Training level dressage test) and also did an add on for our Eventing Canada Training level dressage test.

  Dana started out the day with a brilliant dressage test placing 2nd after dressage with 67%.  We then had a few hours so we walked her course and determined Archie would make light work of it!  After our break I headed down to the dressage ring.

  Penny warmed up fairly well but she was her usual looky self.  We did our first test and there were some nice moments and some tense and distracted moments.  The judge gave us a generous 69% which was good enough to put us 6th in the dressage portion.  We did our second test Hors Concurs shortly after and Penny had become increasingly tense.  She was distracted and it was very hot.  We had some ugly moments but some OK ones too.  We scored a 62% which I feel was also generous but was our best score on that eventing Training level test.  I feel like there is a lot of room for improvement but it will just take time to get there.  We need to do a lot more dressage only to get her to relax and focus in the ring.

 Dana went and did her jumping phase while I was doing dressage.  Archie and Dana jumped their usual clear round and although Dana was stressing she may have gone too slow and incurred time penalties.  But, Dana was wrong and she had 0 penalties for cross and stadium, clinching her 3rd short course win of the year!  What can I say, they are an amazing team. :)

 We went to get our dressage tests and check scores and I was awarded with this lovely gift basket for having the best score for riders showing dressage only!  Score!  It was unexpected and a nice surprise, even if I did feel as though our tests were seriously lacking.  We were finished by 1:30 so it was a nice early day.  We headed home with our loot, another fun afternoon showing with my bestie!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

SLOV Regional Pony Club Showjumping Championships

  On Saturday Dana and I took our OTTBs to the local Regional Pony Club Showjumping Championships.  I know what you're thinking.  Pony Club? Isn't that for kids?  Normally, Pony Club shows are reserved for those in the club and 21 years of age and under, but our region extended their showjumping championships for the region to include non members in an effort to increase entries and interest in the club.

 With a lack of schooling shows in our area with a jumper focus, we jumped at the chance to attend (pun intended ;) ).  Not only was it at a great venue, it was affordable and offered levels from 18" all the way to 3'6" which is very rare for a schooling show here.  It's hard to find anything over 2'9" in our region and I really need to get more comfortable at the 3'3" level.  It's been a while since I showed consistently over 3" and I still find myself quite nervous at events.

  Dana has moved up from 18" and she was doing her first jumper show on Archie and at 2'.  Competition was stiff in her division with about 15 riders in each class.  You may think competing against younger Pony Clubbers is unfair but I challenge you to beat these talented little riders!  They are not only skilled riders, they have awesome horses and ponies and are out to win.  Since Dana is still working on building her confidence, her goal was to have successful rounds while in the ring.  And that they did - they were not going for speed but quality.

 They placed 4th in the optimum time, 8th in the Table C with jump off, and no placings in the speed class which was expected with trotting. Overall they didn't drop a single rail and had some really nice flowing courses, which if you know Archie is an achievement in itself.

  The only negative thing I have to say about the show was the long ass day it became.  It took two hours to run the 18" and same with the 2'.  By doing the hard math I figured it would be almost 6 pm by the time I went.  Hoping I would be wrong and things would speed 3pm we were wondering if we should just go home.  But, we were already there and I really needed the schooling so we decided to wait.  And wait...and wait.  By 6:30pm it was FINALLY my time to ride.  WHO HOO.

  Can I just use this break to explain how amazing our horses were this day?  Stood on the trailer for hours as it was much cooler in there than out in the sun.  Took Penny off, tacked her up, and she went right to business in her warm up - no fuss no muss.  Our first class was an optimum time class - closest to the pace required and jump clean wins.  Penny put in a flawless round jumping clean, the only horse to do so and clinched the win.

  Our second class was Table C with immediate jump off.  We had a great round going and on the last line I couldn't see a distance and buried her at the base of the plank and she took the jump down.  That was our only rail, so we didn't make it to jump off but we still finished 3rd!  The course was tough as the ring was grass and on a slight hill.  The sun was starting to go down and some jumps were hard to see.  Our last class was the Gamblers Choice.  

  Each jump has a set number of points - you can jump the jumps both ways and as many times as you like.  If you get a rail you don't get the points but do not have anything deducted.  After 60 seconds they blow a whistle and you can decide whether or not you want to take the Joker fence which is 200 points, however if you blow it, you lose 200 points.

 I started the Gamblers with the outside line gaining 200 points off the bat.  The spectators were surprised I would start there but I am in it to win it - and I really wanted to school that line and get it right after flying through it last class.  We had some good lines but unfortunately we had a couple jumps that I honestly don't think Penny saw them until the last minute.  The jumps were a mixture of in shadow and bright light and the conditions were just not great.  We opted for the joker - a nice liverpool with a big vertical.  We cleared it easy and snagged ourselves second place!

  Overall we were Champion of the division - and won a whole kit load of stuff.  Saddle pad, brushes, treats, blanket wash/saddle pad wash, leather cleaner - it was awesome!  The only buzzkill was because I was an alumni and not a current Pony Clubber - I was not allowed to keep the nice big Pony Club Champion ribbon.  They did give me a really nice red one though to make up for it.  I can't help it - I love ribbons.

  Super mare is super.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dirk's First Trim

 Dirk  had his first visit with the farrier today.  Since he wasn't really handled we decided to wait until I could desensitize him a bit more and get him familiar with his legs being handled before we attempted to do his feet.  Jessica held the horses for the farrier today since I had to be at work.  She sent me a message this morning to say he stood like an angel!  So he has officially had his first trim.  I think it looks great:

 Then she sent me this video:....what a little ham!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Farm Girl Fridays ✫ #8 - How to fill Fly Spray Bottles

 Hello readers and thanks for stopping by on this beautiful Friday!  I know this isn't limited to farm girls but it is a definite necessity when you are on the farm - fly spray!  When you go through a lot of fly spray like I do, you may want to consider buying the big jugs to help save on the almighty dollar.  I usually buy the 1 gallon for $32 bucks and can get about 4 or 5 of the regular size fly spray bottles filled.

  I don't know about you but I hate wasting - money and the product.  Especially when it comes to fly spray.  Sure, you could use a funnel but who has one of those lying around?  I mean my garage is only about 3 feet from my tack room but I'm lazy and I wanted to be innovative.  This is my method of filling fly spray bottles to eliminate wastigggeee budddy (think Pauly Shore) hehe.

 Step 1 

  Ever wonder what to do with those wasted empty Vetwrap rolls? Other than make awesome mini binoculars to creep on your neighbors?  Keep them stashed to help you with this project!  Take the used roll and shove it onto the top of your empty fly spray bottle like so;

some high tech shit right here

a work of art really

Step 2

  Use both hands - one to hold the bottle and the other to pour.  This might take some skills.  Pour the liquid directly into the tube.

Step 3 

 Recap the jug, and place the sprayers back in your bottle.  No fuss -  no mess!  Just freshly filled fly spray bottles.  Ahh..what's not to love about that?

just cause' handsome golden baby!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Pennys' Fancy New Bridle

  Since sorting out Pennys issues, ulcers and back, new saddle, etc...she has been going better than ever.  I rode her in the Micklem because I had one for Archie and figured it wouldn't hurt.  It was always a little too big for her though and this weekend while I was schooling I found a beautiful USG dressage bridle for an insane price ($100 with reins)...I had to have it.

 It came with rubber/leather reins that are nice and short, plus this blinged out curved browband.  Swoon.

 I sold my Micklem in about 5 minutes on Facebook to cover the cost and then some.  What do you think?  Too much noseband?  I don't know, I kind of like it.  Hopefully our new look will bring us some dressage magic in the future!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Penny Goes XC Schooling at Lanes End!

  Penny and I are taking a break from events.  As I have mentioned before we are focusing on dressage and jumper shows, and schooling cross country in an effort to better ensure we are prepared for Training level success.  The way I see it events are a) expensive as fuck, b) hard on your horse, c) extremely time consuming, and d) fun as hell when you succeed - but make you question every inch of your life when you fail.  I love the sport.  I want to be successful.  I want a sound horse.  I don't want to be broke.  My thoughts are - why go eventing when are just doing okay, just getting by, just entering to get around.  I want to enter with the chance to win.  I don't care if I don't win, I just want to at least have it be a possibility!  I no longer see the need to run my horse every other weekend just for the sake of it.  Penny is young - we have many years ahead of us.  She is very talented, I want to save her for my bigger goals.  So for now, we are just having some fun.

  My friend Katie and I went up to a beautiful facility on Sunday called Lane's End Farm.  I have only been to the event there once before but I just love their property and they have a tonne of really fun questions - along with many newly built jumps!

 We got to do - a big trakehner, stairs, a Prelim bank up with ditch in front, Prelim combinations, corners, ditches, coffins, bank complexes, skinnies, and the water!  Penny was looky at the first few fences and needed some legging on.  Once she got into her groove though she went beast mode and jumped just amazingly!

down the stairs no longer an issue!

beast mode into the water


flying over the coffin

love this pone 

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