Archive for August, 2006

PostHeaderIcon Sue – How do You Like Meeting Suzy and Riding with Velvet?

Suzy came up to visit. She has passed the old level 2 and is a RIDER! I gave her Velvet and we rode early in the hot morning. We rode in the arena and did some fun things.

Then we rode outside. Sue and I were feeling mighty good. Suzy is good to ride with. I decided the time was right to take off on the mini trail ride towards Patty’s house and trails. We crossed the gravel road and rode past the neighbor’s horse pasture. All good and quiet. Nothing much going on at 10:00am on Sunday.

We got halfway to Patty’s driveway and heard the dreaded roar of a 4 Wheeler. We couldn’t see it. I made the decision to abandon the trail ride. Later, I thought about that 4 wheeler. They couldn’t have got into the neighbor’s horse pasture and scared us to death. It would have been fine. Oh well. I made it a lot further on the trail ride than the last time!

PostHeaderIcon Sue – How Do You Do in Arena Chaos?

The arena was filled with horses. One horse and “new to us” rider  didn’t even know we were fearful. She was new.

We rode in an organized chaos. We all rode in a straight line somewhere and first stopped and did hindquarter perfect turns. Then we trotted, stopped and did our hindquarter perfect turns. After we did that for a while, we started at the walk again and did perfect forequarter turns…and then again at a trot. How do you think Sue did with horses going every which way?
She was on the lookout, but did GREAT!

Then we rode on the rail. But this wasn’t just any plain Jane riding on the rail. Some of us rode clockwise and some of us rode counterclockwise. Us counterclockwise people rode on the inside and the clockwise people rode on the rail.
How about Sue meeting horse after horse in the arena.
No Problem! She was aware, but fine.

In fact, we even trotted. She relaxed enough to get a trot going and she kept it up for maybe one length of the arena. She was relaxed.

Then we all came into the middle of the arena. Jenny picked various horse and rider combos to go out on the rail and canter. She told my very best friend, Kari, to cut through the middle and do a flying lead change. I didn’t react very fast. I was sitting on Sue with my sore leg out of the stirrup. Kari came racing by very close to the group of horses…and Sue’s rear end. You know what that means. We spurted forward a step or two. I managed to hold my curse word to a whisper. No one heard me. I was alive and proud of my restraint.

The next horse cut through the center and I was ready. That horse dislodged a dirt clod which spooked Sue. We spurted forward a step or two. This time I didn’t even think of swearing. I was fine.

At the end we went on the rail. We were to ride collected. My new goal is to get Sue to give to the bit and become soft. She pushes on the bit like she has been taught.

Sue relaxed and started trotting. She trotted for a while and then went back into a fox trot or running walk. Then she would occasionally break into a pace. It was great.

We stopped near the middle as someone was in our way. It was nearly 8:45pm and my knee lasted all this time. Well, I told Sue to get her speed back up and she refused to move. She was tired. I reached back and touched her rear end with my hand and there was zero reaction and no movement forward. I touched her again with the same nothingness. I smacked her a little firmer with my hand and was still ignored. I ended up smacking that sensitive right rear end about 6 times before she would take a step forward.

What an amazing evening it was! We ended with my gracefull dismount from the fence. She followed me all over the arena while I collected my discared stuff.

Sue got a lot of treats at the end of this ride.

It just keeps getting better and better!


PostHeaderIcon Nova’s Notebook- Nova and Barb Show In Model Class!

August 12, 2006 was the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Association Breed sponsored horse show.

 Last year Barb told me that she wanted to show Nova in the model class.  I was thrilled.  In just under a year, here it was time to actually make this wish a reality.
Barb had practiced with Nova.
Jenny had trained Nova to be a model horse -stretch out and walk beside her (etc.) like a good model horse should.
Barb and I tried on the show halter the night before the horse show.  Whoops!  not only was it broken, it was huge.  An emergency call to Teresa who suggested Dwight Hart might loan his show halter worked.  Thank Goodness for Dwight.
The morning of the show, we groomed Nova with bath and special lotions/potions for her mane and tail. Nova didn’t care for the bathing part.  In fact she nipped me in a “tender place” while I was holding her for Barb to spray her with water. That was a first for me!
We shaved her excess hair to make her ears and muzzle look beautiful.  Nova didn’t much care for the entire morning grooming procedure, but at least there were no more nips on tender places.
One of the young stall cleaners and horse owners at Pine Dell walked by Nova at the wrong time.  She was forced to admit that she knew how to braid. Kerri braided Nova’s entire mane and tail. Thank Goodness for Kerri!
Barb told me that she looked a the show bill and there were two model classes…stock horse and saddle horse. We decided that Nova fit into saddle horse.  This was our first clue that we might be competing with horses other than Missouri Fox Trotters, but we ignored that clue.
Barb got to the park early to reserve a shady space. I came later with Nova.  I knew she wouldn’t want to stand tied to the trailer too long by herself.
We parked and I found Dwight right off.  I took the show halter and we tried it on Nova.  It looked good to us.  Barb decided to talk a practice walk with Nova.  Bobbie Bedsworth stopped Barb and proceeded to fit the show halter like it should be.  Thank Goodness for Bobbie!
We took off the show halter and tied Nova to the trailer.  Whoops!  Nova kicked her water bucket and got mud on both front feet.  I had to get a wet rag and wash her feet and pick the mud out of her hooves.  She didn’t get a new water bucket.
Now it was time to unbraid her lovely mane and tail.  We decided that there was TOO much curl in her mane.  We debated on what to do.  Barb Parent said, “Just comb it with water.”  How practical was that.  Well, OK.  That was better.  Thank Goodness for Barb Parent!
Now it was time to put the ribbons in her hair.  I discovered only one twisty tie and no rubber bands.  Whoops, I had forgot to tell Barb to bring the rubber bands. I managed to get the ribbon in her mane with the twisty tie, but there are two ribbons.  I went next door and discovered Larry Kilroy was eager to help.  I didn’t know the method of braiding just a tiny bit of hair in the forelock and attach the ribbon with a twisty tie.  Not only did Larry provide the rubber band and the twisty tie, but he braided the small piece of forelock hair and anchored the ribbon.  Larry was getting ready to present the Missouri Fox Trotter flag in the opening ceremony.  How nice of him to take the time to help.  Thank Goodness for Larry!
I’ve hated attaching the ribbons since my very first ribbon attaching experience.  I can’t braid…people with a dose of carpal tunnel syndrome can’t move little bits of hair for more than a moment.
Nearly Show Time…Barb got dressed.  She looked in the arena and noticed other grooms were walking the model horse around the arena.  It was suggested that Nova’s groom do the same.  Susan, the groom, took Nova into the arena.  Did I mention that it was hot?  We walked around the arena twice.  Nova started nickering, but she wasn’t upset.  I’ve seen young model horses taken into the arena screaming and out of control..but not Nova.
Thank goodness Jenny appeared.  Barb was mightily RELIEVED to have coach Jenny on hand.  I was called out of the arena.  I handed Nova to Jenny and took off to get my camera.  Not only was I the groom, but also the photographer!
Show Time…Big Beautiful Arabians appeared at the gate.  The gate opened and the first contestant with her big beautiful Arabian horse RAN INTO the ARENA.  They didn’t stop until they got to the other end of the arena.  “GOOD GOD!”  I thought. “That Woman is RUNNING!”  I might add that all the other competitors had Arabian horses and were YOUNG (like 30 and under - they could probably run in the heat without any fear of dying.
Did I mention that it was hot and humid this day?
The next contestant got ready to enter.  The ringman told the contestant that they were to walk halfway down the long stretch and run to the end.  The announcer told the crowd. GOOD GAD!  I wonder if Barb is close to fainting at the thought of running.  Barb and Nova had not practiced this, besides…it was HOT! 

Nova and Barb - Ready to Enter Model Class

Time for Nova and Barb. Barb walked as fast as she could to the half way point.  She was praying the entire way that Nova would run when it was time.  Miracle…Nova trotted right with Barb down to the end.  I was shocked.  Turns out that was the etc. that Jenny practiced with Nova. Thank Goodness for Jenny!

Running in the Summer Heat!

They lined up on the opposite side of where I was taking pictures.
I hustled around to the other side of the arena and took pictures.
Barb was thinking that there were 7 people in the class and that she wouldn’t get a ribbon.  Well, she was wrong. She did get a ribbon.  The Pine Dell crowd let out a mighty cheer when Barb’s number was called.
Nova was the youngest horse in the arena.  What a great experience for her. She did great! Barb did great!  Thank Goodness for BARB to give Nova this experience.

Barn and Nova - Beautiful Models

 Barb looks really great in the pictures.  Her show coat is blue and Barb’s heat-related pink face contrasts beautifully in the pictures.

Matching Pink!

Jenny told me later that this had been a great experience for Nova.  Maybe when I get ready to RIDE Nova in her first horse show, I won’t die.
I took Nova back to Pine Dell not too much later. When I got home, I was near death and collapsed in my chair.  Model horse groom is a tough job!

PostHeaderIcon Sue – How Do YOu Do at A Horse Show Play Day?

The Arabian association is having a horse show tomorrow at Longview Horse Park. They decided to open the park today and let potential show people and trail riders come and enjoy Saturday at the park!

I board with a lot of Arabian owners who love to show. I found out last week that “we were going”. So, I decided that this would be a great adventure for Sue. We could ride outside the arena and see how things went.

Well, phooey on riding outside the arena. Sue and I arrived at the Horse Park and got ready to ride. We were nice and relaxed after I got on. They were having a fun class called, “Simon Sez” in the arena.

Sue and I went into the class. Sue sped up twice when something unknown behind her was scary and that was it.

One of the Simon Sez movement was for the rider to lift their hand and touch the top of their head. Well, I snaked my hand up my chest, past my ear and found the top of my head without spook! I was really proud of Sue.

One of the Pine Dell people arrived as Sue and I were zipping around the arena. She yelled, “Is That Sue?” I yelled back, “YES!” Of course she knew it was Sue, she was just amazed at how relaxed she was.

There were a lot of Pine Dell people watching and I didn’t wave at any of them…and they all understood why!

It was a great day. Sue even relaxed a little bit and went into a fox trot. What a fantastic horse she is!


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