Archive for April, 2012

PostHeaderIcon Show Horse Day

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What did Lucky Star think about the clinic and horse show?  Lucky Star recounts his first Horse Show  Story:

 ”It was an adventure!

My good friend Sheyna came to stay with me in the barn the might before the clinic and rode in the trailer with me to the clinic. That was fun.  I like Sheyna.

When I got there, I got to eat green grass.  That trailer parking lot was plush grass.  I liked that a lot too. After a while who shows up and parks right behind me?  My friends, Nova and Velvet showed up.  I tried to boss them around from where I was standing, but they ignored me. Tony and Jenny were there too and said hi to me. That was nice.   I continued to eat great green grass.  Yum!

After a while my mom came back and saddled me up.  We got to go into a big building and there were a lot of other horses in there. Sheyna got to come too.  Nova came by me every now and then, but she didn’t try to boss me around.

I was a little bit concerned about stange looking ground on the outside of the arena dirt.  I tried not to get close to it.  My mom seemed to be concerned with me going along the rail.  I didn’t want to get close to the rail and that strange looking stuff. There were humans perched on top of this stuff too.  (Susan translation:  cement)

My mom wanted me to back thru a lot of things.  Well, I’m just OK with that.  I’m not excited about backing thru stuff, but my mom was asking me politly and I decided to comply.  She wanted me to sidepass over a pole too.  I decided to comply with that request too.  I didn’t eagerly move over the pole, but I did move. She seemed grateful for my generosity of movement.

I got to meet a mailbox. What a strange thing that is.  In fact, she petted the mailbox for a while, just like she rubs me.  I decided the mailbox wasn’t going to eat me.  Then I discovered that it opened up.  I was OK with that too.  Then I found out there was something inside of the mailbox.  It was yellow.  Mom took it easy with me.  I was a little leary about the yellow thing, but decided my mom was trustworthy, so I just stayed still but a little tense when she rubbed me with the yellow thing.  It didn’t hurt or try to eat me either.  Finally, I decided that mailboxes could be trusted.

We zipped around the arena at times and when I got a little out of breath, we played with the obstacles.  Oh I forgot. There were three poles sticking out of the ground in a triangle shape.  My mom wanted me to back thru the poles.  I had to turn around and back at the same time to back thru the other side of the triangle. What a wierd sensation that was.  I tried to back over the poles with my rear end, but my mom was insistent that I back thru, not over. humph.

I had a pretty good time in the arena and we left.  I got to be tied up again.  I had eaten all the grass, so I got to have my hay bag filled with delicious hay.  My mom loosened my girth and I got to eat.  People were buzzing around.

All of a sudden I looked up and there was a gorgeous human being that looked a lot like my mom. But she had on an outfit that blew me away.  Lordy, the cowboy hat was fabulous.  I liked everything a lot because her outside was the same colors as I am. Wowsa!

Mom looked ready to ride.  She got Kelley to hold the saddle while she mounted from the trailer living quarter.  Guess I’m short enough that she can get on from the door.  I wasn’t able to tell mom, but she didn’t tighten back up my saddle.  I decided to keep her balanced so she wouldn’t fall off.  I like her.

We stood around for a while and took pictures of all the other dressed up people.  It’s amazing how people can change their skin like that.

Mom decided to go check on the arena. She discovered that “my class” was next.  I wondered what a “my class” was.

All of sudden someone decided I was the first to go into the big place insomething they called Trail Class.  I zipped into the arena at a fine fox trot to find that it had totally changed.  I was headed right for a row of poles. They stuck straight out of the ground. I was going at my fastest fox trot.  WHOA…Whoa! What are those things!?  I slowed down to get a look at them.  I decided the poles weren’t going to eat me when mom decided to make a course change and we ended up weaving thru the poles.  That was above my pay grade and I argued about the direction changing on such a rapid gait.

We came out of the poles and mom charged me up into my flat foot walk.  After a while I let her think she had talked me into going at that speed when we came to some poles on the ground.  No problem here. We had practiced backing thru the “L”.  I did that pretty darn good and only touched the poles when my mom was celebrating me doing so well at the end. 

Now we turned  and went slowly to a pole laying on the ground. Mom told me she wanted me to sidepass over the pole and I did that pretty darn good. Good enough that she had me sidepass back over it again the other way.  I told my hind feet that they could bang into the pole right when she was thinking how perfect I had done.  I am only a beginner horse.  I don’t want mom to think that I’m perfect and stop practicing.  How dull that would be?

We turned to the back of the arena and there was the  mailbox in a new corner.  The mailbox was near that different colored ground (cement) and there was a dog sleeping on the ground. Good GAD! she wanted me to sidepass so she could touch the mailbox in this scary place.  I didn’t move for a while, but thought about it.  I decided that no one was going to eat me and decided to sidepass over to it.  I could tell this made mom really happy.  She took the yellow thing out and put it right back. That dog never moved.  We were done with mailbox!

Mom made me walk over some poles on the way to freedom out the door. Whew.  You know I was the only horse in that entire arena.  Why was that?

I stood there for a while with all the other horses and everything was nice and relaxed.  Mom was chatting chatting chatting and I got to flick my ears at all the other horses.

Later all the horses and riders went into the arena.  There was a bunch of noise from the riders and the people standing and sitting inside the arena.  Mom called it clapping. She clapped a lot too.  No one handed me a ribbon or clapped for me.  I was OK with that because the judge came over to tell me I was “coming along”.   He smiled and mom smiled so “coming along” must be a good thing!

We got to rest outside the arena again. Someone said Western Pleasure horses into the arena.  All the horses and riders single filed into the arena again. We zipped in. All that obstacle stuff was gone and the arena was wide open.  As we went down the side with the strange ground (cement), it looked more threatening and I veered to the inside.  The judge spoke to me about that as he might have been only about 6 feet from where I zipped.

I was pretty concerned about that different ground the entire time I was in the arena.  I tried really hard to keep myself as far to the inside as I could.

We lined up again and people clapped again.  My mom was happy and we left.

This is all that happened to me on this strange day called Horse Show. This is totally a different life from being a former pature ornament.  I like the excitement of this life!”

PostHeaderIcon Everything I Hate about Horse Shows

Everything I hate about horse shows is the making-the-horse- pretty part.  My love of grooming, clipping and bathing is a triple infinity negative.

Lucky Star is extremely protective about his ears.  Clipping his ears just didn’t work well with the clipper.  We had an evening long disagreement about the scissor noise next to his ear.  Guess what Lucky Star and I are going to do during the May 2012 week-long Natural Solutions Horse Camp with Tony and Jenny Vaught.  Yep, we’ll be working on clipping his ears, using natural solutions to get him over his fear and hatred.

Our evening long  clipping disagreement made Lucky Star a little sweaty.  He enjoyed the “mist” setting on my new hose head. What the heck is the real name of hose head…the shower thing.

Fox Trotter Performance classes have horses with beautiful ribbons.  I hate the attaching the ribbon to the horse part.  I had to braid a little portion of his mane so I can attach a ribbon to it. That’s when the boating people decided to get out and load their boat on their trailer.  That was a distraction and Lucky Star wanted to move his head when both my hands were trying to braid.  I can do a fine job of dismal braiding when the horse stands still.  Lucky Star’s show braid is less than dismal.  What is a word that means “less than dismal”?

Friday evening and I have yet to wash and oil the saddle and bridle.  Manual heavy labor. yecchy greasy hands.

Being in the horse show is fun. Preparing the horse’s development for the horse shows is what I love most to do.  I just hate the pretty part.

PostHeaderIcon How Long

How long does it take to get ready for the casual and relaxed Gaited Horse Spring Show?

SCREAM

I’d say two weeks of full time focused planning and worry.

Tomorrow is trim, shave and a real bath. Lucky Star will not be a willing partner when we start the spa treatment. He is so low key about everything except bath shower. We’ve been taking little mini showers together when the weather is warm enough. When I say we take showers together, wetness happens!

Clipping. Horse clippers are alien beasts that go zzzzzzzzzzzzz! And the alien Z beast will touch Lucky Star’s fetlocks, bridle path and worse is the face whiskers. Maybe even his ears will be defined. Clippers!

Stay Tuned! Horse Show Spa starts on Thursday.

PostHeaderIcon And then it rained

Rain was predicted starting around 4:00. Weather predictions on iPhone apps showed rain& lightning symbol every hour from 4:00 on
Wind was blowing hard around 4:00

I said “Do we wanna ride tonight, really?”. Carol looked at radar and said “Yes”

It was a special ride. I loaned Velvet to Mary Francis. Her horse is in training with Tony and Jenny Vaught. Turns out Mary Francis has not been able to ride since last November. Her first ride was Velvet. They did great together. We clipped along at a medium speed and occasionally got into a beautiful faster clip. They were a beautiful pair.
We owned the park. Everyone else listened to the weather forecaster!

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As we were driving out of the park, the rain started!

PostHeaderIcon Best Fox Trot Ever

Wed night lesson night is always wild. Lucky Star is learning how to slow down his fox trot. He’s learning how to rate the gait.
The game at the end was trying to have a team of riders take turns pushing a big ball thru a two barrel goal. The gaited team lost one and tied one. I even tried to block the other team’s ball and they still ties us!

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PostHeaderIcon Deer Hop

When you ride out in a huge park full of deer food late in the afternoon, you might expect to see a deer.
Deer stand on the side of the horse trail. They wait until the horse appears. We have a state contest. Then the deer explodes and hops away
Lucky Star and I were engaged in the stare down. We won. When the deer exploded into the run away mode, Lucky Star did too. Both my shoulders and that is the left shoulder and the right shoulder ended up on the right side of Lucky Star down next to the saddle horn. This is not a balanced position. I was headed for the ground!

Salvation from the brave Lucky Star as he stopped. This stop threw my upper body right back into “rider position”! I was sitting straight up in the saddle again.
Whew!

Awesome Time

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PostHeaderIcon He’s So Fun!

You build a relationship with your horse and it’s just fun to watch the two of you forging ahead.

Lucky and I have lots of little arguments. We argue about staying next to the wall, going too fast or slow, backing and sidepassing. When Lucky does something that I want, I have to immediately praise him, give him release, rub him, get off…whatever fits. I’ve noticed that the better I get at this, the less Lucky argues with me.

Lucky Star is a lot of fun to bring along. I think we are both enjoying our journey!

PostHeaderIcon Lucky Star in the Wind

Who is that little horse galloping at liberty with his tail in the wind? The galloping horse looked exactly like Lucky Star, the horse of no impulsion.

Teresa played with Belle tonight. I thought I had Lucky Star. Teresa wanted Belle to be free to run at liberty. Belle had been in a stall all day. Belle was running around letting all that stored energy out.

I took off Lucky Star’s bridle and told him to run off. By golly, Lucky Star took off! His tail tight, streaming in the wind, he took off after Belle!

I could barely believe his surging forward at top speed. Then, gasp, he passed Belle and led the galloping around the arena. One lap he led the way with his tail straight up like the mystical Arabian galloping across the desert.

Boy Howdy!

After a bunch of laps around the arena, Lucky Star decided he was tired and galloped to me. He stayed right with me while Belle kept going. When Belle decided she had enough, two horse liberty was done

I got back on Lucky Star, rode him to far end of arena and cantered just a short distance back.
Wowsa! This was probably my 4th time at a canter on him. He can only manage to stay at the canter a short distance before his feet get confused! We cantered both ways of the arena

We did an ultra smooth fox trot and some dandy flat foot walk. Oh man

We rested a bit and then sidepassed over a barrel both ways. Done!

I leaped off and was chatting with Teresa when suddenly Lucky told me that it was time for me to teach him to lay down. Quick as a wink, I managed to barely get the saddle off before teaching him to lay down. Saddle off and a few moments later, he laid down and dug his head, neck body and tail into that sandy arena!
After about 10 full body rolls, he layed his body flat on the sand and pretended to be a dead horse (except he kept the one eye open). I petted his pretty sand-caked head.
He rolled a couple more times and got up. Instead of a liver chestnut horse, I had a desert sand horse!

This evening play time with Lucky Star had been full of surprises!

PostHeaderIcon 3rd Party Traveler

A third party at Teresa’s house was excited to take his first ride on a horse. Lucky Star made the offer and Jackson went for it!

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PostHeaderIcon S&S Stables at Hillsdale

http://www.ssstables.com/

S&S Stables is a wondrous place to go trail riding. You can park there for daily rides or camp overnight. They even have Missouri Fox Trotters for you to ride on guided trail rides. It doesn’t get much better than this. When Sue or Steve takes you out for a ride, you get a multiple entertainment experience. Sue and Steve are fun and sparkling entertainers. They make the ride so much more than nature at it’s most awesome in the beautiful forests, babbling brooks and hills to climb in the 52 acres that are available at Hillsdale Lake State Park.

That’s where Lucky Star and I spent Easter afternoon with great friends. Give them a call. Reserve your campspace and enjoy a weekend…or all week!

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