I survived! Fair Hill 2019

Photos will be coming over the next several weeks assuming I ever go through them, but another year, another fair hill complete.

Paddy the Caddy and Erin Sylvester – Version 3

Paddy the Caddy and Erin Sylvester

This year was bittersweet. While I am looking forward to the 5*, this was the last 4* (old 3*) ever, and it just won’t be Fair Hill without the 4*. And the last Fair Hill on this side of the property. As they are constructing the new course/venue on the other side of the road (I drive by ever day on my way to work), it’ll be interesting to see how it turns out. The one thing that I love about the current course about is the varied terrain. There are so many hills and drops and all that. The new course/area? It just looks…flat. We’ll see how it develops over the next few months. The arenas will be great. The rest? I’m reserving judgement.

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Vandiver and Doug Payne

We could NOT have asked for better weather on Saturday. Sunny and GORGEOUS.

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Polaris and Sara Gumbiner

We paid dearly for Saturday’s weather with the disaster that was Sunday. Cold. Rain. And almost no one was there for stadium. It was a complete washout and, if anyone knows the bus situation at Fair Hill on Saturday and Sunday, I didn’t see one bus hanging around Sunday following stadium. I’m not sure how the poor handful of people who parked over at the fair grounds (at least one lady was there) got back to their cars as the buses were MIA… It was that dead. I felt for the vendors.

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QC Diamantaire and Sydney Elliott

But, it wouldn’t be Fair Hill without weather. Wednesday, rain for the jog. Thursday was cold with 40 mph wind gusts. Friday wasn’t much better. Saturday was gorgeous. And Sunday, pouring rain.

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Classic’s Mojah and Megan Sykes

The courses on Saturday were definitely tough. In the 3*, jumps 5-7 took a lot of competitors out. Whereas the combination at 13 in the 4* was deadly. There was a point in the 4* that we probably went about 15-20 minutes without seeing a horse. But, thankfully, no one was seriously injured. The courses just were tough this year. Then the flags… I’m staying out of that one…

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Carrick Finest Lad and Abigail Niles

Overall, another Fair Hill in the books. We’ll see what next year’s new beginnings bring!

More from Fair Hill!

I think I planned to update (and I will), but the young event horses almost killed me.

After getting there for a 7:15AM arrival and not heading out until 5:25 (last horse started at 5pm), I was so exhausted that I decided to do it all again today for cross country… I have so much video for part of Friday until I died and the sat down on a golf cart…

in the interim, can someone buy/kidnap/steel/borrow this horse for me? I want it.

5 year old Connemara stallion. According to his rider, he’s “15 hands on a good day.” 😂

Last video is worth watching. Yes, the peanut gallery is laughing…

Anyway, I’ll send you my address if you’re interested in sending him to me. K, thanks.

One more day! I will survive!

It’s Fair Hill time!

Thank you all so much for your support for my last post. I truly appreciate each and every comment!

But, today it’s all about Fair Hill! Leaving in a few minutes for Young Event Horse jumping phase over at the sawmill field and seriously hoping for better weather than the last 2 days…

Note the sandbags…

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YEH dressage @fairhillint

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Victim of the wind…

Can’t wait to see what today brings!

Fair Hill Recap (Part 1 of 60000)

Another Fair Hill is in the books! My goal this year was to attend everything. Soak up as much as I could and volunteer as much as I could and just be there.  I haven’t started editing pictures, but here are a few to get started…

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And I sort of accomplished that and sort of failed.

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Much of my volunteer work came before the event with pre-event set up. I was out bright and early Saturday a week ago helping decorate the venue. Moving mums, driving around in gators, watering mums, breaking water tanks in the stabling area (oh, wait, never mind) until the water guy showed us how to work the damn tank, stacking straw cut side up and then, 20 MINUTES LATER, arranging straw (SO WHY DID IT MATTER HOW WE STACKED THE DAMN STRAW), moving chairs, etc. img_2313-1

Sunday was dressage ring set up. I said last year I wouldn’t do this again so of course I signed up to help and once again I’m OCD enough to be volunteered to make the courts straight… there were two of us left making everything straight after the bulk of the group left because it appeared it was out talent… Oi. Wednesday was merchandise set up and my OCD took over again as I was volunteered to put everything in size order… Is anyone seeing a pattern?

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Charlotte Collier & Clifford M (3*)

What I missed was the jogs. I was originally going to volunteer for the jogs, chickened out, then when I went back, the slots were filled. Friday, was Young Event Horse Jumping and jump crew– the best volunteer position EVER. I had the opportunity to eavesdrop on the judges and learn SO MUCH about what they were looking for. And, accidentally voiced my opinion and cast my vote for the safe harbor winner… Can someone PLEASE buy me this horse? I can’t wait to volunteer for YEH next year too. Learned so much!

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Celtic King and Charlotte Collier

2*/3* cross county on Saturday was incredible with the exception of a super scary fall in the 2*. I didn’t see the fall, but heard it. Horse was down for a very, VERY long time, brought out the curtains and everything. He trotted the fence before hand and… Despite that, horse and rider were OK.

The rest of the day was a lot of fun and the course was challenging.

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V3 Red Thirty Six and Campbell Jourdian (YEH 4 year old)

Sunday was windy and blustery. In the 2*, jumps were blowing over and Master Frisky was held up mid course so that the jump crew could re-assemble a fence that fell over completely. Despite that, he went double clear. Boyd and On Cue went double clear to win when a plank was almost flying into them. In the 3*, 8 in a row went double clear towards the end before the final riders started to have trouble. Then Frankie Thieriot Stutes put in an incredible double clear to win. All in all, another incredible Fair Hill in the books!

 

Riding in Fair Hill (and not getting lost?!?!)

Sunday morning I finally got back out to Fair Hill with the Batthorse. The heatwave broke on Saturday (I, however, was dealing with another migraine rather than riding Ranger) and the weather was gorgeous.

I rode out from the Gallaher lot for the first time. And while the trails in this area were LOVELY, parking was AWFUL. I arrived to find NO PARKING AT ALL (and first thought I was going to have to back in to the one possible parking spot) and then finally noticed people parking on the grass across the street. Thankfully a nice person moved her trailer up to make room for me and I was able to park. Later on the grass area filled up too. But, Gallerher lot = no parking. Just saying.

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I had arranged to meet a couple of random people via the Fair Hill trail riding group on Facebook. When I arrived, there was an empty red stock trailer that I thought belonged to the people I was meeting (also red) so the person I parked next to invited me along to join her group. Once I was tacked up, my real group arrived, but I ended up going out with the new group as the original group was only planning a 40 minute ride. Now, I don’t need long, but 40 minutes is a little too short. So I ditched group 1 and went out with group 2… Since I didn’t know any of these people… Plus the originally group was running late and I was all tacked up and ready to go.

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This brings me to my question: How do you meet people to ride with? Especially when you keep your horses at home? Now, I ride at hunter barn, but primarily with kids on ponies. Most of them are ring kids and they venture out on trail rides 1x per year and beyond that, trails are loops around the fields with their ponies. I like kids enough, but I’m not big on trail rides with 10 year olds… especially on 50k ponies… ha! exaggerating. Maybe. img_7883

Beyond that, most of my horse friends don’t have trailers or horses. I’m no longer willing to ride at Marsh Creek after past “incidents” related to teaching, at least not yet. Wounds are still too fresh. My farrier suggested just showing up at Fair Hill and seeing who I can meet. As long as people are there, that’s not a bad plan. Facebook worked pretty well even though I rode with different people than planned.

Anyway, the ride was pretty nice. Went out with 4 MARES. My poor gelding didn’t care at all. He parked himself mid pack and only coughed when we stood to take a poll if we were continuing on or turning back.

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We did try and take off our bridle once… Any suggestions for a bridle with a WIDE crown piece? I tightened his bit when I hopped off to adjust his boot which twisted, but I’d rather not have him ride with a tighter (than necessary) bit, but idiot Batthorse knows how to take off his bridle (and fly masks — except for the Rambo). Anyway, Batts starts shaking his head and next thing you know, one ear is free of the bridle (or would be if I didn’t catch it). Michele saw this happen last trail ride… I’m thinking a wide crown piece would make this more difficult? This hasn’t been a one time incident and has happened multiple times over the past year or so? With and without fly bonnets. Suggestions welcome!img_7882

Anyway, all and all we were out for about 2+ hours. We went over multiple bridges without incident (all following fearless leaders) with much praise. We crossed tiny creeks and went through woods. Batt was his usually calm self. Love this boy so much on the trail.

I exchanged contact info with our leader so I might have at least one person to go out with again.

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Eating back calories lost from 2 hours of work… 

Fair Hill Blogger Trail Ride

Taking advantage of a quiet evening reference desk shift to catch up on this blog. Saturday afternoon we FINALLY had our much planned blogger trail ride at Fair Hill with Michele, Emma, and Emma’s barn mate Amy and her horse Punky. I think Emma first mentioned a trail ride almost 2 years ago and it FINALLY happened! Michele and I had a planned a paper chase this past fall that was cancelled then a ride that we bailed on when life, weather, and, er, musicals got in the way.

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And this nose. This nose ALWAYS is in the way.

Too bad this trail ride happened because Michele is a terrible, mean person [who rescues me from airports and work and takes my blankets down to slower, lower Delaware] and is ditching us for TN. I mean, who is going to rescue me when I get stranded somewhere next? Obviously NOT my friends and family… Remember, it’s ALL ABOUT ME!
Selfish rant over. And, no, you can’t take Jiminy to TN.
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Putting Michele to work and making her hold my horse. And Batty’s posing because, that’s what he does…

After all this terrible weather we’ve had, Saturday was GORGEOUS! The pollen count wasn’t terrible either which was helpful as Batts’ heaves and allergies have been acting up. Enough that Michele and Emma thought I was contemplating bailing. No. But, had he been as bad as he was the previous week when I tried to get on him for my 1 “ride” since Thanksgiving, I’d had to have. Poor horse was coughing up a lung thanks to so allergies… But, everything settled since then and whenever the vet gets his Hydroxyzine in, he’ll start that 2x/day. Anyway, with 5 minutes of w/t on the lunge line and a 5 minute ride at the walk both a week before and no other work since Thanksgiving, we headed out to Fair Hill. Because, that’s completely normal, right?
Michelle taking a picture of me taking a picture…
So, Batty is THAT horse who is born broke and always quiet. This was no exception. His coughing was generally OK except when he was a. Ignored  or b. Bored. As long as we were doing something fun (ie: NOT returning to the trailer.. we sulked and had LOTS of feelings about going home. Mostly that included dragging our feet because we’re not normal), no coughing occurred. But, when we were in the trailer alone being ignored? Cough. Strange horse.

Anyway, we had a great time. Batty and Remus were the perfect pair. Remus was up Batty’s butt and Batts didn’t care (the joy of a former lesson horse…). Batt DID cause Remus to spook once over this plastic thing on the ground that he was sniffing at by turning sideways which was highly entertaining since Michele managed NOT to fall off… But all bridges were crossed, all water was crossed, and bravery was accomplished. We did make Angry Faces at Charlie for some reason though… Sorry Charlie…
Overall, the company was fantastic! I wonder why I don’t get out to Fair Hill more often considering I’m 15 (20-25 with the trailer) minutes away. So many trails to explore. And all Batts wants to do is explore. Had circumstances been different, some trotting and cantering would have been lovely! But, considering how out of shape a certain chestnut was… the walk was ideal!
Hopefully Michele and I will get out again before she heads to TN. So much more exploring to do!
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Sir Charlie!

Of course, as great as our ride was, drama followed me home… After passing a tiny Amish cart pulled by a Shetland pony, I almost got run off the road by farm equipment… Nothing like a tractor that can’t fit in a single lane approaching you when your hauling. I certainly wasn’t moving off the road. Somehow he managed to pass me with about 6″ to spare… I just sat there gritting my teeth. Then I arrived home to find that Subi had been screaming since I left 3 hours earlier (he’d been running too but got tired and resorted to just screaming). Lesson learned: When I take Batt out. DON’T put Subi and Jiminy on grass. Jiminy cares more about grass than Subi and Subi cares more about Batty than grass or Jiminy. At least when they’re in the paddock, Jiminy stays close to Subi and he’s not THAT dramatic.

Clean at Fair Hill, muddy within 5 minutes of being home

Drama. I don’t need it.

These two… tale of two quarter horses with opinions.

And because I can’t leave out the biggest drama queen of the bunch… Geldings.

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Subi’s lucky I love him…

Fair Hill FHI Musing (Part I?)

So I’m not actually sure how much of an actually recap this is going to be. My brain is still fried from Fair Hill almost a week later but I do have a lot of media to post. Most of it I haven’t even started sorting through. Hopefully over the next week or so I’ll post some of it.

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Tayler Stewart and Ideal Contini — I’m in love with this horse, especially after watching the pair’s stadium round. 

Overall, it was a great year at FHI and the first year I managed to attend the event in its entirety (though Sunday morning I needed to drag myself out of bed and if I didn’t have my volunteer shift, I’m not sure if I’d have gotten there for the 2* or 3* stadium–I’m glad I did!).

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Grace Fulton and Wild Orange

High level takeaways (I can’t seem to handle more than this):

  • The weather was less than ideal and I was  NOT adequately prepared and purchased more clothing than necessary including first a grey cowl because I was freezing despite wearing what I though were enough layers and a blue FHI jacket that Michele talked me into (not really but it’s fun to blame her for all purchases like those boots this summer…). I really needed gloves, but I was too lazy to drive home and get gloves and refused to buy any (the only really warm gloves were in the Dubarry booth and I don’t buy nice gloves or I cry when I lose them).
  • I lived on the crab soup.

Ariel Grald and Leamore Master Plan

  • I wish I had ventured in to the tea tent before Sunday. OMG the tea was amazing and the volunteer tent had coupons for free tea… I could have used that… every day?
  • The cross country course walk with Jennie Brannigan and Tim Bourke was incredibly interesting. Jennie had to leave part way through for YEH awards so we mostly walked the 3* course with Tim (who, by the way, was one of the NICEST people I got to meet and took the time to introduce himself and talk to everyone on the course walk). Media from this  to come. It was a shame he had so much trouble on cross country… I also almost crashed into him before his stadium round. I did NOT hear him almost walk RIGHT INTO HIS PATH as he was approaching fence 1 after resetting the damn Devoucoux fence… Sorry Tim! At least he and Obie went double clear…
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Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy

  • So nice to meet people including Michele, Emma,  Rachael, and others!
  • My dog is a traitor… Turns out she decided she will ONLY take french fries from Michele and when my friend Sandra walked away for a phone call, Hermione had a near panic attack… Thanks Hermione, I  love you too.
  • Had a nice chat Saturday with Muggle’s rider, Nilson Moreira da Silva. He told us that Muggle was exhausting to ride and hurt his back because he was such an athletic jumper. But Muggle looked exhausted at the end of cross country and barely made it through the last couple fences.

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Cornelia Dorr and Louis M (So disappointed that stadium did not go well.  He looked exhausted and she looked tight.)

 

  • Saturday was probably the nicest day weather wise though I think they called for nicer weather on Sunday. Sunday rolled in rainy and freezing with predicted temperatures reaching 75… Yeah. I got there just in time for the CCI 2* Stadium and the wind was blowing and it was drizzling and I was again freezing. Reminded me of Thursday. I managed to survive the 2* before I hunted down tea and realized I couldn’t handle more  crab soup (until next year crab soup). Then in was time for JUMP CREW.
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Will Coleman and Off The Record

  • Probably the most volunteer shift of mine was jump crew for the CCI 3*. There were 5 of us (include a 10 year old kid who worked HARD) and we got to sit in the middle of the ring surrounded by straw bales and probably had the best view of the course. The bleachers while OK did NOT provide the best view of the course. As jump crew, we had a few jobs: put the jumps back together, re-position poles (bow down) after hard rubs, and STAY OUT OF THE WAY OF THE HORSES (1 near fail was pretty good–sorry Tim!). In the CCI 2*, Buck often would tell the jump crew to adjust stuff so with 3 horses, we were afraid he’d be yelling at us, but thankfully no riders yelled at us to change things. We got off easy. While it was work, it was actually fun. And it was nice being IN the ring. Definitely volunteering for jump crew next year for both the 2* and 3*. Granted,  I somehow missed Boyd Martin though I obviously watched him and just failed to notice it was him. We were all sort of brain dead by that point. At the end we also reported that jump 13 was down when there was no jump 13 so…

Savannah Fulton and Brave New World

  • Afterwards we were asked to stay and deconstruct the rings. Pull down the flags, pull the plants, sort the plants, etc. Unlike some shows, the majority of the plants are on loan from neighboring nurseries and are returned afterwards whereas some larger H/J shows (IE: Devon) the flowers are  donated and sold after. The mums were donated and  the boy scouts were going to sell them. Which we didn’t  know. But, the people handling flowers just told those of us helping out if we wanted mums to grab them and hide them. So we each took 4 (of a million), stuck them in our straw hut, and went back to work. When we were leaving and carting our mums to our cars (since we were told we could drive in and then realized we couldn’t bring our cars in since no one had and extra vehicle pass) — thankfully a nice courtesy golf cart rescued us — we saw the boy scout mum sale. Oops.
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Tamra Smith and Glock Pullman (So happy for her to get the win on Sunsprite Syrius.  She was so ecstatic after her stadium round! 

Anyway, more musings and media later, but overall it was a fun (and exhausting) 4 days!!

On an unrelated note, I finally opened my trailer and did  NOT get stung by a wasp. I also clipped this idiot…

 

On an unrelated note, I finally opened my trailer and did  NOT get stung by a wasp. I also clipped this idiot…

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He’s lucky he’s cute and seriously easy to clip (though he requires the big clippers for  EVERYTHING… I can’t do anything with my Andis clippers on him… not even his face… which won’t get clipped till spring.)

 

 

Countdown to Fair Hill

It’s Fair Hill week, one of my favorite times of the year! Of course the weather here is anything but typical for early October (yesterday’s 80 degrees, rain, and 95% humidity was disgusting…). Still, I cannot wait for this week!

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So close!

Sunday I had the fun and (mostly) frustrating experience of helping set up the dressage rings for Thursday and Friday. All I can say is when it’s drizzling, windy, and all you have is tape measurers and NO LASER, it’s nearly  impossible to line everything up.

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Stupid line isn’t straight…

Especially the corners.

And when you can’t  have any gaps in the boards on the judge’s side, things get interesting…

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Sadly this wasn’t the problematic ring… I didn’t take a picture of the one that almost made me cry…

Just saying. Straight lines and right angles are hard.

And they shouldn’t allow perfectionists and anal people to work on these things either…

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Taking a picture while driving probably wasn’t the best idea but… 

Next Sunday I’m on jump crew for the CCI 3*. If you’re in the area and wish to volunteer, there are  plenty of opportunities still available. Perks of volunteering include free admission for the entire weekend.

Weekend Trail Rides (or, Batts and Bailey take on Fair Hill)

Nothing too exciting to report. We had a really nice weekend weather-wise (in other words, unseasonably warm), so lots of trail rides. Saturday, I took out a nice couple down at Marsh Creek and on Sunday, Batt and I explored Fair Hill with a friend of mine.

Saturday was just my usual Marsh Creek excursion. I didn’t bring Batts down due to the warm temps, not having clipped him yet, and 2 new horses who had arrived the evening before from auction. I figured they needed some quarantine before I exposed Batts to them. So, I took out Sam instead. (For those of you who don’t remember, Sam is the 17.1 Belgian-TB cross who is pretty much dead quiet despite being 6).

For size reference refresher, here’s Sam…

Anyway, I like taking Sam out on trails as he’s slow, steady, and keeps up with his slow and steady buddies Poe and CT. Batts has no issues leaving CT behind… Despite his long legs, Sam doesn’t actually mind moving at a snails pace…

Needless to say, Sam was less than impressed by the whole thing. But, it was a beautiful day and he was a good boy. Hunting season has started in the park so we all wore our neon vests, but thankfully no hunters were hidden in our path. Nothing like a 17 hand fraidy cat jumping in place… We only did that once, walking back to the barn when we spooked at the barn pickup truck pulling in behind us carrying grain. How can you spook at dinner?

Sunday morning I finally got around to clipping Batts and Jiminy. Batts has been super fuzzy this year and Jiminy is always fuzzy. I hate  how sweaty both have been. I decided to try a bib clip with Batt and a chaser clip with Jiminy. I may end up with a chaser clip on Batt and a full clip (minus head/legs) on Jiminy, but we’ll see… Thankfully, both are good about clipping, unlike a certain other chestnut… (I’m pretty sure Jiminy has never seen a pair of clippers before but like a good mini, he takes everything in stride).

Instant Pony Weight-loss Technique! Batty, on the other hand, was less than impressed…

Later that afternoon, Batts and I headed out to Fair Hill to meet my friend Terry and her horse Bailey for an afternoon trail ride. She leases one of the barns out in the park, but despite that, we rarely ever get out to ride together. We were planning a short ride as Bailey is 28, but we sort of got lost and ended up staying out for a good 2 hours. They horses had a good time though. Unfortunately, while Bailey knows the park really well, we can’t give him his head as he’ll take us back to Fair Hill Stables as that was home base for a long time for him. As for Batt, Batt never likes going home so he’s no help. We eventually just turned around and took a longer route back and were find, but our cross country efforts were interesting… Bailey decided hills were meant for galloping up (seriously, you’re 28…) while I’ve learned that Batty is seriously the most incredibly amazing trail horse every. I’d have no issue with him galloping his hills or really anywhere, but I know Terry isn’t necessarily comfortable and was just trying to keep Bailey in hand so I figured I’d help out by NOT cantering up those hills, as tempting as it was for both of us. Bailey was good for Batty as well. All our bridge issues we faced in the past when out alone? No issue! He followed Bailey over without hesitation.

I seriously love this horse!

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Best Batthorse Ever!

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Batty and Bailey returning home

Weekend wrap up

I already posted about Sam, the giant horse, but I figure I should catch up a little on the rest of the weekend.

I’m trying to get back into lessons again and had my first lesson (in a couple of years) scheduled for earlier last week. Of course, a storm was moving in so about 40 minutes before my lesson, we rescheduled for Friday. Storm dissipated completely and it was sunny (though raining) during my would be lesson.

Lesson on Friday was a little earlier than was convenient, but being a holiday weekend, I decided I could skip out a little early. So, when 4:30 came around, I headed out. Just to get to my car as a bolt of lightening struck and knocked out power across the university campus. No rain at this point either. Of course, I park in a gated lot which meant that the electric gate didn’t work to let us all out. Calls to parking and public safety were useless and no one necessarily wanted to be “the one” to break the gate. Eventually, we decided to drive through the handicap ramp and sidewalk to exit the parking lot. Fun times, but no cars go stuck. I’m not sure if it would have been as successful if it were raining…

My drive home included lots of sun, lots of rain, localized flooding, localized heavy winds, and downed branches. Oh and more blinding sun. I got home to find heavy rain and part of a tree on my round pen. Another fun project. Still, radar looked looked like it would clear out, 6pm showed 0% percolation, and no lesson cancellation. Because of the rain, I ended up rushing out last minute (we had a long 1 mile drive…) and felted rushed pretty much until I was actually on Batts.

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Round pen repairs needed again….

While I’ve worked with this trainer very briefly a few years ago, I was still nervous because that’s me. Nerves and stress. Add in crazy 90% humidity and I was feeling sort of wonky to start out.

Overall, the lesson went pretty well and we’re going to try and stick to an every other week schedule (I’d love to do more, but my bank account objects) and I’ll haul in on off weeks to hack in the ring. We worked on pace, moving off my leg when asked, bending, and energy. Needless to say, we rocked our halts and downward transitions, but it was suggested I start wearing spurs with him again since he was zero respect for my leg. Right now we’re following the whole ask with leg once, then demand with crop. I’ve avoided spurs lately as my leg sucks and swings though trainer has indicated that it really doesn’t in reality… So, back on spurs go, at least for flat work.

We actually did some jumping which surprised me as I was expecting a flat lesson. I don’t know how much I’ve posted about Batty, but he’s a former dead quiet, bombproof lesson horse who would be absolutely perfect if he weren’t a stopper… A reluctance for jumping combined with getting hit in the mouth by a variety of riders and all of that… Even poles were an issue at times (stopping or trying to launch over them). Anyway, since I’ve had him, I haven’t done too much jumping. I didn’t jump him at all for the first few months and then boredom hit and poles were reintroduced as were cross rails. He has his moments, but for the most part, he’s pretty good with simple, boring cross rails of varying heights. Even boring (read empty) verticals were pretty consistent too and he’d occasionally pop over a 2’6″ bland vertical. Then, with all of his soundness issues and abscesses last year, he hasn’t really jumped much. Anyway, a few weeks back he popped over some cross rails and a tiny vertical and then the following week we fought a little with our jumps since the one cross rail was trying to eat him… After successfully trotting a few cross rail courses, we haven’t actually popped over anything since.

So when trainer suggested some fences, I wasn’t entirely certain. Especially since we were facing actual solid jumps (brush box and some astroturf covered thing). They were tiny, but solid. Determined he could walk over them, we worked on the whole forward motion thing. Lots of crop and kicking later, he finally made it over to lots of pats and praise. Second time was quicker success, third time was immediate. Then we trotting it before moving onto the second jump. Astro turf is scary, but having learned from the first jump, we eventually made it over, and then immediately made it over the second time. Once he was over, he was good. We trotted the line once then trotted in and cantered out and called it a day. Batty was pretty darn pleased with himself. He’s a strange one and moves very quickly from OMG something’s living in that jump and it’s going to eat me to Mr. Cocky and Proud of Himself (from there we move onto “I’m bored and can’t be bothered to put in effort” but we didn’t get that far).

Anyway, post lesson we were both exhausted and sweaty. After a nice cool shower (using cross ties! which appears we’re fine with again) we headed home to a thoroughbred who missed his Batthorse very much…

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the masked men

On Sunday, we were supposed to go to a fun little schooling show at my friend’s barn, but due to low entries, she cancelled. Instead, we headed out to Fair Hill for a trail ride with Erik and the dogs.

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My best girls (and Erik)

Armed with a broken crop, I learned bridges are something we need to work on. He was find with the first bridge until a car went under it and then no go. Darn broken crop didn’t help me much. Second bridge was scary because of the sound the small piece of metal made when he stepped on it. I eventually got off and forced him over it (again, damn broken crop) and considered it a success. The covered bridge however was no issue at all and he happily crossed that one (that was the bridge we had issues over last time). Still, considering he was out there without other horses, he did pretty well. Stuck mostly to the walk as my Hermione dog did NOT like me getting that far ahead and since it was warm, I didn’t feel like stressing my already tired pups (Marble got to lay in the creek so she was happy). I did let him canter up this small hill a bit once the dogs were back at the truck and that seemed to make him happy. Strange horse likes cantering up hill.

Arrived home and the boys were happily reunited. Well, Subi was happy, Batt just wanted to eat and I can’t same Jiminy actually cared.