Sunday, May 22, 2016

Two very different shows

Last weekend was Stella's first Combined Test and show of the year and the weather couldn't have been worse for it!  Pouring rain, driving wind, quite cold.  Stella's starting to warm up on the bridle when we go places but we still aren't carrying that from a location she's been in for a bit to our new location so more work to be done there.  Plus, I looked at an entry from a year ago which had Intro A listed instead of Intro B so I got run out of the arena, had to download the test on my phone, then went back into the arena.

Jumping I'm still totally a spazz about for various unknown and known reasons.  Stella needs a very supportive ride or she will stop, even over crossrails.  Not that she doesn't WANT to do it, but she doesn't WANT to do it if I'm not committed.  I need to find a way to calm my warm up arena nerves so I can be a more productive rider.  In the ring we had two stops where I wasn't riding with a supportive lower leg.  The fences I let her maintain her canter to, and rode more aggressively too she had no issues.  The fences I let her trot to we had issues.  I think maybe I'm more focused and plugged in at the canter then at the trot?

Either way quite a mixed bag of emotions there.  On the one hand I don't feel like I've been riding well enough to deserve to get around.  I had a good lesson a few weeks before were we were connected and plugged in and she only stopped at the fences I thought she'd stop at because I failed to do anything about it.  Our lesson before the show was a different matter and Stella stopped at everything.  Without the support of other horses in the ring she really needs that from me.  So while I went into the show commited to ride better, did I really keep my promise to myself?  On the other hand, it's a freaking crossrail and it's obvious we're going over it, so do I want a horse that questions everything?  Will Stella always be that kind of horse and do I want to ride that kind of horse?  Can I learn to ride that kind of horse?

Yesterday I took Stella to an open show.  A friend was originally going to take her young mare to get her used to the busy show atmosphere and get some ring time with other horses but her mare was injured so instead she took her green gelding who did quite well!  I was pretty on the wrong side of the fence about this show.  I realized that Stella isn't an arena class or conformation horse, I'd just been to a horse show, and I came up short on fun money.  But we went and we gained experience!

Stella is pretty good when she goes places on her own, but she gets really attached to her trailer buddy.  I am hoping that more experiences where she has to leave her buddy will help calm her nerves down.  She did basically scream the entire time she was separated from her buddy though.

Here we are being failures at halter horses.  She was anxious, noisy, and she just doesn't have the conformation that these judges are looking for.  I do admit that her neck sets in low and she needs more muscling there to make up for it, but I don't think she's built too awful bad.

This is Sport Horse in Hand.  I didn't think she did too bad here, she was happy to trot in hand which was great as we have not really practiced this since last summer.

Here's our under saddle class.  I picked a walk trot class as I didn't think I could maintain her canter in that big of a group and wanted to give her a more relaxing experience.  She handled herself really well.  I got a great spot all by myself so I didn't have to contend with anyone bumping into me.  I did question it a bit at first as I was hoping to be behind someone especially down the side with the bleachers in case she got spooky.  She wasn't on the bridle the entire time but she didn't back off or spook at anything so I was pleased.

There are 14 other horses in our class!!!

Our next trip is this coming weekend and we will be hauling 2 hours away and camping for the entire weekend!  EEEECKKK!!!  I hope Stella stays in the pen I have to make for her and that I don't freeze in my trailer dressing room.

Monday, May 2, 2016

What says "I went to Rolex?"

Rolex is a pilgrimage, a rite of passage, meca for eventers and non eventers alike.  Certain things at Rolex scream I WENT TO ROLEX.

Here are three things that scream Rolex to me, what about you?

1.  Free STUFF!!!!

Several of the big companies hand out free samples of their supplements every year and I always try to stock up and see what I like and what I don't like.

This year the Finish line booth was fantastic.

I got a sample of the Fluid Action HA which is a joint supplement, Apple a Day electrolyte, and a tube of Quia Cal.

I've used the joint supplement before on Annie but never noticed any difference movement wise, although she was a pretty sound horse to begin with.  I'm interested in seeing if there is a change in Stella.

I'm going to look into using the electrolyte at shows or hard trail rides. I know that some people swear by electrolytes, some use their own combination of salt and tasty goodies in water, and others say that electrolytes can do more harm than good if not used in the right applications.

I wish this was around when I was riding Nikki!  The rep said this supplement would not "test" and only contains Magnesium, Calcium, and Thiamine.  All ingredients that might have mild calming effects if the horse has a deficiency of one of them in the first place.  Does it work, do you deserve to ride because you are drugging your horse you scum, or is it a rider placebo effect?  

At the entry gate we got mobbed by someone pushing a free 30 day trial of a Probiotic, so when we stumbled across that booth I swung in and asked for my sample.  The container says it helps gut flora in the GI tract and assists with the digestion and absorption of essential nutrients and it is formulated to reach the hindgut. The idea is that in stressful circumstances the intestinal tract is upset and the good bacteria die off and you can replace them by feeding a probiotic.

The Purina booth was giving away samples of Purina Supersport which is a targeted amino acid formulation for muscle performance, exercise, and recovery.  Most balanced horse diets already contain the 9 amino acids your horse needs (he produces the rest himself for a total of 21) but there is a murky area if horse feed contains ENOUGH of the right ones so people sometimes supplement.  If you feed your horse too many amino acids in his diet he will create excess urine to remove them from his body.


Walking around the grounds it seems like you can't get a ticket without wearing a pair of country boots.   You know, the calf high waterproof leather boots that are the quintessential english equestrian fashion statement.  From the top of the line and status symbol Dubarrys to the less expensive brands, everyone seemed to have a pair.  I've always boycotted the boots as an anti establishment movement.   It's pretty silly when it's 80 degrees out and people are in shorts and calf high leather waterproof boots.  However, last year I wanted to take someone behind a porta john and mug them for their nice dry boots so I was half heartedly looking.

Lo and behold, the Frenches Shoes and Boots booth had some on mark down for $60!!!  They are by a British company called Kanyon and you can see them here, along with my next item of discussion....

3.  The Cosequin Bucket!!!  You know that 5 gallon piece of advertising people stand in line 45 minutes for.  The bucket that says I WENT TO ROLEX and all I got was this bucket.  I've got one protecting my trailer jack, one filled with my grooming supplies, and now I have one for what I think is going to be a wash bucket!  Happy Rolex!!!


 Hello all,  Life has been busy and I have not felt I've had anything worth blogging about.  Or that my blog is particularly interestin...