Wednesday, June 22, 2016

State of Maine Dressage Association show - June 12, 2016

After a fantastic first ever dressage show back in May, I was pretty excited to see what the June show held in store for us.  Admittedly, I do think it is tough to start out so well with such stellar scores.  I am NOT complaining, I am happy we did well, but it is tough to start on top.  I would have much rather started in the lower 60s and mid pack for ribbons, and then we'd have a place to "move" to and improve.  I figured we had only one place to go and that was down!  LOL!

But, Snappy came out ready to show yet again and was a rockstar.  I, on the other hand, got extremely sick on Saturday before the show and spent the day with a yucky stomach flu.  I did manage to school her lightly that morning before things went really downhill, but it took me double the time to braid her because I kept puking (GROSS) and having to sit down after each braid.  I wiped down my tack and didn't even clean my saddle!  Oh the horror!!!  Haha. I was worried that I would end up feeling fine better on Sunday morning and kick myself for scratching.  So yes, I am a crazy insane horse person who forced herself to bathe and braid her horse in order to show the next day and possibly win little scraps of fabric.  There are worse things LOL!!

We had another great show.  It was run by a local Standardbred group, so instead of high point horse/rider (which we would've missed by just over a point), they only awarded high point Standardbred of the day.  Out of six Standardbreds, Snappy was the high point horse!  Yay mare!

Intro A - 1st place out of six with a 72.813%
Intro B - 2nd place out of nine with a 70.938%
High Point Standardbred


Not as much media to share, as my 12 year old videographer/photographer son was with his father!

State of Maine Dressage Association show - June 12, 2016

After a fantastic first ever dressage show back in May, I was pretty excited to see what the June show held in store for us.  Admittedly, I do think it is tough to start out so well with such stellar scores.  I am NOT complaining, I am happy we did well, but it is tough to start on top.  I would have much rather started in the lower 60s and mid pack for ribbons, and then we'd have a place to "move" to and improve.  I figured we had only one place to go and that was down!  LOL!

But, Snappy came out ready to show yet again and was a rockstar.  I, on the other hand, got extremely sick on Saturday before the show and spent the day with a yucky stomach flu.  I did manage to school her lightly that morning before things went really downhill, but it took me double the time to braid her because I kept puking (GROSS) and having to sit down after each braid.  I wiped down my tack and didn't even clean my saddle!  Oh the horror!!!  Haha. I was worried that I would end up feeling fine better on Sunday morning and kick myself for scratching.  So yes, I am a crazy insane horse person who forced herself to bathe and braid her horse in order to show the next day and possibly win little scraps of fabric.  There are worse things LOL!!

We had another great show.  It was run by a local Standardbred group, so instead of high point horse/rider (which we would've missed by just over a point), they only awarded high point Standardbred of the day.  Out of six Standardbreds, Snappy was the high point horse!  Yay mare!

Intro A - 1st place out of six with a 72.813%
Intro B - 2nd place out of nine with a 70.938%
High Point Standardbred


Not as much media to share, as my 12 year old videographer/photographer son was with his father!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Crazy Coincidences!

Wanna hear something crazy?  My oldest son turned twelve on May 23, and BOTH of my mares, Snap Dancer and Dreamy Starlet, share his birthday!  Snappy was both in 2000 and Dreamy in 1991.

Even weirder?  After Snappy's first dressage show in May, I realized they both started showing at age sixteen at the same show in the month of May.  And they both won their Intro A classes!  (Snappy's placed second in Intro B and I am pretty sure Dreamy had a third, but that was a while ago LOL!)

Here are pics showing them each trotting down centerline for the first time.  



Monday, June 20, 2016

State of Maine Dressage Association show - May 22, 2016

I would say Snap Dancer's first ever dressage show was a success!  She was super good!  My goal is always to stay on (the horse) and stay in (the ring)!  And of course, it has to be fun or I'm not going to do it haha.  She warmed up well and I was so happy with our first test of the day (Intro A).  It didn't even matter what the score was or how we placed, I was just so relieved to have given her a good first time trotting down the centerline.  

Just about the time I was to enter for Intro B, they announced the results of Intro A.  I was so happy to hear us announced as first place that I could have cried!  The ribbon was just a bonus to an otherwise lovely day!  I thought the judge was super generous, but heck, I'll take great scores!  :-)

Intro A - 1st place out of three with a 71.563%
Intro B - 2nd place out of six with a 69.063%

Nahhhh, not nervous!
First time trotting down centerline!

After our first ever test!  I was so happy with her!
Photo used with permission.  The photographer asked me to leave her watermark on the pics if I posted them online.  I promise I NEVER steal photos!!

Photo used with permission.  The photographer asked me to leave her watermark on the pics if I posted them online.  I promise I NEVER steal photos!!
Photo used with permission.  The photographer asked me to leave her watermark on the pics if I posted them online.  I promise I NEVER steal photos!!

Our Intro A ribbon!


And this surprise came in the mail a few days later...high point senior rider of the day!  WOW!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Snappy Earns a Gold Star at the Local Fun Day

Knowing full well that entering Snappy in her first ever dressage show for May 22 might have been a huge mistake, I set out to find a way for us to ride in an actual dressage ring beforehand.  I wanted her to see the tiny white dressage fence, complete with letters and flowers.  If she was going to be incredibly spooky about Christmas trees and rocks on our daily rides at home, then she was surely going to kill me when I asked her to trot around a dressage fence, right?

I found a local fun day on April 24 that would have the ring set up and it was even the same venue where I planned to show her in May.  Perfect!  I did not account for the fact there would be a trail course (complete with balloons and tarp curtain) directly outside the ring by E, but heck, if she could get through this, she could get through a calm dressage show.

Snappy was tense and nervous when we arrived but not crazy.  She did not want to stand tied to the trailer and worked herself up about the entire ordeal, but I tried my best to just remain calm.  She wasn't horrible but she was very VERY tense, to the point where she couldn't bend LOL!  





Oh god help me, my core!!  :-(
Sorry it's a bit (a lot!) wobbly.  My 12 year old did his best!

I am so glad we went because it told me many things.  She didn't even notice the dressage ring (yay!) and even though she was nervous, she wasn't dangerous or have any bucking/snorting/stopping/wheeling moments.  It showed me she doesn't look as bad as she sometimes feels, but for the love of god I NEED TO STRENGTHEN MY CORE AND SIT UP!!!  We ran through Intro A and Intro B and it wasn't bad.  I rode in her front of others away from home and we survived.  Maybe entering her first dressage show wasn't going to be a bad decision after all...

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Spring legging up

As it is every spring, I have to spend time thoughtfully legging up my horses who pretty much have the winter off.  Without access to an indoor, this can be highly frustrating to me, but I have also found that patience and perseverance does pay off eventually.  This year was even harder to me, as my horses and I had the entire past YEAR off because I was pregnant.  Yeah, I did not plan that out very well (haha), but I figured in the large scheme of life it really wasn't a huge problem.

Well, cue the month of March.

Snappy was crazy.  I mean, I expected her to be a bit skittish and jumpy, but I figured that she had been going SO well in the late fall of 2014 when I stopped riding for the winter (and then got pregnant that January...), that I thought after a couple of rides to get the winter sillies out, all would be fine and we would progress as normal.

Ummmm yeah, about that...

I honestly almost gave up.  She was nervous, scared of everything, forgot how to bend or halt or do anything I had taught her.  I was also out of shape and having a hard time engaging my core (haha, what core?  In March, I was only six months post c-section!) to effectively ride her.  The footing everywhere was atrocious and all I had was my long and hilly driveway to ride on.    We had a super cold spring and there were days I just didn't want to get bundled up to go ride.  It wasn't fun.  She wasn't fun to ride. 

I think I partly missed having Dreamy to ride.  Yes, I can still trail ride her around here and there, but at 25 years old, she is retired and if I cannot ride her for a week, so be it.  I knew that being able to ride and show one horse (Snappy) with all the other family and work obligations in my life would be plenty.  But Snappy was not Dreamy.  I forgot the YEARS I spent struggling with Dreamy, but in blustery March I guess my expectations of what this year would bring for Snappy and I came crashing down.  Spring is cruel in Maine.

April arrived and I kept plugging along because I am just stubborn enough.  And let's face it, I had no other options besides selling her.  And I really WANTED to like her LOL.  I decided to treat Snappy for ulcers again (which helped immensely with her attitude and spookiness!) and started her on daily aloe vera juice.  She has been on Smart Gut Ultra for years and I have treated her ulcers with both Gastrogard and Ulcergard, as well as Oxy Gen Ulcer paste. However, treating her again this spring helped immensely.  Each ride started to feel less and less like I was going to die.

We were finally able to get out into the fields, instead of having to only ride on the driveway.  Some rides were decent, some rides were horrible, and I had a sinking feeling my hopes of trying a dressage show would be a disaster.  April 15 arrived as the opening date for the first dressage show of the year (May 22) and I sent my entry, only half believing that we would actually make it.  This mare had never seen a tiny white dressage ring and FREAKED out at rocks!  Yes!  ROCKS!  

Rock piles are incredibly scary!  Many close encounters with the ground this spring because of a certain sideways spooking mare.  Apparently I have not lost my Velcro butt.

Singular rocks are also super scary.

Christmas trees are almost certain death, according to crazy brown mares!



Friday, June 17, 2016

One More Big Purchase...

After purchasing the dump trailer in the previous post, it was time to purchase a new horse trailer.  I sold my trusty 20" Eby stock trailer last fall for $500 more than I paid for it brand new in 2004 LOL!  The new trailer is a similar style but it is made by a local Maine company called Frontier!  It's a great trailer and 24' long, so there is a bit more space.  We had it custom designed with two 9' sections and then a smaller 6' section at the front for a tack space.


Box stall in the back

Box stall in the middle

Looking through the little door into the "tack area"