Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SMDA Show Results 7/27/08

Thank god Dreamy proved me wrong yet AGAIN. :D

The mare who could not bend or canter at home was a rockstar at this past weekend's SMDA dressage show. We scored a 70% on our Intro B test which was outstanding! It is the highest we have ever scored on a dressage test (we did score a 27.3 on our last three phase event dressage test....which translates to a 72.7% for USDF dressage....but that is not something you usually point out. The scores are calculated differently for each....percentages for USDF dressage and penalty points (lower is better) for eventing dressage.)

Anyway, so the 70% was a nice surprise. We had an excellent warm-up, so I felt pretty confident when I rode. But when I went up to the booth to see about my test sheet, I nearly shouted when I saw the blue ribbon attached to it. "That's MINE????" I said to which the manager (who is a STB friend) replies, "SHHHHHH!" ROFL! ;-)

So we had an hour break until Training 1. There were a TON of Intro riders. When we went back to warm-up for the Training test, I just did a bunch of transitions, center lines, circles, and changes of rein. About 10 mins. before my test, I tried the canter. I worked VERY hard at keeping a "Of course she'll do it" mindset. I was actually pretty worried.

And of course, she canters just fine in both directions. Foolish mare. Now granted, it was NOT the same canter we had in the beginning of July or at my July 15 lesson.....but it was certainly better than the May canter! LOL!

I was pleased with my test despite only scoring a 53.9%. Odd thing is that we got a 6 on the left lead canter (which USED to be her worst side) and a THREE (!!) on her right canter. I thought that was a bit harsh. I mean, we were accurate, picked up the correct lead, it was 3-beat, she was not round but certainly not above the bit. Yes, it is true she is not 100% balanced. But man, we did the movement. Couldn't we have gotten a 5 for at least doing it???? (OK I am now letting it go....breathe in, breathe out.)

We did get 8s on our centerlines! YAY! And a bunch of 7s and 6s. But we also got a 4 on one of our trot circles in Training 1. WHAT???? Not sure what the judge was looking at when she gave THAT score. Unfortunately no video or pics from this show....Dreamy and I went alone. But I do think a photographer friend got a few I can buy from her. Just waiting to hear back on her prices....

And the judge really made me ugly. Usually at the end when he/she starts telling you all the things you did wrong, he/she will say at least ONE thing positive. (And of course sometimes the judge simply says "Thank you." Disappointing, but it happens when there are 20 Intro riders and 15 Training 1 riders to get through...). And no matter what the judge says, you smile and say "Thank you".

Well this judge tells me after Training 1, "That was a nice ride. Of course her canter needs work. It is very unbalanced.......actually as a matter of fact I do not even know what it was."

And that was that.

I was like WTF!!!! No it is not a pretty canter but we did it and it was indeed 3 beat. Couldn't she have left it at unbalanced? Because yes that is the truth and I can accept that. But to say she did not KNOW WHAT IT WAS? And to give me a 6 on one canter(ummm....she must have known what it was then). The 3 on the right lead was harsh and must have been what she was referring to.

So I just said, "Well for a Standardbred who has been cantering for 3 months, I am happy." She gets this surprised look on her face (Because she is a STB? Only cantering for a short time? Because I talked back?? LOL!) and goes OH.....hmmm.....as I am walking away.

Yeah, whatever. I know what we need to work on. I know that Dreamy has regressed in her training since the chiro work. I know we were not going to win the class. But for goodness sakes, why would a judge say something like that?

We ended up 3rd out of 5 riders in my division. First place went to another Standardbred (yeah!) who earned a 58% something. So I almost wonder if the judge was really peeved at seeing so many "bad" rides, hence the reason for her snotty remark.

And we keep marching on......

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Beauty of Re-Training at Ex-Racehorse

As a dear friend told me when I vented about Dreamy's seemingly overnight loss of cantering ability, "that's the beauty in retraining an ex-racehorse!"

I am having to dig pretty deep to find the beauty here folks. ;-)

UGGGG. Not a good day. That wonderful canter at my lesson on July 15? Yup, it is gone. :(

I am kicking myself that I had the chiro work done on July 16. Now, don't get me wrong, Dr. J is great. He found a TON of stuff going on with Dreamy and I am sure all the adjustments certainly helped her in some ways. There is now more freeness (is that a word?) and swinging in her back. Bending does seem a bit easier to the left. But to the RIGHT? Her bending is worse.

And we lost the canter. :(

I gave her the 2 days off like he said. Then rode Sat. and she was awful. So I lunged her on Sunday after the driving show because I was being lazy. Canter seemed OK on the lunge line......and actually she was pretty good. I only rode once this past week because of the rain. And when I did get on, I only walked and trotted because it was really slippery.

This afternoon I rode and literally we are back to May in terms of the canter. It is absolutely horrendous. She could not even pick up the right lead (usually her best side!) and she paced and paced and paced.....and paced. :( :( :(

My thought is that she had figured out how to move (canter) in a way for her body to compensate for the way her pelvis and all were "twisted"..... and then we went and changed her body. So now she needs to figure out how to use her NEW body! UGGGGG! This Sunday at SMDA should be interesting....

I know this is what happens in training. And perhaps the chiro work has nothing to do with it. But regardless, I am just so upset and feel like all my work in the past 2 months is gone.

OK, I know I am being melodramatic.

I emailed my instructor and vented to her. It made me feel a little better. She may be at the SMDA show to watch. I told her she could hand me a Kleenex.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lungeing

So today was a driving show that I was both co-manager and co-secretary. It was a LOOONG day, but it went OK. A small number of entries and a late day carriage accident were the low points of the day. :( (Horse is OK).

Anyway, I was tired when I got home. I knew I had to work Dreamy, but I just couldn't summon the energy to ride. So I figured I would lunge her. The last time I lunged her was October 2007, as I figured it would be a good way to work on her developing canter without the weight of a rider. In a word, it was awful.

So now that her canter has improved 1000% since then, I figured it would be interesting to see how she would be. If she was awful again, then I would just do some ground work and jumping on the line a la David O'Connor. We have not done any DOC stuff for a while anyway. Plus it was off and on showers and I rather get my surcingle wet than my saddle.

Of course, Dreamy was a rockstar and I wished I had just sucked it up and rode. :P We did some preliminary warm up walk and trot and halt work. Then I loosely hitched up my side reins and asked for a few strides of canter here and there. No issues.

Then I asked for half a 20 m. circle in canter and half in trot. Again, she was great. Good clean transitions, uphill canter, round, and no pacing. WOW. Walk break. Then we did some working trot and extended trot. Boy this mare can MOVE. The nice thing is that unless I really urge her on, her extended trot is no faster than her working trot. She just lengthens her frame and powers from her hind end. Ah, such a good girl!

Then we did a few full 20 m. canter circles once, then twice around.

She was just a perfect horse. We did a long walking cooling out. Not only was Dreamy VERY good tonight on the lunge, but she also LOOKED good from the ground. She has a really big trot! LOL

Oh, and of course, it never rained. :P I better get on tomorrow night. LOL!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Off Night...Nothing Like Your Mare Throwing a Temper Tantrum.

So.......I have rationalized it about 100 ways, but bottom line, Ms. Dreamy had an off day. Our ride tonight was rather.......awful.

After having the chiropractic work on Wed, July 16, Dr. J advised that I give her two days off. Of course, last night (Friday) it began raining at 3PM and never let up.....by 8PM I gave up and changed out of my riding clothes. Rain alone would have been OK, but that little thing called thunder and lightening just gives me second thoughts about being atop a horse in an open field.

SIGH

I do think that 3 days off is WAAAAY too much for this horse. She seems to be happiest when we ride 2 days in a row and then have one day off.....or three days in a row and one day off. Sometimes I can get away with 2 days off in a row, but one seems to work much better.

So, I was eager to ride tonight. It was muggy, so I figured a 40-45 minutes ride would be fine. Things started off OK, as we did walk-halt-walk transitions and walk-trot-walk transitions like our lesson this past Tuesday. Then I began some trot work, and tried very hard to sit the trot on my transitions. My goal was 4-5 strides before posting on the upward and 4-5 strides on the downward before the walk. I thought about being soft, RELAXED, and absorbing the energy through my seat and legs.

And lo and behold, I actually think we did OK. There was very minimal butt/saddle slapping (LOL) and I actually felt pretty comfortable up there at times. I did a lot of walk breaks too. One time on the upwards, I actually sat for NINE strides. It felt so good and she was so steady between my seat and hands that I just floated along... :D

SO I probably should have ended it there. ROFL! I could feel a big difference in Dreamy's back, as she was much more through and swinging. I could actually feel her hind end working and coming underneath herself. That was very cool. Her left bending seemed a little better, especially through her poll, but I still had to be VERY careful about over bending her. Still, I do think the chiro work worked! :)

When we started the canter, things were still going well. Our left lead canter was soft and round, no rushing and no pacing. WOW! This used to be our worst side. Tonight it was lovely! So I changed rein and that is when the temper tantrum began. She picked up the canter OK, but rushed and tilted her head to the outside. And then the trot transition? Totally forgot what a half halt was and went blowing through my aids and all hell broke loose. It was NOT a pretty sight. This has not occurred since June 19 (ummmm.....exactly a month!) as I looked back in this blog (see Jeckyll and Hyde Rides).

So rather than get in a HUGE fight, we went back to the trot, then trot-walk-trot transitions. Still being an absolute shit.

Ok, so let's do walk-halt-walk transitions. Better, but still being a complete and utter fool.

So I just did some medium walk-extended walk-long and low walk........I really brought things back to something she can easily do. We were both covered in sweat....Dreamy from her temper tantrum and me from having to RIDE her so much......GRRRRR.

Oh well. A month ago I was in near tears when she did this.....tonight it only took about 5 mins. to accept that this is called training. :) We did have a good 30 min. ride.......at least. I know she can do what I was asking her to do, so tonight was just an off night. With 3 days off, mugginess, an adjusted body, and a healthy dose of MARE.......it is what it is. Hey, we can't always have 2 fabulous rides a week!

Here's hoping tomorrow night's ride will be a better one. :)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dreamy is spoiled.....

...but she is worth every penny. :)

Dr. J came out on Wednesday July 16 to do chiropractic work on Dreamy. It is the first time he has worked on her, and I really liked him.

It cracks me up how the horse folks who realize the horse is an athlete and needs to use its body in specific ways totally accept that chiro work is valid on a horse. And then the MAJORITY of horse folks and ALL non-horse folks think it is ludicrous that a HORSE is seen by a chiropractor

How much did you spend???" they shriek in disbelief.

It was money well spent. Based on the issues we have had bending and moving to the left (especially at the left lead canter), neither Dr. J or I were surprised by what he found.

BUT I was surprised at how MUCH he found.

Hmmm.....her atlas (poll) was out of joint, she has TMJ on the right, her left ribs, her C7 in her neck, her withers, her right patella (stifle), her right shoulder, and the biggest thing was her pelvis and sacral apex something......basically the pelvis was completely tipped and twisted.

SO.....makes sense: the poll on the left was making it near impossible for her to truly supple to the left, same with left ribs, her C7 and wither fixation made it hard for her to lower her head and raise her withers, her right patella is the strike off leg in the left lead canter......amazing! And with her pelvis all out of whack, it is causing her to be weak behind and unable to really use her hind end. BINGO! So I was impressed....and now I am dying to ride her and see how it feels. He wants me to give her until Friday off because he did so much work on her......BUMMER! But I will ride Friday and Sat for sure.

Like he said, for some horses, just 1x a year helps.....for some they need it as much as 1x a month. And of course for others, there is absolutely no difference at all. But based on all the stuff he found, he really thinks I will see an improvement. He also showed me some simple stretches to do with her each day before and after I ride.....that was very helpful.

I am optimistic. I do think she will feel more comfortable.....maybe she won't suddenly move like a Grand Prix dressage horse (LOL!!!) but she will move more freely. That is important to me. And at her age......anything to keep her sound and happy. It was money well spent IMO.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lesson 7/15/08

After having to miss a week because of scheduling conflicts on my end, I FINALLY had a lesson this Tuesday. I would love to literally take 2-3 lessons a week! So I was feeling really deprived.

Dreamy was fabulous, as usual. This has been her normal routine lately.....to make my jaw drop each time I ride. At least I did not cry with happiness in my lesson tonight....how embarrassing would THAT have been? ROFL! ;-)

We started with some walk-halt-walk transitions on the 20 m. circle. I focused on getting her to move off my leg immediately into a crisp and forward walk. And then ride her into the halt. After a few times, I could feel her haunches come underneath her and she was right there on my aids. What a nice feeling to have a horse on the aids! :)

Then walk-trot-walk transitions. Again, we worked on getting her to move off my leg immediately and without having to tap-tap-tap and THEN get the transition. She was really keyed into my seat and leg and stayed fairly steady in the contact. Of course, whenever she got fussy it was ME not riding her correctly. And the downward transitions.........I worked really hard on not bracing over the past few weeks. And it seemed to help, as the transitions were much better from trot to walk.

We worked on shoulder fore for the first time. Not surprinsingly, Dreamy was much more able to do shoulder fore to the right than the left. I do not even think we GOT it to the left.

Judy had me doing a few steps of sitting trot on both up and down trot transitions. At first, I was not 100% sure why, until she mentioned that this was to ready us (me) for First Level work. UMMMMM.......OK! :D :D :D I am trying to tell myself this is not as scary as it sounds. LOL! I have admittedly avoided the sitting trot. For one thing, her trot is BOUNCY. I figured it was because she had a jarring/not-so-nice trot. Judy informed me it was because of her SUSPENSION that makes it hard to sit. Oh OK, now that sounds a lot nicer! It is true, that it is not her trot, it is ME bracing. Instead of sitting softly and absorbing the energy, I try too hard, brace and get tense, and end up slapping the saddle with my seat. So not pretty.....and so not comfortable for either of us.

But we can do a nice sitting trot up into the trot.......and the minute it gets uncomfortable, I post. So Judy wants me to start with 3-4 steps of sitting in the transitions and work up to 15 or so. This is going to take me all year. LOL!

Our canter was pretty frickin' awesome. It was relaxed, forward but not rushing, correct leads, and NO pacing! :) She also has started relaxing her poll and neck, so Judy claimed there were moments (strides) of her canter that were round and quite nice. YAY Dreamy! :) Judy literally had me canter twice in each direction and that is all. She said it was so nice at this point that she did not want to drill it. BIG IMPROVEMENTS since April, so I am happy. :)

My problem right now is that I am letting my reins get too long in the canter. So then when we come down to the trot, I am fumbling all around trying to shorten my reins and reestablish a connection to the bit. And then we are four strides into the trot and it is not looking so good. Then it takes another 4 strides to make the trot into something presentable. That is nearly an entire 20 m. circle from the transition to the "nice" trot. SO I need to think about keeping my steady connection throughout the canter and then immediately get the nice trot with a good tempo. No more of this fumbling around. My horse deserves to have me ride her correctly.

At the end, she had me work on my center lines. For some reason unknown to me, I have been having the hardest time not overshooting on my last center line. GRRR....Once I figured out how to control her haunches more accurately, I figured that would solve it. But in my lesson I realized that I am trying to make the turn at A instead of a few strides before A. UMMMM, WHAT???? I know better than that, but for some reason riding without an instructor (OR ANYONE!) for 7 years makes you forget the most basic stuff. SO....once Judy nicely reminded me how to actually ride the center line, I was able to do it just fine thankyouverymuch. :) Nice to know I am just being a bone-head, I suppose.

So the lesson was great. My homework is to continue sharpening my transitions and work on the sitting trot. And I will keep asking for shoulder fore. Maybe we will get it to the left in the next week or so! :)

My next lesson will not be until after my next show, so it will be interesting to see how I might score. It will also give me fodder for future lessons. I hope I can improve my center lines and canter circles in my upcoming show. Time will tell! :)

And the funny part: Judy told me I am her best student (or maybe she said ONE of her best students....) because I actually listen to her during my lesson and go home and practice. SO she sees actual progression and improvement in the next lesson and we can move on to something else. I thought that was pretty funny.....but I suppose most people don't do what I do. I am just so thankful to be able to FINALLY take lessons, with someone CLOSE by, who teaches CLASSICAL dressage, that I am soaking this up and working my BUTT off at home. I almost think I would feel like a failure if I went to my next lesson and had not mastered what we did the last time.

Now granted, with the Dream Girl it has not taken much to improve DRAMATICALLY!!! LOL! So Judy is seeing a totally different horse than she saw in May....and nearly every lesson. Maybe that is why she is so impressed. ROFL! Nah, I know I work hard and so does my mare. But I do realize that at some point we will plateau and not make such leaps and bounds in our training. I asked Judy if she would ever ride Dreamy for me or get on her in a lesson. She said yes.....so that is nice to know....if I get stuck somewhere, she will get on and help sort it out. Now, granted, I like knowing that everything this horse knows is because of MY riding.....I own the good and the bad. :) But I also like the feeling that if I ever needed her to get on Dreamy, she will. Judy is just awesome. :D

Friday, July 11, 2008

Turning into a REAL dressage horse

Tonight we had a great ride. I gave Dreamy Monday off of course, and then Tuesday I was unable to ride, and then Wed. it was so darned hot I just couldn't summon the energy to ride at 8PM (which was the only time I could ride). UGG.

So tonight I finally got on and the weather was perfect. :D Dreamy was a bit funny about her near hind leg on the ties while tacking up. Sometimes she does this hoof stomping/kicking thing, and I think it is related to her heat cycles. It is like she is ticklish around her stifle/gaskin on that leg and does not kick, but stomps hard enough to let me know she means business. Hmmm...

And when picking her feet, her joints were REALLY creaky. I have never really heard her joints before. Not good. She has been on Corta-Flx now for almost 2 years as a preventative. Now I am wondering if I need to find something else for her because obviously she NEEDS a joint supplement at this point. Hmmm...

SO.....the first few minutes of the ride she is really stiff. Oh boy, what is NQR with my mare??? :( She was completely sound but just really stiff). After some good walk and trot warm up, she was fine. So I am definitely going to be eagle eyed (when am I not??) but I am also trying to rationalize it by telling myself she came out of it fine and maybe 3 days off was NOT a good thing.

OK, so the ride itself. :) She was great at the trot, no leaning, no rushing, no fussiness with her head, which are all of her usual tricks. So I tried a canter......which mind you I have not done in about 9 days. For some reason I put so much pressure on myself (really, you say???) that with only having to ride the Intro B test at Green Acres last Sunday I figured I would focus on just walk trot for the week leading up to it. So all last week we did movements from the test, as well as a ton of walk/trot/halt transitions and THOUSANDS of 10 m. turns (as in up the center line). And well, I suppose it paid off with our best score EVER of a 27.3. :D

So I figured that if she was feeling achy/stiff earlier, it could make our canter a disaster. Coupled with no cantering for so long, and I was sure this would be a fight.

Um....nothing like a horse to keep you guessing. This mare is amazing. She picked up both leads, did not rush, did not lug, stayed soft, stayed STRAIGHT (!!!) and it was a true 3 beat canter in BOTH directions! YAY! And then the amazing part....NO PACING at all! She has only ever paced in the downwards transitions from canter to trot. It is a canter, canter, 2-3 quick little pacey steps, trot, trot, trot......it is a balance and strength issue. And a few times in the last week before our NO CANTERING week (LOL) she had stopped pacing to the right (her stronger side). I nearly cried the first time she did that. Silly me. :)

But tonight there was no pace. Holy Sh!t I kept thinking. So I tested it out about 5 times in each direction. Uhhh, no pace. NO PACE? And she actually felt balanced for the first time ever. There was no motorcycle leaning in the turns! LOL!

This is one of those moments when all of our struggles in the past are forgotten. We actually have accomplished something that I NEVER thought we would accomplish. And mind you, we have only been working on her canter since March 2008. As in 4 months. Dreamy is a REAL dressage horse after all! :) I was so proud of her that at that point (40 mins.) we were done. There was nothing else I could ask of her tonight that would top that. (We also worked on our downward trot to walk transitions too.....all I can hear is my instructor saying MAKE IT NICE! LOL! And I think 98% of them tonight really were nice.)

So just to keep myself in line, I am going to assume it was a fluke. ROFL! Because the one thing I know for sure in training horses is that you take 2 steps forward and 5 steps back. So tomorrow night there will probably be a post here about what an awful ride I had. Nah, I wont say that. I am just so proud of my girl and how far she has come. And there is absolutely NO WAY I would have been able to do this without the help of my instructor Judy W. She is just fantastic. My next lesson is Tuesday July 15, so I really really hope Dreamy and I will be able to show her what we were able to do tonight.

Between our win on Sunday and no pacing tonight, I am a happy horse mom. :D

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Green Acres Horse Trial 7/6/08

Today we competed at Green Acres Horse Trial. It is our fourth event ever, and our first event in 2008. I opted to show again at Pre-Elementary, only because I was unsure if we were 100% ready to move up. We earned a second and 2 thirds last year, but I just wanted to play it safe. There are enough problems in eventing right now....I did not want to be another injury statistic. :(

Well, let's just say we are DEFINITELY ready to move up! :) Dreamy was fantastic and we ended up FIRST IN OUR DIVISION! There were 14 riders in our division so that was no small feat! We ended on our dressage score of 27.3, which means we went clean in both XC and stadium jumping. Eventing is scored using penalty points, so the lower your score the better. (This is unlike "straight" dressage, where you score a percentage and higher is better). So a 27.3 in "straight" dressage is a 72.7%! HOLY COW! This is our best dressage score EVER. We scored four 6s, six 7s, and three 8s!!! One of the eights was our first change of rein, the other was our medium walk, and the other was under collectives for her gaits. I FINALLY scored a 7 on rider position! WHEW!

And the neat part was the judge, Janet Briggs, was my riding instructor in college. :) She ran the UNH Equestrian program for many years. I was excited to ride under her....again! :) Her comments "Nice overall flow, forward, and fairly good out to bridle, needs a steadier connection to bridle at times, OK left and right bending."

Dreamy was great in warm up. She was almost sluggish to my leg, but that was better then nervous and rushing. It was very hot and our dressage time was 12:24...right when the sun was beating down. She was very relaxed in the warm up ring and then got a bit tense when we switched over to the competition ring. But it was not awful, just a little perkier and tense through her back. It was not nearly as bad as SOME of our tests in the past (thinking about our FIRST event at Hilltop last year where she bucked through warm up and then could barely trot in the ring.....). And by the middle of the test I felt her relax more. Truly this horse just needs mileage and she will continue to improve. :) We were first after dressage...no pressure or anything. :)




Cross country was an absolute blast as usual. The nice thing about the tadpole level (LOL) is that the jumps are very very very inviting. Tiny logs, teeny coops, hay bales.....I mean we could walk over them if need be. So it makes me completely relaxed. Dreamy did not look funny at ANY of the jumps. I was impressed with that. :) We even had some AWESOME cantering between jumps. I brought her back to the trot when I felt I needed to rebalance her or a few times she came back on her own. But when it felt good, we cantered along like REAL EVENTERS! YAY Dreamy! :)




Stadium jumping was only 15 minutes after cross country. Of course, this entirely stressed me out because I had to do stadium in my XC colors! ACK! My inner George Morris was SCREAMING in protest. I had planned to do a quick stop at the trailer to rip off the ORANGE square saddle pad and replace it with her fitted WHITE one. And at least remove my god awful tye-dyed helmet cover! (Don't get me wrong, I love the new orangey red yellow colors.....better than the more subdued maroon and navy from last year...LOL But to have to do stadium in my XC attire just seemed sacrilegious!)

SO, OK, as you can see, I got over it. I had such fun on XC that it seemed like needless stress to run to the trailer and do the quickest tack and clothing change of the century. So I walked her around, her TPR came back VERY quickly, and we were able to watch 2 riders go. I like being able to watch riders go ahead of me....not to learn the course (since they might go off course), but in order to just see how the course flows.

And the stadium went fine. We did get our only pace of the day on stadium...I think she was tired (DUH, it was 90 degrees out!) and at one transition we did get a few steps of pace. But all in all, she was a rock star and I could NOT have asked for a better horse.




Dreamy was the only Standardbred at the event. Of course, we had our STB patch on our saddle pad.....and I had a lot of people say positive things about her...she is so pretty, she is such a nice mover, what a cool Standardbred! One person even said, "Is she really a Standardbred?" I am assuming she saw the patch...and I answered, "She sure is!" LOL....no she is really a fancy expensive warmblood but I like to pretend she is a STB. ROFL! :) Because we all know how awesome and superior STBs are.

So needless to say, we had a great day. Tired, a little too much sun, and a little sore...but MAN DO I LOVE EVENTING!

ps- Not only was Mrs. Briggs from UNH the judge, but I also saw THREE other UNH alumni at the show...it was rather funny...two were riding (Kim Cartier and Sarah Isherwood....I rode with Sarah at UNH) and one was the EMT (Paul "Spanky" St. Cyr-Butler...yeah I dated Spanky twice...and broke his heart. LOL! Nah, he is a good guy, an AGR brother, real salt of the earth).