Sunday, January 29, 2012

Maine Dressage Society Banquet 2011

Today was the Maine Dressage Society Banquet for 2011.  I brought my fabulous instructor Judy along with me.  Dreamy won a bunch of awards and I am super proud!

Training level - 4th place
First level - 10th place 
Aged Horse division - 4th place
Standardbred breed recognition certificates at Training and First!

I have to say, my favorite ribbon is the 10th place!  That is the coolest ribbon ever!  I don't have anything like that!  :-)

Just one banquet left in February for the SPHO-NJ!

Friday, January 27, 2012

2012 Goals

I searched around and realized I never wrote down my 2011 goals!  LOL!!!  Oh well!  I had an amazing year and I do feel I accomplished many things I set out to do:
  • All the mares were healthy, happy, and sound - this is usually my main goal of any year
  • Reva successfully started her show career and did very well
  • I tried saddleseat with Reva just on a whim...and we even tried western too!
  • I took Dreamy on an overnight 3-day trip to Acadia!
  • Dreamy was successful in her first year at First level and Prix Caprilli, as well as her first time out at Beginner Novice (eventing)
  • I completed NaBloPoMo 2011!
What a great year!  :-)  Now, on to goals for 2012...

My old mare will be 30 years old this year!  Go Sparky!  My sweet mare is doing so well.  As always, I just want to keep her happy and safe.  She deserves the best retirement I can provide for her!
  • Keep her healthy, happy, and sound
My fabulous Standardbred mare is turning 21 this year!  It is amazing how quickly times goes by.  I was just thinking how I wish it was 2003 again and I was just starting Dreamy under saddle.  She has helped me achieve so many different goals and taught me so much.  She is the ultimate ambassador for her breed, in my own eyes anyway.  ;-)
  • Keep her healthy, happy, and sound
  • Compete in at least one horse trial (or more) at Beginner Novice level
  • Go foxhunting!!
  • Hopefully attend a few hunter paces
  • Attend at least one team penning clinic (May)
  • Marshal at the track when asked
  • Ride at Acadia again (July)
  • Continue all of our good dressage work, take a few lessons here and there with Judy
  • Maybe take a few jumping lessons...???  Would need to find an instructor
The Super Filly is turning SIX this year!  Ahhhh!  Where does the time go?  Seems like just yesterday I was starting this awkward three year old and now she is a big grown up girl!  LOL!  Reva blew me away in 2011, proving just how great Standardbreds really are and how much you can accomplish when you work your tail off.
  • Keep her healthy, happy, and sound
  • Continue the excellent under saddle work from late fall 2011
  • Work on bending, transitions, and transitions within gaits
  • Work on balance at the canter to be ready for 3-gait (and Intro C/Training 1??)  in 2013
  • Attend at least one clinic
  • Take at least 2 lessons per month with Judy, preferably more if possible
  • Compete in Intro A and B at SMDA schooling shows and maybe other venues too...
  • Compete in MHA shows in 2-gait classes (maybe roadster under saddle as well?)
My Personal Goals
  • Strengthen my core and use the Wii to work out
  • Attend Standardbred Nationals with Dreamy or Reva....maybe.  It is being held in September this year!  :-(  That is a very tough time of year for me to go away, since I am back teaching at the high school.  I have already been down there four times to show and I don't feel a HUGE MAJOR NEED to go.  If it works out for me, great!  If not, it is OK too.
  • Go on beach rides with Dreamy/Reva as much as possible!
  • The Standardbred Performance Society needs to be more active.  I am not sure how this might look, but I have some ideas.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Yay!  My blog won an award!  This was given to me by Emily over at Born to Trot.  Emily has a Standardbred gelding named Jet.  Definitely check out her blog!  Liebster means "dearest" in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve.

Here are the rules:
1. Copy and paste the award on this blog into your blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave the award.
3. Pick your five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award.
4. Hope that the five blogs chosen will keep spreading the love and pass it on to five more blogs!

Grey Brook Eventing
Kate is a very accomplished horsewoman and I enjoy reading about her dressage and eventing journey out in CA where she attends Stanford, as well as here in Area 1. 
Little Keebler
Laura writes about her horse Dolly and is looking for a new house!   She is a blogger friend from up in Canada!

Riding From the Ground up
Kate is another blogger friend from Canada.  She owns a lovely mare Cadence and does dressage and eventing.

Tania and Otis
Tania is a real life friend and we have had many adventures together!  She has not posted in a while, but maybe this award will help motivate her.  ;-)

The Foxhunting Friesian
Sarah is another real life friend; actually we went to UNH together!  She writes about her Friesian mare Daatje and their foxhunting escapades!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SMDA dressage banquet 2011

Southern Maine Dressage Association held their banquet on January 20, 2012.  I was excited to see how Dreamy fared this year, her first year at First Level.  SMDA awards are divided up by test, which is more fun than by level like the state banquet.

We ended up Grand Champion at Prix Caprilli, which I expected, having been undefeated in all five shows this past summer.  We were Reserve Champion at Training level, which was exciting!  We were third in First 1 and fourth in First 2.  Yay Dreamy!  Here is the link.

There was only one pic posted from the professional photographer that was there.  I am not that impressed, as it just seems like an odd angle to set up your camera.......?  Many of the photos of others were like that as well.  Weird.  Oh well, it does not matter.  We had fun this past year back at SMDA since 2008.  I did not do SMDA in 2009 or 2010 since I only competed in USDF/USEF shows those two years.  

Prix Caprilli champions!  I won a pretty navy blue embroidered fleece jacket as well.
Our pretty SMDA year end awards!  Go Dreamy!
This Sunday is the state banquet through Maine Dressage Society!  

Friday, January 6, 2012

Ad with a twist: horse is NOT looking for a good home....

I have mare who will turn 30 years old this year. She is not looking for a new home. She is sound, sane, still doing great, but she is aged. She is not looking for a new home because she will never be dumped. Actually, she has a nice airy stall and private paddock, is eating lots of hay, and is grained twice a day just like she would be if she was still a usable horse. If you know of a new home that would like to pick up my old horse who has done her time with me, who would like to pay her vet/farrier bills long into retirement, please don't call me because it's MY job to do that for her.

Back in 1993, Sparky came into my life as my first horse.  As her eleventh owner in ten years, I promised her a forever home and she's got it.  

I borrowed this from Amy and tweaked it for my own use.  I love it.  :-)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Changes in turnout, aka Reva is a PITA

It has been wonderful to have over a week off from work for the holidays.  I didn't get all that much done but was able to just relax, which is something I don't do enough.  Unfortunately, I did spend a good deal of time mending fences  ARG!  Reva has again decided she doesn't respect the fence and dismantled it on a daily basis.  At first, she was taking down the fence next to Sparky.  While Sparky is very sweet natured and I am sure they would get along fine if turned out together, Sparky is also 29 years old and does not need to deal with the rambunctiousness of a coming 6 year old.  

Just at Christmas, Reva decided to start taking down the fence into Dreamy's paddock.  This took a bit more skill, as I have two gates between them, creating a "corridor" so that they cannot be obnoxious over the fence.  I also think Dreamy might have played a role based on the way the fence was broken.  Dreamy has never gotten along that well with any horse, and she is the most annoying squealer I have ever met.  She will squeal at a horse every single day that she has been stabled next to for years as though she has never met the horse.  The squealing would not be that bad alone, but she adds in lots of stall wall kicking and striking.  :-/

The Monday after Christmas was the worst.  On the third trip out to mend the fence, I gave up.  I pulled down the two gates that separated Reva and Dreamy, made everything safe, hooked up the more powerful fence shocker, and threw a bunch of hay piles.  They were so adamant about being together that I figured I would let them try it.  I watched Dreamy closely, waiting for her to double barrel Reva, which is her immediate normal reaction to being turned out with others.  Mostly they eyed each other and ate hay.  Reva tried sharing a hay pile with Dreamy, but she was having none of that and pushed Reva away with very mean ears.  I did see Dreamy kick out pretty hard just once, but it was only a warning shot apparently because she was a good horse length away from Reva when she did it.  

Overall, I would say both mares are pleased with the arrangement.  Reva is holding her own but also really REALLY wants to be Dreamy's BFF.  Dreamy has been very gracious about the entire change, acquiescing it in a nearly wholehearted manner.  I really thought Dreamy would bully and abuse Reva, but that has not seemed to happen.  Sparky seems a bit miffed to still be in her own private adjacent paddock, but an almost 30 year old should not have to worry about being bullied or jockeying for a hay pile IMO.  It has been a week now and so far, so good.  It is a pain for me to feed them in the AM now, but I much rather figure that out than deal with daily broken fences.  I prefer to keep them in their own separate turnouts, because they are all close enough to still feel like a herd, but I don't have to deal any of the problems of being in a herd.  I head back to work on Tuesday, so that will be the real test, since I won't be home to keep a close eye on them.  I suppose we shall see!

Tried to be sneaky, but they heard me opening the door of the house.  All the girls had been napping...from left to right: Reva, Dreamy, and Sparky