Friday, February 24, 2012

Team Penning

Dreamy and I are officially signed up for a team penning clinic the spring.  Yay!  I am at a point in my life where I am brave enough (or stupid decide!  LOL!) to try new things.  Much like my saddleseat lesson, team penning has always been something I have wanted to try.  I have always felt too nervous to attempt it, but I decided this year that I might as well give it a shot.  Dreamy might completely freak out and hate cows, but I trust her and feel trying it in a clinic environment will be best.  I am not sure that I will actually do it in competition though.  I don't have a desire to be competitive in any disciplines other than dressage and eventing (and hunter under saddle to a point).  This stuff is just for FUN!!!   And what is the worst thing that will happen?  I will realize team penning is just not for us.  The best thing is that we will have fun and be versatile!  Who knows, maybe I will love it and want to try more of it!  I am certainly open minded!!

Speaking of saddleseat, I have been too busy the past two weekends to take another one.  I am hoping this Sunday might work out for another one!  

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2011 SPHO-NJ Banquet

This past Sunday, February 19 was the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization's banquet.  I flew to NJ with my friend Tania and overall it was a good trip.  Both my mares won a few National awards!

~ Champion Combined Training 
(ribbon plus a big plate trophy)
~ Champion Demos Award
 (ribbon plus another big plate trophy)
~ Reserve Champion Dressage 
(ribbon plus a small glass trophy)

~ Reserve Champion Rookie Horse 
(ribbon plus a big purple glass bowl trophy)
~ 5th Overall High Point Horse 
(a pretty neck sash!)

Reva also won a few thirds, fourths, fifths, and sixth places in In-Hand, Dressage, Hunter, Showmanship, 2-Gait, and Equitation but SPHO-NJ now only pins champion and reserve champion (which was news to me).  It was a bit of a trick to get the four breakable trophies home on the plane, but I did it!  Yay!  

Dreamy's demo award presented by Jeff Gregory
Dreamy's combined training award presented by Jimmy Giorgianni -  fifth consecutive year she has been champion!
Dreamy's dressage award presented by Jimmy Giorgianni
Reva's rookie award presented by Rob Pennington
Reva's 5th place overall neck sash presented by Rob Pennington.  I totally thought I had walked away without posing for a pic!  Love it!  :-)  (And thanks to Vicki for posting it on my FB wall!)
Red carpet pics with Tania!  LOL!

Dancin'!!  LOL!
Thank you Vicki Wright!  The photos are awesome!!!  :-)

There were around 192 people at the banquet, which was crazy!  Many big names in the harness racing world now come to it, which is neat.  These are the people who donate big bucks to the club (The live auction alone raised almost $10,000!!!!  Nice!) compared to someone like me who struggled to donate just $90 between an ad in the banquet book and a few tickets in the 50/50 drawing and Chinese auction.  I try, but I am a poor teacher!  LOL!  ;-D

Speaking of the Chinese auction, I won two sets of Back on Track no bow wraps and a dressage saddle pad!  Whooo!  Seriously, I have had ridiculously good luck lately in contests!  LOL!

SPHO-NJ did a wonderful job in many ways and I truly appreciate that they recognize Standardbreds for all that they accomplish!!  :-)

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I am super excited to have won a gorgeous print from Unbridled Photography!  Deb, the photographer, ran a contest on Faceboook to name the print.  My title "Equine Meditation" won!  Not only did she donate one of the 16x20" framed canvas prints to the Maine Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association, but I won one as well!  How exciting is that??

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How funny...!!

You have to check this out.  It cracks me up!  I want one of these!  LOL!!!

This is a mythical creature.  This type of man does not exist, at least in my world.  A girl can wish though...LOL!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Another blog award!

Thanks to Kate over at Riding from the Ground Up for bestowing blog award to me!  Yay!  This one is called the One Lovely Blog award.  I love sharing these (sort of silly, admit it) awards with my little blogging community.  It is good fun and it is almost like winning ribbons!  LOL!!  ;-D

I am supposed to tell you seven things about myself and chose 15 blogs to share this award with. 

1. I try really hard to not be the "mean old English teacher" in all facets of my life.  ;-)

2. I despise anything remotely related to being domestic.  My only domestic quality is that I live in a house!  ;-)  I routinely wish I had a housewife who would do all that cooking, cleaning, and laundry awfulness for me.  UGGG!  My barn is always cleaner than my house.

3. I am way too competitive for my own good.  But I do have sportsmanship and can win humbly and lose gracefully. 

4.  I can be too honest at times, which can get me into trouble.  

5.  I have a Puritan work ethic and have to remember not to burn myself out.  Saying no is hard to do.  I also sometimes hold others to a higher ethical standard than they hold themselves and it stresses me out.

6. I am easily frustrated by parents who lie for their children.  They need to make their little cherubs own up to their poor choices and not blame others.

7. I can be quiet, which leads others to sometimes think I am snobby.  That is the FURTHEST thing from the truth!  If you don't like me, you definitely don't know me.  :-)

And the 15 blogs I will award this to:

1. G is for Greta
2. The Polka Dot Periodical
3. The Adventures of Lucy
4. Memoirs of a Horse Girl
5. We are Flying Solo
6. Haiku Farm
7. Hopeful Jumpers
8. Born to Trot
9. A Horse and a Half
10 Now That's A Trot
11. Horses of Follywoods
12. Sprinkler Bandit
13. Green 'n Green = Black 'n Blue
14. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
15. Live to Ride

Monday, February 6, 2012

A good read...

In talking about "Jack Benny" on a friend's Facebook status, I googled the name to find out more about the man who lends his name to horse show classes for riders over a certain "mature" age.  ;-)  After looking at a Wikipedia article, the next link was this story.

Sometimes it helps to remember how truly lucky you are...

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Longtime readers know that I fooled around with saddleseat last year (read here and here) on my big mare.  I know very little about saddleseat, but Reva has a big trot and I liked the way the clothes look, so I thought WHY NOT?  LOL!  I am stupid and brave, what can I say?  I basically looked like a hunt seat rider dressed in a saddleseat suit and tack.  :-D  Looking at the pics now, I see how low my hands were, etc.  But we had a blast!  I knew that we were not perfect, but it was about having fun (and wearing cool clothing! LOL!!!)

In an effort to actually LEARN more about this discipline for real, I took my first saddleseat lesson today!  It was super fun!  I love that my instructor Theresa did not make me feel like a complete idiot!  LOL!  I rode a cute chestnut Saddlebred mare named Gina.  (Oh, how I love chestnut mares!!) Theresa's daughter rode her in a big show last fall and did quite well.

Obviously, the mare looks 100000 times better when ridden by someone who knows what they are doing!  LOL!  But I figured this was a fun photo to share!  
Anyway, it was definitely interesting to be on a horse that moves so differently than I am used to.  My biggest problems right now are not sitting back far enough in the saddle and not keeping my hands high enough.  And trying to figure out how to tighten one rein (the snaffle) while not touching the other rein (the curb) is going to take some getting used to!  Gina was uncomplicated to ride, but I know she was a bit confused by me and my wishy washy aids.  We basically just walked, trotted, and cantered while I tried to stay on and not completely embarrass myself, and I had so much fun.  Her gaits were nice and the way she moves is different than what we look for in dressage or hunt seat.  Her canter was very comfortable but felt so rocking and odd!  It even sounded different to me!  She doesn't bend like I expect her to, so that will take some time for me to understand as well.  

I am going back next weekend for another lesson.  I'd like to take a bunch, because I think it is a cool new thing to learn!  It is funny that some people have been a bit taken aback by my desire to try something new.  This completely drives me nuts.  I admit I will always love dressage and eventing and will probably always show in those disciplines.  Any horse I own will be ridden with dressage basics.  I love my dressage lessons with Judy and will resume those once the footing improves (we are in the midst of ice and snow here...).  

But I have never been a discipline snob.  The only thing I am not too fond of is the way QHs are ridden at the high levels, but all that means to me is that I know I personally will never ride that way.  Do I care what people do with their horses?  No way!  As long as you are having fun and taking good care of your horse, then knock yourself out.  I would never look down on or crack jokes about someone doing something different with their horse.  I think it is cool to see/learn about new things.  I have friends with Hackney ponies, and while I know NOTHING about how to ride/show them, I think it is totally cool.  I have friends who only like to trail ride.  Do I think they are beneath me or that I should crack jokes because they don't compete like I do?  NO WAY!

And as I explained it further, I have won a shit ton of ribbons, awards, championships, year ends, etc. with my three horses and I have nothing to prove to anyone.  Sparky is retired, Dreamy is pretty much plateaued, and Reva is only six so I have lots of time to do lots of things with her.  I have been riding for nearly 30 years and I just have a desire to be versatile!  I have NEVER tried saddleseat before now.  Will any of my current horses ever be truly competitive in open saddleseat competition?  No way.  Do I plan to buy a Saddlebred?  No, at least not right now.  (And actually, I think if I ever wanted to actually ride and show saddleseat I would buy a Morgan.  They were my first love after all.  :-)  Sorry to my SB friends!  LOL!!)  But why not try something for fun and enjoy myself?  Someone asked me recently what my horse/showing plans were for 2012.  I immediately answered "to have fun".  And this is totally in line with that goal.  I have a plan to try team penning this year too as well as foxhunting.  We might just do them each once, but I have always wanted to do these things.  

I have never been able to choose between straight dressage and eventing, so I have always done both.  I have played around in hunter/pleasure shows forever as well.  So why not add saddleseat, team penning, and foxhunting to my repertoire?   

Think before you judge someone.  Obviously this applies to life in general, but also to horses.  Nothing irks me more than someone being a discipline snob.  Enjoy the variety of what is out there to do with horses.  Even if YOU don't want to do it with your horse, appreciate that others do.  There is more to life than 20 meter circles in a dressage ring.  

Even though I really do LOVE riding 20 meter circles in a dressage ring.  LOL!!!!  ;-D  Just writing that makes me want to take a dressage lesson...

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Shameless plea!

Kate over at The Adventures of Lucy is holding a contest to win one of her beautiful hand painted saddle pads.  In order to enter, I had to write a poem (not my strong suit) and post a pic on Facebook.  If you have a FB account, please hop over and like my mare's photo and poem please?  I really appreciate it!!  :-)  And be sure to like Kate's business, Polar Square Designs!  I have been coveting these gorgeous pads for a while, but have not been able to save up to purchase one yet.  With your help, Reva could win one!

This is the pic I used for the contest: