Sunday, December 23, 2012

Its Almost Christmas!

The whirlwind of the holiday season is in full force but the temperatures have been in the 50's this weekend so Splash got worked two days in a row.  Much colder temperatures and maybe SNOW are  forecast for Christmas Day, so I plan to ride again tomorrow.

Since Pico was a little off last week, we left him home and Ivy took Sister to the party lesson and Alaina took Sunny.  The 007 girls, Sheila and Allison, joined the lesson with Nancy and me.  We did some lateral work and then practiced trail obstacles before we finished with a few roll-backs.  We missed Mallory and Roxy who were looking at draft horses in Antlers.

Ivy and I took the Sunday afternoon ride on Pico and Splash after Ivy worked Sister in the round pen.  Pico was moving ok with only an occasional tiny head bob.   Ivy is looking forward to showing Sister in ground classes and western next year.  Alaina plans on showing English including jumping on her.  Hope that works out with the 4-H rules.

It's official, the New Year's trail ride will be at the Walkerosa on New Year's Day - ride at 2pm and pot luck at 4pm.  Hope for good weather and that YaYa Sisters can start the new year off right.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Birthday Girls and ODS/GCC Christmas

The party lesson was on on Saturday and we brought Sister for Alaina and Ivy was working on Pico in order to build up his strength after all his time off.  Alas, he is a little bit off again so Ivy rode Missy in the lesson.  Splash was recovered enough from his shark bites for riding, so we worked on the usual exercises.  Fun lesson followed by Lunch at Graham's including birthday cake for the twins - thanks to the sweet Dilldine girls.

The Annual Christmas Party and Awards Banquet was held on Saturday night at the Eaton Farm in Inola.  Alaina stayed home to hang with Kale but Ivy came with me since she loves to play Dirty Santa (she claims she wasn't raised that way).  Ivy and Alaina had soundness problems with Pico and Sunny so didn't qualify for year-end awards.  But Ivy won the Multi-club Award and Splash and I were Vintage Training Amateurs.  Woo Hoo.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Jaws and Dirty Santa

Just when you thought it was safe to get in the trailer.......  Sunny the Shark got the slot next to Splash.  Bad Sunny, Evil Sunny.....

Mallory and I played with the ponies a bit on Friday followed by lunch at Ron's with Spanish Fries.  We met at the farm where Mallory worked Trooper a bit and I did some Western neck reining practice with Splash.  We we cantering on a long rein through a tight corner when Splash tripped, almost went down and I lost a stirrup, Goosed my mount who bucked in protest and stopped.  I didn't fall off and we continued our ride.  No injury to horse (hopefully) or rider.  Whew.

After weeks of conflicting activities, the party lesson was on - sortof.  Mallory and Kathy were not available and Nancy was waiting to try a new horse.  On the way to Patty's, the truck was lurching badly all the way down 88 and I was worried about a horse down in the trailer or an engine problem.  Neither.  Sunny the Shark was busy biting Splash all the way.  Splash was stressed and sweaty and bloody.  Sunny had red lips.  Splash's injuries included broken skin as well as serious swelling in several areas so no saddle or riding possible.  Darn!  I used the water hose to clean the wounds and cool the swelling and doctored with nitrofurazone.  Sunny will ride in the front slot from now on.

Pico and Sunny got light work during their lessons.  Pico appears to be sound so we will be working him as well as Sunny back into shape. 

Then I saddled up Zoe for a lesson.  She was a little off so we worked on trail obstacles.  Zoe knows what to do, so doesn't wait for direction.  Mary played around on Beau so equine therapy was administered.

Sunday evening, at long last, the YaYa's had their annual Dirty Santa Party.  Delicious food, a little wine, and great friends - oh, and the Dirty Santa made his annual appearance.  I am voting for some sort of dirty Santa party more than once a year.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Cold Snap - NOT

December got off to a fun start with the 4-H Horse Club year-end banquet on the First - that meant mighty preparations the night before doing setup and BBQ lunch (from Dink's in B'Ville), awards, silent/live auctions for the scholarship fund, and the famous wooden nickle auction for the kids.  Alaina spent whatever it took to get the Dawn DiAmaco lesson (what a good girl) but Ivy couldn't face off the 2 little girls vying for the Patty Couch lesson since they were so intensely competing for the honors and she just can't take away the desires of smaller kids.  Alaina managed to get a 4-H Halter and some number magnets as well while Ivy snagged number magnets, a muck bucket, neon green goodies, and a surprise bucket with a Stillwater Milling gift card.  Both girls won year-end buckles for Grand and Reserve classes, Alaina's first championship buckle.  Fun.  Next up?  Quiz Bowl!

The high on Sunday DEC. 2 was 72 degrees with light winds.  Sunny and lovely.  The original plan was to ride at Walnut Creek on Keystone with my friend Amy but since it was the last day of gun/deer season, we opted for Claremore Lake Park instead.  It was Sister's first public trail outing and she did pretty well on the trail (after a bit of crow-hopping and kick-outs during some canter warm up).  To add to the experience, the Santa Toys-For-Tots Runners (complete with Tutu's and Santa Suits) shared the park.  Splash was a good boy although a bit worried about a pair of mules and some horses charging around at the Rodeo Grounds across the fence.  Mallory and Roxy were with us and their mounts were good too.   A lovely way to start December!  Yaya!


Monday, November 26, 2012

The Pico Question

At long last we had a party lesson at the Rocking C - alas, without Nancy E, Kathy B, or Mary B.  Before we got started, Spanky and Daisy escaped the yard and ran straight to 412 with Patty and me in hot pursuit.  I am happy to say that no dogs were hurt on the highway but Patty and I had twin heart-attacks.  Whew.

So the girls had their lesson - Alaina and Ivy on their normal mounts for the first time in months.  Sunny was moving well and seemed to remember most of his training - the canter was a bit fast but he was good with the trail obstacles.  Pico was going sound but didn't look as fluid to the left.  They took things very lightly during the lesson and Patty suggests bringing him back into work very slowly.  Either Pico is on the mend and we can bring him back into work or very shortly, we might discover that he still has a problem.  Cross fingers that he is going to be sound.
Mallory / Mario and me / Splash worked in the outdoor arena because the sun was shining and the winds were light.  Splash and I worked on more impulsion for the trot.  Patty had me work on leaning a bit forward and increasing my tempo.  Hard work, but we made progress with extention along the long sides and collection on the shorts.  Before our lesson, I practiced cat yoga stretches with the help of Boots who jumped on each knee in turn.  Its hard to balance with cats leaping in your lap.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pico gets out of his Stall

So, after 3 months off and 2 months on Stall Rest, is Pico fit to trot?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Ivy has been diligent about hand walking Pico twice a day while he was on stall rest.  Also, she has been missing her boy even though she was able to borrow very nice horses for drill the last few months (first Ahab and then Mario).  We planned to evaluate Pico at ride night Tuesday but Ivy was sick so I lunged him and Alaina rode him a bit.  On the lunge, trot looked good but Pico couldn't hold the lead behind in either direction.  Just out of shape?

So, on Saturday while most of our horsey friends were at the schooling show championships, we traveled to the Rocking C to check again.  We also took Sunny and Splash to play with.  And, Mallory was checking out a possible new mount for Roxy.  RT is very cute and will make a very nice show horse.  Sunny was a little fast but, overall, very good.  To bad he looks to be in foal.  Even Pico has gained a bit of weight while laying around the stall eating bon-bons (his girth was a bit tight).  I can relate although I don't get to eat enough bon-bons.  Both girls were very happy to be back in the saddles on their respective horses.

And, Kathy H shared her big boy with both girls to see what a big mover feels like.  It looked very fun from the ground but I bet it was a bit intimidating from the back of the BIG Horse.

So, cross fingers and toes that we get a little rain and that Pico and Sunny and Splash AND Sister all stay sound.  YaYa!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Deezie Do

The frenzy of fall, with the Rogers County Free Fair, Fair Fun Show, Tulsa State Fair, September and October dressage schooling shows, Junior Dressage Camp, Heartland drill competition and all the practices to go along with all that, has wound down - just in time since the weather has been pretty nice for all those horsey events.  If you don't mind a little Oklahoma WIND.  This weekend started off warm and dry followed by a storm front that brought a little rain, thunder, and much colder temperatures.  I guess winter is coming after all.

Patty was out of town so (sob) no party lesson.  I figured we would do some riding at the Wild O Ranch arena but.... the wind was ridiculous and we got wimpy.  Who wants to fight with Splash in a dust devil?  But, by late afternoon, I was in need of some equine therapy and Ivy wanted to give Pico a little riding test.
Ivy brushed Pico and I brushed Diez.  Ivy put a bridle on Pico and we tried to give him a test with trot to the left.  He seemed sound but he was pretty resistant to cooperation after 2 months in the stall.  So, the real test will be Tuesday night when we take him to ride night  Cross all fingers and toes for soundness.  If not, it will be back to the vet for more tests.
After the Pico test, I grabbed a bridle and dusted off the Deezie-Do for a little bareback ride around the WOR.  I dropped the sandals as we left the trailer and I enjoyed my ride with the wind in my hair and toes.  Note to self: don't ride barefoot through the front field where all the cedar trees are growing to stirrup (foot) level.  Diez was pretty sure that her Union would disapprove of her having to carry me around after her official retirement but she wasn't adament.  So we wandered around at a walk and Diez enjoyed a bite or two of trail salad including a pear or two when we went by the pear tree.
Now that November is almost half over, its time to schedule our YaYa Christmas Bash and Dirty Santa gathering as well as the New Year's trail ride.  Sound good?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Drill Team Pictures - Better Late than Never...

Larry and Patty C
Alaina and Sister
Dynamite Line-Up
Ivy and Alaina before the first drill

Dressage Drill

Ivy and Ashlyn plan for the Dressage Drill

The Madagascar warmup     


Gypsy Drill                    


High Point Small Group Youth              

Monday, November 5, 2012

Drill Competition

Oklahoma can have some really lovely weather in November.  Fabulous fall light and temperatures cool in the morning warming up nicely into the 70's.  That's what we had last weekend for the Heartland Drill Competition at the Claremore Expo.  The team (Marilyn, Lauren, Ashlyn, Allison, Anna, Roxy, Ivy, and Alaina) gathered on Friday evening for our 6:00pm rehearsal time and the girls ran through all their drills - in the big indoor arena.  Several of the horses were a little fresh but, overall, they did well.  Final decisions were made regarding which girls would perform each drill and final costume details were completed.  Then, since it was still balmy, we washed horses.  Sister really looks good clean.  Dirty?  Not so much.

Alaina and Ivy dressed for Madagascar
The competition started at 8:15am with opening ceremonies performed by the Heartland Drill Team - they were inspiring with each member carrying a large American flag. 

Then, to work preparing for our first drill, Dynamite.  Lauren, Roxy, Ivy, Alaina, Anna, and Ashlyn wore mostly black with a red TNT sash topped with curly smoke fuses.  Mario was pretty excited at the beginning, jigging in circles when he was supposed to be standing and Patriot was a bit chargey.  But, overall the drill was pretty good.  The judges had a double dose of dynamite since the team just before also used the same music - hold the matches.

Next on the schedule was the Classical Dressage Drill complete with classical music.  The girls were in their hunt attire including white gloves, white leg wraps, white pads and white stock-ties.  Ivy and Alaina were both sitting out.  The drill went really well and compared to other performances the team stood out both musically and visually.  The team used the drill to demonstrate some classic dressage movements including shoulder-in, leg yields, and turns on the forehand.

The music for the Madagascar Drill was "You got to Move it, Move it."  The girls wore their black outfits with different bright-color leg wraps/pads for each horse.  Several horses were spooked by the booming beat from the speaker overhead and which resulted in a couple of pattern breaks.  This was not their best drill and the girls used their improvisational skills when patterns were broken.  Still, it could have been worse - no one fell off.

The last performance was the Gypsy Drill which included the most elaborate costume and was the best drill of the day.  The horses and girls were mostly settled down and the pattern went well.  The costumes were really well recieved (hand made by our Beth Bassett). 
Other teams took glitter and extravagant costumes to the next level.  But I admit that I want to ride in drills too.  So, who is game for an adult dressage drill team to compete next year?  YaYa!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mighty Drill Preparations and the Rocking C Show

Ivy and Mario - NINJAs
Heartland's Green Country Ride Equestrian Drill Team Competition
is November 3 at the Claremore Expo - that's THIS WEEKEND!  So, the drill team practiced on Thursday night and then performed all 4 drills at the Rocking C Dressage Schooling Show on Saturday.  The drills were spread out over the day and, after a rough start, improved with each demonstration.  Sunday, we practiced again.  One more practice on Friday evening, and then.... It's show time!  Come and see the girls ride - Beth Bassett made all the Gypsy outfits and they look beautiful.
Since the girls rode 4 different drills, they didn't ride any tests at the show.  But Splash and I rode T-1 (61.250%) and T-3 (59.800%).  Judge Carolyn H says to work to steady connection (shorten reins) to help balance between leg and rein.  Splash was very good and, although the scores don't really show it, these two tests were the best we have ever ridden.  I did ride on "to loose" a rein but I wanted to have more impulsion - contact is a work in progress.  Even so, Splash and I won our first high point ever!

Alaina and Sister -
Indian War Pony

The 4-H Horse Club gathered Saturday evening for a Halloween party including a hay ride, s'mores, costumes and pot luck.  Then had a Halloween Ride Night last night and came in costume with their horses, played Egg-N-Spoon, Ghost Rider, and Red-Light/Green-Light.  Alaina decorated Splash as her Indian pony and won the Egg-N-Spoon; they cantered bareback balancing that pesky plastic egg on a plastic spoon.  Splash is a smooth operator when he feels like it although Alaina did have the advantage since Splash and I won Egg-N-Spoon at the Sept Benefit Fun Show in Sept.  Ivy was the horseless-horseman/Ninja and had got a chance to ride Heather's show horse for fun.  She misses Pico but is getting a lot of experience on different horses.

Calling all YaYa's!  Come by Expo on Saturday and watch the drill team (see Claremore Expo Website for more info).  After this last competition of the year, the calendars should clear for some YaYa rides soon.  I hope.

Friday, October 26, 2012

ODS/GCC Junior Dressage Camp

The Green Country Chapter of ODS presented the 3rd annual Junior Dressage Camp last weekend at Lily Pond Estates in Kellyville, OK.  Lily Pond is a "Three-Day Eventing" training and boarding facility with 13 indoor stalls and 10 turnout paddocks, outdoor dressage arena, stadium jumping arena, and a cross country course for intro through training levels - FABULOUS!  Enjoying free range of this beautiful facility are several feline and canine creatures as well as a yard pony and resident swan.  Angle, the Great Pyrenees, patrols the property vigilantly preventing intruders from making entry.

After picking up Mario and Trooper, we checked in and settled the horses into their stalls before gathering in the apartment for pizza and socializing.  The clinicians had dinner with us and quizzed the girls about their mounts and goals for the weekend.  Claudia Misner and Stacey Morrison gave each camper a lesson each day in groups of 2 or 3.  Electives were: Patty Couch/Drill Team and Nicole Wilkinson/PriCaprilli.
The girls were in charge of horse care and they were good horsemen, feeding/watering their animals before feeding themselves.  Between the lessons and horse care, there was a lot of giggling and pop music.  Lessons and electives filled the day Saturday with a vaulting demonstration by Nel Lobdell's Owasso Vaulting Team and a guest speaker on tap with dinner.  Trista Milliman gave an interesting presentation on  horse nutrition and the girls were attentive asking good questions.  Sunday morning came very early and the girls had their lessons in the morning.  The plan was to have a "Do-Over" type show in the afternoon.  Since the girls had double lessons as well as their electives, the horses and kids were very tired.  A vote was taken and the kids chose to have intense Q&A with their clinicians.  Each had a question for each teacher and all listened to answers and interesting discussion.  Interesting and educational.  Lisa Jewell joined us Sunday and took beautiful, professional portraits of the girls with their horses as well as the following group photo.  Lisa has gifted the girls with their choice of photo so check them out on her website. 
                              2012 ODS/GCC Jr Camp - Back (L-R) Hunter, Emma, Alaina, Roxy, Audry, Sami                            Front (L-R) Miranda, Ivy, Zoe, Megan
Finally, the wonderful organizers and chaperones did a great job with the camp.  Richal and Melissa did the heavy lifting getting the camp on track with help from Christiana.  I joined in as a chaperon, Mallory picked up the slack with Sam's Runs and Soda Emergency Rations and Nancy delivered veggie burgers and other snacks to fill in some holes.

I see all these girls as future YaYa Sisters and I can't wait to see them grow as horsewomen.

   arena, stadium jumping arena, and a cross country course for intro through training levels.f

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Working on the Claw

Some Ponies are really Cute.

Finally, some much needed rain in our neck of the woods came through on Friday morning - about 1.6 inches at the Rocking C in Inola.  Thank goodness that Patty has a magic arena - it was ridable on the west end by Friday evening.

Splash is getting to work on both Western and English skills these days.  On Friday night while the girls drilled, we schooled Western.  Then English for the Party lesson on Saturday and Western again on Sunday while the girls drilled.  He would rather eat grass.

The drill team is working on 4 different drills in preparation for the competition on Nov. 3rd.  They are really improving their skills.  Alaina is working Sister and, believe it or not, is getting a little submission to the bit along with the evil mare attitude.  Ivy hasn't been able to ride Pico since early August and was working with Ahab until last week when we discovered that Ahab and his family are moving to NM.  So, last weekend, Ivy gave Mario a try and they really looked good.  Meanwhile, Sister was lame at ride night Tuesday evening - so, bute and round pen rest for a few days and we will check her out on Friday when I am back from Wyoming.  Cross fingers and toes for a miraculous recovery. Ivy also rode Willy twice for Marilyn.

During the party lesson we concentrated on lateral work after our warm up.  We walked/trotted shoulder in and leg yields as well as practice turns on the forehand and pivots.  Splash is slowly improving  but is still very sticky when moving off right leg.  We finished our work with roll backs which really helped Splash with his canter transitions.  During our western practice Fri and Sun, we side passed and backed through logs with some improvements.  Sunday we did those rollback practices again.  Really fun if you don't fall off.

So, while working on trail obstacles with my neck reins in my left hand, my ride hand develops into a claw in mid-air.  What to do?  I think I should hold on to my pants.  I probably stick my tongue out to the side as well.

My YAYA sisters are socializing tomorrow evening without me - i will be thinking of them all while I am in Wyoming for work.  Very sad face.

Alaina/Sister, Ivy/Willy, Molly/Jeter, Roxy/Trooper