My Superstars!

Sunday was a long day as most show days go…

Up at 6:30 a.m.
Leave for the barn at 7:12
Arrive at 7:24 (the shortest time ever by the way)
Fill hay nets
Fill water jugs
Empty garbage from horse trailer tack room
Hang up bridles and load saddle pad and girth all of which had been taken home for cleaning
Get saddle loaded
Go get horse from her field
Brush her really good (despite having done this the day before and she wasn’t all that dirty) and gather any remaining items from locker for trailer
8:30 braid horse’s mane and forelock
8:53 load horses onto trailer
9:00 pull out
10:00 arrive at show site
Unload horses
Register
Get organized
Tack up
Warm-up ring
10:51 other rider and her horse show in the dressage ring
11:03 my daughter and her horse enter the Jumper ring for the first time ever for two warm-up rounds
As assumed, the first warm-up didn’t go all that well.  Our pretty palomino jumped all the jumps, finally.  Warm-up round two went terrific.  All the jumps in a clear round like the two of them were pros
11:12 judged rounds start
First round got to jump three and my daughter fell off.  Not only that but our pretty palomino decided to run away.  Caught the horse, checked my daughter over, brushed her off, changed helmets and had to tell coordinators to stop putting jumps up because we paid for a second round.
Second round much better.  Initially refused same third jump but circled around, did it then our pretty palomino took off and went through the rest of the course like a bullet.  She looked like she knew exactly what she was doing!

The remainder of the time was spent waiting for our other rider and horse to compete in jumper and cross country before we were finally packed up and ready to go at 3:20.

4:20 arrive back at home, offload horses, empty tack room and reload locker.

Give our amazing palomino grain and take her to her field.

A day in the life!

And this horsey-mom was (and still is) exhausted!

I’m so proud of the two of them and I think my daughter and her horse proved they can do it!

Showtime!

Well here we are on the eve of the first show in almost 2 years!

All day my almost-adult rider has been snippy… I call her grumpy!

Of course I don’t blame her! We’ve all been in that position once where we’re so nervous we can’t think straight but, for most of us, it’s something like a job interview or a first-ever speech… Another being isn’t involved. A 1200 lb being that reads off your every emotion!

So I have given my advice… It’s just another ride. It’s what you have wanted to do forever & now is your shot. Let’s make it a good one!! Let’s make it great!

And that’s all we can say to our show-stars. Be yourself. Don’t worry & don’t stress. You know what your doing & your horse trusts you. The opposite is true… Your horse knows what she’s doing, you trust her with your life, so trust her now.

Best of luck to her!

Show Season

It’s been a while since I’ve written!  I was getting tired of writing about the weather!

So today is the 4th anniversary of my daughter getting her horse so there will be some celebratory photos taken later.

She’s heading up camp this year and aside from some apprehension the first day, she’s got this!

Her coach offered for her to go to a show… this Sunday!  YIKES!!

So we went clothes shopping… Just in case actually.  She wants to do jumper which doesn’t require anything more than the polo shirt she already has.  So there may be a rare occasion when she’s out for something else.  In this case, she might do the dressage portion as well to give them something to do but she hasn’t decided yet.

She has to decide by tomorrow night basically.  Not a lot of time left.

And if you ever find yourself in need of show clothes, go to Value Village or someplace similar first.  Look at light coloured blouses, look at jackets/blazers.  That’s my advice to you. $20 for the set is far better than $150 or more for the jacket alone.  Why do show clothes need to be more expensive?  Because that’s what they do.

I wish her the best of luck on Sunday.  I cross my fingers that they do well.  She’ll be a nervous wreck but I hope it goes well.  She has waited a very long time for this opportunity so I hope our little palomino pony is in top form and ready to go!

Yay! Nice Weather!

Okay, so one part of me wants to say that this winter wasn’t actually oh so bad but the other part of me can’t help but say I’ve had enough, let’s get on with being able to wear shorts, t-shirts and run out there door with running shoes on!

The last few weeks have been the worst actually.  Part of that comes from having to dress like a snowman every time we head out to the barn.  It takes time and energy to pull on long underwear under leggings and then pull on snow pants that make it so you can hardly bend over!

My fingers and toes have definitely been frozen way too many times and I wonder why my skin is just splitting open!

It’s also been tough on the horses.  In three years we haven’t changed blankets and dealt with a pulled muscle because pony slipped on ice as many times as this year.  With a 17-year-old horse she gets pretty stiff with some of the weather as well.

So despite what some people may think, it’s time!  It’s time for the nice weather, dressing lighter and being able to get that pony moving outside and maybe off to a couple of shows!

My daughter has been teaching Saturday Club which will pick back up when the nicer weather arrives.  I think, at some point, a big planning session needs to be scheduled!  One where we can kind of regroup a bit?  Nothing major, just some much needed communication between parents, my daughter and head coach!  Make sure everyone is on the same page!

But I’d like to see my daughter and her horse in the jumper ring at a couple of shows.  Before it’s too late… we’re coming into some nice weather, might as well take advantage of some of the shows that are out there… I just hope we can get them there and that our pony is up to it!

If you hang out at the barn and your child is as into horses as mine is, you know exactly what I mean!

The Busy Season…

Trying to get ready for Christmas and still try to fit in the barn is definitely a challenge when you’re a single parent!

By the end of the day you’re tired and then you have to go out and sit there.  It’s also a fair bit of walking!

Anyway, the weather has been good for us, exceptionally good, which is excellent since I, unfortunately, need new tires but can’t afford them!

Last week my daughter was included in a text message that all night feeders have to clean all the stalls if they’re dirty, that a horse isn’t to be put into a dirty stall.  That she does what she can.  Of course it comes on a Wednesday.

I have a bad back.  I can’t tolerate the constant and unchanging position of cleaning out stalls.  My daughter, from all her falls, has bunged up her shoulder to the point that cleaning stalls is painful too.  It was originally two stalls, now it’s six, IF they haven’t been done ahead of time.

So today, with it being Christmas holidays, we’re going out for 1:00 as my daughter has a make-up lesson to teach.  While she teaches, I’m going to slowly work on the stalls taking breaks to sit down.  When the lesson is done, the two of us can work on the remaining stalls.  We can bring in hay, fill water buckets and then she can ride.   When her ride is over, we’ll feed grain, hopefully starting at 4:30.  Even though it might be a bit early for some people’s liking, I’d like to have the horses in between 5:30-6 and be on the road home.

Can’t have the best of both worlds and I’m not going to sit around to wait for the “right” time for horses to come in.

On the other hand, I really hope that someone has gone down and cleaned out at least four of the stalls already!!

It’s definitely time for my daughter to get a job and start paying the $60/month that we “make” doing chores.  $15/week isn’t much considering this sudden increase in work!

Anyway, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  We’ll see you on the other side!

I Wonder…

I sit back and watch my daughter ride during her own rides and then I watch during a lesson.  My concern is that she’s never going to get to where she wants to go.  How do you broach that subject when already walking on eggshells sometimes?

It just concerns me that both my daughter and her horse are 17.  Horse’s mom didn’t go into the jumper ring until she was 18 so we’ve got less than a year but we don’t seem to get anywhere!

It seems that we’re always too busy worrying about her reaction; worrying about whether she has a bit in her mouth which is not required for jumper!  I want to see a course set up at the appropriate height, at least and to see our beautiful palomino jump it all!  I have, mind you, outside, on a course of 5 jumps which my daughter has managed to turn into a course of 8.

It CAN be done!

I know there are oxers as well and that could be her downfall but it’s time!  If they don’t do it now, they might never do it.  That’s what I’m afraid of!

My daughter has such a passion for horses and I want to see her GO! I want her to reach for the stars and then reach the stars!

I just don’t know if the here and now is going to get here there… it might be time to move on which is another challenge…

Seasons change…

and much comes with it!  Wind, rain, grass turning from green to brown and, worst of all, it gets darker earlier.  But still we prevail and we go out to the barn anyway.

A week and a half ago our dear horse tripped and almost went down, my daughter did.  She landed on her already-bad-shoulder and probably sprained it.  That’s my sort-of educated guess (with some input from a doctor!).

She’s still riding… jumping, the works.  Stubborn teenager.

But part of that has come with riding… like any other sport riders must continue to work at it.  Just like baseball players have practices even at the 150 game mark, riders need to continue to do that.

It’s also important, I must add, that if a rider is co-boarding or owns her own beauty she must practice during non-lesson rides what she learns in a lesson.  It’s so easy to go into a lesson and come out of it and then go into another ride 3 days later and do what she wants to do and forget about what she’s learned in the lesson.

My daughter is probably the only one who takes what she’s done in a lesson and applies in the rides in between.  My sister-in-law told me that nobody else in lessons does that.  They come out for their co-board rides and do what they want to do… a huge error.

We all need to practice.  And we will never reach perfect but we can come extremely close.  As a writer, it’s the same thing.  If I don’t write regularly I get rusty.  The parts of nursing I haven’t done in over a decade are the same.  I’d be rusty trying to set an IV drip or insert a catheter.  I’d get it back but I’m beyond rusty at it!

So your rider needs to practice.  That’s the bottom line!