Monday, April 25, 2016

Brookside: Saturday

My favorite part of moving up to the 2'6" division were the fun mini-medals we got to sign up for!

Saturday was a schedule flip from Friday- my group was the very last to go at the end of the day. And then the rings were running an hour over. Until all of a sudden they weren't and it was a hustle. Hurry up and wait is not my forte. But I had visualized my SAHJA mini-medal course all day and actually decided to ride that course before going in for my Warm Up over Fences and third Hunter round.

In my fantasy visualization I had marked all of my breathing checkpoints, we caught every distance, and came out of the ring to rousing applause.

In real life I missed to the first fence, stuck my spurs into Ellie's sides to get more pace, and then realized we had a halt directly after fence 1. Whoops. We did still get some applause though!

We had better luck in our outside lines but that gray diagonal line got us every time. At the end of the courses I wasn't delighted. I was tired. But given the chance to debrief with Ali we found some good things in the rounds.

As the videos show, Ellie was generally a sport despite being accidentally spurred, pulled on, laid on, etc. We had a few wiggly baby moments in the gray lines, a naughty swap, and VERY arrow-dynamic ears- but still fun-ish!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Brookside: Friday

The 2'6" division was just after the Evergreen Hunters on Friday so we had a nice early start to the day but still relaxed enough to have plenty of time to slowly get ready. I was scheduled for a Warm Up Round and two Hunter rounds.

I felt nervous but not panicked, although I did check in with Ali to see if I should expect any trouble getting down the lines. Of course not! I'd seen Ellie execute the strides for the past two days and watched any number of big hunters dink their way through. Piece of cake right?

Ending our Warm Up round having added a half stride into each line, Easy? Not so much. Ali coached me between rounds to go out and get those lines- we needed more pace! So Round 2.....I added into every line. The pace felt more comfortable and the lines were coming up great!
Ali had spurs in hand when I walked out of the ring and she and Luis promptly strapped them on and sent me back into the ring. We stepped into a bit more of a gallop (read working canter) and got 2 of the 3 lines.

I think pace was our biggest struggle all weekend- it felt a little bit like "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride." What I loved about Ellie on Friday was what a solid citizen  she was. "Mom is nervous? I go slow. Mom wants to go fast? I go a little faster cause I can tell she doesn't really want to go fast. Mom buries me at the base of a fence? I climb over." There was no hesitation riding to the fences and she was on her best behavior!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brookside: Wednesday & Thursday

As I drove up to Sacramento early on Wednesday morning I was equal parts excited and nervous. When asked how Ellie schooled on Tuesday I got, "she finished great." Hmmmm. What happened before great? A little wild.

This would be Ellie's second show and my first show in California at a facility that was not Sonoma Horse Park. I'd been up to Brookside once to spectate but wasn't terribly familiar with the ground.

She was adorable, of course, all braided up. But similar to our Sonoma show last year, came into the classes a little flat on the first day. Nothing ugly- just needed some extra giddy-up and didn't seem that interested. I supposed it's better than the alternative...being wild. I was pleased with her 5th place ribbon in the flat class with a group of lovely horses.

Second day, ear puffs removed, she was much brighter and took a third and fourth over fences. Good girl Ellie!

Ali and Diane just amaze me. During the lineup of the flat, before they had even pinned, Ellie was excused from the class and went trotting towards to in-gate. I panicked slightly of course- what happened? Ali was riding so many horses (18) that she needed to be excused to get on a different horse for another class. Busy!

And me? I took photos, watched rounds, worked a little, but mostly enjoyed being outdoors! Brookside and various sponsors hosted dinners each evening which was a great way to decompress with the team and the end of the day!
At dinner on Wednesday night we joked that I was a "pony mom." I had been standing by the ring after one of Ellie's rounds and had said, "good girl," when she went past. Which caused her to break to a trot a little earlier in the courtesy circle than Ali would have liked. I was regulated to the berm to oversee rounds from afar on Thursday.

Our one barn junior, who was on hand to help for the week, and I were commenting that the fences looked pretty small. That's when Diane suggested I drop my Long Stirrup division and move up to 2'6" and start showing on Friday. Dum, dum, dum.......

We LOVE flat classes

Too tired to stand and eat

Monday, April 18, 2016

Horse Show Hangover

It's a real thing.
Ellie DOES NOT care

Monday, April 11, 2016

Herbal Horse Review: Part 1

Ellie is in Sacramento so I can't put my new goodies from The Herbal Horse, a small business focused on all natural product for the horse and rider, to good use just yet.....
But that doesn't mean I can't write a Part 1 review right?

Packaging: Adorable. And it so happened that I forgot to pack hairbands today for my office's 4pm yoga class- how did Helen know to include a few? Can't beat a cute fox print! Little touches throughout the box, stuffing, and containers show attention to detail!

Extras: Suckers, hairbands (yes- I'm clearly sold), and samples? Plus a hand written thank you note written in GOLD pen. Love the extra touches! Did I mention that I'm 5 Unicorn points away from $10 off my next purchase?

Smells: The scent of the product came through the box- notes of Lavender and Rose- helped along by the Lavender satchel (EXTRA) included in the box!

I'm including the USEF approved "Be Calm" and Lip Balms (Blackberry, Rose, Vanilla Lavender) in my show bag and may need to place a pre-order of "Muscle Soothe" for receipt by the time I get home!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Horse Show Prep: #Exhausting

Dover was yesterday. Today was a ride on Ellie, a hack on Bella, and trunk packing- the horses leave for Brookside tomorrow!
Trunk packing, in true Emily neurotic fashion, involves pulling everything out of both trunks The insides are wiped down, blankets shaken out, bottles and brushes cleaned. The trunk that goes to shows typically houses extra blankets, pads, miscellaneous items- which are put into giant IKEA tarp bags and lugged home for the week with my saddle along with them.
Bridle and martingale are oiled, stirrups spit shined.

Needed to catch some zzzz's on the couch with Felix since I still need to get myself to two days of work before the fun begins!
 I wasn't the only one who was tired today! I had to share the couch!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Coworkers Who "Get It"

I did a little bit of desk coverage while my coworker was on maternity leave and she sent this lovely customized saddle pad as a thank you!

Love getting fun treats in the mail and Ellie is going to look fabulous!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Listen Trainers

I'll jump these things. If you video me. #bribes

Ellie from Emily Kidwell on Vimeo.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Pasture Life

This Wilbur thing. I pulled into Brown Ranch on Saturday morning only to run into Amanda- she told me she is moving to a new part of the state in the next two months. Major congrats obviously, but she was a big part of why I have felt so comfortable leaving Wilbur to his own devices for most of the past year- she had eyes on him 3x a week and I had weekends.

He may come to Ellie's barn for a week for Ali and Diane to assess. I just don't know what to do with this guy.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Jumping Up

On Saturday we played at jumping up out of the grid. Not going to lie- the two strides up to the last oxer I was like, "crap that looks big." but all I could do was sit up...and shut my eyes.

Untitled from Emily Kidwell on Vimeo.