Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Franktown Meadows Hunter Derby

Earlier this summer we took a road trip to see the Franktown Meadows USHJA International Hunter Derby just over Donner Pass in Reno, NV. 

The fences were enormous, the horses were spectacular, and the backdrop was absolutely gorgeous! 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange

Thanks to Tracy @ The Printable Pony for another AMAZING blogger gift exchange!

I received a wonderful treat from a "new to me" blogger- Amy & Gwyn of Quantum Chrome. I'm looking forward to following along in their adventures!

The ponies are going to be spoiled from all their treats (especially the Apple/ Banana flavored Equi-Treats) and the always popular Muscle Soothe from The Herbal Horse. I may end up sneaking some of the Muscle Soothe for myself.....along with the Be Calm for this final stretch leading up to Holiday!

Candles, Peddies, and the most legit Vetrap I've ever seen- but my favorite item of the bunch was the handmade card featuring yours truly and Ellie. What a thoughtful and personal touch! Amy is a lovely artist!

Thank you Amy & Gwyn! Cheers to a Happy & Healthy Holiday Season!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Rancho Murieta Autumn Classic: Saturday & Sunday

Wrapping this show up!

Ted was amaze-balls again on Saturday (minus a sticky change at the end of the second course)- and our two firsts and a second O/F was enough to net us Champion of the 2'9" Division.
The weather was gorgeous on Sunday so we gave him the day off and went for a nice hack instead.

Ellie continued to be super competitive in her large 2'6" division with a fourth and sixth over fences on Saturday with really consistent rounds. We left her braids out on Sunday and practiced our Equitation for fun. She was super FRESH and needed a little play before we went into the ring. OK Elle- you've only been showing for a solid week after all.

Could not be happier with the way both horses showed up and a great end to the season!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Rancho Murieta Autumn Classic: Friday Part 2

Derby Day! Murieta ran an $18,000 Derby across three different heights- 2'9", 3', and 3'3". While the height range is pretty enticing (there were about 50 horses entered) I did recall from earlier this year that they also have this absolutely terrifying log fence that a good number of horses had turned away from.

In addition to the log of doom they also had a barrel jump and between the two of those, the cold weather, and the late evening- the class was basically carnage. Like there was not a score above 60 for the first half. And this is a B rated show!

Fortunately I did not have to witness any trips before mine- we went second.

The course walk opened at 5:30 and the class started at 6. It took a second for my brain to relax during the walk- what sounded like a jumble of fences at first turned into a pretty straightforward 10 fence course with a bunch of bending lines.

Our warm up was somewhat ill-fated just given that there wasn't the opportunity to really take a breath. And poor Teddy- my butt turned into a rocket seat and I was clinging to him with legs of steel.
Walking to the warm up ring
No thanks
Walking to the ring our name was being called with an open gate- there was no "hurry up and wait" here. I was terrified- there were literally tears welling up in my eyes and Ted was not interested in stepping into the ring. Poor Ali was like "take it down a notch" please. And in we went. 

This is a wonderfully edited video of all the best parts of our round! A flash went off after our first fence and he gave a pretty solid dolphin. The next element was a galloping 9 stride line and I was interested zero in doing that so we crawled down it in an 11 (I just cut that whole line out). Then into a bending 10 to the barrels- he landed cross cantering so I made a very large and very slow circle before catching the out fence (the out is the second fence in this video). Into a 2 stride which we drove right by since we were moving a snails pace. I don't fault the guy- we didn't have enough canter to make it out. After the stop I looked over at the gate and Ali asked if I wanted to come out. Some shouts from the stands encouraged me to keep going and the entire peanut gallery was clucking us along as we cantered past. Last a bending line, the scary log being the middle jump was supposed to be a 7 to a 6....I did a 9 to an 8.

BUT we finished. And for all the horses that stopped out at the barrels and log (Ellie for example was excused)- Ted didn't even blink. AND he landed his left lead out of the two and carried it for the balance of the course.

The horse has officially reached Saint status.

Over the scary log- no problem

Our first fence 

Sigh of relief to be done and a big smile! 

Ellie waits for her turn to Derby- so cute! 

Derby girls! 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Rancho Murieta Autumn Classic: Friday Part 1

I have to split this day into two parts because Ted and I COMPLETED a Derby Friday night and that, my friends, deserves a post all of its own.

Ali had ridden Ellie to success in her 3' classes earlier in the week (and we actually cut the division short because she was being so good) and just hacked Ted. We changed the recipe for him a bit and are keeping his pro days super light.

So I kicked my day off on Friday with a flat class on Ellie. The division was large so they split the group into two classes....and even with the split it was pretty miserable. Lots of getting cut off and maybe breaking to the trot.....or not considering we placed third. Shhhhhh.

Elle and I bumbled around her first 2'6" round- I leaned into a line and she stopped. Coming out of the second course we pinned 8th which I was super pleased with.

The ring is long and narrow- the lines were set at 5 and a 6 across the diagonal. I like it for Teddy because he doesn't have time to get rolling/ super long and low. For Ellie it feels like we have to keep a ton of pace to keep ticking along. Very different rides!

 So I jumped on Ted planning to use my 2'9" rounds as a warm up for the Derby. Keeping in mind that this was my lackadaisical thought normal brain was very much noting that this was my third show at 2'9" ever. The above shot captures Ali and I walking to the ring- I was literally asking her if she was SURE Ted was going to be a good boy not having been schooled all week.
Spoiler alert- he was an AMAZING boy. Ted jumped like a FREAK, and played a little bit after the best fences. And landed his leads. I could not have asked for better courses on this beastie. First place in both rounds over fences. Shoot. Let's go Derby right?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange- Five Year Recap

I have Tracy at The Printable Pony to thank for this post. Not only is she saving us from continuing to land on my April 5th too small white breeches photo..... my Equestrian Blogger gift giver will feel confident that I am a real person who actually does blog on occasion.

Hard to believe Tracy has been hosting this fun event for FIVE years running! I've participated each year and have such a fun time reading and discovering new blogs. As a hoot I grabbed my recap posts from the previous year exchanges!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Challenge Update

Nothing like slipping into a slightly too tight pair of white breeches to keep one on the straight and narrow Challenge path!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Na-na-na-na NAP Time

Love this sweet picture of Ellie getting her beauty sleep between classes at Murieta.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Branded Hat

The mother of our one Junior found herself with plenty of time on her hands recovering after a surgery so she hand knitted a whole bunch a beautiful hats with our Landmark Equestrian logo! What a lovely treat to find in my trunk- super impressed by her skills!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Favorite Show Moment

If I had to pick a favorite moment from the show it would have to be our Under Saddle class for the Pre Adult division. I had been so concerned when five numbers were called to the middle of the ring almost right after the class began, including Teddy and Ellie. That exercise turned out to be in our favor as the top five ribbons went to those horses. I was pleasantly surprised that Ellie was included in the lineup- there were a lot of very nice horses in a large division.

I am just so proud of her. First Pre Green Show (3ft division), first Derby- she's game and keeps getting better and better! Excited for the rest of the season!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Let's Win a Horse Show!

Paul and I recently decided to reboot our lifestyle a bit prior to our trip to Japan coming up in April. The goal is weight loss: to lose a double digit number.
Ever-practical-Paul is winning eye surgery if he meets his mark. He knows that I tend to be motivated by things that are funner (plus my vision is already pretty spot on) so he's offered up a horse show. Yes- a free horse show. Although I'm not entirely sure he realizes exactly how much they cost and I don't know if I want to divulge that information.

We'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

I joined an MMA gym, Dragons Den, down the street from my office to shake things up while still keeping a few drop in classes at the studio close to home. So I can gym anytime, anywhere. The new place offers a noon class + evenings which works perfectly for my schedule and gives traffic the chance to lighten up a bit for the drive home.
Plus I get the chance to punch things during lunch- stress relief!

7 pounds down so far!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Yosemite Visit

Paul and I realized that we have not been on a vacation together since our long weekend in Monterey this time last year. So his Christmas gift, a trip to Yosemite with a two night stay at The Majestic, came at the perfect time to get away.

The weather couldn't have been better with sunny 65 degree days and dry trails. We explored the valley on some absolutely stunning hikes, read books, and ate delicious meals.

I didn't realize how much I needed a moment and it was tempting to stay an extra few days!

Monday, March 13, 2017

New Uses for Old Things- Horse Show Edition

When a feed bucket becomes a wine chiller.
Disclaimer: no horses were deprived dinner as a result of these libations

Sunday, March 12, 2017

RMEC Northern Winter Classic: Sunday

Of all the times to lose a stirrup, why did it have to happen in my Equitation Round? For that matter, why does it ALWAYS seem to happen in my Equitation Rounds?

After such a great week I probably should have left well enough alone, but decided to compete in the Eq 2'6" division and it was not pretty.

A disappointing flat class (let's just tack my right arm to the side of my body please), a lost stirrup in my first round, and a VERY chippy add in the last round.

I have to laugh a bit at this first round video. T was over it and looking for a reason to spook (note the hairy eyeball he gives my videographer as he passes by during the courtesy circle). I lost my stirrup coming out of the pink outside line coming home and made a solid attempt to get it back while simultaneously executing a tight turn to the bending line. No dice. But then for some reason just decided to ride the remainder of the course sans left stirrup, which may have been passable if my last fence didn't showcase my mishap to the judge.

Perhaps if they held a class ridden without stirrups I could hold my own, but for Equitation I think you're supposed to keep them.

If you haven't watched Ellie's Derby video yet- go back a post!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

RMCE Northern Winter Classic: Saturday Derby

Ellie is officially a Derby horse!

Northern Winter Classic ran a $10,000 Derby that offered 3 heights- 2'9"- 3'- 3'3" and Ellie competed at the lowest height. Even though she ROCKED her 3' Division earlier in the week, it was her first time at that height and had only done one 2'9" show late last year.

RMEC has this notoriously realistic, big, scary log- and for as long as I've watched Derbies here, there are inevitably horses that just say, "nope!" The same was true for this show and we lost at least 10 horses to that log in a field of 40+. In most cases they turned to fence three, spotted the scary, and wouldn't go a step closer.

After watching the few horses before Ellie have some tough rounds I climbed to the top of the bleachers to film with a VERY large glass of wine. Not only did she truck around, she had some absolutely adorable jumps!

A score of 66 was well deserved, Ali rode her deep to most of the fences to build her confidence and she was a little quick after a few- probably wondering what the hell she had just jumped and how quickly can she get away from it!

My favorite part of the course was the two stride- she hesitated a touch through the middle but jumped out and got some airtime! And the lovely hand gallop down to the last oxer!

So proud of her!

Teddy jumped around in the 3' group and seemed entirely nonplussed by any of the fences! Unfortunately he had a few moments where he got a bit quick and scampered through a few lead changes. The spread between judges scores was significant- 74 and 80 for an average of 77. Pretty inline with what we saw earlier in the Open Division placings. 
The cutoff for Top 12 was 77.5 so he just missed the Handy by a hair! Really pleased with his round!