Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ms. Lat is a "Beauty Queen", what a GOOD Girl!

Tuesday night Ms. Lat and I went to the little schooling show not far from our farm. Monday night I was on the farm all by myself and I decided that if I was showing Tuesday night perhaps I should have "My girl" go over some rails and perhaps a cross rail or two. I placed all of the rails (5) that I have on the back of the pickup and some small barrels to use as standards, and setup the rails and cross rail. I then went to tack up Ms. Lat, after some warm up around the track with some leg yields, serpentine and transitions, we then went to the ring.

We approached the 3 rails set as a cavaletti and in "Lat's" mind I was asking her to step into a big hole but I have found that if we do not want to go over the rails we can walk in between them. That did the trick and the "Big Girl" then walk right over and we approached the cross rails but she decided that those rails were far to scary and she was not getting within 4 feet. Knowing that turning away was not an option I decided that I would get off and we would go over the rails with mom leading her. Hurray for Lat, it worked.

Tuesday night, we headed off to the show. I decided to show in three classes, a walk/trot, cross rails, and a walk/trot and canter individually. My girl was a sweetheart, right over the cross rails and just a very good canter. We ended up doing another class, a hunter hack and "The Big Girl" came through again.

We pinned in each class, 2ND, 2-3Rd's and a 4Th out of about 8-12 in each class. I am just beside myself with her willingness to try and to do so well, she is just the best mare.

We are off to do dressage this weekend. I hope we are as lucky. Everyone should have a Standardbred! A wonderfully versatile breed!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Our Canter is coming!

Lat and I have been working hard on our right lead going to the left. The beauty queen is doing quite well, she is actually starting to understand what I am asking. Going the other direction we are just working on slowing down and collecting but to the left we are working hard on picking up that lead.

Tomorrow's plan is to Pop over a few cross rails and to concentrate on all of our dressage stuff such as rounding, transitions, etc. Tuesday we will be going to a small schooling show again and I think I will take her over fences. She seems to enjoy it and it is just plain FUN.

After tuesday it is time to concentrate on our dressage test because we will have two shows this weekend. During my down time I am going to take the advice of the Confessions of a Struggling Dressage Rider and do some of the excercises she suggested on the Ball.

If you are in New Jersey please come the the Horse Park of NJ the weekend of August 29 & 30. The 29th is the ReRun, Inc.'s Eighth Annual Charity Horse Show (which is an open show and there is dressage also) and the 30th will be the Standardbred National Show. The afternoon of the 29th will be the Battle of the Breeds, which will be Standardbreds against Throughbred, this will be lots of fun, please come and join us.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

What do you think of Riders that refuse to move up?

I was at a little schooling show the other day for a Throughbred charity. There were classes for beginner riders as well as beginner horses. One of the classes that was offered was a W/T/C class but you only had to canter in the lead of your choice individually. I clearly saw the class as a class for horses that were just beginning to canter, however not everyone saw it the way I did.

The horses that pinned 1st, 2nd, and 3rd where clearly accomplished in their ability to canter. When the class was warming up those three horses were cantering in both direction and jumping over fences.

I also was at a dressage show not so long ago and the top horse recieved an 85% in Intro and the horse that came in 2nd has been doing endurance for the last 4 years and can obviously do higher level test.

Why do people choose to stay in a divison or class when they are clearly over qualified. Perhaps it is just me and I am missing something. I always feel that showing is a place where you have the ability to compete against others so that you can see where you should concentrate and improve.

Please let me know what you think!

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Freedom Fest Fair

The Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey did a wonderful demonstration Sunday at The Freedom Fest Fair, even if I must say so myself. Several of the members showed up Saturday night to set up our stalls and everything else. Then on Sunday morning the horses started getting there at 9:00. Ms. Lat and I arrived about 10:30 and the stalls were all setup including bedding, it was such a pleasure to just walk your horse into a stall and only have to put up your water bucket and hay net. R did a great job and had the bedding and hay donated to the club.

We had our announcer(which was my Husband)setup with his pa system and lots of scripts plus he put together music which turned out great. Our first Parade of Versatility started around 1:00 and we had a good crowd.

The parade started with a driver with race silks on in a jog cart followed by members demonstrating Hunt seat, pleasure driving, western pleasure, dressage, eventing and model. After the parade we had a meet and greet by the stalls and the horses were surrounded by people and kids. The Demo then continued throughout the afternoon with more meet and greets in between.

Overall, I feel for the first demo of this size we have done it all came off really well. I did video the whole thing and will put it up on my blog after it is edited and you and tell me what you think.

Thanks again to all that worked so hard.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Saturday the Dressage show!

After friday's lesson there was alot of work to do, Ms. Lat had to have her mane braided and she had to be washed. When we returned to the farm I got started and finished about 6:00 but "The Big Girl" looked good, tomorrow morning time to go to the dressage show. (I am very lucky she does not rub out her braids.)

We arrived at the show about an hour before my first ride. We warmed up and waited for the class. The test went Ok but because of the lesson the day before we had a very difficult time trotting our 20 meter circle, Ms. Lat wanted to canter. Each time I would ask her to pick up the pace we would transition into the canter. After finishing our last 20 meter circle, Ms. Lat's mother lost her mind, she looked at K and thought around past A and change rein at F, DUH, what was I thinking. I heard the whisle, off course, so we circled again and came up the center line and saluted. Even with her mother's mental blip we still came in 3rd out of 5, I was shocked.

Determined to do better in B we worked some more on 20 meter circles and bending and transitions and moving forward. When we entered the ring for Intro B all went well except it was difficult moving her forward without her transitioning into a canter but we finished the test with out having another mind blip.

I approached the judge to get her comments and she asked me what breed Ms. Lat was and I proudly answered "She is a STANDARDBRED." The judge then said "Really, who would have thought." The judge then went on to explain to me that she can generally knows which horses are standardbreds because "They have a glich in their trot", that was a first for me, I had never heard that before, apparently my horse is "GLICH" free because she did not know her breed. In this class we also came in third but first and second received unbelievable scores, 1st score was 74% and 2nd was 67%. Ms. Lat and her challenged mother received a 61%.

Over all I was pleased with our performance. This Sunday, July 12, 2009 the Standardbred Pleasure Horse Organization of New Jersey is doing a long demo at the Horse Park of New Jersey on the versatility of the Standardbreds. We will be starting at 12:30 with a Parade of Versatility and then individual demonstrations in Driving, Hunt Seat, In-Hand, Western Pleasure, Eventing and Dressage. We will also host 2 or 3 meet and greet, where the public can come to our stalls and talk with us about the horses. If you are free please come by, we will be in the indoor arena. Hope to see you there.

The Lesson of all Lessons!

Oh wow I was so happy that I was taking a lesson last friday, but little did I know how much I would have to work. Ms. J who is my coach decided that she wanted to see Ms. Lat's canter, so I said "No problem going to the right-the left transition is great however the right lead going to the left is a problem." (Why did I say that?)

Our lesson focused around the right lead. No matter what, we are going to get Ms. Lat into the right lead. I thought that I was going to die, Ms. Lat was a nice crazy and several bucks, but I did stay on and we did accomplish our goal. We will continue working at this but J feels that Ms. Lat is confused and does not quite understand how to move in the right lead. I have not tried any cantering this week yet but we will, maybe tonight.

I find that it is easier if I have another set of eyes so that when we are correct I can concentrate on going and not worrying about the correct or incorrect lead. I am sure that we will solve this lead thing soon.

The schooling show that I went to earlier this past week had a W/T/C class. This class was setup for horses that are just beginning to canter because you are able to canter, one horse at a time on the rail, so I decided why not. When our turn came around Ms. Lat transitioned into the canter perfectly but (I suppose it is weakness) about half way through we had to buck and then a break but we just started again and cantered around the indoor one whole lap. We did get a 5th out of 6th but that is great for her first time. After all schooling shows are for schooling not for the ribbons.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I must be crazy . . . .

Well a week ago Tuesday I decided that I would take my Big Girl to a locate schooling show. We have not shown in about 3 weeks due to social commitments, so we were long overdue. Shortly after leaving the farm, the sky began to look threatening to the west. The weather all day long had been beautiful about 2 miles from our destination the rain began but it was just rain not a downpour, thank goodness. We left "Lat" on the trailer and went to get our number and by that time the rain ended. As I started to warm up in the big ring with all of the fences I kept having conflicts, two people were jumping different fences, another person was cantering, and someone else was lunging. I decided that I could not get anything accomplished with so much confusion so I found myself a small dressage ring with a cavaletti and some cones set up. All was quiet in this ring. I was a little nervous because I was riding my hunt seat saddle and bridle and had not ridden this equipment in about 9 months.

Ms. Lat warmed up very nicely and I was then comfortable enough to just walk around. My friend H was there and 3 other standardbreds , H being as nice as she is was helping the others warm up. When I decided to go back to my quiet spot, H had taken the rails and made a little cross rail fence, she suggested that I jump it but I told her I had never jumped Lat and had not jumped myself in several years.

Well with a little encouragement, over my big girl went, without a bobble, she is so great. The next thing I know I am entered into Beginners over cross rail class in the indoor. What a trooper my big girl is, we went into the ring and schooled over 3 fences had no problems except that her mother's timing was a little rusty. When the class was called no one wanted to go first so Ms. Lat and I entered the ring and completed all four fences with only knocking down one rail on the first fence but I was very pleased with our team work. Ms Lat trusted me to guide her but because I have not jumped in years it was a little scary.

I know that we will be jumping some more fences because it is soooooooooo much fun. Thanks H for the encouragement.