Monday, September 23, 2019

10 Questions for September

I love these kind of questions so I thought I'd join in for this month!

1) Favorite Quirk Your Horse Has

Chimi rolling

Oh Chimi...he is a weird horse.... I do love that he hates peeing in his stall. If I leave the horses in I have to  make sure I get down to the barn so I can take Chimi out of his stall and into the grass so he can pee. He will pee if I don't get down to the barn in time or if he's stabled at a show but usually he'll try and hold it as long as he can before peeing!

I also like that whenever he rolls he flips sides by sitting like a dog and shifting to the other side and never fully gets up... he does it EVERY TIME. It cracks me up.

2) Three adjectives that perfectly describe your horse

Brave, quirky, and nosey. When Chimi's got his big boy pants on and he's mentally checked into the situation nothing bothers him. Point him at any jump and hold on!!!! But the quirky side comes out b/c he has some many weird things that he doesn't like or will set him off. He's also super nosey b/c he has to know everything thats going on. Dogs barking? Must go check that out. People standing in the aisle of his barn? Must stick his nose on someone's shoulder and demand to be included in the conversation. If he was a human he would be who you'd go to to find out what was going him Gossip Boy.

3) Plan your next ride- what will you do/work on?

Well right now I'm sidelined with a knee injury so it's going to be a bit before I can ride....but I guess my first ride back will be something simple. Probably just a flat ride and getting Chimi and myself back in the groove

4) Have you ever trained an OTTB? If yes what was the biggest challenge?

Sort of? When Marley first arrived at the barn I was boarding Gus at no one else had enough skill to ride her so I helped out. (I'm not saying I'm a great rider but everyone else was basically a beginner and barely did more than walk circles around the ring) She wasn't mine at the time nor was she fresh off the track but she was still very green and coming back into work after a stifle injury. My biggest challenge with Marley was her tension. She struggled to settle and relax when you rode her. Sometime we'd get it and OMG she was such a nice horse!!!

5) Have you ever groomed or worked for a professional rider?

High School Trainer and her group of students. We had so much fun riding and showing together! 

I did when I was in middle school/high school. The summer before 8th grade there was a group of us that worked for our trainer the entire summer(?) I honestly don't remember how long but it was great!!!! Though I will always remember my friend losing control of the golf cart and it went downhill into the fence and broke a board that was put off to the side for some reason. Luckily the fence part was fine so I don't think we ever told anyone b/c only a small piece broke off of the loose board that the golf cart hit :)

I did work for a professional in Southern Pines for a few weeks when I was 15 (only remember my age b/c I didn't have a license/car so couldn't go anywhere) and then I groomed at a couple shows for my trainer when I was in high school. Nothing extravagant nor for long periods of time but what I did do was a great experience!

6) Farvorite Horse and Rider combination?

I had to think about this for a minute but I think I my favorite combo is Sara Gumbiner and Polaris. They may not be on the WEG or Olympic team but after listening to her story on Major League Eventing I have so much respect for her. She is making a name for herself and working hard with a tricky horse but her on Larry and Allie Sacksen on Sparrow's Nio were the first two competitors to come through the finish flags at Kentucky this past year with pretty famous names going and falling before them. Allie and Nio are another favorite pair b/c who doesn't love a Connemara and he's running around at the top level as a half pony- go pony!!!!

7) Have you ever ridden a horse at the beach?

Yes! In Ireland- my mom and I went on a riding vacation and one of the days was a beach day where we just galloped along the beaches. It was so much fun!

8) If you could experience the equestrian community (i.e. ride and compete) in another country, what country and why?

Ireland or the UK. I know a lot of people have this answer but there's a reason!!! It's Mecca for the eventing world and there are so many events there. Though I wouldn't mind eventing in Australia either b/c it'd be a really unique experience!

9)  In your opinion what is a piece of equipment that is given unnecessary hype?

Standing Martingales. I don't get why everyone wears them in the hunters. If you need it sure, I totally get that but just b/c everyone else is??? That doesn't make sense to me. When I was a kid showing in the hunters someone told me that if a judge had to decide between two horses which to place first and one had a martingale the one without it would be placed first. Now that rule of thumb doesn't matter b/c all hunter horses seem to wear them. But why???? Someone please explain to me why a horse who doesn't need a standing martingale wears one??? I know if I was a hunter I'd be that person purposefully NOT using one and trying to win just to prove a point!! ;)

10) What was the first horse you rode called? Are they still alive?

hello 80's

Popcorn the leopard appaloosa my mom leased when I was super tiny. Mom had a tandem saddle and I'd ride in front of her until I grew too tall and would hit her in the chin with my helmet. Sadly the barn that Popcorn lived at when my mom wasn't leasing him had an outbreak of EIA and he was one of the horses who got sick. So no, he is definitely not alive and unfortunately passed away a couple of years after I rode him.

I love this picture- Popcorn with my dad, uncle, grandad and barn owner

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bad Eventer Needed Help

This weekend I was reminiscing that WEG was exactly 1 year ago. Say what you want about WEG 2018 but I had an amazing time. I shared a memory/picture of me scribing for Dressage and Sara from The Roaming Rider commented... "Do you follow the Bad Eventer? She is at TIEC this weekend and in need of jump crew tomorrow night if you are available"

Waving hello to my mom from the judge's box at C!

Hummmm..... I quickly ran through the things I had to do Saturday and then thought "why not?" I was probably going to go and watch anyways b/c I had some friends competing this weekend and what a neat/educational experience it would be to hang out in warmup? So I sent Bad Eventer a message and said if she hadn't already found someone I'd be more than happy to come and help out. She responded and I was set to help her during Saturday Night Lights!!!!

" warmup"

So on Saturday I headed over to TIEC (Tryon International Equestrian Center) to help Bad Eventer at The Blue Ridge Mountain Horse Trials! I met her at her stalls, petted all the ponies, and then off we went to warmup. And HOLY FRICKIN COW. That was not the warmup I'm used to at the lower levels!!!!! What happened to the cross rail, vertical and oxer that are set and no one changes them except to put a knocked rail back? Yeah apparently that was not the scenario that I had volunteered for! 

Doug Payne was the first to go in the Prelim division and Bad Eventer wanted to watch him go before she hopped on and warmed up. It was balls ass hot and humid even as the sun was setting (seriously- WTF weather???) so I don't blame her for wanting a short warmup! She came back from watching Doug, hopped on her pony, and then off we went to the warmup! 

Poison Ivy is really good at not so much

Warmup is always a bit crazy anyways but this definitely took it to a new level. There was an "empty" jump in the middle (aka no one was standing next to it) and she had me make it a small oxer. She hopped over it a couple times and then asked me to raise it up 2 holes. She kept saying "two more holes" until we reached Prelim (or higher?) height and then I squared the oxer and then it was time for her to go into the ring. When she finished with the first one she came out, met her groom, and swapped out for the 2nd one- BE was seriously one BadASS Eventer for riding 3 horses in such a short amount of time b/c I know I would of been ready to call it a day after just the 1 horse! 

Friends make horse shows more fun!
For BE's 2nd horse Britt from Red on the Right came out and helped me b/c she was also helping a friend in warmup (plus competing her own awesome pony!!!) and it was much faster raising the jump having one person on each side! Even with help in the warmup you have to be on your toes! There were a couple times that we'd be raising the jump and then suddenly another horse would be sailing over the jump as we're about to take the pole out of the cup! Besides having another person to help raise the rails you needed someone to watch your back in case another horse was on its way to the jump! I really should of counted how many close calls we had but it was easily over 5 oh shit moments! That and watching Britt's face as I heard poles crash behind me twice b/c Britt had a direct view of someone taking out the entire warm up jump really made me realize this was a whole different animal than I was used to!

After Bad Eventer finished with her 3 adorable critters (seriously loved all of them!!!) I stayed behind to finish watching the rest of the competition and catch up with Britt. It was such a great evening and a perfect way to spend a Saturday evening!!!