Monday, May 27, 2019

Revised summer plans

Had to change my plans this summer with Curtis. I have a big bag of magnesium waiting dor me I need to go pick up and I might even ace the kid. But we will learn how to behaved at shows. Probably wouldn't hurt to sedate myself as well. We will go somewhere every week and learn how to behave in a warm up ring. I will school and school even if I never get on him at first.

I bought a soumd reduction bonnet but it's too big on him. It's Horze brand. Anyone know a better fitting brand? The ears were pretty much oversized and came off after a canter.

Last Monday we went to T's to ride. She and I both rode at the same time which gave Curtis something to think about. He did really well. One almost run out because mare friend was near the jump. He also got off the trailer and behaved beautifully to be tacked up where as 8 months ago he was a spaz. Improvement.

Afraid of his own reflection though...

I've also been weaning him from his pals because he ia buddy sour and dependent. He's gotten much more relaxed on his own, especially if he's been allowed some time in the barn, with or without the others.

I'm riding over there again tomorrow and I'm hoping next week we can plan a trip to Masterson to school. He needs to be out of his comfort zone more often and so do I.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Flying Cross Part2- The hot OTTB

After SJ and Rascal won the day, I had to deal with Curtis....

Curtis who came off the trailer calm. Stayed tied nicely with  Rascal to the trailer and walked up the hill to the dressage ring only mildly alert. We got up there and he seemed ok. We walked around and looked around. But after 10 mins I got on him he was a completely different animal. He wanted to take off the moment I got on him and when I tried to pull him up he wanted to buck and prop.

Anyone who knows me or has been reading my blog for a while knows that I'm not gutsy. I've never had to deal with a lot of dangerous shit with horses from the saddle and would rather just not. Since I became a mom, I'm even more timid. I do not want to get hurt. It's not falling. It's the fear of something terrible happening once I hit the ground.

My person is not very understanding. "Ride through it or get off before you break your neck". He's right of course but instead of being pressured and yelled at I need someone saying "it's ok. Just sit up. Ok. Give him a little rein. Make him circle. Breathe." Curtis was bad though. Like a switch had flipped. It was the other horses in the warm up. And the horses out galloping xc. And the person walking past the pond. And the fountain in the pond. And the stack of brightly colored jump standards and poles. It was the whole damn thing. He has no business being there.

My person ended up on him. He had him doing flying changes and going WTC, quite hotly, but doing it. In short he rode the shit out of that horse. Let him get it out of his system and when he tried to buck he kicked him forward.

someone buy this man a shadbelly and some white breeches.
HE needs to be showing Curtis

Then I got back on and the damn horse was trying to drop me again. Finally the warm up cleared out a little and I had him in the warm up with only 1 other horse and made him walk and trot and circle and felt sort of okay. There was some hold up in the dressage ring so we ended up down the hill there where it was actually way better. He couldn't see the pond as well or the xc and the horses in the warm up were further away. We rode in there for a minute and luckily T was there and talked me through a bit of warm up just like she did at the show in Nov. Seriously need to start paying the woman a training fee.

scary shit EVERYWHERE

I rode both tests back to back. We scored terribly and it wasn't until the very very end of Intro B that he broke out the relaxed fancy trot. And then spooked at himself in the mirror (for the 5th time) as we came down the center line and our halt was super wonky. I praised him like he just won a gold medal rode out and got the fuck off. I was done. I was crying. I couldn't even.

if my face does not say it all....

It was not fun. I don't show because I'm particularly good at it. I'm a mediocre rider at best and have to practice my ass off to manage to do things other riders do with God-given talent. And that's fine. But I enjoy showing. Going out there and trying to beat my personal best. Showing off with my horse. Getting all glitzed up. I enjoy the weeks and months of training leading up to a show because it gives me a goal to work on everyday that reminds me that I was a horsewoman before I even became a mom. That I can be a mom and a rider. But this sucked. My horse was a monster. I was stressed and embarrassed even though everyone was incredibly understanding and nearly every other rider and the ring steward and the judge all said "it's ok! we get it! we've all taken that horse to a show." Thankfully it was a schooling show and they worked with me. That even though I rode the tests way after my ride times, I still rode them. And other riders let me cut in front of them or understandingly kept clear of us in warm up. Almost made up for how they acted about SJ.

girl power for sure! 
I haven't gotten Curtis out as much as I had planned this spring. But I've purposely been riding him during all the shit and construction and next door auctions we've had going on here since October. He never cares about a damn thing. When SJ and my person ride I purposely go to another paddock and ride him alone. We went to Masterson and he was so mellow and I was even schooling in their dressage ring at one point when they rode over the hill and he did not fucking care. But being at a show clearly reminds him of his racing days and makes him way too hot for me to deal with. I didn't even bathe him until an hour before we loaded up to go and had him out the whole night before.

10 seconds of half way decentness

I was, and still am for the most part, very discouraged. I expected him to at least be better than November, which was also a shit show, not worse. My person says I either need to figure it out and grow a set and ride him through the shit or sell him. I'm going to spend the summer and try to work through it. No actual showing until the fall. I'm going to take him somewhere every week, even if it's only to T's house. We can both ride. Leave all her horses out in their paddocks to run. She can leave me and he can learn to do his own thing. We can go back to Masterson. We can trailer to shows with her and alone just to school. Even if schooling is just standing next to the warm up ring with tack on, dismounted, learning to not be an idiot just because horses are going fast. He's also being weaned because I think part of the reason he might have been worse is because he realized his buddy wasn't there. So he's on solo turn out from now on. And then in Sept or Oct I'll take him to another show. If he isn't any better, selling or just trail riding might be an option. He's very athletic. He's fancy. But maybe I'm not cut out to be his partner in crime. Even the idea is killing me. I've been waiting for years to get my hands on this horse as a dressage horse. But it is what it is.

I'm also planning to give a calming supplement leading up bigger outings. If anyone has any suggests please let me know. I know magnesium is good. Horses often get that as an injectible a day before a race. I'm thinking more like a pellet or powered.

I want to prove my person wrong and my self. I don't think either of us are entirely convinced I'm going to succeed with this kid, being the chicken shit I am....

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Flying Cross Horse Show- Part 1: SJ

This will be a 2 parter because the part about me and Curtis is a long one. So stay tuned.

Yesterday I hauled Curtis, Rascal and SJ to a show. We pulled Rascal off and tacked him up and got SJ geared up. Left Curtis on the trailer alone and after we were out of sight he stopped screaming and worked on his hay net.

We walked up the hill to the dressage ring and he was looking at everything but behaving. He's not a fan of cars coming up from behind him but there was no spooking. Once in the dressage warm up, SJ and Rascal weren't even on the steward's list. So that annoyed me. Because were were on the check in list. Shouldn't they be the same????? So 15 minutes after she was supposed to do her test we start the test and little Rascal and SJ were awesome. That big appy is worth his weight in gold. And that's saying a lot because he looks 9 months pregnant.

cutest thing EVER

We went down to the stadium ring and again they had no idea what was going on or that there was even a leadliner. Kind of put up a stink saying they had to change the course. Well we paid for this so let us do our 6 "jumps" and you can do your course. After we got through our short course everyone clapped and cheered and she told Rascal "GOOD BOY!!!!!".

And then the "xc". I get there 20 mins past our ride time. Leadline was supposed to go between divisions and they just went on because we weren't on their list....again. Whatever. They wanted me to wait another 20 minutes for the division to be over but I said no. It's not my fault we were late. We'd been jerked around at the dressage ring because they didn't even know why we were there. And I had another horse to ride so could you please give us 5 minutes to walk over our 6 poles on the ground and call it a day for my leadline pair. They said yes. But then. They sent riders out on the course after we were in the middle of it. Send the 2nd one out even after the 1st horse galloped by us spooking Rascal and nearly throwing SJ. Who luckily thought it was funny and has a great fucking seat for a 3 yr old. We didn't even finish our last "jump".

i got a workout for sure
I was so proud of SJ and of Rascal who mostly kept his shit together. It wasn't his fault! But I had words with the show secretary. I paid for this! Do NOT act like my daughter, doing what she has a fucking right to do as a paid rider in a division you added for kids like her, is an inconvenience. You don't even let more than 1 horse on a course for baby starter. WHY THE HELL would you for leadline?! I was so pissed. I still am. I won't go back there. Not for leadline. I need to find 4H shows because this kid is hooked. Even if it means we don't show the same day. (more on this in part 2).

She was the only leadliner that day to show up and won a huge blue ribbon and she is hooked. She is in her room right now "napping" but really laying in bed sounding like she's reading a dressage test and telling stuffed Rascal "good boy! there ya go! x halt salute!"

God, please give my kid all the guts on a horse I lack.