Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sandmar Farms Jumper Show

On Saturday, Febuary 27th Chesna and I loaded up Pippin and Huxley and headed north to Olympia to pick up our friend Jesse and her horse Bravo. Fellow horse enthusiasts, we have known Jesse and her mom Kathy for many years. Bravo, a Hungarian WB x Thoroughbred x Draft, was actually one of our first summer campers!

Anyways, we picked Jesse and Bravo up and made the long drive up to Poulsbo, Washington to Sandmar Farm for the Hunter/Jumper winter schooling series. We got there around 2:30, but that was clearly too early as the Hunter part of the show was still in progress. The poor horses had to stand around before we got to ride, which was well after dark. There was a break between the Hunter classes and Jumper classes for us to warm-up in the lighted indoor arena; however, we then had to wait a good hour and a half before our classes began. All of our horses lacked any kind of re-warm-up (besides walking around the driveway) before going into their Jumper rounds.

Huxley went in first for the 3' class. At first he was a little shocked that he was jumping again but only tapped the first two fences before he realized that he was indeed on course. He went clean without taking any rails. Good boy Huxley! Hux went on to the jump off round and had a clear, forward, and steady jump off round to win the class as the only double clear performance. His second class was the 3'3" class. He was on the ball this time and knew that he was jumping when he went in the arena. He jumped a clear first round but took the first rail in the jump off down, though he still ended up getting second place in the class because it was a small group.

Pippin's first class was the 3'3". He too went in the arena with no warm up, though unlike Huxley jumped the first two fences like an old pro. However, he hit a funny short distance to the third fence and took a rail, he then came around the corner to the fourth fence (a big vertical heading into a two stride) and slammed on the breaks. He was mostly just offended that he had hit the fence before and expressed his displeasure with a "no thanks" refusal. This only got him hit on the butt and ridden more attentively to every last fence on the course. He did finish in fourth place in the class because, as in all the classes, there were few entries. Pip's second class was the 3'6" class. Much more alert, Pip won this class with a double clear round.

Bravo's first class was also the 3'3 class and once again he went into the arena with no warm-up or idea that he was jumping. Even though he took two rails in the class he ended up in 5th place. Jesse and Brav's second round in the 3'6" class was going great until the last two fences on the course--Brav took the last two rails. Regardless of the rails, they had a nice forward round and both kept their composure. They'll be competing lots more this spring and summer. Jess and Brav are already qualified for the regional Pony Club show jumping and have their eyes set on qualifying in Novice eventing as well.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Elk Alert

Yesterday night we went out to feed the horses dinner and they were all riled up. We didn't have to look far for the source of their anxiety--turns out the elk herd was just off our fenceline on the neighbors' property. The elk are used to us and the horses, so they wander close when it's not hunting season. The lighting made it difficult to get clear pictures, but some turned out alright...