Sunday, May 23, 2010

Brookwood Hunter/Jumper Schooling Show

Like everything else on the blog, this post is just a bit late in being posted. On May 1st Ches and I loaded Huxley, Brico, and Kevin for the Brookwood Hunter/Jumper schooling show. It was a low key show which was a great way for both Brico and Kevin to get their feet wet in the horse show world. Huxley did two small jumper classes and used the courses as what they were--schooling rounds--to learn that we don't always go away from home and stop listening to the rider. Brico did several little Hunter classes and one Jumper class, and was great for all of them. Poor guy barely has any jump training, but we keep taking him to all these little jumping shows. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right? Below is a video of his Jumper round.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Before and After

So many times we see horses advertised on websites such as Dreamhorse, or even in magazines, with terrible for sale pictures. Oftentimes, these horses will be listed with a pretty hefty price, but look like a backyard nag. People do not want to pay a lot of money for your backyard nag. However, you would be shocked what a little elbow grease, and some professional looking pictures, will do to help make a "nag" look like a fancy show horse. We have several examples from over the years of horses that we have been asked to clean up and market for clients.

Below are some before (left) and after (right) pictures of a Paint gelding we where asked to market last. The time difference between the pictures is only a week. It really is amazing what cleaning a horse up will do. We pulled his mane, banged his tail, clipped his chin/bridle path, and gave him a deep cleaning bath. Toss a nice leather halter on and you have a totally different looking horse!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Show's Over!

Our stadium round today was clear and inside the time. Though Pip was a bit behind the leg (and required a few love taps with the jump bat), he didn't have any trouble getting around the course without faults. I have come to realize that I will probably never own another horse who can jump like this pony can! We finished second in Training Horse on our dressage score of 32.7, .4 behind the leader. Pip won a red ribbon and a much needed white dressage pad with embroidery.

I'm very happy with Pip's double clear performance, he is pretty awesome :) I was hoping that he could have taken the blue, but regardless, Pip's score was better than all of the final scores in the Training Level divisions, except for the horse/rider who beat us in Training Horse. I also think Pip's second place finish means he is qualified to compete at the Area Championships later this summer--though I'll have to do some research to confirm and decide if it is worth the effort. Pip gets to enjoy some relaxed riding over the next couple months, as I will be shifting my focus on getting Brico much needed show miles. We also have training horses again this summer, and Sewick will be returning home soon! And for anyone wondering... Pip rolled in the dirt the second I turned him out at home.

All three of Pip and my "moms" were in attendance at the event today for Mother's Day: my mom Brenda, and also Cheryl and Barbara. Barbara and her family bred Pips at Southern City Haflingers and gifted him to me when I was fourteen--couldn't have asked for a more perfect gift! Cheryl is Pip's co-owner and trusted "food lady." He had a good time being the center of attention today and even doing some tricks for his following after the competition was over. A big thank you again for the support from the Haflinger Horses Community Website and Emily Gibson; Kelsy for serving as unofficial trainer/groom, and for all the well wishes from friends. Eventing, and riding in general, is definitely a team sport!

Update: Pippin's Video, courtesy Kelsy...

On that note, a congratulations is in order for our friend Jessica Bryant and her horse Bravo. They got first place this morning in Novice Rider on a double clear score of 33! Brav was one of our first horses at Nayborly Farms Summer Camp years ago, and Jess and her mom have brought him along ever since. This summer Jess and Brav are hoping to qualify for the Pony Club Event Championships at Novice level, which will be held in California.

Another great horsey weekend! We'll post about our other events and happenings this summer as they come. Thanks for reading.

** Both Pip and Bravo competed barefoot, without horse shoes, in all three phases **

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pippin's Cross-Country Update

Today we had perfect May weather for Pip and I's Training level cross-country round. Though Pip seemed a bit lackadaisical in warm-up, he perked right up when we galloped towards the first fence on course--a large table with flowers on top. My plan was to get up some speed early on and we cruised up the big hill and over the first three fences without much trouble. Though I had hoped to trot down the "Snowy River" hill, Pip cantered down the drop and hill--it wouldn't have been worth the trouble to try and stop him. He galloped straight through the water complex and hugged the turn for the galloping stretch. There was no slowing him down through the mid-field and we didn't check up our speed until the coffin complex at fence 17. Despite taking the long route option for the Trakehner (fence 14), at the end of the ride we were clear and well inside the time! In fact, Pip had the fastest time in his class (we finished in 5 minutes and 18 seconds, the optimum time was 5 minutes and 39 seconds). Others in our class had jump penalties or incurred time faults, including the overnight leader. Now we are in second place, only .4 behind the new leader.

Pip had a big cheering squad and we really appreciated everyone coming out to say hi and help! We always say the reason Pip has a big head is because he gets so many compliments. We can't go far at a show without getting a "cute pony" comment in passing--one rider even said Pip looked like he could be a Unicorn.

Tomorrow we'll be competing in Stadium jumping. I am always a bit nervous about this phase just because it is the last one and the jumps fall down, but hopefully Pip will be himself and carry us through cleanly! To maintain our second place position we must jump without a rail; I think if we have one rail we will drop to third place and more rails would push us farther down the bunch. The only way to move up is if the leader incurs penalties. Side note: I'm a little bummed that I didn't enter the "Training Rider" division instead of "Training Horse," as Pip would have been leading in that division based on scores (same dressage judge), but hindsight is 20/20. We had a great day and are looking forward to the final tomorrow on Mother's Day (Pip can't wait to be able to roll in the mud again)!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Pippin's Event Day One - Dressage

This afternoon Pip and I competed in dressage at NWEC Mother's Day Classic Three Day Event. Since our ride time was late this afternoon, I was able to give Pip his bath this morning. It was great to sleep in and not have to worry about keeping his mane white overnight! We'll see what he looks like tomorrow morning (he's in a body suit--sheet, hoody, and tail bag).

Kelsy and I are used to competing in the Pony Club sponsored One Day Events. They run all three phases in one day--dressage, cross-country jumping, and stadium jumping. It feels strange and drawn out to only do one phase a day. Thankfully we live a mere seven miles from NWEC, so it's no trouble to drive in each day and save the price of overnight stabling; plus Pip gets to sleep at home. This evening when we got home Kelsy and I had time to ride our other horses and do chores.

Pip's dressage test today went fine. It was a good ride but not great. We scored mostly sevens (Fairly Good) and a few sixes (Satisfactory), finishing on a score of 32.7. I was disappointed not to see any eights in our scores, as we usually pull out at least a couple. We are currently placed third in our division (Training Horse). The top five scores are all very close--within one or two points of one another. There is no room for error, so hopefully we'll have two clean jump rounds! I'll have to be careful not to incur any time faults on cross-country tomorrow. The way event scoring works, we can only move up in the placing if the horses and riders scored higher than us mess up and we do not.

On a side note, Pip stirred up some trouble in the warm up ring today. There were a couple of horses who were frightened by him when we cantered by. Gotta watch out for the golden ponies! This is not the first time that we have seen other horses startled by the Haflingers at shows. Once when Kelsy and I were competing Mikey and Precious, we were asked to leave the warm up by a trainer because we were "scaring her client's horse." Our Haflingers were behaving well, but it must have been their bouncy manes or something that set some horses off.

Kelsy, Cheryl, and I walked the Training level cross-country course this afternoon and there aren't any major surprises. I anticipate that Pip will back off the first two fences because they are big, bright fences with flowers (but thankfully Pip knows the power of Mr. Snappy!). Other than that, I plan to trot him down the drop jump on the "Snowy River" hill and also through the coffin complex (Pip hates ditches). We are opting to take the option on the Trakehner as Pip has had bad experiences there schooling in the past. There's a lot of room for galloping so if I keep my eye on the event watch our good friend Melissa is letting me borrow, I hope speed won't be a problem :) Cross-country is my favorite!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The April Aspen Farms Event Derby

The April Aspen Farms Event Derby has come and gone and I am very late in updating about it. Sorry!

Over all it was a great day! Arron, Huxley and Pippin ALL won their divisions. Bravo and Jessie got 3rd in Novice, Specks and Patti got 5th in Beg. Novice. Brico and Stewie both did a couple of 2ft schooling rounds and were stars--well who are we kidding, we knew Stewie would be a star! Huxley and I even rode a dressage test, and it was decent! We got a score of 34 in Novice Test A. Anyways, without further adieu here is everyone's videos from the show.