Thursday, October 29, 2015


Yeah don't shoot me, I used a hashtag for a title. #hashtag.  We did the show, I love my horse.
Smiles for everyone
This was a laid back schooling show, the day started with 2'9" and went up to 3'9" and then started back over at ground poles and went back up to 2'9" the last class of the day was a 2'9"+ gamblers choice.  I signed up for 2'6" 2'9" and the gamblers choice.
Relaxed pony

Glowing green poles
I got on way too early, forgot to account for the amount of time that ground poles and cross rails seem to consume.  Either way he warmed up great (total of two warm up fences as the footing was way chewed up) and then we headed over to the show ring to wait some more.  While the jumps went up to 2'6" all of us standing around went for a trot and canter around the arena.  Alyssa had jumped with the big kids earlier in the day so she was on phone memory juggling duty for video and Aimee played photographer for the day.

Let me just say, my horse cruised around that like a complete freaking bad ass.  Here is a video of the second half of the course.

Then things went up to 2'9" and apparently very scary fill was added.  Watch out for wine barrels and black boxes (most likely filled with bones).
OH Em GEE black box of death

I guess he is trying to look at them while jumping

Not one stop at the brick wall though!

Still in love with him
There were still lots of kick ass jumps, and we still made it over the bogey fences, booyah!

Not sure why he thought he would throw in a stop at the last since he went over it in the first round, but oh well he made it over on the second try.
When asked if I was doing the gamblers choice earlier in the day I said I had signed up for it, but if no one else did than it was ok if they cancelled it.  The person asking laughed and said no, there was a gift card for the winner.  Hellz yeah I said I was riding.  They assigned points to each of the jumps, the two highest were the wine barrels (obviously skipping) and the bright green oxer.  I came up with a course with some pretty awesome lines and lots of points.  My horse answered every question I asked of him!  Talk about feeling pretty pumped!
Go time baby

50 points! Jumped it twice!

Then it was time for the joker fence!  It was a two stride from the black box of bones to the red vertical.  I took a deep breath, picked up a good canter and swung as wide as I could in the turn so he would have a chance to see it and it was show time.  At the last moment he thought about diving sideways and I said, hell no horse there is a gift card on the line.
Obviously tried to dive to the right

Lazer beam vision on the next jump

Yes that one 
Nope you are not going the the right you are going straight

I think the only thing we can call this is a hail mary

Yeah, we made it
 The hail mary picture really cracks me up.  I have been working hard on embracing the leg on, hands up, jump jump jump thought process.  Gone are the days of me getting in the way.  Ok that is mostly likely a lie, but I'm working on it.  Also do you see how big that oxer is? Anyways, feel free to laugh and my hands' literal interpretation.
Looking forward to a great day
Over all it was a very good time.

And oh yeah, we won the Gamblers choice!!!!!!

Friday, October 23, 2015

I've got that showing feeling

Of all bad blog titles that might be the worst.  I am going to a show tomorrow.
That way towards success
It is a schooling jumper show at my trainers.  We are signed up for 2'6", 2'9", and the gamblers choice.  Keeping it low key for continued confidence and success.
Finally able to not jump poles on the ground like they are four feet tall
We have had a quiet week of riding, with a hack, a friend in town who did a light dressage school with him and then a couple jumps today.  He seems unphased by last weekends road trip, not surprised as he travels quite well, but I still appreciate it.
Relaxation everywhere
Today I popped around a little course, it started great.  Then he got just a tiny bit rushy and so the distances were strange.  We stopped, backed, regrouped and finished with several foot perfect jumps.  I just keep putting my hands up and leg on.  Love this horse and love my journey with him.
Even with all our struggles, and my struggles we keep coming back for more.  Even with our bumps in the road this summer I was able to watch someone jumping 4' today and the thought of doing that with my horse seemed natural.  We both have talent, now to mesh it together and keep working on being a team.
Here we come
We will get there, I have faith and hard work on my side.
Pictures from a lesson last Thursday, taken by Alyssa.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Time to laugh

So one day I made a meme of our amazing Alyssa and Bacon.
Seriously guys, like could have gone up 2 to 3 holes
Can we just bow down to Alyssa's balance and Bacon's withers?  Well, Aimee has an actual meme app on her phone and ho boy meme session was on.  First we have this official loose girth meme.
That position tho!
Then we memed an awful moment, because why not.

Wait for it


Because yeah

Luckily we seemed to have move past this
And of course we need a meme of when he is amazballz.
Then I started looking back, because obviously we need to make fun of my penchant to wear all the colors.  Turns out this year has been chock full of color coordination though.

Thank you Annie's for the contribution to my color domination game

No worries my gloves are still pink
 There was this one time in a Jan Byyny clinic where I though this was a legit outfit.
Actual quote by me on the regular
The real issue is that I love blue breeches, but also back and pink.
Don't see an issue
Going back to last year I found this one.
Don't ask why he has on the girl color
Turns out this guy is memeable too.
Third ride and already getting epic pictures
Then I found it, the most memeable picture of all.
This: everyday

Don't care

Maybe a bit harsh


Also truth

The struggle is real for the people around me
And this is how you keep from taking yourself too seriously.  Thanks to great friends with great senses of humor.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Relearn what you know

I used to be a good jump rider. Trusting, motivating, giving, strong yet soft, ect. ect.  Then I rode nothing but green babies and problem horses.  I made a name locally for myself.  I could get on just about anything and get it to chill out and eventually be a brave jumper, at which point the horse would be sold or the owner would take over riding again.
My first go at Training
While I gained many skills and techniques I also lost some.  In general my riding has improved every year, I would love to take what I know now and ride the horses of my past.  There is a big but though.  While many of my skills have been honed, the ability to trust a horse down to a jump jumped ship somewhere along the way.
Riding is certainly a journey
I hadn't realized it per se, but I had noticed that jumping didn't quite have the joy I knew it should.  Yes, there were always great jumps sessions sprinkled around, but it just generally was more difficult than I remembered it should be.  I could get any horse doing any shenanigan down to and over a jump, but the idea of just coming in at a good clip and jumping out of stride was eluding me.  My hands are always wanting to check and steer, my legs to push and kick, my seat to be defensive, heck even my voice wanted some action.  By golly we are going to get over that jump come hell or high water.
Brick walls of terror
It has been like I had no ability to jump easily.  I've felt like I'm under water in a pool and keep slipping on the bottom, if good jumps are my oxygen I've been suffocating.  Prisoner and I had a seriously rough summer, yes we made progress, but it was mixed in with lots of what felt like failure.  Turns out it wasn't failure so much and just relearning what I used to know.
These are from a lesson back in August
Poor Prisoner has had to help me wade through the muck and mire I collected getting terrible horses turned into solid citizens.  Many tears have been cried because I've felt like such a failure.  Here I have been blessed with this wildly talented horse and we spent half the summer running sideways, running towards jumps, and rearing.  I've always taken the adage to heart that if something goes wrong with a horse it is first the rider's fault.  While mostly true you can't let it turn into an unhealthy mantra playing over in your head.
Flying airline ottb
I could beat myself up even more playing chicken vs. egg about why he started misbehaving.  What it boils down to is just a big conglomeration of shit stuff called life.  Finding a single culprit to blame would be like finding where the first drop in a rain storm fell, it doesn't matter.  Instead I am looking to move forward.  Relearn the simple art of letting a horse get to a fence without my getting in the way.  He is athletic and smart, he will figure it out without 'help' from me.  I have to relearn to trust my own skills as well as my horse.  When a green horse doesn't understand the concept I can't immediately heap coals upon my head about my own inadequacy and failure, I must instead explain it to them in another way.  All of these are things I knew, I just have to change that back into things I know.
Finding my smile again