Wednesday, January 28, 2015

An Eventing Affair!: The Affair is Over!

An Eventing Affair!: The Affair is Over!:                                         The Affair is Over Goodbye Eventing.... Hello Dressage Since my rider hasn

The Affair is Over!

                                        The Affair is Over

Goodbye Eventing.... Hello Dressage

Since my rider hasn't preformed any eventing in almost two years, I'd say "It's over". 
   At first she just wanted to join the dressage barn to brush up on her flat work. She yearned to secure a lower starting point, because in eventing the lower the score the better. The girl wanted more than anything; to STOP detesting and despising dressage! The only way to stop hating it, is to become better at it, right?   The thought of possibly having a leg up (better dressage) on ALL the other eventers, was probably in there, too.  Hey, I know how competitive she is.  You know, scoring in the top half of the class after the dressage phase  is always wished for, Let's face it, it's kind of a must in order to have a any chance at all for a win. Well to be honest, it was rare that my rider saw the top, mostly hung out at the bottom of the list. So it made perfect sense that she would go to ride at a dressage barn. 
     It's not just some little crappy dressage barn. It's a full blown, German Master owned,  horse training facility!  Each horse has it's very own perfectly fitted, expensive luxurious saddle. Never, ever would a working student be allowed to tack up their old Wintec on a clients  horses back.! Heavens No! The training is, of course very classical. Everything is strict and straight up orderly, and it's all extremely correct, except sometimes the English language gets muddled up with German. But besides that,  the place is perfect. And THAT place has swallowed-up my daughter, just like the GIANT MONSTRO WHALE in Pinocchio that gulped-up Geppetto. They're now just living inside his belly. Waiting to be sneezed out. 
     My rider loves it! She quickly went from being a mucking working student to a 40 hour full time horse trainer, riding 5 to 6 really nice horses a day. With that comes a paycheck and constant instruction. The Master has a eye on her riders at all times, it's like she has 4 eyes with the piercing ability to strike out and smack a good seat into you. She absolutely must have those horses ridden correctly or you will end up feeling like the stinking muck pile. There is no room for showing up late, leaving early or slacking in any way.  And if you lie to her ... you will want to die. Loosing the Masters trust is like getting the death penalty. It takes months and months for her to trust you again.
     Some of the clients ride and show their own horses and some clients pay for the Master or the Assistant riders to compete their horses it all depends. Luckily, my rider has a very nice, talented young Oldenburg mare that she's been working with since she arrived at the dressage barn. She absolutely loves her! They connect. It's been wonderful to watch because they are both learning together. Slowly, and effectively they're going through the levels. It's what you would expect. We're all excited to see how it all goes and I plan to keep you posted. 


Monday, May 14, 2012

Big Shot on little Shoty

  Ha ha ha,  hee hee, I can hear the snickering now. Half suppressed laughter coming from the hidden smirks."What in the world is she riding?" and "Wow, she must be desperate"  from the minds of many.  Go ahead and laugh, I would laugh too if I were you. It's ridiculous! Who on earth, would ever event a haflinger pony? And why?
   Introducing "Chatzka" sounds like "shots-kah". She's a ten year old, quick-witted  tiny little 13.1 hh  haffie, that never, ever gets off of the farm. Hardly unintelligent like someone I know called her... "Shoty" is the perfect "twinkie" hostess with the most est, for sure. She's an extremely lucky little half a horse for so many, many reasons, with the best one being her owners.

    Here's "live in the moment" owner gal, one of the happiest ladies I know: Andrea Carlson. She and her family are the caring cautious owners of Chatzka. This equestrian rides for pleasure and for therapy. Carlson is a young physically handicapped twenty-four year old rider that knows and loves her horse very much. She is also well aware of  her own disabilities and riding limitations. That being said, both Andrea and her mom, Sue Carlson  really want to see how well their smart, power packed little pony can hold up under competition. Andreas' mother said, her mare really doesn't need to prove anything to anybody, she's just a girl ,that wants to have some fun. Poor little repressed pony is the prime age to actually do something with. There is a new found sporty fitness, well trained manners, topped off with bored bottled up barn sourness just waiting to implode and  possibly bring home brightly colored ribbons. We are going to EVENT her! It's true. Everyone knows. there is a  ton of pride that goes along with being the owner and allowing another rider to take their horse out and experience adventures. "Let's get her out more" we all agreed. Allow her to go places and feel the kind of travels this rider knows she will never be able to do. Fingers, legs and eyes-crossed that all goes well and my rider can educate this pony along with give these owners the thrill of a lifetime! Hopefully we will "go eventing" soon.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

He almost dropped his pants, she dropped her whip in Ocala, Florida

    Mr. Bruce Davidson took action! Off came his leathered bungee belt. Stealthfully calm, the man roped and bonded this unrestrained  horse, real nifty to watch.  Check out this ladies smile when she realizes who actually caught her instantly polite pony!  POWERFUL!                
WAKE UP call!
 It is NOW time to get SERIOUS about EVENTING!~ "Leg UP" those HORSES as they say. Which means, get some MUSCLE going. DO IT NOW!  Typically, the Northern "Ultimate Horse Sporters" which means ALL BALLS OUT EVENTERS north of Florida migrate south, mostly to Ocala. So, No surprise......t h e y y y y'Re here. HERE WE GO again! Weather was wonderful, warming to the 70*'s for The Ocala Horse Properties Winter 1 Horse Trials  which happened in Florida over the weekend.
     Day one found us clear and warm focused. Nothing much mattered, zip-O-not-ah!  Not even, that her taped sprained ankled ached, woman cramps cramped or we didn't eat breakfast. Problems were simply not allowed to auger in and cause trouble, not this show ....It was: suck it up time... DRESSAGE DUTY CALL! Ta~dah! They start out in the brave rider "open class" at the very top of the bottom half of the list.
     Time went by, but  not without their cross~country run. This pair was just coming off of a "Retired On Course" from her most recent last show, so OF COURSE the horse was going to dare and face off. Right out of the starting box her horse blasted spunky stuff. There was bucking with cheekiness, hopping chutzpah then came the cream streaming in a line. My rider ignored ALL OF her squeal and proceeded onward thrashing with speed. Sticky over the the first. I could see them gain momentum as they poured through to the back field. Standing on my tippy toes I could see the ruffled dirt which usually blows up from some kind of a commotion. Evidently, she went for a wake-up WACK but dropped the crop instead. OH NO!! My rider bellowed "DROPPED MY WHIP!" hustled she dismounted, then POP back in the saddle. She came around for a second attempt, more BRAKES! Another stop. Complete nonsense now, is what went through her head. My jockey circled back the other way, this time,  nicely they sailed over... and over went their problems. No more attitude or distrust, only fun, their run in the sun.  Through the water and every jump was like a smooth swirling milkshake melting, dripping to perfection... perfect to the bitter end.
     Together we felt happy. Then the owner seeing the live scores, txted to ask what a TE means? Huh, was that for me? YES! You have got to be kidding me, we questioned the rules. Off to the office we went. My eventer told a brief description of what had happened. The official lady with the killer smile retracted those letters "no problem, we will change that" BUT added sixty points instead. We'll take it, since all she really really wanted then, was to jump in the stadium round.
     CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS:  Nora Battig held it togeher with Borneo Royale. Buck Davidson put his foot down with Case Closed II. Lexi Scovil was heard with Laugh Out Loud. Andrea Leatherman gained blue with Mystic My. Michael Pollard never waivered from first showing Schoensgreen Hanni. Wonderful "Webster" made Susan Gray's Day. Corinthian Spirit lifted Alexander O'Neal. Karen O'Connor beamed with Amber Eyes. Nicole Doolittle climbed to the top with Utopia III. The "Power of Intention" gave Kennedy Z. Cross the win. Lauren Kieffer kicked it with Phoebe. Leslie Law went all the way with Tout de Suite. Right on for Heather Jans and Rickoshea. And last but not least was Amanda Wilson, who won with a Two Carrot Diamond. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Memory Stuck like Glue...

       It was a beautiful crisp spring morning, the snow had finally melted away and we were eager to ride outside for the first time that year. I was 12 years old at that instance, riding a 6 y.o. OTTB (off the track Thoroughbred) that was feeling fresh as the day itself. I was a little nervous about my lesson that A.M., the first one out of the barn was rarely pleasant with the wind and runoff streams everywhere. It was like entering a new planet for Image and the other horses. I took a few deep breathes before climbing on and thought to myself... I'll be alright, this crazy beast spooked and bolted all winter at the sound of snow falling off the tin roof more frequently than not, I have legs of steel. ;)
      The group consisted of 4 of us, all young, fearless "wannabe" eventers, ready to take on anything! (Except for dressage of course.) We walked as slowly and as cautiously as we possibly could down the long driveway to the jump ring. Everything was so astonishing to our mounts... birds 10 feet in the distance scattering, people talking, dogs barking, cars zooming.. things the horses were used to (or so we thought.)  All of us riders began whining and asserting "Are you serious right now?" to the hankered horses. We made it to the ring, still on board thankfully, and began warming up immediately. Image settled down pretty quickly and I was quite pleased with him. We slowly cantered around each direction a few times and then started jumping.
      Everything was going great and I was ready for this lesson to be over so that I could guarentee my safty and that satisfaction of accomplishing a difficult task. My instructor pointed out the last litte course to me and off we went, picture perfect! Yay! Now I can relax! I thought, dropping my reins to the horses neck. I sat back and "chilled" for a sec. Not thinking that Image could put his head down to scratch his face, if he wanted to (which he did) whoops! There went my reins right over his ears, I giggled a little. As he started to walk forward he stepped on the reins strapping his head to the ground. My poor OTTB startled himself, threw his head up into the air and got smacked in the eye by my now broken reins. (Not so funny anymore....) This all happened so quickly that the thought to jump off didn't occur to me until after Image had already taken off in a frenzy toward the stables. I held on to my (hornless) saddle the best I could trying not to scream (I didn't need to make things worse.) The galloping horse made it to the back of the paddocks where a small creek rambled along and found the need to jump over it, rather than go through it. This slowed him down tremendously just in time for me to hit the ground. Luckily the landing was soft with grass and mud. I was physically okay, but emotionally distraught.
      A few hours later my mother picked me up and my trainer had to explain to her what happened that day. After telling the story (mom in shock) she laughed and looked at me and said "bet you never want to ride him again, huh?" I thought for a moment, shrugged my shoulders and replyed "It wasn't his fault."

By: Katie Honeywell

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Retired at the Ocala Horse Properties


   "You made the right decision" was the txt from the owner of the horse my eventer rides. There it was, just what she needed to hear...cannonball reload! It was a nice solid shot, BAM! she fought back all the emerging doubt, unwanted difficulties and screeching skepticism that comes with an "R" on their record. "R" means retired on course and when in uncertainty, probably is always the right thing to do.
     The Ocala Horse Properties (we all still call it the Florida Horse Park) Horse Trials scrunched all three phases into one jam packed day.  We arrived the day before giving us ample time to walk the course two times, clean tack and set up a tent. Yes, we assembled the 4 man, it's called eventing on a budget. "Can you sleep?" my rider asked. Oh crap, here we go tossing and turning all night. Shuteye was nowhere to be found. In the car, out of the car, in the tent, out of the tent, her search continued. She settled for the fetal position crammed on the back seat. Groggy and compressed however, happy without worry because there was plenty of time. I would have to say, that mare's perfectly weaved in button braids were proof, that everything was going well. Then there were the smiles from the breakfast sandwich, confirmation of wellness. Can you picture that toasted egg + bacon saying cheese?
     Her dressage score was respectable, laying them a foundation of a 37.7  which fastened them into seventh position. Braids were kept in, since show jumping was next. Considering what had happened at the last show, them getting through this was absolutely necessary! She rode with confidence clearing every jump, only dropped the final one. Lastly, they still needed to run across the country and clear twenty-two jumps. Looking ready, my pair rushed over to warm-up and at the first little coupe, she seemed to almost stop. Then the next jump... definitely a mother's "WHAT THE?"  Bunny hopped it. Yikes, I could see her slightly start to panic. A couple more unfavored jumps then the start box judge yelled "YOU'VE GOT 20 SECONDS!"  Off they went into the box, out towards their first jump. I could see the hesitation, they jumped it. Second question needed coaxing. They barely scraped over the third. Forth jump, the mare refused, with a cleared second attempt. Rider felt like, this quarter horse had run out of gas. She was sleep running! They came up to the fifth jump, pony acted squirrelly, rider pulled up while raising her hand. That was enough, it was all too rough.
     I was proud of my cautious rider, even though at that moment she wasn't feeling very proud. No need to risk anything if it didn't feel right.  Thank goodness for the text from the owner, she turned her frown upside down.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rocking Horse Fall Off HT's

     I started to brush off the dirt, then thought better about doing that. White footing fragments littered her newly dry cleaned show jumping jacket. It was as if an eight month old baby had just puked milk down her shoulder to the backside of her arm. Obviously she had taken a tumble, a fresh hit to the ground. Like any good mother, I began to smack away some of the impurities, some soil, the dirt together with sticky sand. My hand briskly slapped as well as dusted, really I just wanted to hit away her humiliation. Turn back time. Grant her a "do over".  Then I stopped, better not bring more attention to what had just happened.
     Rocking Horse Fall Horse Trials started off as well as ended in an unwanted disconnected kind of way. Right off the bat, we had a bobble, a bad car battery.  DRATS a three hour set back! A three hour tour! All I could do to calm myself down was keep the Gilligan's Island theme song repeating in my head. You know the one..Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, That started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny mare. We towed into the dropping sun, rolled into the showgrounds on Friday night at six. A prompt early morning dressage test overshadowed their straightaway ten forty-five cross~country start time. The daylight started getting dark, we had better find her mark. If not for the courage of our fearless walk the mare would be lost. THE MARE WOULD BE LOST! Sunshine waned, weakened her line, made it hard to find the jumps. We had to make the best of things, cause it's an uphill climb. Without further delay, she braided her mares' mane, went to bed without sleep, faced an early bird wake-up call, missed the free breakfast to start the show tied for fifth, after the flat. YIPPEE! My rider, not without the pony, was a "jockey for position".
     I set off to find some nourishment, can't have this pilot feeling like she could "eat a horse" or anything, not before they run across the country. DRATS once again, she solely wanted a bacon, egg and cheese on whole wheat breakfast sandwich, but for the most part all they had were crepes crunched in cups. Eager to please, I harpooned that food and brought it to her. Not happy while running out of time we walked the end again. Us being "out of time" ended up giving her time. Time penalties galore, almost enough to count as a refusal. Her fine fifth place position, plunged to nasty ninth.
     The chips were down, but her spirit was still up before going into the final showjumping phase. The course was walked, paced out to perfection. Warm up jumps were flawless, not a rattle, nailed every distance, she looked just like Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum but without the "Shutterfly".  The announcer introduced my equestrian along with the cremello quarter horse, the whistle blew, off they went. Every jump was off. The chips that were down earlier had found their way directly into how the horse ran it. Chipped in, popped up, every jump looked un-smooth, however, nothing had fallen down. Then, on the sixth jump the horse sprung straight up, leaped it big, everybody gasped, (by the way she heard that!) we thought the horse would land on top of the jump, they cleared it with surprise. That's when, the pair came around to the fateful seventh jump. Nope, that was enough....the mare stopped and my eventer popped over it alright, unfortunately without the horse. It was like, a ship set ground on the shore of some uncharted desert isle, and everybody fell off. Better luck next time.

About Me

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I hold my breath and hang on tight, every time they gallop across the country. Mother of an EVENTER