Monthly Archives: November 2012

New Arrivals

This weekend I took a trip up to our Buckeystown, MD farm to drop off Corcho and bring home some new horses. I was a bit low in my numbers and getting bored with only two horses to ride. Ha, I shall regret this when we are in the middle of winter!

I haven’t been up to this farm in over a year because we have had plenty of horses at our Centreville, MD farm but everything that I had over there was recently donated or not quite ready for retraining.

Allie picked out a few for me to bring home that she thought were ready to get started and I brought home a recently donated horse that just needed some more individualized attention due to his slightly aggressive nature.

Estrella Corredor came to my farm and he is adorable! He is a 3yr and I would say he is 16h but I didn’t stick him. He is super sweet and very sensible. He loved the grooming session when I pulled his mane and clipped his nose, ears, bridlepath and legs. Good boy! He got a nice warm bath and was really enjoying himself. He had a little lunging session and we walked over all the jumps in the ring without even a glance. I think he will be a really nice horse so I am excited to get started with him. This is a horrible cell phone picture but just an idea of what he looks like.

I dropped one off at Centreville farm until Ridge sells. I didn’t want to get too full at my farm so he will just hang out but I think Ridge will sell soon (if people ever come to see him!).

The aggressive horse had just come from the track and I truly think he is all bark and no bite. He more than likely will not be an ammy horse but luckily he is fancy enough that it won’t matter. We took him out for a little video before the farrier showed up to pull his shoes.

He got his shoes pulled and will just get to hang out and be a horse for a while. It is amazing what good old R&R will do for them in terms of changing their attitude.

 

Building a partnership with a difficult horse

This is a story about my journey with Letterman and our one year journey to form a partnership.

When I bought my farm, I realized that I was going to have to seriously evaluate my budget and think about how I was going to afford it all. I knew that I was going to have to work really hard (in addition to my regular job :)) to bring in income. I have been successful at doing that. I have a bunch of wonderful clients who sent horses for training, awesome people who come to buy horses from me and a steady stream of local students who bring their horses for lessons or ride my horses in lessons.

My goals had changed in terms of what I needed in a horse. I didn’t intend on doing a lot of competing and most of my time was spent working with other people’s horses and the CANTER horses. I wanted a horse that I could get on and hit the trails without any additional stress. It could be green but it had to be safe and fun to ride. I didn’t want a boring horse. We all know that I like a bit of a challenge. I really wanted something that would take me on a journey. A horse that would challenge my skills as a rider in pushing me to be a better rider.

I remember picking Letterman up on Owner’s Day at Delaware Park in September of 2010. He looked like this:

We really were full on donations and I remember Allie making a remark along the lines that he was probably a cripple. I immediately was annoyed with him because he was kicking under the divider at the other horse and I actually had to stop and give him some Ace to calm him down. He was already a pain in the butt.

Letterman had been at the lay up farm for 8 months mainly because we had a bunch of other horses at that time and he needed a break. He was remarkably sound after running 58 races but he didn’t care much for people. He went the winter without a blanket because he wouldn’t be caught and I don’t think I had ever been able to catch him. We happened to have the trailer at the layup farm one day when we had a volunteer outing. With a bunch of carrots we managed to get a halter on the feral beast. We were lunging all the horses to evalute them to see who was ready to go into retraining. I had planned on taking two horses home with me so once the halter was on he became one of those horses. I decided to lunge him and wouldn’t you know out of all the horses he was the one horse who ripped the lunge line out of my hands and went running around the huge field. He came back to the crowd and we caught him. I remember thinking that I was not at all excited to start working with him. Ah, what fun he was going to be. He was anti-social and managed to piss me off pretty much right away by kicking the crap out of my really nice trailer. He threw the biggest fit in the whole world but he was in there and I wasn’t letting him out 🙂

This was the day we brought him home

Letterman was not a fun horse to ride early in his training. He was angry, his body hurt and he simply wanted nothing to do with being worked. You often had to work hard to catch him in the field. He had quirks a mile long (kicked the heck out of a trailer, couldn’t catch him, didn’t tie in the barn, hard to get a halter on, spooky, scared of everything in the barn, aggressive with other horses and the list went on) and generally wasn’t an easy horse to get a long with. I really didn’t care much for him but I had a lot of respect for him. I would watch him on the lunge line (lunging to help him develop his muscles) and I would think that he had all the right parts to be a nice horse. Why couldn’t he just enjoy life a bit more? Riding him in the ring was a real chore. There was nothing fun about it. On the trails, he was a totally different horse. Forward, happy, relaxed and comfortable. He could barely canter in the ring but on the trails he would pick up the canter and I would just grin from ear to ear. I could canter him all day long and he was just so balanced and smooth. Never pulled and just held the most beautiful canter rhythm that you could ask out of a horse. I loved his uphill way of going which made him easy for me to ride. His trot was weak and he went with his head up in the air but you could feel he had quite a bit of power. While he was a bit spooky he was also very sensible. He didn’t care about being out alone, being in groups, being galloped up on, being left, other horses crowding him and all the other important things that go into making a fun mount outside of the ring.

Early rides on Letterman-

I am very much a person who wants a horse that does correct flatwork. It makes everything better and I just can’t ride a horse that doesn’t know how to soften its topline, work across the back, bend its body, move off the leg, etc. It seriously is a really big deal to me. I try to install proper basics on every horse that I work with for this reason. I was conflicted about this horse who gave me amazing rides out of the ring but was so darn difficult to ride in the ring. He belonged to CANTER at that time and I just didn’t know how I would sell him. It was taking a long time for him to sort out his body soreness. If I told people his list of quirks they would probably run the other way. Most people want to see a horse ridden in the ring first and if you saw him in the ring you wouldn’t have even given him a chance. He really hated jumping at that point and wasn’t very honest. He lacked a forward button and it was all you could do to move him forward in the ring. He was just a plain bay who was only 15.3 1/2 h 9yr who had raced a bunch. He has some osselets but they xrayed clean but still it was almost hard to believe he was sound. I wouldn’t say there was anything that would really attract buyers unless I lied and that is not something that I do 🙂

I had basically decided to stop riding him in the ring (after a trip to New Bolton to evaluate him b/c he was sore behind and they saw nothing!) because he hated it that much and got more sore with ring work. I just trail rode him and figured that I better start paper chasing him and getting him out and about if I wanted any shot at finding somebody to buy him. The more that I rode him out of the ring, the more that I started to figure out that I really LIKED this horse. I got off with a smile each ride and he was just fun. He fit my style of riding and although he was green, I really liked his brain. We did a bunch of paper chases and about the third paper chase I looked at Kurt and asked if I could buy Letterman. I hadn’t had so much fun riding out of the ring in a long time. Kurt and I enjoy spending our free time trail riding, paper chasing, hunting and more. We only owned one personal horse (Junior) because we were trying to cut down on expenses. I didn’t need Kurt’s approval but it would change our plan to save money if we added another horse (aka shoe bills, vet bills and more). I had been lucky enough to have several client owned horses and CANTER horses to ride but you know that they sell just about the time when they start getting good leaving me back with a really really green horse. I needed something that I could just pull out and go with and Letterman was an ideal choice. He would likely be cheap because he did have some undesirable traits 🙂 Kurt agreed to the change in plans and Letterman was mine. No more stressing about how to sell this moody horse with a list of quirks a mile long.

Still just a plain bay but now very sexy!

I wasn’t really in love with Letterman at this point. While I do love all the CANTER horses and my client’s horses, I don’t get super attached. It’s a good coping mechanism because I know they won’t ever be my horses. There is something that changes when the horse becomes your own horse. I suddenly found myself finding his quirks cute instead of annoying. I could laugh at all of his antics instead of dreading how much of a challenge they were going to be in terms of resale. I began to appreciate him for the things that he did well instead of being frustrated about the things that he wasn’t so great at.

The biggest change was that I suddenly had the luxury of time. Honestly, there is never pressure on me to sell the CANTER horses quickly but I do set personal goals to get horses going nicely in a certain time frame. It gets in your head when you realize the horse has no intentions of playing along with your timeline. You struggle to remain patient and at times it leads to you just not really enjoying the horse as much as you should. I am good at putting that pressure on myself because I always want to do my best. I feel like a failure when my horses don’t go well or aren’t as trained as I think they should be. When I bought Letterman, I let go of any agenda that I had for him.

We spent the late fall (last year) just trail riding, paper chasing and we did a bit of xc schooling. He was not the bravest at the jumps but I just kept everything small so that he could walk over if needed. I worked on forming a relationship with him where I never put him in a bad situation so that he could build trust. We started working on the lunge line in vienna reins and the pessoa rig to develop the necessary muscles to carry his body correctly. It was a real struggle for him so I could only do very short sessions. He was finally starting to soften his topline but boy was he a bit tough in the mouth. I took it as a challenge and just worked on getting him more supple in his body. We mixed in a lot of trail rides for the rest of the winter and things were really coming together.

The horse who had started out hating jumping (scared to jump and wouldn’t go forward) was blasting around the free jumps like a goof. I had to throw a bunch of poles down just to slow him down!

Lunging him to get him forward and stretching over his back really was paying off! See minute 2:30 in the video of why he is tough but talented all in one. He sees zero reason to relax in the canter 🙂

We had a kick ass spring this year where he really seemed to be on the right track. We had done a few xc schoolings and he was brave and taking me to the jumps. He was happy to leave the group or wait while the group went (love this!). Jumping in the ring was still a real struggle for him because of the hole in our flatwork. He had a serious lack of steering. It stemmed from the flatwork because when he gets worried he just grabs the bit, braces in the neck/body and you lose all power steering, brakes and rideability.

Okay, more flatwork needed. Working on getting him to move laterally off the leg. Letterman is a bit of a tough egg about things that are hard. Some horses really allow you to ride them but Letterman tends to say OMG this is so hard so I will fight..fight harder…ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Convincing him to see things your way is an exercise in patience. He swore any kind of contact in the reins was the devil and that he was going to die. While his protests are mild in comparisons to some horses they are relentless. I swear this horse probably just ran fast at the track because he was mad 🙂 I was still working to get him forward so there were many days where I questioned how in the heck he was a stakes winner and was stakes placed because he wanted no part of going forward. I kept mixing that trail riding up with the ring work to keep him going forward and allow the muscles to shape themselves without pissing him off too badly.

Putting the pieces together undersaddle

I found myself getting very excited because he was going super well. I was getting ready to sign up for our first event when he suddenly was lame. At first just a little lame and I wasn’t seeing anything but in two days there was a HUGE splint that emerged. Oh no..not a normal splint. This was the Godzilla of all splints. He was very lame and I knew x-rays would be needed. How does a horse who ran almost 60 races manage now end up broken with a splint. He must have whacked the heck out of himself because he had several micro-fractures up high on the splint bone. That earned him three months of stall rest and then a very light work schedule as I built the bone back up.

Isn’t this pretty?

I was told not to jump him at first so when he got out of jail we started up with light flatwork again. I was more determined than ever to make this horse ridable on the flat. Challenge accepted! I started taking some lessons with a local dressage professional who immediately liked Letterman but declared him tough and after riding him she declared him very tough 🙂 Letterman is the master of grabbing the bit in his teeth and locking the jaw. He becomes so tight in his back that you can’t move him laterally to get him to relax. It is not an eay thing to work past. We first addressed his dislike of moving off the right leg. Then we worked on getting him to accept the left rein. Then we worked on being able to move him off both legs into either rein at will without him losing forward energy or grabbing the bit in his teeth and giving the finger. It has been one thing at a time but it is starting to make for a more ridable horse.

The horse who used to hate flatwork is now a pretty darn nice ride on the flat. I have had several people get on him here lately who rode him early on in his training and they can’t believe the difference. He is soft in the bridle, moves off the leg and will accept contact when you ask correctly. He willingly will move laterally now and you can just feel the power that is in there and waiting to come out. He no longer pins his ears straight back all the time and he has stopped grinding his teeth so much (He does this just standing in the barn so it is not necessarily a riding related thing with him (yes I treat for ulcers)). He finds the canter very hard just because it does take a lot of work to step under from behind but I have no doubt that will continue to improve until it becomes easy for him. Here is a recent clip of him during a lesson.

We had a great time out paper chasing this fall where he was braver than he has ever been. While he is still spooky (never going to change!) he trust me enough that he will continue to go past scary things. We also went on his first big group foxhunt where he was awesome. This past weekend he went to a dressage show on a 30 degree day with whipping wind. This was actually his first show and I have to say while he was spooky he was more rideable than he has been. He was terrified of the judge in the horse trailer at C but in the 2nd test he allowed me to ride him up there. He wasn’t forward and he wasn’t allowing me to soften him by moving him laterally but there were glimpses of good work and that is encouraging.

I have started to change my life around a bit and focus more on my own riding instead of riding everything else. This has allowed Letterman and I to progress more in our partnership. I find that I absolutely LOVE riding him on the flat now. The funny thing is how he crept his way right into my heart. I adore him and all his crazy. I look forward to seeing him every morning making his funny faces. While he can still be hard to catch it makes me giggle while I try to outsmart him. Just this week he got left out while everybody got to eat dinner b/c he wouldn’t let me catch him. He lets me think that I am winning the battles but deep down I know he is just playing with me 🙂

There is NO better ride than Letterman out on the trails and I thoroughly enjoy him so much that I smile for days after a good trail ride. Kurt and I spent Thanksgiving racing each other down the trail. I let Letterman open up and man oh man was that just awesome. He flies across the ground so effortless that you don’t even feel like you are moving. Amazing feeling! What is so cool about him is that you can fly down the trail as fast as you dare to go and when you pull him up he will happily walk on a loose rein until you ask him to move on. Love that!

We will spend the winter practicing our dressage and heading off to little dressage schooling shows. Sundays will be reserved for foxhunting with Wicomico Hunt or trail riding with the hubby.

I had my vet come out to see him just to do a general evaluation to see if he was as sound as I thought he was. I worried that maybe his hocks needed injections after many years of racing. I want to help him feel his best. She flexed him and as I jogged him after each flexion you could see him puffing himself up like he knew what was going on. Almost like he was telling us that he feels great! He strutted all around jigging like he was back at the track. Totally cracked me up! She said he was the soundest horse she had seen with that many starts and he flexed very sound. Keep him on adequan and stop worrying 🙂 She looked at him and said that with his conformation it wasn’t a shock that he held up well to racing. He has good feet, nice bone, is short and compact and light moving across the ground. I can tell you that with the addition of adequan he feels ever better than he had. He wants to kill me for giving him the loading dose every four days but the results are incredible. I was riding him last night under the lights in the freezing cold and I was thinking to myself that I am really lucky that I get to enjoy him.

I truly believe that all horses have something to offer if you find their niche. I think Letterman was a diamond in the rough and I am very thankful that we ended up together. I knew enough to look at the horse that I thought he would become and not the horse that he happened to be at the time that I met him. Maybe it was all meant to be? I am a believer in that sort of thing. Out of all the horses that I have retrained for CANTER, he is the only one that I ever pulled the trigger to buy. Sometimes you just go with your gut and my gut told me he was the one. I am glad I listened!

Quick update on the boys

Ridge had been going better than ever and had a bunch of people scheduled to come and see him when he decided to get a tiny little puncture wound on his knee right below the joint. I did have the vet come out because anything near the joint isn’t anything to mess around with. He has a bunch of heat and swelling but isn’t that sore. So far..knocking on some wood..temp is normal, appetite good, healthy drainage and not appearing to have a joint infection. He stands perfect for his daily dose of naxcel. I am hoping by this weekend he can get back to work.

We have decided that Corcho needs some more turnout time. I think with all horses it is important to listen to your gut. I would not even say that Corcho is drastically sore especially to an untrained eye but to me I know that he is sore in the hind end. He more than likely has some sore muscles up high that need more time to heal. When horses hurt, they are cranky and they don’t want to work. What I have found about Corcho is that he is absolutely the sweetest horse to work with but when you start pushing him in the work he just gets a bit angry. You would too if it hurt and it will just get worse if I keep going. It is easy enough to just turn him back out and give him the time he needs to heal so that he looks forward to having a job. In his defense, he didn’t get much turnout time like most of our horses do so I think that is more than likely why we are bumping up against this problem.

I find that racing is extremely hard on hind ends and that can take a while to resolve especially in horses that were successful (dare I say they push a bit harder from that hind end). All of our CANTER horses get at least three months of turnout time which does wonders for letting them heal both physically and mentally. When the vet looked at Corcho she did not think it was hocks, stifles or ankles. She said it looked up higher and more than likely was muscular. It can be hard to diagnosis those types of things so good old turnout can heal like none other.

I think the plan will be for me to pick up some more horses to bring down to work with when I drop off Corcho. I think Ridge will sell so I need to have some replacements. I am a bit bored with not many horses to ride but a bit of a break has been nice.

Facebook posts from CMA horse owners

This might need to be a weekly feature. I am a facebook stalker of my former horses and their new connections. I absolutely love hearing about people enjoying their horses. Not everybody does facebook so some are emails.

Alison owns CMA No Time for Love and these are just a few of her posts. He has been out on 6-7 foxhunts now with a few different hunts and is doing so well. He also won a blue ribbon at his first show!

Took CMA No Time For Love to his first show. He was perfect and won a blue ribbon.

Love, the new horse, had a great day of Hunting.  Incremental forward baby steps each week.  He can stand still for 37 seconds!  Last week it was only 22 seconds.  Today he conquered his first 3′ gate, with a WIRE over our heads holding the gate posts together.  I was definitely more impressed than he was by the circumstances.

Great Hunt today on the 4 y.o. No Time For Love.  5th time out and he learns each time.

Another Allison who owns CMA Rockin Fun:

Had to report that CMA Rockin Fun was great today…hadn’t been ridden in weeks, went on a hack down the road with a friend and me next to him on my bike with my son on the back, stopped to see the neighbors who put their 20 month old little girl on him, who cried then gave him lots of kisses, was almost chased by a dog, and was great!

Allie Conrad who owns CMA Track’s Protege:

I love that I can pull my Trickles out of a field where he’s been on vacation for 8 weeks, pull his mane, toss him on the trailer and go for a lovely mosey in the Foundation on a loopy rein. Best.

My post about CMA Letterman’s Humor:

Very thankful to enjoy a gorgeous ride with the hubby today. The Radnor Paper Chase was fun and Letterman couldn’t have been any better. Junior…well some things never change 🙂

My mom had a great paper chase on CMA Flint Hills as well.

Post of CMA facebook page about Ridge Amour:

CMA Ridge Amour was a superstar at his second show. I could go on about him forever but just go and read about him here 🙂  https://dixierumble.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/was-the-first-one-a-fluke/

and…

I got a great email from Jim Griffin that Bling is doing so well leading 2nd field with Wicomico Hunt Club. He has had him out on several staff hunts and two full hunts where he led the 2nd field. I find it VERY impressive that Bling is leading 2nd flight because that is a tough job and he is still so green. Jim really has a good one!

Nice to hear such wonderful things about all the CMA horses.

 

Was the first one a fluke?

After the first show that Ridge went to, we had a hurricane that dumped 10″ of rain on us and then last week we had another storm that brought more rain. Riding has been hit or miss but thankfully Ridge is the type of horse that just doesn’t care a little bit about a consistent schedule.

On Thursday, I remembered there was a hunter show this weekend at the local indoor. I personally dread hunter shows but will do them if I have to 🙂 I thought Whitney would be interested because she is a person who loves hunter shows and just showing in general. She was so excited so plans were made.

Ridge got his bath nice and early this morning and off we went. He was a tiny bit jazzed up in the outdoor ring which cracks me up 🙂 His silly is trotting faster like a giraffe. He saw a grey pony and just had no clue what to make of it. This is him a bit awake.

The wonderful thing was we didn’t have to wait to long for our warmup so we headed into the indoor. He walked into the indoor like he had seen one before and was flat-footed and relaxed. There were tons of people and just total chaos. I counted a few falls that resulted in loose ponies and horses one of which ran right up past Ridge. He seems to thrive in this environment. He was on a loopy rein just having a trot around. Whitney tried to squeeze in a few jumps with people going every which way. He just hopped over everything very quietly.

There wasn’t a lot of room to work with during the flat classes but he didn’t seem to mind. I was most impressed with his jumping because I really do not drill the jumping with him at home. He is still so green and lacking in muscle that I have focused on forward and straight rather than jump..jump..jump. He doesn’t look at the jumps and although he still jumps with legs going every direction you can just see his natural talent shine through. He never gets flustered and he just gets better as he goes. He sleeps in between classes and then happily goes in the indoor away from the crowd like it is just no big deal. He is so grown up for a 4y at his second show.

He is figuring out how to work his parts and it is so cute!

Tired horse will all of his ribbons

We haven’t advertised him yet as we just wanted him to get stronger, fitter and gain some weight and muscle. It is really hard to believe he only has two months of retraining under him. He is a horse that is so easy that you almost have to tell yourself to just take your time. He is now ready to move along into his new home. I can tell you there will be some very sad people when he goes.

Ridge and Corcho- Spooktacular Horse Show

Gambler’s Choice Equestrian Center hosted the Halloween Spooktacular Horse Show to benefit CANTER MA this past weekend. I figured since it was to benefit us we should make an attempt to bring our horses even if they hadn’t even been off the farm yet. I would say that attempting a horse show as your first off the farm outing isn’t the smartest idea but we never said we make the best decisions 🙂

We packed up Ridge and Corcho early in the morning and headed over to warmup before the show started. My friend Whitney had agreed to ride Ridge for the day so that both horses could attend. She rode him a few times in advance just to get the feel of him. He is extremely sensible and straightforward despite minimal training. Corcho hasn’t had as much down time from the track but I figured it would be a good experience for him to go.

When we unloaded the horses, the farm was turning out all their horses and they were running down behind the field where the parking was causing our horses to wonder what was going on. They stood there shaking but they were really good boys! We had gotten there early enough that the ring wasn’t crowded yet so I could lunge Corcho. I wanted to make sure that I gave him time to look around and settle in before I got on him. We figured Ridge would be just fine so Whitney got right on.

Corcho lunged very quietly and seemed way more relaxed than I had anticipated. I lunged him for about 5 minutes and he only offered a trot. He was thinking to hard to move his feet fast enough to canter 🙂 The ring has started to fill up with horses and ponies but both horses did not seem to mind. They didn’t look at the announcers trailer, the scary jumps, the crowd on the rail or anything else. I was very impressed! Corcho seemed relaxed in the warmup early on. We trotted and cantered around just letting him see the sights. Ridge was absolutely perfect. Totally unflappable! I thought both of them handled themselves so well considering there were lots of horses warming up over the jump course going every direction and neither horse even cared. There was this really cute pony who was so slow and the rider kept smootching to it and using the whip and our horses didn’t seem to mind which was very good. Letterman hears a smooch and is off like a rocket 🙂

Corcho started to get geared up towards the end of the warmup. He had been handling himself well and was able to go around by himself. However, all of a sudden he was totally worried about where Ridge was and he started going sideways and doing some interesting moves to get where he wanted to go. I figured he was mentally done at that point so I hopped off and let him stand in the ring while Ridge did his warmup over the jumps. It was a lot to take in and he had been very good.

Ridge had only started over x-rails in the week before the show. The jumps were very decorated and at that point they were all set at 2ft-2’3″ with gates, straw bales, flowers and more. We figured we would just start with one and see how it went. We made an x-rail and then went to a little gate. He handled it all so well that Whitney took him over the whole course. He did knock down the gate but hey at this point we aren’t really worried about style points 🙂 He has no clue where his feet go but look at how hard he was trying! I was absolutely shocked at how well he was handling everything. You just don’t expect a horse to be this relaxed at their very first off the farm outing. What a good boy!

Both horses went back on the trailer and stood for the next 3-4 hours (these hunter shows take forever!) eating hay being very behaved. We wanted to bring them off and let them settle back in before our division (the ottb division). Corcho was not in a great mood at this point and I think he was totally confused as to why he was getting back off the trailer. When you race you get off the trailer, race and go home 🙂 Ridge was falling asleep at this point. We went down to the ring and stood for a while. Ridge slept most of the time…really he did! Corcho made sure that Kurt and I got our exercise. He wasn’t keen on standing still at all so we walked..walked and walked some more. He did not want to be 10ft away from Ridge but I insisted that he walk away and come back. You could tell that he was just so worried about being near his “buddy.”

We were not able to warm up for our class so we just hopped on and in we went. You know that sneaking suspicion in the back of your head that tells you that perhaps this is not the greatest idea? Well, I totally had that but I am also a bit stubborn so I ignored. I could feel that Corcho was not in the mood to play along. I hatched a plan of following Ridge which worked okay. He was on edge but holding it together. It’s tricky to ride one that is obviously geared up. You want to give them a direction to go in (meaning put them to work with a bit of flexion/soften their topline) but at the same time don’t hold them so that they will go forward instead of up/sideways. Ridge was oblivious to Corcho which was a good thing because two keyed up horses would have equaled disaster.

We managed in the walk/trot class but in the w/t/c class I was ahead of Ridge and Whitney turned to go across the ring. Corcho decided there was no way he could continue on and exited stage left. He has a quick little move and I stuck on there but then he changed back the other direction when I had already come loose. I knew I was losing it so I just let go so I could fall away from him and not under him. Then I laughed and praised him as he had a nice canter around the ring where he jumped the jumps all on his own accord! Yes, it was pretty funny to see him casually cantering around jumping the jumps. Really…you didn’t seem to care about your buddy for that Corcho!

I think people assumed I would not get back on but Kurt knows me and was already bringing the mounting block 🙂 I hopped back on and we finished that class up. Hand under the neck strap!

This is my day in a picture 🙂

Ridge..la..la..la horse shows are fun

We had a jump round next and of course I wasn’t going to attempt the jumping but darn if I wasn’t going to make him go in that ring all by himself and go around. He was not keen on the idea but Kurt lead us in. When he let go Corcho spun right back to the gate but hand under the neck strap and I kept pushing him forward. He tried to get back to the gate but I kept insisting and we did make two laps around the ring. Good boy!

Ridge went in and proceeded to canter his first jumps which was just so adorable I can’t even express it in words. He was a superstar all day.

I think you could easily be disappointed in Corcho’s behavior but I truly was not at all disappointed. I knew it was a stretch taking him to the show. However, he showed me that he is going to be an awesome horse. He handled the crowd, the groups of horses, the scary jumps, the horses jumping around him, horses cantering in front and back of him and so much more. Okay, so he is worried about his buddy. That I can fix. The other things are much harder to deal with so I take it all in stride.

Here is the video of Ridge- jumping at end (early morning warmup and then the x-rail class).

Video of Corcho

Both horses were so tired and we had to leave early to go prep for the hurricane. We fared really well and the 10″ of rain has almost drained off. Horses got turned back out yesterday and the ring should be usable today. I am eager to start operation buddy removal for Corcho.