Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Another Successful Hosted Schooling Show in the Books

  Sunday was our first gig of show hosting for 2014.  As we did last winter, Alayne and I put on a cute little hunter schooling show at her farm, the first of a series of three shows to help local riders prep for the upcoming show season.  Saturday was a beautiful, albeit windy, warm day and snow started to melt quite rapidly.  My moms arena flooded and Alaynes' arena was starting to gather a pool of water in the bottom corner at the end.  We spent a good few hours digging trenches in the snow and trying to map a hole out of the arena for the water to drain.  We redirected a good lot of water and the arena was salvaged for show day.  The driveway became a bit of a wet icy mess because of this but we had a tonne of help laying gravel to counter the ice.  Many thanks to Alayne' awesome boarders who banded together with us to help clear the water!

  We had quite a good turn out, which we were very happy about.  It was a bit questionable whether or not people would want to come with the weather being so crap all winter and I know most peoples horses have not been going and trailers are buried under sheets of ice (I know mine is).  Despite the polar vortex the last few weeks a bunch of riders came out to dust off the cobwebs and do a few hunter rounds with us!  We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day and a nice temperature just above 0.  Could not have been any luckier!

 Classes ran nice and smooth with no issues.  There were a few riders who took some tumbles but other than that it seemed most horses were on their best behavior for their first show of the year.  Dana brought Archie over and jumped him in the cross rails and the 18', and Nicole, who is just 12, rode Ace for the second time in the 18' division also.  They both did a great job and the ponies were super.  I have video of Dana, Nicole, and our friend David who has a lovely little grey OTTB named Zoe.

 All in all we had a great show.  We received excellent feedback and already have entries in for the next one.  A little hard work, some extra show money in our pocket, and the locals have got a head start on show season.  What fun.

 {PS. Don't forget to enter my rainsheet destruction pool/contest!}

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rainsheet Destruction Pool Contest!

  There is a monsoon in the forecast for the next few days on and off.  20mm + of rain and above 0 temperatures means we will be swimming before we know it!  That being said, almost all of my horses blankets have a tear in them one way or another.  They are fine for the snow but with this rain and the warmer temps, it was time to purchase some new rain sheets to keep them dry and not overheated over the next few weeks and onward into spring.

  I picked up 3 Amigo Hero 6's at the local tack store Wilton tack.  Parker and Penny each wear a 78 and William wears a 75.  They fit nicely, sitting a bit higher up the neck and shoulder than most rain sheets.  They have cut leg archs and a nice bum flap.  I love anything Horseware Ireland and they are definitely my go to for blankets.  I find these blankets and Bucas are the only rugs without fill that don't get moisture build up on the underside in the winter.  I don't like cold ponies, and I don't like cold ponies with cold moist blankies on either.

 Unfortunately for me, my horses are what you would call hard on their rugs.  Last month William destroyed his $300 heavy weight Rhino rug out in the field, coming in naked at night when it was -10c all day.  Brrr.  My horses have hardly any hair...you would think he would have regretted that move.  The very next day Parker destroyed his $300 heavyweight Baker turnout by ripping the chest clean off...also coming in naked....also on a -10c day.  Lucky for me both of these blankets were hand me downs that I received several years ago...unlucky for me I still had to replace them.  Oh the joys of horse, and multiple horse ownership.

 The horses look great in their new Olympic red rainsheets today, however I know the inevitable is coming.  There will be a day, maybe soon, maybe months from now when one of these blankets or perhaps all will be torn to shreds.  I am going to embrace this possibility and not whine about it any longer.  I am offering my readers a fun chance to join in on the horse shenanigans.  I am hosting a rainsheet destruction pool contest!!

 Here are the rules:

 Guess which horse; Penny, Parker, or William, and a date starting tomorrow February 21st 2014  you think the rainsheet will meet its demise.  I am not counting small rips, the rip must be at least 12 inches in length or equivalent size if it's not in a not straight line.  If there is a debate we can argue over photos I will supply of all damage to the rainsheets lol.

  "Like" A Filly's Best Friend on Facebook if you have not already!

 Once a horse and date is picked you can not pick the same.  You can pick a different horse on the same day or vice - versa.  One guess per person.  Record your guess in the comment section, I will create a calendar with picks and update it daily as entries come in.

 The person who guesses correctly or closest to wins a sample pack of supplements from Omega Alpha- Equine!

Not actual size of prize - but similar

 This contest is ongoing until one of my three new sheets gets destroyed!  Let er' rip! (pun intended)

  Good luck and here's hoping for no winners...at least not for a little while ;)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Family Day Jump School

  In Ontario we have a holiday every February to spend time with our family, called Family Day.  Family Day is a relatively new holiday and I think those of us who get the day off work can agree that it is a great thing.  Since my husband is still away, I spent the day with my barn family and ponies.  Is there really any other way to spend a day of?

  Dana came over to my moms for a lesson with my mom on Quartz.  She brought Archie too so we could set up a course and have a jump school in the afternoon to prepare for the schooling show at Alayne's barn next weekend.  Dana brought Nicole over with her, the young girl who rides with Alayne.  She is going to possibly be riding Ace in the show, and Jess came to ride Parker.

  I packed up some more jumps to bring over and we set a course with what we had.  We may have had to resort to our Tyendenaga ways and use a couple of chairs as standards but hey - beggers can't be choosers!  Dana brought over her Christmas tree also which served well as a filler.  We took turns warming up around the course and then started by popping over some x's in each direction.  We then did the outside lines and added in the diagonals until we were ready to tackle the course.

  Everyone did a superb job getting around nicely and it was a lot of fun to have a day of schooling with no pressure and time to sort out our bobbles.  I enjoy watching others go and just analyzing our rides.  Nicole did an awesome job on Ace for never having ridden her before and not jumping for quite some time - both her and Ace!  Dana was able to do some nice course work on Archie and Parker who was very excited and strong at first, finished the day with some really nice lines and perfect lead changes.

  At the end of our ride I put the jumps up and took William around a few more times.  He has been a bit gung ho over jumping lately and I wanted to try and see if we could get a nice quiet school this day. He was excellent and I am really happy with how he is going these days.  He got all his changes beautifully and was listening to me whether to wait or to move up a bit.  Coming down the outside line, oxer to vertical, I knew the line was a forward three strides so I asked him to move forward and he took the cue and jumped the line in 2 strides! Whoops...I guess I will have to work on my subtlety ;)

 After our rides my mom made us a nice home cooked lunch.  We brought the horses in and called it a day.  A great Family Day holiday!   Videos....

Monday, February 10, 2014

More Whining, More Jumping

 Nothing to do, nothing to see here.  It has snowpocolpysed every day for the last two weeks and frankly, I'm just tired.  This is about the time I start to get really whiny and depressed when my husband is away with work.  Going on our second set of 6 weeks with him on duty.  Of course it has be the coldest, snowiest, most miserable winter in the last 30 years, and I have spent close to three months of it on my own.  The joys of being a MilSo.

 This weekend I was sat on my ass by a wicked case of food poisoning or a flu bug.  Not really sure which it was, don't much care either.  All I know is I spent 8 hours with my head in the porcelain throne.  Such a great weekend was had - NOT.  Needless to say I didn't get to ride, I only got to see my horses last night and Penny showed me how much she missed me by biting me on the boob when I hugged her.  Ya Penpen, MISSED YOU TOO.

 Thank goodness for my parents, I can't thank them enough for the help they have been this winter.  My mom came and did the barn for me Saturday morning while I was still sick in bed, and my dad ploughed the driveway for the 134th time.  Of course it snowed again yesterday and it needs to be done again but for now - I am going to be a rebel and just leave it be.  I still feel like death and the only thing keeping me going at this point is knowing there is a holiday next Monday, and that March is only 3 weeks away....and with March I am hoping some warmer temps will finally be here.

 I'll leave you with some more videos of the amazing Parker jumping with Jessica, and me and William doing some gymnastics from last Thursday night.  Go ponies!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our Sunday Night Jump School

  After finally being able to ride for the past few days, Jessica and I decided we would have a little jump school after our colic seminar on Sunday.  I set a gymnastic with what jumps I have at my moms (4 standards and 6 poles).  A 9 foot rail, to a one stride, with a 9 foot rail on the landing so the exercise can be taken at any direction.  We started with just one x jumping in then upgraded to two verticals at the end of the ride.

 Parker has only jumped a single fence a handful of times and Jess had never jumped him so it was an experiment to see how he was coming along.  William has been jumping a bit more regularly and seems to enjoy it.  He is basically a pogo stick that I try and aim in the right direction and he takes care of the rest.  We are getting better at maintaining our canter into the fence but I still struggle with my position.  I have the worst habit of being behind the motion although I am aware and trying to fix it now.  Because of this, he sometimes hits rails with his hind end as we are landing.  Hopefully with continual lessons and more gymnastic work we can improve this.


 Parker was fantastic and jumped through the exercise really positively.  He only tried to sneak out the side once or twice and by the end was jumping through like a big boy.  This horse is so eager and willing, it's a real treat to have him in the barn and Jess is doing a great job with him.  Excited to see where he goes with his jumping this summer.

 Penny was a bit fresh having not jumped in over a month, but she was on her game.  She saved my but the first time we put the fences up, and after I corrected myself we jumped through without issue.  This horse can jump...she is so careful and willing.  I just love her to death.  Tonnes of fun.

  It was great to be jumping again.  Looking forward to adding some gymnastics and course work into our regular routine now that February has hit and the weather has improved.

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