Monday, December 8, 2014

SDEC Winter Show Pt. 1

Holy tamole, what a weekend! It was such an adventure, end to end. And I cannot wait to do it again, crazy me that I am. 

Saturday we had our usual retinue of lessons, even if compressed as much as possible into the morning. Of note was a lovely jump lesson with my more advanced jumpers. The course was simple, but the idea was to allow them some confidence looking at a sheet of paper and mapping the course to what was set up in the arena. 

Bert was a total champ. It’s always interesting because I honestly don’t like riding him all that much, but he has a few girls who simple LOVE him. More power to them. I think it’s because I am too bossy and want to be able to feel your mouth with my fingers and your sides with my legs all at the same time. Without him blowing up. Wayyyy too much to ask in his little mind. 

A & Camou had a bit of difficulty getting and keeping the canter through the course. I think this is a matter of (1) Camou can still suck behind the leg quite easily (2) going out on course is a bit overwhelming for A (3) Camou doesn’t particularly love to remain forward once he’s there and (4) all of the above elements make it very hard to juggle everything at once. They had one or two refusals due to pretty silly approaches but that’s a practice thing. Plus my arena is too small. 

E & Danny are really starting to work as a team. The work she’s put in on the flat is really paying off over fences and it’s a lovely thing to witness.

Tango being excited about something.

Jimmy was a camel. I love him. But he was a camel. That is all. 

Anyhow, so these four rode the course a bunch of times and then I reversed it to make them think on their feet and they rode it quite well. Their camaraderie and kindness to one another is something I really enjoy spending time with. 

Then all the horses got a bath, and then the girls got down to braiding.

If you look closely, you can see 4/5 ponies getting braided.

It was stressful.

We packed the trailer up and I asked each kid "is everything you need for your horse IN THE TRAILER" probably a dozen times. They thought I was losing my mind. Oh well.

On we loaded (bless their little pony hearts, they were well behaved), and off we went!

Normally, once the horses are in the trailer, the problems stop there. Except that as we headed down the hill, on arguably one of the most dangerous highways in the state, the truck started redlining at about 30mph.  I babied it, putting it in neutral and using the hills to keep moving. I fiddled with the switches. I tried not to panic.

And then it turned off. Just up and turned off.

And I couldn't find the emergency light switch.

So there we were on a narrow shoulder with two horses and no lights, and I didn't know what was wrong with the truck. It started up normally. It felt totally normal, but then started redlining again as we approached 30mph. My kid sister's boyfriend rebuilds engines for a living and knows a fair bit about trucks, so I called him. He says, "get off the road and come to a standstill." I look around on our little stretch of silly highway and see that there is zero shoulder. So he waits until we find space to pull off the road, and luckily his advice was spot on because then the truck resumed driving like a normal truck. 

The horses unloaded beautifully, settled down in their stalls, and I abandoned two of my students at SDEC while I went back to LGF to collect the Bertasaurus. Haha! By the time we came back with Bert I think they were pretty cold, but they were good natured about it.

Once back with Bert one of my friends was exercising her horse at SDEC and so it was really neat to get to meet the horse and offer her my totally unsolicited advice. Sometimes I want to have horse friends and be normal about it, but the amount of time I've spent training means that my advice button is really, really hard to turn off. 

"HE'S JUST GORGEOUS S! But don't forget that he has to step evenly under himself with both hind legs so time your inside aid correctly in order to best encourage him to do that. Yeah that's a bit better but I'd use the leg, now, now, now, now....."

Oops. But the good news is that she didn't seem to mind too much.

And then dawned Sunday...


  1. Abby's face in that photo is hillarious 😂

  2. I had such a great time! It was an amazing experience and I hope we can either trailer them or compete more!

  3. ooh can't wait to hear more about the show! glad everyone had such a good time :)

  4. Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear that! I had fun and it was wonderful watching you guys learn so much