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Showing posts from April, 2009

Saddle Box review

I was contacted last week by Saddle Box's owner, Phil, who asked if I would review the product on my blog.  I am happy to do so!  All my opinions are my own and I am in no way sponsored by or affiliated with Saddle Box.   
Saddle Box is a monthly subscription box full of equine related goodies for both rider and horse!  It can contain items such as treats, grooming tools, books, and small tack.  It seems there are a lot of these surprise monthly subscription boxes in a variety of styles these days, and it was only a matter of time until one was made especially for horse folks!

The first box has a 15% off coupon, so it costs $29.71 the first month and $34.95 each month thereafter which includes shipping.  They do ship to Canada for an extra $10 shipping. You can buy a Saddle Box for yourself or give it as a gift.  Once you sign up, it will automatically renew (and charge your credit card) every month unless you indicate for no box that month. There are no returns unless you receive a…

Ho Hum Rides, Except for the Great Canters!

So the week after the 2-phase was pretty boring. Nothing really exciting EXCEPT we are still getting that fantastic canter! WHOO!!!! :) I rode here at home a couple of times and had a lesson on Friday 4/24. The lesson was great. We worked on her trot and canter in the beginning. I got a bunch of excellent upwards canter transitions and pretty decent canters. We even went one and a half 20 m. circles around at the left lead canter! It was fantastic! I am very impressed with how well her canter is coming along. My instructor kept telling me last year that we would be so far improved by the fall. Well, when the fall came and went and it felt as though our canter STILL sucked, I was pretty disappointed in myself.

BUT, now that it is only APRIL and our canter is SO fantastic, I am feeling a lot better. She is no longer lugging around on her forehand, nor is she completely strung out. Because we are starting to become balanced and supple in the canter, Dreamy is now able to can…

Pics from the UNH TSAS Combined Test

Here are pics from the combined test.

Enter at A. (Beginner Novice Test A)


Dreamy looks fine, but I am such a HUNT SEAT RIDER! I wish my folks had started me back when I was six in dressage instead of hunt seat. With no stirrups. For at least two years. LOL!


Canter not bad, but I need to SIT UP!


Back to the trot.

Right lead canter is weaker. I am sitting up better but what happened to my reins??

Getting ready to trot up the center line.

Walk. Halt. Salute.

Good mare!

Stadium. A slight hesitation before fence 2. I thought is was a vertical, but looks like an oxer to me!


Fence 5.

Good mare! Fourth out of seven!

And this is my mare just 2 seconds after turning her out at home. She simply CANNOT be clean even for a second!

LOL!

UNH TSAS Combined Test - April 19, 2009

So somehow I decided back in early March that entering the little 2-phase at UNH was a good plan. And actually we did do pretty well, but in hindsight, it was a pretty crazy goal for someone without an indoor.

Each year, UNH puts on a combined test in April. It is run by the "Equine Competition Class" of the Thompson School of Applied Science aka TSAS. (Basically there is a two year college within UNH called the Thompson School). It is a great warm up for the full event at UNH that is always the first weekend in May. As a UNH student, I rode a wonderful little Morgan mare named Marcy at the UNHTSAS Combined Test back in 2000. I had helped start her and it was her first show ever. We were first after dressage (scoring a ridiculous good 29) and then DUH refusal at the first fence in stadium. Totally my fault, but it bumped us down to FOURTH! I also worked at MANY of the events, both in the spring and fall. I loved riding and showing at UNH and I have always wanted to …

The Good, The Bad, and the OMG-Did-She-Really-Just-Do-That???

I have been a terrible blogger lately. :( I have been SO super busy with teaching and trying to get the mare in shape...and oh yeah, my family! There is just never enough time. I admit that sometimes I even sign onto Blogger and just check the blogs I watch, signing out before I write anything in my OWN blog.

Sigh.

Ah, well. Just because I have not blogged does not mean I have not been doing anything. Quite the contrary! Most of the beginning of April, we had OK rides. Sometimes things were great and other times things were horrid. Like for example, Dreamy seemed to have forgotten how to canter. She was running pell-mell into the canter, totally flying like a crazy racehorse, and not aware of where her feet were. Nice. :( So I gave up on even doing anything but canter departs for a while. And for a few rides she seemed to forget how to TROT calmly after she cantered. I was getting SO discouraged. It felt like everything we had gained by last fall was just totally gone.

So…

A Riding Routine.....finally?

I was able to ride both days over the weekend, which was good! Of course, the wind was gusting and it was freezing cold, but I knew that if I want to do all of these early shows and clinics, I need to get my pony in shape!

So because of the wind, Dreamy was pretty nuts. Not bad, just REALLY forward. Her trot was crazy huge and too quick....the typical "Meadowlands Trot" as Suzanne from NJ would say. :) I did not even bother to canter. Mostly because the ground was so SOGGY, but also because it did not seem like a great plan.

I gave her Monday off due to the rain and yesterday because I was exhausted and it was cold. I can ride when I am tired, but the cold wind was just too much. It is absolutely FRIGID here right now. It sucks!

Today I had to ride. It was cold but not as windy. My plan right now is to ride 2 days in a row, and then one day off. Later this spring I will up that to 3 days ride, one day off. Dreamy seems to need a day off after three days in a row. …

Farewell Brentina

Brentina is a wonderful Grand Prix mare ridden by Debbie MacDonald. The pair has won many awards, but most recently they represented the US in Beijing last fall. Brentina will be retiring in a special ceremony at the World Cup Finals this month. It was hoped she would be able to perform her "Respect" freestyle, but in light of her recent colic surgery, it is unknown whether or not she will be up to it.

Here is an article about her surgery here.

No matter, because you can view her fabulous freestyle here on Youtube. It makes me cry when I watch it. This freestyle is just so perfect for her. It ranks up there with my all time favorite freestyle EVER, Andreas and Matine, which you can see here. I have never seen anything like it, and I doubt I ever will again. Though Brentina comes in a close second.

Farewell Brentina. I hope retirement brings you lots of carrots and lazy snoozes in the sun. :)

Fabulous STBs To Brag About!

The great thing about the internet is that you can get to "know" someone who does not even live near you. I have recently been in touch with a woman from SPHO-FL named Tina who has two OUTSTANDING Standardbred dressage horses, Whiz Bang and Sea the Gray (Luna). These mares are fabulous and very well trained. They are taking the dressage world by storm! One of the mares, Whiz Bang, was the 2007 USDF Training level All Breeds Award champion. You can read about them here and here. and here.

Anyway, here are their most recent accomplishments. This is the actual email Tina sent to me, as I figured it would be more fun to read her reactions than for me to paraphrase everything.

Well, I have fantastic news regarding how our Standardbreds did at The Heidelberg Cup 1 & 2. On Saturday, Luna did her First Level Musical Freestyle Q and received a score of 66.875% and she placed Second.

Whiz did First Level Test 4 Q, and was 6th out of 11 horses with a score of 63.684%, in t…

We were accepted!

I just got a phone call that my mare and I have been accepted to ride with Linda Zang on May 2-3! YEAH!

I applied about a month ago to ride. I knew there was a good chance that I would NOT be chosen, but I figured I might as well apply. It is an "On The Levels" symposium hosted by SMDA. Basically, it is a clinic that you have to apply to ride in, rather than just a normal clinic where you pay your money and get to ride if there is an open spot. Because it is "On The Levels" they only chose two Training level riders, two First level riders, etc. all the way to Grand Prix.

Here is the website: SMDA website
And what they write:

We are very excited to announce to be hosting a Symposium with Linda Zang on May 2 and 3, 2009. Linda Zang of Idlewilde Farm in Davidsonville, Maryland, is one of four "O" FEI Judges in the United States - the highest rating a judge can obtain. She has been an FEI Judge since 1985 and judged the Dressage event at the 1996 Olympic …