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NEJA Two-Phase - May 31, 2020

Of course, none of us had any idea if we would be able to compete in 2020. I will say that my big goals for the year (which were sitting in an unpublished post from January 2020!) were to keep my horses healthy, happy, sound, to move up to BN with Ellie, and to complete one recognized horse trial at BN. And despite all of the COVID-19 protocols and cancellations over the year, we did meet our goals (mostly). Many of the local barns here in Maine took on the challenge of bringing us safe competitions in 2020. Ellie and I started the year by competing in a little schooling 2-phase and debuting at BN. It went well and it got me excited about the year's possibilities.  We had a great dressage test (placed second in our division) and then had one rail in our show jump course. The rail was totally my fault and for our first ever BN outing, I was pretty excited! We ended up fourth in a mid-sized division. And because I do not remember much else for specifics, here's a big old photo du

NaBloPoMo Day #10

Day #10 - The worst thing my horse has ever done

Very rarely does a horse do something "wrong" without most of it (if not all...) being the rider's fault.  I don't believe horses are inherently bad.   And sometimes "bad" things happen and there are really no specific causes or ways they could have been avoided...and if so, it is usually my fault!  With that said, I will do my best to answer today's prompt!  :-p

Most of the naughty things Reva has done are truly baby moments, when she does something stupid only because she is young.  She chews on things she shouldn't, such as crossties and lead ropes, but most of that is gone now as I have taken the time to teach her not to do it.  The "worst" thing Reva has probably ever eaten were the little black guards I put on the water buckets.  Needless to say, Reva no longer has them on her buckets.  That was my own fault.  LOL!  And one morning I found her loose on the front lawn, as she unhooked her stall door and took a stroll.....while this nearly gave me a heart attack, it wasn't like she planned to do it or did it to make me mad.  She just found a way to open the double ended snap, like any nosy and mouthy young horse will do!  She also went through a phase where she was going through the fence of her paddock on a daily basis, but that was my fault; I raised the fence so it had a top wire of 5+ feet and bought a new (and very strong) charger.  She also bucked right in front of a judge at her third horse show this year (the Downeast Congress) and dropped us from first into fifth (last) place, according to the judge who felt the need to tell me that.  But in all reality, any of her "worst" behavior are just baby moments.  She is a very good girl who tries hard to please.

The worst thing Dreamy has ever done was probably kicking Sparky really hard during the second day I owned her.  That was my fault, as I still did not realize that Dreamy had no social manners.  It was not that bad, just gave Sparky a hematoma on her hindquarter.  I soon separated them and they got along fine over the fence.  She tripped once at a show at the canter (again, not her fault, but the footing was horrendous at that farm) and I fell off, spraining my ankle.  We still placed fourth!  LOL! And just recently she has started going through her paddock fence; she even jumped over a 3+ foot fence to leave to eat the grass on the other side!  Geez!!!  LOL!  But again, my fault.  I raised her fence like I did to Reva's last year...and started plugging in the (super strong) charger.  Duh.  So again, none of these are really that bad and certainly not entirely her fault.  Dreamy is a solid citizen who wants to do the right thing.

It is funny, but I cannot even remember any of the naughty things that Sparky has done over the years.  I am sure she has done silly things, because I remember falling off her at times.  But when a horse is genuinely spooked, I don't think I can "blame" them for being bad.  They are just being horses!   She dumped me once by shying pretty hard to the right and I fell off....well, I was riding her bareback with just a halter and a lead rope.  I was bringing her in from a huge pasture years ago when I boarded her...she spooked at my boyfriend (now my husband) who was hiding behind a rock.  Why he decided to do that remains a mystery to me!  LOL!  I was more mad at HIM than my horse, who had a normal reaction to something scary!  She is really not a fence breaker, even when she was younger.  The scariest thing she has ever done was having a couple colic episodes, foundering once back when I was in college, and having a bad reaction to spring shots one year.  But again, those are a part of owning a horse, and while none of them could be pinpointed to poor horse husbandry on my part (thank goodness!) I also don't blame Sparky for any of these issues!  She is a very good mare.  :-)