December 27, 2014

TOABH: I'm a Loser, Baby

This latest installment of Beka and Archie's blog hop asks:

Let's talk about your horse's biggest fail.  What did Thunderhooves do that embarrassed you, scared you, shocked you or just annoyed you?
I am happy to say that this year I didn't get embarrassed by Ypke!  I also didn't get launched!
But, alas, in past years getting embarrassed in a public setting was inevitable whenever Ypke was involved. 
At the time when this took place, Ypke and I were only kind of involved with 4-H. We went to the occasional ride meet, and I attended all the information meetings.  I had just switched groups and was rather excited to show off my dear Ypke. Without further ado, let's throw it way back to July 2012...

Norwegian Fjord
Story time!
It was a blazing hot July afternoon, and I was off to the riding practice. Ypke loaded within two minutes (score!) and we were off to the arena. We arrived 45 minutes early, so there was plenty of time to warm up and get used to the facility (double score!).

Wherever we go, Ypke always draws attention, something that my not-so-humble-never-fallen-off (at that time) self loved. Around that time frame, I thought that we were all that, and I was excited to show off our mad dressage skills.  I'm sure we were a sight for sore eyes: muddy boots, tank top, hair down, ill fitting helmet, mediocre equitation, out of control pony, and squeaky Wintec... Good ol' Wintec, you were such a trusty saddle despite your voice!

Squeak, squeak, squeak.

We were racing around the arena at an uncontrolled extended trot. The pony's head was sky high and I was on the incorrect diagonal, trying with all my might to slow her down.  After several laps around the arena and jumping out of the ring a few times, I finally managed to halt her. Immediately when I halted her she began to paw.  How cute, I thought.

After she quit pawing I rode her over to the roundpen where there was a lunging tutorial going on. I was so busy watching that I didn't even notice Ypke was pawing again until it was too late. As I finally noticed she was pawing and dismounted, a strange "not quite right" feeling settled in my gut. Right when I dismounted, she dragged and shoved led me about 15 feet away to an extra deep, sandy area of the arena.

Down she went. Straight onto the arena sand. Straight on top of her tack. She was rolling. I was flat out mortified as I watched, trying to get her up to no avail.   My cheeks were burning red with both anger and embarrassment after a man standing nearby began to snicker and insult us.  The same man who thinks he is an expert on all things horse and chimes in ALL THE TIME with very rude and idiotic advice.  Everyone watching the lunging session turned and look at us, and I was now beyond mortified.
Horse rolling
rollin' n' hatin'
She got up and shook herself off, resulting in a dust cloud surrounding anyone within 5 miles.  Luckily, the tack was perfectly fine! I miss that trusty Wintec, it went through heck and back that day and wasn't even scratched. That is the major pro of synthetic tack — it takes a lot to ruin it!

I got back on and we were off again; trotting madly around the dressage arena once again. There was one spook in which I almost fell off, but other than that the meet went well. During showmanship she rolled three times though. Everyone thought she was colicing, but she was just enjoying the hot sand on a blazing hot day.

Moral of the story: If your horse begins to paw on a hot day... or while they are in water... keep them moving forward!  Lesson learned.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that she threw a fit about loading, and we were there until 10:00pm.  Of course, horses who don't load attract major crowds... typically crowds who are extremely unhelpful.

December 26, 2014

Equestrian Social Media Link Up

Tracy had the great idea to start up a social media link up for us equestrian bloggers!  Here are my social media accounts for the blog:


December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!   I hope your day is filled with good company and good food :)

December 23, 2014

TOABH: Shining Star

This week, Beka asked:
Let's talk about the biggest achievements your horse has accomplished.  I'm not talking about you as a rider - I want to know what your ponykins has done to make you proud.  Is there a glorious satin collection, did he/she figure out some dressage movement that took months to learn, or are is it just a great day when your butt stays in the saddle?

I would have to say this year is extra significant in how proud I am of Ypke!  While we had a rather rocky start with some spooks and her almost tossing my sorry bum off on numerous occasions, there was a major attitude change in late spring.
No more of things like this under saddle!
In June - August we got extra serious about preparing for the week long fair (Ypke's first show ever).  Ypke was consistently being ridden five days a week and she was usually an angel.  She was always very willing to try anything and everything - even when she was hauled out to new locations.   Usually she wants to throw notable tantrums at least once  every few rides, but that hasn't happened in months.

Then of course, there was the fair.  Despite a tack changing disaster, me being a nervous wreck, and her being in an extra crazy, stressful environment at our first show together - she took it all like a pro - even during our first class when I rode like a sack of potatoes.   She never spooked, she never tried to take advantage of me, she was just a dream to ride.  We even did our dressage test in a bit she had only worn once (and disliked... but it was the only legal one we could find) and Ypke was seriously like a push button ride. 

Plus, she won grand champion in all of her classes besides showmanship... I have proof that for once we managed to get our act together!

Grand champion + blue flat in stockseat

December 22, 2014

December's 10 Questions

1. What size horse do you prefer to ride?
I feel most comfortable with shorter, stout horses (or large ponies).  However, I'm a touch over 5'9 and have very long legs, so I definitely look better on the taller horses.  Luckily Ypke is very solid as far as build goes at 14.1hh, and it works out fine. :)
My only riding picture from fair...
2. Do you school in tall boots or half chaps and paddock boots?
I usually wear Tredstep half chaps and Ariat paddock boots.  They are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time, and I don't care too much if they get trashed... my tall boots on the other hand...

3. What do you do with your ribbons after shows?
Since I don't show much my collection is pretty small: a little over 30 flats and a dozen rosettes.  I write the show's name, the class I won them in, the horse's name, and the date on the back of them.  At the moment they are tucked away neatly in a dresser drawer, but I hope to hang the rosettes up in my room soon enough. 

4. Do you ride/board at a large show barn or a small private barn?
Definitely small private since they are kept on our property.  You can see the barn via this post.

5. Have you seen a horse give birth?
 Yes, only once though!
The foal
6. What is your favorite breed?
I am obligated to say Fjords because I love Ms. Ypke and how cute they all are!  Second favorite is QH just because the ones I have ridden have all been so trusty and well tempered.

7. Favorite tack brand?
It depends on the item.  For bridles I have always loved KL Select and Otto Schumacher, for saddles I like County.

8. Would you ever buy used tack?
 Definitely just so long as it is in good condition.  There are some sweet deals out there for tack that is literally in brand new condition.

 9. Ever been on a carriage ride?
 Yep, a couple of times!  Lots of fun!

10. How often do you go to the tack store?
I go to the feed store every couple of months to re-stock the feed and shavings/bedding supply.  The nearest decent tack shop is over 3 hours away, but I usually end up there once a year.  I really just stick to online ordering from SmartPak!