Sunday, November 28, 2010

Equestrian Interiors

With Thanksgiving at an end, and Christmas coming up, I always go from room to room and make a mental note of what needs completing before company arrives and the holiday decorations go up.  I can't help but gaze at some of my favorite finds and remember where and when I found horsey sterling 'mint julep' cup comes from only one place and in that is in western Kentucky....Wakefield Scarce Galleries.  I so hope I can find time and go back down to visit this wonderful collection of shops.  I want to visit their Christmas Yule Shop!  The bedding ensemble was special ordered from a large interior design store near Charleston, WV.  I saw it in a catalog, waited for it to go on sale which it never did and I was so thankful I found it again!  The special ribbon pillow was a recent find from another shop in Kentucky.   Grammie was holding a neighbor's horse on a Sunday in early Summer.  I think she looks so beautiful and her classic suit shows off her stylish taste.  The oil painting was from a local shop and it reminded me of my Jessie.  The painted cast iron toy is from Amish country in western Pennsylvania.  Mom, Dad, the good husband and I traveled the area and browsed around in some antique stores.  We timed it right and were able to visit an Amish fundraiser where all the monies collected goes into their hospital fund.  It was very strange to be a minority in a large group of people.  And finally, my precious Jessie is never tiring to look at.  Although she is not inside (darn!) I can see her from the 'Old House Parlor'.  I love her very very much and feel so fortunate that she has reached 26 years of age.  I pray she lives decades more, blessed with perfect health, soundness and happiness!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seventh Heaven at Octoberfest

I know, I know, my timing is a bit off but I have been so busy with Heritage Farm's blogging and developing a new website for my husband that I have neglecting poor Farmtails.  Blue and I haven't competed for three years.  I am not myself and something seems lost when I don't ride on a regular basis and test ourselves in competitions.  But, with Daddy's passing in 2008 and with Blue's back issues it just didn't happen.  Ah, before I forget, did you notice something peculiar about my photo?  I never show my face in blogging but some of the pics were such fun to share so it was quite fitting to wear a few Photoshop masks since the competition was held over Halloween weekend!  Don't you love my masks? 
Blue was such a good boy during dressage but I was not.  I was concentrating on bending him to the right in a corner during one movement that my mind went blank and I forgot the next move.  He received extremely good scores prior but that is OK, we ended up on a 39 which is very good for a beginner horse with an error in the test! Most scores in the novice divisions are not lower than the upper twenties and thirties are a good average.  Jessie averaged around 32 or 33.
His stadium was so smooth and rhythmic which is how Jessie and I used to ride to the fences.  I was a bit concerned that he might be a little 'looky' but he went clean and didn't even rub a rail.  We only trotted the jumps to be on the safe side.  I want him to learn to be balanced and not strung out so this is the way to go before he canters them. Unfortunately I had to see a fall a few minutes before we went in which is never good for the psyche!  Faces were grim but thankfully the rider had no more problems afterwards.
Both stadium and cross country jumping were on Sunday (dressage was on Saturday) and I was a little worried that he might be worn out but oh, no, that was not the case.  We had only 40 minutes between the two and I thought he would be nice and calm. NOT!  He was wired.  Lovely, Blue (extreme sarcasm)...I don't need this right now since I purposely did not give a lot of time for warm up since you already were warm from stadium!~  So, we circled, transitioned, did bending exercises, and I finally got him listening instead of wanting to gallop away like a maniac.  There were several other horses cantering around, going over the practice  jumps which added to his exuberant behavior.  I am really glad he liked it out there and he wasn't being an idiot at all so I was very pleased with big boy Blue!
Again, our trainer advised trotting the fences and cantering in between so that is exactly what we did.  Our fences were only two foot but at that level it really isn't the height, it is what the jumps look like, where they are positioned, etc.  There were two more falls just in my division alone and there was a slight delay before Blue and I went in the start box which is never a good thing for the rider to hear over the loud prayers for safety streamed up to the heavens!

I am glad I took pics of the course, as one tends to forget them with time.  Blue was so good and I was so happy with him and I give him an A+. 

We earned a purple ribbon which is 7th place and finished on our dressage score with no errors in either jumping phase.  Whoohoo Blue!  And purple is sooo in this year!
Luckily our chiro is local and paid us a visit which was unexpected so Blue got an adjustment that was sorely needed!  Aside from Jessie getting the hives and her upper legs swelled since she was at another farm before the show (ate a weird weed), getting a scary call Friday night from a friend that Jessie was lying down with her eyes and mouth open, locking my keys in my truck, running out of our prime timothy hay (for some reason the horses were hogs!) and hurting my back lifting an old leftover 120 pound bale up into the truck bed that my supplier had in his dark barn at 7 am, and worrying about a little yellow homeless kitty at the hotel, the weekend went well!