Saturday, October 29, 2011

Time with daughter

Lex is loving her working student position and hopefully soon will be back to blogging about it.  Right now, she shares the barn apartment with the groom and does not have internet access.  In about 3 weeks, she will move to the pool house at the owner's house.  And by pool house,,,don't think she will be roughing it!  Cute, cute place with 2 full bathrooms, loft bedroom, full kitchen, flat screen tv mounted in the main room - pool and hot tub right outside the door.  Feel so sorry for her :)  And, she will then have internet access.

Lex was home yesterday afternoon - off work until Sunday morning - so, of course, she went to the barn with Mom & Dad and out to dinner.  It was good to have her home to ride Riva for me and show me a few cantering 'tricks' that helped Riva pick up and sustain the canter for me.  Afterwards, she hopped on Cheers, our OTTB, and walked around the pond with Riva and I.  It is times like last night that I try and remember how blessed I am and soak up the moment.  Just to ride with my daughter and talk - lovely fall evening, crisp, cool air, relaxed horses (hard to believe, but Riva must have been too tired to be annoyed by having to walk around with a gelding!). 

I have been inspired by a few bloggers Halloween contest photos, and have to share and old one of Lex and a pony that we leased for a couple of years for her.  Tag (Truely A Gem) was an ornery POA, that would do anything for Lex.  She worked at the barn where he is boarded, for a few years, teaching beginner Western Pleasure.  Tag would sometimes get used for a lesson horse and Lex could always be coaxed into hopping on him and doing a little reining type spinning. 

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Loving Fall

Fall is my absolute favorite time of year - the changing falling leaves, crisp cool days and chilly nights.  And now I can add another reason to the list - riding my Diva outside as much as possible.  I know how fortunate we are to have access to a wonderful indoor arena and be able to ride in all weather.  But I am taking advantage of riding outdoors as long as I can this year!

Yesterday afternoon was perfect - after riding in the outdoor dressage arena, I walked Riva out around the pond on the property.  And the best husband joined me on Cheers our OTTB :)  Cheers has been living the semi-retired life the past couple of years, but that is coming to an end. I look forward to many more rides with my two 'guys' before the snow flies.

I decided at our saddle fitting appointment last Friday to quit riding Riva in the Kieffer and ride bareback, borrow a better fitting saddle, do lots of groundwork, until I can order her County...and then it will take 12 weeks to arrive.  I am blessed with kind barn owners - they offered for me to use a couple of different saddles until Riva has her own.  So - looks like I can get back to regular dressage lessons :)

Cheers and Lex - maybe 5 years ago?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kieffer Saddle for Sale!

Since I need funds to purchase Riva's new saddle, I am selling my Kieffer.  If you know of anyone interested - let me know!

Kieffer Ulla Salzgber     -     Medium Tree     -     18" seat      -      Black     -     Very good condition, well maintained, comfortable saddle    -    Asking $850

Friday, October 21, 2011

Saddle love

I had my County saddle fitting / evaluation today with our area rep, SI.  I rode in all four County dressage saddles - and mediums, wides, and x-tra wides.  I was HOPING that a fellow boarders County Fushion would fit Miss this boarder was buying a new County and selling hers....hers is a medium and the Diva - is a wide.  Well of course she is!!!  What totally amazed me was once we determined Riva is a wide was how every model fit her differently.  They all put me in a different position and they all caused a reaction in Riva - some for the good and some for the bad.  It was so interesting to watch her ears - she most definitely tells you what she is feeling!  When I found the one that worked for both of us -  it was instantly a light bulb moment - like an 'oh...this is how she is supposed to feel and how I am supposed to ride'.  The difference in Riva's movement was wonderful - she was using her hind end, so up in the front, and forward.  My leg stayed where it should - it was amazing!

So, I will soon be ordering a County Connection - wide.  Love!  And can not wait until it arrives....which takes about 12 weeks.  Until then, I will be riding bareback and hopefully borrowing a saddle.

Connection | County Saddlery

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Video of Kelly & Riva's Intro Test B

My video finally loaded!  So here is our Intro Test B from last Saturday at Octoberfest in Edinburgh.  We obviously have a long way to go to reach my goal - I am aiming for a 65% or better next Spring on this test.  We are Green on keep that in mind if you watch this!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Octoberfest Success!

We met my only goals over the weekend at the Octoberfest show in Edinburgh:

1)  Stay on board Riva
2)  Once in the dressage test arena, remain there thru the end of the test
3)  Try and relax, enjoy, and have fun

And there were bonuses - I met fellow blogger Amy from Slow and Steady and Karen from Contact.  So fun to get to meet these ladies and see their fab horses compete.

Back up to Thursday night, pre-show weekend.  Husband and I were witnesses (ie Man of Honor and Matron of Honor) for friends of ours wedding - yes...on a Thursday night!  Very sweet ceremony in a minister's church office - they are planning a large reception party this winter.  So - I was not able to go out and ride Riva.  Daughter, Lex, decided to go out and ride her.  Lex calls to report Riva is about to lose a rear shoe - hanging on by one lone nail. we know this shoe will be somewhere in her field on Friday and the other shoe must be pulled before we can head to Edinburgh on Friday.  Not a huge problem - husband is very skilled in shoe removal by now! 

Friday evening.  Arrive at barn - load all our stuff while husband works his magic on Riva's remaining back shoe.  Riva walks right on to the trailer for me on the first try - what a good girl!  We make it to Edinburgh as the sun is going down.  Gotta love October shows when us working people can't get to the show grounds while there is still daylight.  Locate our stall and get the Diva settled.  Daughter is determined to get on and ride her a bit, since she had not rode Riva all week. is dark by now!  My baby can not possibily be ridden in the dark...apparently, she can.  She spooked a number of times - mainly jumped and stood very still and tall.  But daughter perserved and got in a decent ride. 

Saturday morning.  Arrive at a very dark, windy, cold 6:30 am to get the day started.  Lex's show time was 8:54 and mine 11:18.  After Miss Riva had breakfast, I took her to the warm up arena to lunge.  She was pretty excited - several other horses were lunging....mostly leaping, bucking, calling, running at top husband got to take over lunging, as Riva quickly made me dizzy.  Lex got on to warm up about 30 minutes before her test time.  Riva took awhile to settle - she tried a few bolts on Lex and a few little bucks.  After she figured Lex meant business, she got with the routine.

Intro Test C - Lex and Riva.  I read for Lex-I have read tests for Lex many times, but never while my Riva was in the ring.  For whatever reason, this made me very nervous.  I was so scared I was going to lose my place and screw up Lex's test.  I held it together and made it thru.  I really couldn't watch except to see what move they were on to keep my place.  So glad we have video!  Lex was smiling at the end, so I knew she was happy with Riva.  They scored a 55.5% which earned a 3rd place!  One of the judge's comments was that Riva has a lot of potential.

Intro Test B - myself and Riva.  I warmed up for 30 minutes prior to test time, which I could have shortened to 15-20 minutes.  Riva was great for about half the warm up then started getting a bit fussy.  I ended up letting her stand for a bit before going in the ring so as not to irritate her.  We showed in the lower ring , which was a different location than Lex and Riva.  We had not been in that arena since we were there in the Spring.  Riva did not seem bothered by this - you have to go down a slight hill to enter.  She marched right in and got to work.  I felt like I should have had Riva more forward and watching the video confirms this.  We scored a 55.625% and also earned a 3rd place.  Hey - we are consistant!  The judge commented that she is a cutie and to start working on getting Riva in a frame.

(Video to Come!  Technical difficulties in loading) 

After our tests and getting some lunch, we headed over to watch some combined test jumping.  We made it just to time to watch Amy of Slow and Steady compete her beginner novice course - they did awesome!  We decided to load up and head home - Sunday was move Lex to her new working student position home day.

Busy but fun weekend - last show of the season for us.  I know we have lots of work to keep us busy this winter.  First on the agenda is a saddle fitting with the County saddle rep this Friday, yeah!  I listed my Kieffer on Tack Trader if anyone is interested in a medium tree, 18" seat, comfortable dressage saddle.  I actually am hoping the County rep will approve the fit of a fellow boarder's Fushion County that she has for sale.  I rode Riva in it and think it fits her well,  That would save some $$$'s.  After I get a saddle that fits her, resuming dressage lessons is next on the list.

Riva has had many stops and starts this past year.  I finally feel like we are on the right track with diagnosing and correcting her club foot and knee issues.  With a saddle that fits, lessons, and fingers crossed - keeping her sound - I feel the goals I have in mind for next year are achievable.  But I will save the goals for another post!

Lex and Riva right before competing

Kelly and Riva after competing

Friday, October 14, 2011

Show Time!

We are heading to Edinburgh tonight!  My lovely trainer / daughter will ride Riva in Intro C at 8:54 am and I am showing her in Intro B at 11:18.  Good spacing, I think.  I have looked up times for two fellows bloggers and hope to watch at least their stadium jumping and meet them in person!

I am not stressed about showing - even though this will only be our third show.  I showed Riva in April at Edinburgh for the first time and she was great.  We tried to show in May at Come Again Farms, but that was in the midst of dealing with her club foot rehabbing and we ended up just schooling.  Of course - she lost a back shoe last night and no time for us to get that put back on before we leave this evening.  My wonderful husband is going to pull the other rear before we put her on the trailer to leave...and we will hope for the best!

It was been a horribly stressful week at work for me...I am ready to ride my fav girl, spend some time with my family, eat some Mexican tonight (ok, I really only care about the Marguarita) and enjoy. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

For Lex with much love

My Grandest Foal
 (author unknown)

I'll lend you for a little while
My grandest foal, He said,
For you to love while he's alive
And morn for when he's dead.
It may be one or twenty years,
Or days or months, you see.
But, will you, till I take him back,
Take care of him for me?

He'll bring his charms to gladden you,
And should his stay be brief,
You'll have treasured memories
As solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return.
But, there are lessons taught on earth
I want this foal to learn.

I've looked the wide world over
In my search for teachers true.
And from the throngs that crowd life's lanes,
With trust, I have selected you.

Now will you give him your total love?
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate Me when I come
To take him back again?

I know you'll give him tenderness
And love will bloom each day.
And for the happiness you've known
Forever grateful stay.

But should I come and call for him
Much sooner than you'd planned
You'll brave the bitter grief that comes
And someday you'll understand.

For though I'll call him home to Me
This promise to you I do make.
For all the love and care you gave
He'll wait for you, inside Heaven's Gate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lex and her Boy

It seems like Hennessy has been a part of our family so much longer than 2 years.  July of 2009, Lex chose Henny from a whole 3 horses that we went to see.  Once she rode him, she didn't want to look any further.

Day we brought him home.

One of the first rides at Serenity Farms.

OctoberFest in Edinburgh - 2009
It was sooo cold - but Lex was all smiles at the end of her ride.

Spring 2010 at Serenity

Spring of 2010 at Edinburgh

Flying high at home

First time cross country at Centerline Stables in Greencastle

Spring 2011 at Serenity

Summer 2011 at Centerline in Greencastle

Edinburgh 2011

Penny Oaks - Edinburgh

Summer 2011

Come Again Farms - Summer 2011

I believe Hennessy loves his girl as much as she loves him.

Tomorrow evening, we will say our good-byes. 

I know many, many more horses will come and go in Lex's life.  She has so much ahead of her.
But this guy...will forever be in her heart.