Tuesday, May 27, 2014

SHE'S 7!

Princess Riva Diva turned 7 on Monday, May 26th! 

We celebrated by having a photo shoot, a short ride, and her favorite treat...a shiny red apple.  

Here is a look back at the past 7 years!

  Baby Riva before we knew her

My sweet husband bought Riva for me as a yearling and made a life long
 dream of mine come true.

Riva at 2 - learning to wear a bit

3 years old and off the farm as a show buddy for the weekend

Age 4 and learning how to hack out

5 and schooling at Edinburgh

Schooling at home at 6

This year at 7

Happy 7th Birthday Riva!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

First Show of 2014

We attended our first schooling show of 2014 on May 10th.  First time to show at this venue where we had been to watch Karen & Hampton of Contact compete last year.  Love it there - so pretty and peaceful!

Since I was only entered in one class, Training Level Test 3, we showed out of our trailer, which was another first for Riva.  She had no interest in standing tied to the trailer or eating out of the hay net.  She is not nicknamed 'Princess Diva' for no reason!  She was much happier with my sweet husband hand grazing her :)

We walked to warm up with storm clouds rolling in and thunder sounding in the distance.  I let Riva walk the perimeter of the warm up arena and have a good look around.  Once we stepped into the sandbox, she was all business and knew why she was there.

We decided to head to the ring a little early on the chance we might be allowed to compete before our scheduled ride time, as it was getting a bit scary looking in the sky.

I was very happy with our ride and enjoyed it!  Riva was forward but listening and adjustable.  It was the first test I have rode where I felt totally in control and that I could make adjustments as we went.  I had two different competitors tell me what a nice test is was.  I frequently have fellow competitors comment on Riva's looks, but it was a first to be complimented on our ride!

The rain started to fall on our walk back to the trailer but quickly cleared off.  We hung around to wait on scores - 61.8% and a 3rd place out of 8 in our class.  We got nailed for the free walk and stretchy trot circle - 4 on both, for not enough stretch.  The rest of the scores were 6 and 7's.  Certainly not our highest score on this particular test, but I felt this was the best test we have competed, so I left feeling really good.

Next show - most likely not till mid-end of July.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I Won Something!

I sign up for giveaways quite frequently, especially at horse related events.  Rolex was no exception.
I can not say I have never won anything.  I have won several blogger contests - thank you to all the bloggers who hold contests!

I was elated and surprised to receive an email from Bit Of Britain following Rolex!  What did I win?

A Charles Owen helmet of my choice!!!

An AYR8 Leather Look Helmet is on its way to me :)  Since this helmet has some custom features, it will take 6-8 weeks to arrive.  

So sign up for contests everyone - people you know sometimes win!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rolex 2014!

Wow - where to begin!

Rolex fever started building with each day last week - everyday driving into work was proof that a BIG event was about to take place at Kentucky Horse Park.  My normally quiet, peaceful walks at lunch were now spent taking in the tents being erected to house all the shopping vendors, Land Rovers appearing all over the grounds, and giant wooden ducks resting in the ponds.

I tried to watch as much Dressage on Thursday and Friday from my second computer screen as I could and still get some work done.  I did get to see Allison Springer's amazing test on Arthur - lovely!

Thursday evening, I finally got to meet Emme from ipickcrazy !  We had already made plans for her and her best friend to come meet Riva and then to go out for dinner.  Emme is a warm, energetic, and enthusiastic lady and it felt like we had known each other for years.  She brought Riva a tub of apple pie flavored treats and was immediately a friend of the Diva.

After a short ride with me on board, Emme got to take a turn on Riva, with some instruction from Alexis. Emme did a super job and Riva was a champ.  After the barn, we spent the evening getting to know each other better over yummy Mexican food and margaritas.  I hope Emme and her friend enjoyed their time in KY!

Saturday was cross country day and shopping!  My husband spent his day taking wonderful photos and Lex and I spent ours shopping :)  I bought a few things:  schooling gloves, hair bow for shows, a joint supplement to try on Riva and a bottle of wine of local wine.  I also picked up free samples of fly spray, wound spray, and herbal liniment wash.

I know lots of fellow bloggers were there Saturday - I did get to see and talk to :

Karen of finalchapter-karen
Hillary of equestrianathart
Kristen of stampyandthebrain

Although, I was pretty wiped out from shopping and would not have seen them if Karen had not called out my name!  So great to see Karen again and get to meet Hillary & Kristen!

So happy we got to experience Rolex for the first time - will not be the last!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

One Year

Even though my blog posts have been few and far between, Riva and I are still working.  This winter has been rough in more ways than one - weather played a huge part and cut our work days dramatically.  Even though we have an indoor, it is not insulated and the footing froze on a regular basis.

The plan going into winter was to work toward showing First Level this season.  I starting hitting a wall with Riva and we were fighting each other more than working as a team....imagine that, with a mare!  Alexis stepped in and had boot camp for about 3 weeks - the trainer rode and I watched.

My sweet husband took some pics earlier this week and put together the following comparison for me:

First pic was taken early March 2013 during a lesson - Second pic March 2014

I was happy to see progress!  Sometimes, I ride day after day and think we are getting no where.  All the thanks to my trainers since we moved to KY - my daughter and husband!

Ky has some gorgeous sunsets - had to share!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Conrad Schumacher Clinic

Before you get too excited, Riva and I did not ride with Conrad Schumacher...though I would love to in a few years!

Alexis had the opportunity to clinic with Mr. Schumacher 3 days last week at her working student position.  I was able to go out one day and watch during my lunch break and my husband came out also to video.

Here is a short video of one of her sessions - sorry but we blocked out the voice and dubbed in music:

In this session, Lex is riding an 8 yr old Dutch Warmblood mare who is for sale.  She was bred to be a Hunter but the owner thinks she would make a better Dressage horse.  Lex has been working with her for about 2 months and really enjoys her.  She rode her for 2 days of the clinic and on the 3rd day, she rode a 4 yr old Holsteiner gelding which was just started under saddle a few months ago.

Fantastic opportunity!  Mr. Schumacher is a wonderful clinician if you get the change to ride with him or to audit a clinic.  I loved that he explained to the auditors why he was having the horse and rider complete different exercises, he was easy to understand (even though he is German), and he was funny!

I was able to pick up lots of pointers for Riva and I - bonus!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Show Me Your Barn Blog Hop

Since I have been uninspired since my New Year's Day post, thought this would be fun.  Joining in on the Show Me Your Barn Blog Hop!

View Of The Barn

Here is the barn where Riva is stalled.  Cheers is pasture boarded.  Nice large airy barn with wide aisle way - has 3 sets of cross ties down the center.  Riva is the 2nd stall on the right as you enter the front of the barn.

Your Horse's Living Space

Riva's stall - has a large blanket bar to the side, a hook for her halter and lead rope.  I like the door to the stall - good for air flow in the summer.  Nice and roomy and she can see everything that is going on.

The Tack Room

Functional  for storing our saddles and bridles. We have our full size wood tack trunk in front of Riva' stall. There is a bathroom behind the tack room and a kitchen.

View of Where You Ride

Indoor arena is 20 x 40 with dressage cones left set up.  The indoor was completed just before we moved here and lighting was just added in December.  I normally have this all to myself - just one other dressage rider at our barn.

Outdoor is huge and there are jumps for anyone to use.  You can also ride anywhere on the property you want, including in the turn out pastures.  

Your Favorite Feature of the Facility

Would be that you can have any trainer come out and give lessons - that would be my daughter for me :)  I like the variety of horses and people at our barn - the owners are Reiners, several event riders, trail and Western Pleasure riders.  Most people here do not ride in the Winter and it is quiet. Riva and Cheers are very comfortable, relaxed, and well cared for here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy Year of the Horse!

Happy New Year!

Starting off the new year with a review of my 2013 goals and looking ahead to 2014.

2013 Goals:

Show at Training Level - schooling shows only:  Accomplished!

Each show - enter a minimum of two tests with scores in the 60's:  Done...until the November show where we did not score in the 60's.

Qualify for and compete at IDS championships in the Fall :  IDS does not allow out of state schooling show scores to count towards championships, so did not meet this goal.

2014 Goals:

Show at First Level - schooling shows only

Each show - enter a minimum of two tests with scores in the 60's

Would like to attend a dressage camp or clinic