Show jumping

When I brought Eddie out for his morning hack on the hills outside the arena, he was ever so slightly lame on his right hind, which I suspect was from the difficulty at the bank on xc yesterday. I walked him for 20 minutes then tried trot again, but this time in the warm up arena which had very nice footing and he was fine. We let him rest a few hours and when it was time to warm up for sj, he was completely even.

IMG_1339.JPGThe sj course looked like this, including a double, a triple, bending lines in both directions, a really lovely water-filled Liverpool and max fences as far as they eye could see.
Eddie warmed up beautifully, including mostly staying supple and having some nice lead changes in warm up. (Thank you Gerhard Politz, brought to Iowa by Dr. Stacy Thalacker. )
I warmed up with the help of John Staples and he reminded me about half halting within the rhythm of the canter and keeping my leg on at the base. I reminded myself about keeping my shoulders over my hips at the base of the fence and off we went when our time came.
Here is a shot of the course with the intermediate winners doing their victory gallop.

I entered the ring and Eddie felt calm and cool. We picked up canter and went to fence one, the cactus oxer, and he jumped that and the next 4 fences well. He pulled 5b with a back leg, nice jump over 6, then pulled the rail at 7, the Liverpool, on to 8 just fine, then pulled 9a, but jumped 9b and c and 10 just fine.
The three rails are disappointing, but he was as supple as he’s ever been over a show jumping course. He landed on all the correct leads, he was rateable and felt powerful. All the rails were back leg rubs. I think he needs a little time off or maybe a radiograph of his hocks.

But he was brilliant and we had a great time. We finished third individually in the ATC and our team finished third, so we got a nice set of yellow ribbons. Picture tonight, I hope

The scoreboard says we only had 2 rails, but video, which I will post when I get near my computer tonight, clearly shows three rails. That’s eventing though. Sometimes you get a free rail and sometimes you taste the water in the water complex.
Right now we are watching them drag and water the ring before A show jumping. We saw Becky Holder’s fall on xc yesterday and we are glad she seems to be mostly ok, but sad to hear that “Can’t Fire Me” was non weight bearing on his right front. No Bueno.

Succesful xc day!

IMG_1325-0.JPGHey look I figured out how to post pictures from my phone! This is the nekkid trakehner which actually didn’t bother us too much, but it is a fun picture.
Xc went swimmingly, with Eddie warming up well and feeling up to the task. The first part of the course went swimmingly and he felt great. He dropped into the the second water beautifully, but then tripped hard up the bank. I kept going straight with him past the C element and did the black flag option which he did well, but it took a lot of time. We continued on to the trakehner above, which went well as did the entire rest of the pretty tough course. He jumped beautifully. We earned 7.2 time faults, all due to taking he long route at the water, probably. I moved down to 8th and my team moves up to third. Very very happy with how xc went!
Eddie is enjoying an ice bath and cookies!


Dressage report and xc prep

Dressage went well yesterday! Eddie warmed up well, proceeded to get tight and resistant late in warmup, and then Camie remembered that posting in warm up is a good thing. Eddie relaxed and became nicely rideable again one horse before our ride time. Gotta like that.
During the test we kept things flowing and mostly through and I was happy with it. The judge at E gave us a 70.9% and C gave us a 65.something %. Translated to 32ppts to put us in 6th. Pretty happy with that because these judges weren’t giving anything away. Low score 27ish. Ir eally though rough it would be 21 or so.
The cross country course has 7 combinations and plenty of tables to jump. There isn’t a lot of places to gallop after fence three. 15ab is a small vertical bending two to a max drop. I am doing this on my phone and I don’t know how to post pictures from it. Sorry!
The prelim division starts at 11:30 and I ride at 12:54, so I am going to go out and watch fence 15ab and see how people are riding it.
I hacked Eddie this morning and he feels good. Yay! Stoked.

Texas! And settling in.


Impressive! I wonder what their sock drawer looks like.

We were on the road at 0315, which means that I was up and feeding at 0215.  Eddie ate a pretty decent breakfast, though all the horses were blinking their eyes and wondering what the early meal was about.  Eddie loaded on the trailer fine and we met our friends Chris Arnold and Sara Caruso about 45 minutes out.  They were blinking and wondering a bit too, but our plan was that we wanted to get through KC before rush hour, and we did.  Because of our early start, we were ravenously hungry by 10:00 and finally found a Taco Bell/KFC that was serving lunch.  Yay!  When we got condiments, we were treated to this magnificent display of OCD compulsion.  We wondered which of the employees was feeling much better now.

IMG_0035After 12 hours on the trailer our butts were getting tired and Eddie shared his thoughts on the long trailer ride.  Poor thing.  He had drunk a bit of water along the way and had a few cookies and ate some hay.  But when we arrived at the show grounds, he looked like this: IMG_0034

He cheered right up and settled in beautifully.  Despite the fact that we had offered him water on the trip, he immediately drank almost 3 gallons of water and started munching hay.  We let him rest and eat in the stall and it became clear that he was making up for lost eating time.  He had hay on the trailer, but apparently it is not the same.  He had bonked his right front leg on the trailer above his fetlock, and created a bruise despite the wraps, but he seemed supremely unbothered by it, so we let him rest while we walked the xc course.  More on that tomorrow.  We will walk it again then.

IMG_0036Then we went to the welcoming party, which was well-attended and nice.  They acknowledged all the sponsors.  Wow, that’s a lot of sponsors! and served a nice meal.

IMG_0037Afterwards I tacked up Eddie and went for a hack.  I don’t feel the need to drill dressage the day before, and I wanted to make sure I gave him time to stretch out and relax so we went for a hack up the gentle slope on one side of the park.  He felt great and it was nice to escape the hustle and bustle.  Then we worked in the ring for about 20 minutes.  It was almost dark, about 7:30, and the ring only had a few people in it, so it was quite relaxed.  Eddie did very well and is completely sound.  Afterward, I hosed the leg for about 10 minutes and it was much tighter than it was before I rode, which was excellent.

Everyone is in a very good mood here tonight and there is an anticipation atmosphere.  I ride dressage at 3:24 tomorrow, so will hack him a bit in the morning, then bathe and braid, take a break and then have at it in the afternoon.  Some time during the day I will walk the xc course twice.  We ride xc around noon on Friday.


IMG_0029I started out the morning tack cleaning.  One bridle, two bits (a nathe for dressage and a french link for xc, don’t hate me because I overbit, lol), a breastplate and two saddles.  I caught myself thinking about how many horse trials, foxhunts and training rides I had done in my jumping saddle and I was thinking that I probably should start thinking about buying a new one.  At any rate, two hours later the saddles were fabulously clean and packed in the trailer.  Then it was on to boots.  I wear gloves when I polish my boots because there really is notneed to have black fingers for several days when it can be simply avoided.  But today I learned that the latex gloves have powder on them, which leaves really quite unacceptable ghostly white prints on shiny boots.  So latex, no bueno.  The nitrile ones on the left are a big yes.

I polished my competition boots and shined up a pair of paddocks and half chaps for riding the day before competition.  Doing it this way saves some boot cleaning at the show.  IMG_0030

Dug was very impressed with all my cleaning and cheered me on from her dog bed.

I continued with packing until the back tack of the trailer was stuffedIMG_0031.  One time I ran out of hay at a show and there is nothing worse than the guilt associated with Mother Hubbard’s cupboard being empty at a show.  Friends baled me out (oh, I’m so punny), but I may now be quite reasonably accused of being a hay overpacker.  There might be a support group for me somewhere, but by golly, Eddie will have enough hay this weekend.

Then, since we are leaving in the wee hours of the morning tomorrow, I lay down on the couch for a nap.  I was just getting up when Jay said, “Your lesson is here.”  “No it isn’t, I don’t have a lesson to teach until 4.”  So I get up and go look and it is a vehicle I don’t recognize.  Turns out it is a new saddle rep for CWD saddles.  If I appeared a little bemused when she told me who she was and why she was there, it was because of my thought in the morning about “probably time for a new saddle” and then her appearing, unsolicited, in my driveway with, what ho, a bunch of new saddles.  Usually my intentions don’t work that fast.

We got to talking and it turns out she went to school with my nieces at St. Mary’s of the Woods in Indiana.  She took a look at my existing saddles and was actually very complimentary about how they fit, with a few minor exceptions.  IMG_0032As long as she was here, I tried one of her jumping saddles on Eddie.  It fit him beautifully and had balance as good as my Berney (and that is saying something) and was more supportive in the seat.  (Loves me a Berney, but they are a little short on ANY sort of padding in the seat).  The CWD has the bases covered in quality and utilitarianism and it was comfortable to boot.  What?  Crazy talk!  I jumped a few jumps in it and galloped a bit and it felt great.  So I asked her if I could test ride the saddle for the weekend at the ATCs and she agreed.  So, it is going to TX with us.  This particular saddle is just a hair small for me, but acceptable.  Amazing really, that she had something on hand that would fit me and Eddie.  I will very probably show jump in it and may run xc in it.  We’ll see.  I hacked in it on another horse late in the day and it still felt good.

The Great Coggins Scare of 2014 Passes By

Well, turns out that the 6 month coggins requirement from yesterday blew over.  A regular health certificate with the vesicular stomatitis addition will be enough.  That is great because now I don’t have to ask Dr. Ross to come out or haul Eddie to ISU for a quick coggins blood draw, and pay the expedited fees to get it done in time.  Yay!
IMG_0028Next ATC-related order of the day was to go to the embroiderer and pick up the saddle pads.  I am a Purina Regional Ambassador because I really believe in the company and have seen consistent positive results with my horses and my clients’ horses when they are fed the Purina feeds that are best for them.  If you are searching for feed answers, I can probably help.  If I don’t know the answer, I can get it for you from people with Ph.D.s in nutrition and years of experience, personally and professionally, with horses, and who are delighted to help.  It also means that I get to carry the Purina logo on my saddle pad.  I am a total science girl and I love the way Purina uses solid science to develop their feeds.  It makes me feel good to feed it and to carry their logo.  I bought a new Euro-cut dressage pad in celebration of qualifying for the AECs and put the Purina logo and my logo on it. Maureen Malloy at Thunder Road Embroidery does a nice job.


I had my final dressage lesson before departure, with Trudy Tatum.  We ran through the test about 5 times, tweaking here and there.  Eddie was happy and light and right on the aids and I am am feeling good about my riding too.  We worked especially on transition into and out of the free walk, leg yields and canter work.  Trudy and I were both very happy with the work and we talked and laughed on the walk back from the dressage ring (way out in the pasture) about how much fun the ATC will be.  If I can get 90% of what we had today in TX, I will be very happy indeed.

My mom and her friend Julie came over and had dinner with us late in the day.  It was nice to meet Julie and to see what fun they have together.  Everybody needs a good friend that makes them laugh and Mom has found one in Julie.  My mom lives in WI, but is in Des Moines for the Samoyed Club of America National Specialty.  We are both at nationals this week!

Jump School

So the day started out with lessons down at Irish Run, which was great fun once again.  When I drove in the driveway in the early afternoon, I was greeted by these shining beauties:



No, they aren’t brand new, but they sure look that way thanks to Jay’s elbow grease while I was away teaching.  One could surmise from this that Jay is fired up for Texas too!

We went for an afternoon hack, again because we are working on getting some more fitness on the foxhunting horses and on Jay’s riding muscles.  We went about 4 miles and did some practice on terraces.  Great fun for all.

10614163_10152720099153630_2563528444174461496_nThen I set up a triple combination in the outdoor grass jumping field.  I haven’t jumped a triple in competition this year and I suspect they will have one at the ATCs, so I set up a 2 stride to a one stride with verticals at the ends and an oxer in the middle, that can be jumped either way, so that it would be a 2 stride to 1 or one to two.  Doubtful that they would have a one to one, but if they do, this is still good prep.  It is all about footwork.

10614163_10152720099143630_1281764705970455941_nI rode in the late afternoon purposefully so that there would be some shadows.  I don’t know what time of day I’ll be riding in TX.  At regular horse trials, usually prelim goes very early in the day, so shadows are a factor.

After warmups over a cross rail and some verticals, Jay came out to help.  I told him what I was working on and he helped be my eyes on the ground.  Of course, he couldn’t let my simple stand-alone oxer just stand there in its boring oxer-ness, so he made it into a nice big Swedish oxer that sort of made me throw up in my mouth a little.  Thank goodness for the testosterone influence.  I’d rather be mildly freaking out on my own ground than in the warmup at a competition.  lol

I10354885_10152720099428630_283162567349686331_n also made a horrid stand alone light to dark narrow vertical that should be worse than anything we’ll see in Texas.  It wasn’t quite as brutal as this pictures makes it look, but it was airy enough anyway.  And finally, the bending line Swedish oxer to the groundline-less vertical.1966858_10152720099133630_5511708657154080528_n  The jump school went very well.  With a few tweaks the rails were staying up and Eddie was happy with my riding.  Yay.  Interesting side note: the “jump” we have been searching for in our dressage canter showed up tonight in our showjumping school.  Double yay!  I bet I can bring that to dressage.  I have one last lesson with Trudy tomorrow, so we’ll see.

I took his studs out and put the stud kit in the trailer.  We won’t need the studs until xc day in TX now!

Then I came into the house and, while making supper, noticed a FB note from Donna Hammond that the COTH board had blown up with AEC/ATC competitors freaking out about a TX law that says that coggins papers have to be dated in the last 6 months for travel to competition in TX.  Nice of Donna to think of me!  The omnibus listing only requires one dated in the last 12 months.  I will wait until the morning to see if the organizer emails the competitors, because you can bet that her email inbox is going to be full of questions about it.  I sent one myself just to make sure that everybody didn’t think “oh, somebody else will do it”.  If I have to get a coggins drawn on Monday or Tuesday, it will be a hassle, but with Dr. Carly Ross and also the option of ISU, we probably can get it done, even if the results have to be emailed to us on the road to TX, so I’m not worried.

We ended the day by watching the WEG that had aired in the afternoon.  Some fantastic riding and they actually did a good job with eventing and showed very little reining.  (Hey, reining is fine with me, but if there is limited air time, I’m gonna vote for English sports).  But, in showjumping and the showjumping portion of eventing, one of the announcers could not get through his fool head that a rail down is four faults.  He kept saying, “There’s a fault” when a rail fell, and each time Melanie Smith, his co-announcer, would quietly work into conversation that it was 4 faults.  She was as tactful with him as she is in her fabulous riding.  Well done!

To close out the day, Duggie struck us a pose: