XC video and home again

We are home again and Eddie has rolled (twice in rapid succession) and drunk a lot of water and is now grazing happily.  We are glad to be home and very happy with how the weekend went.

And here is some xc video:


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:





Eddie’s day off

So you’d think, because it is Eddie’s rest day, that there would be nothing to post that would have to do with the ATCs today.  Au contraire.  After morning feed, I drove to Des Moines and started the day teaching lessons at Irish Run Farms in Des Moines.  I guest teach there when the regular instructors are traveling to shows elsewhere.  It is really a fun time for me.  I teach some dressage and jumping, some kids, some adults, and one particular high school senior student made my day today.  She had a private lesson, and after warm up on the wonderful, but perhaps bored lesson horse, Pride, I asked her what she wanted to do.  She said, “All good, whatever you want to do.”  Danger Will Robinson, I have an active imagination.  So I said, “Wanna go ride in the park?”  “Sure!  I haven’t done that in a long time.”  “The Park” is Waterworks Park which is right across the road from Irish Run.  So, me in my rubber Hunter boots and she on Pride, set out.  After a bit, I said, “Ok, trot until the next path, then turn around and come back.”  She was a little hesitant as if to say, “Are you sure?” and then off she went.  Both she and Pride came back a little brighter for the experience.  After a few more out and back journeys at trot we did the same in canter.  I was hiking along quickly because the mosquitoes were BAD, and thus did we cover 3 miles in 45 minutes.  By the end of the ride, the girl who rides horses once a week on Saturdays and the formerly bored lesson horse were looking like this in the park:

That just made my day.


That is my man. Hands off, ladies!

After lunch at home, I went out and fed Eddie his afternoon snack (feeding Eddie is a full time job when he is in hard work, but he looks better than ever.  I really like the new Purina SuperSport amino acid supplement.  It has put muscle on Eddie like he has never had before.)  While he ate, I tacked up Elliot for Jay to ride and Sammy for me to ride.  Jay had been working around the yard in shorts, and came up with the fabulous getup you see at left for riding, which would allow him not to have to change into breeches.

I wondered aloud concerning whether he was going to wear off the skin on his knees and he seemed sublimely unconcerned, so off we went, on a 3 mile trot and canter hack.  He is legging himself and his horse up for foxhunting, and for myself, just because it is Eddie’s day off, doesn’t mean I need to rest, so I was interested in a vigorous ride too.  Not once did Jay complain or suggest we walk or slow down.  However, when we returned, we ran in to Vicki Klemm and she asked about whether he always rode in shorts in summer, and he said no and he probably wouldn’t again.  Lol.

In the early evening I went to the local orchard to buy a bunch of apples.  Little known Camie fact, I spent the first three years of my life living on an apple orchard that my dad worked at.  I don’t remember much of it, but the people who owned it were always friendly as I grew up, and I worked there a few autumns picking apples for them.  As such, I am a bit of an apple afficionado.  So each year, predictable as a salmon to spawning grounds, I go and buy MacIntoshes in heaping mounds from the orchard and OD on them for about a month.  I also buy about half a bushel each year of Cortlands and make treats for the local landowners who allow me to ride on the edges of their crops in the growing season and on the fields generally after harvest.  This is a big help to my training and conditioning program for Eddie and all my horses, so I make them apple deliciousness in gratitude.  It will have to wait until after the ATCs, but it will happen.  I like to cook with Cortland apples and they sell out at this orchard, so I had to buy them today.

IMG_0052On my way in to the store, I saw the straw bale benches they built for classes of students to sit on for picture proof of their trip to the apple orchard.  It is a pretty appreciable stack and I found myself thinking that, at this lovely xc obstacle, you’d have to check up a bit and then come forward to it to get the horse to jump across the width of it.  Ha ha.  The xc riding never ends.