Well it certainly seems like I am on a roll. We have attended the last two Glanbrook Cadora Shows. The second show I showed in the Bronze Basic division. I figure I had better start at the beginning and learn what I am doing. This time we had to wear English show attire and braid Riva's mane. Ours was the first class of the day and our first ride time was 8:40. am! That was pretty early so I got to the barn about 5:30 and fed Riva who stayed in overnight and then braided.
My helper arrived and by then it was light so we hitched up the trailer and loaded Riva who was really not keen to go on. Didn't I say I had to work on that? Yes, well I didn't get time between shows so her loading had not improved. We arrived at the show and tacked up . Had a short warm up and then did our first test. Riva was a good girl and we had a good test except for one mistake on my part going past the letter and not doing as we were supposed to ....Did I say this was a learning experience ? Anyway we watched the other competitors and walked around till the next test. The second one went better and we completed the test with out error ( I had a caller this time). We certainly improved our scores from the last show and managed to get over 60 in both tests and got a 3rd for the second test. I was pleased that we had improved and like the comments the judge wrote so I can see what I need to work on. I need to figure out what a 20 meter circle is and again motivate Riva more although she was more forward than the last time.
Going home proved to be challenging as Riva decided she liked it there and wouldn't load. :( Not good and proved to be very frustrating. Yes we are now working on ground work and loading will be our priority before we go anywhere else!
The weekend of September 17 and 18th I attended the Master Class with Pat Parelli at the Markham fairgrounds. What a great weekend! We watched Pat coaching 7 riders at different stages of their horsemanship journeys and learned so much from watching! Pat stresses that the connection between the horse and human is the most important part.
It is hard to say what was my favorite moment or what I took away from that weekend, there was so much.I loved watching the people "get it" when their horsemanship improved and their horses offered them things that they had been trying to get. Frustrations turned into smiles and happy faces with a few moments coaching. Pat has a way of explaining and getting exactly right what people are looking for and lacking in their relationship with their horses. A big thank you to Pat for making this possible and to Todd and Maureen Owens, Parelli Professionals for putting this all together.
Well I made it to the horse show, competed, enjoyed myself and came home all in one piece! Getting ready the day before and having a helper was the key to keeping relaxed the morning of the show. I arrived at the barn, hooked up the trailer and drove to where I planned to load. My helper who I had arranged for went out and got Riva and brought her to the barn. We loaded with minimal disagreement from Riva but I do think we need to spend some time trailer loading again. We took the long way around the roads to the show to avoid a bad corner and arrived safely. Parked and unloaded as it was very warm and I didn't want to leave her in the trailer for long sitting there in the heat. Got my number, tacked up and warmed up a little before we competed. The first test went well but the second not so good. I made some mistakes in the second and got eliminated from that class. Riva was not very inspired and was rather hesitant in the strange place. When she is uncomfortable she tends to slow down or stop so of course our test results said we needed more forward motion and impulsion. She was good though considering. This show was really just about going and doing it. We have much to learn before we can think of being competitive.
I am pleased that we went and participated. I learned lots about dressage showing and this has left me wanting to learn more and go back for the next one at the end of September.
It has been many years since I have chosen to compete in a horse show. So tomorrow I am entered in the Western Dressage classes at a local show. Can I say I am nervous? Yes I am. It has been a long time. I have been almost ready to cancel through the week but then I would loose my entry fees and the experience. I decided to take Riva as she is more used to going places than Arwen and I can relax a bit more with her. Arwen needs to spend more time online getting ready to ride and I am not sure how much opportunity there will be there for that so I decided to take Riva. We are just doing the Intro test which is walk trot. This is not really about the competition it is simply about doing it, getting organized and going out of my comfort zone.
Today I got the trailer ready, cleaned the tack and tried to mentally prepare to go. I drove over to the venue to make sure I knew where I was going. So I think we are ready to go. Wish me luck. :)
I really enjoyed myself today at Holly Oaks Farm in Lynden Ontario at the Western Dressage Workshop. I enjoyed Elaine's teaching style and look forward to taking a clinic with her in the future. Thank you to all the riders who put themselves out there and participated for us to learn from them. I found that some of the issues we are having are certainly common issues and I will continue working through them. Elaine gave us some good suggestions for doing a better dressage test and helpful facts about riding a Western Dressage Test. The facility is just lovely and truly a pleasure to audit there. The lounge has A/C and although it was not as hot today as yesterday it was a welcome relief from the humidity to go into the lounge. Linda Rawlinson put on a lovely lunch and had coffee and water and sweet treats available all day. Thank you to Linda and Elaine and others who helped get things ready and made it such a good day.
This Sunday I am going to a one day Western Dressage workshop at HollyOaks Farm with Elaine Ward. It should be a fun day and is something new for me and a new group of people to meet. Elaine Ward is a very well respected clinician and offers clinics regularly at her own farm just west of Hamilton Ontario.
I participated in the Cowboy Dressage clinic earlier this summer but this is Western dressage which is different. Although I didn't get a rider spot I certainly expect to learn lots as I feel in auditing you can sometimes learn more than you might have if you were participating with a horse. I am hoping to show in August at a couple of small shows so this will be great for me to learn more about the dressage arena and what is expected. Hope tomorrow won't be extremely hot again.
Today was one of those day when everything just went right. Got to the barn ahead of the rain, waited inside until it finished raining then it was beautiful, dust free and nice and cool. Walked Riva and turned her out in a small paddock then went out to see if Arwen was going to be good and come to me. She was and we walked inside brushed and played online for awhile. She did some really nice sideways and canter online maintain gait then stood nicely for me to get on. We were using the hackamore. I have been riding her bitless a few times to see how she feels about it. She is okay with it and is learning to respond to the rein on her neck and my body more. Today we played with circles and sideways and backing around an object. She was a bit stressed about that but we will work on it more another day. Happy Canada Day to all.
Several weeks ago now Arwen and I went to a Parelli Freestyle clinic at the Horseman's Word Ranch in Uxbridge. Todd and Maureen Owens are Parelli Professionals and have been offering 2 day clinics in each of the savvy's this year.. It was a great learning experience for both of us. Arwen has never been to a straight Parelli clinic and I have not been to one for a couple of years. So we spent the time filling in the gaps and learning new skills and being gently reminded of how to do things properly. One does tend to get into bad habits when you don't get coaching regularly. We had fun and have a whole list of things we can improve and work on this summer and fall.
Arwen and Tenley relaxing in their private paddock with their own shelter.
Last weekend Arwen and I went to the Cowboy Dressage Clinic at the Horseman's Word Ranch in Uxbridge. Don Halladay was the instructor and he helped us understand what is involved and the correct way to ride the test. We practiced Saturday and Sunday we rode 2 tests. It was really helpful and certainly gave me a better idea of what is expected and how you take movements and then put them all together for a test. Lots to learn and the point of Cowboy Dressage is that the horse is always to be considered first. It is not about winning or losing. It is about communicating with your horse and doing your best and riding with a soft feel.
If you have horses injuries are bound to happen at some point. No matter how careful or how safe you think your horses are one day they are going to get hurt.
Riva got a large scrape on the back of her right hind leg in March when we had all that nasty mud. It was infected before I even saw it. So she was on antibiotics for 7 days then trying to keep injury clean and get it to heal. That was easier said than done and eventually she had to be bandaged and after trying several different things we finally got the original injury healing. BUT......at the time of the injury she had also damaged her tendon. Not good at all. She was very lame and now on stall rest. Time passed and we did an ultra sound about 6 weeks ago. There was still unhealed tendon and some heat. More stall rest walking and grazing. Finally we think the heat is gone although a ump still remains from the cut but not heat.