Monday, August 27, 2018

Eventing Derby at Cedar Ridge

Last weekend we took Vince to a derby at Cedar Ridge.  This is a one day event with stadium jumping and cross country combined meaning they put up some stadium jumps on the cross country course.  It works out pretty good and while the map below is rather hard to see (I can't figure out how to turn it the right way), the course was fairly simple and if I stood  up near those last two jumps, I could see almost the entire course.

We were able to school Vince on the course the night before the event which ended up helping tremendously!

At the last show, Vince and Madison were disqualified at the water "jump" (they only had to walk/trot through it, not really jump anything) because they hadn't been able to practice any kind of water.  We spent quite a bit of time convincing Vince to walk into this shallow pond!  At this show, they had the choice of going over that small green jump just behind them, or going through the water.

After many tries, he was pretty happy to go through the water and cool off!  It was really hot out.

Ultimately, they ended up taking the green "boat shed" jump instead of risking a refusal at the water.

Their dressage test was much better than at the last show - good enough for 3rd place - but not nearly what Madison had hoped it would be.

A few post-dressage pics.  Vince spent the night in this sand arena because they had to give away the stall we reserved.  It worked out quite nice!  He had a view of the entire farm and lots of other horses and was able to move around a lot more than in a stall.

The memory on my phone filled up halfway through the video of cross country! Ugh.  But you can see Madison and Vince in the distance doing quite well with no refusals on any of the jumps. They ended up 3rd place overall in their division which was awesome.  The goal was a top 3 finish and that was achieved!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Random Photos

Black cats and dogs are so hard to photograph and Henrik is no exception.  A couple weeks ago he spent the weekend at my Mom and Dad's house (they adore him!) and he made himself right at home as usual.

I'm sure other horses do this as well but it I always find it surprising that Mata Hari makes this "nest" in her pile of hay when she starts to eat it.  She just keeps plucking away in the middle of the pile right down to the ground.

What do you do when your parents are coming to dinner and they LOVE dessert and you have nothing? You pull out a 4 pack of pudding cups and put it in fancy little dessert glasses.

And add whipped cream!  LOL! Dad loved it.

I drove past the house I grew up in recently.  The tree in the middle of the picture was about as big around as my arm when I was in college.  It looks quite different in some ways but not in others.  The driveway is concrete was asphalt when we lived there except for the turn around pad in the middle beyond the mail box (which used to be on the other side of the street!).

Austin has had a rather rough year so far but on this night, he went out on the boat with his dad fishing AFTER shaving off his beard and had a great time!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Camping Part 3

Early the last morning, Madison found me sitting on the deck enjoying the sunrise.  I have no idea what possessed her to climb up on the railing of the deck but it made for a cool picture.

It also made for a fun video as she tried to "tight rope" walk it!  Only slightly unnerving to know it was about a 15 foot drop to the ground.

And then Madison got her yoga mat for some early morning sun salutations!

Ending with her headstand.

Not to be outdone, I joined in!

I'm a fierce warrior!!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Camping Part 2

Madison joined us at camp during the second afternoon - just in time to head down to the lake where they have a blow up island.  They all loved the "ice berg".  That's Madison at the top in this first picture ready to jump off.

These pics made it look cloudy but it was actually really nice out and more sun than clouds!

Olivia made it to the top as well.

Olivia in mid jump!

Madison ended up helping lots of kids get to the top.

Olivia jumping on to the blob with someone on the end that would get launched off.

Madison trying to help Austin up the iceberg.  He couldn't get a toe hold to get up!

 Madison half way up talking to Olivia on the "sidewalk".

One of Madison's climbs.

Austin's jump on the blob to launch someone off.

Back at the cabin, the girls spent some time in the hammocks strung up over the deck.  I later figured out a better way to hang them. Duh.

 After dinner (KFC - I wasn't up for campfire cooking and had to run into town anyway to do barn duty) we got the fire going again and made lots of s'mores!

And when the bugs got too buggy for Olivia, we went inside for another rousing Uno tournament.  I'm still the grand champion!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Camping Trip

With the multitude of stressors in our lives this year, I had decided "getting away from it all" for a few days with Austin would be a good idea.  Originally we had planned on an up north tent camping trip but when I figured on all the stuff I would need to acquire or borrow, a cabin seemed like a good idea. Since the cabin I found at Brighton Rec (close - only miles from home!) had 4 bunk beds, we invited Madison and cousin Olivia to join us.

The first evening was a bit gloomy.  It had rained in the afternoon but the skies lightened a bit after dinner (which we ended up having to cook on the camp stove inside the cabin instead of over the fire...but a boiled hot dog is good too!) and we lit the bon fire. My Girl Scout skills kicked in and we were up and running.

Our cute little cabin with no electric, no water, also had this pretty new deck overlooking the lake in the distance.

Alas, the break in the weather didn't last very long and we had to quickly abandon the fire to move back inside where we had a rousing Uno tournament by mini lantern and candle light.

The next morning the clouds were much lighter and we had hopes of a decent day.

After a trip to the corner store for a very large cup of coffee (I didn't have time to get a converter for my truck so I could bring my coffee pot and I don't have a camp style pot!), we set off on a short hike. You can see how the road is a bit washed out from all the rain.

Click on this link to see our route:

Relive 'Walked 2.92 mi on 08/07/18'

By the time we got back from our hike, the sun was out in force and I hung the hammocks that we use in the horse trailer.  Austin tested it out first and was quite sure it would collapse under his weight.  I kept telling him his butt was only 3 inches from the ground so it wouldn't hurt!

Olivia loved, loved, loved the hammock!

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Niece hike!

Spent time riding with the nephew and then it was time for a hike with my niece, Olivia!  She loves nature as much as I do but hadn't been on the nature trails at Kensington so off we went one nice evening!

We had to abandon my plan to take the "route less traveled" because of bugs but we still managed to get in a good hike and have fun!

Olivia is much more reserved than me when I'm having a hammy moment!

Terribly fuzzy picture but this was a wild turkey momma with her chicks crossing our path.

They headed down to the edge of the lake.

Momma was keeping a wary eye on us but didn't leave.  One of the babies flew up into a tree as we passed.

This red winged blackbird stayed right here on this rail as we passed by sooooo close!

This red-tailed hawk is at the nature center and is used for demonstrations.  I'm not sure why he's kept caged...maybe he was injured?

We were watching the

Friday, August 10, 2018

Horse Show! Cobblestone Eventing Trials

Madison bought Vince 2 years ago with intentions of making him her eventing mount.  Since he was an off the track thoroughbred, she brought him along slowly starting with lots of flat work last year and then slowly starting him over jumps.  Last fall we took him out to school cross country and he did great!  He went to a couple of hunter jumper shows to do Jumpers and was awesome.  So last weekend was his first big Eventing show at Cobblestone.  The week before we took him out there to school cross country and like last fall, he did great!

Madison was hyped and ready for this show. She had her horse ready, she was ready, and she knew her competition.  While she didn't show until Saturday, we went out on Thursday night to pick up her show packet, find where she would stall Vince, and walk the cross country course.  It was a beautiful afternoon.

This is the second set of jumps on the course.  Madison and Vince would be jumping the second one on the left - the smaller of the two that look like stacked logs.  From here the course went to the right around that big tree and then back to the left along that distant tree line.

Most of these are the jumps around the pond that is also part of the course.  The red barn in the distance is part of a gorgeous farm.

The total course was about 2 miles long.  This was along the far side and almost the furthest point from the start.  I should have done a "map my walk" when we did this so I could have exported the map.

This was a brand new jump on the course and one that worried Madison a little since Vince had never seen it.  It was the second to the last jump for her level.

This is looking back at all the tents and portable stalls from Zeeb Road.  The rails set up just beyond the taller weeds is the start box for cross country and you can see the first set of jumps on the right just below the horizon line. With almost 300 entries, we figured there were at least 600 people out there at any given time during the weekend.

Saturday morning - horse show day!!

First class of the weekend was dressage.  The dressage arenas were almost a mile from the stall area under those big white tents with the stalls.  Madison and Vince and I had to walk along a path that wound around the cross country course and back out to Cobblestone's main barn and arenas.  Vince was not amused with the horses running at him on the XC course and got a bit worked up on our walk to dressage.

While their dressage test wasn't terrible, it was far worse than what he's been doing at home.   He was very tense and "looky".

They scored a 32 which wasn't great but not awful which put them in 6th place out of 16.

After being able to relax for a few hours, it was time for show jumping.  Vince did great in the warm up but this would be his first time jumping rails on a rolling grass arena instead of in a flat sand arena.  And with lots and lots of other horses running past on the XC course and practice areas...

He wasn't his best although him and Madison both were trying really, really hard!

Saturday's efforts were a bit disappointing.  After dressage and show jumping, they were tied for 9th place.  It was becoming clear that Vince wasn't happy in this eventing environment and Madison made the decision that she wasn't going to push him on XC the next day.  She was treating it like a schooling run and if at any time she felt like she should quit, she would. There was no point in putting herself or her horse in danger.  It had been a long, hot, bummer of a day but also good in that she had learned some important lessons about her horse.

Sunday morning was even more hot and humid than Saturday and their XC run wasn't until 12:22.  After getting Vince fed and walked a bit, we spent a lot of time sitting around trying not to sweat.  At 11:30 it was time to tack up and warm up for XC.  Madison and Vince got ready and she walked him out near the 6th jump where there were horses warming up for their stadium jumping.  Vince would be running straight towards them later on and she wanted him to see this.  When they walked back past where I was stationed, I filled Madison up with more water and then found a tiny spot of shade under a baby tree to wait until it was closer to their time to go.

And they were off! In the below video you can very clearly see the first 5 jumps.  I stop filming when he stopped at the 6th but you can't really see it.

Jumps 1-3 went well.  And after that he fell apart.  They made it to the water and as I ran up over the hill to see where they were, I found them still trying to get through the small pond...and that's where they were disqualified.  It was just as well.  He had dodged or tried refusing jumps 4, 5 & 6.  He was fried.  Madison was tired of pushing him so hard.  They were done.

So no more eventing for Vince and maybe not Madison either except just for fun.  She has decided she likes the Jumpers and so does Vince.  His feet probably can't handle XC long term anyway so this will be a good thing for him.  It was a long hot weekend with some disappointments but also filled with good lessons and good decisions.