Sunday, September 19, 2010

2010 Midland Fall APHA Show - HIGH POINT WINNER!

We went to a horse show last weekend in Midland.  It was our first time showing there.  We loved the fairgrounds even though it rained...a lot...on Saturday.  I was a bit lazy with the camera though.  I did more video than photography.

As it turns out, it was a fantastic show.  Equestrian Girl got the weekend high point award for 13 and under!  This was the first time she's ever gotten a high point award for an APHA show so she was really geeked.

Here is Equestrian Girl with her friend "John's Girl" before a hunt seat class.  EG is wearing friend Shannon's dickey - it was purple with silver trim - isn't it pretty?

Shannon and Don hanging out between classes.  They are both so good at helping Madison figure out how to improve what she's doing.  We are sure they are the reason that she did so well on Sunday!

Motocross Boy and Dad came up on Saturday to watch before going to a race at MPX on Sunday.  Motocross Boy chose to wear shorts and a t-shirt in spite of it being cold, wet and miserable.  He doesn't look cold though...

Horsemanship class on the first day - placed 1st and 2nd under the 2 judges for 13 and under.

Horsemanship class the second day - placed 1st under both judges!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Baja Brawl 2010 Friends

We've made a lot of good friends through motocross - both adults and kids!  Motocross parents are generally pretty cool.  

This is Frank having an important discussion with Scott.

Frank has a cool wife and kids too.

This is Steve and his dog.  That's his son in front of him.  He's a UPS guy.  All UPS guys are cool.

This kid is cool just because he found himself a comfy chair and parked in it for about 3 hours.

Motocross Boy is cool.

Especially when he starts his bike on the stand and watches the smoke come out the exhaust.

This little guy was cool because he kept coming up to the back of the trailer and watching me read.

Motocross Boy has cool friends.  The one in the middle belongs to Frank.  The one on the right belongs to Richard.

Technically these people aren't motocross friends.  We've known them since before we were married.  Scott went to high school with Karl, the guy on the right.

This is cool Tammi.  She's married to the cool UPS guy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Baja Brawl 2010

The Baja Brawl is one of the biggest races of the year - 3 days over Labor Day weekend with over 3000 people in attendance racing and watching.  The track becomes a small town with a LOT of testosterone. It's also one of my least favorite race weekends of the year.  The whole environment makes me nervous and this year was no exception.  Thank God nothing bad happened.

Motocross Boy on the other hand LOVES this race weekend.  It's as much about the social as it is about racing.  He's got a whole small town jammed into a few acres and he knows 80% of them.  He's a very social kid.  Don't let anyone tell you homeschooled kids aren't socialized.  Introduce them to Motocross Boy.  He knows everyone and everyone knows him.

The start of the race is my favorite and probably MB's as well since he does really good off the start gate.

Here he is on the gate with Dad, his friend Daniel, and Daniel's dad Dan.

All lined up and waiting for the gates to drop.

And they are off!  You can see Motocross Boy on the yellow bike looking like he's in 4th but this is a big curve so it's really hard to tell.  Everyone changes positions very fast.

Still looks like he's in fourth but he's gaining.

Now he's definitely in the lead - you can't even see the other bikes behind the cattails.

Uh oh, here they come and they are coming fast!

And the other kid pulls ahead taking the hole shot.  Bummer.

From the starting gate to the hole shot line is all of about 15 seconds.  A lot can change in 15 seconds!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Bus Stop

Our dog Abby barks at just about anyone who walks past the house if she catches sight of them.  Except for kids.  She doesn't bark at young kids.  Maybe because we have some.  But then we have adults in the house too....

Now that school has started she heads outside at 4:00 to help the adults wait for the school bus that drops off on the corner near our house.  Several of the parents have younger children they bring with them and often they'll throw her stick for her if she begs enough.  When the older kids get of the bus, there are a few that will also throw her stick.  She's very happy when this happens!!

Seriously - could you say no to this face???

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to School...sorta

We did pretty good this summer sticking to a summer school schedule of sorts.  Most weeks had only 9 assignments and there were plenty of weeks where we kicked back and didn't do any school at all.  Those were usually weeks where we had a lot going on...the week of acting camp, the week of 4th of July, etc.  But however we did it, I'm convinced that it does help keep them fresher for the heavier fall schedule with less need to back track.  The few assignments they had certainly didn't get in the way of their summer fun!!

I haven't changed all that much up for this year.  Equestrian Girl is using almost all Switched on School House curriculum.

She still uses Aleks for math but she's using SOS for Language Arts, Science, History & Geography and Health.  Spanish is the online version of SOS called Monarch.  Of course she also has current events using the Student News on CNN and an online keyboarding lesson that tracks her progress.

Motocross Boy has a bit more variety but that's okay.  He also uses Aleks for math and SOS for Language Arts and Science.  Monarch covers his Social Studies and he uses BrainPop for Arts & Music and Health & Fitness.  He's lucky enough to have BOTH keyboarding and handwriting (big reason for that!) and while he hates current events, he gets to do that too.

I think we are off to a good start.  This week was still slightly abbreviated with only 15 assignments since we had a holiday Monday and have to leave for a horse show Friday.  Next week will be full steam ahead with 25 assignments every week!  Yahoo!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

2010 Allegan APHA Showmanship Class Winner

Equestrian Girl has worked extremely hard on perfecting her showmanship skills over the past year.  The year started out with a huge bang when she got 3 firsts out of the 4 judges at the first show in May at Mason.  She hit big again at the last Allegan show with a 1st and 2nd from the two judges.  It was a beautiful pattern!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Last Allegan Show

We haven't had the best of weather luck at the Allegan APHA shows but we finally lucked out for the August show.  Sure, it was a tad warmer than I'd personally prefer but it sure wasn't horrid in any stretch of the imagination.

This late into the outdoor horse show season I think we were running out of steam on the photography.  Scott took all of these - got some nice shots too!

Me and Madison having our usual last minute pep talk.

Stanley will never be able to compete at the highest levels in hunt seat classes but he sure does love doing them and really give it his all.  I'm always proud of both of them!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Intuition, Sixth Sense, ESP

I've never thought of myself as a particularly sensitive person but this weekend might have changed my mind.  For more than a week I was having bad vibes about Labor Day weekend.  We were scheduled to race motocross at one of the toughest tracks in Michigan - one that by far sends out the most people in ambulances.  I was just sure that one of the kids we knew (or mine God forbid) was going to get hurt bad.  I expressed my reservations and really got nowhere besides everyone thinking I was over reacting.

I got home late last night and saw I had missed a message from a coworker but she hadn't left a message.  I thought that was rather odd for her to call me on the weekend since we aren't social friends but didn't spend much time dwelling on it.  This morning I checked my email and hers jumped out at me.  Uh oh.  She even emailed me at home.

My intuition wasn't all that far off.  A man I know quite well, a customer about my age with 2 kids, was killed in a motorcycle accident over the weekend.

Farewell Tim Haggart.  Rest in peace.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Trail Class at last Spur show 2010

Equestrian Girl and I both like trail class.  She's much better at it than I am but Stanley is good enough to know what to do with me so long as I point him in the right direction!  This video clip of Equestrian Girl cut off the beginning but she had a great ride and scored 74 points - extremely high in this class!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Horsemanship Sweepstakes

Equestrian Girl's favorite class is horsemanship.  This class is judged on the rider and usually involves riding a pattern that would include all three gaits, backing up, and a pivot.  Stanley is also really good at this class so this show, they decided to enter the Sweepstakes class to see if they could win a little money!
The young man in the orange shirt is her competition.  Equestrian Girl watches the judge setting up the cones and tries to work out in her mind how the pattern will go compared to how it was written on paper.

The judge asks if they have any questions and Equestrian Girl jumps at the chance.  We agree, you ALWAYS ask questions if the judge asks!  You never know when they might give you some little pointer that will help you win the class.

Motocross Boy was in charge of photos for this class.  He got the beginning just as they came around the second cone.
And he got the end just as they walked off.

But luckily I had grabbed the video camera and got the whole thing!

Even though there were only 2 in this class, Equestrian Girl kicked the young man's butt but good.  She had a really, really nice ride and his ride...not so nice.  She won more for the class than we paid!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Western Pleasure at the last Spur Show for 2010

Equestrian Girl had a great show at this last one of the season.  She had blue ribbons in every single class except one easily getting the daily high point award.  Her second favorite class is Western Pleasure:

We still love this red and white outfit - it really stands out. This was the first time she's worn her hair down in a pony tail.  It does look pretty...but she probably wouldn't do this for Paint shows.

Such a pretty rider.

Daddy loves getting head shots!

Stanley was being such a good boy!  Equestrian Girl asked him to move out a bit in the lope since this judge prefers a more forward motion and he complied just perfectly!

Daddy catching a contemplative moment again.

Smiles after winning the class and reaching down to give her mighty steed a pat.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What's Different?

Yesterday's post was about Hunter Under Saddle Class or as known at Open Shows - English Pleasure since we do occasionally have riders going Saddle Seat.  So what's different about this group of photos to indicate it's a different class?

Equestrian Girl and Morgan Girl sharing a quiet minute while watching something interesting in the show ring.  See the horse's ears all pointing towards where they are watching?

We've been working hard on getting Equestrian Girl to keep her chin up and LOOK up.  She got a little carried away here and apparently cracked herself up.

This is better.

Turning to look where you are going is also good.

And this one she just looks plain happy.

More contemplative...

So what was the difference between this class and the last one?  This one was equitation so it is judged on the rider and not the horse.  How can I tell?  Equestrian Girl wears her red shirt for pleasure and white for equitation!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hunter Under Saddle Class at the last Spur Show

Equestrian Girl getting a good luck hand slap from me while Morgan Girl watches.

Stanley loves hunt seat classes!

Equestrian Girl loves this class too!

And her chin is up!

Some of the classes get kind of crazy - this is only half the arena and half the horses showing.

Many of the same horses in this picture but you can see three more in the far background.  I think there were 13 all together but there are often 15-20!