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Archive for August, 2008

More Pics!

I’m still grinning from last Sunday, and I have pictures to share because not only is Allie a super sleuth horse show finding wonder woman, but she also documents the day with her camera.

Woody checking it all out

Wheeee!

SUCH a sweet face!  He’s such a tryer!

This makes Allie and I laugh like crazy people!  I’m such a freak.  I used to call this my Ozzy smile.  I can’t tell you how happy I am to see that it’s transferable.

Happy Much
Happy Much?

Woody loves a head snuggle, and he certainly deserved about a million of them!

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Otherwise known as Woody goes to his first jumper show and tears it UP!

Allie and I were looking for something small to take the CANTER heese to today, and because she’s a super sleuth we found this small locally run Hunter/Jumper show.  The footing is great, the management was super friendly, and it was a LOVELY morning.  So Woody, Rosie, Kelly, Allie and I headed out early burly this morning.

I just wanted to have a good experience and was TOTALLY prepared to have a stop or two.  There were a couple of fences that would cause even some less green horses pause (Green roll top, wavy panel thingy, etc).

I was wrong.  I could give you a play by play of the day, but I am of the belief that seeing is WAY better than reading.  I will give away the ending and tell you that not only did he go in, canter EVERY SINGLE FENCE like a pro, remain calm and rateable, and look like a super star, he also earned himself a 4th and 5th place ribbon.  I wont even get INTO the flying lead changes Woody kept offering up free of charge.  It was insane.

Allie and I were so giddy.  When I wasn’t exclaiming “Oh my LORD!” after fences (the cuteness and willingness got the best of me, I couldn’t help it), Allie was giggling.  We were both SO proud of him.  After our first class (with our SUPER EXCITING 2 foot jump off), Allie and I just looked at each other, mouth agape, speechless.  He so exceeded ANY and ALL of our expectations.  So smitten, I am.

So without further Ado.  (again, I”ll include the link if you want to go and watch the higher res version)

Woody Warms up and the works his way into the jump off 😉

Who knew Power and Speed was an option at two foot :p

Most ridiculous grin ever.  I pretty much looked like this all day.

Oh Happy Day.

Oh Happy Day.

Woody gets tomorrow off, and while I don’t want to jinx myself I may start making serious plans for the fall VHT

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Woody, that’s who. 

I don’t have much time, and I apologize for the lack of postings as of late.  Work FINALLY started and to say that I have been overwhelmed would be an understatement.

So anyway, a quick update on Sir Woods.  He’s doing WONDERFULLY!  His work on the farm is always improving.  We worked in the jump ring yesterday, a place that previously sent him to The Bad Place.  Not only did he work well (bending, moving forward, being stupendously cute), but he jumped all the fences out there. 

Now granted they were cross rails and 18 inch verticals, but he took to them quickly and really seems to enjoy jumping.  He also jumped the two panels out there, one on the first attempt without even an introduction AND he cantered it.  I was beaming.

He’s TOTALLY solid out on the trails, alone or in a group and handles leaving the group or vice-versa really well.

Now, we’ve just got to find his Zen button when we’re off the farm and we could have a LOVELY fall season!

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Photo by Allie Conrad

So Saturday was a GOOD day.  I got to the barn well before 7AM and plucked Woody out of his field.  He was, of course, filthy, so I had to give him a bath.  I couldn’t have him filthy for his first public outing.

He had his breakfast and then I went to go and get his shipping boots.  As Soon as I put them on he started shaking.  Poor thing.  But even thought he was OBVIOUSLY a little worried, he self-loaded and off we went.

Once we got to Loch Moy (Which is spectacularly beautiful by the way), Woody stayed on the trailer with May for about an hour while our friend rode her dressage test.  He stood on the trailer and ate his hay and while I wouldn’t say he was napping and chock full of Zen, he was calm and handled it well.

Then we took him off the trailer.

I compare walking Woody around the show grounds to flying a little red kite in circles over my head.  Bless his heart there was just SOOOOO much to take in, and it was too much.  There was jigging, some small rearing and head flipping and just general panic.  There was NO way he was going to settle down.  He was getting himself more and more worked up and the chances of the outing being a learning experience was quickly dwindling.

So we gave him a little cocktail.  Before we left the farm I asked Allie if she had any Ace, and she did.  So after Woody circled me for a while, we decided it WASN’T going to get any better, as a matter of fact, it might have been getting worse.  So he got 1.5 ccs of Ace IM and we threw him back on the trailer to think about his sins while we went to go and watch some jumping.  (He marched HAPPILY back on the trailer).

When Woody came back out to join civilized society he was considerably more reasonable.  He still had a little bit of an edge, but he was able to process what was going on around him.  He was not a fan of standing still and because I dig him I didn’t make him.  He just walked circles around me for the majority of 2 hours.  But by the end of the day it WAS a learning experience.  He was taking things in and processing them. 

There WAS a lot to see.  But it was SUCH a beautiful day.

I also learned that we are going to have to go to QUITE a few of these as spectators before he’s ready to be productive at them.  But it’s all part of the process and I love every minute of it.

I of course have a tiny bit of video

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So today I am a year older.  I’d like to think a year smarter as well, but depending on the day that is debatable.

I woke up this morning thinking about Ozzy (which doesn’t really make it all that different from any other morning).  Last year on my birthday a kind benefactor (again, a huge thank you!) paid for Ozzy and I to attend Sharon White clinic and we had a large time.  Sharon really liked him, and I had an AMAZING weekend.  It seems impossible that he’s gone.

So I was a little melancholy.  I usually spent my actual birthday taking Ozzy on a nice long leisurely trail ride, and I decided that I should do the same with Sir Woods; even if leisurely wouldn’t necessarily work into the equation.

I got to the barn and Woody nickered when he saw me.  That is always good for the soul.  Then I realized he hadn’t rolled last night.  Due to the hair and dust the flies during our grooming sessions, that is always good for the allergies.

So I tacked up and off we went.  Woody did not disappoint.  There were deer in our path, which while Woody did not approve, he sproinged past them like a somewhat brave soldier.  We walked up and played in creeks.  We jumped tire jumps and coups.  And possibley the best parts we’re the loose rein canters through big open fields.

The weather was amazing; about 80 with a slight breeze, and while I missed Ozzy so much, I was so thankful to have this little red man to make me smile.  He makes me happy, and that’s saying quite a lot.

We ended our ride with the canter up the driveway over the fences (of course), and called it a day.

I’m now home with Kiwi on my lap and after a well deserved shower I think I’m going to go to the MVA.  I know that sounds like a ridiculous thing to do on your birthday, but I’m heading in with the idea that the latter will make the former more tolerable and not vice-versa.

What can I say, I am still an optimist.

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I thought it warranted mention that Sir Woods jumped his first line today.  Sure it was only two 18 inch cross rails (if that), but on the first try Woody trotted in, cantered one (perfect) stride, and jumped out. 

My plan for the day was to work on the flat.  We’ve been doing a lot of trail riding lately, and Woody had forgotten that bending laterally is indeed a neccesity.  So we worked as planned, and he remembered as hoped.. to the left much more so than to the right.

All the while those fences we’re calling to us (in our dressage saddle), and in the end they wouldn’t be denied.  After he did the line twice, foot perfect, we cantered a single cross rail.  I think I still have bugs in my teeth.

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