Wednesday, 27 May 2015

CW Trillium Meadowlarke North Horseshow

Saturday was my first trillium show for the season. I can't believe it was the 6th show already for Central West, that's already halfway considering there are 11 total! We have to compete in 6/11 to and be in the top 7 of our division to qualify for the the trillium championships, so we are on a pretty tight schedule now.

I'm gratefully leasing the perfect Logan again, showing in the open 3'3"-3'6" hunter division. We are showing in the open division because amateur-owner division are exclusive in the 'ownership' department.

His bridle charm is a maple leaf stamped with "Canada", which is charming as his show/registered name is Canadian Made. We double charmed up and added a four leaf clover (he is definitely a clover loving horse).

To get ready for the show we had a lesson with our regularly visiting clinician the first day back. Unfortunately something went wacky in my brain and after we jumped a few nice lines, I started circling. I have a long history with circling when I don't see a 'good' distance, which is nonsensical since I know how to support and ride any distance that might come up. I rode the struggle bus mentally and we just focused on making sure I jumped all the jumps. This may have meant we jumped a 2'3" course doing the adds after some convincing (of myself, Logan is always game). I'm not sure what it was, I just was afraid of missing even though I knew nothing would happen.

The next Monday, we had our regular lesson. This would be the decider if we were going to show or not. We put most jumps up to 3'6". And we jumped. We just jumped and jumped until it was all smooth and like it used to be. Logan felt great and I felt great, I just needed to get out a few wacky jumps, and the rest was golden. Confidence regained, I decided to show!



Our division went Saturday. Once actually at the show, we had a brief hack to gauge his energy level, which was spot on. No lunging needed! He seems to have matured a huge amount over the winter and has been very laid back if given the opportunity. Unfortunately it would be almost 8hrs later until we showed at 6pm. The day ran super long and after the 4am wake-up, I hardly had any energy left to be nervous when it was finally our turn in the ring!

All in all, he was a star. We had a warmup round which I used to get my butt in gear. Our first trip was nice, a few slightly long spots we were 2nd. Our second trip we lightly tipped a rail at a tall vertical and I asked for a super man distance to one jump (interesting picture), which he saved my butt and went for, received a 7th. Our third trip smoothed out and we won that one (out of ten). We waited forever to jog and hack, finishing 6th u/s. We missed reserve champion by a few points I think. At this point it was 8:15pm and Logan has never been happier to head back to the trailer. We got home around 9:30, I left the barn at 10pm. What a long day!

Pictures coming soon hopefully!

I'll be taking the next show off as I'm fearful of jumping on grass without studs (Logan is barefoot). Logan is as surefooted as a mountain goat but its a silly mental thing for me that I would rather not do.

After finishing my co-op in the far-away edge of civilization city, I'm happy to be back in Waterloo.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Ocala Horse Properties CCI** pictures

In my previous post I mentioned how we had a chance to explore a bit of the Florida Horse Park and watch the Ocala Horse Properties CCI*/** cross country run. We sat by the water complex for a bit and also from the VIP tent.




The two was a bit long for some after losing impulsion after the down bank.



My favorite down bank picture.


The two was long for this pair but the horse made a brave effort over the out and it worked out. 


Marilyn Little and RF Scandalous(??) 
We checked out the vendors and I drooled over pretty colourful or blingy things that I'm not allowed to have in the hunters. 

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Visiting Ocala!

I was fortunate enough to take a week off work and visit my family down in FL. We spent some time on a lovely barrier island working on our tans, but the highlight was spending 3 days in Ocala!


I hadn't been to the core of the equestrian scene in Ocala before, but had tried ponies in outlying areas ~7yrs ago. I'll tell you right now, its like christmas morning for horse lovers in the equestrian core. Tack shops everywhere, and all the billboards advertise shaving deliveries, vet clinics, and feed stores!

The farms are so grand with the oak trees and huge rolling pastures! There are endless rows of perfectly maintained farmed with sleek horses soaking up the perfect weather. There are a huge variety of disciplines, everything from Arabian breeding farms to hunter jumpers and everything in between.

We ate at the Horse and Hound and also Dish, both were lovely. We dropped into several tack shops just to oogle the merchandise and suck up the deep seated equestrian flavor in Ocala.

While HITS is over, there are still a few more weeks of 'AA' shows. My sister showed me around as I've never been to the actual show grounds. Its very expansive and very horse oriented with rings and stabling mixed in with little turnouts throughout the property.

Saturday we visited the Florida Horse Park to watch the CSI** cross country. We had VIP bracelets courtesy of an industry friend so we got to sit back in the tent with all the big names. We sure aren't eventing people but I read COTH articles enough to know BNR/BNT eventers when I see them! We cheered on our favorites and got to enjoy a catered lunch and drinks, which my father found relieving since he isn't particularly interested in the horse scene. He was able to sip his cold beer and read a book while my sister, mother, and I watched these incredible atheletes and their horses skip around a big, long course. Pretty sure my sisters jumper mare would be too tired to keep galloping after 1/4th that course!

I'm always impressed by eventer's conditioning. Sometimes with the hunters we keep them a little round and out of shape so they stay mellow but it puts them at risk for injury when they jump and they aren't in tip top shape and/or are carrying extra weight. I took some pictures at one of the water complex's and just have to upload!

All the trails criss crossing through the Florida Horse Park and Ocala the NW corridor made me want to explore the area on horseback. I've always enjoyed trail riding but there aren't many options for me to do so lately.

Additionally I happened to visit WEF earlier this winter for week one so its interesting to compare Palm Beach and Post-Time Farm as the FL hunter jumper metropolises. 

I even got a little bit of a tan with all the beautiful weather:


Big big news coming up!!!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

In Memory

3/23 I was informed my sweet Sid had passed away. Its too soon for me to say goodbye, he was only 20.

"You carried me safely to many victories but that isn't what I remember. I remember your kind heart and endless forgiveness, your gentle nudges and how soft your muzzle was. You filled up my heart with happiness and let my worries fall away when we were together. You were always my hero, my greatest teacher, and friend. "My heart will always wear the hoof prints left by you." You might have crossed the rainbow bridge, but I've kept a piece of you down here in my heart."




He carried me to multiple championships both in the Childrens, and Junior hunters with his lovely, consistent style:




Enjoy your greener pastures Sid Sid:


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Consider-This-aka-Sid/670292973081405

It's April already?

In short, I've still been riding about 4 days a week. Two of those times are lessons where we work on the little pieces so that when show season starts up everything comes together (in theory).

Its been a very up down experience being here in London between riding experiences, my new job, and trying to make friends. Starting in May I return to school for a summer school term that is packed with thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, engineering design, and systems modelling.

When I'm back in school life becomes a bit of juggling act. My plan is to try to ride at least 3 times a week, part-boarding the lovely Logan and showing a few times in the 3'3"-3'6" hunters on the local circuit. We will show just enough to qualify for the year-end championships and won't jump too much at home to take unnecessary strain off his legs. It won't be anything wild or new, but I adore Logan and his consistency. Riding and showing him helps keep my stress down with school and makes me happy. He is extremely reliable and I feel very safe on him. Its not anything wild or new, I had hoped to try the jumpers this summer or take advantage of my last year to do the CET medal. It feels a bit like ageing out of the junior ranks a second time and makes me feel worried I didn't do all I wanted to during my time under the age limit for some classes. With respect to that, the main priority with being in school is getting my iron ring and getting job experience before real life happens. I have to remember I'm more of a 30% rider then the 100% investment I wish I could be.

Logan:




With OUEA season all wrapped up after the gala, students take a break to finish exams and recover from weekly 4:00am wakeups. Our exec for the equestrian team has met already and we have grand plans for next year on both the OUEA and within our club. I happily volunteered to be website coordinator again and will help run our school OUEA show. We have lots of ideas for more events and making our show even better. Check us out on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2211535543/ or our website here: http://uweq.webs.com/

Monday, 23 March 2015

OUEA Finals 2015

One end is just another beginning, right? So many bittersweet feelings this weekend with riding in finals, celebrating all our successes, but also closing out our OUEA season and saying goodbye to our team mates and friends that are graduating.

I had qualified for open over fences in 3rd for the west zone.

I drew a lovely big east zone open horse for over fences. Unfortunately he had a very very rough start to the morning with his first two riders and was a little bit worried about leaving the ground with them. One was eliminated for stops, the other took out the first part of the two stride and came off. I was so worried we were going to have a disaster that I was white as a sheet in the ingate.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqAX7oQTGVU&index=2&list=PLUNYVCr4TRuDN7AOLyYiIp_QuYKpljfYs

We jumped all the jumps but it was nothing pretty, and had the rail on jump 2 when I pulled in the air to turn to jump 3. He really requires a supportive ride and slow shoulder. He was extremely comfortable to ride with an easy jump. We got a 69.5 which at the end of the day was good enough for 8th (a lot of people struggled with the windy course and 90 degree turns....). My only desire for this show was to make it to the top 4 o/f so I could participate in the ride off but it just wasn't my day unfortunately. I put a lot of pressure on myself to make it to the top four and felt like I had let myself down, but I was able to start enjoying myself once I knew it was over. After I was done, it meant I was done for the entire day!

I changed back into warm clothes and cheered on my team for the rest of the day, it was a chilly one but spirits were high. East and West cheered for their riders and teams that normally compete cheered for one another. Waterloo did super with our riders making it to the ride offs in the majority of classes! It was a long day with all the ride offs and long courses and finished at 6pm. We had an open and inter champion, and entry reserve champion to help us cinch reserve high point team! Captain cried and we all smiled for a lot of pictures.



We had great support from the team with a lot of members coming out who weren't showing, just to cheer us on and help handle horses!

We enjoyed a team dinner together and had fun at the hotel. Early morning to get the the OUEA AGM at 10am, which was an hour away! After a coffee stop we made it to the meeting. I'm excited about where the OUEA is heading in the future and all the discussion gave me a few ideas for our individual team. We enjoyed a brunch and did awards.

Matchy matchy:


I ended up 7th overall, being bumped down from 5th unfortunately at the last second. We had a lot of super placings across all divisions for our team! Waterloo ended up being high point team for the entire West Zone! Last time this happened was about 5 years ago so we were due for a big win! Captain cried for the second time this weekend and we did a lot of posing with the huge trophy.

West Zone Opens:


Team picture:


UWaterloo open riders!:


It was hard to say goodbye and our team lingered until everybody had left. We were reluctant to let our graduates leave, they have made such a huge positive impact on the team. We eventually piled into our cars and split.... until next season guys!

Culmination of 8 months of OUEA shows:


On a side note I'm the website coordinator again on the UWEQ exec and am looking forward to working with our new exec members to put together our Waterloo OUEA show next fall and run a great team and club.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

OUEA Road to Finals Challenge!

So as the most tech savy (haha) person on our Waterloo team I was tasked with making a video for the Road to Finals (R2F) video for UWEQ. I was a little worried about having this responsibility because I wanted it to be nice, represent the team as a whole, and maybe inspire some smiles.

I tried to get at least a little bit of everyone into the video!

You can see the final video HERE.

Vote for our video here to help our team win a prize at the OUEA Gala this Sunday!
https://www.facebook.com/Ontariouea/posts/902478739804135

We hosted a fitness clinic specific to equestrians through EquiStrong and it sounds like people had a lot of fun! Hope to do another one in the fall:


There has been a ton of planning going into the Finals this Saturday, team night after, and the AGM/Gala on Sunday. I'm really excited to go, it will be my first OUEA finals! Last year (2014) was cancelled because of all the EHV-1 outbreaks. So many emails and texts! I still have to shop for a gala dress, I don't really have anything nice that I haven't worn to 3+ equine related events already...

I qualified for the overfences portion of the Open division. This is the format it runs it: "There are five horses per over fences division; four horses to be used for first round trips and a ride off horse. The top scoring rider on each first round horse will return for a ride off. Each ride off rider will compete over a new course on the ride off horse. " I'm super nervous already and really want to be in the top four so I can ride off! By the rules, I just have to have the best ride on the horse I pull to make it.

On of my favorite pictures from the 2014-2015 season. Logan gets donated by his lovely owners (also my Waterloo trainers!) a few times a season and he is always a rockstar and a favorite draw for Open riders.: