Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bastian's Top Ten

If you know Bastian, you know that the B-man loves to eat.  He is a genuine lover of food, I can't exactly say he's a connoisseur, since he'll eat practically anything, but he is a good judge of excellent equine cuisine nonetheless.

Today he would like me to share with you his Top Ten Horse Treats.  Every pony hopes to wake up on Christmas AM to a stocking filled with carrots, apples, and other not quite as healthy treats.  Here are Bastians favorites...

  Super Stars from The Ginger Ridge Company:  Made with Anise and Orange oils, the different taste is one that horses love.  Plus, they are shaped into little stars, fit in Bastian's Nose-It horse ball and what could be better than feeding your super-star a super star horse treat?

Butterscotch Flavored Manna Pro Bite Size Horse Treats:  Yes, butterscotch.  Delicious and something different from the apple, carrot and peppermint flavored treats in existence.  These are for the frugal horse as you can get a 5 lb bag of them at TSC for about $5.99.  They last a long time and again, there size is perfect for fitting into Bastian's Nose-It.

Mrs. Pastures Horse Cookies:  Homemade goodness!  Bastian is a huge fan of these, they come in a variety of sizes and make great stocking stuffers...hint*hint....

Uncle Jimmy's Hanging Balls:  Not just a treat, but hours of entertainment for your molasses-possessed hungry pony.  Bastian took about 3 weeks to devour his, hung properly in his stall.  He definitely thinks this is a cold weather treat as in the summertime the molasses gets melty and makes an even bigger mess.  For three weeks, Bastian has had a chunky layer on his nose, neck and crest from interacting with his hanging ball.  I think I need to take my goo-gone to the barn to deal with it today, I'm not sure the Miracle Groom is going to work...

 Hard Candy: Particularly, the Tuti-Fruiti Mix from Daffin's Chocolates in Sharon, PA.  It is sold by the pound and he love when I bring him a bag of it to the barn, lots of different flavors and I'm not sure which one he likes best, but dude, when he hears that wrapper crinkle he is one happy pony! 

 Nicker Makers:  I found these while competing at Regionals this year.  They smell delicious and Bastian sucks them up pretty dern quick when I pull the bucket out.  They are a good molasse-ee treat that any horse is sure to love!

Stud Muffins: From the same people who make Uncle Jimmy's Hanging Balls.  Each treat comes individually wrapped for freshness, which is a little annoying, but Bastian enjoys the anticipatory crinkle of the wrapper before diving into his treat.  Slightly smaller than the Nicker Maker Treat.

 Carrots and Apples:  Yes, the natural stuff.  He loves loves loves carrots, especially the fancy ones with the greens still on.  His favorite apple flavor is the Golden Delicious. 

 Granola Bars:  Thank you Donna for introducing Bastian to this delightful treat!  The best part is that you can sneak a bite or two for yourself when you are super hungry at the barn.  Bastian is very lucky that his adopted sister, Gria, has a steady supply of granola bars at her stall.  He usually manages to snag a piece or two of granola bar when she is getting one.  He books it over to the front corner of his stall when he hears one being unwrapped.  These are the Nature Valley Granola bars for the record..... oats and honey.

And Bastian's number one, all time favorite horse treat is.....

 Paddock Cakes "Gimme S'mores" 

A marshmallow sandwiched between two yummy paddock cakes.  Paddock Cakes are probably the best quality horse treat Bastian has ever eaten.  They smell sooooooo good, I am always jealous when Bastian has these and so tempted to eat one. 

So keep this in mind as you holiday shop for your pony.  They will positively adore you if you buy them S'mores Paddock Cakes....

Bastian has been chillin' so far this month.  With the extra hours I've been getting at work, I haven't had the time to see him as often as I would like.  I think I've only ridden four or five times this month.  I am totally going out tonight and plan on riding tomorrow and Thursday as well before going to Erie for a few days, then I'll have a whole week to ride and visit with him :)

Kristin turned him out in the arena the other day with Gria while she was tearing down jumps and he apparently jumped over everything on his own like he was pro, he's giving me a pretty clear message: He wants to be an eventer or a hunter (or both).  

So I'm going to try really hard to get him on track to do some eventing this summer at some schooling shows or if things work out financially a recognized event.  I'm gonna aim for the schooling series at South Farm and Buckeye.  Close by and affordable.

Unfortunately, he needs to continue to feel my Dressage needs as well.  I've picked out three shows to attend this year (again, if financially feasible) and then Regionals in September.  Hopefully Bastian is up to the challenge of the Para-Equestrian Test for Grade III, I'm gonna start showing in those classes at shows so I can be ranked in my division.  There's a method to my madness..honest!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Regional Wrap-up and my YIR

Sorry I got off track while actually at regionals, I had plans of keeping everyone updated every day, but due to being exhausted and fighting off some sort of bug at the hotel, I didn't do a very good job. 

So here we go...

All together an awesome day.  Tawny had her Training Level Open Championships that day and she totally rocked it with Gem.  They won their division with a solid score of 72%.    Team BEC was off to an awesome start!

Elizabeth showed in a regular First Level 4 class and placed 3rd.  I got to do some awesome shopping with Shari and even braided a cute little PSG horse for someone else (yay!  a client, lol)

Finally, as the day wound down there was time enough to take Bastian for a couple of turns around the warm-up ring.  I had cruised by the Show Photographer earlier in the day and looked at my pictures from my Test on Thursday, wow were my shoulders ever hunched.  I could have moved right in to Notre Dame, seriously. 

So Kristin had me being much more aware of my body position and Bastian felt so much better than he had on Thursday (translation, the better I ride, the better he is...duh!)  The Warm-up ring itself was a whole 'nother issue.  I have never liked warm-up rings.  Ever.  I'm not sure which is scarier anymore, a hunter/jumper warm-up ring or a dressage ring. 

I try to stay in my own little space and be aware of where other people are and what they are doing, but come-on people.  Dressage people suck because we don't stay on the rail, we are always doing figures, diagonals, leg yields, shoulder ins, tempi changes, etc. etc.  So anyway there were some crazy horses in the warm-up and it fried both mine and Bastian's nerves a bit, but I managed to stay on which is I guess the only important thing, right? LOL

I ride at 8:49 on Saturday.  I am freaked out and need some serious syking up.  We got to the show grounds at 6:30 ish AM, which gave me just enough time to braid and brush Bastian and get dressed and tacked up.  Which was probably a good thing because it meant I couldn't actually focus on the fact I was about to ride in the Region 1 AA Training Level Championship Class.  I'm just a little podunk pony, this, to me, is the big time.

Bastian warmed up very nicely, again there was some schooling ring drama, a big old black warmbloody thing terrorized my horse and then I think I might have been stalked by a Bay PSG horse because she thought maybe I had purposely gotten in her way.  It was crazy, but despite all that, we managed to warm our selves up. 

Our test went very well, the only place I want to lodge a formal complaint on is the second half of my centerline.  Someone was walking their horse in a BRIGHT WHITE full cooler, blowing in breeze right next to the judge's car at C.  While I fully feel that Bastian should be trained enough to ignore something as trivial as this, he didn't.  He did his best giraffe impression yet between X and into the corner between C and M.  After that, he was the bestest little Dragon ever. 

Here is the video of our ride and our subsequent journey into the coliseum to collect our ribbon.  I recieved a 68% from one judge and a 66% from the other for an average score of 67%.  That was good enough to earn us a 6th place! 
He's got the evil eye going on there, but look at that awesome ribbon!!  He was so good during the awards ceremony, until a big black horse (7th place) decided to pass us and pin him next to the judge's stand.  sheesh, she was in a hurry to get done in there, I on the other hand had travelled 12 hours and wasted all of my personal days from work to enjoy my victory lap, so I didn't feel the need to go super fast, I wanted to enoy it. :)

Elizabeth also rode, showing in her Training Level Jr/Yr Championship Class, she finished in Fifth place and got a lovely white ribbon.  On Sunday, Elizabeth rode in the First Level Jr/Yr Championship and won 5th place.  Lilly was awesome on Sunday!  They had a fabulous test. 

Sunday was also the First Level Championships for the Open Division.  Again, BEC rocked!  Tawny and Gem took 5th place and Kristin and Zoe took Reserve Champs!! 

Basically, 6th place was the lowest Championship class placing for the BEC team, we were in the ribbons in each of our classes.  Not too shabby in my opinion. 

So as my year winds down, I see that I have accomplished several of my goals. 

1)I competed at regionals.  I was hoping to be in the top 10, and I was 6!  That is "this close" to being in the top 5!!!!!!

2) I won a year end award.  Bastian and I were the Reserve Champions in the Grand Haven Schooling Show Series.  ☺

3) I had a hell of a lot of fun!!!! 

The year to come....

Regionals was, unfortunately, my  last show for quite some time.  Basically I am tired of living in a black hole of debt.  So no more showing until I pay off all of my credit cards and all I have left is my mortgage and student loans.  The only exception is that I will go to Grand Haven and compete in a Training Level class at some time so that I am qualified for Regionals next year (In Cincinnatti!!!).  Otherwise we are on official hiatus. 

Thats all folks!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Regionals Day Two......

Another long day, but in the end, it was worth it.  We were all tired.  Especially Mr. B.  By the time I got around to grooming him, he had more sawdust on his blanke and in his tail then he did on the floor of his stall.  LOL.

Team Bauer rocked as usual.  Tawny and Gem took first in First Level 2 with a 75%.  Kristin and Zoe took third with a 68% in First Level 4, with a very explosive Zoe..... and Bastian and I took a third as well in our Training 4 class with a score of 68%.  First and second were tied with a 70.433 so I wasn't that far off! 
I was very frustrated with my riding on a personal  level.  I feel disjointed and unprepared.  Bastian is going great, I just either over-do it and over ride or freeze up, I haven't quite struck my happy medium, so getting a nice score like a 68%  was a good confidence booster, but of course I want to do better.  We scored mostly 7s with two 6s on our test movements and my collectives were a mix of 6s and 7s. 

This was my first show using my new para-equestrian classification as well.  I can now legally velcro my feet into the stirrups, woot!  Tomorrow I'll just school and then bright and early on Saturday morning I'll ride in my Finals class.  I promise to keep my focus and relax.   I'll try to get my video loaded tomorrow of my tests.

Until then....... wish us luck...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We're here (Regionals Day One)

Its official, we are checked in and moved into Barn B at the Region One Championships. :)

We rolled out of the barn at 6 AM this morning and arrived a mere 11 hours later in lovely, sunny Williamston, NC.  That 11 hours riding in Elvis was a blast, despite the fact that I stole some lovely cat naps throughout the day, but hey I was working on just 3 and 1/2 hours of sleep from the night before.  I need to make this quick so I can get some much needed sleep tonight....

Bastian got to travel in style in a four horse slant load trailer.  Look how stinkin' cute he is in his fuzzy halter!!  I have been saving that halter for nearly two years now, this was first time I could actually justify using it.  And it was worth it, this was Bastian's biggest trip yet.  He seems to have traveled fine and settled right into his stall as usual.  He was mostly upset because half-way here he ran out of hay to eat.  But lots of yummy hay and a fluffy stall quickly sorted all that out. 

We got moved into our stalls and tack room and then headed out to find our hotel and get some grub for ourselves.  While waiting for my chicken fingers to be served to me (that is my horse show meal, it is all I will probably eat for the remainder of the week), I dug through the show program to get the rest of my numbers:

There are 14 people in my Training Four Class tomorrow.  There are still 25 people in my Finals class on Saturday and there are 11 Thoroughbreds including Bastian here.  That means we have ten to beat for the Thoroughbred High Score Award, wish us luck!

I'm off to have some happy dreams.  More tomorrow!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I haven't posted an update in a while because, well, there wasn't anything worth updating about.  Since our last show, we were in a quite a slump for the month of September.  I have to own up and say it was mostly induced by me.  And as long as I felt crappy, Bastian was crappy.  We did have a few good moments here and there, but I think overall its best to forget September even existed this year and move right into October. 

Here is one of our better moments (right before a bad one).  I was going to take Bastian to the EHSC Hunter Pace, so I decided we needed a quick jumping refresher so that I would feel confident about cantering over the tiny sticks and other 18" jumps they have there. 

I think he looks pretty dern good for having not really jumped since April.  He was soooooooooooo happy to be doing "not-dressage." LOL   But he took a funny step somewhere in all of that and came up lame in his right stifle. :(    So we ended up not going to the Hunter Pace together, but luckily I know some really awesome people and I was still able to ride in the pace on the sweetest little Paint mare, Poco.  I had a blast! 

I blistered his stifles again and he was not a happy camper.  But overall he was a good sport about it.  Finally at the end of September he was sound, pushing evenly from the back and not "sliding."

Now we are a month away from Regionals in Williamston, NC.  I am very excited to go, I have never before in my equine career achieved anything like this.  I go to Regionals fulling expecting to have my ass handed to me.  I'm not being pessimistic.  I'm being realistic.  Bastian is a great guy who has good gaits (consistently scores a 7!!), but he is a Thoroughbred, I make some dumb mistakes, and this is really my first year showing in almost 4 or 5 years (wow, it was forever ago!)  I know that I cannot compete with the 25 other (yes, I counted entries....lol) Training Level AA in my class.  They are likely to be better mounted and more well funded than I am.

I am INCREDIBLY happy with where Bastian and I are at.  I mean, honestly, a year ago at this time I was barely cantering because I was afraid.  This is his first full year (excluding lameness lay-ups) that he actually worked the whole time.  Up until this point in his life, either he was broken, I was broken or I was broke ($$).  So there was no consistency.  So it has been a tremendous year for both of us. 

So my plan at regionals is to be technically spot on.  I need to keep him straight, accurate, and soft and maybe  with a little bit of luck, I'll manage to get myself into the top ten.  Maybe.  I hope I can at least pull off a Qualifying score for next year.  

We leave on Wednesday the 10th to trailer for 8 1/2 hours.  (yay...:( )  I show on Thursday, just a warm-up type regular class to get him out and doing something.  Friday nothing, then my Finals class is on Saturday.  I'm very excited, I love going to shows with my barn, we always have such a great time.  Then we come home on Monday the 14th. 

I've been taking lessons each week in October and am going to bump up to two a week for next week and the following, plus Bastian is in 1/2 training.  I want this to go so well, I don't want to leave anything out or skip a step.  Fingers and toes are crossed that everything goes well!

Next weekend I finally get to clip him.  He is such a wooly mammoth!!  He gets super sweaty when we ride too and takes forever to dry.  *ugh*  But next weekend I am taking every lick of hair off of his body except his mane and tail.  Legs, face, body, its all gonna be naked!  I'll be sure to get before and after pictures.  Then, lucky me, I'll be hairy for days....lol

Here is a picture of the Wooly guy in his awesome new electric blue pad and polos.  Aint he cute!
Last weekend, on the 16th I had the opportunity to ride in a clinic with Gina Krueger.  I got a good tip on my riding position and have been working to keep myself more on the front of my thighs.  So all in all we've been on the right track. 

His transitions are getting nice (Thank you Kristin!!!!), especially if I keep my outside rein and keep my leg on (wow, I know, who would think that actually riding would make such a difference).  I need to get better with my timing, I'm usually half a second too slow in my reward/softening and a stride too late in my corrections, as in I don't stop it before it starts!  But he is overall feeling fabulous.  We ran through our test last night and other than me not preparing for my transitions a few times, it went pretty nice.  I had the rare chance to ride in the arena alone last night, with the weather changing, it can get crazy in there sometimes so practicing my actual full test doesn't really happen.  Our trot loops were nice and balanced, stretchy circle was nice.  It was canter up and downs that I messed up, I just sorta froze, I was too focused on "OMG I have to transistion NOW"  but I did it a few more times and it got better.

I'll be sure post some before and after clipping pictures, I just can't wait until he's not a hairy dragon monster anymore!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Utterly Disappointed

This past weekend Bastian and I headed the the NWPAHA Summer Classic in Harlansburg, PA.  It was a small dressage show, just one ring each day.  I was hoping to get my second qualifying score for First Level.  To make a long story short, it didn't happen.  On Saturday, we scored a 61.21, so stinkin close!  Then on Sunday, we scored a 61.84.  We needed a 62%.  I can't even put into words how disappointed I am.  This was our last chance to double qualify.  Now I can only compete at Training Level at regionals. 

Which may or may not be a good thing, if I'm not consistent enough to get the scores at the local shows, what business do I have competing at the the Regional Championships?  But I do honestly feel that we are capable of putting in a good test.  I know that my tests this weekend were overall better than some in the past, but the judges nailed me for every mistake.  And no I am not about to start bashing the judges, they have a tough job, give a score and a comment for an instant constantly during the test.  They have to go with their instinct they can't question it and they are trained to do this.  They go to forums/workshops/trainings. 

I also rode a Training 4 test, just to see how we've improved.  Apparently we haven't, we've actually regressed?  I scored a 60.4 on my Training 4 Test.  I had three major snafus one was picking up the wrong lead on my first canter depart.  I got it fixed pronto and the rest was wonderful.  The other one was really only one mistake, but I made it twice.  Our down transition from canter to trot as supposed to be at the letter, (at C and A respectively)  I transitioned on the long side between the center letter and the corner, I managed to combine the canter work from Training 2 with the canter work in Training 4.  So all three mistakes were mine and the judge nailed me.  Those should have been 7s, instead I got 4s.  So there is 12 more points right there....  Here is the test:

But otherwise I thought it was a beautiful test, we got 7s on most everything else.  I did get the "feet shoved home in stirrups and excessively kicking" bit in the rider comment section.  Here is my first level test.  Again, I thought it rode beautifully, I missed my left lead this time and had I not I think I would have made my score :(

I'll post my Sunday test once it finishes loading onto youtube. 

Things I wish the judges knew:
A) How friggin hard I've worked to get to where I am.  I think this goes for anyone who works hard with their horses and spends all of their time, money and resources on them.  Last year at this time I was still only walk/trotting with a few canter strides thrown in here and there.  Bastian was being a bit naughty and I was getting scared.  Now we are doing some pretty solid First Level Work.  The amount I have improved in a year is phenomenal.  Yes I had excellent training and instruction.  But that doesn't change the fact that I had to step up to the plate too.  Would that make judging more or less fair?  I don't know.  Some people work their asses off and are never successful because those that can pay for greatness beat them out. 

Not always the case, I know and sometimes those people that are working their asses off are working incorrectly so no, they won't win.  There isn't a good solution.  But not achieving what I set out to do this weekend has me thinking in different directions.  Again, I think the judging was mostly fair.  I can only say mostly because there are a few spots I would have given us 9s on because damn it felt perfect compared to what we normally have!  But that is the riders Bias.  I felt great coming out the ring for all three tests, I felt like we had really done it.  Then I got my scores.  It was a huge let down, so of course I start to fixate on all the good spots and how it should have be scored higher.....

B) I am not excessively kicking my horse.  This they will know soon enough.  The papers have been sent in I am just awaiting my official card.  I am now a Grade III para-equestrian. 

C)  Bastian is an EPM survivor.  Imagine how strong that little booty would be if he hadn't had the muscle atrophy he had. 

I know, I know, no matter how much I wish, it isn't going to enter into the equation.  I am paying for the judges opinion for that moment in time, they have to go with what they see, I have to trust their judgement. 
I've been on the opposite side before too, a judge miraciously missed my two trot steps in a free walk, I scored a 7 and it had a great positive comment.  That was a gift, I should have scored a 5.  Its like being in a flat class at a hunter show, and your horse throws his head and tries to take off while the judge is looking the other way.  You get him back before the judge looks at you and are perfect, you win the class.  Everyone else that saw your little antics is upset that the horse that tried to take off won.  Its all in what the judge sees and doesn't see and whether you are lucky or not. 

Hopefully the stars align for us at Regionals.  This can be our practice year before Bastian really starts to kick butt. ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mission Accomplished (Mostly)

This weekend, I headed back to Grand Haven with Bastian for the WPDA Summer Sizzler Dressage Show.  I only showed one class each day, First Level 4 hoping to get my first Qualifying Score for Regionals. 

Donna took this awesome picture of us warming up before our class on Saturday.  Don't we look like the real deal?  He is such a handsome lil' boy ♥♥♥♥♥
So, I was hoping to not only redeem myself from last show's First Level Test 4 debaucle, but also eek out a qualifying score, which would be a 62%.  He warmed up beautifully and I felt pretty good about our test.  I mean how could I not improve from a 50%??? 

(Anyone who wants to see that fabulous test, I do have it on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5VNGJB1MiM)

Well, long story short, we were successful!  Our score was a 64% and we placed second in a class of about 13 competitors.  I cried.  I really did.  I was so proud of Bastian and I really held it together for most of the test.  We actually flowed from one movement to the next and only had a few baubles.  We need to develop a trot lengthening and I need to work more on our leg yields, but compared to the last test our leg yields were AWESOME, especially our leg yield left.  Bastian's canter work was impeccable and had I not over collected after our first lengthen, he would not have broke.  Otherwise he was steady, rhythmic and balanced (that was the judges favorite comment I think on our test ☺)
We scored 7's on almost every canter movement and we got a 6 on our leg yield left and the part that made me happiest: a 7 on rider.  Seriously.  After really getting knocked at the past two shows on my legs it made me feel really good. 

So here is our test:

So we're halfway there.  I needed a 62% and got a 64%.  Yay.  Now we're headed to the NWPAHA Summer Classic Open Dressage Show in Harlansburg, PA.  That is pretty much my last chance to get my second qualifying score.  I think we can do it.  I've got two chances at the show, Saturday and Sunday. 

The best part about this last show is that the grounds are just about 15 minutes from my house, which is always nice after a day of showing, no long drive home. 

My second test at the WPDA Summer Sizzler was on Sunday.  I thought it rode better, both leg yields were good, especially my leg yield right, we really hit it.  We still didn't have our trot lengthens, but he tried.  He wanted to stretch and make his stride bigger even though he didn't accomplish it.  Something clicked between us and he finally understood either what I was asking or I finally asked the right way!  Either way it was a great feeling.  Our only real bobble was our left lead canter depart at C, I got unbalanced and he picked up his right lead, but we got it fixed within 2 strides.  After that the canter was great. 

But the judge must not have agreed. :(  My score was a 58%, which is still better than a 50%, but not as good as a 64%..... I still haven't seen the actual scores and comments, but apparently I really got knocked for my legs.  Which is starting to get frustrating.  So far all but two of the judges I have had negative comments on the excessive movement in my legs.  Which while I understand why they say what they say, does not make it any less frustrating.  I am trying my darnedest to keep my legs as still as possible, but well, when you don't have control of those muscles there is only so much you can do. 

So finally I have gotten in touch with the USEF Classifiers for Para-Equestrians.  I am travelling to Philadelphia, PA on September 3rd to be classified.  I'm hoping that after this I'll be given a pass on my legs and *hopefully* be permitted to carry a whip at Regionals.  I am fairly reliant on my whip to let Bastian know that I actually mean to do something and that it wasn't just one of the leg movements he should ignore.  I'm very happy competing in the regular dressage classes and just want the judges to be aware that I'm not excessively kicking my horse or have overly floppy legs. 

Either way, lots of exciting stuff coming up in the next few weeks, not to mention that I have to go back to my real job next week.  Good bye summer vacation! 

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Weekend Full of Not-Win

It has been a crazy week (as always).  On Sunday, Beth and I packed up Bastian and headed out to Grand Haven for the NODA Encore show.  I was showing Training Four and First Four.    Let me add in just two little bits of background:

-On Tuesday I dropped a table on my right foot.  Holy Bruising Batman.  On Thursday I went the to Dr.  and got x-rays.  Friday morning his nurse calls me and tells me I have two fractures in my foot but that the Dr. said I was allowed to ride on Sunday and that I could wear my boots.  (What an awesome Dr., eh?)  So I rode with a broken foot.  Not that it is that big of an accomplishment since I a)doubt the fractures are more than hairline and b)since I can't really feel my feet I wasn't in unbearable pain.  But still, it sounds friggin' cool right? 

-On Saturday night I went the barn after the first day of the show to lunge Bastian and pack the trailer.  We got the most badass storm that I have ever been in that night.  I left the barn at 7:30 to come home.  ALL the roads home were blocked by downed trees.  I had to turn around twice before (thankfully) I found firemen at the last tree working to clear it.  So what is normally a 20-25 minute drive home turned into an 1 1/2 hour ordeal.  It was just not my week.

So I know that I shouldn't let outside things bother me, but I did.  I was distracted and a little grumpy and just overall not 100% committed to the show.  Beth and I headed toward Grand Haven under the greyest most depressing sky ever.  No rain...yet.  As we pulled in, it started :(  

My first ride was 9:32 for Training 4.  We warmed up in the indoor since it was POURING down rain.  Grand Haven's indoor is nice!  The footing is very fun.  He felt pretty good.  We went out in the pouring rain to do our test.  Our first centerline was okay until we halted and he swung his haunches really far to the right.  almost like we were going to salute a judge at H instead of C.  Oh well, our trot loop was great, then he bucked into his right lead canter and for the next three strides he felt like he was going to buck again.  I froze and let him break (we scored a 4) then we trotted 3/4 of our canter circle at E, he was ignoring my leg and I was afraid to use my whip (we scored a 3) then we got the canter and our canter from E to C scored a 6 (thank god they break the score up!)  After that our test was pretty peachy keen.  He had a tiny spook during left canter when we started our circle, but it was miniscule.  The rest of our test was all 6s and 7s, he got a 7 on gaits and I got a 7 on rider (yay!).  Our final score was 60.8%  and we finished 9th overall. 

Aside from our right canter it was a great test for us.  Now we are soaked.  My helmet is drenched, my coat is drenched, my saddle is drenched.  This is a strong point against the Wintec Isabella.  It absorbs water like a flippin' sponge.  My breeches were a mess so they came off and I put on my second pair for my later test.
My saddle was not even close to being dry for my second test.  In fact it only just now, after sitting in the sun all last night and this morning is finally dry. 

Then we got to our First 4 test.  Let me just get this out of the way:  We bombed it.  Hardcore.  Okay, here's the rest.....  I thought we warmed up well, I was happy with him and myself, I was THINKING at least and reacting.  We go in for our test and our mojo got a bit messed up because the judge stopped us and said that we weren';t supposed to be in the ring then and it was about four minutes before we got that sorted so our flow from warm up was interupted and thats why we sucked!  No, just kidding, but it was a convenient excuse huh?  He blew the whistle and I got tense and stopped thinking and riding.  I was pretty much just a passenger doing minimal steering and guidance. 

He was very fussy with his head and ignoring my leg, a lot.  Our leg yields were stuck, I'm glad I didn't do the "diagonal" leg yield, but we basically got stuck and there was a huge disconnect between our front and hind end.  There was no trot lengthening.  Our walk was great!!!  Free walk looked good.  Our left canter stunk.  There was no lengthen, he broke a ga-zillion times on our loop.  We picked up the wrong lead after the change of rein at X, our canter lengthen on our right was great!  We were headed towards the barn so I just kinda let him go and figured I would find a way to get him stopped at the other end.  Our canter loop was much better (as in we didn't break!) but we did break at C, our stretchy circle was good and our final centerline was okay.  Our final score was a 50%.  I haven't seen the actual test yet, I had to leave before scores were posted.  I am assuming I was last in the class though....... 

I watched the video of the test this morning and surprisingly it wasn't as hideous as I thought it was going to be.  Yes, we had a ton of mistakes, stupid mistakes, but there were a few nice moments and when I did ride and think and he listened to my leg we looked good.  So we are (or will be) capable of doing this test and doing it well.  We need to develop our lengthenings more.  They need to happen the instant I ask, not halfway across the diagonal or longside.  I need to balance my leg yields more, keep the hind end in rhythm with the front end.  And keep my leg on at the canter.  I know that he'll break, I know better.  I need to develop a better flow through the actual test itself, think ahead more movement to movement. 

So lots of work, but I know that he and I are up to it and that we can and will accomplish this.  Will it be when I want it to be? (Two weeks from now) Don't know, but we are sure as heck gonna try. 

Our next shot at this is the WPDA Summer Sizzler at Grand Haven August 14-15.  We've got a lot of work to do between now and then!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Weekend Full of Win

This update is long overdue, but this past week just got too crazy with all the little projects I had going on.  I actually get to breath a little this week, and a blog update was needed, absolutely.

Bastian and I returned not only unscathed from our first dressage show, but as winners!!  WOOT!  I am so insanely proud of him and so stinkin' happy about how we did I don't even have words to describe it, but as this is a blog, I'll do my best.  I was nervous overall going in, in the past no matter how good I thought we were doing at home on any horse I happened to be riding, I would get to a show and learn that we still pretty much stunk.  Whether I just wasnt' riding well enough or I never had an "exciting" enough typy horse I don't know.  But basically I was always just an "also ran" in whatever class or event I was in. 

Kristin rode him first on Thursday when we got there to school.  We decided that since it was his first time at these show grounds she would make sure he wasn't going to be spooky about anything.  And he wasn't.  He wasn't a good boy though, he decided to have one of his little teenage temper tantrums and not go forward off the leg.  But Kristin worked him through it and when I got on he was FABULOUS.  Absolutely fabulous.  I was feeling better about the whole show thing.  Thursday was also ungodly hot and humid.  Yuck.

It rained all night Thursday and was cloudy and overcast on Friday.  Our first test went okay, it was Training 2 and I was very tense and nervous.  We scored a 58%, came in fifth and received a beautiful pink ribbon.  Its really pretty.  (I know, sorry, I'm having a total kid moment here!)   Our second test of the day wasn't until 3:40 something.  By then the arenas were a mess, it had rained off and on all day.  It was not raining as I started my test but right as I did my first diagonal the skys decided to open up along with the wind.  Every letter blew over during my test a few as my horse walked past them.  He didn't flick an ear in the wrong direction and finished his test nicely (I was proud of myself for not rushing to get out of the bad weather!).  This is where it pays off to know your arena layout since you couldn't see the letters anymore, LOL.  Poor Kristin had to go in right after me and no one was running out to set the letters back up again so she didn't have them either.  Heck she didn't even have a scribe.  Sometime during her test the scribe disappeared and the judge was writing down scores...crazy!
We won our Training 4 class that day with a 64.2%.  So we got an almost as pretty as the pink, Blue Ribbon and our first Qualifying score!!   I was estatic.

Saturday was dry and at lunch they finally dragged the arenas.  I felt that both of my tests rode better that day, but the judge in my arena was being conservative with her scores.  I earned a 62% and a Red Ribbon for my Training 2 test and a 60% for my Training 4.   My Training 4 class was huge, like 15 people, I came in 9th overall in that class.  So despite not getting better scores, I was still very pleased with him.  I felt like we were relaxing more and being more consistent in our tests.

Sunday, we were exhausted.  But Bastian being the quick learner that he is almost has this dressage thing figured out.  We scored an awesome 70% in our Training 2 test and won the class (by the skin of our teeth, 2nd place had a 69.5%!).  He was great.  Here is the awesome video:

Our Training 4 test that day rode almost as well, we scored a 66% and got our second qualifying score (the show was actually two shows: Fri/Sat and Sun) for Training Level.  So guess who's going to Regionals!!!!!??????  WE ARE!  Yeah!  Our Training 4 Class was just as big as on Saturday and we finished in 7th place, just out of the ribbons.  I could not be happier with our performance at the show. 

We still have work to do to fix the bobbles we had, but coming back from a 10 week layup and getting our act together in just three weeks for a show I think shows that we have what it takes to play with the big kids. 
Our next stop is the NODA show at Grand Haven this weekend.  We are only showing on Sunday and are signed up for Training 4 and First 4.  I'm hoping I can eek out a First Level Qualifying score.  As long as I continue to focus and ride every step of the way I think we can do it.  Bastian has been so good this past week as we've been preparing.  Just five more days! 

After that we'll be showing at the WPDA Summer Sizzler at Grand Haven, just on Saturday: First 4 and then the VADA-CH Twin Shows I and II in Culpeper, VA at the beginning of September. 

The BEC team did fantastic in Delaware and I am excited and honoured to be considered part of the team! :) We had so much fun and it was a positive experience for Bastian and I, I can't wait for this weekend!! (Look at that pretty pink ribbon!!!!)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hi-Ho-Hi-Ho, its off to Show we go.....

Just two measly little days.  Two.  On Thursday we load up and head out to Delaware Ohio for the Mid-Ohio Classic, two shows held over three days.  Bastian's first ever recognized dressage show and my second. We are riding the same two tests each day, Training 2 and Training 4.  I"m hoping to get my qualifying scores in Test 4, we need to get at least a 63%.  We'll be keeping our fingers and hooves crossed.

Bastian has been going wonderfully.  I had a lesson the Wednesday after our schooling show and it really clicked.  Kristin had me riding every stride and got me back into "thinking rider" mode instead of just being a passenger.  We had about 8 minutes of beautiful work, then Bastian and I were both exhausted.  Actual riding takes a lot out of you! LOL

She also suggested that I get back to lunging him.  For us, lunging is about breaking through his stiffness and making sure he is forward.  I have to over-do it on the lunge forward-wise, this way under saddle he is more willing to move off my leg and actually go.  Bastian is by nature, a lazy boy, he would be happy to just trot and canter around nice and slow.  Too bad he doesn't have the movement for western pleasure, he sure as heck has the mentality for it.  So lunging is a great way to do our warm-up.  15 minutes and he is through and forward, not to mention he is just a sweet, sweet boy to lunge.  I've lunged some jerks in my life and Bastian is a saint, thank goodness.

So we've spent the past week lunging then riding for 20-25 minutes.  He has been a totally different horse, he's gained a lot more muscling and fitness and so have I, but we still have a ways to go.  If I keep my stuff together and breath, sit straight and THINK about what I am doing, we may just have a chance of pulling this off. 

Today's lesson was good.  We had some moments of brillance, but I need to sustain them longer.  Moments don't get good scores.  I'm feeling more and more comfortable with my tests and just need to relax and let the test happen instead of rushing it.  Dressage is not a race, dressage is not a race, dressage is not a race...... (although if it were, Bastian's and I's chances of winning might increase!)

I also spent last week freaking out about my dressage coat.  I had gotten a new one for this year, my other coat was very old and had some other issues, so I ordered a new one.  It looked like I was wearing a black circus tent.  Seriously.  I tried to find a tailor to take it in, no luck.  Finally on Friday, another boarder at the barn, Wendy,  told me she was going to The Paddock and Schneiders and asked me if I wanted to go.  I jumped on that bandwagon as fast as I could! 

We get to The Paddock and I, thinking I wear a size 18 don't see any dressage coats that will fit.  Just for giggles I try on a 16.  Not too bad, it actually fits.  The sales associate came over to help me out and has me try on a 14, I'm thinking, no way-too fat!  But it fit perfectly.  The only thing I need to do is let the sleeves down a smidge and I mean a smidge.  So I finally have an elegant dressage coat to show in.  Although I am disappointed that I wasn't able to get a velvet collar or silver piping :(  Sorry, the ex-eventer needs her bling!

Today my mom helped me to pack up Bastian's show things.  Everything is packed minus his Saddle, bit, and lunging equipment.  I've got all my show clothes ready to go, I just need to pack up my sundries and multiple accessories for travel.  I'm excited to finally be showing Bastian at a recognized show! 

Wish us luck! ♥

Monday, June 28, 2010

Schooling Show Success

This past Sunday Bastian and I went to Grand Haven in Jefferson Ohio for one of their Dressage Schooling Shows.  We rode Training Level Test 2 and Training Level Test 4. Bastian has only been back to real work for two weeks now and is still lacking in physical condition.  I've only been riding again since last Monday and a lot of those rides have just been me getting comfortable and confident on him again after my fall. 

I'm riding much more timidly again and while Bastian is a great guy, he is lazy and is only going to give me what I ask for, especially since he's been off work.  So he's a bit behind my leg.  Our timing is still off, although its getting better.  Definitely a work in process, we will have it together before the show next week (eeeeek!  Just a week and half....can't wait!).  Today Bastian is enjoying a much deserved day off and I'm enjoying a "get everything done that I haven't done for the past two weeks" day.  Which was sarcasm on the "I'm enjoying" part in case you weren't sure. 

Back to the show.  It was hotter than the gates of Hades, luckily there was a bit of breeze so it was barely tolerable.  I was going to lunge him to get him forward, but then opted against it since it was A) Super hot and B) I figured a bit slow and behind my leg would be 'safer' for me.  He has been to Grand Haven once before, a year ago and he was really good there, so I wasn't overly concerned he would be a fruit loop or looky.  And he wasn't.  We went in the warm-up ring and walked around a bit then did our warm-up, he felt pretty good, nice transitions, fairly consistent.  I couldn't have been happier. 

Our first test was Training Level 2, an easy test where all your transitions are between letters and it has two diagonals, my favorite movements because if I can get him in a nice place, its a great place to showcase his gaits and his rhythm.  Overall the test rode pretty well.  There were some very nice moments, but more just "eh" moments due to our lack of fitness and my own show nerves.  I get nervous about kinda silly things and fixate on them.  Like while I'm doing my 20 meter circle at E, I worry about having to trot past the opening at A and wonder if my horse will try to leave the arena.  I need to learn to refocus on whats happening and not worry about that other stuff.  We scored a 63.214%, which I was very pleased with.  I was shooting for a 65% and had I not had a few bobbles in the test we would have made it.  We were actually tied for second place, so the other rider must have had better collective remarks.  We were only 1% behind first place, so we were right up there. ☺

Here is our test:

(Thanks to Tawny for videoing!)

Our next ride was nearly two hours later, so he got untacked and went back on the trailer to munch his hay.  I got him back out and tacked up for our next test.  I was about 10 minutes ahead of schedule so we took our time warming up.  He warmed up great, he felt even better than he had felt that morning.  *sigh* then it went away.  We entered the arena to start warming up around the outside of the ring and as soon as I turned him to go down the long side Bastian decided that he was tired and done.  He sucked back and balked at my leg (we were just walking), I smacked him with the whip and he kicked out at the whip, which made me nervous.  He went forward, but was still cranky.  Once we got past B, he was fine, then he was wonderful going back toward the barn/trailer, then we turned the corner again and same thing.  I didn't want to get into a big fight, mainly because I'm too scared too.  I know what he is capable of.  I also know that if you make your point known once, without question, he'll say "yes ma'am" and carry on being a good boy.

We started our test finally (the judge was talking to the previous rider) it was Training Level 4, the one I really need to master so I can hope to get my qualifying scores at the recognized show next week. (NEXT WEEK!!)  We quietly "argued" for the first half of the test.  He didn't want to go and I wasn't about to anything to jeopardize me.  It culminated in one of his half hearted teenager moment bucks between A and K where we were supposed to pick up a right lead canter.  Of course in the corner closest to the barn and going away from them.  We scored a 3 on that movement, lol,  the judges kind comment was "late."  I didn't ask for the canter again until we were halfway through our 20 meter canter circle at E.  After that Bastian capitulated and said "okay mom, we're doing this and I'll behave."  Our scores improved towards the end, but not enough to save us.  We ended up with a 56%, not exactly the best, but given the circumstances and the fact that I eventually won our argument I was happy.  We stayed in the ring, I stayed on and I didn't miss any movements in the test. 

The judge was Joanna White and I really liked her.  We talked a bit after my test and she asked if he was young (yes!) and said she thought that in six weeks we would be right on par with putting in a good test.  Hopefully I can fastforward that six weeks into a week and half.  I'm pretty sure that if I just stop pussyfooting around with him we'll be okay.  Had I resolved our argument the moment he balked we would have been fine and had better scores.  So lesson learned, he'll be getting pulled out twice a day a few times before the show to get used to the idea that sometimes he'll get ridden twice a day.  Silly Pony.

I placed second in that class and overall, the test felt better.  I was actually prepared for it this time unlike last time when I looked at it as I was going into the ring.  I need to be more assertive in my riding and remember to prepare prepare prepare. 

Overall I am very happy with our experience!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rodeo Bronc or Loveable Dragon, you decide!

Well, Bastian has been back to work for almost three weeks now, I on the other hand have only been really back to work for about four days.  Believe you me, this will teach me to brag about how awesomely calm my horse is.  We were hacking around quite nicely last Tuesday, Bastian was a little full of himself, but nothing too bad and he was tired.  I asked for a canter, which he picked up and we were going well until he started to slow down and was about to break to a trot, I sat to push him forward and he scooted.  So I sat up/back more because that is my emergency response and Bastian said "No mom!" bucked pretty darn hard and I came off. 

Long story short, I went to the ER to get checked out, nothing serious, just bruising and muscle pulling.  But boy did it hurt.  I was a bit nervous because I didn't know what had caused Bastian to turn into a rodeo bronc.  Kristin rode him the next day for me and he started to do the same thing to her when she sat at the canter, but she had a better reaction than me, get up off his back and kick him on.  She did the rest of the canter in half-seat and he was perfect, the good old reliable Bastian we know and love.  He was extremely back sore, and bucking my fat butt into oblivion was his not so subtle way of saying "OW!" 

At least now I had a reason for his unusual behavior.  I had the chiropracter out last Thursday and Bastian was all sorts of out of whack.  When the chiro was done with him, Bastian was only half as reactive in his back as he had been.  This with a combination of having lost all of his muscling on his 10 week hiatus equals a sore back.  Poor Guy!  I've also added a thinline saddle pad to our equipment.  I think it will have great benefits for both him and me. 

So I officially started riding again on Monday.  I had a lesson Monday, Wednesday and today.  Part because I totally need lessons and part because I didn't feel comfortable riding without supervision, I'm very paranoid about accidently sitting too hard on his back until he feels 100% better.  Aside from being exhausted after my ride, I don't hurt so that is a good thing.  Bastian is struggling too, his fitness needs about another two weeks before we can really be back to a basic "normal."  But we'll get there. 

This Sunday I'm taking him to Grand Haven for the Dressage Schooling Show.  We are doing T2 and T4.  I don't expect a whole lot considered we're both so out of shape.  At this point is more of a just getting him out there kind of a show, which is something that we both need anyway.  I just hope the weather is better than last time! 

I'll be sure to update and post video of our tests after the show!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Back in the groove

Its been a while, but then there really hasn't been much to report until about a week ago.  But by that time things got so insanely busy, that I just haven't had the time to sit and think up a decent blog entry.  So here's the scoop:

After the frustration of the no-show vet, I finally got to take Bastian to Dr. Genovese, who is by far the coolest vet EVER.  I love him.  Seriously. ♥ Anyway, he was flexed, lunged, trotted, ultra-sounded, and x-rayed and the good Dr.  found nada.  Aside from a slight positive after flexing, he was sound.  His ultra-sound and x-ray were clean as a whistle, they didn't even show that there had been something and here was the evidence of healing.  I was told to start him back to work, bute him for a few days and see what happens. 

So far, so good.  He's been back to work for a full week now (with the exception of this past weekend because as much as I wanted to ride him, I was just too exhausted) and felt great.  And just to prove that I have the most awesome horse in the world:  He has now been on stall rest for 9 full weeks.  He has not batted an eyelash or gotten his tail in a twist about riding.  He hasn't even thought about being a bad boy.  Today I had to use my whip to encourage him to move out more.  How many 6 year old Thoroughbreds with only a year under saddle do you know that would be that steady and sweet?? 

He'll get to return to the world of turnout either tomorrow or Wednesday, which should make both him and his buddy RW happy.  As it turns out, we are going to a show that was not originally on my schedule and I'm really excited about it.  I just filled out my entry for the Mid-Ohio Dressage Classic I and II in Delaware, OH.  Since we're coming back from time off (both me and him) we are only doing Training Level and if we're lucky we can get our qualifying scores over the weekend.  If I can just get one I'll be happy.  That is the weekend of July 9-11, I can't wait!  In the meantime we are going to do the Grand Haven Schooling Show on June 27 to get a gauge on where we are and what we need to focus on. 

This past weekend was the WPDA and Dressage at Grand Haven recognized show, I wasn't able to take Bastian, but I went as a groom for my instructor.  She had four client horses going in two classes each every day.  She was the first ride at 8:00 AM and then went steady every hour until 4 or 5 PM,  I was the tacker-upper/lunger/untacker.  We really did basically just trade horses at the barn door a couple of times.  It was a blast.  I did a pretty good job and only messed up once when I tacked up the wrong pony.....we caught it just as Kristin got in the saddle, and I tried so hard to keep Good Pony and Bad Pony straight.  LOL  Next time I'll have it for sure. 

Everybody got a qualifying score or two, one of Kristin's client's horse got High Score Arab at the show, Kristin got the High Score Open Training Level award.  Despite some crazy weather, going from pouring down rain to incredibly humid it was a good time, I can't wait until the next one!  Although I think it will be a few more days until I am officially physically recovered, I was getting home at 9 every night, going to bed at 10:30 and getting up at 4 the next day. 

Lil' Magnus went to the show on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday.  She was awesome and is going to make an incredible horse show dog.  Everyone loved her snuggly fluffer-nutter cuteness and she was excellent about having to stay in an empty stall when things got hectic, she barely barked or whined. 

This coming weekend I'm off to the Lost Hounds Pony Club event in Edinboro.  My friend Jess from NC is bringing up her awesome eventing pony Bug and going Intermediate.  I get to groom for her :)  Cindy, the owner of the barn where I board is bringing her awesome horse Banff and going Training, hopefully I get to groom for her too.  At the very least I'll be cheering everyone on!  Including my Erie locals :)

I'm looking forward to a lesson on Bastian on Thursday!  Its been so long, I love being back on my pony ♥

Monday, May 31, 2010

Bastian 3 Vet 0

Well, the vet did not show up yet again on Thursday.  There was another emergency.  I might have been able to handle that information if the vet had felt that it would be good customer service to call and inform me that he was either going to be late again or he needed to reschedule.  The fact that I had to contact him 2 hours and 15 minutes after my appointment time to see if he was till coming or not is NOT good customer service. 

Not only that but to have emergencies three appointments in a row?  It may be legit, but something doesn't seem right to me.  My theory is that I wasn't a big enough $$$ client to really matter to him.  Which in the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman:  "Big Mistake.  Huge."

So now I have an appointment at Cleveland Equine Specialty with Dr. Genovese (no idea how to actually spell his name), the Dr. House of Equine Lameness.  I'm hoping that he'll ultrasound and x-ray and say "Well your problem was ___________, but because of the length of time he's been off and the extraordinary care you've given it is mostly healed and he can start back into work..."  Wishful thinking I know, but a girls gotta hope. 

In the meantime, here is Bastian's opinion on his whole lameness induced vacation:

I've continued to ride him at the walk and he's doing well.  I figure by the end of this I had better be scoring 9s and 10s on my working walk, free walk and halts since I am spending 25 minutes a day mastering them.  LOL
On a pretty much nothing to do with my horse note:  I'm getting a puppy on Monday.  I reserved a puppy this past December and have been waiting oh so patiently for her to be born and grow  up enough so I can bring her home.  So on Monday I travel to Columbus OH to pick her up.  Meet Magnus D. Doodle, a cream labradoodle pup:
So cute!!!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Tomorrow will make an official five weeks since Bastian's lameness debaucle began.  The vet did not make it out last week to ultra-sound his leg so I'm still not 100% sure what we are actually dealing with, we stepped up his care just a notch, instead of cold hosing for 15 minutes I was instructed to ice his leg for 30 minutes a day and to continue to handwalk.  My vet appointement for tomorrow is at 3:30 so I have to skip out of school a few minutes early (kids leave at 2:15, I'm supposed to stay until 2:45, but I'll leave by 2:30 instead, no biggie)

~~Just a side note on that subject, only 4 days of regular classes left followed by four half days of finals then its summer vacation!! WOOT ♥ ~~

Check out that sweet icing apparatus!  Sweatpants, suspenders and vet wrap.  This also further proves that my horse is pretty darn awesome, he didn't bat an eyelash at any of this! 

So I'm hoping that what he sees is something minor or something that is on its way to being pretty well healed.  I lunged him for just a moment on Friday and he looked great, very sound.  Which is good because he is so super bored.  The poor young boy has been locked up in his stall for five weeks, no turn out, no friends and just super slow handwalks with me, he is so ready to go back to work.  Today instead of hand walking I decided I would ride him at the walk instead so he would actually get to move out a bit instead of crawling along beside me. 

So I get him tacked up and inform Beth one of the other boarders about what I'm doing and if she hears any screaming or odd noises from the indoor that she needs to come and rescue me.  I walk him into the arena, step him through the doors and go to pull the doors shut and he rears.  Rears.  He has never in his 6 years reared.  I yell at him and he lands and takes off at a gallop.  He gallops 3/4 of the way around the area with a few bucks thrown in for good measure, comes around the 3rd corner and sees me and stops.  The look on his face was priceless.  He was totally like "Um, I wasn't supposed to do that huh?  Ahh, sorry??"

Did I mention that the doors on the other side of the arena were open and that Wendy saved my butt by getting them closed before Bastian flew by them?  Oh yeah, it was great start to my time at the barn today.  I considered not getting on him, I don't need to be on top of him he decides to have a "ImnotinmystallandI'mgonnarunnaroundmoment! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!"  But I did get on, again major thanks to Wendy who held him at the mounting block (he didn't try anything, but better safe than sorry!) and again when my 20 minutes was up she held him while I slid down.  He was awesome while I rode though, I wasn't really asking for anything but he was looking for the bit and mainted a wonderful light contact with just a bit of roundness.  He was all "yes, we're doing something, we're riding, we're......walking."  he was ready to do more, but  we stuck to the walk. 

Then I iced that leg that he used to tear around the arena on, brushed him some more and gave him some yummy Tooty-Fruity hard candies from Daffin's Chocolates.  So it ended well despite Bastian's (understandable but not acceptable) explosion.

I've had five weeks to come up with a new plan should my pony decide to be sound and healthy for the remainder of the summer.  So here goes.  I am focussing on the dressage.  Between having a lame pony and much less funding than I had expected, dressage is my main focus.  I want to go to Regionals.  I want to do well.  With that being said, my first event should he be sound is......

  • South Farm HT: Starter Division (2')  July 4th  
  • NODA Schooling Dressage Show at Grand Haven July 11th
    • Training 4
    • First 4
  • NODA Dressage Show and Encore Show July 24th and 25th at Grand Haven *regcognized*
    • Training 4
    • First 4
  • Hickory Creek Judged Trail Ride July 31
  • WPDA Summer Sizzler  Dressage Show August 14th and 15th at Grand Haven *recognized* (only if I haven't already gotten my qualifying scores)
    • Training 4
    • First 4
  • Grand Haven Dressage Schooling Show August 22nd 
    • Training 4
    • First 4
  • South Farm HT:
    • BN (not me showing him! LOL)
  • Grand Haven Dressage Schooling Show October 3rd
    • Training 4
    • First 4
  • Region One Dressage Championships in Williamston, NC November 11-14
    • Training 4
    • First 4
There may be some hunter shows smattered in there if the opportunity presents itself and things work out, but the plan has changed drastically from just puttering around and dabbling our feet in everything to focusing on our dressage.  (did you notice a pattern with the dressage?)  I may end up going to different dressage shows, it just depends.  I chose Grand Haven because I don't have to get a hotel, I don't have to find someone to watch my puppies, etc. etc.  Its only about 30 minutes from the barn.  So we'll see how things go and where we end up, but its dressage all the way.  Which means I need to get another pair of white breeches.......

Wish us luck with the vet tomorrow!! ☺