Tuesday, August 30, 2016

BVX 2016: Spud's First Show ( Part 1 )

Beast pony.
Initially I had selected a specific title for this blog post, but I figured it would pose as a dead-give away as to how the show went (and for those on my social media, you are already aware due to the influx of of photos). It's going to take a bit to get through the whole show experience, so I've decided to split it into two posts.

Be prepared for some serious photo spamming!

This was our drive on Monday.
He was such a dick. But it's OK, 'cause he's cute.
 To encapsulate the entire adventure, I'll begin from last Monday (22nd of August) when I went out and drove Spud. I wanted to get in a few last drives before heading off to his very first show and wanted to ensure we were both prepared as well as we could be. I had ordered things like my lap robe and a custom sized slinky for Spud a few weeks out, so was able to get them all in time, which was good.

I have a Horse Showing Buddy (hereforth referred to as HSB) that I typically go to the BVX with and her and I made a deal - she'd haul the horses and the BF and I would haul the people camper. So Wednesday morning we hauled both trucks, one with a horse trailer and one with a people camper, over to the next town where we parked our horse rig and switched Spud over to HSB's trailer. Suzie ended up going to my other friend's and tossed back out to pasture for the five days we were gone instead of being alone.

BF lugged around the purple pony all weekend <3

Yup - they're best buds.
We pulled into the fairgrounds nearing 3pm, which was excellent timing. HSB and I bathed our horses, set up their stalls, I decorated Spud's stall, and BF levelled and unhitched the camper. Since we were done everything with enough time to spare, we all went out for dinner which was fabulous, since we often get to the BVX late and have to run around until 11pm getting things ready.

The show was pretty disorganized this year, and the main office didn't have my show package or any information on me, so I had to run around trying to find out who had my info. I finally was able to track the lady down, after asking a few people, and got the rest of my show package. It was a bit frustrating to see that the show packages handed to competitors had dwindled down to bare bones. In previous years, they'd include a show packet and highlight which classes you were in, as well as other related information.

BFF with HSB's Trakhner.
This year, there was no mention of what classes I was in (most shows write the class number on the back of your number, but nope... nothing), no information package, no map of the grounds (I knew where I was going, but for new competitors it would have been nice), no mention of who to talk to when stalls were stripped to ensure a refund was sent, no mention of where to find Dressage times, and they were missing our vehicle pass for the weekend. HSB had an extra wristband and got a camping pass, even though she was hauling a horse trailer and was hauling alone. It was a bit disheartening to see, as I knew of several new competitors and one of them ended up calling me because she had no idea how to even find her stall.

That aside, it was the same old fairgrounds and I found my stall and such without a fuss, but only because I knew what to do from previous years. Upon returning from dinner, we met up with another friend who was showing for her first time at the grounds and we gave her a brief run-down before retiring to the trailer for bed.

Some of the wet spots are from Hayden, the Trakhner, drooling on him.
I woke up the next morning around 7:30am and went and grabbed Spud from his stall to prep for our Halter classes. It was so nice having Spud there vs a large horse, because I didn't have to get up 3hrs early like I normally did to feed breakfast - I just left extra hay in his stall and he had more than enough come morning!

For those wondering why I'd have to get up 3hrs early - HSB and I have the same mantra about showing; we like our horses to have bellies with FOOD in them prior to showing. We have seen so many competitors pull their horses out of their stalls, let them eat a teeny bit at the trailer, and then pull them away for classes all day long. Waking up 3hrs before needing to pull the horse out of it's stall to prep/groom/tack up gives the horse a chance to actually eat it's breakfast and get the gut flora flowing happily.

Looking pretty fucking cute.
Anyways, like I said, I pulled Spud out and tied him up to the trailer and began detangling his tail, brushing out sawdust, and braiding his mane up into little buttons. I will divulge that I was a bad bad show mom and did not utilize yarn (I know, smite me!), but I had a friend who was new to the show asking for my help and such, so I didn't have much time.

I hovered near the show-ring that was running Halter, but ended up watching several dressage tests before they were even ready for the Unregistered Pony Geldings class. With the last of the Appaloosa classes clearing out, I parked near the ring and waited to be called.

Of course he cocked a leg and blinked in this photo <_<
Second place in Canada is blue, so don't get too excited.
We entered the ring with only one other competitor (who was definitely on the bigger side of pony), and placed 2/2. Since the way Halter classes work, we ended up going back into the ring for the championship class since 1st place and 2nd place horse are called back for the division championship. Suffice to say, we were not chosen, which is fine by me. The rest of the horses in the division were much larger than Spud, save for one.

Regardless of the placing, I was pleasantly surprised that Spud was quiet, responsive, and even was complimented for his "square stance" by the judge. Since our one and only class for the day was completed, Spud's slinky was thrown back on and he was brought back to his stall.

With Thursday complete, I had an open schedule until our Driving classes on Saturday morning so I pulled him out for a training drive on Friday afternoon. Afterwards, I ended up cleaning his halter and cart.

Our Friday afternoon drive.

Stay tuned for more ;)

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday Snapshots

It has been stifling hot the last few weeks, so I haven't had much motivation to get out and work the horses. Still, I have managed to take Spud driving a few times, lunging, and clipped him.

I don't have much else to say, so enjoy the following photos:

Mad mare - err'day, all day.

I managed to clip Spud's neck (you can see the subtle color change), but then my blades died and I had to wait for Amazon to rush me a new set before I could continue and finish. I had also received my cheap $15 eBay cable halter that same day, so it was fun to play dress up.

Winking at all the fillies out there ;)
 After a short two day rush order, I was able to finish up and clip the remainder of him. I am hoping he grows back a wee bit of hair, because I fucking suck at clipping and he's full of lines... lol. Looking at him from far away you can't tell, but right up close you can see how shitty he looks. He has a whole five days to groooooowwww some coat back, so everyone do a hair-growing dance!

Again, before.
And After.

As a final note, I'm selling my Bates Innova dressage saddle. So if you are interested (or know of someone interested, shoot me a message at misstiki2 at hotmail dot com).

Here is the ad that divulges all the necessary info:

This fabulously cared for saddle features:
- Deep and open 17.5" seat (size 1)
- Extended Contourblocs
- Interchangeable Gullet System (Will come with your choice of gullet installed).
- Short Flap (16")
- Luxe Leather with CAIR.
- Adjustable Y-girthing
- Adjustable stirrup bars

Saddle will come with:
- Original literature
- Wintec/Bates Saddle Gullet Measuring Tool
- Gullet of your choice installed
- Complete (and brand new!) CAIR Panel Insert System
- Original Bates Fleece Saddle Cover
- Additional screws, etc.

This saddle is fabulous, especially for the short-legged rider. Unforunately, my mare is now retired from riding and I no longer am using it.

Please note, the saddle is missing one of the Bates "buttons" by the pommel, but it does not detract from it's beauty or usefulness.

Shipping at buyer's expense, trails are welcome with full payment.

Located in Kitimat, BC (Canada).
Asking $1800(CAD), roughly $1300(USD).

Saddle is from a non-smoking home and has always been stored indoors.

If you want to see additional photos, please send me a message.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

10 Questions for August

A huge thank you to L at Viva Carlos for giving me blogging content when I don't have anything remotely interesting to share.

The most epic shot of Suzie, being Suzie.
The horse behind her is a 17.1h Draft/Tb X gelding who fell madly
in love with her during the week of the wedding.
1. What is your biggest source of caffeine that gets you through the day? (drink, not just brand)
I actually don't drink coffee, or many hot drinks for that matter. If I do have something with caffeine it is along the lines of Iced Tea (I live off of this stuff) or an Iced Capp from Tim Hortons (ocassionally).

2. Do you honestly think your trainer is the best trainer for you? 
Well, I don't actually have a trainer.  Soooooooo.... awwwwkward.

Fo real, tho:

I take lessons from a multitude of instructors and apply the things I find work, and discard the things I don't. No instructor is the same; and I appreciate the varying differences... so I tend to not limit myself to one exclusive person since everyone has something to share/teach.

 3. One token of advice a fellow rider/trainer/horse person told you that you still remember to this day. 
Your horse comes first, in all aspects.

 4. If riding meant costing your family so much money that they’d be basically on poverty line, or making your family terribly unhappy (if they were not supportive or understanding, etc.) would you still do it? 
 This is a bit of a "it depends" question, at least for me. There are a lot ways to get around a the huge cost factor associated with horses (free-lease from a friend, working for board, no showing/lessons, etc). I'd find a way to make it work and I'd pay my own way, which I have done for quite some time.

Completely abandon this?
I don't think so.
5. (Girls) would you ride while pregnant?
I don't know how I would feel about this until I actually am pregnant and going through it at the time. Who knows, maybe the morning sickness and associated nausea would make riding unappealing and I'd avoid it for that reason. Or maybe I'd plod along for the first few months and dwindle down in my saddle time. Again, it all depends.

6. How do you tell when a horse likes someone/has bonded with you or someone else? 
It's difficult to actually put into words - but you can just see it. When the person rides/drives them - you can just see the harmony and partnership.

So much love for this old mare.
7. Are horses capable of loving, in your opinion?

8. If you could have one horse from your past come back for 5 minutes, who would it be, why, and what would you do with them in those 5 minutes?
I'd bring back Cheyenne and we'd jump once more time.

I miss him and his beautiful soul so much.
9. Should a trainer also be a friend, or should it be a student/teacher relationship?
I think it is difficult when you mix business with pleasure. Having a friendly relationship with your trainer is fine, but a line of professionalism should always be there. For example, gossiping about other clients or horses is a no-no.

10. One piece of advice/training you were given by a trainer or mentor that you look back on now and view it as incorrect?
To lunge a colicking horse.

Thursday, August 11, 2016


I'm going to hold off on blogging about the wedding and the cute wedding pony pictures of Spud, mostly because I am waiting for the professional photographer to have all the images up and loaded (which may take anywhere from 2-4 weeks). So, I apologize that all you guys got was a little teaser. But, this should make you have ants in your pants, regardless!

Sorry, lots of things are scratched out because... creepers.
Spud is officially entered in his first show - the famous BVX wherein I showed Tally in 2014, and Suzie in 2015. The entire fair has a multitude of classes and the turn out is second to none. It's the perfect place to debut for a first show and is just the right mixture of "who cares if you missed that jump" and competitive edge. I can appreciate that it's a "bigger little" show, especially for the driving portion.

I had intended to show Spud in the Driving division last year at the BVX, but just didn't feel like he was ready yet. This year, it has felt like he has totally grown into himself and learned how to truly move and communicate with me. I'm both excited, and expectant at this show - hoping we both learn a lot and at least go around and not look like complete idiots.

Fat, wet, Halter pony.
 In order to prepare for the show, I've already splurged on a few necessities such as: a lap apron (finally!), brown gloves (finally!), a full body slinky made by a friend (because holy shit, the show is in 2 weeks and NO WHERE sells full body slinkies for minis except for in AUSTRALIA), a cheap cable halter (because I honestly ain't spending $200 for one class).

The show also has a cute little incentive to encourage stall decorating during the exhibition (because there is a lot more going on than just a horse show... it's rodeo, trainers challenge, singers, dancers, 4-h, petting zoos, shop set-ups, carnival rides, dog agility competition, fruit and vege competitions, magic shows, etc. So the horses are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak, and the stall decorating makes the venue look more family-friendly and homey. Anyways, there are stall decorating judges who go around and basically hand out $100 cash to two people every day (the fair is 4 days long) for the best decorated stalls.

This year's decorating theme and theme of the fair is "Going Hog Wild" and I've already had a few ideas swirling in my head. A single pay-out would pay for my stall entries for the four days - sweet!

Starting to get some of it ready...
There shall be more pigs!!
In addition to the stall decorating, I have to come up with a classy but cute Halter outfit for when we are in the ring. I have some ideas, and don't want to go too overboard either, but I do want him to look good.

The show is August 24th-28th and most people haul over on the 23rd since Halter classes and some Dressage classes run on the Thursday. The Saturday is when the Driving classes will be taking place.

I am pretty excited and am confident Spud will do well - we've already done pony rides at a children's birthday party (slightly broke mini goes to a diagnosed autistic boy's birthday and completely rocks it? Yup, that's Spud), survived the Canada Day Parade, and now have hustled through a Wedding without even breaking a sweat.

Oh and also that time I forgot to put his crouper on...
*head desk*
 He's used to the chaos I throw at him, the show should just be a walk in the park - especially the "solo" classes (ie. dressage, barrels, cones... the classes we will be alone in the arena for).

Gearing up for this event is going to be insane - I'm glad for the distraction, and I am excited to debut Spud to see just what he is capable of.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Red Mare Returns

In a whirlwind of events, Suzie is back home again and all seems right with the world.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you were lucky enough to witness that Spud and I were part of a friend's wedding. The same friend who was generous enough to let my mare join her small herd and graze on twenty acres.

A wedding sneak peek ;)
 Leading up to the wedding, I had brought Finn back to work after his chiropractic and unfortunately, it seemed as though we kept hitting a wall. The unevenness and short-striding on his left side did not remediate itself and the last video I sent his owner, he was worse off than he had ever been.

His owner and I spoke at great lengths as to what we wanted to do, and the end result was that we both wanted the very best for Finn, but the short-striding was a forewarning of what would come if I continued to push him into a riding career again. Due to his age and current fitness level, his owner and I both agreed he would be best suited for light riding - no more walk/trot/canter in a frame, lengthenings, etc. Just plodding along on a loose rein with minimal contact.

Thank you for the memories <3
So I had to make the decision - keep Finn for the remainder of the season, without the possibility of showing him and riding him "hard", or bring Suzie home and lightly ride her?

I chose the latter.

It's unfortunate things turned out the way they did with Finn, but I will forever be grateful to him for helping me achieve one of my yearly goals (although I did want it to be completed with Suzie, it was just as wonderful to have a stand-in chestnut horse bring me to victory, too).

Winning high point was pretty friggen special.
I hadn't wanted to blog about it initially, since most of my posts seem to be laiden with a dash of sadness, but this is the reality of the horse world sometimes. It sucks, it really sucks but it also wasn't really that surprising.

A good canter through the field on Suzie last Thursday night cured me of all my insecurities about my decision, removed me of my sadness, and rid me of whatever guilt I had over a situation I couldn't control.

Mare has settled back in, no muss no fuss.
Welcome back, Suzie.