Saturday, June 24, 2017

Busy July Ahead

I mentioned Roscoe has some stuff coming up. Some of you may remember that when I got the stud fee for the May breeding that I had plans on how to spend it. Early this year the owner of Roscoe's 2017 filly said that I should get him inspected. My initial reaction was "Uh, no way." Especially when I looked at the prices for RPSI, which this year merged with Westfalen.
Individual annual membership: $110
Pony stallion annual registration: $200
Inspection: $250
Microchip: $50
Vet Exam: $?
Yes Roscoe, More braids are in your future

Getting that stud fee made the financial burden less and then it seemed fate when the inspection is being held at a farm 30min away. So July 29th Roscoe will be inspected and I will pay a ton of money. He will have to do the triangle, move at liberty and do the jump chute. Anyone with long legs want to show him in hand?

Roscoe has been practicing his jump chute at home. He needs to be able to do it with no hesitation. With that in mind, I signed him up for the YEH Jump Chute Clinic on July 5th. He will get a 30 min session at Loch Moy in MD. Hopefully that will get him ready to play away from home.

Beginning and the end are filled, so the middle will possibly have a show. My original plan was to have Natasha ride Roscoe at a show. That would teach him to pay attention and take my nerves out of the picture. Unfortunately, I found out this week she is leaving. I am not sure where that leaves us. Hopefully at our last lesson she will direct us. So probably the show ride will fall to me. My other thought is to bring Comrade along to a show so he has a buddy.

And if all that is not enough, there is the possibility of a breeding happening early in the month.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy 6th Birthday Roscoe!!!

Aww, I can barely believe my baby is 6 years old today. Most of you have watched him grow up and turn into the super pony he is today. He has a busy season to come, but he got to work on making baby number 7 today.
Roscoe 2012

Roscoe 2017

Despite a raging thunderstorm, he was able to perform. The collection center made sure everything was set up just right for Roscoe. The right AV, the right height phantom and the biggest change, no tease mare. Believe me, Roscoe noticed the lack. He was so much more manageable without that extra stimualtion. He was quickly on his way back to the trailer. Fingers crossed everyone!

"Hey Mom, It is POURING out there!!"

Stay tuned to hear what is on the calendar for Roscoe.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

First Comes a Bath, Then Comes Braids...

 Then comes a Show! What I did not mention was that during my lesson Natasha was like "You should come to Morningside next weekend." When I asked what test I should do if I only do one, she said Intro C. Talk about leaping into the deep end. I decided that I would stick with B.
As my rides after the lesson showed marked improvement in our canter departs and the time came to register for the show, I took the leap.
Seriously This Again????

I warned Natasha, I am a stressed shower with horrible nerves and Roscoe is very different. Today I was in tears as I climbed into the truck with Peggy. Mom had to work and would miss a show for the first time ever. Roscoe was bathed and braided since my boss let me leave work early Friday, but he was a total shit this morning. He acted like monsters we after him and he had to protect himself by bucking. I think his hormones are at a high point right now.

Added all up, I was wondering if we would accomplish the test. We left Roscoe on the trailer until it was time to mount. Natasha came in time to help me mount. Then we made the trek to the warm up area near the rings. Morningside has a track, two dressage rings, a jumper rings and a cross country course. I saw the demise of my hard work cleaning Roscoe's legs as we had to cross a Virginia red clay puddle.
My ride time was 1103 and my warm up with Natasha was 1025. Until that time I worked on chilling us both out on the track away from all the action. We circled, serpentined and transitioned. We even managed both leads, but I was losing him out the left shoulder. I will say Roscoe had a true walk which we did not have at the last show. Natasha figured out real quick she had to keep us both busy and focused. She had us spiral and transition. That wicked left drift was still there though. To the point of him nearly running Natasha over. The other horses were distractions, but I was able to reel him back.
Going into the show area when I was on deck, I was still not sure we would get the canter. The test was icing after the warm up. Roscoe was steadier around the outside of the arena as we started our test.

Honestly once the test began, it was a blur.
Score of a8 :)

He was a bit more inverted, but his rhythm was better.
Another 8

That dang right lead was slow coming and a bit of a run. I don't care, it happened people!
Proof of right lead

The downward almost had us leaving the arena with his tip to the outside. Going left, the left shoulder was still a problem. It caused us to make a smaller trot circle.
That left shoulder about to cause a problem

 I put my inside leg on and pushed his belly over so I had a chance of getting the left lead. Luckily, the lead came easier than I thought.
Hair flying canter

 The downward had the same issue nearly exiting. After that movement, I was thrilled. We actually had a free walk, where I made sure to throw my reins away.
Look Roscoe can walk

Then our last trot was okay, but he got distracted by who knows what and we ended the test with him screaming down center line.
Did I mention this was the same judge as the last show? Yeah, I wondered how it would go. She asked for crisper canter transitions and wished he would not whinny. Uh, yeah same here. She did say his trot rhythm was great.
So here is our Intro C test:

Guys after the drama of the morning, I threw my hands up as we walked out of the arena. Natasha said "Now your smiling." Roscoe and I really wanted to go play over jumps, but we did not push it. Plus the heat was coming. Peggy and I got him settled on the trailer, braids out, sponged off and munching hay, before I made the trek back to see if the scores posted. It was a bit of a wait. They run a combined test along with the dressage only creating a scoring delay. An hour or so later, the scores revealed we had placed 4th with a score of 66.25.

My boy and I may be able to do this stuff after all. Carpe Diem is what I told Natasha when I let her know we were showing C and I feel like that is what we did at the show.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Apparently I Have Goals

Two Gemini's and my new boots :)

This month our lesson fell on my birthday. We switched it up and I rode first. I also rode my whole lesson. Since the show, I have felt more solid and Natasha saw some of that. She started with Roscoe's walk. I had to use my core to slow his front end and activate the hind.

Slow became the key word for the lesson. He is all for charging forward and out his front end. As we worked leg yields, my timing sucks, we had to slow so he could cross and eventually pick up canter. It was tough and we only managed a few steps. Roscoe's canter transitions have improved since the show. Natasha wanted more and made us do trot/canter transitions around a circle.

No Lesson is complete without the tail monster!
Leg yield
That brought the bucking, since Roscoe could not understand why I was tapping him with the whip when he thought he was going enough. Ah well, he was just checking I could stick with him despite my age.
Happy Bucking Birthday!!!

During my lesson Natasha said "...Training level is the goal this year..." Ha, apparently I have goals I never expected. Can I mention I have not even looked at the Training level tests? We shall see what happens.

After my lesson, we had Natasha ride Comrade. He has been so sticky on that right lead, it is frustrating. Comrade knew right away he could not get away with anything with her on board. He did throw a tantrum though, stomping his feet in one place. I felt better seeing her have similar issues that I do. The difference was she had the muscle to push him through and keep him going. I did not ride him that day, but Sunday he was like a new pony. He picked up the correct leads right away and he moved forward. We still have the left bulge, but the change was lovely.

Mom and Peggy rode the rest of the lesson working the bell curve. They both had some great times where the horses were together, not stomping. Comrade was really glad to have Peggy riding him and Rosemary figured if she was good, we would not put Natasha on her.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Magic Hands and Needles

The last few farrier visits, DaVinci has been a bit wobbly. He is not as strong in the hind end. He also has been retaining fluid along his belly, sheath and legs. This is a sign of circulation issues. At 29, not too surprising. So Mom convinced Dad that getting him worked on by the chiropractor would be more beneficial than just calling the vet.
Monday after the show he, Comrade and Rosemary all got a session. DaVinci being the suspicious sort, took awhile to settle into the work. She found no major body issues, but after hearing about him, she checked his heart. Turns out he has a significant heart murmur. The lack of oxygen most likely causes the hind end weakness. With that find, DaVinci goes into full retirement :(

She moved onto acupuncture with a strong focus on the heart lines. He and Comrade even got needles at the TMJ points. As the needles began their magic, DaVinci melted. That was the most relaxed I have ever seen him. Afterwards he was less grumpy towards the girls. And two weeks later, our farrier said he felt better. Score for magic hands and needles.

Comrade received a tune up, she straightened his chest and worked that left side. I felt a big difference when riding his trot a few days later.

Rosemary's work and acupuncture focused on her hips and lower back. As needles went in she was twitching.  She turned to look at the chiropractor and must have caused one to shift because she started bucking. When the trouble needle was removed, we saw she had bent it into a "j" shape. She was fine after that though and finished relaxed. Next month she will get front shoes to see if that will help relieve some of her tension.
It is always great to be able to give these sessions to the horses. I wish I could afford it on a regular basis since the benefits are amazing.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Chrome for the Win!!!

This was an extremely close Foal Pool. Every one's date guesses were close together and many of you had similar chrome guesses. I was amazed to have guessed correctly for once. I was only off by a few days and a few socks :)
Matching tilt, pretty girls
Roscoe and Tawe certainly did not disappoint with this filly. Her breeder took a chance at a last minute breeding to Roscoe and it paid off with a pretty, cobby, big girl with a super personality.

 So here is how the scoring worked:
The pool started with 20 points
The number of days away from the actual birth date were subtracted from the 20
Correct Gender was +1 point
Incorrect Gender was -1 point
Correct Chrome/Color Bonus +1 each
No points were lost for incorrect chrome/color guesses

First off, notice that Carly was spot on for her date of birth! She wins a $10 RW gift card. Sadly, she did not get any bonus points to take the overall win.

Then notice... we have a tie between Alli and Alanna. Bonus points for chrome for the win. Each will get a $20 RW gift card, but I had to figure out a tie breaker for the THT give a way.

In the end. I messaged them and asked the age old question:
"Heads or Tails?"

And the winner is, by my co worker's neutral coin flip, Alli!
Carly, Alanna and Alli FB message me or email, your email addresses so I can send your cards. If your email is still the same one as last year, just leave a comment. Alli I will forward your contact information to THT so you can collect your prize.
Thank you everyone for participating! Hopefully we will have another Foal Pool next year.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Happy Birthday Rosemary and It's a Filly!

315 in the morning yesterday I received a picture of Roscoe's sixth foal. And for about 30 minutes we thought it was a colt. But groggy eyes were deceived and the foal is a filly.

This day also is Rosemary's 10th Birthday. So it seemed fate that the filly is black with a big star and 4 socks.

I am working on crunching the numbers to see who won the Foal Pool. I will share more pictures as the owner shares them.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Half a Hafl. In The Works

We have had a busy week going in different directions. So I am going kind in order of knowing. The week before the show I received a message from another Cob stallion owner saying she sent a mare owner my way. That is always a compliment to have someone recommend Roscoe.

The mare owners contacted me that evening by email and by the next day they had dropped a check in the mail to cover his stud fee. I love the fact that this owner is excited to breed his mare. She sounds like a sweetheart. Though there are not too many haflingers that are not. Her owner seemed to like the fact that the Cobs have good bone and good personalities. She rides and drives, so Roscoe's family background meshes. The foal will definitely be well loved.

This breeding won't promote Roscoe or earn him any sire awards, but hopefully it will allow me to fund something for him soon. The chance of him getting any more purebred mares is nil, so I will take the opportunities that come with crossbreeding.

We were on call as of Monday to go to the collection center. Mom and I both had the day off, great. Then we got the call the mare was not ready and the new date was Wednesday. Okay, that works since Mom was off and I was able to switch late days with a coworker. Then I got the call that... the mare was not ready and the new date was Thursday. Dang, that was a tangle. Luckily my coworker was willing to switch back and my boss let me leave early. I was not sure if I was flying solo with Roscoe or if Peggy would go until I was driving to the barn. Turns out Larry was my partner for the trip.

Good thing too since he knew the roads and could direct me as I drove. We arrived before our appointment time and Roscoe knew what he was there to do. He proceeded to announce to everyone the he was there. Well, we all learned not to underestimate the little stud. His handler came to put him through his "time to behave" lessons before going into the breeding shed. I did remember to tell them to leave the tease mare behind the tease bar rather than moving her by the phantom.
Male Bonding

Roscoe was "ready" as soon as he entered the shed. He let them clean and prep him. Plus he even mounted the first time, straight too. But they had lowered the phantom too much, making it difficult for the vet to reach necessary parts. Continued attempts, failed also. Turns out they also underestimated his... hmm... length and prepared the pony AV. Yeah, that was not doing for Roscoe. The vet got it in and nothing. Well frustrated stallion meant we had rearing, crooked mounting, a big buck to the phantom and finally a "screw this" lunge to the tease mare that resulted in Roscoe over the tease bar. At that point, Roscoe was sent out to cool down. They prepared the longer AV and raised the phantom. The tease mare was definitely over kill, so she was removed.
Those changes were the key. Roscoe came in, approached and mounted. And this time he was happy to do his job. The vet said it was because he was not collected enough, but we did not have such drama last year when he only breed once. Oh the things I have to remember that I never thought I would.

Fingers crossed everyone that there is a half a Hafl already in the works. Seriously, that should be one cute baby.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Enter At A, Show Time

Surprise!!! Roscoe and I went to a show Sunday. It was a small schooling show about 30 minutes away. This is the series I paid for 10 dressage tests around the holidays.  After my last lesson I decided to go for it and take Roscoe to his first ridden show. I kept it simple with Intro A and B.

The hard part of this show was that I had no idea what warm up Roscoe would need. That is a big unknown to have, but expected. I made the decision to ride the horse I had and come what may. I did not expect Roscoe to be a "PIA" about braiding.

He cleans up well

Moments of correctness 
Yes, I button braided my pony even for an Intro level schooling show. Mom and I ended up double teaming him. She braided and I pulled them up. Pony boy earned my devotion by not demolishing the braids overnight. We only fixed the two we hated the night before the morning of the show. Then Mom decided to have fun and put quarter marks on him.

What he felt like the whole time
We loaded up on time right at 8 am and we arrived with just over an hour before my 950 ride time. Turned out I needed every minute of it. Roscoe was full of it. That happens when weather, work and show prep keep you from working your pony the four days before the show. Mom lunged him about twenty minutes before tacking him up. I took some deep breaths and went to mount my wild stallion. That was fun since halt was not happening. I committed and managed to mount. Immediately I felt better. I know him, I could do this. Now doing this and doing this to the same standard he does at home, yeah that was not happening. I had more pony than ever before. Plus I had super distracted pony. Roscoe noticed the horses in warm up, at the trailers and oh look, way out in the turn out.
A helping hand
My tools were not working, my pony did not have a four beat walk and time was ticking. Time to make the most of it. My farrier's wife is a trainer an she was there with students. She took time to try and help me by reminding me to give and take the reins. I also tried to remember  to keep my leg on and shoulders back. Even as I could tell this was going to be a tense, quick test, I appreciated that Roscoe was pretty obedient. He trotted when I asked, walked within a few strides and tried to turn when I said. I had to deal with the lovely bulge out the left shoulder. For some reason he wanted to go towards the show ring.

Of course when our turn came, he inverted as we rounded the arena. One lap around and it was time to enter at A.
My perspective:

                                                                          Trot in was active and slightly inverted. I dreaded the walk transition. We walked, sort of and then we trotted off well.

Then I got lost. Score one for not realizing it was a big arena, so my 20m circle turned into an egg shape.

 Across the diagonal, I felt like he was going to take flight. Next circle was better once I kept him in the arena. The walk transition happened, the free walk did not. It was a drunken line of near jigging. I did not give away the reins since I know him and it was not there.

The last medium walk was good, the final halt not great. I knew that would happen since I get the same at home. That was not a battle I chose to address for this show. We finished, I was happy.

The Judges comments:

Proud of that rider score, not going to lie
Video evidence:

But the fun was not over, as we talked to the judge, Roscoe was dancing in place. Mom said he wanted to piaffe. Then he upped his game with a levade. All I could think was "please don't land on the drain pipe arena and scare yourself." I turned him left and calmly apologized to the judge. She said that he when he was on the bit, he was on the vertical and not behind. Seriously, I was just glad to finish with some decorum.

Here we go again
I literally had the length of a Training level test before my next test. Yeah, not improving. In fact it got worse. Roscoe thought he was done, and some of the horses that warmed up with us left so he was really distracted.

That crazy bulge out the shoulder appeared during both circles. I purposely was late halting both times to have time to bring him down. I'll take the loss of points. Roscoe inverted more, but again we finished. No rearing this time at least.

How I felt too

Sweet relief, I do love my pony
Sadly, no video. It would not be a show if we did not have a media malfunction by Mom or Peggy.

Well in the arena. I made him walk around the warm up area until I could walk on a longer rein with out him trotting. At one point he reared again. Again I just turned him and moved on. Luckily he finally settled as a bunch of little kids came in. Riding a stallion comes with the responsibility of staying aware of your surroundings and knowing your limits. Roscoe halted, for real, and I ended it.
So pony boy needs to relax and not look so short in the neck. That will come with exposure. Overall to me the show was a succes.

I waited for my tests and figured we would not place. Eleven riders were doing the tests. They split the group though so we had a chance at a ribbon. When the tests were placed for pickup, I started at the bottom and went up. Surprisingly, Intro B was second place and even bigger surprise Intro A was first place.
"See Mom, I was not that bad"

Braid curls,ha

It has been a long time since I showed, but the scores seemed too high, A 69.687, B 65.312. That may just be my biased opinion since I know my pony can to better. We have things to work on and hopefully next time will be smoother. Though according to the people that watched us, I lied really well. They thought I was cool and in control and much younger than I actually am. Ah if only they knew the litany going through my head...