Thursday, October 29, 2020

Third Times The Charm...Or Not

 Roscoe and I have completed two more First 1 tests after the June show. I have been working on the Foal pool prize so that is why I am so behind on my posts.

 The August show I was actually feeling good, had ridden my horse prior and taken a lesson. On show day it was hot. I thought I had the right amount of warm up. Then in the ring, pony boy seemed lazy. We actually broke rhythm twice. Plus a year off has caused me to lose my comfort in the ring. My spacial sense was off. We managed a 64%.

For September I was determined to fix myself and hopefully do better. I asked to have my lesson in the outdoor dressage ring so I could start to gain my comfort back. We also put Rosemary's saddle with a bigger tree I on Roscoe. The lesson went well even though I am late most of the time on my requests to him. 

I was feeling good about the show. Roscoe was his typical idiot self the morning of, but we arrived only a little late. I planned a short warm up which was bad. Cool weather brought out the goblins. Roscoe acted like he had never been off the property. And hey, he is fitter so he can be stupid for a longer period. 

As in, the whole test. He did not settle in as he normally does. And of course we rode in front of the judge who gave us the 68% in June. She knows we can do better and we ended up with a 62%. Somehow we got third in our group, fourth out of the seven first 1 tests. Not going to lie, it hurt. 

So time to make shows boring again for both of us. I have two shows this month and will attempt two tests at each. My trainer wants me to do recognized shows next year to work towards getting the 2nd level scores Roscoe needs to be approved. Can't even believe that is now a possibility. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Catch Stallion

A big part of the equestrian world is chance. Taking a chance, getting a chance and giving a chance. So I try to give Roscoe all the chances he can get.  Many riders have gotten their start as catch riders, filling in when there is a need. Roscoe is a catch stallion. He is not normally the first choice. I am not a breeder and don't have my own farm, so he does not immediately come to mind when people are looking for stallions. He and I work with recommendations from other breeders.
When they cannot help with a mare owner's needs they send them my way. I do everything I can to be accommodating. Most have already tried another stallion or the stallion they had in mind backed out. So I work with our collection center to pull off same day collections and last minute visits. I provide all the information about Roscoe I can. It helps that he provides quality semen at the upper end of normal and that I can honestly say he has received no negative reviews. Even the three mares that did not get pregnant did not blame him.

These breedings always have a chance to promote repeats and are worth the effort. Tawe is a prime example. Her first breeding was because the prior stallion was not available and Roscoe filled in. Ever since, she has been bred to Roscoe and produced quality foals.
I am really excited this year since a breeder who produces quality Cobs has used Roscoe for two of her mares. One was a last minute addition and after two breedings she is pregnant. Her dam was the other mare, but she did not settle. The other mare bred this year did not settle either. I felt bad for her owner. They spent a ton of money trying to get her pregnant. This is the second time she did not with Roscoe as she was bred once before with a different owner and the breeding transferred to the new owner. Surprisingly, she wants to try again in the spring. 
Next year could be busy for Roscoe with two rebreeds and a number of breedings people have not used yet. But at least there will be one Roscoe foal next year.

And here is Tawe's 2020 colt, Aderyn Du Flyboy. He is a super friendly boy.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

In Her Own Time, Tawe's New Colt

On the 14th Tawe's milk pH showed she was not ready to foal. Some people even said she probably had a week.

Well instead at about 330am , Tawe's preferred time, on the 16th she decided it was time. Her breeder missed the birth. I checked my phone as soon as I woke up, but no message. As I was leaving the house Mom said there was a notification on Facebook about the birth.

Tawe has a new colt! He is black with a star and stripe and snip,  two front socks and two rear stockings. Is he not a cute boy?

This was another close foal pool. The winner is Liz! Send me an email at so I can send your RW gift card.

And the damn close RW gift card goes to Teresa who was only a day off.

The grand prize cross stitch goes to Teresa! She scored 39 points between the two pools to take the overall win. Let me know if your email is still the same.

Here is Chanel's Colt, KML Mischief Managed, Manny

Fingers crossed that some recent breedings result in some pregnancies and we will have another pool next year.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Dancing Shoes

I am finally recovering from my downturn after Rosemary. It is amazing how weak you can feel after not being able to eat. But there are things that only I can do at the barn, including trimming feet. All the cobs were due, so I divided them between the days. First up was Roscoe.
I had two pairs of Rosemary's shoes that are too big for DaVinci. I made the decision to see if they would work for Roscoe. He has great feet, but he is a wimp about the rocks. He also has some really round feet which required me to open the shoes enough to accomodate. Bless my pony, he stood in the cross ties while I had to tweak the shoes over and over. I slipped once and hit my thumb holding the shoe. Thankfully I did not cripple myself and could finish the job. This was the first time I had done the intial shaping of the shoes all by myself. My farrier helped me start Rosemary.


Then came the fun part of nailing the shoe. I held my breath to see how Roscoe would be. I loved Rosemary dearly, but she did not appreciate her shoes and made it difficult to nail. Roscoe on the other hand acted like he had been shod his whole life. I always feel more confident once the toe nails are in and the shoe is set in place. The other nails tend to be easier. Another first for Roscoe and I, and another success. He is literally filling his mother's shoes, and rocking some new dancing shoes.
Sadly, I nearly cried as I walked him out of the barn to turn out. Dottie started calling, because the only one besides her and DaVinci to clip clop was Rosemary. She is still grieving and I really wish she had the chance to say goodbye. Mares can be so tight.

I finally managed to crawl on Roscoe this week to see how he felt with the shoes. He does not seem effected by the shoe weight and his movement is not changed. He is much more comfortable walking on the rocks, so I am happy I made the choice.
And I did get the other two trimmed. Three down, three to go. Now let's see if I can handle the vintage guys. My farrier retired and they are on my to do list. He helped by changing Dottie's shoes to the same kind everyone else wears. If we could get a break from the heat that would help a lot.

Meanwhile baby #10 is filling out really well and is really fun to watch. Here is KML Mischief Managed:
Watch this to see his opinion about wearing a halter. He also tried to roll to get it off. The wait is on to see what Tawe will have.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Trust Your Training

Roscoe and I worked really hard this year to take on First Level. Luckily I did not lose training time due to Covid, but I did have a UC flare that derailed me a bit. New medicine helped get that somewhat worked out, so I made the leap and signed up for a show. Little did I know my wheels were about to fall off.
Losing Rosemary knocked me back health wise. I started to feel hungry, but then eating would make me want to throw up. Ugh and the cramps were the worst. My energy level dipped and Mom started doing more of the work. I was still determined to do my show. It changed from a Sunday to an evening Saturday, which gave me a day to recover before work.

My only worries were what I would wear and if I would be able to do Roscoe justice. I did have a moment of maybe I should back out, maybe ask Kelly if she could ride, but Roscoe and I have done our 'firsts' together and this was one of the biggest. I did find some pants that were a little big and some boots that were not falling off.  The other worry would have to wait and see at the show.

My Mom was my hero. She pulled his mane, bathed him and loaded the trailer. Roscoe was his normal drama king self which I am used to. Sadly he popped a rivet on his name plate, so I had to duct tape it so he did not catch on anything. We loaded him saddled for the short drive and Mom bridled him before unloading. We were set.
As the first rider, I had the arena to myself for warm up. Roscoe, not having been ridden in ten days, was full of it. I had to work hard at redirecting his energy into a more productive gait. When I had him working, we played with our lengthening and our canter. He felt amazing! If we could have gone in the show right then, it would have been great. Sadly we still had ten minutes to kill and a big fancy horse had come into the ring. His rider ran into us at times. He did not seem very aware of who was in the ring. Well when I went to put Roscoe together for our test, the big fancy horse came up fast behind us and scared Roscoe. After that warm up was a battle to avoid the other two horses who were now out to eat little pony stallions. I called uncle since I had limited energy.

Unfortunately that meant that the horrible shoulder bulge which is Roscoe's default came out. We lost our bend. Our test was tough, but we pulled it together enough to not have to hide our faces. The sun came out and I was zapped. Roscoe saved us by remembering his training. I knew the test was not our best effort, but considering the circumstances, I was happy to have finished. We did not get comments at the end due to Covid. I made Roscoe carry me all the way back to the trailer because, I was done. The heat and lack of energy did me in. We sponged him off and loaded him up. I did not know if my test would be ready, but decided to walk over and check on our way out. Turned out it was ready and had a score I could not believe, 68.44%. The judge saw our lack of bend, but also took into account his energy and gaits. My tiredness effected my position, so I lost a bit there. I watched the test and decided that as bad as it felt, it came out better than that. I was not crazy to trust our training and make this debut. If we can do this when I am not all there, just imagine what we will have when we are both ready.

We would not know placings until Sunday, but I won just by doing the show. There were six others doing first level tests. I nearly fell out of bed this morning when the results posted. Roscoe and I won the TOC First Level and had the high score of the show. I thought my score was because it was a judge that likes Roscoe, she gave us our tens two years ago, but maybe just maybe we are doing better than I thought. Roscoe does not get the recognition he deserves for being the amazing pony he is since I am not a well connected person in the horse world. But how many ponies can you ask this of and they deliver big time? I love my boy drama and all.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

It's a Colt for Chanel

This morning my phone pinged with a live video notification and I found this handsome boy had arrived.

The breeder really wanted one of Roscoe's illusive fillies, but this boy is pretty fantastic. He has a super cute head and a great shoulder. He has three stockings and one sock, with a nice blaze.

Being born is hard work
So how did the Pool turn out...a tie.

To break the tie, I did a random draw. The winner is Betsy! Let me know if I send your gift card to the same email address as two years ago.
Keep your guesses coming for Tawe!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Fun Exercise

I see recommended exercises all the time while skimming FaceBook and other sites, but I don't always try them. For some reason this exercise from USDF Exercise of the day drew my attention. Maybe because we have been working on Roscoe's lengthening. The exercise consisted of Medium Trot/ Walk Pirouette submitted by Eliza Sydnor Romm.  Here is her description from the article.

I learned this exercise from Conrad Schumacher. Medium trot down the long side, walk before the corner, walk pirouette in the corner, back to medium trot, repeat, repeat, repeat! The walk pirouette engages the horse for a better medium trot. And the medium gets the horse active and in front of the leg for a better walk pirouette. When repeated, the horse begins to anticipate the medium trot while still in the pirouette, making them think forward. And they begin to anticipate the walk pirouette at the end of the medium trot, making them bring themselves back without the rider pulling too much!

Video of three levels of horses doing the exercise included in the article.

When I played with Roscoe, he responded immediately and the anticipation was there. He is sticky turning to the left, but he still did a engaged trot. I was pretty impressed with him. I did this as a warm up and it helped the rest of his work. His front end lightened up and he had some great push from behind. The exercise could be adapted for a lower level horse by using a turn on the haunches into a gradual lengthening. This is how I started with Roscoe. It is a simple yet effective exercise. And it was fun too. I enjoyed seeing his progress.

I even tried it a bit with Comrade. He decided canter was an easier option then a big trot, but even he eventually settled with repetition.

 Happy foamy mouthes for both boys!

And the foal countdown continues! There are a few more days for Chanel's pool and another week for Tawe's. 
Bottom pick is the most recent...