Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pine Hurst Dressage Show Feb. 15th

Big Thank You to Linda Hoover and Sue Smithson for letting me bring my mule to their shows! To my wonderful surprise everyone was so nice about Seven being there! I hope that he made a good impression with everyone. He sure tried him hardest to do everything I asked!

Another Big Thank You to Tom Reedy for this photo of me and Seven competing in Sport Horse Versatility Under Saddle. It was great fun! Linda really made the course much harder this time to my delight!

Seven was very relaxed, a little too relaxed at the show! He was very good but keep hitting the poles with his toes and falling asleep between classes. He made me work just as hard for each stride of the dressage tests as he did!

Here are the results:
Intro B, score 66.5, placed 2nd out of 5
Training 2, score 62.5, placed 3rd out of 8
In-Hand Sport Horse Versatility, score of 119, placed 1st of 6
Under Saddle Sport Horse Versatility, score of 129, placed 2nd of 3

We lost the Under saddle part of the SHV by one point! It was a good, tough competition! The winner also got 3.5 more points in the Dressage test half of the event. I was very proud of Seven for winning the in-hand part! He had been having problems not jogging up to the Judge at the end of the course. He showed a major improvement in this! That is all we can ask for and this time it won him a Blue Towel Too!

We are taking a break this week, partly to have a rest and partly because it has been much colder this week. Next week we will start practicing for the Extreme Cowboy Race on March 7 & 8th. This will be a big change for Seven from the rather tame Dressage ring but one I think he will enjoy and needs! For those of you who don't know what a Cowboy Race is check out

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Seven Makes The Paper Again!

This article is from The Pilot, Southern Pines News Paper!

The Stars Aligned at Pinehurst Dressage
The third time was the charm for the Pinehurst Dressage Schooling Shows. The first two shows in the series were cancelled due to inclement weather. Luckily, Feb. 1 dawned sunny and cool with no rain or snow in sight.
The nice weather brought Dressage riders out to the historic Pinehurst Harness Track to dust off the cobwebs. Sue Smithson, show manager, had three rings running simultaneously to accommodate a large turnout. A Sport Horse Versatility (SHV) competition was also running in a fourth ring. It included an in-hand division and a ridden division.
Orion, aptly named after a constellation, was the brightest star making his debut at Dressage. Orion earned the high score of the day, a 76.785 in a Training 2 class, with Gina Fiore in the irons for owner Donna Griffin, who is sidelined with a fractured leg. Fiore has been riding the 5-year-old Trakehner/Irish gelding, a grandson of the show jumper Abdullah, for three months. "I thought he was really well behaved, very quiet and accurate," said Fiore.
Orion was unbeatable, also winning a Training 1 class with a score of 69.565. Fiore was on a roll, continuing her winning streak to place first in Intermediate A with her 9-year-old Irish horse Ferol Erol, who scored a 63.448. "He (Ferol Erol) was fresh today but ridable. It was a good first horse show (of the season)," said Fiore.
Michele Lobsinger's mare, Brandenburg's Able Starlight, also shone brightly earning the second highest score of the day, a 72.5, to win a Training level class.
Remington, an American Quarter Horse, took a first place in Preliminary A class scoring 57.037 for owner and rider Linda Dreher of Vass. Remington also came in second scoring a 62.917 in a Preliminary B class.
Remington was a bit distracted in the Preliminary A class. "My second test (Prelim B) was a better test," said Dreher. "There was a mule (Lucky Number Seven owned by Shannon Hoffman of Zebulon) in the ring next to mine and Rem thought it was the strangest thing he had ever smelled. Rem was very keen to figure out what that smell was. He obviously had never seen a mule before. By the time we were warming up for test B, the mule didn't prove to be as distracting."
The mule, Lucky Number Seven, proved his versatility by winning the Sport Horse Versatility (SHV) Under Saddle class with owner Shannon Hoffman aptly guiding him through the obstacles. Seven did well in Dressage classes which counts as part of the SHV score. Seven scored a 64.286 in Training 2, finishing second on the heels of Orion. And Seven never brayed once during the competition.
The next Pinehurst Dressage Schooling show is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 15.

A Weekend Treat Of Good Weather!

With the tempatures in the high 60's and low 70's I planned a weekend filled with riding!
Started out Saturday morning with Jane and her horse Val coming over with Sharon who running the baording stable where Jane borads Val. With Sharon on Sadie and me on Seven, the three of use rode for two and a half hours.
As we headed out and across the back fields I saw something big and bird like on top of two light poles. As we got closer we realized that they were Vultures sitting on top with their wings held out. Spooky looking! When we came in we had some rasberry tea and lunch provided by Jane. We relaxed on the side porch in the sun!
That is when Billy my Cousin from Alabama called. He was in training at Fort Bragg with the Army Reserves and did not realize that I am only about an hour away from there. Jane and I went out for another short but fast ride while waiting for Billy to come. We cantered and troted the big loop again. Both Val and Seven worked up a sweat!

Billy arrived and it was so nice to see him again! It has been years! We hopped on the mules again and out we went! We rode until the daylight sent us back in! Sadie was her usual good but sneaky self. Trying to wait for the second Billy was not paying attention to stop and grab a snack! She even did her trick, trying to turn in to the yard with the apple trees, only problem, it is the dead of winter, no apples! Billy told me about his life, great family, their house and his two tours in Irag. I got to see a bunch of neat photos. He also showed me some photos from then his Army unit was sent to Montana to learn how to ride and pack! It was at the base of the snow capped mountain. I am Jealous! Jane headed home and Billy and I went out for a nice dinner, then he headed to a friends house to go Mountain Biking on Sunday.

Seven looked like he needed a cup of coffee the next morning while I was grooming him!
Sunday AM found me heading with two mules to Howell Woods, a part of Johnston County Communittee College where we had a reservation to ride for the day. I came across a major probelm when I got close! The bridge is out for repairs so I had ot take a 15 minute detour that lucky for me worked out!

We met Claudia and Jack and Jane. Seven was already tacked up so I helped get Claudia started tacking up Sadie. We took off for another nice ride! We did a 9.2 mile loop in about two and a half hours. At one point we saw hundreds of Vultures all in one area. We found they had left some boars that had bee killed the day before out in the field. There was a camera set up near them, some kind of study? It was spooky to see Vultures for the second time in two days!

Once we got back to the trailers, we rested Mules, horses and people. Had some snacks and a lunch! Jane and I plotted our next ride and Claudia and Jack headed back home. I decided that Seven had been ridden three times yesterday and Sadie only twice so I would leave Seven in the trailer with hay and water and ride Sadie out for a Trot/Canter ride. Well, my normally calm Seven wanted nothing to do with this and hollared, pawed, knoked the water over and spead the hay all around. Jane and I had another great ride. We even switched for a few miles so that Jane could See her horse being ridden! I find it always fund to see what you own horse looks like going down the trail! It was a little hard to get used to the different swing in his Walking Horse gait but fun!

All in all Jane and I figured we rode about 25 miles in 2 days!
Home by 5Pm but chores to do!
I think the mules danced a little JIG when I went to work the next morning instead of riding them!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Dressage Show at Pine Hurst Track

Big Thank You to Tom Reedy for the photos!

Saturday was cold but I got up and rode Seven, then clipped him up, vacuumed and washed his tail in a bucket! He looked pretty spiffy! I asked him not to roll and put a blanket on him! Sunday morning I got to the Pinehurst Track about 9:30 went over and learned my obstacle patterns and then tacked up Seven to warm up! He rode warmed up well but became a slug during the Into B test. I had to kick and kick and squeeze and squeeze! Despite this, I was pleased to learn we had placed 4th with a 62.5.

Then I had to run back to the truck and untack for our In-Hand Obstacle Course. He did everything very well but I did a 360 turn instead of a 180 so that cost us some points. Seven also did not want to jog towards the Judge, who was wearing a long black coat (not a surprise). We placed 3rd with a score of 103 out of 150. Linda Hoover the Judge said we did a really nice 360, too bad it was supposed to be a 180. I hate it when I mess up! Back to the trailer again for a little break, a sandwich for me and some grain for Seven. I was hoping a little lunch would wake him up, but I took no chances and tacked up with my spurs and crop.

Our Training Level 2 test went pretty well. I was not happy about going right behind a wonderful grey horse who was a beautiful mover, turned out to be the winner of the class. I was very glad I had my spurs and crop for re-enforcement! Seven tripped and almost fell on his nose during the first canter circle. We both recovered with out missing a stride! He was a little stiff and not bending as well around the corners. I think it was because I had the crop, but at least he was moving forward! We placed 2nd with a 64.286, I was very pleased with that! The final class of the day was the second part of the Sport Horse Versatility under saddle obstacle course. 50% of the score if my Intro B test and the other half is from this course. We had to stop with the front two feet over a pole, cross a bridge, do a 180 in a box, go between some brush, go into and back out between two poles and then circle at a trot and stop at the Judge. Seven Won! I was so thrilled! I am so proud of him!

We sent over to get our test papers and Seven got some apples and carrots with his awards. Instead of ribbons Sue Smithson has small colored towels! Very handy for cleaning up my mule!

While we were at the table five little girls came over and wanted to pet Seven, they where about 8 to 10 years old. I showed them how to rub his ears, he let three of them rub at once and one girl picked up his foot. When I told them to see if it was different than a horses’ hoof (Mules feet are deeper and more U shaped) all the girls and about three more adults crowed around to see! Seven was so relaxed that day, good thing!

Next Pine Hurst Show is Feb. 15th! Everyone cross your fingers we do well then too!