Downtime

After the trial last weekend we definitely took it easy the following week. I went out for a couple great trail rides with the pup in tow and for once Brantley seemed completely content just standing and talking to strangers for a bit which is new. Usually he’ll dance around wanting to keep walking but I had him on the buckle and he dozed off as we chatted.

We had a couple of quick flatwork days but took a break from jumping and our dressage test. He had Saturday off and then we had a 15-mile ride at the Myles Standish State Forest with Wendy on Sunday.

I didn’t start my watch at the beginning of the ride so I didn’t get to track the whole thing but you can see where we should’ve started. Loooots of gallop time which is what him and I both needed for sure. There were even a few times that I asked him to move out and he questioned it for a second and then obliged like the gentleman he is.

We trotted through puddles and passed dead trees on the sides of the trail without a second thought and even had a couple run in with not so nice cyclists flying by on the main road. One was probably doing 40mph while grunting and moaning so loud we thought he was having an intimate moment with his bicycle. Both boys handled it well and Wendy and I were laughing too hard to even be mad.

After kindly passing another group of horses with a not so happy/friendly chestnut, we took off down the trail so that we didn’t have the chance of getting mangled up in that mess. We were having too good of a ride. We came up again to another road and stopped to check the map. Of course my ears as well as Brantley’s perked up when we heard a motorcycle roaring around the corner… this guy was not going to slow down.

Luckily Brantley lived in a field on a main road by a motorcycle shop so I wasn’t too worried. But the guy saw us and still took the corner hard, kneeling to the ground, picking up speed. Wendy and I just looked at each other and before we could say anything, three more flew by. Boys didn’t even twitch. I was sure something terrible was going to happen after that. There’s no way this ride could be that perfect…

But it was. We went for a quick dip and had an amazing lunch, boys loaded up nicely, and we were homeward bound. Guess this means back to work. Horse Trail #3 on Saturday and we’re so going to kick ass.

Memberships?

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Oh hey guys. I’d like to apologize for my oddness of my last two posts and ridiculous picture size. I’m still getting used to the WordPress app on my phone because I was computer-less for a few days.

Sunday was the Blessing of the Horses with a 10-mile ride. The BO and our friend Candance joined Wendy and I which is the biggest group that we’ve been with. We’ve only had one successful ride with more than just us. Both boys were totally well-behaved though so we were really proud. Brantley did have a little incident… aka his annual Spring-time bolt session. Of course normally my reaction would be, “Fine b*tch run!” but I knew the BO’s horse would not react well if I just took off in Brantley-shenanigan fashion, so we fought a bit but I finally slowed  him up (thanks to some horses in the woods). I think we’re having some cinch issues again. Not sure if I’m cinching up too tightly or what. I do need to replace some straps here and there and looking into a couple other cinch options. We’ll get it figured out!

So here’s my “get the audience involved” question for the week – What memberships are you guys a part of? Especially friends in the eventing world. And is it worth something to look into? Here are my options…

I was hoping to apply for a scholarship that USEA was offering because I want to go to the eventing camp that GMHA is holding in Vermont… But I didn’t join in time. So that just brings me back to what I should join or if I should really even bother. I’m not planning on doing anything sanctioned unless all of a sudden we can click into Beginner Novice gear, but obviously I’m in no rush. I had a friend say I should join the USDF, but not really sold on that either because I’m just starting to dabble in dressage tests because of the eventing thing.

Then there’s AQHA. We trail ride… A lot. And we’re actually going for mileage this year through our local horseman’s association and rumor has it from what I’ve been told, this could count for points with the AQHA. Plus I could legally transfer his paper under my name. He is a Quarter Horse and I feel like that’s the one membership I should definitely go for. Other than that though, I don’t compete in anything that would count towards points so I’m not sure if it’s worth the money.

So my question to my readers, what are the memberships or associations that you’re a part of? Pros? Cons? Worth it?

Thank you in advance – And for possibly saving me money.

A couple of lessons with Niall this week and maybe a trip out for cross-country schooling with the BO. Then adventure day on Sunday with Wendy and I cannot wait! Scavenger hunt on horseback? I hope she’s ready to carry everything.

Still A Little High

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I’m still a little high from Sunday… ridiculous I know. But can you blame me? Look at my boy… he’s so happy and ready to get sh*t done.

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We haven’t been doing too much this week. Monday came around and the farrier showed up. I guess I forgot an appointment that we made last week? By the time he was done we figured we’d be better off just taking a day and going on a hike. He was pretty content with sleeping all day though.

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I planned to ride on Tuesday even just some quick flat work but then Surprise! Apparently we scheduled our second round of shots and strangles vaccine. After that I figured hey… a day off definitely won’t hurt… and then he had Wednesday off…

Put him on the line Thursday and he definitely had a little more piss and vinegar than I wanted to deal with but I was determined to go for a nice walk/trot on the trails with the BO. We have a 10-mile ride tomorrow so I needed my horse to have a brain. He was great and we did do a little canter headed home. I tried to keep our “Brantley, stop being a dick” conversation quiet so the BO wouldn’t get worried as she cantered off. He finally relaxed after realizing that not being in the lead isn’t too bad. He really wanted to go though… so Friday happened.

Walked into the barn after dropping all of my money on vet bills for the other four-leggers and said, “I’m tacking up English and we’re going for a gallop.” to the BO. I love how game she is for just about everything. We ended up having a fantastic ride and I definitely pushed passed my English tack safe zone a little. Worth it!

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I got to go visit my boy Rio today which was a lot of fun. We hopped over a little branch. He was adorable and definitely not the bravest of ponies but he obliged. I have a feeling I’ll be spending a little more time with him in the near future. ♡

I figured I should get a good flat ride on B before our ride tomorrow. Life can’t be all about galloping on the trails and jumping… although I definitely think I’d be happier doing that as well. We were both really not in it to get anything done but we got a good 30 minutes in before the bugs got too bad so I figured I’d call it before things took a turn.

Told him I needed picture for today’s post… and this what I got.

I may or may not have streamed XC today on my phone… while driving. More like I listened to the commentary and caught what I could at the stop lights. I know. Super naughty but it was incredible. The jumps themselves looked pretty straight forward but the course itself looked pretty rigorous. Man those horses are crazy athletic and LOVE what they do. Next year I’m so going!

AKF 3-Phase : 4.23.17

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So here’s my horse being a BAMF in the warm up ring before our Stadium round… Yup… The unrideable horse over-jumping what is supposed to be a 2′ vertical but honestly, I didn’t get down to measure.

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I was definitely nervous. I had never done anything like this before and our issue of the year has been getting on. Not that he won’t stand at the mounting block or for me to get on, just this uncontrollable flood of anxiety when I put my foot in the stirrup. Like those random flashes of that car wreck you were in years ago that you get when you touch the handle of a car door. But you still somehow manage to open the car door like I still manage to throw a leg over. It’s funny how his whole body just breathes for me when my tiny butt sits in the saddle. “It’s okay Mom, I’ve got you.”

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And he did today. He totally had my back even when he was completely unsure of himself… Or me… He took my word for it that we’d make it through.

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I think I picked the right discipline for us… Finally. It only took 5 years and a whole lot of work… Worth it? I think so.

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I couldn’t have been prouder of this horse today.

I couldn’t have been prouder of either of us.