Late Night Champagne

IT’S FINE!!!

“It’s FINE” was the motto for our horse show Saturday.  So what if we didn’t have our hair done quite right, our makeup done at all, enough holes punched in the tugs on the harness, or our horse broke both ways of the ring in one class and bucked both ways of the ring in the other? So what if there was no electric for a fan in his stall and it was a stuffy 90-something degrees?  So what if half the stuff we needed was in the truck, and the truck was locked and we didn’t know where the keys were half the time?  So what if the first class got cancelled and we lost that time to prepare for the driving class?  So what if half the classes in between the first class and second class had no entries, so we had to rush and had no time to warm up? IT’S FINE. Smile, work, prevail, and have fun anyway.

Every show is a learning experience and this show in particular taught us a lot more than some of the others we have attended.  First and foremost, we learned that we can do it.  Just Cindy and I, we can load up everything we need and head to the show and enter, unpack the trailer at the show grounds, and get the horse ready to show all by ourselves. We can load all the stuff back into the trailer and load the horse from the show to go home (with the help of some random nice man to get the cart back in the bed of the truck at the show!). The last several shows we have had Emily to groom, which has completely spoiled us!  We missed her this show.  We also learned that despite arriving with what should have been plenty of time, things can still go wrong and cause you to be rushed.  We learned that you can never have enough black electrical tape, and that electrical tape can fix a lot in a pinch.  We learned that warming up is an important thing to do, and that when we don’t have the time to do it, unplanned/unexpected things can happen that you just can’t prepare for or fix. We learned that having a bad show doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world.  We learned that it usually feels worse than it actually looks.

Most of the day, we pretty much looked like this:  classcall

We learned that our entourage is the absolute BEST! My parents came, my wonderful boyfriend Wes came, my brother Michael, my sister in law Carter, my aunt Betty, and our friends Mary Jo, Carolyn, BJ, and William came!  All to see us show our one horse in one little show! Carolyn and Wes pitched in wiping things down, running to the truck to get stuff for us, and helping to hold the horse, among many other things.  My Mom got the number put in the cart’s number holder.  William video’d Cindy’s class, which, she can post if she chooses but I’ll leave that decision up to her.  Carter of the amazing Carter Webb Photography took pictures of my class, which are posted below.  As I said, it always looks better than it feels.  He did look pretty good despite cantering when he was supposed to be trotting, and bucking when he was supposed to be cantering!! I took some pictures of Cindy’s class with my phone, which didn’t turn out to be anywhere near decent, but I’ve added a few of them anyway.

All the rushing aside, we still had a lot of fun.  We have decided that it’s time to take a step back, re-evaluate our training, figure some stuff out, and make this our last show of our season.  Next reset, the show shoes are coming off and we are going to just have some fun for the time being.  Showing is fun, but you also have to know when you need to stay home and work on fixing some things before you go.

5

4 3 2 1 7 6

Advertisements

Fiz and his girl

OK, so I have to admit I’ve been slacking off.  It’s been rainy, and there’s been a lot going on so blogging hasn’t exactly been on the top of my to-do list.  However, I feel that it is important to share this little tidbit about future goals for our boy.  First let me start by pointing out that poor Fiz is the guinea pig for our AOT adventure.  He is the first horse we have owned under the Twisted Sisters title and all the trial and error type things get to happen with him. He is perfect for this job as he is at times, each of the things we need. Patient, kind, funny, quirky, challenging, willing, understanding, confusing, and a whole lot more all wrapped into one horse!  For that and many other reasons, he is the most special horse to us and we could never, and would never think of replacing him.  He’s got a home with us for life.  It goes without saying that this horse means more to us than we could ever begin to describe.

Shaping his future is extremely important to us, because he has a very important job to do in the not so distant future.  We haven’t put this word out there on this site yet, but on January 5, 2015, Cindy and her husband welcomed a beautiful baby girl named Madelyn into their family.  And as long as she wants it to, Fiz’s future includes teaching her all about what it’s like to be a horsewoman like me and her momma!  His future is to teach her discipline, dedication, strength, focus, goals, and any other quality that you can name when it comes to the skills necessary to successfully ride a horse. Furthermore, if she chooses to compete in the world of equine competition, his job includes making sure she has a safe mount in both the practice and show rings, and anywhere else he might take her.  His future includes being her saint on 4 hooves.  It includes being her trusty steed who will understand that he should be forgiving, yet teach her what is correct and incorrect when in the saddle.  His future includes helping a little girl grow up understanding that dreams can come true, as long as you work hard for them.  Ok, maybe that last part holds true not only for sweet Madelyn, but also for me.

Fiz doesn’t know it yet, and Madelyn is too young to understand, but we have some pretty huge aspirations for these two, if they so choose to take that path. I look forward to seeing these two together, and hope that Madelyn can share in our passion for horses.  It will be fun having a little girl to guide and coach and see the progress and accomplishments they make together.

20150627_135735-1

20150627_132531

Our first show of the season was Friday, May 8th at the KASPHA May Classic.  We showed in Novice Rider and Novice Horse, since none of us have won 5 blue ribbons in our lifetimes!   We learned a few things that we need to work on in our upcoming training, but we are overall very proud of our boy in both classes.  Emily came and groomed for us.  It was wonderful having her as part of the team and we really couldn’t have done it without her!  She made Fiz look beautiful, and did her job perfectly! We had a huge support system show up to cheer for us, so we consider ourselves lucky that so many people support what we are doing! Wes, Michael, Carter, Tasha, and William, we are so glad you all came to support us!

My sister-in-law Carter took pictures of my class, for which I am much appreciative of! I took pictures of Cindy’s class.  Check out Carter’s photography page at www.cartermwebbphotography.com for some amazing work.

Our friend William did video of our classes and I don’t know about Cindy, but I have watched mine several times and have made some notes to work on for the next show.

1.  Pay attention to the ring master in the lineup!  Allow him to step forward before backing, so he doesn’t rear!

2.  Separation of pleasure trot and extended trot is important.  I felt like we went faster at the extended trot, but the video doesn’t show much difference in speed.

3.  Some things are just unavoidable!!

Anyway, enjoy the photos and videos below!

Show Season is coming, SOON!!!

So, our first show is less than a month away.  KASPHA May Classic, we will be showing Friday night in the Novice Rider Country Pleasure and the Novice Country Pleasure.  Novice is defined as not winning more than 5 blue ribbons at a rated show, which, neither Cindy, I, nor Fiz have.  Don’t judge us, it’s a very competitive sport!!  Anyway, we have begun serious training to prep for show season, and show shoes will be put on very soon, prior to show numero uno. The winter hair has been shaved off and the shedding blade is being used before and after every workout. We are very excited about show season this year!  In the mean time, enjoy some random videos of Fiz from this winter.  

Winter, the boring season

I realize we haven’t posted much since the end of our show season 2014, at which time Fiz was doing really well.  So what have we been up to all winter you ask?  Not much.  Fiz has been off, playing in the field, his show shoes were pulled and replaced with plates up front and he is barefoot behind.  We have been doing a lot of bareback rides, some western rides, and some riding in the fields around the farm to replicate trail riding.  Basically, no serious training has been going on.  I’d just like to share some photos from the “Off Season” with you all, to fill the void of not posting!  



Fizz Gets a Visitor

In an effort to further Fizz’s training, we needed to see from the ground what he looked like, what he was doing, and how he behaved under a different hand.  We decided to invite our friend and fellow horsewoman, Emily, out to ride him.  Emily  had all the credentials we were looking for in a rider for our boy.  She is an outstanding equestrian, a member of the U of L Saddleseat team, and an overall awesome chick.

She did a wonderful job with Fizz, and we couldn’t be happier with his progress.  She helped pinpoint a few things we can work on and we will definitely have her out again to ride him.  Check out the pics and video to see how great they looked!!  🙂

Last Show of 2014 = SUCCESS!!!

We had our last show of 2014 this past weekend at the Shelby County Fairgrounds.  Since Cindy hasn’t been able to show all season, we made sure she was able to show at this one.  She is our resident professional when it comes to rolling equipment, so it was only appropriate that Fizzy’s first driving class be under her direction.  They had a great class bringing home a blue ribbon!!

We also entered him in another open Green Horse class, hoping to finally perfect that canter in the show ring.  And, BOTH directions he took his leads like a champion and we brought home another first place at this show!!!  Our ribbon was pink, which, whatever… I don’t care, all I know is that Fiz ended the show season bringing both Cindy and I willing rides and drives and we had loads of fun!

Show #3

I’m just going to say, I have never felt more proud of our boy than I have this weekend.  He is finally showing us his potential.  Our hard work is finally paying off.  I can’t say enough good things about him, so I’ll just leave you with these photos to enjoy.  IMG_4627 IMG_4860 IMG_4802 IMG_4756

Show #2: Franklin County Fair

fizzy frankfort

***UPDATE*** Got a picture from the official photographer at the show.  Here it is!  🙂

A REAL SADDLEBRED HORSE SHOW.  With ONLY American Saddlebreds, with saddlebred knowledgeable judges, and world champion trained horses as competition.  And rain.  Let’s not forget the rain that soaked the entire show.  But, we show in the rain.  We go regardless and we make it happen.

Anyway, the Franklin County Fair was a HUGE step for us, to move into competing in a breed specific show, and we realized that we actually DO belong.  Maybe we aren’t quite perfect, but who is?  At any rate, we were “stabled” (read: parked, since there were no stalls) two trailers over from World Champion horse trainer Melissa Moore (who also had a horse in BOTH of our classes).  We could not be more proud of how Fizzy did, even despite all the faults and errors.

First of all, he cantered BOTH LEADS correctly.  Yes, he may not have taken them perfect every time, but he did it, without backing up, without cross cantering, without being fussy when asked to stop and try again.  He did it. He may not have walked perfect, and he may not have backed perfect, but those are things that CAN be worked on and we CAN go back to another show and try again.  If we can fix the bigger issues, we can most certainly fix the smaller ones.  Looking forward to trying again!!!

We have a few shows in mind, and we are also taking a break in August to possibly do a fundraising event where we will just go and have fun, not compete.  Then we’ll be back at it in September, and hoping we can get it done.  The 2015 show season sure does look bright.  I cannot wait!! 🙂

 

FIRST HORSE SHOW!!!

After over a year of hard work and dedication towards our ultimate goal of showing Fizzy, we FINALLY made it happen!  We are super excited to report that we SURVIVED the madness.  Our eyes have been opened to a lot of the shortcomings and issues, and we are going to work as hard as we can the next 3 weeks before our next show to try and fix these. We did not leave disappointed, and we definitely left the show having learned a multitude of things.  Such as:  Preparing for a show is HARD WORK, packing crap to and from the barns is a pain in the behind, whoever invented electricity and electric fans is a Godsend because without them we’d sweat ourselves to death, and most of all, we’re not quite sure how we would ever survive a horse show without each other!!  I mean seriously, if it weren’t for having both of us, how would we do this???  It really does take an army to raise a child, I mean, horse!!!  He is like our child, our special needs child.  Anyway, enough of my babbling.  Enjoy these pictures from our debut show!

Hoof Comparison 4-11-14 to 6-13-14

 

 

Just a picture to compare hoof quality from 4-10-14 to 6-13-14.  Fiz now has rear shoes and the damage on the front right hoof has grown out considerably.  The farrier is happy with the way his feet are coming along, but says we still have a way to go.  As you can see, we definitely need more heel, but it seems to grow much less slowly than the toe.  That’s OK though… we are doing our best to be patient. I mean, we are forced to be patient because we have no other choice. I wish we could just snap our fingers and *POOF*… Perfect hooves.  However, neither Cindy nor I is a magician, so no magic tricks here.
fiz-feet-4-10 and 6-13 compare

HAPPY ONE YEAR!!

I realize this is about a month late, however, we were waiting on a good weekend to do our “One Year” photo shoot, and that weekend finally came.  We got some wonderful pictures made with our boy and we finally finished the video tribute as well.  It seems like yesterday when we picked up our skinny little colt who was scared to death, but he is that colt no longer.  He’s our big, handsome, spunky, full of personality Fizzy that we adore.  A year can make a world of difference, and Fizzy is living proof that given the right environment, proper care, and lots of love, a horse who everyone seemed to have given up on at such a young age can just thrive.  We will let the video speak for us on the rest.  Enjoy!

Hoof Quality Check

Now that Fizzy has been on Farrier’s Formula for one month, and we have been using Keratex Hoof Hardner for one month, we needed to do a check in on the quality if his hooves.  We can definitely see small improvements since shoeing, and HUGE improvements since before he was shod.  I wish I had pictures from each angle immediately after he was shod to compare them to now, but I don’t we will have to do our best to judge.  Overall, they are looking better.  In the below pictures they were clean with Keratex applied, which explains the difference in color near the coronary band (dull) to the hoof wall (shiny-where Keratex has been applied).  So please ignore that.

We are evaluating overall hoof quality since being barefoot, then shod (February 25th) to now.  It’s almost time for a reset!  Next month, I will take the same pictures as below, so we have a definite comparison rather than just a guessing comparison.  However, I think it’s clear there has been growth and improvement.  We are going to stay on course with the Farrier’s Formula and Keratex and keep our fingers crossed that the quality continues to improve!  Afterall, no hooves, no horse, right?

Fiz Feet 4-10-14

Fiz Gets a New Ride

We figure, with the upcoming show season and wanting to go a lot of places, we really do need to have our own trailer, so for the last 2 months we have been looking and finally made a purchase!  We are very happy with it (as you can see below, haha), and we hope Fiz will be too!! 🙂 IMG_20140309_145819_745