April 29, 2011

What a Trooper

 OK, I know this horse doesn't belong anywhere near a 6 year old before it learns some manners.  But besides that this little kid is such a trooper and is certainly not going to take crap from a little pony.  Not once do you see tears.

April 18, 2011

Feedback For My Dexter

Dear Dexter,

Please stop staring at the spectators on the side lines at the shows.  It makes people think you don't know how to got straight on a long side.  I promise they aren't there to kill you or give you treats.

And we both know you are having fun, but if you could stop throwing in a little buck every time I ask for a canter depart that would be great.  The judges don't appreciate it as much as you and I do.

Other than that you are doing great!  The things we get dinged for are things we are working on and you don't know yet (other than those mentioned above) so not your fault.  I can tell you are getting the idea and are doing what you can to give me what I ask for... I appreciate that.

And thanks for always trying to fit in one last poo and pee before we enter the ring.  I know you can't officially get marked off for that but its still nice that you are thinking ahead. :)

Keep up the good work!

April 13, 2011

Frankie Says.....


And that is the consistent feedback I got from the latest show.  The majority of the comments were around getting Dexter "relaxed across the top line," whether it was on the circle during a transition, even at the walk.  And I know, we've been working on it.  But I guess I thought it was better than that.  Its all relative right.  I know he's more relaxed than he was when I got him, but this is the first time the judge has ever seen him, so she doesn't know that, all she knows is he's still tense.  And that's fine, we will continue to work on it.  Other than that, all the comments were expected, he wasn't bent to the right, because he was over bending and we've been trying to correct it, so we are working on it.  He isn't balanced completely at the canter yet, I know, still a work in progress.  And he still needs to stretch more on the stretchy parts.... again, getting better but needs work. 

I like reading the comments because it shows we are working on the right things.  Despite the scores, it lets us know if we are on the right track.  I guess theoretically we wouldn't be showing until all the major components were perfect, but we just don't have that kind of time.  And being that Dexter gets exponentially better every time I take him out I think it's worth it.  He doesn't get a whole lot better on scores, but he does on behavior and concentrating.  I took him out 45 minutes before his first class, thinking we'd have to take some time to ride the buck and silly out of him before he'd settle down.... nope.  He was better there than at home, I was like, ok, what do I do for the next 30 minutes??

Place-wise he got 2 firsts and a second.  While I'm proud of him for doing so well, we only had  2 people in our class, so this time around we focused on the comments and overall scores.  We didn't win the first places by a large margin, and where we got 2nd, the rider (she only rode in that one class) blew us away. I saw her in the warm-up, a very nice horse and nice rider, so no beef here, we were clearly out-matched.

So comparing our scores to the last show, we were about the same.... always somewhere in the 60-62% range.  Our one major improvement was we got higher scores on our medium walks, may be a small victory but its a victory none the less.  And a little better on our stretch circles, which is good, we will get there.  I know we have it at home, I just need him (and I) to relax a little more.

Next stop.... Fort Collins Schooling Show....  I know, I'm sure there are those of you who think I may be going a bit overboard with the shows.  But I really love doing it, I love the experience and seeing all the other horses and riders.  And the way I figure it I'm just condensing my show season in half, trying to get as many shows in before I can't ride anymore.

April 7, 2011

The Original Pit Crew is Coming

My parents are on their way!  They want to come and see me show, so they are on their way out from Florida, for my show this weekend.  They were my original "pit" crew.  My mom and dad couldn't tell you the if I was on the right lead or if I was even on the right horse at times, but thanks to my mom, my horse had the whitest socks and tightest braids at the shows.  And thanks to my dad I had the shiniest boots, and my horse had the cleanest nose.  They knew how to clean and primp like the best of them.

So I'm excited for them to come out, I'm sure they would like to help but its been quite some time since the last show.  Not sure my mom is still in the braiding mode.... which is ok because Dex gets the running braid this season.  But at the same time that means 2 more people I have to keep track of.  Luckily they know me well enough to know when I need to be left alone and when I need help... I hope :).  My husband has been doing a good job as my fill-in crew but still needs some work.... he asks WAY too many questions when I'm trying to remember my test or what I just rode.

My parents are also excited to come out, but for another reason all together.... the impending future grand child.  Whenever I talk to my mom (who is trying to plan a baby shower) she keeps saying "We;'ll just talk about that when we get there."  When they first said they wanted to come out I made it very clear that this would be a horse weekend, not a baby weekend.  And I keep having to remind them of that.  There is enough going on with preparing for a show that the baby is going to have to take a back seat.  Its not like its going anywhere.  So we will see how that goes.  My last ride is around noon, so I figure if they do keep their promise on the no baby talk, the flood gates will open around 1 pm.

So wish me luck... not only with my first "recognized" show (I hope I don't do anything stupid to get DQed, there are some crazy rules out there) but with juggling my horse and my crazy parents.

April 6, 2011

Product Review

After reading about the Furminator on Nina's Story I decided to look into a similar Deshedder.  I looked up the Furminator and was not impressed with the price tag of ~$50.  But Dexter looked like a woolly mammoth and I really wanted him to look nice for show season, as short as it may end up being.  I didn't want to clip him, not just yet anyway, mostly because I've never had to body clip a horse and was afraid I'd make him look worse. 

So I looked around and found a lot of shedding combs similar to the Furminator and ended up getting the Andis Power Deshedder.  It has a little motor that is supposed to vibrate.

Andis Company 40095 Power De-Shedder Plus Large

I got it for about $20 online and figured it was worth the extra bucks if the vibration helped loosen more hair. 

So first, the pluses:
It worked great, the first stroke was full of hair.  It was quick and easy, and unlike shedding blades and curry combs it holds the hair in the comb so it doesn't fly all over you and your clothes.  Dexter didn't seem to mind it at all.  I could see the fine metal teeth bothering some more sensitive horses but Dexter just sat there calmly chewing.  I think the vibration actually calmed him a bit.  It took the same amount of time as it would if I curried him.  And I took it home and used it on my dog and took off twice as much hair as I did with Dexter.

The negatives:
It works best on a dirty horse. Once you go over an area, if you try to go back over you don't get much hair even if you can easily pull it out by hand.  I think the tangles of an un-groomed horse help grab the hair.  The vibration does nothing to help with getting more hair.  I tried it with the motor on and off and no difference.  It did seem to calm my dog and horse down though.  But next time I'd skip that option. 

Overall I love it, it works well, is much cleaner and no more sneezing every time I groom him.  I can't use it every day but once a week seems to really help out a lot.  I think it will cut down on his shedding time quite a bit and he already looks much better than a few weeks ago. I also swear it makes him look shinier... but I'm sure that's in my head.