The Last Gasp Before The Finals

Ike at Rose Mount September 2015

Ike at Rose Mount September 2015

Phew, our last regular show weekend of the year is in the books – we just now have to power through to the championship show in October.  This particular show is a special one to me since my dressage chapter is the one that hosts the show.  We only have 45 members, so it takes everyone plus our supportive family members to pull off the weekend successfully.  Planning starts pretty much the year before when dates are selected and judges are secured.  Since so many of us also like to compete at the show, there is careful planning so that everything is set so that we can still get our horses ready for the competition.  Needless to say that the week leading up to the show is crazy as all the pieces and parts must be delivered to the show grounds and then assembled before the competitors arrive on Friday.

 And, if I can boast for just a second, I must say that we might be a small group, but we are mighty, and we pull off a mighty nice dressage show.  We’ve got a tent full of vendors with fabulous wares to sell, delicious food, an air-conditioned and flushable port-a-john trailer (yes, you read that correctly, air-conditioned), lovely ribbons and prizes, generous sponsors, and the BEST volunteers.  Mother Nature was a bit of a wicked witch on Saturday with some heavy rain, but the show went on and Sunday dawned a stunning fall day. 

There was a brief moment on Saturday morning that I questioned whether or not we would make it to the show.  My husband and I arrived at the farm to hook up the trailer and load Ike.  While my husband hitched the trailer, I was responsible for retrieving said horse and having him at the ready when the ramp went down.  Ike revived his one man play of “The Gingerbread Man” and ran as fast as he could around his paddock avoiding Mom.  Not even an apple would draw him close even when I shared the better part of it with his brother.  Luckily Ms. C felt sorry for me and stepped in to help.  Thank goodness that Ike never says “No” to her.  When that happens, we are doomed.

As I mentioned, Saturday was a bit of a soggy day.  And when I say soggy, I mean soaked through to your underwear as you watch the rain stream off your very expensive saddle as you pray that there is no permanent damage.  I must also get on my soap box for a moment and ask again who thought that WHITE pants were appropriate riding attire??!!  Unflattering to most of us and rather transparent when wet.  I’m fairly certain that the tag on my underwear was readable through the wet fabric. We ended up only riding our First Level test and with a personal licensed show best of 67.9% we came home with a pretty red ribbon.  That test made me feel secure with where we are as we head to the championship show.

Sunday dawned a better day.  Crisp fall air and bright sunshine.  Since we didn’t want a repeat of Saturday, Ms. C brought Ike in before we arrived.  Sorry big boy.  My first ride time was identical to Saturday and my second was shortly after – that meant we only had to tack up once which is always a good thing in my book.  Anyway, our First Level test was not as tension free as Saturday’s ride, but we still managed a respectable 65.7% and another red ribbon.  Would you like to take a guess at what caused our tension?  Geese.  Canadian geese waddling about right outside the fence line.  Just what is it about birds that Ike cannot handle?  At least they did not take flight since that would have guaranteed that I would have had a short duration flight as well.

Our second test of the day was Second Level Test 1 or as I like to call it, the one with all the simple changes.  Luckily, Ike and I have made progress in our simple changes and we actually received some 7’s for them during this test. Woohoo!  There is hope for us yet.  As you can see from the video, we still need to develop better throughness and Ike needs to sit on his hind end more, but considering that we really just started Second Level a few months ago, I am pleased with our progress.  The plan is to work hard all winter and be ready to bust a move with Tests 2 and 3 at our first show in May 2016. 


We ended up with a 63.333% and a third place ribbon.  Our goal for Second Level this season was not to make it to any of the championships, but to achieve at least 60% in our scores.  I’m just thrilled to say that all of the Second Level tests that we have ridden this year have hit the 60th percentile range.

With this show behind us, our sights are now set on the Region 1 GAIGs in mid-October.  Big man is going to get a well deserved break for a few days and then we will be back to work to fine tune the elements for the First 3 test.

Thanks for sticking with us this season!





Mom Says That I’m A Gigolo Like It Is A Bad Thing

Ike Aug 23 2015

Howdy Friends!

It is about time for me address the whole, “Ike is a gigolo” rumor that Mom started at our August show.  I guess Mom got word that once she leaves the show grounds that I have friends of a female persuasion stop by my stall.  First off, if Miss L had not told Mom that Miss R and I were canoodling, Mom would have just gone about her merry way none the wiser to my evening activities.  I need to get a hold of Miss L’s phone – it appears to be the way that information is sent to Mom.

Ike and his new friend Miss R

Ike and his new friend Miss R

Second, can I help it if the attractive ladies like to come and hang out at my stall in the evenings?  It isn’t like I’m sending out invitations.  I’m just minding my own business munching on hay and they come over to say hello.  It would be rude to not to acknowledge them and spend some time visiting…Well, I guess if I am being entirely truthful, I sometimes stare pathetically at them while they are standing in the aisle.  Works like a charm.  If Mom is so worried about me, perhaps she should just consider sleeping in the tack stall. Ha! Like that will ever happen.

Sadly, my selfie buddy Miss M ( ) from the championship show last year is off to college.  Mom tells me college is like having to have a lesson three times a day, five days a week.  Phew, I don’t think I would like college that much.  Sounds like a lot of work to me.  I need to find a way to send Miss M a message to ditch her classes and come hang with me again in October.  If not, maybe Miss R will come to entertain me when Mom and Dad go back to the hotel?! (Hint, hint)

Mom says at our show next weekend that I will not be spending the night at the show grounds.  Humph!  What a meanie.  She says that it is because of the tiny stalls and small half doors on the stalls, but I believe she is trying to be one of those helicopter parents who just want to keep me from having any fun.  So since I will be going home at night,  if you are in the area, please stop by and see me during the day.  There is no reason why we can’t visit when Mom runs to the bathroom for the hundredth time.

In other news, I must say that I am so very happy that August is behind us.  The other horses and I are over the heat, over the humidity, and over the bugs.  We had a herd meeting and have decided that we all want to have our paddocks screened in with big ceiling fans hung to create a constant breeze.  We will also need skylights in the roofs and an irrigation system so that grass will still grow.  None of us have any money, and Mom doesn’t seem like she would be on board with our plan, so can someone help us raise some funds?  Rumor has it that you can ask strangers for money.  We are pretty certain that if we all make sad faces that everyone will feel bad for us and send money.  Oh, by the way, we also want glass panels to help keep our paddocks warmer in the winter.

The really big flies showed up last month.  Since we have no screens yet, we have all had to be creative in how we eradicate them.  I like to let them land and then have Mom slap them really hard.  They are hardy bugs however so sometimes she also has to stomp on them.  My brother has perfected the stop, drop and roll technique.  Jelly just runs really fast.  Sophie bucks, but after they bite her on her belly, she likes to turn over her water trough and then straddle it and scratch her belly.  Joe just crashes into the gate until someone comes to bring him inside.  We will all be glad when they disappear until next year.

We also have bees that like to buzz around my nether regions.  They are in some ways even more annoying than the flies, since Mom and Miss C seem averse to taking a swing at them.  Mom tells me it is because the last time she was stung by a bee on her forehead that she looked like a Star Trek Borg with the top part of her head all puffed up.  I think that sounds pretty funny.

I have also been working very hard to get ready for the last shows of the year.  And, surprisingly, so has Mom.  She has really stepped up her riding and attention span.  She is usually like a dog when it sees a squirrel – easily distracted and a bit goofy.  Slowly, but surely we are learning to do a turn on the haunches.  Since neither one of us had ever done it before, we both were getting confused.  Miss C had to get creative with teaching us the correct movement.  When I get it right, I get a piece of candy, so I’m trying to do it right every time.  Mom gets no candy, so she seems to be learning more slowly than me.  Perhaps I should tell Miss C to start giving Mom a treat as well.

Well, I need to run.  I want to get outside before the bugs wake up.  Until next time everyone, stay cool!