Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Oregon Summer Show

Wow, what a weekend! I'm still exhausted from it, so bear with me.
Keenan was an absolute stinker for Sarah in the Large Working Hunter classes but he and I won the Low Amateur 2'6" Hunter class on Thursday. That set us up for a great day on Friday - we got third in our schooling round but as soon as I got Keenan moving in front of my leg a little more we improved and won both our Pre-Adult Hunter classes over fences. We took sixth in the Under Saddle class because the other horses were "fancier" than my boy and Keenan spent the entire time trying to convince me that he didn't need to work hard. Saturday was, as has become my tradition, not as good. We got third in both our Hunter classes, but that was enough to clinch the division championship by 1.5 points (close one)! We also earned four more points toward qualifying for OHJA Medal Finals, now we just have to get a fourth place or better at this week's Northwest Spectacular to qualify!
The Hillcrest Starter Medal Final on Saturday night was, well, a complete disaster. I think it would have been okay if I'd managed to hold Mr. Keenan to a trot ALL THE WAY to the trot jump, but he decided that two trot strides was enough, then picked up a canter again. D'oh! We ended up finishing ninth out of ten competitors. Hey, that still got us a neck ribbon! A nice, pretty, light gray one. I'd really been looking forward to the victory gallop afterward, but as it happened, Keenan had a racetrack flashback and our gallop turned into a trot circle with a halt at the end in order to keep his sanity intact.
Sunday was like the calm after the storm. Even with as hard as I've been working, I'm not as fit as I should be and couldn't keep my legs from wiggling all over during the Equitation on the Flat. But, we did get a first and a third over fences, getting us reserve champion!
We had a great weekend as a barn:
Julie and Henry - Adult Amateur Hunter Champions, Adult Equitation Champions, Hillcrest Child/Adult Medal winner, Hillcrest Adult Medal Final winner, OHJA Child/Adult Medal winner
Holly and Lucky - Long Stirrup Hunter Reserve Champions and Long Stirrup Equitation Champions
Jessie and Cody - Children's Hunter 13 & Under Reserve Champions, Equitation 15 & Under Reserve Champions
Sophie and Jackson - Pre-Child Hunter Reserve Champions
Lauren and Bella - Pre-Green Hunter 3' Reserve Champions
Kristine and Q - Modified Junior/Amateur Hunter Reserve Champions
Also, Lauren and Julie rode in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Classic and even though they didn't place, they did really well. Katherine and Casper showed together for the first time in years and did really well, too!
Can't wait for Northwest!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

calm. cool, collected

Okay, so crisis over. I'm no longer freaking out about a rough week of lessons. There's nothing better for the nerves than two great lessons in a row. On Friday and Saturday, we had Medal Finals prep courtesy of TREC's owner and head trainer Mike. Both lessons were amazing. On Friday, Mike had us hike up our stirrups to jockey length and gallop around the ring. THAT was fabulous - I've always wanted to be a jockey/exercise rider and with Keenan being an ex-racehorse, galloping around like that was exhilerating. On Saturday we switched horses so that Anna hopped on Keenan, Sophie had Patches, and I wound up with Jackson Browne, our smallest pony. Small, yes, wimpy, no. It was actually really fun trotting around on that little guy. And our course that day had a few tough spots and a gnarly turn at the end but it was just a really fun ride. The whole two days made me feel so much better about the next two shows. I was reminded of why I love to ride and what it's all really about. I think these next two weeks are going to be a blast.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I need to stop thinking so much/I need to start thinking more when I'm on a horse! I seriously don't know what is WRONG with me! Long three stride to short two stride. Not THAT difficult. Did I have a strategy? Apparently, it was: let my horse save my ass! And thank goodness he is pro at that, otherwise I'd be baking some serious brownies right now! Note to self: GET IT TOGETHER STAT!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

there's a purple stain on my jeans that wasn't there this morning...

(just wanted to share a cute picture of my husband and I - he barely gets any airtime on this thing, haha)

...because I spent all afternoon in the washrack! Yes, today was bathtime for my boys! Keenan has been getting almost daily baths, what with horse show time being weeks away and his ability to get dirty at an almost freakish speed. Poor Rapper, though...baths have never been his favorite thing to do and he seems terrified to set foot in the wash stall. Still, he was a good boy tonight - it took only a little convincing to get him in there and a lot of cajoling to KEEP him in there. It was worth it, though. I forgot how drop-dead gorgeous that horse is when he's clean; his coat takes on this almost maroon glow.
And Keenan was SUCH a good boy. We just hacked tonight, no lesson, but I was super-impressed with how he felt. When he's moving in a frame and we're connecting, it feels like we're moving on a cloud. Yes, it's cliche` but that doesn't mean it's not true! I was super-sore after yesterday, but his gaits are so comfortable and he is so responsive that an ouchy back didn't bother me in the slightest. I seriously could not ask for a better horse!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

weather's cooling down...competition's heating up

Well, it may not be 85 degrees every day, but that doesn't mean we're not working hard! Oh man, lesson today was IN-TENSE. With Medal Finals just around the corner, we can't afford NOT to be intense...we spent almost the entire lesson today working without our stirrups, at the canter. Ouch. Don't get me wrong, Keenan has a great canter, but...well, ouch! We were cantering two low cavaletti at a regular, extended and collected canter - working on getting 7, 8 and 9 strides in between the cavaletti. The hardest part was just the physical strain it was taking on me, haha. It's a simple exercise, but a hard one. Even cantering two cavaletti, there's a lot to think about and when you throw in me with no stirrups trying to maintain a connection with Mr. Keenan, it's not always the most graceful thing you've ever seen. And not without some frowning, huffing and puffing! The good news is, I survived - and up until that point where I thought I was going to die, we were doing really well! We started out with some trot work, to test if our horses were in front of our leg and to see how adjustable they were. Regular posting trot, extended posting trot, collected posting trot, collected sitting trot - the works. I loved collecting Keenan's trot - man, he's good at that! When we trotted by the mirror, it looked like we were barely moving at all and the way he was lifting his legs up instead of floating them out, he looked like a Baroque dressage horse! His extension was great, too - better than it normally is on my lazy-bones horse, that's for sure. *sigh* and then things got tough. It's okay though, the harder I prepare now, the better these next two shows are going to be!

Monday, August 9, 2010

points and Medal Finals


Check out the OHJA points! They don't include Country Classic, but you can still get a pretty good idea where our TREC riders stand. As of Country Classic Preview, Keenan was still leading Regional Large Working Hunter and Regional Pre-Adult Hunter and I was leading Regional Pre-Adult Equitation over fences. I've fallen to second in Eq. on the flat, but with two horse shows coming up at the end of this month/beginning of September, I hope to be back on top. What really frustrates me though is that despite leading the Pre-Adult Eq. over fences, I have not qualified for OHJA Medal Finals! It's absurd! Sarah agrees and has made it clear that I cannot work hard enough in the weeks leading up to Oregon Summer and NW Spectacular. Time to step it up!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

wish list

Sometimes I wish I could afford to be more of a horsey snob. I have a wonderful horse, I train at a great barn and my saddle is EXACTLY what I want. I have good, working tack and riding clothes. But man...sometimes I long for high-range things - like Tailored Sportsman breeches and a tack trunk of my own. I know, how spoiled am I? But I figure it's not wrong to have a wish list, right? Just so I know what I want when I can finally afford it...Some things are no-brainers, like nicer, more durable tall boots for showing but other things are absolutely frivolous.


Dubarry boots...*droooooool* Not to sound like a snotty teenager, but everyone was wearing them at Rolex (I totally DID just sound like a snotty teenager, didn't I?) and I. Love. Them. Of course, they cost more than just about any article of clothing I own, so you can guess the chances of me ever buying any. Oh well, maybe someday...

Monday, August 2, 2010


I just got an e-mail from a fellow model horse collector (yes, go ahead and laugh, I still collect model horses) who wants to use Keenan as a reference for a customized model she's having painted! Apparently my boy has a quiet a following on ModelHorseBlab (keep laughing)! And why wouldn't he? He's gorgeous!

If only someone thought my little guy was pretty enough to paint...oh well, I do!

In a million years when I have saved up enough money, I'm going to have customs made of my boys. Carol William's Valor resin would suit Keenan perfectly - or a Peter Stone Palouse with its head tucked and mane and tail braided. I haven't found a mold or sculpture yet that perfectly epitomizes Mr. Rapper in all his glory, maybe Eberl's Tamino or a drastic CM'd Breyer PAM...yep, I'm officially a nerd.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


So I can't sleep and I was virtually flipping through some Facebook photos when I found a picture of Keenan and I that I love oh-so much...
Just thought I'd share! We had a super lesson today in the gorgeous sunshine - I am so blessed to have my ponies! Wouldn't trade them for anything!