16. One thing you’d like to change about your horse
If Sunny were just a *little* bit taller! When I was horse shopping I didn't really have a certain height requirement, and I'm very glad for that now because if I had, I might not have even bothered to go look at Sunny. I was definitely hoping to find something taller than Sabre, who is maybe all of 14.2hh in his barely a horse glory. Sunny's ad said 16.1, which she very obviously is nowhere near, maybe it was a typo? But she was bigger than Sabre and that was all I cared about!
I've only just started to run into a bit of the height issue now that I finally have a dressage saddle, at proper dressage length stirrups I end up not having much of my leg actually ON her at all. My legs don't dangle way below her belly though, it's just the way her ribs are sprung.
17. Your horse’s future
Well we are currently running prelim and I don't feel like Sunny is struggling or near her limit in any way yet. She skips over all the jumps no problem, any jumping issues we've had have pretty much all been me, basically the bigger or more technical things get, the better she jumps! While the dressage is more difficult than jumping for us, it just means we need to work all that much harder on it! Honestly, I know we are never going to win the dressage, but we can certainly aim to put in a presentable and accurate test.
Goals for the next year include doing a one star, and ultimately we'd like to move up to intermediate somewhere along the way.
We are still working on plans for 2014, but it is shaping up to be a VERY exciting year, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!
18. Your worst show ever
Getting eliminated for dangerous riding at an event several years ago. It was back when I was struggling a LOT with Sunny, and while I don't think the situation was wholly unfounded, I still feel somewhat like they were just looking to make an example of me, and that the ground jury and others involved were extremely unprofessional and frankly a bit cruel with the way they handed things. That disappointed me a LOT. Sunny and I were having a lot of difficulties at the time, and it wasn't WHAT they were saying, because honestly I did agree with a good chunk of it, it was more HOW they said it that was the problem. There are ways to handle issues, and that includes being tactful and professional throughout. Neither of which were present in my situation unfortunately. Thank god I have fairly thick skin, I don't think that some other people would have been able to bounce back from something like that, and I can honestly say it was one of the most awful and humiliating things that has ever happened to me. I wouldn't wish that on anyone.
I have a link to a different blog of mine that has a pretty detailed account of the whole situation, I have made it public for a short time and if anyone would like to read please comment here then email me at email@example.com and let me know who you are and I will send you the link. I don't feel comfortable posting it for the whole world to see.
19. Favorite horse show venue
Hmmm. This one is a bit tough. I guess I would have to pick Chase Creek, because even though I have never done an actual event there, it is one of my favorites places. They have so many jumps and fun things for all levels to school over, the clinics there are just amazing. I also love having the creek right there as well to soak legs after a ride. The fact that it's situated in one of the most beautiful places I have ever been is definitely a plus, it's seriously like heaven out there. I am so excited they are bringing back the event next year, I am aiming to do the 1 star there, and I know the cross country course will be AMAZING and so much fun! I can't wait!!
I guess Evergreen Park up in Grande Prairie would be another top pick of mine. They have lots of space, variety and terrain in their cross country course. It's one of the few places we have ACTUAL covered stalls for stabling instead of makeshift pens in a field. The clinic/event there is always a fun week for camping and riding, so much room to hand walk/hack/graze the horses and we always have a blast Riding on the racetrack is always a highlight for Sunny and I! The only downside is that it's so far away:P
20. Your show day routine
For a 2 day (Saturday/Sunday) event, we ship out Friday evening, so I start my main prep on the Thursday. I ride, bathe then braid! I am lucky that Sunny does not mess with her braids at all, and I show sheen her white leg markings as mentioned in my last post so any possible poo stains or mud will brush right off. I blanket to make sure she stays (mostly) clean. Then I will load my car or trailer and have everything ready to go thursday night. Friday after work, I load Sunny and go. Get to the event, set up the stall, settle in, and usually have a short dressage school. Having everything ready a day in advance leaves me with basically nothing to do after I ride besides pick up my show package, feed Sunny, maybe take a look at some of my cross country course, help out my friends, and then have a few drinks and just chill.
Usually we have dressage at 8 or 9am Saturday morning (prelim always goes first both), so I'm usually up around 5. I will feed, throw Sunny's BOT back warmer on, and take her for a walk to stretch her legs and let her eat some grass. Let her finish her breakfast and I will grab myself a quick bite. Then I'll clean my tack, get everything out and organized so I can tack up and be on roughly an hour prior to my dressage time. After dressage we usually have a couple hours before stadium, so we'll put the horses away, chill for a bit, before tacking up again and heading over to walk our course. After stadium is time for walking cross country (twice!), watching friends ride, photographing, etc. Will take Sunny out for another handwalk & graze or two before putting her to bed.
The Sunday is a bit simpler, I don't have to get up as early! Feed Sunny, quick hand walk, then start booting up for cross country! Tack up, be on about half an hour before my time. Then afterwards we will cool out the horses, wait around for results or to watch friends ride or take photos. Clean stalls and load up, and go home. Pretty simple:)