Sunday, April 29, 2012

BMPHC Pre-Mothers Day Show

Tommy and I attended the Blue Mountain Paint Horse Club's open show in Pendleton yesterday.  It was at the Flying X arena, which isn't too far down the road from our house.  This was a Pre-Mother's Day show, and there were a lot of ladies that showed up to get roses.  =:)  There was a floral shop in Hermiston that was gracious enough to donate flowers to the women that competed in the "Mother's Only" classes.
     It was a nice sunny day, with several entrants in attendance.
The mini's were cute.  They did halter, in-hand trail, and driving classes.  Tommy had never seen such small horses before, but he liked them.  I fully expected him to be a big goofy chicken liver with them near, but he kept wanting to nicker at them and follow them around everywhere. 
June Moreland and "Mr. T".  I enjoyed talking to June throughout the show, she's a really nice lady.  The photo above is of the judge evaluating her horse in showmanship.  June rode Mr. T in the western classes too.  (I forgot to ask what the judges name was...dang.)
There were a lot of nicely dressed, (or fully turned-out) entrants at this show in the english classes, so I brought "the little saddle from hell" out of the dungeon.  The huntseat tack makes Tommy look very sharp and appropriate for the show arena, but it's not very much fun for either one of us.  We both hate that damned saddle with a livid passion.  At the next tack swap I'll sell it, and start looking for a better saddle to compete with.
Western and comfy.  Training devices were allowed at this show, so I put the martingale on to work on his headset.  It made a huge difference, and he showed some great improvement.
                     He's spectacular when he gets it right. 

All throughout the day I kept hearing people in the bleachers making comments "an Akhal-what?"....  But Craig was there and was able to give them a condensed version of the breed history.  We were in good company, as there was a group of four local Peruvian Paso's and two Missouri Foxtrotter's in attendance as well.  (It's kind-of nice to not be the only different oddball out there, sometimes...)

We entered about a dozen classes and came away with 3 first place prizes.  Half dollar coins were awarded, which was really neat.  We're improving, slowly but surely.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Schooling Show

Yesterday was the second schooling show at the Umatilla Sage Riders arena.  I didn't go to the first show, because it was held the same day as Home On The Range.  But I went to this one and it was a lot of fun.  I think that they are planning on having one or two more of these schooling shows as the year progresses along.  And what a nice day!  Sunny and in the high 70's.  I even got a sunburn.

Tommy experienced a few more new "firsts" for him at this show, and that was good.  Since my photographer husband had to work and I was there by myself, I took photos of everybody else. =:)
A pretty light isabella palomino and white paint mare doing the showmanship pattern.
There were a lot of halter classes at this show, and Tommy and I spent more time doing halter than we ever have before.  We got a lot of practice in setting up and standing square!  Most of my ticket stubs got used doing halter - And oh, speaking of which.....

This show has the most unique way of entering classes.  Instead of circling which classes that you want to do on a classlist sheet, you just count up how many classes that you would like to do that day.  Then you can buy that number tickets.  When your class comes along, you deposit your ticket into a bucket at the arena gate.  If for some reason, you decide not to do that certain class and you choose to do another, your ticket can be used for a different class that you'd like to do instead.  A good example is that Tommy and I decided to skip most of the equitation classes, (the western pattern was too complicated for my green horse, and my brain couldn't handle it either....) so we used our extra tickets to enter more english classes.  This show has a nice ticket system that is uncomplicated and works for everybody, (for competitors and office staff alike).
The open western pleasure.  Notice how they are moving at a decent rate at the jog and their heads aren't buried in the sand like peanut rollers? Very cool.  The judge appreciated it too.  He thanked them for moving, instead of being stuck in low gear.  (If you've ever seen video's of the QH Congress western pleasure'll know what low gear looks like.)  So far, Tommy and I have been very fortunate to show under judges that want to see faster traveling horses. 
Colette Carson hard at work.  She was the ticket taker and score keeper at the gate.  She's a very nice lady from Pendleton.
Our judge Tony Jackson.  He was a good judge and gave me a lot of help in the english classes.  I rode in  my endurance tack once again, and he made a joke that I was a "faux english" rider.  It was a hoot.  (My aussie endurance saddle looks like a cross between a dressage/western saddle.)  But this what schooling shows are all about.  You show up to work on your horse, and it doesn't matter what the rider and the tack looks like.  There was a very nice older gentleman in the western classes that had his team roping tack on and he looked like he was about to go to a rodeo somewhere.  But, he did very well because he spent time collecting his roping horse up and practicing his riding.  It was awesome to see that.  It doesn't matter what you look like, just how hard you want to work to improve your horse.
Tommy getting ready for the western classes.  The only photo that I got of him all day.  He had his first experience with the loud speaker system at this show.  It was good for him to get used to it. 

The judge asked a few questions about Tommy, like what I did with him, if he had been imported, and what part of the middle east his breed was from.  After answering some questions, I handed him a Breeders Co-Op pamphlet before I left the show. He appreciated the info.  The judge had recently been in Bahrain and recognized some of the middle eastern breeds, but not all of them. 

Being a model horse artist, there were a couple of really pretty horses at the show that were some great inspiration.  I couldn't help myself - I had to take pictures of them.  This weanling frame overo paint filly was lovely, and she competed in halter and longe line.  She had black pigment mascara markings around her blue eyes.  I think that she'll be a really stunning horse when she's mature.
This mare was awesome.  She's a painters dream and nightmare, all in one.  She was a maximum sabino paint that competed in the western classes.  I joked with Colette that it would probably take me a whole year just to paint a pattern like this.  She was such a stunning colored mare, and what a difficult and intricate pattern to attempt!

Our next show will be really local - in Pendleton, next weekend!  Tommy and I will try and squeeze in some more practice before next Saturday.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The older that I get, the more that I start looking for stumps, rocks, ledges, panels, or whatever else that happens to be laying around to help me get aboard my horses. I never used to give mounting up much of a thought, but now it's getting to be one of those things that's becoming more of a "consideration" as the years continue. (My slowly-expanding pant size doesn't help much in that department as well....ugh.) To add a bit of insult, none of my horses are considered to be huge skyscrapers in height either.

So all that I can think of when I see photos of these giant guys is: "Holy S***! How in the hell do they get up on those things...?"

Sunday, April 15, 2012


The championship round of Full Metal Jousting is on tonight! Wahoo! Ideally, I really wanted Rope Myers and Josh Knowles to have the showdown in the final round. But, Rope will get a shot in the 25k runner-up round.

I'm hoping that "The Beast" Josh Knowles wins the big money tonight! All hail to the redhead!

BTW - Crispin reminds me of a heavy draft version of Nettie.... he's an adorable hairy palomino horse!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

ABC Contest

Ox (Octopelle), was one of the winners of the Advanced Biological Concepts photo entrants! I sent in our picture from a few years ago at the Klikitat ride, and was happy to see that we were picked for this week's contest. I do use their electrolyte supplement after our conditioning rides, and Ox seems to like them just fine. Amrita's Akhal Tekes are also on there too, as they were selected a few weeks ago. You can win a goody basket of supplements/minerals and other stuff if your photo is selected. Teke folks, send in your photos! =:)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Home On The Range

Yesterday was the first endurance ride of the season for the northwest region. "Home On The Range" held by ride manager Gail Williams in Washtucna, Washington.

I was a bit edgey on Friday as we left the house for the ride, because it was raining buckets and the wind was blowing a zillion miles an hour. I told Craig that if the weather was the same as where we were going, I was probably going to be a grumpy camper. Torrential rains and 30 mile an hour winds tend to make for some very unpleasant riding conditions.

But luckily Saturday turned out to be a very pleasant non-rainy and non-windy day. A few raindrops just started to trickle down as we ended our last loop on Saturday afternoon.

50 milers heading out on their first loop. As you can see from the picture, it was muddy - and when I say muddy, it was honest to goodness really MUDDY. The road was bad enough that a big tractor had to be used to pull everybody's truck and trailer into camp. A few people joked that they had never had "vallet" parking at an endurance ride before. =:) Craig helped one lady that had a big horse trailer get un-stuck out of the mud after the tractor had pulled her up on higher ground. Even on the top, it was still slippery and muddy. Which played hell on our hoof boots for the ride...

Here we are before the ride with all of our hoof boots on. The boots lasted a grand total of halfway through the first 15 mile loop of the ride before the mud claimed them. One by one, the mud sucked each one of them off. I was getting really exasperated having to get off and on about every 10 minutes to pick up another blasted boot. I rode with Cathy Leddy and Monica Bretherton on the first loop and they experienced the same problems with their hoof boots as well. When we were about 3 miles from camp, I yanked the last boot off of Tommy and said, "screw it, we're going barefoot". The boots were more of a nuisance rather than a help. Tommy was more than happy to keep going without hoof boots, and I was a much more relaxed about not having to worry over the damned things popping off every few miles.

Aarene Storms and her standarbred mare Fiddle, getting ready for the 50 miler. Aarene is a great writer who has published some articles in Endurance News and has a nice blog as well: She always dresses very nicely in her purple ensemble for the rides, and I always admire Fiddle's big black beautiful hard hooves too. That mare has some stunning feet!

Dr. Dick Root DVM. My favorite vet. He knows his stuff very well, and I always look forward to seeing him at the rides. I've affectionately coined the term, "Dick knows the deal-io". Not only is he a super knowlegeable head veterinarian at several northwest endurance events, but he's also an avid endurance competitor himself. Dick has accumulated almost 8000 miles in AERC, which is not an easy task to accomplish. He knows what to look for when horses come into the checks, and how to handle stuff when it does occur. He's one of those vets that I'd really love to see at ALL of the northwest endurance rides. (And yes.... he does wear that signature polka dot hat just about all the time....)

I was interested to find out at this ride that Tommy's heart skips a beat. He has developed a slight arythmia that I wasn't aware of. I asked Dr. Dick what I should do about it, and he said not to worry too much. He had an endurance horse that competed 2000 miles with the same condition, so it wasn't something to get too worked up about. Cathy said that Astrakhan developed an arythmia when he got older, so I guess it runs in the family a bit. It doesn't seem to effect Tommy's performance at all, so we'll carry on doing what we're doing.

The three amigos. I rode with Cathy and Monica on the first loop of the LD 25 miler. This was Danny's (Magdan's), first ride that Monica piloted him on. He did very well for a young green horse at his first endurance competition. I complimented Monica on her turquoise jacket, as it almost matched the HOTR completion prize shirts.

Earlier that morning before the start of the ride, Galen and Danny decided to take an "unauthorized" stroll around camp to get warmed up. I was fast asleep at the time, and only heard about the tales of whoa later on. I was relieved that Tommy thought it was much more important to eat his hay in his pen, rather than joining the other two in their fun. You can read more about Galen and Danny's escaping escapades on Monica's blog:

Cathy on Galen and Monica on Danny trucking along at the trot.

When Tommy and I were on the second loop, one lady asked me if I was riding a National Show Horse and another lady thought that I was on a straight Saddlebred. I explained what he was, and then told them that we had a trio of Teke's at the ride. There were several people admiring our little group and recognized that our horses were different from the rest of the pack out there.

Boot check. We took turns telling each other when our hoof boots were falling off. We each lost at least one hoof boot apiece - and Monica and I lost almost all of ours. Luckily, we were watching each other pretty closely going down the trail and managed to tie most our boots onto the saddle after they popped off. The deep sinking mud was hellashius on boots.

Craig snapped this photo from his phone of us coming into the vet check on the end of our second loop.

Tommy was getting a little bit "race-brainey" after the first 15 mile loop, so we split up from our riding group and traveled alone for the second 10 miles. I wanted the mind of my level headed show/trail horse to return to me. And it did. We travelled at a calm rolling walk on the last loop and the strategy made a huge difference, as we ended the ride on a great relaxed note. We cruised into camp as two happy campers. It was a great ride, and I'm already looking forward for our next one.