Saturday, February 27, 2016

Equine First Aid Army Style!

Giving back is something that's always been important to me.  My husband, whom I love and adore, spent several years in the army.  No small part of us meeting was because of the time he'd spent in "Mounted Troop". 
Mounted Troop is a group of soldiers attached to the armoured corps of the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians).  They are Canada's last and only active cavalry unit.  These soldiers are fully deployable, active members and nearly all of them have had little to no horse experience prior to joining the troop. 

Anthony and I had spoken previously about what we could do to support the troop and help to educate them.  I'd approached the troop's Sergent about having the troop certified in equine first aid a few months ago.  The proposal was very well received and we set up a date to run a clinic for them. 

Yesterday, we spent the day certifying the troop in equine first aid.  I had the pleasure of having my most handsome husband as my assistant. 
The troops were fantastic!  They had fun, the horses were very cooperative and really enjoyed the extra attention.  It was one of the most rewarding clinics I've ever run. 

Happy Horseing!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

We're BAAAAACK!!!!

With the support of the most wonderful friend, Ritchie and I made it back to the dressage show ring last weekend at the PAADA Dressage Daze 1 show.  We rode two first-level tests (TOC which we rode test 3, and test 1).  I don't know when, how, why my confidence got shaken, but it did happen.  Taking the time away from the horse and successfully reintroducing myself to him has been very positive.  I'm enjoying him and we're having fun!  Blessings and so many thanks to Renate for taking the horse out, clinics, shows, trail rides, schooling, and doing more with him than's been done in the last year plus! 

Poor girl was NOT feeling well at all when I arrived to pick Ritchie and her up to head down to Ponoka.  Have I mentioned how incredibly fortunate I am?  She came anyways.  Feeling like a huge amount of poo, she still came with, rode the horse for me (I'll give you more on this in a minute), organized us, did some lovely braids and otherwise was my rocking support.  I know how much poo she felt like, I came down with it on Tuesday! 

I've found something that works for me and my confidence issue.  Renate gets on the horse (cold, no lunging) and works him around for 5 - 10 minutes.  A little WTC, rides him in the scary corners and generally just goes around with him.  After she's been on him, I feel confident that I can climb on and be in charge and successful.  If I have to get on first, without her, I'm kind of a wreck in my head!  Strange, I know!  Anyways, it works, we are continuing forward and reaching success!! 

Ritchie's got a new name, Kind Richard, and periodically in the tests, Kind Richard goes on "crusade", which is to say that he's no longer waiting for me to give him direction but is rather sure of exactly where we're going next and is leading the way...  This lead us to a couple of mistakes in the TOC (test 3) test we had first.  The single loop/counter canter ended up having a half change, trot steps, uneven shape and then the simple change of lead at X ended up being nearly on the second quarter line before he came back to trot!  The remainder of the test rode fairly well with him in an over-rolled behind-the-bit frame.  I picked him up and made more of a conscious effort to ride him UP for test one and was much more pleased with the results.

Pretty Red Ribbons for King Richard!

In the end, pony's scores were just where we'd left them; 62.6% for first test 3 and 67.7% for test one.  Two pretty red ribbons, honestly earned.  The big surprise was, after I was nearly back home again, I got a text from my old friend Katherin, who was show medic, that Ritchie and I had won the Adult Amateur Silver High-Point CHAMPION!!! 
So Purdy!!!!!

This is the very first time I'd won a championship with a horse that I'd bred and trained and shown myself!  Tears were in my eyes reading that message.  I'll be meeting her this weekend to pick up my purdy ribbon. 

Can not wait for next show!