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OMG I’m writing!

Holy Hell. It’s been an age since I’ve written. Between the new baby, trying to keep up with the house (more on that in a min), the horses, my husband. Just wow.

In late September, I gave birth to a 7Lb 11 oz baby boy. He’s perfect. I haven’t done the first thing for his baby book, but I’ve taken a million pictures. It’s crazy

This house. Jesus Christ this house. I’m not sure what my husband does all day. other than make a mess.

OK I finally get the house to myself and I can’t even concentrate enough to write. I want to either register horses for shows, create adds for the horses I have (this is a sale barn) or go the fuck to bed.  I think I’ll do the latter. Here’s a picture of a baby and of JP Oct 29 at Chatt to hold you over.


Dressage Scribe – Less intimidating than you think

     Whenever I ask people if they’ll scribe, I get the same answer. “But I don’t know how”. This is usually followed by “What If I mess up someone’s test” or “What if I can’t understand the judge” or “no one can read my writing”. It’s crazy that what I DON’T hear is “Yes! Please let me sit with a very well qualified person who will dictate, movement for movement, what I should be working towards in my own dressage test” Many people pay to audit clinics, and now here we are BEGGING you to do it for the super value of 2-6 hours of your time. AND WE”LL GIVE YOU LUNCH AND VOUCHERS. What a deal!
Of all the reasons above, the last one is the silliest. Have you looked at your dressage tests lately? No one can read anyone’s handwriting. So as it stands, either the rider/trainer will be reading your chicken scratch or someone else’s. Plus you, as ascribe, don’t sign the tests, so you’re embarrassingly terrible handwriting is completely anonymous. As for not understanding the judge, we don’t import them from Germany, the Bahamas, France, and only rarely form Canada (Where they speak English, btw) If you have ears and all the little bones made for hearing, you should really be just fine.
As far as messing up someone’s test, you won’t. Not irreparably anyway. How do I know, because I’ve scribed a lot. Even if you do miss a box (which happens occasionally), the judges are VERY good at remembering their scores. It’s actually really impressive. Take a deep breath and remember you WILL NOT be able to write down EVERYTHING a judge says about a movement, unless it’s “ditto” marks obviously. If the judge says 6 things about a movement, it’s perfectly fine to write three of them if that’s all you have time (or more likely room) for. Or even two if you really need to. The score itself is the important part, the rest is to aid in the training for the rider and horse.
Lets wrap this up by talking about what a deal it is that you GET to scribe! To audit a clinic can run anywhere from $20-$100 (It may go higher, but that’s my experience) When you scribe, you are doing EXACTLY that at no cost to you. Actually opposite. We’re “paying” you to be there and learn by way of Lunch, vouchers, and now, an entry into this neat raffle we have. Why are ya’ll not fighting over this position?

Maine and back to reality

Can i please go back? Did I really have to leave? The simple answers to those two questions are: “Not right now” and “yes”.  Horses, dogs and a multiple jobs (this blogging thing isn’t paying, well, anything. Yet) The weather was AMAZING. One day, we had to wear JACKETS! In AUGUST!! It made me so happy. We went shopping in Freeport, We “hiked” Wolfs Neck and saw the ospreys.  The fam threw my sister (due in December) and I a baby shower. We ate lobster. It was my grandmothers 92nd birthday. And we stayed in about 4 different places with family members I usually see, but don’t ever stay with. All in all, it was a great, relaxing, fun trip.

I came back to picking up my dogs at the kennel, my horses look healthy & my house is clean (Thanks Carmen!) And it’s 10,000,865 degrees. augh. I still feel great. Hopefully it continues!

Hearts, and harnesses and new shoes, OH my!

It’s getting closer! The day we’ve been preparing for. Farrier is scheduled, mane roll is ordered (hopefully it gets here soon so I can practice!), harness is clean, bookings are filling up!

I’m not sure how much the horse community knows about draft shoeing, and I know the general public knows even less. Maximus wears a size 8 horse shoe. This is approximately the same size shoes as one would use playing a game of “horseshoes” His feet are that big. If you’ve never played horse shoes, take your hand an spread your fingers all the way out. your finger tips would touch the shoe. As you can imagine, this takes some extra considerations. Being that big, draft shoes don’t work well on a typical anvil. They also don’t shape as easily as a typical horse shoe. Then there’s the horse itself. Horses will sometimes lean a little on a farrier as they do their work. Usually this is no problem. However, a draft horse weighs over a ton, so a little leaning leads is a lot of extra work. Because of this, drafts are typically shod in stocks. We don’t have stocks (Sorry farrier!) so Max has to be, and is, extra good. Because of ALL this extra trouble, a fell set of draft shoes costs $250 +. They last 4-5 weeks depending on how much work the horse is doing. Asphalt will wear right through a shoe, so even if the foot growth is minimal, the shoe needs to be replaced.

Mane rolls are the term used for the fabric you braid into a draft horses mane. That takes some skill in itself. Here’s a great video from YouTube on how to do a Mane Role. I’ve ordered a red/white role, a Red tail bow with valentines themed ribbon and Red/Pink roses. 5 roses are typical for hitch horses and 7 for halter. Pulling mane and practice is definitely in order.

Finally the harness. What a job that is! It’s DISGUSTING. Because on a  typical night we get done close to midnight, and the final day of our season are in the dead of winter, we don’t hang around to clean tack. Granted, Max isn’t a sweaty mess when we’re done, but the grime still builds up. 98% of our harness is vinyl, which means Armor All and some elbow grease is the way to go. The only part that’s leather is the collar. I use the same stuff as i use on my riding tack. Generally,  Effax leather care products. I completely forgot to order Never Dull, but I remembered from my western pleasure days that we used to use toothpaste to shine the chrome on our saddles. It still works!

All this and I’m still doing hills and grooming almost daily. So much work for one special night! We’re pretty much all booked for Sunday, February 14. and have partnered with High Definition Media here in Columbus to capture everyone’s Valentines Day Experience. I’m excited!