Thursday, July 31, 2014


It's been a busy couple last days. But i wanted to provide an update on the highlights.

- I had two classes so far with Diva. She got 5th out of about 16 or 17 in her western and 6th in English. 
- Katie is still wearing her egg and spoon championship medal. ;)
- I went to Bedford tack to shop. Bedford is about the size of a Walmart but with every horse supply you could imagine. There is always items I find that I never knew I needed. My prize purchase is a new saddle stroller to bring my tack to the warmup instead of carrying it. I'm very excited. 
Jane and Spiderman Two - getting ready
for their class.  Love all the attention
she's getting - like the scene in Pretty Woman!
- Jane rode her new Spiderman Two horses and is having a great time with her trainer. 
- Gale showed both her 2yo horses and was in the ribbons!
- Carlan's Lil Wayne won his class and Emily got high ribbons with their weanling. And they have been doing extremely well with shake n bake. 
- Rachael arrived. (poor Krysta is stuck at home.  Hi girlfriend!). She's staying with me tonight. 
- the progressive barn party was held last night. Us Wisconsinites brought spotted cow to share.  Of course it was a hit. Darden made sure everyone had one and was the chief bottle opener. It was fun to socialize
- Halo was ridden last night after the show. He had the place to himself and he looked really good. Hannah was able to get his focus and they started hitting it. 
- the weather has been amazing. In the 70s and great for showing

Sorry for the quick post. I'm off to feed and do chores. And Scott will arrive in a few hours. Tonight I ride B in his first class. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Egg n Spoon

My morning started with a fab egg sandwich. I grabbed a spoon and yogurt as I left the hotel. It's nice to have the free breakfast with my room, but I confess the coffee is not the best and I swung by Starbucks for a latte as I headed for Miller.

Stall 17.  B is ready for breakfast and cool water!
Everyone got hay and clean water when I arrived. Then I set up chairs and iced down the waters in the cooler. Stalls were cleaned. The regular chores completed. I spent the rest of the morning riding bourbon and diva in the arena. After lunch Halo would ride. He was getting a loose shoe attended to first. So Katie and I pulled out the crystals and hot fixed a bunch of them to the collar of the shirt she'd show in this evening while we waited.

When Hannah came around the corner with Halo in tow, we all jumped up and followed her out to the sand pen on the west side of the grounds. She hooked him up and began to lunge him.  It was nice to finally see him move. You could tell he was young and still figuring it out. But in between you could see him stride, shake and lift in front. He lost a few months of training this summer due to a hairline fracture on his leg. So we lost time on his progress  A dissapointment for sure, but we're very happy it was a minor setback that will easily be overcome. Whew!

Halo in the cross ties before
our practice ride. 
We then all headed into the arena. It was a busy beehive of activity. Horses riding the first way AND the second way of the ring.  Some doing circles and others lunging yearlings while others were leading colts around. Oh boy, was all I could think and I didn't envy Hannah having to ride halo in this commotion. Especially with it being his first show experience. What a way to start. But when she got in the saddle and headed off, I was pleasantly surprised that he looked calm and focused on the task at hand. Here you could see him truly move and those flashes of pure talent between the learning was evident. He's very tall and leggy. He is high in the chest and uses his front shoulders very well. The back legs have the perfect bent to really get underneath himself as he walks. And he seems to simply float effortlessly forward. Carlan stood there with me and whispers that he looks real good.  And as I look at her, her smile reassures me even more. I think that's when I finally started to breath again.  Round and round she rode H, and you could see her train him and him improve with every lap.  Eventually he started to get more consistent and settled.

Then Hannah surprised me and parked in by us, and jumped off. Okay, give him a try, she indicated to me. I couldn't believe it. But I couldn't wait either and climbed up. Oooooo, he's tall. Maybe even taller than B.  However, as I threw my leg over him and settled into the saddle, I was reminded he was not B in girth. It was like balancing on a 2x4 - the narrow way!  As we pulled out, all the memories of D as a 2yo, and B as a yearling came over me. He felt young and inconsistent, but trying.  Like riding jello. Lol. But I think we had a few moments when we got it together. And Hannah tried to talk me through it. All too soon they started to clear the arena to ready for the evening classes, so we had to leave. But I got to take the memory of my ride with me. Now it's just a matter of time and training. We have the raw materials for a good one.

Wisconsin represents!  Scott, me, Eileen, Gale, Bruce, Mick
all pose by the WWHA sign we put up to promote our club.
As I left the arena, I bumped into Gale. Yeah, they finally arrived. I helped them unpack and hang fans.  It was so cool to see more folks from Wisconsin make this trip. They brought two horses - both 2yo. Hot Diamond and Remarkable Journey. They got settled in and will ride tomorrow for a practice round in the arena. I'm so excited for them as I know how awesome the first year here is, and I hope they enjoy the experience as much as I did, and continue to do.

Next up on the agenda were the fun classes. Katie and Emily are getting ready to show. And for Katie, this is her first ever international. So chico, their little spotted saddle horse, was being spit shined and tacked up.  Waterglass class was first, and resulted in a reserve win for Katie!  What a way to start and set the bar high. She did better in ribbon placement than her older sister. Next up was egg and spoon. And when the 11 and under class began, 2 little girls lost their eggs before they even got out on the rail, 2 more were out within the next ten steps, and 2-3 more as they made the first curve. But Katie was still on her game and heading down the straightaway at the far side. And then the last 2 girls lost their eggs., and I heard a scream. It was me.  Every girl had already lost their eggs, But not miss Katie,  she was focused and confused when the
Katie's first international - and she gets the
BLUE medallion for her outstanding egg
and spoon ride on Chico!  AWESOME!!!
announcer called for the line up. She had no idea that she had won already.   They called her number and she headed for the winners circle. She had to remove her helmet so that they could put her medallion around her neck. It hung to her waist. Then they gave her an egg on a spoon and made her do her victory lap with it. She did not dissapointment. She rode the entire way, all around the ring, and kept it on the entire way. And mind you, the victory lap was longer than the whole class. Lol.   Pictures in the winners circle with all of us. We all agreed we won't be able to live with her this week. But the smiles were worth it. 

So I started and ended my day with egg n spoon. Who knew.  Tomorrow will be my first class. It will be with Diva in western. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Shoes and fans.

The pretty drive up to Miller Coliseum - lined with trees
and white fences.  The arena in the background at right.
I woke early and slipped down to the hotel lobby for breakfast. The eggs and sausage helped wake me up. Then I grabbed a coffee and yogurt and headed for the truck.  While I have no classes today or tommorrow, I still had plans to Take practice rides in the big arena. They let you go into the ring and ride between the morning and evening set of classes and I've always found it helpful to let the horses experience the ring before they go in to show.

I stopped off at Walmart on my way to Miller, and picked up water, tea, and assorted sandwiches and quick meals. We have a mini fridge and I thought it would be good to stock it full, for keeping hydrated and fed when times get busy.  Then off to Miller to fill water buckets and toss hay for B and D. They nickered their hello's when I arrived and dove right into their morning meal. Just like I did with my eggs this morning. I'm pleased to see that despite the heat we all have our appetites. And the buckets needed filling twice during meal time. So I'm confident everyone is hydrated too.

At 930 I walked over to see Terry Moran, my tennessee farrier.  And he agreed to shoe both horses. Diva was first. And then B. I hung out and chatted up poor Terry the entire time. We told stories, laughed and he shared great shoeing tips.  What a skill, I thought as I watched him measure and effortlessly work his magic  What a great guy too. He's been ensuring diva was always shod compliantly since my very first year down here. So I was thankful he was able to do the shoes for me today too. I must say the job was perfect. A full show level treatment. And by noon they were both done with their manny panny salon appointments.

Front row - right across from the warmup and DQP.
We took advantage of the spot to hand the WWHA
banner.  Our group took nine stalls.
I couldn't wait to put his shoeing job to the test, and immediately tacked up B and headed into the arena. I  L. O. V. E. this arena. I am reminded every year when I first set foot in that dark red earth, just how much I love this arena. It is soft, loamy, and both my horses seem to deliver their best rides of the year in this red satin.  And today was no different.  B dug right in and just walked a hole in the ground. He was shaking and walking and he felt so good. If it wasn't so hot I would have rode him around that big ring a hundred times, maybe a thousand.  I exhaled and totally enjoyed every step he took.

Next up was Diva. But by the time I had her ready to ride, there was a clinic going on inside, and so I only got in to the warm up area. But that footing is the same and she seemed like she was happy with it too. Even her little ears were flopping. I had a few fast moments, but for the most part she was timed well and just did a nice flat walk. Carlan and Katie and Emily came in with Chico. And so we were riding around in the warmup area together. Other than one or two other horses that ventured in for awhile, we had the place pretty much to ourselves. I parked Diva in by Emily and asked if she wanted to take D for a spin?  Her face lit up and in less than two second she was up in the saddle and we were adjusting the stirrups to fit her properly. She did an outstanding job riding D. And for me it was great to watch her go. I never get to see her go. So I appreciated the opportunity as much as Emily did. And even D seemed to think it was a cool thing!  Emily beamed and said she loved her. And I know exactly what she meant. I love riding that mare too.

The Halo/me selfie -
in Halo's stall in the
Hannah Pulvers Stables row.
Then the moment I have been waiting months for happened. Halo arrived!  He's in stall 34.  And when I walked into the Hannah Pulvers aisle, everyone pointed to that stall and said that Hannah told them that was him, and to tell me the stall number when I arrived. :) how did she know I'd be obsessed to see him. LOL.   And what a pretty boy he is. He took my breath away. That tiny face, those dainty ears, that solid back and long legs. I opened the door and slipped in and he walked right over and sniffed me. And then he put his nose in my hand and it seemed like he was saying hello. And I smiled. Katie was with me and she reached up to pet his velvet nose and grinned.  I snapped a selfie and texted it to Scott. Oh I can't wait to see him move tomorrow. And maybe ride him too. Yeah!

The rest of the day was filled with bathing horses, helping hang stall fans for the HP row, and watching the versatility classes. A Mexican dinner with Carlan, and I was ready to hit the hay. Both literally, as in tossing it to the horses for their late munching, and figuratively now for me, as in pillow time.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

International 2014

Miller Coliseum is home to the
2014 WHOA International.
Hey everyone. Today I made my 4th annual pilgrimage to Murfreesboro, TN for the Tennessee walking horse International. I woke at 445am to do my final packing and ready the horses. This year I'm taking both Diva and Bourbon for the Amateur Owned and Trained (AOT) classes.  And by the amount of packing and double everything, I'm thinking the week ahead will be a lot more work than just one AOT horse. Just hay alone proved a bit of a space challenge. Not to mention bits, bridles and saddles.  But we pulled out by 630am and were on our way. Mostly due to Scott's help in ensuring we were all set. Love you babe!  Scott will fly down and join us later in the week and drive back with me.

The day's drive for the most part was pleasent and safely uneventful. We made good time with the minimum stops for gas and water breaks.  And thankfully my phone was ringing regularly, with great conversations to break up the trip and make the time go fast. Thanks to all my friends and MOTHER who checked in with me. By 530pm, we made our last left turn into Miller colesium and my heart skipped a beat. It is always so cool to turn into the grounds and drive up the white fence lined drive. It's big and awesome and welcoming, all at the same time.

Diva (aka I'm Demanding) has moved into Stall 18
for the big week of competition.
I parked and began to unload. Diva in stall 18, and Bourbon in stall 17. I like those numbers for some reason. They feel good. Especially that we have a lucky 7 in the mix.   We are in the first row facing the warmup. So it's very convenient.  Only steps from the DQP and right across from Bedford tack onsite store in a trailer. This should be good. Plus we have most of the row!  I'm next to Tami Steinbrecher and her two horses, plus Carlan is bringing her AOT horse for her daughters to show and Gale Zinter and Eileen Olson from Wisconsin are  joining us too.  So, we kinda have our own group all together.  I have a feeling it is going to be SO much fun this year  its like you can already feel the energy in the air

When I arrived my shavings were all down. Thanks miss Emily for having them fresh and ready for us!  B and D made themselves right at home, as the rest of us rushed around prepping the site. Fans, electric, seating, refrigerator, tack.  The list goes on. And it was fun, since I had so much help. Katie Livingood and Peggy Butler were down from Wisc to see the Twhbea versatility show and met up with me to provide a helping hand. And soon Carlan and her girls arrived and the party ensued.  Lots of sweat and dirt. But things shaped up quickly. Thanks so much to all of you for the helping hand. And Katie and Peggy it was so nice to see you in TN. Safe travels back north tomorrow!
Katie is a helpful hand to
set up, fill water buckets
and promote Halo with
her halo over her head.

After refilling water buckets I joined Carlan, Emily and Katie for dinner. I had this super yummy salmon salad with all kinds of healthy antioxidants atop. Healthy and tasty. To be honest I was so hungry, I think just about anything would have hit the spot.  But this did the trick and was healthy. Bonus!  

 I'm now checked into my hotel and will hit the pillow soon. I set the alarm for 630 and will go back to Miller for feeding and a farrier visit.  Plus I will see Halo for the first time since I bought him. Woot woot!!  Can't wait to see my baby boy.  He'll be with us all week in the Hannah Pulvers Stables aisle,  but we have yet to decide if we will show him this week.  There are a few 2yo classes so those would be the ones if we do.  But that is TBD.   Either way I'm excited as all get out.  All 3 of my show string are here in one place for a whole week.  H.  E.  A. V. E.  N. !

I'll try to keep everyone up to date via my blog this week. And yes I have my cell and keep the text messages coming. I am excited to see what this week of competition will bring. Wish us luck!  And I wish all those competing this week a safe, fun and successful week too.