Sunday, April 22, 2018

Mad Love for Harley Quinn

Over the past three months I’m Harley♦️Quinn or Quinn as we call her now around the barn, has been learning the ropes. Her prior experience was assessed at about.....umm, zero. So, Joe and Bailey have been working hard to simply get her broke.  Broke to stand to mount. Broke to the bit. Broke so she stops. LOL. And, so forth. Yep, the basics. But, she wasn’t even officially two those first 90 days - her birthday was April 15. What can you expect?  I kinda laughed, ‘cuz the updates and reports always included emojis of a hand slapping forehead ๐Ÿคฆ‍♂️ or laugh/crying๐Ÿ˜‚ etc. ๐Ÿ˜œ hmmmmm. Well, she’s not even two yet. ๐Ÿคท‍♀️  Lets take our time with her. So, slow progress was the goal.

Visiting with HQ. Mad Love!
I visited her in Feb and then again early April to see her progress. In Feb she was still figuring it out. However in April she seemed to be getting ahead. Joe mentioned that she really was starting to hit a nice gait the past two weeks. You could see a huge leap forward. It was really exciting to see her understand things. She was still unpredictable and learning, but the riding part was certainly progressing tremendously. Now that long stride seemed more purposeful. Me. I was simply tickled pink. Joe was thinking he may take her to a show soon if she kept advancing, he thought it might also help her get more broke.

On Friday I got a text. “We might take HQ to the walking for cancer show tomorrow, they have a 2yo class.”  But it was a big IF. They would ride her Saturday morning and decide and let me know. Late Saturday afternoon, as I was walking around the Midwest Horse fair in Wisconsin, I get a photo on my phone. It’s a picture of Quinn in the horse trailer on her way to the show. She looked like a big girl. All grown up. My little baby girl going to her very first show.  I had a small moment. Then my stomach started to hurt and my nerves began working over time. Omg. Her very first show. Her very first class. Her very first time. And I wouldn’t be there. ๐Ÿ˜”

HQ going to the show.
 The show started at five. I found out that they would be streaming the show live on reporTV.  It was after 4pm and I was still at the Midwest Horse fair with Lisa, Morgan and friends watching a demo. If I left by five I would be able watch her. Obviously I wasn’t going to miss this....and by 5pm I was in my car heading back home. It would take an hour to get home, but she was in class ten so that would be about 7 pm or so. I’d make it.

When I arrived home Scott was waiting. He had gone that morning to pick up our new car. And it was parked out in the driveway for me to see.  Of course we checked it out and I got the full tour. And then we went inside to logon to watch Quinn’s class. When I logged on, class nine was just starting so our timing was perfect. Scott got out his phone to tape the class. Then they announced Quinn’s class and opened the gate. Four 2 year olds would make the gate call. Joe riding Quinn entered last and the gate closed behind her. It was the honorable Sam Sorrell who would judge the class.

I was so proud. She came into the ring like a good girl, ears forward and alert. She looked great. Moving forward, striding unbelievably and that head nod. Up and down. Up and down. Oh. My my my. She looked really good out there! With two year olds, you never know what you’re gonna get. But she looked like she was having a great time out there.

They went flat walk and running walk. And then they reversed to go the other way. The reporTV video man did a great job showing each horse on the internet stream and included nice close up shots of each horse too. It was so cool to be able to watch her real-time during the class even though we weren’t there in person. Each time Joe and Quinn were on the screen they looked great. Nice clean passes. She was so upright and striding. I just squealed with happiness and pride. And Scott just kept saying how great she looked. We were both thrilled. When they called for the lineup I think we both breathed again for the first time that whole class. I said I think she looked great and Scott said, umm yeah!  And we laughed.
Baby girl’s first show. And it’s a blue debut. 

Then the announcer came back on and called number 315 for the win. That’s Quinn’s number!  Joe pulled out of the lineup and rode around to the winners circle. I screamed and cheered and couldn’t believe it. Scott grinned from ear to ear. We jumped up and down. Then we watched as Joe and Quinn made their very first victory lap.  She owned that ring like a boss!  Lol.

We got text messages and videos from Joe, Bailey, Julie and a number of friends. We were all on cloud nine.
Scott and I replayed the class and talked about Quinn. Mad love for Harley Quinn. She certainly is something special.  ♦️♦️♦️♥️♥️♥️♦️♦️♦️




Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Adventures of Harley Quinn Begin.

2018 begins an exciting new adventure.

My Christmas present from Scott was to select a new show horse. I’ve been searching off and on for almost a year. But, I think I wasn’t ready. My hope was cemented with Halo - my perfect dream horse. And while we’ve overcome many set backs with injuries I feared undoing the progress made by putting him back into the pressures of a high performance scenario. So, I refreshed my search for a new Tennessee circuit horse. 

I put my mind to it and got busy doing many things to accomplish my goal. I followed up on videos of horses posted on Facebook that caught my eye. I made many calls and PMs to let people know I was seriously shopping and to let them know my preferences. I kept updated on the progress of a coming 2 year old and kept tabs on a promising 3 year old that might be for sale. I made a trip here and there to see and ride a few prospects. It all can be fun and exciting, like a treasure hunt, but also daunting and stressful.  I had to be focused on what I wanted. Specifically. One’s too old. One’s not moving like the dream horse in my mind. Another sells before I can jump on it. Prices vary so much and some are crazy high. What to do? What to do?  Waiting. A lot of waiting. Hoping it’ll happen. 

But, I think you just know - in the moment. 
The new team.

It was a Friday night. We were at home watching a movie. And my phone buzzed. I ignored it. But it buzzes it’s persistent second warning and I figure a peek wouldn’t disrupt my movie focus. I reach for my phone and turn it over to look. It was a text and I could see a video was attached. I opened the text and played the clip. Seven seconds. I clicked replay. Hmmmm! I hand the phone to Scott and say, “you may like to see this one.”  He takes the phone, plays the entire seven seconds, hands my phone back to me and says, “buy.”  Simple. Just like that. We both knew. I text back - “call me, let’s make a deal.” The phone rang two seconds later and literally I owned the horse five minutes after that. Well, pending vet checks and paperwork. Before the movie concluded I had booked a flight and texted Jane to see if I could stay with her .....plans were set to see this new filly in person.

Hours later - my bags packed, I head for the airport. I’m so happy that Southwest has a direct flight now (right Cathy?), one hour and fifteen minutes after wheels-up in Milwaukee, we land in Nashville. Love it!  In fact, I can fly down in the morning and fly back late that night if I want. But I have three days here this trip. Time to see her, get a vet check and make the final call. 

Quinn on the cross ties.
I meet up with Carlan for breakfast on the square. At this point, neither Jane nor Carlan know I have a very specific horse to see on this trip. In fact, I have a few additional appointments set up to see some really good potential babies. Scott thinks I should get two anyways. I’m like, huh?  Okay!  Lol. So I’m keeping options open, and my excitement in check. Seven seconds of video could be misleading. I’m hoping not but.....so for now, I hold tight to my secret hope. After breakfast and a little shopping at Bedford Tack, we turn up the long gravel drive to my purposeful destination. As I drive along the stable, heart beating and pulse going crazy, I can see someone pull a horse off a trailer and walk into the barn. I wonder if that’s her, as she was being delivered here today. I park and turn to Carlan and say - “well hurry up, let’s go see my new Filly!”  She looks at me a little confused and then I see the realization come across her face as she smiles her excitement back at me. And we laugh and jump out of the car - now both of us with renewed purpose. 

As we enter the barn, Joe greets me with a grin and points to her in the cross-ties. “That’s her. She just arrived.”  My eyes turn to her and I take in her unexpected beauty. I literally catch my breath and squeal,”oh my, she’s so gorgeous!”  I actually had no idea what she’d look like. I had seen seven seconds of video. Maybe ten strides. I couldn’t tell if she had markings or her real color. So this was an unexpected and very pleasant surprise. She was perfect. Absolutely perfect!  Well, except for that crazy pawing and wide eyed look on her face. Lol. Poor thing. Welcome girl to a new adventure. 
Joe takes HQ for a first ride. 

Joe was already busy saddling her up and we ventured out to his round pen. Probably ten minutes after we both arrived he was in the saddle and showing us her unbelievable potential. Carlan said wow, she’s nice. I agreed. Yes. Yes. Yes. Green as ever and only about 20 months old, but everything she didn’t even know she was doing was wonderful. Well, except for the head tossing and wide eyed look on her face. Lol. Motion like crazy. Stride for miles. Reach in front. Upright in the chest. Everything in those seven seconds of video, was all here in front of me again. Yes. She’s perfect. 

A call to Dr Baum and a vet-check appointment was made. He even mentioned how pretty she was when he arrived. It does catch you by surprise. She’s a striking red head.  She has “It” factor.  She must get it from her daddy. Her daddy is none other than WGC Honors! And her mama is Ms Keeneland, another great show horse. In fact, her lineage is an amazing mashup of great show champions. This is why I keep pinching myself that this little filly happened to fall into my lap one Friday night. Thanks Joe. You outdid yourself for me. She’s beyond my dreams. Thank you. 

I was lucky to get the vet on short notice as we were dealing with the New Years holiday. He rearranged a few things so he could do X-rays and give her a full review while I was in town. He also had Joe ride her. While there were a few things Dr Baum noted in his exam, the basics all looked good. X-rays good. Check. Check. Check. 

The final details were to send in her DNA kit and the papers. Oh yeah, and write the check. A month later she was “officially” mine. 

So, welcome 2018 and to a mad new adventure. I’m super excited to present, I’m Harley Quinn.