lantairvlea: (bastek kunst)
Saturday was day two of the Roots N' Boots Rodeo. The ADHMA was invited this year to give a show/demonstration/expo thing on day two of the three day event. It flew by the seat of our collective pants and not due to weather (unlike the first time).

I have come to the conclusion that I need to just stop waiting around for anyone to contact me about these things and just need to step in and do it. Yes, Troy is the President and Jay the V.P., but I am technically on the show committee so that should mean I have some clout and say, right? Just because I am the same age as some of their kids doesn't mean I have to wait around for them to decide to do something, right? I can say "Hey! Let's do a meeting for this thing!" or "We really should get on about having a program for the show this year." and the like.

Anyway, Saturday dawned early and we fed the herd and finished loading up. Chris had taken Friday off to get things ready, but since he didn't tell me until Monday or Tuesday I didn't cancel or reschedule lessons (I had five). We did get time in to play with Ruby and Charm-N ground driving as a team again and loaded up the wagonette in the little red trailer among other things, but we didn't have nearly so much time together as I was running around doing lessons (two were off property).

Haley, the intern, was a good help throughout the day Saturday, even if there was quite a bit of hurry up and wait going on. Did I mention before that I picked up an intern from the same two year Equine Science program I went through? I did, and she's doing well I think.

We took Kitt and the forecart with the truck and horsetrailer and followed Chris who had the Whimobile and the wagonette in the little red trailer. Chris then went back to get Ruby and Charm-N as Haley and I lead Kitt around and got our bearings. The carnival rides were mercifully quiet.

Chris came back with the big girls and we started grooming up. I can't remember the exact order of everything, but I warmed up Charm-N in the forecart and was very pleased with how she did. While she wasn't completely loose and swingy in the walk the whole time she did walk for the majority of the time, which is a big change from her old "shut up and let me drive" mind set. She knows how to handle herself in a cart, she just doesn't always think she needs input from her driver.... I am also happy to report that she worked the whole time on the snaffle ring of her elbow bit with the low port. Up until this the last few drives under Michelle's instruction I have always worked Charm-N on some sort of leverage option either on the liverpool or the new elbow we acquired, but I think we have managed to come to a happy place where the leverage is not the go-to and we can happily work on the snaffle setting. Friday while we ground drove them Chris actually hooked her lines to the bitless bridle as a sidepull and she actually did pretty well with it. I have thoughts of acquiring a bitless driving bridle now for sheer curiosity's sake. Stopping wasn't the best under the sidepull option, but it was OK.

Chris hooked up Ruby and I tacked up Kitt and we cruised down to the arena to scope it out before the show officially started (bumped from a 9am start time to 10... ish.). Kitt was OK, though she did throw a few bucks on me. A little bit was nerves, some from the strangeness, some from the speaker noise, some from her not thinking she had to work so hard. She was really perturbed when Chris and Ruby left and I wouldn't let her vacate the arena. She finally settled and worked really nice once she realized that leaving the arena was not an option (even if the gates were wide open). I know there were spots that I could have handled better, especially when I realized I stopped using my legs at some point and guess what happened when I started activating them? She was a bit more obedient! Imagine that! Anyway, she got worked entirely in her bitless bridle Saturday from the morning warm-up to the breed demo that we did between the Unicorn hitch and the Four Abreast and the barrel race in the afternoon.

(Feel free to critique form. I know I am far away and there is a Clyde in the way most of the time [I was kind of hoping she would walk the horse around and not just stand in one spot...], but you can have at it just the same.)

I have some video proof of our demo ride. Chris hung out next to the in gate and shot it. Before I went in I had asked the lady with the Clyde if she wanted to join me as all three hitches were leaving the arena and I was thinking Kitt might enjoy the company. I was wrong. Kitt just needed to be told that the in/out gate was not the place to be and she then settled nicely. I even got her to gallop a bit and do some really nice halts. I haven't ever asked Kitt to go that fast before and she did it brilliantly once she realized that listening was a whole lot easier than arguing.

The show schedule seemes to fluxuate on Troy's whims. Did I mention that we had no judge? No placings, no ribbons, but also no entry fees so I guess it's all good.

I missed the Western riding class with Kitt because Troy had told us it was after the Street Cart class so I was with Chris in the wagonette waiting for the Street Cart class to start and then realizing that there were the Western riding people in the class... ah well. Ruby did great pulling the wagonette in the class, even with the carnival rides going full tilt (you see the ferris wheel and catch a brief glimps of one of the others, but there were four different spinning, twirling rides screaming people and all).

There was a lunch break in there somewhere and I got on Kitt again to hit the barrel race. No bucks during the barrel race (she did jump a pee spot another horse left coming to the third barrel) and she still had plenty of oomph and attitude to go. Kitt is in much better shape than I give her credit for with all the lessons she does. I had a lot of pony still left at the end of the day.

There was supposed to be a cart obstacle class, which we had hoped to run all three mares in, but it got nixed. There was also supposed to be a log skid, but that got nixed too because Troy forgot the log or didn't bring it. There was also no feed team race as Troy didn't bring the sledges (maybe a little too reliant on or fearless leader?).

Not that I want to harp on Troy or anything, but I do think that the club needs to decentralize a bit. Granted I do know that Troy probably has most of the experience out of everyone with his hitch that he tours with and demos all over the country, but he is a busy guy. He's also a good guy, but I do think the club needs to be able to function without waiting for his word on everything, even if he is the president of the club.

So we didn't get to do quite as much as we had initially hoped, but it was definitely better than the first time we were invited to Roots N' Boots! I do hope they invite us back again next year and hopefully we can all get our acts together (read: I finally step up and take some responsibility and help get the thing organized properly) and make it even better.

After the last class a crowd of us managed to get together and have a pseudo meeting. We talked about the fun trail drive coming up at the end of the month, the Equistar show in May that is supposed to have draft classes, and the possibility of shifting the yearly show to be with Equistar Show rather than the Equifest Expo in September like they did last year (heard it was quite a bust). I also brought up the possibility of a vehicle maintainence clinic, which they thought was a good idea and something to do towards the end of the year as it cools down again (bring your own vehicle! Pot luck perhaps?).

I'd have pictures, but I was too busy doing stuff to take any. I'll have to ask Haley if she took some and pester my clients who were there as well (had a half dozen show up I think).

Edit To Add: The bitless bridle functioned great. I did have a slighty issue with the noseband creeping down towards her nostrils at one point, but I only had to move it once during the whole day and I am not sure if that was due to her head-dipping threaten-to-buck shenanigans or what (probably). I did want to mention that the reins stayed as they should and the crown didn't get twisted at all on her head. I do think that the throatlatch attachment is what makes the difference in this function in steadying the pressure so the crown doesn't twist. Five stars.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
Saturday dawned early and muddy. I fed the herd and we made preparations. The cart was already loaded, but I had volunteered our poles and cones for the obstacle class. We loaded Charm-N and headed over.

Horseshoe Park was more of a mess than I had hoped and to add to that our arena had some alternate footing that they put in for some other event that doesn't absorb like their regular stuff does. It was a lake. Part of me can see why they swap out the footing to cater to certain events, but the storage of "extra" footing just looks sloppy and the fact that they're dragging the footing in and out of all of their arenas is just ridiculous. If it were me I'd designate one arena of "other" footing and just leave the rest of it alone. Anyway, our arena was a lake. The other outdoor wasn't as obviously bad, but they couldn't get the tractors in to work it either. The third outdoor was holding all of the cattle, sheep, and broncs for the rodeo.

It took us quite a while to track someone down for the stall we had reserved. We got Charm-N in the stall and pulled out the cart before we played the first waiting game of the day.

At the gate the lady had said that there probably wasn't going to be a draft show and thought someone should have called and warned us. We draft folk are made of tougher stuff and won't let an inch or two of rainfall dampen our spirits.

There was a "conviening of the minds" as Troy called it. There was a chance of us getting some time in the covered arena, but we weren't sure when or how. I ended up taking Charm-N back and picked up Ruby and Gypsy. The next conference occurred around our little work cart (which had a few admirers I might add) and we had a little more information. The rodeo people were predicting a break between 4 and 5 that would allow us to at least put on some sort of demonstration. The catch was we had to help break down the family/kid rodeo stuff (pig catching, goat dressing, mutton busting and the like). The thought was to at minimum have the breed showcase, barrel race, some driving class and a riding class. We were to reconviene at noon around our trailer again with further developments and thoughts.

I decided to throw in the towel on the driving classes with Charm-N so we loaded up the cart and took it home. I informed my students that there was still a chance of things happening, but we wouldn't know for sure until noon.

We pulled out Ruby and I rode her a bit. She was forward, but manegable. She really is an awesome mare. There was a lot going on even with the less than stellar weather. They had a carnival with swirling, swinging rides with lights, not to mention kids screaming as they spun around and upside down. We walked and trotted around as she absorbed it all.

Come noon we all regathered (I was still on Ruby). We were to have the arena between 3 or 3:30 and could be in there until 5pm so we had an hour and a half to run a handful of classes. We trimmed the list down to the breed showcase, barrel race, riding class (western, english, and youth combined), pleasure driving, driving obstacle, and the feed team race. I let Addy's family and Keara's know to be back to the park around 3pm if they were going to participate. Keara and company were going to hang around and Addy's would come back at the appointed time.

Chris and I went home for lunch before putting the first divider back in the trailer and grabbing Kitt. I had second thoughts about taking the mud pony. Her left side had a good inch or more of caked, dried mud on her. We took a good 20 minutes of currying to get her somewhat descent. We hosed her from the knees and hocks down. Wendy arrived as we were tacking Kitt up.I lunged Kitt before climbing on and heading over. She danced a bit on the line, but was good and light in the hand, a far cry from four years ago when she used to drag me around the arena!

Kitt was happy to see another Fjord and Flint, the grey dun gelding Wendy brought was even happier to see Kitt. Wendy brought a cart for Flint and she was anxious to see how he would do. He's been parades and other events in Montana, but this event was quite something else for sure!

We were expecting to have a good half hour to let them settle, but Muari passed by announcing they were getting the breed showcase underway at 2:40. Wendy and I headed down, passing the rather interesting array of things, from the broncs and cattle to tractors and other vehicles. As we went to come in they were bringing a squeeze chute out. They waited for us to enter, which the horses did cautiously. Kitt was fo rward and a little tense, but she only bunched once on me and did pretty well, even when the truck and trailer entered the arena and they started herding the sheep into the trailer. I kept Kitt close to Wendy and Flint, mostly to keep the Fjords together. Flint got a bit ahead of himself and away from Wendy at one point. He nearly brushed Keara and Gypsy and thankfully came back to her before running into a Clyde. Flint did fine the rest of the time and we finished our demonstration. Another truck came in to get more sheep as we were leaving. I guess they couldn't wait to start the breed showcase until everything was out or the rodeo couldn't wait for us to get out before they finished tearing down. One of the two!

We tacked up Ruby and detacked Kitt. Addy wasn't there yet, but showed up shortly after I put Kitt in her stall. I climbed up on Ruby (can still do it from the ground!) With the thought of taking her down for the barrel race and get her in the arena before Addy had to go. Turns out they ran the barrels in record time and the riding class was already starting. I waved Addy down and had them hold the gate as Addy jogged the last stretch and I gave her a leg up. Unfortunately Ruby took a step forward as I was getting her up there, but it was all good. I told Addy to just let Ruby move forward because she was a good lady and to "find a friend." She and Ruby trotted in and we had the fastest class ever. Trot in, walk, change of direction, then come to the stewart. Troy judged the class and Keara took third with Gypsy and Addy on "the little Belgian" took fourth out of the class of seven. Keep in mind Ruby is 16.3, but that is dwarfed by the 18 and 18.2 hand horses that the Parkisons and Thorsens have!

Addy was happy, she said she didn't have time to be nervous and was surprised at how brief it was. Our preparation was definitely more than adequate for what they were asked to do! Ruby stood stock still in the line-up and Gypsy did well for Keara as well, not so many circles as she and Keara were doing during the breed showcase earlier.

We stayed until the end, watching the cart obstacle and feed team race, missing the driving class while we put horses back. Of course we kind of had to stay as they were using our poles and cones.

Some of us didn't get to do everything we had hoped (like me running the barrels) because they pushed it so fast, but it was better than nothing that was for sure!

We'll see if the rodeo invites us back for next year. If they do we'll keep our fingers crossed for better weather!
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
We got more rain Friday afternoon. We got even more rain Friday evening.

We were soaked.

Horseshoe Park didn't do much better.

All but the indoor arena were toast. The public arena was a giant lake and the arena we were supposed to be in wasn't much better.

Long story short our seven plus hour show was condensed into an hour and a half. We had no judge. We had no announcer. We improvised.

I'll do details later. My students enjoyed themselves I think, which is really what matters!
lantairvlea: (Default)
It rained yesterday as we came home from the draft horse show meeting. It's raining again this afternoon and it looks like we're getting quite a bit more than yesterday. Our area just got a light sprinkling yesterday, other areas got more. Today it is compensating for that. I think it's been raining for close to an hour.

The draft horse show meeting went for about two hours talking about all sorts of things. I got myself in charge of redesigning the show entry form. Actually I placed the task on myself because the old one was pretty sad. We also talked about the class list, grounds fees (or lack thereof), volunteers, sponsors, and the mules. I guess the draft people, one of them specifically, have had some issues with the mule people. The draft portion of the club is much more active than the mule portion and I guess one mule guy didn't come through for the club and a few draft people griped about a mule smoking them in a few classses. I think they just need to hit the reset button with the mules.

I'm already thinking about next year. This is a bit of a reshaping year. The first three years were tied to the Festival of the Horse, which died this last year, leaving us on our own. One reason we've migrated to Prescott rather than staying out here.

So next year I'm thinking of getting things rolling and organized a bit sooner. That and also trying to push for both the draft ponies and mules. We are the Draft Horse AND Mule Association after all. The draft ponies, well that's my pet thing as I think it will help expand the base and I like draft ponies.

I think part of what needs to be done is focusing on draft type rather than the abstract "1500lbs" is a draft thing. Partly because we're not running around and weighing horses. I personally think that type is more important than height. That's part of the issue that I'm starting to see in some of the drafts. They get leggy and tall. Yes 19 hands is impressive, but a 16 hand horse of the same weight can pull as well or better and is much easier to put a harness on. Drafts were first and foremost a creature of function, not flashy.

Anyway, enough rambling. The next meeting is next month in about three weeks.
lantairvlea: (zetahra)
In some things it was bigger than last year, in others it was much smaller. Unfortunately one of our in-state big hitches had to sell off most of their hitch due to health and money issues so the hitch classes were smaller. We had a good amount of "local" people that showed up (i.e. club members and those in-state) and there was a good showing of youth in the classes, which was great to see. The Jr. Driver team class had SIX entries! I swear this one little girl must have only been about seven years old driving this team of horses, quite cool!

The barrel racing class was probably the biggest one out of any of them, probably fifteen entries or more, including some of the hitch horses being ridden bareback. My idea for a bareback class really hit it off and had six or seven entries (hitch horses and others!). The youth riding class had four entries, two of which were my students. They placed first and second! I'm so proud of them and the horses as well! The teaching actually does stick!

We only had one draft pony class and that was the halter class that Kitt and one other horse were in. A bit disappointing as my fellow Draft Pony promoter thought she had some 10 people bringing horses and it turned out to be just us two. We did have a Percheron-Haflinger cross show up for the barrel race, but I'm not entirely sure if that counts or not. Maybe next year we'll get some more of them involved.

Website for official show photographer who is still uploading photos. She's a member of the club and it looks like she's just starting her photo business. We entered Kitt, Ruby, and Zetahra in halter classes and Ruby and Charm-N were in the youth riding class. Three halter classes made for a busy morning Friday, plus I was looped into doing a brief breed demo with Kitt (I essentially just lead her to show her off while the announcer read a little blurp about the breed). I was asked to do it again Saturday, but declined, we were going to have our hands full enough with the students in the afternoon and wanted to be able to watch and enjoy some of the show ourselves!

Troy and others are working to get the results posted on the association website in the next week. We'll have our after show meeting sometime after Thanksgiving and then the planning begins for next year! We need to discuss dates, times, and if we want to keep with the Festival of Horses, try solo, or maybe see about joining up with the ADCS pleasure show.

Oh, other highlights included watching the team obstacle Friday evening and also the Feed Team Race Saturday evening. The feed team race was quite fun as they had two teams going at a time, racing both each other and the clock loading and unloading the hay (we offered some 2-wire bales, but they wanted to be tough and just use three-wire! It's a 75lb difference per bale!). A lot of fun to watch.

In other news Chris (ground) drove one of our horses for the first time! We pulled out Jed on Monday and the two of them toodled around the arena. Jed was perfectly content to walk along and even needed some slight encouragement to keep going. What a difference from a year ago when he thought he had to trot ALL the time! I don't know if he would have pushed into it had we attached him to the tire, but he was just perfect for Chris as the two of them tried to figure each other out.

I hitched up Charm-N to the tire for the first time yesterday. I haven't done any sort of driving with her since the first month we got her. She pulled off like it'd just been yesterday, what a good girl. She did want to trot off on me a bit (of course her trot is about the same speed as her locomotive walk) and wanted to fall in on the turns, but considering she hasn't been hitched to anything in over a year she was absolutely fabulous.

Oh, and I have to mention, Ruby did absolutely AWESOME in the show environment. We were under the covered arena and everything. She was nicely forward (moreso than usual), but under control. Moved when asked and stood stock still when required both during the halter class and the riding class with Kate. Charm-N also did quite well, though did start out a little nervous about the covered arena area. I was glad I at least had a few moments to lead her in and out of the gate before Keara went in for her class. She did canter when Keara first asked her to trot, but it was more of a thinking-she-had-to-go-faster thing than being a runaway. Keara was able to bring her right back down and after the first lap they both settled in nicely and just went to work.

And I should be off. There's more details here and there, but I don't have the time to get into it. You can find pictures HERE

By the way, I can't wait to have a cart and a horse and a harness that all go together!
lantairvlea: (Default)
I now have and iPad. I'm unsure of how that makes me feel and I have this sinking feeling that it might turn out to be a wonderful time-waster rather than an effective time manager. Mom decided to get herself a new one and She offered her old one to me (truth be told I don't think I'd actually pay money for one). I initially declined, but Chris said "Why not?" so we acquired it and have been fiddling with it off and on for the last few days.

It is nice being able to noodle around online without having to turn on my computer, but at the same time, it means I can wander about purposelessly with less actual effort, which I don't thing is necessarily a good thing.

Anyway, in other news the Draft Show is around the corner. Two weeks from Friday and Saturday. We're starting to make some serious preparations. I have two students in the Jr. Class and may have two in the warm-up class. Kate and Keara had their first prep lesson together yesterday and it went quite well. There were other people at the arena, I assume some drill team people practicing, they had a flag and everything and were cantering around with it. Ruby and Charm-N weren't bothered by it, but Charm-N did have a slight startle at some water droppers that spat and hissed a little as they warmed up. Both kids have fun and I think with the two weeks to prepare at two lessons a week they should be well ready come the show.

I'm working with Z to get her ready for the halter class. I also need to pester Kitt and get her prepared as well. In all we'll have four horses in the show. Chris will even take Ruby in a halter class.

Yesterday was spent in a mix of time with Chris and doing stuff related to the show. I called Jay in the morning and got some info squared away. Talked with Troy last night and got even more sorted and talked a little about the future of the show as well. Then I e-mailed Brenda and hopefully got the draft pony people sorted out and also sent out an e-mail out to check and hopefully sort out the volunteers. Now I just wait for responses.

Chris and I went and saw The Three Musketeers yesterday. It was pretty good, but I have to say the older one by Disney was a bit better I think. Part of what bothered me was the modern language and terms thrown about by some of the characters when it is obviously supposed to be a period piece. It did have some perks, though, like the fact that Dartanian's horse was either a Noriker or South German Draft. It was leopard-spotted and thick and had feather! Probably a Noriker because more of them come in spots. We won't go into the fact that they said it was a mare when it was obviously a gelding *cough*. They also had several big, heavy draft horses that, I guess, were Brabant, Ardennais, or Trait du Nord, all of which are pretty closely related. Big bay roan horses, just really neat to see, even if it is just in a movie.

And now I must eat something and perhaps get a small painting or two done,


Sep. 21st, 2011 06:55 pm
lantairvlea: (Default)
The weather looks like it might cool down again next week. I think I can finally call people and start getting a fall/winter/not-summer work schedule going and hopefully lift the income again. This summer has actually been quite good, actually and I'm hoping it will lead into a proportionately good in-season (as in AZ Summer is really the off-season for riding).

Saturday we're meeting up with the rest of the Draft Show Committee chairs and hopefully getting the final touches polished off on the show so far as the pre-planning stuff goes. I can't help but feel like I didn't contribute all that much, but being a first-timer and not quite linked in as the rest of them seem to be to each other I guess it's to be expected and nothing to get terribly concerned over. I think with me feet a little wet now I know what we need to do and get situated for next year to hopefully make it even better. Keeping in mind that this is only the third year of the show I think we're doing pretty good, especially since none of us are really "show" people to begin with!

I think I am going to make an effort to post some more art here, both finished stuff as well as sketches and works-in-progress. Let me know if the image sizes are too large, anything more than one piece will obviously be placed under a cut for convenience.

Speaking of the draft show this drawing is referenced off of one of the images Chris took of one of the unicorn hitches (three horses, two wheelers and a lead) at the first Draft Show.

Working on Nordland's face. I guess I could have made it easier on myself and done that "greyscale" thing with her, but I've never been much into that style of work. Of I could have just done her spots on an entirely different layer or something, but I guess I just like making it difficult for myself. That and I really get into the more "natural" flow of a painterly style and don't like relying on the digital shortcuts, though I know they'd make some things a lot easier it just doesn't have the same feel.

I don't know if this would have progressed faster as a traditional piece or not, but I think I'm over the "ARG SPOTS!!!" thoughts I was having yesterday ... for the most part. Just wait until I finish with the horses and get to the harnesses! You have a slight preview with Macht's collar there, but there's still quite a bit of work to be done on this thing. This is just a little larger than half of the working size. I've discovered I'm happier working digitally if I work BIG and can be loose about it as I don't have quite the patience and control as I do with traditional media (despite attacking both with equal abandon, something about the ability to "undo" or "erase" everything tends to create a block that isn't there when you're working more permanently).


lantairvlea: (Default)

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