Thursday, June 26, 2014

Non-horsey update: Hannah

Hannah is truly the love of my life. I am having the best time being a mommy. Today we went to the YMCA and I took her in the pool for the first time. She LOVED it! She was kicking her little feet and splashing the water with her hands. Another kid kicked water in her face (not intentional) and she didn't seem phased in the least.

We had a little photo session outside because I was getting depressed that I was always the one taking the photos, and I didn't really have many good photos of myself with Hannah. It's mostly because I am so tired all the time that I don't have energy to put on nice clothes and dry my hair and put some makeup on. Thus, I'm not all that eager to get in front of the camera looking tired and frumpy!

I had an interview so I had to get dressed up and look somewhat decent, so I asked Kenny to shoot a few photos for me. He did an amazing job and I will cherish these photos forever.

I love Cairo's defiant look here

This week's Lucy update

Lucy has been a busy girl. She went to a schooling two-phase over the weekend. The dressage "left a lot to be desired", as Morgan put it. I laughed...I speak Lucy-ese well enough to know that means Lucy was a bad girl. Morgan said it just wasn't her day and she felt very tense. However, in the jumping phase, she was excellent and the most rideable that she has been over a course. So that's great news!

Yesterday I went to Apple Knoll again to see her jump in their jumper night rounds. Morgan decided to skip 2'3" and go straight to 2'6". She warmed Lucy up just lightly, and then let her chill out while they waited for their turn in what ended up being a monster of a class. Seriously, it took over an hour and a half to get through all the 2'6" rounds. Lucy stood there half asleep on the buckle, a hind leg resting, not caring about anything. It was good for her to relax because when it was her turn, she was very chill (for her) and did a super job. Morgan was very pleased!

Here is the video:

They didn't place but jumped clean and Morgan felt that was one of her best rounds so far. Check out that super handy turn during the jump off. FANCY!

Next was 2'9"and thanks to just doing the 2'6", Lucy was quite awake. She sure enjoys herself when jumping lol. Morgan did a great job. One thing I can clearly see improving is Lucy's willingness to come back underneath herself if she gets strung out. When I tried jumping her, she'd get so strong and strung out and when I tried to package her back together a bit, she would just get pissed off and that's when the tantrums would happen. I saw none of that at all this week, which was refreshing.

She is also getting very careful with her feet; not like she was disorganized before, but it's like she's making a connection between speed and her ability to get her feet out of the way of the poles in time.

This was another big class with some very competitive horses, but Lucy took home 7th place!! I was so happy for Morgan.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Jumper Night

Lucy went to Apple Knoll Farm for their weekly jumper night, held every Wednesday throughout the summer. I used to go to it with Dreamer way back in the day, probably around 2002/2003. It was always a lot of fun and I was excited to take a trip down memory lane when I went to watch!

Kenny, Hannah, and I got caught in a bunch of rush hour traffic, which meant we got there just in time to watch Lucy walk out of the ring after she jumped :( I was so bummed, but then we caught up to Morgan and she said I had only missed the 2'3" class, and she still had the 2'6" and possibly 2'9" to do!

Lucy had been kind of a huge brat in the 2'3" class so Morgan took her up to the schooling area to work on a few things. Lucy did improve slightly, but she got hotter and hotter, and in the end Morgan decided to just let her chill out for a while, since schooling her to quiet her down was having the opposite effect.

in the schooling ring

bad horse...

just chillin' as dogs, kids, strollers, 4 wheelers, and other horses go by

They hung out and waited for their turn in the 2'6" and then Lucy went in and kicked butt. I was beaming from the sidelines watching her cruise around. Was it the most beautiful, fluid jumper round ever? Hell no, but she was fairly obedient, was totally game for the jumps, and clearly had a great time. Morgan rode beautifully and I was just so pleased. She had figured out very quickly that she couldn't hold Lucy, because then Lu would get very ticked off very quickly, and that's when the antics started. I knew exactly how Morgan felt...when riding Lucy to a jump, it's basically barely controlled chaos. I always felt like I was handing my life over to this horse, who hadn't exactly proven to be the most trustworthy animal ever, but if I tried micromanaging her, she was way worse. Morgan said exactly that; that she had to just let go and trust that Lucy was going to make the right decision. It's scary to let go like that but that just goes to show you that I truly sent Lucy to the right place.

Lucy and Morgan in the 2'6" class

2'6" jump-off

Morgan's student was also jumping so we watched her 2'6" round, and then they both hacked around on a long rein before the 2'9" rounds. Morgan told me that was her favourite part about Lucy. No matter how bonkers she is when she's working, all you have to do is drop the reins and let her walk around and she will do so with happy floppy ears, not a care in the world.

just walking around the parking lot waiting for 2'9"

The 2'9" class was even better than the previous one, probably because the height prevented Lucy from bombing around like she wants to do. She had to actually think a bit, and use herself over the jumps. She jumped clean and aced the jump off, and ended up in 7th place in a rather large class! Again, I smiled so hard my cheeks hurt. I was so proud!

Overall, the day went better than I could have hoped. The icing on the cake was watching Lucy calmly walk on the trailer with absolutely zero hoopla. You go girl.

girl power!

Lucy has a girl crush on her travel partner, MB. MB is not pleased.

by Lu! I will see you soon.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Show report

Morgan told me that Lucy did quite well at her 2 phase on Sunday! She had a 7:30am dressage test, which IMO is kind of horrible for a Sunday show, but they must have had a lot of entries. Lucy went around a bit tense, but she was mostly obedient and tried to do the right thing. I got to see a video of her test and to me, she looked a lot better than any dressage test I ever rode with her, so I was happy!

In the jumping phase, she had one refusal that left them in 11th place, but, Morgan said that overall she was very happy with Lu. I think that after essentially having a year and a half of little to no work, Lucy has handled this abrupt change in her lifestyle with a lot of class. She loves having a job and that work ethic is helping to make the best of her time with Morgan.

Also on a positive note, she stood nicely on the trailer between the dressage test and her jumping round and ate hay like a lady.

I was on Block Island with my family and friends for a wedding. Here is a cute photo of little Hannah wearing some cool shades:

While we were there, we rented a moped. It was no Harley, but it was a blast to tool around on.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The First Visit

On Tuesday, Kenny, Hannah and I went to MA to see Lucy. I felt like I was going to visit my kid at boarding school, which I guess is essentially what I did. Morgan was already riding her in the outdoor and we watched her school Lu. Lucy seemed so happy and looked fantastic. Her dapples are outrageous!! That horse sure got some great hair genes.

Morgan has been focusing on getting Lucy to relax over her back. I already see a lot of improvement! Lucy needs to build a lot of strength before she can carry herself for an extended amount of time, but there were many glimmers of greatness in this ride, and it had only been about a week. Morgan is so pleased with the progress so far. She is taking Lucy to a little schooling event this coming Sunday, then they're going to do Apple Knoll jumpers next Wednesday, then another event the following Saturday, and then another trip to Apple Knoll the following Wednesday! I don't think I did that much stuff with Lucy in a whole year! Haha. This is such a GREAT opportunity for Lu. I am so pleased. I can't watch her this Sunday because we will be at a wedding, but I am going to do my best to make it to the jumper shows and the Orchard Hill event.

doesn't she look wonderful?


It was sooo hot and lucky Hannah got to hang out nakie (with a diaper) in the barn