Olympus Ranch Stables

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Final Five

It has been a couple days since I have posted. I am now enrolled in college! I spent the last few days getting all of my paperwork together (GI Bill) so I can use my military education benefits! WOOT WOOT! Classes start next month!

OK so on to the final day of the 5 Day Challenge:

21. Favorite classes to watch:  I love to watch ALL dressage classes. I am secretly addicted to USEF TV. At the shows, I like to watch the next level up from what I am competing at. (Training and 1st Level)

22. What's in your cooler at horse shows: Well, it kind of varies as to what is in my pantry but, hard boiled eggs, Gatorade and water are my staples. I also have sandwiches and carrots (for both me AND Varro haha) I like to bring pudding cups for a quick "pick me up" and at least 1 or 2 Cokes.

23. One thing about showing (or riding in general) you wish you could change: Dressage in not extremely popular where I live and have to drive at least 2-3 hours to the closest shows. I would LOVE to have at least a schooling show closer to home.

24. Your ringside crew: There is a group of girls that generally go to the same shows and we tend to support each other. We all haul separately but try to be there ringside when we compete. I adore my Horsey Girls and like to get together with them for group trail rides and cookouts as well!

25. Best Prizes: Well, when I first started riding English I went to a Hunters Show and made a clean sweep! I won a 3 hook bridal bag! It is awesome! It is hanging in my trailer and I LOVE it! Best Prize Ever!

Tomorrow I will post about my ride! After a week, the weather is finally warm enough to do a nice arena workout then a nice trail ride! New pictures of my Woobie in all his winter wooliness will also be posted tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

5 Day Challenge: Day 4

It is super cold this week and I don't expect to ride at all. So I will continue with 5 more tidbits!

16. One thing you'd like to change about your horse: Varro is expressive, dynamic and I just adore him. With that said I do wish he had just a little bit better work ethic. He is, despite his snort and blow, a lazy horse at heart. He will use all sorts of tricks to get out of working hard. Now, once he is working he likes to be challenged but getting him to that point can be frustrating.
Varro running with the Ladies with all his snort and blow!
17. Your horse's future: Woobie will be my baby until the day he dies! I plan to continue to dabble in the show world as long as I can ride AND afford it. Even though his primary purpose is to be my "Show Pony" I plan to do a lot of cross training with him and maybe even a parade or two!

18. Your worst show ever: I don't actually have a worst show ever. I have only shown Varro a handful of times. I have always left the dressage court ON my horse with NO bloodshed, so I consider it a successful show!

19. Favorite horse show venue: This is easy! PepperGlen in Norco CA. It is only a schooling show venue but it is a beautiful and well maintained facility. They have day stalls which you can rent and it is so nice for Varro to hang out there instead of being tied to the trailer. Their shows are always well run and most everyone to include the riders are friendly, helpful and supportive.
The beautiful Dressage Arena at PepperGlen
20. Your show day routine: Since I am a lower level rider, my classes are generally the first ones meaning I need to leave my place as early as 4am. Most of the show venues are about 2-3 hours from me. I do as much prep work the night before to make my morning go as smoothly as possible. Technically my show day routine starts the day before. Of course I wash and braid Varro and put a sheet on him to keep him clean but that only starts my prep work. I clean all of my tack and ensure the trailer is packed with all of my grooming supplies, hay and treats needed for the day. Then I ensure my clothes are clean and packed up. Lastly I pack my cooler. Show morning all I have to do is load Woobie and take off for the show.
Bathed and braided and ready to go
Once I get there I usually find the round pen first before anything. I round pen Woobie for at least 15 min, or until he gets his wiggles out then tack up. Depending on how long I have before I ride. I walk him around the grounds and let him eyeball the area all he wants. 20 min before my test I mount up and head to the warm up area and take him through his paces.  That is usually enough time to work past any arguments but not so long that he is tired. I love show days but they take a lot out of me so when I get home, I put Woobie away, clean out my trailer and go to bed!!!
Once we get home we are both tired and just want to relax!

Monday, December 9, 2013

5 Day Challange: Day 3

Here are more questions and fun facts about Woobie and me~

11. Critique your horse's conformation: I have been dreading this one. I am blinded by love and cannot see Varro's faults. LOL I will give it a shot but I welcome you to chime in with your opinions!

I just love everything about this boy! Varro is a Swedish Warmblood x Arabian and I think he got the best of both worlds. He has a nice topline but his withers are a bit high. He has nice neck and a pretty face. He could use more muscle in his chest but that is not conformation, it's lack of work on my part. He has some flaws but all in all I think he is a well put together horse.

12. Horse's favorite riding exercise: Varro likes to be ridden, he likes to be fussed over but do not confuse that with liking to work. He gets bored quickly in the arena so I need to think of things that challenge him mentally. He prefers a combination of trail riding and arena work. If I had to narrow it down to one thing, he likes to conquer trail obstacles but in the safety of the arena!

13. Favorite spa day products: I LOVE EZall Body Wash! It is so easy to use. Just spray it on, wait 5 minutes and rinse it off. It leaves Varro soft, shiny and gorgeous!

eZall Bathing Kit
14. Three best things about your horse: 1. I love Varro's personality. He is quite high maintenance but is very affectionate with me. My hubby does not like him and thinks he is quite the psycho. Admittedly he was when I first got him, a bit dangerous in fact, but we have made a lot of progress in the last 3 years and our bond is remarkable.
2. Woobie is fundamentally brave. He likes to spook a lot and snort even more, but in his heart he is brave and does his best to "protect me" when we are out on trail.
3. Varro is extremely smart and figures things out quickly. We have a lot of ground work under our belt and he naturally translates that to saddle time. I am so lucky to have him!
15. Favorite picture of your horse: Varro is such a ham, his personality is big and he just loves to be the center of attention. This photo is him to a "T" and is my absolute favorite!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Short Cold Ride

It is really pretty today. Just a light breeze (which was bitter cold since it is slightly humid out) and not a cloud in the sky. I had only one goal today: get Varro warmed up but not sweaty. Mission accomplished!

I did not do any round penning today. He was calm, cool and collected during the grooming/tacking up session so I knew he didn't need it...thankfully. When it gets this cold out I am very worried about him bowing/tearing a tendon if he "WAHOOS" around the round pen. I used my favorite pair of polo wraps (a present from hubby last Christmas) and his black dressage pad in hopes that the dark colors would help soak up some heat. LOL When I grabbed his bridle, I touched the bit and BRRRR! I thought, there is no way I would want this in my mouth so I warmed it up under my arm pit on our walk around the arena. The things I do for Woobie!

We did our warm up as usual and Varro seemed happy to just mosey around the arena. He had no interest in actually putting in any effort at all! We spent a lot of time walking, both free and collected then moved on to some trot work. I kept putting my fingers under his saddle pad and when I felt he was pretty warm, I called it a day. I wanted him warm, but not sweaty.

I love living in Southern California as the weather is quite temperate most of the time, but honestly, I wish I had a real barn. It is really cold right now and the Spring winds are horrible. I know that 4-5 weeks of the year of yucky, awful weather doesn't validate the cost of one but still....A girl can dream....

I want one like this!