Hey All!! I have been keeping my side hustle quiet on the blog because this isn’t the right venue for it, but I’m making an exception today.
It is Veteran’s Day and while I don’t have any veteran or active military family members, I’m pretty passionate about supporting those who choose to enter the service and risk their lives for our freedoms. Say what you want about today’s politics and our country, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else and I think we are all pretty damn lucky to be here. Those freedoms we all take for granted? They were won in blood.
As a way to try to give something back to those who have made this choice for me, I’m donating all proceeds on any sales made through my link today until midnight. I’ll make the donation tomorrow to the Gary Sinise Foundation which supports active duty, veterans and first responders in a variety of meaningful ways.
These nails have been the only way I can justify having pretty nails. They are inexpensive, really pretty and last 1-2 weeks depending on how hard you are on your hands. You all know my life and I get 2 weeks with anything with glitter and 1 week with solids unless I put the Clear As Day clear top coat strip on top. then I get 2 weeks from the solids as well. Packs range from $11-14, there is a Buy 3 Get 1 Free sale at all times, and you’ll get 2 manicures or a manicure and a pedicure out of a single pack.
I make 25% on all sales and every single penny made today will go straight to the foundation. This is me personally doing this.
With Christmas coming up, these make excellent stocking stuffers, secret santa work exchange gifts and filler gifts for those you want to do something special for.
Sitting in lectures this weekend for my continuing education requirement and something struck me. A surgeon was discussing a new technique to fix fifth metatarsal fractures through a percutaneous incision and said “anytime you learn a new procedure make sure you ask them what the rookie mistakes are” and I thought “huh”.
My first HT is in two short weeks. It is not optimal to be sitting in another state right now instead of riding but if I don’t get these hours I don’t renew my license and then I can’t afford to show at all so….life. I’m plotting ways to sneak in both another xc school and riding in a real dressage ring for the first time prior to the show. If not then when’s a better time to run through your dressage test for the first time than at the show itself??
As I’m sitting here, I’m wondering what are the rookie mistakes at a HT? Throw them out there please!
I should clarify some things. We are running tadpole which is BN A dressage, 2’ stadium and 2’ xc with a 300 mpm speed and 4 mandatory fences with all others being BN and optional. This is in my wheelhouse as far as complexity and training goes. Trainer AB will be there for me to help with my warm up (from the ground, she is not permitted on the horse once the show officially starts Friday night) and walking courses and will give me a plan of attack for all phases.
My only goals for this show are to complete all three phases and to capture that feeling I had at the jumper show of having the time of my life. Otherwise why bother? My life is stressful enough. My hobby must be fun.
So….outside of the above what are some rookie mistakes you’ve made or seen others make at their first HT that maybe I could prevent with some knowledge? Funny, helpful anything you can think of please!
Saturday morning I woke up to a dark, cold and eerily quiet house. It was the Hubby’s Saturday to work, but usually Wyatt is up and already talking a million miles an hour. After peeking in his room and seeing him not there, I called Hubby. Apparently Wyatt woke up Saturday morning telling Hubby he wanted to go to work with him. Huh. When I hung up I was still in my pajamas and it was 7:31 am. I looked around the house thinking about the free morning I now randomly and unexpectedly had. I knew of a local schooling show happening that day. Go or stay home? At 8:04 am I was pulling out of my driveway with Eeyore tacked and loaded in the trailer. Don’t ask me how I managed that.
The rest of Saturday was spent in bliss. Well, with some boredom mixed in as I waited an eternity for my classes to come up. That could have been abated by not showing up at 9:15 am when my first class didn’t go until 12:30 pm, but I had reasons for wanting as much time as possible at the venue. And at a hunter jumper schooling show you have no idea when the classes are going to depending on how many show up to compete.
Eeyore was absolutely amazing all day long. He handled the warm up really well with only one early temper tantrum and a little bit of distraction with the happenings outside the ring. Really the only time he got nervous was when a guy walked by pulling the squeakiest wagon on earth along the longest path possible. Even I wanted to stab my ear drums out with pencils by the time the guy stopped freaking moving.
After getting on and warming up, we stood at the trailer for a couple of hours, then I got back on to warm up again and wait by the in gate for our turn. There were horses and kiddos everywhere with kids hopping on and off, riders thrashing whips around in boredom, lots of tears as people left the ring with performances less than their expectations, and mild chaos and do you know what my Big Orange Butthead did? Well, besides sidle up to the awards table and try to eat the ribbons? He napped. As I sat on him not wanting to get off and back on yet again, he dozed in the sunshine. My heart melted right then and there.
My first course finally came up as the 11th class of the day and was an easy loop along the outside four cross rails, twice. Outside line, outside line, repeat. It was a nice warm up round to test him entering the arena to work alone after dozing.
The trip around was mostly uneventful and we left all the poles up. I laughed out loud after fence four when Homeboy slammed to a walk thinking we were finished and then got all surprised when we did the four fences all over again. Sorry Buddy!
But we were clean and ended up with a second place! His first official show ribbon!!
Then we went back to wait by the in gate amid the chaos once again. My next class was 15 and in between there were a few flat classes that went on forever and two sit a buck classes as well. Eeyore went back to sleep.
My second class was another hunter round this time all set as verticals and with the diagonal lines added in. We entered and he was much more aware of what was expected of him and went to work much quicker. I still let us coast to the first fence, but he took it no issue and off we went for a fun round.
We trotted a few times and weren’t very hunter-y so didn’t place but he never said no and he went clean and I was very happy with that.
Thankfully my last class was right after this one and I was fourth to go, so we went back in fairly quickly. This was a jumper round and the course was a bit funky looking on paper with some nasty tight turns, but I figured at 2′ I could walk the lines if need be.
Eeyore entered ready to go. Since we had just run a course and everything looked the exact same, he pretty much figured he knew where we were going. Sorry big guy, but this was a different course. He locked on to the wrong jumps a number of times, but he was willing and we both had a complete blast out there.
And you know what? We rocked it!! We cantered 90% of the course, took the turns sharper than I would have in the past and I had a face splitting grin the entire time. I realize we weren’t really flying but it felt like it at the time and I was having the time of my life out there. So was Eeyore. It was the best 1:38 I’ve spent on a horse in my entire life.
Unfortunately M had some technical difficulties so you don’t get to see my best round of the day in full but here are the first 5 fences that she did capture.
I stuck around until the end of the class juuuust in case and ended up with 6th in a field of 13. I was thrilled!! After that I packed up and headed home. We had been there for five hours for three classes. It was a long but glorious day.
I just…. I just can’t put into words how amazing this show was for me. Spending five hours with Eeyore let me bond even more with my goofy oaf of a horse. I had three clean rounds around three different courses and came home with two ribbons. I never once felt fear. Even my nerves stayed at home and all I did was go in and have the best time ever. Having snuck this show in I feel way more prepared for the HT now and am loving this horse with every fiber of my being.