Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Eventing Wonderland

Today I finally got home from my trip to watch the Carolina CIC.  From my first minutes in Southern Pines I was immersed in the eventing culture that we all love so much.

After a quick stop in Jacksonville to pick up my mother who was accompanying me on this trip we pulled in to Pinehurst dropped our luggage and immediately headed back out in search of food.   We intended to go to Chili's but accidently wandered in to Bone Fish Grill instead.  And man am I glad that I did.  Not only was it full of eventers, but just as we were being shown to our table Jimmy Wofford walked in! Then I had to try explain to my mother why I was practically bouncing out of my chair and craning my neck like a Justin Beiber fan who has just sighted the object of their obsession.

Ever try to explain to a non-eventer why Jimmy Wofford is a big deal?  It got complicated, but onwards with my story. After a good night's sleep Mom and I availed ourselves of the free hotel breakfast where I smiled over a parent's excitement over bringing their daughter all the way from Texas for their first 1*.

Then we headed over to the horse park.  After pulling out my fancy shmancy camera and some folding chairs Mom and I went over to start the day with show jumping.  As I am settling in to the bleacher seating I glance up and HOLY MOTHER OF EVENTING!  David O'Connor!  Again with the trying to look casual and still watch the eventing God.

Can you tell I've never been to a really big recognized event?  After watching some amazing show jumping Mom and I walked over to check out some cross country action.  Since my Mom's rhumatory arthritis makes it harder for her to walk and I didn't want my Mom witnessing a possible accident I plunked us down near the beginning of the course at the Stone Henge complex.

Loads of talented people flashing by on gleaming horses. I didn't get a whole lot of great photos from that position, too many things between me and the horses and because of the way the course ran it would be almost impossible to stand anywhere safetly.

Sunday dawned colder but the rain was supposed to hold off until the afternoon.  More free breakfast then off to the horse park.  The day before my mother had overhead the announcer talking about a rider who had gotten ditched in to the water jump. "I want to see that!" She exclaimed.  Seriously? I've created a monster.  So Sunday we found ourselves a spot by the water jump.  But I soon realized that the spot for spectators was great for watching but sucked for photos.  Looking around I spotted a couple of professional photographers and being bolder than I normally am made my way over to hang out with them.  Two of the ladies were from Brant Gamma photography, the other was a hobbyist with an awesome camera that I grilled her about.

Again tons of fantastic riders and lovely horses doing their thing and making the water complex look easy.  Not only did I see my most favorite rider Sinead Halpin galloping past but Karen O'Connor and Marilyn Little.  Through out the day I also spotted Ryan Wood, Buck Davidson, Sharon White, Charles Plumb, Doug Payne, Michael Powell, and jeez too many eventing Gods and Goddesses to count.

The whole experience was one I will always remember. The staff were friendly and helpful, the venue was great, the food was excellent and you can't fault the scenery.  Below are some of my favorite shots from the weekend.  Enjoy and keep it between the flags everyone.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Star Struck

I had a few minutes down time at work and decided to cruise over to the Entry Status on the Carolina CIC*** page just to see which riders were going to be there. Can you tell how excited I am!

I was scrolling through the list and saw not only is Dom Schram(SQUEEL!) going to be there, love his and Jimmie's videos, but my long time idol, the one and only Sinead Halpin will be there with the phenom New Forrest Pony, Forest Nymph aka Farrah, but Sinead will be riding Manoir de Carnival aka Tate in the ***

HOLY GODS of Eventing!!  I have followed Sinead's career since I saw her on an episode of that short lived eventing series on HRTV. But I've never been able to make it to an event where I might actually see her ride without a TV or computer screen between us.  I am soooo excited I can barely stand still. 

There will definitely be some photo stalking and if I can get a chance to have my photo taken with Sinead, or lets face it I'd be just as happy with Tate, I think I could probably die a happy woman.

There will be lots of other famousy eventers there, Kim Severson, Doug Payne, Will Faudree, and what's that guys name again? Oh yeah Boyd Martin.  I cannot wait for my adventure to begin! 

Until next time I am definitely doing a happy dance between the flags! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Look Its Spring...No wait

And yet another try at riding Fox goes awry.  This past Saturday I had to work so no riding got done, though I did stop at the tack store on the way home and indulged in one of my obsessions, horsey socks.  I've become quite the conniseur over the years and I have my favorites but I'm always willing to try some new brands.  I picked out a fun pair to wear at the CIC*** in a few weeks, and a more working pair.

Sunday superhubs and lazed around in the morning ate blueberry pancakes and generally did nothing until noon.  At which point it was warm enough to pull the horses blankets and let them be naked for the day.  Superhubs and I pretty much finished the new run-in shed although Cowboy will be enjoying the sole use of it until his head has healed. 

Which is where the major issue of the day originated.  When Cowboy got hurt I shifted Fox over to Seneca's pasture.  I did not want to do this.  Even only sharing a fence line my two OTTB's are far too attached to one another. But it hadn't been a problem before.  Well Fox having been living with Seneca for nearly two weeks has decided she is the sun, the moon and all the stars.

So when I decided to ride Fox yesterday as it was nearly 70 degrees and there was snow and more crappy weather forcasted for the rest of the week he pitched a royal fit.  He screamed, she screamed, she raced up and down the fenceline despite Cowboy being in the pasture right next to hers.  At one point I had to turn Fox loose in one the empty pastures so he could tire himself out.  He raced around like a maniac for ten minutes then stared longingly at the other horses.  I forced him back to being tied at the trailer and when he still wouldn't behave I got the chain shank out and we took a little walk where I made him pay attention to me. 

At this point I knew I wasn't going to ride him that day and even lunging would have ended in an ugly argument.  But I didn't totally give up. I made Fox stand at the trailer while I pulled half his mane(something I've needed to do for awhile since he, like Seneca, has wild, thick, jungle mane) and afterwords we practiced his trailer loading skills.  Then I tossed him back in the pasture where he paced for a little while before settling down.  If the weather weren't so freaking crappy I'd put him in the furthest pasture from Seneca and leave him there until he remembers that the human is to be respected and life will not end if we lose sight of the mare.

Which is exactly what I will be doing as soon as the weather clears.  Solitary confinement may seem mean, but its better for both myself and Fox.  I have no tolerance for a herd bound horse and he absolutely wasn't like this when he was pastured with Cowboy.  So I know he can put his big boy pants on, its making him realize that he needs to that is the problem.

I made my hotel reservations for the CIC*** YEA!  And though my two friends probably won't be able to go I invited my mom who, though not a horse person, seems excited by the prospect of spending time with me.

Keep it between the flags everyone, even if they are encrusted with snow!