There. I said it.

This whole prelim thing has been pretty enlightening in several ways. One of the things I have learned from this is I can accomplish goals. I used to think I would just quit when the going got tough, but it seems like I can indeed stick out and finish. So I am going to write down a seemingly impossible goal for myself:

I want to run novice with Knots in 2015.

These are some novice jumps the internet gave me:

17 - Oxer

12 - White Coop Brush

10 - Pine Hill Barn II

The height is up to 2’11” and 3’7″ with brush. Lets do this thing. God help us.

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Brrrr: First really cold front

Not too much to report here… just really cold for November in Texas. Normal highs in the low 70s. Currently 50s with some wind chill. The ponies of course decided to eat all their round bale right before the cold snap (supposed to be a low of 27 on Sunday, idk about wind). So we are blanketing AND buying square bales until the next rounds come in. I think we will have to start buying the rounds two at a time, so we don’t keep running out. I just hate being low on hay when its cold. I don’t care if the ponies are fat or not, I don’t want them to be cold…

cold ponies are cold

Monday Funday: Knots leads the escape

Mondays are always harder after a great horsey filled weekend. Nothing like going back to work to realize its more fun to be outside enjoying the perfect weather this time of year. Although, apparently there is a major cold front coming through, and the temps are supposed to be mid 30s overnight…frigid for BCS in November.

Luckily, we picked up a blanket for Jellybean during the tack swap in August (only 9 more months until 2015 tack swap!!). That saved us some dollars for sure. However, Gracie is a little bit bigger and she needs a blanket more then Jellybean will. Her new blanket should be here Wednesday or Thursday, so stay tuned for pictures.

Ahhh Knots. The escape artist. So when we moved into the paddock, everything was cool as we finished off the leftover round bale. Then the hay was gone, and the ponies got bored sniffing the dirt. Knots is exceptionally talented at escape, and Jellybean has pulled off some impressive feats herself.

When the paddock was “finished” there was one section with no fence… Just a diagonal support for the fence with a brace that was not securely attached. So Knots (although it could have been Jellybean too) knocked the brace off and walked over the diagonal wire. Grass, extra grain in the bucket… it was a solid escape. I imagine Jellybean followed him out. I eventually got a call that Jellybean had escaped and been found, Knots was MIA, and Gracie was calling for her friends in the paddock. Knots had ventured further to the grass then Jellybean, and he was eventually apprehended.

Onto part II. In this second image, you may notice a few things right away. First, there are boards on the ground. Knots is standing in the fence. There are some lead ropes tangled (haphazardly) around Knots. What you may not be able to see is the way his legs are inserted between the diagonal support and the lead ropes. He managed to get right in the middle. When I walked up to him I realized I needed to help him escape, and we needed to reimagine the fence solution.
The end of this story is that no ponies were injured in this adventure, the fence was fixed, and everyone is still trapped in their paddock 🙂 muhahaha.

Planning and Reviewing

Whew. The end of my school struggles (at least the big pressing ones) will be over November 24th. I will be finished with my preliminary exams, and I can mentally rest easy. The basal level of stress the last couple of months has been high. I initially decided to be finished by October 22nd, but some procrastination/miscommunication pushed the date back a month. Anyways, I try not to blow up my horse blog with too many work struggles, and so back onto the horse things. The end of some major stressors means I can get really excited about some competitions coming up.

So lets recap 2014 for Knots and I. I know, I know, 2014 isn’t really over yet.

High Point Derby was close, cheap, and simple. So we decided to school their xc course a few weeks before then go to the event. Well the schooling didn’t pan out due to repeated rain, but we showed up for a cold windy event with our game faces on. Jellybean live tweeted the event, which was summarized here.

As you may recall, we were eliminated at this show after dressage, since I jumped out of the arena. So we tucked that disappointment away and started focusing on our dressage skillz. More lessons.

Topsider Dressage Show
So we decided to go to a specific show to focus on our dressage and practice not jumping out of the arena. It went well! We won a first and third place, and posted some good starting point scores. We recapped the show here.

Pine Hill July
Our next and last show was Pine Hill! This was a real schooling horse trials and very exciting. We ran goldilocks, and managed to win second in our division. We mostly finished on our dressage score, adding just a few time penalties on cross country. A full recap is here. It looks like we never actually posted any pictures… but  can link some videos: Stadium and Dressage.

And that really wrapped up our intro year. Basically only three shows, due to money and time. I feel good moving up to BN (with some extensive conditioning) and I am pumped about what we are going to do next. I think I’ll add an addendum with the plans, because I am out of time!