Sunday, April 15, 2012


So I found out that a good friend at the barn and her partner are going to ROLEX! Why? TO WATCH HER FORMER STUDENT! And when I say "former" I mean "she taught him most of his dressage skills". Yay Meg! Like I told her, "It takes a rockstar to know a rockstar."

So, if y'all could please cheer on Clark and Loughan Glen as they compete at Rolex? I wish them the best!!!

Yeah, I can definitely see Meg's hand in that pair of awesomeness. So much to learn from her.

Greta meets sheepskin....

Mudder this is my Y U NO BRING TREATS face! I'm too stinking cute for this nonsense!

STOP STOP STOP! I must smell this strange new material before you place it on my back. I shall smell it INTENSELY and SEVERAL TIMES.

This smells like sheeeeeeeep. No wonder you could never go vegan Mudder. Ooooh, wait, my back LOVES this sheep stuff. NEED DIS.

That Micklem bridle that I would LOVE to write a review on if we did more work in it. I swear to you guys,  when I can work more in it, then I'll tell ya how I like it. I do like it, but I can't say I can be too accurate right now.

Mudder this is my SEXY look. Victoria's Secret is always looking for models. I THINK IT SHOULD BE CALLED GRETA'S SECRET FROM. NOW. ON.

Apples nom-nom

(my ears weren't pinned, I had just finished shaking a fly off my head. I don't get foodles for my noodles if I'm mean about it)

Working Equitation and Haras Dos Cavaleiros at The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

I have had the fortune to meet Rafa and Carmina Zamorano in person and they are really lovely, down-to-earth people. I had no idea the chaos they had gone through in Mexico nor their journey here in Texas. I have never been to their facility, but OMG IS IT NOT GORGEOUS?!

Pin Oak is one of the largest H/J shows in Texas. Located in Houston, most of the proceeds go to benefit Texas Children's Hospital, the Houston Ronald McDonald House, and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance. Let's just say I'm happy to see Haras Dos Cavaleiros be one of the main sponsors of this show.

And I am also very happy to see classes like Working Equitation begin to show up. Like the Hunter Derby and Sporthorse Versatility classes, they require a horses and riders who are NOT arena-pampered, and THAT MAKES ME SO HAPPY.

So what is Working Equitation? It's like an American Hunter Derby class (notice I say American, because hunters in the UK is the equivalent and more of a hunter derby class... their horses and riders are being tested for their ability in the hunt!) but for dressage horses. It started in the Spanish breed shows, and showcased the training required of these breeds to work on the ranch and in the bullfighting ring. Dressage Working Equitation is modified to make for a less-strenuous test, usually with minimal or no obstacles, and is similar to a lower-level Sporthorse Versatility or Prix Caprilli class. What they will offer at Pin Oak, though, is very much like a Spanish breed working eq class, just slightly more accommodating and costumes are not mandatory.

What does a HARD CORE working eq class look like, you ask? Observe this chunk of awesomeness and WHAT IS THIS A GENUINE ALL-AROUND ENGLISH HORSE?! I should love to see a Lusitano in eventing. I think they could really rock it, at the lower levels if nothing else.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

CRAZY 1967 Grand National Video

"Foinavon Wins Grand National after Huge Pile Up Causes Race Shambles (1967). The 1967 Grand National was the scene of one the most notorious pile ups in Grand National history. Foinavon had odds of 100/1 to win the race. Even his owner Cyril Watkins did not bother to attend Aintree because the chances of a win were wholly improbable. As expected, Foinavon did not play a competitive part in the race until at the 23rd fence, a loose horse cut across the riders causing all the horses to either fall, unseat their riders or refuse to jump. Foinavon and his rider, John Buckingham, are so far behind that they manage to bypass the shambles, jump the fence and take a lead of 200 yards. Although most riders were able to remount, no one managed to quite catch up with horse and rider. Sadly no owner or trainer were in the winners enclosure to congratulate them!"

This plays out like a movie! CRAZY! And I imagine the look on the owner and trainer's faces when they got a call saying "By the way, your horse won the Grand National".

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oliver 4-9-2012

Video from lesson on Monday. Ollie is drastically different from riding Butters, and I like it. He does not have a smooth round jump, and would rather rush fences versus sputter to a halt or straight out refuse them. Keeping him consistent to the fence is key, and staying with that jump is very good too! I re-learned about the magical world of mane-grabbing... it saved my butt and Ollie's mouth. The first few fences (NOT shown in the video haha!) on him were probably the worst I've ever done: I got horribly left behind and popped him in the mouth, poor guy! Thankfully it was reversed by the end of the lesson. He is also much more forgiving and tries a lot harder than Butters. Don't get me wrong, I like them both... but if I had to choose favorites, well, y'know....

I love learning on different ponies!

Greta has been quite well lately, still not too happy about the lack of a real job ("MOM walking around is NOT work!" If only more people shared the same mindset!) but happy enough nonetheless.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Greta lately...

...she has been enjoying the daily spa treatments so far. Although she still acts like she wants to do work-work again. In time, pony, in time.......

The daily routine pretty much consists of bringing her up, and first thing I do is a quick brush off of her back legs and clean her hooves before putting on her BOT quilt wraps. They did awesome things when we used to use them, and I wish I hadn't stopped. They're a must now.

She gets a gourmet dish of electrolytes, B-L pellets, her antihistamine pill (for her seasonal allergies that cause headshaking... WORKING WONDERS!) and some feed to mix it all up in. Because she's out in a pasture, then I have to give it her so I know she gets it and not other ponies. She gets a good grooming (shedding now, finally) and a warm wet towel on her eyes because they're all puffy and drippy with allergies now, much better though than if she wasn't on her pill.


The wraps stay on for an hour to two hours. I'm working her back up to the six hours or so we used to keep them on. I left them on her in the small pasture for an hour for the first time today, and no problems occurred. They're velcro, so if they get caught, she could easily get of them. One of the big reasons why I chose them over the BOT standing wraps. That and these are more user friendly for when BO put them on overnight. She can do awesome standing wraps, but this makes it so much faster. Also, they go down around the fetlock area. Can't always do that with a standing wrap.

Anyway, they seem to be working. Back On Track = freaking awesome.

Then I do whatever I need to do while she grazes or is turned-out. If there's no activity at the barn and I'm doing something where I can stay close and watch her, she pretty much is allowed to be a lawn-mower. And she comes when called. Seriously, I love how far my pony has come.

Le muscling is le gone. Sigh. Oh, well, at least she hasn't lost weight. Yeah, and I realized after this picture that the wraps were on wrong. They were fixed.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Question for the Readers: Cesar Parra Abuse Case

Yes, apparently Cesar Parra, renowned dressage trainer and Olympic US Team gold medalist, is involved in a particularly horrendous and sketchy abuse case. I say sketchy because, well, we only know one side of the story, and that is the owner's side.

I got this bulletin from a trainer friend who is well-known and practiced in the central Texas area. He's kind of awesome. I'll keep him anonymous, but he did have a very good point when several people attacked professional trainers in general, although this specific comment as you can tell was aimed against Parra's potential practices:
"I see it different. I am glad I have the luxury to be able to choose who I work with and only have clients that care foremost on the well being of their horses. The pressure from some horse owners to make a diamond out of a rock is pretty common and some trainers give in to that pressure instead of being honest and say the truth. Not every horse is Olympic material. I could not work in an environment where winning is above the welfare of the horse and its well being."
I agree with his position on the pressure of the business, especially at such a high level as Parra was at. I also agree with what he (and so many trainers) has told me many times: there is never an excuse for abuse, no matter what the level or stakes.

Now, read the actual article here:

My personal feelings? I had always thought Parra was amazing. This is appalling. While I'm sure it could have been a horrible accident, something about it angered enough people off that it has been taken to Superior Court (but then again, all it took was one angry woman to sue McDonald's for hot coffee... honestly, I don't care if there was no warning and it was in fact too hot, I would never put a thing of hot coffee in my lap and I always wait for it cool. Common sense rules!)

As for the still shots in the article, either that horse was put in a hyperflexion position, or they just caught a moment of bit evasion. The former would be a bit bothersome too, because I have never seen him use those methods before the few times I have watched him teach or school. What also bothered me was that he tried it again against vet orders. I should like to hear his side of the story, maybe some staff members or the vet who treated the horse. Of course the owner is going to be mad, so taking it all from her keeps it very one-sided. If it really was "torture" on his part, then I am absolutely ashamed for him and, once again, embarrassed for the sport of not only dressage but of equestrian sports in general.

What do you think?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Amazing fall video

I translated the description, and apparently this horse and rider landed with a 19 in dressage. Holy. Cow. I will also give that somersault a 10 and the horse's finale a 100%.