Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Houston, we have a........change

a BIG change.
I'm NOT talking about a Political Change, or a change in Religion, or even a change of under garments (which I promise happens every day).
I'm talking about a Change in Equestrian Discipline.
It has been my dream since I was a young child to ride at the AQHA or APHA world show and win the garland of flowers, and the trophy, and the medal and all the hoopla that goes along with it.

However. I've learned some HARD lessons as I've gotten older, and wiser. Horse showing at the 'majors' is A - Political and B - Expensive and C - up to individual opinion!
I have a problem and A and C. I can understand B. All hobbies are expensive! So, since I don't see winning the lottery in sight so that I can go drop 20k PLUS on a fancy horse, 5k on a show saddle, another K plus on outfit, hat, boots, bridle and all that other 'stuff' that is required......I'm going to take a different route.

My Options?

Speed Queen. This is comical! Speed Queen I am not. Maybe if I were 12 again, and fearless. BUT, riding all out and a 1/2 crazed horse around 3 cans or around 6 or 7 poles is NOT my idea of a good time. Count ME OUT

Cattle Barron - ok....so.... There are a couple options here.

Roping - Swing a rope WHILE the horse comes BUSTING out of the box and try to catch heels or horns. NO thanks! I don't think I'll enjoy giving a little bitty ole calf whip lash! And, again, the SPEED factor......no thanks!

Cutting/Working cow - Chase the cow, Chase the cow, Chase the cow......turn the cow, turn the cow, turn the cow.....circle the cow, turn the cow, circle the cow....DONE! Ummm yeah....I don't think I'll take the chance of the horse TRIPPING over the cow! No thanks, AGAIN.

Open Shows - For sure an option. Spend lots of time/money running around to 'local' open stuff for........what? A tiny ribbon? A cheaply made year end saddle if you pay dues, work for the group, and spend all day (8 am to 10pm) showing in every class imaginable so you can 'chase the saddle'. No thanks. I know some nice people who show at open shows....but I also know there are soooo many very NOVICE horse owners who don't know the first thing about showing or proper show turn out at those shows. They THINK they are doing the right thing and won't listen if you try to offer help. The 'back yard' type, if you will. I know that sounds mean, but I'm NOT going to put myself or my horse in an arena with a novice rider who can't control their mount. NOPE. Sorry. Nothing doing!

Jumpers - Did I mention I'm afraid of heights? Yeah, I am! a 16h horse is tall ENOUGH without going over a 5 foot Oxer with a 6 foot spread! NOPE

Eventing - 3 phases - Dressage, Stadium, and Cross Country - I like dressage, and once I get back in the saddle, get in shape, lose some LBS stadium and cross country might be a possibility. I'm going to keep this on the back burner.

I know I'm leaving out things like endurance racing, extreme cowboy race, reining, polo, and some others.....I just can't write about them all!

So......what have I decided to throw my equine energy?

Dressage! Yep, it's true. I feel ANY horse can do your basic Dressage. No reason I can't get through Green as Grass, Into, and Training with one of the horses I have now. Now, when I am ready to move on to 1st level plus.....I may need to move on to a different mount. BUT, until then.....I'm Dressage arena bound. I'd better brush up on my alphabet too!

With Dressage, you are judged on your ride, ALONE. You aren't in the arena with a horse that may move better than you, or a rider who may have a more glam outfit. You are judged on how well you ride your test, period. YES, there are maneuvers you are supposed to perform, and as long as you perform them well, your score will reflect that. There are judges that are tougher than others.....but that just takes showing to then a time or two, or asking around and finding out who those tough judges are......and then not taking a lower score to heart!

And YES, when I get my bootie back in shape, I full intend on getting in a hunt saddle and starting to hop over fences. That may require a new horse....as Casper doesn't JUMP.
My GOAL? Get in 2 or 3 schooling shows this year. It's only April....should be do-able! Get in the arena, get a few shows under my belt......and then....
Next year? Go for a schooling show championship :) at Green as Grass/Intro level.

So.......anyone else contemplating a change in the equine adventures? If so....I'd love to hear about it! What's making you change? What are you changing to?
I hope no one is mad for the use of their photos! Thanks!


  1. LOL...you're getting out of APHA and I'm just starting to get in. My deal with Charlie's owners fell through so I'm back to open shows with Grace for the year to practice and get to the point where I feel like it's worth dropping $15k on a prospect. Gulp.

    And I thought I was getting out of H/J but Tax is doing so well I just can't imagine not spendign this summer showing him. So, there's that. Everyone seems to think I should try some dressage on him. I'm not sure what it takes to do green as grass eventing but we might give it a shot.

  2. Low level dressage - Green As Grass, Intro is very simple. Walk and trot. No cantering I believe. Let me double check.....YEP...accodring to USDF intro A and B are walk/trot only. :)
    When you move up to Training Level there is some cantering.....
    First Level, I believe starts to offer some more difficult work. SO, there is a lot that can be done at lower levels! :)

    I'm soooo sorry that deal with Charlie's owners fell through. That sucks big time! So sorry!

    Give dressage a try! I think you'll like it! Then you can move on to lower level eventing! :)

  3. My change? Shoot, just get back into getting ON my darn horse..... ;)

  4. Is one of these lovely pictures you? Are you going to get a fancy warmblood beast?

  5. Becky,
    I wish one of those lovely pictures was me! nope!
    A fancy warmblood beast may be in my future.....for now.....I will be riding my Quarter horse Beast.....his photo is at the bottom of the first page of this blog.
    I know, you've been bugging me for a pic! I haven't changed any since the last time you saw me, I swear! I'll post one on FaceBook soon, promise!

  6. Thinking of competitive trail - for fun only. I'm not much for ribbons and statues..