Saturday, March 28, 2009

Year End Success!

Abbey and I finished up the 2008 year as Overall Green Rider Champions on the Arizona Paint Horse Circuit! Although the year ended nearly three months ago, we don't have our awards ceremony until nearly April. It's a long time to wait to pick up awards and I was really looking forward to it.

1st - Green Handler Showmanship
1st - Green Rider Trail
1st - Green Rider Horsemanship
1st - Green Rider Hunt Seat Eq

Thanks to Abbey and Stacy good friend who so graciously loaned me one of the best horses I'll ever get the pleasure to handle who has won a spot in my heart for all time :)

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun With Horses & Dogs!

If you're a Parelli follower than you probably already know that Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan and celebrated Horse Whisperer Pat Parelli are teaming up to help rebuild troubled relationships between dogs and horses.

Cesar and Pat will be appearing together for the first time on an upcoming episode of Cesar's Dog Whisperer which will air on the NatGeo channel Friday, April 3rd at 8pm ET. This episode is intended to help horses with "dog problems" and dogs with "horse problems." Cesar and Pat ride in to help a shepherd mix Chloe and Tibetan spaniel mix Hobo (who chase after the working horses), and 22-year old mare Cupcake (who is frightening the riders). Make sure you tune in to see this exciting team up of horse and dog expertise!

If you want to Let National Geographic Channelknow that you want to see more of Pat and Cesar together WRITE an e-mail to and say "PRETTY PLEASE CAN WE HAVE MORE PAT!?".

Speaking of dog and horse relationships, I recently happened to have my camera with me in the arena and took video of Riley (my friend Jessica's dog), who is attempting to lead her two year old paint gelding Tater Tot to the gate of the arena. Both Riley and Tater have been spending a lot of time together lately and have become friends. If you look you'll also see Draco, my German Shepard/Husky mix running around with Riley. Click the Play button below to see Riley and Tater in action. You'll have to forgive my initial comments as I was yelling at my camera (and called it stupid) as I hurried to get the footage. I wanted to edit this out but thought it was more important to share it with you...hopefully it brightens your day!

For more information on dogs, horses and their relationships, please see the following links: - Read all about the upcoming Dog Whisperer episode with Pat and Cesar, see pictures, videos and an overview. - March 27th edition of the Parelli enews celebrates Horseman Ray Hunt and talks about the upcoming Dog Whisperer episode with Pat Parelli.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Winter Wonderland...well not really!

My post title this week is a joke because while there are people in this country just freezing their behinds off we had the most wonderful weather (70's) over the weekend for our horse show.

That's me and Jayden on the left getting ready for showmanship. I have to thank my mom for some of the wonderful photos from this weekend and she hasn't even gotten her new camera yet! She did however use mine for the weekend which I'm thrilled to say I just purchased on Thursday in time to use it for photos and miscellaneous video. I did get to see myself riding Jayden for the first time thanks to this wonderful little device. :)

This weekend was such a learning experience and full of surprises (good ones!) too. For starters, this was my first away show with Jayden - we arrived on Friday to the grounds and stayed until Sunday evening. The away shows work a bit different than the day shows because the horses have more time to settle in, only 3 classes (usually per day) rather than the standard 8-10 for a day show.

I moved up a level from Green Rider since showing last year and I'm now in the Novice Amateur category. This is a larger group (about twice as big) as the Green so I was a bit nervous about how I would do.

We kicked off our weekend with a bit of sleeping in (lol) since I didn't show Trail and I arrived Saturday morning at the show grounds around 8:15. The order of classes is all mixed around from last year so nothing really felt like it flowed the way I was used to all day. Jayden did really well though and handled it like a champ. We took 5th place in our Western Horsemanship under one judge (horesmanship is judged on the rider) which was a surprise because there were 18 people in the class and it was his first time ever executing a pattern under pressure.

He is so comfortable to ride that for the Western Pleasure class (judged on the horse's gaits and tempermant) I was able to mostly sit up there and just show it off; that's such a GREAT feeling! We pulled a 2nd place out of our hat in the pleasure under the same judge that gave us the 5th place.

Sunday starts with Showmanship which is my favorite class. Showmanship gives you a chance to really shine one-on-one for the judge. Typically you execute a combination of maneuvers such as walking, trotting, stopping, backing, backing around objects and pivoting (90, 180, 270, 360, 540, 720 degrees) and then stop in front of the judge and set up for inspection. All 4 of your horses legs must be square and even. The judge will walk around the horse and you must move back and forth at your horse's head at the appropriate time to "present" your horse. The skill comes in as the movements must all be succinct, they must flow and must not be awkward. You must also execute each one with the smallest degree of error possible. Have I mentioned this is my favorite class yet?!

If you'd like to see a video example of a showmanship pattern click the Play button below. This is Jayden and I in action at the Copper Country POR show in January 2009.

Cool huh?

Later in the day on Sunday we ride English which is just as fun (well ALMOST) since we have to dress up in outfits that no one over the age of 16 should be required to wear....seriously! We have to wear skin tight pants that require an undergarment because they show every little flaw that all women of any age over 30 probably have. Don't get me started on this one, I'd love to rebell and wear something else!

I'm getting off track..sorry. We snagged a 5th & 6th in the English equitation pattern (judged on the rider) and then a 2nd & 3rd in the Hunter Under Saddle (judged on the horse). We finished up around 5:30 and I was exhausted; Jayden was practically asleep by the side of the arena. By the time we pulled into home it was after 7pm and I was relieved to see the home fires burning. April is now on my mind...lots of practicing to do and I know just where I'm going to start...Parelli Patterns!

If you would like to see some photos from the show of our whole gange, you can visit

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hi-Ho Hi-Ho, it's off to show I go!

We're getting packed and ready to leave for our Winter Horse Show today and as I write this there is excitement in the air. I spent some time last night with a barn buddy and I can't count the number of times she said "I'm so excited to go!"

They've completely changed the schedule of classes, order in which we ride them in and the flow of the show so this weekend should be VERY interesting.

This also marks my first *official* paint show with Jayden. We praciced last weekend at the Blue Ribbon Horse show (that's another story for later) and he did quite well winning under both judges in the 1st Year Green 5 & Under Western Pleasure class.

Gotta run, stay tuned for updates about the show, funny photos and some interesting video!