I thought I could ride.
Then I started reining.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So Much For Bloggin'!

Hard to write about reining and horses when you simply are not doing a darn thing with them :)

On the good side, Pebbles leg looks AWESOME!! Much better then it did last year at this time. We are planning on bringing her back in January and start riding her and seeing what happens. Very excited about that.

My good friend Whiteny let me ride her little four year old reiner a couple of weeks ago. I am in love with that horse now but no where near being able to convince my husband that I must have her.

One thing at a time. Right now, I just need to continue sending positive healing vibes to Pebbles and keep my fingers crossed that we will be able to do something together very soon.


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Trying New Horses

I have had the opportunity to try a couple of new mares in the past couple of weeks. One this is for sure - It will take a little time to get used to any new horse. My riding ability is either A). Not very good B). Been spoiled by Pebbles or C). A combination of the two. LOL. The two horses I tried really showed me that being versatile and handy enough to jump on different horses and ride them to get any thing out of them reining wise takes a lot of skill. I have always felt I was a pretty good rider but to ride a reiner is completely different.

Needless to say, the two mares I tried were not good fits. Back to the drawing board.

On a good note, I saw Miss Pebbles today and she looks great. She came back into heat though so she didn't take last cycle. She is back in again and we are trying round 2. Keeping fingers crossed that this will work.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Decision Has Been Made...

We have decided to follow the vets recommendation for Pebbles. She is officially on stall rest for the next two months. That means no exercise except being moved to have her stall cleaned, to go get groomed or to get some sunshine and a few bites of grass. After the complete stall rest, she will be moved to a stall with a small run off of it so she can start moving around a bit. Then we can start walking her for five minutes building up to 20 minutes to get her prepared to be turned out on pasture. Poor thing. I wouldn't want to be cooped up in a stall for two months but we do know it is best for her :(

This whole situation has been really hard. When I think about not ever being able to show her again or let alone really ride her, I start crying. Out of all of the horses I have ever had, she has been by far the funnest, most challenging and most satisfying to ride. I thoroughly enjoy her - her grouchy personality towards everyone except me while being handled on the ground and her amazing work ethic in the saddle. If I get a baby out of her with half as much try as she has, I will be elated. She means so much to me and it is difficult to realize that we must close this chapter in our life together.

I know good things will come in time - they always do. I have always believed everything will work out and there is a reason for everything. I just hope my belief system does not fail me this time...


Thursday, June 3, 2010

And Now Some Good News

I received a surprise in the mail - Pebble's has earned her Performance Register of Merit. I hadn't even been keeping track of her points so I was pleasantly surprised and it is nice to have that on her record.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Not So Great News...

We decided to have Pebble's leg re-ultrasounded today. Cliff called me with the results. Basically, they are not good. It is up to me if I want to keep trying to get her ready for Langley but at this point, it seems that I would be doing it for selfish reasons. If we were trying to get to the world show that would be one thing but I only want to go to have fun and show. Certainly not for Pebble's best interest. Sleeping on it would be a good thing before making any final decisions but right now, it looks like we are done in the show pen together. I am beyond sad tonight because we weren't quite done with that part of our lives together....


Friday, May 28, 2010

Big News!

Well, big for us at least. We have decided to breed Pebbles this year. I am beyond excited and keeping fingers crossed all goes well with the process. We have decided to breed her to this handsome fellow:

Lottery Chex
2001 AQHA Brown Stallion


























You can learn more about "Lotto" at Kellmer Quarter Horses

I have already started to compile a list of possible names for the foal.  Jumping the gun a bit?  Nah...


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Things Have Been Pretty Slow Around Here

Literally. I have only ridden twice in May. So sad but true. When I have ridden, it has been sloooow going. We are babying her quite a bit to keep her leg good for Langley BC in July. I should be able to get out to the barn on a regular schedule from this point forward. I miss my girl!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gifts are good!

I was surprised on Mother's Day with the announcement that I have some custom spurs coming my way.  Sean, my darling husband, not knowing which end of the horse you "poke" spurs with asked Cliff for some assistance.   After getting the details from Cliff yesterday about who/what/where I was able to draw up a sketch of my dream set of spurs and sent it off to Kim Kelly with thesilvershop.org to have her start working up her own sketch.

Was supposed to go ride this morning but a certain little person in our house came down with a cold (which she happily gave to both her daddy & I).   But nonetheless, I am still hoping to get to the barn this week at some point.  I am having major horse withdrawals....

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

That Healing Feeling!

Last week was a blur.  It is hard when life gets in the way from your desire to do just anything and everything horsey.  Thankfully, the current issues of the AQHA Journal and The Reiner arrived to give me my "fix" when I couldn't actually make it to the barn.

Spoke with Cliff yesterday to check in on Pebbles.  He said she is looking pretty good and has not taken a lame step yet.   My schedule should allow me to get back out to the barn next week.  I miss my girl!! 

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It Was Fun While It Lasted - Part Duex

We showed in Walla Walla on Thursday.  Pebbles did all right in the Open with Cliff.  I believe she ended up 4th & 6th.   The ground was not that great so he did not push her hard into the stops but she spun nice and had really pretty left circles (which is our most difficult direction).  I had a long break before my go in the amateur so you would think I would have had plenty of time to warm up right?  Wrong.  It annoys me when people scratch at the last minute or just don't bother to show up at the gate so I lost a precious 15 minutes of warm up time and had to rush to the gate.  Rushing with Pebbles?  Um yeah - not so much.  She would be the girl who was always an hour late to the party because she had to get her hair just right.   Not saying that all would have gone great with that 15 minutes, but it would have helped.  Note to self:  Next time, don't let others influence my need for proper warm up time.   Needless to say, our run was absolutely the worst I think I have ever had on her - she did spin nice though.  

After our reining disaster, Pebbles had a little time to relax before our debut in the Novice Am Boxing Class.  Now we only got to work the buffalo at home once before we left but thankfully Pebbles know what to do with a cow.  Our dry work was 100 times better then our reining run.  She was getting tired and I think knew there was a reward at the end so she was minding her lefts and rights.  We scored a 69 in our drywork.  Ahh.  Then I got to ask for our cow.  Oh my that was so much fun.  I let my cow squirt out up the fence then I ended up two handing her because she thought she was going to run down the fence with it and that was not my intention.  So we zero'd on our herd work but she worked amazing.  I don't think I ever want to just "Rein" anymore.  Cows are so much more dramatic!

But, but, I don't know when we will be doing any more work together...Friday morning, woke up to find Pebbles left front all swelled and puffy again.  Her tendon is not cooperating and sadly, we are out of commission indefinitely.  We dealt with a slight bow last year and gave her several months off over the fall and winter.  We brought her back slow and she was feeling really strong but I guess the three runs on her was too much.  So we had to scratch for Saturday and possibly for the rest of the show season. 





It Was Fun While It Lasted

The last two weeks have been a blur with both Spokane and Walla Walla AQHA shows.  

Spokane went well the first day.  We were able to ride outside instead of inside the "awful barn".  Pebbles was a doll, worked well and took first in both the Open and the Amateur.  Very good day and actually worth some points! 

Saturday was a different story.  The weather went from warm to cold very quickly and Miss Pebbles just does not like swings like that but was warming up great in the outdoor arena.   There was a threat of rain though so we had to go into the "awful barn" only to find some of the trail obstacles still in the middle of the arena.  Now you would think a reiner is pretty well broke right?  Um huh.  That was all she wrote for Pebbles.  She went from being calm, cool, and beautifully collected to a basket case.  It is funny how a long white pole and a fake green plant can send one horse over to the crazy side of the barn.  Cliff ended up 4th & 6th on her in the Open.  We had an awful run in the Amateur but still ended up 2nd & 3rd.  I was the last run and one of the judges had a big smile on his face and told me I got extra points for "cowgirling up".  It is funny when the judges actually talk to you because you tend to not get anything out of them.  He was a hoot though.   Just showed you that no one had a good day that day because the run was that awful.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

WRHA Spring Fling Photos

Here is a link to the Spring Fling Photos from Cheryl James Photography.  We are under "Chex Out My CD". 

What's Next

We are off to our first AQHA show in the morning here in Spokane.  I am meeting Cliff and the gang there around 7:00 am.  Not sure if I am actually going to show or not but will be prepared just in case.  We are concerned about the ground - it seems like it is always bad at the fairgrounds here in town.  If the ground is bad, we will be just schooling her with the focus of keeping her nice and relaxed in the pen.  If there are a few horses there, I do want Cliff to go after some points though.  It would be nice to complete her AQHA Open ROM this year. 

Wenatchee WRHA Spring Fling - Sunday Summary

Sunday we rode in the Limited & Intermediate Non Pro classes.  They were concurrent with the Non-Pro which resulted in a total of 45 runs for the class.  We had our best run ever with a score of 69.  It was not good enough to be in the money but it left me with an elated feeling nonetheless.  I believe we wound up 6th (or perhaps 7th in one?) in both classes - not bad for a field of 30+ entries in each and my first venture into the "big kids" class.  I was so proud of our run and knew EXACTLY what I did wrong and how I can make it better next time.  We ran pattern #3 - the marathon pattern.  I was a little unsure about it at first but I do believe it is my new favorite.

Maneuver             Score

  • Left Roll Back:         -1/2
    • Was a little sticky due to my non-cue.  Pebbles stopped nice and hard.
  • Right Roll Back:       0
    • Everything was perfect.  She ran great in her run downs - straight & collected.  She waited for me the entire time.  Loved every stride of it. 
  • Right Circles:    +1/2
    • Yes, that was a + in front of that 1/2.  We had the best right circles ever at a show.  I ran FAST and had a wonderful dramatic transition to SLOW.  Pebbles was just right there the entire time.
  • Left Circles:       0
    • Fantastic, smooth perfectly timed lead change and wonderful circles.  Again, FAST and SLOOOWW.  I rode her really hard in the fast so she did not have the opportunity to poke her head out to the right.  She rarely does that in a slow circle so that was not an issue.  Transition to the fast/slow was very smooth. 
  • Stop & Back:  0
    • Awesome stop.  I timed it perfectly and it felt awesome!
  • Right Spins:  -1
    • Uh oh.  At least I counted correctly but OH MY, the start was just awful.  I did that horrible "pull her to a start" thing again.  I could have kicked myself.  Her 2nd-4th spin were very nice but boy was that start UGLY.
  • Left Spins:   0 
    • I guess left is easier for me.  I had to calm myself down after the right spins and remind myself all the things that Cliff drills me on during practice: bump her pretty good to get her head straight in front.  Pick up on her a bit. Wiggle that right leg.  Lay my right rein just right.  And CLUCK!!  Viola - it worked!
Notes about the run
  • Need to work on my timing of roll backs.  They were such a no brainer last year that I really have forgotten what a proper cue for them is.  And of course my RIGHT SPINS.  I need to calm down & think before I ask her for these.  She can spin so pretty and I really need to nail my execution because I know I can zero or plus them easily.
Warming up:  I spent a lot of time walking & trotting her on Sunday before I asked her to start getting into the bridle.  When I did ask her to "get to work", she obliged and seemed much more relaxed.  I got after her right away about getting into the bridle and she did not give me much grief - she just went to work and was happy about it.  Not rushing my warm up really helped me to relax too. 

Wenatchee WRHA Spring Fling - Saturday Summary

What a busy week!  First and foremost, our first show in Wenatchee went great. I couldn't have expected Pebbles to work any better for our first show of the season.  Did we win?  Not exactly.  But we did have our best run ever on Sunday.

Saturday we rode in the Beginner class. Had I not over spun by one spin (remember it is 1-2-3-WHOA!) I would have placed 2/3rd in the class of 25 with a 67 1/2.   We ran pattern 8, one of my favorites because you get to spin first.  Our first spin was great - we got a zero and.... a zero.  Darn it!  The miscounting is out of my system now.  NO MORE!   The run was broken down as follows:


    Maneuver             Score
  • Left Spins:         0 
    • felt good with nice cadence, except for over spinning of course
  • Right Spins:       -1/2 
    • first spin was not great due to my trying to pull her into the start.  I need to pick her up, waive my left leg and lay my left rein on her neck.  Once I did this, she fell into a nice cadence. 
  • Right Circles:    -1/2
    • had some trouble getting her into the bridle, but she did good with fast/slow transition.
  • Left Circles:       -1  
    • Changed leads too early.  Cliff thought the judge should have given me a penalty of -1 instead of a maneuver -1.  Pebbles really wants to tip her nose to the outside when running our left circles.  I had to work hard to keep her in the bridle and bring her head back in but she did it and they looked pretty good.
  • Left Roll Back:   -1/2 
    • stop was smooth - roll back was a little sticky. 
  • Right Roll Back:  
    • wonderful stop and nice rollback.  Very smooth.
  • Stop/Back:         -1/2  
    • stop was smooth but not as nice as my second one.  She backed up nice, easy and straight though.  
Notes about the run
  • I really hesitated to long on my roll backs which kind of confused Pebbles.  We don't want her to anticipate them though so it is kind of a catch 22 on my part.  I just need to get that "feel" for them as they are really one of our stronger maneuvers.   
  • Rode her in the same bridle I showed in all last year.  She likes that bit for shows.
  • Loved my 2nd stop - it gave me the "I CAN do this" feeling.  
  • My rundowns were 100 times better then last year.  I rode her into my hand and she ran nice and straight.  She listened so well and waited for me to ask her for speed.  She was collected and controlled the entire time - there was no squirting :)
  • Pebbles was in major heat.  It took quite a bit to get her warmed up to even start concentrating. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Show Time!

Well, not quite.  Two more days but we are heading out tomorrow to Wenatchee.  I swear I made at least 100 reining runs in my sleep last night.  I never did that last year - spending my nights before a show going over run after run in my head.   My goals for this show season include being more confident in the arena which means obsessing over the smaller details.  Whether it shows or not shall be determined.  All I know is that as I am riding and thinking about my soon to happen runs, I keep hearing all of the tips, tricks and comments from Cliff replaying in my head.  Retention is a good thing.  Application is even better. 

Nonetheless, we have spent the last two weeks preparing to show and trying to work on some of the finer details like counting spins, which seemed to be my nemesis last year.  I am confident that I have that part figured out in my head.  

We made some tack changes today - another new bit and back in romals.  I really feel that romals suit me better on Pebbles and was glad to see the change suggested by Cliff this morning.  I am better able to get that contact I need for her to run up over her bridle better in my fast circles and rundowns.  It just felt MUCH better.  Plus, I never have to worry what to do with my free hand when riding with romals.  

So as we head out tomorrow, I will be thinking of riding her into my hand, clucking, saying "whoa" so she can hear me, sitting and timing my stops, counting 1-2-3-WHOA, hitting my center on my circles, keeping my opposite leg on her when I slow down so she doesn't fall out of lead or gait, keeping her straight on our rundowns, makings snappy rollbacks, RIDING harder at the fast circles and rundowns.....and the list goes on.  

Happy Sliding!




 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Show Time!


It doesn't seem possible but our first show is right around the corner.  We will be headed to Wenatchee for the WRHA Spring Fling the weekend after Easter.   I am thankful we have this week and next week to keep riding so that we are more better prepared.  

Since it is our first show, I should bust out my "Master Show Packing List" to be sure I don't forget anything important like my hat.  Or my saddle.  If I have one reoccuring nightmare about going to shows it is that my saddle gets left behind.  Now, it wouldn't be a big deal if I were a bit taller but knowing that no other saddle from our barn has stirrups short enough for me, it would be a wee bit of a challenge for me to just hop on and ride.  

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I love those "Light Bulb Moments"

Whenever I have an "ahhhh ha" or light bulb moment, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  After however many months of Cliff telling me over and over (and over and over yet again) on how to ride my rundowns, it finally clicked today.  Now, I can't say they all of a sudden became perfect because that will take a lot more work but I am still giddy with excitement because I figured out how I need to ride Pebbles down the pen.  

I would have to say that rundowns have been my biggest challenge.  Not only because you have to go fast (which has been a challenge in itself for me) but you have to think about going straight, keeping your horse square while getting past those markers before asking for a stop.   Once I point Pebbles down the pen, it is like everything flies out the door along with her running.  I have been throwing my hand away, giving her the idea that it is all right to throw her head up and RUN.  This causes me to loose all process of thought along with loosing total control of my timing for a stop.  The end result?  Me having to pick up on her more then necessary, unattactive stops, and a sore neck and back. 

What changed about today?  I should back track to my fast circles where I was having the same problem with letting her run with her head up.  We have been working on me picking up on the reins a little while waving my legs just so to ask her to round up over the bridle.  That finally "clicked" the other day.  Fast forward to my work down the pen today.  Why hello!  If I pick up on her just like I do in my fast circles, I can ask her to accelerate AND she is over the bridle like she should be.   And guess what?  She stops so pretty and SMOOTH. 

I had to laugh becuase it took so long for it to finally click.  In fact, I am pretty sure I actually heard the clicking in my brain. 

Happy Sliding!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

It's Reining Babies!

My mom emailed me a picture of their first baby of the year.  Look at this spunky little guy:













I can't remember how he is bred but he looks to be a red dun which is something my step-dad has been looking for.   It would be fun to take a baby from his 2010 crop to the reining pen in 2014.  Hmm...perhaps I should pick out a weanling this year.... 

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Reason For My Addiction

No reiner is complete without a trusty steed.   Pebbles, as she is known around the barn, has been my faithful partner for the past three years. 





Chex Out My CD 
2003 AQHA Mare

by CD Roanlite by CD Olena

Out of Miss Q T Chex by Colonel Freckles



Shown here with our trainer, Cliff Kellmer, at one of the Spokane AQHA shows last summer.  

I purchased Pebbles in May 2008 and spent that summer getting to know her and learning what buttons to push.  In the fall of 2008, we started working with Cliff Kellmer and started showing in 2009.  Last year was a real learning curve to say the least!  Having not been in the show pen for many years (too many to count!), I spent the summer figuring out what exactly to do.  We had a setback too when Pebbles showed signs of bowing a tendon.  After taking about 8 weeks off, we came back for the fall shows and finished the season with some satisfying runs.  

We have been back at it since the beginning of February to prepare for the 2010 show season.  We are looking forward to seeing what this year brings.



























 



 
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So Much For Bloggin'!

Hard to write about reining and horses when you simply are not doing a darn thing with them :)

On the good side, Pebbles leg looks AWESOME!! Much better then it did last year at this time. We are planning on bringing her back in January and start riding her and seeing what happens. Very excited about that.

My good friend Whiteny let me ride her little four year old reiner a couple of weeks ago. I am in love with that horse now but no where near being able to convince my husband that I must have her.

One thing at a time. Right now, I just need to continue sending positive healing vibes to Pebbles and keep my fingers crossed that we will be able to do something together very soon.


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Trying New Horses

I have had the opportunity to try a couple of new mares in the past couple of weeks. One this is for sure - It will take a little time to get used to any new horse. My riding ability is either A). Not very good B). Been spoiled by Pebbles or C). A combination of the two. LOL. The two horses I tried really showed me that being versatile and handy enough to jump on different horses and ride them to get any thing out of them reining wise takes a lot of skill. I have always felt I was a pretty good rider but to ride a reiner is completely different.

Needless to say, the two mares I tried were not good fits. Back to the drawing board.

On a good note, I saw Miss Pebbles today and she looks great. She came back into heat though so she didn't take last cycle. She is back in again and we are trying round 2. Keeping fingers crossed that this will work.


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A Decision Has Been Made...

We have decided to follow the vets recommendation for Pebbles. She is officially on stall rest for the next two months. That means no exercise except being moved to have her stall cleaned, to go get groomed or to get some sunshine and a few bites of grass. After the complete stall rest, she will be moved to a stall with a small run off of it so she can start moving around a bit. Then we can start walking her for five minutes building up to 20 minutes to get her prepared to be turned out on pasture. Poor thing. I wouldn't want to be cooped up in a stall for two months but we do know it is best for her :(

This whole situation has been really hard. When I think about not ever being able to show her again or let alone really ride her, I start crying. Out of all of the horses I have ever had, she has been by far the funnest, most challenging and most satisfying to ride. I thoroughly enjoy her - her grouchy personality towards everyone except me while being handled on the ground and her amazing work ethic in the saddle. If I get a baby out of her with half as much try as she has, I will be elated. She means so much to me and it is difficult to realize that we must close this chapter in our life together.

I know good things will come in time - they always do. I have always believed everything will work out and there is a reason for everything. I just hope my belief system does not fail me this time...


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And Now Some Good News

I received a surprise in the mail - Pebble's has earned her Performance Register of Merit. I hadn't even been keeping track of her points so I was pleasantly surprised and it is nice to have that on her record.

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Not So Great News...

We decided to have Pebble's leg re-ultrasounded today. Cliff called me with the results. Basically, they are not good. It is up to me if I want to keep trying to get her ready for Langley but at this point, it seems that I would be doing it for selfish reasons. If we were trying to get to the world show that would be one thing but I only want to go to have fun and show. Certainly not for Pebble's best interest. Sleeping on it would be a good thing before making any final decisions but right now, it looks like we are done in the show pen together. I am beyond sad tonight because we weren't quite done with that part of our lives together....


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Big News!

Well, big for us at least. We have decided to breed Pebbles this year. I am beyond excited and keeping fingers crossed all goes well with the process. We have decided to breed her to this handsome fellow:

Lottery Chex
2001 AQHA Brown Stallion


























You can learn more about "Lotto" at Kellmer Quarter Horses

I have already started to compile a list of possible names for the foal.  Jumping the gun a bit?  Nah...


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Things Have Been Pretty Slow Around Here

Literally. I have only ridden twice in May. So sad but true. When I have ridden, it has been sloooow going. We are babying her quite a bit to keep her leg good for Langley BC in July. I should be able to get out to the barn on a regular schedule from this point forward. I miss my girl!

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Gifts are good!

I was surprised on Mother's Day with the announcement that I have some custom spurs coming my way.  Sean, my darling husband, not knowing which end of the horse you "poke" spurs with asked Cliff for some assistance.   After getting the details from Cliff yesterday about who/what/where I was able to draw up a sketch of my dream set of spurs and sent it off to Kim Kelly with thesilvershop.org to have her start working up her own sketch.

Was supposed to go ride this morning but a certain little person in our house came down with a cold (which she happily gave to both her daddy & I).   But nonetheless, I am still hoping to get to the barn this week at some point.  I am having major horse withdrawals....
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That Healing Feeling!

Last week was a blur.  It is hard when life gets in the way from your desire to do just anything and everything horsey.  Thankfully, the current issues of the AQHA Journal and The Reiner arrived to give me my "fix" when I couldn't actually make it to the barn.

Spoke with Cliff yesterday to check in on Pebbles.  He said she is looking pretty good and has not taken a lame step yet.   My schedule should allow me to get back out to the barn next week.  I miss my girl!! 
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It Was Fun While It Lasted - Part Duex

We showed in Walla Walla on Thursday.  Pebbles did all right in the Open with Cliff.  I believe she ended up 4th & 6th.   The ground was not that great so he did not push her hard into the stops but she spun nice and had really pretty left circles (which is our most difficult direction).  I had a long break before my go in the amateur so you would think I would have had plenty of time to warm up right?  Wrong.  It annoys me when people scratch at the last minute or just don't bother to show up at the gate so I lost a precious 15 minutes of warm up time and had to rush to the gate.  Rushing with Pebbles?  Um yeah - not so much.  She would be the girl who was always an hour late to the party because she had to get her hair just right.   Not saying that all would have gone great with that 15 minutes, but it would have helped.  Note to self:  Next time, don't let others influence my need for proper warm up time.   Needless to say, our run was absolutely the worst I think I have ever had on her - she did spin nice though.  

After our reining disaster, Pebbles had a little time to relax before our debut in the Novice Am Boxing Class.  Now we only got to work the buffalo at home once before we left but thankfully Pebbles know what to do with a cow.  Our dry work was 100 times better then our reining run.  She was getting tired and I think knew there was a reward at the end so she was minding her lefts and rights.  We scored a 69 in our drywork.  Ahh.  Then I got to ask for our cow.  Oh my that was so much fun.  I let my cow squirt out up the fence then I ended up two handing her because she thought she was going to run down the fence with it and that was not my intention.  So we zero'd on our herd work but she worked amazing.  I don't think I ever want to just "Rein" anymore.  Cows are so much more dramatic!

But, but, I don't know when we will be doing any more work together...Friday morning, woke up to find Pebbles left front all swelled and puffy again.  Her tendon is not cooperating and sadly, we are out of commission indefinitely.  We dealt with a slight bow last year and gave her several months off over the fall and winter.  We brought her back slow and she was feeling really strong but I guess the three runs on her was too much.  So we had to scratch for Saturday and possibly for the rest of the show season. 





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It Was Fun While It Lasted

The last two weeks have been a blur with both Spokane and Walla Walla AQHA shows.  

Spokane went well the first day.  We were able to ride outside instead of inside the "awful barn".  Pebbles was a doll, worked well and took first in both the Open and the Amateur.  Very good day and actually worth some points! 

Saturday was a different story.  The weather went from warm to cold very quickly and Miss Pebbles just does not like swings like that but was warming up great in the outdoor arena.   There was a threat of rain though so we had to go into the "awful barn" only to find some of the trail obstacles still in the middle of the arena.  Now you would think a reiner is pretty well broke right?  Um huh.  That was all she wrote for Pebbles.  She went from being calm, cool, and beautifully collected to a basket case.  It is funny how a long white pole and a fake green plant can send one horse over to the crazy side of the barn.  Cliff ended up 4th & 6th on her in the Open.  We had an awful run in the Amateur but still ended up 2nd & 3rd.  I was the last run and one of the judges had a big smile on his face and told me I got extra points for "cowgirling up".  It is funny when the judges actually talk to you because you tend to not get anything out of them.  He was a hoot though.   Just showed you that no one had a good day that day because the run was that awful.  
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WRHA Spring Fling Photos

Here is a link to the Spring Fling Photos from Cheryl James Photography.  We are under "Chex Out My CD". 
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What's Next

We are off to our first AQHA show in the morning here in Spokane.  I am meeting Cliff and the gang there around 7:00 am.  Not sure if I am actually going to show or not but will be prepared just in case.  We are concerned about the ground - it seems like it is always bad at the fairgrounds here in town.  If the ground is bad, we will be just schooling her with the focus of keeping her nice and relaxed in the pen.  If there are a few horses there, I do want Cliff to go after some points though.  It would be nice to complete her AQHA Open ROM this year. 
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Wenatchee WRHA Spring Fling - Sunday Summary

Sunday we rode in the Limited & Intermediate Non Pro classes.  They were concurrent with the Non-Pro which resulted in a total of 45 runs for the class.  We had our best run ever with a score of 69.  It was not good enough to be in the money but it left me with an elated feeling nonetheless.  I believe we wound up 6th (or perhaps 7th in one?) in both classes - not bad for a field of 30+ entries in each and my first venture into the "big kids" class.  I was so proud of our run and knew EXACTLY what I did wrong and how I can make it better next time.  We ran pattern #3 - the marathon pattern.  I was a little unsure about it at first but I do believe it is my new favorite.

Maneuver             Score

  • Left Roll Back:         -1/2
    • Was a little sticky due to my non-cue.  Pebbles stopped nice and hard.
  • Right Roll Back:       0
    • Everything was perfect.  She ran great in her run downs - straight & collected.  She waited for me the entire time.  Loved every stride of it. 
  • Right Circles:    +1/2
    • Yes, that was a + in front of that 1/2.  We had the best right circles ever at a show.  I ran FAST and had a wonderful dramatic transition to SLOW.  Pebbles was just right there the entire time.
  • Left Circles:       0
    • Fantastic, smooth perfectly timed lead change and wonderful circles.  Again, FAST and SLOOOWW.  I rode her really hard in the fast so she did not have the opportunity to poke her head out to the right.  She rarely does that in a slow circle so that was not an issue.  Transition to the fast/slow was very smooth. 
  • Stop & Back:  0
    • Awesome stop.  I timed it perfectly and it felt awesome!
  • Right Spins:  -1
    • Uh oh.  At least I counted correctly but OH MY, the start was just awful.  I did that horrible "pull her to a start" thing again.  I could have kicked myself.  Her 2nd-4th spin were very nice but boy was that start UGLY.
  • Left Spins:   0 
    • I guess left is easier for me.  I had to calm myself down after the right spins and remind myself all the things that Cliff drills me on during practice: bump her pretty good to get her head straight in front.  Pick up on her a bit. Wiggle that right leg.  Lay my right rein just right.  And CLUCK!!  Viola - it worked!
Notes about the run
  • Need to work on my timing of roll backs.  They were such a no brainer last year that I really have forgotten what a proper cue for them is.  And of course my RIGHT SPINS.  I need to calm down & think before I ask her for these.  She can spin so pretty and I really need to nail my execution because I know I can zero or plus them easily.
Warming up:  I spent a lot of time walking & trotting her on Sunday before I asked her to start getting into the bridle.  When I did ask her to "get to work", she obliged and seemed much more relaxed.  I got after her right away about getting into the bridle and she did not give me much grief - she just went to work and was happy about it.  Not rushing my warm up really helped me to relax too. 
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Wenatchee WRHA Spring Fling - Saturday Summary

What a busy week!  First and foremost, our first show in Wenatchee went great. I couldn't have expected Pebbles to work any better for our first show of the season.  Did we win?  Not exactly.  But we did have our best run ever on Sunday.

Saturday we rode in the Beginner class. Had I not over spun by one spin (remember it is 1-2-3-WHOA!) I would have placed 2/3rd in the class of 25 with a 67 1/2.   We ran pattern 8, one of my favorites because you get to spin first.  Our first spin was great - we got a zero and.... a zero.  Darn it!  The miscounting is out of my system now.  NO MORE!   The run was broken down as follows:


    Maneuver             Score
  • Left Spins:         0 
    • felt good with nice cadence, except for over spinning of course
  • Right Spins:       -1/2 
    • first spin was not great due to my trying to pull her into the start.  I need to pick her up, waive my left leg and lay my left rein on her neck.  Once I did this, she fell into a nice cadence. 
  • Right Circles:    -1/2
    • had some trouble getting her into the bridle, but she did good with fast/slow transition.
  • Left Circles:       -1  
    • Changed leads too early.  Cliff thought the judge should have given me a penalty of -1 instead of a maneuver -1.  Pebbles really wants to tip her nose to the outside when running our left circles.  I had to work hard to keep her in the bridle and bring her head back in but she did it and they looked pretty good.
  • Left Roll Back:   -1/2 
    • stop was smooth - roll back was a little sticky. 
  • Right Roll Back:  
    • wonderful stop and nice rollback.  Very smooth.
  • Stop/Back:         -1/2  
    • stop was smooth but not as nice as my second one.  She backed up nice, easy and straight though.  
Notes about the run
  • I really hesitated to long on my roll backs which kind of confused Pebbles.  We don't want her to anticipate them though so it is kind of a catch 22 on my part.  I just need to get that "feel" for them as they are really one of our stronger maneuvers.   
  • Rode her in the same bridle I showed in all last year.  She likes that bit for shows.
  • Loved my 2nd stop - it gave me the "I CAN do this" feeling.  
  • My rundowns were 100 times better then last year.  I rode her into my hand and she ran nice and straight.  She listened so well and waited for me to ask her for speed.  She was collected and controlled the entire time - there was no squirting :)
  • Pebbles was in major heat.  It took quite a bit to get her warmed up to even start concentrating. 
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Show Time!

Well, not quite.  Two more days but we are heading out tomorrow to Wenatchee.  I swear I made at least 100 reining runs in my sleep last night.  I never did that last year - spending my nights before a show going over run after run in my head.   My goals for this show season include being more confident in the arena which means obsessing over the smaller details.  Whether it shows or not shall be determined.  All I know is that as I am riding and thinking about my soon to happen runs, I keep hearing all of the tips, tricks and comments from Cliff replaying in my head.  Retention is a good thing.  Application is even better. 

Nonetheless, we have spent the last two weeks preparing to show and trying to work on some of the finer details like counting spins, which seemed to be my nemesis last year.  I am confident that I have that part figured out in my head.  

We made some tack changes today - another new bit and back in romals.  I really feel that romals suit me better on Pebbles and was glad to see the change suggested by Cliff this morning.  I am better able to get that contact I need for her to run up over her bridle better in my fast circles and rundowns.  It just felt MUCH better.  Plus, I never have to worry what to do with my free hand when riding with romals.  

So as we head out tomorrow, I will be thinking of riding her into my hand, clucking, saying "whoa" so she can hear me, sitting and timing my stops, counting 1-2-3-WHOA, hitting my center on my circles, keeping my opposite leg on her when I slow down so she doesn't fall out of lead or gait, keeping her straight on our rundowns, makings snappy rollbacks, RIDING harder at the fast circles and rundowns.....and the list goes on.  

Happy Sliding!




 
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Show Time!


It doesn't seem possible but our first show is right around the corner.  We will be headed to Wenatchee for the WRHA Spring Fling the weekend after Easter.   I am thankful we have this week and next week to keep riding so that we are more better prepared.  

Since it is our first show, I should bust out my "Master Show Packing List" to be sure I don't forget anything important like my hat.  Or my saddle.  If I have one reoccuring nightmare about going to shows it is that my saddle gets left behind.  Now, it wouldn't be a big deal if I were a bit taller but knowing that no other saddle from our barn has stirrups short enough for me, it would be a wee bit of a challenge for me to just hop on and ride.  
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I love those "Light Bulb Moments"

Whenever I have an "ahhhh ha" or light bulb moment, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  After however many months of Cliff telling me over and over (and over and over yet again) on how to ride my rundowns, it finally clicked today.  Now, I can't say they all of a sudden became perfect because that will take a lot more work but I am still giddy with excitement because I figured out how I need to ride Pebbles down the pen.  

I would have to say that rundowns have been my biggest challenge.  Not only because you have to go fast (which has been a challenge in itself for me) but you have to think about going straight, keeping your horse square while getting past those markers before asking for a stop.   Once I point Pebbles down the pen, it is like everything flies out the door along with her running.  I have been throwing my hand away, giving her the idea that it is all right to throw her head up and RUN.  This causes me to loose all process of thought along with loosing total control of my timing for a stop.  The end result?  Me having to pick up on her more then necessary, unattactive stops, and a sore neck and back. 

What changed about today?  I should back track to my fast circles where I was having the same problem with letting her run with her head up.  We have been working on me picking up on the reins a little while waving my legs just so to ask her to round up over the bridle.  That finally "clicked" the other day.  Fast forward to my work down the pen today.  Why hello!  If I pick up on her just like I do in my fast circles, I can ask her to accelerate AND she is over the bridle like she should be.   And guess what?  She stops so pretty and SMOOTH. 

I had to laugh becuase it took so long for it to finally click.  In fact, I am pretty sure I actually heard the clicking in my brain. 

Happy Sliding!
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It's Reining Babies!

My mom emailed me a picture of their first baby of the year.  Look at this spunky little guy:













I can't remember how he is bred but he looks to be a red dun which is something my step-dad has been looking for.   It would be fun to take a baby from his 2010 crop to the reining pen in 2014.  Hmm...perhaps I should pick out a weanling this year.... 
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The Reason For My Addiction

No reiner is complete without a trusty steed.   Pebbles, as she is known around the barn, has been my faithful partner for the past three years. 





Chex Out My CD 
2003 AQHA Mare

by CD Roanlite by CD Olena

Out of Miss Q T Chex by Colonel Freckles



Shown here with our trainer, Cliff Kellmer, at one of the Spokane AQHA shows last summer.  

I purchased Pebbles in May 2008 and spent that summer getting to know her and learning what buttons to push.  In the fall of 2008, we started working with Cliff Kellmer and started showing in 2009.  Last year was a real learning curve to say the least!  Having not been in the show pen for many years (too many to count!), I spent the summer figuring out what exactly to do.  We had a setback too when Pebbles showed signs of bowing a tendon.  After taking about 8 weeks off, we came back for the fall shows and finished the season with some satisfying runs.  

We have been back at it since the beginning of February to prepare for the 2010 show season.  We are looking forward to seeing what this year brings.



























 



 
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