Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thirty before Thirty; The Equestrian Version

I'm a huge fan of lists! I list everything.. from products I want to buy, chores that need doing around the house, things I need to practise with Oscar and even blog topics I want to talk about.

I'm also just over four weeks away from turning 24 which of course isn't that old at all. However, I have always thought that I ought to have achieved something big by the age of 24.
I haven't got a sponsorship deal with Veredus yet, but I do have a couple of very nice horses in the paddock, some lovely riding gear, have learnt a valuable art that can help me with my horses through the future, have my foot on the property ladder and have a really supportive partner who genuinely cares about my passion for horses. I'm very, very blessed to have such a good foundation to work on my thirty equestrian goals from. This foundation is a pretty good achievement too, by the age of 24, and I'm going to work super hard to be as blessed on my thirtieth birthday!

Without further ado, my thirty goals are:

  1. Find and mould a career that allows me time to spend with my horses when necessary, and to be an employee in a company that values and supports my interests (one of which, will be my career).
  2. Find the right work/horse/family balance. I don't wish to be a professional rider, so this balance is important and I shouldn't be so strict on myself to ride every day in every season.
  3. Make money from my hobby. I actually learnt to trim and shoe horses properly, and whether this becomes my career or not is up to fate to decide, but it's definitely an art/skill that I want to keep up my sleeve.
  4. Buy a lifestyle property so I can have my horses at home.
  5. Save up to buy a Prestige dressage saddle. This is a goal that will probably be accomplished very last minute, as I will be saving up for a very long time. My Bates Maestro is super comfy and can tide me over until then!
  6. Get a piece of Oscar's tail braided into a horse hair bracelet, to keep with me forever. This is something I want to do for each of my horses, but Oscar holds a very special place in my heart.
  7. Gallop Oscar along a beautiful beach, preferably at sunrise whilst someone takes photos. I imagine they will be stunning.
  8. Be able to confidently ride a 1m show jumping ring without 'sitting with the handbrake on'.
  9. Win a Pre-Novice one day/two day event. In my wildest dreams it will be Puhinui.
  10. Win a neck sash/garland.
  11. Breed my next horse out of my TB mare and by Prestige VDL, and pray it is a colt (gelding-to-be).
  12. Learn to drive manual so that I'm not dependent on a capable driver to tow the float with the ute. Then, learn to tow the float with a manual. (I can do this in an auto.)
  13. Have the tack room of my dreams, complete with a big ol' washing machine to keep my saddle blankets and rugs 👌👌
  14. Learn to clip horses.
  15. Have a better understanding of equine nutrition, be knowledgeable about the feed I feed, and be confident I am feeding it for a reason and not just because.
  16. Take part in a game of polocrosse.
  17. Watch the BMW Open Polo, in Auckland and drink Pimms with my girlfriends- ooh la la.
  18. Win a show series- dressage/hunter jumper.
  19. Practise yoga routinely to help my riding and keep fit/strong.  
  20. Have an insurance policy on my horses/sufficient savings in a quick access, interest building account for unexpected expensive vet bills.
  21. Gain a sponsor or two ;)
  22. Have fifty blog followers (aiming large with this one)
  23. Have a real photoshoot with Oscar, wearing a dress and no saddle and all.
  24. Have my horse incorporated into my wedding- should somebody choose to wife me up of course!
  25. Save up and buy a really flash camera.
  26. Qualify in something-anything for Horse of the Year.
  27. Compete level 3(+) dressage. I just want to see how high I can get with this and do it well.
  28. Take part in a clinic/lesson with a rider I admire.
  29. Find a trainer in my area that I love as much as my old trainer.
  30. By the age of thirty, still be as passionate about horses as I am now!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

it's too hot for horse shows.

Usually my pre-competition regime does not involve bareback riding to the river to cool down from the sizzling heat; but, you gotta do what you gotta do!

L and I decided to treat the horses to a refreshing splash in the river as a culmination to the endless schooling Oscar and I have been doing in preparation for the horse sports which are 36 hours away. In just t shirts, shorts and bridles we hacked for about half an hour to the calmest part of the Manawatu river where the horses waded up to their withers with no guidance from us. Oscar kept dunking his whole face underneath the surface and splashing water over all of us, which would have been super cute had he not kept trying to paw Kiri's legs under the water! He can be a complete monster to his paddock friends...

We passed a stock truck full of sheep, a loud pig, a ram jumping through a loose wire fence, a mumma chicken crossing the road with her babies, drains, cars, a tractor, trailers and cyclists to name a few potential dangers- but Oscar and Kiri didn't really bat an eyelid. It's just too hot to care about scary objects, and they are definitely becoming really awesome, wholesome horses that will turn their hoof to anything from show jumping to bareback treks!   

I did notice their feet got quite sore on the way home, so me and Louis walked the last half way just leading them on the grass. It's very tempting to put front shoes on Oscar before Thursday, but his frogs and heels are looking so good, I'm really hesitant about restricting them with shoes again. Hopefully he is okay on the day.

Our last ride before yesterday, and in turn, the horse show was a mixture of good and bad. Oscar wasn't quite himself, in that he was really towie and hard to stop. I mistakenly decided to work on canter lead changes, which works him up on the best of days, so add this exercise to the hot mix and we had a V8 engine with faulty brakes. I'm praying that it was a one off behavioural adjustment, but if he does turn into a speedy little demon on Thursday, it will be a challenge and a lesson for us. Ribbons aren't my goal, experience is.

I have a lot to write about all of the horses, but should be packing my show gear box and cleaning leather, so I'd better drag myself away from the laptop and hit up the saddle soap..