Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rocky Mountain Horse Expo: Sunday

Sunday, I actually slept until almost seven. It was good and I was feeling somewhat refreshed when I got out of the shower. J got up shortly after, we packed lunch and then headed for the barn. We picked out Ashke's stall, got him fresh water and refilled his hay bucket. And he got an extra mash feed in the morning. He was looking tired and I wanted to make sure he was getting food in his belly.

J and I wandered around with him for a bit, but the warm up arena was filled with a round pen set up for the Colt Starting Finale (I know now why Mark Rashid was not popular at that event. He doesn't work horses that way.) We went outside and turned him loose in the round pen for a bit. Then when the horse that was working in the big arena left, we turned him loose in there.

He had his tail flagged up so high it was floating over his back. I have never seen him do that before.

Straighter up than this. He kept flat out running. I think he was a little stall crazy.

Stepping up under himself on the corner. 

Only Unicorns can levitate, you know.

I think my favorite part of this pic is the muscle over his shoulder.

So happy to be able to move at liberty.

Then our joy got brought to a sudden halt by the obnoxious Western Princesses that showed up and asked in a really snotty way if they could please use the arena. There is a real bias in the west in favor of the QH and against all other breeds, but especially the Arabian. I've heard cowboys call them mutts, which has to be one of the funniest things I've ever heard if it didn't piss me off so much. (Have you seen the 13th Warrior?) So, our playtime was cut short and I walked the boy back to his stall. He was pretty sweaty, which really wasn't a surprise considering it broke 80 on Sunday.

He got a good drink at his stall and set about tacking him up. We were set to ride at 2 pm in the Event Center and this time, there wasn't anything else in there. I rode Ashke in the warm up pen and AM joined me after her class on Tai Chi, which she really enjoyed and if they offer it next year, I would love to take. There were only the two of us when the class started, but I knew CS and SN were in a class in another building that ended at 2. Sure enough, they showed up pretty quick and AM left to take Rosa back to her stall. Rosa had gone from a relaxed, happy mare to a stressed out, unhappy mare when we walked in that arena. I really think it was the sound of the lights.

The class was on reinback obstacles. 

Started easy

Got more difficult and became apparent that we haven't been working on this.
And the corridor we were working on was much narrower than what I have practiced on in the past.

Better the second time, but we need to work on our corner. I need to wrap my head around the concept of turning his head to move his butt. Turn on the haunches, rather than a turn on the forehand. 

The corridor with the bell was fun. I wonder if it would count if Ashke bumped the bell with his nose.

Then came the reinback serpentine through poles.
By this time, Ashke knew what we were doing, but was struggling a little physically with the obstacle. This will be a good one to practice.

Then we did a figure eight barrel reinback around two barrels.
He actually executed this obstacle really well.

Then we worked on the gate obstacle, which is also something we haven't done in a while. J took this picture of us while we were watching TJ work with one of the junior riders who had never worked a gate before. 

Sideways ears = exhausted ponehs

Gate work part one

Second time through the gate.

After the final gate, we headed back to our stalls. Ashke got a bucket of mash and then J and I organized our stuff. We headed out to get the trailer from the trailer parking lot, hooked it up and headed back to park. Instead we got parked in a line of trailers. We left the truck and trailer and headed back to the stall where we completely packed everything. I had the idea that we could load where we were parked, but honestly, it was too darn hot to even seriously consider. So we headed back to the truck. I asked and TJ said the reason they don't want people leaving early is because they needed horses in the barns in case any one came by to look. The expo isn't officially over until 5 pm on Sunday. Finally, about four, they started letting the trailers in to pick up horses.

It took us about fifteen minutes to load everything in the trailer and bring Ashke out. He was a little freaked out about all of the activity. I had to ask him four times to load before he finally walked on the trailer. I was about to grab the come-a-long when he finally stepped on. 

Twenty minutes later we pulled into the barn yard. I got Ashke unloaded, the wraps off his legs and his left over hay into his feed bin. J carried in everything else. Once stuff was organized and put away, we parked the trailer and headed for home. Ashke bolted out of his stall as soon as we put him in there and was still standing in the sunshine looking satisfied when we pulled away.


  1. Ashke moves so pretty! I guess it depends on the area and your chosen discipline...I'm looking to get into endurance on a non-Arab and find many riders look down on all other breeds, even though my guy is a proven endurance horse, having competed successfully up north for 4 years before I got him.

  2. Ashke's body has changed so much. He's so muscular now that he looks taller, wider, more uphill even in photos of him standing still. How far you two have come!

    Those reinback exercises blew my mind. Nice job getting the hang of them; those are HARD!! The gate is also deceptively difficult. My favorite one was the corridor with the bell, when Ashke nodded after you rang the bell. He is so adorable.

  3. You two look so awesome! Ashke (my phone reallllyyy insists that his name should be spelled Ashkenazi....) has changed so much. He looks so strong and balanced. You've done such a great job with him.

  4. I thought it was you when I went to the expo on Sunday. I thought you two looked great.

    1. Who is this? Why didn't you come say hi?