Saturday, November 15, 2008

Moving in the horses

Finally, both Reco and Decision Time are are moved out of their stalls and into the feeding pasture. Both have had to slowly peck (bite, tear, kick) their way up the social hiearchy. Apparently humans aren't the only animals that can be cruel to each other.

The resident alpha horse of the pasture, Snowball: Ender of Worlds (Yes, his name really is Snowball. Guess what color he is?) is finally content to leave Reco and Decision Time alone instead of attempting to fillet them alive. The blood has stopped flowing and all are well fed -- except for the poor worn J.B. who's only crime is being really really old. It seems that Reco, our submissive, unassuming, kind-hearted beta horse has pecked his way up from the bottom of the herd -- by pushing J.B. away from his food. Sigh.

Anyway, it's been a long journey. All the photos below can be found here on my smugmug page. Here's an email I sent to Jen (Reco's owner) after I put him into the feeding pasture after the first few days:

"Reco politely asked the Other Horse for a few bites to eat but was rebuffed. At first, he stood aside mournfully, but then his hunger got the best of him and he slowly crept toward the hay and stole a few nibbles here and there. Then upon realizing that this Other Horse, though ears pinned, was not Snowball: Ender of Worlds, Reco became brave and began to partake fully in the pile of hay. At last the Other Horse grudgingly accepted this new intruder and though they were not friends, there was food aplenty for all."

Here's a couple more photos of Reco and Decision Time:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Halloween Horse Show 2008

I discovered casual schooling shows were fun earlier this year so I decided to enter in the only other schooling show at Westwind Barn, the annual Halloween Horse Show. You may have seen pictures I took from a previous one in my gallery. It's really fun with jumps decorated with corn stalks and pumpkins and a special costume class where you dress yourself and your horse up.

This time I had Reco all to myself so I entered into the Low Hunters and Low Jumpers classes (2'3"). I haven't been riding all summer so I figured this would be plenty to challenge rusty ol' me.

In Hunters, I knocked down a pole and figured that it wasn't a big deal. That's what Jumpers is for: a second chance! During the Jumpers round, I clobbered the second fence and was very disappointed that I'd blown both of my chances. However, as I came around the bend I was amazed to find the fence still up! I continued happily around the course cleanly and went immediately into the jump-off course (they only timed the jump-off course). I was originally going to go "Albert speed" they call it (terrifyingly fast), but I asked my instructor if there was such thing as "too fast." She said, no, but there was such thing as "crashing and burning." So we kept it at a very sane pace and ran a clean round.

I ended up placing 6th (to which everyone always asks if there were more than 6 people in the class -- yes there were about a dozen) and taking home my first "Horsie Ribbon" I call it. Very exciting. The ribbon's technically for Reco, but whatever, I appreciated it more so I took it home and hung it on the mantle.

Here's the fantastic video Lauren shot complete with excellent commentary (my favorite). Enjoy!