Monday, August 27, 2018

Adventures with Theo

And now for all the stuff that happened at the championships while outside the show ring.
* Theo is now the 'random' bit check horse wherever he goes.  I got 'randomly' selected for bit check on both of my tests since my horse will stand in an over crowded warm up with his bridle off and not move a foot.  It also doesn't bother the rider.  This means Theo is now learning to follow a steward out after his test.  He tucks in behind them or right at their shoulder, looking for cookies or pats.  Funny thing, all stewards have pats and ear rubs for him.  He got so many ear rubs.  Random small children were rubbing his ears.  He didn't want to go in for his second test because he was getting so much love in the warm up.
* Theo, when bored, drags his nose along the bars like a prisoner banging a metal cup against the jail cell bars.  He doesn't drag his teeth up the bars anymore, it's not aggression, he just wants out.  I was trying to talk to someone and they kept looking behind me with a perplexed expression.  Theo was dragging his nose back and forth, top lip bouncing away.  I gave in and took him for yet another hand walk.  He looked so pathetic.
* After I was done showing and while I was trying to get Theo's stall stripped, I changed into my jeans and hung up my show pants on my stall.  I loaded up my cart and hauled my stuff to my trailer.  Once I got there, I realized I had forgotten my truck key in the pocket of my show pants.  Turn around, walk all the way back.  Where are my pants?  I'm looking everywhere in the stabling area, no sign of my pants.  My horse is staring at me and all of a sudden it dawns on me.  I pull open his stall door and find my pants in a sawdust covered, soggy heap.  My beloved jackass had sucked them up between the bars like spaghetti and worked all of the treats out of the pocket.  There were some tense moments while I tracked down everything else that had been in my pockets, including my truck key.  I found my key safe and sound, but I still think he ate a dollar bill.  Still not sure how he got all of the treats out of my pocket without tearing them.  My poor pants.
* After loading Theo in the trailer, I went to open his windows.  The window on the escape door was a little sticky so I had to give it a hard push to get it moving.  It got loose, slammed open, and shattered into a million little pieces that rained down on me and the driveway.

Just . . . what?  Seriously, what?

So I'm down a window and need to figure out how to get it replaced.  My best guess is that there was a small rock or gap in the rubber around the outside and it shattered the tempered glass.  I swear Theo was laughing at me while I stood there in shock.  I've never even heard of that happening!
* I got my big, beautiful ribbon and headed back to my stall.  I was on Cloud 9, giggly and kind of bouncy.  I wanted a picture of my horse with his ribbon, so I pulled him out, put his ribbon on his halter, and pulled out my phone.  At this point, I realized I was going to have trouble.  A random rider immediately spotted my problem, dismounted, ground tied her paint, and came over to play photographer.

I was so delighted.  I rarely get pictures of us together since I'm usually the photographer.  Of course my horse was a total mooch and I'm laughing in all of the photos because he was trying to mug me and eat his ribbon.  Once the riders figured out that I was showing completely on my own, many went out of their way to help.  Holding my horse when I forgot my whip, inviting me to dinner so I didn't have to eat alone, lending me a wheelbarrow so I didn't have to go get mine, lots of little things to help me survive my away show.  I really don't like showing solo, but they made it much easier.  After some online interactions I wasn't feeling welcome at western dressage as a primarily standard dressage rider, but as usual, real people are much nicer than the online trolls.
* I got Theo fitted for a DP Vario 1300.  The saddle fitter/dealer brought the saddle back to the stabling area so I could see it on him.  I didn't take a picture because I really didn't want a reminder of how beautiful it was on him, but take my word on it.  Gorgeous.
That saddle but with a bunch more tooling and some gorgeous antiqued hardware.  I led Theo out and I swear the saddle dealer almost forgot her saddle.  Turns out she had Cheval Canadien horses herself and immediately recognized Theo's face.  These Canadian horses have to be everywhere, I find owners at every show that think Theo is one of them!  She invited me to an Expo in Connecticut, might have to follow up on that.  The saddle will wait until I see what my vet bill is on Friday, but I'm planning on the upgrade over the off season to something with a tree that will cope with collected work better.

* People think Theo is a western trained horse in warm up.  I do most of my warm up on the buckle, encouraging him to stretch and be chill.  I was riding one handed for part of my warm up because, well, when in Rome.  Someone actually asked if he was a QH.  Then I shortened my reins and got him ready to go in.  Presto, instant dressage horse.  Neck lifts, booty engages, and he looks like something else entirely.  Someone suggested I try him in ranch pleasure since he'd do just as well there as he does in western dressage.  Hm . . .
* I brought Theo home and he rolled like crazy before snorting and bucking down his field to mess with his neighbor.  I went out with the hubby to celebrate.

We each have our way of celebrating a job well done.


  1. There is nothing better than when you are showing 100% solo, and some kind strangers go out of their way to help you out. It is overwhelming and difficult to show alone, with no help at all! Awesome that you found some nice people willing to help out!

  2. Is that chocolate in your martini?! I want that.