Saturday, August 12, 2023

Media Dump: Brookside Breed Show

 When your filly's breeder is also the photographer, you get some fantastic pictures.  It doesn't hurt that's she's growing up just gorgeous.  All photos courtesy of Studio Equus.

Tada!  Looking completely civilized and like a show horse.  She's growing up so beautifully, looking less and less like a baby every week.  She dapples up so nicely.  21 braids to get that full double mane contained.  All of the other horses I did got 11.

Such a polite trot but I can see why this got us comments like 'needs more push' and 'needs more shoulder freedom'.

Polite little trit-trot only gets you a 7.6.  Which is a great score but the three other pony fillies were all GRPs from a dressage breeder and the winner got a 7.8 in the trot.  It was very close with Kiki at 76.5% and the winner at 77.1% and reserve at 77.0%.  Little lady needs to show off that big cob trot since movement has a coefficient of 3.

Seriously could not hear this dang judge, there are several pictures of me staring in confusion.

Pretty girl.  Kind of excited for her to cob out but we're all watching her height closely.  She shot up again.  Might be a small horse, not a pony.  

It was a lot of forelock when it was loose for her Welsh classes.  Fortunately her mane was full of braiding wax and laid down nicely long enough to get around.

Good gravy her face.  Everyone commented on her beautiful face and kind eye.  She got her sire's eye and an uncanny resemblance to her sire's sire as a yearling, Danaway Flash Jack.

She's not so sure about this trotting along with a stranger while the nice lady suddenly tries to chase her with a whip.  Going to have to train her mane on the right side to get the full effect of the silver hair from her frosted gene.

I love this last picture as we're both looking at the judge going 'huh?  You want us to what?'.  I did not do well in amateur handler but the judge was also kind of a jerk.  I couldn't hear him and he did not like to repeat himself.  I also did not need the extended lecture about forgetting my phone in my back pocket after braiding nine horses and needing to coordinate across multiple barns.  Or the comments about my fitness and how it was clear I don't do this kind of thing.  But worth it for the picture of us both looking utterly confused.  Breeder said she trotted off nicer for me than the professional handler so we're taking note:  Kiki loves people but currently isn't cool with working for strangers.  She does it but with a big question mark over her head.

Entries are going in for the breed show in September.  We have no illusions of grand winnings, the pony fillies division is apparently very hot and Miss Kiki appears to be one that will show better once she's matured a bit more.  The 'toe out' and 'cow hock' comments are fine for a filly that's going to gain a lot of width as well as height in the upcoming years.  I'm really looking forward to presenting her as a three year old, all grown up and confident with lots of ground work to develop the in hand trot.  

For her yearling year?  Polite, calm, happy is the name of the game.  Oh, and her very first sugar cube.  Baby pony worked very hard and hard working show ponies get sugar cubes.  Her pupils immediately dilated, I might have created a monster.

Sunday, August 6, 2023


 Things you want from a baby horse at her first show:

  • Can be led - Check!  Very polite, no need for the rope halter or a chain shank, Kiki is a lady and goes where she is asked with minimal hauling the handler off in search of grass or mischief

  • Can be trotted - Check!  Could use some more enthusiasm honestly, she's a bit too polite right now.  Very lady like trotting does not show off her movement but it earned her points with the handler who found her easy to manage and steer.
  • Can be groomed - Check!  She loves it.  The baths have taken some work but now that she realizes warm water and soap lead to whole body scrubs, she is on board.  Good thing she likes it, her four white stockings take a lot of scrubbing.  She likes having her belly curried so we'll keep up on that, don't want to lose that.

  • Can be stabled - Check!  She enjoyed having her own stall with her own hay net.  She made friends with the buckskin yearling pony filly next door and anyone else that was willing to stop by and visit with her.  She's fairly neat for a filly, just one manure stain that needed a scrub but I had to stay on top of picking her stall because her color shows any bit of dirt.  By the last day she was not happy to go back into her boring box but she was so polite I got comments from the neighbors.

  • Can be trailered - Check!  While her bff was having none of the trailering, Kiki saw that the food lady was in there and she had a hay net.  A quick sniff and check to make sure the flooring was up to her standard before she hopped up the step so she could get her food.  Pony has a one track mind.
  • Eats/drinks/sleeps - Check!  Especially eats, this girl will eat anywhere, any time.  When her friend was being dramatic about the trailer, she was happily grazing and ignoring everything.  So long as she had a hay net, we could braid and groom with her loose in her stall.  She did get some Gastro Guard as a preventative each day but that tummy was never empty.  She also slept a lot.  Saturday included three lay down naps during the day.

  • Doesn't bite/kick/trample anyone - Check!  So, so people friendly.  She was delighted that everyone wanted to pet her and tell her she was pretty.
  • Can be braided - HAHAHAHAHA NOPE.  Oh, you can braid her.  She doesn't mind a bit, stands there eating hay with perfect manners.  Within five minutes of me leaving the stall she had one out.  Fifteen minutes she had four or five.  Forty-five minutes?  Disaster.  She uses her hind foot and systematically tears them out as soon as you leave.  She will also go down and roll to shove shavings into them or drag along the wall to bust the bands.  I ended up doing her last class with her hair down each day since it was her Welsh class and the other Welsh owner wanted to show her horse as a native pony with her hair down.  I certainly wasn't going to argue against taking her braids out early.  She was so damn good about so many things, I was not going to fight her on her braids.  We just took them out after her yearling pony filly class and called it a day.  That's a fight we'll handle another time.

So Cheeky Kiki is a show pony!  She was last in almost every class (got first of two in her second Welsh class) but she's in an awkward stage and doesn't understand that a show is when you get sassy and big.  She's very cooperative but the judges wanted to see more push and freedom in her movement.  We all know it's there, just not in the ring.  Yet.  She may be one of those that does better when she's three, all cobbed out, and a confident mare as opposed to a confused filly.  The goal for the weekend was to introduce her to showing in a positive way and we completely succeeded at that.  We both learned a lot.  Her breeder was the show photographer so I know we'll have lovely pictures soon.

I need to find a neck cover in size small pony before her next show.  I won't have any kind of a chance of keeping her braided without some armor.  But it's a good primary problem to have.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Oil change

 Two steps forward, one step back.

We had a string of great lessons and great rides.  Theo was gobbling up the Third Level work.  Then we had a ride where we couldn't quite get the right hind under him.  He worked into it but he was a little hesitant.  Then a ride where he was guarding the left to right flying change with Trainer Z.  We were watching it, trying to spot what was going on.  With the heat he was only in light work and he never looked lame.  Then Theo lost his ever loving shit during a ride with Trainer Z after the heat broke and she pushed him.

He usually works into a better and better mood.  This time, he escalated and damn near unloaded her.  Everyone's radar went off.  He was very good the next day but the day after that, NQR.  Next day still not right.  Put him on the trailer and took him to the vet because something was clearly wrong.  Theo had told us in the only way he has that something hurt.  Most horses would show a deviation in gait, might even go lame.  Theo gets pissed that you're asking him to do something that hurts and lets you know in no uncertain terms that he will not play.  He goes from vague resistance to violence awfully quick.

The good news is that the vet found nothing but sore hocks.  He was seven months out from his hock injections so apparently he does need his hocks done twice a year at this level of work.  No big deal for a horse his age.  I threw a box of Adequan on his bill as well to top off any other joints that might not be feeling great.  He was an absolute gentleman for the vet and no signs of neck/back/leg pain outside of those hocks.  Even with us pointing things out and really hunting.  No swelling, no signs of soft tissue stuff.  Just a dressage horse with sore hocks that does not tolerate being uncomfortable.  It really is a blessing that he's a clear communicator but we could do with a bit less violence in the communication, papi.

But a perfect patient so he has that going for him

He'll get a whole week off since he was quite sore and we want to make sure he gets some rest and time to let his hocks recover after his oil change.  We're also off to the breed show so he was going to get some time off anyway.  I suspect he'll be delighted to get back to work after his break.  Now we just hope he doesn't feel so good that he feels he needs to share his joy with everyone by doing the dance of the land porpoise across the ring . . .