The chronicles of a Friesian mare who happened upon an owner who lives outside the show ring....

Monday, August 25, 2014

Revisiting the Urethane Horseshoes

Foxhunting season is upon us (hooray!) and it is ever more imperative that I protect my horses hooves.  We're still using the Ground Control horseshoes and on our second season with them.  They hold up fairly well (I get 10-12 weeks out of a shoe) and have a nice balance of traction (with Grip Studs!) and shock absorbtion.  They do tend to collect dirt and debris under the web and frog protector, which is very difficult to clean out.  The last reset, I cut out the frog protector, which really helped with the dirt entrapment, but reduced the protection for her foot. 

We travers some very rocky areas and often at speed.  So, I decided this time around to try packing around her frogs with Magic Cushion, filling in the rest of the void with oakum fiber and then adding a 4 Heavy leather pads to the package.

Ground Controls set up with pads and studs
I hope to acheive a few things with the addition of the leather pads.  First and foremost is increased protection for her soles over rocks.  Also, with the packing and additional coverage of the pads, I hope to keep much of the dirt and debris from getting stuck under the shoes in places that I can't clean out.

I put these on her yesterday and she seems really happy with them so far.  We have a hunt up in Tamworth, NH this coming Saturday, so that will be a good test as, if I recall, there was some serious granite up there!


Nails farthest back were holding shoe and pad together for application.  They were pulled out before the job was completed.
 I'm pretty please with how they turned out.  We'll see how well they hold up! :)  Also interested to see if the Magic Cushion will improve the hoof quality over time.  Packed with that has to be better than packed with bacteria laden dirt. :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Spartan Race (Aroo!) and one last dressage show....

Last weekend was INSANE.  Back in February, I signed up for the Spartan Race held at the Amesbury Sports Park.  Seemed like a fabulous idea at the time.  "It'll get me to work out", I said, "a great personal challenge" I said.

Well, it ended up on the same weekend as my last USEF dressage show.

Five miles of grueling hills, impossible obstacles and slipperly, slimy, smelly MUD.  I finished in just over 2 hours.  I have never been so sore in my life!  I had no time to train (far too busy this summer!).  Thank goodness I'm generally fit or I never would have made it!

Here's proof.  Your's truly completed a Spartan Race.  Arrrrgh.  That was fun.  Like a heart attack!  No, really.  It was fun. :P  They post photos of runners en-route during the race, so as soon as I've got some, I'll share.  Should be good. :P

The next day dawned and I was up butt-crack early to haul up to UNH for the last dressage show before hunt season starts.  We just did one test (smart move!) and came away with a 63.22 in First Level Test 3 despite my.....err.....inability to ride well due to revolting muscles!  Lol.  Daatje was good, even on such a warm day. 

Thanks to my friend Marielle, for this wonderful photo!
Yesterday I realized that I now have enough scores to apply for the USDF Rider Performance Award at 1st level.  (yay!) Daatje needs 6 more scores above 60% at 1st level to qualify for the USDF Horse Performance Award.  Definitely a goal for next season. :)

Moving forward, today's openning meet was cancelled due to rain (bummer, but I couldn't go anyway....working) so we are all looking forward to the start of hunt season on Saturday!  I promise a hunt report with photos. :D  'till then......

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dressage Sport Horse Show

On Saturday, July 19th, Daatje and I made our way over to UNH in Durham, NH for the Broadfields 121 Dressage Sport Horse Show.  We'd never done one of these before, so I thought it would be an interesting experience. :) 

We entered two classes, Maiden Mares 4 and older and the Friesian Breed class.  I didn't expect Daatje to score well in the Maiden class, especially against dressage bred warmbloods.  While I'm partial to my mare, I'm not so starry eyed that I can't recognize her conformational faults. :)

So, we placed 6th out of 6 in that class. :)  The Friesian Breed class was kinda silly because we were the only Friesian there!  Honestly, more Friesian peeps should have come out, they would have had a great time.  (and given us some competition!)  I felt odd accepting the big FHANA high point neck sash!  I mean, we were the only ones. :P

The judge was dutch (cool!) and spot on with his assessment of her.  A friend joined me for the morning and helped me get Daatje ready for her first class.  She also brought her amazing camera and took these photos of us after the Maiden Class.  Just lovely.  Faults and all, I simply LOVE this mare. :)

We have one more dressage show this season, which will be back at UNH on this coming Sunday, August 10th.  I'm so glad it's the last one!  This has been fun (and $$$$!) but I'm ready to start ATV'ing with my pony.  Foxhunting begins for us next Saturday!!!

On another note....little did I know that Broadfields would be the last time my old red Chevy hauled my horse trailer.  I took it in to the shop for an oil change last Saturday with plans on doing a brake job with my Dad that afternoon.  Well, turns out not only did it need brakes all around, the rear backing plate was rusted off (gone, as in not present).  That on top of what I knew needed fixing (the front wheel bearing and hub assemblies, AC vacuum leak, heater core, radiator) and the rust that had accumulated over 13 years of living outside, was the last straw.  I was done putting $$$ into the old girl and set out that morning to buy a BRAND NEW TRUCK! 

Wait, what?  Yes.  A brand spankin' new GMC Sierra.  Say hello to our new wheels. :D

Looking forward to hauling to hunts safely and in style. :D