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

Monday, March 16, 2015

Spring came....and then left.

Apparently last week was the only bit of spring we'll get to see.  It snowed 3" last night and is going to be 9°F on Wednesday evening this week!

It's the middle of March.  Somebody needs to update mother nature.  She obviously thinks it's still January.


No horsey time this weekend.  I stuck to inside projects.  The stainless chimney we had installed a year and a half ago is finally getting a "hearth" around the base where it passes through the floor in the sun room.  Up until now, there's just been a hole where the square brick chimney used to be.
Hole in the floor, looking down into the basement
2x4 framing that will support the plywood
Plywood that will support the Cement Board and ultimately the tiles

This is as far as I got on Saturday.  Once I can go get the cement board, I'll be able to put the rest of the base together and then pick out the tiles that we want to use to create the "hearth" around the chimney. 

I started weight lifting back in December (used to lift in my 20's) and happened to take some photos  last January, after a month and a half of lifting.  Well, I took another set of photos last night after 3 1/2 months of lifting 3 days a week and I think I see some progress happening!  I'm definitely feeling stronger. :)  My goal is to be able to bench press 90-100 lbs, 2 sets of 10 reps.  Right now I'm comfortable with 60lbs at those reps, although I did try 80lbs the other day and was able to squeak out 5 reps.  Got a ways to go, but it's fun, so I don't mind!

January 2015

March 2015

Building muscle is crazy fun!
So now it's Monday again and we're faced with another *entire* week before the next weekend. :-/  Hopefully the weather will cooperate and I'll get some horse time.  I think this is the longest stretch I've ever gone without riding Daatje, 11 weeks and counting.  I just have no interest in risking her slipping on the trail or getting hit by a car on the snow bank encumbered roads.  So, we wait.  I lift.  She eats.  Spring will come.  Eventually.  It has to.
Oooh, Region 8 Omnibus finally showed up!  Time to start picking out which dressage show's we'll attend this season.  I'm thinking anything earlier than June will be too soon!!! :o

Monday, March 9, 2015

The harness fits!

I absolutely love the way this new Camptown Harness fits Daatje.  It's so nice to have something that actually works for her!

I took her out for a line yesterday, first time wearing the closed bridle in a long time.  Nothing phased her, which is amazing as this was also the first time she's been off the property since January 1st!

The styling on this breastcollar takes the weight off the neck strap and puts it back on the saddle.  Very neat!
Helloooo down there.
One of these is not like the others!
I'm so looking forward to getting her to pull weight again.  We have to wait until the snow shrinks some more though!  It's still really deep and the temps are just not warming up like they should this time of year.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Daatje!

Saturday, 2/28/2015, marked Daatje's 14th birthday.  So hard to believe we've been together for 14 years!  Where has the time gone.  I can remember the warm August day that I brought her home.  The subsequent work in hand....taking her to open shows, showing in the horse colts and fillies classes.

Getting her started on the lunge, in the lines and eventually under saddle....

Her first outing under saddle at the Greater Manchester Horse Show, walk/trot pleasure, May of 2005 (she was only 4!)


Our championship at the NEFHC Classic, Walk Trot the following year.

Our first Dressage show as a 5 year old.

Taking dressage lessons from one of the best in the area, the 2006-2007 winter we spent at Rosebrook Farm in Georgetown, MA.


Discovering Foxhunting in 2008!

After 7 years of focusing on foxhunting, we re-discovered Dressage in 2014.


And this year........pursuing work in harness. :)  How fitting that her new harness would arrive the day before her birthday!  It's just gorgeous!  I cannot wait to try it on her and get her out and working in it.  Perhaps this coming weekend it will be warm enough!

We have to wait for this crap to melt though, before we can do any serious work.  This winter has been a pisser!

Daatje snoozing in the sun, the morning of her birthday

Monday, February 23, 2015

Worst. Winter. Ever

So sorry it's been a whole month since my last post!  We have been having just the most horrible winter ever here in the Northeastern US.

One week after my last post (Jan 21st) we got the "Blizzard of 2015".  Or as I called it, the.....
It snowed for 3 days.  And it hasn't stopped snowing the entire month of February!!!  Every third day we'd get another foot and in between 3-6" here and seems like all we do around here is wake up, go to work, go home, move snow, sleep, repeat.  No time or energy for anything else!

So.  Depressing.

If winters were always like this, I'd move somewhere very, very warm.

From the manure pile during the first blizzard.
House?  What house?
Oh there's the house.
But where's the car?
So, since that blizzard on January 27, 28 and 29 it's been nothing but storm after storm after storm.  The back of my house now looks like this:

It's very hard to imagine that one day, the grass will be green the sun warm again and the ground thawed.  Nearly impossible to imagine, actually.  I hates it.  A pox on all who love the snow.  There's nothing to love. >:-(

For those who might be wondering, the Smuckers harness return went smoothly, the seller cooperated, I got a  full refund and the deal is closed.  Phew.  We are currently awaiting the arrival of our new custom Camptown harness.  I'm not sure how long it will take to get here, but it's not like I could do anything with it right now anyway.  Seriously.  If it shows up by May I still might not be able to do anything with it. >:-(

But it is coming.  And so is spring......I think.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Camptown Classic Harness and our 2015 Dressage Show Schedule

I have decided to go with the Camptown Classic harness for Daatje.  I have experience with them, they are classy, well made, safe and hold up well for decades with minimal care.  We have one for our Miniature mare, Rainbow.
Mom and Rainbow with her Camptown Classic harness

I contacted Camtpown Harness to discuss options with them and have chosen the same configuration that the owner uses on her 1/2 Friesian gelding.  She send me a couple of photos of the new breastcollar that she designed.  It's purpose is to take the pressure off the top of the neck and transfer it back onto the saddle.  Makes great sense and I really like the look!  She reassured me that for CDE's, even in dressage, this should be totally acceptable and that the only place I may get some funny looks is in the pleasure ring.  I replied that neither of us can stomach the pleasure ring so that should not be a problem! :D

Camptown Owners half Friesian modeling the harness I'm getting for Daatje

I just have to call and place my order.  Hope to get to that before this weekend.  The return of the Smuckers was going well.....until the sellers bank declined the refund.  >:(  I will have to wait 3 days for Paypal to attempt the refund another time and then it's on to opening a "money back guarantee" case with eBay.  Frustrating, but not the end of the world and certainly not preventing me from ordering this Camptown. :)  Thank-goodness.
I really do hope to get some dressage shows in this year too.  Here's what the schedule looks like right now:
May 9th, 2015 NEDA Spring
May 24th, 2015 Beland Stables
June 20 and 21st, 2015 UNH
July 12th, 2015 SMDA
August 8 and 9th, 2015 Oyster River
October 3 and 4th, 2015 GMHA Fall
(Please excuse the messed up table below.  Copied it in and mysteriously can't delete it)
May 9, 2015 NEDA Spring, Marshfield, MA
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
May 24, 2015 Beland Stables Dressage
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
June 20, 2015 UNH USDF Dressage
June 21, 2015 UNH USDF Dressage
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
July 12, 2015 SMDA Dressage
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
August 1, 2015 BEARSPOT Dressage
August 2, 2015 BEARSPOT Dressage
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
August 8, 2015 Oyster River
August 9, 2015 Oyster River
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
October 3, 2015 GMHA Fall Dressage
October 4, 2015 GMHA Fall Dressage
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
Tests: Training 3 and First 3
I'm not entirely certain we'll do NEDA Spring this year. It all depends on how early Spring actually gets here and how much practice we get in. The first two shows are 1 hour and 30 minutes from me, UNH is only 45 minutes from me, SMDA is in Maine, about 1 hour and 45 minutes drive, BEARSPOT is in Concord, MA, about 45 minutes away, Oyster River is at UNH and GMHA Fall would be the only "away" show where we stayed overnight, being a good 2 hours and 30 minutes away.
It's an ambitious schedule, but I'm going to see how things go and play it by ear. :) Of course, the driving training is going to come first, if we want to be hitched by summer, so we may just do the ones at UNH and finish with GMHA in the fall.