Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

Young At Heart

Y is for Young at Heart. If you are joining me from Blogging A To Z, welcome! Since the blog is already daily, with topics for each day [About: Schedule], there is no specific A To Z theme. I may even skip a few letters. Gasp. Clutch the pearls. The goal for this year is less crazy, more visiting. [Ze State of Ze Blog 2014]

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Five women who will put the joie back in your vivre.

Lorna Johnstone, Dressage Rider

At the Munich Olympic Games in 1972, British rider Lorna Johnstone became the oldest female Olympian: She was 70 years old when she entered the dressage competition. Johnstone is also the second oldest female Olympian, competing in the 1968 games at age 66.
National Geographic: Meet the Olympians Who Prove Age Really Is Just a Number

Dara Torres, Swimmer

Dara Torres is arguably the fastest female swimmer in America. She entered her first international swimming competition at age 14 and competed in her first Olympic Games a few years later in 1984.

At the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Dara became the oldest swimmer to compete in the Olympic Games.

Dara Torres Official Site: Her Story

Wiki says she was 41 in 2008, Dara Torres. Torres has be a lifestyle idol of mine for a while [Quote, Cover].

Katherine Switzer, Runner

The 121st Boston Marathon included the first woman to officially run the race 50 years ago, ABC News, By Kaelyn Forde.
Katherine Switzer Marathon Woman: Latest News

In 1967, Switzer finished in 4 hours, 20 minutes. On Monday, at 70 years old, Switzer finished in 4:44:31, wearing the same bib number — 261.

Boston Globe: Kathrine Switzer finishes Boston Marathon again, 50 years later

Dahlov Ipcar, Artist
(emphasis mine)

It’s with great sadness that we announce Dahlov’s passing, yesterday, February 10th, 2017.

She spent the morning at her easel; fielded a few calls with her son Bob pertaining to a sit down interview for a publication; worked with her son Charlie on any number of projects related to upcoming exhibits. In the late afternoon she bid good day to her home health aide but early in the evening she was gone.

At age 99 she worked right up to the end, doing what she loved. We should all be so lucky – but it hurts just the same. May she forever be with the wondrous beasts of her imagination, that magical realm that knows no beginning or end. She left us a remarkable world to remember her by.
The World Of Dahlov Ipcar

Barbara Harmon, Traveler & Blogger

Across Country with a Horse, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Minimal Income: Enjoying the ride! Living in the moment; coping with obstacles; on and off a horse. (http://raandahorseandnomoney.com/)

A few days ago, Barbara Harmon (I’m guessing the name from the contact address) packed up her horse and took off for a cross-country trip.

I am now leaving in two days for a solo drive across the US to the Bay Area in CA, a four-month stay at my friend’s horse ranch, a return drive to Florida by very roundabout way of another few months visiting Cape Cod and New England. I will be pulling a horse trailer with horse and belongings for 2-3 stops in the earlier portions of the trip.

My friend jests: “must be nice to be independently wealthy”… but I am not. I am 56 years old, single, female, have had RA for 20 years, and am financially …”challenged”.

This is gonna be awesome!!

I hope you’ll tune in!

Across Country with a Horse, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Minimal Income

As of Thursday, she’d written nine posts and had gotten as far as North Carolina. There’s a lot of the US to go. Who knows what kind of correspondent she will turn out to be. If she stays with the blog, we will get to watch the trip unfold in real time.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

X if for … I got nothing. If you are joining me from Blogging A To Z, welcome! Since the blog is already daily, with topics for each day [About: Schedule], there is no specific A To Z theme. I may even skip a few letters. Gasp. Clutch the pearls. The goal for this year is less crazy, more visiting. [Ze State of Ze Blog 2014]

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Bzzzzzt!
Wrong answer.

The Venn diagram for today is a null set.

Horses
Blog topic. A wide category, that I interpret broadly, or occasionally omit all together.

Foto Friday
Photography for art [Texture]. Anything goes, as long as it goes through my camera. How do I take a picture of an X?

X
Last year’s A to Z was full of X-Men and X-Files. Mutant horse? Alien horse?
In 2014, my A to Z entry was X-Ray.
For my lettering alphabets so far, I used Xerophagy & Xenophon.
None of these were any help.

It’s good to know that even my cleverness has limits.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Driving Thursday

W is for The Wonderful Mr. Whizbang. If you are joining me from Blogging A To Z, welcome! Since the blog is already daily, with topics for each day [About: Schedule], there is no specific A To Z theme. I may even skip a few letters. Gasp. Clutch the pearls. The goal for this year is less crazy, more visiting. [Ze State of Ze Blog 2014]

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HB Whizbang on the way to winning our inaugural Academy Driving class.
Photo by Doug Shiflet

Thank you to Shiflet Photography for giving photo certificates as Academy prizes [Show Report II].

My photos: Shiflet Photography > View Proofs > 2017 Pro Am > Saturday ACA >
120 – Aca Showmanship Driving
121 – Aca Reinsmanship Driving
132 – Aca Equitation Adult WTC
133 – Aca Showmanship Adult WTC
136 – Aca WTC Championship
Purple vest, black helmet
Note that everyone had helmets! It may have been required for juniors.

This is the first time I did not buy a riding picture. It was that bad. [Show Report I].

Coach Courtney’s thesis that it’s all in by head gets further proof by the lovely pictures of Desi in her other classes.
127 – Aca Equitation WT 9- 10
128 – Aca Showmanship WT 9- 10
Blue vest on the rider, knee boots on the horse.
Yes, being shown in walk-trot by a 10-year-old. No, I don’t want to talk about it.

Coach Husband thinks the problem was showing a new-to-me horse for the first time. He has a point. He usually does. With the inexplicable exception of Previous Horse [Defense], I have always taken a while to adjust to a different horse [Report, Sorta]. My record is seven years with Opinionated Jumper Mare [Jump Crew].

Neither of these preclude my stick or dressage lesson arguments [Report I, above]. Why not both? I am vast, I contain a multitude of methods for getting in my own way.

Previous Photos
[2016] [2015]
List of posts [Perry GA]

Alvin in 2016
Photo by Doug Shiflet

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

V is for Versions. If you are joining me from Blogging A To Z, welcome! Since the blog is already daily, with topics for each day [About: Schedule], there is no specific A To Z theme. I may even skip a few letters. Gasp. Clutch the pearls. The goal for this year is less crazy, more visiting. [Ze State of Ze Blog 2014]

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Saddle Seat Wednesday

Holding four reins
Photo by Courtney Huguley

I am now riding with a double bridle. Gulp.

In dressage, graduating to a double bridle is a big deal. It is a point of endless discussion, mostly about the dangers and about criticism of folks who have done so without proper skills.

For example, a quote from Dressage Today, emphasis mine:

“Are You Ready for a Double Bridle?”
by Ana Gilmour

“However, using a double bridle too soon can result in anxiety in the horse, mouth problems and irreparable damage.”
Dressage Today
Mar 6, 2017

This puts a certain wariness in one’s head about having two bits in a horse’s mouth.

In saddle seat, 10 year olds ride with a double bridle. Allow me to repeat that. Munchkins who are learning to show walk-trot are doing so with a double bridle. Minus the vanishingly small exception of a few young horse classes, if the rider is in a suit, they are using a double. Performance = 2 bits.

I’m not against it. It works for them. The situation is the same as dressage getting its knickers in a twist about tempi changes whereas hunters install lead changes as soon as possible. Different disciples, different goals.

Granted, I did use a double bridle with George in the sidesaddle class at the Washington International Horse Show. But a) George was made of cast iron. Nothing was going to hurt him. & B) I never actually touched the reins.

It has been decreed that I will learn to ride saddle seat with a double bridle. The horses are fine with it. I can’t look at the curb rein without thinking about irreparable damage.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Mr. Whizbang is not objecting to the double. He is objecting to being surrounded by fools, his normal state.
Photo by Courtney Huguley

Too much shade, but a cuter Mr. Whizbang.
Photo by Courtney Huguley

U is for Up. If you are joining me from Blogging A To Z, welcome! Since the blog is already daily, with topics for each day [About: Schedule], there is no specific A To Z theme. I may even skip a few letters. Gasp. Clutch the pearls. The goal for this year is less crazy, more visiting. [Ze State of Ze Blog 2014]

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Jumping Stirrups!

I raised my stirrups!

Wintec saddles [Equipment] come with their own style of stirrup leathers. Therefore, I had to buy a shorter ones rather than adjusting the ones I had.

I haven’t had that much of my lower leg on a horse since Previous Horse. (I pass quickly over the handful of jumps I did with Roscoe, Rodney’s initial name [Square One].) Saddle seat is all about the thigh and the knee. Occasionally, I have to use my calf when a horse needs extra motivation *cough*Sam*cough*, but the ideal saddle seat equitation position is one’s lower legs out to the side like pontoons on a seaplane.

We inch inexorably forward.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

We Spooked. We Survived.

T is for Tape. If you are joining me from Blogging A To Z, welcome! Since the blog is already daily, with topics for each day [About: Schedule], there is no specific A To Z theme. I may even skip a few letters. Gasp. Clutch the pearls. The goal for this year is less crazy, more visiting. [Ze State of Ze Blog 2014]

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Rodney is a high-strung Thoroughbred. I am not being redundant.

When I started riding him again, I knew that spooking and hopping and fussing was in our future. He’s not the sort of horse to take a phlegmatic view of the world [Looking for Rodney’s Silver Lining]. I was hoping to start small and build up a tolerance.

Well, yeah.

A bit of explanation. Our “ring” is a section of the pasture marked off at horse-chest height with plastic construction tape. The same stuff I use to differentiate my large brown horse from large brown deer [Don’t Shoot, Hunting Season]. The horses respect it as a boundary, and it provides them the reassurance of being enclosed. Go figure. Most importantly, the tape is not gonna hurt them if they get the crazies and charge thru it, which has happened. Milton more than Rodney. The alternative is to build a rail or wall capable of holding their weight. The worst thing is a flimsy fence. I’ve been meaning to do a blog post on the whole concept. But I digress.

Mr. E [Dressage Lesson] has Rodney and me practicing halts. We halted. We moved off. We LEAPT sideways. I had enough hang time to contemplate my imminent future as ground art. We stopped. The horse had the decency to be standing underneath me. Rodney had gotten the tape under his tail, which startled him, which made him levitate sideways, which pulled the tape after him, which startled him. As causative agents go, it was legit.

Mentally, it wasn’t a big spook. No snorting before. No prancing after. One short, sharp ‘Eek’, and it was over. Physically, yowza!

Fortunately, when it comes to talent, there’s a lotta jump in that horse. Unfortunately, when it comes to ill-advised cavorting, there’s a lotta jump in that horse.

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

The Year of the Horse
Eric Hatch
Crown 1965

Basis for The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit, IMDB, Disney site.

Bought from Robin Bledsoe, antiquarian horse books and art books.

bledsoe-logo

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H Authors on RS
Heintzberger Guest Post: Amber Heintzberger, co-author of Modern Eventing, on Babies & Books

This Year

[G is for Gray]
[F is for Francis]
[E is for Endicott]
[D is for Doty]
[C is for Cooper]
[B is for Brown]
[A is for Anderson]

Past Years
[2016 Alphabet] [2015 Alphabet]

Project explanation [AlphaBooks 2017]. Open to recommendations for the remaining letters. Which books would you choose?

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott