Horses, Life, A Touch of Geek

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 wining 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 >
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. 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

Self-Improvement

S is for Self-Improvement. 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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State of the Blog comes early this month. [List of previous SotB posts].

10 Things To Post Before The End of the Year

Piece of Cake
1 Photo Essay. Easy peasey. My photo teacher [Meet Meg] has already suggested this.

The causative agent was the article “Family Recipes” by Celestina Morgan, a photo essay in the Spring 2017 issue of Gravy, published by the Southern Foodways Alliance. It is a black and white series of a pair of hands in the process of putting together a recipe. Simple, elegant, and, I suspect, way harder than it looks. (I can’t find a link and doubt the ethics of reproducing the photos. Trust me, it is amazing.)

2 Photo of Me on Milton. Piece of cake-ish. We have the ingredients. Need to bake the cake.

3 A Blog Adventure. Go somewhere interesting/amusing/engaging in order to blog about it.

4 AlphaBooks Z is for ? No reason I shouldn’t finish the project [Explanation]. Wanted to give myself a softball.

Stretch
5 Eight Saturday experiments, one for each remaining month. Essays. Another referral Saturday [Horseback Reads]. The blog adventure listed above. Anything more thoughtful than Ack, it’s Friday. I need a post! Full goal is eight. I’ll be happy with five.

6 At least one image on which I have done some small amount of post production. Right now, my skill set is crop, watermark, and add a border. I’m not being a purist. I post images right out of the camera because I don’t know any better.

7 Daily Images. A stretch goal due to vagueness. I want to add visual appeal, but don’t want to make myself nuts, again [Where Do We Go From Here?]. I don’t want to get so busy checking items off lists that I forget to have a life.

Magical Unicorn Fantasy Goals
(Shout out to Ambitious for help with the category title.)

8 Photo of me jumping.

9 Show Report with Milton or Rodney. A Beginner Novice event would be awesome. Anything jumping would be great. A dressage show will meet goal requirements.

10 Writer’s website. The How is simple. I have a cousin in the biz. The Why is problematic. Before I make a website, I have figure out what I want to DO with it, which involves figuring out what I want to BE when I grow up.

Onwards!

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott

Foto Friday: Reflection

R is for Reflection. 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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Results of my class in horse portraiture.
Photos by me.
Image processing by Meg McKinney [Meet Meg].
Cropping & borders by me.
Slim was our photo model [California Girl becomes a Southern Belle].

Meg’s links
Website
Facebook
Instagram

Meg head

Thank you for reading,
Katherine Walcott