Thursday, July 5, 2012

SFD's New Arrival

I took a quick look back at my blogs from this time of year last year, and I see a trend.  Yes, life gets crazy this time of year, but that’s to be expected. The additional element both this year and last year is Silly.

Silly is my big, wonderful black mare who was retired to broodmare status last year.  She is a wonderful, athletic horse, with one of the best work ethics I have ever ridden. So when we discovered an old injury that had formed a cyst in her coffin joint, breeding her was a no-brainer.  My thoughts on breeding are to breed the best to the best, so I put her Bugotti. I sent her out to Trevalyn farm, Leslie Feakins’ place, to manage her breeding. Silly, as is her nature, took on the first insemination, and once she settled, I  brought her home. Leslie figured her due date as June 8, so I took her back to Leslie in early May to foal out.

I looked at the show calendar, and made it a point of staying local in the early part of June. This time of year, it is impossible to keep the show calendar under control for long. So around the 20th, I knew it was going to get crazy around here, but her due date was the 8th, so by the 20th, I should be able to go tail-on-fire without my mind being crowded by birthing worries, or 5-legged baby nightmares, right?


We started a baby pool on our Facebook page, winner got a free lesson. The due date came and went, and all the guesses pretty much past, so I let folks guess again. And again.

Will this baby ever show up?

Apparently, not before the calendar gets out of control…
June 20, Pee Wee (one of SFD’s super sales horses, anyone looking for a steady, uncomplicated good guy? Here he is) competed at USDF/USEF show at Dunmovin. His first recognized show, and he took it in stride. He earned high 60’s for pretty red and yellow ribbons.

But still no baby.

June 22, we left for Ride for Life with 7 horses. Prince George’s Equestrian Center has done some major upgrading to their footing. Everyone had a great time, with many, many personal best scores and BLM or GAIG qualifications, and best of all, NO DRAMA. Everyone supported each other like the team we are supposed to be.  That’s when showing gets really fun.

I spent most of the weekend in warm-up, and Amy took stellar care of Venus so she’d be ready for her class on Sunday. Venus warmed up like a rock star, but got scared in their indoor. Prince George’s has a VERY hard indoor, coliseum-style set up but small, so the stadium seating is just a few feet from the indoor.  She started super, but as she got scared she took over a bit. Oh well, it’s her second show back, she just needs more time.

On the 24th, right after we hit the road home, Leslie texted. “She is in labor.”  

Of course she was, I was 3 hours from getting home.  Plus I had a clinic with Catherine Haddad the next day, and two horses going to a schooling show on Tuesday. But better than when I was on my way to the show.

So, of course, we unloaded, and Cherlye offered to go with me to meet the long-awaited baby. 

Ok, I admit, I have a defective gene. That ‘all babies are cute’ gene just doesn’t exist in me.  Puppies, kittens, foals, whatever, are cute once they get to 4 or 5 weeks. As newborns they kind of look like fragile aliens to me.  So Cheryle went with to see the baby, I went to see that Silly was fine with my own eyes. She is, after all, my sentimental-purchase horse (yep, I broke the business-horse-buying rules with her).

She was as happy to see me as I was to see her, and once I was sure she was ok, I met Jr.  He was busy trying to nurse, and yep, he looked like an alien to me -- all legs, skinny rib cage, and curly, damp hair.  Then he turned toward me, and he has Silly’s enormous ears, which immediately warmed my heart to the little alien. 

And on his forehead, I kid you not, was a very clear lightning bolt.

I guess the name debate has ended, at least in the barn.

Harry it is.

Cheryle drove me home, which was the best thing anyone could have done for me at the time, because once the adrenalin wore off, I was exhausted.

But there’s no rest for the wicked (or is that the weary? I never really know which is correct…), so I was up-and-at-it on Monday, with lessons and training, then loaded Eclipse up for a clinic with Catherine Haddad Staller.  When I got the clinic dates, I knew the timing was less than ideal since he had the weekend off, even before Harry’s arrival. But I get so much out of the clinics with her, so I had decided to sign up.

Eclipse is the perfect horse.  It’s that simple.

I was pooped. I really rode quite mediocre.  I kinda hung on my right rein and kept reminding myself to keep my butt in the saddle.  I abandoned him in about half of the changes, and climbed up his neck in the pirouettes. And he covered for me like the awesome, beautiful  boy that he is.  She kept complimenting how he looked, and his improved cadence and suppleness since last time she saw him.  Ellie Rawl, of Watermark farm, did an awesome job organizing, complete with a photographer. When I looked at the proofs later in the week, boy that horse can do a great job, even when I’m just sitting there hoping to look competent in from of auditors.

Tuesday we took Pee Wee and Mandy (SFD’s other sales horse, she’s one of the Ensign’s Farm Morgans, and she is amazing. She is so athletic and tuned in to her rider, training her is a dream. Love those bloodlines) to a schooling show, and both were very good in the wind. I had gotten a good night’s sleep, so I was able to actually help them in the ring – what a concept.

Wednesday my schedule finally had a break, so I took Doug out to meet Harry.  Doug took several photos and a short video, and of course his photo-shop skills couldn’t resist the lightning bolt.

Thursday and Friday were quite hot, which meant we could start early and I got to spend Friday afternoon playing with Silly and Harry again.  By Friday his body was more unfolded, and he was getting control of those long legs.  I got a good look at his gaits, and wow, Silly outdid herself. He is really nice.

Saturday was normal Saturday-at-home chaos, and Sunday I had a free day.  I resisted the urge to drive out and play with Harry again in lieu of doing SFD’s beginning-of-the-month paperwork (see, my job isn’t all fun and games...), then Doug and I went flower shopping and I spent the day doing essential things, like paint my toenails, and do a rough-draft of this blog. 

This week is crazy again -- Eclipse and Pee Wee showed Wednesday and I am currently away until Saturday teaching at the Lion County Pony Club summer camp.  I will do my best to bring the next generation of eventers to the beauties of dressage. 

As soon as I am back, I gotta make time to go play with the alien.  The awkward, and, dare I say it, cute alien.

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