Tuesday, August 21, 2018


I tend to be pretty sucky about driving far for anything. I'm sure I get it from my dad. We grew up on a farm outside a small town a couple of hours' drive from Manitoba's largest city, Winnipeg. He would take us to the 'big city' only once a year because to him, two and a half hours was a very big deal. And now to me, ya, that's far.

The eventing derbies being held in Carroll, MB would be a three-hour drive so to me, hauling a horse all that way and being away from my family for three days was a HUGE deal. It felt a bit selfish to leave hubby and kidlets for that long to play with my pony but that was just mom guilt talking. I squished that thought and packed extra wine just in case mom guilt showed up over my weekend of pony time!

 Willville weekend was supposed to be a sanctioned event, but due to some difficulties it was down-graded to simply derbies. There would be dressage, stadium and xc with awards given at the end of each day. 
On Saturday shiraz was great right from the start in warmup and I had a lovely loose trot and could canter right lead but left lead she would buck. If you recall, our only other previous attempt at a judged dressage test resulted in us scratching because I could not get her in the arena due to spookiness and I had gotten off. This day though, getting in the dressage ring was not a problem, although she was very worried about the judge's booth. Our dressage test was amazing (meaning we stayed in the ring and did the correct test, lol) except for left canter circle--I couldn't get the canter. The judge was so nice and asked us to school that canter circle again during our test as well as after we were done. It was really hard for Shiraz because not only was it her hard lead, but it was also right at the judge's booth that she was trying to stay away from. I managed to get a bit of canter though while schooling it, along with more ugly.

I do believe that is a pony *inside!* a dressage ring
We made it through stadium although it felt messy (I think we had one rail down?). I was so determined not to get eliminated so each fence was going to happen, hell or high water. At fence 4 she really wanted to spook at something in the bushes beside the fence and nearly side-passed too far right for the jump to happen. Luckily this was starter level and the jumps were only 2 feet high. She was basically at a walk at that point and I made her jump from a walk. The rest of the course went much better from that point. I'm sure Shiraz picked up that this was happening  no matter what and decided to get on board with it.

Cross country she was beyond perfect--cantered the whole thing, jumped everything and seemed happy and forward doing it. The best feeling in the world is a happy horse taking you to the fences!! And wouldn't you know, the left lead canter happened out on the field with no issues, humph.
We ended up winning 3rd for that day out of 4 riders in our division. Getting a ribbon was just a bonus to the huge win of completing each phase. Sunday it was only me in the division which meant if I didn't get eliminated I would win, lol!! Easier said than done because Shiraz was VERY spooky on Sunday. I was expecting her to be more of a 'been there, done that' attitude so it was disappointing but I just went with it and schooled her like it was all no big deal and tried to ignore the scoots and spooks.

My teeny tiny stadium course! Isn't it adorable?
The dressage test this day was a diferent one I had not even read over before that morning and it turned out to be much harder so I asked for a caller. Despite being spooky, Shiraz did okay in the test AND I got both canter circles!!

By stadium though I think Shiraz was just done with work. We were the last rider on the list and all the other horses were back at the barn. Once we started stadium, Shiraz was trying to bolt back to the barn after every jump. It may have looked like a hot mess, but I made it through without any refusals or getting tossed with just one rail down.

I was still quite optimistic for xc because of how good she was the day before on course. Nope. After jump #1 she tried to bolt back to the barn and after jump #2 she bucked hard so I trotted alllll the way to jump #3 across the field (lol ,took foreeevvvver!!!). She then seemed to get back in the game and we cantered the rest without problem. Soooo we managed not to get eliminated and a pretty red ribbon!!

When they said pose by the car I had to really hold back and not lie across it like a pinup girl! Lol, no shame
Shiraz surprised me overall with how she handled the weekend though I am worried about the bucking. I can ride them okay even though they are slightly bigger than a crow-hop, but want to know why this is happening and how to get rid of it. Besides that issue, my flying potato is basically the best horse ever and is very close to unicorn status in my heart.


  1. Congrats! Good for you for not letting mom guilt get you down. Trust me, it gets less and less the more you do it and wine always helps.

    Yay for staying inside the dressage arena!

    1. Thanks! It was such a fun weekend, a kinda forgot all about mom guilt pretty quickly, lol. :)

  2. gosh she really looks wonderful! and sounds like a wonderful weekend - even with the instances where you had to really push for more!! congrats on having such an especially awesome cross country round the first day - everything just seems so promising with Shiraz, esp if you can figure out how to eliminate the bucks haha. nice work!

    1. That xc round was so good, omg and now I just want to keep digging in so we can have more of that kind of performance. I hope she just needs to get used to pressure and realize she can't just throw a fit of any kind and get out of work. But with it really just being more the one lead, maybe she is not confident on her hard side and I haven't been working her much in canter to help her improve it this summer (I tend to avoid staying too long in left lead canter because of fear of the buck at any minute). This weekend I rode so many bucks I think I'm over that fear and can maybe work more on it now.

    2. It's good for the children to see you allowing yourself some time for fun. I think it sets an example that everyone's hobbies/passions etc need to be honoured. It's not easy and there are people who will judge you so no need to judge yourself. :)

      I think you did really well with Shiraz too- mostly about the schooling her and letting her know that her feelings don't get her out of work. This will give her such confidence.

    3. It ended up being the best holiday away, and the kids were soooo happy to have me back, lol! Literally a kid on each side glued to me the evening I got back <3

  3. Congratulations and very good girl, Shiraz! Hopefully the bucking will dissipate easily and not become a bigger issue for you going forward.

    1. Me too! Right now I feel like there is a very long list of possibilities to check off to be sure it is not pain related. Meanwhile I will also keep on riding and see how she goes post derbies.


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