Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Let's Talk Groundwork. And Belt Buckles.

Because really, one can only take so many selfies before that shit gets boring ;)

*Iggy Azalea voice* First things first, we're the cutest 

I haven't been able to ride much in the past couple weeks because of the weather. Unfortunately, in my area, it probably won't get much better for any sustained amount of time until around March-ish.

Happy to change careers from dressage pony to professional cookie eater.

And because we don't have access to an indoor *cough* TSB *cough*, that's going to leave us with a lot of time out of the saddle. Boo. But I'm choosing to be optimistic. After all, Gigi and I are still new to each other. There's a lot of bonding work we can do over the winter that will help us develop a better and stronger relationship.

Totally unimpressed. 

But still. There has to be a way to work on some real skills that will come in useful later in more than just a manners/bonding context, right?

And that's when I had a really bad good idea, one which I alluded to in yesterday's post.

Cutie pie :)

But first, some context...

Way back when, I spent a couple years showing on the APHA breed show circuit.  Overall, that experience was pretty dismal. Honestly, it sucked pretty hard and was not very much fun. While my tastes for peanut rolling Western Pleasure horses and post-legged halter nightmares with asses straight out of a Sir Mix-A-Lot video may have changed, I do have one hang up from that era that I've never quite been able to let go.

1) I've always wanted to win a belt buckle.
2) I have never won a belt buckle.

And, additionally:

3) I have a pathological need to show every animal I've ever had.
4) I can't stand not having a goal to work towards.

I just happened to discover that there is a local Open show series that offers belt buckles as prizes for all around winners in various breeds/age groups. Ooooh, shiny!

Is "belt buckle" another word for "cookie?"

Now, I'm not an idiot. I know that Gigi's a freakin' warmblood and wouldn't stand a chance against many of the stock horses that show. However, she is built like a freakin' brick house AND she wouldn't be competing against them in every class. There's actually a category for "other" breeds that might work for us. So, with that in mind....

That time it was sunny for five minutes

I've been working the past few days on teaching her the basics of showmanship. Setting up, backing, pivots, etc. She thinks I'm pretty much crazy, but in true Gigi fashion, is a pretty good sport about it. As far as I'm concerned, it's a win-win. We get to work on our relationship and sharpen up her ground manners, and I don't go crazy feeling like we're just tooling around with no goals. Whether we end up showing next year or not really doesn't matter. It's just nice to have something to work towards.

What kinds of stuff do you do with your horses in the winter when you can't ride? How do you deal with the forced downtime? Do you have any fun/creative groundwork games?


  1. That will be awesome. I need to come and photograph those shows!

  2. Sounds like fun!
    Great way to get to know each other ☺

  3. Watch out for those damn mules...they sneak up into those classes and win ALL THE THINGS. Unless mules don't exist there like they do at the shows here. The judges should love her though! Winter is for hibernating.

  4. very cool! it's fun to play around with other disciplines even if you're not sure you'll be competitive :) i'll be curious to hear more about how you're teaching Gigi this stuff too, as i definitely want to improve our ground work this winter

  5. Yeah I tend to hibernate in the winter too since I keep my horse at home all of my daylight hours are spent doing chores haha. I am going to try to ride more than I normally do this winter... fingers crossed I don't wimp out. I'm looking forward to your quest for a belt buckle. Sounds like so much fun!!!

  6. Ive always wanted a belt buckle too! Good luck :)

  7. You definitely need a belt buckle