New Kicks- Day 4

Today Sawyer got new sneakers.

His toes are long and his heels under run, and it looks like he hasnt had a lot done to them in  a while besides being trimmed when needed.  Due to this he has a quarter crack on the right hind and one on the left front that is pretty significant. We aren’t sure if it was an injury that caused the later or it if is a true quarter crack.

Since John, my horses’ farrier for the last seven years, is out due to cancer we gave a new farrier a try. He was very patient with Sawyer, and did an excellent job.

I don’t have pictures of the front yet, as it is duct taped for the putty to dry that was put in the crack. But I do have one of the back.




I’m really hoping and praying (which I don’t do very often, so this is serious!) that he is still sound and we get a good prognosis from the vet tomorrow. If not he’s going back to Wyoming, as I have him out on a 30 day trial right now.

Here’s to Sawyer being sound and being what I need!



The Dude

On a happier note, I have potentially found my C3/B horse! 

Meet Sawyer, a 2004 model OTTB. 



Sawyer (reg. as No Front Shoes) had 5 starts before his owner pulled him from the track and turned him into a foxhunter up in New York. He chased for two seasons. Then was sold as an eventing prospect to a pony clubber in Idaho, but for whatever reason it didn’t work. That is when Sawyer found his last home in Wyoming. His owner, Lauren, decided it would be in his better interest to find a home where he would get to compete. This is where I come in. 

After weeks of emailing each other back and forth, we finally were able to coordinate schedules for me to go see the big guy. I drug my grandpa down with me to make the 7hr drive with the trailer to Wyoming. 

We were greeted by a 17hh chestnut gelding who was less than impressed that we didn’t have carrots for him, but was happy to have me poke and prod him while he snoozed. Not you’re typical thoroughbred, that is for sure. 

He lunged like a pro, and behaved undersaddle. Was very good considering not really being ridden since last fall. 

I rode him the next morning, and he was excellent. 

He is definitely on the lazy side and “go with the flow”, but I can live with that. I decided because of this, that he won’t be showing under “No Front Shoes”, but rather “The Dude” in honor of “The Big Lebowski”. 

In the meantime he needs some weight, muscle, shoes, and a trip to the vet. The boy gets his new sneakers tomorrow morning, and sees Dr. Brown Wednesday late afternoon. 

I’ve got big plans for this guy, and I hope he lives up to them. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, but I’m ready for the adventure. 


Tonks Update

Since my last post lots of things have changed.

Tonks and I scratched at RF because we ran into some problems, and were unsure of how the course was going to be ran. We decided to stay at BN to resolve some issues, so we set our sights on Stanton farm to get another event under our belts. To put it frankly it was a complete clusterf*ck, and we had to retire on course.

Tonks and I lived to event another day, and even moved up to Novice. Unfortunately we had another complete and utter disaster of an event when we made it half way around the course to the half coffin to have Tonks go into a fit. We retired again. Thankfully it was only a schooling event so we were allowed to show jump. She didn’t want to have anything to do with it. If you can retire after you’ve already retired, we did exactly that.

All I decided that after starting my first year of college, and using Tonks for the school’s Eq. Team, that we needed to part ways. We didn’t quite click, and she was never going to be a C3 horse. She also isn’t quite staying sound for the level of work I need her to perform at, and xc isn’t and wont ever be “her thing”. She is much happier being a hunter princess at 2’9″ and lower.

I thought I found Tonks the perfect home. She was going to be leased to a pony clubber from a neighboring club. They wouldn’t be jumping very high, and her work load would be lighter.

Unfortunately things didn’t work out and she will be coming back home the end of the month.

I’ll bid you farewell till next time.


Arrowhead HT and Sali Gear Camp Update

It has been about a month since I posted, and I have a lot to tell you all about!

First and foremost, Arrowhead was a successful outing for us both at BN. Our dressage was going really well up until we started trotting around the dressage arena before our test. The warm up and dressage arenas were right next to xc, so by the time we got over to do our test she realized that xc was just a hop, skip, and a jump away. Needless to say we managed to stay under 40 with a 39.5, and were in a four way tie for 8th place.  Cross Country went pretty well. Almost had a stop at the water, and had two stops at the ditch which was expected, but still a bummer. The weather had been super awful as well. We had up to 50mph winds, rain, hail, and just overall crappy weather all weekend. We only had hail on xc day, how convenient! Show Jumping went really well. Didn’t have any stops or rails, so we were one of four that went double clean. We finished at 11th place, just outside of the ribbons,  out of a big group of about 18. Not too bad for our first outing.

Sali Gear Camp was amazing. Seriously. I can’t wait for next year it was so great. Everything improved just in the four short days that she was here for. Our dressage was great, so be focused on our jumping more especially with RF coming up and my C2. My position is getting much better and my overall riding improved leaps and bound from what it was just a few days before. Sali has me now presenting to the fence and wants me to use an automatic release because my position is better when I do compared to a crest release. Who would have thought!

After camp we had our own personal Sali clinic at the barn for a Friday evening and part of Saturday. Molly and I had a jumping lesson together, where we worked on grids which help my position and Molly’s horse Caper’s jumping. Molly and Tonks were just along for the ride. The grid she set up was great, it was three oxers in a row starting small and we worked up to I want to say 3’3″ (they told me there were just 3′, but they were bigger than that!). After doing that we did an exercise across where Sali set up a triple bar on the diagonal. I couldn’t think straight because I tend to over think everything, so we started with just an oxer and moved up to the triple. It was a good sized fence. Sali managed to get a great picture of us going over it with her iPhone. My mantra for the whole ride is “This is fun!”, and after thinking it enough, it did turn out to be fun. I was also instructed to sing “We Are Young” by Fun. while I jumped, so now it is my theme song.

Here I am sporting my new position and crest release. For Tonks this was a walk in the park.

Show and Pony Club Schedule!

I haven’t posted in forever, so I am trying to catch up and keep you all in the loop.


16 C1 Jumping and C2 HM

20-22 Asia Thayer Clinic

 HM on Friday, Jumping on Saturday, and Dressage on Sunday. The theme of the clinic was straightness and it really helped. Asia loved her, and commented on how she really thinks Tonks will take me through the National Level Ratings! At one point during the grid Tonks threw in an extra stride in a short 4 stride. Asia got a kick out of that. Since then we have been working on straightness and Tonks has really began to develop a topline. What a great way to start the season.


5 Flying Colors Mini Event @ BN , Missoula      

This was our first BN together, and Tonks was great! We ended 2nd after dressage with a not so great test with a score of 39.

The goal of xc was to get around and help install some confidence in Tonks. The first two jumps were great, but then the third obstical on course was the water. New white gravel had been put in the water jump, and the water was super murky, so we had a stop. Afterwards, the rest of the course was great. We finished xc with 20 jumping faults, and 4.4 time faults.

 The wait for stadium was very long and miseralble, as it was very cold and windy. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that was wind burnt afterwards. Since we have been schooling novice height, the novice course looked like something we could have tackled with a problem. This helped make the bn course look like a peice of cake. There were some bright colored jumps and it was windy, but she was great, finished under time, and went double clear.

Sadly we were the only ones to have a stop xc so we took home last, which turned out to be 4th place in our tiny divison. Next time I will make sure to not try to gallop her through the water, and trot her through it so she has time to look without stopping.

Here are some pictures from the mini event:!i=1838982204&k=z95Lbv2&lb=1&s=A!i=1838994533&k=bq39VG5&lb=1&s=A!i=1838995938&k=sdQDjm3&lb=1&s=A!i=1839005197&k=dTJzT3j&lb=1&s=A

I don’t know what the hell is going on with my mouth when I ride. Definitely need to work on that.

12 MDCTA H/J Show , Missoula                                                                                                                 

It was an utter and complete disaster. Seriously. My friend/mentor/trainer did all of the same classes, as she has a young horse she is bringing along. The 2’6″ Hunters, where we pinned 5th in the HUS in a huge class. Our first 2’6″ Hunter class was awful, we were excused after having a stop at the white coop and green roll top. What happened to by big, brave eventer?!  Up until the very last second she felt forward and like she was going to jump them, but stopped at the last second. Ugg. Our second 2’6″ was better with only one stop. I was hoping for our last class the 2’9″ Hunters that she used up all of her stops and we were going to be fine. Wishful thinking on my part, woops. We were excused from it as well. I think it came down to me over thinking the whole Hunters thing, and wasn’t riding her forward enough, which would have been a very forward show jumping canter. We were both very tired from waiting in the sun for atleast 4hrs. It just wasn’t our day. Funny thing is that she has only stopped for my once before. Moral of the story is that when in doubt, do the jumpers. We did get some nice pictures though.


The Scary Coop!!
I really like my postion in this picture. I didn’t over jump, nice supportive leg, and nice following automatic realease. Tonks looks good too.



She stopped at this fence at one point too, after going over it at least once already. I really like this photo, how it looks like I am looking into the camera, but just looking towards the next jump. Love her knees!

26-27 Peter Grey Clinic at RF                                                                                                                  

   We were planning to go, but after reading some mixed reviews and limited funds, decided not to go. Thank the good lord that we did. My friends went and I guess he would just through out a “good job, come again” out every once in a while. I feel bad that they spent so much to go, and braved the rain and cold to ride with him. Hopefully they will bring someone else in next year.


8-10 Arrowhead HT’s, Billings

We were planning on running novice, but because it is our first sactioned event together (and my first ever), and we have never schoole there, we are going to run around at bn, where I know we will be able to get around and maybe even place well. I will keep you all updated on how it goes!

Some time between Arrowhead and camp we are going to go school at Rebecca Farm, hopefully more than once.

18-21 NE Sali Gear C Prep at Juniper Hill, Helena                                                                                  

I didn’t get to ride in the prep last year, because I had only had Tonks about a week, so I didn’t think it was fair to take her to camp without getting to know each other better. So this year I am really excited, plus it will be a great thing to ride in before our debut at novice at The Event at Rebecca Farm. I am also prepping for the riding portions of my C2 and my HB, so it will be very beneficial to work with her.

23 Herron Park Derby, Kalispell                                                                                                               

I am not sure if I will do this or not, because it is just two days after camp, and I there is a seperate clinic with Sali that weekend at my barn. It would be nice to go around novice once before Rebecca.

23-24 NE Sali Gear Clinic, Missoula                                                                                                            

 I rode in this clinic last year and I was great.


11-15 The Event at Rebecca Farm, Kalispell                                                                                          

 We will be making our debut at novice! Cross your fingers…..And toes! Hoping to be schooling some training level.

28 Flying Colors Mini Event, Missoula                                                                                                

Going novice on our home turf.


July 31- Aug 1 HB Rating in Jerome,ID

7-10 USPC Pacific Coast Champs, Washington State Horse Park, Cle Elum, WA                           

 I have qualified in Senior C’s as a C1, for Quiz, so I am not sure if I will go or not.

10-12 Stanton Farm HT, Deary, ID                                                                                                    

Going novice. Same course designer as Arrowhead and the mini events here in Missoula. Hoping to be schooling training.

16-19 D Camp West at RF                                                                                                                 

Instructing D camp at the beautiful RF! Hoping to take Tonks so I can school in the evenings.

Heading off to school around the 23rd! UM Western, here I come!


14-16 UMW Benefit at J & S Sporthorse, Dillon                                                                       

Equestrian Team benefit show. Planning on joining the team and showing Tonks!

So here is the schedule as of now, may add a show or two 🙂

USPC Annual Meeting in NOLA

     Here is an update from my trip to NOLA for my first ever USPC Annual Meeting! It is pretty late, but I hope you all enjoy it all the same!

     In November I received a partial scholarship to attend the USPC Annual Meeting in New Orleans! It took place January 25-29 in the middle of the French Quarter. I flew down to NOLA with friend, instructor and the Big Sky Region’s RIC, Molly Rennie.

   I hadn’t gone on a real trip or flown in over 7 years, so I was a little anxious. We had a little turbulence on our first flight to Denver, but the rest was smooth sailing.

   When we got there is was like we landed on whole different world, because we had just came from Montana where we had just gotten over 2 ft of snow. It was green, warm, and not a speck of snow or ice on the ground.

   Our hotel was in the middle of the french quarter. The view from our window was amazing.


  As soon as we dropped off our stuff in our hotel room for the night (we squatted in our regions RS’s room the first night, thanks Char and Jill!), we hit the town. First things first, we found a great little place to eat. I can’t remember the name of it for the life of me, but they made a mean muffaletta. Yum!

 Molly and I then went on a search for the perfect Mardi Gras masks for the Saturday night banquet. After going back and forth from several shops we found the perfect masks. We all looked smashing with them on, at the banquet, and then proceeded to parade them down Bourbon Street afterwards. What a fun night!

Char, Molly, Jill, and Me

Before the fun on Saturday night we went made a mad dash to Cafe’ Du Monde. It was quite the walk from the hotel, so on the way we got sidetracked. The purple dress in the picture above that Molly is wearing caught her eye in a little side shop, and lucky for her she needed a dress and they had one left in her size. We managed to go to Cafe’ Du Monde, and if you have ever been there before, it is pretty much always packed and have Molly try on and buy a dress with plenty of time to spare before the banquet began. Pony Clubbers sure know how to get-er-done!


Back to Friday night. We met up with Sarah Broussard Kelly, and Lynn the DC of Herron Park PC. Sarah acted as our personal tour guide through NOLA and down Bourbon Street. She took us to a great hole in the wall that had the best jambalaya I had ever eaten. We got a little private room at the back of the restaurant, where you could just feel the culture seeping out of the walls. It was stepping into a whole other world. I could definitely move to NOLA without any gripes. All the food that we had while we were there was amazing; from the poboys to pulled pork eggs benedict to beniets.

We all then went scouting for a place call the Bourbon Cowboy, that was rumored to have a mechanical bull. If we can deal with our sometimes crazy horses, no doubt we could deal with a mechanical bull, right? Sadly LA has different rules regarding how old you have to be when entering a bar, than MT does. In MT you only have to be 18, while in LA most places required that you had to be at least 21. Sadly three of us are just a few years shy of 21, so we had to watch the festivities from the outside.

Sarah showing us all how it’s done.

On a somewhat opposite note, I was a little disappointed with the variety of food. My dad immigrated from Haiti with his family in the 70’s, and since a big population of creoles are Haitian, I do eat a lot of Creole/Cajun style meals. So lets just say I wasn’t impressed to see all of the different variations of red or black beans and rice, as I eat a lot of that already at home. Speaking of my dad, he also grew up with grandparents that practiced voodoo. It is also said that you could see my great-grandfather sitting on his front porch in his rocking chair smoking a pipe, in the form of a goat. Pretty neat, huh? I dad totally believes in this, so he wasn’t very happy when I brought home some voodoo dolls as souvenirs. Heehee.

All in all I am pretty sure I can speak for all of us when I say that we had an amazing time. Next time, and there will be a next time, I go to NOLA I plan to spend at least a solid 7-10 days there compared to our 3.5 days. I hadn’t gone on a trip in the last 7 years, at least, so this was a great way to get back into see what else is out there besides my little piece of Montucky.

Off Topic

If you currently have a facebook account, there is a big chance you have notice the video “Kony 2012” floating around your home page. If you are like me, you have also watched it float around for a couple days now. Please don’t continue to do so.

Watch. It. Now.

Yes, it is 30mins long, but it is only 30mins of your entire life. In this 30mins I can guartentee you will be inspired to get off your ass and make a difference, but before you bound into action pay a visit to the Invisible Children. Here you can sign the pledge, get posters for April 20th, and purchase your very own Action Kit. 

Now for an ispirational quote from the poster living on my closet door.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

 And may the odds be ever in your favor!