Corky and Taylor - 2007

Here we go, off to a crazy, busy, exciting show season for 2007! I will be showing two horses this year - Taylor ("Spare Me The Details" - 1998 mare by Last Detail) and Corky ("Captivate Your Heart" - 2004 mare by The Last Captive). What a fun year to look forward to!!!

Frankfort, Kentucky AQHA show

April 20-22, 2007

This is Corky's first show! Read about the details on her training diary. We had lots of greenie mistakes, a not-so-good ride on Saturday and a better one on Sunday.

Yea! A safe and somewhat successful ride!

Our placings in Amateur Hunter under Saddle on Sunday: 6th and 7th out of 14. Lots of room for improvement!

Winfield West Virginia AQHA show

May 12-13, 2007

Corky's second show, and first win happened on her birthday! Overall it was an incredible weekend. We had some great transitions and near-perfect rides. We won the Amateur Hunter Under Saddle both days, and Stacey won the Junior Hunter Under Saddle no Sunday and placed 3rd on Saturday.

Winfield, WV AQHA show

May 26-27, 2007

This time it was Taylor's turn! Last weekend, I hauled her to an open show in Urbana for practice and she was awesome. I felt very ready for this show...our first real show since Congress.

Saturday started off great when I found $41 cash in the dirt while longeing Taylor at 5:30am. Hey, the early bird does get the worm! We showed in Amateur Performance Halter Mares since she is eligible. We kept our halter record intact by nailing down last place as usual - 3rd out of 3. Amateur showmanship went well. I think I slightly overshot my turn - it was an odd pivot since the pattern was set up in a 'Z' shape. We got 3rd out of 8, just missed the points.

Senior hunter under saddle went well. She was a little strong, but good. We got 3rd in that class, just out of the points again! Amateur Hunter Under Saddle didn't go so well. Taylor got very energetic and charge-y at the canter, and was hard to bring down and do the downward transitions. It was a bad ride for us, but not nearly as bad as some of the rides we've had in the past! The judge actually came up to me (he was kind of a smart a$$) and said, "Are you ever going to get that canter under control so you can win a hunter under saddle class?" Sheesh, I didn't think it was that bad LOL! I had entered amateur equitation, but it ended up we were the only ones in it. I did the pattern, it was very on edge, but good practice for us. After our classes I continued to work her and work on rating her speed and tempo at the canter. The past 3 weeks I have worked exclusively on that outside at home, and she was really coming along well. Today was a small step backwards, but I schooled her and she started remembering our lessons and we ended on a good note.

The Kentucky Classic AQHA/NSBA Show

June 7-10, 2007 Shelbyville, KY

This was the first time I attempted to show both Taylor and Corky at a show. Luckily, the show spanned 4 days so I was able to get everything done. Showing 2 horses is almost like work, especially when things go haywire!

The first day, I warmed up both horses outside only to have thunderstorms move in just in time for the hunter under saddle classes. So, the show was moved to the indoor. Stacey showed Corky in the Junior HUS and amazingly had a near-perfect ride except for one thing - on the last lap of the second canter, Corky decided she needed to poop, and slammed on the brakes to do so. Of course, the judge caught the whole thing! Stacey spurred her hard to make her move but she refused to move an inch until she was done. This killed her placing. Darn horses! I jumped on her next for the Amateur HUS class. They crammed 11 of us in this very small indoor and Corky HATED the crowds. We had an OK ride but it was not very pretty because she was paranoid of the other horses crowding her. We placed somewhere in the middle. Without any warm-up I jumped on Taylor next for the Senior HUS. Taylor loves a crowd, the more horses the better! She gave me a great ride and we won the class out of 11 and earned two more points towards that elusive open ROM! Later that afternoon, we went into showmanship and Taylor (as usual) was perfect but I totally messed up my judgment when I had to back a curve. I placed in the middle again.

Saturday was a bright sunny day, so we got to show outdoors. We were worried that Corky wasn't feeling well, so we didn't push her in the morning. This would come back to bite me in the butt! Stacey showed her in the Junior/NSBA HUS first and had an awesome ride, got a 1st and a 3rd out of 8! The judge that gave her 3rd knocked her down a bit because of a small mistake (which was actually a great thing). First direction canter, Corky decided to poop again. She hesitated ever so slightly and Stacey was ready with the spur and Corky kept on cantering!!! This was a huge training moment, she finally learned that she can actually move and 'go' at the same time!

Unfortunately, Corky was building energy and momentum throughout her class. I had to hop on next for the Amateur HUS. First direction was great, but wehen we reversed, all heck broke loose. Corky got riled up by another horse acting up behind her and started bucking. Yes, both judges saw it because she misbehaved all the way around the arena. Needless to say, we didn't place!

Once again I had to jump on Taylor without any warm-up. She is such a good horse, went in there and gave me a great ride again and we got a 2nd and a 3rd...and this meant that we officially earned our Open ROM!!! Time for celebration! This is one major goal of mine that has been accomplished. Oh yes, and we went in to Amateur Equitation and had a decent pattern (and some awesome 2-point position at the trot) and got 2nd and 3rd.

Sunday was one last crack at showmanship. The pattern was too simple, all in a straight line towards the judge. For some reason unknown to me, I trotted off from the cone towards the judge and drifted slightly to the left so I ended up off center. I need some major work on my perception of straight lines! I ended up as usual in the middle of the pack again. It was a very fun show, great times with great friends, and some highs and lows in the show pen to remember.

The MEKQHA Circuit AQHA show

June 21-24, 2007 - Liberty, Kentucky

Another great show, another great learning experience for Corky and I!

On Friday we had a great ride! I spent a lot of time riding her Tues-Wed-Thurs and figuring her out, and trying to remember the differences in her and Taylor. We got it together for another win in amateur HUS - actually placed 1st and 3rd out of 8.

Sunday's amateur class didn't go as well, she was so tired from the long week and broke twice at the canter. I wasn't too disappointed because she behaved very well for me and we finally got our canter transitions figured out.

Taylor's show was another good success for us. We did fairly well in showmanship on Friday an Saturday, placing 3rd and 5th out of 8 on Friday and 3rd and 3rd out of 8 on Saturday, just missing the points again. She was absolutely fantastic in our senior hunter under saddle classes both days - placing 2nd and 8th (oops, she spooked at a baby crying and one judge caught us!) out of 9 on Friday and 2nd and 3rd out of 10 on Sunday.

On Friday we showed amateur equitation, and won it under both judges out of 3 (where are all my ammy eq exhibitors???). She did squeal at the canter in her pattern, but actually did a very good pattern and listened to me.

Overall it was a good week for us!

The Country Music Circuit

July 24-29, 2007 Harriman, Tennessee

After an extremely busy couple weeks, it was off to Tennessee for the Country Music Circuit. Hauling to Tennessee was an adventure - especially with the flat tire I got in Georgetown, Kentucky. Luckily Taylor stayed patient in the trailer as I pleaded for help on the CB radio and found someone to help me get my tire changed. The 8 hour trip turned into a 10 1/2 hour trip. Whew!

Here are our show results, day by day:

WEDNESDAY, JULY 25: The day started off with a bang when Stacey won the Junior Hunter Under Saddle on Corky under one judge, and placed 5th out of 10 under the other. I went in Amateur HUS and got a 2nd and 5th out of 9 with a fairly smooth ride (one kind of ugly canter transition). Once again, Taylor's Senior HUS class was back to back with Corky. We had a very easy, smooth ride and got 2nd and 7th out of 12! I went in Amateur Equitation, there were only 2 of us entered. I had a barely-controlled but accurate ride and won it under both judges. Taylor just HATES performing patterns all by herself in the arena. I am determined she will get over this fear before she retires!

THURSDAY, JULY 26: Today was an easy day - only amateur showmanship with Taylor. Once again we placed just out of the points, getting a 4th and 5th out of 10.

FRIDAY, JULY 27: Back to the hunt seat events today. Corky (with Stacey riding) once again placed in the points with a 2nd and 7th out of 10. I rode Corky in Amateur HUS and got 3rd under both judges, just out of the points. My ride was a lot better today than on Wednesday, so I was very happy! Again I jumped off Corky and onto Taylor for Senior HUS, placed 3rd and 9th out of 12 (wow, what a difference in judges' opinions!). Today's equitation pattern had a two-track, counter-canter, and hand gallop in two point position all WITHOUT irons! I was saying plenty of prayers before this class. Amazingly we won it out of 3 under one judge and placed 2nd under the other! Taylor was again barely in control but accurate, other than her final stop (after the hand gallop it took a bit to get her stopped!).

SATURDAY, JULY 28: Another easy showmanship day. Today I had a near perfect and clean showmanship pattern. It was so accurate, I was thrilled with how it went. But, as is the story of this year, once again I placed just out of the points: 3rd and 4th out of 8.

SUNDAY, JULY 29: Today I had to show Corky myself since Stacey had another junior horse to show. It's always intimidating going in the open classes against all the professionals. I went in with some confidence since I had some very good rides on Corky the night before. The confidence paid off with a 2nd and 4th out of 12! Amateur HUS with Corky didn't go as well - she was VERY cranky by this time (day 6 of the horse show and 98 degrees out!). Many amateurs had already packed up and left so there were only 2 of us there, I placed 2nd under both. I jumped on Taylor for Senior HUS and WON it under one judge out of 12, placed 3rd under the other. I beat some very prominent trainers and horses, it was a very exciting win for me. Equitation was a bit wild, again...I placed 2nd under both judges out of 3.

I ended up bringing home a TON of cups and two circuit championships! Corky won the circuit championship in Amateur Hunter Under Saddle and Taylor won the circuit in Senior Hunter Under Saddle. It was a great week!!!

Kentucky State Fair AQHA Show

August 8, 2007

Time for a little humbling experience after having such a great week in Tennessee. Taylor started the morning off great by winning the amateur showmanship under both judges. She earned herself a new halter to wear, and I got yet another hat.

The day went downhill after that. Corky managed to kill my junior HUS class by bucking at the canter one direction, and taking the wrong lead twice the other. Gotta love those young horses! She came back and redeemed herself in the amateur HUS with a second place under one judge. Taylor, however, was NOT wanting anything to do with showing today! She spooked at a guy sweeping down the seats above her head, and it was all over! Needless to say we didn't do very well. It was surprising to me since Taylor has been so 'on' this entire show season, finishing in the points at every show. Oh well, she was entitled to an off day, I guess.

NSBA World Championship Show and Breeder's Championship Futurity

August 21-26, 2007

What an experience! This was the toughest group of HUS horses I have ever seen in my life. I am so proud, we hung in there with the best of them! Our results:

★ BCF Open 3yo Silver HUS - 11th
★ BCF Open 3yo Limited HUS - 6th
★ BCF Non-Pro 3yo Silver HUS - 5th
★ BCF Non-Pro 3yo Limited HUS - 8th
★ World Championship Limited Open 3yo HUS - 7th

For the FULL story, check out Corky's 3yo Training Diary.

Well, it's the end of the season for Taylor! Here's how we finished out:

HORSE PERFORMANCE SUMMARY RECORD - Spare Me The Details (as of Aug. 11, 2007)


Additional Horse Information for SPARE ME THE DETAILS:
  • Genetic Typed
  • Incentive Fund Foal
  • Transported Semen



AQHA Show Totals
OPEN N/A LAST SHOW : 08/11/2007
HALTER 5 21 .0 HUSADDLE 5 91 16.0
HALTER 2 10 .0 PERFMARE 0 2 .0
SHMNSHP 6 75 10.5 HUSADDLE 6 54 12.5
HT ST EQ 10 22 3.5 TOT PERF N/A N/A 26.5
SHMNSHP 6 64 14.5 HUSADDLE 21 58 44.0
HT ST EQ 16 33 14.5 TOT PERF N/A N/A 73.0
SHMNSHP 2 14 4.0 HUSADDLE 1 8 1.5
SHMNSHP 0 12 .5 TOT PERF N/A N/A 0.5

Accuracy and completeness of information are the responsibility of each alliance.
NATIONAL SNAFFLE BIT ASSOCIATION $ 21.00 Earned thru 09/15/2007

2005 OPEN

Our 2007 Congress Experience


I spent a very productive weekend at Congress. Yes, it's Congress time! Corky arrived late Friday afternoon. Matt rode her Saturday morning, and I rode Saturday evening in the Scottsdale arena. She was very energetic (putting it mildly!) and required a lot of schooling to make her settle and not run off her legs. I ended up spending the last half hour doing nothing but walking. We need her mind to get used to everything without tiring her legs out...that's a challenge.

On Sunday Matt ponied her through the jam-packed crowds of horses in the Scottsdale. Sunday afternoon I tool her for a walk on the lead rope around the grounds. She got to investigate the food stands and the paths through the grassy areas. Sunday evening Stacey rode her, and then I rode her again. She was MUCH better! I had a very confident, relaxed ride. The most amazing thing was she seemed a lot better with the traffic. She didn't lay her ears back or get nasty when horses crowded her (which was happening a lot). Quite possibly this experience riding in the crowds day after day will really help her issues. While not feeling totally positive, I am feeling better about our upcoming ride in the 3yo non-pro HUS class. Ye gads....it's coming up fast!

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Here we go! I left home on the prior evening and headed to Columbus. On the way I spoke to Stacey, who told he they had to have the vet out the night before because Corky had some mysterious swelling (an allergic reaction to something???) on her face and neck. She said Corky swelled so bad that her halter was cutting into her. She was given some medication to bring down the swelling, and by the time I got there (around 7:30pm) the swelling was almost all gone. Sheesh! Always something, isn't it? Because of the swelling, she was unable to be ridden in the Celeste the night before, so still hadn't gotten into the show pen. Yikes!

Our practice time in the Celeste was 12:30am-2:30am. I did a little longeing beforehand, and then brought her to the Celeste where Stacey and then I worked her a bit in the overhang area. Then Stacey rode her in the MOBS of horses in the Celeste. She handled the crowds very well, I was so impressed! I would have never believed this would be possible a few months ago. After Stacey was done, I had a chance to ride her a bit in the Celeste.

It was really too crowded to do any real work. Stacey had me go stand in the center and hang out and let her get used to the big aluminum bleachers. This is where trouble hit. The workers started sweeping up the trash in the stands and this absolutely terrified her. It caught me by surprise, because usually this horse isn't afraid of anything! She went NUTS, bucking and rearing and running into people. I knew she was going to launch me, so I hoped off first. I stood in the center holding her until our time was up, but she never did settle down. I took her back out to the overhang and put the longe line on her. She ran and bucked like a maniac for a half hour. It was now 3am, and she was dripping in sweat and we were both exhausted. Depressed, I wandered back to the stall, cooled her off, and went to the hotel for a nap. Things weren't looking good.

In the morning I stood in line for an hour and a half to longe her. She really didn't have much energy. Later that afternoon I ponied her off of Chris, the great paint pony horse. This was a great way to give her exercise and stretch her legs without putting pressure in the saddle. Hopefully this was enough, because time was up!

The non-pro 3yo hunter under saddle stakes began at 5pm. I was in split #2. Stacey warmed her up, and then I worked her a bit. She was going well. Stacey told me several key things that made a difference in our ride - don't hold her face (let the reins relax) and trust her, sit back, watch traffic and always pick out the path you were going to ride. First split reversed, we went in the makeup area and checked in...time to go!

Well, all I can say is we had a near perfect ride! We were the second ones into the arena (sure made me look confident LOL!). The first horse made it all the way to the end and then spooked hard at the organist. Corky jumped slightly sideways as a reaction, but I just took her inside and passed the other horse and continued on, and she was fine. Our ride was GREAT, I was absolutely thrilled. She was so quiet, easy, and pleasant...hardly worried at all about traffic. The weird thing was the only time she was worried about other horses was when we were passing them, she had no problem if they passed us. Makes no sense to me, but then Corky never does anything that really makes sense!

We stood in the lineup, dripping in sweat. It was very hot and humid, so unusual for Congress weather. The first number they called was 7926, and I felt a pang of disappointment. Our number was 7400, and generally they called the finalists in numerical order. They fooled me this time, for some reason in this split they started at the highest number and went backwards. Second number they called was 7400! I couldn't believe it. We made the Limited finals, and the Open Semi-Finals!!!

We had a very short break, and then it was back in for the open semi-finals. They would call 15 people out of the semis to make the finals, to be shown next Tuesday morning. Again we had a near perfect ride! The arena was much more crowded and riding it was a challenge, but Corky was great! I stood in the middle almost in tears because I just couldn't believe she gave me two awesome rides in a row, at the Congress! Whatever happens, this is a dream come true for me. The feeling was topped off when my number was called yet again, this time as an open finalist!

We had to exit and then turn right back around and go in for the Limited Finals. This was important to me because this was a finals class that would be placed. There were 19 or 20 in the finals of the Limited. Corky went in with a great attitude - amazing after 3 classes in a row. Unfortunately she was completely exhausted by this time. At the first trot, she broke twice in front of all 4 judges...broke up to a canter (because cantering is so much easier for her than trotting). Other than that, she was darn near perfect again in the class. How could I be upset over that? What a great horse she is. Our breaks kept us out of the placings, this was such a tough class of very good horses...you had to be about perfect to get in there. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. We have one more shot - the open finals coming up on Tuesday. No matter what happens, this has been the experience of a lifetime I will NEVER forget. All that hard work, 3 years of goalsetting and effort, planning and executing my plans, all for this moment. I sat there and remembered it was just 2 years ago I stood in this arena with Corky for the longe line class that I barely made after saving her leg fro that bone infection (the one that the vet thought she'd never recover from!). I realize I am gushing here, but it is such a big experience for me!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Stacey showed Corky in the 1st go of the 3yo HUS Futurity this morning. I spoke very briefly with Matt, who told me she had a very good ride and Corky did very well, but they weren't called back. They were only taking 3 horses out of each split. I was glad to hear she had a good ride and that Corky is still keeping a good attitude. Oh well, tomorrow is the second go and I'll be there to watch and video so that will be cool!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I went to Columbus to watch Stacey ride Corky in the 2nd go in the 3yo HUS Futurity. I ponied her for a while in the Scottsdale that afternoon, then waited in line to longe to see if she needed to blow off any steam (she didn't). The class ran very late - it was after 10pm when Stacey showed. She was in the 4th split, and had a great ride! I could tell Corky was slightly on edge - it was cold outside and dark and I am sure she was wondering why she was being worked so late. The great news is Stacey got called back for the limited finals (to be shown on Wednesday!). She went back in for the open semi-finals, and Corky managed to blow it by stopping a couple times in the middle of the class to rub her nose on her leg. She is so weird about that. We cannot put any nose or face grease on her because she immediately tries to rub it off. Oh well...she was well behaved and did everything else right. So she will be showing in the non pro and the open 3yo finals - I never in a million years would have expected this!!!!

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2007

I am still floating on a cloud (albeit a very tired one!). We showed the FINALS of the Non-Pro open 3yo HUS Stakes today. Once again, last night I didn't have the greatest ride. It was raining and a bit colder than it had been (although it was still in the low 50's.). It poured rain all night and all the next day. When they made the first call for our class, we trucked on over in a solid downpour. Corky was covered head to hoof with a rain sheet, and I rode over to the arena in the comfort of a covered golf cart to stay dry.

Corky warmed up great, and I began to feel a bit of hope and plenty of anticipation. We rode into the area very confident, and immediately I could tell this was going to be a good ride. She was so easy, I swear I never had to touch her face once...just went along on a relaxed rein and was SO quiet! Our only trouble was our first canter transition, which was a little ugly (she lifted her head and hollowed out a bit before taking off).

At the end of the class I stood waiting to hear the individual judges' placings...the anticipation was killing me! We ended up being left off of 2 cards (one of them definitely saw the ugly canter transition), but placed 7th and 3rd under the other two judges!!! I stood back after they went through the individual placings and wondered if a 7th and 3rd was enough to finish in the top 10. They called out 10th place and it was someone else...I looked at Stacey and shrugged 'oh well!'. Then they called 9th place and it was ME!!! I couldn't believe it!!! My lifelong goal of placing in the top 10 at Congress had just been achieved, and in a big way in a tough class!

We cantered up to the queen to get our medallion and Corky slammed on the brakes about 5 feet away and would NOT go any closer to that sparkly looking woman. Eventually she was able to walk the medallion over to us (I was NOT getting off her, I wanted to ride out of that arena!). As soon as I got my medallion I burst into tears...who knew I was such a sappy person? It was such an emotional moment for me, and it was made doubly so by being able to achieve this goal on a horse I bred and raised myself, and agonized over for the past 3 years.

A decent picture, right? Yes, until you look at the actual 8x10 and see ME!!!

I guess I was really concentrating hard!

Thursday, Oct. 24, 2007

This morning while I was stuck at work Stacey showed Corky in the limited open HUS Futurity finals. It was actually more like a semi finals since 15 horses from the 1st go and 15 horses from the 2nd go made it to this point. They ran two splits and Stacey and Corky got called back to ride in the FINALS of the class! Corky stayed very good for her. Only one ugly canter transition...the same one I had the day before (OK, we have to work on that before Saturday!). She placed 5th under one judge, but it wasn't enough to crack the top 10 and place (and earn money). Still...ending up top 15 was VERY awesome for all of us! I am still amazed at how Corky has just come into her own at this show...and to think I thought this Congress was going to be a total waste of time and money! It turned out to be the most successful horse show I have ever had in my lifetime!!!

Stay tuned...Saturday I ride the Junior HUS and hopefully the Amateur HUS for one last Congress experience.

Stacey and Corky

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I arrived back at Congress on Friday evening after work. It was cold and windy, probably the coldest day we've had the entire Congress. I ponied Corky for about 15-20 minutes in the Scottsdale, but the pony horse was not cooperating so I decided to longe her instead. Uh-oh, she was very sore. She has been hitting her back ankles with her back shoes very badly, and the insides of her ankles were a bloody mess. She has only had back shoes on since the week before Congress, and for some reason she is interfering with herself. I took her back to the barn and wrapped her legs for the night. Poor girl! They looked very painful.

Saturday morning was a dark and cold one. With the wraps on her hind legs, we ponied her a bit and the started preparing for our Junior Hunter Under Saddle class. I had entered this as a lark, knowing that Stacey wasn't able to show in the class for me. Because of a football game tonight, I knew I probably wasn't going to be able to show the Amateur HUS unless it ran early (which it didn't look like it would), so the Junior HUS was just a class to get in and have fun - no pressure. I was looking forward to riding with all the 'big names' in the industry. Hopefully we wouldn't wipe anyone out!

Due to a number of scratches, the class ran a lot faster than we had expected. All of a sudden they were calling for split 6 (my split)! We ran on up to the arena, and after a quick warm up by Stacey, I basically had to just hop on and go in. Our split went fairly well, though Corky got VERY nervous with the wind rattling the tent when we entered the Celeste. It wasn't as smooth as some of my earlier rides, but our transitions were a little better. Unbelievably, I got called out of my split for the finals!!! I couldn't believe it...I actually made the finals of the Junior HUS...ME, an amateur!

We went in to the finals just having fun. There were 20 horses in the finals and the pen was crowded. It was VERY tough to maneuver her in this crowd. Several times she got boxed in pretty bad and it really made her upset and nervous. It was all I could do to hold her together to at least finish the class with a clean ride. I knew she was a bundle of nerves, but hopefully her legs didn't show her nervousness.

I stood in the lineup and looked up and down the row of all those trainers I have admired for years. How cool is it to actually be standing in the lineup for a finals in such company? It about made my head spin. They called the final placing, and I actually placed third under one judge. Third, can you believe it? Then they called out the final placing, and when they called me - Number 7400 - as the 10th place winner I about fell out of the saddle. It was by far the most amazing, incredible thing that has ever happened to me (Ok, so I must have a boring life LOL!). Me - an amateur - a 'no-name' amateur - placing in the top 10 in an open class at Congress! To this moment am still in amazement, shock, disbelieve, and have incredible excitement over this accomplishment. What a Congress Corky has given me!

Giving credit where credit is due is important. Someone told me it was a team effort that created Corky's success, and we three people made quite a team:

Stacey Ryan
Matt O'Neal
aaaand ME!!!

A very successful year for me!