June 1, 2019
So now Chevy just needs a single point and one major. I am SO hopeful...
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So now Chevy just needs a single point and one major. I am SO hopeful...
Continuing Cadence's trailer education, today we put her in the trailer and closed the divider. For some reason, this step really had me worried. And as usual, the things that I worry the most about end up being no big deal. She could care less. This is a very good thing - because we plan on hauling to Darla's on Tuesday to giver her the first trip in the trailer without her mother, and to longe her in a new place. I am feeling cautiously optimistic, but prepared for anything!
I was prepared for every potential disaster, so that meant I had NONE! I hooked up my trailer to my old truck (who I've re-named
The one thing I was having trouble with was clipping her ears and muzzle. Although I spend a lot of time trying to desensitize her to my clippers, she would never let me go near her head with them turned on. Darla helped me use a twitch to teach her that if she stood still, the twitch got loosened during clipping. She figured out right away that it was much more pleasant to stand still, and we got her ears and face clipped with the twitch only slightly snug, and we got her muzzle clipped without the twitch. What a relief! Now I can take this lesson and build on it at home.
After the clipping, I loaded her up and home we went...no issue, no problem. I freaking love this filly. She is so happy and willing al the time. Just makes me smile to be around her! We leave 3 weeks from today for the Tom Powers Futurity. I am already getting nervous. I haven't shown at this level in 9 years. My clothes are out of date, and I feel like a novice again. It's a weird feeling, because the horses are an area where I have always felt pretty confident. Not anymore...age is seeping in and filling me with self-doubt.
Big day for Cadence today - her very first show! Yes, it's probably a little risky taking her to a show when she's only been off the farm once this year, and that was 4 days ago...but what is life without a little risk?
She was a little annoyed with me banding her at 6 am when she thought she should be eating. Thankfully, she loaded perfectly in the trailer, and the 90 minute drive to the show went perfectly - she was quiet and calm the whole trip. When we arrived, I unloaded her and took her to the arena to longe a bit before the show sharted. She was wide-eyed, for sure! The announcer's stand and all the people inside of it made her stop, and she was a bit bothered by it. we had a few rounds of fire-breathing-dragon-arabian, but it took hardly any time at all for her to quiet down and longe smoothly. To be quite honest, I was a bit shocked at how fast she recovered from being frightened. We longed a bit, then headed back into the trailer to hang out, eat some hay, and wait for our class.
We got out and stood by the warm-up ring when it was a couple classes before ours. People were riding all around her and she did not mind at all - a big change from the horse who would act like a maniac at home every time someone rode in the arena with us. There was a guy there (more like an idiot) that was spurring his horse enough to make the sides bleed, and yanking his horse, doing all those things that crappy "trainers" like to do...and Cadence watched, but took her signals from me and stayed relaxed even when that horse came very close to us. Cadence trusts me, and I think that makes all the difference.
We were the only one entered in yearling longe line, go figure. She walked into that ring like she has been showing for decades...longed like a true champ. I seriously wanted to cry as I walked out of the ring - only a few people understand what I have been through to get to this point and to even get this filly on the ground...it's has been SO long for me. I am sure what I went through only made this moment even sweeter. I swear I will never take this for granted ever again.
Now we get prepped for the Tom Powers in 2 1/2 weeks. Luckily this show did not reveal any major holes in my training, but I do have a shopping list a mile long - that's much more fun than fixing issues!
Horse show one day, dog show the next. It's getting kind of crazy trying to fit everything I want to do in to my life. Chevy and I headed up to Canton for a show. He showed great, took winners dog for another point - his last single point! He is now
Well, I intended on doing a little work and training with Cadence today, since she's been on a break since the show on Sunday. I didn't expect to find her thoroughly
I can't believe Chevy leaves in less than a week! I took some photos of him and Noodle out on the property this evening. He is such a happy boy.
Today I headed to Troy, Ohio for two Weimaraner specialties. Unfortunately, since I had committed to judging Vizsla Sweepstakes thoday, according to AKC rules I am not allowed to show. A good friend with tons of weimaraner experience and a soft hand agreed to take him in the ring for me - there are majors at both specialties today!
Well, I would like to introduce you to
Billie took him in the second specialty to hold the major, luckily she didn't win so no one was out to kill her haha! There is a major again tomorrow, so after talking to everyone I agreed to drive the 2+ hours back to Troy in the morning to show him to hold the major. I have no problem doing that, majors are hard to find and I hate when people don't show up and break them.
I got to see Maizey at the show today. Maizey is a pup from Pretzel's second litter, and she is the one who lived with me for a while last fall for show training. She took Winners Bitch at the second specialty, so now she only needs 3 points to finish and she will be Pretzel's
I got up at 5am, drove 2+ hours with Chevy to Troy to hold the major , instead of sleeping in and enjoying a Saturday off. Well, I wasn't going to go overboard to try to win, but I refuse to purposely make him look bad to give someone else an easier win. This is a Pretzel puppy, and how he looks reflects on Pretzel and me, and I am not going to sabotage him just to give someone else a bye. Well, wouldn't you know it, he won Winners Dog again. I felt bad for a millisecond, but that was gone the moment I got a dirty look from another competitor and a comment that I "should have put a junior handler on him"...in other words - make him look bad so he loses.
OK, let's be realistic here. He is a nice enough dog that he could very well have won regardless of who was showing him. He is young, and relatively inexperienced, and I am not willing to risk his future show career by just handing him off to anyone to screw him up. Yet that is apparently what was expected of me. THIS is what is wrong with dog shows...this attitude completely soured me and ruined my morning. I drove over there to hold the major as a favor to my fellow competitors. Thanks a lot.
Surprised? Well, to be honest, not really. I saw it coming. Success divides your circle and shows who truly are friends and who aren't. of course, i had already figured this out several years ago. But thanks for ruining my day.
Well, I tried to work Cadence today. Her hormones were on full blast being in heat, she was crazy! Bucking and broncing all over the place, tail up and dripping, eeeew. Thank
Well, Chevy left to go home to Connecticut this morning. It was hard to see him go, although he was thrilled to be back with his owner. I will get him back in mid-August to prepare for the futurity, so i have that to think about.
Meanwhile, today is Pretzel's first official day
Cadence was a
I tried my new longer tail pieces on her today. I only put 5 in. Not sure if I maybe need to trim them so they aren't so long? I am going to wait until I get to the futurity show next week and get some advice. Today's lesson also included hind leg wraps. She was NOT a fan of them, but eventually got used to them. I want to haul her in all 4 standing wraps since we are traveling so far next week - 5 hour trip (and probably longer since I drive like a grandma when pulling the trailer!). So much to do, so little time...
Well. today's the day! I headed to the barn, hooked up the trailer (yeah, it took me FOREVER and yes I needed help!), loaded, and Cadence, Pretzel and I headed for the Tom Powers Futurity. Mark and Noodle came about a half hour behind us in the motor home.
It was a
When we arrived, I unloaded, we got the motorhome parked, and i got Cadence out to stretch her legs on the longe line. I am glad I did that right away, because within the hour, the
Finally the storm was done. I had been hiding out in Cadence's stall, apparently I was the only one worried because she sure wasn't. I walked out to see a beautiful rainbow over the camping area. Should be a good sign, right? Well, that's what I thought also until I went to our motorhome and saw that it was parked in what now appeared to be a pond...and as i stood there in disbelief the water continued to rise.
Being the smart people we are, we realized it was now or never if we were going to try to get the motorhome moved. Thankfully, we did
Meanwhile, I was a bit worried because Cadence did not poop in the trailer the entire 5 hours. I watched her in her stall for at least an hour before she finally pooped, and I could relax. Colic is always a stressful thought, and I never ever want to deal with that when i am in a strange place! Luckily, she was fine, and settled in for the night.
Today was prep day. I spent some time during the day walking Cadence around so she could see all of the commotion and hopefully get used to it. She handled the crazy atmosphere, whizzing golf carts, and tons of horses and dogs with no problem...until it came time to actually work in the arena. She did
I was up at 5am, and at the barn by 6am. Darla braided Cadence for me (I just cannot braid any more since I broke my hand...my thumb just can't grasp the hair well enough). It was a rush rush morning - spend an hour braiding, put her tail pieces in, get dressed, fit her new show halter to her, get my longe line organized...but I got it all done and headed to the ring for my warm-up at 8am.
My warm-up went well, I just did a little bit of trotting and cantering, and then walked her around the indoor so she could see the perimeter of the ring. My first class was my important one - the open Hunter Longe Line, and I was last to go. I don't like being last because that means she has to wait around for everyone else to work before it is her turn. Oh well, luck of the draw!
My halter portion went OK, but the biggest hole in my training was exposed - I have NOT spent nearly enough time in training her to square up for conformation judging. Note to self - make this priority #1 in the upcoming month! After the halter portion (and she did trot right off for me - something we have been working on!) we went to the far end of the arena to stand and wait for our turn to longe.
I am so thrilled that my longeing portion went great! I had to push her a bit, I think she was a little tired, but she looked fantastic and I was so proud! Because she was a little intimidated, she didn't go out and use her full circle, so I had to do a bit more walking to get her to move in a bigger area. This is something else I will work on in the next month. Her behavior was wonderful, and we got all 3 gaits in both directions and my timing was pretty darn good!
Now all that was left was the placements from the judges. Imagine my surprise when the second judge called ME out for
I am so excited to report that Cadence and I finished
So, the travel home went smoothly. It was very hot and humid, but Cadence stayed comfortable and relaxed - she actually ate every scrap of hay on the trip. This tell s me she is getting very relaxed in the trailer, relaxed enough to eat while we are moving.
Once again, she had not pooped in the trailer. It was 8pm, I had been up since 5am, and I was exhausted and starving, but I didn't dare leave her in the barn until I saw her poop and could rest easier knowing everything was moving OK.
So I waited...and waited...and waited. Cadence was perfectly comfortable, munching hay in her stall. I sat in the barn watching her for