Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Postponed Hunter Pace

It happened last year too... the soaking rains of winter. :P Poo.

Duke Power re-seeded grass all along under the power lines this fall and so there are tender grasslings up there. With the recent SOAK of a rain the footing is quite horrible and the grasslings are easily torn up. A week doesn't give the earth nearly enough time to dry out and that's if we don't get another rainfall.

So we are postponing to our rain date Jan 14th and hoping that by that time the ground will be better! Follow the Western Carolina Website to get the latest updates and changes!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hunter Pace Dinner

As all of you know, the January Hunter’s Pace for Scotsgrove will soon be upon us before we know it! The official date is January 7th! The purpose of this event is to aid Leslie in improving Scotsgrove jumps and cross country courses for future events. 

If there is enough interest among the barn family, we could secure even more of those funds for more improvements if we could prepare the food ourselves. This is not Leslie’s idea, but a collaborative idea by a few of the barn family, and she does have a backup plan if we don’t have enough to participate, but, we could pull this off if there is enough interest!

Because this will be in January, we like the idea of chili and chili beans with crackers and/or cornbread muffins. It would be fairly easy to have several sheet cakes to serve for dessert. Maybe hot cider and/or coffee could be served as well. But we would work with whatever anyone decides to bring!

If any of you think that this is plausible, and are willing to help, please let Kathy or Leslie know.  The biggest commitment we will need is for those who are willing to make huge crockpots full of chili or chili beans for this day.

Let us know what you think. You can email Kathy at cdoglesby(at)aol(dot)com or Leslie through the barn email blast or Gwen at scotsgrove(at)gmail(dot)com

Kathy Oglesby and Gwen Phifer

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hickory Top

   Well, yesterday was Hickory Top, and what a day it was!  Houseful of kids overnight, and Carol Neely was kind enough to bring a delicious dinner!  Really spoiled me!  Up before 5 am, but other people beat us to the barn! By the time I got there with group from house, Laurie, Caitlyn, and Lindsey were in full swing, horses were groomed and nearly all were saddled! Laurie had filled hay nets and Caitlyn had organized bridles, vests, and whips the night before.  Nick pulled in and we started loading, and were off by 6 am! It was a most impressive convoy going out Grand Canyon Rd at that hour!

   We were making good time and I was growing complacent when the trailer got a flat in Newberry. I had to go up an exit, go past by an exit, get back on and return to the trailer. Nick was changing the tire and I helped, and called Mable! Many organizers would have commiserated with our bad luck but held to their schedule. Rules are they assign ride times in advance, miss your ride time and forfeit your entry fee. Mable said keep her posted, she'd work with us. So we got tire changed and got underway. There was an unforeseen need for a potty break - I got off at an exit with signs for gas and fast food, but had to go quite a way to find a gas station. Then I felt like Simon Legree herding the group and chafing at the time! We got onto 77 with convoy pretty well strung out, and there was a major accident and we were stopped cold. Another call to Mable and she said "Come ahead, we'll make it work!"
Several of our cars had not been allowed onto 77 and were dependent on GPS to get to Mable's. Nick is a wizard with his rig, but it was too big to turn around on a concrete bridge when cops were trying to clear the road that way. They were predicting "hours" but then within 10 minutes waved us past 2 disintegrated cars...I was too scared to call Mable. Good thing too, because in the last 5 miles, the trailer blew another tire, we were out of spares, and Nick limped it in with all of us in devout prayer for the horses!  

   I called Mable from Piney Branch Rd and asked how she wanted to handle it. We agreed that Amoebas and Ride A tests would mount up and get going to dressage, PreTadpoles would scamper around learning their cross country course! Caitlyn and Katie got bridles on as I departed!  Sarah B was first up with Dimples for a Ride A Test and she got to walk to warm up arena, walk around once, trot a 20 m circle, change hands, trot a 20 m circle and get into competition arena and go!  Kayce's dad slipped into being the warm up steward and kept kids coming at me in order and kids took a lot of responsibility for their own warmups, with Caitlyn and Katie helping!

   Every rider put the morning behind them, squared their shoulders, and rode! I was very pleased with dressage tests!  Kayce had had two upsetting lessons with Blue last week, but she softened and gave him a great schooling ride and had much more success in competition!  Sarah rode a good test with Dimples. Chris and Truffles looked great! Morgan and Spirit had a rough start but quickly solved that problem and did better! Payton had Dimples as an Amoeba and also rode a nice, thinking test! Dimples has been known to leave the arena midtest, but Sarah and Payton weren't letting that happen! Beth did a Ride A Test on Skittles and also focused and did better as she went! Lindsey got PreTads around XC and back to ride their dressage tests. Despite many recent distractions, Leah has built an understanding with "Leah" who is formally known as "Carolina Pride", and was in first place after dressage! Ellie and Skit started out a bit stiff but softened and did better. Eden has worked hard with China and it shows! Summer had prepared with Mickey,  but he got kicked in pasture and was lame Friday, so we substituted Tricks, who has not been ridden much lately and who was having entirely too much fun being out in public! Summer never let him get to her, or get into too much trouble! Allison sat up and gave Pan the ride of his life! Nice dressage test! I missed Katie's dressage on Bill, which was in most part much improved from last time because she asked more of him, but he popped a shoulder and stepped out of arena...She brought him back and finished an otherwise nice test!

   When Kayce got to XC, she needed me, and I changed position to accompany her around the course. Nice quiet schooling round and no problems. With the Amoebas, there is no such thing as "Unauthorized Assistance" and things are allowed that would not be tolerated at other events, but it gives kids a nice safe chance to start eventing and that is why we go to Hickory Top twice a year!  I got back to start/finish area and watched kids going, answered questions, and was complimented by Mable that although we had arrived well over an hour late, our organization was such that she was now back to only being 15 minutes off her schedule! That was a good way for us to thank her for bending over backwards for us! I did not see much of Chris' trip with Truffle, but saw Morgan being successful with Spirit, which thrilled me! Saw Dimples try to leave the crosscountry course at speed with Payton, and Payton sit up and turn her and regain control! Lindsey then helped keep her under control and finish the course safely!

   The Leahs had a plan and a clear XC, leaving them in first after XC! Elllie got a taste of riding a powerful horse on cross country, but slowed Skit to a Pre-Tad appropriate pace and
had fun! Eden and China looked great on crosscountry. Tricks continued to frolic with Summer but they posted a good trip. Two jump judges did not pay attention and record her going by, but our own Charles, Anna's dad, was jump judging and saw her come out of the woods from the right direction so scoring was amended. Allison controlled Pan and posted a great trip! Katie was our one Special Novice, being timed, and Bill gave her one quit at a coop but handled everything else well.
Stadium scrambled things, as it frequently does! However, Chris and Truffle put in a round that had them win the Amoeba Division! A great job by Chris, and I thank Abby and Katie for previous trips and schooling Truffle. Spirit was revolting and got eliminated, but I lead him and helped Morgan get him around the rest of the course, and Nick got some amusing pictures! Kayce and Blue did a slow and steady progress around the course and were third! Payton put Dimples around for the experience, which some organizers would not have allowed, but it is a great learning experience.

  Allison had a fault-free stadium round on Pan, with some great, assertive riding! They stood third in Pre-Tadpole. Ellie and Skit looked powerful but stayed tied for second, with Eden on China! Carolina Pride was uncooperative in Stadium, and got eliminated for refusals. Summer won it on Tricks.
Katie had gone too slowly in Stadium at FENCE last time out, not used to being timed, and the 16 time penalties cost her a ribbon, though she did complete. She and Bill did their first stadium course that was cantered throughout and looked wonderful!

I am very proud of all our riders. They did not let the setbacks of the morning and the trip down get to them, they concentrated and they rode! It was a wonderful Team Scotsgrove effort! I thank the parents who volunteered, and those who stood ready but didn't know Mable to find her and get put to work. And as we loaded horses and headed to Olive Garden for the victory dinner, Kathy produced an enormous hamper of homemade cookies and treated all of us!  Without Patti, we did not get into the restaurant in time to all get seated together, but dinner was fun and the trip home thankfully uneventful!  Thank you all for a wonderful day!

Fall Schooling Show

The day got off to a brisk start, with a frost, but warmed into a very nice fall day. Many of my advanced riders were elsewhere, so the first division, at 2' 8" attracted no takers. Ellie rode demonstration rides in Division B with Skittles and did a nice job with his very enthusiastic self! Kara did a demonstration ride in the Equitation Over Poles on the Ground and did well.
Leadline attracted 5 riders and the judge worked them both ways on the rail and asked them questions to test their knowledge, and it was a tie for first place and everyone got a blue ribbon! Yasmin on Dimples, Madison on Skittles, Isabell on Jack, Olivia on Pan, and Ellie on Truffle were all nicely turned out and rode well.

Divisions D, E, and F were more popular. D was for students riding more than one year, walk/ trot.  Class 11 had 5 riders, and class 12, a repeat so horses could be used again, had 4. Class 11: Sarah B on Dimples won, Eden on China was second, Rachel on Skit was third, Brynn on Bill was 4th, and Benay on Folly was 5th. Class 12: Soline on Spirit was first, Grace Z. on Folly was second, Kara on Skit was third, and Katheryn on Dimples was fourth.The jumping class in that division was 12" Crossrails and had 8 entries: Sarah B on Dimples, Benay on Folly, Eden on China, Katheryn on Folly, Grace Z. on Dimples, Rachel on Folly, Brynn on Skit, and Soline on Spirit. 
We had some challenges with checking diagonals between fences, but learned a great deal! Grace Z. won it, Benay was second, Eden third, Brynn fourth, Katheryn 5th, and Soline 6th.  That gave Grace the Championship, and Eden the Reserve.

Division E was walk/ trot/canter, but to canter one by one. The jumping classes were 15".
Once again it took two flat classes to mount everyone who wanted to ride in that Division. Class 14 saw Payton win it on Bill, Kayce second, Benay third and Sarah B fourth. Class 15 was won by Hannah, with Katheryn second, Soline third, Beth fourth, Mallory fifth, and Eden sixth. Class 16, the first 15" Over Fences class was won by Kayce on Bill, second was Payton on Bill, third Soline on Mickey, fourth Hannah on Bill, fifth Sarah B on Dimples, and sixth Eden on an uncooperative Folly! Class 17, over a different course of jumps, saw Kayce first on Bill, Hannah second on Bill, Solline third on Mickey, Beth fourth on Skit, Mallory fifth on Folly, and Sarah B sixth on Dimples. So Division E Champion was Kayce, reserve was Soline, and a close Honorable Mention was Hannah.

Division F was Walk/Trot/ Canter in groups of 3. Soline won it on Bill, Kayce was second on Mickey, Thea third on Folly, Anna 4th on a very green Blue, Leah 5th on Leah, and Eden sixth on China. Class 19 was the first 18" Over Fences class, and Kayce won it on Bill, Anna second on Bill, Eden third on China, Thea fourth on Folly, Soline fifth on Skit, and Leah sixth on Leah.  Class 20 was a different course of 18" fences and Eden won it on China, Anna second on Bill, Kayce third on Bill, Thea fourth on Folly, Soline fifth on Skit, and Leah sixth on Leah, with some really pretty lines, but a couple glitches to mar it.

No falls and everyone seemed to be learning about performing in public! It takes some practice to be able to think, and ride, and breathe!
While we missed some of our faithful experienced show helpers who have gone on to college or are travelling this week/month, new kids showed up early to help and the show ran well. Laurie and Lindsey handled the ingate and tacking/stirrup adjustments, with Caitlyn and Ellie helping in the barn. Caitlyn commented later that having started out as the "barn baby" she was finding it strange to now be the "older generation" of responsible helpers! But it is exciting to have new ones growing up and stepping in to help!
Thank you all for your support of barn activities!