Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Unspoken Rules of the Hunter Ring

Ever since I started riding, I've been a part of the hunter ring. It's not an easy sport, and it's kind of difficult to really fit into a hunter operation if you've never experienced it before. So, if you're about to switch disciplines or just dipping a toe into the sport, keep these bits of information in mind. From one hunter to the next, good luck!

1. Only black or white saddle pads are allowed.
I cannot stress this enough. It's about being profeshunal, people. Just because the page on Dover said HUNTER green, doesn't mean it's allowed in a hunter barn. Common mistake. Don't make it.

sin!!! sin, I say!!!
2. Your everyday riding attire will be as follows: solid colored polo shirt (tucked in), beige Tailored Sportsman breeches, a black belt, black tallboots (either Ariat, Tredstep, or Parlanti).
The only time you can divert from this is at shows. Then, you are allowed to school in a quarter zip, but that's it. Also, I'd like to reiterate that if your breeches aren't Tailored Sportsmans, you will be sacrificed to Smaug.

3. Horses may only be bay, chestnut, brown, or black.
- ponies may be any color
- palominos are only allowed if they come with an eq kid
- grays are only allowed if they can also file my taxes

We could never be *real* hunters
4. Every horse must have chrome.
A continuation of the last rule. Why is this? No one knows.

Nevermind, I know why
5. Your horse's show name must sound like any adjective being spoken in Spanish. A "Z" at the end is optional but not required.

There's a Thicc somewhere out there
6. Hair must always be in a hair net and Samshield helmet while riding.
This rule was actually recently amended. It used to be "Hair must always be in a hair net and Charles Owen helmet while riding." It was changed because Charles Owens don't get as many likes on Instagram.

7. Your name is Catherine.
Not a Catherine? You are now.

8. There are only three bits: D-ring, Full Cheek, and Pelham.
But you school in a 3 ring elevator. Always.

I gotta stop posting memes on here
9. Follow. The. Trends.
Listen, I get it; your net worth is approximately $0.06 and half a chicken nugget. But let's face it, you won't place if you're not riding in a CWD with an Ogilvy. It just won't happen, sweaty :)

10. Finally, have fun!
You're spending obscene amounts of time and money to be here. Might as well feel good about it on occasion sometimes.

Smile through the pain

Filed Under: bad satire

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bite me

Carlos, a.k.a. King Asshole, actually managed to get me with his teeth this past week. Broke the skin and left a bruise. Have I mentioned enough how much I hate being assigned to him?

Horse was likely in a bad/weird mood because of the torrential downpour that morning plus the change of season. Overall, he was acting strange. After our ride, he got really nervous when I left the stall, and him getting uppity while tied makes me nervous. He got even more anxious when everyone else starting going out, which is understandable, but he's never been that upset before.

I'm actually having a hard time being mad about the bite because he was kinda good to ride, still weird tho. I don't want to say he was behind the leg, but he was being reactive to cues for downward transitions. I had to sit the trot with leg because homie thought it was time to walk, but then his walk wasn't an "I'm tired" walk, it was a really nice, forward walk. Laterally, he was amazing, and we had a ton of really nice loose rein circles. I'm talking minimal hand here. But then when I picked up contact, he spent half the ride doing that weird, head twisty thing that some horses do. Again, he's never done that with me previously.

Grom Pre
Now, the weirdest thing he was doing is something that I can't decide if I like or don't like. Carlos has, on occasion, stretched to the bit with me. He's pretty stiff in the poll and jaw, but the rest of his next has some flexibility (probably cause he's always turning it to bite people). Until this past week, he never curled, and yet, here he is learning a new skill. He's prone to root and show displeasure in his mouth through gaping, but the curl was pretty random. It reminded me of Max when he was first learning to soften and would fall behind the vertical, but 1) I don't even bother asking Carlos to soften anymore and 2) it was a much deeper curl, closer to LDR than anything. He did it for short bursts at the trot, then in much longer periods when we cantered. The curls at the canter were also much deeper than the trot (nose to the ground) and coupled with ample snorting. This was the first time I used a BoT square pad with him, so perhaps he does actually feel free in his back and is trying to do a real stretch, but I honestly don't know. If I'm on him next week, I'll try a different pad and see what happens then go from there.

Anyways, onto less weird but still new stuff that I learned about the horse: he does not understand poles. Crazy for a horse that likes to run at fences. Trotting him over cavalettis was hilarious because you can tell he's confused but he tries so hard. When Coach put a canter pole in front of the fence, Carlos actually broke to a trot the first time through. We had to push him up to it because poles are oh so scary.

Spotted: angry mare attacking scary canter pole
He put in some good efforts over each fence. We swapped twice, and I think I only majorly screwed up on Dori because wot in forward impulsion. My last time through on LB was described as "very good" by Coach. I apparently "looked nice over the top of that fence." Boo yah.

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