spirithorse21: (Ribbons)
Looking at the medal count, Team USA is doing very well by all standards, but we didn't do so hot in any of the equestrian events. I've been trolling around the forums looking to see what others think about our non-medal performance, and it seems that those who think our performance was pretty poor are in the minority. Most folks seem to be saying that we gave it our best and that should be good enough.

I don't agree. I'm going to be a bit of a nationalist here because I think that is largely what the games are about--national pride. Yes, I am proud of those who *did* perform well in the equestrian events. Team Great Britain has been amazing and their dressage performance was inspirational to watch. I really couldn't be happier for them. Michael Jung's performance in eventing was also nothing short of phenomenal and he has really set a high bar for up-and-coming riders. What a role model to have in eventing! I didn't see very much of the showjumping, but I also think it's pretty awesome that Sweden turned out an individual silver medal and that Saudi Arabia earned a team bronze...who cares that they bought their horses? The powers that be in that country decided they wanted to bolster their show jumping program, and they went out there and did it. I'd say that's national pride working hard right there!

Back to Team USA. Did we give it our best? Did our athletes try their very hardest? I believe they did. Boyd's performance on XC was quite an opener, and KOC was a shining star for Team USA. We had some bad luck in eventing. Our dressage team had two not-so-experienced horses and one horse ready to retire. I think Ravel and Peters gave as good as a performance as the horse had left in him. I thought the freestyle was ridden very sympathetically and it was touching. I didn't see any of Team USA show jumping, so I cannot comment on how they performed.

However, our best was no where near good enough to medal. No, we can't medal in every event every time. But, we should be striving to be eligible for a medal. And I'm not entirely sure that was the case here. Or maybe we were, but everyone knew it wasn't a reality. After all, no one seems surprised that we didn't medal, Sports Illustrated didn't pick us to medal in any equestrian events, everyone seems to be saying that Europe has a far superior riding and breeding program...it all adds up to Team USA kicking the dirt from the sidelines.

This pervasive attitude that we gave it our best and we should be happy with that is not the mind set of a winner. I would be willing to bet money that every one of our Olympic athletes is *not* happy with the Team USA outcome in equestrian. They may publicly say we did our best, but I would bet that quietly, they thought they could do better.

And that's exactly how they need to think. Our eventing coach is about to change, and it sounds like that will be a very good thing. Certainly our international performance hasn't been all that great under Coach Phillips. I don't know what to think about our coaches for SJ or dressage, I don't follow those sports closely enough. But it seems that we need an overhaul in our approach and attitude in order to be competitive on the international level. We need more funds, better breeding programs, and more ways to challenge and shape our upcoming stars. Some people have said it's disappointing that we can't do more given the very large pool of competitors we have to choose from, but that's just it--America is so large, it makes it hard to fund all the people. And it's not cheap making a star! So what can we do? How do we up our game to compete with GB and the Germans? What is different now from the days when we were internationally competitive? How do we get it back, or better yet, usher in a new era that is sustainable in our current world? I'm not sure. But I think more people should be wondering this rather than just saying we were good enough. Clearly, we weren't.
spirithorse21: (Dressage)
I just finished watching Steffen Peters and Ravel...wow. I've never really watched them go before. And of course, Ravel is reaching the end of his career, so he's not as incredible as he once was, I'm sure. But I was so impressed--so touched--by the sympathetic ride Peters gave the old boy. Especially in the canter pirouettes, you could really see what a struggle those were for Ravel and Peters just very lightly balanced and helped him through those movements with the greatest amount of grace you could expect. Just beautiful. Peters rode so lightly and just really lended his balance and rhythm to the horse. I got a little misty eyed in the end!

Anky was the first one I watched today. I remember watching her 94? ride on Olympic Bonfire at the Pan Am? games and just being mesmerized. I loved her back then. It was an inspiring ride to me as a young teenager. But now in my 30s, I just don't care for her very much. And it's not just all the LDR crap either. I watch her ride and she looks so *heavy* and *rigid* on Salinero's back. I just want to tell her to breath. Especially in the passage and piaffe. I don't know crap about riding those movements, but I can't help but think that Salinero would lift his back more and have more lift in his legs if she would give him room to lift instead of being so *glued* to his back. I thought the same thing of the German girl, Sprehe on Desperados, too.

Laura Bechtolsheimer on Mistral Hojris were amazing! And they earned a score to go with it! How cool would it be if GB took all three individual medals? I am rooting for them and a new era in dressage!

Ok, wow! Go Charlotte! What a beautiful test and a score to go with it! Can you imagine it without the bobble at the end? Probably would have been a 92% or 93%! I think Adelinde Cornelissen scored better than she deserved. It's too bad, because I think she's a much more fluid rider than Anky and could be quite something if she weren't jamming her horse up all over the place. At one point I thought to myself, "her shoulders are as tight and jammed as his!" Let the horse out a little and imagine the possibilities!

But anyway, what a thing for GB and dressage. LOVED Charlotte's test, loved her riding. Glad I got to watch it!
spirithorse21: (Default)
Quite a finish to the olympic eventing, yes? I was really pulling for the Swedish rider to clench the individual gold, but what an unlucky last rail!

It must have been very taxing for both horse and rider to come back for a second jumping round today. More so since the horses know their jobs and know they should be done after the first round. Almost doesn't seem fair. At least they shortened the course.

Who the heck was commentating? They didn't seem to have much accuracy in their reporting of goings-on, and their commentary on the rounds was...not useful in the least, I didn't think.

Also, did anyone else think Phillip Dutton and Mystery Whisper looked out of sync half the time during their jumping rounds today? Not the entire round, certainly. But every rail they took looked to be the result of pretty major miscommunications (or perhaps lack of communication?).

I didn't see any of the dressage, but the XC was grueling and unforgiving by my estimation. Perhaps it's because I don't care for a course that zigs and zags that much, or maybe I just like to see more gallop, but that was *tough*, and very physically hard on the horses. I was really impressed with how Mark Todd got his horse home at the end, and WFP as well. Too bad for Boyd, what a heart break!
spirithorse21: (Doc)
I brought horses in today and when I got to Doc's field (7 horses) he came through the gate and stood behind me to protect me from the other horses. He wouldn't move until I patted him and told him it was ok. <3
spirithorse21: (Doc)
I brought horses in today and when I got to Doc's field (7 horses) he came through the gate and stood behind me to protect me from the other horses. He wouldn't move until I patted him and told him it was ok. <3
spirithorse21: (My World)
It has been almost 4 months since I've visited Terre Haute to see my family and my boys. Traditionally I spend Easter with my parents and I get to cook (lamb. And it's delicious! I love cooking for Easter). This year we came down to Terre Haute and Jeremy and I spent this afternoon walking around the farm, ending with the horses in their pasture.

Dash has wintered especially well this year. He turned 33 in January and today the weight tape said he was at 1275 pounds. Back when he was still well muscled I could count on adding at least 100 pounds to anything the weight tape said. Now that he doesn't have much muscle, I'm not sure how inaccurate the tape is, but 1275 is a damn good number for my big liver chestnut! I can't tell you all how pleased I am with his condition. To have him only barely ribby is just amazing! And there is a little meat on his backbone too. I don't think we'll ever see much of a top line again, but he's looking pretty fine for his age.

Sam looks pretty good too. We had to give him a pretty ghetto roach job today. The only scissors I had on hand were a bit dull, and I forgot to bring my clippers along to do a proper job. He was looking pretty...rugged though (lol), so I didn't feel like waiting. As such, we have a bit of a Stegosaurus look going on, but he is otherwise fine. His eyes continue to recede. Eventually I should have them removed, but they don't seem to bother him and he doesn't get infections, so I'm in no hurry. He turns 14 next month. I can't believe where time goes. I got him as a 3 year old that was unbroke.

All in all, they are very happy, retired (or mostly retired in Sam's case) pasture puffs. Mom and Dad's farm hand has taken to brushing them daily. He has always enjoyed the horses, even though he doesn't know much about caring for them. When Mom and Dad hired him ages ago he didn't know a thing about horses, and now he cares for them daily. Dad tells me that if you sneak into the barn, you can hear Phil talking gently to them as he brushes them. Makes my heart melt. I also hear they are spoiled rotten by the dry cleaning delivery guy. He apparently loves the horses and brings them a bag of carrots anytime he stops by! Like dogs who learn the sound of the UPS truck, my horses have learned the sound of the dry cleaning truck and coming running to the fence, eager for their treats! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do.




Happy Horses )
spirithorse21: (My World)
It has been almost 4 months since I've visited Terre Haute to see my family and my boys. Traditionally I spend Easter with my parents and I get to cook (lamb. And it's delicious! I love cooking for Easter). This year we came down to Terre Haute and Jeremy and I spent this afternoon walking around the farm, ending with the horses in their pasture.

Dash has wintered especially well this year. He turned 33 in January and today the weight tape said he was at 1275 pounds. Back when he was still well muscled I could count on adding at least 100 pounds to anything the weight tape said. Now that he doesn't have much muscle, I'm not sure how inaccurate the tape is, but 1275 is a damn good number for my big liver chestnut! I can't tell you all how pleased I am with his condition. To have him only barely ribby is just amazing! And there is a little meat on his backbone too. I don't think we'll ever see much of a top line again, but he's looking pretty fine for his age.

Sam looks pretty good too. We had to give him a pretty ghetto roach job today. The only scissors I had on hand were a bit dull, and I forgot to bring my clippers along to do a proper job. He was looking pretty...rugged though (lol), so I didn't feel like waiting. As such, we have a bit of a Stegosaurus look going on, but he is otherwise fine. His eyes continue to recede. Eventually I should have them removed, but they don't seem to bother him and he doesn't get infections, so I'm in no hurry. He turns 14 next month. I can't believe where time goes. I got him as a 3 year old that was unbroke.

All in all, they are very happy, retired (or mostly retired in Sam's case) pasture puffs. Mom and Dad's farm hand has taken to brushing them daily. He has always enjoyed the horses, even though he doesn't know much about caring for them. When Mom and Dad hired him ages ago he didn't know a thing about horses, and now he cares for them daily. Dad tells me that if you sneak into the barn, you can hear Phil talking gently to them as he brushes them. Makes my heart melt. I also hear they are spoiled rotten by the dry cleaning delivery guy. He apparently loves the horses and brings them a bag of carrots anytime he stops by! Like dogs who learn the sound of the UPS truck, my horses have learned the sound of the dry cleaning truck and coming running to the fence, eager for their treats! I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do.




Happy Horses )

Ice Montage

Feb. 3rd, 2011 09:05 pm
spirithorse21: (Tree of Light)
I made it out to the barn today for the first time since Monday. There is still ice everywhere. It's not yet safe to turn the horses out in pasture, but I was able to take Doc up to the indoor so he could stretch his legs. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to ride him.

I also enjoyed snapping a few photos today and thought I'd share them here.



A Day of Ice )

Ice Montage

Feb. 3rd, 2011 09:05 pm
spirithorse21: (Tree of Light)
I made it out to the barn today for the first time since Monday. There is still ice everywhere. It's not yet safe to turn the horses out in pasture, but I was able to take Doc up to the indoor so he could stretch his legs. Maybe tomorrow I'll get to ride him.

I also enjoyed snapping a few photos today and thought I'd share them here.



A Day of Ice )
spirithorse21: (Default)
Stealing the What Historical Figure is Your Horses meme from [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue. I think the results are spot on. :)


Doc


Lord Byron

Dash


Wyatt Earp

Samwise


Ben Franklin
spirithorse21: (Default)
Stealing the What Historical Figure is Your Horses meme from [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue. I think the results are spot on. :)


Doc


Lord Byron

Dash


Wyatt Earp

Samwise


Ben Franklin
spirithorse21: (Naturally Gifted)
So, way back at Christmas my wonderful husband offered to send me to the World Equestrian Games for three or four days. I really wanted to take him up on it, but the prices were just more than we could swing. I told him I loved him very much, but I'd pass.

And then September came around.

And I really wanted to participate in this amazing event for at least one day.

And the tickets for just one event weren't so bad.

And it's only three hours to Lexington.

So, I called up [livejournal.com profile] windy_withers and asked her if she'd like to join me in a WEG adventure next weekend. Consequently, we now both have tickets to the Eventing XC day and I can't *wait* to go down to Lexington!

Will take lots of pictures, no worries!
spirithorse21: (Naturally Gifted)
So, way back at Christmas my wonderful husband offered to send me to the World Equestrian Games for three or four days. I really wanted to take him up on it, but the prices were just more than we could swing. I told him I loved him very much, but I'd pass.

And then September came around.

And I really wanted to participate in this amazing event for at least one day.

And the tickets for just one event weren't so bad.

And it's only three hours to Lexington.

So, I called up [livejournal.com profile] windy_withers and asked her if she'd like to join me in a WEG adventure next weekend. Consequently, we now both have tickets to the Eventing XC day and I can't *wait* to go down to Lexington!

Will take lots of pictures, no worries!

More jumps!

Jun. 2nd, 2010 04:09 pm
spirithorse21: (Default)
I have been a jump building fool lately. I guess I've just been in the mood to build things and complete projects. Now, in addition to my 4 XC jumps I have a set of 4 standards for the indoor ring, plus jump cups, three cavaletti, and two painted planks. My barn owner has just agreed to purchase a bunch of PVC pipes to make ground poles which will finish off the indoor set of jumps after we paint them. So excited! And I think the rest of the boarders are finally excited about it too, so that means there should be enough enthusiasm to build a set of outdoor stadium jumps.


Completed Cavaletti. I'm very pleased with this design.


Jumps! )

More jumps!

Jun. 2nd, 2010 04:09 pm
spirithorse21: (Default)
I have been a jump building fool lately. I guess I've just been in the mood to build things and complete projects. Now, in addition to my 4 XC jumps I have a set of 4 standards for the indoor ring, plus jump cups, three cavaletti, and two painted planks. My barn owner has just agreed to purchase a bunch of PVC pipes to make ground poles which will finish off the indoor set of jumps after we paint them. So excited! And I think the rest of the boarders are finally excited about it too, so that means there should be enough enthusiasm to build a set of outdoor stadium jumps.


Completed Cavaletti. I'm very pleased with this design.


Jumps! )

Highlights

May. 31st, 2010 08:09 pm
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
Had a lovely long Memorial weekend in Terre Haute with family, horses, and pets. Just thought I'd share the pictorial highlights. :)


Everyone say, "AWWWW!"




This is my 4 yr old niece.






Also of note, spent a lot of quality time with my Dad while he helped me build jumps. I will take pictures of unassembled and assembled jumps soon. Had good quality time with my Mom too...we went shopping. :)

Highlights

May. 31st, 2010 08:09 pm
spirithorse21: (A Toast to Friends)
Had a lovely long Memorial weekend in Terre Haute with family, horses, and pets. Just thought I'd share the pictorial highlights. :)


Everyone say, "AWWWW!"




This is my 4 yr old niece.






Also of note, spent a lot of quality time with my Dad while he helped me build jumps. I will take pictures of unassembled and assembled jumps soon. Had good quality time with my Mom too...we went shopping. :)

XC Jumps!

May. 24th, 2010 07:19 pm
spirithorse21: (Default)
I think I mentioned that I recently moved Doc to a new facility. It has a grass 1/4 mile race track, and an addition 35 acres of trails. However, it did not have any good jumps. This past week I got permission to build some XC jumps, and I finished 4 of them today. Just wanted to share the photos of my newly completed project! Can't wait to try them out with Doc.

My Small Log jump. Probably not even 2ft in height.


After the Small Log, we turn left and head down a small hill to a water crossing, then back uphill to the Medium and Large Log jump...

Medium is probably 2'3", big is around 3ft, maybe a little bigger. Nice width to it too.

After this, we go straight ahead, then turn left again. Go down a slightly steeper incline, jump another water crossing and then...

...approach the Long Log...

On the short end, it probably doesn't come up to 2ft. But on the big end, it is about 2'9". After jumping that, we go up a short incline and head out of the woods to the race track...

...to the Coop...

This one is about 2'6" in height. I made it by salvaging an old feeder. This section was the V that held the hay. I will soon be finishing a Table Top that was the bottom half of the feeder. Can't wait for that!

XC Jumps!

May. 24th, 2010 07:19 pm
spirithorse21: (Default)
I think I mentioned that I recently moved Doc to a new facility. It has a grass 1/4 mile race track, and an addition 35 acres of trails. However, it did not have any good jumps. This past week I got permission to build some XC jumps, and I finished 4 of them today. Just wanted to share the photos of my newly completed project! Can't wait to try them out with Doc.

My Small Log jump. Probably not even 2ft in height.


After the Small Log, we turn left and head down a small hill to a water crossing, then back uphill to the Medium and Large Log jump...

Medium is probably 2'3", big is around 3ft, maybe a little bigger. Nice width to it too.

After this, we go straight ahead, then turn left again. Go down a slightly steeper incline, jump another water crossing and then...

...approach the Long Log...

On the short end, it probably doesn't come up to 2ft. But on the big end, it is about 2'9". After jumping that, we go up a short incline and head out of the woods to the race track...

...to the Coop...

This one is about 2'6" in height. I made it by salvaging an old feeder. This section was the V that held the hay. I will soon be finishing a Table Top that was the bottom half of the feeder. Can't wait for that!
spirithorse21: (pcusa praise)
I am working on building my own website (which I will soon be publishing and asking for critiques, please *g*), and as such needed a few new photos of Mr. Doc. Jeremy came with me to the barn today to help provide said pictures. Thought I'd share some of the shots we got. I'm pretty happy with the way Doc is moving in these.




But the *real* action is behind the cut. )

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