Those of you who know me know that I love a great many things; and do a great many activities in my full, rich life. (NOT rich as in $$. Rich as in -fulfilling.) But of everything I do and love, horses remain my grand passion. I never out grew that horse-crazy little girl stage of my life. No matter what setbacks I have encountered, I always stay thoroughly engrossed in horses and riding.
This weekend, I took one of my green OTTTBs (Off-the-track Thoroughbred x-racehorses), "F Major", to a CT clinic in Reidsville, NC. (CT=combined training/eventing.) He is only just 4 years old, 10 months off the track, and three months into schooling. I decided three days before the clinic to go, and started learning a USDF (US dressage Federation) Intro level test. I also decided to do just ground poles with him, as I have not yet begun teaching him much jumping beyond that. He is ready now, though!
Except, it was the wrong test and I screwed it up. But the clinician was understanding, and my horse was ultra green, so all was ok. I did the test twice and kept the better score. It was my trusty guy, Kevin, who took all these photos (not bad, is he?) and was also Major's groom for the clinic. It is so convenient to have a trusty horse loving guy like Kevin around for these events. He even rushed into the arena to try and take a photo when I came off Major..... I was walking him in a warm up session and he laid down with me....doesn't sound too bad, but it can actually be a big hairy deal when a horse suddenly lays down on you. More often than not, your leg snaps...... mine didn't. I was lucky. And Kevin didn't get a photo of it, either. Aww, darn.
Major was an angel, and handled himself very well for his level of experience. I am such a proud mama! I was bursting when the clinician commented that he had an "incredible mind" for a horse just 10 months out of racing; and that every OTTTB she ever had took a year to 18 months before she could take them anywhere. Yet here I was, three months into schooling, with a horse so green, at a clinic! With our combined scores, Major placed sixth out of eight. Yay!!! Thank you for bearing with me as I rant about my horse. For more details, check my horse blog (Link in the sidebar) in the next day or so. I'll detail the tests, scores, judge's comments; all that juicy horse stuff.