Bringing Reva to her first ever off-farm experience in 2010 really made me proud. It was the first time I really asked her to completely trust me and I was excited to see that she did. It gave me confidence that I was on the right track with her and a glimpse at how she might act at other off-farm environments. She was such a quick learner and really did "all the right things". Of course, her first show was pretty gratifying too, but the prompt says one thing. ;-)
|Reva at the 2010 Chris Lombard clinic|
Out of all the experiences we have had, I would say my trip to the World Equestrian Games and Dreamy's USDF success stands out to me the most. 2010 was a huge year for us. I know there were other more poignant moments with Dreamy, but riding at WEG, earning good dressage scores and ultimately our All-Breed national championships was such a hard earned goal for me. It was surreal to truck my horse to Kentucky last September and be a part of the Standardbred demos. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience in so many ways. And then I had a similar feeling when I flew to Florida last December (almost a year ago now!) to attend the USDF Symposium as a vendor (Tina and I created a Standardbred Dressage booth courtesy of the USTA!) and the USDF Awards Gala! It might very well be the only time I attend both my lifetime.
|I'm in the middle, posing with Heather (left) and Tina (right)|
Obviously as my first horse, Sparky has affected me in many wonderful ways over the nearly 19 years I have owned her. But there is one incident from the first spring I owned her that will forever stand out to me. I was boarding her for a short time at a local farm near my middle school (I was in the eighth grade) where I could get off the bus at the barn and my mom would pick me up later in the afternoon. I loved that part of this barn (most other parts, not so much, but that is a different story not for the blog). We had permission to ride in the flat grass field directly next door to the barn, as it was owned by one of my classmate's parents. Being young and foolish, I checked the field for holes but that is about it. We were trotting along the edge, close to some bushes near the fence line of the boarding barn and I heard a weird rustling noise. I caught the sight of something and quickly realized it was a wire. I brought Sparky down to a walk and halt immediately. I hopped off and saw that it was actually old BARB WIRE and it had somehow gotten caught around Sparky's hind leg. AHHHH! The only way to get her free was to drop the reins. I was close enough to the barn to yell for help, but I also knew that I needed to get her free RIGHT NOW and not wait for help. Plus, I worried that yelling would make Sparky nervous. Bear in mind, I had owned this horse for about seven months at this point. All of these thoughts went through my mind in about half a second. I spoke soothingly to Sparky, dropped the reins, and continued to talk with her, telling her STAND, good girl, you're OK, STAND.....and so on. Thankfully she stood like a statue, never moving away or even bending down to reach for grass. I was able to disentangle her hind leg very quickly from the wire and there were no cuts. We were very, very lucky. I will never forget how it felt to have my horse stand so still without anyone holding on to her and allow me to lift her hind leg out of the barb wire mess. It amazes me that she trusted me THAT much so early in our relationship. It still amazes me today. She is not a flighty mare, but she can be hot and opinionated and patience is not always her best virtue. ;-) I am convinced she knew something was wrong and that I was going to help her. (And the barb wire was cleaned up after that! Phew!)
|My senior pic with Sparky! 1997|