Category Archives: Pictures

Jumping with Joy

I had three real-horse goals this summer:  #1, to make some more jumps for the barn and get the poles painted, #2, to attend a few shows, and #3, to school on a nearby cross-country course. I accomplished all three to some degree, which is delightfully satisfying.

Robyn and I are entering our second jumping show at the end of the month. It’s a derby with dressage, cross country, and jumping, so we wanted to get in at least one more practice day over cross country. We happened to have two young helpers along with us who took some pictures, so of course I have to share. Photo quality was inconsistent but after editing out the fingers there are some winners, especially of Robyn and Emily.

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This photo is blurry but too cute not to include. It’s very Cochise.

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The best picture of the day. Robyn and Emmy make a great pair.

Jumping cross country is maybe the most fun thing ever. I’m excited for our little show coming up… with any luck, we won’t have to be excused from the course like usual…

Inavale Farms Horse Trials 2013: the rest

I did continue to take pictures during the rest of the horse trials, although not as many as during the Beginner Novice cross country. But I did get some more good ones so I thought I’d share those as well.

After the Beginner Novice level was the Novice level. Robyn came to watch with me which was extra fun. We particularly liked this horse:

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This pair finished 2nd in their division

You can’t tell as much from that picture, but he was a big dude- he looked half draft. He was listed in the program as “WB” and named Half Draft, and I like to think that supports our hypothesis. As with the Beginner Novice, there was a pretty decent variety of breeds in the Novice level.

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This massive mare was listed as a Quarter Horse, but we couldn’t believe it. She was enormous and awesome. I’m not a big QH fan but one that looks half-draft? I’m listening!

There was also a few gorgeous Connemaras (and Connemara crosses), two Morgans, two Appys, and a horse whose breed was listed only as X (who we particularly rooted for).

A lot of the obstacles in the Novice course still looked pretty easy, as fits the level. Many horses refused at this step-down, however- it’s not particularly high but because of the shape of the hill, they don’t see it til they’re right over it.

This guy was unfazed by the obstacle.

This guy was unfazed by the obstacle.

The one part of the course that I was most impressed and surprised with (impressed that Novice folks could do it, surprised that they were asked to) was a step up with a tough turn to a large log oxer in the tree line. A number of riders opted to circle after the step up in order to get a straighter shot at the second jump, even with the lost time. I know I would have!

This pair opted not to circle and started the turn immediately after the bank- and at speed too!

This pair opted not to circle and started the turn immediately after the bank- and at speed too!

Only a few strides after the bank was this jump:

Not a great picture, but with the tree-line location and the proximity of the bank right before, I didn't have a better angle.

Not a great picture, but with the tree-line location and the proximity of the bank right before, I didn’t have a better angle.

At least one pair got the striding wrong and lost point here- we saw one woman land half off, cling to her horses barrel for a few minutes (while the mare stood patiently, thank goodness) and then give up and plop to the ground, disqualified.

The next day I was back at Inavale again to see the Intermediate and Prelim cross country, and catch a bit of the Beginning Novice stadium jumping. Unfortunately, most of my pictures from the Intermediate level didn’t come out. But I did snap this one the day before of the Intermediate water obstacle.

IFHT2013-Inter water jump

That’s a bounce between the logs and then about a four foot drop into the water.

Amazingly, that jump was one of the least difficult ones for the Intermediate riders- I didn’t see anyone have a problem with it in the whole division. The Prelim level fences were also extremely difficult. I couldn’t believe this line:


But damn, they made it look easy!

Later in the afternoon I went over to the show jumping arena to see part of the Beginner Novice. Inavale has some of the most amazing, colorful jumps:



The thing that proved the most difficult for these jumpers wasn’t an intentional obstacle- it was the umbrellas of two spectators sitting by the first jump.

This gelding was a total packer in the XC phase, but he could not get past the deadly umbrellas and was eliminated.

This gelding was a total packer in the XC phase, but he could not get past the deadly umbrellas and was eliminated.

I had made a note the day before to get a hold of a few umbrellas to jump Cochise near. This only made me more resolved to get some and desensitize him. I’m planning to ride tomorrow, and if I’m really lucky, I’ll get out to the Inavale XC course too.

Here are some more pictures from the cross country phase. Again, if you want to use these for reference or documentation you’re welcome to them.

Inavale Farms Horse Trails 2013: Beginner Novice

I spent this weekend in Corvallis watching the action at the Inavale Farms Horse Trials. My goal is to enter the Beginner Novice division next year, so I was particularly keen to watch that division.

I’m so used to watching high level eventing online, it was satisfying and exciting to watch people jump things that I knew I can jump- and a few that I have jumped before!


Cochise and I have jumped this barn! In fact, when we did it, it was on an upslope instead of this nice even ground.

It was interesting to see what obstacles caused the most problems, and think about how I–or Cochise–might have handled the same thing. A number of the horses balked a bit at the water, but they all eventually made it in.


Many of the entries, including this eventual division winner, splashed happily through the water at a nice trot.

Many of the horses took issue with what looked like a simple hazelnut table. I’m itching to get out to the course and try it. This horse took issue with the red barn.

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But his rider got him over it on the second try.

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Unfortunately he had some more refusals further on and was eliminated. As someone with a refusal-prone horse (in fact, in our 3 jumping show outings together we have never not been dismissed) I felt a particular pang of sympathy of those folks who didn’t get to finish the course.

Cochise and I definitely need to work on ditches and Trakehners. The Inavale Farms Trials has five main divisions from Beginner Novice to Intermediate, and everyone got a level-appropriate Trakehner fence.

trakehner line

A rider takes the Beginner Novice Trakehner. Far right is the Prelim fence and in the middle is the massive Intermediate fence.

I’m confident that Cochise and I could sail easily over this nice brush jump though. It was the last jump of the course and I was able to sit nice and close to it to watch.

the hustler

This pair took 2nd in the Beginner Novice Senior division.

As we moved further up the levels the breed listings got more and more uniform (TB, TB, TB, Warmblood, TB…) but in Beginner Novice there’s a bit more variety- as well as a healthy number of TBs and Sport Horses. One of the crowd favorites was this gorgeous Gypsy Vanner. I saw him earlier in the year doing a 3′ jumper course with ease.

mystic prince

This pair finished 7th in their division, feathers flying.

The Beginner Novice division also included several Quarter Horses, a Kiger Mustang, a few part Arabs, and a Morgan/Welsh cross. One of my personal favorites was this massive Percheron/Thoroughbred cross, Duke. I have also wanted a draft cross jumper so he definitely caught and held my attention. He finished 8th in his division.


Duke clomping through the water obstacle

I took a ton of pictures trying to document everything. Here are some more of the best ones from the Beginner Novice cross country. If any of these would be useful for you as reference or documentation, feel free to use them.

Parthenon Ponies

Greetings from London! I’m sitting in my Airbnb-rented flat with a mug of PG Tips, ready to write a quick blog post and trying not to eat a whole package of chocolate Digestives in one sitting. It’s day sixteen of a twenty day trip. I’m at the point where although I’m still really enjoying myself, I’m starting to miss home a bit more, and thinking about my animals a lot.

The remains of many an afternoon

The remains of many an afternoon

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to not only visit the British Museum, but go for two long, glorious days. The museum is free, although we also bought tickets to the special exhibit on Pompeii and Herculaneum, which was excellent. I saw lots of things I’ve read and dreamed about, included the Elgin Marbles.

The Elgin Marbles are the sculptures from the frieze, pediments, and metopes of the Parthenon in Athens. They were brought to Britain by Lord Elgin in the early 1800’s where they have been displayed since. For a Classics nerd like myself, this is one of the Must See artifacts from the ancient world.

Horses are commonly depicted in ancient art, of course, but I was really struct by the dynamism and detail of the horses in the Parthenon Frieze. The Frieze has been photographed, drawn, and imitated countless times, but here are some of my favorite pictures showing the expression and detail I found so compelling.

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detail of the above

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I loved this horse’s stance

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detail of the above- check out those wrinkles!

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This one was cool- what a unique and ambitious stance

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We couldn’t help but laugh at this guy, who appears to be checking his iPhone instead of paying attention to his mount.

I probably could have gazed at these guys forever, but there was much more to see, both in the museum and beyond. I’ve got fodder for a couple more horse-themed posts from the trip which I’ll work on putting together. I have a lot of pictures to sift through, and a lot else to do when I get home :)

RITNY part two: Customs and Original Finish

When the first two divisions finished up, we moved on the OF Plastic and Custom halter divisions. There were lots of gorgeous ponies out on the tables and made me itch to start painting again. I’ve got two horses in prepping stage that refuse to be ready, but every prepping session gets me closer (I hope).

Check out some of the shiny on parade, and a few ribbons for my horses too :)

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