Tobys Lynx (Toby)

Kaboom Eventing Supporters

Kaboom Eventing Supporters
Thank you all!

Swank Dezign

Swank Dezign
Kaboom Eventing's 1st home bred!

Swain Song (Swainy)

Swain Song (Swainy)
Swain is currently in foal to Tzigane *Pb* due: April 2012

~mid summer night's derby dream~

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wow, I’m really late on the update, sorry! I’ve been so confused with my life that I have not had a complete thought to blog about in quite a few months.

Let’s start with the great Scary Houdini.
I thank Harry (and Kim Hunter) from the bottom of my heart for the time he spent with me.
My job was to get him jumping and Eventing—in 12 months I took him from jumping Xs to finishing 2 training level horse trials.

Scary refusing his first flowers, and then jumping a more difficult flower box with room to spare! (8/2009)

Scary cruising around a Training Level SJ course at GW! (5/2010)

Scary has now moved north/west to live and continue training with Sara Mittleider. Sara has competed him a handful of times this summer with great success and we will enjoy the start of his preliminary career this fall. His new nick name is Hou Man.

I had a wonderful time with the Scare Master, Scary Hou, Hou Man. I think my greatest memory of Scary will be when we pummeled our first XC flag. Bless his heart. He is a XC enthusiast and come XC day at Greenwood he was 90% enthusiasm and 10% brains. It’s hard to concentrate when life is so exciting!! Sometimes enthusiasm gets the better of children and other mechanisms, such as steering, fail. Such a mechanism failed us at the water complex and we crashed through the flag at the up bank out of the water. Scary took it like a man right between the eyes! The disaster dropped us from 1st place to 10th place, unfortunately. I think busting a XC flag is a right of passage though, right? We are now both ready to move on?

Quick stop after flag pummelage...
(so great that everyone was there to take pictures...rolling eyes.)

Some of Scary Hou's dressage pictures from GW. Won the dressage with a 31.

Scary's finer XC moments:

I was sad our time had come to an end but I was ready to get started with Boomer. Boomer has been working every day since May and had been sound for about 8 months prior to starting back into full work. I worked him lightly now and again through the beginning of the year and then turned him out 24/7 for 6 months. He has been jumping twice a week now for 3 months and holding soundness. I think we are in the clear and there are no worries to come.
Scary’s job was to keep me busy while Boomer received an extra year of recovery time. I think I really did well by my horse.
I knew I failed out of Biochem and switched to Biomechanics/Kinesiology for a reason! Little did I know [in 2003] that the reason was because one day the love of my life would tear two ligaments and need my expertise to gain full recovery.

I spent July and Aug attending several local hunter jumper shows with Boomer. Wow, turns out I really suck!!

During these summer series shows I:
~Managed to blow a left lead in the hack [with my 3rd level dressage horse]

~Almost impale my horse on the in-gate (well, HE was the one that tried to piece out)
~Took off so long to one fence that he completely popped me out of the tack and we landed with no reins…I still won the class though because I was the only one entered.
~I *almost* got lost and went off course because it is hard to remember a course of 8 fences that consist of straight lines [side-diagonal-side] and for those who don’t know, the diagonal to a single oxar is a very very long time to feel lost and wonder if you are jumping the incorrect fence.
~And of course there were countless moments where I self destructed mid course and blew the course due to anxiety of not knowing what to do with myself during those long canters around the end of the arena.

All in all I attended these shows so that I could figure out what I needed to work on before going to BN hunter trainer. Turns out I needed to work on everything so I decided that I should leave it to the professional to start me off on the right track.

I started taking lessons with Courtney Calcagnini
as soon as she arrived back in Texas from her spring/summer outings. I had originally planned on showing in both eventing and the hunters but now, after my first few lessons, I find that switching between UL eventing and high level hunters is not possible.

A great analogy: I’m a proficient in jazz. Now I’m being asked to perform ballet. It is so very difficult to take those sharp quick movements that I’m used to and instead, finish my lines with softness and grace. Such a drastic change is taking a great deal of mental effort on my part and I’m not proficient enough to be able swap back and forth between the equitation types needed for each discipline.

I've got my new saddle, which is so flat I almost fell off. My fancy stitch bridle is on it's way. Added a nice KK contoured D, bought a JR8 and hair nets and won a really nice custom tack trunk at the summer schooling shows. That's the small part of the show...on to work work work, lessons lessons lessons.

So far we have:
~Changed my bit to a happy mouth [D ring], (before new D ring was purchased)
~Taken the blocks off of my saddle, (before new saddle was purchased)
~Taught me how to properly hold my reins,
~Taught me a proper release over fences,
~Removed my spurs,
~And we continue to try and teach me to ride straight--straight is so hard. ugggh!

Our conversations during lesson time go as follows:
Courtney: Do you count strides?
Kristen: Well, everything is 3 strides out of the turn so I only know how to count to 3.

Courtney: [draws square in front of fence] Do you think you could put your horse’s front feet in this square?
Kristen: Yes
Courtney: How many times?
Kristen: Hopefully at least once. Beginners luck [said with asking smile].

Courtney: Why do you ride him in a Pelham?
Kristen: um…cause I don’t have a D ring and he looks pretty in it? Bad answer?

At lease I’m honest right? Honesty is what has gotten me out of my last 3 speeding tickets so I think that telling the truth is a good bet. And if you know me personally you know that I always have a reason for everything I do. Every action is premeditated. So just ask…

I will add that I LOVE going to the hunter barn. No one knows me and there are no expectations - - and there a bunch of hot Italian guys there riding reining horses. I happily attend my beginner lessons and take with me as much homework as I can possibly remember. Baby steps right now though. Figure, I have enough trouble remembering to keep the byte of my reins on the RIGHT side!!

The funniest of my encounters thus far was a conversation with a hunter mom. We were talking about shows/clinics and Greg Best was discussed. Said hunter mom explained to me that Greg Best was a SJ’er and ex Olympian. Just incase I didn’t know…because we eventers are archaic. LMAO. I still get a giggle when I think back to the conversation.

Kristen Fact: The first horse show I attended was the Chubb Park summer 4-H fair in Chester, NJ. This was the same show (different year) that started the career of the famous Gem Twist!

Greenwood will be bitter sweet for me this season. The horse trial will be my first event back with Boomer, but also my last. Unless of course I turn out to be a flop in the hunter ring in which case everyone will see me again next year in the Greenwood Farms CIC*!
I’m so pleased that the one horse trial we will attend is the Mid States COTH Adult Team Championships. Excellent timing.


And here is my JT. Too cute for words.
"He's so fluffy I'm gonna die!!"

~Kaboom Boyz go to their first hunter/jumper show~

Monday, March 29, 2010

Boomer says "CHEEEESE!!!"

I ventured over to the hunter/jumper arena for the weekend--and I have to say that my horses and I had a wonderful time.
Scary needs some course work before running his first Training level. NTHJC offered schooling jumpers (3'-3'3"). Perfect!

I figured while I'm taking the little brown fella down the road Boomer should come as well. He's been sound for quite some time now, and though I have not ridden him since January he could at least do the Pre Green hack. My intentions are to turn him into a Derby horse--but he has been out of work now for 24 months so the transition will take place gradually over the next 12 months.

I wondered over to the hunter section of COTH to ask knowledgeable folk for some critique and advice. Wed before the show Tommy videoed (for COTH critiquing) Boom working on the flat and I figured, "what the heck, he can jump a 2' oxar once or twice for my COTH friends."
He was so easy going over the fence that I decided that a course of eight 2'6" jumps wouldn't hurt him so I entered in the Pre Green o/f class as well.

Boomer was first to go at 8am Sat.
He pinned in the hack, 3rd out of 15! We were in great company and the political competition was quite steep. When we all began trotting at the start of the hack he was really confused and didn't quite understand the full arena of horses He was spectacular to the left. I was really lucky that each time we hit the long side I had plenty of room to boot him up and then float the rein to him as we passed the judges stand. We were not so lucky to the right--Boomer kept chasing the horse in front of us.

"Neaner Neaner!! Pthubbbbbb"

He was also wonderful over fences. He nailed all of his changes (thankfully he's auto because I'm change stupid) but the distances were set at an average 5 strides and for the Booms they turned out to be 4 and 3/4, and then finally he dished out 4s in the last two lines. He leaves strides out easily and without rushing so there is a chance, if everyone else sucked, he might have pinned. lol. I did not see results o/f so we'll just have to wait until they are posted online. Collecting him in the corners would have only made the distances worse because collection only adds power to the grey boy.

Though without a breast collar my saddle would not stay in place. Sporty haft spray did the trick but now his back is all sticky!! LMAO. I use Sporty Haft Spray for EVERYTHING. Kind of like the Dad's obsession with Windex in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

He recovered without issues and seemed sound the next day.

Scare Master then showed us what he was made of in the jumpers!

Some of these fences were a good 6" higher than what he was used to jumping. The 2nd fence on course was a fat 3'3" square oxar--and I hit it on a 1/2 spot. shucks! Luckily the miss only put more fire in his step. With each round he became more and more aware of himself and I have to say I was very pleased to feel him learn and grow during the outing.

We always say that Scary's office is XC but I think the little man has a side job in the jumper arena!

hmmm...I'm thinking Level 4 or 5 might be super fun! Gee I wonder if he has enough power?

That's it! This coming weekend is Scray's last Novice HT. On to Training Level at Holly Hill in April and we will also hit the next NTHJC show in May.

stay tuned!

Let 'um RIP!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

It's time. Time to let The Scare Master rip!

I've worked really diligently to give Scary the best possible beginning and education over XC fences. But at some point a rider must 'man up' and try out the months of training over some big beefy fences.
This weekend, Scary lived up to his title: Small but Fierce.

Saturday I took the little man to Greenwood Farm which has one of the more difficult training level courses in Area V. My best eventing bud, Emily, rode with me and we took part in what I call a "chase". We warmed up over a few small fences and then came out of the start box and let'um'rip through the entire course start to finish, without any delays. Kacey went first--Harry and I followed.

Scary jumped his first Weldon's Wall, his first rated size coffin complex (with a beefy ditch, not just a little hole), his first water complex that required a canter through and extra elements, and his first beefy banks. There were also three max spreads and a max brush. He was surprised by the height and depth of the spreads and I could feel a little extra effort through his shoulder mid air over them--he thrived over the larger fences. : )
I missed that feeling. A little more air-born than usual--it’s an eventer’s dream feeling. He rocked it all.

I'm so excited to run our first Training Level at Holly Hill in a month. I've been side lined for two years so the thought of running Training gives me happy butterflies. Holly Hill is a favorite of mine but I can't deny that the max speed and max fences at Greenwood gives us adrenaline junkies a great taste of super fast fun. Running through the finish flags leaves a romantic after taste, for sure. Also, The Scare Master has such an easy going step--he allows his rider to enjoy XC 'in the moment'.

But 1st on the list is one last novice run at Pinehill in a few weeks. Scary and I were 'had' by the rubbish judging at Texas Rose and we will try to reclaim fame at Pinehill.

All photos from the Texas Rose Horse Park HT. 2/2010.

Three weeks of snow, sleet and rain--mixed in with a little Freds and a Novice run.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"The rain, rain, rain came down, down, down and piglet started sailing..."
This is the first line from one of my favorite Winnie-the-Pooh songs. Global warming is really hitting Texas hard this year--2009 was no cake walk either but the latest 2010 weather causes me to break into song and dance on occasion.

This picture was taken 3 days after the clinic!

We barely made it through the Fredericks clinic. A week of torrential down pour leading up to the Team Fredericks Eventing Clinic threatened the integrity of the footing at Denton Creek Farm located in Decatur Texas. Thanks to the great planning of Lori and Stacey the weekend went on without a glitch. For three days the Fredericks tag teamed 15 riders. Scary and I had a private lesson with Clayton on Friday. Saturday we started over poles with Lucinda and finished over fences with Clayton. Saturday night we went out for a fancy dinner and the weekend closed with a XC day on Sunday. The increased rain fall in north Texas has done Scary ‘good’. He’s been forced into puddle after puddle at home and come Sunday at Denton Creek he jumped right into the water complex without the slightest hesitation. We even jumped a small log in the water. Harry leaped and cracked his back so hard that he had all of the auditors giggling and I even caught a glimpse of his white bell boots INFRONT of his nose. I was looking ahead [not down]--that is how high he jacked up his legs! Lucinda worked deliberately with me on XC skinnys which will play a big part in all of my jumping technique, XC and SJ.
The Freds were definitely no walk in the park. I was surprised no one cried. Lucinda was really mean with her pole work and started yelling quite a bit during the Saturday lessons.

The Freds said that Scary was a lovely type, had great scope, a powerful jump, great movement and is a superb 4 star prospect.

Saturday night party with the Freds!

The best quote of the weekend:"Dressage is all about confidence and bullshit."~Clayton Fredericks~

The rain picked up at the end of my session on Sunday and was then followed by 12 inches of snow in Azle that Thurs-Fri (2/11)! We had a CT planned for the weekend but it was [obviously] snowed out (2/14). Scary has his first Novice recognized HT coming up (2/27) and I needed to get him out to jump around a novice sized SJ course (something that he had not yet done).

Quick thinking by “yours truly” landed us a spot in the Novice division CT at Quail Run this past weekend (2/21). But the rain did not stop! A major thunder storm swept through north Texas Sunday AM leaving the dressage arena a wee tad, well, gross. We had slop and sun for our dressage test and SJ warm up. Just before entering the arena to jump around the temperature dropped dramatically and the rain started coming down again. Not warm Texas rain but cold, windy, skin stinging rain. I felt like I was in England! My arms turned red due to the wind and cold but I LOVED jumping around in the inclement weather and it did not bother the Scare Master in the slightest. He jumped around clean and true to form staying well within my hand and leg. The best SJ we have had to date. He placed 2nd out of a 17 horse division and was out sported only by a veteran horse who is the former Area V Training Level HOY and T3D Champ.

We are due to receive some more rain and snow tomorrow but should be fine for the weekend to come at the Texas Rose Horse Park located in Tyler, TX. Harry’s 2nd Novice trip will take place at Pine Hill in Bellville, TX the first weekend in April.

Check back April 5th for Harry’s Novice HT results.

~I say "good-bye" to an old friend and "welcome" to a new beginning~

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Enjoy Rainbow Bridge, Nandi (1997-2/8/2010)

Nandi was my introduction to the cat world. I adopted her from a vet that I had been working for at Animal Care Clinic in Plano. The other cats in [Dr. Triplet’s] home objected to the new feline so the little 8 week old kitty hopped a sweet spot with me instead. Dr. Triplet named her "Nandi". Nandi was the mother of Shaka Zulu; she was known as the leopard queen. I loved the name. : )

Nandi was a great cat--she did not meow but chirped and whistled. She was always starving and even if she had food in her bowl she would "Lassie" me to her dinner plate and whistle until I put some food in it...even one extra kibble meant that she had succeded in her task.

She watched me muck stalls and followed me when I would turn horses out. When I was living in Plano I would take her with me when I went to my parent's house. She would ride loose in the truck and watch out the window. She slept with me at night and watched movies with me. She could stare a mouse down all day long, but would never try to catch one. (yes, I had a cat but still needed to set mouse traps in my pantry)

She was a great cat and I miss her terribly. The day I made her vet apt. I came home early from work and curled up with her on the couch. We watched the latest and greatest Star Trek. I shared string cheese and crackers with her (she loved to eat people food--cheetoes were her favorite) and then I took her to Lakeside Vet Hospital. Nothing is worse than knowing that you are leaving with your friend and returning alone.

So the kitten search was on! Looking for: large breed, male, long hair, kitten. I found 5 and at the end of the weekend still had none. The first two were gone when I called. The 2nd was a really cute kitten at the Carrollton location [Operation Kindness], I arrived 20 minutes after the doors opened and he was already adopted. The next two I called about had been taken within 1 hr of the add posting! I was 1 hr late on those. The next was a Siamese long hair located at the Siamese rescue center in Coppell, he died Monday PM. I was going to see him on Tuesday. And last, my application was denied with a Maine Coon breeder because I told her that I would be taking my cat with me to my parent's house. (they forbid that cats ever breathe real air).

So that is that--all the while I had a little thing stirring in the back of my mind. I was fed up with the above situations and went for what I really wanted.
I found a Selkirk Rex.

Selkirk Rex: The Selkirk Rex has a lot of the laid-back, reserved qualities of the British Shorthair, the cuddly nature of the Persian, and the playfulness of the Exotic Shorthair. They are very patient, tolerant, and loving. This was exactly what I was looking for! A dog in a cat body. : )
And I want my cat to be chubby/stocky and large.
It is a large and solidly built breed; the coat is soft and has a woolly look and feel with loose, unstructured curls. The head is round, with large rounded eyes, medium sized ears, and a distinct muzzle.
All characteristics that I was looking for! Except for the curls, the curly coat is just an added bonus!

So here is my kitten's picture at 1-2 weeks. He was born 1/24/10. The breed comes in long and short hair, curly and straight hair. My kitten is a curly long hair boy.

Here he is pictured with his sister.

Here he is at 4 weeks of age. Pic taken 2/21/10.

3/8/10 UPDATE: JT had his 6 week vet apt this weekend and he weighed in at 1 pound!

JT: 3/11/10

My first visit with JT. Here he is hanging out in Micheal's hoodie. 3/12/10 He was a little grumpy after the 2 hour car ride.

and when he's grown he'll look like his Granddad Merlin, though, as you can see, he will be a lighter blue/silver like his mom.

And this is my kitty's Mom, Magic, as a kitten and grown. : )

I've decided to name him JT. Short for James Tiberius Kirk. My last two hours with Nandi were spent watching Jim Kirk become captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise and after all, the kitty's last name is already, Sel"Kirk".
Jimmy's pick up date is mid April. I can't wait to welcome him into his new home.

JT is home now and he's the most awesome cat. He's very facial and every morning I wake up with his paws on my face and his nose stuck in one of my eyeballs. He loves to be carried around and just hangs on my arm like a ragdoll when touring the property. He does enjoy rides in the golf cart and he sits quietly in my lap when we go for drives to Sonic or Blockbuster. He is still too small for his kitty harness but we practice with it anyway. He goes totally limp and plays dead when I put it on him. Guess he'll have to get used to the feeling! Avatar is his favorite movie and Mac'n'Cheese is his favorite dish. He pounces me, trips me and plays hide and seek with me and follows me everywhere. What a great little guy! He has been introduced to Maxxi (Corgi) and Lacey (Mini Lop pictured below).
updated pics below. : )

JT's favorite spot on the golf cart. He'll sit there for hours.