Tobys Lynx (Toby)

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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

Cow Pony Chronicles Part II

Friday, May 20, 2011

Cow Pony Extraordinaire, [aka Toby] speaking.

It's been a while since my last blog and a lot has happened in my life. Ahhhh, the highs and lows of being the most awesome competition horse Kristen has ever worked with has taken its toll on me. I have mixed emotions concerning work load and lots of aches and pains in muscles that I didn't even know existed!

Here we go--for starters I'll do a quick time line breakdown of 2011 happenings...

Jan/Feb: Kristen started working me consistently and I was greatly enjoying the benefits of becoming the number one sport horse on the farm. The grey horse and the mule left in January and never came back. Kristen pointed at me told me that she was having a "clearance sale so I better mind my manners". Yikes!

So I promptly won two combined tests and also finished in the ribbons at a third.

March: I competed in my first recognized USEA event (Beginner Novice Level) at Texas Rose Horse Park.

Kristen also took me to a few cross country schooling days at which I jumped so hard that my butt hurt for days afterward. We'll spend some time talking about this issue.

April: I visited Dr. Davis at Reata Equine Hospital for a "tune-up".

May: The games begin again.

OK. Now, my honest APHAwesomeness opinion.

APHAwesomeness date: Late Feb and March.

Well, it turns out this life is really hard work. {{sigh}} Everyday I'm expected to dish out lots of APHAwesomeness. I've started to lag behind on work ethic and I felt the need to to create the APHAwesomeness Diagonal. The Awesomeness Diagonal is very much like the Vicky Mendoza Diagonal - aka - "Hot/Crazy Scale" illustrated in a How I Met Your Mother episode.

Please watch this short informational video:

Hot/Crazy Scale

Just like the "Hot/Crazy Scale", I have my very own "Worth The Hugs and Cookies? Scale".

There is a point on the “Worth the Hugs and Cookies? Scale" where work ethic (or positive effort expenditure on my part) exceeds the worth of hugs and cookies. My APHAwesomeness breaking point is about ¾ of the way up the diagonal or just in front of a novice XC box.

See below:

Thus far I have proved to be a champion at the local combined tests by bringing home the blue at several shows and always placing 1st after dressage. When jumping I have to use my best judgment and determine positive efforts according to my “Worth the Hugs and Cookies?” Scale. Also in this situation the type of cookie is a major determining factor as to how much effort is put forth by “Your’s Truly”.

For example:

A Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème pie cookie

is worth many Novice boxes and even a small Training level combination. Where-as a sucky peppermint horse cookie

is worth only the enough effort to jump Beginner Novice fences-- and maybe if I’m feeling generous, one Novice fence.

Unfortunately for Kristen, she only brought lousy regular horse cookies to my first recognized horse trial, therefore I felt the need to punish her by pulling a rail in show jumping.

But! aah HA HA HA! I chose wisely by knocking down the 2nd fence in a 3 fence combination so that I at least had the “hard technical combo excuse” to roll on.

Cross country was quite fun so I galloped and jumped generously for her 90% of the time on course. I did stop at a log after the water complex for particular reasons and I’m still getting grief about the refusal. What Kristen didn’t know is that I SWEAR I saw a snake by the log. She blames it on APH poor work ethic (or in my words, lack of good cookies) but there was a snake--really. I ran far away from the log until the snake had slithered away. I needed to protect my rider!!

I remember it very very clearly, it had blood sucking fangs and hissed a raspy evil hiss. It looked something like this:

Although I am entertaining the idea that maybe the snake was merely a hallucination because I was out of breath and my butt was burning so badly that I may have started to see visions of boogie critters.

Paint horses are loyal to their riders and when we see boogie critters (snakes) or aliens on or under a cross country obstacle we have an unspoken duty to carry our riders far away to safety until the scary situation resolves itself—or until the aches in our muscles subside.

I was having trouble with muscle soreness at Texas Rose Horse Park and I even pulled the muscle in my right butt cheek while on course (possibly when I executed my Grand Champion reining horse sliding stop).

Luckily, I have great humans and they gave me lots of massages and stretching exercises. Kristen stopped jumping me and told me until I’m feeling better we will have to do only flat work in the field and work with hills and trot poles. She also became really pushy and started making me move my hind end all over the place by poking me in the sides with those huge spurs she wears. I overheard her calling them “Pig Stickers” one day.

I was fairly insulted with the term (unlike bovines, I'm pretty sure pigs can’t jump 4 foot from a standstill) and would rather not be compared to such a creature. Look, look at this poor lowly creature. I almost feel sorry for it.

But, she gave me some peppermints and I granted her my forgiveness.

In April we went to Reata Equine Hospital for a vet visit. This place was terrible. Dr. Davis is my PCP and he usually comes to see me at the farm but this time Kristen said I needed to go to his home base. And for the record, I don't want to leave the farm to see him ever, ever again. He knocked me out, wrapped a chain around the tip of my nose, and then—well, I don’t know what because the chain caused me to have hallucinations of boogie critters and snakes for a short time and when I woke up I was at home in my stall. humph. "Oatmeal Crème Pie Cookies, please??"

This was followed by 4 weeks of vacation with no cookies.

Warp ahead to APHAwesomeness date: May

Since my trip to Reata I have been feeling like a million bucks! I’ve competed in two jumper shows at which I won ribbons in EVERY jumping class (ribbons are not as good as Oatmeal Crème Pie Cookies, BTW) and I’ve also finished another combined test.

Kristen finally took me cross country schooling again and I felt really really great. No back aches, no pains in my hocks, and my stifles were not pinching me AT ALL. I jumped really well because she gave me some pretty decent treats before hand. The treats were high enough on the scale that I even tackled the training level bank (jump up, one stride, jump down--the down portion sported a log on the lip of the bank) without issue for her.

I love banks, so I've decided that positive effort output for them does not rely on the APHAwesomess Scale. I'll jump banks for free.

This is it for now. Apparently there has been a very very bad horsie flu outbreak called EHV-1 and all shows in Texas have been put on hold. No jumper shows for me this month.

Thank you for reading my 2nd APH-AWESOMENESS Chronicle and stay tuned.
Yours truly, Toby, cow pony extraordinaire.


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