Category Archives: Horses

Mayfest 2009 Horse Show Results

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Mayfest was a blast.  As I mentioned in my earlier blog, it has been 6 years since I had shown at this particular show.  I had forgotten how fierce the competition can be.  However, that’s a good thing, it challenged Chance and I to push ourselves to the next level. 

Afer all, Chance and I had done well at previous horseshows including another really competitive one which is the Cowtown Show in Fort Worth. 

We did well, all things considering, it was our first show with our new trainer, Jennifer of Goslin-Nix.  It was her first time to work with Chance at a horseshow, and she was satisfied with what she saw with Chance and I.  Yes, we have several areas of improvement, most noticeable to slow down in the reverse direction and to have a really consistent “hunter” head set.

Yes, I made some mistakes; however, I had one just about perfect ride, in the Championship class on Sunday morning.  I will be honest, I was disappointed I did not receive a ribbon.  However, as it’s been known in the horseshow circle, sometimes, you win a ribbon in a class that you personally did not think was up to your expectations, and other times you can have a perfect class and not get a ribbon.  It all evens out in the big picture of things.  Most of the times, the placings fall where they are supposed to.

On the other hand, it is not always about the placings, it is your personal goals for the horse show and the class that is taking place that matters the most.

Therefore, I was very happy with my class that Sunday morning during the championship, because I proved to myself and Chance that we can overcome our past errors in earlier classes at the show.

As for the show itself, it is really competitive, all the big boys and girls come out to play, because this show is shown in the same facility where we have our Region 9 show a few short weeks later.

Also, it is pretty much the last show of the season for us Texans, with the exception of  Spindletop, San Antonio Fiesta and Regionals.  We, Texans do not show in the summer, it is way too hot.  Our show season begans in the fall, with it peaking during the spring months.

Yes, some people show in the summer, but they go way, way, out of state like Missouri, for instance.

Thus, this also is a great show for trainers and riders to fine tune their horses for US Nationals which happen in Tulsa in October.  It gives the trainers and riders a chance to see “how they stack up against the competition.”  Therefore, enabling them to have all summer to finesse the horse and rider teams.

Finally, the classes were quite large which is awesome, lots of competion with  tremendous “quality” in the hunter classes.

I am glad I went, I had a blast and I am ready to rise to the challenge with Chance, Jennifer, and Mrs. Nix.

We are looking forward to our next show at the Spindletop Show in Houston in Late May and finally, the Region 9 show in June.  I have never shown Chance at Region 9, so that will be a goal accomplished.  Whoo hoo!

I will write more about the upcoming shows, later.  Until next time, Happy Riding, see ya at the shows, and as always, have a sunny day.

Susanna and Chance

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Filed under Arabian Horses, Horses

Mayfest Horse Show 2009

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Well, it’s been just a little over a month, since I have moved Chance to Goslin-Nix Training Center.  So far, I am having a blast learning from my new trainer,  Jennifer.  Chance is also happy in his new home. 

As for Chance’s training, the first couple of rides were interesting, after all he had to get used to a new trainer and his new home.  However, he settled in pretty quickly.  Jennifer and Chance settled into a nice work routine.  He is responding well and is game to learn new techniques from Jennifer. 

As for me, I am having a blast, I take riding lessons several times a week, it is a wonderful experience, as I never really had regular riding lessons.  So, I am constantly learning how to improve my riding.  All trainers bring their own unique spin to training and showing horses.  I love to be challenged and stimulated, thus this works extremely well for me.

Tomorrow, I leave for the Mayfest Horse show in Fort Worth.  I can’t wait, it will be my first show with my new barn.  I also haven’t shown at Mayfest since May 2003 when Megiddo was showing in Park.  Thus, I am eager to show here again.  It has been a long time coming.  The show is held at the John Justin Arena at the Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth.

I know I will have a great time! I am ready to show! and it’s late, so off to bed I go, so I can be rested….

Stay tuned I will tell you how it goes.

As always, Have a Sunny Day!

Susanna

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Chance is coming home to Houston!

chancespindletopChance is coming home to Magnolia, Texas.  I am so excited.  I wish I could be there to greet him!  However, I will be at work getting ready to Grand Open a new Academy store on Bunker Hill and Interstate 10.  It is a beauty of a store.  As most of y’all know, I am an Assistant Store Manager of Academy and the Apparel Manager.  Academy is an awesome company.  I am fortunate to work for them as they are a stable and sound company.  I have been working every day since last Tuesday helping to get this store open.  I will not be off till Sunday.  Whew, that will be 11 straight days of work-something I haven’t done in a while.  Yes, Academy gives us work -life balance;  however, it is not every day you grand open a new store –85000 square feet—it will be big! and we have an awesome staff! so come out and visit us this Friday when we open or come to our Grand Opening Celebration on March 13.  We have lots of great events planned so come visit us.

I am looking forward to Sunday when I am finally off and I can visit Chance at his new home at Goslin-Nix Training Center in Magnolia.  

I discovered I can not live without horses in my life on a very frequent basic!!!  They need to be near me.  I just moved back to Houston from College Station.  I was in CS for just a little more than a year and I was driving 2 hours once every two weeks to visit my horses.  I was okay with the commute for a while.  After a while, I was going stir crazy in my apt. because I didn’t have the horses nearby.  The horses are my stress buster! They are my therapy! They probably cost just as much as therapy!  Ha!  However, I prefer horse therapy over people therapy.  I love to be outside! I enjoy the physical exercise which we all know is good for the mind and soul!  I miss riding, period!!!!!  No ifs and or buts!!!  I guess you can say I am addicted!!!!!!   Riding is very challenging and I am constantly working to improve my riding……riding is continuous education, there is no such thing as a perfect rider, we are all constantly striving to improve our “art form” and build that harmonious relationship with our horses.  I always love a big challenge and I get bored real easy.  I guess that’s why I always like riding challenging horses and different horses.  I also used to love to start young horses.  Now, that’s a challenge!!!

Chance is being moved from Optimum Training center in Buda, Texas where he has been for the last two years.  Tanya, his trainer had done a beautiful job in “finishing him.”  Believe me, she had her work cut our for her and I thank her for rising to the challenge because Chance is now a very successful winning  Half Arabian Hunter horse.

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I just couldn’t take riding twice a month anymore, thus Chance will be nearby.  Now, I will be able to ride  2 or 3 times a week!!!! Whoo! Hoo!

I always learned alot from all the trainers I have been with over the last 15 years.  They are all unique and they all have their own personal way of training horses.  It really amazes me, the special gift they have with the horses.  It take a special person to train horse.  The trainers have lots of patience, and determination.  It is alot of hard work.  So, Thank your trainer today!  Thus, I am looking forward to working with Jennifer and her “methods of training horses and instructing riders.”

Chance , I can’t wait to see you on Sunday, when you nicker when you hear me call your name.  Jennifer, I am looking forward to the instructions and being a part of Goslin-Nix. Tanya and Matt, Thanks for past two years, it was a wonderful trip,  I received lots of compliments on Chance over the past two years and it is thanks to your hard work and care!!

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As always, Have a sunny day! Susanna

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Filed under Cochlear implants, Hearing loss, Horses, Public speaking

Assistive Listening Devices

ellowAssistive Listening Devices?  Do you wonder what these devices do?  There are so many of these on the market, unfortunately many hard of hearing people and hearing people are not aware that these devices even exist.  First off, let me tell me you what an Assistive Listening Device (ALD’s) is.  These are electronic marvels that enable people who wear hearing aids and/or cochlear implants with telecoil switches to hear better in noisy situations.  Most of us with hearing aids and/or cochlear implants do really well in a quiet situation; however the biggest challenge for us HA/CI user is the ability to hear in noisy situations, i.e. restaurants, bars, airports, etc.  For us, our devices, pick up every noise, therefore amplifying all sounds including the ones we don’t want to hear! Therefore, this is the biggest problem! that audiologists, HA dispensers, etc. encounter when fitting their clients.  So, what’s one to do? I highly recommend that the patient ask their “audie” for a compatible ALD’s for their needs.

To break it down even further, the ALD works by enabling the client to put their HA or CI on Telecoil switch, by doing this, this cuts out all the background noise and the only thing that HA/CI user hears is the voice of the immediate person using the microphone of the transmitter.  I know this is pretty technical and I really don’t know how to explain this better except to tell you of my personal experiences with ALDs.   I also suggest, you contact Teri Wathen if you live in Houston,Texas at  HLRS6A@dars.state.tx.us
or go to this page and find a Hearing Resource Specialist in Texas that lives near you at http://www.dars.state.tx.us/dhhs/specialistlist.shtml .  All these hearing loss specialists are a really great group of people, they are passionate about helping those with hearing loss.  Most of them, also have their own personal hearing challenges, therefore, they are extremely sympathetic about helping others with hearing loss.  These specialists also have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to ALD’s. 

For instance, several years ago, when I lost all the remainder of my hearing in my left ear, my mom discovered Teri Wathen of CAAG through many phone calls.  Here, I made it easier for you, click the above link.  CAAG in Houston is a treasure cove.  My parents and I made the trip to CAAG and I was in awe of all the ALD’s they have.  It seems like hundreds! Okay, I am exaggerating, but still they have lots and you can try them all out while you are there! Furthermore, they will even loan out a system for you to try in the real world!  There are gizmos that do everything but clean the toilet bowl!  There are telephones, neckloop, room systems, personal systems, devices to help you with the tv, mp3 player, at work, at church, the list is endless!  Folks, you must check it out!  Truly, these devices help me to live my life fully in the hearing world.

What inspired me to write this article.   Well, I have a horse show coming up,  I use an ALD to compete.  I use an FM system called “the Comtek. ”  http://comtek.com  This device has literally saved my life in the show ring. 

The challenge for me was that I had a hard time hearing my instructors when they were giving me lessons at home, or away at a horse show.  In addition, another challenge was hearing the announcer during my class at a horse show.  Horse shows are tough and competitive!

In the early days, I remember looking at my instructors for hand signals.  We came up with a series of hand signals, similiar to a baseball pitcher and umpire.  It worked okay.  However, the problem was that by looking at the instructor, it took my focus off the horse I was riding, thus creating another problem.  You have to be in tandem with your horse at all times, creating the perfect picture of unity, so this gap caused me to lose my connection with the horse, even if it was momentarily.  This is not good. 

Luckily, Max McCarthy  of Hearing Systems, at www.hearingsystemsinc.com came to the rescue, he is another great source with Les Calloway with ALD’s.  They also have a gold mine of devices for you to try and they will educate you as well for the right device for you.   I told him about my horse showing challenges and how I needed help hearing at meetings at work, so he told me about the Comtek.  This device has been a godsend.  It enabled me to hear at meetings at work and for the horse show ring.

All my horse trainers absolutely love this device.  They loved how they didn’t have to shout at me anymore, or use hand signals no longer.  I love it because I do not lose my concentration anymore, I can focus on the horse and ride.  All my trainers want one for their hearing clients! It doesn’t work for them; however, that is how much they really like it.

I am able to use this device at horse shows too!  Now, I no longer miss calls from the announcers and I able to concentrate on my ride.  Yes, I had to get approval with a letter from the governing body of horse showing at USEF.  There is a process to go through with USEF.  It is worth every step.

I also use many other assistive listening devices, I will explore those, in another blog.

I really hope this helps everyone!  Once again, I realize this is not an easy concept to grasp, therefore, I highly urge everyone to seek help with the above mentioned resources or check out my links on my blog roll, they will give you more information.

By the way, I will be giving a presentation on “How I use ALD’s in the Show Ring”  at the monthly Houston HLA meeting in March 2009.  All are welcome, even hearing people!  I will include more details later on, 2nd Saturday am in March in Houston.

Assisted Listening Devices! Can’t live without them!

As Always, Have a sunny day! Susanna

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Filed under Cochlear implants, Hearing loss, Horses, Physical Handicaps

HAAS Show

chancehunterphotoHAAS Show – Houston, Tx Jan 9-11,2009 Here we come!Whoo! Hoo!  Well, the weather has been really nice lately in Texas, after all those really cold spells with snow.  Who would ever think we would have snow in Texas in December.  Crazy weather! This weather has been absurd!  It kept me from going to see Chance at Optimum for lessons in the month of December.  Well, I finally had a lesson with Chance this past week.  We had two really good rides!  We are as ready as can be for the HAAS Show next week in Houston.

I am excited to do this show, I haven’t shown since last May at the Alamo Fiesta.  I love to show horses! It is a terribly expensive addiction!  Anyway, I am ready to go and so is Chance.

The HAAS show will be exciting this year, because it will be the first Arabian Show of 2009 that will show under a two judge system.  The competitors will receive points and placings from both judges.  How cool is that!  Two shows for the price of one. 

Chance already has all the points he needs to qualify for Regionals and Nationals 2009.  Therefore, the points don’t interest me so much.  The part I am real curious to see is how the two judges compare in placing the riders in the class.  To me, that would seem the challenge.  I wonder if that pressures the judges to make sure they are truly unbiased in their judging and truly judge the class right before them.  I am curious to see if they judge and place the class relatively close in placings.  It will be real interesting.  I am sure there will be lots of discussion about this from the riders.   Well, we will just have to wait and see.

In addition, their will be a sport horse show at this show too!

Mom and Dad will come out to the show to cheer Chance on, yeah!  My parents have always enjoyed coming to the shows! I am glad for their moral support!  Showing Arabians, is pretty competitive, especially in our Region 9.  We have lots of beautiful horses and a really talented group of trainers in all division in this Region. 

The weather is going to be great next week! If you never been to an Arabian Show, come out to the facility at Great Southwest Equestrian Center in Katy and see what all the action is about! It is free and we would love to share our horses with you!

As Always, Have a Sunny Day! Susanna

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Exciting 4 day weekend coming up

Originally, I was to participate at the Gulf Coast Arabian Horse Club Christmas show.  Traditionally, I had competed in this show every year.  I always look forward to it.  Why? Well, usually it was the first show I participated in, in anticipation of the upcoming spring show season.  This is a great show! Lots of gorgeous horses, a chance to catch up with “horsey friends” Santa Claus, and of course the GCAHC Christmas dinner and silent auction.  All in all, it usually is a fun-filled and competitive show and the weather is always unpredictable, in Texas anything goes, so that usually adds an element of surprise! Ha!

Most of the clients at Optimum were too busy for December, so we just decided to show at the January HAAS show in Katy instead.  This is always a great show too! Karen makes beautiful garlands for the winner.  The added bonus for this show this January is we will be showing under 2 judges which means double pleasure! and double points!

Let me introduce you to “Supreme Chance” – he is my show partner.  He is a gorgeous, extremely tall Half – Arabian Hunter Horse.  He certainly gives me that “winning feeling.” 

Back, to the four day weekend, as you know I had originally dedicated this weekend to the GCAHC show.  Have no fear! Now I have lots of other exciting activities planned.  Instead, I will go to Optimum for a riding lesson with Chance and a visit with Megiddo at LRPH.  Then, I plan to drive to Austin for a “Cochlear Recipients” Reception from 6pm to 8pm.  Then, finally, drive home to Bryan, Tx a mere two hours away! Whew! What a full day.  Friday, head on to Tomball, to hang with Mom.  Xmas shopping? xmas baking? perhaps? Saturday, I will go and visit and hang out at the GCAHC show and of course, eat some great food at the banquet! Can’t miss that, right! Finally, Sunday, go to church at the coolest church in Houston – FOTW and finally, off to the Annual Houston Hearing Loss Association Christmas Party that afternoon.   

I am certainly ready for those days off because I work for Academy Sports and Outdoors in College Station as the Apparel Manager and things are certainly crazzzzzzzy there!!!!! Xmas is totally in the air and whatever ails the economy, it is not affecting us at Academy!!!! It is extremely busy and hectic which is good, because it makes the day go by fast!

Have a sunny day!

As always Susanna

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Filed under Cochlear implants, Horses