Sunday, October 9, 2011

Did you say "horse show"?


That's right! I said the magic words, HORSE SHOW!!

I'm beside myself ecstatic! For the first time in 2 1/2 years, I get to go ride, yes you hear me right, RIDE in a horse show!!!


Granted, it's only a schooling show, but, it's a horse show and by george, I'm riding in it.

I've been sitting watching on the sidelines since I completed the CO Horse Park Horse Trails back in 2009, been grooming and braiding, and prepping horses for shows, but not getting to ride at all. And it's been pure torture!

Recently though, I learned of a small dressage schooling show happening just a few miles down the road at a neighboring barn. I conferred with Baby's owner, who was also very excited at the possibility of going to a show (this will be her first show!!), and we decided to give it a shot. So, depending on weather and if the show receives enough entries we are going to a show!! I'll do Training Level test 2, Baby's owner will be doing Intro tests B & C.

Waaaahooo!!!! :D

Thursday, September 29, 2011

I want my own horse....


Like, wickedly bad :(

I've got two horses I can ride, sure.

The one mare, Magic, is used as a lesson horse several days of the week, so my times to ride her are fairly limited, she also has a bit of a mechanical lameness due to a club foot, so we are careful how much work she does do. But she's a fun ride, and considering I've only been riding her 1-2 times a week, has improved in LEAPS and BOUNDS!! She's gone from not knowing how to move off the leg resistant to the bit/bridle, rushing, nonrhythmic.... to being able to bend both directions and easily change the bend, to yeilding to the bit and carrying herself in a nice, relaxed manner, to keeping a steady rhythmic walk and trot, her turns on the forehand are dang near perfect, and she is learning what a leg-yeild is now. Fast learner she is, just a little stubborn now and then lol.

The other mare is a GEM, a 22yr old TB called Baby, just a wonderful wonderful horse. She's super solid in her training, sound, LOVES to be ridden, and just knows it all through Third level in dressage, and I hopped her over a little 2'6" ish jump (was probably a hair under) and she just flew over it without so much as blinking. Her only flaw is she's rather herd bound... mares! Me and her owner are tag teaming to get her in shape to try and do some dressage schooling shows with her. I'm giving lessons to her owner and teaching her how to ride a dressage test. I really enjoy riding Baby, and pretty much had her to myself for awhile... but now her owner is discovering too how much Baby really knows, and is riding her more and more, which I think is GREAT! But, unfortunately, that leaves less opportunity for me to ride her. Darn it. LOL

So yeah, I'm really really REALLY missing having my own horse, to ride when I want, how I want, doing what I want, without having to always clear it with someone beforehand :-/

I am thankful, don't get me wrong, to have the opportunities I do to ride two sweet mares. But yeah, I've always had MY horse for years, and now I'm without and it's gnawing at me big time. At the barn I clean stalls at a new mare has arrived, she's a redhead with chrome (I'd prefer bay... but the chrome!!), beautifully put together, long clean legs with good bone, a streamline body, she screams TBxWB cross, emphasis on the TB without the ridiculous withers lol. In short, she's gorgeous, with an AMAZING trot, and I bet she could really gallop out. In short, I think she'd be a superb eventer. I'm sure she's for sale... but I know her owner probably wants and arm & a leg for her *rolls eyes* I'm sooooo tempted though to say "hey, tell the owner if she ever wants her horses evented... lemme know!"

So, that's where I'm at horsey wise. Though, cross your fingers, baby plans for a 2012 foal maaaaaaaaaay work out. Once I am able to contact the stallion owner I'll know more :) So, we shall see. We shall see.

I still want a horse of my own to ride right now though!!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I would rather horse shop anyday


So I sold my truck last Monday. And now I can go purchase a new vehicle!!!

Easy as pie right?


Finding the right vehicle, with the right price, with the right mileage, with the right options, with the right owner history, with the right maintenance record, with the right 4x4 option, with the right deal is IMPOSSIBLE

At least it feels like it after today! AUUUGGGHHH Can I have one of those big blow up punching bag things to take out all my frustrations upon??

I've also learned that there are two types of car salesman. There are of course the blood thirsty, money driven, sell sell sell work you into a corner and make you live outside of your means sales men that give the entire industry the bad rep. They want to shove whatever vehicle you are even remotely interested in down your throat, make you buy it at a ridiculous price, or even if they can bring down the price, they are still gonna make you buy it... ooooor walk you over to a vehicle you know you can't afford, and try and talk you into buying it. In short, they are not looking out for the needs of their customer, instead they just want the sale.

The other type of car sales man is a rare breed. They are friendly, courteous, knowledgeable, and genuinely want to make you feel welcome. They listen to your needs and wants, and will go out of their way to find the right vehicle for you. And, if they don't have that vehicle, they will be honest and say so. We ran into one person like that today, and I soooo wish I could have bought a car from him, right off the bat I felt comfortable around him, didn't feel like he was going to try and offer us something outside our means. Great chap, he was actually english in nationality (though I would've pegged him as a kiwi at first), we could all learn to take a lesson in hospitality and customer service from them.

Overall, we just didn't seem to have one streak of luck all day. The first vehicle was immaculate, perfect, everything I could've wanted. But it was overpriced by an easy $1500 and the dealer wouldn't budge from his price. Ok, see ya! I was very bummed about that. Next one was very worn and smelled like puke..... pass. The next ones were sold by the time we got there, and the last two, the one was perfect in everything, price, model, options, etc. expect that it had a rear valve gasket or something that needed replacing as it was a little leaky (leave it to my husband to be super picky about leaky oil seals), it's a $30 part... but $300 in labor to get it done. It wasn't enough for the dealer to warrant getting it done, but enough that my husband would fuss over it. So we passed, the other vehicle was awesome as well, expect it didn't have a factory tow package, and while we could mount a hitch, it wouldn't have the correct suspension or wiring. Granted all we are towing is a fishing boat, but still, it's nice to have that extra suspension for when we pack up and move out for a camping trip!

So... that's that. Ugh

Another week without a vehicle, and school starts on monday. This will be fun. Hope it doesn't rain cuz dear hubby will be going everywhere on his motorcycle until further notice as we cannot go look at vehicles again until Thursday at the earliest.

Gah, this is seriously gonna give me a hemoroid or something from all this stress.

So yep, would much rather be horse shopping right about now.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coming up for a breath of air!


Oh my, crazy crazy life it is here.

Sold my pickup truck, so hustling now to try and find a new vehicle. Think I've found "the one" and will go look at it, depending on it's mechanical soundness we may come home with it. I'm trying hard NOT to have a huge loan on a new vehicle to pay off.

Cuz I wants to still have monies for ponies.

I'm trying my darnest hardest right now to talk Brent into leasing a horse. I've found a mare that I want to trial on lease for a couple months. She's a 1/4 Dutch warmblood (Rampal granddaughter) and 3/4 Thoroughbred. She's super cute, super adorable, a good look in her eye, and a gorgeous sooty bay. Owner has had a family crisis and is selling her horses dirt cheap, needs to get rid of the expense soon of this mare, and is open to just about anything.

So we'll see! Another plus is that I got the promotion at work I was hoping really really REALLY badly for. It's not a huge pay increase, but it's decent, it'll make the paychecks a little bigger, hurray!

The last piece of the puzzle is going to be board for said mare. My boarding barn I found is has filled the open spot (that used to be my spot) so they are full, poooop. So, I'm gonna see if maybe, by some small chance, I could possibly keep a horse over at the private place where I clean stalls. I think they'd be ok with it, we shall see. I'm crossing my fingers!!

Oh yeah, in the mean time, school is starting soon, gotta buy books. Uuuuuggggh

Monday, August 1, 2011

I thought of a great blog topic last night


And now I can't remember it!!

I haven't been posting much, partly due to the fact I don't have my own horse at the moment :( partly due to how dang busy I've been, and partly due to my lack of motivation to write LOL

My project ponies are coming along great. Magic, the QH mare is doing fantastic, she's got those turns on the forehand just about down pat, as well as reinback. Working on confirming the turns on the haunches now. Then we get to tackle the leg yeild, and eventually the sidepass.

The last two are going to be rather tricky, she just doesn't GET the fact that yes, she can indeed go sideways aaaannnd go forward at the same time. She mostly just takes inside leg pressure as "go faster!!!" sooo... we are having to re-wire that button big time, and it's going to be a slow process. I'm riding her twice a week right now, and even with that, she's really been picking up on things fairly quickly. I enjoy working with her, she's super sensitive and responsive. She really needs improvement in rhythm big time in the trot and canter. She's rather out of shape and unbalanced, but it's coming along :)

The other mare, Baby, the 21 year old TB, finally got shoes on, and she feels sooooo much better! Poor girl was just footsore from the rockhard ground we get in the summertime. I just love riding her, she's SO solid in her training, just needs a lot of suppling and fitness work, she is so stiff in her neck and hindend. I almost wonder if a chiro would help her.

In the meantime, I'm hunting for in utero foals for sale :D Pending signing a couple car titles tonight, I will no longer have my little pickup, so our car issue is resolved, and if we aren't going to be buying a house for another year... maaaaybe I can talk my hubby into letting my buy my dream baby! *crossses fingers hard*

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Poking my nose places it shouldn't be


I can't afford a horse... I don't have time for a horse... I can't afford a horse... I already have a horse I can ride....

Yet I'm still looking for one!!!

I have the pony bug, bad...


Found this super duper cute paint pony, 13.2hh, sturdy as a tank, 12 years old, basic training, for dirt cheap. Want. Want. Want. He would be an awesome project, retrain, start in harness maybe, sell for 10x what I paid in a year....

But I really really don't have time for a horse of my own, with school, work, the kids, my second job cleaning stalls, I barely have the time to ride the one horse I'm retraining as is. How in the world could I fit in my own project?

I still want him though!!

I'm hopeless, lol

Friday, June 24, 2011

Puppy meets ponies


This past week little miss Maggie bear got to take her first car ride down the street to visit the barn. Along with fearless Fiona as her mentor, she was able to tackle all the strange and exciting sights and smells of the equine world! She learned some really valuable things that she'd like to pass along.

1. Horses are actually NOT puppy eating monsters
But they are still big and scary and should be avoided at all costs. However, they are much less scary when mommy is standing right next to them to make sure they don't trample me. They are much less scary too when they are on the ground, when they leap up though, I don't really like that.

2. Horse poop is good
Really really good. Especially when it's fresh.

3. So is grain
Fiona and I love to sniff around and pick all those good little tidbits off the ground that the horses drop. Only problem is I get wood shavings all over my nose and it makes me sneeze.

4. Big, strange dogs that bark a lot are scary
But their owners are super sweet and I really like them, once I sniffed noses with the big strange dog though, he wasn't so bad. He just barked a lot at first and I thought I was gonna get eatted so I ran away as fast I could to mommy and she told me that it was OK. Phew.

5. But, getting to ride on mommy's lap in the truck with my nose out the window is best of all!

Until next time, I'll be keeping a close eye on those ponies, they might step on me ya know.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Mighty Mouse Hunter


My puppy scored herself a kill yesterday, first one ever. And she was so proud of herself!!

I got home from work and let her out of her kennel and she was running crazed puppy circles around the house so I decided to take the dogs out front to burn some energy playing keep away with each other with the spiffy pink tennis ball (total win for girl dogs btw).

Hubby then came home with our "new" vehicle, so we were checking it out, seeing what needed to be done, etc. As we were doing so, the dogs kinda dissapeared around the vehicles into the neighbor's yard, I knew where they were so didn't think much of it. Until little Maggie comes trotting back into our yard, head held high looking incredibly proud of herself carrying... something... in her mouth.

My husband goes "Is that a mouse? I think she got a mouse!" I look a little closer and sure enough, she has a fat little mouse held in her mouth, and oh so proud of it!!

Now we had to get away from her before she ate it, or worse, brought it into the house. But she wanted nothing to do with us and it became an even bigger game of keep away as she happily galloped around the yard, mouse and all, with one adult and two kids attempting to corral her. LOL

I finally got her scooped up and managed to snap a quick picture of Maggie and her prize before we deposited of the mouse.
The mighty hunter

Friday, June 10, 2011

Goin to the dogs


Just when things seem like they are finally settling down and getting to resemble some sort of normalcy, bam, ya get another curve ball. And another... and another!! DUCK AND COVER

Just had to get that out. So, my husband got his car squished between a pickup and a semi on the interstate on monday. Oh joy. And only liability insurace. Double joy. Now we gotta find a new vehicle asap. Triple joy. Definitely been a rather large lesson in trust and paitence this week, we are probably going to end up getting the minivan I learned how to drive in from my mom, she's been wanting to buy a new car anyway, what better timing?

Aside from that, I am having much too much fun with my little ball of terror... I mean, little adorable puppy.

Finding the chickens more than a little interesting
 She an Australian Shepherd mix of some sort, possibly lab in there. And, she's about 10 weeks old right now, that means we got her at 8 weeks, poor baby!! But, she's thriving, growing like a weed. And noming on everything.

Nom. Nom. Nom. Nom.

And those wittle teefies HURT!! Normally she's just play biting and it doesn't hurt, but every now and then, crunch... you hear "No biting!" all day, lol, she's now figured out that biting human flesh is a no-no... so instead she's recently decided to bite our clothes. Oy! So whenever I'm in the kitchen she is constantly grabbing my jeans and puuuuuull!!!

She is so people oriented though, I love it. :) She is happy to have you sit on the floor so that she can crawl in your lap and happily nom away on her rope, her gumby, her ball, your jeans...

And she is SMART. Holy smokes she's smart. She's already got "Sit" down pat, at 10 weeks! Wow. She is now doing it on her own unbidden because, sit=treat, and if she sits, treats follow... right? So she follows us around, wagging her tail, and sitting when we look at her. Not yet understanding that she first must be told to do so in order to receive the treat. Oh puppy, she is so darn eager to please!

I've decided I'm going to do agility with her when she's older. Because she needs a job, big time! When you have her focused and working on sit, and now she's learning "down", she is so attentive, and so eager, and not biting. When she's just playing... she is a little terror!! This is gonna be fun. Ah, but I wuv her!!! <3
Extremely proud of herself for stealing the chuckit. <3

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Officially horseless


So, little crazy Callie mare left Tuesday evening. Was I sad to see her go? No, not really. We didn't click, and she wasn't really that much fun to ride for me. But, she was a fantastic learning opportunity, reminded me how much I've been able to slack off on push-button horses. Oops.

I am sad to no longer have "My" horse at the barn. I still have two horses I can ride. Baby, the 21 year old thoroughbred mare that knows it all, just needs to be brought back into shape. And Magic, an older QH lesson mare who needs a bit of a tuneup after being ridden by kiddos all the time. And with the current changes in my life and how dang BUSY I am all of a sudden, it's for the best really.

Things too have fallen through with the baby I was going to get. I was going to get a very nicely bred Warmblood baby, but the stallion owner hasn't really been cooperating, with the stallion actively competing it's super hard to have him at home when the mare is in season. And things in my friend's life (who owns the mare) have kinda gotten turned upside down in the past month as well. Then, considering what all is going on in my life right now, realistically, I cannot afford a new horse right now, and probably won't be able to do so for at least another year or two, maybe three. We'll see.

So, for now I'll settle with catch rides here and there, and be satisfied that I'm still lucky enough to be able to go and be around horses every day regardless!

And in the mean time... I got a new puppy!! So all my time and what spare change I do have, will be going towards spoiling her <3 I will be sure to do up a post about her in a little. She's my baby. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Half-halts and the Lunge Line


I had a bit of a light bulb moment the other day while lunging Callie. It finally truly dawned on me how important half-halts and leg are while lunging a horse.

You may be thinking, "whaaaa? but I'm not riding, leg? are you crazy?" I might be lol, but just because you aren't riding your horse doesn't mean you can have your leg on.

Most people think of  lunging as a quick and easy way to exercise their horse, slap some side reins on, throw them at the end of a line, and voila, I can build fitness, exercise them, and help improve their balance. Right? Wrong.

Only if done correctly. The horse may have side reins on, may have a bit in their mouth and saddle on their back, but if they are just carrening around on their forehand, unbalanced, hindend disengaged, they are doing more harm than good.

In order to have impulsion in the gaits and to have a good, solid working walk, trot, and canter, the leg needs to be in. In lunging, the leg is the whip and voice. With Callie she is incredibly sensitive to these cues, I often only have to give a little cluck or lift the tip of the whip about a foot to get the desired response. This keeps her engaged and her hindend working up under her.

But then I need to be able to control this forward energy and not let her just run it into the ground by being on her forehand. So that means that the half-halt must be effective. There is where I see sooooo many people getting it wrong, their horse either doesn't understand the contact, or refuses to take it. When lunging there MUST be contact with the horse's mouth! If they keep cutting the circle and coming in towards you and giving slack in the line then they are not on the contact. Callie is awesome with this, she really likes a steady, solid contact with the bit and actually puts quite a bit of weight in the reins/lunge line. This is not bad and not to be punished, this is just what she finds comfortable.

So, whenever I give a "leg" cue with the whip or voice I make sure to give a little half-halt, just a soft squeezing of my fingers on the line, a subtle yet quick give-and-take of pressue, often many of them in a row as we go around. This reminds her to pick up her forehand and balance, and not plow around on her nose.

The result? A balanced, energetic picture of a horse working correctly, with implusion, responsive to the aids, and able to change gaits quickly and easily because... they are balanced!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

When it rains, it pours


Literally and figuratively!!

Literally, the storm front moved in and the thunder started rolling Tuesday evening, it's been raining ever since. Things are muddy, wet, cold, and gross. Trying to get the muck cart from the barn to the dump pile is an epic task, the mud is slick as ice, I can't get any traction! It's only a matter of time until I loose my footing and faceplant into the manure... oh my.

Figuratively, life is just crazy right now. CRAZY! I'm soooooo glad the semester is over, although I didn't do so hot on my finals DUE to said craziness, oh well, I still passed both classes with a B, I'll take it, considering all that's gone on in the past couple months. But man, just... man. Things are looking up for us, the changes that have happened are really good, but I'm so stressed about things, these are BIG changes. All I really want right now is a lazy afternoon at the barn where I can do whatever I want and not be under some sort of timeframe or pressure or expectation to be somewhere to do something to satisfy someone. Crossing my fingers I'll get it this saturday. Crossing them hard!

Otherwise, little miss Callie mare is getting a break, mostly in part to the literal rain, and a lot in part to the figurative rain. Just when I was starting to make progress with her, fiddlesticks.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

My horse show Mom


My mom is the best! Not only did she give me my love and passion for horses to begin with, but once I really got rockin and rollin in the horse show world, she became my biggest fan and supporter at shows.

It started with those first fun little schooling shows at Greenie Mountain Stables where I learned how to ride, kicking my way over fences on Natt, that cranky (but loveable) arab mare who hated jumping, yet I was bound and determined to jump her anyway... and when I got her around that X-rail course with NO refusals, not only was my grin the biggest, but my mom was cheering the loudest!

Then as I grew up and started attending Pony Club ralllies, while she was not allowed to help ME directly, she still helped. Volunteering as gate steward for the dressage ring was her favorite job. And always, always, she would flip up the camcorder and video my test or round when it was my turn in the ring.

She was over the moon when I announced my intention to start eventing, it was something she had always wanted to do when she was younger but didn't get the chance, now she could live vicariously through me! When I went to my first event at beginner novice and entered the stadium ring, she was more nervous than I was and after every single fence she whispered "Thank you Jesus!" into the camcorder.

She would travel where ever I went to watch me show, from those Welsh Pony national shows way out in Tulsa, OK to the USPC Championships in both Sacramento, CA and Lexington, KY. No matter where the show was she would pack up her minivan and follow behind the truck and trailer, just to come watch me compete, help where she could, and to cheer me on.

Now that I'm in college and no longer actively competing she'll call me up every now and then just to say "I have horse show withdrawls!" Aaaah mom, you and me both! I invited her to come jump judge with me at the Colorado Horse Park 3-day event last summer, that turned out to be a miserable affair of cold, rain, desperate runs to starbucks, and more cold. Hopefully this year will prove to be a sunnier show, we both need our horseshow fix.

Here in a few years though, once my baby is foaled and grows up and I'm out of college and get to start competing again, I'm sure my mom will be right there, by the ringside, cheering me on, and saying her wonderful little prayers of thanks everytime I clear that fence!

Love you Mom

Friday, May 6, 2011

First Impressions of the Derby Field


The Kentucky Derby is tomorrow!!

And I haven't read a lick up yet on any of the horses starting. I've been so caught up with Badminton and Rolex eventing goodness that my horse racing passion has taken a backseat. Normally I'm busy following all the prep races throughout the spring like the Wood Memorial, Arkansas Derby, Santa Anita, etc. But, thanks to working full time, chemistry, and my discovery of (<< best site ever by the way) horse racing hasn't exactly been my list of priorities.

I now how a little more than 24 hours to review the entries for the Derby set to run tomorrow!! Yikes!

And of course work doesn't allow me to download Past Performances from anywhere cuz it's a PDF file... grrrrrrr

That said, from what info I CAN find about these horses and their history (thank you and, I really want to like Archarcharch, he won the Arkansas Derby, however he's drawn post position #1... bugger! Buuuut he's won with a come from behind style, so this may not be such a hindrance to him after all, and it might benefit, because technically he has the shortest distance to run to the wire.

The current favorite, Dialed In, is the favorite because of obvious reasons. Mostly, because he's never finished worst than second. That's not bad. Out of 7 career starts, he's won 5 times. He won the Grade I Florida Derby beginning of April, and drew post position #8. For him, that is excellent. I think he DOES have a good chance of winning, hence him being the favorite.

If him and Archarcharch had their post positions reversed I think they would be switched as far as who the favorite would be. Apparently Arch (I'm already getting sick of typing that word multiple times lol) has been training really well and is super fit and ready to go. So... this could be interesting.

Really though, it's a very wide open field. Another year of several mediocre colts, and I don't say that lightly. Yes, these horses are winning, but against who? I've seen a couple really close calls for the Triple Crown, some heartbreakingly and agonizingly close (Real Quiet, aaauugh!), but this year, I don't see a colt that can win all three... at least, not yet. Barbaro could have I think, he showed a lot of promise, but we all know how that story ended unfortunately.

Anyway! Back to the field... I normally pick a long-shot winner, dunno yet who, I'll have to read over the PPs later today and make my pick. That, and the odds will change so drastically between now and tomorrow afternoon.

Finally, my favorite NAME pick has got to be Pants On Fire. LOVE IT

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Canter Under Saddle


It exists!!! *happy dances*

After about a week and half of focusing on fitness and only cantering on the lunge with side reins (which is definitely improving, her freak-out-run-away moments are becoming fewer and less frequent), I cantered Callie under saddle yesterday. Initially she tried to fight me, and tell me "NO I can't do this!" but I insisted, we had a bit of a discussion about listening to inside rein and inside leg aids, and when I asked for the canter again, she gave it to me. HUZAH!

It is still very unbalanced, and a little rushed, and still definitely not 100% relaxed, but it was without fighting, without her head in the air, without her trying to stop, and she was yeilding to the bit and just, cantering! She did it both ways, it's obviously hard for her to hold, but that will come in time.

It kinda stinks though, I'm probably only going to keep her through the end of May, then I need to start saving $$ for my new horse (which still hasn't been bred, ugh!). I can still go ride her, but it's in a very uneven pasture with not-so-great footing. But, the thing is, by the time June 1 rolls around, when she'll be headed home, is when she'll really be read to start doing more fun things like jumping! Pooey.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I was mugged!


It was just another day at work, just doing my thing. Working quietly, thinking about this and that.

And then i was attacked! It was terrifying! I didn't hear him at all, he just snuck up behind me and grabbed me, I couldn't move, and he wouldn't let go. I tried to wiggle out of his grasp, but to no avail.

When I hollored for help he finally let me go and ran away, but I thought for sure there I was a gonner!!

Thankfully I was able to snatch a quick picture to indentify him....

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/27/11 Conditioning Ride


Yeah, couldn't think of a title, just some quick notes on how the ride on Callie went today.

Decided to do trot sets, and I didn't lunge her prior. I had considered going outside, but it was blowing like no tomorrow, and since she is so spooky in the outdoor as-is, I decided I better save that endeavor for another day.

Walked for 10 minutes to warm up, doing lots of suppleing, getting her forward first and then to give to the bit both directions. Also did some leg yeilding out on the circle. 

Then we did 3x 6:00minute trots. A light contact on the bit, almost bordering on long and low, and just really encouraging her to move. She felt great, she felt loose, forward, and free in her gait. Didn't feel sucked back at all, and (for her) felt really focused the entire time. Only a few moments of ears-back-mare-witcheyness. For the first half of the last trot set I picked up the reins a little more and asked for a little more connection, just to remind her that she still has to do what I want when we ride, she fussed about that for about 5 strides then put her ears forward and marched into the bridle. Good girl.

Cooled off with 15 minutes or so of walking. 

And she hardly broke a sweat, despite the indoor arena always being a good 10-15* warmer than outside. The thing is going to be awful in mid summer... yikes!

Tomorrow she gets off, Friday might be a lunge only day with emphasis on canter transitions, and Saturday I think I'll do trot sets again, this time outside. That should be interesting!

Anyway, i'm off to bed, here's to hoping ya'll have better weather than the first day of Rolex got today!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

You know it's a slow day at work...


... when your supervisors tell you to go into Meetings so that you can do the Hokey Pokey, putting one foot  in, putting one foot out... LOL!!!

Other than that, it's been a horribly slow and boring day here at work, I think we should have been closed today, more than once I just sat around for an hour poking around on the internet wasting time. I guess really, I don't mind... I'm getting paid to look at pretty horsies and read badminton updates. Then I get annoyed when I do get a call and it interrupts me!!

I rode little crazy mare on Friday, and she was awesome. Took her to the indoor, amazing how much better she is when there are no visual distractions. She was a little stick under saddle at first, but I just told her forward-forward-forward and once she got into front of my leg and was really working into the bridle we had an awesome ride (it also helped that I lunged her first). I didn't ride her yesterday as it was miserably cold, snowing (!!!!) in the morning, and just... well yeah, miserable. I went out to dinner and a movie with my mom instead :)

Dunno if I'll ride her today, I have a butt ton of Chemistry homework to sift through, well... more like I have a whole procedure for a lab to come up with and I have no idea where to start... yikes!

In other news, Mark Todd leads the leaderboard at Badminton!!! WOOHOO! So amazing to see him back at the top of his game again, what an amazing rider.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Crazy mare!


It's been raining here, off and on moisture, not a torrential downpour, but off and on showers with patches of sunshine inbetween. It's been nice, things had been getting waaaay too dry here, so the moisture is much desired. Last night we had our first real thunderstorm, hurray!!! Today dawned clear as a bell with the sun shining brightly, they are calling for more thunderstorms this afternoon. Everything is getting green now with the rain, and it's lovely.

A beautiful evening on the farm from a few days ago
 Yesterday evening I decided to put in a quick ride on Callie mare, my plan was to do trot sets... that didn't exactly go as planned!! For starters I forgot my watch, oh well, I figured I'd just do X number of trot laps around the arena instead of timing my trot sets. Well, yeah... the ride ended up turning into a "You listen to me or else, and you go FORWARD or else!" lesson. Oy vey!

You see those horse eating goblins? Do you SEE them?!
RIGHT THERE! Horse eating!!!
Right from the git-go she was spooking at that... that stupid metal trough-turned-flower-planter. Spun on me walking down the drive, and then we walked past it one way inside the arena and she was fine, went to go walk past it the other way, and all hell broke loose! She spooked and spun, nearly unseating me. Then she just flat out refused to go anywhere near it undersaddle. I'd kick, she'd pin her ears, toss her head, swish her tail and try and spin again. Bad girl!! I was sooooo wishing I had a riding crop to reinforce my point. It went something like this:

Me: Kick, kick, kick. "Get over there"
Callie: "Nooooooo!!"
Callie: "But it's SCAAARRY"

I finally got off and dragged her over to the fence and made her STAND by the thing. Then I got on and walked teeny tiny circles, hurray for bending. Lots and lots of leg, a couple butt smacks, and she was finally in front of my leg. I think a lot of these spooking issues with her is that she is just not forward, cuz I know she's not scared, she'll walk by something just fine with me leading her, under saddle it's another story. I eventually progressed to larger walk and trot circles, my goal was to trot a nice quiet circle on a longer rein and lower frame, aka relaxed!

That was not to be, once she figured out I didn't have much rein contact she took advantage of it, spooking out of nowhere and spinning, she nearly got me off!!! I thought for sure I was going to eat dirt, not only did she spin but she started doing this hoppy thing with her front end, bouncing back and forth throwing a major hissy fit over the whole ordeal. Once I regained my balance it was back to trotting, this time with a much shorter rein, a very forward trot, and an incredible amount of flexion to the inside clearly telling her "you pay attention to me!"

Managed to end on a good note, and I hopped off her right away and hand-walked her to cool her out. Looking back, I guess I deserved it. She'd had the day off prior, and I decided to try riding her without lunging first... on a hot little mare, not such a good idea lol. Oh well, it was a good lesson, and the forward one that must be learned. I swear though, I sound like a pirate when I ride this mare LOL, I growl at her a lot when she feels like she's starting to do something, combined with a strong leg, it normally works.

Silly mare, we'll figure each out soon... hopefully
 So, I'll leave you with that for now. Have a good day, on Good Friday :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Must Read


If you read nothing else today, you should read this: Eventing Etiquette For Dummies

Anybody and everybody who has anything to do with horse showing, even if you don't event, should read that blog. Thankfully in Eventing, stuck-up and rude people are few and far between, but I unfortunately know that in other disciplines that is not the case.

If more people got off their high horse and put a smile on their face and made an effort to help someone ELSE out instead of themselves... the entire horse show world would be a much happier place.

In other news...

Little miss Callie mare threw a shoe, her left hind. And get this. She took it off while leaving every single nail behind. ???? Don't ask me how she did it, it looks like there should be a shoe there, the nails are there, but, the shoe just isn't! I found it in her paddock, flat as can be, she didn't bend it or anything. I have NO idea how she managed that. I took a picture of her foot, I'll see if I can't get it posted, it shows the nails still left in her foot. Thank goodness she had a farrier appointment for this Tuesday. On the downside, so much for getting to ride her, we went for a stroll down the road instead and she got to munch on some grass for awhile. It was relaxing :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Now back to the reguarly scheduled programming


Ok, I'll drag my mind back outta LOTR geekieness and update on horsey things.

Good day yesterday, I love my Saturday afternoons, get to ride multiple horses, clean pens, do what I want. My barn owner has asked me to do some training with one of her horses, an older QH mare named Magic. They use her for pony lessons to beginner riders and she's started to get a little sour with the kids, not wanting to stand still, not wanting to trot, etc. So I'm going to work with her 1-2 times a week to sort out the kinks. Fun stuff.

So I rode her yesterday, first thing, almost right off the bat, I noticed that her saddle didn't fit right, it was a little too wide. When I mounted up she was not happy. I jumped off and added an extra pad to fill in the space behind her withers, muuuuccch happier horse! Worked on standing still while mounting, transitions (she was surprisingly responsive to very subtle cues!) and on keeping a steady rhythm at the trot. It was fun, it'll be a great way to earn a little extra cash :)

Callie is looking AWESOME, she has really put on a lot of weight and I'm finally getting pleased with how she's looking. Now we just need to build strength. She's still fussy under saddle at the canter and just throws a fit about it, keeps trying to stop, etc. Lunge line canter however looks beautiful. Weird mare. Got the owner of the barn across the street to watch her go, he's a rather skilled dressage rider, and he thinks it's just a strength issue. So I'm gonna just do lots of long and low trot work for awhile, do some cavaletti, and lunge her as much as I can when I don't have time to ride with side reins to help build back strength. So, that's my plan for the next two weeks, and re-evaluate the canter under saddle on May 1st.

My birthday is tomorrow, I have nothing planned, lol, just work and a Chemistry lab. And to attempt to ride/lunge my horse.

Umm... oh, I did want to comment on the recomentation of David O'Connor by the Elligible Atheletes commitee to the USEF as the next Eventing Coach.

While I have nothing against David, I think he's a fabulous rider, a fabulous coach (look at what he did for the Canadians? I mean really, their Eventing team has improved in leaps and bounds!!!) , and all in all, a great representative of our sport. My gripe in this whole thing has been the process, I was sooooo excited when I first saw the list of applicants, Leslie Law, Jimmy Wofford, Phillip and Bobby, etc. And then only Leslie and David got picked to move along, which at that point it was obvious to all that David would get the job, and that the High Performance commitee only added Leslie so as not to make it toooo biased. I mean, really, David is literally on celebrity status here in United States Eventing.

What it comes down to for me is this: Do I think David is a good choice? Yes. Do I think the process for selecting the next coach was fair? No. I felt it was very biased, and while they did give out reasons for their lack of recommending certain applicants (such as Jimmy Wofford, I'm a huge wofford fan, love his writings), I just think from the git-go everybody wanted David and that was that.

That said, I truly hope that he is able to do for our team what he has done for the Canadians, we sure need it, our results as a team from the Beijing Olympics and the WEG were truly dissapointing.

Ok, I think that's it, I'm bored at work and could ramble on for awhile, but I think I'll close things up for the afternoon and go do something else... like read up on Hobbit movie goodness!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I interrupt your horsey news for a geek alert!


They have started filming on The Hobbit!!!

Just... *jumps up and down excitedly* :D I looooooove the Lord of the Rings. I have been a huge fan of it since I was a child and my mom read to me the first chapter of The Hobbit in order to convince me to read the series. We used to quiz each other on LOTR knowledge and trivia LOOONG before the movies were even thought of! So, needless to say when The Fellowship of the Ring was announced, we were excited but slightly optimistic, worried that Hollywood wouldn't stay true to Tolkien's epic story. But, these doubts were soon soundly laid to rest (with the exception of the exclusion of Tom Bombadil, that is my ONLY complaint about the movies really). I now own and cherish the extended edition of the trillogy (12 hours of tolkien goodness, yeeeesssss!!! <3)

So, I've known for awhile that they were planning on doing The Hobbit, then I heard that Peter Jackson (who directed the trillogy) wasn't going to direct The Hobbit. WHAT?! But, I guess things or whatever was worked out, and he is indeed back at the reins for another tolkien masterpiece.


And they are doing blog videos (which is the purpose of this blog, to share this), *does a fangirl squee* Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pony pictures


Finally dragged some photos off my phone to share!

First we have Mr. Pie, who is doing just fine in his new home, I'm so happy, I couldn't have asked for a more loving home for him to live out his days in. I will miss his personality though, he is most certainly one of a kind! If I could have kept him I would've, but my budget said otherwise, that's ok, what I wanted to do and what he could do physically just weren't the same. It's a perfect situation really. I'm happy.
Taking one last spin on my boy the day before he left. <3 him!

Looking pretty in pink, lol.

Handsome boy :)
 Only one of Callie, she could still use another 100lbs before I'm satisfied, that and she is not the most photogenic creature in the world, ha! Happy to say no more running away at the canter under saddle, now we just need to get those darn walk-trot transitions down without her being witchy about it. Mares.
She may look innocent enough!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday afternoon ramblings


It's super slow at work this afternoon, and I'm super bored. It's the kind of day where you only get about 1 call an hour, and it's a "I want to cancel my account." call.... c'mon people!

So, I'm getting back into teaching lessons, for the lady at my barn, and now for a local Pony Club. Fun stuff. I much prefer teaching the lady at my barn tho... she listens and really tries hard, and really shows significant improvement from lesson to lesson. That's the best kind of student, you only have to teach them something once, and they'll go and apply it.

Whereas the pony club kids... oy vey, I taught that bunch last fall, crazyness!!! Only two kids were really serious about even remotely listening to me, they were playing with each other, goofing off, being kids LOL. Hopefully they've grown up a little over the winter and are ready to focus for lessons, gotta get them ready for ratings, and hopefully Rally :)

Aaaahh... there was something else I was going to chat about. *thinks* it was something else about horses... or people, or... work? I dunno now, and my shift is over anyways, so I'm outta here! Maybe the wind will have quit and I can ride (most likely not, but it's worth a thought eh?)

Saturday, April 9, 2011



Ya know what I'm talking about, you've been fighting with an issue for days, weeks, months, trying to find a solution to it, and all of a sudden you stumble upon the answer. Most often on accident. Depending on the degree of the discovery, I classify it as either "lightbulb" or "ah-ha" moments. Lightbulb being the best! Lol.

Today though, was an "ah-ha" moment :)

Been having an issue with Callie and her canter, she has been throwing a fit on the right canter lead, major resistance, head in the air, running away on the lunge line, wanting to stop and not move, etc. In general not wanting to maintain a quiet, relaxed canter. Either on the lunge or under saddle. Left head has been fine. Both her owner and I decided that perhaps it was that her feet needed to be done, ok great, we'll get that done and go from there. The farrier is currently scheduled for sometime this coming week.

Well today, I decided to get her out and see what happened. I saddled her up and put her on the lunge, no side reins. Same thing, fine to the left, but horrible to the right. But, today she threw in bucking as well, obviously not happy. My gut told me that it was the saddle, so I took it off and asked her to canter again, perfectly fine, no running away, no bucking, a little tense still, but a reasonable canter. Then I tried the saddle on without the thick fleecy half-pad I have normally been using with her. And voila, she cantered just fine! See, she was a lot thinner last month, so the half-pad was fine, but now that's shes putting on weight and filling out its no longer needed. So I'm going to give it a try for a little bit with no extra padding, see how she does. I'll start cantering her under saddle again once her feet get done.

That said, here is a pic of how she is looking now! I'm finally happy with her now to show ya'll, and yes... I know, her head is behind the pole, silly mare being shy!

Callie mare
I then also rode another mare today, she is a 21 year old TB mare named Baby, owned by another boarder. I'm giving her owner lessons in exchange for me getting to ride Baby as much as I want. Cool, will work perfectly when I quit leasing Callie and won't have a horse for awhile. Baby is funny, she's got some good training on her, through 3rd level, she knows how to do all the lateral work, and she responds to those aids easily. She's a perfect lower level schoolmaster. She's just horribly out of shape and very stiff. So i'm working to get her fit and limbered up, I know she has a trot in there besides her little western pleasure jog!! I'm also getting to JUMP her! Wooohoo! Callie isn't yet to the point where I can jump, but Baby can definitely go over a few little things, which at this point is about 18" LOL. But hey, it's a jump, right??? And I haven't jumped in like 10 months..... so needless to say, it felt wonderful to be jumping her over that little fence today. I am definitely out of practice though, oh my.

Well, that's all for now folks! G'night from colorado.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

For once, I want an iPhone


I'm an avid Android user, I've shunned all things Apple for years, just didn't care to get caught up in it, besides... I think they are WAY too much $$ for what they can do. I think iPhones are over-prices, over-hyped phones, and I'm perfectly happy with my Droid. I also much prefer my Sansa mp3 player, it can play video, listen to radio, play music, all the same things an iPod can do, but at half the cost... and a longer battery life!!


The Badminton iPhone App has me reeeaaaally wishing, for the first time in my life, that I had an iPhone. I want that app so bad! But unfortunately it's only for iPhones, boooooo. It has live scores, rider profiles, virtual course walks, podcasts, the whole shebang. But... I can't have it!! Grrr.

I think there is a Rolex app I can get on my phone, want to say I got it last year, or... no, maybe that was for the WEG. I forget now. Life is too crazy to remember those little things. But... ROLEX! Coming up fast, weee! Sure wish I could be there, one day, I will!

I will be going down here in a few months to the Colorado Horse Park for the CCI* and CCI** to hang out and volunteer, I love jump judging. It gets me out, lets me enjoy the horse show atmosphere, the energy of the vent. I've been reading blogs about The Fork right now, and jogs, and horse show prep, and training sessions, and lessons. I miss that all so much!!! Can't help but day dreaming about when I'll get to do that again in like 5 years... lordy that is so far away! Maybe I can find a catch ride in the meantime *schemes*

Monday, April 4, 2011

Collective Marks


So, I've just discovered this morning that Doug Payne has a blog, hurray for getting to stalk more upper level eventers!! I was reading his most recent entry and had a fond giggle of remembrance when I saw his picture of collective marks (though, they aren't anything to sneeze at, a 10 for a rider is pretty damn impressive!).

While I've never gotten those kind of marks at a real dressage/eventing/combined test show of any kind, schooling or not, (normally end up with 8s and 7s) I have gotten those kinds of marks before.

I do, or well, have done Civil War Cavalry Reenacting. It's a ton of fun, and I've been a history buff since I was a little girl (my parents had to stop me from watching the civil war movie Gettysburg every day because they were worried about their little one watching so much violence), especially in regards to the Civil War. So I do reenacting to get to "relive" the past since, well, time travel hasn't been invented yet. It's an incredibly rewarding experience, especially when my regiment stands to horse as the color guard for the Memorial Day service at the cemetary at a veteran's center where many of the soldiers we portray are burried. It's an undescribable feeling.

I'm on the far right, the chestnut horse

Aaaanywho, now that's I'm getting all emotional about my hobby... as part of being in the Cavalry we hold mounted competitions that test horsemanship and skill at arms. It's a TON of fun. There are different phases, military horsemanship (aka dressage), mounted shooting, mounted saber targets, platoon and company drill. It's rough, it's dirty, it's a lot of action and loud noises. PERFECT place to desensitive an event horse! (I tell ya what, after riding my event horse at cavalry competitions, we'd go to a real USEA event and he'd be falling asleep the entire time LOL).

The first Cavalry Competition I participated in, I kicked everyone's butt in dressa... err, military horsemanship. Becuase, I was the only one who actually knew how to ride a dressage test... not to mention how to do a rising/posting trot! I ended up with almost all 9s and 10s across the test! Best score I've ever received, ever! Best collective marks ever too, HA!

Needless to say, I landed the job as Company instructor, had one guy come up to me after and go "What the hell does a rising trot mean? Stand in my stirrups?" Me: "sorta..."  I'm pleased to say that guy, our bugler, can do a very nice posting trot now. A few years later after that date he actually BEAT ME by 1 point in military horsemanship at the National Cavalry Competition... something he constantly reminds me of every time I see him.

Well, I gotta spend some time working on chemistry homework inbetween calls at work instead of this >.< but that was fun to write about! I miss the reenacting, don't get to do much of it since I'm in school, and especially since I'm currently without a horse! Speaking of which... we missed the mare's cycle this month, boo, so hopefully she'll get bred here in a couple of weeks when she comes back into heat. *crosses fingers*

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nothing much of consequence


So, I'm at work, bored, actually getting a lot of calls, but they are short and quick, with time inbetween to do whatever... and I'm bored!

I'm riding little mare Callie a couple times a week. We had a good "discussion" on the lunge yesterday, she's AWESOME about up transitions, walk-trot, trot-canter, awesome. Down transitions? Huh? What are those?? When I become a little more insistent upon her listening and obeying, she slams on the brakes and turns and stares me down and then tries to bolt the other direction.

Uhhh... I don't think so!

So we schooled transitions on the lunge and were able to end on a really good note =), walk-halt still need a tad bit more work, but they did really improve.

Undersaddle she is such a busy body! I see now why she didn't do well out on Cross Country! If you let her go more than 4-5 strides without some sort of half-halt, transition, or change in direction, her attention is gone. She's off thinking about the trees, or that bird over there, in general NOT paying attention to you... she definitely keeps you on your toes! I like it. When you ride her how she asks, she really goes quite nicely.

Now I just need to see about getting a jump or two set up!!


meh, well this only killed about 15 minutes, little over an hour to go at work... pooey, oh well, I still got a blog in!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oh mare...


I had forgotten how "fun" mares can be!! Ah but I love them.

A couple days ago I didn't have much time, so I decided to just stop by to groom Callie, as she is shedding in great gobs of hair! Holy moly!! Well, I just wandered out to the paddock with the shedding blade. All was going well until the other horses decided to mob me, and Callie started to get agitated as I was trying to get her to stand still but she wanted nothing to do with the other horses (she's bottom rung on the authority ladder). As I was trying to get hair off her bum she finally had enough and leapt away, letting out a not-so-well-aimed kick right at me!!! Oh. no. you. don't.

That landed her a prompt round pen session about who is alpha "mare" and I very clearly told her that kicking at me is NOT ok. She did pretty good by the end, but while she did show submission, it wasn't truly what I wanted, as she was still a little like "i don't have to" when I tried to get her to yield her hind-end. She did it, but not truly in willing submission. So, got a little authority thing to sort out and then I think we'll be golden. Just one of those little things that needs to be established with any horse.

Two days later I took her out for a ride, I lunged her first as this was the first time I had decided to ride her in the large outdoor arena, which is right next to a busy road and can be a LOT distracting for some horses. I put her on the lunge and she instantly flipped into an AHHHHH I'M IN TROUBLE FOR KICKING mode from the round pen  the other day, even though she had really settled by the end that day... silly mare. So I just let her do what she wanted, let her do her thing while I stood there patiently, she ran a bit, then settled down for me to ride her.

We worked a lot of transitions, I probably only rode her for 15 minutes, but I figured out pretty quick that her mind was in typical TB mode, busy busy busybusyBUSY. She was paying attention to anything and everything but me, and just felt very squirrely and not truly giving her back. So we did transitions, transitions, and more transitions. I don't think I went more than 20 meters in any one gait. walk-trot-walk-trot-walk-halt-walk-trot-canter-trot-walk-trot-walk-trot-canter-trot and so on. Her head was all over the place, so I focused on doing each transition from the leg and seat only and keeping her soft on the bit, instead of flinging her head. I finished up the ride with two great 20m canter circles, one is each direction, the last one she really relaxed, gave her back, and truly went on the bit. GOOD GIRL! I ended on that note :D

Haven't gotten out to ride her again since, I'm really hoping to do so today, we'll see *crosses fingers*. We finally got her cribbing collar adjusted so that she's not cribbing anymore, which makes me happy. And she's been moved to her own paddock so that she can have as much hay and goodies as she wants so she should really start to put on the lbs here soon.

I think that's all for now, as long as the wind isn't blowing a million miles and hour the weather is really gorgeous so far this year, thought I wouldn't mind a couple rain showers, it's going to be a very dry summer if we don't get some moisture soon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011



My NEW horse!!!! As in, legally mine!!
Unfortunately I don't have any pictures at this point in time as he (or she) isn't even born yet! Actually... isn't even conceived yet if you want to get technical. The long and short of it is, I'm purchasing a foal in utero to be my new Eventing prospect. If all goes as planned, it will be an upper level horse!

I was thinking originally I'd wait until the mare was actually BRED, but as the news got spilled elsewhere online, I figured, aaaahh what the heck, I'll post it here as well. :)

Momma is a lovely Dutch Warmblood mare, standing 16 1/2hh high, is wide as a tank (which is in part to being a brood mare, but still, doesn't bode well for baby fitting into my jumping saddle, oh my...), and has LOTS of GO! She also has done very in the hunters and ammy jumpers.
 Daddy is a Holsteiner, 16.3hh tall, competing Grand Prix show jumping at the moment, and is that beautiful blood red bay color I just loooooove. He's also a nice n tight jumper and has a very forward way of going.

 This baby will be registered as a Dutch Warmblood, and considering how much thoroughbred blood it'll have, should be an excellent Upper Level Eventing prospect!!! I am SOOO excited!! :D To say I'm impaitent would be an understatement. We missed the mare's heat this month, so mid April she should be bred *crosses fingers* I'm counting the days until she comes back into heat so she can be covered let alone until she actually foals in a year, gaaaah I'm never gonna last that long!

On the bright side, it sounds like I won't be without a ride at least for awhile. In addition to having Callie to ride for a few months, another boarder at my barn has said I'm more than welcome to ride her mare, a 21 year old TB mare who is actually rather skilled in dressage. She's horribly out of shape and pretty stiff, but could be a fun summer project. In exchange for getting to ride her I'll give the owner a few lessons here and there.

Well, I think that's it for now, time to start a countdown until baby is here. And time to start thinking of names. They gotta start with an H... hmmm

And one more picture of Daddy, cuz I think he's a hunk ;)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yes, you must trot


I rode Callie at my barn for the first time yesterday. It wasn't a terribly long ride, but it was a start!

I lunged her first, and she looked a tad looser than the day before, I rather like her trot, it has a lot of natural elasticity to it. Once she gets fit and really loosens up I can see it being pretty nice. I then got on her and did some bending back and forth, she's actually rather supple laterally, I was a little surprised, it's the longitudinal suppleness and fitness that she's lacking at the moment.

Then I asked for the trot. This is how it went:

Me: Callie, please trot
Callie: no....
Me: Callie, trot.
Callie: No.
Me: Trot, now!
Callie: *puts ears back and slows down* NO!
Me: *change in tactic* Ok, do a walking turn on the forehand, get that hind end moving up under you, now GO trot!
Callie: noo---wait, oh. ok...

She is not a mare who will take any sort of heel cue, no matter how small. She wants squeezes and seat/upper leg cues. So went spent the next 5-10 mins doing walk-trot-walk-trot and so on until she quietly picked up the trot without any objection. I then called it good. :)

Other than that, she was great, she doesn't have a spook in her, the soccer ball in the middle of the arena that I completely forgot about until she politely stepped over it on the lunge-- it didn't phase her. Compared to Pie, she's downright lazy! I don't think I'd really realized how hot Pie actually is, I was riding Buddy boy for a long time and he was more sensitive than Pie so I had labeled Pie "lazy", lol, oh how wrong I was! It's been sooo long since I'd ridden those little lazy ponies that I'd forgotten what it's like, now I get on Callie and it's a completelly different feel. I'm sure though that she'll perk up considerably once she builds some muscle.

Today is looking to be warm (relatively), sunny, and windy... good day for a ride?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oh my, that's a mane!


Callie is starting to settle in, she got turned out with the gang on Sunday and all went relatively well. The little hackney pony was being his normally tiny studly self, which is hilarious, he thinks he's the top dog and yet he's the smallest horse!! Callie for now is at the bottom of the chain, but I think she'll work her way up. She seems a little stressed about the move, not being around her buddies and in a new and strange place. I'm trying to show her that I'm the cookie lady and happy to give her loves and grooming. However, she's definitely not as food oriented as Pie is so we'll see how it goes.

As for Pie, he has settled in very nicely at the pasture, and has VERY quickly established himself as head-hancho over the two little Arab mares. No more squealing or shenanigans from the mares, they are happy to touch noses with Pie now without raising a fuss, but don't they dare try and take a bite of his food! Other than that, Pie looks happy and content. I'm not terribly worried about him :)

But... Callie's mane, now that's another story!
In need of some serious TLC
I'm going to try to pull just a little bit here and there, I did a tiny bit last night, while the hair came out fairly easily she told me pretty quick she wasn't a fan of having that done. So it's going to be a slow work in progress, I don't want her to think I'm the mean-hair-yanking-goblin! And yes, she doesn't have much of a topline, hopefully that will change soon.
Telling me what she thinks of mane pulling
She is a sweetie though, really, she's got a kind look to her eye that I really like. She just doesn't know who I am yet! Even though I only have her for a few months, we'll see where we can get.

I did put her on the lunge last night to see how she'd go. She is pretty stiff from lack of work and lack of muscle tone as she's a tad underweight at the moment. But I was able to get her to track up at both the walk and trot, and she looks like she can have some nice gaits when in shape. Her canter looks smooth, as is her trot. If it'll warm up any today I'm going to try and ride her for about 10 minutes in addition to the lunging. It's currently only 20* out... BRRR!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

"New" mare is here


Successfully swapped horses yesterday!

And for the next few months at least I'll have a little thoroughbred mare named Callie to play with. She's cute, little, in horrible need of a haircut, and can jump!! YAY

Her owner brought her over and she got off the trailer just fine, we put her into the arena which shares the fenceline with the main turnout where the herd lives. She immediatly wandered down there to say hi, and all the horses came over. She stood there, just stood there, not making a fuss, while all the other horses squealed and make a fuss... namely the little hackney pony, he's the smalled horse out there but thinks he is the biggest LOL!

Then we got Pie and went to load him up to go to the pasture, and I was fully prepared with "motivation" and all expecting him to through a fuss about getting into the trailer.... Instead he practically dragged me into the trailer before we could even fully open the divider door!! Way to make a liar of me.

But then he gave me a near heart attack, of course per usual he was pawing in the trailer, being a turd. All of a sudden I hear a big BANG and the trailer shakes and then all is still.... I jump up and peek in, I seem him standing straddle legged behind and oh my he has his front foot in the hay net!!!! Somehow he had gotten it waaaay up high and through the net, which was now wrapped around his knee holding it up. Visions of severed tendons danced through my head as we both leapt into the trailer. I managed to push his leg up high enough to give some slack to the net and Callie's owner grabbed my pocket knife out of my back pocket and cut him free. He was very happy to have his foot back and I was very happy to see that short of a few loose hairs he was none the worse for wear. We cut the net down (as he had pulled the knot so tight it was untieable) and decided to go sans hay for him. There is a reason I prefer hay bags over nets, yikes!!

Aside from that, the rest of the day went fairly drama free. We introduced Pie to his new stable mates, Pie couldn't have cared less... he was much more interested in the hay on the ground. Whereas his two new buddies, these cute little arab mares who are veeerry much arabians, were incredibly curious in him but refused to approach him. They wanted him to come after them but he refused to do so and it was driving them crazy. And if he DID so much as look at them they'd squeal, leap in the air, and run off head and tail in the air. The look on Pie's face was priceless LOL, he thought they were NUTS!!

I got back to check on Callie and to bring her in for the night, she was a little nervous about being in the barn and in the stall by herself, the walls are fairly high so she can't really see the other horses, but I think in a night or two she'll settle down just fine. I'll be going out this evening to see and play with her. Maybe if I have time I'll ride her, we'll see!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Not Thrilled...


... at all.

First, I'm sure everybody in the eventing world has heard about the two, and only two, people selected by the USEF for the short list for the Chef d'Equipe/Technical Advisor position for the US Eventing Team.
Those two people are David O'Conner and Leslie Law. Any guesses on who is going to get the position? Can anybody say politics? I was reeeaaaaally hoping that Jimmy Wofford would get the position, or at least get to the short list! I mean, seriously??? Ugh. I'm not saying that David or Leslie can't properly run our eventing program, but I just think Jim and his way of approaching things would reeaaally put a new spin on the eventing program. Ah well, I didn't do the interviews or anything... but still. I don't understand why one wouldn't leave Jimmy off the short list.

The other thing I'm not thrilled about: I can't drive. For awhile. In short, medical reasons. What's ironic is that, while going home after learning this from the Dr. I get a call from someone sounding really serious about buying my pickup. Ha, guess it's meant to be! On the bright side, I am going to be riding my bike everywhere, and going to get super fit!

And lastly, In other news, I am currently attempting to come up with some good names starting with H. Haven't thought of or found anything I like, I do have time, so I'm not worried. However... I do know that I will NOT be using "Hydes R Us"

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Big changes ahead!!


And I'm ridiculously excited!!!

I am still getting that little mare, Callie, to lease, she will be coming this Saturday. I'll have her for a few months at my barn before she goes home, should be fun to have a horse to ride regularly for at least a little!

But, the big changes, well, I think I'll keep my mouth shut for a little longer until it's finalized here in a month or two... but in short, I'm going to getting about as close to my dream horse as possible. Pie will be going to a loving retirement home where he'll be ridden lightly and just pampered, it'll be perfect for him. I want to be able to run and jump and he just doesn't fit that bill anymore unfortunately. I love him to little bitty Pie pieces, and I wish I could hang onto him because he is so wonderful, but I cannot afford both him and a new horse, at least not at this point in my life.

I'll stop there, when everything is down in writing I'll spill the beans wide open, but, all I can say is... I'm having a VERY hard time not saying anything more!!! SO excited!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Horse Swap!!


So, it looks like I'll be "swapping" horses for a couple months! Should be fun I think. See, Pie right now, he reeeaaally needs his shoes pulled and to just go barefoot for awhile to let his foot grow out, he's just not staying sound right now. So, I was poking around on craigslist a few weeks ago, and came across a link for a horse for lease, a 9 year old TB mare who has a knack for jumping. The owner is pregnant so can't ride at the moment and wants to find someone to lease her mare until July or so. She said either the mare can be kept at her pasture, or can be boarded somewhere. So I emailed with the proposition that I take the mare to my barn, and my horse, Pie, goes and lives at her pasture, barefoot. My idea was met with great enthusiasim and it looks like it will work out perfectly.

I went and took a look at the mare yesterday, her name is Callie, and she's little! Probably about 15.2hh and very petite in her build. Pie is built like a tank, she is the exact opposite! She's a little sorry looking right now, poor girl, she's lost weight being out of work and has no muscle definition at all. Part of it is that she's living with two arabs, and she needs much more food than they do, but there is no way to separate them at the moment, so while the arabs are fat and happy, she's been dropping pounds. It'll be good once she gets to my barn and she can eat all she wants in her own stall.

While she's nothing super duper fancy, she's really cute and has a super sweet and quiet look to her eyes. She can be a little marish when saddling and if you nag her with your leg--but otherwise she is DEAD quiet and compared to Pie, lazy. At least right now, once she gets fitter and puts on weight I expect her to perk up a lot. She is in desperate need of a clip and mane trim, which she will get both asap once she arrives!

I'm excited to have a sound horse I can ride on a regular basis, and one I can jump! I was telling the owner of the barn I do chores at about it, that I was looking forward to jumping again, and he said that they will be getting some jumps soon, that makes me really excited, I won't have to pay $$ to go down to the local boarding stable to use the jumps there.

Not sure yet when the swap will take place, probably in a week or two, once we do paperwork/contract stuff and let my barn know, things should all be good to go. Yay!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What a good horse


So, I went back and re-watched my last Cross Country round I did on the horse I leased for awhile, Wild Yonder (more affectionately called "Buddy boy")... I had a blast! It was Novice at the 2008 Colorado Horse Park horse trials. Though, looking back at it today, I realized something... that horse saved my butt out there!! More than once!
He was such a saint of a horse, pretty much did whatever I asked him to, even if I put him to the jump at a really awkward spot, or didn't have him properly in front of my leg (that was our biggest issue). Ahhh what a good boy! His new owner is one lucky lady, I hope to see them at a few events this year :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's monday


Packers won the Super Bowl. Yay. I'm only happy because Pittsburgh didn't win another super bowl title... I'm not a fan of the Packers, however I do like Aaron Rogers, he strikes me as a good guy, not to mention he's a darn good quarterback.

I'm scheming on something regarding Pie and a possible way to let him go barefoot for awhile, which is something I think he really needs. This scheme would also include an alternative horse for me to ride (and jump!), we'll see if it works out or not. ;)

Nothing else, it's monday... it's busy... it sucks. Ready for summer. Just a few more months and things will start to thaw!

Oh yeah, and I also wanted to say... the Darth Vader kid VW comercial during the super bowl last night was a total win in my book. Too cute!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super bowl sunday ramblings


So, nothing terribly interesting to report on. We've managed to make it back above sub-zero temperatures, it was 21*F this morning when I went out to start my truck to head to work and dangit if it didn't feel WARM! That's sad... lol

The super bowl is today, and... me, football loving me, hasn't watched a lick of football this year. I blame it on work, school, and not having cable for the past couple of months. Of the teams playing, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers, I don't like either team, however I DESPISE the Steelers, right alongside the Patriots. Grr... evil teams, both of them. So, that said, while I do not care for the Packers, I am rooting for them, simply because I do not want the steelers to win another super bowl!!

In horsey news: I MISS RIDING!!! But most of all, I miss jumping :( Big time! I haven't taken a horse over a jump in about 6 months. No bueno, no bueno at all! Pie got his feet done on the 1st, and he's a little bit better, he's still oh so slightly off in that right front, and I'm not sure what to do. The crack is looking good, but I think that his heel is just waaaay too high. The farrier said he's leaving the heel a tad high to help him land more toe-first to keep from pounding that inside heel too much. I agree with him, but this foot grows so clubby and heel-high to begin with, he really doesn't need any extra help when it comes to landing toe-first. Not to mention, when that heel gets high, he goes lame. It's a one to one relation, he's sounder when that heel is kept low. Then, because he tends to rest that right front a lot, putting more weight on the other foot, the left front gets pretty pancaked and tends to have underrun heels, his feet couldn't be more opposite. I'll have to get pictures here, but it's crazy. I noticed this time the farrier placed that shoe quite forward, or, at least, didn't use a big enough shoe to give enough heel support. Once again, I'm going to take pictures and analyze them with some lines in photoshop to show what I mean. We'll see how Pie goes for the next week or two, if no improvement in soundness that farrier is coming back to re-do his work. I love that he is being so pro-active with getting that nasty crack under control, but no so pleased yet with how he's shoeing the rest of the foot. He's not a bad farrier, I'm just picky.

Auuumm... last little tid-bit, we got a rooster!! We saw an ad on craigslist for Barred Rock Roosters and called the lady up and got one. We love him! He's so beautiful, and he looooves his hens lol. Our little flock is complete :) before the hens were very wary of coming out of the coop, shy and skittish. Now they are happy to roam all over with their knight in shining armour watching over them. He's so cute, he'll herd them around, hide them in one of the corners of the yard if he feels there is danger present (aka our pooch named Fiona...), and he's full of it!! Flaps his wings and ruffles his feathers, letting the whole world know how big and bad he is. He's awesome, and he needs a name... so far I've shot down "Cocky" "Prince Poppycock" and another not-so-appropriate-name... my dear hubby has a dirty mind *blushes*.

Leading his ladies around. So cute! I'm thinking he needs a "Sir _____ " name because he thinks he is all that and is on such a high horse lol. We'll see.

Beyond that, nothing else I can think of to write. Think today at work I'm just gonna sit and read a book inbetween calls, haven't done that in awhile.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hungry anybody?


So, it's the beginning of the year, time to start paying attention to the Derby prep races, start looking through stats and deciding which 3-year-old thoroughbred has the best chance of taking those roses. Time to watch those wonderful prep races, the Wood Memorial, the Santa Anita Derby, the Gotham Stakes, the Arkansas Derby, the San Felipe, the Rebel Stakes... AAAHH!! So exciting!!

I don't really pay any attention to 2-year-old races, because, most of these colts don't really come into their own until like March and April when the prep races start heating up. A lot of the colts who show early speed as a 2-year-old, winning races such as the Juvenile at the Breeders Cup, are often caught by the REAL winners in the spring, the ones who mature a little later, and are able to show the stamina that is needed for the triple crown races, something 2-year-olds just don't posses.

That said.... I was looking over somebody's list for the top 20 3-year-olds who currently have their noses pointed at Churchill Downs. And one caught my eye and me do a double take!

His name is "Gourmet Dinner" ... really?? WHO in their right mind would name a horse Gourmet Dinner?? That's like, just aaassking for him to be made into alpo! Gah, poor horse!! I bet he is the brunt of endless jokes around the barn. His owner's musta been on crack when they picked that name... again, poor horse!

Ok, so I just looked up his pedigree... I've forgive his owners, a little. He is out of a mare named "Potluck Dinner" who is out of a mare named "Romantic Dinner" ... seems like the names just got progressivley worse in this family LOL! Nobody in his pedigree really stands out, so we'll see. So far he's won one G3 stakes as a two year old, and came in third in the Holy Bull just this past weekend.

Currently, the leader in Derby pointed horses is a colt named Uncle Mo, and he is because of his win in the Breeder's Cup Juvenile. Go figure. Buuuut he is trained by Todd Pletcher. He hasn't raced yet as a 3-year-old, but that's not surprising as we are only one month into the new year. Only time will tell. I can guarantee you one thing, we'll see that top 20 list change a LOT as horses win, and lose, races.

I can't wait!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011



Holy moly, had a farrier appointment today, it was about three below zero. And to add to frozen fingers and toes, Pie was not cooperating! I think they got left in yesterday, so all he wanted was to go OUT!! Standing still to get his feet done was not on his to-do list for the day.

But now that he's got new shoes on that head bob at the trot should go away.

As for me, I was completely frozen by the time I finished the stalls and got home.

And for news in the eventing world, the deadline for applications for the United States Eventing Team technical advisor and Chef d'Equipe position was yesterday. Of the know applicants, I'm most excited about Leslie Law and Jimmy Wofford putting their names out there for the job. Can't wait to see the short list!
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Monday, January 31, 2011

Pie's Foot


So I said I'd do a post on Pie.

So, lets see,  I rode him on friday, he was doing the same thing again, tense tense tense and getting really quick, pretty much not wanting to give me his back. So I decided to mess with the saddle, I've recently started using a Passier Grand Gilbert dressage saddle on him, it's owned by the owner of the barn I do chores at, as long as he's not using it, I'm free to use it on Pie. Well, I had initially started to use it with my fleece half-pad, cuz I was thinking it was a tad wide, well, friday I gave it a try without, soooo much better. He was still quick, but was giving me his back. I felt rather sheepish (ha!)... I should've known better.

But, I jogged him down the road on our walk back over to his barn, and he was just a little off, but that's not unusual for him on hard pavement like that. So i decided to give him Saturday off. Sunday I'm at work all day so can't ride. I did get a call from my barn owner Sunday evening, she wanted to give me a heads up that Pie was favoring his front right again, I thanked her, said the farrier is coming on Tuesday.

For those of you who don't already know Pie and know what his right front foot is like, let me show you.
Lovely ain't it??

About 9 years ago or so he got his foot caught in a piece of barbed wire, the last bit on the property of course. Ripped off the inside heel bulb. He was on stall rest for 6mo, almost got put down, but fought through. I got him then as a project to re-hab, and was eventually told that if I ever got him sound, he was mine. I did, and that's how he's my horse. The foot has, as a result, been the source of a love-hate relationship, I love it becuase I have a fantastic horse, hate it because it means I can't compete or really jump this fantastic, tallented horse. Oh well, I guress it's good because I'm in school and don't really have the time nor money for serious training and showing anymore.

Anyway, that nasty crack has been there since the injury happened, it's grown out twice, so I know it's possible. I've gone through so many farriers with Pie, but so far I'm really liking the one I have now. Especially cuz he is inexpensive! But he's the FIRST farrier who has actually done something proactive about this crack, instead of just "Oh, just let it be, do it's thing". He put those staples in it, to hold it stationary, and to keep it from moving and opening up. I'm starting to see some new growth without that huge crack, there is still a hairline crack, but nothing of the same magnitude as before.

So we shall see what the farrier says when he comes tomorrow. I think for Pie, with this foot, we gotta stay on a strict 6 week cycle, any further than that and the heel starts to get I'm hoping it's not going to be too terribly cold... we were hitting record highs on Friday... now we are going to be hitting record lows... c'mon Colorado make up your mind!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Well this stinks


Ugh, life...

So yesterday went pretty well until about 5 o'clock. It was nice and warm, unseasonably warm, ate breakfast, watched a movie with the kids, went to lunch at the in-laws house (and I love my in-laws by the way!), then I took off to the barn to get my chores done while they went to the pool, got done with the barn, then went to the grocery store to get stuff for dinner, chicken alfredo was on the menu. I'm feeling pretty good about things, well I'd been home not but 3 minutes when I get a call from my husband. The first thing he tells me is "Sweetheart, I just got in a wreck."

....... "what"

I felt like I'd been slammed into a brick wall. My heart sank. It was just a minor fender bender, and nobody hurt, but because he was the car at the end that couldn't stop fast enough when the ones in front braked unexpectedly, he is, in the eyes of the law, the one who "caused" the accident... i'm not looking forward to seeing what insurance is going to be :(. And, the cost of repairs for the front bumper on the car will likely be LESS than what our deductible is, so to put it simply, we probably aren't going to get squat from insurance, in fact, they are only going to be getting more $$ from us. Personally, I think insurance is a big fat scam to rid you of all your money, and you still have to pay to fix your car. Ugh.

Well, I had to scramble and find insurance information at the house, because apparently the card he had with him was showing an expired date, when it's really not. Lovely. So I rushed off with that paperwork and sat with him and the kids for almost 2 hours waiting for all the paperwork to get completed by the police. I read books to the kids and did my best to keep their minds off their hungry tummies, they were gettin grumpy. Needless to say, the chicken alfredo got nixed, we ordered pizza instead.

And to top off this wonderful evening, we got home and inspected the work that a handyman had done during the day on the deteriorating floor in the laundry room, the floor was fixed, but the guy forgot to re-install the vent for the dryer. The hose is UNDERNEATH the house in the crawlspace. What an idiot. My husband called and had a not-so-nice chat with the guy, he's coming back today to fix his work and clean up the trash in the backyard. To say he was un-professional would be an understatement.

Today I'm stuck at work all day, I really really really don't want to be here. But oh well, I've gotta, every penny counts now. Probably for the best, hubby and I are both very stressed about this and rather snappy in mood, we do need time to chill about things apart from each, just wish my "chill" time wasn't taking cancel calls at work. Maybe I'll type up a post about Pie inbetween calls, to cheer me up.