Friday, June 21, 2013

Liebster Award! x4!!


Wow! In three days I've been nominated FOUR times for the Liebster Blog Award!! A big thank you to Katherine at Grey Brook Eventing for the first award and to AmberRose at The Way To Heaven Is On Horseback for the second nod, and Dragon at I Trot On for the third, then lastly from Syd at From Racehorse to Princess.  I'm flattered and incredibly honored that not one, but three people felt that my blog was worthy of an award! So, thank you, thank you, thank you!!

So, now this means I get to come up with some fun reading material for y'all. Let's start with what the award is about:

The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued. Here are the rules for accepting the award:
  1. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog. 
  2. List 11 random facts about yourself. 
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you. 
  4. Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate. 
  5. Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs. 
  6. Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them.
 11 Random Facts about Myself:
  1. I'm a closet Sci-Fi fan/geek, especially when it comes to Stargate SG-1 haha.  Lord of the Rings is my other huge fandom, and I can hold my own with the best of them when it comes to LotR and Hobbit trivia (my mom, sister and I used to quiz each other on the books long before the movies were even announced). I will also happily watch any Star Trek or Star Wars movie. I'm not too big on Harry Potter though.
  2. The first horse that ever bucked me off was a 12.3hh pony named Cloud.
  3. I will eat peanut butter on anything... anything! Especially Oreos. Yum!
  4. I love foo-foo coffee (lattes, mochas, lots of creamer, sugar...) but can't stand the stuff straight.
  5. Growing up as a kid my favorite movie was "Gettysburg" and I would re-watch it over and over, my mom finally banned me to watch it only over the 4th of July as she was concerned about her 7 year old girl watching so much violence!
  6. After horses, my next love and passion is sewing.  I love to sew.  Like a lot.
  7. For the first severals years or so of my riding career I kept a written list of all the names of the horses I'd ever ridden.  I think I quit keeping track when the list reached to about 30 horses. It'd be interesting to see how long it would've become if I had kept it up.
  8. I like mowing the yard, I like the grunt work behind it and the satisfaction of having a beautifully even, manicured yard.  However, I hate gardening or anything of the such.  A green thumb, I have not.  But, I can make grass look good. 
  9. From my Great-Grandfather on my Grandma's side of the family, I can trace a family lineage directly back to a Decon John Dunham who sailed over from England on one of the first few ships to follow the Mayflower. Further back in England in the 1400s there are direct blood ties to the Royal Family, I believe it's a relation to King Edward (but don't quote me on it, I haven't gone through it recently).  Oh, and Sir Francis Drake is a cousin in there as well.  Pretty cool, huh?

So, for the 11 questions given me... I contemplated just doing the questions from the first nominator, but then that would leave two people with unsanswered questions, so I thought, what the heck, I'm going for it.  So thus, be forewarned, 44 questions coming right up!

These questions are from Katherine:
  1. If you could travel to any place in world, where would it be and why? Ireland.  Because I love all things Irish.  'Nuff said. 
  2. If you could live in any historical period/location, where would it be and why? Civil War, or to be a little broader, anywhere inbetween 1860 and the end of the 1870s.  This would be why I doing Civil War and Indian War era reenacting ;)
  3. If you had to change to an entirely new equestrian discipline, what would you go to? I'd say Combined Driving because I already love driving, I just haven't ever done a CDE.  But, if we are taking something I've never done, ever... then it would be Reining. 
  4. If you could have a ride on any famous horse in the world competing right now, which would it be? Ah! So many to choose from!! I certainly wouldn't pass up a ride on any of William Fox-Pitt's horses :)  
  5. Describe your dream barn. Somewhere up in the foothills, with lots of shady trees... and a big red barn built around the turn of the century.  I have a fetish with old barns. 
  6. Favorite non-horsey activity? Sewing :)
  7. Which is better: the book or the movie adaptation? Depends, but, for the most part the book because there are more details and you can let your imagination run wild.  
  8. Can you cook? If so, what can you make? Yes, and when I have the time and have the motivation, I can cook up some really yummy things.  Just about anything I can make, I recently came across a casserole recipe that involves biscuit dough, ground beef, onions, bell peppers, sour cream and cheese.  Sounds good!
  9. Favorite color? Blue!
  10. Describe yourself in 10 years. Not working where I'm working now, ha!  Hopefully, maybe, prayerfully remarried (I want my baby to have a daddy...), with a career in the equine industry, and with a home of my own. 
  11. How did you first start riding? When I was 13 on a visit to my aunt's ranch that summer the neighbors happened to be having a horse camp and my siblings and I got invited.  I was elated!  I got to ride a beautiful QH mare named Poco (original name, right?) every day for the entire week.  I came home from that trip beeeegggging my mother for lessons for nearly a month before she gave in and called a local barn. 
And these questions are from AmberRose!
  1. Do you have a camera? Yes, I do
  2. If so what make and model? Well, for the most part it's my phone, which is a Motorola RazrM that has a spiffy 8mpx camera.  My real camera is a Nikon something, it's a point and shoot, but with a big lense on it... it's now a bit obsolete and I don't particularly enjoy using it. 
  3. When did you first start riding? When I was 13, see above question!
  4. Have you always loved horses and had them in your life, or is it something that you started later in life? I have loved horses since I could crawl, I spent most of my childhood running around on hands and knees pretending to be a horse.  I also roped my brother and sister into the fun and made them pretend to be Lipizzaners...
  5. What's your favourite colour for your horse? A bright, blood bay horse with solid black points, a blaze and four socks. 
  6. When you were little what were your equestrian dreams? Ride in the Olympics, duh. 
  7. Other than riding what do you spend your spare time doing? What is this "spare time" you speak of? When I'm not riding I'm either at work, at school, driving to said occupations, running kids around to places, doing homework, cleaning house, doing laundry, doing yardwork... and sleeping. Phew. 
  8. What is your favourite job to do at the stables/yard/barn? Grooming, or tack cleaning
  9. What is your least favourite job to do at the stables/yard/barn? Moving stall mats around and cleaning under them.... disgusting!
  10. Which famous horse and rider team inspire you the most? Right now, probably Tianna Coudray and Ringwood Magistar.  She has produced this horse from the ground up and not but a few short years ago she was making waves in the Young Rider championships, she has since moved up in the world and earned her stripes at the Olympics last summer.  She has a bright future ahead of her and she is just an inspiration to me in that, yes, you can make it to the upper levels, Olympics even, on quite literally only one horse.
  11. If you could meet any famous horse dead or alive, real life or from a story who would it be? Secretariat
And, next up, the questions from Dragon.
  1. Get up early to ride, or stay up late? Stay up late, I love the quietness of the evening and it's a great way for me to de-stress my day.
  2. What do you do for a living? I work customer service in an inbound call center.  I am an assistant supervisor and assist with agent development and assistance, handling of escalated calls, providing authorization for reshipments/corrections/etc.  I also help with training and onboarding of new "Helpdesk" agents (which is what I am)
  3. What do you wish you did for a living? My career goal is to work with upper level performance horses in some form, idealy with orthopedics and soundness.  But, truthfully, if I end up in a customer service/call center like I am in now, I won't complaint.  I love my job I have right now, I trully do.  I just wish it paid 2-3x as much as it does.
  4. If you could try any type of riding what would it be? As above, Reining :)
  5. What is one thing about your horse you wish you could change? Get rid of his silly temper tantrums, good grief I would miss those.
  6. If you could change your horse's name to anything (registered or barn) what would it be? I thought about this when I first got Cash and hemmed and hawwed over giving him a different Barn name, but I couldn't come up with anything.  Truthfully, I love his registered name, some JC names are attrocious (Darren Darren anybody? - that was Pie's name), but his is pretty cool I think.  Reminds me of Johnny Cash.  So, I guess if it would change, I'd call him Johnny, and I considered that, but Johnny is/was a variant on my late husband's name sooo... yeah.  Cash it is :)
  7. Facebook, Tumblr, or Instagram? Instagram!!! Follow me y'all @amilehighonhorseback (cute baby pictures are a frequent occurance, hint hint)
  8. Ebay, Craigslist, or Tack shop? Oh good God, I am such an eBay addict... I have to ban myself from there, I have spent entirely WAY too much money on there over the years, but I DO find some amazing deals... the hunt, it's addictive.
  9. If you could take on the life of any character in any TV show or movie, who would it be? Ohhh... this is a good question.  I guess I can't really say that I would want to take over the life of any character, however, I would gladly plant myself IN a TV show or Movie, in which case, Stargate SG-1 or Stargate Atlantis would probably be the two I've fantasized about that happening the most, to the point of writing fan fiction in the past....... [blushes] ....Yes, I have geeky fangirl aspirations!!
  10. If you had an unlimited budget, what type of car or truck would you buy? Ford F350 Super Duty. Done.
  11. If you could move to any part of the world, where would it be? Here? I love where I live, I love the mountains, the rolling hills, the view east towards the plains.  I love looking towards the mountains and being able to feast my eyes on a magnificent 14,000+ tall peak.  I love being able to drive 15 minutes and be surrounded by cool pine forrests.  I love watching the sun set over the mountains every evening and basking the sky in golds, pinks, reds, and oranges.  I love the crisp cool feeling in the air after a thunderstorm rolls in off the mountains.  I love the beautiful snow in the winter, the crisp golden colors of Aspens in the fall... I love Colorado.  I don't want to move :)
Then, from Syd!!
  1. How long have you been riding for? Oh, about 12 years now, or so.
  2. Favorite Breed? Thoroughbreds, without a doubt.  I love their heart, their athleticism, and their incredible worth ethic.
  3. Ever ridden Western? Informally yes, and here at there I did wanna-be western pleasure classes at the Welsh Pony breed shows haha.
  4. Favorite Book? Probably the Lord of the Rings trillogy, including the Appendixes.
  5. Slow Horse or Fast Horse? Fast, but not hot.  I don't care for a hot horse, but I cannot stand a lazy, slow horse.  I need speed.
  6. Longest Horse You've Ever Own? I had Pie for a total of 9 years, though that was not consecutively.
  7. Favorite Store to Shop in? Does eBay count? Hahaha.  Otherwise, the King Soopers by my house, it's new and besides an awesome open grocery layout, they have furniture and lots of home accessories and an awesome candle selection! Hey, she didn't specify a horsie store, haha, and I love my grocery store, so there :)
  8. Favorite Horsey Memory? Probably the entire trip out to the 2007 National Pony Club Championships at the Kentucky Horse Park.  I competed Beginner Novice and I scored a 30 in dressage and was sitting 1st in my division, we went double clear XC (fun course!!!), but it poured on Stadium day and my poor horse, coming from bone dry Colorado, was totally beside himself with the wet and we pulled two rails and finished 6th. Bummer.  Otherwise, it was a blast! I participated in the clinics held afterwards and just had a great time.  It was a huge learning experience and I tell ya what, nothing like riding your horse next to Rolex jumps (well, I guess jumping them would be ever better, but, close enough!).
  9. If you could buy any other horse what kind would it be? Thoroughbred, or a TB-WB cross.
  10. Show for the rest of your life or trail ride? Show! I am so stupidly competitive it's not even funny
  11. Favorite Quote? "Plans are always made in pencil but writing down your goals makes your dreams achievable." - Sinead Halpin

And, now my 11 questions for you!
  1. What was the last movie you saw in Theaters? Was it in 3D?
  2. If you could pick one saddle to buy, and had no budget, what would you get?
  3. Oakbark, Havannah, or Black tack?
  4. Have you ever galloped a horse full out? Was it intentional?
  5. Favorite Sci-Fi character?
  6. What is your favorite Pony breed and why?
  7. Haven you ever driven a horse in a cart?
  8. What would be your dream horsie vacation?
  9. Do you own a pair of cowboy boots?
  10. What is your favorite Equestrian discipline to watch? (not nessecarially ride)
  11. And, lastly, what are your plans for the weekend, are you doing anything fun?

As for the 11 Blogs to nominate.....
I thought about this for a bit, sorted through the blogs I follow (which is, not that many, surprisingly), looked at blogs that have already been nominated by other folks, and decided that I won't nominate any specific blog.

So, I nominate anybody who HASN'T yet been nominated for the Liebster Award.  You who might be feeling a tad bit left out, or who maybe is new to the world of blogdom... this for YOU!!

Or, if you just want to answer even more questions, well, go for it!

Open Mic everybody :)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A note about lunging


A commenter on my previous entry "Bucked Off" made a very valid point cautioning against using lunging as a crutch.  I absolutely 100% agree with her.  I have since been thinking about the merits of lunging and thought I'd jot some of them down.

Often times, yes, people lean on it as a crutch, not willing to take a little step of faith and trust their horse to behave.  Especially if it's a solid, quiet horse who has been there done that... Granted, there are people who do have confidence struggles, and I'm not trying to downplay that, but... sometimes, to get to that next level of competitence and confidence, sometimes you have to step blindly.

That said (and yes, that was a bit of a soapbox rant), there are many reasons to lunge a horse, of which my top three reasons are:
  1. Before riding to settle them and get them focused about work, giving them a permissable time to be stupid and buck and enjoy their energy.  For young horses especially I feel that this is very important, otherwise they feel trapped by their energy and act out under saddle.
  2. As exercise in place of riding.  Sometimes you just don't have the time to put in a full ride, or the horse is coming back from a break and needs a re-fresher day before getting in the saddle.  When used properly and with proper use of equipment and aids, lunging can be very beneficial to developing a horse's sense of balance, rhythm, and strength.
  3. To asses soundness.  This is my first test to see if a horse is sound visually, I make sure to lunge the horse both ways to see if it a bi-lateral lameness or not (this can also be useful to pinpoint where the lameness is, going one way you might think you see something but can't decide which leg it's in, but going the other way, with the change in weight carrying the lameness will show itself more prominently).
The reason I lunge Cash before a ride is because mentally, physically, and for his safety and mine, he needs it at this point in his training.  He needs that time to get the kinks out, to buck, squeal, whatever!  As he works he relaxes in his body and thus, his mind, giving me a much more rideable horse.  A more rideable horse means a more productive ride, and thus his training will advance further.  I don't like lunging before a ride at all, it takes up time and can be a pain in the butt, but, it's what he needs right now so I will do it without complaint.

I think back to when I first got Pie, it was probably a good year at least before I even dreamed about riding him without lunging.  But, time and persistence paid off, because fast forward 6 years from then and I could pluck him out of the pasture after a month off and go for a ride down the road bareback in a halter.  Man, I miss that horse.

Oh, and by the way, I have a hell of a bruise on my knee this morning.  Hello my friend Mr. Ice Pack.

Bucked Off


Yep, it was bound to happen.  Sooner or later, Cash would get me off with one of his temper tantrums.

It's probably partly my fault.  I didn't get to the barn until nearly 8pm, and with only an hour at most of ride-able daylight left I thought "I'll just hop on him for a short little walk-only ride, no need to lunge...." Famous last words.

Well, I got on, thinking I'd work on some going right stuff, just keep it nice and easy and relaxing and be done in a jiffy.... except the problem was that he was being a bit of a pill and not wanting to go near the gate for some reason.  Turd.  He would balk, so I'd put leg on, he'd balk more, I'd put more leg on, he'd step backwards, I'd give him a little smack, he'd hop, then begrudgingly go forward.... When we got to our destination I'd stop him, pet and praise him, then walk forward on our circle.  This was great except that when we would go forward he'd try and spin and rush away from the gate... Umm, no.

Then, the ponies out in the dry lot started running around for some reason, just feeling their oats... that was the last straw, and it happened right as we were turning away from the gate.  Cash scooted, bucked, and bolted towards the fence, I had a pretty good grip until he slammed on the brakes as he got to the fence (in other words he ran into the fence...), this launched me onto his neck, I quickly scrambled to get back into the tack but as soon as my butt hit the saddle he turned and leapt away again full tilt, I had no hope of staying off so I bailed while I still had open dirt to land on instead of a fence!  I landed on my feet, for the most part, the forward momentum then landed me ultimately on all fours.  I got a good face-full of dust and a scraped knee, but otherwise I'm none the worse for wear.  Thank God for all those emergency dismount drills in Pony Club.

He ran around at the end of the arena a bit while I went and grabbed my lunge line.  My barn owner, Rosemary, saw the whole thing, and after making sure I was ok, she went to bring the other horses in to give us some peace and quiet.

After lunging a bit I got back on and he was very very very good.  Only went against my right leg once, did a lovely shoulder-fore along the side of the arena leading to the gate, didn't look at the gate once, didn't rush away... was soft and on the bit.  Go figure.

Well, I must say I learned my lesson, I shall always lunge this horse before riding!

Either that or he just didn't like the saddle pad of the day....
Real men wear pink... and rubber duckies.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Fire Season


Once again, Colorado marches into summertime parched from lack of rain.  Once again, Colorado burns.

It is no fun.

Since Tuesday, when temps skyrocketed to record highs and a hot and gusty wind picked up, the sky has been a murky brown color and the air smells of smoke. There are three major fires burning, with several more smaller ones burning around the state.  The biggest and most devastating is the Black Forest Wildfire burning north of Colorado Springs.  As of this morning, 360+ homes have burned to the ground, this makes it the most destructive in Colorado history.  And here we thought last year, with the Waldo Canyon fire that burned about 340 homes, was bad enough.  It just makes me feel sick to my stomach thinking about it--yes, a lot of these homes were owned by millionaires, who have the money and the insurance to replace everything--but still, these were these people's homes, with sentimental and emotional value. 

A lot of livestock has been displaced.  The area burning is a heavily forested, more rural community where backyard farms are common.  My friend, J, has an evacuated horse staying at her farm.  Fair grounds are quickly filling up and there is a lot of footage on the news of horses, donkeys, ponies, and mules wandering the roads.  Many of them are loose because firefighters had to cut their fences to let them go least they be killed by the swiftly advancing flames.  I pray they are reunited with their owners. 

Further south a fire has torn through the iconic Royal Gorge National Park.  A lot of the park buildings have burned, and the vertical railway has been heavily damanged... though it appears the bridge is still OK with only minimal damage. 

I am getting smoke and haze as a result of a fire burning in Rocky Mountain National park.  It's a rural fire way back in the park and far, far away from any structures.  But, because of the amount of beetle kill pine in the area and no foreseeable moisture in the forecast they are putting forth an effort to subdue the fire least it explode to unmanageable porportions.  Normally, they would let the fire run it's course as nature would intend... but with the extreme drought conditions, this is not a safe option.

The sunset last night was beautiful, the sky was an amazing, vibrant color of mingled reds, pinks, and oranges.  And while I enjoyed admiring it, I knew in the pit of my stomach a lot of that color was because of the smoke in the air. 

So, here we go again.  Last year we spent several months breathing smoke from the High Park fire, a fire which surged to over 87,000 acres (the second largest fire in colorado history) and one where I could watch the red fire lines march across the foothills at night from my backdoor.  It was errie.

I was hearing about flooding and leeve breaches in other parts of the county a few days ago... man, what I wouldn't give to have a good dousing of that kind of rain here right now.  We had a good bit of rain going on a month ago, and everything got so green, but now we haven't seen rain in a few weeks and I pray this doesn't continue.  We don't need another drought year, hay is already expensive enough!!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Product Review: Effax Leather-Cream-Soap


When I was in the local tack store (Happy Horse) recently to exchange a halter I had ordered that was too big, I was browsing around the front room and while overlooking the tack cleaning section (and they have a good selection!) I noticed the Effax Leather-Cream-Soap in it's nifty bottle with hook lid.

"Hey, that looks cool." I thought.

I've always been wary of two-in-one type products, probably because I've had bad experiences with other products, but I already have the Effax LeatherCombi and looooove it, so I figured I'd give it a try.

So I got home and set to disassembling, oiling, and cleaning my new tack items. I opened it up and
1) I love the smell, it's very clean smelling and not overpowering
2) The consistency is like a lightweight conditioner, really silkly

I used it to do the break-in cleaning for a new bridle and, I loved what it did! It left the new leather feeling soft, clean, and supple.  Granted there was no dirt to clean off but still, I was impressed with the ease and effectiveness of the cleaner.  It did not leave a gunky feeling, nor did I feel the need to wash it off afterwards as it rubbing in so well.

More recently I attempted to use it to clean my very dirty and dingy leather halter, and unfortunately it did not do much to cut through the built up gunk.  For that I had to resort back to my Effax LeaderCombi to suds it up and scrub it off with a toothbrush.  Once I got the major crusties off I then went back to using the Cream-Soap and again, I was very happy with the end result.  It cleaned off the dust from the leather and left it very soft feeling.  The dirt remining was picked up by my sponge, and again, I did not feel a need to wash it off (unlike the LeaderCombi which I prefer to wipe off using a damp rag after scrubbing away).

Overall, I give it four stars for being your go-to everyday, after ride, wipe down cleaner.  It leaves the leather soft, but it's not overkill and I don't see it being too much at all if used every day.  However, I only give it two stars for cleaning tack that has not been touched in awhile, it just doesn't have the power to cut through built up gunk.  Once you get the gunk off though, it does its job very well.

And, to top it off, it makes your hands so soft! My fingers feel great!

Lengthy catchup post!


Wow has it been a busy week!  My professor in my Farm Animal Anatomy and Physiology class just flew through the information this week, I have the whole of the cardiovasular system, respiratory system, and digestive system to review for an exam tomorrow morning, and then the final will be Friday. Oy. I'll be glad to be done with it!  Though, as intensive and demanding this 4 week summer class is, I love the fact that I am knocking out a solid 3 credit class in one month's time.  This is really going to help my class planning for the next several semesters.

So, that said, trying to find time to work Cash is precious, when I do get out there it's often not until 7 in the evening, or later.  I have a love-hate relationship with riding at that time of day, while it's beautiful and cool and the sun is behind the shade trees so I don't get burnt.... the mosquitoes are out in force, and I hate mosquitoes.  Yuck.

Last Sunday the farm hosted a potluck and music night, a lot of the farm school families showed up so there were a bunch of kids running around, and we went and just hung out for a bit, naturally I didn't get to hold my baby much so I made good use of my free hands and went and got Cash out.... and my oh my, poor guy was beside himself.  All those people, the music, the steel guitar, the kids, the blowing sheet that had been errected as a backdrop for the band.... So we went and hung out in the far end of the arena, all he wanted was to try and hide all of 1300lbs behind all of 130lbs of me.  Ha!  I finally went and sat on the fence and held him, he would dance and jump around a bit, then settle and watch, then jump around, and then watch.  Eventually he just would stand and watch and so I'd get down and move about 10 feet closer to the commotion.  We ended on a really good note and he was listening to me well, we did a little ground work and I put him away. 

However, this memory of music and people did not translate well to our next few rides later on in the week.  He was just being a dip-wad!! On thursday he was especially bad, I lunged him in that end, then got on, he was ok to start with while walking, but it came apart when I asked for the trot.  He balked big-time when we came around to that side of the circle, so I put my leg on, when that didn't work I gave him a small pop with the crop, and he threw a full out temper tantrum!! Spinning, flying sideways, hopping, head tossing... the works. So I made him go to work, he was ok for a little bit, but then was rushing through me and not slowing, so I asked him to halt from the trot, that got his attention but the next circuit around, at the exact same spot, he slammed on the brakes again "you want me to halt again here, right??" he then objected again when I asked him to go forward.  I decided to try taking him through a set of three trot poles as ground poles often really help him focus, but that was a no-go as he decided he wanted to canter them... after sending one of the poles flying (or so it seemed) that rendered the trot poles un-usable least I get off and re-set I decided to just get him moving off my leg and some-what listening to me.... at that point he decided he had had enough of my leg and kicked out when I give him a little push.... SERIOUSLY?  At which point he then flew sideways knowing that he was being naughty and I was sure he was going to slam my leg against the fence.  I was finally like "Ok, horse, lets just WALK a nice quiet circle and we can be done." we managed to accomplish that and I called it quits. 

Thinking back on the ride, I was surprised at how calm I stayed throughout the entire thing, I didn't loose my temper with him once... something that six months ago I can honestly say I would not have been able to do. I had a lot of anger and unhappiness in my life before that I've been able to let go of since my husband passed away... I am honestly a happier person now.  Which is an unfortunate testament to where our relationship had gone.

Anyway, following his dip-wadded nonesense I called up the barn owner and asked her if I could let him spend the night in the arena.  She agreed so I set out a nice big pile of hay for him right smack dab next to the scarriest part of the arena and let him loose.  He walked over and warrily started eating.  I watched him for a bit and he would eat, then nervously trot away to the gate, which upon finding closed he would wander back over to his food, eat some more and then trot back to the gate.  It's such a rough life, haha.

I didn't do anything with him on Friday, but yesterday when I worked him he was SUPER.  The night spent in the arena must have really helped!  He didn't spook hardly once! He had a few looks going right on the lunge line, and going left he didn't blink at all.  Good boy!!  He was also great to ride, quite heavy on his inside shoulders, but he was focused and listening to me otherwise.  I kept the ride short and sweet and was very pleased with him otherwise.  So, he will be spending at least 1 night a week in the arena, it will be good for him.
Such a handsome boy!
He going to be getting a 1 week purge of Psyillium, a couple weeks ago he had a mild colic... well, I wouldn't even call it colic, he never was acting collicy in that he was showing signs of discomfort, he was just being super lethargic and not eating or drinking, and the poops coming out where pretty hard.  So we tubed him with water and mineral oil as a precautionary measure and that perked him back up.  But just because of how sandy it is around here, and the fact that another horse on the property had a major sand colic episode not too long ago I'm going to start doing this with him about every other month or so.  Better safe than sorry. 

Whew, well that's all for now! This next week is going to be nuts, an exam on monday, the final on friday, then FREEDOM!!! Until August anyway when fall classes start back up.  It'll be weird to only have a 6-7 hour day, instead of an 11 hour day.  So much free time!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekend update


First on the docket...

I jumped Cash!!!

Granted it was only a 12" cavaletti, but he jumped it so therefore it counts.  Turning is still a bit iffy, especially when asking him to do an inside turn at the canter on the quarter line, haha yeah that reeaaaally felt like trying to turn a boat!
Our jump!
He's such a natural jumper, he felt awesome, just smooth and fluid with his body in the air.  I can't wait to feel what he's like over a solid 3' oxer.  He's going to be a beast. 

Though, it was so funny, on the other side of the arena I had three trot poles out, which I then moved all together to make one big trot/canter pole.  The first time around Cash took a big look at it, sat back on his haunches and leaped over it like it was an advanced sized ditch... Oh horse!!
the "ditch"
As we were cooling out I was walking him over the cavaletti for more practice picking up his feet, well he wasn't paying attention (hence the practice) and caught his back feet on it and stumbled over it, in the process knicking himself pretty good on one fetlock, it was a teeny cut but he then stood there like a big baby holding his back leg way up in the air.  He eventually walked out of it ok, after I convinced him that his leg was really still functional.
You would've thought he cut his leg off the way he
reacted to this!
I tell you what, I really can't wait till he advances further his training! He's going to be so much fun.

Anyway, well then yesterday my roommate, the baby and I (the older kids were off with family for the day) headed down to Parker, CO to the Colorado Horse Park to hang out and check out the horse shows.  There were three shows going: a dressage show, a hunter/jumper show, and the CHP CCI*/T3DE/Horse trials.  J, my friend was riding her horse in the dressage show, it was her first time riding Intermediare-1. But we got out of the house a tad late and literally got there as she was walking out of the arena, bummer!  It was still fun to hang out with her a bit, I even braided her other horse for her. 

Mid-morning we then headed out to the Cross Country course so that I could jump judge for the Intermediate, CCI* and Preliminary divisions. 
It was a beautiful day! A bit cool and breezy,
but beautiful none-the-less
The dogs thought so too!
I didn't get to watch any of the T3DE just because of the timing and overlap with my friend's dressage ride time, but I'm so excited that it is being offered out here now!! It is definitely on my goals list for the shows around here.  Until last fall the closest T3DE was Rebecca Farms up in Montana (aka a ridiculously long drive away).  So I'm pretty stoked about this addition.

Overall, my weekend was just fantastic! Now I get to sit and study today for an exam tomorrow in my Animal Anatomy and Physiology class, fun stuff y'all.