2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Making a schedule

 I really need to sit down and set a schedule on what days to haul Sky across the road to the arena, I really need to start bringing her back! Im kind of iffy about the whole thing because do like her and am afraid that if I get her going I wont want to sell her... I guess I need to work on the whole self control thing, one thing that doesnt run in my family!
Anways I hauled her over this morning and just let her loose to do some "free lunging". She is SO out of shape and SO under muscled from being locked up for the better part of 4 months or more now because of her hip. Its so sad. I went back and watched some of her races online to see how her hind end looked before just to make sure there was hope, luckily there is. Im sure it will just be a long process to get her all filled out again. On a good note she is loading a hauling super good. She always has loaded decently (as in maybe not going in right away but very easily gotten in after a first look) but never have I been able to just send her in from outside the trailer like I did today. She also gets super impatient in the trailer, mostly when she has her head out and she is waiting. She has gotten much better about that too and isnt such a tweaker while in there! After our 20 minutes of 'working' she was already breathing hard. This is with tons of walk breaks, sniffing other horses poop, smelling the mounting block, looking at the scenery outside, etc. Poor thing is just so out of shape. When we were all done I just decided to hop on her bareback and walk her out. Only thing was I dont have reins on her bridle because I lunge her with it on and reins just get in the way. Being me I said "oh well worst she will do is take off" so I climbed on up and walked her around bareback and reinless! She was great, even started understanding steering off my legs. Obviously we didnt always go where I hoped we were going to go but over all she did good! And I survived! A good day all around!
Is anyone home??

Nice big trot!

One of her "im tired" moments!

Stupid or brave? Not really sure but she was great!

givin some loves

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Didnt realize how fancy we are!

Its always fun watching someone that knows how to ride, ride your horse! Today I finally got another lesson, long over due but because of my school schedule had to wait until both of us were free on a weekend. Mary hoped on him for the first 20 minutes or so, it was so much fun to watch! I knew I had a fancy horse just because of his breed but he is even fancier then most vanners! He is a good mover and actually has gotten mcuh more uphill moving in the last few months. He really is quite the looker and will do super good this year. I was telling Alanna, who was there to tape my lesson, while Mary was riding that I am going to make her show him. She makes it look so easy and they looked SO good. One thing that really excited me was a super nice leg yield that he did for Mary!
We made good progress and are getting down to the root on some of our problems that mostly come from him being young and not knowing but also conformationally/breed based (then of course some of my bad habits didnt help!). He really likes to pop his right shoulder while tracking left which is contributing to our leg yielding, or lack there of. So I really need to work on lengthening the left side of his neck and contracting the right side so he isnt just popping his shoulder and running around on his forehand with his neck bent inside. Overall it was a great lesson and im so looking forward to showing him!

On another note he also go re body clipped today! He grew his winter coat back almost and was just a sweaty mess after our rides. I was having to walk him for over 20 minutes and still put his cooler on. So off his hair came today and he looks so much more handsome clean shaven :) Not to mention he is so soft!
here is a link to our lesson. My stupid computer wont let me edit my videos so here are two different parts, its most of my lesson but I just could edit it  :/ oh well, better than nothing!
Part 1- Lesson
Part 2- Lesson

Clean shaven! Excuse the mane, it had just endured a 45 minute lesson!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pictures from Sunday

I havent had to much to write about in the last week but I did forget to put up some pictures we got on Sunday!


im not looking, you cant make me!
fine.. ill look but no cute pony ears

Mystic LOOK AT THE CAMERA!!


I told him if he couldnt do it himself I would help him :)

No going to lie, I slacked a lot this week. Saturday I went up to Porland (after a less then steller ride on Friday which is very abnormal) to celebrate my birthday with my dad so he had that day off as I left at 6am and got back at almost midnight. Sunday he was GREAT! I think that he was really tired, maybe a little sore too, from Thursday when Teacher Mary rode him. So we talked about maybe giving him Fridays off on the weeks that she rides him. I was super happy with how he was on Sunday! On Monday I didnt ride I just went out and played with him and turned him out for the first time since the beginning of February! He was so happy even though another gelding in his field picks on him :( Im not sure why he just doesnt give him a good ole kick but he wont. So the horse pulls his blanket, chases him around, grabs his tail and pulls on it, etc while Mystic is just trying to graze! Tuesday I do barn chores at a barn I work at, ride a horses there and ride Rheiny (Teacher Marys horse!). I know, not an excuse since I dont have school, just work, that day but after playing with Sky also I just didnt want to stay at the barn till 9 at night. Yesterday I had to bring horses in at NDF so I went early and just lunged Mystic in side reins for about 35 minutes and then walked him down the road. He is so gross now that he gets turnout because the pastures are just muddy messes with all the rain but he sure doesnt care!
Today Teacher Mary was going to ride him again but got caught up in work so instead were going to have a lesson on Saturday! Im glad, I think I really need it. It will be nice now that she has ridden him more so she can help tell me what Im doing wrong. She is also going to hop on him for the first part of our lesson too :) It will be nice, after all we are down to like 5 weeks until our first dressage show! And we found out that the qualifying season is a whole month shorter than we thought which takes out a show. I think we will be fine but the pressure is really on now!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Just keeps getting better!

Mystic got his first personal lesson with our trainer last night! I think I said before that due to scheduling conflicts with this term I cant do my Wednesday lessons (super sad about this..) but our trainer agreed to ride him on my lesson weeks instead! I so wish I could watch as I fee like I could learn a lot, not to mention watching someone ride your horse that knows what they are doing is fun too!
Anyways I got the text last night that he was good... but very tired by the end :) Oh poor pony, he cant get away with things with teacher Mary! I cant wait to hop on his today and see how he feels. I am super over due on pictures of him under saddle but I usually ride alone and we normally dont take pictures on just rides at home. Hopefully I will get some within the next week though. I would love to see how he looks!
On another note.... I guess he bit someone yesterday while she was feeding him lunch! Uh oh! I wasnt there and didnt talk to the boarder but Alanna texted me last night and said she left a note on the board about it. He has been getting more mouthy then he was but I think it is due to him being stuck inside because of his mouth (he was supposed to start going outside again this week but all horses have been in because of the flooding). I dont let him get away with it but he has never done it in a mean way, just trying to be playful. He hasnt ever done it when I feed him or anything so im not really sure what happened. I cant wait till he goes outside again. He will be much happier all the way around!

Ok so I had to post this too because this is complete boloney! I found it on some forum...
" If you are looking for a dressage baby, stay away from the Gypsy Vanners. Yes, they have the size and color you are looking for, and a great personality, but they are bred to pull, generations of pulling does not make a great dressage horse. I know because I have a half Percheron who is a lovely mare but I spent her life squeezing every possible dressage possibility out of her. I learned a ton but there were so many times I wished I had a TB or something more suited to being a riding horse and less of a working horse. We were able to do some fun stuff but she never had a lengthening or a stretchy circle to speak of, just not her forte"

I mean obviously if your looking for an upper level prospect no I wouldnt choose a vanner but there is no saying that if you get a warmblood you will for sure reach those levels either. Clearly this person didnt have the right horse personality/temperament wise to do dressage because drafts CAN do it! Especially a half draft, I mean come on people..

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

They just keep taking...

my money that is! Horses are always taking it away from me! Whether it is my horse or the race horses I just cant seem to figure out how to hold on to any of it. My mom, brother, Alanna and I all went to Portland Meadows race track on Monday for my birthday (which is actually today but we had Monday off because of a holiday and the track only runs on Mondays and Wednesdays.. I know weird). Alanna had never been to any track and I had only been once several years back with my Pony Club. I mean for two girls who love OTTB and rescue them you would think that we would have gone a little more! Anyways, it was a ton of fun, even if I lost all the money I bet! Clearly the pretty ones who I would buy as re sell projects are not always the fastest. I mean really... So I went in with $20 and left with nothing :( I did get some back throughout the races but by the 10th I was drained. AND I actually picked the winner for that race too! My mom on the other hand put in $4 and come out with almost $17! My brother (who is totally not a horse dude but was more sick of them from being drug to the barn everyday while we were little) went in with $20 and came out with $4 or something, still better than me, and surprised us all by saying he definitely plans on going back!

Although Alanna and I were not the best at picking horses to win, show, or even place for that matter we were good at picking which horses we would take home! That game is always easy. One of the horse that I liked seemed to come up lame after the race and I so wanted to run down there and say I would take him dont send him away but I didnt... I figure I need to get an "in" at the track before I can do that. One this that surprised me was how many of the horses looked lame, especially in the hind end. Not only were they lame but they were also all on bute and lasix (spelling?), for the most part. I also figured out why most OTTB have such bad manners. They just drag their handlers around everywhere, even with a chain AND a bit! Obviously some were much calmer and easier to handle then others but still I was amazed on what they put up with.

As I was standing in the paddock area taking pictures and taking a look at the horses we had scoped out before (as to which we should bet on) one of the security guards came up to me and said "you have been here with a friend right?" I responded yes of course! He told me to follow him and Alanna and I got to stand RIGHT by the rail to watch one of the races with him! He explained a bunch of stuff to us on how things worked there and who all was involved. It was super cool! One sad thing he told was us that he was watching a horse being put down after an injury (a security guard has to be present for all euth.) and he told the owner "hey im really sorry to hear about your horse" and the owner just said " its ok he is just property not a pet" and walked away. That is SO sad to me. That would be the sad part about working there. I would get attached to the horses

I have almost always wanted to work on a race track. Before I grew super tall I wanted to be a jockey SO bad even though I knew I would be to tall. Now I just want to work there. I would love to just be a groom, getting the horses ready, wrapping their legs, hand walking them, etc. I think it would be an amazing experience. Alanna and I already have our plan set in place too: I get the "in" at the track and before you know it I got my own 'rescue' started from all the trainers that I talk to. Then Alanna, obviously, gets first rights to any of them (especially a bay gelding with lots and lots of chrome!) as her next horse. Or when we find a nicely put together mare she could breed the mare to Cardi (a Welsh Cob dressage stallion) and get a gorgeous baby! Someday... hopefully!
One of my favorites, was drop dead gorgeous!




Winner!

A personal favorite, we didnt get to see him race though :(

One of my picks in that race... it finished last!

Alanna dna I in our seats
Our view when we went inside


Gorgeous! Our favorite, she got 2nd

Our favorite horse, a gorgeous grey!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

It must run in the family

I thought it was just my human family that was a little off the rocker but seems like it is everywhere! He was having quite the time either making faces for the camera or trying to eat it! Hes got personality thats for sure!

He sure knows how to make you laugh!!
I think Tuesday im going to start putting him back outside on pasture. He will be SO happy. It has been 2 months since he did it and his mouth has been healing super well. It looks almost completely normal now! I let him graze for a little bit on Friday after I washed his tail and his legs, since it was a decent sunny day and he is super duper gross. He has been doing really good for being on stall rest though. Im thinking he might have a little less energy for our rides once he gets to go outside again but maybe he will have a little better half halt :)

On another note... my birthday is on Wednesday and since we have tomorrow off from work my mom, best friend Alanna, and I are headed up to Portland Meadows to watch some TB racing (as long as the roads are not to bad from the snow)! I am SO excited! I have been before but it was a long time ago with my Pony Club. Recently I have really decided that a goal I have is to eventually start a OTTB rescue so I can give horses who owners dont want them anymore a safe place until new homes can be found. That way they dont "have" (not that I believe they ever really have to) to resort to sending them to auction/slaughter. Im super excited to make it out there again!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mystic gets some quality time...

with Teacher Mary that is! Due to extremely poor scheduling on my part I wont be able to keep my Wednesday lessons this term :( When I put my schedule together I knew I didnt want mornings. Mornings and I? Yeah were not the best of friends! So I decided that I actually wouldnt mind taking more night classes after work as class is like 5 block away from my work anyways. Fast forward a month and a half almost when im looking at my schedule the night before class starts again and the first thing I see? WEDNESDAY NIGHT CLASS? No... I have lessons on Wednesday, this cant be! Sadly it is. And due to both of our schedules I wont get a lesson until February when I can get a weekend lesson. The good news is that Mary is going to ride him on my lesson days instead, and possibly once a week. It will be so nice having her get on him. Even though I would love my lessons with show season coming up I think he will make lots of progress with her also, hopefully on his leg yields!

He was super good today. I walked him around outside to start our ride because it was sunny, cold but sunny! There was a pretty large/semi deep puddle that was about 5 feet wide and 6 inches deep that I decided to test him with (me flashbacking to 2010 when Tolo wouldnt go in the water at Inavale after jumping every single fence... I really dont want a repeat of that) and guess what? Being the super drafty pony he is he just walked right in no questions, no hesitations, no nothing. I just love this horse. We are a month out from our first show. Alanna and I are thinking of heading up to Lake Oswego for a hunter/jumper schooling show and just doing some X rail classes with him for fun. As for our 1st level debut? Yeah I am like WAY excited for it. 2 months to perfect our tests and shock the judges with my super draft pony that can strut with the best of them (I did already look up our judge and we did show under her and got blues both times!)! I seriously cannot wait for summer. Summer = show season which = being able to jump = XC schooling/beach = seriously fun horse adventures with my friends and hopefully = a successful
Him last January, oh how much progress has been made!
show season :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Who Mystic will strive to be like...

Whenever people see Mystic or hear about him (which everyone who knows me gets to hear about him!) they all ask me "well what are you going to do with him" as in like wow I thought you jumped and did dressage or something, what in the world would you do with a short draft pony? Whenever I tell them that we compete in dressage (quite well actually!) and are just beginning to do some eventing people dont believe that he will be able to do it. So our proof is here: Klein mare- the jumping Perch!
Even though Klein is a lot taller than Mystic in general they have the same draft body style and guess what? She is going to compete at TRAINING LEVEL eventing this year! How cool is that?! You never see drafts out eventing around here so it will be tons of fun taking Mystic. We have the dressage part down for BN at least now its just the jumping part we need to refine this summer. Through XC schooling last summer we did find out that he has some pretty good hops when he wants to!
Example:
how cute he is? Tucking his little knees up to his chin!
He already does ditches, up banks, down banks, and the water complex! He never even looked at the ditches or the banks (and only took a little bit to get in the water his first time going and went in right away second time!). We kept the jumps little (the height of the log in picture) because of his age but over this coming summer hope to have him jumping all the BN fences! I also plan to take him to some derbys/one days in the beginning of the summer starting at intro level and hopefully doing a BN one! I cant wait for the summer!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Progress all the way around

It is always nice to see progress in your horse let alone both of them! Yesterday I took Sky over to the arena across the road from us to see how she looked. I even drug my mom out with me to get some pictures of video, what a good mother she can be! Besides having a minor (well kind of major) melt down while tied to the trailer she got over it as I sat and stared at her as he proceeded to rear up and pull back. She hasnt done it before which is odd but I yelled at her to knock it off and she did. Must has been a wild hair up her butt, silly mare. Other than that she came off cool and collected which is nice. I dont like horses that dont travel well, its irritating. I have gotten so lucky with all of mine! I tacked her up and took to out for a nice long 15 minute walk before we started doing anything more. Even though she still isnt 'perfect' at the trot I really think that it has to do with both stiffness and weakness in her hind end. She lacks a lot of muscle back there in general because she isnt allowed to run around or even move to much. Then add that to it hurting and her over compensating on it I am sure she just needs a rehab program to bring her back (in the works). She looked pretty good but I noticed before that it was much easier to tell how sound she is if I get on her. So I hoped on her real quick and she feels SO much better than before. Like completely different, in a good way! I was so happy to feel that. We still have a long road ahead of us to get her going again but we have a plan in the works that I will tell you about if it all works out :)
She is so pretty! Cant wait to see her all muscled up!
Mystic has also been doing super good! Our last lesson we worked a lot on half halting in our leg yields to get him to sit on his hind end and get a nice straight cross over and not just a diagonal trot. So I have been working and it and got a couple good steps today! He is really hard to half halt because he just doesnt care about it and ignores you (along with the whip!). Occasionally you can feel him just completely tune out everything. Your half halts, you legs, the whip, etc all means nothing. After you get onto him good then for the most part he will come back and give you nice work but sometimes it can be a fight getting there. Over all he is progressing nicely and is getting all the concepts we are introducing to him. I worked a little bit on our lengthenings yesterday (Mary told us only to work on them about every 3 days or so because of his age) and he was so good! In our lesson he cantered almost every time I asked until the last one. Yesterday he only cantered less than half of the times and is really starting to understand it. Our transitions are also improving, our canter to trot are much less rushy even though he still is a little fast he is nothing like before.

Overall I am feeling good with where I am with both of them. Obviously it would be so much easier if magically one day Sky was perfectly fine and Mystic was 100 % ready for 1st level tomorrow but we all know that doesnt happen! I cant wait to see what the 2012 show season brings us!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Destine for blues

That basically describes my pony in 3 words! We had a fantastic lesson last night. Its nice that right when I start feeling discouraged about our progress (or lack there of in my opinion) we have a lesson and get great feedback on how she can see big improvements from the previous lesson. I had talked to her a little about our show plans for this year and she agreed that we should just jump in and start out showing 1st level. Knowing that, we worked on some elements from the first level tests that we havent done much of such as lengthenings (both trot and canter). We really havent done any of them at all so it was super encouraging to find out that he has rather nice canter lengthenings and she believes that we will get good scores for them. His trot lenthenings were much harder for him and we never got a really nice one but it was our first time really working on them. He really kept wanting to canter. These were actually really hard for me because I kept wanting to hold him, back because I could feel him wanting to canter, when I really just needed to let him go and correct him if he cantered and try again.
One thing that we are going to work on is half halting him. Not my whimpy half halts either! Overall I just need to become more of a rider and not as much as a passenger. Even though I dont just sit up there I am more passive in how I ask him for things. A lot of our "problems" in other areas all go back to getting him to really sit and push from his hind end. We had some really good moments especially in our transitions, which have been hard for him, throughout the lesson when I really prepared him well and gave him a strong half halt to rock him back onto his bottom so he could, in Marys words, wind up the spring so that he was able to do that work being asked of him. Once we can establish this then our leg yields should improve also, which is one thing I have been worried about!
A couple things I need to work on are keeping my toes forward (must be a jumper thing!!) and keeping my knees closed. Also, while tracking left I rely on my left hand WAY to much. Although he looks round and nice it is purely because I am using my inside hand instead of connecting him from my inside leg to my outside aids. I can tell a huge difference when I getting him connected using basically just my left hand or if he is truly connected from my outside aids. It is so hard to break old habits but I really try to take the advise and work on it between each lesson in hopes of improvements by the following lessons and not just working on them in my lessons. I am definitely going to be more demanding on both him and myself in our rides now that I know some weak points and some ways he has "talked" me out of harder work. After all.... we only have 2 months until the unveiling at our first show at first level!

Looking pretty while she was drying

Her face says it all!

Finally CLEAN!
 Sky got a bath today. It was actually sunny and decently warm for January and she has gotten herself caked in mud the other day when she had her blanket off. She had been needing a bath for a long time but I felt too bad. Now that I have my bucket heater I heated up some water and went to work! She was still cold by the end because I did have to use some cold water, but I just put her cooler on with another blanket on top and walked her around in the sun to dry her off. She was so soft and pretty when I finished!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Horse jokes: story of my life

Long story short...
When I was younger (kindergarten to 8th grade) I was a complete sports freak. I played soccer, softball, basketball and rode horses. I was a natural when it came to them and often times was pulled out of my soccer games for scoring to much and averaged like 25 points in my basketball games. In 8th grade I had to make some hard choices as to what I was going to stick with and decided that horses is really where my heart was. Then between 8th grade and 9th grade I grew about 5 inches! Going into high school I was almost 6 foot. So the harassing of the basketball coaches (who I had played for before) began. Every year I would have to say "sorry I just dont have the time or way (I had no car, single mom who worked, etc) to be able to make it work". So not only was I getting heat from them but on top of that everywhere I go the standard question is "your tall (thanks captain obvious I didnt noticed my giraffe legs coming off my body...) where do you play basketball?" then I would have to say "I dont play really, I ride horses" and it all goes down hill from there!
Fast forward to senior year. I had contemplated playing for my school several times, I even tried out my sophomore year and made the team but didnt play. After the coach approached me before try outs I decided that I was going to go for it. So I did, and made the varsity team! Throughout the season I was always thrown horse jokes by both my coach and teammates, all fun and games of course! Most of them had never even ridden a horse in their lives!
Well today I changed that for one of my previous girls! She came out and rode Mystic pony. She had never ridden a horse before (she is 17 and has NEVER ridden a horse?) and although Mystic was with putting up with someone who didnt know what they were doing and me falling on the arena floor cracking up (even a fellow barn mate came into the arena and asked what was going on because she could hear us laughing in the barn!) he wasnt exactly the best teacher LOL! He was set on just following me and wasnt to keen on listening to her trying to turn him or make him go. He was just coming for me to rescue him! There were several times when I thought I might pee my pants I was laughing so hard. But we trotted him double and she now gets to go back to her team and my old coach and tell more horse stories!! They always loved telling me "This one time I rode a horse... blah blah blah" or if I didnt something wrong they would say "You might be able to do that riding your horse but not here"! I do have to say, although I do not like talking about my horses to people who have no idea about horses, they were always quite entertaining with their jokes and it was always a normal routine in practices and gave everyone a good laugh!
Annie and Mystic!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What does 2012 have instore for us?!

Giving 2011 a kick good-bye! Mystic pony as a baby :)

It still doesnt feel like it is already January of 2012! I have both a happy and depressed feeling about it. Im happy because that mean show season is that much closer and I seriously cannot wait! However I am depressed because it means I am almost 19... when did I get so old? Im not sure that I like growing up that much. I could spend the rest of my life as a 17 year old and be happy as a clam!
Anyways, here are some of my horsey goals for 2012. Some of them are more hopes, such as ones that are dependent on how we are progressing and how much money I have, but im hoping to accomplish some of my main ones at least!
2012 Goals:
- Compete Mystic at 1st level with scores in the mid sixties by the end of the season
- Qualify and compete in ODS League Championships
- Continue working on brideless work!
- Begin jumping him again the spring. XC schooling and competing in one days/derbys
- Work on conditioning him (and me!) more
- Compete in a 3 day late in the season (this one is a hope!)
- Attend more clinics (another hope!)

I am really going to focus more on getting him further in his dressage training for the first part of the show season. Of course it will continue with our lessons and such but I want to get him out and compete him through all first level (I have never competed higher than First test 1) and get him doing all first level movements well on a consistent basis so next winter we can hopefully start some 2nd level work. Although I still plan on competing him at some dressage shows after championships in June I would also like to take him to some one days, derbys and go cross country schooling. From there we will see where we are at over fences wise and decide whether Caber is do able or if we should wait another year. I am SO excited to see what 2012 has in store for us and cannot wait to get out showing again with my pony!