2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Not a one trick pony!

Yup this guys has lots of tricks now! My mom bought me a big horse sized ball for a late birthday present so Alanna and I took the boys out to the arena to play with it tonight! We did some research as to what type of obstacles will be at the expo and there was a big ball last year. Plus we figured it would be fun to play with anyways.

At first when I brought it out bouncing the pony was unsure of it but once I untied him and walked him up to it he started moving his lips around all over it and we were golden from there! Once we got into the arena (we had to wait until two other boarders got off) we did a little on the ground with them first just to make sure they were okay with it and get the basic idea that we wanted them to kick/shove it. Then we hoped right on! I hoped on bareback and bridleless and we went right into playing with it. After the first few minutes they both started to walk towards it and follow it a little. They would follow it until it stopped but were a little unsure how to make it go again. By the end we were trotting and kicking it down the long side, switching off kicks between the boys. It was AWESOME :) We were both very happy with how they handled it all as they had no issues at all. It will be fun to see how they improve even more after playing with it more!

Pictures and video to come :)

Introducing the ball!

After I kicked it in the air across the arena. They were not fans!

Mystic... reaching for treats of course

Mystic not wanting to share his ball or treats LOL!


kicking it around!





Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Getting to work

With our recent news of officially being accepted Alanna and I have gone over all the stuff we need to start working on! Since he is so laid back naturally I have never done any desensitizing work with him. He is fine with 90 % of things, or gets over it quickly, but that 10 % is some of the weirdest stuff that he reacts to!

So today, after getting his pedicure, I took him out to the arena with a big tarp. Im pretty sure he has never seen one. I laid it on the ground, walked onto it, and asked him to walk over it. He stuck his nose down and started frisking it with his nose! Then when I asked him to step on it he walked right on! After walking over it a few times I grabbed it and started laying it over him. He was unsure at first but settled down and never tried to run away from it.
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Im going back out tonight to start some spins on him!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Accepted!

Yup the pony and I will be making our appearance at the NW Horse Fair and Expo in the All Breed Challenge! We got conformation today that we are in fact in! They will draw for ride order for the preliminary rides sometime in February so we should have a decent idea of what day/time we will first ride. Our second an third rides will be determined by our performances in the first rounds!

I am super excited! Now its time to crack down and get a freestyle together (so if we make it to the finals we are ready!) and start some desensitizing work with him. I really havent done any of that but will definitely need to incase we come across some crazy stuff in the challenges!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mr. Sassy!

The poor pony has been neglected for the past 4 days. I headed up to my dads house in West Linn for a late birthday celebration for the weekend and came home sick. So Monday and Tuesday I went straight home from work/school and got in bed. I actually did go see him on Monday but just brought him in and fixed his mane.

I went out to ride tonight and boy was he full of it! It is funny how much he is changing. I used to be able to give him 2 weeks off and you could get on him and he would plunk around like he was an 80 year old man. Now that he is getting fit and knows his stuff more he acts like the 2 boards on the wall that are different colors are going to eat him and the slug on the wall is horse eating for sure! He is unrealistic in the fact that he acts terrified but he works out of it fine. I actually enjoy it. After he got over the different boards (which are new as the walls just got redone) we had a nice forward ride. I think he is liking his new bit.

This morning I had to stop by the barn on my way to school to grab my dressage saddle so I could ride my training horse in it. On my way out I rolled down my window and was talking to him. He stopped grazing and came right up to the fence looking for his cookies (of course I had some)!

Friday, January 18, 2013

I love great deals!!

I mean who doesnt! I am apart of a FB group called NW Horse Classifieds, mostly for sport horse type people looking to sell horses, tacks, etc. A lady posted an ad for some blankets she was selling earlier this week and I inquired about them. She had a 80 Rambo waterproof rain sheet that has shrunk in the dryer a little so no longer fit her horse. The pictures looked good and the pony needed a new one (his other one still works but has a small rip on his butt from another horse so his bottom gets a little wet) for this spring anyways. I mean for 20 bucks how can you say no? So I arranged to meet her to pick it up. She then mentioned that she had some bits and girths for sale if I was interested. Well perfect! I have been needing to get him a new bit but wanted a specific one and in a big abnormal size (6 inch). Low and behold she had one. Today I met her to pick up our loot. I got the bit and the blanket for a whooping $45. Now that is good shopping!
New bit!

New blanket!

As you can see in the pictures his mane was a wreck so I spend some time before my ride redoing it. I am going to try to keep it up and wrapped mostly with occasional day or 2 breaks with it in a running braid. Basically not just braided like I have been. I decided that if its just going to keep growing I should probably keep it off the ground! Not to mention it keeps it up cleaner when it is braided and wrapped up.
Getting his hair done

Just before our ride. All decked out in his red!

The cutest face EVER

We had a great ride! I think the bit made a difference as he warmed up much softer and less resistant then with the other one. Its not like he went around bad at all with the other one but he seemed to like this one more. He was licking and chewing quite frequently and was even more consistent in the contact, especially at the canter. Who know... maybe I am just making it up but if it could help then we will go with it!

Just after our ride. A happy boy!


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Best trait in a horse?

Willingness has the be the single best trait in a horse hands down! You could have the most athletic impressive mover in the world and never reach that potential because of a wacky brain. Then you can be my pony. Obviously he was blessed with the cutest face in the world but beyond that he has got to be one of the most willing horses out there. He clearly was not built to have big floaty movement or an incredible trot lengthening that makes your jaw drop but where he lacks physically he makes up 10x mentally.

I had our trainer ride him for me last night. I hadnt realized how long it has been since she has been on him until we got to talking last night. It has been almost a year, basically since we were starting our first level show season! I was very happy to hear that she thinks he is going very, very well. She commented on how he is probably the most generous horse she has ever ridden and how smart he is. Since I have never ridden a second level test, let alone any of the movements (expect the few we have started to school) it is nice to hear that we are on the right track. She also started introducing travers to him. He was definitely trying to throw her to the outside (towards her right leg, his problem side) but I think he started getting the idea.

After her ride we started talking about if we were going to be ready to do 2nd test 1 in March at Dressage for the Ages. She thinks we will be ready then and we actually decided that we are hopefully going to debut in February at Bears Above the Ground league show. We had two big reasons for this:
1) even though we know all the work he is doing is very correct we are not sure what the judges will think of his collected trot. They could really ding us there if they dont think it is a true collected trot. The judge on the day we are going to this show is a judge that we already know likes him and has given him great scores (a 72 and 74%). Basically we are just looking to see what the judge will have to say about him.
2) our trainer will be at this show with her mare so she will be there to warm us up which will be a HUGE help!

We have another lesson in 2 weeks that I will ride him in. The only bad thing about this show is that is is 2 weeks before the original one! Back to work we go!

Friday, January 11, 2013

We all have our off days...

Yup and that was us yesterday! A very strange ride to say the least. He was VERY heavy on my right rein again and not so responsive to my leg. Normally we can work our way through it and have a nice end to our ride. Yesterday not so much! After I got some decent work I just stopped as I knew we were not getting much more then that. The barn owner was right outside the arena working on his cute little cabin and the pony was being a turd about the tape measure snapping around. We did enjoy a nice walk down the road though!

I confirmed a Monday lesson and am even having her ride him for it. Im super excited to hear what she has to say about him this time as she has not been on him for awhile and I think he has improved a lot since then. She can also ride him better :)

Tonight I am going to do some bridleless fun with him. I figure we both need a day break of work after our ride yesterday. Plus the expo is just two months away! We need to get to work!

Update: The pony and I had a fun ride tonight! He never fails to make me smile just by seeing his adorable pony face meet me at the front of the stall :)
I also re started Rose (my training horse) blog. You can see it here: Roses Blog
I will hopefully get some new pictures up of her on Monday. She is looking even better!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

See we do work hard sometimes!

Although the pony gave me a rougher ride tonight we did get some solid work in towards the end. He came out really heavy and probably resembled something like a giraffe with a short fat neck haha! Okay maybe not that bad but it felt gross. About 25 minutes into our ride we mostly got our rhythm back. Its amazing to think that this time last year we were really struggling with our leg yields and now they are so much easier for us. We are starting to string things together such as leg yielding from the centerline to the wall into a shoulder in. So having solid leg yields really help since our shoulder in leaves much room for improvement at this point! Im hoping for a lesson on Monday (as long as our teacher can be there!) but instead of my riding im hoping to get her to ride him for the lesson. I will hopefully be able to get some video. Its amazing the difference I can see and feel after she has ridden him, and its been awhile since she has gotten on him.

On another note my training class again! I was surprised at how much I missed my training horse and how much I was looking forward to it. We started back up on Monday where we mostly were just getting the feel for our horses again. Since our last day of class last term the horses have had very little handling and NO training. The only thing they have done is being led to and from their field. I was very happy with how to she came out! She was very respectful (I was told she ran a few people over coming out of the gate throughout the break) and remembered everything from last term. She was definitely more uppity then normal but that was to be expected. Since she was so good we got to throw the saddle on her and round pen her a little also. She was great. Then today I got to ride her! I was worried she might regress since we only have 1 ride out of the round pen prior to us leaving but she really didnt. She was unsure when I first got on her but I just pushed her forward and she was fine. We got to ride out of the round pen with the other horses. She is pretty solid walk/trot/whoa/back. Obviously there is a lot to be improved within those gaits but I actually feel like we could go do a intro test tomorrow and do decently. Im excited to see what this term has in store for us, she is really growing on me! It doesnt help that she is like 16.2-.3 hands and a solid 1400 lbs or so. I fit her so well! I just keep telling myself I dont need another horse, I dont need another horse, I dont need another horse!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunny days

Yes the days that are far and few between this time of year in our area. Luckily today we got one! It was beautiful! The sun was out and we got a break from all the below freezing weather we have had and actually got to go on a nice walking ride outside with just a sweatshirt and light breeches without being cold.
Love going out to this face everyday :)
We enjoyed a nice 20 minute walk around the property with Alanna and Chevy before heading to the arena for some real work. I cant say how nice it is to have a horse that can walk on the buckle outside, on the road, etc with no issues. Makes for a nice relaxing stress relieving ride! Then we went to work and had a great ride. March (Dressage for the Ages show) is coming up fast so we have 2 months to be second level (test 1) show ready. It seems unattainable right now and that there is no way but im sure it will all work out. I remember last year this time feeling the same way about first level and it turned out just fine! I am definitely not as worried about how it will all turn out as I was last year. I figure we will either be ready or not. And if not we will just wait till we are. It is just a league show so even if some of it is still a bit hard for us it will be a good test to show us where we are and the key areas we need to work on. I am much more confident in us then I was a year ago!

Getting his hair done and getting impatient about it all! After all he had hay waiting for him!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Obsessed.

Yup. The pony is obsessed with sugar cubes! He absolutely loves them.
See? First the head twist and the lip..

Then the tongue!

Sporting his man shirt :)

His tai. It is definitely growing... just not as fast as I would like!

I have been starting to really think of what I want to do for the All Breed Challenge.  For those that are not familiar with it, it is split into different rounds. The first two rounds are patterns/courses given to us. They can consist of any element from any disciplines. For example last year they had to go over a bridge, leg yield, do a haunch/forehand turn, go over a small fence, drag something, etc. Hopefully we will make it to the second round! Then from there the top 4 scoring horse/rider pairs in round two advance to the finals. Not only do those 4 make it into the finals but also a fan favorite! So we are hoping that if we have some bobbles in the 2nd round we can count on the fans to get us through! Then in the final round we, as the riders, get to come up with a musical freestyle. We can basically do whatever we want within 3-4 minutes with props (to some extent). I know that I want to incorporate bridleless stuff but im just not how much yet. I think I will have to make 2 different routines depending on how he handles the situation. The arena is big, there are banners hanging on the panels, all below the stands that will be pretty full with loud people. I dont anticipate there being any major problems but its always good to have a back up just in case!

Hopefully I will have some more put together ideas to share soon to see what yall think!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

So.Cold.

Yeah I know im a big weenie when it comes to the cold but its been below freezing here for the past week! It makes going to the barn in the dark freezing cold after work really hard. So naturally yesterday... I didn't. Poor pony! I have been sick for over a week now. Its not nearly has bad as it was before Christmas but its definitely still there. Then I am working all day for the rest of the week so I cant go out during the day. I will suck it up tonight but I needed a night in my bed with Netflix last night :)

On another note I am getting ready to send our entry in for the 2013 All Breed Challenge at the NW Horse Fair and Expo! Im super excited for it but also have a ton of work to do for it also!