2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Friday, May 31, 2013

The big day

Tomorrow is the big day! The pony, Alanna, and I head out in the morning to Inavale for our first BN one day! The divisions are HUGE. There are like 40 people doing bn. He got the beauty treatment tonight which also included our first time trying corn starch on his feather. Hopefully it helps get them nice and clean! Pretty sure I was wearing half of it by the end though. He came out a little stiff the day after getting his vx but seemed back to normal yesterday which I am very happy about!



I have also been having some fun with Tolo! I think we are back on track and he is meeting me by his gate every night. Since I am still not riding him yet I am going to focus on doing some trick training with him. He seems to really enjoy it and it is super fun! Just 3 nights ago I started teaching him to 'smile' and tonight he was doing it perfectly!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ready to go

Pony got his vaccines, his teeth floated, and his tear ducts flushed today and is now ready to roll! He has some points and hooks but overall was better then last years float. He has retained a baby tooth (aka: his snaggle tooth haha!) that we loosened up last time he got done to see if it would then fall out on its own and it hasn't. It doesnt bother him at all and is in solid so we decided to leave it. We have no way of knowing if he even has a permanent tooth there unless we xray it. Since it isnt bothering him and is in nice and tight we left it. If it is still there next time she comes out to do his teeth we might xray it and talk about pulling it out. He also has extra gum tissue around one of his canines. That will also be removed next time if needed. She said it could be just from the tooth coming in and it could go away on its own (its only on one side). It also isnt bothering him, just something to watch because it could store gross stuff in it. Good news is his mouth/jaw is completely fine after his fun adventure of trying to eat his blanket bar a year and a half ago (it hasnt bothered him but I just asked to see if it was like normal)!

I was also told that despite putting on my big girl mean mommy pants on he is still too fat. Poor pony! Im telling you, he has seriously mastered his grazing muzzle! One tip she told me was to soak his (tiny little flake) of dinner hay. It will help bulk it up, filling him up more, and it also takes calories out of it. So we are going to try that. He definitely carries more of his fat towards the front as she was saying how he doesnt have the creasy fat butt and fat pocket over his tail yet he has a fat pocket by each shoulder. So poor, poor pony goes on yet another diet. He is going to think there is a hay shortage up in this place ;)

He isnt that fat!! This is him being super thrilled about getting a light lunge tonight. Had his appt this morning and she wanted me to give him a light lunge tonight just to get him moving a little (since we all know he doesn't do it on his own in his pasture) to help prevent him from being sore.

He did enjoy our nice short walk down the road though!
It is inane how much his hair grows. The first picture is of his mane today and the second is one of it on September 15th. You can see how uneven his braids were because he was grazing the top two off some. Since I started zip tying them up they are evening out really nicely! You can especially tell in pictures of his mane down. Pictures dont do it justice, it is crazy! Amazes me everytime I let it down!
Today
September 15th. Not as good of  a pic but you can still really tell!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Free Jumping

I have never sent any of my horses through a jump chute until today. Our BO wanted to send her 2 yo through one just a few times to see what he would do and asked if I wanted to do a little with Mystic also. Why not?!

We sent up a one stride with a ground line before the first fence. Since he had never been through one before we just put all the poles on the ground and I trotted him in hand through it. After he got the idea we put up a cross rail and worked our way up to a ground pole to a cross rail to a 3'3" vertical. He was great! It would have been much easier for him if he would just get moving but he would get this little lopey thing going up to the big fence and have to spring over it!

One thing both Alanna and I noticed is how much less confident he is without me on him. Like quite a bit. He doesnt seem like he would be a horse that would draw so much from me but he really does. Doing stuff like this, where he has to do it on his own, is going to be really good for him and will hopefully help him be more confident in himself.

After running him through the chute a few times I hopped on him and took him over a cross rail and vertical bridle less. Yes ladies and gentlemen this is how we prepare for our upcoming show this weekend :)







Friday, May 24, 2013

Anticipation

I am SO excited for our first big boy one day next weekend! We have actually done one combined test but it was when he just turned 4 and it was trot a trail. Aka cross rails 12" off the ground and a walk trot dressage test. Yes we did win (even with pulling a rail. Yes that would be us, pulling a 12" cross rail. The last fence to be exact) ;) Other than that our only show outing for jumping was our jumper show the other weekend.

Although I am super excited I also have a lot running through my head and it will just be nice to have our first one day under our belt just so I know what to expect from him and know what he is going to do. He really is pretty game but will question new things and will stop if he is looky and I dont ride him well to it. He just hasnt had much experience over 'scarier' fences. I am actually more worried about stadium than anything else. Although I would LOVE to go double clear in all phases I also know that I should be able to get him around no matter what. Even if we have a stop he isnt a horse (like Tolo) who if he stops there is no hope for getting him over it.

It is super nice to not have to worry about the dressage portion! I always hear eveners complaining about dressage or have horses that always go clear in the jumping phases but place in the bottom of the pack after dressage. Why wouldnt you just work on your dressage so that you could be winning these events?! I mean if I am showing (especially paying $400 to do a recognized) I am going into it thinking I can win! I rode my BN test last night and it is so.freaking.easy! Trot a circle, canter a circle, free walk, trot a circle, canter a circle and you are done. Its pretty pathetic actually! Now it will be really embarrassing if we dont do well :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Little bit of fun

Along with sending in our entry for our first beginner novice one day (YAY!!!!!!) we had a nice relaxing bridleless ride tonight! Since the expo I have done minimal amounts of it but after working a 9 and a half hour day and having it pour all day I didnt feel up to much hard work so I opted to have a little fun! He was great! I started working on backing up. He doenst do it that great under saddle (my fault... why install a backwards button when you are still working on the forward one?!) so I didnt expect much but by the end he was going 5 steps backwards without stopping or going sideways. I really did it because I was thinking about the state fair in August (our one breed show this year) and how I should take him in a western walk/jog class bride less just for experience. That way I get to see how he would do in a show ring without his bridle and I dont have to give up a class we could do well in to try it. I have no idea if it is even legal but I honestly dont care, I just want to see what he would do! Anyways, they are rail classes, therefore you have to back for the judge at the end. And so that is why I started teaching him to back.  Good reason right?! I love this horse! It is one big experiment as I have never taught a horse any of this before. Now I have two solid walk/trot/canter/whoa/turning bridleless horses going. Now to teach them more advanced moves :)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Hope

Sometimes you just need one good day to give you hope for the rest of your future, and today was a day filled with hope for Tolo! I lunged him with side reins before getting on him. He stood perfectly still while I got on and walked off great. He is definitely foot sore but at this point there is nothing to nail a shoe onto. His hoof is breaking off where the nails used to be and they just look pretty crappy. Im going to call my farrier and see if he can come out sooner and put glue on shoes on. That way he can actually grow some hoof so next round he can get regular shoes.

Since he was a little sore we kept it short and didnt push him but we did walk/trot/canter at least a little bit. He is hesitant with taking contact and going forward and was definitely expecting me to be hanging on his face. I just tried to keep a light steady contact and just let him be. He will definitely get a much better ride from me once he gets his shoes on and in a better arena but it was very encouraging to see him keep him cool. He did get startled once but all he did was jump then proceeded on like normal. It is really all I could ask of him at this point.

Once I get him going well again and hopefully moved to a barn I am going to focus on dressage with him. Get a solid first level basis on him and work towards showing 2nd for next year. Never thought I would ever ride a 2nd level test let alone have two horses working towards 2nd level! Maybe between the two I will be able to get my bronze medal?! That would be fun!






Friday, May 17, 2013

Fat, fat ponies!


Fat pony #1 (way in the back!): Pretty sure he has mastered the use of a grazing muzzle!
Fat pony #2: Ummm... are there any ribs in there?!
FP #1 was great tonight for our ride tonight! Started out lazy but once I got his engine revved he was much better. We ended with a nice walk down the road! Then he got his sun screened nose and his BOT hock boots on and we called it a night.

FP #2 is going to get ridden tomorrow! I have been majorly putting him off but there is no better time then the present! Plus the sooner I get him going the sooner I can try to lease him out. And I have 2 weeks till the next show with FP #1 so if I hit the ground I at least have a little time to get better ;)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Feeling good

I am SO happy with how my horse has been feeling after all his recent physically demanding rides. From xc schooling last Saturday with a lesson that Monday then our jumper show over the weekend. He has come out feeling great each and every day!! A blessing for sure. Not that I would expect him to come out off but after that weird couple weeks last fall I have been making sure to keep an eye on him. After all our harder workout he has been wearing his BOT hock boots. I am hoping to start a program where he wears them all night a couple days a week now. Once I find some time im going to sit down and make a daily schedule as to what we are going to do each day up until Inavale. Even though he is in decent condition (for a drafty pony that is!) at Inavale he will have to do both dressage and xc on that same day. With Tolo I didnt worry one bit about it. We basically did our normally riding routine and he could have gone 4 more times around BN and not broke a sweat. Mystic however will be ready to hang his bridle after dressage let alone a full xc course after that. I think we could totally go do a BN xc course today but I do think that he would be tired after it. Although I know he will be tired after it no matter what, my goal is to have him best prepared so I dont feel like I am pushing him too hard. I want it to be a nice stress free show for him.

We have played dressage pony for the last two days. I have to baby sit tomorrow night so he will have tomorrow off then on Friday I think we will just hack around in our jump tack before going on our hill walk on Saturday. I might even add in a couple trot sets if the ground is looking/feeling okay.
Looking thrilled all dressed up in his pink, purple, and red!  We are trend setters, thats for sure ;)

Monday, May 13, 2013

As Promised!

Picture time (lots of pictures!)! He is ridiculously cute over fences. How did I get so lucky?!













His loot!


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Growing up

Our chariot arrived at the barn just after 8 this morning and we were on the road to Inavale in no time at all to do our 'warm up' in the show arena (you crazy weird hunter jumper people!). It was so strange to me to be able to jump all the fences before my class, it feels like cheating! Then after being able to do it I think maybe they should let us do it for BN eventing ;) It definitely helped Mystic to get in there and see the fences first. He really is super green over stadium fences (and basically has never done full course work besides a handful of fences thrown together while jumping in our field in the summer) so he looked pretty good at some of the more dressed up fences. After stopping at our very first cross rail (my fault, short bad warm up and didnt ride him well to it) he was game for all the other fences and felt amazing! We kept the warm up short and sweet as I didnt want to wear him out before his classes. Annoying thing about these kind of shows? You have to wait all.day.long. There are no ride times or even class times so you just wait and wait. It started at 10 and we didnt ride till at least 1 if not later (we were in class 6). Needless to say, the pony enjoyed his muzzle free grazing time :)

Since he had been hanging out for awhile I took him in the indoor and did a short re warm up before heading into our first class (2'-2'3"). He was great! Cruised around the whole course and jump off like he has done it many times before. I was so happy with him! He is definitely a green bean and is so willing and game for most things that he isn't hard to ride at all. We had a nice clear and pleasant ride. No rushing, no throwing of head, nothing but a solid well behaved pony! Not that he does any of that anyways but it was pretty much a standard for the whole morning classes. Super ugly and gross. As much as I love winning I am NOT willing to whip and spur my horse around a jumper course at mach 10 as its head is straight in the air and is hanging its knees because its getting an awful ride and almost falling on its face because it is so unbalanced. Of course there were several horse/rider pairs that fit that description perfectly, and although they won some classes they couldn't hold their own in a hunter class to save their lives. Im more of a middle of the road kinda ride. Forward yet balanced and adjustable all day long for me! So we took our 3rd place in our first class knowing we had an awesome first experience!

Our next class was a 2'3-2'6 class that was basically all maxed out with the addition of more dressed up fences and a combination line. We had one stop at a brush oxer, that I totally could have prevented if I rode him stronger, but he popped right over it the second time. I knew he would give the combination line a good look as the fences were bigger and he hasn't done one since last year and although he looked he was totally game and went through it really nicely! He finished the course great and despite our one stop it was nice to know that I can get him over fences he might not originally think he could/should jump. Out of 11 riders there was only 2 clear rounds in this class (mostly refusals at the same fence!). I was very happy to see that although he stopped at that one fence, stopped in front of it didnt even run out, he remained calm and never got all worked up over it at all. He just needed a little more support the first time and I think he would have jumped it. Once again left the ring feeling great about how our day was going!

Final class was the 2'3-2'6 gamblers choice. My goal for this was to get him over that brush fence without issues and get him through the combination line again. He was tired by now and ready to be done yet he still gave me his all! He was great and had no issues what so ever as far as questioning me about any fences. We got some short spot but he got us out of it all. He did pull the last rail but I know I stopped riding him well as I was just so pleased with how he did today! He even ended up winning his class :) We got pictures all the other goes but here is the video of the tired pony doing his last round: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntf5vQPjtME

I love seeing how he gets almost all his changes by himself! I really just stay out of him way and he does them by himself. I havent ever trained them because I have been waiting to introduce them in our dressage lessons. So besides playing aground with them a little we havent actually schooled them.

SUPER cute pictures on their way soon. I got to preview them on Alannas camera on the way home. One word: adorable! Here are a couple I have already :)


Quick Preview

Here is a quick preview of how our jumper show went today :)

I LOVE my pony <3

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Pony doesnt like the heat

After our great lesson on Monday we headed up the mountain on Tuesday for a almost 4 mile walk in the hills. I was reading about conditioning draftier horses for eventing (even though most of them were saying how they need help conditioning a 1/2 TB 1/2 draft LOL!) and a lot of people were commenting on how much just walking hills helped. So we walked!

He has Wednesday off and went back for a dressage school on Thursday. He was so miserable with it being so humid (for here anyways!). As much as I have loved all this sun so early it has actually gotten pretty hot and humid. And the pony does not like it! He is pretty convinced he is doing to die actually.

Yesterday we has a little pre show bridleless ride! I havent ridden him bridleless in quite awhile and I could definitely tell! After a little arena work we headed down the driveway for a cool out and called it a night. Today? I have to clean that mess of a pony up and make him presentable for our jumper show tomorrow! We are doing one 2'-2'3" class and two 2'3"-2'6" classes! Alanna reminded me last night that hunter jumper people are weird and have a warm up before the show starts so we will head out a little early to pop over some of the show fences. I guess its nice to be able to get all these green beans in the ring over the show fences before competing but who wants to 'warm up' for their classes like 3 hours early?! We will keep it short and sweet but considering this is his first jumper show we will take all the advantages we can get!


Rocking his new bridle and tail bag:)


Monday, May 6, 2013

SOLD!

I have always thought that if you go into something with lower expectations you are more likely to be blown away. Now, this way of thinking can be sad if you think of everything this way but in this case? Its great! After getting off work I rushed home to check my front porch for my new Micklem bridle that I was told would be here today (and it was!) so I could take it up to the barn with me for my lesson. Part of me thought "why switch bridles for our lesson if I dont know how he will go in it, etc" but I figured as long as it fit him good it would be fine.
Like a glove!

Let me start by saying I didnt get this bridle because it is some miracle bridle and I thought it would make my horse go around nicer etc. He is a really agreeable and easy guy. Doesnt put up a fight with anything dealing with his current bridle but I figured if this bridle is supposed to be made by looking at the anatomy of the horses head what can it hurt right (especially when you get a basically new one on Ebay for 125!)? Even just the thought that this bridle would be putting less pressure on bad places would make me feel better, but I got a lot more than that!

Not only is he super adorable in it but he genuinely seems to like it better. By the end of our lesson he was foamier then he has ever been! We have (okay, I have) been seriously slacking in our dressage program recently. Like seriously. After we got warmed up and got him engine going a little more we got some of the best feeling trot/canter work I have felt. He was so much lighter in the bridle and more willing to carry himself, once I rode him to that point of course, and boy did it feel nice. We spent that better part of the beginning of our lesson working on getting him forward and loose. Because he is so steady and good I actually let him get away with a lot. He gets me sucked into thinking we are going around nicer than we really are being he puts his head down and just goes along without any complaints. Key points from tonight are that I need to ride him much more forward on much more contact while keeping him straighter. He really sucks back when I take the contact up because he has tricked me into thinking that if I have contact he cant go forward because he cant just fall on his forehand like he can when my reins are longer and he isnt as put together. It was really good for me to feel just how forward and how much contact she wants me to take up on him because what I have previously thought was forward doesnt have anything on what we actually need!

I got some great exercises to work on with him where I could really feel us go from strung out flat canter to a nice bouncier and straighter. Then at the end, after schooling some leg yield to shoulder ins, we got to do some travers and a baby half pass! How cool is that! I was already leaving my lessons feeling really great about when we worked on and what we accomplished but that was just the icing on the cake. I have never ridden a half pass and the feeling of starting it on my own horse was honestly one of the best feelings I have had with him! He has taken me further then I ever thought he would and I cant help but feel SO incredibly blessed to be able to call him mine. Love my little black and white pony :)

Jumping gets me excited for our eventing season, and it is of course super fun, but there is something about a great dressage lesson that really motivates me and gets me really enjoying riding my horse every day. I love it!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Cant come soon enough!

The last weekend of June (aka: Inavales recognized 3 day!!!) that is! Alanna and I headed out to Inavale this afternoon to go xc schooling with the pony and he did not disappoint!  We started in the outdoor arena to school over a couple stadium fences before hitting the course.



After that we went around to the different fields. Although the only one that was mowed and ready to ride in was the main water jump field we did find one BN fence on some of the galloping trails that we popped over first, with no issues at all!
Creepy fence with weird faces on the front of it! No problems!
After making it to the main water jump field I took him straight to the water. I wanted to see if he would go right in, without seeing it first, in a course like setting. Low and behold after a short hesitation step he went right in! A HUGE relief! Especially after our beach fun in February.

From that point on he was dragging me to the water at every chance he got. If I was walking him on a loose rein he would walk himself into the water! Once we started working in this field he got super duper strong and was having a little too much fun not listening. It took 2-3 times over the first log for me to get him paying more attention to me. Being able to stop your horse is always a good thing haha! 

No one can tell me he doesnt like it. He was hauling me around everywhere, locking onto fences and was totally game for everything! He definitely needed me to really ride him to the first few fences we did and support him but after a couple fences I could feel him getting more and more confident. There is nothing more fun to ride then a horse that is up for anything you put in front of them!

Baby trakhaner!


Roll top
Over all it was a great confidence building day for us leading up to the jumper show next weekend and our first one day the first weekend of June. It definitely helped to get him out there before it all starts and will only give us that much better of a chance of putting in a nice course for the one day leading up to our first recognized. I seriously cannot wait to see how we do! Pony is ready to show off :)