2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

XC Schooling



Yesterday we had our first XC schooling of the year (and since our last event which was a year ago)! Nothing new but the ponies were rock stars with one not having been XC in 2 year, Mystic not going since last year (and both of them only jumping only like 5 times this year so far), and Emis first time. After tacking up we headed out to the course, which has several different fields or sections to it that are broken up by trails in the trees (yes, where I got lost last year!). Because we saw a big group already in the water jump field we headed over to a smaller one with a couple baby jumps. After a quick warm up we started pointing our horses at the baby logs and the rest is history!

The odd couple :)
Mystic was totally game and by the time we were jumping the BN fence he was in XC mode ready to go, he was definitely jumping big! I never thought that he would be bad but I wasnt sure how confident he would feel over fences just because we havent done much of it recently and he hasnt so much as seen a XC fence since Inavale last year, there was no need to worry that is for sure!
Our first BN fence of the day. He was just making sure he would clear it :)

Ditch! He surprised me with this jump as previously he has barely made sure to clear it!

We lost a boot! Well partially
By the time we got into the water jump field, also the biggest field, he knew his job and thought for sure he was running the show. If we didnt know eachother so well and I didnt trust him with everything I would be putting a bigger bit in his mouth! He was taking me on a ride with very little breaks and was thoroughly enjoying himself. After a few discussions which involved me reminding him that yes I was still up there and yes I expect him to still listen to me he got much better. It is so much fun to ride a horse that loves his job and drags you to fences although I will not allow him to completely blow me off :)
Emi thought we were crazy

He walked right in but was looky at the waves he was making haha

After one pass through he wanted to go in and took me there every chance he could



If I had the money I would totally have entered Inavale today. There is no doubt that even with as little jumping as we have done this year he would go jump anything I pointed him at. Sadly our last two shows have drained the bank so we will just have to wait until a July or August 3 day. Either way I am SO looking forward to it!
Check out that jumping pony!




Baby trakhaner!

If that doesnt look like a happy pony I dont know what does!


Tired Pony and baby Emi trying to eat hair







Friday, May 23, 2014

Catching Up

We are all still alive and well! Pony has had some really fun dressage rides recently and is starting to get this whole half pass thing down, even a little at the canter. He got his hooves trimmed, a new fly mask to help protect his little nose, and I started him on Platinum Performance supplement and will substitute that for his grain from now on. Here is to minimizing any extra fatty foods, besides treats obviously :) He is also in a 'diet' pasture, it still has grass but nothing like what the big pasture has.
How adorably ridiculous 

Then this happened... Pony went western!


Monday we head out XC schooling and I am getting super excited! I totally wish we still had our trailer because I am wishing we were competing in the one days since the recognized is totally out of the picture at least for June. Oh well, schooling is better than nothing at all :) We actually have a fun little group going so I am sure there will be some fun pictures and video!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

Down Time

I am a big supporter of some 'down time' after making my pony get in a metal box for a few weekends in a row and that is exactly what he got this week! To be exact, today was the first time he has worn a saddle since our show last weekend. We, of course, enjoyed several bareback/bridleless walks together and he also just got some days completely off.
What he acts like he feels...


Back to work we went today and we had a nice hard but short ride because it was still fairly hot. Now that our two big dressage shows are behind us and our next one isnt till September (unless I find another one!) we can start working on more of the 3rd level work we were starting. I put it on the back burner and just focused on what we needed for our tests because I didnt want to muddy the waters for him. He is no dummy and is already catching on to changes and when you have to do a counter canter serpentine you dont want your horse thinking about changes! So I completely stopped doing them (not that we do them super often anyways). Now that we have to some time I am going to start bringing some of that work back along with continuing to work for 2nd test 2 and 3.

How he really feels :)
Next weekend we are heading out XC schooling for the first time this year! I cannot believe we havent been XC since Inavale last year. Sadly due to our weather the courses usually never open before the first event (at the end of June) but they just announced that they are opening it up so we are heading over! Im sure there will be plenty of adorable pictures :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

2nd Level Video

Here is an iphone version of our 2nd level test from the weekend. No zoom and not high quality but its a video :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Heart of the Valley Show Novel

What a weekend... I dont even know where to start! Thankfully the weather on Saturday was mostly decent even though it called for rain. Given how horribly it rained on Friday I was very thankful to not have to ride in the pouring down rain. That being said it the outdoor arenas were still wet and Pony had to tromp through some soupy sand and was a dirty mess by the end of the day.
Down the centerline in our second test of the day
Saturday we did both 1st level test 2 and 1st level test 3 and actually did them in order (test 2 before test 3) this show. Tons of horses were coming out really fresh and there were no shortages of rearing, bucking, and bolting horses! Mystic came out ready to work for our first test and we had a great warm up! He seemed more energetic and it definitely transferred to our test. Overall, coming out of the ring, I was really happy with how it went! There were some bobbles on my part and some spots where he was getting tired and falling apart a little but all in all it felt really good. His trot lengthenings have improved in leaps and bounds, it is almost like all the sudden it just clicked with him and now he totally knows what I want. Not that they dont still need work, like in our second one of the first test he got a little unbalanced and kind of tried to canter but I just half halted and he came back, but it is so cool to ride them now. I got my test back and we ended up scoring a 70.27%! Along with that score we got four 8s, one for both our first and last centerline one, one for our left leg yield, and one for the harmony collective mark! Other than that the scores were mostly all 7s with a few 6.5s and only two 6s. The judge commented on how harmonious our test was and that I presented him well. First test down, first blue ribbon of the show, first 8 at a recognized show, and first time breaking 70% at a recognized show. Not only did we already accomplish all that but I found out that even if the divisions were not split (AA, Open, Jr/Yr) we still would have won out of the 19 horses. Not a bad way to start our weekend!

First test down 2 more to go!
Because we had already done one test, and Mystics gas tank was way under half a tank, I hopped on and just walked him around for 10 minutes before heading to the warm up arena for a quick 10 minutes brush up before going into the arena. It was definitely not an ideal warm up and I fought him way more than I should have. The show was running early so I went in early, looking back I should have gotten something nice before leaving the warm up just to make sure we were on the same page. Obviously the test was not awful, after all this is the most steady and consistent horse on the planet, but it wasnt our best either. Usually we do not have a problem working with each other but for some reason we just never clicked and go into our groove for this test. I think he was tired and ready to be done and since I never got him really working well in warm up we never got it together in the test. That is why I was shocked to get my test back and see a first place ribbon with a 68%! The judge commented "Good turnout. Correctly ridden test. Nice ride!". Ill take it! This time overall, out of 19 horse competing, he still would have placed 2nd!
Flying hair everywhere

Mystic and I with our cheering section in the background! We love our people!

Pony says canter lengthenings are hard
This morning was a gorgeous day! The arena had drained, the sun was out, and... we now had to ride in indoor. Of course! We knew that he would need a short and sweet warm up as he had a long day on Saturday. I hopped on at 8:40 to go for a walk (it is actually quite a walk just from lower stabling up to the indoor arena/warm up arena) before our 9:05 ride time. About 15 minutes till I picked him up for some work. Once again we didnt have the best warm up. He was tired, I was tired, and all this lead to me using way to much hand and not enough leg. I got onto him a bit in warm up and when I brought him down for a walk break prior to our test I took some time to try and makes friends with him again. Even with such a short warm up when we got into the arena for our test I felt like I might as well have been the one carrying him around the test! I really just had no horse left to do much with. He was still good and consistent but our trot work lacked in pretty much every category. I really had to ride to get what I got from him and came out of the arena beat red and ready for a nap (just like he was!). It was no where near the quality we can get at home but it was still respectable and consistent which can get you far! I was shocked to find out that we placed 2nd, out of 9, with a 66.7%! The first who got first only scored 2.5 points higher than I did and then there was a large gap between the third place person and me. By far my favorite judge comments came on this test where she said "Quiet rider with correct seat. He is correctly trained, good for you!". Looking back at the video the test looked way better than it felt, isnt that always the case?
Seriously though... SO much improvement!

I so wish his ears were up!
Overall it was a GREAT weekend with awesome friends and great rides by all of us. Horse shows are always so much fun when you get to go with fun people. Some highlights, or things that I am really proud of (besides the obvious ribbon loot) are:
-We got a 7 on a trot lengthening! Not only that but we never got a 5.5 on any of them and only got one 6, the rest were 6.5s. Considering we got almost all 5.5s at the show last month I am super pleased.

-In two of my tests I got a collective mark of 7.5 on riders position and seat! In the other I still got a 7.

-Pony got either a 6.5 or a 7 on his gaits in all of the tests (improvement from all 6s) which hopefully means that I am riding him better!

-I think my favorite overall is just the fact that the judges were able to see how well we work together and each commented on that. Everything we know need some work on, such as cadence, elasticity, and up hill movement (especially in the trot) along with more thrust in our mediums were the main focus points to the reasons in our "low"scores which, to me, is very encouraging. That means that everything else we are doing is correct and they are rewarding us for that! It is also nice that they are not telling us anything we dont already know needs work.

I am really looking forward to our next show, which I actually have no idea where/when it is going to be, and just showing one 2nd level test each day. We got all the qualifying scores we need for champs for both first and second level so now we can just move on and only show 2nd. I am hoping that this will result in a less tired pony for the second day. Or at least having the possibility of having a great ride the first day! The fact that he scored a 66 % in a test that felt way below what we can really do gets me really excited to get him out and show 2nd level on the first day of a show! And a side note... we now officially have 2/3 of our bronze medal scores!! Now we have a life time to get our 3rd level scores :)





Saturday, May 10, 2014

Quick update

Keeping it short and sweet but Pony cleaned house today winning both classes! We got a 70% in first test two and a 68% in first test three. Proudest moment? Getting a 7 on a trot lengthening and 6.5s on the rest of them! The weather held up and although it rained throughout the day it wasn't bad at all and was clear for our tests. We ride 2nd level tomorrow mornin at 9!

Ladies and gentlemen.... Look at that pony lengthen!

Settled in

Pony is settled in his stall at DevonWood with the reat of the crew! We got there around 5:30 this evening, unpacked, and le him chill for a little before taking him on a bareback stroll. The weather is nasty and the arenas are super soupy so I didn't want to ride him just because I would have to re bathe him haha praying to the weather gods tonight that the arenas will drain and I will be nice and sunny in the morning! It could be a long weekend if it is spent in the pouring rain.

Why must people feel the need to tell me stories about a blak and white horse they rose one time whenever they see my horse?! I love sharing him with the world but generally it is the crazies thy come talk my ear off about a black and white horse they once owned/ride, a horse that had a mane to end of its neck, etc. very common stories that now drive me crazy! Why do they feel the need to tell me?!
Rainbow over one arena. Good sign or a sign of more wetness?!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Show Time

And just like that we are heading out to our next recognized dressage show up at DevonWood tomorrow. It is crazy how time flies between shows, it feels like just yesterday we were heading up for our first one! A friend who is also showing (and who we have taken XC lessons from in the past) is hauling Pony up for me tomorrow afternoon. We then ride both our first level tests on Saturday at 9 30 and again at almost 12 before just being able to hang out and watch our friends ride! Sunday we ride our second level test at 9 in the morning and then are done. Heres to getting our last qualifying rides needed for championships and getting our last second level test score for our bronze, we will obviously still need our 3rd but its cool to think we are 2/3 of the way there!


Honestly I am just super excited! I havent been nervous at all so far. I feel like I have a totally different horse from a month ago. And I mean that in the best way possible! He feels GREAT and we are finally getting some real lengthenings. We had a fantastic lesson on Monday and got some seriously nice collected canter work which led to even better simple changes without him dropping his shoulder. As long as I ride him well throughout the entire test we definitely have the ability to do even better than last month. I am excited for yet another horse filled weekend with lots of friends :)


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Joining in

I guess we will join in for a little transformation Tuesday post :) It is hard to believe Mystic will be 7 in August. Where has time gone?! Wasnt he just a little 3 year old that didn't know how to canter?

2011

2014


October 2011 (first xc school)

June 2013 (first recognized!)
 And for more fun...
His first dressage test ever at his first undersaddle show with only 2 months of light riding. I almost died watching this! I remember just praying he would even canter and he did, even if it was slightly out of control and very ugly :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Checking Off the Bucket List

Like most people I have my horsey bucket list items that I eventually want to do, one of them being riding my horse bareback and bridleless cantering dow the beach. I can officially check that off my list as it has been done :)

Saturday Alanna and I headed to the beach with the boys and what an adventure, like always, it was! Right when we got there we knew we were in for a windy ride... like REALLY windy ride. I hoped on bareback with my bridle and neck strap and off we went. By the time we walked the sandy trail to get to the beach we were almost being blown off our horses it was so bad so we just started walking up the beach hoping it would calm down. Well that never happened and eventually we just said screw it and started playing around! The boys were beyond amazing and were not concerned with the wind at all. It was so bad that the water was blowing off the sand and into our faces! I even went barefoot incase Mystic decided he didnt want to get into the water and I needed to get off and lead him in but he was perfect and after a sideways glance he walked right in! After a little while of trotting/cantering in and out of the water I finally accepted that the wind wasnt going to calm down, in fact it was getting worse, and that if I was going to take the bridle off then I might as well do it now so off it went. He of course was a perfect gentlemen and trotted/cantered around even throwing in some lead changes when asked! One thing we can always count on is having a good time no matter what the weather. It was by far the worst weather we have ever had there and we still had a total blast and didn't weenie out after a short time. Just another trip that made us think about how freaking awesome our boys are. I mean who can ride bridleless on the beach in 30 mph winds?!

Feather blowing in the wind!

My bridleless beast!

You can see here how much it was blowing!


Happy pony! He loves the beach (although would prefer now wind)


Video evidence: Bridleless at the end :)


On the way home from the beach we were talking about what horses we want in the future and what we want to do. I really have decided that I want to buy a Gypsy filly at some point so I can eventually start my own small breeding farm. I have really enjoyed my breeding class in school and know that I want these Gypsys in my life forever. Im sure I will have TBs also but I don't see myself ever not having a Gypsy! I have thought about really saving this summer and maybe getting a 2015 foal but there are some big purchases I want to make for Mystic (like new saddles) before I want to add another addition. Ideally it would be perfect if I could have a 3 year old by the time Mystic is 13. Its a long term plan as I obviously want to show the mare and get her going before breeding her but none the less it is very exciting and I have already started 'shopping' and looking for what I want (and the not so fun parts on how much damage it will do to my bank account and how long I will have to save for it)! For now Mystic will be my focus but I do see a sister in the future :) Maybe a college grad present to myself?!



Friday, May 2, 2014

Tradition

Like every year Alanna and I are hitting the beach tomorrow with our boys! It has been so hot here I am hoping that the beach is going to be beautiful. Although it did cool off tonight almost as dramatically as it heated up the other day. We have been staying right around 55 degrees and then all of the sudden we were in the upper 80s in a matter of days. It was kind of nice but also kind of rough, especially on Pony who thought he was wasting away in the heat.
Our last beach trip (October of last year)

Yes there should be some more awesome pictures like this
I am planning on just taking him bareback which will be both super fun and maybe a little scary at times (like when we first try to go in the water and the white foam tries to eat us). It is a bucket list item to ride a horse on the beach bareback/bridleless and since we are in a year of checking off some items (like showing at DevonWood and riding 2nd level!) I figure why not?! Plus what horse girl hasnt dreamed of cantering a horse bareback/bridleless down the beach? Here is to hoping for gorgeous weather and no involuntary swimming like our Feb beach trip last year :)