2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Friday, March 11, 2016

Changes

It is really amazing what opportunities can come when circumstances change. In the last 5 or so year I have been very limited in the lessons I have been able to take. I was generally a once a monther with our dressage trainer, 2 when I could make it work, and sometimes we went without when I got busy. I can count on one hand the number of jump lessons Mystic and I have had since I got him. Flash forward to this month, at our new barn, and I have already had a dressage lesson and two jump lessons! And it doesn't end there. I will have another jump lesson next week, the 2 day Eric Smiley jump clinic the week after, and a 2 day Jessica Wisdom dressage clinic right after that. So in March alone I will have the same number of lessons that I would normally have in an 8 month time period and I am super excited about all of it!


The only downfall is that we still only get to see our regular dressage trainer once a month and that is what we really need right now if we plan to show 3rd. Dressage is hard and we have not been friends recently. Mystic and I had a really rough lesson last weekend after what felt like a lot of progress in the previous month. I was super hard on myself after it but I went and jumped a few jumps and ignored it for a few days before returning to work. Hopefully we get these kinks worked out by our first dressage show.

Our second jump lesson however was awesome! We picked up right where we left on in the last one. We started with little jumps on a circle and worked on adjusting his stride between fitting 5 and 4 strides between the two. We have a super easy time getting the shorter compact strides but have a harder time going more forward. This exercise, although torture, really helped open his stride up. Overall his jump feels better then ever! Which says a lot since we have only jumped twice year. I am getting a better feel of the canter we need and had fewer instances of me dropping him at the base of the fence. I am super happy that he is making easy work of the novice sized fences even when he gets more of a short spot. Gives me hope for Rebecca Farms 2017 ;)

Friday, March 4, 2016

Its Been Too Long

At the end of this month my barn is having an Eric Smiley jump clinic that I have been looking forward to watching. I had thought about signing up back when I first moved in but since we hadn't been jumping I decided against it. After all who wants to ride with an olympian when you haven't jumped with a saddle on for 6 months?! The clinic filled fast so I had no urge to sign up as all my friends started getting excited. Next thing I know one of the barn girls had to drop her spot and my mouth couldn't have opened fast enough to offer Pony and I as a fill in! What I didn't think about? The fact that the person who's spot I am taking is currently in the training/prelim group and the schedule has been made. Which means that even with some shuffling around we will still be riding in the novice group. Go big or go home right?!

In preparation I had a jump lesson tonight, which also happened to be the first time I have really jumped him since September. This got me to thinking to the last time I had a jump lesson and it is scary. It has been over 3 YEARS! Thankfully that is going to change now. Pony was super! Our biggest problems are 1) that I have a hard time keeping his canter from getting flat when I push him forward (instead of keeping a nice bouncy forward canter)  2) that even though I can feel a 'bad' jump, from many strides, I freeze and just drop him instead of trying to salvage it and 3) my inner DQ comes out and I like to try to micro manage him which often results in very poor fences!


There were definitely some very ugly fences but they were ALL due to my riding, or lack there of, and had nothing to do with him. I was super pleased with him and when I did ride him well he felt amazing. By the end we were making easy work of the novice sized fences and he just felt super rideable. I am looking forward to getting back into jumping shape and getting some much needed lessons. After tonight I am really looking forward to the clinic and I think it will be a blast. As for now, I have a strong feeling that I will be sore tomorrow ;)


Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Babys Debut

Brother reunited! Its adorable how excited they seemed to see each other 
What does a horse person do on their only day off? They spend the entire day at the barn for dressage lessons! Mylo also got to come play, along with "his" girls other pony, and spend the day showing us what a perfect show pony he is going to be. Since our barn is overfull with horses Mylo had to stand in the cross ties while waiting his turn. Besides a little impatient pawing he was great. He was super chill and none of the big barn atmosphere got to him. He was just like he is at home. When it was his turn he went right to work was a super good boy for his whole lesson! He is just learning baby things like how to move off your leg, changing his bend, etc but I was super pleased with how he responded to everything and I think his kid got some good exercises to work on. After his lesson I grabbed the other pony and we went on a nice cool down out on the trails where Mylo continued his super pony ways. I am very excited to see how this season goes with him.
                            

This picture sums them up perfectly. Wally is always licking and Mylo is always smiling.

Mystic and I also had a super lesson. He really has been feeling amazing and one of the first things that our trainer mentioned was how much his outline has changed, for the good, even since she last saw us a month ago. It seems like all of the sudden he looks and feels like a big boy dressage pony! The biggest take away from today is that when push comes to shove and things are not going great that I can not resort to holding him up with my hands. If things fall apart before I can save them I tend to use too much rein. Instead we working on bringing him back, loosening him up, and really driving him with my legs. I also need to be more light with my outside rein especially in our half passes. I also voiced my concerns about our extended trot and how it gets strung out, fast, on the forehand, and I cannot sit it. She broke it down for us and we started piecing together just a few strides together at a time. I will continue to work on the exercises to help build his strength in it so that he can physically maintain it for the length he needs to during a test. Our days of winging it across the diagonal fast and on the forehand are over if we want to score well at 3rd! Overall we got some really nice work throughout our ride and I was very pleased. The best part is that due to scheduling our trainer comes back next weekend so I get another lesson in a week. Nothing motivates me more then a solid dressage lesson!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Patiently waiting

Is anyone else this excited and ready for summer/show season?! On one hand it feels like the months are flying by and on the other it feels like May is so far away.

Mystic is continuing to work super well! He is very sensitive to changes in weather so I have noticed him sweating more and taking longer to cool out with the warmer weather. Hopefully as we get back to jumping and in better all around condition it won't be so noticeable. He still works super well he just gets hot fast. The downside of a thick and hairy horse ;) 

This weekend both Mystic and Mylo get a lesson with our favorite dressage trainer. She usually comes once a month but the weekends that worked for Feb and March happen to be back to back so we will get 2 lessons in a row which will be super helpful. Then the last weekend of March Pony and I are going to a Jessica Wisdom clinic for 2 days which will be super fun! We have only ridden with her one weekend in May last year but it was very helpful and encouraging.
I am super excited to get more lessons and once I find Pony a new jump saddle (in progress!) we are also going to begin some jump lessons! The last time I had consistent jump lessons I was in Pony Club a solid 12 years ago. 

Slowly, but surely, my boys are getting ready to take the eventing world by storm together :) Everyone will want a jumping Gypsy after this season!
       Someone had a little fun outside

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day Sale

What do you do when you're single on Valentine's Day? Drive 1.5 hours to a tack store that is having a Valentines Day sale and spend all your money on yourself :) 

I got new show breeches, everyday full seat breeches, a XC shirt, a show shirt, a Micklem bridle for Mylo, a new bit for Mylo, and restocked on some EquiFuse products. Best part? I got 20% off my total purchase! And that is after already getting half of it out of clearance bins. Serious score. I could have easily spent more but I am on the hunt for a jump saddle for Pony and I so I had to reel myself in.


Mylo is beyond adorable in his Micklem and seems to go really well in it. He is SO much quieter with his mouth since he got his dental work done and I think this bridle will make it even better. He is looking so adorable under saddle. T minus 2 weeks until he gets his first big boy dressage lesson! 
It's rough being Mystic ;)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Cheap Dates

The hairy boys both got their teeth done today. The nice part about big barns is that there is always a farrier or vet coming out sometime during the week. So not only do I not have to worry about paying an arm and a leg for the farm call it also makes it easier for me to have them out to do teeth now and again later in spring for vaccines, health cert., etc. Also it made for a good transition in the vet I use. Their new vet works for the university and also does acupuncture and chiro work which is super awesome! So not only did they get their teeth done but they got some chiro work also.


I had been meaning to get Mylos teeth done for a long time and since he is going under saddle now I really needed to make a point to have them done. He got his wolf teeth pulled along with 7 baby teeth (just the caps that were already coming out). Poor guy must have had a super sore mouth recently! His 4 year old molars are also already starting to come in. Chiro wise he wasn't bad just needed some minor adjustment in his back and withers. The vet did mention how free he was in the shoulder! Of course all of the students loved him and he was a good patient.

                   Mylos baby teeth!

Mystic just had his routine once a year dental but had some decently sharp points already so his mouth should be feeling better also! He also gets some gunk in his eyes and will they will start draining and getting crusty. Nothing horrible but since he was already sedated we went ahead and flushed his tear ducts to make sure he didn't get too much build up. He has had it done once before and it really helped. Chiro wise he was good through his back and hind end and just had minor adjustment in the left side of his neck and his right scapula which could all explain his stiffness to the right. It hasn't been worse, in fact it has been better, but it will be interesting to see if it helps at all!


I was actually at work for most of it, my friend who has Mylo at her house was supervising for me, and I made sure to have her tell the vet that Mystic is a light weight and doesn't need as much sedation as you would think if you just went by his weight. She sent me a text back saying that the vet had already been lecturing his students on this breed not needing much and that Mylo was also a super light weight. The best part was the Mystic (14.3hh and roughly 1200lbs) took less sedation then Mylo (13.3hh and roughly 900 lbs)! Even the vet was laughing about it! We were joking that they are both cheap dates. Too bad it wont actually be a cheap date for me by the end of it...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

No Regrets

Just over 1.5 years ago (time flies!) I agreed to take a Gypsy gelding sight unseen. These are the first pictures I got of him after I agreed to take him but before his trek across the country:


Not going to lie, I was a little nervous after seeing what he looked like! I then got this picture from the hauler at one of their pit stops. At least I knew that with his breeding he would have a good temperament!:
Im really not sure how anyone gets a Gypsy in that condition, after all they get fat on air, but there is no doubt that he looked homeless, hungry, and down right awkward! 



1.5 years later he is turning into a gorgeous boy! He is finally bulking up, has gained a bunch of muscle, and has even continued to slowly grow taller. I have listed him for sale twice.... and I have pulled his ad twice. The more rides he get under his belt the more potential he shows. I tell the kid who rides him that I am jealous of her all of the time!

 




What it all comes down to is that I seriously love this horse. He is the exact ride that I want. So even if I can't ride him (except for the occasional bareback ride) he is still mine and I can help make sure he gets the best chance of becoming the horse I know he can. So I am going to live by the "no regrets" statement and keep him :) I am as excited to watch him at shows as I am to ride Mystic in them. He also got signed up for his very first dressage lesson this month! Time for my cute little baby to grow up into a cute little show pony!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Long Overdue

A HUGE influence on the fact that Mystic moved with me out to Inavale was the fact that our dressage trainer from our previous barn already had been teaching monthly clinics out at Inavale. The only down side is that she is only out once a month. I am not used to being able to lesson once a week but I was getting onto the every other week plan and I was really enjoying it. Before this morning I hadn't seen her for 6 weeks and our debut at 3rd level is in 3 months...
Walking the trails as a warm up. It's so gorgeous out there!

We had a great lesson working on our changes and half pass. Changes have been hard for me to practice because I can't feel if they are clean or not and before moving I was riding alone 99% of the time so for the most part I wasn't practicing them. Mystic is such an honest horse and the changes don't upset him at all so he either changes clean or changes 1/2 of a stride late. The 1/2 stride late is so hard for me to tell because it still feels so easy and nothing about him changes. No bucking, no head tossing, no tail swishing, no nothing. We got a super hard exercise to work on that will spotlight any tiny bit of your horse not being on the aids. Not only was it super hard to begin with but she made me do it with no stirrups! I started out by crossing my stirrups over my saddle. At F (tracking left) we picked up the counter canter, B we did a 1/4 of a 20 meter circle, once reaching the middle we had to do a full 10 meter circle tracking right (so now on the correct lead), we then took that back into the counter canter (once closing the circle) on to the quarter line (we are now on the quarter line right by E), once straight on quarter line we were ready for a change! We started thinking about the change in 3 strides which really helped me. The first stride is used to push the horse forward, the second stride you change your legs, and the third stride you shift your weight and give the aid for the change. We did this exercise going both directions and I got off barely being able to walk! Super hard, but also super fun!

We finished off our lesson with some half pass which is easily one of my favorite things to do! She had 2 cones set up down the centerline and we had to half pass off the wall and all the way through the cones and then immediately leg yield back to the wall. This really helps make sure that Mystic is not just dropping his shoulder in the half pass and is truly off of my leg. I have really been working on this exercise for the last couple weeks and he has improved so much. His half pass right has always been decent, but lacking enough bend sometimes, but going left has been very difficult. This morning we got them both ways super nice. It felt amazing! A big take away, and one that I already knew, is that I need to be less restrictive in my reins and use even more inside leg. She said we are still on the right track and will be ready for Heart of the Valley in May!
The perfect fill in lesson horse for the 7 year olds

I also just bought Mystic a Total Saddle Fit dressage girth and used it for the first time today. When I was just walking him to warm up I could already feel a difference. During my lesson I didn't even think about it but I also didn't feel the need to adjust my saddle ever. Normally my saddle slips from side to side and just moves around in general. Now that I know it works well I am going to invest in the sheepskin cover and maybe even one for Mylo!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

2016 Show Season and Goals


This is easily the most excited I have been going into show season! That is saying a lot because I always get super excited for it but this year really seems like it could be our best year yet. We have so many more options as to what we can make it to and as long as I can financially swing it all I am all for it. My new work schedule is pretty crazy and I don't have a life outside of work (thats why us horse people only have horse related friends, right?) it will all be worth it to be able to afford all of these shows.
Totally unrelated but amazing beach pictures 😉

First, lets start with our goals for the year.
-Our biggest goal this year, or to date, is to get our bronze medal. Has this time already arrived?! I have been dreaming about getting this forever and never thought it was in my future. My little black and white pony amazes me!

-Attend at least 2 recognized dressage shows

-Attend at least 2 recognized events

-Score a 65% at 3rd level (any of the tests)

-Begin some 4th level work

Schedule wise I am being optimistic while writing it down but keeping the ones that are most likely to happen in the back of my mind. If more then that actually happen then it is an added bonus! Im just going to list more of the bigger shows not the little schooling/league shows we may hit along the way also.



Heart of the Valley 1 & 2 Recognized Dressage Show:
      I love having 2 shows in one weekend. I could theoretically get my bronze in one weekend! I thought about letting the kid show Mylo here too but I'm not sure I want to justify the cost for a 3 year old to start his show career at an expensive recognized show.

Inavale one day event:
      If all goes as planned both Mystic will go BN and Mylo will go Intro

Aspen Farms 3 day:
     Mystic/I will go BN

Inavale Farms 3 day:
     Mystic/I will go BN and Mylo/his kid will go Intro (as long as we can get him out XC before hand)

Dressage at DevonWood:
     Mystic/I at 3rd level

Young Rider 3 day:
     Mystic/I at BN

Dressage at Lake Oswego:
     Mystic/I at 3rd

Aspen Farms 3 day:
     Mystic/I at BN

ODS Championships at DevonWood:
     Mystic/I at 2nd if we can get to enough shows to get out bronze so we can also get 2nd scores to qualify. Problems of riding a fat pony that can only do one hard test a day!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

2016

The last month of my life has been insanely crazy and at the same time life changing. Im thinking 2016 is going to be a blast, and I'm going to try to document some of it here for safe keeping! First let me back up to the last few months. November 1st Mylo moved to a friends barn and since he was lightly started under saddle their 12 year old daughter, who also is a dynamite event rider, started riding him. With about 30 rides on him this is what he looks like:
It doesn't get much cuter! They are a super cute pair and they will make their intro eventing debut this year should all go well. He was supposed to be for sale... supposed to be being the key words ;) He is no longer on the market as of now.


Mid November I got a call from Tolos owner. Needless to say I once again have 3 horses. His brain is pretty fried, just from a non educated rider not from poor care, so he is on a vacation. I went to put him right to work but quickly determined he needed a nice break. Once a stall opens up he will move to the barn and go back to work. Nothing like putting your 12 year old horse back on the lunge line and long lining. Hopefully he comes back well and I can find a lease for him.


December rolls around and I get a message from a local trainer asking if I would like a job. I have always like this person, even taken some jump lessons from her, and knew the facility well so I decided to go in and have a talk with both her and the owner of the barn. On January 1st Mystic and I packed up our bags and moved into Inavale Farms where I am the new assistant instructor! Inavale also happens to hold the only recognized 3day in Oregon and has full XC course, trails, and hosts many shows each year. Basically I get to teach little kids on to stay on their horses and I love it! Mystic settled in wonderfully (like he always does) and he is going better then ever which is a good sign considering this could be our big year. 


We are continuing to prepare to go out and get our 3rd level scores for our bronze medal this spring and he is coming along really nicely. I was getting frustrated with bad rides before moving but its amazing how things can change when situations change. Since I am now at a barn that has a strong competitive team that travels a lot we will also get to show a ton more. They are a super fun group and are willing to haul Pony. Its a win, win! I HATE not being mobile and I have seriously been grateful to everyone in our past who has helped us get places. This will make it way easier for us to get out and about. Along with earning our bronze I hope to get out and event more too. I will do a post on everything we hope to attend this year later so I can keep track!

A short recap of what we have done the last few months, which isn't much, show wise. We went to the adult team show with the NDF crew where our team won 1st place overall and Pony got Champion 2nd level with an average of over 67% on 2 tests.

We also went to an eventing derby in September where we finished in our dressage score of a 25 and was 1 of only 2 double clear BN rounds.
We may not have done much in 2015 but he sure is consistent 😊