2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Becoming big boys

Today was a big day for the boys. I started off the morning by hauling Bentley over to a friend house to go for his first outing. I have pretty much exclusively ridden him in our indoor arena due to it being dark by the time I finish with work and I don't feel quite ready to tackle the outdoor arena at night. This was a great low key yet "busy" outing for him and for the most part he held himself together quite well. He wasn't the biggest fan of getting into the trailer to start but didn't throw a fit over it just took his time scoping it out. My friend has an outdoor arena that is right next to giant pastures that are currently filled with sheep, has a goofy and fearless barn dog, a cat that likes to jump around the arena fence posts, etc. At first the cat blew Bentley mind. It was quite entertaining! What I love about this horse is that even when he is a little hotter he is very manageable under saddle. He gets tense and anxious but I never feel unsafe on him and as the ride goes on he routinely gets better and better. This was the first ride where he picked up his right lead the first time every time! I also introduced him to multiple trot poles in a row which he figured out quickly. To top it off he loaded right up in the trailer to head home. I love the brain on this boy! My plan is to get him out on as many low key/stress free trips as possible to as many places as possible. Even looking to take him to his first schooling shows in March. I couldn't be happier with the progress he is making!
 

And they best news yet? Pony is home!!! I seriously missed seeing this face every day...
 
I'm looking forward to learning how to ride him better now that he had some of his kinks, caused by me I'm sure, worked out. I was hoping to take a lesson on him today before we headed up but the trainer was teaching a clinic elsewhere this weekend. So I'm just winging it till Friday when we get to go clinic with her. I'm super excited to get some new insight from her now that she has ridden him a decent amount. Depending on how my finances are (ya know, with three horses and all 😳) I may try to send him back for another tune up while I am gone for a week in April for Rolex! Alanna and I are heading to the clinic this weekend together so with any luck I will get some pics and video to share!


 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Back to Reality

As much as I seriously loved my sunny and relaxing vacation I was definitely ready to come back to my boys. It's amazing how hard it is to leave them all for even just a week. They really have us all suckered in.

I tried really hard not to bug the people taking care of them for the week and I think I restrained myself quite well. Thankfully a good friend was taking care of Bentley so she sent pictures and updates  throughout the week without me having to ask. I am proud to say I only bugged the trainer about Mystic twice. And only asked how he was, didn't get into any details at all. Pretty sure I deserve a medal for that.
 

I landed late Monday and decided to stay the night up in Portland so I could make the 50 minute drive up to see Mystic Tuesday morning before heading back south towards home. I am super pleased with the progress JW has made with him in the week that she has had him! She has really helped with some of the under lying problems that have contributed to the bigger problems we have had in things such as the changes. I got to hop on him and take him for a spin after she warmed him up. I'm super thankful that we are going to her clinic the weekend after I pick him up because holy moly I feel like I'm riding a different horse! He is really using his hind end and back much more and I instantly noticed the change in his movement to more elastic and bigger steps. She had lovely things to say about him and even noted that his lateral work is phenomenal. She said it is better then the Grand Prix horse that came in! She also said that her and her working students had a laugh that Mystic came with more stuff and instructions then the Grand Prix horse 😂 I am really looking forward to my lessons with her and am definitely looking forward to the show season now.

 
Bentley also got high compliments from everyone that he was very well behaved and adorable. He apparently had some fun running around and rolling in the arena the other night because 5 people mentioned it to me and said how cute it was. I lunged him last night and he definitely was not feeling the whole "horsing" concept. I was going to do some lunging with side reins work with him mixed in with riding but I think I'm just going to try to fix it all from the saddle. I have learned a lot about him and what makes him tick (or stop ticking haha). I may re-evaluate it as we go along but I feel like he is very reasonable under saddle and can be worked okay with lunging. I was just hoping it would help with his balance, especially in his canter, but I think it stresses him out more then it's worth at this point. We have an Eric Smiley clinic to get ready for next month 😳 We've got some serious work to do!

 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Body work, bouncing, and braids

With temperature still not above freezing here I am most definitely looking forward to the 80 some degree weather that is waiting for me! The poor boys have been stuck in side (they do have runs off their stalls) most of the week due to weather but despite me being frozen solid by the end of work I have worked both of them all week.
 

Thursday both Bentley and Mystic got some body work. Mystic is supposed (being the key word) to be leaving for training and with Bentley coming off the track I figured they could both use it. Boy was I right. Poor Bentley was all sorts of messed up and Mystic definitely needed it also. I am planning on getting them both, but especially Bentley, done again next month.

 
Bentley has worked great all week and has even cantered both directions a couple of rides. I started to add in some trot poles and come exercises to help his mind keep working. By today he was definitely feeling  pent up which he showed by doing several leaps in the air while I was walking him to get on. Thankfully we got through our, albeit short, ride with only one leaping incident and over all he was very rideable considering what I thought I was getting on. It's really hard to have a super productive ride when there are 5 other horses in the arena but we ended with some solid trot work. He is really settling into his routine of being a pampered sport horse! He is great to handle on the ground and just soaks up attention. The stall cleaners were telling me today how much they love him. Not to mention all of the people who comment on how handsome he is! I am super excited for this guys future.

 
On Wednesday I had a super fantastic ride on Mystic! I was feeling very encouraged and happy to be sending him to the trainer with that quality of work as I know she would be able to build on it. When I got on him Friday (day after body work) I could tell he was stiff/sore. I would be too after all that muscle work! So he got a nice walk. I had already agreed to let a fellow boarder have a walk/trot lesson on him today and got te report that he was great and although started out stiff he worked out of it. The lady also said he checks all her boxes in a horse she wants! We know... he's perfect 😊 Now the sad news... with all of the recent weather I am not sure yet if he will be able to get to the trainers barn before I leave. Even though our roads are clear, up north has been crazy and I'm still waiting on the road report from today from the trainer to see if I can take him or not. I will be sooooo bummed if I can't. I have him all braided , cleaned up, and ready to go in hopes that being prepared means we get to go. But I'm also not holding my breath. Now the mad scramble to find someone to take care of him while I'm gone should he have to stay home 😩 This weather is really killing my plans this month. Both our JW clinic and our in barn clinician had to cancel and now maybe his 2 weeks of training. Is it summer yet?

*Update: Pony has made it to the trainer barn!! It wasn't without its sketchy moments but he is there and settled. I will admit... it was much harder leaving him there then I thought it would be. Thank God I have my Florida trip to occupy me and my brain!!*
The many stages of Ponys hair 😍 
 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Happy Birthday to ME!

Since becoming an adult (apparently I have to be one of those now) I am a big supporter of buying myself my own birthday presents. After all what's the point of working hard if you can't enjoy it? This year I'm going big! 
 

I have always had in the back of my mind that once I sold Mylo I wanted to think about sending Mystic to a very well know professional dressage trainer, that just happens to have taken a Welsh Cob all the way to Grand Prix, for some training. Not because I couldn't eventually accomplish things on my own (with lessons) but because we have been at a point where the blind has been leading the blind since we hit 2nd level. And although I have an exceptional horse that I am able to learn with and teach along the way I have always thought how beneficial it would be. To be honest, it's terrifying. I have never done this with any of my horses and to think about him being 2 hours away and not really seeing him for 2 weeks scares me a little! Especially since I could count on less then two full hands the number of times he has had a trainer ride and I was there for every single one of them. My baby is growing up!
 
Because being a dressage pony is hard but being a dressage pony model is not 😍

That being said... I am leaving on a birthday vacation to Florida for just over a week and thought if any time was going to work this would be perfect! I would be out of town anyways, he would continue to be ridden and actually gain knowledge while I was gone, and I could see him when I get back from vacation but before his training is up. So that's how it came about that Wonder Pony is going to get some dressage boot camp this month! The best part is that after him being there for two weeks is that when I pick him up we get to turn around a week later and go to her clinic the following weekend. Who knows, 4th level by end of 2017? 😃

I would also like to note that I'm on a roll with posting... let's hope I don't run out of steam!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Snow day

This year we have had some "crazy" winter weather! It's been a combination of freezing cold by dry and then freezing rain and snow. Today we got around 3 inches (a lot for us in one day!) and I crawled my way out to the barn to play with the boys.
 
Bentley got his 5th ride and we cantered for the first time. His trot work has progressed quite nicely and he has some really nice moments! You know moments between looking like a giraffe or pulling his head down. He can now trot down the long side and complete mostly circular type circles. He is such a quick study and really picks things up pretty easily. As long as our dressage trainer is willing to make the drive he is getting his first "dressage" lesson tomorrow.
 
 Pony got a nice Bareback and bridleless ride and a quick walk in the snow. It's so nice having a well broke horse while bringing up a baby. He will also hopefully be getting a dressage lesson tomorrow. He has some exciting news that he gets to share soon as to his plans for the last two weeks of the month!
 Even the free loader got some camera and snow time! Mostly his favorite activity these days is chasing me around the arena for cookies. He definitely doesn't complain about his life 😉 

Hoping for better roads tomorrow so that we actually get our desperately needed dressage lessons!!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

All about Bentley

 
This adorable face shot is what really drove me to go look at the gangly and awkward 4 yo still at the track. If you haven't been behind the scenes at a ghetto track, I highly reccomend it! So much entertainment. I met the lady at the back gate and she took me to see him. He had been stuck in his stall for 5 days due to snowy weather and the track being closed. Not only that but the hot walkers had been frozen in place for several days also. He has a little sassy and full of energy but was quite easy to handle and stood quietly for pets. A couple trots up and down the road, a brief feel over of his legs and such, and that's all I got. Apparently it's all I needed. The vetting was scheduled the following day and the wait begun.
 
I have had Bentley going on two weeks now. In that time he has:
-learned how to cross tie
-been clipped for the first time (bridle path/whiskers)
-learned how to lunge (work in progress... w/t/whoa are decent!)
-went on a little solo trail hack (very short but very sweet also)
-had his first post track ride... bareback 😃
-stood like a total pro for farrier and first set of hot shoes
-learned what the mash bucket looks like and what it brings him. This boy loves his mash!
-learned how to be more respectful on the ground
-and most importantly he learned what treats are! Maybe a little to enthusiastically but we will work on that.
Here is a quick transformation picture of him already from his listed picture to more current
 First ride post track:
 And first solo outside walk:
 So far I am very impressed with him! It is always a gamble to buy a horse but especially in this way. He has definitely exceeded my expectations in the brain department. He is very bold and curious versus flighty and has a very sweet personality. I am looking forward to seeing him grow and mature both physically and in his training. I have a feeling he is going to be a looker!
 His idea of fun was finding a mud hole in his pasture and covering his body from head to toe in dripping mud.... did I mention it was below 30 degrees?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2016: The bad, the worse, the worst, and a glimmer of hope

As we can all see blogging didn't happen in 2016. Mostly because a)time and b) the reason I made this is so I could keep track of my horses progress and have a place to store all our pics/videos. As 2016 rolled around my horses decided that none of them would like to participate in the year 😩 Here is a brief recap and the reason I will trying doing this thing more this year!

May- after getting his first score for his bronze medal he strained his flexor tendon just before our show season really got started (that one show is all we got). He was in rehab for the summer.
 

June- Tolo moved to the barn to begin work. Spent the first two weeks trying to kill me and I had the great idea to enter us into our barn recognized 3 day. Thank god there was an intro option! The first XC jump he had jumped in over 5 years was in warm up... right before our xc round! I'm happy to report no one died. Mylo won his intro division on his dressage score and beat every single intro horse entered!
 
 
July- air went to Rebecca Farms 3 day with my friends and had a blast. Even if I didn't have my pony in tow. Mystic was rehabbing really well. Got back from Rebecca to Tolo have a giant lump on his head.

August- Tolo went into Oregon State Vet Teaching Hospital 3 times this month where he was diagnosed with a fractured head. Many complications later he had surgery to remove bone chips from the fracture sight. Mystics rehab was going great. Was being the key word. The week he was to be cleared for full work again he came up lame.
 

September- Mystic moved to my friends house to hang out and hopefully heal. Tolo was still not back in action. A big group from the barn went on a horse camping trip. Also got to go the beach with Alanna and Emi.
 

October- Mystic was still lame and Tolo came up lame. Both got seen by vet. Tolo had his hocks injected and we discovered that Mystics injury was unrelated to his previous one. He had an inflamed pastern from who knows what. Mystic was put on 30 days of bute and more rest. I had to euthanize my first dog (of my own).

November- Mylo sold and went to his new home. Tolo became NQR yet again but hankfully my wonder pony came back into action. Tolo moved to my friends house where he is retired for now. Mystic started back to work with no signs of any problems besides being fat and out of shape.
 

December- Mystic and I went to our first lesson back and had a great weekend at the clinic.he continues to do well in work and is all healed up. I found a horse I loved and it failed it's vet check miserably. Just when I was about to give up for a few months I went and looked at a horse in the track and was immediately drawn to him. He was young, awkward, gangly, and definitely growing. Just how I like them! Vetted him and had some initial bad news. Had his X-rays sent to my vet that cleared up any worries and my new pony was delivered to me on Christmas Day!! I now have my eventing pony and my dressage pony (and that free loading retired one haha).
 

 
Lord knows I can't handle another year like 2016. So here's to a much over due long run of good luck for 2017!!