2013 Memories

2013 Memories

Monday, December 31, 2012


What a year 2012 has been. I still cannot believe it is already almost 2013, where did all this time go?! Horse wise 2012 didnt treat us too bad. I definitely didnt get to do as much as I wanted, but did very good in what we did get to do. I am hoping that 2013 will bring us bigger and better! Like actually being able to compete at a 3 day and a recognized dressage show. I have wanted to do these forever and yet havent been able to.

I did find a home for my OTTB rescue mare Sky earlier this year. As much as I love rescuing horses I hate the rehoming part. Not only do you have to deal with a bunch of nutty horse people but also with the fact that you might never see that horse again. As much as I try to stay detached from them it is very hard. With this I would also like to add that I have not gotten another rescue or another horse and it has been over 6 months! Im pretty sure this is a record. Its not for lack of seeing horses I wouldnt take but because I know that if I take on another the list of things I could to do with the pony will get smaller and smaller.
Last day with Sky

This year I really understand how blessed I am to have this once in a lifetime horse. I have obviously always known I was lucky to have him but this year was the icing on the cake. I do things with this horse that most dont dream of doing with their own! It is a blessing to be able to go out and ride in any kind of weather, anytime of day, with as much or little tack as I want and trust that he will take care of me. I hear so many stories of people and their horses and how "oh I cant do that because my horse will freak out" or "my horse spooks in this corner all the time" or "we need to get to the show 3 hours early so my horse can settle in" and I just thank Mystic that we can get to a show 30 minutes before our test and pull out a 70 percent, that I can ride bareback and bridleless in a rain/wind storm, and that he tolerates all my "oh this would be fun to try" moments :) Thank you Mystic for keeping this adventure fun!

A big ole good bye to 2012! Heres to hoping 2013 is bigger and better!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Vacation!

The pony had a couple days off at the end of this week while I went to my dads house up in Portland for the weekend. Since I jumped him a little bit on Christmas I didnt mind giving him a couple days off afterwards. Even though the jump was a tiny cross rail im just not ready to push the subject yet! He got his hair done Thursday morning before I left but got to have Wed/Thur/Fri off of work. Saturday I said Alanna could hop on him if she wanted, so she got to take him for a spin. Of course he tried to convince her that it was not an authorized training session and that his mom would never allow it but he gave in and I was told he was his usual star pony self :)

On a completely un related horse topic...
I took my mini aussie to an agility trial this weekend. We are still figuring it out together as he hasnt been doing it too long but we got by far our best runs yet! He is really starting to put the courses together more instead of me having to redirect every couple obstacles. He is also picking up on direction changes, switches, and crosses which will help a ton moving up the levels. It is really nice to see him driving to every obstacle instead of coming back to me or looking around. You can tell he just has a blast out there and thinks he is the best thing since sliced bread. Although he never barks at me in practice or at home he has started barking at me while on course as if he is telling me everything I am doing wrong! We had some really nice runs and even won some classes, including a very difficult class! I see a very bright future for us in the agility ring!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the pony and I! We had a great annual Christmas Eve trail ride yesterday with Alanna and Chevy and the sun even made an appearance for the whole ride (its been missing for quite some time)! It was so nice to be able to just head out bareback for a nice relaxing ride with our good friends.

His cute bow on his tail!

Practicing our waves for the parade we decided we will be in one day!

His usual face! He is such a character

Mystic and Chevy

All decked out

Thursday, December 20, 2012

In a perfect world

Yesterday I was online looking at the ODS calendar for next year thinking "I want to do this, and this, and this, oh that would be fun, definitely going to this, etc!". Then I get all excited before going back and thinking that I would have to have 10 jobs to pay for it all! Why do horses have to be so dang expensive! I seriously dont get how I see all these people that go to every single recognized dressage or eventing shows in our area plus take lessons weekly plus clinic when someone comes around. What is your secret because I would sure LOVE to be in your shoes!

Every year I try to make a list of all the shows and events I would like to go to the next year. I think I have started one on here already but here is my updated list. As they get closer I will have to pick and choose, some may do it for me if I am out of money at that time or already have plans. But in a perfect world I would love to go to all of them!

-Dressage for the Ages (March)- debut our 2nd level test 1 here at a nice relaxing league show and see what kind of comments/scores we get.

-All Breed Challenge at the Horse Expo (March)

-Heart of the Valley (May)- this would be our first recognized dressage show and our first time showing at Devonwood! This kind of depends on how we do in March and how we progress from there. I dont want to  go back and do First 2/3 but also dont want to go and make a fool of ourselves at second!

-Inavale Farms 1-day Horse Trials (June)- In prep for our first recognized 3 day event!

-Inavale Farms Recognized 3-day Event (June)- Our first recognized event! Ive been waiting for this one forever! We will do BN :)

-Dressage at Devonwood (July)- Also wanted to do this one forever!

-ODS Young rider camp (August)- 4 day long camp at Devonwood where I get to take Mystic and get lessons each day. It also leads up to the young rider team competition that is held up there also.

-Inavale Farms Eventing Camp (August)- its normally in August I think and would be fun to take the pony to I think!

-ODS Young Rider Competition (August)- Would need to get a team together but would be super fun!

-Oregon State Fair Breed Show (August)- we didnt get to do any breed shows last year so definitely want to do at least one this year

-ODS Championship show (September)- if we qualify that is...

-Aspen Farms 3-day Horse Trials (September)- problem is both this and ODS championships are on the same weekend! So if we dont qualify for championships would could go to this. I would love to do 2 events in a year but would also love to compete at Devonwood!

We have quite the growing, expensive list going! Time to start looking for more jobs... :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dressage Lesson!

Mystic and I had our December lesson last night. I SO wish I could afford to do one every week as it is amazing the progress we make just within our lessons. Maybe someday! He came out really stiff and hanging on my right rein which is completely normal for him but also something that we need to work on improving as going into our 2nd level tests I need to be able to influence him much easier. We started doing some spiraling in and out of a circle first working on controlling his hind end and keeping it from swinging side to side like he tries to do. The work is definitely getting much harder and that is one of his ways of getting out of it, completely understandable! The tricky part was keeping control of his hind end and getting him to carry himself on the right rein and not plowing down on it. It is super hard to coordinate all of it! You feel like you start getting the correct bend and you lose his butt or the other way around!

The hard part about him being so heavy on the right rein is that it transfers to everything! Our shoulder ins to the left are pretty good at this stage of his training but to the right we really struggled. Finally we took a break from the shoulder in and really worked on getting him off that rein. Basically I just have been allowing him to lean on it. Once I took the rein and really got onto him with my inside leg and tapping his butt with the whip to show him that I wanted his hind end engaged and stepping under we made a ton of progress with our shoulder in tracking that way. I just need to be more insistent with it and not allow him to go any other way. It was amazing the difference I could feel from the beginning to the end! That along with me riding him into the shoulder in better helped improve it.

We also got a few canter-walk transitions. A few good and few not so good mixed together, stuff you would expect from both a horse and rider learning how to do it all. I did learn that I just really need to seriously squeeze him with my legs and use much less hand. By the time we started doing walk-canters he was shutting me out and not really responding to the forward ques leaving less than desirable transitions but that can be worked on another day.

It is all a learning process for us both and neither of us have done any of this before which makes everything more difficult! I have never ridden a correct shoulder in or collected canter so I have no idea if what I am feeling is correct or not. That is why I learn so much in our lessons because I have her telling me when it is right and I know how that felt. We are not only teaching him but also me! We will get there but im definitely getting the whole "the most tears are shed between 1st and 2nd" thought. It will be a much harder transition from 1st to 2nd then anything else. But I cannot wait to get there!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Picture time

Merry Christmas!

Sadly the weather was bad so we had to do them all inside but he is still adorable! Next year we will do them earlier (had to wait to get our cooler this year) with our neck ribbon that we are going to win :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

So sassy!

The pony has some new found skills that he is showing me much more frequently as he gets in better shape! Bucking! It is actually pretty comical since he isnt great at it and he isnt malicious about it at all either. I am really cracking down on him being more prompt about everything (especially transitions) and he sometimes like to act as if nothing was asked of him. Then when he gets a little reminder (aka the dressage whip!) he throws his heels up in protest of, what clearly is, pony abuse :)

I am actually enjoying riding him with his new increased stamina. He really is getting in good shape and I dont feel as if he is dying by the end of our rides at all. I am really looking forward to our lesson on Monday. I am hoping to get it video taped (as long as our personal videographer is feeling okay). That will help me a lot as we only take lessons once a month. Oh the dreams I have of all the things we could do if money wasnt an issue :)

Sporting Alannas quarter sheet. I need to invest in one of these. These cold nights are killing me!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

5 Weeks

That is how long the pony went between his body clips. How insane is that?! Today he got clipped again as his shaving from last month had become completely useless already. He of course was perfect for the job but who wants to have to clip every 5 weeks for the winter? NOT this girl! You get hair in places hair should not be. No matter how many pairs of clothes you wear or what kind of clothes you wear, you can expect to get hair EVERYWHERE!

That being said it does make a world of difference! After our ride tonight, by the time I cooled him out, he was completely dry. Hopefully he grows it back a little slower this time!

This is him "enjoying" his quick spa day yesterday
 Remember our last show (end of October) that we cleaned up at? Yeah we finally got our cooler for high percentage of the show! We are doing a little photo shoot with all this years winnings this weekend but here is a quick shot of him today trying it on :) He is so cute!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Lazy, lazy!

Yeah that has been me with my pony! We have done a lot of bareback on these cold nights. It has been super fun and I love it but the more I think about it, March really isnt that far off! Im not saying we having done actual work at all but for the last week and a half it has probably been split 50/50 :) We have a lesson next week so its time to get back to business. I feel like this walk-canter and canter-walks have improved a bit. A lot more so tracking left than right (his harder side) but he is definitely getting the concepts.

It is always hard for me to go do real riding at the barn after I get off work in the beginning of winter because it gets so dark and cold. None of which are motivating factors! It honestly happens every year. Then I think about the upcoming show season and I get over it and get back to work. So weird how I work but I know exactly what is up! We STILL have not gotten our cooler but should this week for our 2012 show season pictures with our winnings!

When I got to the barn tonight I took one look at my horse and thought "you sure look like you could be standing on the street corner holding a sign"! He was so nasty! Since there were lessons in the arena tonight I just went to town on cleaning him up a little bit. I shampooed his feather and shampooed and conditioned both his mane and tail (mean mommy I know!). He looked much better but not show ready of course. I then hoped on for a nice short ride to get him going again after having the weekend off. He is really becoming a character under saddle some times. I think he is getting more fit as we progress with harder work and after having the weekend off he was feeling good! Apparently big slugs on the wall and the sand flying up and hitting the door were quite exciting tonight. He was definitely keeping me entertained. The best part is that his 'excited' is most normal horses normal. Plus you know he is just feeling frisky because he normal could care less about just about anything. I think he was feeling like a new man after getting his hair did :)

Monday, December 3, 2012

Extreme Trail!

Yesterday we took Mystic and Pants to the indoor extreme trail course in Eugene. That place is SO cool! Even though its not our normal scene its nice to get them out to do everything. Although Mystic definitely was  having to take it all in when we first walked in he handled it all very well. He ended up doing everything there except for the water. This shocked me because I thought that would be the one thing he wouldnt really mind doing... Sadly I didnt bring my tall muck boots as I didnt think it would be an issue. Next time he can bet I am bringing my boots and we are getting in that water! Everything else went really good and it was a great experience for him for sure.
Of course we got all the silly comments people normally say when they see him. Its actually rather annoying sometimes now. People just say the stupidest things! I dont mind people asking me about him at all but I dont need to hear your life story about a black and white horse you once knew or owned. We did make a little girl happy when she got to pet him though, it was super cute.

We even did a tiny bit of bridleless at the end

Love this one! Mystic and Panties :)

Now we are back to real work. We need to do our homework from our last lesson so we can keep working towards our 2nd level goal at our next lesson later this month. He has definitely been improving!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lots of riding

Today I rode 3 horses! I had morning class then headed to the barn (I have like a 3 hour break between my morning class and my  afternoon horse training class). I didnt go out Monday as I was super tired and freezing after work. I had all the intentions of going out last night but I stopped by Alannas house to visit her after her first chemo treatment and we all know how that ends, 2 hours later I headed back home. I couldnt miss Hart of Dixie of course :) I just hoped on him bareback but had his bridle on and we did some work for about 30 minutes before walking down the road and calling it a day. I love this horse so much!

Then I headed into my horse class. I started a blog for her but didnt keep up on it as there really wasnt much to say for the last month we have started working on under saddle work. I think I posted about her in the very beginning but she is a 16.3 hand 12 year old Canadian Warmblood mare. We have made tons of progress on the ground and she is super sweet. Going to get on? Lets just say we have spent the last 3 weeks (we only meet M/W/F) or more getting her to relax for me to get on and just sit on her. Mean while the other 12 horses (2 others were in my boat) have been cantering their horses for 2 weeks. A light bulb FINALLY went off in Roses head this week and we have our first 2 rides all by ourselves under our belt, we even trot! Today was our first day walking outside of the round pen and with a group of other horses. She settled in really well and we called it a day. Im so happy we are finally able to make progress under saddle. She is really nice and responsive. She turns, whoas, and goes all with relatively easy cues given its our 2nd real ride. On Friday we got the go ahead to do some trot work outside the round pen with the group! How exciting.

After I finished with her and had put her away and done her chores I went up and was watching the second group of horses in the arena. One Quarter Horse mare (who had dumped one of her people on Monday) was acting up and being naughty again today. Throwing her shoulder and running sideways and just ignoring her rider. With about 30 minutes left in class I hear my teacher screaming "Tarra! Where is Tarra? Get your helmet and get in the arena!" So I grab my helmet and head into the arena. My teacher told the mares person to get off and wanted me to get on her. So on I hoped and boy oh boy has this horse gotten away with murder undersaddle! She totally just throws her shoulder and shoots sideways. Into other horses, people, walls, etc. She had no respect for the riders before, clearly. She wanted to do what she wanted and how she wanted and was not pleased that I was not letting her do it! I worked for her awhile having to take my foot out of the stirrup (was riding western) and hard core kick her to get responses from her. She was not the quickest learner but after a couple times of her you know what hitting the fan when she tried pulling something she did get a lot better. I guess she had just started refusing to go forward with her trainer person also. She tried a couple times but it wasnt a big issue. She knew that I meant business and I was so not putting up with her crap! I mean my horse that had 2 rides went around 1000000 time better then she did and she has been being ridden for weeks! I did really get after her several times pretty good because otherwise she does her horsey flip off and would go where she wanted (what she did with the other people). It was actually really funny, we had our own little cheering section of classmates watching as I tried to not take out the other 6 super green horses cantering around the arena both of us not trying to run into eachother and both of our horses heading straight for eachother! I just hope I dont get switched horses!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Just lovin' life!

We had a nice short bareback and bridleless ride tonight. There was a bunch of hammering and sawing going on right by the arena (owners building a little cabin, how cool is that?!) and he was super good about it. Not that I expected any less but he is kind of a shorty and cant see over the wall all that well so I just didnt know what he would think of it. I am going to make my own neck rope and start teaching him more tricks. We have to get ready to win fan favorite at the expo of course :)

Here is a fun little survey people are doing, thought we would give it a shot!

Splurge or save: 

1) saddle: save! Find a good deal on a nice saddle :)
2) board: Find a reasonable price for quality care aka: Never Done Farms where the pony is at!
3) halter: Every pony needs a leather halter! (still need to get his nameplate put on.. whooops!)
4) bit:  save
5) bridle:  Save in some ways. One that isnt too expensive but is pretty and gets the job done
6) saddle pad: I would like to say save but I just LOVE saddle pads and prob spend more on them then I should!
7) trailer: mommy just sold ours :( I need to start saving for one eventually. Wont be saving but not splurging either, a happy medium!

First thing that comes to mind: 

1) Haflinger: freaking adorable
2) Quarter Horse: yup got to go with Alanna... downhill and S.L.O.W
3) Thoroughbred: love them!
4) Warmblood: Someday I will have one
5) Welsh Cob: Alannas next horse! And Cardi of course

This or That:

1) english or western: English
2) tall or short: Either or. Love my little 14.3 hand guy but like the big ones also
3) trail ride or beach ride: Beach all the way, love it!
4) long mane or short mane: Either. Obviously Mystics is long. Just depends on the breed as to what I like
5) hunters or jumpers: Jumpers!  
6) XC or barrel racing: XC no douby
7) outdoor arena or indoor arena: Outdoor
8) trot or canter: Canter
9) canter or gallop: Gallop
10) paddock boots, tall boots, or cowboy boots: Tall boots
11) horse shoes or barefoot: Barefoot! Yay for ponies!
12) saddle or bareback: Depends on the day. I always love a nice bareback day :)

About you: 
1) How long have you been riding? Since I was 5 or 6 (am now 19 you do the math!)
2) Do you own or lease a horse? Own
3) Breed? Age? Height? Name? (if you don’t own or lease, you could talk about your lesson horse) Mystic Prince: Gypsy Vanner, 5 years old, 14.3 hands
4) Do you have any other pets? Of course! A mini aussie named Harley and a mutt named Max
5) If your horse was a person, what kind of voice would they have (you can use a celebrity for an example) Dont know who he would sound like but a deep, ooffy (not a word but if you can get what im saying you will get it!) old man voice that is like "whatever you want mom"

6) Does your horse have a “color”? If so, what is it, and what do you have in that color? Yes! It was blue but now transitioning into red/white/blue
7) Does your horse do any tricks? We started working on bowing so he kind of does it
8) Have you ever dressed your horse up for Halloween?  Nope.

1) Breed? Love me my Vanners! And warmbloods and thoroughbreds
2) Discipline? Eventing/dressage
3) Coat color? Bays with chrome! Black and white isnt too bad either :)
4) Famous horse? Courageous Comet
5) Horse race/competition? Rolex!
6) Brand of tack? Dont really have one
7) Thing to do with your horse?  Beach rides, bridleless work, trail rides, too much to name!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So Thankful

Thanksgiving is definitely one of my most looking forward to day of the year, if that made any sense at all! Every year we have our annual 'clean up' where we gather things we dont use and outgrown clothes and donate them to Goodwill, then we eat (a LOT!), and go see a movie. There truly is no better way to spend a day then with your family!

To save me time here are some pictures of some of what I am thankful for this year :)
My puppy Harley! And our new agility adventures together

Getting to go to Nashville with my dad and sister

Another super successful show season with  my boy

Spending time in Florida with family, SO much fun!

Cousin bonding time this summer :)

Many, many adventures with my best friend. This was at the country music festival :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Moving on!

The pony and I had a great lesson last night! It gave us a good idea of where we are now, which isnt to bad, and what we need to do to get where we want to be. The added elements going from first to second are: collected trot and canter, 10 meter canter circles, shoulder in, simple changes and the rein backs (and thats just going from first 3 to second 1!). I have played with some walk to canter transition with him before as we use them when we jump so he had the general concept of those down pretty good. We had also started some shoulder in in our lessons over the summer.

During our warm up it became really apparent that I really need to be asking him for more bend, especially to his hard side (tracking right), and to make sure that when I ask him to yield off my leg that he does it from his rib cage and not just in his haunches like he would like to do. I can really feel when he starts getting wiggly in his hind end and tries throwing it every which way so I should be able to catch it. I just need to make sure that I am really focusing on it and not letting him get away with it at all. He started off stiff but seemed to really loosen up much quicker than he has in the past which was really nice to feel! Another thing I really need to work on is not holding him up with my reins. At this point we really need to start being able to show that he is carrying himself there fore getting the correct work instead of him holding onto him and faking it! I dont think I realized how much I have been doing it until a few moment last night when Mary told me to let go of one of my reins (the one that was trying to keep him up) and instead use that inside leg more. Even to his hard side when I was riding him well I could feel a huge difference and could really feel him carrying himself. It did however take a ton of leg! His shoulder in tracking left was good for not having worked on it and shouldn't be a problem at all by March. Tracking right was much harder for us. That is when I try compensate him not bending by me using my reins. The good thing is we have several months to get it good! Going in to our shoulder in work Mary pointed out how much I dont ride into my corners (whoops!). Basically at the level of work we have been doing it was fine but going into second level I need to be pushing him much further into the corner with lots of inside leg and a leading outside rein. Once I started really riding him into them it got much better, I just need to make it a habit to ride like that every time! After schooling our shoulder in both ways we started some canter work as we wanted to work on getting the foundation in for our simple changes. Im not going to lie... when I got off after our lesson my legs were definitely feeling it, and we didnt even do that much, from all the squeezing! Basically we are teaching him that when I start squeezing  his guts out he knows that he gets to walk soon. So on a small canter circle I would half halt and squeeze 3 strides in a row before asking for the walk. Of course they were not perfect but they were not bad at all. He never just fell on his forehand and completely lost everything. He kind of stumbled into the walk a couple times but it was never anything super major.

Overall it was a very encouraging ride! We have our homework to work on until our lesson next month. I told him no more 1st level stuff, been there done that time to move on buddy! Depending on where we are at we might actually do 1st 3 in May at our first recognized show but it all just depends on how far along our 2nd level work we are :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Lesson tomorrow!

Im super excited for our lesson tomorrow. I actually think super excited is an understatement! We had a good ride this morning in the nasty cold and wind ewww!

This is how excited he is to see his Teacher Mary!

I am really hoping to be able to show second level next year with him. Whether it be in May or October, at a recognized or schooling show, I want to make it happen! I know we have a lot of work ahead of us to get there but he is a super willing hardworking dude and I think we can make it happen! Plus we need some gorgeous pictures of us doing our thing at Devonwood :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

2 Years

Its really sad... but I forgot to post on our two year date together (which was actually on Halloween, whoops!)! Here are some fun pictures/videos to see how far we have come in our 2 years :)

Right before loading up to head home!

Our first "ride"

First double ride along with our first ride along with one of his first rides!
Just off the trailer
Its almost embarrassing to post... but our first dressage test! He was only 60 days under light work at this point:

Compared to now!!

Im so excited to see what year 3 brings us :)