Sunday, December 28, 2014

Getting Older

Success comes one day at a time.

Unfortunately, each day, with that success, age is creeping up too!

Brief school update
Ended up with A's in all of my classes.  Not too bad considering I am working [more than] full time and full time class.  Let's hope that next semester goes as well. 


The girls were good this weekend.  I rode both Friday and Saturday.  Friday, the gal that's been riding The Semi Feral Mare wanted to know more about mounting bareback.  I tried to coach her through the process, but not too much success.  It takes a large amount of upper body strength and figuring out a different center of gravity than many women have.  Men seem to have a better center of gravity and can swing up more easily.

As for myself, I could never swing up well.  I dislocated my left shoulder and had some other shoulder injuries from swimming in my former life.  ;)  I have just used the "belly up" method of mounting a horse bareback.

The mare was a good sport for all of these shenanigans. 

Besides trying to feel out of shape, I just worked with the basics with both girls. 

The Mare had some great trot sets with an easy consistent pace.  When her trot was going well, it was a joy to ask her to canter and I ended up with her very smooth, happy rocking horse canter. 

A far cry from the running away, bulging shoulder scramble she used to do.

The filly, I worked on trying to forget about the head and worry more about the bend, going straight, and being consistent.

I also asked her to canter from a particular point...trying to give her enough of a cue/warning with my body to prepare her and to let her carry herself easily around the arena.  It's hard sometimes with a smaller, maneuverable horse to try and ask her to turn more sharply than I ought to.  She falls out of the canter and gets frustrated.  I get frustrated because she stopped cantering.

Rule number one should be set the horse up for success.  Duly noted.  Let the little horse figure out how to carry my weight, easily canter, just ask for a proper bend while cantering and everything else comes together.  Amazing how that works.  

Unlock the jaw while cantering and her head would come down.  Give her a big smooth circle and she is more comfortable lifting and carrying through in the canter.

Perhaps there are good things about getting older.  Maybe I'll eventually figure out how to be the rider my horses deserve.

Or maybe I'll die from these sore ribs and my very sore back from trying to be 18 again and vaulting onto my horse!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Happy Holidays

I am looking forward to a few quiet days.  I worked yesterday and today, which is fine.

But a cool thing that occurred was that I submitted a couple photos online to a photo contest on the Arabian Horse Times.

The Arabian Horse Times shared this picture

Last time I looked it has over 1,000 shares and 35,000 likes.

Who knew?

Too bad it doesn't count towards the actual contest, but still neat to see.  

This handsome gentleman gelding is a purebred Arabian gelding with a national top ten title in reining and lots of other titles in sidesaddle, western, hunter pleasure, and more.  A truly versatile Arabian.

If anyone wants to take a peek and vote in the actual contest, please click here.

Hope everyone else is having a wonderful time

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Quarter Sheet Story

Quarter Sheets

Nothing too exciting right?  A piece of fabric that goes over your horse's rump and if you're lucky, over your legs so if you live in the Arctic tundra like I do (or mostly how I feel), you won't immediately die from freezing temperatures in the riding arena.

I decided to introduce one to the filly.  Now she's pretty chill about new things.  There's a little tail cord on my quarter sheet to keep it from sliding too far forward.  After all, a naked horse rump without a quarter sheet isn't so cute, is it?

I put the quarter sheet on and mounted.  One ear flick.  Another ear flick.  She took a step forward.

What is this thing under my tail?  

You've worn a crupper.  You've done this before.

This is under my tail.  And you're on me.  When I'm stepping forward, it's going to crawl up my butt and I will die.

You will not die.

OK, I won't die.  But I'm not happy.

I'm fine with that.

I'm still not happy.

Just go work.  

OK, but every time it moves while I am trotting, I'm going to let you know about it. 

And she did.  It was just a ear flick and a couple pinned ears when it really jostled around.  By the end of the ride, it was a non issue, but this horse is so expressive about new things, she has to make a point to you about her opinions on things.

Good grief horse. I'm trying to keep your butt from freezing off and look fashionable at the same time.  Life isn't that hard, is it?   

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Filly and the Obstacles

If people haven't noticed, my posting schedule has been a little bit more erratic.

My apologies.  My recent class schedule has been insane.  I have class twice a week and each class I was having four assignments, several lab reports, online practice quizzes, and a powerpoint presentation on some random immunology topic to present.

I'm pretty savvy and quick to pick up on things, but it was a little difficult to make non existent time come out of nowhere to finish all these things.

Sorry blog.  Small break until that madness was over.  Technically it's over tomorrow morning after my final.  The ponies have also been on a more-limited-schedule hiatus because of those shenanigans.

But without much adieus, onto the filly!

I rode her Monday evening.  I wasn't feeling very ambitious at first, but decided to set up some obstacles.  I had a raised pole, the bridge, two weave poles, and a blue barrel.

The long and short of it is that I decided to teach the filly to push barrels.  She used to do this on the ground, but a little bit different undersaddle.  What's the point?  Not sure if there is one. But in case there are any rogue barrels out there, we'll be sure to get them.

But it is nice instilling confidence in a young horse to handle various obstacles.  Plus, it's pretty fun that my filly is learning how to "neckrein" as in moving off my leg to kind of understand where I am now trying to steer her.  Also, a third cool point is that I can use my camera phone on my young horse, take video, and be mostly certain I am not going to die doing this.

What are some more obstacles I should work on for next time?  :)  Any favorites for you and your horse?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Saving Cents: Calf Manna and Max-E-Glo

While browsing, I discovered a $5 off coupon for Calf Manna.

Calf Manna is often used by horsemen to add a bit of weight on a horse or more finish and bloom.  If you or a friend are Calf Manna fans, then here you go

MannaPro is also offering another coupon for Max-E-Glo.

This supplement is stabilized rice brain, which is ideal for adding more fat to a horse's diet.  If winter is getting your horse down, give it a try.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Tides of Change

Sometimes change comes when it's least expected.

I really do enjoy my boarding barn.  There are lots of cool women (and some men!) that board there and I usually spend quite a bit of time chatting while riding and hanging out with the horses.

However, I have made a big leap and put in my thirty day notice to move boarding barns.  A gentleman my husband was talking to on the phone about buying beef ended up mentioning something about horses.  One thing lead to another and we ended up viewing the boarding barn.

 Less than five miles from home
No barn hours
Cheaper board cost
Fewer horses
Dressage sized, sand outdoor

Missing all of my barn friends :(
Smaller indoor arena
Fewer trails to ride on

So hopefully this will work out!  It will certainly be beneficial to have the girls closer to home while I am working on finishing up my second semester in my accelerated program.  Currently, it's about 30 minutes to drive from home in good weather and in slippery ice & snow, the roads are pretty twisty and dangerous.  It will be nice to be able to pop out before work in the morning and check on them or even get a quick ride in.

Wish me luck.  I've never really left a barn for "non essential" reasons like the barn closing or that I was moving to a different city, so this is a different ball of wax for me!

Saturday, December 6, 2014


High quality derpy looks there.  Good thing we're not supermodels.

Lots of new updates coming soon.

Rode both horses tonight.  I am truly lucky.