Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuff Flashback!

I was bored this afternoon and was looking through old photos and videos and found this gem. It is too funny! So here is the little Tuff Tuff at 5 months old, right before we weaned him. Daisy is so long suffering! I was wanting him to run amok so I could get it on camera, but as you can see he thought I was much more interesting, lol.

Tuff at 5 Months

And heres a few AWW pics for your day, :) He's 1 to 2 months old in all these.

And PS if you have had too much cuteness, go watch this video, it is truly horrifying:
Country Pleasure Driving Class Gone Wrong!

A Tough Tuff Day

Tuff says, "Who me? Whatd I do??"

So I know its been awhile since I've blogged last! Its been raining nearly every day the past few weeks. SO ANNOYING! Finally got a clear day that I had nothing else to do on, so I went out to brush Tuff and work with him a bit. I knew he'd be a hairy shedding beast because I haven't brushed him since they started shedding.

I was right! I got all my gear together and tied him to the hitching post and got to work. The little BIL came out and he got on one side with a curry comb and I got on the other and away we went for about 10-15 mins straight, and still was getting a lot off! But we did get most of it...for now, lol. I can't wait till he's all slicked out. I think hes going to be just as white as he was last summer if not whiter. (thats a weird looking word...)

So he was okay for most of that, more fidgety then I'd like, and wanting to get into everything. He has gotten a little annoying with his feet too, well mostly just fronts, but he's always had a hard time balancing himself. He was pretty good though.

So I had brought out the surcingle because I was wanting to ground drive him for the second time. As I was putting his pad and that on, and then his bitless bridle, I was thinking, maybe I should be getting him hooked up to the lunge line instead and letting him get some of this energy out. Because I could tell he just was in one of those fidgety "I'm not listening!!!" moods. But I decided to just see how things went first.

So I walked him around a bit just to make sure the surcingle wasn't going to bother him, then back to the post. Hooked up his lines and then drove him back up the slight hill over towards the main part of the yard (where I was driving him in the video I have of it) and he was going at a pretty good clip. Which meant our stops were very slow in coming (like last time). But the thing that most annoyed me was he wouldn't be STILL. I'd ask him to woah, he would woah and IMMEDIATELY take off walking again. We did this dozens of times. I was getting so frustrated. I thought eventually, hes going to get that I want him to wait on my cue. He's gonna get it!! But finally I just took the lines off, unbuckled the reins from the surcingle and made his butt work around in a little circle around me. And I mean WORK IT. He was loping a few strides sometimes I had him going so good.

Boy was he surprised! He was defenitely paying attention to me NOW! We did that both sides for a bit and I also made him hustle backwards a few times, and then I let him rest, adjusted his pad and such, like nothing had happend. Then I got the lines and put them back on. We had moved away from them a bit and I told him to woah, went and got one, then the other, and guess what?? HE DIDN'T MOVE. Eureka! ;)

So lets just say after his come to Jesus moment, we had a much better go of it. He was stopping quite well, and was STANDING until I told him to go off again, which I did very clearly with loud clicks and WALLLKKK and a wave of the reins on one side. So he knows exactly what means go. Of course he wasn't perfect he would take a step or act like he was going to move a few times, but the thing is when I said woah and pulled on the reins he STOPPED. And stood. A lot of times when I would halt him he would stop and cock a foot, I liked that, that meant he was relaxed and going to wait. Thank youuuuu. Why couldn't he have done that to begin with, geesh.

I think that at first he was thinking "oh, I'm out here by myself and I can just waltz around and do whatever I want, no one is controlling me! Ladee da.....mmm, grass, ohhh, I want to go here, or here, not there. Why do I need to stand still?? Thats no fun! Whats this over here??" Sigh. Terrible 2 year olds!!! (Tuff turns 2 in less then a month! April 29th!)

Sooo, I was a little dissapointed, but he did work out of his stupid moment, so thats good. But I don't want to have to whip his butt around every time just to get him to listen and respect me. Maybe he will get it soon and that wont be necessary.

The surcingle was a lot of help, kept the reins out of the way and also kept my lines up out of the way of his hooves! I think it also helped with the turning cues being more precise. Its not snug on him yet, but it tightens enough to stay in place good enough. He did well with it, thats the first time I've had that on him and done any work in it. No issues at all with that.

So after he did a few good stops and walked around calmly I was happy with that and took him back to the tie post. He stood like a good boy there, better then he has in a long time, and I untied him and put him back in the pasture before he decided to do otherwise! lol

So in conclusion: not a bad session, but not a 'good' one either. Just a learning experience I guess. I feel a little worried I got a little harsh with him a few times, I have a hard time controlling my temper at times, but I did my best and I think he was okay. I tried to be my best impession of mugwump, lol, I love her training methods and whenever I work with horses now I strive to emulate her. Go read her blog if you don't already! Mugwump Chronicles

I wanted to go ride Daisy but I was kind of tired and down about the session with Tuff, so didn't want to bring my bad attitude out there. Besides I think we will be moving them into their spring pasture soon (the one where there is a nice area to ride in! Thats where we did our lope last year) so I might wait till then. I found plans yesterday for jump making! Can't wait to get one put together and pop her over it! (pop will probably be the key word, a pop from the crop! haha) That over there will be a much better place to do jumping. I hope she (the owner) doesn't mind if I have one set up there, I don't know why she would though...she seems like a nice older lady.

I think I will have the hubby put jump cups at the 1ft and 2ft marks. Lord knows neither of us needs to go any higher then that!! I'm not going to spend the money on actual jump cups so I found a design they use for dog agility jumps that I will prolly use. Or something similar. Its out of pvc pipe. I will def have to adjust the design, but its a good idea to start with.

Anybody have ideas for homemade jump cups?? I've heard of the detergent/bottle type...little ugly though, lol.

Anyway, no pics of our session! I had my camera but I was definitely not in the mood to document! So theres one at top, and heres another, of him the other day. Still very fuzzy!

Oh, ps! I went on another ride with the mother the Sat before last. Had fun! It was a lot less windy and a lot less cold! The horses were still raring to go though! Even Cisco, he usually poops out about 10 mins in, but not that day! We had fun though and went a bit farther then before. And spent a lot less time in the round pen, haha. Heres a few pics:

Dixies mane I braided! Hers is the perfect length and thickness for it. I did Tuffs like this yesterday but his isnt as thick so it didn't look near as good.

And heres us, my meme took the picture for us :)

And here is Ditzy dog cooling off in the pond afterwards, hehe, she followed us.

Ta ta!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More Riding...

<--Daisy takin a nap, shes a wild thing...

So since our first english ride, we've had 2 more! I rode again the next day, Tuesday, and then again yesterday, Wednesday. (hey, I know my days, aren't you proud? ;) )

So! Tuesday didn't go nearly as well as the first ride. First I had to catch her, she and her bf decided it would be fun to run amok while I and the little BIL tried to catch them. But I just kept cutting her off and looking at the ground and she got tired of that pretty quick and stood still. Yeah! Sometimes her laziness really comes to my advantage.

She was fine for tacking up, although it took me longer this time, trying to make sure I had the saddle in the right place. It is so much easier for me to feel like I have a western saddle placed right. It just seems like the girth on that saddle falls too far toward her belly, so then I have to move the saddle up, but then I'm like, hm, is it too far forward?? Lol, o well, we will figure it out. I also lowered my stirrups a hole (thanks Becca!).

Anywho, I get on and walk up to our circle area (which is a circle around the BIL's deer stand, lol) and she decides, uh uh, she isn't going to go! And she proceeds to kick out, stop, swish her tail, and basically throw her version of a hissy fit. Sigh, so I smack her a couple times, kick her a lot, lol, and finally we get going. At first I thought maybe something was hurting/bothering her with the saddle, or bridle. But then I learned she only started balking when we were going away from the car area, so she was just not wanting to do anything. As usual. So after that we did some trotting, which felt like trying to get a slug to run. She was incredibly lazy, and I was tired/sore from the day before still, and it just didn't go real well. I don't have a whole lot of problem keeping her trotting while I'm sitting, but posting?? Ughh, she can quit on me a lot easier before I can do anything about it. Oh well, working on it!

So I got her to go around a few times without breaking and called it a day. I did a bit of two point back to the car, not sure if I was getting out of the saddle enough tho.

Yesterday! Went a lot better. I went out early afternoon before work, parked the car, and called Daisy. Daisy looks, goes back to eating. Sigh. I wasn't hoping for much, lol. I gathered up the bridle and trekked out to her, armed with my apple! She moved a few steps but stopped pretty quick and then I gave her a bite of the apple. Yum she says! Brought her back to the car, and saddled her up, while she took a nap (she picture at top). Rusty of course was a little pest, trying to eat my car, etc. So hopped on and we did some walking both ways, no balking or fits! Yeah! Did a little two-point, and then trotted working on my position. Which was hard because she was slow as molasses again. She broke gait a lot, but I think did better then yesterday, so thats good.

One thing I'm worried about. In the video, she looks like she is favoring her right fore, see the head bob? Its after I take my sweater off towards the end when we're trotting. Is it just me? I don't notice it until then. :( I don't know...I was wondering if anything would show up after riding her 3 days in a row...she is getting older. :( I vaguely remember thinking she felt a little off at one point, but its hard to tell out there, the ground is so not even.
Am I seeing things??

Anyway, I had a good time yesterday, it was just her and me and the WARM wonderful weather. (although sweaty helmet hair, not so cool) Daisy was pretty happy about her apple too, lol. Shes a good girl.

Here's our video! I tried my best to shorten it down! You get to see us chase Rusty off, lol, and then at the end her eating her apple and me taking her saddle off, brushing, etc. Just a ride with us!

Daisy English Again...

Have a great day everyone, the weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Daisy Goes English! (Redneck style!)

So first of all! I can NOT start this blog without a huge, MONUMENTAL thank you to a very generous and lovely person ALL THE WAY AROUND, in2paints! *clap clap clap!* She GAVE me an english saddle, girth, stirrups, and a saddle cover! Gave them!! Don't give up hope all of you, there are still REALLY great people in this world. Rebecca is one of them!! It is a beautiful lynn palm collegiate that is in great shape. And I just love it! I am going to the tack store today to get it some soap and I'm going to rub rub rub on it when I get home! ;) (no, I won't kiss it, I can restrain myself...I think)

Anyway, I can't thank her enough and I hope she knows how appreciative I am.

Okay, now, I am hesitant about putting these pictures and video up, because well, we look TRASHY! *cringe* Daisy has a western bridle on (at least it has a d ring in!) and I have camo boots on, jeans, and a browning sweater with a bulky jacket over that. But hey! I have my fancy velveteen helmet on! *cringe* Oh and lets not even mention how NASTY Daisy is! She was a MESS when I got out there, and of course I just grabbed my tack and went, not a brush in sight! So I tried to knock the big parts of it off with my coat sleeve, lol. *cringe*

Daisy looks cute though. And my position!! *double cringe* Hm, anything else?? How about we play the "how many things dont belong in this picture?" game! Oh well, if I can laugh at myself, its okay, right? ;)

(sorry in advance for some of the pics, they are video stills and are quite poopy in quality!!)

<--Look how nasty she is!!

Anyway, all that to say, I DID have a lot of fun! It's been SO long since I have sat my hiney in an english saddle. Not since college, which was 4 or 5 years ago, geesh. I missed it! And back THEN I didn't ride english well. I have a horrible chair seat, I guess all that time riding western and being sloppy with it. My h/j coach used to say I rode 'dressagey' too, *shrug*.

I have a hard time keeping my lower leg back, any tips guys?? If I reallllly concentrate on it, I can do it, but boy it takes a lot of effort, lol. (I have some sore legs today!) I also have slumpy shoulders, you can't really tell here though because I have like 3 layers on. My shoulders were my riding coaches nightmare, hahah. One horse show my coach made me sit pin straight no matter what I was doing until my class. Didn't help, sigh. I slump through life, its my build, unfortunately.

I also had a lot of trouble not riding her 'western' with my hands. I'm so used to trying to get her to neck rein that I was laying the rein over her neck, or moving my hands out to the side to turn her, not just tilting my wrists, you know? So that took me about 10-15 mins to quit doing, lol. And of course Daisy was so happy about me being up in her mouth -_- chew chew chew chew x100.
<--wow, I look so goofy in that helmet!! Daisy looks cute though. That helmet is OLD, I bet they make much lower profile ones now! (that sucker is seriously over 10 years old) Then on to posting the trot! Been awhile, but I actually can still 'feel' when I should be going up without looking, yeah for me!! At least I can do something right, lol. Although I was very wobbly the first few times around, which Daisy wasn't helping either. She was trying to quit on me and going "what are you doing up there??" So I was trying to kick her and go up and down, and then I was falling forward etc, and it didn't go so well. But! I persevered and after a bit we got it and she went around like a pro! I still fall forward every so often, but it got better.

My reins were also a bit of a problem, they are made for western pleasure, not english, and are WAY way too long. So I felt like she was almost stepping on them, and they weren't fun to ride two handed english style with. SO, next time the bitless bridle is definitely coming out with me. I just was too lazy to go and get it from the in laws barn. Toward the end of the video you'll hear the hubby saying something about cutting them off, haha, he thinks they are a rediculous length, but they are made to have a big drape in them!

Here's the vid! Any tips, tricks will be appreciated! What do yall think about my stirrup length? Good, too short? My knee seems awful close to the front of the saddle to me, but what do I know? Also, is the saddle in a good position on Daisy? It sure makes her back look long, I don't have it too far forward do I? The girth seemed to fall in a good position. That saddle pad is ancient and not made very well, need to get a new one! I have 2 homemade ones from many moons ago I did when I was a teenager, I was going to put one of them on over the white one but it was really dusty and a mouse chewed a hole in the top layer, boo. So I figured we looked redneck enough already, lol.

Daisy Goes English

So, the husband said Daisy doesn't look 'right' english, I was a little offended! I thought we looked pretty cute, haha. Although I do at this point prefer her in western tack, but we don't look wrong! ;) He was standing out there saying how cold it was and are you done yet, and I was not cold at all! I had even forgotten my gloves. (or so I thought, they were actually in my car -_-) I guess I was having fun!

I cant wait to get some cavalettis built so we can do some pole work! Then I want to get some jump standards built so we can practice going through them (just over a pole) and eventually work up to a baby jump :).

Here are a few stills I pulled off the video:

Walkin...looks like I'm smiling?

Hey, my leg is back!

I love this one! ^ We look pretty decent!! (durn tail of hers, Im gonna glue it to her butt!)

Daisy looks a bit stiff in the hind end...well she is nearly 19! And we had 3 inches of SNOW the day before! (shes also pretty post legged, lol)

This is what our yard looked like sunday!

And it got even deeper! We had some serious fun in it.

Okay, shutting up now! I hope yall don't laugh at us TOO hard, don't bust a gut! ;) And another HUGE THANK YOU!! to Becca!