Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Dressage Time!

I got to ride Mr. Charlie last night! (edit: last week! lol) He is a early teen flea bitten gray QH. He was a bit of a pill to begin with but after we worked through his naughtiness he was pretty good!

Tacking up
My trainers Collegiate Sr Event, I really like it! (and the pad is so perty, lol)
So the husband was a tad late coming to get the littlest stinker (had to work late) so I stuck her in her baby carrier and just went on with my business! Thankfully the girl that helps out had already caught him and stuck him in the cross ties for me. She turned to L and said "Man, I hope I'm that kind of mom one day," lol! You just do what you gotta do sometimes!

I brushed him down and put his tack on that she had found for me. After that we just hung out for a bit waiting on daddy. After he got there I handed Hailey bug over and bridled and booted Mr. Charlie and walked on out to jump on. She had me ride with a bit longer stirrup that day since we wouldn't be doing any jumping and going through Intro B again. Yeah!

So I walked in to warm him up in the other arena while I waited on L to get done with her previous lesson. The hubby stayed to watch and hung out at the pergola area. I was so happy he was there to watch, it was fun for him to be able to see what I've been working on. He said I looked like I knew what I was doing (hah) ;).

So Charlie likes to pin his ears, shake his head, and not go forward if he thinks he can get away with it. He tested me a few times but finally got over himself about a quarter of the way through our lesson lol. I wish I had bought gloves the other day when I meant to because I have some nice blisters. He was VERY heavy in the bridle and took a LOT of contact to get on the bit and slow his butt down. I was a little alarmed a few times with how fast he got but finally got his number about halfway through. L kept telling me just a little 'wiggle, wiggle' to get him to slow down. And I tried that a few times and then just took things into my own hands so to speak, lol, and took a MUCH firmer hold on him and wha la! Here comes dressage pony!

So after that we went into the other arena and did Intro B again, which went really well! L and kept hollering how I was getting him to do all that in a snaffle with no leverage, lol. It was fun. After that she wanted me to trot around her so she could take pictures. But everytime he looked good I didn't lol. So anyway here are the best ones. If you can call them that!

So I started this post last week but just now getting it posted! I had another great lesson last night and some not so good Harold news (myterious lameness) that I will post about soon! Ta ta.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Playing with Harold and Lesson #3

Trotting over the poles!
Last Friday it worked out great for me to be able to go over and get my boy out and play with him. Once again I left the littlest stinker with the monitor close by taking a nap and headed over to get Mr. Harold with my middle stinker. (Biggest stinker is in school ;) )

I knew I wouldn't have time to ride so I just got him out and put him through his paces again. Before I grabbed him I went and got some poles to play with though! They are old round posts the brother in law used to hang Christmas lights on at his tree lot a few seasons ago so they were a bit weather worn, but they worked! I drug them through the rails and set them in a line off to the side so we could still use the round pen but also move over to trot over them when we wanted.

So I parked Shelby in the shade watching some kids youtube again (yup, she loves that thing! Although my data plan doesn't, sigh) and went and grabbed pretty boy. He was happy to have his cookie ;). But after I grabbed him and brought him back to the pen I started noticing he looked like he had the mange! Apparently, after consulting his masseuse, he is sensitive to the lavender he loves so much! Geesh. So I can let him smell it but no more topically. Boo.

Anyway I worked on his hindquarter and forequarter yielding, did some lateral flexion. Then we tried to do some of the sending excersise real briefly, but I think I am still confused about that one, haha. He was a very good sport about trying to figure out what I wanted though!

Sucha hunk!
Then I went onto the main event! First I lead him over them and then I let him out on the lead and had him go over them that way. Easy peasy, he has never had trouble walking over anything. When I first tried him out I found the weirdest stuff I could and he trucked right over it. We took down our old above ground pool and I had him walk over the top frame one time that is laying in the yard and he was like, whatever. Haha.

After that we moved onto trotting over it. That was a bit more interesting since he had a bit of trouble figuring out how to get through without hitting one, plus I had just guessed on the space in between. But he never got worried or upset, yeah!

About then the baby had woke up so that put an end to our play. As for pictures/video my two year old isn't quite as good at photography so these few pictures are about the only good ones I got, lol.

On Tuesday I had another lesson (squee!) and was put on a new mount (eep!) I was a little nervous because I had a feeling about who she was going to put me on, lol. London is the type of horse I usually have a bit of trouble riding. More go then woah, sensitive, a little higher strung. I am much more used to the complete opposite kind of horse so I have a little trouble figuring this type out.

Getting tacked up, had to use his saddle since he is so narrow
I had to figure out a few different types of tack that I have never dealt with before. One was a standing martingale and the other a flash noseband. I know what they are for, and their general idea, but have never put one on before so I kept having to ask the girl that helps out there for help, lol.

Finally got him set! I also finally got to meet our 3rd group member! She was super sweet and pretty close to both A and I's ability, although she may be a tad farther behind then us. I'd say it goes A, me, then K our new lady. She was riding Goldie that day. A was sick so she couldn't make it.

So this week we both kind of just went through the paces to get used to our horses. I had no trouble walking London and getting him to go on the bit, but trot was a different story. He has a huge stride and L kept telling me to post less, haha. I tried! And canter was UGH. He missed his right lead three times and then finally got it but also came with a crow hop because I apparently was trying to hard, lol. It was also very fast and bouncy! We did a bit more and then moved into the next ring to do a dressage test! FUN.

She walked us through it and then I volunteered to go first, lol. I didn't do too bad! I had him on the bit for a good bit of it and apparently she thought it went well because she texted me about an hour after lesson that I did so good! She's so sweet. Next week she said we will do a kind of combined training lesson. With jumping and dressage. SO EXCITED.

As for trailer news not much else has gotten done. I have hardly any time to work on it. Tuesday after work is lessons, Wednesday is church, Thursday I have a women's bible study, and Friday I am home but usually have small group bible study that night at my house so I focus on cleaning. 

I do think I've about got all the pressure washing done. Now we need to spray the rust killer on it and bondo the bad parts.

Well thats all for now!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Lesson + Jumping!

She's a firecracker!
Last Tuesday I got to have my first group lesson with A and we got to jump the juummpppsss!

It was just four or so cross rails but it was And I actually surprised myself I didn't look like a total incompetent goob, just a little, haha.

I know your probably thinking, you jumped that horse over there? The one that looks like she is in a coma?? Haha, yes, and she really likes jumping so we got a few exuberant hops out of her!

So I got there at a great time this week. I had plenty of time to get her brushed and tacked up. I came thirty minutes later this time and she had a lesson going already which Goldie was being used in by a tween girl. So after she was done she hopped off and she untacked her western gear and brushed her down. Then I retacked her up in my saddle and all her hunt seat duds. As you can tell from the top picture she was pretty worried about it all, lol.

A has to drive from work about 40 minutes away so she was a little later. My instructor told me to go ahead and go in the next ring and start warming up while she finished up her previous lesson. Which was fun! It was so nice to be riding a horse that knew how to walk trot and canter and steer. It's been a while since I've been on a well trained horse! 

So after we all got in there we did a few exercises to get our muscles working, then did the 7 7 7 routine. After that she had us stop and talk a bit and we went over how to jump again and she had us go over a set of three or four ground poles to get used to getting into our jump position again.  Then we got to jump! I followed A through the girst cross rail since Goldie has a foggy eye from an old injury. But L said after she does her first jump she is great. And really I had no trouble out of her period. She was great! So we did that a few times and then we went through a set of two jump, which you will see on the video. It was a blast.

After that L had to hurry off to her middle childs soccer game so we were left to cool out and put the horses up. I can't wait to see what we will do this week! And I was much less sore thank goodness! Which we didn't do near as intense work with two of us in there. I have been keeping up my exercising routine at home and trying my hardest to sit up at work and when I am walking around. It's been hard but I'm trying! My shoulders were awful this last lesson, as you will see in the video. Ugh, they just love to cave in. And my core just loves to collapse. But I'm working on it!

And! As for my other exciting news I mentioned in the previous post. Check out what we got!

My very own horse trailer! I'm so happy! It is a definite fixer upper and needs a lot of work but I am having so much fun restoring it. And it was only a little over 1k. The floor and frame and such are in good shape, tires are good. But it needs a lot of derustifying (yeah I just made that a word, lol) and paint. Also some new windows, gah, that green is hideous! You can see the pressure washer there, I have worked on it off and on for three days now trying to blast all the flaky paint off before we get down to sanding it. After that we will prime it and paint. Recaulk, put up reflector tape, etc. The jack also needs a bit of work and we need to hook up the trailer brakes and check out some other wiring. 

It is a 2 horse straight load with a big tack/dressing room. 

There is a little door to get to the horses heads from the tack

Makes my suburban look teeny!
I pulled it back from the interstate by myself after we picked up the hubby's car, and it didn't make me nervous one bit. This is only like the second time I've pulled a horse trailer and it was a breeze. Yeah!

I think we are going to paint it all white with maybe a black stripe or decal. I want something to break up all the white but not sure what yet. 

Also, does anyone have any idea what brand it might be?? We haven't found a make anywhere. Which could very possibly mean its a 'homemade' lol.

I will keep yall updated! Until later!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

My Lavender Junkie

More lavender please!
So I had Harold's 'masseuse' out Saturday! It was so good to see A again and catch up. (Fun fact, she bears a striking resemblance to actress Amy Adams! No joke.) I think I probably talked her poor ear off! And I was overly excited so I'm sure I said and did some goofy things. Hopefully she didn't notice, lol.

Anyway, we had a birthday party for my 4 year old nephew earlier that day so she planned on coming out at 2. Which worked great. I had just enough time to get home and change, and get him out and almost finished brushing him. If he hadn't rolled in the dust bowl in the pasture I would have finished! He was one big dust ball, bleh. So we walked him over to the round pen and worked him in there first so she could evaluatE and video him before and after. 

I had been wanting to work on his round penning again anyway so it was a good opportunity to see how much he remembered. He did great! Only had one wrong turn to the outside, which was probably my fault more then anything. I have also not round penned in a long time! Anyway we trotted and cantered both ways and then brought him back in. 

I started out holding him but ended up wrapping the lead around the panel because he kept trying to mug me for more cookies, lol.

First off she started with some different essential oils to see which one he responded to the best. The second one she tried was lavender and he was in love. So she let him sniff it a bit and rubbed some on his nose and then also used it with her massage. She said she had never seen one like lavender so much, lol! 

She said overall he looked good but had a bit of sorness in his right hip and right shoulder. Also some in his TMJ on the right, and lower back and poll areas. Which makes TOTAL sense because he has always been quite stiff to the right!

He seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, would take big sighs, or yawn, or lick and chew.

I'm so glad I got to have someone out to evaluate him. How many more horses could benefit so much from this?? When their riders think they are just being a 'pain' or not acting right on purpose. It could be simple stiffness and/or soreness!

I sent him around again both directions at both gaits again to see if he looked better and he totally did. He was tracking up awesome, reaching out with his shoulder better, and also picked up his correct lead no trouble. Yeah!

After that I took TOTAL advantage of her and had her help me through and watch me do some groundwork exercises. She's a lot more experienced in them and it was so awesome to have someone tell me what I was doing right, wrong, and help me when I got to a sticky spot. I've always had trouble with the correct steps when changing direction in lunging for respect. She helped me figure out what I was doing wrong and now I KNOW so I can stop doing it! (eventually maybe, haha)

After I finally let her go (lol) I grabbed my english tack and tried that out on him. I lunged him around a bit with it since for one he hasn't had any sort of tack on him in almost 2 years, and two he has never had english tack on him before. But he was perfect.

I brought out a english bridle I've had hanging in the closet for 10+ years to use with his d-ring snaffle. It took a bit of fiddling but I got it set for him.

So up I went! I'm not going to lie, I was kind of nervous! It had been so long since I rode him and there is very little security in a hunt seat saddle, lol. But he was great once again! I walked him about a bit and flexed him some. It took him a few to settle into the bridle but it wasn't anything bad. I only had a very short amount of time because the baby had woke up so I went ahead and asked for a trot. And posted! And Harold went, what the?! Haha, he never got upset but he was a little all over the place and you could tell he was very confused as to why I was going up and down, lol.

Here are a few pics and vids! My 6 year old is a pretty good photographer. ;)

Look how fancy!
So all in all very pleased!! It was a great day. I have some more exciting news I will share tomorrow if all goes as planned! Plus I need to update with my first group lesson! We got to JUMP! :-D


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Harold Boy

I went out yesterday morning to get Harold out of the back pasture like I said in my previous post I was going to. And I wasn't expecting him to be perfect, maybe even not really good. Although I was hoping he would be. And he came through again! He was great.

I put the baby monitor as close to the other side of the house as I could and still hear my baby and then took off with my 2 year old in the stroller full of horse supplies and one arm full of my english saddle. I was hoping to get a chance to play dress up ;)

I grabbed my halter and stick and parked Shelby by the pasture with some kids YouTube on the phone and headed out to find him.

I brought a pocketful of horse cookies and a bucket in case they needed some encouragement to come see me, lol.
But they actually were right up near the fence! All except HAROLD. Sigh.

I called for him as I was opening gates but didn't see him. I was kind of worried. But as I topped the hill there he was just grazing by himself facing the opposite direction. I called pretty loud and I was fairly close before he noticed me! I had brought Biscuit along, my bulldog cross puppy (he's about half grown). He had never seen horses before but did pretty good! Harold walked up to see me and as biscuit started getting close to his hind legs I kind of growled at him and told him to get out of the way and apparently Harold thought I was talking to him and took off down the hill. I was like aw man! I hadn't even had a chance to show him his cookies!

But all he did was walk into the trees a bit down from the others. He really doesn't fit in with them. The boss horse Rusty doesn't like him so chases him off all the time.

Anyway I walked into the trees and caught him and gave him a cookie, easy peasy. I shook the lead rope at him a bit and he backed up good as you could ask. I did that a few times to make sure he knew I was on the end of the lead rope. Skip tried to come see him but I smacked my stick on the ground a few times and chased him off.

Then I took a deep breath and went for it. All three were up by the gate, so I let my lead rope slide a bit and started hollering at them and smacking my stick on the ground. Stormy tried to be a little cheeky, kicking up and running about but I got her chased off into the trees with the others. We hustled through the gate (just barely, Skip was right on his heels!!) and we're safe!

Harold was a champ through all of it. 
Never getting worried just following right behind. He probably enjoys me running about all the horses that usually run him around, lol.

So after we were safe I did a bit of yielding the haunches with him, some backing up. He did pretty good. And had no trouble leaving his buddies. We got almost to the gate before Chatterbox decided to come annoy us. I threw the feed bucket at him and smacked the stick at him and he took off to the manger. And we were out!

Sigh. I'm tired just typing all that! And THAT is why I haven't been working with my horse. And yes, I could have put him up there before now but we had no hay. And the grass in there is nonexistent. So! The father in law brought some out yesterday and we are good to go.

I worked him a little more up there and then brushed him down, checked his feet and then put him back out. Hailey had woke up and I needed to get back.

Tounge pic!

Shelby and Harold boy

Not a conformation pic, but shows you he's in pretty good condition for being out on pasture for two years!

Overall I was so pleased with him! And get this! He has his first massage appointment today! Yeah! The lady I'm going to ride with from my riding team was recently certified as a equine massage therapist so she was coming my way today. I said come check out Harold. I'm pretty excited, will definitely get pictures!  Until then!