Monday, October 31, 2016

Two Rides in One Week, What?!

Actually if you count my lesson I got to ride three times! I know!

So I had a lesson last Tuesday which I blogged about. Then on Thursday I got a 'free' off day (the mother likes to come in once a month to do bills) and after I laid the littlest stinker down for her nap my middle stinker and I went out and played with Harold!

But first! I need to go back to the week before. That Wednesday I had a new farrier out like I said last post. The morning of Shelby and I went out and brushed mister Harold and played with him a bit. I tried on his new saddle and then we went for a short ride around the yard. It was fun!

My great little helper (little red wagon worked great for a stool!)
Princess Elsa on her steed!

She wanted me to ride with her so I hopped up behind and we went for a stroll
Look at all that awful bruising!
So anyway the saddle fits him okay. I will need some sort of correction pad though. A riser, half pad, something. I ride with a riser at L's barn and it seems to work well, I might try to find a cheap used one. It bounces a bit in the back and puts a bit too much pressure on his shoulders.

The gullet is wide enough thankfully though, as you can see the dry hair down his spine. 

Anyway, these pictures above are from the Thursday before last (I've been so slow blogging!)  when I got to ride. It was an AWESOME ride. I was so proud of him. I tried to get Shelby to video for me but it was turned to the selfie side and she didn't know how to swap it, lol. So I got a video of her face! ;) Anyway, I did get my oldest to take a video of our last ride! More on that later.

I tacked him up and did his ground work that way to make sure there was no trouble with the saddle. He was a rock star. Aced all his normal exercises we go through. So on to under saddle work!

So what I really wanted to focus on this ride was getting him used to some more contact on the bit, working on refining his steering, and a steady trot around the pen a few times while I was posting.

And we accomplished these quite well! I also introduced the emergency halt, where I pull the rein around to my hip and yields and stops. He got that pretty good!

Anyway I got to ride again that Monday. I had very limited time so I didn't do any ground work, just tacked him up and went. I could tell our 'connection' wasn't as good as it usually was, and was wondering if the lack of ground work had something to do with it. I believe it did, because I rode him again last Saturday and DID ground work and it was just as good as the ride before. 

Here we go round and round! I'm amazed how he just naturally strides out. Love this boy! He did good going around again at the posting trot, although still a little start/stop as you will see. He also needs more work on steering. He needs to learn that contact with the reins doesn't always mean stop. He's basically a greeny! He just followed a trailer his whole life before me. Knows pretty much nothing about ring work. But he is learning!

I also worked on his yield to halt again, this time adding a leg behind the girth to have him disengage his hindquarters. He was sticky at first but then picked it up pretty good. 

You go boy!
Well thats all for now! Will post next bout my last lesson and another great ride on Mister Harold. And some more 'new' things I've gotten! Until then!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Jump All The Jumps!

So last post I was talking about how discouraged I was about the last time I jumped a course. (and really to be fair to myself the first time I've ever done it! lol)? Well I got to do several more last night and really felt like I rocked it!!

Okay, truthfully I'm still at kindergarten level and have a lot to work on, but I felt like I had actually improved and felt pretty good about it.

Here's my snazzy video I did of all the good parts.

So! Yes, I jump ahead a bit. Yes, my core and shoulders still need work. But I feel like I've come a pretty good ways from what I USED to be! And as a side note, why the heck is my leg so freakishly long looking?? -_-

So before all the sweet jumps we worked on some more conditioning and also getting into a good position before the jump and over some rails. More time and riding is really all I need. I KNOW what I'm supposed to do now, I just need to do it! I wish I could ride my Harold at home some in between! But frankly right now with my schedule I'd be lucky to get one day in. Which is definitely better then nothing!

Here are a few video stills.

I still LOVE my new saddle. It does all I want it too. I feel secure in it, comfortable, and I feel like I ride well in it. Yay! I think I will be getting a riser pad for mister Harold to make sure it fits him well though. (Holster is riding with one in the video as well)

Harold is doing pretty good! He is really lame at all just walking. So tomorrow (I have a free off day, whoop whoop) I'm going to get him out and try and work him to see what we have.

As for trailer news we have still been working on it off and on. The bondo is almost done. Just a bit more on the top and a few other places. I got the paint and primer the other day so we are getting closer!

No idea why the ladder is tipped over, lol

That is about all for now, until later! Oh, I will leave you with a picture of my adorable baby girl though. It doesn't get much sweeter then this!

Hailey June - 7 Months 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Horsey Happenings

So I have two weeks to catch up on! GAH.

Let's go over lessons first.

So week before last I was supposed to have a lesson with both ladies again but A had a drs appointment and K got stuck in birmingham traffic. So I got a private again! Which I really like about once a month or so.

Pretty boy Holster
So we mainly worked on jumping a course! FUNNN. Although I felt a little discouraged afterwards because I have so much to work on. My shoulders, my timing, my core (SIT UP) keeping the horse in a steady rythym. Remembering my next jump! I rode Holster again (he's such a sweet boy) and he was awesome. I basically just had to worry about myself thankfully! I have never really done a course before so it was definitely a new experience but so fun.

Last week poor A was out again with a skin infection so it was just K and I. I walked up and L told me to tack up Charlie. Inwardly I groaned. The first and last time I rode him he was a bit of a pill. And probably my least favorite of all of the lesson horses I've rode so far. Although he and London (the other grey) are running a close race.

'ello Charlie-face
So as I was tacking him up I was making sure to let him smell me, blowing into his nose also (yeah, I saw it on Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken when I was a girl and I've done it ever since when meeting a new horse, lol!) and being very courteous tacking him up etc, as usual. After I mounted I just chilled on him for a bit. Asking for tiny turns, a few woahs. All with the least contact I could. Not going out there with a mission and afraid of what a jerk he might be.

And I'll be darned if we didn't have a awesome lesson. He was like a different horse! I had a partner instead of a ticked off horse. We were even able to do some jumping and cantering. Yeah, on this horse the last time I rode him I would have been scared to death to do both of those things. L told me this time if I will give him a big half halt and then a big release he will slow down on his own. That you can't hang on his face. Holy moly, that was like a magic button. He would do just that. I'd feel him getting a tad rushy and half halt pretty firmly and then give him the reins and he would immediately slow his pace. It was great.

So we mainly just worked on position and conditioning again (posting without stirrups, etc) and then popped over a small cavalleti a few times while working on cantering out of it. It went pretty good! 

Oh, let me back up and tell you what saddle I'm riding in! My NEW one. :D It's a older Courbette Husar I bought for a measly hundred bucks! It got there right on time that afternoon so I was able to bring it to my lesson. It's old but in great condition and I love how I ride in it. My leg just goes right where its supposed to without me fighting it like in Collegiate Sr Event that L has. It has a small knee roll and the seat is pretty hard but I didn't notice it at all as I was riding and was not sore afterwards at all.

Courbette Husar
It has a 17.5 inch seat which I feel fits me and my long leg better. I think it could use a reflocking of the panels but will be okay for now. My only concern was when I tried it on mister Harold. It has a bit more of a banana shaped tree, which means it sweeps up at the back more. When I was lunging him with it on it was bouncing quite a bit in the back. But I also didn't have it girthed all the way down, I dunno. I'll have to just see next time. I rode him in it a bit but he was still ouchy so I just walked him in a few circles to give Shelby a pony ride.

So I finally found another farrier who came out last Wednesday. She is a barefoot trimmer, but will shoe if the horse needs it. She said the previous farrier basically SCREWED his feet all up, which is pretty much what I was afraid of and already knew. He put him on his toes and made him bruise all up. Sigh. Look at his poor sole!

So she fixed him up as best she could, though she said it would probably be another month before he was all healed. Sigh. Oh well at least it's giving me more time to get my riding muscles and position all in shape. 

Well that's about all! I have another lesson tomorrow so will try to update after, adios!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


So I guess I am in a habit of posting about my previous lesson on the day of my NEXT lesson now, lol. Oh well!

So last week Allison and I got there only about 5 minutes before our lesson which made us a tad later getting started. She also had a bit of trouble with London (the grey appendix) who had not been rode all weekend and had been stuck in a stall while new fences were put up.

I found out I was riding Holster! He is a older QH gelding. I have seen his cute face around, and met his 'mom' but had yet to ride him. He is pretty much a schoolmaster, but will make you work for it! I found out quickly that the spurs and crop were my friend to wake him up.

So the third lady in our group got there way late, but thankfully the helper had Goldie all tacked up and ready for her. She told me later that she thought lessons started at 530! LOL. So hopefully that won't happen again.

Mr. Holster (also notice the gloves! I love them)
L told us we were going to be doing some jumping (yayy) that day so we first warmed up and then did some ground poles. We did an exercise where we picked up a canter through the jump poles cantered a half circle, and then trotted 3 poles in two point. Well mister lazy made me work for it but by the third time I had his number and we did great. So fun! I'm finally starting to feel more comfortable cantering.

Poor A was having a horrible time with Mr. London. He was fresh a L had ever seen him and she had a time getting him to behave. She did great with him but I know she was exhausted afterwards! So L had to put most of her attention on A and the other lady so I mainly just went around with very little instruction. Which is okay, but I was kind of dissapointed we only had time to do one jump a few times through. Hopefully today we will be able to use our time better!

Our attempt at a post lesson picture! lol
So we have made some decent progress on our trailer! We really only have a few days a week to work on it, and last week we didn't get to do much. I don't have any current pictures but here is the awesome hubby bondoing the bad parts.

We have since sanded all that down and started work on the roof and front. After we get the roof all sanded we can bondo it and then the other side. And hopefully done with the bondo!

So I got to take it on its maiden voyage the week before last! Poor Harold has been off on his fronts since just before the farrier came a few weeks ago. And then the farrier made it worse -_-. I have such a hard time finding a good horse shoer!! Anyway he was so bad that Friday I loaded him up to take him to the vet. He did so good getting on, getting off at the vet, just chilling at the vet, jumped right back on. Luv him! Thankfully the babies fell asleep and I was able to focus on him. 

Being a good boy at the vet
So the vets consensus was a stone bruise. He showed me a little red spot on his sole that he was sore on. He is STILL not right but I've heard those can take a long time to heal. Sigh. He gave me some powdered bute and sent me home with him.

She absolutely had to hold the 'reins', lol

Last Friday I went out to check on him and see how he was doing. He's still sore but not as bad thankfully. I did some small work with him that he can do stand still doing. Flexing, putting his head down on cue, etc. Shelby girl also wanted a ride so we had fun with that!

Well that's about it! I'll try and update sooner then next week! ;)