Wednesday, March 28, 2012

All sorts of things

I'm watching Untold Stories of the E.R. and there's a guy with a camp stove attached to his penis. What. The. Fuck.

So. Anyways.

My lesson this morning was good. We worked on a lot of lateral exercises and counter bending and straightness. BO gave me a few exercises to work on until the next time I can afford a lesson. Hopefully that won't be too long from now. We also worked quite a bit at the canter since we were in the big outdoor.

Bobby kept cross cantering behind to the right and BO thinks the chiro might have adjusted one side of his pelvis more than the other, or once he got adjusted, one side feels better than the other. He definitely started doing this a lot more after he got adjusted. Probably another vistit from the chiro is in order, but I'll have to talk to Hubby about that. I might just try to get by with a massage instead.

BO's correction for this was to drive him forward with my seat until he basically ran into the correct lead behind. The only problem with that was, he didn't want to come back down from his mad race around. Unfortunately, I didn't have my spurs on because I did a power tack and didn't have time for them. That's usually how I correct it. So that will have to go back to the drawing board and get worked on. Overall though, plenty to work on and some things to take away.

they're in their ugly stage right now.

"food lady? why are you on the ground?"
Look how big my cheeps are getting! They're up to ten minutes outside during their daily cage cleaning time, except when it's really cold or really warm. Then they either stay inside, or get to stay outside as long as they want until they start to get cold.


I saw The Hunger Games last night! I had no particular interest in it before and only read the first book the day the movie came out. I read the second book today (they're an easy, quick read for anyone that hasn't read them yet). I decided to jump on the bandwagon to see what all the hype was about. I thought both the book and the movie were pretty good. Nothing amazing, but not awful. I liked the second book better. Hubby really liked the movie, but hasn't read the book yet.


darcy gets bad allergies in the spring.
ignore her stoner stare.

I took my puppies for their daily romp in the park, and then since it was so nice out I got a smoothie at McDonalds and got the puppies some icecream.

Smartest dogs in the world searching for their Kong ball:

video

The best way to eat icecream when you have no fingers? Just eat the whole container!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Winning!

gorgeous drive down to the park with the hounds.
Bobby had an easy but very successful and hopefully confidence building ride today. I took him up to the cross country field to do some work on hills. Not conditioning work per se, but more working on both of us feeling comfortable trotting down hills. I have an extreme phobia of going downhill at a walk on my own two feet and riding down hills has been a huge obstacle for me to overcome for this whole eventing shebang. Doing it on Red was fine because Red always knew where his feet were and he would never let us take a tumble (I swear he was part mountain goat and part Mustang), and while Bobby has been pretty confident in himself navigating tricky terrain, I still don't have that partnership with him.

We started off walking around the whole field twice--it's about eight acres so not enormous, but plenty big. Then we moved on to trotting all around. I wove in and out and did lots of loops and circles because I didn't want him being accidently pointed at any fences and then being pulled away from the to go around. It was probably more of a mind game for me than it would have been for him, but he stayed calm and happy the whole time.

We took a walk break to try to chase away four deer that were seriously amused with watching us from the other side of the fence. I literally rode right up to them yelling at them to move away, but they just perked up their ears and continued to lol to themselves. I could have reached over the fence and bopped one on the head it was that close. Fine, deer. Watch us be bad asses then!

I took a deep, calming breath and pointed Bobby at a double stacked telephone pole log jump--probably 2' at the most. Stay calm, don't change anything, don't pull back, and keep your effing leg on! And.....he jumped it and cantered off totally lah-di-dah! I praised him like he'd just gone around an entire 4* course and turned him around to do it again. Same thing--a little bigger jump this time, but no crazies. Yay!!!

I popped him over the ditch a couple times each way to end on a great note; he has zero ditch issues, thank goodness. I contimplated doing a little more, but I wanted him to realize that the cross country field doesn't mean death and doom. It can be easy and fun and rewarding if he stays calm and goes along with the game plan. Besides, tomorrow I have another private lesson and I know he's going to have to work hard for that.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Listen to your horse

flirting with tasha.


I was a bad horse mom today and an irresponsible rider. Bobby was really good for his w/t warm up. He still gets stuck leaning against me to the left so I kept letting him walk and stretch out after he got it for a full circle. Lots of walk breaks in general as I don't want to make him sore as he starts building up new muscle.

I set out four 5' trot poles and three 12' canter poles for us to work on during warm up.


I really want Bobby to start stretching out his enormous body. He has no idea his legs are a million miles long and he can extend them. Red hit 16hh on a good day and he had a massive stride that came to him really easily. Bobby's like, "Whaaaat? Use my legs? But why?"

Today's big lesson on the flat for Bobby was to go forward without rushing, and my lesson was to keep my G.D. hands UP and my heels DOWN. My heels can sink to the ground with the best hunt seat riders out there, but they much prefer to float around wherever they choose. Bad heels! Stay down there! Bobby had to get a few hard half halts since he was feeling fresh to death thanks to the colder weather, and my bum knee was hurting like hell so we must have been doing some things right.

Next on the agenda was another attempt at a bounce. I used the canter poles and set up the last pole to a 2' vertical. He jumped through it great the two times through so I set up the second jump to a 2' vertical too. Here's where me being a dumb ass comes into play.

For whatever reason--I'm a blonde, my brain was shut off, I just had a straight up duh moment--I failed to make the connection that Bobby had to go in a bigger canter to get over the ground poles easily and correctly. So what did I do coming up to the two vertical bounce? Slow him right down to a dinky little canter that wasn't forward in the slightest. And then get mad at him and yank him back down to his piddly little canter when he lengthened out on his own to get our asses over without so much as brushing a rail or even considering stopping or running out. Poor dude. He really shouldn't have to put up with me.

After two run throughs of this:

"Slow down, you dick!"

"Shut the fuck up, you moron! One of us is doing the right thing here, and it sure isn't you!"

I knocked the verticals back down to ground poles and had him canter through at my pathetic little canter. And guess what? He trod all over the poles because he couldn't get his striding right. Because of me, not because he was being naughty. I let him go forth in his chosen canter which was bigger and better and he cruised right through like a pro. Well of course he did. He has more brains than me.

Needless to say, I felt pretty awful and made sure to give him extra pats and scritches and cookies. And the best part was that by the time he was cooled out and groomed, it was dinner time! Hopefully he's a forgiving donkey and doesn't hold it against me.

In a small win moment, his hives have cleared up with his AniMed HistAll. Woo hoo!

my camera really didn't want to work with metoday which is a
bummer because bobby was looking quite dashing.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Involuntary Dismount

I did a twenty minute ride and a thirty minute hack with Bobby on Friday.

Highlights: Smartest Pony Ever has learned how to open the gate himself so that we can exit the arena at his pace. I'm not sure this is a good game, but it beats me leaning over his head to swing it open.

video

He picked up on the "relax yo face, foo" game really quickly in the arena. On the trails, I let him do two short canters, working on slowing him down and letting him out again. He was really, really good and just plodded along when we were done.


The lowlights: He was quite sticky to the left at the trot and took awhile to soften his silly face. He was clenching his jaw and neck again. He finally relaxed and I stopped early to reward him and tell him he's a good, smart Baby Horsie. Several trees were cut down in the first field we go through on the trails and each time I hack out I walk him over them--they're that small. Yesterday, I decided to trot him over one that was out by itself.

zomg, giant advanced log!
Bobby bolted over the first time, note even jumping it--just throwing in a bigger canter stride. Sigh. So I walked him over it again. No big, right? Tried trotting it again. Cantered two strides out (which I don't really want to discourage because I really don't want a stopper on my hands) and launched over it. Double sigh. Walked it again. And again. And one more time for good measure. Trotted again. Picked up the canter and jumped over it just fine. Really, dude? We have a lot of work to do.


aw, robert. you can be cute.
Today I dragged Hubby along. I've gotta say, I'm kind of disappointed in Hubby's picture taking lately. I need to get him a real camera instead of my dying point and shoot digital. I rode with Sarah and Memphis, doing a thirty minute w/t flat before I mad poor life choices.

memph and bobby


look! streeetch!




stretching and flexing his jaw? whaaaat?
Then I was all, "Hey, let's do some jumps! We haven't jumped in over a week! GOOD IDEA!"

Fail.

epic fail.
We set up a baby bounce for him--his first one ever. Straight up poles on the ground as the first "fence" and then a small X. I was all, "Hey, we haven't cantered in a week, and we haven't cantered yet, and I feel dizzy as shit, but let's canter this bad boy!"

He leapt the ground poles, was totally taken by suprise by the X and tried to bolt to the right but there was another jump boxing him in so he leapt over the X. I was all, "I'm falling! Oh, nope, I got this! Nooo, definitely falling!"

I basically did a flying dismount, called "Gettin' off!" halfway through the air and landed on my feet with reins still in hand. Phew. Best fall ever. I went through once more just to not completely destroy both of our confidence...s? Then I let him lope around the arena once and we called it quits. Oi. Some days.

video

video


Also, everyone who hasn't already needs to buy my shirt! And check out the shirt-maker's kick ass blog!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The bad and the good.

I went up to the barn yesterday afternoon to check on Robert and drop off his anti-hives meds and as soon as I rounded the corner, BM said, "Your horse is so, so sore. In fact, I think he's laying down right now." Oh, great.


He had no desire to get up so after I played with him for awhile (because what isn't cuter than a pony laying down and not colicing?), I threw some Bute in a little grain and tricked him into thinking it was a snack. It looked to me like it was all in the front end which made me feel a little less guilty about tacking hinds on. I couldn't feel any obvious lameness and I talked with the owner of another horse that got adjusted who said her mare was super sore for a straight week after the first time she got done. BO said he was sore all day, but seemed better when he was at the top of the field walking around than when he came down and stood in the run-in.

With that in mind, I gave him a good grooming and dragged his poor, pathetic self up to the delish grass outside the round pen and watched a lesson while he grazed. One of the girls taking a lesson commented on how shiny Robert is. I don't know why this seems to blow people away. Pick up a friggin' curry comb and your horse will be shiny, too!

He got some more Bute this morning and when I went up at noon, he walked over to me free as a bird and ready for cookies--closely followed by fellow cookie monsters Spyder and Ranger. I brought him down for a once-over and another thorough grooming (I kind of miss the cool weather that warranted him wearing a sheet).


I worked with him on the ground for fifteen minutes--moving over, backing up, walk-halt, walk-trot, trot-walk, trot-halt. Then I got greedy and jumped on him bareback for ten minutes. It took half a lap around the arena for him to remember his lesson from Friday and after that all I had to do was squeeze the reins and he'd drop his head. We only walked, but he was awesome the whole time. He got lots of scritches and extra cookies when he was done before getting tossed back out.


And in case you wondered what a ball obsessed Heeler looks like:

video

Bitch is crazy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chiro, Farrier, and Clinic

"you brought the cookies, yes?"
my three moochers: ranger, spyder, and robert.
So! Bobby got poked, prodded, cracked, and banged on for a couple of hours this morning. He wasn't too sure what to think of the acupuncture, and he really was not pleased with the farrier by the time he got done.

He got acupunture first. She does the needles with B-12 which supposedly increases the potency. He got done in his pasterns, his neck, along each side of his spine mid-back, and in his hips by the SI. She adjusted his poll, mid and low neck, mid and low back, and pelvis. Her write up:

"He was stuck and crooked in his neck. Sore down his back--R side worse than L. Hips sore. Weak hind end--stifles weak also. His neck is very tight and rigid."

Not really anything suprising--especially his neck. I told her as soon as she started working on him that his neck was going to be the worst part of him. I also told her that we're in the process of saddle shopping (though I think this latest one just might do it!) so I knew his back would sore. His stifles have always been weak--that's a trait from his mama.

She said he seemed like the type of horse that would be perfectly happy sitting in a field for the rest of his life and that his brief time off with Lillian is probably what knocked us so far back in training--he saw the joys of a life of liesure and decided it was what he wanted. He's got to learn that working can be fun again, but I'm going to have to break everything down into tiny little steps so that he gets rewarded often and I don't inadvertently over-face him with things a Grown Up Horsie should be able to learn in big steps.


A shoe also came loose on our trail ride Saturday so he got bumped up a week to get his toes done. I talked with the farrier about the upcoming show season and how he seems to lack confidence going up to a jump in the field, especially if the footing is even a smidgum off. So he got hind shoes put on to see if that will help any. Farrier said that he likes horses to be either barefoot or shod all around, and while I would love Bobby to be barefoot, it's just not for him. I tried for four months. He gets super, super tender-footed and his feet break up like crazy. Hopefully he'll like the change.

He didn't like getting them put on! He was sore in his LH and didn't want to pick it up at all. He tried to kick the farrier multiple times and was throwing a complete shit fit. I know he hurt, but bad manners are not acceptable. It's not like his leg is broken! Farrier said it felt like a sore hock and when he was done, Bobby walked off a little stiff. I ended up taking him off the crossties and putting a chain on him. He still tried to pull his foot away, but a quick shank right off the bat and he stopped kicking. His RH was much better.

no, the camera is not cookies.
Chiro said he'd only need the rest of today and tomorrow off so I might try to ride him Friday and schedule another private lesson this weekend or early next week.

Plus....I just sent in my entry for my birthday present from my mom: Jimmy Wofford clinic at Stonewood Farms the weekend of my birthday! Um, what? Hellz yeah!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Update Part Deux

Another little known fact about me: I took French for five years. Five years! What do I remember from that time? Not much. Cheval (horse). Cheveux (hair). Jus d'orange (orange juice). Bow down to my superiority.

Anyway....

My lesson was on Friday. Truth be told, I went in with pretty low expectations. I was hoping BO would be able to point out some mistakes and throw a few suggestions out for us to work on. Instead, in one hour, she had completely fixed us. "Don't be such a fool!" you say. "You can't fix problems in an hour! She's not a Parelli!" (lol.) Well of course we're not just miraculously cured, you guys. Basically, she pinpointed that our biggest issue is Bobby resisting any form of contact unless it's him pulling me and in return me pulling him.


Now when I explain the extreme intricties of what we over, keep in mind I haven't taken a lesson since I was in college five years ago. Clearly my riding retention is as good as my French.

Primero (sorry, I couldn't even remember how to say "first") : Bobby's first lesson was that when I put pressure on the reins he can get as pissy as he wants and back up as far as he wants, but until he yields to it, it's not going away. My first lesson was not to get frustrated with him and either a) start pulling or b) just give up and throw the reins away. All I did was gather my reins so I had a feel for his mouth and then I set my hands into his shoulders so he couldn't pull me. As soon as he gave a smidgum of release, I did the same. He picked it up really, really fast and was quite pleased with how much he was getting fawned over by BO and I.

There were four steps we had to accomplish before we could move on to the walk. (We spent the first fifteen minutes at the halt.) 1) Drop the head down. 2) Stretch the head and neck all the way down to the ground. 3) Yield to pressure to each side by bringing the head and neck around to my foot. 4) Move the hindquarters over when bringing the head around. Basically, all we were trying to teach him to do was give to pressure from the bit without throwing his head in the air, flying backwards, or grinding his teeth and he'll be rewarded by having the pressure taken away. He liked this game and all the pats that followed when he did something right.

Seconde (oui?), we brought this all together at the walk on a big circle. I liked this whole private lesson thing. BO was out in the middle of the ring with me, walking along and quick to come up to help if I needed it. This is a person that won't budge from her booth when teaching a jumping lesson and a pole comes down. I started off a little hesitant with my hands. BO scolded me and and told me I wasn't making him uncomfortable enough and all I was telling him was that, "Here, my connection with your mouth isn't that bad. You can ignore me when I hold your mouth like this." What he needed was, "I'm asking you to yield to the pressure in your mouth. It doesn't feel good when I'm doing this, but doesn't it feel great when I give to you like this?"

Once we conquered that, she had me turn him with the same method as what we were doing at the halt and then stop him. She gave the instructions to "Drive your seat into your hands" to halt which really helped give me a good visual. I then had to keep the pressure on the reins when he stopped until he'd dropped his head again. Usually, when I halt, I give up any connection and his head comes right back up. This was harder for me to learn than him because he was ready to give to the pressure--I just had to remember to ask him to.

Finally, after thirty minutes of walking, we got to do about ten minutes of trot work. Same old thing. BO had to tell me a few times to pull my left shoulder (the bad one) back and of course that helped Bobby out, too. Bobby had caught right on by this point and was going around like a champion. BO kept interrupting herself to say things like, "Carly, look at yourself in the mirror! This is gorgeous! This is a different horse!" Well, yes, because now he's being ridden semi-correctly.

We quit when BO yelled out, "YES! THIS IS IT!" Bobby's head was down, his jaw was relaxed, and his mile-long back was up. He felt so big and loose and powerful and just so easy. We halted, got him to give, and he looked right over at BO with a big horsey grin like, "I iz the smartest horse ever, isn't I??" Or maybe it was more, "Thank you for teaching this pulling monkey on my back how to ride!"

I hacked him out a little just to let him take a mental breather. He'd worked almost all at the walk, but he was sweaty and blowing. Mental games are hard, too!

Best part of the whole thing? It was free! She didn't charge me as a thank you for working with Jade and Spyder. Woo hoo!

sarah and memphis.
Saturday, Sarah and I went for a three hour trail ride. All we did was walk, but there is almost zero flat ground so the boys put in big efforts. This was Memphis's first trail ride probably ever and he was a little worried about the great outdoors after showing on the A circuit for his whole life, but apart from spooking at a hawk taking off from a tree beside him, he behaved himself most admirably.

That is until we got to the water. It was just a tiny creek but the ponies had to go down a tiny bank to get into it. Bobby jumped it headed out, then played in the water for awhile on our way back before hopping back up it. Memphis was quite certain he shouldn't have anything to do with water unless it's in his bucket or a wash stall.

"mom, you cannot be serious!"
He eventually followed Sarah in, but on the way back it was the same battle. Only this time, he was headed home--somewhere he really wanted to be. He stuck a toe in the water, eyed up the bank, decided it was definitely jumpable from where he was, and launched himself across the creek. Well, he didn't win lots of pretty things for no reason!

Both boys got baths when we were done then we turned them out on real grass for fifteen minutes while they dried out. Bobby got yesterday off because I was in NY for most of the day, and he's getting today off because my car went in for exploratory surgery. Chiro tomorrow and probably the rest of the week off from riding.

Dogs.

I'll update on my lesson from Friday and trail ride on Saturday later today, but first I want to delve into something a little different--a brag on my amazing puppies. Yesterday they got the call to arms to help get a friend's steer loaded onto the trailer. The steer had been running around for the past three hours and had taken down pretty much all of the already dismal fencing with him, meaning he had free run of the property. And of course he didn't want to get on the trailer. It was going to be his last trip.

But first, let me give you a formal introduction to the stars of this show.


Darcy is a 3yo Kelpie. WTF is a Kelpie, you say? Think of the herding ability of a Border Collie, but with a little more biting involved. They are bad ass working dogs that excel at herding (think loping around and around and around a herd of animals to keep them together), but they have no problem going hard after a cow/steer/bull to get them where they want them whereas Border Collies are more reserved with their teeth--as they should be for cute fuzzy sheep. She is a little bit of a nutcase in general, she doesn't like other people, but she thinks all other dogs were put on this earth to be her BFFs. When she works, she's great for the aforementioned dual-purposeness as she can do both jobs (the other two dogs on the job cannot), but she can get too focused on the big picture and will try to go after any cow that takes off instead of staying with the one you're after.

"omg, ballllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!"
Emily, really only known as Pig unless she's in trouble, is a 2yo Blue Heeler. She loves to snuggle, she thinks all humans were put on this earth to be her BFFs, and you can count on one hand the number of dogs she tolerates. She gets very, very focused on the things she likes. Balls, sticks, food (Red Vines are her favorite), bunnies, and especially cows. She's only good for getting behind or in front of a cow to get it or keep it moving. She doesn't herd--she heels. She has no problem biting a charging steer right in the face (ask me how I know--you saved Hubby's ass on that one, Pig!), or taking down a pissed of cow by the back leg (again, this is on her list of accomplishments). She's been kicked in the jaw/head/chest/ribs more times than I can count and it doesn't faze her for a second. It's all part of the job. However, she's pretty one dimensional and has to be called off when you're trying to calmly move a herd or calmly move anything.

Dakota is a 3yo Border Collie. He belongs to the friend who owns the beefers. He's been trained on whistles to herd, but he's probably the worst working Border Collie alive. He's super laid back and would much rather lay around and get pets than herd things. He was fun to work with though and awesome to watch when he was doing his job. However, he'd only pay attention long enough to help Darcy get the steer headed in the right direction, and then he'd get distracted by me, or a mud puddle, or a flower, or a butterfly in front of his face.

Darcy and Emily know their basic obedience--come, sit, down, stay--but they've also been trained on three commands:

Get Him. Pretty self explanatory.

Wait. Basically, "fall back". They're allowed to keep following, but they're not allowed to actively move the animal.

Leave it. This one is Darcy's big command. It means, "Stay in the field, but leave the animal you're currently working and find the one I want you on." Emily has a sixth doggy sense that tells her which one does not belong and once she locks onto that animal, she can dive into a moving herd and pull it right back out again.

I can give all of these commands to them as far away as I need to--if they can hear me, they'll do it. This especially came in handy last night when we were working with a very pissed of steer that was charging anything in its path and no one wanted to get too close, and helpful again when he went diving into the pond and I had to keep the dogs on him from the bank as they dove in after him.

Pig got kicked twice in the head--one so hard in the jaw I heard it from across the gate, but she checked in with Hubby and no harm was done. She got his head down to the ground (PETA would probably arrest us) and we were able to get him into the barn with her half-dragging him (she weighs 38lbs, by the way). However, he was one pissed off Mother Effer and charged Hubby and the friend once in there. Dakota rallied and turned him only to have him jump the round pen panel acting as a gate inside the barn. I was waiting outside at another exit with Darcy and Pig on the leash to keep them from going in and upsetting him even more and he took direct aim at me. Fortunately, the friend's dad was in the barn at the door I was at and yanked me and the puppies in as he charged.

After that, even with dogs things were getting too dangerous with the steer getting way too wound up, so we called it quits after an hour. Of course, things probably would have gone a lot smoother if the farm we were working on had had good fence and a good chute system. But the girls had fun and I was super proud of them. They worked non-stop the whole time, and when we were done Pig was trying to get Dakota to play with her like she had just gotten started. Now, though, they're zonked out on the couch. Working late is tough work for puppies.

in the truck ready to go home.
"are we needed again?"

Thursday, March 15, 2012

1, 2, 3


First:

I took Robert out on a solo trail ride, making sure to tell BM where we were headed and how long it was going to take us in case shit hit the fan. But it didn't and Robert behaved himself much better than he did the last time we were out. We got to one of the galloping paths and I felt him start to tense up and his ears went flying forward instead of flopped sideways in neutral Bobby stance. I made him leg yield each way a bunch of times, we did several full turns on the forehand, and did several walk-halt transitions. By the time we got to the end of the path, one ear was cocked back to me and the other was flopped sideways. We ran into half a dozen deer that went frolicing unconcerned in front of us for awhile. Bobby was watching them, but he was still relaxed and wasn't worried about them. We walked the whole time for forty five minutes.


Second:

I began Project Scary Monster Jumps by lungeing him over the tire jump and the gate jump Hubby and I built last year. He went right over the tires at the trot and canter, but threw a serious shit fit about going over the gate, which he has jumped at 2'6 many times before.

ok, perhaps not well, but he has jumped it.
So we had a serious go-round until he went over and over and over and over it. He's going to get Tuesday off from anything because of the chiro, but he'll get the rest of the week off from riding to work on the ground. Go when I say go, and when I say trot I do not mean "canter around like a fucking lunatic until you've burned dime-sized holes into my fingers." He lunges like a pro in the indoor, but anywhere else and he turns into a crazy town fuck head.

I got on him, jumped him over the tires without issue, over the gate without issue, and finished by going over the vertical with the barrel underneath it without issue. I'm sure he was tired by that point, but I was pleased with it anyway and he got lots of pats.


Third:

Bath time! I was scratching his neck and big gross clumps of winter hair were coming off so I scrubbed him good. I turned him back out so I'm sure tomorrow he'll be dirty again, but at least I got some more hair off. It's supposed to be in the high sixties to mid seventies for the next week again so there will be plenty more baths to come.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Just a quickie


Oh, hey rope burn fingers. Thanks for making typing difficult. Robert was a friggin' ass on the longe out in the cross country field and I have awful, awful rope burn on these two digits. Maybe if someone hadn't stolen my brand new gloves, this wouldn't have happened. Anyway, this will be short.





We did a quick dressage school in the indoor, but he was being pretty dreadful and my fingers hurt like hell. I ended up sitting on him for two hours for an open house at the barn to show off his skillz, but most of it was spent at the walk until he dropped his head from the rafters. We also demo-ed some canter. I scheduled a private dressage lesson for Friday afternoon with BO. I made sure to do it when she won't be bookended by other lessons and get distracted.

He has some very minor hives on one side that I just sprayed with Microtek. I was hungry and tired and didn't feel like giving him a Microtek bath. I'll do it tomorrow and Friday and if they don't start clearing up, I'll give him a little Dex.

Plus, we got baby cheepers! We gave away our three hens when we moved from NY and put the rooseters in the freezer. I'm pumped to have some more. They're all pullets so they'll all be layers. Three Reds and three brown Leghorns.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Bobby was awful today.

And by awful I mean wonderful! The bi-polar rides continue!

He was in when I got there because everyone was getting shots and coggins and they didn't want him out by himself. I didn't think he needed it, but I stuck him on the longe before I got on. He was prancing around like a fancy pants, looking relaxed and happy.

When I got on, for the first time I was able to pick my mother effing hands up to where they're supposed to be as opposed to sitting in my lap and it was a total lightbulb moment. "Ohhhhh!!! That's what you want me to do? No problemo!" Proceed at trot, fancy feeting all over the arena in the most amazing dressage-ness ever. I think the combination of his new teeth and my better riding were the second-to-last tweak he needed (chiro hopefully being the last). It probably also helped that he had the trusty old AP saddle on. If it wasn't falling apart at the seams--literally--I'd just keep riding in it. And get butt lipo. No big.

Giggling like a fool the whole time at Bobby's newfound loveliness, I ran through the Novice test B for the first time ever. It was tricky. You have to turn at B and E to change directions and that was pretty sloppy. But for a first run through, it wasn't too bad. We finished off the ride with some sitting trot work and a cool out meander around the farm.

As big of a doucher Bobby can be, it's amazing rides like today that make me grit my teeth and keep going with him. I thought about riding tomorrow since I wasn't able to get out to the barn yesterday and had originally planned on giving him Tuesdays off from now on, but with his recent record of "I'm an amazing pony!" one day to "I'm an amazing dick head!" the next, I think I'll stick to tomorrow off. It's supposed to be 70* and raining tomorrow anyway, so he'll get a chance to romp around in the mud with his sheet off. Being a horse is so hard.

Also, today is my Kelpie's third birthday! Happy Birthday, Darcy!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Friggin' Saddles.

So the new saddle won't work. As lovely as it is, it didn't fit Robert one hundred percent, and while I might have been able to have someone tweak it to fitting just right, I really didn't like riding in it. I felt way off balance and uncomfortable and just...ugh. I ordered another saddle that's a whole different direction, and I think I might like it a bit more. Hopefully.

Due to new saddle issues, I only rode about thirty minutes and most of it was pretty....ugh. I felt so off jumping and Robert's flat work wasn't great.

one day i will be able to adjust my spurs so i don't look so foolish.

almost....

he looked awfully cute in his white polos.

cantering! yay!
We did a couple of hops over the 2' vertical on the circle before raising it to 2'3". He didn't seem to notice and went over relatively well.

video


I did a little more flat work, then we went over the other vertical. A couple times at 2'3, then 2'6, then finishing off once through at 2'9. Unfortunately, Hubby's picture taking skills were seriously lacking during our jumping so I'll spare you the pain. But an example:

so flattering.

But I was happy with his willingness. He didn't even blink at 2'9.

video


Now that I feel confident he's feeling confident over some height in the arena, I'll drop the jumps back down a hair and start adding scary monster things underneath them. And still working him out in the cross country field. After he conquers scary monsters, I'll take away the placement poles, and then we'll finish--hopefully by the end of April--with BN height scary monster jumps with no poles. And a more willing attitude in the cross country field, of course. I'm penciling April 15th for our cross country schooling at Burgundy Hollow. His big boy panties better have come in the mail by then.