Sunday, March 31, 2013

Jumping

This is going to be a picture heavy, word light post. I know you guys hate that, but I'm sitting at our kitchen table because it's one of the few remaining pieces of furniture in our house. We moved almost everything over to the new house yesterday afternoon and should be finishing the move today, so if you don't hear from me all week, it's because we either A) don't have internet yet, or B) were murdered by banjo carrying yokels. You have been warned.

Jumped Bobby yesterday in gorgeous weather. Most of the standards are still down in the indoor so with four pairs to work with, I set up an oxer (3') two stride vertical (2'6) line, left Sarah's tires up, and made a fake corner.


It was Bobby's first "corner" and with his propensity to drift while jumping, I was afraid he might drift off over it, but he calmly popped over and carried on.


I had Hubby knock that up to 3' (barrel on end) while we went over the line a couple of times, changing directions and leads after the vertical. We also came over the vertical from an angle a couple of times.

proof that we can both occasionally get our shit together
proof that we can both occasionally get our shit together.
Went back to the corner and as long as we approached it from the very end of the ring instead of cutting in behind the oxer, he jumped it well. Certainly no hesitation or thoughts of running out. Such a clever pony.

what's that? slightly awkward spot? no bigs, robert. I won't rip your
face off for once. i'll just do this strange sort of auto release while keeping
my leg in place.

coming in from the shorter distance. clearly more "wtf is going on here?"

He got pretty frazzled by getting two bad spots in a row and he had a minor melt down.

no ride is ever complete unless bobby loses his shit at some point!
So we halted and hung out and then walked around for a few minutes to just breathe and reset the brain.



It worked in that he was no longer worried, but was instead reinvigorated. Worried Bobby showed back up in a few. First we had, "OMG, IT'S A JUMP! I GET TO JUMP THE JUMPS!"


Only that involved me riding like crap, turning in too soon which led to Bobby's favorite game, The Drift, which led to me having to pull him off of the vertical from the line and circle to avoid impalement against the vertical's standards. Clearly that was not great for either of us and Bobby started fretting again. I started to turn him in to the oxer from the canter and he turned his head towards the jump and just kept on cantering along the rail. "Bitch, please. You don't know what the fuck you're doing. I am not participating."


Came back to the trot and circled before trying to come in on a straighter track. That satisfied Bobby and we got the line done one last time, albeit with no brakes.

there's a classic carly jumping picture for you guys!
although this one had more to do with being run off with than 100% poor riding.
Lessons learned:
  • Pace was lacking at times which contributed to some awkward jumps. Nothing new there, I just have to be harder on myself about focusing on staying forward.
  • A grid with lots of bounces is in order for next week at some point. Someone was a little too fresh-to-death about more than one fence in a row.
  • Steering. Should probably have a tune up.
Overall though, for his first "course work" in five months, he wasn't awful. He jumped me out of the tack a few times and going back to jumping 3' made me feel like he was actually jumping 4', but he puts a lot of effort into getting that giant body over things--he hasn't yet learned the art of "less is more". We're not going Grand Prix here, dude. Save the back cracking bascule for...never.


Enjoy your Easter! Someone send me some Cadbury eggs! My rabbit has stopped producing.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Words of Encouragement

Hubby called me this morning and we talked in circles for awhile to determine that I would be going to the barn today. Really, sometimes I just want to be like, "Yes means yes, Hubby! If I say I can come to the barn because you're already out there and you need me to drop you off something while you're working and earning bank for my horse, I can come to the barn. We shouldn't spend five minutes repeating this in a dozen different ways!!"

But I digress.

Pulled into the barn and saw my favorite "Let's do bad things together" person was there. I stopped in at the indoor where she had just got on and told her the outdoor had gotten dragged yesterday and I was going to set up some jumps. She immediately abandoned ship and headed up there while I speed groomed and tacked Bobby. Heel test for the LH? Nuthin'. Didn't even acknowledge me whacking him with the hoof pick. Maybe someone's been behaving himself in the paddock for once and not running around like a looney? One can only hope.

I'd originally intended to set up the jumps for Sunday (hopefully), but with no wincing from princess toes, I figured we'd keep it at 2'6 and have a little fun. I set out the warm up jumps I'd put in the indoor when Bobby lost both front shoes (X, vertical, oxer across the center of the ring) and Sarah set up a fun tire jump.

tire jump to the right.
(can you tell memph used to be a srsly fancy hunter for his previous owner?)
There began a lot of fun and a boost to my self-training ego from Sarah. I got on, walked a bit, and picked up the trot.

Sarah: Holy gorgeous! What did you do to that horse?!

Me: I spent an entire winter working on dressage. But don't worry. Wait until you see our jumping...

Sarah's really only ridden with me on trails for a while, so she hasn't seen the beast actually being asked to do something. We both picked up the canter and she came across the ring. Memphis did a rather enthusiastic flying change (as he was feeling rather enthusiastic in general) and I was like, "Hey, we can do those now, too!"

Sarah: What?!

Turned in across the diagnol, brought my leg back, poked him with my spur, and he smoothly changed and carried on.

Sarah: A round of applause! Go, Bobby! Hold on, is that a whip? When did this happen?!

Then he sneakily tried to take off with me, but a little "yoo hoo!" with my reins brought him back. Another change across the diagnol from this way and we got ready to jump. I'd brought my running martingale up with me just in case, but figured I wouldn't really need it. Um, wrong. We came in to the X with his head in my face and bouncing up and down before deer leaping over it and deer loping away.

Sarah: Ok, I see what you mean with the jumping.

I tried twice more with the same result before I got off and put the running on. Apparently that thing actually does something for us. Jumping was much smoother from there. X, vertical, oxer, tires--all respectable efforts for my easily wound-like-a-fucking-top horse. He actually stayed quiet after the running was put on. AND! AND, PEOPLE!! Every single lead change, every single time. Whether it was auto or I had to ask for it, it was there with zero attitude. FUCK YES.

Sarah: He no longer looks like he's going to die coming to a jump. Plus, you can tell he's listening to you now, waiting for you to tell him to go.

It was really, really nice to hear that we're moving forward. Not that I don't know it, but someone could come in today and watch him go and be like, "Yeah, he's nice. He could do this and this better though." Sarah has seen Project Bobby progress from square one so she can fully appreciate the fact that we can canter a fence now without flipping shit. I'd much rather get praise for baby steps and small wins with this dude than be complimented by a stanger. Does that make sense? Maybe not.

sorry, giant donkey ears are all you get of bobby today.
i didn't even get a pic of his new boots of giant duct tape sheet patch.

We ended early since I still wanted to jump Bobby this weekend and Memphis is fat (No offense, Memph. We'll go into fat kid training together soon, I promise.), but we decided to top off our ride with a run up the galloping hill. First we were helpful and closed the arena gate for BM from horseback. Well, kind of.

Question: How many horses and people does it take to close a gate?

Answer: More than we had.

Bobby pushed the gate closed with his nose as he so cleverly has figured out how to do. He held it closed, but I couldn't get him to take another step forward so I could reach up and close the latch. Then he'd get mad at our hysterical laughter and back up, letting the gate swing open and whack Memphis in various parts of his heavily padded body. This went on for way longer than it should have, but it was too funny to see Bobby shoot us both The Look before releasing the gate on an unsuspecting Memphis who gazed about with a rather confused "Huh?" expression. I finally just got off and closed it myself.

Bobby led the way (of course) for a happily plodding Memphis until we got into the wooded path just before the hill. Then it was just too much to handle.

Bobby: I'M A RACEHORSE!!!!!! A RACEHORSE, MEMPHIS!! I RACE HORSES!!!

Memphis: Butterflies. Lollipops. Clouds. Marshmallows.

Bobby: I RACE HORSES SIDEWAYS!!! LOOK AT ME RACE YOU, MEMPHIS!!! I'M WINNING!!

Memphis: Candy canes and peppermints. Sparkles. Unicorn!

Bobby: THERE'S THE HILL!! I'M RACING YOU, MEMPHIS!!! I'M KICKING YOUR ASS!!

Memphis: lalalalalalalala.

After Bobby successfully "won", he calmly walked the rest of the way home until we got to the final trail to the barn.

Bobby: I'M GOING TO BEAT YOU TO THE BARN, MEMPHIS!! DO YOU SEE ME BEATING YOU?? WHAT ABOUT NOW THAT I'M SIDEWAYS?! Ouch, I just put my head in a bush. BUT I'M STILL WINNING! Oh, holy shit, I just walked us sideways into a tree. I'M GOING TO WALK FORWARD NOW, MEMPHIS, BUT I'M STILL BEATING YOU!

And thus ended another adventure with Rob & Big.

memphis's tag along.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pony Love

First off, I need this:

can i get an amen?
Secondly, I went to the barn today because I remembered that I had to drop off Mr Magee's Smartpak. I reworked his supplements after much debating and playing on Smartpak's website. He was previously on SmartHoof and U-Gard. He was on the SmartHoof for a year and a half and I didn't see enough change (or really any change) to justify keeping it on my order. I pay New Farrier a lot of money and I trust what he's doing with Bobby's feet, so unless he tells me he needs to go back on something, no more hoof supp. The U-Gard was a cheap transition supp when Bobby finished his omeprazole. I've had two different horses on it before--one showed a difference, the other didn't. I don't think it really did much for Bobby. His new Smartpak is Recovery EQ (thank you, Tori!) and Cool Calories 100. I'm hoping this helps with the stifle issues and covering the last bit of ribs that won't go away.

I took Bobby out to the crossties where he could gaze at the love of his life, Tasha. Tasha is an OTTB whose mom L does hunters and dressage. She lives across from Bobby, but she goes out during the day so he only sees her when she's in to be ridden. As if that matters. When you look like this, all you need is a glimpse:


L and Tasha headed down to the arena as I groped Bobby's LH. His heel looks a touch bruised, but he seemed less reactive to me jabbing it with a hoof pick than he did on Tuesday. I threw on my dressage tack and decided on a ride in the deep, soft footing of the indoor.

Bobby was a pill. Warmed up at the walk on a loose rein. No problem as long as we were just going around the rail. I brought him down the centerline to stay out of L's way and do a turn on the forehand. Oh my gosh, turn? On the forehand? Begin the dramatics. I sat there with a loose leg and my reins in a big loop as Bobby backed, spun, jetted forward, spun again, and just made a general ass out of himself. I ended up just wanting him to walk forward down the centerline, but that would involve getting back over there as we were now pressed against the rail. He would have none of it until Tasha walked calmly by us--and then he walked straight down with his neck arched. For real, Bobby? She's not even in heat!

L and I joked that he was showing off for his lady friend. Bobby will stare into Tasha's empty stall when he's on the crossties and he routinely licks the blankets hanging off her stall. But as L pointed out, she's not even nice to him. She pins her ears if she's in there and just makes mean faces at him.

"i love you, tasha. i love everything about you."
We did very little trot work, keeping mostly to the walk. He would have an occasional "OMG, I MUST GO SIDEWAYS. OMG, I MUST GO BACKWARDS. OMG, LOOK AT THIS LEVADE, TASHA!!" but he mostly behaved himself as long as I asked him to do nothing. I did get some amazing canter out of him. Super uphill, super packaged, super powerful. Of course, it was only because he was dying to be naughty, but I stepped up and rode well and used it to my advantage.

Tasha left us and I made Bobby go through Novice A. He started off very tense, but settled into it and put in a nice test. I let him end there since we'd done more cantering than I'd planned on, but we worked ninety percent at the walk with very little trotting.

starving barn kitties. you can tell they're never, ever fed.
"hey, i'm starving, too."
I painted Bobby's soles with venice turpentine which won't do anything for his heels, but I had it on hand and felt like I should do something. Then I gave his bell boots another puff of chili powder. Those bad boys have hung in there so far! Holla!

a little more rib coverage and he'll be a boss.
Tomorrow off, and I hope like hell I won't be able to get out this weekend because I'll be busy moving. If we're not busy moving, I might just be having a full blown anxiety attack. No bigs.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Jeeze, Self. Do some leg workouts!

After yesterdays Fuck You snowstorm where it snowed like crazy all morning but then got warm in the afternoon while continuing to snow yet melt at the same time, it was Spring again today with sun and no wind and relative warmth. I literally could have ridden in a t-shirt. Ballin'.

I spent twenty minutes currying Bobby and stepped back to admire my handiwork only to find that he looked like he'd been touched. What the fuck, horse. I'm covered in an inch of black hair, my teeth are gritty from dirt, and you still look like a hot mess.

We went down to the indoor to do a really quick dressage school before going out on trails. I emphasized forward from the get-go, but it backfired on me when we moved up to the canter. Bobby completely ignored me and motored around pulling my arms out. He wasn't taking off with me by any means, but I certainly wasn't asking for a hand gallop. Somewhere in there, I did get a flying change. It was unbalanced so he jetted off afterwards, but it was there at my asking. We're always working on refinement, so I can add that baby to the list.

I finally pulled the e-brake when I got sick of my half halts being ignored and gave him a loud, "Hell-ooooo, Bobby!" We walked for a few minutes to regroup and focus on being soft. I asked him for the canter again and got a really soft, lovely canter that we did for two 20m circles before calling it quits. Fifteen minute dressage ride? Yes, please.

april 2010. sad, sad neck. no signs of beef cake to be found.
I had my watch on today so I was determined to finally do another conditioning ride. Remember those? Those things that help event horses get fit? No. I don't remember them either.

So: A 2 min trot to our galloping hill and a 1 min canter up the hill. We walked to the next field where the trails make a traingle and where did our last set of work....last month? Who even fucking knows at this point. 2 min trot, turn around to the trail running parallel, 1 min canter, 1 min walk. Rinse and repeat for three sets, focusing on staying round and on the bit (check) and straight (mostly check--there was no neck crookedness for once, but we kind of wove back and forth over the trail a bit).

Bobby was a sweaty mess when we were done, but his breathing was great--as it should be with that less than taxing set. My sad, sad legs were awful. I did all the trotting and cantering in two point and I might have wimpered a little at the end. We definitely needed the winter of dressage work, but it did my own fitness no favors.

Needless to say, we've I've got a long way to go. That would be easier if I didn't now have to give Bobby the rest of the week off because of some heel soreness. I didn't even notice anything until we were back in the driveway of the barn and he was just a teeny tiny smidgum NQR in that LH again. I prodded the spot where his abcess blew awhile ago and got a definite reaction, so I'm assuming that's the cause.

I can see the difference in Bobby's body from the work we're doing, and he was able to trot right up our hills today so that's a massive improvement, but it feels like the past couple of months have been so stop and go. I can't get into a rhythm with my riding. We're going xcountry schooling in two weeks and our first show is in four, so I'm starting to freak out just a little.

my friend sent me this picture of this uncle mo
filly she just foaled out to make me feel better about
the size of bobby's ears. mission accomplished.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring visited!

No barn on Saturday because Hubby's massive family took over our tiny house for his birthday. I always feel like hiding when they come over. I wish I could make a little cave and take all the food with me. They swoop in and clear us out in one giant meal.

and then darcy tried to eat the baby.

Most of Sunday was spent doing house things before Hubby and I jetted out to a distant town I'd never even heard of before to do some biznass I'll share if things pan out. We stopped at the barn for pony time on our way back. We bought a new camera a couple of weeks ago at Best Buy's sale and I wanted to test it out. I'm not allowed to use it at the barn without Hubby's supervision. That was literally our deal when buying it. I don't know if it has something to do with the fact that cameras last about....oh, five months max under my care or what, but I agreed. I still have my beat to shit Olympus to shove in my pocket at least.

I went up to get Mr Magee out of his paddock and I literally did a little dance when I saw his bell boots were still on. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I fed him his cookie, put his halter on, and had a mini panic attack when he walked to the gate swinging his LH out and dragging his toe. WTF, Bobby?! I thought he might have lost a back shoe, but fortunately he was still shod all around. He walked that way all the way down the hill. I brought him into the barn and grabbed a hoof pick. His hind feet had giant balls of mud and stones in them. I scraped him out and asked BO if she would watch him jog, just in case. She gave him the thumbs up and I tacked his princess self up.


Because it was in the mid-forties, mostly sunny, and not windy (!!) we were all over going to the outdoor. It actually felt like spring! I didn't need a coat to ride! It was amazing! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bobby was far more interested in gazing at the most beyootiful screaming TB mare whose foot-long ears rival his own in the paddock outside the arena than doing any real flat work, but dressage work has always been pretty much nonexistant when outside. Oh, well.


Of course Hubby had to play with the zoom and completely missed our flying change. He didn't miss how loose my lower leg is though. Probably ought to work on that two point just a touch more. And by a touch more I mean work on it period. It's hard to end a winter of dressage work when winter won't fucking end! But anyway. We got all three of our flying changes with zero fuss so dressage work can stay in the indoor for now. Small wins, people. I popped him over the 2'6 vertical that I had set up forever ago for warm up and I was super happy he didn't bolt the stupid thing.


As I explained to Hubby, I've been watching a shit ton of stadium rounds and trying to focus on the rhythm of the canter so I can carry it over to my own riding since I'm always going so slow. It's all about footfalls for me, and as stupid as it sounds, it actually worked today. It must be because I'm such a musical genius. Or something.

this is how the feetsies fall, hubby. why are you laughing at me?
I had Hubby raise the jump to 3' so we could finally have some real fun. I focused on being fast at the canter which translated to being spot on with our pace. Bobby started out a little, "OMG, we're doing the jumping! Must do the jumping nowwwwww." and had a bit of a canter in place like he does when his brain is about to explode, but a few canter laps on a loose rein with me patting his neck chilled him out and we got to work.

why hubby shouldn't be allowed to play with camera settings.
kind of cool.
I was really happy with how Robert jumped. I had my foot on the gas pedal enough that he didn't feel like he had to race to the fence, and  we got our leads every time.

one of these days i'm going to set out like, a 10' spread oxer.
my horse is a mile long.

He was also really listening to me on picking spots. I love, love, love that I can see a bit of a long spot now and gave him a smack on the shoulder with my crop to ask him to take it and he doesn't have a full blown meltdown. He's just like, "Right-o."


We didn't do too much, and it certainly wasn't enough for Bobby who channeled his inner Memphis and gave me a lovely trot lengthening down the longside because I was trying to not let him canter. With that, I can safely say the lengthenings we've been trying to get are not for realz. But now I know they're in there. Game on, Bobby.

"fuck this dressage shit. i wants the jumping."
No ride today as it's snowing its balls off. It's was nice of Spring to visit for a day at least. Someone dropped off the 2010 WEG Eventing DVD in my locker, so that's what I'll be doing today instead. It will get me in the spirit since today is opening day for our first event!

matching derp faces.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Shoes!

The farrier was supposed to be out yesterday morning, but had to reschedule for today. I went out yesterday anyway to groom him and see if his replacement birthday bit fit. I ran our favorite tack ho in circles about sizing and whatnot before ultimately deciding on ordering the same size (5") but a different style--instead of rubber, plain metal with a french link. Totes worked.


Shoes went back on today. NF opted to replace the aluminum with a light steel in hopes that the bigger nails would hold the shoe more securely. If that doesn't work, he said he's going to have to go to glue ons. Delicate princess toes, I hate you. I miss my Red Pony's barefoot Mustang feet. NF also said something's got to change with turnout. BM and I discussed the options. If he can keep his fucking bell boots on that'd be ideal, but we all know how well that worked last summer (read: it didn't). Second option is to change him to a smaller, flatter paddock with one other calm turnout buddy when another boarder leaves at the end of the month. The final option that I really hope we don't have to resort to is switching him back to day turnout so he only goes out for 7hrs a day instead of 17hrs. Bell boots got coated in chili powder for tonight. Hopefully that works.

"please don't eat us, bobby!"
I put the jump saddle on for a short ride mostly so I could play with the new bit. He could have cared less about the bit or the three days he had off and spent in his stall. We tooled around at an easy w/t and then did some flying changes in the canter. They're soooo ridiculously easy when I'm in half seat with a short stirrup. They're pretty much impossible in a dressage saddle. But that's just me being broken.

Sunny's mom stopped by the arena before heading into the barn to see if we wanted to play with Sunny's new toy--a hoola hoop. Bobby was like, "Is it edible? No? Not interested." S said she'd seen the trail class at the Expo have to do a turn on the forehand with the front feet inside the hoola hoop and she wanted to teach Sunny. She tossed it in the ring for us to play with, but Bobby wasn't feeling it. He'd stick one foot in, drag it back so it caught the hoola hoop, and then drag the hoola hoop backwards. Totally missed the exercise. I got off to try it on the ground.

"stupid tricks. i'm a fancy show horse."
right bobby. sure you are.
He did manage to do it once I was off, but he didn't think it was much fun. So then I decided to just go ahead and torture him with it.

"pretty sure i hear my dinner calling me. pretty sure that means
no more stupid hoola hoop."
I bopped him on the saddle and butt with it a few times and he completely ignored me so I whipped it over his head and across the arena frisbee style. Instead of following its path, he just turned his head to look at me with his patented "You're fucking stupid, lady" look. Point well taken, Robert. Back to the barn we go.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Grr.

With the stress of things going on at home, I've kind of felt like having a cry all day long. What better way to allieviate sadness and anxiety than a trip to see pony pants, right? I timed it so that I would get there well after BO's lesson ended so I wouldn't have to work around anyone in the arena. I pulled in and dragged out a bunch of poles and standards to set up a warm up ring jump game--an X, an oxer, and a vertical across the middle of the ring. Super fun and super useful to practice in the small indoor since there's usually less space at shows than what we have at home with how many horses and riders end up crowding the jumps.

handsome mug. doesn't happen often.
I grabbed my freshly washed polos and mended gloves and headed up to the barn. I grabbed a couple of peppermints out of my locker, put them in my pocket, and was about to open Bobby's door when I noticed a note taped to his stall. "Bobby is missing both front shoes. Leave in."

Nooooooooooooooooo.

Dear March,

You officially suck way fucking more than February. Fuck you.

Carly

Nothing like the first day of Spring to have your horses shoes sucked off by mud--which is almost unfair to say because my barn has amazing pasture management and the only mud in Bobby's massive field is right by the gate and run-in. But you get rain and then snow and then sun and then more snow and then more rain and the ground is just a fucking disaster no matter what you do.

So instead of a fun jump ride, I stuck Bobby on the crossties and removed a Pomerarian-sized ball of hair from his body before making him pose for pictures.

bobby in december, coming back into work after vacation.
bobby today.
what.
I know no one else will be excited about this, but his tail is now officially past his hocks. YAY!

"i can haz the cookies now, yes?"
Then I came home and almost punched someone in the face, but refrained. Not a fucking awesome day by any means, but things could certainly be worse.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Catching Up

Sorry for the lack of truly fascinating posts... for, like, a year. But sorry again for the lack of any posts in a few days. I figured nothing really amazing has been going on as per usual, so I'd just lump my dull barn life into one big post. Yay!

Thursday

Bobby's vet visit went really well. Vet cranked his mouth open to take a look at his teethsies and said she saw no problems and we could go a few more months before he got checked again. Saved me $75 there! We talked about his stifles as she looked him over and incited teeth grinding as she groped his unmentionables. Really, how rude. He got poked and blood drawn for his coggins and then she showered him in kisses and cookies. Vets love Bobby because he doesn't even acknowledge things going into his neck. Her thoughts on Sir Magee's bum:

He may only be eight, but because he's had this issue his entire life, each year it's going to get progressively worse. He may always be able to compete at the level I want him to, but each year it's going to take more and more maintanence. If I had the money laying around to spend, injections certainly wouldn't hurt him, but since I don't, I'm going to keep up with the strengthening exercises and add a joint supplement. Another vet just recommended to my vet a new prescription-only supplement that she's doing research on and so far she thinks it might be a good fit for Bobby. She'll get back to me next week with pricing and what she's learned and I'll decide if that's the direction I want to go. If not, we'll discuss what else is on the market for him.

Friday & Saturday

Both days off. Friday was planned upon, Saturday it randomly snowed three inches and Hubby and I are having a bit of a fucking spaz over things going on at the casa, so Saturday was spent freaking the fuck out in general. No bigs.

Sunday

Sunday's theme was straightness. Or, the lack thereof. To the right, we're doing ok. To the left, mostly at the canter, Bobby's hindquarters are in a different stratosphere than his front half. I spent most of the ride focusing on getting him at slightly more put together, but it's going to be a big focus for awhile. On the plus side, he's being such a gem about bending to the left. He's getting so much stronger.


Actually, I'm kind of stoked about how well Mr Magee is going lately. The changes to his topline are amazing. He looks like a fucking beef cake. While I know we have lots of little gaps to fill in and I'm far from a great rider, I'm really happy with how far I've brought this giant monster by myself.


A boring, unedited video of the good, the awkward, and the "switch your butt back over":



We did sort of run through Training A at the end of our ride. Bobby was all, "Cantering now. I love cantering, cantering, cantering." Of course, no dressage test is entirely cantering, but instead of being an explosive prick, he contained himself pretty well until we came off of the stretchy trot circle. He couldn't help himself anymore and did a little scoot sideways that knocked his butt into the wall at the same time snow came sliding down and he spooked himself and sat on the edge of the arena wall.

Bobby: Did you see what just happened?! Holy shit!!

Me: That was your own fault, Robert. Carry on.

Bobby: HOLY SHIT. CAN'T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED.

Me: Ok, we're now doing our free walk. Pay attention.

Bobby: Oh, ok. Free walkin'---OMG, STILL CAN'T BELIEVE THAT HAPPENED.

Me: Moving on now, Bobby!!!

"meh, leave me alone. i want my dinner."
ok, his booty needs work, but it's really not as small as it seems here.
Monday

To miss the additional 3" of snow forecasted for that afternoon, I went to the barn early for a ride. Everyone else had the same idea and there were four other riders in the ring with me. Fortunately, they were all in various stages of being done so it was pretty easy to work around. We did some basic but quality w/t both ways, cantered in half seat to the right because Bobby was getting a little tense, and then we hung out in the middle of the arena to watch Sunny perform his tricks with cones and barrels.

We did alittle more trot work to the left as the last two riders left and then we carried over the big barrels and flopped them down beside each other for a baby jump. He was excited to get to jump again, even if it was such a sad "fence".


Shavings had just been delivered when we got done, and Bobby thought they were there for his personal amusement.



J came roaring up on the atv dragging the tarp behind him to cover the shavings. Bobby glanced behind him before deciding he'd like to put his mouth all over that as well.


Still such a baby sometimes.

Today he has off, back to work tomorrow. I'm going to try to stick to at least an every other day schedule. This three to four days off in a row thing isn't working for either of us.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A Threat to Manhood

Sarah and I had a trail riding date this morning. Memphis and Bobby went on a few trail rides together last year as Memphis was coming back from his bowed tendon, so we mostly just walked with sporadic trotting. We were ready to go out with guns blazing today. Memphis's fat Dutch booty needs to get into shape, and Bobby will never be turned away from trotting hills.

I stuck Bobby's new elevator bit in his mouth because it was a new toy and I wanted to play with it. I was a little hesitant with the fit as it looked snug, but I figured we'd go out anyway and see how it was. Unfortunately, it was definitely too small and a new one is on its way.

derp face. not a model.
Our trail ride started off well. Memph apparently thinks he's now a trail master and went diving off the path periodically to bushwhack as Sarah and I laughed at him. We had an easy run up our first hill, Memph put his cruise control on extended trot for our second hill as Bobby plugged along behind him, and we navigated through the woods and across the stream and road. Sarah brought Memphis up so we could gallop up my fave hill together and Bobby was like, "RACING!!!!!!"

Now Bobby has galloped in the company of Sarah's other horse, Blackberry, many times before. He knows B is the Godfather and would punch Bobby right in the face if he ever tried to get in front of him. I guess Memphis doesn't really give off that vibe. Probably because Memphis is the reason warmbloods are called Dumb Bloods.

Memph was all out to keep pace with Bobby who I had bridged into a strong gallop. I'm not a fan of letting horses loose in fields. I see holes that weren't there before and broken legs with every stride. Bobby was some pissed at this decision. He's very, very polite to gallop and he didn't pull on me, but he had his head turned toward Memphis and was making the meanest faces at him. I pulled Bobby up just before Sarah which must have translated to Bobby that he had lost the race and he was FURIOUS. (Mind you, this horse never won a real race when he was actually on the track.)

He spent the rest of the ride randomly spinning in circles when he had to walk beside Memphis, and jigging sideways whenever Memphis got a step in front of him. If he was far enough in front where he thought he was "winning", he was fine. He plodded along on the buckle. Otherwise, forget it.

"memphis, look at bobby!" "ok!"
"bobby, come over here by memphis." "FUCK MEMPHIS!"
We tried to stroke his ego by doing one last race where Memphis loped along behind a full steam ahead Robert, but that only did the trick for a few minutes. I made his royal prancey pants walk behind Memphis for the rest of the way. Suck it, Mr Magee. Memphis could care less if you're in front or not.

I did almost make it down the giant monster hill this time! I made it like... a whole twenty steps farther than I ever have before. I might have even made it the entire way except someone who is supposed to be my friend was like, "Hmm, it's kind of slippery. I might even get off." To which I responded with, "WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT TO ME?! Oh my God, Sarah. Oh my God. Ahhhhh!!! Oh my ahhhh!!! Sarah! Ahhh!!" And then Bobby got sick of me again and turned to the side and halted so that I could dismount. If that isn't the most blatant, "You're a fucking dipshit. Get down." I don't know what is. Maybe next time.

We finished in the arena with a few minutes of w/t/c just because he was being a tool. For as naughty as he was being, I was really pleased that with every sprint we did, his breathing was back to normal in under a minute. The perks of having a TB. Memphis was huffing and puffing almost the entire ride.

Tomorrow Robert gets poked and prodded and hopefully the vet will tell me I won't need to replace the caboose in my giant "racehorse".