Sunday, June 30, 2013

Enough with the dressage!

I'm starting to get that antsy feeling hearing about other people showing. Why aren't we showing? Why are we once again going backwards instead of forwards?

Dear Bobby,


I know that at home the work is really starting to come together, but he's not the same horse at shows this year, and my attempts at getting him out more keep getting foiled. After this little show on the 7th, we won't be showing again for over a month, and I'll be on vacation for a week of that.

It's fucking with my head, bro.

Now we're all sick of reading about repetitious dressage rides (and I'm sick of doing them), so here's some truly fascinating video from today.

Trotting left:


Trotting and cantering right:


Bobby was actually quite a prick today. He was all about pulling and not listening to my outside leg again, to the point where he rammed me into a pair of standards hanging off the wall and sent them crashing to the ground via my leg. He got whacked on the ass for that because I was actively asking him to move over. Then I made him side pass across the entire arena.

bobby: oh my GOD, this is horrible!
me: shut up. i'm being a monkey. (?? srsly. my face?)
That was followed by the woman getting a private that I was riding with and myself having to deal with this small demon child on a pony that was careening about the arena like a fucking lunatic. Now I don't condone the abuse of small children, but fuck if I didn't want to crack this girl across her legs with my dressage whip every time she went by me--which was often. She almost ran head-on into my at least three times (which is truly amazing since we were going the same direction) and was so far up the ass of the lesson-er on her green horse while cantering that if I had been J, I would have brake checked her with my horse.

Oooooh, I fucking hate spoiled fucking little snots.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Patience, Kemosabe.

Or should I say, "Patience, Lumpy Head"?

do you see his lumpy head?

it's his unicorn horn trying to poke through.

A few weeks ago, Bobby came in with a large lump on his head. It's hard, he's not concerned with it being prodded or pushed on, and it hasn't gotten any bigger or smaller. Red got a similar lump when whacking his head inside a horse trailer (He was such a diva.), so maybe Bobby is just trying to emulate him. I wish he wouldn't though. He's not exactly the most attractive creature as it is.

Today was another really good dressage ride. I don't have much exciting to write, but I feel obligated to record the good days along with the bad since the good days don't usually happen concurrently.

I warmed Robert up with a loose rein at the w/t/c and focused on keeping him rhythmical with half halts. Picked up the contact and went on a circle to do multiple, quick w/t transitions. I'm so happy he's decided to be a grown up about these as they really help him sit back and settle into the contact much easier.

We did some trot lengthenings again and I made myself really get after him to stay round and on the bit and not let myself drop him on his forehand. Once I took the time to do that before letting him lengthen, all I had to do was soften my reins a fraction and close my legs a fraction and he absolutely cruised. So big, and so bouncy--the best he's done yet.

I'll see if I can drag poor Hubby out on Sunday to get some video. And the farrier won't be able to make it out until sometime next week. I'm not even concerned so much about getting a reset a day or two before a  show, I'm more concerned that we're stuck doing dressage in the indoor. Not a great prep for, according to Bobby, The Scariest Place on Earth. Hopefully NF will be out Monday instead of Friday.

Also, because I know you guys already think I'm bat shit crazy, this is totally the song that goes through Bobby's head whenever he looks at the love of his life, Tasha:


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fernhill Magee

Sometimes, when Bobby is showing his especially fancy, my-mom-works-so-hard-to-make-me-look-legit side, I refer to him as Fernhill Magee. Have you seen a Fernhill horse that isn't fancy?

No, you have not.

(And when Bobby is being especially bad, I refer to him as "Explitives-that-can't-even-be-named-on-this-blog Magee.)

remember this meme I posted last week?
bobby did his best impression over the weekend.

Today, in the soft footing of the indoor (still waiting for the farrier), Ferhill Magee was strutting his stuff.

The camp kids had left a bunch of poles in the ring so Bobby got to warm up on a loose rein over those at the walk and trot. He was a little peeved that a) he hadn't been ridden in three days and b) he was set to go out when I rolled in, so things started off a little sticky.

Bobby: I don't see why I should have to go slow, or stretch down, or steer.

Me: Because I'm the rider and I said so.

Bobby: Yeah.... that really means nothing to me.

He finally tripped over the poles enough that he decided to pay attention. He got a short walk break where I collected up the reins a bit and then set off at the trot again to work in a long and low frame. To the right, beautiful. To the left, awful. Got that sorted out, and then had a discussion about how my outside leg can indeed be used for steering and does not need to be ignored.

I put him on a circle and he actually managed to do a few steps of walk and a few steps of trot transitions multiple times!! Instead of his head going KABOOM, it went "Hmm..." So when we struck off for canter, it was flawless and the canter itself was totes dreamy.

Did some trot lengthenings, and finished on the counter canter. Definitely need to use that every single ride. He was a little unbalanced through the turns, and a little quick in general. He also gets way to enthused about his flying changes and tries to impress me with them whenever he feels the urge.

Of course, he had to have a bit of sass.

He spooked at the empty gate several minutes after a car had pulled in. He spooked at the pony in the back who had been in the exact same position our entire ride. He spooked at the bright blue minivan in the parking lot. He spooked at the port-a-pottie. He spooked at BM's car. He spooked at a small child walking by.

And when we finally made it back into the barn, one of the camp kids mom's was like, "What a gorgeous animal. Do you know how gorgeous you are?" BM and I looked at each other and had a laugh.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Happenings at the barn

Bobby had yesterday and today off, and he'll continue to have time off until the farrier has a visit with his tootsies. All shoes are still on and actually pretty tight (which goes to show the quality of work NF does), but his hooves are so dry and crumbly that I don't want to push my luck. Typical summer problems when your horse has bad feet, and the ground is hard and dry and the flies are out.

all the other horses have nasty fly bites on their chests. bobby has his under his chin.

Yesterday, Bobby got groomed, doused in fly spray, Hooflex applied, and stuffed with cookies. Today, he got a bath and spent a couple of hours grazing on the prairie outside the round pen while I hung out with some other riders. You would think this sounds great for a pony, but it was only acceptable to Bobby.

Me: Come on, Bobby! You're going out to graze!

Bobby: yaaaaawwwnnn. I don't know. I guess that's okay.

Me: What's wrong?

Bobby: Well, first of all, I was trying to nap. Secondly, I really wanted some new, different hay this morning because I didn't like my breakfast hay, but BM saw that I had all this extra hay--even though I tried to trample it to show her my displeasure--and she only gave me one more flake. And I wanted all the flakes.

Me: That's a sad story. Did you at least eat your one new flake?

Bobby: No. 

Me: Why not?

Bobby: Because.

lily.
I hung out at the indoor for awhile to watch K work with her 2yo Appy cross in my hackamore. Lily could have cared less about getting tacked up, getting her girth tightened, or about paying attention/manners in general. She's such a brat on the ground and preferred spinning in circles and screaming to doing any real work.

fat horse, strange inclusion of dressage whip.
Sarah rolled in and we went up to the outdoor where we were joined by S on Silver and H on Sunny. H is up from South Carolina until the 4th while her boyfriend/fiancee/husband paints a bridge. She's working with Sunny since other S is healing up from an injury. 

silver, the walker/thoroughbred/quarter horse/?
I had great fun listening to H talk about her horses back home in her southern accent, and I was impressed she knew of my old hometown of Florence (Current population 31,000--I promise you there were far less when we lived there.).

h on sunny.

Aaaand, that's about it. Nothing exciting has been going on. We've got a show next weekend so I'll ramp up the work once Bobby's toes are seen to.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Weekend in Pictures

I hope you all noticed the super moon last night! If not, you have another chance tonight.

giant!

from our backyard
Saturday:

"leg yields make me pissy!"
proof that when not throwing a tantrum he's capable of being fancy.

flying change

lengthening

Sunday:

3'3". 

3'6"

4'. i was slipping my reins--partly from leftover red pony crazies,
but mostly from sweat.

The grid:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Showing and Saddles

I have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that this weekend's dressage show was cancelled due to low entries. I have to admit that I was absurdly crushed when I heard. I was really looking forward to getting Bobby off property and trying to get a decent dressage test out of him with the distractions of a show. Plus, when he keeps the dramatics under wraps, he really does look quite fancy.

I was feeling so bummed yesterday that I almost didn't go to the barn. Instead, I spent the morning hiking with my puppies.

chipmunk!

In an effort to stay positive, I came home and sent off another entry. Now I know this was supposed to be a break from showing and here I am sending off entries all willy-nilly, but the reason for the break was that I was burnt out on showing, and really burnt out on eventing. But being so lackadaisical about show preparation and just working through the basics of both dressage and jumping has really chilled me out (although it may not seem like it), and now I find myself thinking, "I want to see how this will stand up at a show. I wonder if it will carry over."

The entry was for a combined test (dressage and show jumping only, non-eventing folks) at BCHP on July 7th at BN. While I really didn't want to drop back down to BN this year completely based on my pride, I think it will be a good step for Bobby. Bucks is the center of all our worst performances, and my hope is that  the lower level and complete nonevent that this show will be will start to give us a new outlook on this venue. I also signed up to school cross country afterwards so if the stadium goes to shit, we'll have a chance to work it out without having the pressure of making it around another set course of jumps.

Now the good news!

Thanks to the wonderful offer from blogger Lindsay who said she would be willing to work out a payment plan on one of her old saddles, I suddenly remembered that fellow boarder O, who is six feet of legs like myself, was trying to sell her 17.5", forward flap, wide HDR Pro Close Contact over the winter. I didn't remember her saying it sold, so I dug around in the carriage house and found it tucked into its cover in a corner.

I tried it on Bobby yesterday and while it was a hair wide set right against his back, once I put my EcoGold pad on, it was spot on. I hacked around in it, trying different lengths of stirrups, and even went over a couple of jumps. I felt great in it. I felt like I could really work with all different stirrups lengths without feeling unbalanced. I also trail rode in it today and really enjoyed that my butt wasn't falling off the back. Minor details.

So I asked O what she wanted for it. $425 with stirrups for a like new (this thing doesn't even have any visible rub marks on it) saddle that retails for around $900. And the best part? She's willing to take payments. I am so grateful! I'll have it paid off in four months and be the owner of an awesome saddle that fits both Bobby and myself!

ooh. ahh.

The good news totally made up for the bad news!

"no, i don't have seven acres of freshly mowed pasture to my right.
they starve me at this place!"

Also, for an overdose of cuteness, I present to you the Bobby Magee Fan Club:

the first thing one of the counselor's said was, "where's his buttercup head?"

We were headed out for our trail ride and got mobbed by camp kids taking a bathroom break. Bobby obligingly stood like a rock for a solid five minutes as they hung off of his head and neck and gave him kisses.  He was quite happy to finally be recognized as the celebrity that he is. Once the kids started to head back into the barn, he made to follow them. I had to break it to him that his only work for the day was not going to be standing around surrounded by his own personal posse.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Bloody Liebster Award

It's like I refrained from swearing, isn't it?

So several people nominated this blog for the Liebster award: Equestrian at HartGrey Brook EventingFly On Over, and Equinpilot. First of all, thank you! I'm glad our trials, tribulations, and general lack of success in all things horse-related have inspired such love.

I was awarded this last year as well, but never actually put forth any effort into answering the questions. Also, last year you got a cheesy graphic as a prize. So here's one to pop onto your side bar:


yay, you!

Since multiple people sent this bad boy over here, I'm going to be clever and answer multiple questions. Now I may do math like Justin Timberlake, but with four blogs, I'm going to make it 12 questions and answer three from each blog. Fair enough? Then let's get on with it!


How to Accept the Award: The Liebster Blog Award is a way to recognize blogs who have less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word that means beloved and valued. Here are the rules for accepting the award:
  • Thank the person who nominated you and include a link back to their blog.
  • List 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Create 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate.
  • Choose 11 bloggers with 200 or fewer followers to nominate and include links to their blogs.
  • Go to each blogger's page and let them know you have nominated them.
11 Random Facts:

  1. I'm like a savant when it comes to mazes. Give me any maze on the entire planet and I can find the way through it in one go without ever having to backtrack and hesitate. It is quite possibly the most useless skill on the planet.
  2. Even if I've never been to a place before, if I know the mileage, I can predict our arrival time within five minutes irregardless of traffic, weather, or speed. Another painfully useless talent.
  3. My parents divorced when I was in 8th grade, and I haven't seen or spoken to my father in two years. He sends me a check and a text on my birthday and at Christmas, and we're both perfectly okay with this arrangement. 
  4. On that note, I haven't spoken to my sister in ten years and it is absolutely the best decision I have ever made. 
  5. I was a vegetarian for eight years.
  6. Hubby is not actually my Hubby. Right?! We're only engaged. We were planning our wedding when both our families went bridezilla on us without actually being the bride, and we agreed to indefinitely put a halt to wedding planning until we both got excited about it again.
  7. I had a speech impediment growing up--I couldn't say my Rs.
  8. I was named for Carly Simon.
  9. I used to play the violin.
  10. I don't drink alcohol. I can count on both hands the number of drinks I've had my entire life. I hate the taste of all things alcoholic, no matter what it is.
  11. I can put my leg behind my head.
my sister and i totally faking liking each other at ages 12 and 10.
also, look how fashion forward i was with those bangs.

Questions:

  1. If you could travel to any place in world, where would it be and why? 
    1. Africa. I don't have a specific reason, it just seems so fabulous. It's definitely on my to-do list.
  2. Name one attribute that would be a deal-breaker for a horse you would like to purchase?
    1. If it was a mare, or grey, or not an OTTB. 
  3. Favorite famous racehorse?
    1. Megahertz.
  4. What is your horse's favorite treat?
    1. Carrots. Seems cliche, but he goes crazy for them.
  5. Describe your dream barn. 
    1. Four stalls with a tack room, feed room, and individual runs off each stall. No boarders allowed.
  6. Cats or dogs?
    1. I love my kitties to death, but if I could only have one, it would be dogs.
  7. Discipline you would like to try:
    1. We're going to try to make it team penning this year. Can't wait!
  8. What was your inspiration to start riding or being involved with horses?
    1. When I was five and my sister was seven, my mom wanted to get us involved in outside activities. We both signed up for dance classes, but I failed at that immediately so I tried horseback riding instead, and here we are today.
  9. Favorite color?
    1. Green.
  10. Name one fear.
    1. Only one? How about being eaten by a fucking shark?
  11. What is a funny fact about your horse?
    1. He loves Mountain Dew. He is an addict. 
  12. Favorite gait?
    1. The walk.

11 Questions for you, from me:
  1. If you could assume the identity of any person for one day, who would it be?
  2. What unique horsemanship skill do you possess?
  3. English or western?
  4. Would your horse have an accent? If so, what would it be?
  5. Have you ever met any of your fellow bloggers?
  6. What is your favorite vacation spot?
  7. Do you have any other pets besides your trusty steed?
  8. Have you ever ridden bareback?
  9. Who is your favorite clinician?
  10. Urban, suburban, or rural living?
  11. What is your favorite food?

I'm going to try hard to not repeat anyone else's nominations. Here we go:

11 Nominations:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bra Wringing

No, I have not become some crazy feminist since the last time I posted. Bra wringing is referring to what I had to do to get the gallon of sweat out of my bra when I got home today. I couldn't even throw that thing in with the rest of my dirty laundry. It took a shower with me before it went in the hamper. It was that gross. Can I get a big "Hell yeah!" for east coast humidity?

So today Sarah and I decided that we should probably run through our tests in the large arena at least once. Since Sarah hasn't ridden her test at all yet (she's doing 1:1), Bobby and I paved the way and ran through it for her.


Oh my goodness, he was so naughty. He looks like he's just being a bit of a Tensey McTenserson at parts (and I look like a total idiot for not realizing he picked up the wrong canter lead until halfway through our circle--derp), but he was like, "Can I get away with this? What about this?" I had to be all, "Wuh-bam! Shut down!" every two seconds. No trot lengthening to speak of, questionable geometry, and overall not a pretty picture. However, he's doing "real" dressage in the outdoor. That was not at all possible last year.

Sarah ran through the test next and I attempted reading the test for her, filming her, and making Bobby stand still all at once so her test consists of the sky, my leg, my saddle, and the ground. Bobby finds standing still terribly dull.

She did look good though for not having done a test in years. Memphis tends to curl behind the bit from lots and lots of draw rein use when he was showing with his former owner, and Sarah tends to get too busy with her hands, but Memph can still stretch and lengthen like a pro. They'll do well on Sunday.

We both ran through it again with much more relaxation on Bobby's end and way better geometry on Sarah's end. Sarah started cooling Memphis out as I went through 1:2. Bobby was going quite acceptably until we got to the fucking leg yields. Being in the outdoor where he really did have to go straight from I to X and L to X made his brain explode. It's only a few strides, but he knew the 10m turn meant a leg yield was coming and he wanted to do it NOW!

So of course he had a melt down.

We worked through the first tantrum with a simple circle, doing the leg yield at the walk, and then coming back and picking up the movement in the test at the trot without issue. The second leg yield he went absolutely ballistic.

You know your horse is the conductor of the I'm a Total ASSHAT train when he starts spinning, backing, and half rearing and the person you're riding with ignores it and starts texting. Just another day in the life of Bobby Magee.

He finally decided he could participate again and we finished the test with only one more minor fight.

This might be the first time I actually get eliminated in dressage. Challenge accepted, Robert.

Challenge accepted.

*As a side note, I am aware a few people have given me the Liebster award. I will participate sometime this week. In the meantime, thanks for enjoying me and my horse's shortcomings! We strive to not succeed here at Poor Woman Showing.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hackamore Adventures Part II: Jumping

Bobby and I took the hackamore show on the road this weekend. And by on the road I only mean that I bravely dragged him up to the outdoor--the scene of our epic meltdown two weeks ago that left me sobbing and left Bobby tearing down the walls of his stall when I threw him in there without a second glance afterwards (True story. He went absolutely nuts before sticking his head in the corner and refusing to move.).

Jumping a couple of jumps in the indoor is all well and good, but eventually I would like to get back to eventing him, and that means he's going to have to jump a course with distractions abound and without losing his shit. Tricky trickster!

Saturday I kept all the fences at 2' to give him an optimum chance to succeed. I didn't put the running martingale on because...I'm lazy? I don't know why. Bobby took advantage of that in a heartbeat and threw his head into the stratosphere approaching every jump. That said, he was also so quiet in his rhythm. He just loped along, loped over, and loped off. At least he did as long as I had a loop in my reins and didn't touch them even a little bit. If I did, he threw his head up in complete disgust. Of course, I also forgot to untangle my neck strap from my figure eight so I did a lot of grabbing mane.

derping along.
Today I had my neck strap and attached the running. I also rode him with much shorter reins and a semblance of real contact so that if I squeezed my reins it didn't take him by surprise. We went over a couple of the 2'3" jumps and Hubby was like, "What the hell is this? He's so calm!"

now i'm obsessing over releasing.
while clearly exaggerated, it's better than the alternative.
Riding a bending line that I forgot to put the bending in until the last second the second time around:


Oxer:



While I'm happy that I've finally found something that seems to make him happy, I'm not happy with my riding. I mean for fuck's sake. It looks like I started jumping this year and have never had a lesson in my life. It's like the year and a half I've been teaching Bobby to jump has taken, oh...ten years off my own teaching.

oh, hey there tight position and leg that looks like it's connected to my body.
oh, hey there crazy fucking position. wtf is going on here?!
and it wasn't just that red was the wonder pony.
i used to be able to ride bobby a million years ago, too.
my leg helping a homie out.
even last year it wanted to cooperate!
and now we got nuthin'.
It's frustrating.

It's frustrating to feel like this year we've spent more time going backwards both in his training and my riding. I know that he's a better dressage horse this year, and I know he really has matured with his jumping, but it's hard to look back at the big picture when every day seems like such a struggle.

It also doesn't help that while this Pessoa fits Bobby like a dream, it really does me zero favors. I'd like to yank my stirrups up two holes, but my legs will shoot up to his shoulders. It's much too small for me. But unless a magic fairy appears with the funds for my own saddle, I'm going to have to keep borrowing whatever fits Bobby out of BO's stash. It's greatly appreciated, but it's a bit depressing. It's especially depressing that I dropped $1,000 this weekend on getting my windshield fixed, a vet visit for both dogs, meds for my cat, and camping reservations for a vacation we had planned ages ago. There's a saddle right there.

But my horse is healthy, he looks so great conditioning-wise that BM and I agree that we could drop his grain down some finally, and we do get to go out this upcoming weekend and make a fool out of ourselves at a dressage show. Things could be worse, but I do wish they'd be better.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hackamore Adventures

If you saw a beacon of light shooting up into the sky yesterday, you shouldn't have been worried. It was just me, exposing my albino legs to the world.

Yesterday was the first time I tried Bobby in the hackamore. I got to the barn about an hour before Sarah and I had decided to ride with grand intentions of cleaning Bobby's sheath, fitting the hackamore to my bridle, and having Bobby groomed.

Instead, I spent the entire time digging through the barn in search of a leather hole punch before giving up and fighting with the bridle of the 12hh pony that spent a week at the barn last month. I got the cheek pieces to fit so that the hackamore hung where it was supposed to, but the throat latch proved to be a touch short. And by a touch short, I mean that a 12 hand Appy/Welsh pony does not have quite the same sized head as my 17 hand Thoroughbred. So I ghetto-rigged a longer throat latch with my flash strap and some braiding bands. Classy.


"posing."
not good listeners.
Sarah arrived and since it was a gorgeous day out, we decided to ditch the dressage school and take the boys to the creek to see if the mega rain we got were enough to make a swimming hole. Clearly this meant we should go bareback. In shorts and sneakers. With Bobby's first time ever wearing a hackamore. And Memphis being a worrier on the trails. We did keep safety in mind: we both had our helmets on, and I had my phone stuffed down my bra in case of an emergency.

Both boys were good starting out until we approached our galloping hill. Bobby started leaping sideways in anticipation and contemplated being naughty about the deer directly in front of us. I decided there was no way he was going to politely walk up the hill and just let him go, trusting he'd remember his manners and pull up at the top. However, he was seriously unimpressed with my riding and grudgingly settled for a big trot instead.

We didn't run into anything exciting until:

(warning: nsfw)

That was literally the biggest spook Bobby has ever done. Look out.

We got to the creek and where we usually go was up at least a foot and flowing really fast. Bobby could have cared less and happily splashed right in. However, Sarah and I didn't think it was a great place to be so we headed back into the woods to find a quieter spot.

memphis didn't think it was a great idea either.
After a slightly terrifying cliff scaling experience that saved us from falling off a ledge into the creek, and the resulting turn-around drama when our trail dead ended, Bobby went crashing down a bank, through trees, and back into the water. Memphis was all, "You're fucking dumb. I'm not going down that." and they rerouted to a normal spot.

memphis didn't think this was a good idea either.

The water was quiet, there were less rocks on the bottom, and the water was way deeper. We ended up going up to my knees and Bobby's shoulders. However, having ten foot long legs and a ten foot long neck kept us firmly grounded. We splashed around for awhile and then Bobby decided we were done for the day.


It wasn't a bad trail ride, but spending two hours bareback on your high withered horse is not fun. My seat bones are killing me, not to mention the amount of debris I picked up on my thighs.

gross!

Today I trudged back out in the rain to clean Bobby's sheath. The joys of being a gelding owner. I gave him a thorough grooming first and noticed some funk on his back legs. Since my hands were already going to smell like dirty penis, I figured they might as well smell like dirty penis and bacon. So on went the MTG.

Bobby's a star for sheath cleaning. He doesn't like me digging around for a bean, but once I start scrubbing the actual sheath, he drops right down and stands immobile until I'm done with everything. Thank God, because I can't imagine having to fight over that shit. Like it's not a gross enough job as it is! 

Once he was all squeaky clean, I couldn't resist trying out the hackamore in a controlled setting; I had no steering on that bad boy yesterday. So I threw on his jump tack and set up a 2'6 vertical and a big X in the indoor. I rode for fifteen minutes total. My butt hurt, not gonna lie.

Bobby trotted calmly to the X, picking up the canter in the last stride and cantering off without fuss. Did a few circles, a shallow serpentine, and changed directions. Trotted to the vertical....and kept on trotting right over it. Like, literally just took it in a trot stride. He clearly pulled the rail down with a hind leg. But you guys--he trotted a fence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He didn't trot the turn and then take off once he saw the jump!! 

BALLIN'.

I set the fence back up and picked up the canter to come to it again. He cantered right over like it was no big deal. No rushing, no tension, nothing. Same for the X in the other direction, and same taking the vertical at an angle. 

So it wasn't a full course of 3' jumps, and it was in his comfort zone of the indoor, but if it's indicative of how he feels about the hackamore, we are in business. 

the door was latched so he couldn't open it himself.
he's staring down the bm on the other side.
He'll have tomorrow and maybe the entire weekend off. Then I should probably run through First 3 and start to actively memorize all the tests. Maybe.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bobby practices First 2.

Warm Up:

Me: Wouldn't it be nice if you could just walk around like a normal horse?

Bobby: Nope. Not when there's a trailer in the driveway!

Me: That should not be a factor.

Bobby: SOMEONE JUST OPENED THE DOOR! DID YOU SEE THAT?!

............

Bobby: It's canter time!

Me: No, it's trot lengthening time. But now we're out of room because you spent too much time throwing a fit and we'll have to try it on the next pass.

Bobby: It's trot lengthening time!

Me: No, we're going to do a normal trot down this long side. You lost your chance, and now you have to wait until we come back around.

Bobby: WHYYYYYYYY??? WHY DO YOU HATE ME??

Practicing 15m circles to lengthenings to working canter:

Bobby: We do canter lengthenings or we do nothing! THERE IS NO IN BETWEEN.

Me: Fuck you, dude. Canter, and canter on the correct fucking lead.

Bobby: NO IN BETWEEN. LENGTHENINGS.

Me: I'm about to pop you IN BETWEEN your fucking ears. Canter like a normal horse!

Bobby: LOLZ, switched my lead.

Me: Canter. Now.

Bobby: Well.... ok.

Mid-test run through:

Bobby: ZOMG, leg yield time!

Me: Ok, that's an A for effort, but this is first level at a little schooling show. Your hind leg doesn't need to be at K when we're only at X.

Bobby: Wooooo, look at me cross over! Oops, almost tripped.

Me: My point exactly.

...............

Bobby: Leg yield! Leg yield!

Me: Ok, but let's regulate this one. Go straight for a few strides. Now over again. Much better!

Bobby: WHY DID YOU WRECK MY LEG YIELD?! I KNOW EVERYTHING AND YOU KNOW NOTHING!!!

Me: Canter here. Canter. Helllooooo! We're over the leg yield thing. Canter!

Bobby: WHY DID YOU JUST KICK ME??? DID YOU NOT HEAR WHAT I SAID ABOUT THE LEG YIELDS??

Me: Get over yourself. Just canter.

Bobby: OH MY GOD, I HATE YOU.

Take 2 on test run through:

Bobby: We canter right here.

Me: No we don't. We walk.

Bobby: WE CANTER.

Me: WE WALK.

Bobby: FINE.

............

Bobby: We walk right here. You just said so.

Me: Right, but now we've moved on. We have to keep trotting and turn down the centerline.

Bobby: WE WALK. YOU SAID SO.

Me: Remove your head from your chest and just trot another twenty steps, you tool.

Bobby: Did you see that halt? That was a bitching halt. Give me a fucking pat, lady. We're done with this shit.

Walking back to the barn:

Bobby: I want to go on the trails.

Me: Ok. Let's go.

Bobby: Well....no, I don't want to go. I want to go back to the barn. I did enough work today.

Me: You're the one that just tried to dive down the trail head.

Bobby: I was just kidding. Go fetch me some cookies.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dressaaaaage

What is it with eventers now saying dressage "Dress-ahhhhge"? I thought pretentious dressage people only said it that way. Or perhaps I'm just a redneck that says it "Dress-ahge". Why does it sound like two different words all of the sudden? Does that make any sense? Is anyone else feeling me on this conundrum? I'm literally blown away by this. But then, I live in a very small world.

So anyway.

Despite having an awesome weekend where I magically blew out the rear window in my car by casually throwing dog leashes into the back seat (just call me She Man) and was quoted a $500 fix by SafeLite who will be visiting me on Friday, I thought I should go ahead and enter a dressage show.

that's right. i'm now rocking the plastic window for the rest of the week.

It's a local show about half an hour from the barn. It's small, and it's only $20 a test. I think it will be a great, cheap way to get Bobby out and about to work on his uncalled-for tension. I also think it will be good for him to suck it up and do more than one test in a row instead of being a llama and then getting rewarded with jumping. So that will be next Sunday doing First 1-3. I somehow convinced Sarah to join me in this endeavor.

As such, I figured I better take a looksie at the tests. I pretty much just threw down test 1 when I got to the first real movement. "The fuck is this S shape shit at X? Oh, well. See you in September, stupid test." I am a good planner. After reading through the whole test today, I realized it was almost identical to the USEA Training A and it wasn't a complicated test in the slightest.

I took Robert down to the indoor since it was pouring rain (as opposed to....?) and after chatting with N, we set out at the walk. We did a lot of lateral work with the dressage whip to wake Bobby up and then moved on to the trot. Bobby decided that he's really meant to be more of a swimming horse than a dressage horse. In the case of there not being any water, just revert back to being a racehorse.

"i'm doing dressage!"

I was all, "Whatevs, Bobby. My elbows are bent, my hands are up, and my core is trying to punch me in the face. Eventually you will cave." After doing half halts every other stride for what felt like an eternity, and not caving in my position at all, Bobby was finally like, "Maybe..... maybe I can stretch down a bit." And then he was rewarded by getting to walk and having the killer whip put away.

His trot was good after that and we did several trot-canter transitions until it was what I wanted. I was very proud of him for not blowing up while working through that as he usually hates quick transition work. Another walk break and we ran through a small arena version of First 1.

The first 15m circle was pretty awkward. It wasn't really 15m, and it wasn't really a circle. We turned in to come across the diagnol at the canter and Bobby was too confused.

Bobby: Flying change! WE'RE GOING TO DO A FLYING CHANGE!

Me: No, no, no. Come back down to the trot. No flying changes.

Bobby: OK! It's a simple change!

Me: No, just trot. Good pony. Er, but try to be a little straighter there, killer.

Bobby: I know this dressage test! We canter once we make it across instead!

Me: Nope. No, no. Just a little farther. Make it to C!

The 15m circle this direction was better, and coming off the lengthened canter set us up perfectly for the trot lengthening across the diagnol. Bobby flew across the ring. And not in a "Racing!" sort of way--in a "I'm a 17 hand Thoroughbred. Watch how massive I can make my stride!" way. A little half halt and he came almost back to the walk in the corner. Such a good pony. He loves his lengthenings now.

Depending on the weather tomorrow, he'll either get the day off or go for a trail ride in his newly arrive hackamore.

And one more dressage thing: How the hell do you wear underwear with white breeches?!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Sunday Stills*

*Pretty sure I stole that catchy title from Dom, so all clever credit goes to her. 

Photos of Robert from today:

"let's pose for pictures like a real horse, bobby, and not like a
rank mule. deal?"

"i heard cookie wrappers! this is me posing!"

my fave picture of bobby.....
minus his indecency. who wants to photoshop that out for me?
i'll pay you in e-karma.

i switched from cool calories to fat cat a month ago.
his ribs were covered almost overnight. he looks stellar. 

he had a wild romp around the outdoor.

being sassy.

me: ok, that's enough crazies.
bobby: i'll think about it. hold on. was that a cookie?

look, parelli-ites. we do join up, too!
only our join up is highly food motivated.