Friday, October 31, 2014

October Review, November Goals

I usually post these the first of the month, but the first of November is a Saturday and I hate weekend posting. So Friday it! Remind me of that when I go back at the end of November and I can't find this post to see what my goals were.

Potential blonde moment?

Every day of my life.

October Review:

1. Just chill, bro. We spent the majority of our time randomly hacking around our cross country field or trail riding to keep his hind end strengthened, but not doing anything that required much brain power. If it rained, I either didn't ride or we plodded around the indoor doing fun things with friends. Totes chilled.



November Goals:

1. Ride a lap every ride without stirrups. I actually stole this from Karen at Bay with Chrome's October goals, but since it's now No Stirrup November, I'm going to steal it. I also know I won't be pulling my stirrups off, so it's sort of like participating.

2. Canter to trot transitions. Wow, our dressage sucks right now. One of the biggest issues I'm running into is Bobby splatting onto his forehand coming out of the canter and then racing into the trot to balance himself. Must fix.

3. Find a bit to get us through the winter dressage doldrums. I hate bit switching. I hate bits. I'll probably be doing a lot of work in the hackamore, but I at least want to figure out something for bitted days.

And that's all I've got for this month. Having just come back into work, I haven't rediscovered a lot of problems I'm sure we'll run into.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

What is this "dressage"?

And why does it make my abs hurt so fucking much?

Friday's body clip signaled the end of our past four-ish weeks of loafing around and the return to real work. We celebrated Monday by having a legitimate jump school, and then spent the next two days doing dressage.

But really it was just like riding in my dressage saddle while trying to get Bobby to chill the fuck out and lighten the fuck up.

On Tuesday, it was in the seventies so we went up to the outdoor to ride. He was lovely at the walk. Super relaxed and soft, listening, yada yada. Then BO and S came up for a lesson and Bobby instantly lost all focus. That's fine though. Riding with other horses that Bobby thinks are his besties is good practice for shows where he loses focus over literally everything.

His trot work was alright. Alright for the first real outdoor dressage school after a break I guess. But his canter was strung out and quick. He kept channeling his zoomies towards the jumps which means I had to keep pulling him off of them....which means he got mad that I was ruining his life and just got more tense.

I tried to channel all his forward energy into good things by employing a lot of sitting trot, but I mostly just made my core sing me sad songs. However, we were able to finish up with a few laps of really nice stretchy trot. That's something I'll always take because Bobby sucks at stretching down.

"hi. i help you with your pictures."

The next day we were sentenced to the indoor by rain. Bobby's girlfriend was getting ridden at the same time so that was a good excuse to be kind of a dick. Then, just at we started trotting, L pulled in with her mare on the trailer.

UGHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

Nothing makes Bobby lose focus like a horse trailer in the parking lot. He couldn't stop staring at it and the horse on it. He was heavy, tense, distracted, and pulling my fucking arms out. It didn't help that L finished tacking up and came in to longe.

Oh. Now you remember who L is, right? THE ONE WHO FUCKING LONGES HER MARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING NO MATTER HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE IN IT AND NO MATTER WHAT YOU'RE TRYING TO DO.

THE ONE WITH NO FUCKING SPACIAL AWARENESS OR ARENA MANNERS.

So L's mare has zero interest in moving (Obviously why she was being longed. I mean, wait. What?), so L proceeded to cluck and kiss and snap the longe line to get her moving. Bobby was all, "Hell to the no."

dumb and cuter. you decided which is which in this picture.

I ended up parking him in a corner until she was done because I couldn't get Bobby's brain while she was doing her own thing. Did I get an acknowledgement of my existence, let alone of the fact that I had stopped doing my own work so she could longe her fucking mare?

Nope. Not a word.

Once she was done, I snuck in a few quick laps of trot each way while she bridled her horse before I left the ring.

I can't even with this lady. Part of me feels like I'm overreacting wanting to say something, but another part of me is like THIS IS COMMON COURTESY. Would it kill you to ask if it was okay to longe? If there was a part of the arena that would be out of the way to do it in? If you should wait five fucking minutes for the other people to finish their work?

He has today off then he'll do something tomorrow. I'm hoping I can get Hubby out for some new media this weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WW: No Means No

"you're going to yell at this dog, right?"

"no, puppy! cookie lady said stand so i can't come with you!"

just ignore it and maybe it will go away

"wait. are those lady horses?"

No means no....


...unless maybe you can sneak some grass without getting into trouble.

Monday, October 27, 2014

I can't live with or without you

Or really, I just can't live without you. And of course I'm referring to my whip.

Earlier readers may remember that Bobby used to be petrified of whips. One time he saw someone else's dressage whip leaning against the trunk of their car when we were walking back up to the barn and he had a full on meltdown right there in the parking lot. Was anyone using it on another horse? Were they even holding it? Were they threatening his body with it? 

NO.

DID NOT MATTER.

But I did sooooooooooo much desensitizing work with my jumping bat that he eventually let me ride around with one. That led to being able to tap him with it when needed without him flying into orbit.

this is him throwing a fit about not wanting to jump a fence we now OWN,
but a pretty fair example of a bobby tantrum. oh, green horsie. i do not miss you.
Now I carry a whip every time a jump, and I usually bring out my dressage whip in case I need it for a little lateral encouragement or what not. He is absolutely fine with both scenarios. 

However, now I've gotten a little too dependent on it. I would characterize Bobby as a naturally lazy horse. He's not sharp off the aids; he doesn't leap into action when you close your leg. 

what bobby would spend his entire life doing if given the choice

I ride in spurs every time and that's worked best for both of us. I don't have to nag him (as much), and he actually moves when requested. So what the fuck is all this leading to? Well, I forgot my whip in my locker when I went to jump today and we almost died. Or, at least, we almost landed in the middle of a sizable oxer.

Bobby had a lovely, boring flat ride over the weekend where I tried out Red's old dresage bit--a plain old copper mouth egg butt. I was actually digging around in my tack trunk to try to find Red's cob-sized headstall so I could put the hackamore back on that (Bobby has gone pretty much all month in the hackamore, but in a different headstall that doesn't go up high enough for the hack to sit right), but instead I grabbed the bit.

meh.

He went alright in it for both the flat ride and today's jumping. I'm still trying to find a bit I love as much as the Happy Mouth. Maybe he'll like the Happy Mouth again after how much time he's had away from it. Stupid bits. Why can't we show dressage in hackamores?

Right, but anyway. That doesn't really have anything to do with jumping, or the lack of whip incident. 

I stole made us of one of the courses from a previous Bay with Chrome post.

i'm also stealing making use of her graphic. thank you! ;)

Our barn is hard to set up a full course on because we split the jumps between the indoor and outdoor. However, enough have migrated up to the outdoor this summer that I was able to do every oxer. I just had to use barrels to make on super ghetto. No bigs. 

Everything was between 2'6" and 3', and I thought the course looked pretty easy. Then I walked it on horse back as we were warming up. To get from 4 to 5, you have to do a crazy roll back, and then from the landing of 5, you have to angle way out to the left to make the turn for 6. At least, the way I had the jumps set was how that rode. Tricky, but turns out totally fun. 

Warmed the pony up on the flat and over jumps 1 and 6 a few times before coming off the rail to the 3' oxer at 2. I saw a spot. It was a good spot. It was a one hundred percent doable spot. If I'd had my whip in my hand, I would have tapped Bobby on the shoulder and asked him to take it, and he would have. We've reached that point in our jumping relationship where he responds without question to that cue for good or bad.

But I didn't have my whip, and Bobby didn't take the spot. He threw in an extra stride and ended up chest against the front rail of the oxer.....and then decided to jump anyway.

Now, we've run into this problem before. Bobby's lack of self preservation is questionable at times, and I really, really wish he'd be a normal horse and run-out or stop when we get into situations like this. Instead, he launched skyward and deer leaped that mother fucker without brushing the rails. If I had wet myself it would have been totally founded.

"i don't know what you're talking about. i never make bad choices."

We regrouped and I immediately came back around to it. Again, he chose to chip, though far less dramatically this time. After landing, I dug my spurs into him all the way to the fence and made his chippy ass gallop up to it. We did not have a problem after that. I know, I know. He should respond to a closed leg and some urging from the seat. He should listen better without needing the artificial aid of a whip. But life is so much easier with it.

The rest of the jumping was pretty uneventful. It was the first time we've done any course work since our last show back in September which means uneventful is a good thing. I'm battling a cold and I don't do well with strenuous activity in any sort of cold weather, so I kept having to stop to catch my breath and wipe my leaking face (super attractive).

Bobby responded to the constant breaks by building his excitement levels, and by the time we actually strung the full course together he was kind of a rage monster. That meant I had to do crazy things like sit up and half halt, but guess what? I DID THEM. There's a first time for everything.

As one last aside, please vote for Bobby in Jodi's contest! You wouldn't want his suffering to go to waste, would you?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday Fotos: Nekkid

I'm on the same train as Lauren--random post of filler nonsense. Yay! (Although mine lacks fabulous homemade ear bonnets, which simply cannot be competed with.)

After not getting a single piece of mail all week--not even junk mail--I was pretty sure the postal service had once again gone on strike on just my house. That would have been a bummer because I was expecting Modern Family to show up and my door, and more importantly my freshly sharpened clipper blades. But finally! Today they came!

best barn helpers.
that would be mags eating pig's leg, by the way.

I scrubbed the MTG off of Bobby's rump and got to work. I flew through his first side, then let my clippers have a nice rest as I pulled his mane, fed out the rest of the apples I'd brought last week so I could take my crate home, and cleaned up what hair I'd accumulated so far.

it's okay. you can just die of cuteness overload right now. no one will blame you.

I got Bobby re-positioned and switched my clippers back on. They gave me one clean stroke before starting to groan and sloooowwwwllllyyy stttooooppp woooorrrkkkkinnnngg. I was like, "NO!" And then I was like, "FUCKING FUCK STUPID FUCKING QUITTERS!"

So I gave them another little break because these poor things are probably older than I am. Usually I can rip off a clip fast enough that they don't overheat, but I guess that wasn't the case today. I finally tried again and, despite operating on about half power, I managed to get the front half of Bobby finished before they gave me the final salute. Fortunately, BO let me borrow her body clippers to finish up so I didn't have to sit around for three hours for my clippers to revive themselves.

Bobby got a soapy bath afterwards to wash off all the itchy hair, and then got tucked into his cooler to roast in the sun and dry a bit while I picked up my shit.

he loves bath time. obviously.

I exchanged the cooler for his scrim and took him for a graze to finish drying.

okay, so it might be slightly too small for him

but it was free so i'll take it.

Thirty minutes later he got tick repellent smeared on all points of his body and his turnout sheet strapped on.

"there are horsies out there! i've never seen those before!"
(also, he never fails to look anorexic when i try to take pictures of him. i assure you he's not.)

"oh. did you want something?"

This weekend we do some real work again! Yay!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

For Sale: HDR Pro Close Contact

I keep meaning to just stick this on the bottom of one of my posts, but then I get done writing, hit "Publish", and have forgotten yet again. So I figured I'd just make it its own post before I forget for the third week in a row.

I'm selling my jump saddle. I love it, and I'd love to keep it, but it's just a hair too wide on Bobby even with a half pad that he gets a little back sore if I ride in it too many days in a row.

It's a 17.5" seat with a wide tree. I'm asking $450 for it, plus $35 shipping. Including shipping, that's barely more than I paid for it when I bought it last year. It's in great condition. I clean it regularly, and it lives safely locked up in my locker with a saddle cover on it and a towel padding the saddle rack. It has the usual wear marks on it (see pictures), but there's absolutely nothing structurally wrong with it.

I really want to sell it to someone I know (I also have it listed at my barn) because selling something as expensive as a saddle really freaks me out. I've read your horror stories. People are nutso.

If anyone is interested, or knows someone that they know is not a psycho that might be interested, please email me at starkeycarly@gmail.com







Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WW: Bobby tells his side of "Think Pink"

(I guess I should really call these Gif Wednesday, but they started out as Wordless Wednesday, so that's what they'll stay as. Newer to the blog? Click on the "wordless wednesday" tag at the bottom of this post and check out the others.)

Me: Hey, Bobby! Time to wake up! Guess what fun thing I have planned for you today?

Bobby:

Me: I have pink feathers, pink spray cans, pink markers....it's all going to go on you!

Bobby:

Me: Hold still. I think I can spray this on your mane without getting your eyes. No, maybe not. Let me just put this towel over your head to protect your silly facey face.

Bobby:

Memphis: Whoa, bro. What the hell happened?

Bobby:

Memphis: But that feathery snake is eating you!!

Bobby:

Me: Aw, everyone is here to take your picture. Turn this way, Bobby. Put your ears up. No cookies until your ears are up!

Bobby:

Me: Okay, time to go up to the field. Yes, you have to go in your outfit.

Bobby:


Me: Ahahaha, gallop past the mares! They think your tail boa is scary!

Bobby:

Me: Hahahaha, tail boaaaaaaa!!

Bobby:

Me: Alright. We'll just pose for a few more pictures with the puppy and then we'll be done.

Bobby:

Me: See, Bobby? That wasn't so bad. Now all your fan girls will give you cookies!

Bobby:

Me: Okay, see you tomorrow, pony britches!

Bobby:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October's 10 Questions

Thank blogger-dom for bloggers that generate posts that other bloggers can participate in when they have nothing to blog about themselves. This one is from Viva Carlos, and it will fill the void when there's no pony time. I'm waiting for my clipper blades to come back from sharpening though, and then shit gets real.

1. How many pairs of breeches/jods do you own? Six. One just got the crotch patched which makes it feel like I installed a diaper, so those got shoved onto a top shelf for real winter to set in and a pair of leggings to go underneath them so I can't feel that unpleasantness quite so much. One is a schooling only pair. Two are show only pairs. Two are beige breeches with various stains and/or rips and don't get used ever.

bobby was mauled by pre-teens with camera phones while doing pink prep on sunday

2. How many horses have you ridden? Far too many for me to even begin to try to count. From lesson ponies as a kid, to school horses in college, to racehorses and random catch rides, it's been a lot.

3. How many trainers have you had? From when I first started riding, I'm only going to count three that I would actually consider a trainer. One was my very first when I rode from five to eight and lived in South Carolina. The second was a British woman when I picked up riding again when we moved to Illinois to when I had to quit at thirteen due to funds. The final was my trainer in college who taught me everything from dressage to jumping to galloping and everything in between. He was definitely my best and favorite trainer of all time.

4. How many barns have you ridden at? I'm only going to count the ones that I actually was at for an extended period of time, not just ones I've taken a random lesson or two at. So...six?

5. What is the name of the horse you consider yourself to have the greatest bond with? Red.


6. What is your favorite show name you've ever encountered? Actually one of my favorite show names belongs to a fellow blogger! I love Riley's show name "Irish Goodbye".

7. What do you consider your greatest weakness or flaw in riding? Motivation. I'm way too okay with just skating by on pretty much all things.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest strength? Quick reactions.

9. Have you ever leased a horse? I've done unofficial leases before, but never with signed paperwork.

10. What is the name of the first horse you rode? My first lease horse! His name was Silver Cloud and he was a grey Thoroughbred/Welsh gelding that did literally everything under the sun, including saving my ass and dumping me in the same lesson more than once. Best first horse anyone could ask for.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Think Pink

Now before we get all ridiculous here, I first want to say that my mom dealt with breast cancer twice when I was growing up, so this is actually a cause I can truly get behind and an illness I'm at least semi-familiar with. Cancer of any kind is a serious issue and while prancing around is probably a far stretch from doing anything helpful, I think it's great that it's become such a recognizable symbol for breast cancer awareness.

bobby's thinking pink. and also how he got into this situation.

With that out there, when I saw Jodi's contest I was super excited to turn my horse into a drag queen symbol of strength. I own pretty much nothing pink for my horse (aside from a few grooming tools), but I asked my BM if she had anything laying around I could borrow. Then I went to Walmart and picked up boas, hair color, and markers.


BM delivered with a pink saddle pad and pink bit (!!) that unfortunately look a little too light to tell their full glory in pictures. But still. Awesome. I started pulling out the boas and rattling hair spray cans and Bobby looked over at me like, "You are not seriously bringing that over here, are you?" But, as always, he took the torture with good manners including getting a towel dropped over his head so the hair spray didn't drift into his eyes when I did his mane.

the tail boa makes my day

We went up to the cross country field for a few quick photos.

the face ribbon also makes me giggle

Bobby's getting pretty bored with the whole "meander around outside" for rides lately, and I actually had to really squeeze him forward to jumps. He was, however, totally happy to spin around and do baby rears while we waited for Hubby to turn the camera on so we could gallop past.

"let me gooo!"

Overall a fun day for a great cause.

"yeah...fun for who, lady?"

And, as a final note for anyone who stills wants to participate but hasn't done it yet, the cheap hair color in the Halloween section of Walmart works awesome and comes out with just water.

puppy in a tiara cannot be replicated to an acceptable level of cuteness though

Thursday, October 16, 2014

TBT: Barky and Darcy

Barky being the fabulous pig we had when living in New York:

"hi!!!! do you have food?"
And Darcy of course being our now-late Kelpie:

being naughty was exhasuting

My lap top recently gave me the blue screen of death, but fortunately my mom sent me her "old" desk top when she bought a new one. On it I found an old cell video of Darcy stalking Barky, and Barky trying to give her the what-for.


I miss my crazy Kelpie kisses, and I kind of miss my crazy ass pig.

happiest pig that ever was