Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2016 Goals

For once I've got some very concrete goals for the entire year that I feel really good about. There are a couple unlisted ones that I'm keeping secret because they depend on how the competition season plays out, but if things go even slightly to plan, they should be achievable and bad ass.

goal one: teach bobby to pose.

For Bobby:

1. Grow up. The main focus for every single ride needs to be centered around keeping any tension from cropping up, and if he does start to get wound up about something, to lose the anxiety and transition back to relaxation as quickly as possible. This cycling between perfect to bat shit crazy to perfectly acceptable has got to be halted. It's a waste of time, and it's not doing anyone any favors.

2. Correct the right drift. This has been a life long problem of Bobby's, and with my left knee being essentially useless most of the time, I'm sure I play into it by happily leaning with him. Lots of vee formation poles through grids to get straightness back into our lines.

goal two: learn to clip better. (also, despite appearances, horse is not a pony.)

For me:

1. Push for more. It seems almost counteractive to Bobby's first goal, but I can't feed into his "idiosyncrasies" (to put it nicely) and let him loaf around doing mediocre work when he is, in fact, perfectly capable of performing at a higher level. He needs to step up to the plate, and I need to be the one responsible to ask him to do it. Quietly, calmly, without building tension, but doing it nonetheless.

2. Get comfortable jumping out of an open stride. Not faster, but bigger, longer, more forward steps. I need to lengthen that stride, and then not psych myself out and reel it back in to a collected dressage canter.

3. Sell the horse? This should not come as a surprise to anyone, and I've been talking it over more and more with Hubby. Bobby has never been and never will be my heart horse. I can take him to any barn, and within a month he's got a fan club of people that adore him more than I do, and I've known him since birth. Everyone hits rough patches with their horses, but deep down they still like their partner. I can hit high patches with Bobby and still not particularly like him. We'll see what this spring brings, but this is very much on the table at the moment.

goal three: have another winter like this one!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Blogger Secret Santa!

I got my blogger exchange secret Santa gift on Saturday, but I honestly didn't even know it had arrived until this morning when I went out to get the mail and it was frozen to the porch. In a town where the population is fifty (okay, maybe slightly more than that), I guess we don't really have to worry about people stealing our Christmas loot.

I'm deathly fucking ill at the moment (also maybe a slight exaggeration, though at times it certainly doesn't feel like it--world's whiniest sick person right here), so this won't be the longest post, but I do want to share what I got because it is so perfectly tailor-made for Bobby and I!

My Secret Santa was Amber from Thoroughbred Adventure, mom to Jetta and Misty, and I didn't exactly give her much to go off of when it came to gift ideas. She nailed it anyway!

yes, yes, yes, and yes.

First up was a purple sparkly brush that I've eyed at literally every tack store I've walked into but have never bought because I'm no good at buying fun things for myself. Plus I've been bemoaning how I only own ONE brush in my entire arsenal. I know. That's worse than the few amount of saddle pads I own. It's a straight up horse crime.

That came with a pair of knee high (the only way to go for a horse person) dinosaur socks because yes, Amber, Bobby is a fucking dinosaur. OMG, that neck though, it's like it's own thirty foot long species. Keeping with that theme, we also got a dinosaur bridle charm that will be going on my breastplate until I buy Bobby his own separate fancy dressage bridle, and I can have two bridles for all the bridle charms!

So thank you so much, Amber! These were great personalized gifts that I'm going to love using!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 Year in Review

This post did not want to get written! It's been sitting in my drafts folder since the beginning of the month, but I've been too mentally wiped the fuck out from dealing with my nutter of a horse on top of some other things to make it complete and semi-coherent. No promises on that last one, but here it is anyway.

bobby's brain in a nut shell. 

January started off like it usually does, with Bobby being a bit of a nut job. It was also freezing fucking cold last winter, so he wasn't getting worked as much as he probably needed. I tried to combat this by lots of arena play time with his bestie Memphis and some fun skijoring, but my feelings of self worth when it came to this horse were taking a little bit of a hit despite a couple jump lessons with BO (or maybe because of. Yeesh.). To make myself feel better, Sarah let me take Memphis for a spin over some jumps to prove that I'm not such a terrible rider. I just own a terrible mind fuck of a horse.

i am a competent rider, i am a competent rider...

We didn't get much accomplished in February either thanks to the cold. We did a little jumping which was either good or bad, and did a little dressaging which was also either good or bad. Welcome to the world of Bobby, where there is no in between.

the greatest picture of bobby ever taken. 

A lot of shit went down in March. We bought a new horse trailer, did some jumping that wasn't totally bat shit, knocked out a couple of costumes, and got the news that Hubby was being relocated to Western New York. Worst. News. Ever. I was really, really bummed about the move--news flash: still am--and it knocked the wind right out my horse adventure planning sails.

first jump school at the new barn

Bobby returned to his home state in April and we moved into a shitty little house that made coping with the move ten thousand times worse. I wasn't happy at my new barn and pretty much moped around being wildly depressed and pissed off at Hubby all the time. Fucking New York.

giant jumps make things a little better.

May brought our first two shows of the season, move or not. We did a Novice CT with an extra jumper round. The dressage was a breeze, and we came away with a great score. The first jump round was a complete fucking disaster despite going clear. The next time around was marginally better, but some comments from the show facility's owner made me even more bummed than I already was, and I started questioning how much I really wanted to keep bumbling through stadium to event. So we went to a hunter show the next weekend to get in some rounds over fences where we somehow proceeded to kick ass, steal all the hunter princesses' loot, and win Champion of the 2'9" division.

sorry, can't talk. too busy being hunters. 

I started actively looking for a new barn in June because I was really not happy at the barn I was at. I found the place I'm at now, instantly clicked with the vibe of the place, and gave the first barn my thirty days notice. We did our first event of the year, going Novice at GVRDC. I dialed in the dressage test for a pretty embarrassing score for us, and even though we had one rail and a stop in stadium, I felt like I was mentally present the whole time and considered that the biggest win of the day. We hadn't seen a cross country jump since September of last year, but it didn't matter. We coasted around the course with zero issues and easily inside the time which garnered a sixth place ribbon...for the OTTB division. We also did a dressage show where we showed the new First tests for the first time and got a clean sweep of pretty blue ribbons for scoring over 65% in every test. We attempted another horse trial, but after an abysmal dressage test, the rest of the show was rained out and cancelled.

sorry, can't talk. too busy looking like we're about to take names before jumping.

We moved barns in July and the real fun began. Bobby came out of the last show super sore and off in his hind end. He stood around waiting for the chiro to get back from Florida and did nothing. While doing nothing, he came up with a massively swollen leg that the vet diagnosed as a very minor DDFT strain. While rehabbing that, his leg blew up in some sort of strange reaction to something we put on it and I had to rehab a nasty skin infection. While rehabbing both of those things, he stuck his head in a ground bees nest which resulted in a severely swollen face for a week. He started getting turned out in boots; he's not much for playing in the pasture, but covering all the bases and all that. While wearing boots, he managed to cut the same leg that kept coming up with issues and the wound wasn't too interested in healing. It was a fun month in horse care.

tack walking professionals.

In August we were able to slowly move on from tack walking to real work. Bobby was fresh to death, and we did most of our flat work in an elevator bit to stay earth-bound. The cut on his leg finally started to heal normally, but it was enough of a mess that he now sports another jagged white haired scar on his legs. We started having problems with full body hives though, problems that persisted through to the next month until I finally found something to give him that shut them down permanently. Bobby was feeling sound enough that we did an intro hunter pace at our home barn where one of the, oh...three or so jumps I took him over managed to offend him and he dumped me into it. No harm done to either of us fortunately.

crazy stallion

September brought our first lesson with Trainer and we all rejoiced at her sassiness. We started the month off a hot fucking mess. Bobby was out of shape and so weak he literally couldn't even canter right. By the end of the month, Trainer had whipped us into much better shape and I started feeling like I had a real grown up horse again. Lots and lots of walking hills got his butt firmed back up again, and I took the plunge and entered us in one last show.

prelim skinny, no bigs. well, it was a bigs. i was buggin'. 
We finally "moved up" to Training in October doing a jumper derby. We did a Novice round first which felt a little soft, but was made difficult by Bobby's unwillingness to just go the fuck forward. We jumped clean anyway and got a fifth. Our first go at Training was pretty amazing. The stadium jumps didn't look big to me at all while the cross country jumps looked fucking giant (And! I never did mention this after the show, but that skinny roll top I was so freaked out about? Oh, yeah. It was from the Prelim course. Thanks, show organizers. Thanks for making my balls feel big after the fact.), but Bobby was game as hell and carted my ass around to jump clear where pair after pair picked up refusals or straight up parted ways and we came home with a blue ribbon. Definitely the way to end the show season when all the best months were missed.

we keep it classy around here. 

Not much horsing happened in November because we were busy buying a house, moving, and doing all the adult things that entails. When I did get out to ride, we worked on upping and strengthening the fancy. We permanently lost lessons with Trainer which was a massive blow, and Bobby had a Grade A meltdown about Bobby things which set the tone for the next month.

here, have a picture of bobby soaking like the water buffalo he is.

December has been the month of Bobby losing his shit for Bobby reasons. The quality of work is increasing when he's not flinging himself around the ring like a total fucking nut bag, and he's totally sane while jumping, so we've been able to do some work in that area. I've crossed dressage rides off the list for now. The new game plan is to do fun Bobby things--jumping, trail riding, conditioning work--so that he thinks working is a fun thing again. Joke's on him though because these are all things that need to get worked on anyway. Sneaking progression in one ride at a time.

more training level bad assery coming to you next year.

I had only one goal for 2015: Don't suck so fucking much at jumping. While the competition season started off looking like that goal was going to be one giant bust, I mentally pulled myself together from there on out and whipped my crazy brain into shape in the ring. We might not have put in a picture perfect round every ride, but I was able to stay focused and ride every stride--something I've always struggled with. Achievement unlocked.

Overall we moved states, moved barns within the state, completed a total of five shows--one hunter show, one dressage show, one combined test, one horse trial, and one jumper derby--won seven blue ribbons, one grand champion, three seconds, one fifth, and one sixth.

less shows mean less chances for ribbons other than blue. 
Not the best year. Could have been worse.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Tough Love

You guys must be getting pretty sick of posts from this week that are exactly the same. I'm getting pretty sick of writing them. I'm thisclose to being sick of riding them. While years of working with one Bobby Magee have made me one hell of a zen rider, my patience is not infinite.

The hysterics continued in yesterday's ride. He came out a little stiff to start, no doubt from all the frantic flailing he's been doing lately. I put him through a lot of transitions to lighten him up for warm up--a few steps of walk, a few steps of trot, repeat; trot, halt, rein back, trot; lengthen and shortening through all three gaits; and so on. We even did some shallow leg yield zig zags both directions!

He never got upset or anxious through any this, and then we moved on to the canter. It was fine...until he'd randomly decide to throw in a rodeo horse buck before carrying on like nothing had happened. He pulled that stunt a couple times each direction, and I was like, "Whelp. At least I know why he's acting out this time. He must have thrown out his hips after the chiro appointment while flinging himself into solid objects."

I was pretty angry, to be honest. I'd just dropped almost $100 on getting him sorted out physically, and I was sure he'd undone all that in the space of one weekend.

For no fucking reason.


arthur says peace, love, snuggles, and cat treats, bobby.
just be chill, man. 

I gave him a nice long walk break before picking up the trot again. I didn't have a difficult agenda planned. I wanted Bobby to work on shortening and lengthening his trot. Maybe a circle thrown in if we had to avoid the lesson rider, but no "crazy" lateral work.

It didn't matter. Bobby would pick a spot, any spot, pick the slightest shift in my seat or no change at all, and just straight up lose his shit.

BM, who was teaching, was just as exasperated as I was. I told her I thought he might be out behind, so she had me walk and trot him away from and to her several times before shaking her head. "He's traveling as straight as a rod. If he's out, it's so subtle it's not showing up at all."

GRRRRRR.

Lesson rider went to one half of the ring to work on getting her horse off the forehand at the trot, so Bobby and I stuck to the other half to work on stretching out at the trot and just chilling the fuck out. He'd have a minor spaze every time he came around one corner tracking right, but I'd just half halt him and he'd get over it for the rest of the circle.

To the left, he was totally chill, so after a couple minutes, I asked him to come back up and work a little higher before calling it quits for the day. He was fine for one lap before turning in for the second and exploding into dramatics.

BM and lesson rider had just finished and were like, "What the actual fuck is wrong with your horse? He was just going around perfectly!"

I was over it.

I gave him two solid whacks across the butt cheek with Mr Tappy turned Mr "Get the fuck over yourself right this fucking second I am SO done with your shit". He threw up his head and threatened to go all the way up so I wailed him in the sides with my legs and he went.

And he went just fine, He trotted off totally normal. We did three big circles with a great, uphill trot before I let him walk, and he cooled out on the buckle totally chill.

new breastplate debut. i still want to tweak the fit a bit.

BM told me he was lucky to have me as a rider because I had way more patience than he deserved. She said if he kept pulling that shit daily with her, she'd throw him outside and wouldn't be able to look at him for a week. She thinks he needs to develop a work ethic.

Honestly? That kind of actually correlates to what Trainer told me when Bobby was throwing a fit about moving his haunches over: I've grown accustomed to his evasions, and I play right into them.

BM's advice was to start thinking about tough love. I'm hesitant to engage in Bobby's fits, but something's got to change here. The attitude is getting ridiculous.

unlike arthur's attitude. all snuggles all the time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

WW: In a dressage galaxy far, far away...

It's been too long since I've done a good gif-filled Wordless Wednesday post! In honor of the release of the new Star Wars movie, I bring to you Bobby doing dressage.

Warming up, asking for some long and low:

Bobby:

Trot lengthening:

Bobby:

Bobby:
(pretty sure I remember this as a direct quote.)
Bobby:


Let's turn down the quarter line...

Bobby:

And ask for a little leg yield:

Bobby:

Shoulder in to haunches in down the long side:

Bobby:

Counter canter serpentines:

Bobby:

AHEM. Without any flying changes:

Bobby:

Is it possible? Can we do a whole ride without a tantrum?

Bobby:

Bobby. What is going through your head that makes flailing around so violently okay?

Bobby:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cracked out. Cracked right in the dome piece.

Whelp, the HASHTAG STUNNING was short lived. It carried on into our warm up ride this morning, and had I quit right there as I did yesterday, I'd still be floating on a blissful cloud of light and fluffy dressage horse who can do no wrong. Instead, I decided to ride for more than ten minutes and actually ask my horse to do some work.

Even that wasn't too bad to start. I asked for a little more collection which he responded to just fine. I've been revisiting our trot lengthenings lately because they're in the Training tests, and it's a move Bobby generally finds easy.


We've played around with them to the left the last couple rides, so this time around I asked from the right. The right has always been Bobby's weaker side, but let's get real here. It's a lengthening of stride down the long side. We're going straight. It's not that big of a deal.

The lengthening itself wasn't an issue, it was continuing on straight, off the rail so he couldn't rely on the wall for support, and not doing a lengthening every time around.

This was cause for much angst. Surely if I asked him to do something, I wanted him to do it.

ALL. THE. TIME.

Only, no. I didn't. We trotted it out, and while it wasn't something he got over instantly once he realized we were just looping around the ring with no prerogative other than a soft back, at least it wasn't an hour of trying to reset his brain.

Finally, I had a soft, quiet horse again so I moved on to the next exercise: leg yields.


Lately, for whatever reason--one I'm sure I'll stumble across down the line--leg yields to Bobby mean running as fast as you can over to the wall.

From now on I'll only be asking for them off the wall to the middle of the ring, but today I decided on a different approach to try to slow them the fuck down: three steps over, carry on straight, repeat.

That was NOT OKAY with Bobby. I asked him to move over, holy shit he was going to move over because he knows what a leg yield is and look how fast he can do it and now it's done and move on I KNOW NOTHING STOP ASKING HIM THINGS AND THEN TELLING HIM HE'S NOT DOING THEM RIGHT WHEN HE KNOWS EVERYTHING.

Anticipation is a massive problem for this horse, and couple that with his inability to move on from a situation he deems stressful, teaching him variations of something he already knows is prime territory for a melt down.

He had a melt down. A really epic meltdown.

He knocked over an entire stack of winged jump standards. He side passed on top of three poles--as in, he ran backwards until he was standing on them, and then ran sideways stumbling on the top of them like a pole bridge. He sat down on the wall. He smashed his face into a support beam. He bolted forward so hard it whipped my neck back and almost ran head-on into BM (I owe BM so much liquor for putting up with riding with me.). He reared. He got stuck and refused to move.

All because I wanted three calm step sideways and then to carry on in a straight line.

Like all Bobby tantrums, this one eventually ended peacefully. After he bolted--and he never bolts--I think he scared himself so much that a little trickle of thought entered his spazzed out brain and said, "Maybe I should check in and see what my rider wants."

He softened right up and we did two lovely, relaxed laps of sitting trot before I turned him down the quarter line, asked for my three steps, got them just as soft and lovely as his trot was, asked him to go straight which he did without fuss, and I jumped right off.

WHY WAS THAT SO FUCKING DIFFICULT?!?!

much angst.

such gnashing.

very brain hurt.

it was 50* today. that's all anxiety sweaties. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Cracked

No, my horse isn't cracked in the head.

Okay, well. Maybe he is. And by "maybe" I mean, he is.

The title is in reference to Bobby's chiro appointment in which he got cracked back into shape in the strangest of places.

Chiro watched him walked down the aisle and commented that he looked pretty even behind. Bobby is always out behind, so it seems at least, but this time around he hasn't been swapping leads or not stepping under himself. The trouble was getting him bent around my inside leg on a circle and feeling like I had zero control of his shoulders.

So I guess really it wasn't so strange at all when Chiro got to his withers and started counting off the vertebrae that were out of place one by one by FIVE OF THEM.

Poor dude. Not that throwing yourself repeatedly into the wall is ever a good way to deal with your issues, but I will give it to him that he had a valid excuse to not want to bend on a circle.

new horse in the field who's a total whack job. that doesn't bother bobby any because
romeo won't let sal anywhere near his lover. 

Chiro said that when I mount, I need to do it parallel to his shoulder, facing forward instead of facing his back. I haven't changed my way of mounting ever so I don't know why I've suddenly pulled him out of whack, but whatevski. I can mount differently. No big deal.

He also said that I should ride in my dressage saddle--not just my jump saddle--with a breastplate. He said there's nothing wrong with the saddle fit (Don't worry. I went crazy horse chick on him and demanded he confirm that.), but that any saddle I put on him is going to slide back some because of his giant mountain withers and cause some soreness.

Obviously my five point isn't going to cut it in the dressage ring. I care nothing about looks, but even I can tell you that. After searching on ebay for a three point or polo breastplate for approximately two seconds before remembering how much I hate online tack shopping, I recruited everyone's favorite bargain hunting tack ho who found me just what I needed in no time, and I have one on the way.

it will do until friday i guess.

We walked the trails on Saturday so that when Sunday rolled around we could jump and get some video. Warming up, he felt tons lighter and freer in his stride. We popped over the gates off of each lead for warm up, and then had Hubby set up the two jumps on the rail.

We started with everything set low except for the oxer which somehow ended up starting up quite large. Our first round was pretty typical for us--stop and go and flail and repeat. I'm glad I got video because it showed me that I'm starting to fling my hands up again on approach and inadvertently smack Bobby in the mouth--a problem I did knock down once upon a time, but is apparently creeping back up again. Will work on that! (Again.)

We kept right on coasting and did the whole thing a second time with better results:


We couldn't really figure out the first jump to save our lives. I don't know why, and even coming around to do it by itself several times proved tricky.

I had Hubby and B (who was nice enough to postpone her ride on the green bean pony with questionable steering to volunteer as jump crew) put everything up two holes and we did the mini course a couple more times.


He was consistently quite rude for the little vertical off by itself, but it wouldn't be Bobby if he didn't CHARGE OF THE LIGHT BRIGADE to something.

I'm also happy with how well he worked with me on his leads. The right to left was a breeze every time as it usually is, and while the first few times he went to fling himself in a panicked scramble left to right, once I got through to him we could calmly switch over through the trot, he ended up solving the problem for both of us and just landing on the correct lead.

So. Some things to work on for sure--a bit more of an open stride, shorten my stirrups up a hole or two, and put my fucking hands back down--but overall a good school.

when you tell hubby not to bother with pictures and he tries to take a picture anyway

This morning's ride was flawless. So flawless I called it quits after ten minutes of gorgeous w/t/c and spent half an hour meandering around on the trails in my t-shirt.

totes gorg.

You guys probably never run into the problem that I have all the time. Some of you because you don't ride with mirrors and everyone because your horses aren't fugly. I feel like even when Bobby is going correctly, and possibly even fancily, I come by the mirror and I'm like, "....but you're just not an attractive overall picture to look at, horse."

WELL TODAY MY HORSE WAS HASHTAG STUNNING.

Hot damn, he just looked so good, and felt so good, and I might not be able to afford a lesson this month because I had to pay to pop his withers back into alignment, but it was worth it.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Up, Sideways (Quickly), Up-ish

Sorry, just over here being the best at titling posts. It's a hard life, but someone's got to do it.

I've clocked three (well, four I guess if you count Sunday's trail ride) rides in on Robert this week with varied results. After having such shit goes on Bobby all last week that personal anxiety from other things in my life just got dumped over like a giant pile of nastiness, I won't say that the thought of selling this frustrating asshole of a horse didn't cross my mind.

Maybe more than once.

I usually go out to the barn first thing in the morning to ride, but instead spent most of Monday cooking and cleaning in a manic person frenzy. However, by the time four rolled around, I was like, "You know what? I really want to jump my horse. I'm having some rare positive juju about the experience roll through my head, so let's do it."

day three of turnout and the bows were still in.

I took my time once I got there and forced myself to remain in a very zen mindset. Calm thoughts, calm ride, right? Some sort of nonsense like that.

I put Bobby on the longe first in just his halter after spending a long time grooming him (and pulling out his bows) to give him a chance to get any stupid out before our ride. He got a little sassy right off, but then settled into work without fuss. We ended quickly with some cookies, then he hung out while I threw rails on top of the gates set on the left diagonal as a two stride and added a square oxer on the other diagonal.

me: here, bobby. let me take a picture of what i tank you look like right now, and so
cute with your braids still in.
bobby: hurh durhhhh no.

He was very good warming up and we moved on pretty quickly to the line. He steeplechased his way through the first time, and to try to avoid a repeat to the oxer, I really half halted him on approach.

Only then I didn't add any leg to back my half halt up and he slammed on the brakes right in front of the fence. He fortunately wasn't the least bit upset about it, instead calmly backing up and circling around like, "Did you learn your lesson there, lady? You say whoa with no go and I'll whoa like a mother fucker."

Lesson learned indeed, and I closed my leg when asking him not to race over it like an asshole the next time around which he did just fine.

The line though was another matter. I finally made him stuff three strides in there to prove a point, and we came into the first jump at the trot from there on out. That got his brain sorted and we had good jumps in and out.

Since he got with the program so quickly, I put everything up two holes to make each jump about 3'3".

christmas fell into the water bucket. 

J poked her head in as I was getting Bobby going again and asked if I wanted her to turn the arena lights on since it was getting dark. I told her I was only going to take him through once and we'd be done if he was good. That probably should have been the kiss of death right there, and then she stuck around to watch in case he wasn't good and I did need her to flip the lights on. That also should have fucked us up because I get super nervous when people watch me jump, but I forced myself to focus on getting a good canter and off we went.

Bobby was perfect all the way through all three fences. We had a bit of a right drift on the out jump, but that's nothing new. We came around to the oxer so easily forward that I saw my spot the second we turned in. I softened my hands, sat up, and let Bobby carry us up to the jump. He took it right out of stride, putting in a big jump for funsies, and cantered off just as easily.

I could tell he was super happy to actually be asked to jump something of height again, and he was very proud of himself when I pulled him up. It was exactly the ride I needed from him that day.

me: bobby! show everyone what a fit hulk monster you are!
bobby: hurrrrrhhhhhh wut r legs?

I gave him Tuesday off before going out on Wednesday for a dressage ride. In the spirit of finding good things about bad rides, let me start by point a few things out.

I was able to switch Mr Tappy from hand to hand without him giving me any attitude or even so much as twitching an ear. He just kept on marching along on the bit waiting for the next thing.

I have also consistently discovered how to sit his trot lengthening finally! I'm sure it mostly has to do with him actually lifting his back while doing it instead of jolting me into the stratosphere, but my flabby core is also getting much stronger. Sitting trot it so easy now.

the braids finally came out too. womp womp.

In the spirit of being transparent and sharing the bad with the good on this blog, I'll also point out that we spent the last twenty minutes of our ride crashing into BM (only once, and we almost got crashed into by her once when the horse she was on tried imitating Bobby's antics. Sorry, Finn. There is only one Bobby, and no one goes sideways and backwards simultaneously quite like him.), the wall, and the support beams.

Why the theatrics?

Oh, you know. Because I asked him to bend around my inside leg at the trot on a circle.

Bobby was all, "BUT LOOK AT MY HAUNCHES!!! LOOK WHAT THEY DO!! THEY'RE OVER HERE! NOW THEY'RE OVER THERE! DON'T YOU WANT MY HAUNCHES TO MOVE?! LOOK HOW FAST THEY'RE MOVING!!!"

And I was all, "Inside bend, inside bend, lalalala, ignoring everything but inside bend."

So then Bobby was like, "YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CIRCLES. I'M SO STRAIGHT!! STRAIGHT AS A BOARD!!! IF YOU DON'T WANT MY HAUNCHES TO MOVE OVER THERE AND OVER HERE, NOTHING IN MY WHOLE BODY MOVES!!! I'M SIDE PASSING ALONG THE WHOLE LONG SIDE, AND I'M GOING TO SLAM MY ASS INTO EVERY BEAM AS I GO AND IT'S GOING TO UPSET ME BUT I WON'T STOP DOING IT I'M SO UPSET MY HAUNCHES ARE DOING THINGS WHY AREN'T YOU BEING UPSET WITH ME I'LL BE UPSET ENOUGH FOR THE BOTH OF US!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Until finally he gave me one single circle with proper bend and the second he finished it I hopped off and shoved cookies down his throat.

Melodrama.

We have it.

t shirt selfie with a sweaty nut bag in december.
yay warm weather!

I told BM to put him on the list for the chiro so I can at least cross that off the list of reasons why bending right has suddenly eluded us, and he'll get adjusted Friday.

However, I put in a light dressage ride today with more of an emphasis on the canter--specifically coming to a trot at X and holding it to either A/C or when we hit the wall again instead of one step and back to the opposite lead. That took some work, but it got done.

Every time Bobby started to overreact to something stupid, I'd give him a single sharp correction that would jolt him from his shit and then give him a scratch once he tuned in and thought about doing what I was asking. That seemed to work really well for him, and while he had several naughty moments, they never escalated into anything more than that.

PLUS, what did we have?

Right bend. At the trot. On a circle. Sometimes with stretch, sometimes with more contact.

He tried to get tense and curl under the first time I asked, but I kicked him forward into a big trot which changed his focus, gave him a scratch, casually turned in on the circle while telling him he was a good boy, and then continuing on straight onto a completely different exercise. Ho hum. Bending on a circle is no big thing, Bobby.

I was very proud of him for keeping his brain in his head today, and he got to cool out on the trails and lazily hop over some cross country jumps to celebrate.


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Blog Hops: Christmas List

Thanks to Alanna and Karley for blog hops that let everyone share all the useless horse shit we probably don't need but really, really want.

Most of my items are linked from SmartPak simply because I keep a running wish list there for whenever my mom wants to poke her head in. That pretty much happens....never, but of all the horse websites, she does know how to navigate that particular one.

"What do you want for Christmas?"
"Funny you should ask. LOOK AT ALL THESE THINGS I'VE PRESELECTED FOR YOU. You're welcome!"

So what are Bobby and I asking for this year (better known as this spring when I'll actually probably end up buying most of these)?

Custom helmet cover: My black cover that came with my helmet is getting pretty bleached out and gross, plus there's never a reason to not buy something more in purple. Probably should just buy a new helmet to go with it, too.

total saddle fit

Girths: I've never liked my dressage girth and my jumping girth is starting to look janky. Both probably need to be replaced with swanky Total Saddle Fit girths. Neither probably will.

rwr no knot hairnet

Hair net: A real grown up one that actually keeps my hair in place. I'm not ruling another hunter show or two out next year, but it's mostly for dressage.


lettia coolmax proseries dressage pad

Moar dressage pads: Ones with color! Preferably the purple color!

Moar breeches: Because I only have two pairs for schooling. Obviously that's a crime against breech-dom that needs to be rectified post haste.

tekna fancy stitched open front boots

Open front boots: Since Bobby killed the velcro on one of his by crashing into a cross country jump. Such a clever horse.

Sport boots: Since Bobby killed two of his by thrashing about for no reason.

tipperary eventer pro

Tipperary Eventer Pro Vest: Not going to happen this year or the next few years, but ooh they are so pretty and I covet them.

Electric for my truck: So that my trailer lights work on the daily. You know, little things like that.