Monday, February 13, 2012

Small Wins

Bear with the random non-pony stuff first....

we're former upstate ny-ers. small blizzards aren't
enough to keep us from playing ball.

Saturday evening we got slammed with Pennsylvania's most impressive snow storm yet. For pretty much anywhere else in the country, it was down right pathetic, but it was good of PA to put forth an effort. We only got 4 inches of snow, but the wind was brutal and it stayed around twenty degrees all weekend. I think that's about as cold as it gets here.

Also this weekend, I got a new kitty! I am an extreme sucker for animals (aren't we all?), so when a friend asked if I knew anyone that wanted a cat, I was like, "I don't! But I'll take him anyway." It's a looong complicated story that I won't splatter all over Blogger, but the long and short of it is, she left the cat with her ex and the declawed cat got left outside with no food in the freezing cold. He's super skinny, but soo friendly. He's also scared shitless and has only ventured out from his nook to sleep on the couch between Hubby and I for a few hours last night.

Meet Max.
I love kitties.

my other kitties: the midget gray kitty is hell cat (she's 2 and still
that small), and the fat, patient baby sitter is oscar.
Ok, enough kitties!

Remember the crazy galloping towards Carly video in the last post? Well, here is Memphis, inside and ready to get wrapped because his bad leg flared up in a serious way after his fun gallop down the hill and he could barely walk when I got to the barn Saturday morning.  I don't want to say much about this whole cluster fuck either, but I will say that I'm totally dumb-founded about the way the barn is handling this. His owner is clueless about leg injuries and can't afford a vet, and the morning BM is all, "Eh. Give him a week off and he'll be fine." A) It's been a month since this has been giving her issues and he's still not fine. B) Are you for real?!

OK, enough of other people's shiz. Moving on to Robert.

donkey ears radar. "am i on the racetrack? i am so clever!"
Saturday, I spent the majority of the time fiddling with my dressage saddle, trying to make it work. It doesn't. With my Ecogold pad, it's semi-managable, but it's obviously not fair to Robert to not have it be absolutely perfect. It is now for sale. There's a thread on COTH where I think my saddle and ad would find a great home. But that's if someone happens to just stumble upon my ad and wants to share it with COTH, I won't be mad. Wink, wink.

However, the old Stubben jump saddle I've been using really does fit him perfectly. My game plan is to sell the dressage saddle and try to buy the Stubben from BO. My old AP saddle also fits him great, but the seat is too small for me.

Sunday, I rode in the Stubben and you could tell it made a big difference. Bobby started off dinking around with his head straight up, but eventually relaxed enough to stretch down into managable working order. He was giving me some issues about picking up his left lead canter, but he was great about his right lead.

We did a little jumping--a small vertical to a big X, and two 2'6 verticals. He was being a bit of a douche bag to start, but finished the first line really lovely, changing leads over the fence and cantering slowly instead of off-balanced and crazily. He just might be smarter than he looks because I think he figured out that he has to be on the correct lead when he lands in the indoor or he'll fall over.

The first two times over the verticals line were disastrous, but telling. Telling in the fact that Bobby's still pretty dumb ass is at least game to do the dumb things his rider asks him. Doesn't that sum up eventing? He took the rail of the first vertical with him halfway through the line (All you green horse riders know exactly what I'm talking about. Don't front.), but I asked him to go on and jump the second one anyway, and he sailed over like, "Well, Ok! If you say so!" The second time through, he launched himself skyward from a full stride away to avoid touching the first fence and caught me completely off-guard. This used to be Red's favorite trick ever. I am therefore amazingly adept at slipping the reins. When we landed, my hands were about an inch from the buckle, but Bobby said, "God dammit! We're going over this second fence! You said that was the game!" So I kept my leg on, sat up, and we went....well, mostly through the fence. With looong reins, turning a three stride line into a two stride.

Here comes the Small Wins title. Sarah said that Memphis's feet are looking great despite his leg looking worse. Small Win! Bobby didn't refuse any of the fences. Small Win. We obliterated a heavy fence and neither of us died. I even stayed on. Small Win!

I know that this doesn't sound like a very constructive ride, but he ran through the line the third time picture perfect and we finished there. And, let us not forget that he figured out his leads over fences out of pure self preservation. And I eliminated the dressage saddle from the equation and he went relatively better on the flat because of it.

Our new mantra--Small Win.


  1. Hooray for small wins. My trainer would constantly drive home the fact that it's not our job to tell them where to put their feet. Gymnastics are fabulous for letting them "figure it out". It's not often pretty, but they'll do it if we stay out of their way. It's hard not to get rattled when they clobber through everything though!

  2. yay for small wins! Forward is better then backwards right?! :)

  3. I may be interested in the saddle... although shipping could be interesting (yay Canada,) what do the panels look like?

    1. I'll take a bunch of pictures next time I'm at the barn and pass them on to you.

  4. Forwards is always better than backwards! It sounds like you've been relatively productive. Good luck with the saddle fun.


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