A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Monday, December 3, 2018

All the updates, 3 mo of Finnigan

Half a dozen drafts later, I gotta just post something.  I'm always waiting to edit media, finish laundry, feed a kid, something that gets in the way. So here we go.

My brain sometimes forgets Finn is green. I worked with Holly thru 3 years of learning and kinda forgot new horse, new/ old stuff to learn. Just like kids lol.

Um... we're done right?...

He is smart in all the good and bad ways. He is pretty creative in all his ways to avoid work, but also smart enough to remember he got in trouble, and rarely needs to be told twice. We had to back off rewarding with treats as he started goosing everybody with those cute little pony lips trying to feel out a carrot or peppermint.

Where's the cookies lady?!
Ground wise, Finn was never super naughty, just touchy and really didnt like his legs touched or a halter put on. Now i halter him from outside his paddock thanks to the muck and he wears all sorts of boots, and is even decent for our farrier.

Lake Muck-yuck

I'm a big weenie and have had to really work on my frame of mind while riding him. 

He occasionally spooks and it took until this week for me to get confident in knowing his type of spook. Answer: really mild. Two steps away with cute little pony ears pinned and major Appy side eye at the offensive item. I constantly am reminding myself that I used to take far worse shenanigans from 16h horses I can handle it a foot or so closer to the ground.

Saturday 3 of us we rode thru one of the craziest sounding storms I've been in the metal roofed barn for, and he was a solid citizen. I couldn't hear my trainer 2 ft away. The only scary thing to him was a pad lurking on a stool my trainer sits on. He got over it on the second pass. 

We did some really nice backing straight, haunches in, and some insanely good for a noob turn-on-the-fore.  He moves off the leg so well, I really have to work at asking not yelling my aids.

I must have been feeling really ballsey for surviving the storm on him because I finally jumped him. Super baby cavaletti but still I'm happy. WS can keep him learning the big stuff til I get brave again. He has a smooth jump, just likes to add a foot extra to everything still lol.

I think by summer he will be awesome to really test out how much my kids want to ride. 😎😈😇

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Pony Brain meets Mom Brain

The Struggle Is Real for both of us. I am not even sure how long ago I started this post, 1 week? 2 weeks? Did I eat lunch? What day is it?

Fin pony was back in full work,last week, and progress is showing in leaps and bounds... literally, he is a cute jumper. 

In the last few weeks we have learned:

- People have to handle are legs, sucking it up and standing quietly is much easier than the alternative. 
- Good pony ground manners aka boundaries
-Just pose for the selfie or mom will keep trying,

Under Saddle:
-Stand for mounting (mounting block comes next)
-Turn on the fore
-Cantering -it won't kill us
-Jumping is fun

Seriously he is definitely an Appy pony work ethic/ brain wise. Picks up what you are asking lightning fast, doesn't want to be over-drilled on it, and would much rather walk then anything else.

Sorry super far away, but those knees are tucked
My saddle isn't a great fit and I think he possibly wouldn't look so hollow back/giraffe if it fit better. It's too wide, and his sweat pattern is at least fairly even so he doesn't seem particularly tender in any area after a ride. Right now he goes best with a foam/gel pad and baby pad. We have had some funky days when the experiments have been wrong. 

such a light mouth

Also been trying these stirrups out,
I'll review them someday. Short of it, I need shorter leathers, and my feet don't go numb, which is awesome!

We worked on moving his whole body in a turn not just his cute little neck. He is so beautifully responsive to hand and leg, its refreshing, even if he often has no idea what I am asking. His little ears are constantly checking on me (probably desperately trying to hear me say 'walk') I love watching him figure things out.

About to canter- I've been lucky with getting him to pickup his right lead
Of course, had a great week riding, then he blew an abscess in the same foot he had injured a few weeks ago. It really really sucks but I am happy it happened when my farrier was out anyways and that it gives a good reason why my last ride I kept swearing he was slightly NQR at times. He had been super sensitive in the deep sand, which makes since now. 

And that's the gist. Except I finally bought some tall Ariats... and a corgi belt.... hubby really shouldn't let me shop alone.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Lame start to our relationship...

So for those that don't follow my Instagram, my pony didn't waste any time earning himself some downtime.

Took Mon-Thurs off because Birthday and school starting stuff got in the way, along with some horrible air quality.
Hello? Wherez the cookies?!
Friday I got to the barn with hubby, good camera, and 2 kids in tow. I adjusted a pony bridle and standing a barn mate had found in the deep recesses of their trunk, realized a new girth didn't fit, scrounged up trainers I've been using, and finally got all ready.

So there we were, having a nice, quick pre-ride canter in the roundpen and suddenly he was limping, but still trying to keep going along... prob should have assumed with my luck bell boots were mandatory...
There was blood sprayed all over his hind legs and belly. 
Very Hitchcock.

Tis but a flesh wound.... hopefully mostly...

He was a really really good boy for all the doctoring, especially since he isn't a fan of having his legs touched.
Told you I shouldn't have shoes on new mom.

It looked better the next day so I left it open to air.

Felt bad later not asking barn mate to bute him again on Sunday as he was still gimpy and got Bute again Monday.

So yeah, that was a fun month and maybe a handful of rides. #joysofhorseownership
He is still pretty damn cute though, and I wish I could see him more. And ya know, ride him. #adultingisoverrated

Also because cute: 

Apparently corgis eats everything but baby fingers

Sorry to lazy too turn photos...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Allow Me to Introduce...


Because every working mom of 3 needs a pony :)

I was trying not to buy something. At least that's what I tell myself. But I was at that point where borrowing was going to need to be either a lease situation, or a friend's green mare that the kiddos couldn't really hop on....

So I went and bought a green pony they can't ride yet lol.


6 Years old
13.3hh (just a little over with shoes)

Unregistered POA  (going to get a hardship registration, just cause)

Background: After driving a few hours to see some really green/unbroke ponies who just weren't quite right (story for another day), I kind of reined in my parameters for what I wanted.

 A few weeks later, Trainer went with a barnmate who has horse ADHD to a local horse trader. The gal has a pretty rough rep on the net. But when you really read through the reviews, a lot is buyers not doing due diligence. Vet Checks y'all. She was pretty upfront about the horses and their health, training (or lack there of) etc.

So trainer spotted an appy head sticking out of the stall and had the gal hop on. Then I started getting text with pics and trainer promising he was cuter in person. 'Cause Appy's aren't really my thing...but neither were bays...

 We went back the next day. Story goes, he was one of the gal's own back-seat projects and had just been ridden around a bit on trails (and to Starbucks) for the last 2 years. By the next week he passed a vet check with flying colors and was mine.

Current State: He rides like... a drunk blind man? I'm completely nailed now on how even my hands are, and since he doesn't indirect rein, I get yelled at a LOT for that now too. If he is near the gate, he is sure all ques mean leave the arena.

He has a nice motor without being hot.  He takes up a lot of leg because even our leggy, taller WS looks ok on him.

He doesn't seem particularly phased by all the new things, like cats running across the arena or a tractor pacing him along the fence.

Within the last 2 weeks he has already found a sitting trot, learned he has a studly frame hiding in there, and apparently never backed before now. Which requires a sit and think before the neurons fire up reverse.

He's got a lot of training coming at him and he seems pretty agreeable to trying it all.

Now if this horrible cloud of wheeze inducing smoke could lift off Cali maybe I could get more ride time in, because none of us need to do too much in such bad air quality. It is so hazy I can't see the hills around us.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

When horses act like horses

Had another lesson on Jasper Wednesday. Weather was nice, too nice, its gonna be a hot summer. J had been turned out so I went out and grabbed him and did a quick groom as he was barely dusty.
I think there is a big sweetheart
hiding under the grumpy, nippy exterior 
We moseyed down to the outdoor and got to work. WS and her sister were just finishing up jumping the greenies in our barn. So fun to watch. 

Did the usual sitting trot/ posting trot/ kill me with two-point stuff. MUCH better frame than last week. Still have a left foot that can't find the correct spot of a stirrup, and chicken elbows, but I can make the horse look pretty lol.

Then WS and sister left the ring and  J and I worked on two-point at the canter then counter-canter. If I don't get all crazy with shifting my weight, he is super. Thanks to all the bloggers who I read about their work and struggles with body-mechanics all the time. 

Worked on holding the correct lead around a change of direction, counter-cantering then swapping when asked. Came around towards then end of the ring and suddenly he head was up next to mine and we were bunny-hopping around. Pulled him up to a walk because I had NO idea wtf was happening (I don't get a lot of sleep these days) Trainer called out the horses had just tore it up over the hill next to the arena. Thanks. To be fair 5 mares and 1 gelding makes for a rowdy group.

So we worked on the circle. Lots of tiny counter-bent circles alternating with bigger normal bend circles. This was made harder by jumps in the way so I had to really plan ahead, sit up and keep him off the forehand. Like real rider, not passenger stuff. Makes me dizzy but pretty fun and got both our minds back on task.

I'm pretty sure the western dressage people think
I am a major narcissist cause I do this every ride lol
Then trainer made a tiny cross rail, which had guide rails in front as well as the sides because they had been jumping the greenies. 

I trotted J at the babiest of crossrails and as we approached his head flew up and he practically slid to a stop. Without a crop I couldn't convince him to go past so I circled and trainer moved the side rails out a bit so it didn't look like he was jumping into some sort of box of doom

I got him to jig his arse over it, laughing at his completely awkward prance-hop-prance-canter away nicely routine. By the second time I was cracking up. The jump was so tiny I just couldn't help but laugh that he jumps 3ft but the tiny cross rail with ground poles was gonna kill him.

I was glad I could laugh at it, but it was a reminder of what triggers my anxiety, and how much muscle I need to regain to be able to properly school green/naughty/ wtf moments. Realistically as a 1-2xs/wk rider, a real greenie isn't a great option unless its one heck of a deal and super calm. Then I could pay for training until its more schooled and I am not such a flabby flabberson. And if I want a greenie, I better prove I can ride them and accept my friends offer to ride her young'n. Make sure I'm up for it before I fall in love with any pretty faces.