A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Monday: It was 90F when Karley and I arrived at the barn, and it was still that when we left! Relatively low key hack since we were all sweating just from grooming, hello, no one is ready for this heat yet... Tried not to do too much trotting since I knew I'd do plenty in the morning lesson. Had some moments of greatness. FINALLY bothered to wear spurs. Well duh, little more response from the boy. Had some nice cantering forward, balanced, even pace. Hallelujah its about time I figure that out. Then he was clearly getting tired so he started breaking to a trot. So we had a little... discussion... I'm getting more forceful, and we did another nice lap and then cooled off.

Tuesday: (today) :) Had my morning lesson, with a relatively empty indoor arena. We trotted until I sounded like a freight train (yay allergy season) and then more cantering. Did a brief flying lead change (his one direction) and then some ground pole work.

The two poles were about 4 strides apart. At first we trotted them, with Magic giving a little hop and some major speed issues, aka slowing before the first pole, then rushing after I spur him. It took awhile for me to get hi maintaining a steady pace. Then we cantered it. I even get nervous cantering ground poles like a jump apparently because my trainer instantly saw me tense up, even though I didn't feel it. It was nice since I wasn't in oh crap I'm jumping mode to learn how to feel him keep pace and to count strides, something I'll admit I just kinda rely on him to figure out. He really is a good horse, when you are assertive enough for him to respect your judgement. We are getting there, lol.

Cooled him out and hung out a bit with L and our trainer as Carlos got check out, but that is her story. Then our groom found 3 little kittens in a wood pile, which were adorable and my trainer took them home. Last thing I need, something else to clean up after, but man they were cute.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Hacking the heat

Friday- Got to the barn around 3pm, it was super warm, as in almost 90F, and I had completely forgotten the clinic was already happening. I went and sat for a bit with my trainer and the BO who were being caddy voyeurs from above. Watching a western clinic made me miss my comfy western saddle.

 I finally shoved off and got a sluggish Magic and we did an easy hack in the nice shady indoor arena. About 1/3 through my ride one of the other trainers brought in a little girl for a beginner lesson. I couldn't help but smile and watch, seeing her try to balance nerves and desire to do more. Magic luckily only did one slow-mo spook prior to her arrival, and I finally got off my laurels and caught him mid spin, quickly reprimanding him and pushing him right back around into the corner until he decided it wasn't any more interesting than anywhere else in the arena.

Cantering. Argh. First he would try to unsettle me with grab bit and run speed, now its a push push push to get enough speed for him to be properly collected and forward. He now has a habit of breaking gait when I try to gather back the rein he's inched through my  fingers (ya ya I know). We did lots of rider-initiated upward and downward transitions  until he was finally listening. I am slowly getting more assertive with him. He was a sweaty mess, which my trainer loved seeing when I was done.

Cooled sweaty boy out and gave him a good rinse and groom. Another little girl even said he was pretty, which I thanked her for and told Magic he was going soft ;) Admittedly I think he looks a little happier with all the added attention, even if its brief glimpes of a happy pony. He got to graze a bit while I talked with Karley and finally I dragged my self home, since I can only disappear for so long.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Win stuff!

Equestrian at Hart is having a t-shirt contest :)

Go enter, who doesn't like new clothes?!


random happy place

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Tumblr questions

Tumblr questions (why not)

1. dish face or roman nose? why?
Dish face. Personal preference I guess

2. mares or geldings? why?
Geldings, I have enough hormones.

3. Do you think warmbloods are over-rated?
Nope, just out of my price-range

4. Describe your dream horse.
Push-button but not dead-head.
I still need a little fun, just don't need to eat dirt. Otherwise 15-16hh.

5. What kind of bit do you use and why?
Full-cheek twisted wire snaffle. Its what my lease horse uses and it works.

6. Stock horses or sport horses?
Sigh, I'm not so sure anymore...
I'd love a QH/ Appendix with a sport horse work ethic.

7. Favorite horse color?
Eh, depends on breed...
 Bays have grown on me, still like greys if I don't have to keep them show clean.

8. Least favorite horse color?
Varnish appy or real muttled roan appy

9. Dressage or Jumping?
Jumping, even if I'm a chicken

10. Favorite stock horse breed?
Paints- so much diversity out there

11. Favorite Hot-blooded breed?
trippy coloring
Arabian. I know, I know, but I love their heart, and endurance riding was really fun when I was young and in shape. I am warming up to TB's.

12. Favorite cold-blooded breed?
Clydesdale. Blame all the Budweiser commercials. I've also ridden a Clydesdale/ Mustang who was the most chill, awesome horse.

13. Dapple grey or Fleabitten grey?
Dapple, but I have loved a few flea-bittens

14. Most expensive piece of tack you own?
Either of my saddles

15. When did you start riding?
Maybe 8ish for real after my mom took me on a trail ride. I was hooked for life.

16. Leather or Nylon halters?
Nylon, I'm a sucker for color. And I'm cheap.

17. Apples or Carrots?
Carrots, we can share ;)

18. Chestnut or bay?
Um.....Either with tall socks and white on face

19. Palomino or Buckskin?
Palomino, I have known some mean buckskins

20. Lazy horse or Hot horse?
Sigh again... lazy... well at least until I am back in shape and grow some

21. Have you ever been trail riding?
How I started, it was my first non-paid and paid job :)

22. Have you ever had to put down a horse that you loved?
Nope. Selling him was hard enough. Others I loved weren't mine.

23. How many saddlepads do you have?
Uh... 4 english, 3 western- but I need to upgrade to a few nice (BoT)

24. How many bridles do you have?
1 western, one ear. Not something I love, just got it with a saddle I bought.
 I need an english bridle eventually here

25. Favorite saddle brand?
Anything out of my price range lol. I really like my Pessoa.

26. Beige or White Breeches?
Beige. I don't wear white as a nurse, I certainly don't want to wear it on a horse.

27. Least favorite discipline?
Um....None, really, don't see myself flying over a cross country course any time soon.
I think when I'm old I'll end up doing western pleasure or dressage so can't write them off.

28. Do you own a horse?
Soon...? Hopefully :)

29. Do you collect breyer horses?
No but I have several somewhere

30. Favorite color of saddle pad?
Depends on horse color. Like Blues

31.Private barn or Boarding stable?
Been there, been in charge, lots of responsibility I don't want yet anyways.

32. Opinion on spoiled riders?
Hated them as a kid, but hey, if i had $$$ I'd enjoy it too.

33. Have you ever ridden tackless?
Always had at least a halter and lead.
I'm not daring and I'm still in one piece.

34. Have you ever stood up on a horse?
Pony, very briefly

35. Overo, Tobiano, or Tovero?
Any, just depends on how markings land and how the horse is.
Pretty horses with bad tempers don't look nice for long.

36. Favorite face markings(s)?
Star and snip. Crooked strips messes with my OCD

37. Why you started riding?
One of few places I felt happy and comfortable as a kid

38. Does anyone in your family ride?
My mom a tiny bit. my aunt used to ride and breed QH.
And apparently my grandma was quite the rider, I just never knew her well.

39. Have you ever owned a horse?
Briefly. A Man's man of a QH, Rad.

40. Something you want to improve on?
EVERYTHING. Mostly not freaking at jumping

41. A bad habit you have?
So many to choose form... pinching knees...

42. A bad habit your horse has?
Spooking at nothing

Cap't- like jumping a oak barrel with 'tude
43. How high have you jumped?
2'3" ish- Thats plenty high for me

44. Have you ever had a dressage lesson?
No but I would like one

45. What really makes your horse spook?
Anything outside the open side of the arena apparently.

46. Trail riding or ring work?
Both. Keeps a girl well rounded, and a horses mind fresh.

47. Indoor or Outdoor arena?
Outdoor, although lately ours has been spooky and hard-packed.

48. Colorful or plain saddle pads?
Colorful. oddly, I dress in lots of black or gray, but I love color on horses.

49. Do you like horses with blue eyes?
Sometimes. Has to be just the right match with markings.

50. Have you ever gotten into a fight with your trainer?
Of course not... I have whined and ended up working harder. Lesson learned.

51. Light bay or Dark bay horses?
Light bay, with chrome!

52. What is your equestrian dream?
Simple, ride a basic 2'-2'3" course without having a heart attack or eating dirt.
 Being comfortable enough to ride a greenie.

53. Long mane or Pulled mane?
Long mane. Ok, so clashes with the whole H/J thing, but i still love flowing mane.

54. Opinion on fake tails?

55. Least favorite thing about your barn?
Deteriorating footing. I have no real ego in my riding anymore and I don't own yet so drama doesn't bother me much.

56. Favorite thing about your barn?
My trainer and the gals I ride with.
They have been amazingly encouraging and I probably would not have gotten into H/J and enjoyed it without them.

57. Have you ever ridden a stallion?
Nope, just never had the chance.

58. socks or no socks on a horse?
Socks! Love 'em!

59. Favorite horse names?
Kinda had a fetish with alcohol related names since I was a kid.

60. If you could ride any horse in the world, which one would it be? why?
Not sure.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Faith and Perseverance

Monday- Met up with Karley at our deserted barn, and since it was 90F at 430pm (!) we decided to hack in the indoor arena. With both ends open it gets a pretty nice breeze, and had been watered fairly recently so it wasn't horridly dusty. After some weak attempts by Magic to spook at both open ends we came to an understanding that I am tired of it and we got to business ( I mean really, the 6 yr old OTTB isn't phased what's his problem?!... oh yeah me  lol)
I worked on maintaining a nice sitting trot with a tiny bit of no stirrup work. I'll work up to no-stirrup challenges like L does... someday. we did some ok canter departs and fairly forward cantering while a FedEx truck circles our barn, rattling as he rushed by with minor ear flicking. I really have to work at keeping my shoulder up and forward motion in the corners and when circling. Magic tends to drop his shoulder and slow, which it seems like I never catch ahead of time. We cooled the boys out and Magic got a decent rinse and groom job, poor shedding beast!

Karley and Henry in back of dirty view
he does look handsome in dark teal
Tuesday- (today) Morning lesson, just by my lonesome now. I woke up with nasty back pain, but took some meds and hauled myself out to the barn. I begged my trainer to be easy on me, not sure which part of the lesson that helped, prob why the jump stayed low.

Had to wait for the arena to be watered and dragged, so by the time it was done, we
did quick trot and canter work and moved to flying lead changes. Yay, I have never really practiced them outside of after a jump, it was nice getting to try them when I'm not hyperventilating about jumping. (Although he only does them one way, so it was practicing simple  (RtoL) and flying (LtoR).

Then we did some quick trot poles and then a teeny-tiny-why-do-I-get-bothered cross rail. I must admit as I get back in shape a bit more, I am starting to realize the annoyances of a push horse. If I didn't push enough he'd jump crummy or break canter, earning us 'one more' jump. My trainer is teased by other trainers for her notorious 'one more time', over and over again. I admit its good practice, we only end when its done right (or as close as we get). I finally got both of us over the jump, cantering to the wall and around the corner and got to quit, hallelujah.

As I was cooling him off my trainer informed me that she was not going to let me "chicken out" of jumping. Sigh. I really want to chicken out. I really want to get better. I said I didn't want to jump if I sucked on the flat, and she said I don't suck, I just need to get more aggressive, but she saw progress already. That's a big compliment lol.

Friday ride, then naught til next Monday. Guess I shouldn't combine posts, this is a bit wordy :)
Nom nom nom

Friday, April 19, 2013

Short and sweet

Despite my darling baby boy wanting to be up to see the sun rise, ugh, I didn't get out to the barn until 10. It was already well into the 70's (but finally not windy- yay!) so I opted for the shady indoor since the event trainer was teaching a beginner lesson so there was plenty of room.

apologies for blurriness- dh holding baby and phone ;)

Started by walking a half lap then decided to do some sitting trot, trying to really stretch my heels down and work on my pinchy knees. of course we got to the open end at about the same time as the lesson girl, so when Magic gave his now routine slow-motion spook, the poor girl got the teeniest spook out of her horse. I made better effort to stay on my own side, although he only tried to spook one more time, but I immediately made him pay, and that was that. He really wants to make sure I'm paying attention. I'm finally getting better at driving him into the corners at least most of the time, and since we weren't having any battles, I found my knees stayed fairly where they should be.

Then we did some awful walk to canter departs, until we finally got an ok one, and I pretty much called it quits so I could make an appointment on time. Cooled him out and rinsed dirty boy off (wish I had had time for a bath, it was so nice out) while talking to C who arrived right as i was done (she's one of the sweetest people i know). hopefully she and I can meet up on Fridays so we don't have to ride alone.

Little spoiling in the warm sun

Riding schedule (pending life) = Mon -hack, Tues- lesson, Fri -hack 

Buying his love with cookies :)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Wind wind GO AWAY...

Had my lesson this am. Traffic was nasty so I got to the barn late, lucky for me Magic didn't need much grooming, just de-crusting from what I didn't get last night. The wind was deceptively calm so after a quick romp around the round pen Magic and I trudged down to the outdoor.

why did you decide to start riding horses?

My trainer was already on her pretty boy frosty, and the BM was on her massive steed whose name always eludes me (Mira...something), were already going about our relatively empty ring. Of course as soon as we start to warm up, the gale winds return. no bueno.

Magic decided my husband chilling in the back of our SUV with the baby was terrifying and proceeded to give me a 20 min workout of hard convincing that I am scarier then the side of our arena. It should not take that long, but I still pitch forward and then waste lots of energy trying to stay on while he ducks and prances like a rabid giraffe. we finally were going decently both directions at a walk and trot, but at that point my trainer was resorting to hand gestures to let me know what she wanted so we opted to go into the indoor to canter and finish the lesson.

Once again we had some arguments about the open side of the arena, not nearly as bad as outside,  when I keep my knees open and butt down he definitely feels the difference and listens better. No jumping, which was fine by me, I was tired and a little defeated, even though I know I did well at sticking with it. As my trainer points out, Magic likes a dominant rider, which I, of late, am not. I was pooped, I am all the more impressed by those who ride daily, because I am so not there yet.

Cleaned the boy and my tack while chatting with my trainer. No real media, the baby is getting a little too active for the hubby to be daddy and photographer, gonna have to work something out.

One more ride this week , then off to my bff's wedding shower, yay!

All snuggled in with lunch (right) and his buddy Henry (left)

Monday, April 15, 2013

Paint it Black

First day of hacking Magic. I went to get him out of his new digs in he mare motel next to Henry and realized how little he looks next to his TB buddies. His little head barely sticks over the wall. He is super bay right now with his shaggy winter coat and for some reason he Roiling Stones song Paint It Black (my fav) came to mind...
You can just see him in front
Any-who, brushed shaggy beast and took my time since it wasn't a lesson. It was crazy wind again so since I did t want a huge spookfest/ fight I stayed towards the closed end of the arena, especially when two gals with greenies decided to uh... We will call it Lunge... Their high high horses in the round pen then the arena with us.

We did some decent sitting trot the. Lots of posting, working on impulsion and collection and not getting corners (ie me paying attention). Cantering was eh, he was lazy and wasted so much energy vertically instead of forward.

Then crazy greenies came into the arena and we pretty much cooled the boys out and left.

Lesson bright and early, ugh I'm gonna be sore! No pain no gain right?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Change of Pace

So for the last to days we have had crazy winds... like super gusty, take bark off trees, Toto I don't think we are in Kansas anymore type wind. Fun fun. So far I'm just happy my fence has survived since I really don't want to pay for a new one, and I know my neighbors are cheapskates too.

Lesson this am, indoor since we didn't want to get blown two barns over. Magic had an easy weekend with trainer gone, so he got a quick spin in the round pen. Glad my trainer suggested that.

Got on and he was a slug, but at least he was better in the open side of the arena most of the lesson. My big take-away with riding him, is even though he is super trained, and won't really do anything crazy, you can't let him take even an inch, he will try for the mile. For my ADHD self, this can be hard, I get just as distracted by what's outside the ring, my DH and baby along the side, the wind, shiny objects... you get the point. 

Did some sitting trot while waiting for my trainer and E to mount up. The arena was pretty full since no one wanted to be outside, luckily I was prob the most novice rider, so we got along pretty well. Lots of posting , which finally feels better, and then some two-point (ugh). The western trainer was laughing at our torture from her comfy western saddle. We stopped to do some turn on the fore work before cantering and jumping, mostly so others could canter a bit. My canter was ok, had to work at pressing Happy-boy up without leaning forward, nasty habit I really need to break. Did some extra circles at the scary open end of the arena until we were deep enough into the corners to satisfy my trainer. I am amazed, she was watching us from horseback, doing her own thing a bit, and still nailed E and I on our faults. Either she is that good, or we are that predictable lol. 

Finally did some jumping. I am finally getting more comfortable with my baby crossrails at the trot. This must have been obvious to my trainer because she finally made me canter again. Funny thing, I used to find cantering to the jumps smoother before I ate dirt. Now, I am still a nervous nelly, but at least it was controllable. 

I left sound in the video at around 00:40 where a horse cuts out in the round pen as my trainer yells at me, and Magic suddenly bolts, but since he headed straight at the jump, I figured roll with it, and we actually looked better there than other jumps, lol. 

Things to work on:
- Relax, forward impulsion does not = certain death
-Longer release/ form over jumps (TG Magic can take a joke)
-Core strength and over all body tone (almost summer anyways)
-Pay Attention, I'm not driving a car (j/k I swear I pay attention to driving too)

I should be starting to lease Magic this next week. I think the added saddle time should really help with the relaxing. I also have started trying to think positively before, during,after riding. Sounds silly, but I really suck at praising myself, and I realized if I can find happiness at work, then I should be able to relax and enjoy riding for petes sake. :)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Revelations of a Sleep-Deprived Mind

Sooo.... my son has been chewing on the rails of his crib. Since I kinda like the furniture not looking like we've left it to small vermin and I worry about what he's ingesting, we modified his bumpers to cover the rails... I was admiring our work when it dawned on me, he's a cribber lol... Do they make collars for babies?....

Easter Sunday brought about crazy weather, hail, thunder, flash flooding... for a couple of hours, then it was Poof gone, back to normal Cali weather.

OK, on to horses...
Lesson this morning was just flat work. The outdoor was hard and wet and the indoor was empty of rails from a clinic that had occurred on the weekend. I was ok with this, If I'm not good on the flat I have no real business leaving the ground. So the open end of our arena, is now also missing bottom panels, exposing scary things like tractors and people and flowers and...?

Magic wasn't real keen on this new remodeling and we quickly had a spookfest. I did ok the first couple times, but sometimes I just swear I am not dexterous to lean, kick, whip, pull, turn (and relax!) lol. Anywhoo, with lots of motivation and circling we finally got over it and went about our lesson. I was already beat by that point and kinda felt like I dragged thru the rest of my lessons WTC. We worked on forward impulsion with control and clean corners (even the scary ones).

Other then a brief interruption when my trainer's horse escaped the turnout and ran about the property the rest of the lesson was just run-of-the-mill.  Hubby was distracted with fussy baby so no pics/ video :( Magic had to stay up for another lesson so I gave him some grooming love, which he oddly seemed to enjoy and finally we left.

Trying to squeeze in another lesson this week, I'm feeling like I need to get back at it.