A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The beginnings of Fall

Had our first lesson inside in awhile. It was howling windy outside, and the temperature was dropping, leaving the inside arena feeling a little more inviting. Then we remembered it kinda sucks. No L, so it was just E, myself, Karley, plus a few others not in the lesson. Our trainer has already informed us that their would be lots of interesting grids etc this winter to keep us busy, and tonight was no exception. We did lots of shoulder in/ haunches in, which I haven't done in forever with any real effort.... uh yeah.. we will add that to the Monday hack to do list. Decent canter work other then my chicken elbows flapping a bit, really awesome looking I'm sure.

Then we went to jumping... Took a picture to better describe what I will call  barrel racing with jumps.

So basically, we trotted the first x-rail, then instead of jumping the second, circled around the mounting block at a canter, then jumped the second x-rail. It sounded cool, and I was happy I did it later, but it was work while Karley and I were doing it. I was of course, my normal tense self, and had to apologize to my perpetually grumpy mount for bumping him a few times. Funny thing was after the first couple times I wasn't as tense over the jumps as I was circling the mounting block. I've never had to look so far over to one side from a jump, it was hard to deviate my gaze to the side. Ah so many things to learn to relax into. Once we kinda had it down of course our trainer made us circle twice, just to keep 'em guessing. 

This will be an interesting winter for sure. 

Joys of Horse Hunting....

Last week had a horse brought out for trial.... owner forgot to mention she was a problem child when it came to little things... like ya know mounting.... One of the other super spring-y agile trainers hopped on her. She was a cute mover, and will prob work out fine for someone, but not me :(

Budget horse hunting isn't really that fun. I mean I like pouring over peoples poorly made videos and crappy cell pics as much as the next gal, but certain things have begun to truly drive me nuts.

Not the horse, but cute
Ad: Super crazy awesome horse for sale, absolutely beautiful, great H/J, calm, friendly, email for pics/ video.

Me: Hi, I'd love to see pics and or video of your horse.

Owner: What are you looking for?

Me (A gold-horned unicorn... You're horse wtf else would I be wasting my time/info) Insert generic response and ask some basic questions.

Owner: Oh, my horse has never done anything like that but they jumped a cross rail twice and totally loved it!

Me: Ok, so.... media...?

Owner: Insert small cell video of trotting and edited out transitions and awkwardly angled pics of horse in tack with Instagram tint.

Me: Repeat questions.

Owner: answer one question.

Finally get enough info to email trainer- horse gets nixed for x-y-z....

(wash, rinse, repeat)

I am sure i could get more done on phone, but I work weird hours and its kinda nice having written proof of what was discussed because my memory is worthless these days.

poor baby left behind
Last night I just hacked around a bit alone. Apparently poor Magic now has to do lessons before I ride Monday and Tuesday. Luckily they are pretty much less exertion then when I turn him out in the round pen, so its not like he's worn out or anything. I had a fat headache and was having a total blonde moment and totally hopped on without half chaps and spurs... uh yeah not so comfy... although I could feel Magic really well which was kinda nice. He was super happy I didn't have my little implements of torture strapped to my feet, and although sluggish, didn't spook or really misbehave once. Helps I didn't feel like doing much.

Lesson tonight, hopefully I can stay RELAXED while jumping and just let him do his thing. He's grumpy but so well trained.

Maybe going to try a horse on Friday, although I won't get my hoped up until I'm on the horse that it will happen.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Horse Crazy!

Ok, so I have pretty much been doing something horse related for a full week, and the little horse-obsessed girl in me is loving it! Thursday I forwent sleep for my previously described lesson, Friday I again abstained from sleep to go look at a few horses, Saturday I couldn't help but cruise the family by the barn and watch the morning lesson gang and snap them some media. Sunday we went to Golden Gate Fields in honor of L being another year older but not aging. $1 beer, whats not to love ;)

Monday I hacked good ole Magic. I ended up having to come later, which worked out since his owner's kid was riding him at my normal time. This meant we had to have a quick hack all by our lonesome with pigeons making quite the racket over the indoor. Since he had already done some basic walk trot, I tried not to bore him with too much more and worked on transitions and that whole pesky collecting business. Did lots of different canter circles, different sizes, different areas (the plus of having a whole arena to yourself). Not much to write about, No big spook, no big break through. I'll take it.

I wanna live somewhere this scenic :)

Tonight we had our lesson. Poor Magic is in his fall/winter routine now, of short back to back beginner walk/trot lessons, then a mid-arena tack change so I can drag him down to the outdoor for more WTC and work him over baby jumps. At least it means I don't have to turn him out, and he actually gets happier when he sees he gets to do more then circle.

 Our trainer had us do lots of sitting to posting trot transitions. UGH. I have a hard time maintaining a good sitting trot consistently on him. Oh well, what's riding without the long list of rider fix-its lol. Went on to canter work , where Magic proceeded to trip and nearly pop my head off my neck, bright side, I am pretty sure a few vertebrae might actually be back to where they are supposed to be now. I got to jump a little course of a vertical, right back to a gate, left back around to a crossrail. It didn't feel great but once I RELAXED Magic didn't rush, and we went about just dandy. I am starting to finally see distances, which was something I never thought was going to happen. I still have to chant 'this is fun' to myself, but at least for brief moments, I believe that again. Then Karley and L jumped some crazy jumper/ handy hunter style courses, I could barely even remember enough to stay out of the way.

Tomorrow two horses (hopefully) come on trial. I'm pretty sure only one is really even a contender, but exciting non the less. :)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Win, lose, or draw...

Not really sure which my lessons have been lately, guess I didn't come off, so both were a win.

Video clips from last week....

umm.... yea .... crazy
  Tuesday we had our normal 'ladies night' lesson... except Henry pulled a shoe so Karley couldn't ride. We also had another gal riding with us on a little part draft mare, always nice to have others around. I kinda... no definitely... reaped what I sowed. I hadn't ridden Magic on Monday, and even though I was early I totally spaced it on letting him blow some steam off in the round pen. He's so slow and lazy on the ground, you forget he might actually have a wild hair or too left. We did our normal trotting laps, plenty of two-point (ugh- I still have to hold mane way to often). Then we went to canter. Nothing interesting happening, same old same old... I don't know what set Mr Happy Pants off, but when the little mare passed him, he suddenly sped up and got heavy. Apparently I need more time at the gym, cause he wore me out. He got all rushy rushy to the jumps, and since I wasn't feeling like at all confident, I just kinda flubbed my way through it all. I realized I just want to be solid at speed bumps, then maybe, maybe, go higher. But really I'm in no hurry to go higher.

Thursday Karley had a makeup lesson Thurs am so I tagged along. My brilliant self remembered to turn Magic out so he was nice and behaved. I was TIRED since I had worked all night. I think that works to my advantage, apparently I'm pretty relaxed when sleep-deprived. Did some ok jumping, just back and forth over an X, or a vertical, heck I don't even remember, I just know it was the rainbow jump. Had one moment where I learned why you don't spur and then jump ahead... took a crazy long distance. Very happy I stayed on without too much fuss. I need to not jump ahead when Magic slows, its not like I can pull him over the jump.

Went and looked at a couple horses today. If I had seen sweet, calm TB's like this when I was younger I would have had a completely different opinion of them. It was like being at a ranch of 1000lb + puppy dogs. Maybe more on that later.... ;)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Summer showers bring... Blogger visitors?

Ok... where did my slacker self leave off... last week Tues night lesson was canceled. That left me with a Wednesday morning lesson, mostly to my lonesome. Did the normal WTC stuff in the indoor, plus a little work at extending and then collecting at the canter (long vs short side). Mr Magic took a few laps to figure it out, but it was nice to feel the difference.

Then I jumped a cross rail in the middle of the arena. I just couldn't get my groove. I trotted it back and forth uninspiringly then we went over at a canter then looping back around to canter it again. Blah. I was oddly tense and took a few awkward distances before I finally relaxed and got after his butt enough to get us a decent enough jump to allow us to quit.

Monday since I had worked the night before (and I didn't know there was a lesson in the am), I rode alone in the afternoon. It was weird muggy, summer shower weather. Another gal was hacking about the indoor so I quickly tacked up a dirty Magic and put him through his paces while we had some company.

Tried to be mean to myself and did two-point and no-stirrup work. Magic was twitchy at the open side, so I tried to keep him occupied. I really need to work at getting his attention before we reach where he spooks, proactive not reactive. At one point he decided he didn't want to go to the right and we started that backwards sideways sliding awesomeness, which I finally learned to dig a spur in and get after him. He finally put his head down and trotted on nicely. I'm slow but I learn.

Oh yeah, and I found my new favorite music for hacking is old school rap..... like Snoop Dogg, Warren G era. Its got a nice beat, and keeps me feeling in charge. That's right, I'm gangsta :)

weird Monday weather- but pretty clouds
 Tues night, we had a surprise visitor Hillary (yay fellow Blogger in the flesh). It was great getting to meet her in person, she's as cool as she sounds in her blog.I was a hot mess thanks to no sleep and a screaming toddler all day (poor sick baby).

 Poor Magic was finishing up two kid lessons when I arrived, doing his walk/trot duty like a champ. At least he was all warmed up.

 We went down to the outdoor and all sat around talking until our trainer finally caught up to us. I had to put a LOT of leg on to keep our pace at the trot, but I got plenty of canter,    go figure...

 Then some jumping. Yep still a chicken :) I was really tense and wasn't keeping enough leg on Mr Happy when he decided to try to die off like 3 strides out from the fence. I was at least relieved when my trainer saw my jaw hit the dirt when she told me to do the same jumps including an oxer as Karley. Glad she has confidence in me lol, but I was happy to trade it for a low wall with a rail.

So I ended up doing our crossrail with a vertical around left to the wall around right back to the crossrail again. I was not pretty but hey I stayed on and we didn't take anything out so I guess that still falls into the success category.