A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

TOA Blog Hop- History Lessons

History of the Horse

Before you met, where was your horse?  Who bred him/her?  What do you know about his sire and his dam?  What do you know where he came from?  Tell me about the time before he had a trainer.

aka Homegrown Art  (AQHA)
 born 2008

After lots of digging, I found this:

The youngest pic I can find


That site is her breeder as far as I know, who was the least helpful person I could find. Her last owner was a 15 year old and her mom. According to her, they saw her in a field at 3, fell in love, and when she went up for sale, they jumped on the chance to own her as a WP horse.

I know she is from :
Sire: Artful Investment (QH) - Pedigree (Well known and well liked sire)
Dam: Leapin Lauren (TB) - Pedigree (aka all I know)

Sexy QH

They put about a year into her before I had her, some trainer work, some showing at local shows (go figure pretty girl won some blues at breed shows), some trailering and trail riding. When you list it all that way, you'd think she'd be bomb proof and understand jumping from under the fence isn't best practice. Clearly there were gaps in her training, and ultimately her nice big stride just didn't work for WP, no matter how low she dropped that pretty head.

1 yr ago

She went back to basics for us, half for me, half for her. I have had my moments of wanting to quit with her sassy, spooky ways. But then summer comes, and she chills out, showing me where she can go with some more elbow grease and patience. 

Trainer asked recently if I'd sell her if someone would pay well. Really well. Truth be it, I'm fairly smitten with my sassy girl. I feel I at least owe her a good season of showing and working this summer. She feels so on the brink of really settling in, and I can't imagine all the sweat and tears paying off for someone else to enjoy. Plus she puts up with my son. That's worth gold.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Apparel Review: Tuff Rider- Women's Ventilated Schooling Tights

Tuff Rider- Women's Ventilated Schooling Tight

Price: $32 shipped (w/ Amazon Prime) 

I bought size Medium (but would prob do better in a small if not pregnant)
I bought Navy color to go with the most shirts ;)

Description: (Via Amazon) "Lightweight, poly/spandex schooling tights are breathable and have the convenience of a pull-on low-rise stretch waistband. Contrast striping is made with a ventilated moisture wicking fabric and continues across the back to enhance the tights stretch and breathability. Also featuring UltraGripp knee patches for a secure grip in the saddle".

Pros: -Stretchy. They fit me comfortably until 5 months pregnant, and I imagine I could still wear them, they had great stretch-ability. 

- They seemed durable, I am pretty rough on breeches, they get thrown into a cold, delicate wash, and often the dryer on low so I can wear them again. They usually made it about two rides, then felt saggy enough to want to wash.

- Definitely cooler to ride in. I felt significantly cooler riding in these than other breeches. 

- Plenty of length. This could be good or bad, depending on how long your legs are. I am 5'5" (ok, almost) and had a bit of excess at the ankle. Luckily the material is thin, so wasn't super uncomfortable if a little bunched at bottom.

Cons: - Not a lot of good color choices. The above brown I picked so you could see the details, but it looks pretty ugly color at least in photos. I like the navy a lot, but not sure I dig all the stripe combos.

- Underwear lines. Yup, did pretty ok with the dark color, but pretty sure the lighter ones would show major lines (for those of us that don't go commando).

-Slippery. Not terribly so, but not the grippiest things you've ever ridden in. Definitely felt a little less secure.

Overall: Great choice for the price and for anyone who deals with hot summers. I will buy a size smaller once I'm back down in weight, because I think they would ride/fit better snug, even at the price of showing my rolls and panty lines a bit more.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Still waiting for Fall...

Yup, its still in the 70's here. At least its cooling off at night, but good grief, I have cute boots to wear and warm drinks to enjoy, get with it mother nature!

still working on our selfies ;)

Holly is enjoying her half-training life. She's filled out nicely, so I don't worry about her needing grain if it ever gets cold this year. 

Fat and Happy mare

Training rides are going well, she's usually jumping over 3' to 3'3" but now has done a few at 3'6"(eek). She's still kinda a mess that high, but usually after the first rail getting plowed into, she does well now at 3'. 

super blurry screener of WS and Holly
rocking 3' in the scary indoor :)
Its funny when you watch someone else on your horse, you can see so much. Holly is super sensitive about being spurred when jumping, and still really needs support and direction on finding that distance and pace up to the jump. 

Its hard just watching everyone, but at least I get to see everyone's progress while not having to worry about my own ride.

The hard life

And I get to enjoy cuteness.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Putzing along...

Yay for crazy wind hair
Yup, more boring stuff, with me, fun stuff with the WS's.

Holly is reportedly being good for her trainer rides, mostly, she is a princess, and does occasionally act accordingly.

Last night everyone jumped inside, including over the scary lattice pannel. Holly needed the WS's support, but she went over and other than always wanting to rub at the first height change, she cleared 2'9" easily.

Trainer occasionally puts her over 3'3" to 3'6" so I think she appreciates 2'9" now. That certainly looks plenty big to me lol.

Sigh, trying to get it in my head now that the jumps won't stay little for long post baby. Trainer has little sympathy for that whole, but I was just cut in half and had a baby ripped out. ;) Which is good, cause I'd milk it forever, but still.

Working in the spooky windy round pen
This time change is messing with my routine, and certainly is rough, when your kid thinks its ok to now wake up at 545am. No bueno. Since I work nights, I pretty much will be living in a dark world come next month. But at least its cooling off. Yay for warm drinks and tall boots, finally!

Marching past the peanut gallery

Preggo shadow, mare sure knows how to
 look sweet when she's tired

Also go try to win what looks like some great products at The Owls Approve blog. I know these will be on my next paycheck want list :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Tack Review: Plymouth Raised Fancy Stitch Bridle

Plymouth Raised Fancy Stitch Bridle

Currently $69.95- but I got mine on sale.

Figured I'd add my two cents about this bridle. Because I'm not riding so less interesting stuff to write about ;)

First impression: Ok, so I don't buy new bridles (and rarely fondle the expensive ones at stores), so it seemed pretty darn stiff and waxy to me when it arrived, but I am sure there are plenty worse out there.

The wax took some serious elbow grease to get off,  and I don't think I really got it all, but it still started taking oil so I finally figured it was time to take it out to the barn. I also stripped some color out of the braided reins in a desperate attempt to get them de-waxed and soft. Oops.

Riding: The bridle fits awesome, adjusted well to Holly's big but dainty head. She has no rubs or issues with fit. The reins were murder initially. They really don't feel that stiff when your oiling them, but definitely take some break-in time to not feel rather brutal. Over time, they have softened, but I still get tempted to leave them soaking in some oil for a day or two.

Quality: It is holding up very well. Even when being a bit neglected by the WS, it still cleans right up every time I use it. It gets used 6 days/wk, and doesn't look nearly as abused as it is.

Overall: So, its pretty, and considering my trainer (who has bridles that have lasted 40+ years and look amazing) likes it, and how well it fits Holly, I am happy with my purchase. Even my picky picky trainer has even started recommending it to people on budgets!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

October 10 Questions

This is what I am currently doing 24/7 ;)

1. How many pairs of breeches/jods do you own? Now, um... Well one pair that fit ( TR riding tights that rock in summer) lol. Otherwise 2 full seat, and I think 7 others of various colors and conditions. Nothing really nice yet, but did score some older TS off L.

2. How many horses have you ridden? Tons. Like I'm not being cocky, I just worked giving trail rides growing up as a kid and teen so I rode an endless sea of bay QH and various Arabs, TB, Morgan's, etc. A lot of them were rent string , your basic WTC in a line or do basic gymkana type stuff in our kids camp type horses.

I didn't learn nearly as much as I thought lol. I did learn how to switch from a hot little Arab to 16h massive QH while trying to teach random people to stay on a horse .

Circa 1999- Loved those 16hh endurance Arabs
 and super sexy high-waist Wranglers lol
3. How many trainers have you had? 1. My current trainer. Kind of explains my many riding shortcomings. I rode with people who thought they knew their stuff and some threw around the term trainer, but my current trainer blows them outa the water with knowledge and ability.

Circa 2010- First few casual lessons with current trainer

4. How many barns have you ridden at? 2. (If you don't count random rides on other's horses or playing renter). 1.)Las Trampas, where we did trail rides; and 2.) my current barn. I miss the trails at my good ol' LTS. We could see SF and the Golden Gate Bridge from our ridge.

5. What is the name of the horse you consider yourself to have the greatest bond with? I guess that would be Holly. My love for her is paled by my love for my son, its such a deep love that my love for my animals just feels so different now. It seriously caught me off guard the difference. I loved my horse Rad, but he was a man's horse, all work and no cuddling. I loved a few others I rode, Bay Cash (TWH) and Regal (Arab) but they weren't mine, and I fought hard not to love them too much.

My Princess

6. What is your favorite show name you've ever encountered? Can't think of any right now, argh, but I really wanna name a horse "Talk Dirty To Me". I would love to hear it announced by someone and singing that song when riding makes me giggle.

7. What do you consider your greatest weakness or flaw in riding? Lack of training. I rode a fair amount of my youth, but very very little instruction was given. "Don't hold onto the horn" was the thing drilled in the most (and kinda a dumb thing to follow when getting bucked around an arena).  And maybe now that in my 30's I'm less flexible, less agile, and less available.

8. What do you consider to be your greatest strength? I can take direction. When it comes to riding, whatever pride I had frankly left with my teens. I stay pretty dang humble these days, which means I learn a lot from my trainer and others without letting pride get in the way.

9. Have you ever leased a horse? Working at a LTS I got to ride lots of peoples horses, who were just too busy to ride. My favorite was Bay Cash, the sweetest 6 yr old TWH. If I hadn't gone off to college, I think I would have bought him from his owner, she was in her 70's and prob didn't ride him much longer. Her husband sold me my horse Rad.

 Then there was post-baby Louie and Magic. Louie was one of the nicest horses I've ridden... but a bit much for me in my floppy state as I was, so as much as I loved riding him, I went back to schoolies for a bit.

Louie- post baby bad eq
Then I leased Magic up until I bought Holly. He can be an ass, and lord knows he likes being spanked. He will pretty much 99% of the time jump anything, which is a huge confidence builder. Trainer threw some big jumps at me with him, and since I knew even at a bad angle, slow speed, and bad eq he'd heft us over, it wasn't too scary.

Magic :)

10. What is the name of the first horse you rode? First real ride was a trail ride on Gidget. She was the perfect little pinto pony. Steady fast and knew every trail, you just sat there and she made you feel like a pro (unless she was thirsty, then hold on she was going to the water trough, no ifs,ands,or buts).

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Because We Don't Do Much...

There's not a lot to write about. So I will just add pics and gif to make this blog seem interesting.

My current motto

Holly is getting 3 trainer rides a week. Its supposed to be 2 jump by WS, 1 flat by trainer, but thanks to nature and WS's schedule, its kinda sketchy. This makes it a bit of a pain for me to know what days to run her highness around myself and schedule accordingly.

Its still hot out. And dry out.

Mostly. Its getting dark faster and last Tuesday (a week, not last night) WS decided she wanted to just 'hop on' Holly without lunging first. This would be ok, except there was crazy wind, and everyone was crammed into the indoor, with its awesome blowing canvas tractor covers, and leaves blowing across metal roof sounds.

Trainer and I suggested she take the extra minute to lunge, but frankly, I think both of us kinda wanted her to see what happens. WS is a well-balanced rider, but Holly was a spazzy diva across the open end of the arena... Trainer made sure WS did plenty of no-stirrup and two-point work regardless and pretty much kept her to the open side until Holly was tired of playing chicken.

After that, she did some lead changes, and decent canter work. Sigh, so hard to watch others ride your pony.

Yup, that's about it.... My son still loves going out to see HORSES!!! and begs to go to the barn, which warms my heart.

Little Helper

Barn kids for sure

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

1 Year Later...

1st Ride on Holly
So Holly and I officially passed our 1 year mark. I think overall we have accomplished a lot, but mostly, it was the growth in me, she just polished some rough edges.
1st night at our barn, on trial

I think a lot of it came from having a consistent mount, who frankly, is a huge burden on my family budget, so gosh dang it, I was going to learn to ride her, and ride her well.

I guess it was warm last Oct too- 10/13
We jumped up to 2'6", which was frankly terrifying to me last year, and until my little bun in the oven, had become perfectly acceptable. I even toy with the 3' barrier (yes there's a big mental block there). The thing is, it seems doable now, which never was the case.

1/2014- like OMG maybe 2'
Holly has come a long way with her jumping. She no longer thinks she has to add the tiniest step before each jump. She puts her big pony panties on, and if you tell her its ok, she'll jump what you aim her at. (Still hates the rainbows though). She's jumping 3'3" or so with the WS just fine, which is great to know she is comfortable at that height, even if I'm not yet.

1st real show together-6/2014
Frankly, its not like she looks crazy better toned, or had perfect head set now, she still loves poking that nose out and letting mommy carry her when she can. But she understands so much more of what is asked of her.
6/2014- 2'3"- 2'6" courses- no problem

She will prob revert back to spooky and sassy for winter, but she's awesome in the summer, so really at 6, I can't complain. The silly stuff should mellow out with age. She is half QH lol.

Last ride til baby :(
Here's to getting to set goal for next summer. I plan on boot camping myself back into shape fast while off work, because I kinda doubt I'll have more free time with two kids once the jobs back in full swing ;)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Updates and 10 questions

So officially on the DL. I'm super bummed about stopping riding, but after my last ride, and the ensuing sciatic pain on the opposite side as usual, I decided it was time.

Holly will get trainer rides, 3x/week and I will run her happy but around at least 2, hopefully 3 days so shes not nutz when WS rides her. Not really worried about that while its still 90F out. Good grief its a hot fall. Yuck.

Derp pony and 20wk belly

On to more filler posts...

1.Is there something you don't like about your riding?
Ha. 80% of it. Really I just wish good habits stuck faster. I mostly wish I could stay relaxed. I'm not too shabby when I am relaxed and flow with the horse.

2.Does your horse buck? Well yes, but rarely under saddle. She has a L to R lead change that feels nearly like one, but that's slowly smoothing out.
3.Is your horse head shy? Rarely. She gets startled if things move to fast towards any part of her body. But she's solid about bridling, worming, etc. 

4.Favorite barn chore to do? If I had my tack trunk at the barn, it would be organizing that. I like setting the jumps... for others ;)

5.How many times do you ride a week? I was doing a solid 3x/week. For now, nada.

6.Who is your favorite pro rider? Margie Goldstein Engle and Beezie Madden peaked my curiosity for jumping. They impressed me as strong women and riders.
7.If one pro rider could train you for one day who would it be? Well, GM if I was ever worthy. 

8.Favorite Facial Marking? Depends on the color horse. Generally a blaze, if its symmetrical. I like where they widen over the nostrils. I like stars, again symmetrical (notice a pattern?).

9.Leg Markings or No Leg Markings? Yes please. Harder to maintain, but love me some stockings. Chrome it up. Not that my mare has any. 

10.Ever broken anything falling off? (knock on wood) If anything, I think I compressed a vertebrae with my last real fall. But since I didn't get xrays, I don't know for sure. Otherwise I have good genetics for bones, I bruise like crazy, but considering a lack of padding, most injuries stay relatively superficial. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Back on the Blogging train.....maybe...kinda...

Things are getting kinda boring around here. Like here's video from like 2 weeks ago when I still jumped. 

Yea riveting, I know. You can tell she really loves this baby jump stuff. Luckily WS still puts her over the big stuff (like 3' stuff I'm gonna need awhile to get up to).

Other than that its been trying to hack without getting fat leg cramps, heat stroke, or over-tired. (Growing another life when summer won't end is hard, go figure).

Think I'm pretty much ready to hang up the spurs til post baby.

I'd love to keep riding until I drop the kid, but I would never live with myself if something happened, because horses (and moi) are clumsy.

This means I need to think of some ground work goals to keep me from just sitting around, losing muscle tone.

Ideas for things to work on are welcomed ;) I figured ground tying, and working on some of the spooky things (like flags and balls etc) would be fun (although maybe not brilliant as I get less-balanced).

Best part of the week: OB told me I could gain more weight! Heck yes!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

10 Questions

1. Is your horse spooky or bombproof? Spooky, getting better.

2. Does your horse have a long or short stride? Um, depends on her mood and speed, able to perform world's smallest add stride before a fence.

3. Describe your current barn in 3 words? Middle-of-road.

4. If you could switch barns, would you? Yes, if trainer would move.

5. Favorite brand of breeches? Tuffrider turned Tailored Sportsman (thanks L!)

6. How many blue ribbons do you have? Like 2, nothing to write about.

7. How many saddle pads do you own? 2 Sheepskin half, 4 AP, 2 baby pads

8. Is your horse your phone background/lock screen? Nope, other kid ;)

9. Do you go trail riding often? I wish. Property to hack  but no real trails, boo.

10. Favorite horsey movie? Does The Last Unicorn count? 

Otherwise, more of the same, lots of flat, little bit of tiny jumps. Riveting I know ;)