A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Taking off the Training Wheels

So as my confidence builds, I find my trainer is right there to push me lol. Jumps move up (surprisingly ok so far), more lead changes demanded, more details to nail down. No more ground poles all the time to help my pathetic eye for distances. And gosh darn it, the mare is just more fun to jump at least over 2'3". Time for me to step up.

Crazy pony

Looks light she's sniffing a laser ;)
Lesson Tuesday was crazy windy. Not the worst, but pretty dang distracting. Also meant me with a bunch of kids on ponies crammed into the indoor. L arrived later with E, and I got to play rail-bird and take silly photos with L.

Anywho, rode my princess in a new gag bit, which with its little swingy chain and offensive ability to stop her from dragging on me, really threw her for a loop. 

Eventually it worked and we had some really really nice frame, without her head sinking down, and gee golly my back wasn't nearly as sore, go figure.

Did assembly line jumping back and forth over an x then like 2'3" vertical, switching which way to turn afterwards.

Some minor startling when she saw Ramone in the roundpen, etc; but since I expected to see Dorothy's house flying overhead at any moment, Holly was soooo good, barely spooking at all, which is huge considering how bad she was when I got her.

Lesson Wednesday was just myself and another trainer's student in the huge outdoor. Ran Holly in the big bull pen (which means I run a lot more than she does) but there were ground poles and it was cute seeing her move over to jump them on her own.

Clearly taking work seriously

Went over a long line of trot poles to work on my ability to keep her straight, then worked on adjusting her canter, which is a lot easier in the gag bit. She has a big scoot moment, but came around and was fine the next pass, and considering how little we've ridden down there of late I expected some scooting.

Only used two jumps but sooo much work. A little X and an oxer. Yup I jump oxers now. Not sure why they were so scary. Frankly liked it better than the little crossrail because she was really forward to the crossrail and really half-asses the small jumps now, but she respected the oxer. I need to work on keeping my grip on my reins, I constantly fiddle with the length. Drives trainer nuts... and pony, and me...

Cooled off, and Holly got a good scrubbing, from forelock to lady parts (ugh). She's looking good considering she's been off grain for over a month now. She's gaining weight, go figure.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Blog Hop: Appreciate What You Have

Let's take a moment to appreciate the Pros of our current ponies, whether you own them or just ride them in lessons. 

So, I wasn't sure I'd ever really get to own another horse financially. Then I bought Holly and had one of those oh-crap-wtf-did-I-do panic attacks, that slowly faded after a few weeks and extra shifts got my finances back out of the red. So many little expenses, and she certainly unveiled some hidden issues we didn't see on trial. She's shook my small amount of confidence and made me grow like crazy as a rider in 6 short months...

The Pro's of Holly:

- Those big brown eyes. She has some of the softest, prettiest doe eyes I've seen on a pony. She certainly knows how to bat those lashes at the boys of the barn :)

-Princess is attractive, she looks far more TB than QH, often surprising people who first meet her that she's Appendix. I'm sure she'll widen a bit with age, but she's lean and graceful for now.

-She's tolerant. She may have plenty of diva moments, but she takes a lot of bumping, flopping, and other rider spaziness I throw at her with a lot of grace for a greener horse.

-She has brains. She put's the pieces together and has come so far in 6 months. When she's scared, often she spooks and stops herself like "oops my bad", she doesn't lose her wits for the rest of the ride (just me lol).

-She has stride. I may not sit her canter well, but its awesome at a two-point/ half-seat, and adjusts more and more as she learns.

-She's mine. I can play with her whenever I want, my son gets plenty of horse exposure, and even the hubby's learning to work with her. I see her eventually packing my son around, and that melts my heart at the thought.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jumping is fun!!!

I know most you you are like.... well duh of course its fun, but for me, since I started a couple of years ago, (?!) I have spent like 95% of my time feeling anxious, and maybe 5% feeling like I was enjoying it, often not realizing it was fun until after I "survived".

I'm a good girl I swear :)
Why the change? Not sure. Holly has calmed down a bunch. We've schooled her for 6 months and she's learned a lot. I also have been (finally) listening to a self-hypnosis cd my mom had bought me awhile back on jumping confidence.  http://www.laurakinghypnosis.com/shop/fearless-showing-jumping-equestrian-507/I'm pretty sarcastic to try things like this, but I was pretty desperate of late, so why not?It's overall plants the seed in your mind that, hey your a confident rider and can handle it. Its a louder voice to have while I ride saying positive things not the negative crap my own brain like to spew at me.

Now I don't necessarily think my riding insecurities are cured, or won't rear their nasty little heads when jumps get bigger, Holly gets spooky, or my hormones surge. But since this last week, while I still had a teenie bit of the oh boy what will lesson bring nerves, overall, I was EXCITED to jump. That's like huge for me.

Lesson today was windy and pretty cool so we all flatted inside and Holly was good. Nothing amazing, but wasn't spooking much at the crap blowing everywhere and when she did, I was calm, low and behold, no big deal, we moved on.

Next Gen kids + adorable visitor Raleigh
Then we went down to the outdoor and although I may have had a few skipped beats when she named out the jumps for L's first course... then paused and said it was only for L. I still don't necessarily feel ready to jump the weird walls, etc with Miss Chippy.

L and I alternated warm up over a vertical then doing little courses. I only did 3 jumps, but they included things like rainbows and walls, and were a little wider than I am used to... and that was a little... exciting, but I knew we could do it, and it was ok (see the weird thoughts I keep having?! Notice their positive tone?)

Holly was really for the first time I've noticed horse sour, and was a slug to leave her buddies at the rail, then when we came around to the rainbow jump, charged it with some serious zest to get back to her buddies. I had to really work at keeping my hands up and shoulders back. Even trainer commented to hubby I was handling even her little bits of naughtiness really well.

It just felt good. Hot damn, I'm still kinda smiley. And I know there will be the bad rides, but I'm going to enjoy this for as long as I can.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


  1. 1.
    the state or process of taking pleasure in something.
  2. 2.
    the action of possessing and benefiting from something.

Tuesday lesson was me and kiddos, L was sick :( Holly was a nutball in the roundpen, despite having had a trainer ride the day before. Eventually she finished hot lapping and we got to business.

Had to work to get and keep a frame, but overall, she was the good pony I knew was in there somewhere. Watched the kiddos jump while I worked on some shoulder in/ haunches in. Need to do lots more of that. Lots, lots more.

Then it was my turn to jump. Just worked two different jumps, first little crossrails, then a vertical, doing more and more canter work. I really need to learn to keep a steady pace, because as of now, she can't do it by herself.

Holly also is able to add the smallest chip in imaginable, which she gives some great examples of in the second video. At least I am much more relaxed and don't get so thrown off by it, I just need to learn to keep my leg on.

Overall I just felt calm and (shockingly) enjoyed myself. Holly is showing glimmers of just how amazeballs she will be with a little more time and patience.

Wednesday (today) was a short but interesting lesson. Trainer had a cowboy working her horse in the roundpen, so I lunged a fairly uninspired beast in the indoor arena on a dry day (shh don't tell the BO) and then went to join them in the roundpen.

Why hubby couldn't get many pics :)
Holly was quite sure I was confused and got a little nervous when I steered her into the roundpen. The roundpen is scary apparently. She overall was good, even with yappy dogs, men with weed-wackers, chickens, and another occasionally spooky horse trapped with her. A few times she was sure if trainers horse was upset, she needed to freak too, and amazingly I actually remembered to sit back and deep and just push her forward through it, instead of coming just as unwound.

She was completely unimpressed with trainers horse running about with a rope swinging over his head, which I am super proud of, because I'm pretty sure that was completely new to her. Then cowboy had me bring her over at trainers (laughing) request and we proceeded to rub her down with a coiled rope. She shied a bit, but stayed with it, good girl. Then I did a few laps just holding the rope, and moving it around a bit in her peripheral vision.

Gave princess a bath, and put her away, proud of how good she's being. Here's to hoping she will stay good through the summer. Hopefully by winter I'll be more ready for crazy winter mare.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Better weather, better mood

Nothing like being a week behind....

Silly pony,
 the latch is on the other side
Tuesday lesson ended up being really good, even though miss Holly was a little overly friendly with the boys, and I'm pretty sure she invited Ramone over to her side of the wash racks to make pretty babies while we untacked (he declined).

Don't know what clicked in that little brain of hers, but she's being better, and I'm happy. Worked on me trusting her enough to do a nice, loose rein, stretchy trot.

Cantered about dodging kids and again working on shortening and lengthening strides (and backing princess up when she thinks its my job to hold her head up for her).

Baby jumps but we had decent changes and rode through some really crappy distances. I have to get used to forward and she has to get used to adjusting not just adding the worlds smallest stride when she thinks its long.


Finished up and followed L down to the outdoor to park Holly while she jumped her dinosaur aka Ramone around bending lines and crazy gates. 

Wednesday was another indoor lesson. It ended up a flat lesson which was fine by me because I was sore and had a fat headache.

 Worked on her frame and my inability to post on the correct diagonal lately from the first stride. I have gotten the bad habit of just starting to post, then fixing the diagonal, instead of just being on the correct lead from the start. Sigh... so many little things to fix. 

Saturday lesson wasn't as crowded as usual. I was LATE (alarms only work when you turn them on). Rode with L and another gal on one of the calmest stallions I've ever seen. Luckily Holly didn't seem to notice she had such a stud muffin riding with her.

Lots of trotting while the other gals jumped... decent frame, she's getting so much easier to push up into the bridle, just need to work on keeping her there in the corners etc. Cantered (long stride on long side, short stride on short side).

Then it was my turn to jump. I kept getting left a bit behind, think I am in a bit of a chair seat, but tried to just relax and overall, it felt really good.

Holly was just there to do her job, no crazy fussing, spooking, and she definitely brought her super stride with her. I have to accept she feels better with more pace, and over at least 2'3", she has to pay attention and cleans herself up a bit.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Blah updates and Blog Hop: Our Commercial Moment

Ok so mother always said "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". That's kinda how I felt about my mare last week. Holly of last week was spooky, argumentative and just not fun to ride.  I was overwhelmed (read: hormonal) and thanks to spending a week with a sick kid, and some other big life change type things happening, was just a hot mess. I even had the 'how much could I fetch for this unsavory beast' conversation with my trainer. (Don't worry pretty pony isn't going anywhere, I just had to go there). Jumped baby jump on Tuesday with L and then just flatted on Weds with some seriously crazy antics while trying to lead change. Trainer was kind enough to realize I wasn't up to much more than that.

Sat trainer was sick, so I opted to go home from work and sleep then go ride. Ended up all by my lonesome (there were peeps somewhere lurking around the barn) and was smart enough to bring hubby and son so if I died, peeps would know.

 Holly was a nutball in the roundpen, like Hey have fun bucking and galloping, I'll just be standing here until you're ready to ride. She never got rid of her perked ears and Arab tail, but since it was pretty hard/muddy, I finally brought her out and decided to hoist up those big girl panties and get on. 

Got on and instantly remembered all my love/hates about my Pessoa. 
Good: Soft (enough) seat, easy to two-point, close contact feel
Bad: Really really bad sensation of falling onto neck at anything faster than a walk. Horrid leathers. Seat is small. Knees hang over blocks.

Holly was F-O-R-W-A-R-D so we did lots of serpentines and circling. She never really calmed, but she never spooked (SAY WHAT?!) and actually went into frame (or fairly close) without fussing as much as she can. 

(sorry just cell quality)


Onto more fun stuff:

Blog Hop: Our Commericial Moment

1. Leather conditioner. Probably some HS stuff, and something else I can grab now because I am running out. 

2. New gloves. I love crochet gloves, but mine are coming apart on multiple fingers, and I am finding when I resew them, I lose valuable space for my long fingers. Plus light color sounds nicer for summer...but then I should get another black pair for show.... Damn this addiction....

3.Leather halter. Spoiled ponies should dress accordingly. OK, so probably just another nylon one first as her current is getting all winter funky.

4. SADDLE- This will be my most expensive purchase second only to Holly herself. I may be getting one for what I paid for the first car I bought, which blows my mind.

5. Flysheet and/or light rainsheet. Depends on what I find on sale. Plus new fly mask. Hers be nasty.