A Horse is a Horse

A Horse is a Horse

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Still slacking...still progressing...

Still slacking... so this is a week behind....

(video from last week because I'm lazy at editing these days).

Wednesday trainer was generous (ha) and we had a flat lesson in the indoor. It was unseasonably cool that morning and Holly was a bit... perky.

Lots of working on getting Holly straight, she tends to throw her butt out to the right and was quite fussy about being told to do otherwise, but being a good girl, she did her best.

Then we did lots and LOTS of lead changes. Ended up doing figure 8's across the arena (and around beginner lessoners eek). They weren't all very pretty, we tend to get each other tense about them.

Friday was a normal lesson. Weather was still pretty decent for July.

We went down to the outdoor and I opted not to lunge Holly first. Probably should have. She wasn't high, but lord she had an opinion and threw a couple little fits. Mostly things that were my fault, but still, no need to be so dramatic.

Also, apparently the rainbows are now horse eating and quite scary.

Sigh. I can't get too mad, she wiggles but goes over them. And I'm learning how best to support her over things which are spooky.

But hey, got her to tuck those knees over the little stuff

Then we did the line of 5 gymnastic. It's set on like 18ft so it has to be done slow on her. I have no idea how L does it on Ramone, he's so huge. Took a bunch of times, but finally got our rhythm set to where I didn't feel like we were rocketing out of the line, or going to slow to nothing half way through.

Ok, so maybe by next week I'll be caught up ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I'm still alive, just a slacker...

My laptop died. That's my lame excuse on why i'm so behind on blogging...

But look I give you pics!

 OK so I've been riding a little less, bit generally still getting my 2-3 rides a week. Mare's getting 5-6 which is most important.

 Overall its been gravy. Holly is pretty well locked in and now its nailing down the details, polishing the rough edges:

Sigh, I'm still so rough edged...

 -I still need to get her nose down and her on a better frame. Its work and as I get tired her nose pokes back out.

 -Lead changes have gotten better but some days Princess needs a bit of a spanking for some...over exuberant behavior. Hunter princesses need to be quiet.

Feisty mare's ready for the next jump
 - We both need to maintain pace. We cannot do lines and grids at a snails pace in and warp speed out. I am loving doing varying lines, learning when to keep hip closed etc on a one stride vs a three stride.

Middle of 3, gaining speeeeed, weee!

 - My eq needs lots of help still. Elbows need to find their way back to my sides (chicken lady) and I need to start giving Holly a little more release over jumps when she's not being a bulldozer (which is less and less). Also I find I am leaning too far forward now over the jump. Sigh, new saddle, new vice. Just have to remember to pull that booty back when closing the hips.

Into the line

Been worked extra, then got sick (left over potato salad= no bueno) So prob not a lot interesting for my next entry either...

Sunday, July 6, 2014

VCBH: Interested Parties

Viva Carlos' Magical Blog Hop: Interested Parties

 What made you interested in your current horse that lead you to buying them in the first place?

Holly (aka Homegrown Art) has some of the biggest, softest, doe eyes. They melted my heart and totally suckered me in.

I was kinda all over the place when I was horse shopping. I really wanted a pony (14.2hh) or maybe 15.3hh since my lease was that height and I was comfortable there.

I brought Trooper to the barn, and as much as I loved him, it just wasn't in the budget (ha!) and luckily some kids with my trainer bought him and I get to see he cute face whenever I want.

I had seen Holly's ad before, but trainer had poo-poo'd mares (said like the word itself smells bad) and had back burner-ed her. After Trooper, I started emailing the owner and got little tiny cell videos of her hurdling herself from like 20ft away over jumps and a 'western pleasure' video that left much to be desired.

She was waaay taller than I wanted, and downhill, with slightly paddling fronts.

I went to try her and trainer instantly thought she had potential. She didn't get trotting to a jump, wanted her head in between her knees, and overall was pretty green.
That said, I was already in love. Who couldn't love that face?!
It's been a little rocky at times, and I did have the big, can I just sell her moment. But after passing that and pushing myself farther than I ever thought I'd get (uh hello 2'6) I get to say that my trainer was dead on with her choice of Holly for me.

She has grown into an amazing horse who puts up with me for the low price of snuggles and carrots.

We have finally gotten comfortable with each other, and I know she will pack me over a jump from a weird distance, and she knows I won't let the weird flags and things eat her. 

Nov 2013
Jan 2014

July 2014
So the downhill, ex-western pleasure mare, has ended up being one of the WS favorites to school, and certainly my new favorite horse. I certainly never thought I'd gush on about her for such a long post lol.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Monkey on Her Back

So over the last month, I think something really clicked in my head, and suddenly, its like I just "get" jumping. Holly has settled into the great horse (thankfully showing the fruits of lots spending the time and money in training) and I suddenly realized, that once I'm at the jump, all I really need to do is relax and hang on. Head up, toes, up, thumbs up, and just sit there quiet. For some reason it became the image of a monkey riding on a horse, relaxed and enjoying the ride. I'm weird, but hey it works.
Yes mommy, I can add a step, see :P

Lots of little courses, with all the scarier stuff, the gate, the wall, lines, tight turns with lead changes, a lot of it at 2'3"- 2'6". It's awesome to feel so at ease over oxers and walls, let alone at 2'6". In fact, I kinda hate when there's little jumps thrown in, she makes me work harder over the little stuff.

Lets make that a long in...

Oxers ain't no big thang
 I'm certainly not going to win any eq classes yet (as evidenced by included photos), but I am learning to just flow with the long one, and stay relaxed when she adds the worlds tiniest, last minute step in front of a 2'3"+ fence. Then I ask for more. Weird.

Holly has done her part and (excluding today) has really leveled out her lead changes. Today they felt like she was rocket powered, but once I knew she was in that mood, I didn't freak out, just tried to get the next one better. (pics from this week still to be edited lol, soooo behind...)

 Wonder Twins didn't want to pose

...And since some people have already seen pictures on my Instagram... I pulled the trigger on a used CWD. It's a '10, SE02. So far I like it, it feels similar enough to my trainer's Butet to not be totally foreign, but has a lot more padding life in it. There will be some shimming/ pad changing I think to get it level on miss Downhill Princess, but so far, she doesn't seem to have any qualms about the change.

Any ideas on good shimmable half pads? It doesn't need much, just prob a tiny lift in the back. I just want something I can play with a bit. I keep thinking just using an Oligvy may allow the saddle to settle better, but... it could be I just really really want one.