Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well Hello Arena Floor

Ever the pleasant fun, my ass and hip got reacquainted with the sand and rubber crumb of the arena last night.
I was riding my friends horse P while she is on holidays. I rode him on Sunday not wanting to give him to much time off  before jumping. Good idea too.

He's insanely strong, you need an amazing core and arm strength to manage him. But we managed pretty well.  The jump course was a figure eight, so we went across the diagonal and around and back over the 2nd diagonal. For the first warm up we were jumping the first vertical and stopping before the second one. Me and P required the assistance of the wall for this, because he's so strong and doesn't like to listen.
Anyway, we then had to do the whole line, the first jump was fine, there was a <18" 'jump' and then one stride to a 2' vertical  and then 5 (or 4 for P) strides to another 2ft jump. P is big enough that we could trot into the 18" and 2' and then canter the rest of the line, which is when I fell of the first time over the 2nd jump (or third if you want to count the 18"). It felt like he could put in one last stride (and any normal horse would have) but he took off anyway and I had been bracing myself against him ( I forget how K described it) but I had to much weight on my butt and not enough in the stirrups. So I got thrown onto his neck, and I was trying to get him to walk or trot, but then fell of his neck. Not sure if I just slide off or flipped over his shoulder, either would have worked. Landed on my butt, quite gracefully in my opinion, and he stopped and looked at me like "what the hell are you doing?". Cute.
Got back on, then he did really well for the rest of the lesson, he listened (mostly) when I asked him to slow down and what not. Standing a bit in the stirrups (and grabbing mane!) really helped with his stupid longs and staying on over the jumps. Really pleased with him.
On what should have been our last go around the course, he got lazy over the last jump, knocked the rail, and started to do these weird little bucks and I hadn't got back into position in time and couldn't get his head up, so I fell off then too.
We redid the last line, and he did beautifully.
He's the kind of horse that really just wants to be amid at a jump and then left alone. Sadly that doesn't work so well for the rider. But I'd ride him again in a heart beat, it was fun. Even the falling. One of a couple things Tango taught me was how to fall, so not to bothered about it.
Talking to K after the lesson and she was saying he gets more obedient as the jumps get larger, which I've seen when N rides him, but unfortunately she didn't want to raise them to much since this was only the second time I'd jumped him.
There was a lady that had been watching the jumping, and when she brought her horse in after she said she "wouldn't ride that horse if someone paid her". Haha, he's fun though, and knowing N, she'll be pleased to hear about me falling off, she'll just be mad that I didn't bring the video camera so she could watch later.

So yeah that was fun.
Now I get a few days off to hang out at my mums friends farm for Spring Break. And when I come back, I'll have my first lesson with Pony on the Tuesday or Thursday.
Haha, went from Tommy 15.3hh to P >16.2hh to Pony 13.3hh. At least she looks like something I could get on without the mounting block.

Tommy went to his new home on Monday, they ended up buying YJ too. It should be good for them though I think. Especially Tommy and his clubbed feet, at least he'll stay sounder longer doing dressage than if he kept jumping.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sold

They bought him. On Friday. They pick him up tomorrow, I could have has one last ride with him today but he was perfect on Thursday, so I wanted to leave it there. He got all his lead changes and even though he had some crazy longs, I didn't get left behind, jump ahead or catch him in the mouth. He had such a lovely canter. Bloody perfect.
So I decided to leave it there. Plus if something happened to him, that would be terrible.
Instead I rode N's horse. She's on holiday and asked me to ride him. So I did.

Holy crap, I didn't realize how ginormous her horse is! Easily over 16hh, he's also really obnoxious in the barn and can not stand still at all. Her saddle is super uncomfortable! Probably just because my ass is so fat, but oh well. We did okay. He's really strong at the canter, but wasn't to bad to the right, but the left was much harder. Tuesday is our jumping lesson, should be interesting. Or painful

Poor Tom, I think he was confused about why I was putting the halter onJ P and not him. He didn't seemed to bothered except for a dirty look, that I think was from him being a bit offended I was getting him archenemy. P sticks his face right in the halter too, never had a horse that's done that before.

God I hate typing on ipads it's so annoying and I can't scroll down to fix all the spelling and grammar mistakes at the bottom of this post! =P

Next week I'll start working with Pony, who's on 13.3hh, she's sooo little!! Cute though. Still not sure what breed she is.

Did you take part in Earth Hour yesterday? Me and my sister did, we were out babysitting and the kids had gone to bed, but one came down to ask why the lights were out, she's only5 and I think she thought we had left or something.

Registration 101 on the 16th, bit nervous about it and quite terrified to go to uni next year. Should be fun, everyone I know at that uni loves it, so hoping it'll be the same for me.

I hope things work out with Pony, she's up for sale, maybe my parents will help me buy her. Or a different one. I know a couple people that got horses in uni and there marks actually went up,something to do with physical activity and having something else to focus on....

On an even more random note, I love iPad MASH! It's excellent. Where it's something possible like "you will graduate from the university of Alberta, marry Xavier, settle down in Copenhagen, and live in a house. Have four kids (2 boys and 2 girls) a horse named Taurus and be a pro equestrian"
Or something totally stupid "you'll graduate from Macquarie (a uni in Sydney) marry Patch (a character from my fave book), settle down in Paris live in a house, have 0 kids a collie named Turnip and spend your days as a Shark Wrangler"
Good stuff.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bye Tommy

 I should do homework, but I don't feel like it and really don't care at all right now about studying. Vocbulary is stupid and math isn't until Thursday. I went to the barn tonight to do my make up lease ride from Sunday. While I was brushing him up I was talking to N and she was going through all the stuff I had to do with her horse this week and how to avoide being bitten by him =P. He's really cute, but he's HUGE! Over 16hh easy, and he's really strong, she's assured me I probably won't be able to use my arms on Friday. Good thing there's no school then.
Then she left and I went to finish tacking up, K (the barn owner, trainer, Tommy's owner) came over and said she had some bad news. She'd posted an ad the other day and some people had come out to look at another horse that was for sale and wanted to try Tommy too. They loved him and wanted to take him home that day. Of course she said no. He still has to pass vet check but they really liked him. The good thing is he'll be doing lots of flat work/dressage instead of jumping, which is good. He's front feet are slightly clubbed, it's not really noticable, but he can't jump forever, so this should be good for him.

It just sucks ass because he's awesome! I love him!! I've never really had a horse sold out from under me like this. When I got back from holidays two years ago, Diesel was having back problems and nothing helped, so he was put in the pasture I started riding Tango again. I wasn't surprised that he was sold a while later. He's now a light trail horse and it sounds like he enjoys it. Tango and Rocket are both still at the barn.
I also understand why she's selling Tommy. He's not a very good lesson horse. I'm the only one that can ride him and the lease just isn't big enough for it to be a good financial option for K. She needs a larger lesson horse and one that more people can use. Not one that only one person can ride, because they have the experince with him to know what to do and sees him more than once a week. I totally get that. She said she's surprised at how quickly this happend too.

The only upside to this whole shitty situation is the opportunity I'll get if he sells. There's a mare at the barn who's there to be sold (could be a repeat of this situation later on). She's a jumper and since she isn't a lesson horse she can jump a lot higher than Tommy and her feet aren't clubbed. She seems kind of sweet, but she also thinks she's a taradactal. She doesn't sound at all like a horse, she sounds like a dinosaur. She's got lots of energy, she's really cute and an indoor horse, which is nice if she sweats a lot. And since she's there to be sold, I can keep paying what I payed for Tommy and get two lessons a week and four free rides. Probably can't use all the free rides, but that's great to have that opportunity.
Showing will be intresting too. The mare is a legit pony, she's TINY! Something I can get on with out a mounting block! That is a big first, and she looks like a bit of a challangeing ride watching another girl ride her. Convently enough, this other girl will be done riding at the end of the month. Just when I get back from holidays.

She's a bay with a white blaze and is about 14.2~ish hands, her name is "Little Miss" which I hate, so she'll either be Miss but mostly likely just Pony. Or Mare, that works too. We'll see.


                                             Tommy Spam- Last Spring/Summer
<-----He has 6 legs!












Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Since I haven't Got News About Tom...CAMELS!

They are so weird! If you ever get the change to ride one, you really should, it's so strange!
<------Ruby
The one's we rode were really sweet and they don't smell as bad as I thought they might. They walking moving both left legs or both right legs at the same time, so they feel very different from a horse. They also hate ants. When we were riding on a dirt road, you could see little lines of ants going across and the camels would stomp on them. Priceless. I hate ants as well so it was hilarious to me. Ruby was the camel I rode and has the same name as a hamster I had when I was eight.

Not a very attractive photo of me and Ruby isn't looking at the camera. The one in front of me is Dock and my sister is riding him.
Not sure what the name of my parents camel was.
You can kind of see a couple of the kangaroo's here, but the other pictures are better.
<-----Wild Red Kangaroos!
<-----More Kangaroos!

They race camels here too! Didn't actually see any races but there was lots of postcards with camels being raced.

Friday, March 11, 2011

I HATE Soccer Mums! [Rant]

I really fucking hate them. Especially the ones in this hell-hole town, there's a lot of money here (actually its probably all debt). But all the bitchy ass soccer mums drive the big gas guzzling SUVs that their workaholic husbands bought them, and they think they are the shit, they're so fucking rude. It would be priceless if they could all just get into one big huge crash....no one dies of course...just scares them off the road.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fatten Up Please!

Daaaammmn it!!

Fuck all, Tommy is still losing weight! And no one knows why! He doesn't have worms, he's not be excessively worked, the weather is warming up so he doesn't need to burn as many calories to stay warm....
The only thing I could think of, is he's still be "bullied" in his pen. And guess who is right? Me.
It would appear that two of the younger and stupider horses are picking on him. I don't get what it is with big, solid colored horses and what they have against small pintos. So yeah, Magnus and Tucker have been harassing him and I think the stress may be what is causing the weight loss or at least inhibiting the gaining of more.
Fucking Magnus is so stupid too. I get he's only like 5 or 6 and he's really social but he's so ridiculous at the same time, and not the cute ridiculous either.
I was trying to open the gate to lead Tommy in and he was just right in the way and then he was trying to bite Tommy and I was I trying to get him to get the hell out of the way. Eventually I got Tommy in and then when I was trying to leave and lock the gate, who was leaning right against it? Magnus. Trying to escape I bet.

So anyway, once some other girl takes her horse home, Tommy is going in the private pens by the house where he'll be alone and getting grain everyday.
He won't be alone alone, there's other horses in the next pen over, just not in his.

As for the actual ride he did pretty well. Turn-on-the-for hands were okay-ish but need work, he's much better on the hunches, especially turning to the left. We tried some shoulder-in work, but it didn't work very well, instead of staying on the rail we went on a big diagonal across the arena. Still, not bad for the first time we've tried it. Nice transitions down to a walk from the trot and to a halt, as well as back up. From the trot to canter was pretty good, the right seems to be his weaker side because that took more work. But going from a canter to trot both ways wasn't very successful. Not the nice smooth ones we had last week, really bumpy and quick. Though that was probably my fault, I think I was leaning forward instead of sitting down and back into the saddle.
Since it was finally warmer on Sunday we were able to do more canter transitions than usual. That was good, and once he gains more weight, we can do more off. I really hope the snow goes away soon and the sand dries so we can use the outdoor arena again. It's usually more fun, bigger jumps and larger courses!!

Maybe I'll get lucky and have another priceless wipe out again. Quite hilarious, though I don't think anyone else enjoyed it quite as much as I had.
It was last June or so and I was going to do a bit of bare back work with Tommy since the jumps were small. I'd jumped him bareback prior to this, but always inside. Anyway, I'd just thrown my leg over and as I was pulling myself into sitting position, he spooked and cantered off. Needless to say I was a bit surprised, but managed to stay on to try and get him come down to a walk. Then I noticed where he was heading. There was a jump right next to the wooden rail. It was decent sized jump for being bareback, but I didn't want to do it if it wasn't my idea. He was aimed at the gap between the rail and standard that wasn't there. So I bailed and fell on my ass/side, Tommy stopped and turned and looked at me as though he was wondering what the hell I was doing on the ground. He's face was priceless!
Anyway, after he'd calmed down we did some work and he actually did really well and no more spazzes for that day!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ick

Is what I'm sure Tommy was thinking last night, he's not a fan of the beet pulp in his post-jumping meal, usually it's all mixed in with the grain and pellets, but it wasn't last night, it was off to the side. So he ate all the pellets and stuff but left as much of the beet pulp as he could. Even just holding it in my hand to try and get him to take it, he wouldn't, basically had to push it right against his mouth before he would take it. It's to cold for him not to be eating everything especially when he isn't gaining weight. He was doing really well when it was warmed up a bit, but now the cold is back so he has to burn more calories to stay warm, even with his thick blanket on.

As for the lesson, it was to cold to get them sweating actually doing a lot of jumping, so we did a lot of flat work and they had a lot of walking/standing breaks. Even L's mare who is horribly out of shape right now didn't sweat very much. So we just did a line and practiced hauling in the middle and then cantering out. Mostly transition work this week, but he's doing so well at them!! It's great! However, he's still not doing as well at the upward transitions, epsecially from the trot to canter, and those are the ones that make him sweat and until it warms up, we won't be doing many of them.

I really wish I had my own horse. I love Tommy but I want my own horse. There would be so much more I could do! More shows, go trail riding in the winter or off the property, try new things like side saddle! I've forgotten about it for a while. At my old barn (RBR) there was a girl who ride side saddle and I always thought I wanted to try that, then I forgot about it and moved to HS to start jumping. Then I was creeping through blogs and several had to do with side saddle and I really want to try it! But, HS doesn't teach it, Tommy doesn't know what the hell it is and I don't know how to teach him, or even if I could I don't know that K would let me. Besides, a saddle like that has got to be expensive, especially in Alberta, there's doesn't seem like a big market for it. I haven't even seen one in a tack shop here.But I think it would be awesome if I got to try it. Unfortunately, that's probably one of those things I won't get to do until I have my own horse, which is unlikely to happen for at least four or five years depending on what happens after uni.
I don't know how people can stop riding for university, it seems impossible really. The only time I can't see being able to ride is possible if I get to study abroad. I'm hoping I can study more than once abroad, three times would be prefect. Then I can go to the University of Dundee in Scotland, London Metropolitan University in England and Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
I don't think Sydney is real option though, their calender is reversed from ours, so if I did get to study there it would have to for at least a year if not all four. It'll cost at least $17,000 Australian per year, and that's just tuition, not even living expenses...and a plane ticket. I want to go back so badly though! Fuck me, I should have been in the IB program (International Baccalaureate)! Where is the rewind button to my life?! IB is international, kids all over the world study it, it by far increase my chances of getting into Macquarie since there's few spots for international students as it is. At least in the UK I would be able to just go for a semester or something. But not for Australia, which really, really sucks! Sydney is soooo beautiful and I want to go back sooo badly! I don't know how my mum could have come back! I mean Canada's great and I love it of coarse, but it's...it's Sydney damn it! She had a job and friends and everything. Oh well, it would just be a brilliant excuse to go back.
I totally live in fear of having a life where I'm going to be stuck here forever and never have the chance to go to Europe or back to Australia or ride horses. I don't want to be one of those people that gets so caught up in there job and family that they don't get to do what they've wanted until it's to late.
But that's a whole other problem.