Monday, October 31, 2011

Well Who Doesn't Like Eatting Rocks?

I had another lesson on Saturday, and again he was super good, but we probably could have been better considering we had already done the course on Thursday.

We also did the same warm up exercises which was trotting in from B or E and going through X and then changing direction at B or E, then eventually we had to walk 3-5 steps at X (we were trotting) and then we'd have to come to a complete stop and Rocky was really good!! He can actually stop and stand (mostly) square and he listens (mostly) to really light contact, which is good.

I think my leg is starting to get better, I usually get in trouble for not keeping my lower leg underneath me but it hasn't been so bad lately, so I'm happy about that.

For jumping: Rocky was really good again, sometimes we weren't coming in with enough canter which was why a couple jumps were really weird, and then around a couple of the tight turns I was leaning at him a bit rather than staying back and so he almost trotted. No bucking at all for being disunited today, he gets his front lead but not the back one. And he stood still at the mounting block! Yay!

Soon he's going to be to fuzzy and it's going to be to cold to ride him though and then I don't know what's going to happen. Since there's only 3.5 lesson horses (Rocky being the .5). Rocket, hahaha no. He's the one I rode when I was first learning to jump. Zander, can't. He's already being used in the same lesson I'm in. Kokanne isn't so bad, I rode him once before over the summer but I don't if he's a jumper or what level he would be. I miss Pony, despite her insanity. In fact I rather liked the insanity, Rocky is a tad bit crazy and I like him too.

Speaking of crazy. So Rocky and Rocket loooove cheerios, or anything in a plastic bag, because if it's in a plastic bag, it's food and its for them. After our lesson we brought them into the arena to let them roll or whatever they wanted and so we could move the jumps out for K. She'd put her zip lock bag of cheerios on the mounting block and one of the other girls but it underneath so the horses would be less likely to find it. Right when we were almost done Rocky found them! Flipped over the mounting block and since the bag wasn't completely closed, when he grabbed it and threw his head up, they spilt everywhere. He and Rocket were delighted, but the other horse had no idea what they were eating out of the dirt, so he just sniffed around and looked confused. Eventually they had them all cleaned up but they had a crap load of rubber crumb in their mouths. So they were making all these stupid faces trying to get it off their tongues and gums and one of the girls pointed out Shawn was looking at them like he was think "you guys are stupid". But then Rocky decided that little rock on the ground looks rather tasty, and tried to eat it. Several times. He would spit it out and pick it up again, crunch on it and spit it out. Maybe that has something to do with where he got his name?

Best Ever!!

Rocky was amazing yesterday!! It was probably the best ride I've ever had on him!

He was his usual peppy self when were just walking around the arena, anticipating having to actually do work. At the trot he was sooo good!! Usually he does his weird little short pony strides and he gets going really quick, and he definitely had his moments yesterday, it's most noticeable coming out of a circle that he (tries) to speed up. But it seemed easier to bring him back into a normal pace by just slowing the posting rhythm, when before it was that and using more hand contact to also try and pull him back. I don't remember doing that yesterday, but that doesn't mean I didn't I guess.

Picking up the canter was decent for the most part. He does sometimes do a rushy trot or just falls into the canter which was a bit of a problem yesterday but once he had the canter he was really good and it wasn't difficult to keep a fairly steady, forward pace. When other times he just wants to bolt forward or whatever.

He was super good over the jumps for the most part. He has a really round jump so it feels really weird sometimes and apparently he looks like a deer when it jumps a fence from how he takes off, but he was sooo good that I don't even care. He didn't buck that much and actually managed to stand relatively still at the mounting block.

I still have to do a lot of work on getting the following release correct because that really is what he prefers over having his head.
Lead changes are something else we need to work on, he can do them but he struggles a bit, probably because he's had so much time off and hasn't had to bother with them. But he used to start bucking when he got disunited, just little ones not big get-the-hell-off-me ones. I think he may have done a few little ones on Friday but still not like he did in the beginning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

An Sci- Animal Welfare Lecture: Sport Horses

-Tennessee Walking Horses---> soring/big lick
  -putting nails, tacks, glass etc in the padding to make the horse snap his foot up faster. Usually they don't last more than 3yrs in training because of this. (No market in Canada for these types of shows). USDA inspects these shows. 90% scratch rate when the inspector shows up.
Right this isn't the video she showed, I can't find it. And keep in mind it's put together by the HSUS. She mentioned the stuff about the nails, and they're found through xrays. This is what it looks like:
(and of course they aren't all trained that way but I'm just saying what she told us.)
-oh they also put acid in the padding.

Dressage --> Rolkur
this is the video she showed: 
So the girl lecturing is completely western which is perhaps why she thinks the Rollkur is not banned.  The rider is Patrik Kittle riding in the warm up ring of a competition in Denmark. She described it as "an accepted training method" which I'm pretty sure is bullshit considering the HUGE backlash this video caused and not just from people who don't know anything about horses. And the FEI has moved to ban it (but haven't yet?).

Rodeo Rough Stock: So the lecturer has spent a lot of time behind the shoot for bucking horses (and bulls) and says they like their job. They know exactly whats going on and if they don't feel like bucking, they won't.  However, this is different from the "wild horse saddle bit" I dont remember exactly what its called but basically the competitors have to catch an unbroken horse, trip it up and get it on the ground, saddle it, and ride it. Whoever stays on longest wins. Theres video on youtube.

"Natural Horsemanship": barefoot, tree less saddles, bit less bridles. Some horses are crippled for life because their owners want them to be barefoot. Natural is not always better. Solution must fit the individual. Bit less bridles don't work....(umm what the hell? Clearly you (lecturer) are stupid. They work very well if you know how to use one and it's something the horse responds too. What about Eric Lamaze and his mare that had a cut in her mouth so he used a bit less bridle at Spruce Meadows? Yeah he totally didn't win that because of not using a bit. OH wait! He DID win! Stupid woman.)

Use of drugs (sedatives/cocaine/hormones)
(who the hell is giving their horse cocaine?)

The horse in this video was give 5cc of a psychotropic drug (that is never supposed to be more than 2cc) and it gets or was given Valium shots several times a day. (I think there's sound and the chick says what happened but this is just what the presenter said happened) Fluphenazine is used as a calming drug. The presenter does western riding and apparently they give this to Quarter horses that get obscenely worked up when they see a cow?

An Sci- Animal Welfare Lecture

An Sci = Equine Science

Right, so today we had a guest lecuter who works for the provincal government training SPCA officers about Animal Welfare.  (Her words not mine. You'll be able to tell when it's mine =P)

Welfare Definition: UK Farm Animal Welfare Council: "The welfare of an animal includes it's physical and mental state and we consider that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of wellbeing."

-HSUS: "Humane Society of the United States" - has more lawyers than any other type of employee (Ie. scientists) (we don't have a group like this, so we learned about yours America)

(I'll have to stick the graphs in when I get my laptop back and can scan and post them, now your stuck with descriptions)
The Social Licence to Operate

Flexible                                                                                                                    Rigid
Responisve                                                                                                             Sureaucratic
Lower Cost                                                                                                             Higher Cost
=Social Licence                                                                                                      = Social Control
                                                           Tipping Point
                                                      single triggering event
                                                      cummulative impact
High Trust                                                                                                               Low Trust
Autonomy                                                                                                               Prohibtion

ie. What happened to BP after the rig blew up in the Gulf of Mexico

Animal Welfare =/= Animal Rights

The 5 Freedoms
1. Freedom from Hunger & Thirst
2.                  from discomfort
3.                  from Pain, Injury & Disease
4.                  from Fear & Distress
5.                  to preform Natural Behaviours

ALF (Animal Libertion Front)= terrorist organization in both Canada and USA. (It's basically a front for people to commit crimes in the name of saving animals...which is why they kill them? ELF is the same)

Four "I"'s of Animal Suffering
1.Ignorance: not knowing what to do
2.Inexperience: knowing what to do but not knowing how to do it
3.Incompetence: inabililty to do it
4.Incosideration: knowing what/how to do something and just not caring to do it

Wesland Hallmark (is that the name, not sure what she said exactly)= cattle slaughter in California. They didn't know it but hired and HSUS person who took a cell phone video of other staff using a fork lift to lift/push cattle around. Caused largest meat recall in the world.

Welfare is fluid and dynamic
What was acceptable yesterday may not be today
Quality is more expensive than quantity

"No one cares how much you know, until they see how much you care."

Under Canadas Criminal Code horses are legally considered livestock. Filed under cattle. If your horses stolen they will prositcute it as theft of cattle.

Dr. Terry Whiting 3 kinds of Equine:
Equus pecunia: an economic unit
Equus caballus: what we normally think of when we think of horses. Capable of suffering and pain.
Equus americanus: an icon that doesn't exist in the real world. ie) Spirit, Black Beauty, the Black Stallion

Alberta DOES raise horse for meat.
"horses and other equines play a vital role in the collective experince of the United States and deserves protection and compassion' and 'unlike cows, pigs, and many other animals horses and other equines are not raised for the purpose of being slaugtered for human consumption' House Bill H.R. 503
So it's okay to feed them to tigers and lions but not people?

(When I can scan the graphs i'll put up the bit about compare and contrast welfare) but appearntly horse feed lots are not like cattle feed lots (in alberta because the lecture has been to all of them and they are well looked after)

2 slaughter houses in Alberta.
About 140k horses per year (including those shipped from America)
White washed industry- "processing"=slaughter
Canadian domestic market, theres butchers in this city that sell it (mostly to European ethnic groups living here).
Needs CFIA approval to ship to the EU.
Also requires and Equine Identification Document

Unwanted Horses:
-Loss of disposal method (US)
-Economic Downturn
-Overbreeding (supply and demand)

What do you do with a 1200lb animal with no monetary value?
-auction? -->no/reduced market
-give away? -->flooded/lack of homes
-euthanize? --> finacial/emotional burden
-turn loose? --> no cost/emotional burden (weren't two guys just arrested in the US a couple months ago because this is considered abandoment which is illegal?)
-home made euthanaisa (most disturbing of them all)-->injecting battery acid, shooting (most people assume between the eyes, but that's only the nasal cavity. Only increases suffering)

Monday, October 24, 2011

What Have We Learned Today?

(not much about horses in this post)

So I had my first ever psych midterm today and learned some mind numbingly obvious things:
1. You should eat breakfast before and exam or your stomach will be growling the whole time
2. You should know everything inside and out to avoid stupid mistakes like forgetting which guy first started messing around with ablation (taking bits of brain out)
3. You can't study like you did in jr high/high school (i guess i should say I can't do that)

Yeah, that first test was a real treat, I bet you I bombed it. Fantastic. But it's "only" 25% of the mark, which is better than I thought. Final is 55% need to get a 90... This class isn't on a curve either because it's "too small" with 275 people in it.

Anyway, I have to come up with a better way to study, because I've pretty much forgotten how. As messed as that sounds. I haven't studied properly since like grade 6. I didn't need to jr.high it was soo easy! That my marks where high enough to get me out of every end of year final except for math. High school, it wasn't usually intensive studying. I made flash cards and mind maps for bio and some for social. Can't study for English and math was never my best so I did the reviews. But yeah, I've never really had to super intensive studying, best figure out how to do that....

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I got a new computer and the keyboard is insanly difficult to get used too!

But anyway, Rocky did manage to stand still today, but only because he was distracted by the plastic bag on standard because if there's a plastic bag it must have food and it must before him! So he got some cherrios and was delighted.

Less "pony trotting" today, I get weird cramps in my lower back at the trot, usually on the left side and I have no idea why, it's only started happening the past few months, sometime while I was riding Pony. I think it's either my postion or not useing enough core strength and it must be the second one because K would have said otherwise.
But about his pony trotting: he was sooo much better today, at least at the start, that's when his trot is the nicest but once you start going over polls and stuff he starts to get more energetice and more excited he wants to go faster. So then I end up holding more with my hands than I want to, I'm sure there must be something else that would work better. Slowing down the posting rhythm works a fair bit but not always or not quite enough. Circiling helps and slows him right down but once he gets going straight he just picks up the pace again. Not even subtily like some horses do, you can feel him bolt forward.

The jump course was good, I have a bad habit of leaning at him/asking him for the long, especially during the warmup, so today I tried to practice counting strides leading up to the jump and it seemed to work and I was able to not lean at him and we had some really good jumps! One rail down but we weren't sure why he hit it because it was a good jump and there wasn't really a reason for it to come down.

As for bucking; only one big one which was okay because I'd been using to much hand, which he hates. On other one that was for no reason so he got a bit of a smack because he can't just keep doing that when there isn't a reason. If he's pissed that I did something wrong, that is different.

He also prefers to have a following hand over the jump and have steady contact, which is way different than Pony who really wanted her head and would get pissy and not jump as well otherwise. So that will take some getting used to because I'm still getting used to his jumping style.

But I have news about Pony! She's down south (south of this part of the province not the boarder) on some kind of lease where the rider pays 1/3 of the value of the horse and then leases her out for the year. So I'm still sad she's gone, but I know K is happy that no one came out to test ride her at the barn because she likes to test her new riders and just goes nuts, because she wants to know that you can keep up with her or whatever it is she's looking for because K was worried someone would come and try to ride her and then Pony would go crazy and the rider would get hurt.

So hopefully making it out to the barn for a lease ride tomorrow morning, but we'll see cause I need to study like mad from these stupid exams next week.

Friday, October 21, 2011

What I Remember From Saturday

Riding first: So Saturday was decent, we have to work on getting a proper horse trot not the rushy short stride pony trot he often has.

For some reason he felt the need to jump the trot poles during the warm up too. So that was interesting, but after a few goes he realized they would not eat him and it was safe to step between them. Jumping for the most part was good, except he had one HUGE buck and the typical few smaller ones.
We thought that he was pissed about a turn or something, we were going over a jump in a circle and I turned him on the land rather than the air or something like that, and he was just not pleased.
I must have jinxed things saying he was finally standing at the mounting block because he's defiantly not been standing the last few times.

I missed my Thursday lesson this week too because my mid terms are at the start of next week and I really need the study time right now. But I work and ride tomorrow, which is nice, but at the same time not because I have to get up super early and by the time I get home I don't want to do anything but sleep...not good for studying.

Oh, and we had a really awesome guest lecturer in Equine Science so I'll put up some of that later.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


I got a new helmet! Yay! It's not actually the one I wanted, but I didn't have to pay for it, so no can already see dusty lint crap on it.... Oh well, it's better than my 9 year old plastic one at least. 
And you can see my green hair!  As well as my awesome painting in the background(the orange one with trees)! It's literally my favorite painting I've ever done.

Mostly since I've only done 3 I really like and because of Uni I haven't been able to do any others. Even sketching I barely have time for, the last one I did was a really terrible start to a Slender Man series. But all the drawings start as terrible and gradually become awesome. Not to brag....haha.

Working and have a lesson tomorrow! I missed my one on Thursday because my French partner wanted to meet up so we could practice for our oral exam next week but then he got sick and by the time I found out we weren't meeting up, it was to late to do anything about riding. =(

Saturday, October 8, 2011

No Bucking again! :)

I didn't get to ride on Thursday because I was really sick, but I got to ride and work today and for the most part it was really good.

He didn't buck today! His other big problem though is moving away from the mounting block and it's a big pain the ass but he was getting better the past couple weeks, but today not so much.
He was really peppy and really forward today which wasn't great heading into the bounce so the second rail came down a couple times, but once it was a bounce to a one stride he was a bit more backed off. He jumps super round and way higher than he needs to some everyonce in a while you get really popped out of the saddle you're basically standing in the stirrups and then the saddle hits you in the butt.
In the second part of course we had to try and get from the first jump to the second in as few strides as possible. N did it in 6 earlier in the week and her horse is huge! But he does have a bigger stride and takes of way far away from the jump.
Me and Rocky got 7 on our last try though, really had to be turing when we were in the air and looking around to the 2nd on the land. I'd lost my stirrup on the last try as well but we were doing so good I was like screw it and we did it and it was fine :). Not that it's some huge achievment, we used to jump with out stirrups, without reins, our eyes closesd...not at the same time, well the first two together sometimes but eyes closed was seperate. Loads of fun though. Haven't done it with Rocky but lots of time over the winter, so maybe...

I stopped by the English tack store yesterday just to see what they had in their sale room and pick up a lead rope. I had talked to K about what might be good things to stock up on since I do plan on having my own horse in the nearish future. She gave me a list but all I could find was a pair of open front jumping boots. All their brand new ones were white and like $45. Both unappealing factors. But they do have some used stuff and there was black pair for $8 in his size and I don't really care that they are super beat up because it's kind of hard to see and with a good cleaning they should look okay but either way they'll end up looking like they do now anyway.
I bought it today! I've heard it's supposed to be amazing so hopefully I can actually get to it sometime soon!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


So Amberlea was this past weekend.
It's a Bronze show and I think it's affiliated with the Canadian Equestrian Federation, so it's expensive and there's a lot of people who go with super fancy horses.

I went on Saturday to go watch, take pictures and help out my two friends who were competing, since Rocky is not in shape enough to compete and to pay the huge entire fees for only two 2'3" class was not at all worth it.

It was a lot of fun, but my one friend had the same rail down in 2'6" and 2'9" and was insanely upset about it. Understandable in a way because she lost out on ribbons but you can't win prize money until Sunday anyway so it was pointless to be upset about missing pay from work when there was no chance on Saturday anyway. I just thought she didn't take the knocked rails down very well, but that's just my thoughts.
I couldn't make Sunday because I had uni homework and had to go see Rocky.
Talking to both of them and reading K's blog it sounded like they did super well on Sunday and kicked the asses of several snotty circuit bitches.

The warm up ring was still a gong show. I hate warm up rings and they are the bain of my riding existence because people are just so snotty, rude and stupid. Especially the circuit bitches.

It was really disappointing not being able to ride in the show though, especially because I think me and Pony could have done amazing, and pretty much the whole time I had her I was looking forward to possibly going to Amberlea. But at the same time, I'm really happy that I was able to go watch and get the feel for how that show is run. So I think that will be some comfort for next year.

I've actually had a few chances to go to this show, in grade 11 I had the option to go with Diesel but the show was the same weekend as the uni open house so I decided not to go. Last year, I think it was sort of a possibility but not really. I spent 5 weeks of the summer in Australia and missed a lot of riding and shows so we weren't really prepared and so I think that was the reason I didn't go, but maybe it's not? I don't remember.

Fingers crossed me and Rocky can go next year...or me and who ever because as we've all seen this past year, who the hell is to say.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rocky Pictures!!

Is he not the cutest horse ever? I surprised him and his pasture mates since they were all hiding on the other side of the hill, and got at least 1 good photo of him with his head up!

Rocky is the far one. Dexter is the other bay without a blanket, Zander is the one in green the back and Rockys son Rocket is the one in the blue. They quite obviously look nothing alike. Rockets mum is also a bay morgan, but he's like 1/16th Appy or something.

And surprise is over, it's just a boring human, back to eatting.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What?! There's boys?! :O

So this weekend is the Amberlea Meadows show, and there was actually guys competition at the show! That never happens!! Ever! In 8 years of riding/showing, I have never been at a show (besides Spruce Meadows) where there's actually guys competing. It wasn't as exciting after we all realized that they were either super old or super ugly and all super dumb. *tear* but even if they had been hot and this still happened:
*in pompous, yet some what surprised tone* greasy zit man says
"I just realized I have to memorize 16 courses for this weekend"
...well that just ruined everything, since brains appeared to be lacking in this situation as well.

Since 1.) this is JUMPING you remember 1 course at a time (this time it was 2 b/c of the immediate jump off, but it was like 5 jumps so really just 1 super long course).
2.) you can forget it right after it's over

N over heard to and said she was pleased he could do basic math. Maybe we were being to mean? But we were all so excited to actually (possibly) meet guys that also ride English and showed! How exciting would that be, when you never meet guys like that? Well they were a bit of a let down. Although the one 65 year old guy had some stylin' flames zocks on.

But anyway. I MISS Pony sooooooo much!! God damn, why did she have to sell before Amberlea? I love Rocky, I do and they're actually quite similar but he's not a show pony who's shown at 3'3" over super wide oxers. She's the one I would want at Amberlea, we could have done so well, and there was loads of other ponies there too. There was no point in even considering taking Rocky, he's out of shape and we haven't been together long enough and there is zero point in paying $300 to ride in 2 classes (4 counting jump off) and have basically no chance of winning money back.

I have (somewhat) more interesting stories about the show, but now I think I'll go be miserable about not having Pony and missing out on Amberelea. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to have had the chance to go to and see what the show is like before having to compete but next to whim catering, I'm also very good at wallowing in my own misery and since I haven't done that for a while....

But tomorrow, show stories, possibly uni stuff from psych and equine science and Rocky, since I get to go see him and no one else will be at the barn!