Sunday, December 23, 2012

Java

First ride in four months and I had the choice between Gody and Java, so obviously going to pick Java! She's my friends 8yr old quarter horse/paint mare and she's always so much fun! She picks up on the personality of the rider and reacts to it, for me and K she's nice and relaxed but for L and the girl who leases her have much "stronger" personalities so she reacts to that as well.

She was really good today but we didn't do a whole lot since I haven't ridden in so long and it's cold and snowy so we didn't want to get her sweaty.

The exercise was to go over 6-8 trot poles in the two point and just let the horse do whatever they wanted and you just stayed still. It's meant to build trust, especially over jumps. You don't get in their way and they don't have to worry about it. For the jumping part she made the middle X rail and then we did that a few times, added on the second one behind it and eventually the third in front was a vertical. For the most part things went really well but at the same time it hard to really judge that since the jumps were so small and there was only three. But it was a lot of fun and I'm happy to finally be back at the barn!

She's not sure who I'll ride next Saturday since the girl leasing Java might be back by then. In which I'll probably be stuck with Gody and he takes so much work to get going haha. Hopefully I won't be  stiff tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Saturday Lesson

Heard back from K and there is an open spot for a jumping lesson this Saturday and next Saturday and then Thursday evenings starting in January, although she isn't sure who I'd ride in the Thursday lessons but that she would work something out! =D

Monday, December 17, 2012

Riding Again!


 Or so I hope.

I've contacted K about riding again and just doing a weekly lesson rather than leasing, at least for the winter term, so I just have to wait to hear back if she has room in the lesson times I can make and if she even has a horses. I'm hoping for Rocky, but since Kokanee usually stays inside in the winter, I wouldn't object to him either. No standing around trying to towel dry him after lessons! We'll see. I'm not sure what I'll do if she doesn't have room/a horse, I could go somewhere else for a few months I guess. There's a place actually like a 30min walk (yes, walk!) from the place I live at in the city during the uni terms but 1. it's more expensive 2. you can really only walk there when there's no snow since there's a very steep hill that's rather dangerous to walk down during the winter 3. it's kind of falling apart (or it looks like it from the outside) 4. I'd feel bad riding somewhere else but maybe there isn't going to be a choice 5. i don't know anyone there


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

To Show or Not

Hoping to be back at the barn by the middle of November if not sooner! Not leasing yet though, she has changed the prices for pretty much everything so we are just going to do the "pre pay for 5 lessons" (which costs as much as the lease did originally), then when April comes around and exams are finished, I'm hoping we'll be able to start leasing again until September or so. Since I'll probably still be at the liquor store I should be able to get a few days completely off so that I can ride, and with any luck show.

If I do get to show this summer depends on a few things, like the lease price, I can't remember what it is now, but it did increase significantly. So whether or not my dad still wants to help out paying for shows and for some of the lease since there's zero chance he'll pay for the whole thing with what it costs now. At least if I'm thinking of the right price.

It also is going to depend on the horse. Showing Kokanee is not an option. He's a sweet horse, with a great jump, but he looks lame!!  His back left hip muscles are really stiff so when you're trotting/warming up he kind of hobbles along until he loosens up, so it looks like you're going to try and   make your lame horse go around a 2'6" course. ...You'd probably be disqualified in some shows actually...
Rocky, I don't know if K even wants him to be shown since he's like 18. Which is another good reason not to show him! Light jumping lessons are fine, but a whole day at a show... if you did one class I suppose that would be okay, but even then, they have 3 divisions, which I suppose would be like a lesson if you had three go's around a course.

I'm not even sure if I want to show regardless of the horse. Maybe if it was Pony or even Spencer (without W messing him up of course) then it would something to consider, but clearly that is not the case. Most of the time I don't mind not doing a lot of showing but then you go to Amberlea or the River Valley Classic to watch/help out a friend who is competing, and it's like wow, I wish I could ride in this too damn it. But for both of those shows you kind of need a certain type of horse, which Kokanee isn't and Rocky isn't quite that anymore.
Rocky actually could do pretty well, despite being old and having bench knees and being a pony, because he will jump anything from nearly any angle and has these fantastic sharp turns....I do miss him!!

So I guess we're going to have to wait and see what happens over the winter, next term does look a bit better for riding time...sort of. Usually it's work that gets in the way, not school and I'm not sure how much she can move shifts around when you only work 3 days a week, there's not a lot of options. Plus, I don't really want to give up my already limited number of hours because travel isn't cheap and neither is university abroad...and possibly showing now to haha. We make surprisingly good money at the store, well over minimum wage, but when the max time you can work is roughly 22 hours, it kind is not enough money...because I also like to shop and buy way to many books!
On an excellent note though, I am down about 3lbs this week, so hopefully I shall be able to keep this up and see an improvement in my riding ability! Whenever I make it back out to the barn that is....

Monday, October 15, 2012

So the horror of Rocky also being sold was short lived, K decided that she really couldn't sell him, so he'll be staying at the barn!

She offered to let me ride him this past Sunday after I finished barns for her, but it took to long and I leave or I'd be late for opening the store... I spent to much time playing with the cats I guess =/. I had been hoping to ride this weekend but my parents are taking my sister and her German exchange student to the Rockies this weekend and they're taking the only vehicle I can drive, so no luck.

L has bought a new mare. She's a four year old throughbred who was left in a pen with a donkey to get fat after she failed gate training for the track. She's really sweet but a bit skittish. She also doesn't have a name yet, she's been dubbed New Beast until she gets a real name.
She also can't be ridden yet since she's had very little under saddle work, but she'll be 5 this spring so it sounds like thats when they will start really working with her. For now is lunging and ground manners and that sort of thing.

Rocky

Rocket (Rockys son, he's only 1/16 appy or something ridiculous like that)

 Spencer :) from when I went to say bye

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Selling Rocky?!

Ah the frustration! I haven't been to the barn since I went to say bye to Spencer, but have since heard from L that K is possibly getting Rocky in shape to sell him to some woman who was looking at him last year but then didn't have the money but does now. She's mentioned possibly selling him before because she's had him for so long. So that's just fantastic.....

And this weekend and next weekend I won't be able to ride because of midterms, gross. But I might have to try and work something else out as far as finding time to ride, depending on how my manager decides to schedule my Saturday shifts.

I've been thinking about possibly finding a new barn but I don't know. There's a couple that I quite like the sound of but they're a much longer drive and they don't have the same leasing program where you get to show the horse as well, so that kind of sucks. Even though I'm not as interested in showing as I was, the option would still be nice. I've been at this barn for almost 8 years and I don't think I'm going to be able to get to where I want at this barn, at least not with out my own horse, however the same is true for most barns I would imagine but at least with a new trainer there would be a new perspective and I could learn something new, or at least a new way of doing the same things. Haven't made any decisions yet though.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saying Good-Bye

Spencer left for his 'new' home (he's going back to the people who W bought him from) today.

I got to say good bye to him, which was nice because I haven't really had that same opportunity with other horses. I went to see him before opening the store, a nice cheerful start to the day (don't you wish there was a sarcastic font?). Well I didn't have to pull over on the way back to town this time, so that's something.

Talked to K before I left and she said she's got horses for me, she hasn't "sold them all away" so hopefully the week after next I'll be able to start riding somewhat regularly but between opening the store and studying I don't know how frequently I'll be able to ride, but it's better than waiting until December! This self imposed exile from the barn has not been going well at all, so it will be good to go back.

I'm guessing the horses she means are Rocky (yay), Gody (meh) and Kokanee. The good thing about Kokanee is he stays inside during the winter so no waiting around for his coat to dry completely! That's at least something, and maybe I can kick his ass into gear. However, I have no desire to show him because when he trots he looks lame until his back left hip muscles loosen up. Not a good look.

More release! And toes in!

I have a few pictures of Spencer, I'll have more when I figure out how to get them off my phone.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Last Rides with Spencer

So last week and the week before were my last to rides with Spencer sadly.

He will be going back to Amberlea soon.

Last weeks ride was really good, we warmed up outside which was nice since it will be one of the last times of the year we can! He was really well behaved and our jumping course actually went better than I thought it would, so at the very least it was a good end to our time together. Especially since the week before hadn't been so good!

I've been trying to find out if he's gone or not but I haven't had much luck with people replying so I have no idea and I'm quite happy not be going to watch Harvest this year because by that time he'll already be there and that would be quite sad to see I think.
I haven't heard anything from W since she said "this is best for everyone", which is fine because I don't have much to say to her.

I'm hoping to ride Rocky once there's time between school and work  (god I hate my job at the store since school started. I have terrible coworkers and stupid customers. I'm sure most of you know what that can be like :P). It just sucks that couldn't have continued working through last winter and then this might not even be such a problem.


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No More Spencer :(

Actually that is not completely true. There will be no more Spencer in a couple of weeks, his owner has sold him. Back to the lady she bought him from funnily enough. Actually its not very funny at all. Everyone else seems to think it is though.

His owner texted me yesterday afternoon to say that he will be leaving in a few weeks and that "this is best for everyone". Ummm, no, no it isn't. It is best for you. Then she goes on to say "don't give up on him yet." You gave up on him, not me woman....oh the things I would like to say to her. Sadly, I can't, so instead I say them to you. Lucky you.
But last Saturday may have been our last ride together unless his owner goes back to the lake this weekend, but it's pretty chilly so she might not. In which case, she will ride, and I will not. Well, I wont ride him anyway. And because E is still riding Gody until the end of the month at least, I will probably be riding Kokanee. Not fun. He jumps cute, and in the winter he lives inside which is great, but he can be such a pain. I have photos of me and Spencer, sadly the really good jumps we had did not result in equally excellent photos :( but I shall try and find time soon to post them.

University is back in and it is okay-ish. The one psych prof is hilariously fantastic. Swedish, she seems nice, but it involves oral presentations (i cant even do those in English, so you see the dilemma) as well as possibly attending their Xmas party and having to sing whilst wearing a crown of candles. And I can tell you right now, that will not be happening. However, it seems like such an excellent language that I still want to take it! But i did well enough in french that maybe i can go back into that if I decide this is all to terrible to cope with. B.c there is already far to much stress involved with uni to have also deal with presentations... We shall see.

I'm not sure about continuing to work at the barn during uni though, because doing that plus working Friday, Saturday and Sunday, at the liquor store might be to much and I get way more hours at the store, and I won't get to go abroad unless I make more money :( I do have some wonderful stories about the customers. Wonderful is a strong word.
I've also found projects and old notes from my equine science class last year, so maybe I'll post those and it will be something to have between posts about actually riding.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Leasing v. Lessons

After much debate, I've dropped my lease and will only be riding once a week during the university term. Last year it worked to ride several times a week but it just isn't going to this year. I might not even be able to keep my job at the stable, but we shall see. There is another girl looking to work off a few extra lessons, and the easiest way is to give her my job. That way I can open the store on Saturdays rather than close and have more time for school (or fun stuff...not that clean the barn isn't fun..). Then I'll just have to find a new day to ride during the week and make sure I have away to and from the barn back to the university.

Spencer has been really good these last few lessons, although his owner has started riding him again, so that is a bit of a problem for our progress. Although earlier this week she finally sucked it up and cantered him properly, no freak outs or ripping on his mouth! Sadly it is to little to late. Some people came out to try him last week (or possibly the week before, I don't remember) and they are coming back this Thursday. Although we aren't sure how keen they are because they were planning on looking at another horse out by Calgary.

Spencer and I have been working on good up and down transitions, not so much on canter transitions, but definitely on walking/trotting and halting. He's getting very good at listening right away and keeping energy and form during the transitions and halting squarely. Hopefully this will help him sell quickly. We've started to carry a dressage whip rather than a jumping bat, and he's really great with it. He's much more respectful of it and I don't know if its because he can see it better or what, but its much less work getting him to do what you ask. Unless it's lead changes, but he's so much better than he was at the start where he would immediately drop down to a jarring simple change; now he will keep cantering on the wrong lead and every once in a while we get a lead change or  at least a half one. Very much improved.

Our jumping has been quite good as well. The dressage whip is rather a pain to jump with, but it keeps me from turning my elbows weird by trying to keep it against my leg. We've only jumped 2'6"ish (some of the standards just have cups that slide up and down and only 2'9" is marked, so that's just a guess). He does well though. There have been jumps he hasn't seen before or in a while, such as the grey planks which have red swirls on one side, there's three planks on this for it stacked one on top of the other, as well as some bright blue standards and blue and white boxes. We've been having jumps with more filler lately, which makes things a bit more exciting; you never know which ones Spencer will decide he doesn't like!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Back to being a terrible blogger, my apologizes. I do have most of the posts written out else where (work can be very boring), now I just have to type them.

Spencer has been really good for me this past while, which is helped by his owner not riding him. Even K knows it and says it. Because W is always ripping on his face he gets backed off and nervous but when she isn't riding (ruining) him, he's fanatastic!

He's still up for sale and it sounds like his owner is hoping he does not sell quickly, but since she's going through with it, I'd rather he just go. To a good home of course, but it sucks. I do now have official permission from K to ride him for me and make him the horse I want him to be (which is also the horse that will sell faster). So that is very exciting, and I have indeed been doing so far.

He was great today and last week, and I do have photos to upload sooner or later too!

We were stuck inside today because of the rain. He did some of the best leg yeilding his ever done today and some of the best upward transitions. C has been riding him with a dressage whip on the flat and he's gone really well, so we decided to give it a go today, and again, he did really really well.

The ferrier was at the barn today, and while I was talking K's horse Dexter back to his friend, he chomped on my thumb! The jerk, just out of no where too.

Better and more frequent posts to come!

Monday, August 6, 2012

First Ride Back

Saturday was my first ride back since BC, and Spencer was great!

He'd had the whole week off because his owner isn't riding him for some reason. We all thought she would be super psyched to ride after getting back from her clinic, I guess not.

I was surprised he wasn't as lazy as I expected and he put in a lot of effort over the canter poles, which he usually doesn't like, so that was exciting!
K had her "hunter queen" out to work with and she's apparently got a very strong dressage back ground so that's what she was doing with him and she used a dressage whip rather than a crop and K said he was just wonderful. How much she used it I don't know, maybe it was just that she had that he was better.

We did a grid and it felt kind of like he'd forgotten how to jump. As each new jump was added he seemed very surprised to see it. He tired though, hard. No running out or stopping, which is hard in a grid, but not impossible for him! Our last time through was perfect and he seemed happy enough to be back at work.
We always trotted into the grid which sometimes feels like a problem because it feels like there's no rhythm and I find that a hard way to start a jump course, he isn't to keen on it either but he has been doing much better when he was and even is able to keep cantering over poles when previously he always dropped to a trot. Over the poles on Saturday he was even doing lead changes, they weren't what was supposed to happen, but the fact he's doing them is amazing.
When i first started riding him, if ever ended up on the wrong lead he immediately did a simple change, but it was really jarring and it took a long time to get him to keep going on the wrong lead but in the end we could do it and now he's trying for lead changes!! I've only ever got about two deliberately with him, so this is great!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sorry for being such a terrible blogger.

Last weekend was the big River Valley Classic and L was riding in the 3' hunters, so I went with her on Friday to help out.
It started off pretty good but her horse refused a jump mid course and then again on her last course. Her second round was good and she got 8th place but they only give ribbons to 6th. Her courses looked really good, but they didn't get the leads and her mare is a paint...and snotty hunters and hunter judges don't like paints. Nor do I really, but I just mean I wouldn't buy one, not that they some how don't belong in the ring. She was the only paint there too, not even another in the jumpers. There was some adorable ponies in the jumpers, I wanted to steal them and take them back to the barn with me!
I didn't get any photos of L and her mare since I got to use her fancy camera, but I do have some of the other riders and once I find my camera cord I can post them.
We were quite pleased there was guys there, sadly they turned out to be pretty big circuit bitches too. Nice horses though.

So many beautiful warmbloods, TB's and sport horses! It actually looked like kind of a fun show to ride in! Shame Spencer is out of shape, hasn't got a passport and I don't have four hundred bucks to through on a show like that!! He's probably been there before from what it sounds like.

We had a lesson last Thursday and he was amazing!! He had a great forward canter, got all his distances and his leads during the jumping. It was really the most fantastic ride :) shame it's probably the only one we'll have like that. His owner is back on the 27th, so she'll be back to ruin him. Even K said she thinks the reason he did so well was his owner hadn't been there to screw him up and rip on his mouth so I didn't have anything to fix. I texted her telling (or kind of bragging) about how great he was and she replied with something about how he must be feeling good and fit or something and I'm dying to reply NO! IT"S BECAUSE YOU AREN'T HERE TO RUIN HIM. As you can see I'm still refusing to see this from her point of view. Because its stupid. Even if she does sell him she's going to end up falling off another horse one day and then she's going to freak out and have to sell him too. I want her to realize he could do for her what he does for me if she stopped being such a coward.
The bad thing is I'm gone for a week after she gets back so I doubt I'll hear about where she's deciding to sell him or not until I get back and by then he could already be gone. But if she does text/call to say she's going to sell him and right away while I'm gone, that will just ruin the whole trip! Lets just hope she grew a pair and can get over what happened.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Show Day!

Spencer did fantastic at the show on Saturday!!

We hauled with another lady from the barn who was bringing her 17hh Clydesdale mare, who is so adorable! She has the nicest trailer with a ramp and big jockey doors to let in lots of light so Spencer was happy enough to walk in, although he did try to follow me out side door after he was loaded!

He was calm and well behaved the whole time at the show, which is fantastic because he's only the second horse I've had that hasn't gone crazy at a show. There was about 8-10 people in the division, so  there was some competition...even if one of the girls was about 5.
We got third in working hunter, first in handy hunter and third in the hunter stake! They even had proper hunter courses, which was nice and their footing wasn't as deep as it was last year but it was still not that great and he had to work much harder than he should have to get around such a small course.

We wont know for sure if he's being sold until his owner gets back in about two weeks, however she'll probably need a bit of time to decide after she gets back and if that takes more than about two days, I won't be here to find out and because his owner has never said anything to me about selling him, why would she if she decides to actually do it? I doubt K will say anything either since I find out pretty much everything from L, because even though she has nothing to do with me and Spencer she some how knows everything.

For example, K has this friend who is the queen of hunters and appearntly she is coming out work with Spencer while W is away. But she never bothered to tell me, so I have no idea when this woman is riding or anything. Great.

I'm so sick of having horses sold out from under me that last Thursday it fleetingly crossed my mind to just quit.
I don't know what will happen after he's sold, so we'll just have to wait and see for now. Not sure how fast he'll sell though, all that's on the market is fancy show horses or green horses right now.

Hopefully K will email the photos from the show soon because I can't figure out how to get mine from my blackberry on to the computer. Sadly it's bluetooth is not as simple as the old phones was.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Show

There's a (hopefully) small show this Saturday, so me and Spencer are riding in the hunter cross pole division (how incredibly exciting).
The nice thing is I really don't care at all about this show, so I'm not that nervous!! Which is always nice, but I mean it's cross poles, so who cares?! Hopefully it will be a laugh and a way to see what he's like at shows.
In the past this series of shows has been tiny, my barn was pretty much the only one there besides the host stable, which is not that big either!
The only bad thing is whoever designs their courses, are just a little bit mad. They have crazy turns and weird lines and stuff, but again at 18" even Spencer could handle it. Their footing is really, really deep however, so that will probably be a pain in the ass.
Now he just needs a show name... L likes "The Earl of Spencer" but I kind of like "Obvious Flair" although he really hasn't got much. But we'll see...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Selling Spencer

You did indeed read that correctly.

I've spent the last few days trying to think of how to polity write this, and have come to the conclusion there is one. (That's the heads up there will probably be a plethora of swearing)

The good stuff first I suppose:
Spencer has been pretty well behaved these past few days! He had an amazing triple combination on Thursday! Which really was the best part of the course but he didn't spook at the boxes, the blue pole (he doesn't like blue) or the tree jump!
Today we didn't have anything that felt as good as the triple combination, but he still did great considering how hot it is and how hard he was working. The course was slightly longer and higher but no rails down, no refusals! He's cantering is meh. He still doesn't want to pick it up when you first ask from the trot, but once he gets going he's fine and generally picks it up the first time you ask. We've been working on getting a bigger, smoother canter, which has helped his jumping loads (he's kind of like Pony that way).

The bad stuff is that he doesn't behave for his owner the way he does for me. This is entirely her fault. He doesn't pick up the canter very well for her and when he does "he goes so fast its like he's in the Kentucky derby". That is a legit quote and are you fucking kidding me?! He's a cob! He's not capable of going that fast!!!!!!! She thinks he's going too fast so she gets nervous and yanks her hands up towards her chest and rips on his mouth so of course he fucking stops! But then she gets all pissed, I mean come on, what the hell else is going to do?! She doesn't get yelled at like any of us would because she's already nervous and she's about 50. (That's probably another reason that he doesn't want to start cantering with either of us but once he figures out I'm not her, he's like oh, okay, you aren't going to rip my face off for doing what you ask). She also rides very stiffly because she's nervous, he hates to be ridden like that. My understanding is she hasn't jumped since the first time when she was super stiff and wouldn't give a release. She doesn't trust him, which is stupid because he's mostly very well behaved. She got bucked off once and now they (her and K) think that everything she does wrong stems from that, but GET OVER IT!!!! If you can't handle that, you don't belong in this sport and need to gtfo right now. Everyone falls off, you have to get back on and get over it. There's no point thinking about it and worrying about it, it doesn't help. So K thinks they are both frustrated with each other, probably, but I'm on his side. The only reason any of this is happening is she can't relax, just pop a vallium and get on with it. Or better yet, trust him and get on with it. I have no patients for this kind of thing, it drives me nuts. We couldn't even tell her about when I fell off and got that huge bruise b/c she would probably stop riding or something. K wants to video me and Spencer to show her what he can do and that he would be like that for her if she just relaxed. L is the only one who seems to share my view. Everyone else is like "oh she's just nervous and scared, it's probably good to get a different horse". She shouldn't have bought him at all, she had only been riding for a year and he's to advanced for her. She hasn't said anything to me about selling him, just to K, how apparently has a horse for her to look at. Great, now I'll be forced back to Kokanee. Lucky me.
Ugh, I'm so pissed about this. It's all her fault and if she quit being such a baby, none of this would be happening, but as it is, she's wrecking her own horse.
So I guess we have to wait and see.
I wonder if she feels bad when she gets update texts from me saying how great he was, when she has (causes) all these problems with him.
I feel kind of bad being so nasty, but at the same time it's all true at the same time....

It gets really, really frustrating having horse after horse sold out from under you. Rocket and Tango were my choice because I wanted to ride someone else. Diesel had such a long back that he started to get sour in the end, so he got retired and sold to do light trail (which he loves apparently), Tommy had slightly clubbed front hooves so he was sold to a dressage home so he could have a longer career, so even though he was sold out from under me it wasn't so terrible because then I got Pony and it was best for him to go somewhere else. Pony was incredibly frustrating because she was and is my all time favorite but her owner thought it would be cheaper to send her to Calgary (and now Manitoba apparently, yeah that sounds cheap...) and now Spencer. He's probably the most frustrating because there's no reason for this to happen if his owner would fucking relax.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Winners!

Me and Spencer won the obstacle course challenge today! Our time was 58:64seconds, only team to break the 1 minute mark! He was so good today!
Our first time through the jump course after that was great but the second time both of us were pretty tired so it didn't go as well. He got two lead changes during one of the excersies which was exciting because he's starting to figure them out, so hopefully there will be less automatic simple changes.
He was good about picking up the canter right away but not so good about doing his turn on the forehand. Rather than just doing it and getting it over with he does stupid things like back up. Still really happy with him.
There's a  show next Saturday but I have to close Friday and Saturday night so I'm not going to have enough time or energy to show as well. But both K and his owner and L are bitching at me to go. If it means so much to you show him yourself.
Granted she only jumped him for the first time last Monday and it didn't go well. She's to stiff and he doesn't like it when you ride like that so then he was backed off the the jumps at the start on Thursday. Hopefully she gets over that soon.

Also they caught the uni shooter trying to cross into the US without a passport, still driving truck but with the license plate he stole from his mum.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Uni Tragedy & Horses

Three people were shot and killed and a forth seriously injured at the university I go to early this morning. The first emergency alert when out around 3am.
One of the residences is located above the 'mall', basically a really long building with loads of stores and food shops, also where most of the bank specific atms are and there was two armored trucks there dropping off money or whatever and one of them shot and killed the others, so now there's a massive man hunt and last I heard the had warrants out and were searching his parents house. He's only like 22 or something. Luckily there's a hospital on campus so there wasn't a long ambulance trip for the survivor. They interviewed several of the people who live in the residence and they were understandably freaked out however, several of them complained about "the police being rude" when they told everyone to leave the building. Really? Are you fucking kidding? The police were 'rude' to you, you over sensitive baby. Three people were just killed and your upset because the cops were rude?! These are the same ones who are all like 'oh no, it's so unsafe here! I'm going to have to move residence halls"...ummm no?! This wasn't someone going after students, it was all about the robbery (according to the news) so it's hardly an unsafe. This kind of shit doesn't happen here..that often. This is like second time this has ever happened and the last time it was at a school in Quebec where the students were deliberately targeted. Hopefully they catch the ass hole quickly, the last update on the police website was about the mum asking her son to turn himself in.
Some great press for Canada, university shootings and cannibalistic psychopaths that mail body parts to schools and politicians.

Regardless, I'm still counting down the days until I get to quit my crap job and go back to class. It's all I've wanted since about a month after exams finished.
I really hope that the one guy pulls through.

Onto horses...
I've been really lazy about blogging because I've been busy with work which makes me sooooo tired and to lazy to type, which is kind of pathetic. But I have so many stories to share!
Spencer has been pretty good these last few weeks. Last week we discovered he really likes racing! We had two jumps up beside E and B in the middle of the ring and two pylons down by A and we started at C, cantered down over the jump around the pylon, back over the jump. Spencer won both times and it was probably the best he's ever jumped! Not that Gody (like Cody but with a G), it's terrible I know.
The I jumped Kokanee outside for the first time and it was incredibly frustrating. That's about all I remember. Did the same course later with Spencer and it was much better. Then this Thursday we did an obstical course that was a lot of fun and me and Spencer are currently in forth place with 1.11.64minutes. He jumped well but every once in a while he gets this really weird 'stabby' canter. He's some what better about picking up the canter, but not always. He was good yesterday, but bad on Sunday, so it just depends I guess. We'll see how he does tomorrow....and I'll share some of the more 'interesting' stories from work..oh the classy clientele of the liquor store...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

"Scary" jumps

For the most part Spencer was really good today, we warmed up outside had he was not very enthusiastic, which kind of makes sense b/c it was pretty hot out but he also hasn't been ridden since Monday so should have had some energy.
He's still being a retard when trying to pick up the canter, especially to the left, he was better to the right but not significantly. So guess what we're doing on Sunday?! Lots and lots of transitions!
We jumped inside and he did really well considering it his first time seeing the yellow trucks or a liverpool. He was good with the lattice but he's probably seen those in the hunters. He actually didn't really care about the trucks either, kind of looked at them but jumped anyway. The lattice he was backed off to but actually took of long, which surprised me because it felt like he was actually going to stop. The liverpool was a treat though! He did not trust that one! He ran out once, and then continued to jump it weirdly every time after. I can't really describe what he did, he would jump with his front end normally but then turn right in the air and quickly jump his bum across. He seemed a bit concerned that the jump would eat his back end or something.
So we'll see what happens on Saturday.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pictures

Spencer was really good this last week!
We were inside because of all the rain though.

We practiced grids this week. A one stride to a one stride along the wall and then a right turn to a diagonal. At first he wasn't to excited about the grid and would run out as the second and third jump were added, but once he figured out what was going on he got better.
Thursday the jumps were smaller so Saturday was a bit exciting, the jumps are usually bigger when riding with N and her horse. She's got a really pretty Hanoverian named Percy, wow is a fantastic jumper but is really headstrong. We don't jump as high as they do obviously but still higher than usual. Really happy with him.
 This is one of his many attempts to untie himself by stomping his foot around. It doesn't work well. He did figure it out once and rather than heading outside to the grass like any other horse, he turned around and stood in the door way of the tack room watching me put on my boots. He's a huge attention seeker, but it was actually pretty cute.
 Just trying to eat my phone.
 Rocky!
 That my coaches former dressage horse Dexter, there's something wrong with his back so he can't be ridden and even after all the tests and what not, they couldn't figure out whats wrong.
 And this is Wolfgang, he's new to the barn and is being leased by two other girls b/c his owner got one of her old horses back or something.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kokanee


 It was rainy and muddy out today but me and L went to the barn anyway, poor Kokanee doesn't have a rain sheet so we had to brush and tack up quickly and get him moving so he could warm up. We didn't do a whole lot because I didn't want him to get hot and sweaty and then have to go back outside. But he had a lot of energy! He cantered really well, didn't have to much trouble picking up the left lead, which was nice but since the saddle doesn't fit so great (his owner is supposed to be getting him a new one soon) I spent most of the time in a two point/standing a bit in the stirrups. It was kind of just a flop around ride which was nice. 
L was trying out a new bit with her mare and was saying that when she'd been talking to K who said that Java (L's mare) frames up really nicely when I ride her but she carriers her head higher and stuff like that when L rides, so she was trying to interrogate me about what it is that I do that gets Java to frame up so well. "TELL ME YOUR SECRET!" ...well I would have gladly told her my secret but I have no idea what it is! So she requested that the next time I ride Java I document EVERYTHING I do whilst riding her so that she can try and figure out what the secret is. 
Sadly we will be stuck jumping inside tomorrow and probably Saturday.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Falling Off (and lots of pictures)

I had a lesson with Spencer on Thursday and Saturday, but don't remember much about Thursday. It wasn't super good, he ran out a couple times. A few were understandable since he hadn't seen either the yellow/white plank or the tree jump.

The Saturday lesson was some what better though. It was combined with another ladies dressage lesson though, which was kind of pain in the ass.
He's starting to have problems picking up the canter, mostly because he doesn't want too. Not for any 'real' reason. He's owner is a beginner and she doesn't canter on her own and it was only last week that she cantered him for the first time in a lesson, so he likes this just trotting around business because it's less work. So now when I want him to do real work, he keeps trying to trot faster.



He was slightly better for jumping than on Thursday, once he finally started cantering and we were able to build up a bit of a gallop he did great! And then the yellow/white plank jump got raised up a bit, like two holes or something like that, and it was just the end of the world for him! Usually you can tell when he's about to run out but he was really dirty about it this time and at the very last second, dropped his head and swerved left. There was no staying on after that! This is the jump:


only it was a bit bigger and we were coming at it from the opposite direction. So I got the top of the standard right in the ribs and lower back/hips on the plank, scraped arm and smacked the back of my head on the ground. So that was a treat. It's the only fall I ever remember really, really hurting. Anyway, she dropped the plank down and we came back to it and made it over. Part of it was that we'd been galloping the rest of the course and he'd done so well, even over the tree jump
, so rather than sitting back to it and holding (the arena is also on a very slight downward slope which might have been a bit of a problem too) I'd stayed a bit out of the saddle as I'd done for the rest of the course. He probably still would have run out even if I had sat back but at least I might have been able to stay on!
 That's Roxy, who refused to look at the camera no matter what!
Kokanee! He actually came over to the fence but right when I was about to get a super cute picture Percy came over and chased him off.
Spencer! Finally got a picture off him!















 My wonderful bruise, pretty gross looking and it hurts like hell.



I rode my friends mare for her yesterday and she was sooo good. We did a few 'jumps' they were like a foot high so you can't really call them jumps, and she was great, but she still tucks her head behind the bit which is somewhat concerning when you are approaching a jump, even if it is only a foot high. Because her horse is super calm and pretty much bomb proof we wandered around the property to cool out. We can't use the back fields like we used to because the geldings can go back there since it connects to their pen when the gate is open. So we wandered around by the pond and behind the paths behind the mares pens. It was actually kind of fun even if it was also a really lame excuse for a trail ride.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Roxy

I rode Roxy in my Saturday lesson because Kokanee had some chiropractic work done and gets a few days off and a new saddle. Thank god, that other one was terrible and way more like a dressage saddle than a proper jumping one.

Roxy was okay, mostly great for jumping, but even after a year of being at this barn, being consistently ridden by people who know what they are doing and don't yank on her mouth or boot her in the side she is still as nervous and ridiculous as she was when she first came here. So our ground work and warm up was really frustrating because she would not trot normally, she'd try and canter with her back end and trot in front and she could not do any kind of circle to save her life. Poor thing. She's so nervous that things that would spook any other horse at the barn, she doesn't even see. My jacket was hanging off the standard of a jump and blowing around in the wind and she still jumped the jump without even looking at the jacket.
Once we started doing trot poles and small jumps she relaxed quite a lot but had a lot of trouble jumping over the warm up X going to the right. She did it once but then after that she seemed to think she couldn't do it so that was kind of a pain because no matter what we changed she would not do it and yet she was fine to do it from the left! So that was nuts.
In the end we gave up on that and started on the course which she did really well at. I was a bit surprised actually. She's got a really nice jump, but her style is pretty weird. She jumps with her front legs way out ahead like she's wonder woman or something. We did the course with out any refusals though so that was great, just one rail down when we got to close.

I didn't get to see Spencer yesterday which kind of sucks but now I can go tomorrow on my first day off in like 6 days! Also, I've already collected a plethora of stories from the liquor store, so maybe I'll share them later. But just as a POS, cover your PIN number when using credit/debit. I might not be looking at what you type but the guy behind you probably is. It's kind of ridiculous actually, practically no one bothers to cover their pin. I can see what your typing out of the corner of my eye, even if I'm looking at the computer screen. Just as a heads up. Some of them are just asking to be victims of ID theft...




Thursday, May 10, 2012

Outside!

Me and Spencer had our first ride outside tonight and he was soooo good! I was excepting some kind of Pony-esq freak out, but he was totally calm. A little looky at the jumps and boxes outside the ring, but other than that he was fine. He has a very different canter outside to which was kind of weird, he feels much slower, but maybe that's just because the ring is so big. His owner has been taking him out there and doing ground work but this was his first time being ridden out there. We definitely had our best course ever today! Really happy with him.
Not sure how much showing I'll get to do now that I'm working because I think the scheduled is pretty much fixed and doesn't change every week plus the chick I would have to ask for time off is a mega-bitch so I don't really want to ask her. But assuming the schedule is fixed, my life matches The Strokes song "Take for a Fool". It came on my ipod on the way home and he was like "Monday Tuesday is my weekend" and i was like "Ah me too!!". Oh insanity... So I'd be quite pleased to keep this schedule if only to continue to match this song. There's other songs I'd rather have my life match, but this is just hilariously fantastic. Or maybe this job has just totally pushed me off the edge.
Lets see if I have any good stories....ummm, a guy came in looking for a box for an injured Loon. I hope it's okay, I've seen it on the lake behind the store and it's sooo cute, poor thing. There was some guy taking a piss in the woods along the bike trail on my way home, that was gross but I also wish I could have wolf whistled at him or something and just scare the hell out of him. Mmmmmm....that might be it. The store is supposed to be much busier on Friday and Saturday nights, so maybe there will be some stories there. Kind of hoping not actually because they might not be funny stories (although the loon story isn't funny) and more likely stories of me screwing up. God I hope they pay with credit/debit. I hate doing cash drops. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Spencer, Java and Kokanee (I also got a "real" job)

Oops, been lazy about blogging.

Damn you blogger, deleting all my writing!

Lets try this again: I rode my friends horse on Friday because she wasn't feeling well but wanted Java to be ready in case she felt like going to the show on Sunday. Java was pretty good, she's such a lovely horse, she tries so hard for you. She was a lot more forward than usual and kept tucking her head behind the bit. She does that fairly often but I have no idea why, it's not like there was a lot of contact she was trying to move away from, it just seems like some random thing that every once in a while, she tucks her head and you have no contact with her mouth for a few seconds. They did go to the show and placed but I don't know where. But her owner seems to have decided over night that she no longer likes hunter/jumpers and wants to ride for 'fun' (I thought that was what she was already doing, apparently not). Now she's looking at doing low level eventers because she thinks there will be less circuit bitches (as if, they are everywhere. It just depends on your level) and her horses hocks are already fusing and she's only seven years old. Plus if she does go into eventing, she'll have to leave the barn because we don't do eventing here and K hates the "dressage" part of eventing because it's "not real dressage". Eventing looks like a lot of fun and I'd love to try it, but that's not an option right now and where as her show season is pretty much the same and she doesn't have much work to do with her horse (so she says anyway), I can't say I feel the same. I've had a different horse almost every show season and there's always something to be done with them, so there's something to be said for variety. She would disagree, but when you only ever ride one horse you don't get...well not as much experience, but there's less variety, I guess. Although sometimes I do wish I had my own horse as well....

Spencer...ummm rode him on Sunday and last Thursday. Don't remember much of anything. So he was probably pretty good then. Took forever to pick up the canter on Thursday and he struggled to keep it up. Once we got going over the jumps though he really because much more like himself and each round finished pretty well. I'm so out of shape though that I think it's really starting to interfere with my riding so I'm going to have to get back to the gym.

Kokanee was good on Saturday, very good actually. But I don't remember anything else. That's terrible. I'll try to stop being such a slacker.

I'm riding Spencer tomorrow night.

I got a 'real' job this week and today was my first day. It was okay...I guess. I'm working in a liquor store and it's not a fun job. It's either totally dead and there is NOTHING to do or it's busy-ish and the till freezes and the guys card is declined at the same time. It wasn't even my till, the other person on shift was in the back doing something and I'd already closed out my till and everything was in the safe, so I had to use this guys and the thing froze and then four other people showed up at the same time. WHY?! It was so slow all day, and they all show up the moment something goes wrong?! Nice. Anyway, I don't really like this job. I'm holding out for the other liquor store at the hotel to call me because the manager was soooooo nice when I stopped by to apply. I also wish that the purse/luggage shop had called even an hour before I got the call from the liquor store about getting a job. I applied at that place in like grade 10 and she called and offered me a part time job but I'd just been called by the liquor store saying they wanted me to start full time the next day. The other job was part time but I think it would have been a better job than this one. Full time is obviously way more money and gets me that much closer that much faster back to Australia (and to Europe). I would so much rather be working full time at the barn, I know what I'm supposed to do there but here I never know what I'm supposed to be doing when it seems like there's nothing to do. Plus I'm not used to being on my feet for 8 hours a day, so even with runners with arch support my feet hurt soooo bad. Plus I have nothing in common with anyone else that works there. The two girls are (youngish) mums with husbands and I have no interest in any of that and I don't much about the guy other than he takes very long smoke breaks. I work on Friday and Saturday night and it's supposed to be way busier, no surprise, so that freaks me out. Also I love people who use debit/credit. (unless their card is declined and the machine shuts down). They make everything so much easier. But yeah, we'll see. Maybe it will get better or maybe not and if not I'll have to suck it up or find something else. I feel like I should be pleased because this is the first job I got on my own, every other job I got because I knew someone, but I feel like if I can't even sell booze then I can't possibly be a psychologist even though neither one has anything in common.

Ohhh Travel, the things I do for you.... UWA/UNSW better be damn worth it.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Spencer was better today than he was last Thursday when it came to jumping but he was not so great on the flat.

He really didn't want to canter and it took forever to get him to pick it up, so that was pretty frustrating. He was okay for jumping, no run outs, but when we first started he was really not intersted but as we went through the course he picked up a bit and ended doing quite well. We're guessing that he's just really tired from being ridden four days in a row. Not that you can really call doing nothing but walking around the arena a ride (at least not one that would be tiring) but oh well.

I guess I will not be riding Rocky this summer which really sucks because I was really looking forward to working with him again, but since Spencers owner said I can show him and I'm still riding Kokanee "there's no point having you riding three horses" well I disagree. She now wants to find someone esle to ride Rocky, which sucks. I don't want to watch some one else riding him. It was different with Tango and Rocket because I didn't want to ride them anymore so I wasn't bothered about who else was riding them. Now it's different because he is the one I want to ride/show, but now that won't be happening and I won't be able to ride Spencer twice a week until July. The good thing about showing Rocky is that we could have done higher classes but with Spencer we're going to be stuck in the smaller ones again. He's previous owner was appearntly a pretty advanced rider and I'm pretty sure K and his owner actually found him at the Amberlea show, and they did say he's previously shown at quite a high level but then he got really out of shape and his owner is a beginner who doesn't jump, so it's going to take forever to get him back the height he was at with his other owner. Sweet this will be the 7th year in a row showing at like 2' - 2'3" (possibly 2'6"). Great F-ing progress.
I need my own horse.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Just Walking...

That was absolutely all me and Spencer did yesterday. He had a message on Monday so his owner didn't want him doing much.

I was supposed to meet up with a friend at the barn but she took forever and a half getting there, so he got an extra good brushing and a few crunchies just for something to do. Except he thought I had loads more and kept rubbing the inside of his upper lip all over my arm and shoulder, which was half cute, half kind of gross.  He stood still really well in the barn, which is great, he used to have some problems standing still especially when he was the only horse in the barn, but he was super good. Finally we couldn't wait any longer for her to show up so I took him into the arena and we wandered around, did lots of circles and serpentines and what not at the walk and by the time my friend showed up and got into the arena, we were pretty much done.
So I decided to try riding him bare back, his owner hasn't so I wasn't sure what he would be like, but after Diesel, he couldn't be that bad.... And he wasn't, again all we did was walk, things maybe different at the canter/trot. He was most displeased when I took him back to the mounting block and it took several tries before he would stand still, but eventually I was on and we just wandered around. He thought his saddle, which was sitting on the railing, deserved a lot of staring but he got moved away from it pretty quick so he wouldn't spook himself.
Overall he was really well behaved so I'd like to try it again with him later in the week and see how he is at the other gates. Diesel was really the only horse that was a lunatic when you rode bareback, even Pony was pretty good. It was actually really good for Tommy when trying to get him to move up into the canter without trotting. It always starts the same (my riding them at more than a walk when bareback), putting them on a relatively small circle and then doing a small bit of trotting (but not always, sometimes it's easier/more comfortable to just canter them) and then slowly letting the circle get bigger until we're going around the arena. Tommy was actually super good and we could even do small jumps, outside too! Which was pretty exciting because outside tends to be scarier. Only once did he have a freak out and that might have been because I accidentally kicked him when getting on or for some reason known only to him. He took of towards a jump which was perpendicular with the arena rail, and there was 3 options: stop, jump the arena or jump the jump. He choose to stop, and I feel on my ass. It was pretty funny in the end, and I'm just glad he didn't jump the arena!

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Mane Event Expo

So the Mane Event was this past weekend and it was okay-ish. I went with a friend who was riding in the Scott Hofstetter hunter clinics, which were a lot of fun to watch and the only reason she thinks he's a jerk is because he corrected her Richard Spooner jumping legs and that is something she always bitches about in other people. But he was actually pretty nice and I learned a lot even just watching.

Unfortunately the whole thing was inside so I didn't get any pictures of the jumping and then any chance of getting pictures of the horse, mules and donkeys outside was ruined because the friend I went with is a raving lunatic so I was either running around as her personal slave/groom which would have been find if she'd bothered to say thank you. It's not like it's my job to be her groom so a little gratitude would have been nice. And then we didn't get to watch any of the other clinics because she was either closely inspecting absolutely everything in the trade show or lacking organization and timing so that we didn't even get from the hotel to grounds in time to do anything but get her and her horse ready. Which was to bad because there was a clinic done by a German Olympic rider which would have been really cool to watch.

So parts were lots of fun and other parts were just terrible, and most of that was just personality, where she's loud, intense and high strung which is not like me, although maybe that's the only reason I didn't freak out at her. Oh well. Three days is just to much, it's fine to be her groom for like a day, but not a whole 3 days.

Watching really made me want to show this year though, for a while I've been thinking about only doing Ride for Red this year but I don't know now. A lot of that thought was that I don't have Pony, because she was just so good that we could have done well if the season hadn't been rained out but with the horses I have now (as wonderful as they are) it just doesn't feel the same. Although Spencer apparently did really well with his previous owner, now he's just out of shape, same with Rocky and Kokanee is rather gimpy.

I have to talk to K to see if I can start riding Rocky now that it's finally nice and hopefully since no one else is riding him I can get a few more rides with him and get him into shape since he's had all winter off. There's a show next weekend that the friend I went to the clinic is pushing me to go in with her except neither Spencer or Rocky is ready and I don't really want to show Kokanee, plus I haven't ridden him in week (it'll be two by the show).

Driving Reins

Or the "educational hand" as K calls it.
The lesson was to hold our reins like we were driving a cart horse, which felt really awkward at first but was actually kind of fun.
It wasn't the best ride with Spencer though, he stopped/ran out several times so in the end we only had 1 good round.
It sounds like we'll be doing the same thing again this week, so hopefully we can have a better ride.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Excellent!

I got to ride my friends mare for her today, her horse is sooooooo fantastic!!

I've ridden her a couple times before so this time I knew a bit more about what I should expect, so we worked really well together this time.
She's got such a nice jump! We did well over the course but she didn't want to pick up the left lead through the course but she would on the flat. Second time through she did pick up the lead, so we don't know why she wouldn't do it the first time, but she did so well even on the wrong lead that no one is to worried.

Thursday I ride Spencer, maybe I can get to really good rides in a week?

One of the girls in my lesson today was riding Kokanee, so it was kind of interesting to actually be able to see him and watch his style.

And on an irrelevant note, we are safe from the terrors of the WildRose party! No doubt to the strategic voting of left wingers who voted for the PC's who had the best chance of beating them. Plus Allison Redford (the PC leader) wasn't so bad prior to being elected, so hopefully she stays the same (or gets better). The PC leader before her stepped down and she took his spot, which is why she was in charge without being elected without us. Did you perhaps see the fail of the WildRose campaign bus? It got rather a lot of attention apparently....
Fail.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lead changes, House Hippos & other stuff

Spencer got a flying lead change last Thursday! Finally we seem to be getting somewhere, slowly though, but somewhere. Unfortunately he seemed pretty confused by it and did a simple change any way, but it still counts!
That's about all I remember from that lesson unfortunately.

Saturday I rode Kokanee, that was...weird. He's never been so fired up before, but it wasn't the good kind. He was fast with not much control and not much style over the jumps. We got everything done, but it was pretty messy and he had a lot of tantrums. wiping he's head around anytime I tried to collect him or get him to do a downward transition. He had his teeth done recently and he doesn't show any signs the saddle is bothering him or being sore any other way, so I'm not sure what is up with that. The other girl rode him last Monday and it's spring and nice out, so maybe he's just a bit crazy. Sadly he's ridiculousness meant we didn't get to jump higher than 2'3" but we might have otherwise because N is in my Saturday lesson now. But instead I was stuck down at sad, small heights with the other girl. It's sooo much fun being treated like a beginner despite having ridden for 7 years. I want Pony back...or even Rocky.

Sunday was just a free ride with Spencer, he gets so much sweatier after ground work than he does when jumping. We did a lot of trot work, trying to get him to collect and engage his back and strengthen his stomach muscles because he's got a bit of a pot belly. Lots of circles, some serpentines, leg yielding and walk/trot trot/walk transitions with a bit of a canter at the end. He was very well behaved despite being alone in the arena and the horses outside whinnying.
 It's finally nice enough that we should be riding outside this week! A friend has asked me to take her horse in a lesson tomorrow because she has (another) concussion and needs her horse ready for the clinics this weekend.

This weekend is the Mane Event and she's in a few of the clinics and asked if I would go with her for the weekend. Kind of excited because there's supposed to be a lot of really cool stuff to see (and buy) however, the friend I'm going with has a really, really intense personality, so 3 full days with her may be a bit...exhausting. Hopefully I'll at least get some good pictures to share.

What else is new and exciting?
I only have one exam left and my first year of uni will finally be over!! At last! Psych went well today, anthro was okay, art history was just terrible. I find it hard to care about that one because it is so incredibly irreverent to  a degree in psychology, but the Arts faculty likes it's students to be "well rounded".
There's also a provincial election today and I finally get to vote! To bad 4 out of 10 Albertan's support the WildRose which are waaaaaaay to the far right and they are just a disgusting group of people. The leader is nuts and her party members are full of hate and American style policies. No offense American readers, but they are just terrible (the WildRose, not you guys). If they win they will privatize health care (which is terrible and stupid and just causes even more problems than long ER wait times), legislate on "contentious moral issues", she says they wont legislate on anything the supreme court has passed decisions on (ie. gay marriage and abortion), but just wait they will. They'll also probably cut funding to universities because there's nothing like an uneducated population!! But that's who is voting for them. People who are to stupid to understand what that party is. I may have to move provinces if they win and depending on what they actually do, I have other friends that are already looking at other universities outside of the province depending on what her party does if they actually win. I kind of am to, but I really like the university I'm at and don't want to leave. We'll see. The only conclusion about the % willing to vote for them is that 4 out of 10 Albertans are retarded. Is that offensive? Sorry, but there's no other word really. But anyway, never mind that.
Look! House Hippos!
You will never convince me they aren't real. I don't care what the commercial says. It was on all the time when I was a kid.
Also some delightful(?) pictures a friend sent me!
 haha, can't stand Harper.
 Indeed, it's an unfortunate problem
 yes, yes it is. It also looks like the correct spelling of Fahrenheit is a confusing and impenetrable mystery for some people...
 Not sure they are a problem so long as the behave like nice, polite Canadians as well. I actually feel a bit bad that they have to do that. A friend was traveling in Australia and they meet a group of Americans who did that because the Australians would treat them better!
 Told you. They are real.
Biggest pain in the ass.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spencer

Spencers' owner came out to watch my lesson with him yesterday, and even though she's the nicest person ever, I was actually pretty nervous.
He did really well though so she was happy.
The excersie was kind of like a B shape, there was a 5 stride down one of the long sides and then a diagonal jump  between F and B, then through the pillions at X and then another diagonal between M and B and then through the little run way of poles at the C end.
He did really well, we had one run out at the white jump (between F and B), he almost did it but he looked at it a second to long and by the time I clucked at him it was to late. He stopped in front of it but tried to do this weird hopping motion into and knocked the rail down. Over all he did really well when I could get him going at an enthusiastic pace but for the most part he was pretty unenthusiastic about the whole jumping thing. So was the other girls horse in my lesson, they are pasture mates, so we thought they might have just been playing a bit to much in their pen since the ground is was finally dry. Not anymore though, it started raining last night and is supposed to for the rest of the day.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Better Already

I had my second jumping lesson with Spencer yesterday, and he was already better than last week!

We set up a low vertical in the middle of the ring to try and get him to do a flying change over it, but we only got one out of several tries. And it was even the ugliest jump that got the change.
He's great on the flat work usually, it makes him sweat more than jumping does, but he's so much smoother than Kokanee, which is a nice break. He's part cob, so he's got a really lovely trot but just an okay-ish canter.
We did the course twice and the first time through he did so well! They jumps were about 2'3", so rather small, but high enough for him.
He's got a really, really annoying automatic simple lead change so through most of the course, when we didn't get the lead, I tried to keep him going on the counter canter. For the most part he did keep going, but it took quite a lot of effort. Still, it's good though because keeping him cantering, he's got to think about the next jump and keeps his mind from thinking about breaking to a trot, this is what K tells me anyway.
The second time through was not as good because he was really tired. He's quite out of shape, so it was much harder to keep him cantering if we missed the correct lead and form over the jumps was lacking, but we did it.

As for my lease horse, I'm now almost 100% sure that I'm going to pick Rocky.

I'll try and get a picture of Spencer for you soon, but I said that about Kokanee too and that took several months. I promise to do better with picture taking this time...

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spencer (Thursday & Saturday)

Spencers' owner asked if I would ride him every once and a while for her, and he's a sweet horse and it would be a good experience, so I said yes.

I rode him once ages ago while she was in Africa and he was great, until we started jumping where he was really choppy and you couldn't tell when he was going to take off, but he has improved loads since then despite not doing a lot of jumping. He did run out twice (or maybe three times I don't remember) on Thursday, the jumps were quite small, but he got over it eventually. He's quite similar to Pony in a lot of ways with how you ride a jump course, so that's kind of fun. Kokanee likes to have his neck when jumping but Spencer would rather have the support and know you're there.
Today he was really good, no running out even at the sun spot on a jump, the only annoying part is that he has an "automatic simple lead change" and it suuuuucks! Rocket does the same thing but it's really smooth but Spencer it's really jarring and unpleasant. He was much smoother over the course once we got going but at first he was a bit backed off because he's not used to being ridden "aggressively" over a course (at least that's what K thinks) , eventually he got over it and did well. Occasionally he takes off really weirdly and you get your but thrown over the back of the saddle and look like this guy.

I also have to figure out who I want to ride/show this summer and right now I'm leaning more towards Rocky over Kokanee.

Also, a story about Pony! So, she was down in Calgary being leased to disabled girl who was jumping her (and everyone who knows Pony was like whaaaat the f?! Pony is crazy!), but apparently it was going but that's started to change. The girls fallen off to many times so now they are cancelling lease. Sadly she's not coming back to me, they think they've found someone else to lease her instead.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Saturday and Uni

The crap winter weather has returned so I missed my ride on Thursday because the high ways were so terrible.
But it cleared up by Saturday so I got some riding in at least.
Kokanee was really good for the most part, he picked up his left lead every time and we had at least 1 successful flying change, which is great. Jumping was not bad, but the jumps are tiny so it's really, really boring. They have been for a while, it's not just because we missed Thursday. Part of it is the two other girls I ride with can't jump that high but still, it would be nice if me and Kokanee at least got to do a bit more. It sometimes feels like we're moving backwards being in a group with them because we do such little jumps and he's come such a long way from October/November that I don't see the point of these tiny jumps when they don't push us to do anything. And this is why every year (except last year because Pony was awesome) I'm stuck showing between 2' and 2'6" (usually 2'3"). Yeah you can really tell that I've been riding/showing/jumping for 8 years. Soooo much progress you can hardly stand it right? It's funny, my one aunt always comments on pictures from horse shows saying things like "oh you're so good" or "that's so high!" and I always just want to say "are you f****** kidding me?". So as you can tell I'm rather bitter about this, but I don't want to/can't move barns right now, and I'm not even sure if I'm going to do any shows other that Ride For Red, if that. Might just go help out if I can, it kind of depend on how this whole find a job situation goes.

But yeah, Saturday, he did well, lots of work on counting strides and getting him deeper into the one corner he always likes to cut. He hasn't done any weird Diesel stopping since he got his teeth and sheath done a few weeks ago, and we've got a new sheep skin pad under his saddle because it doesn't fit quite right (and being a lease horse, getting a new saddle is not a top priority I guess. If I had money, I would attempt to find one) although it never seemed to bug him a whole lot (yet) but he does seem to move a bit better with it.

We get to sign up for uni classes for next year now, no interesting horse related ones this time, which isn't totally bad because the prof was terrible. Thus far I've got Sociology (Canadian Culture), Art History (Pre-Renissance (the Faculty of Arts feels we should be "well rounded" so I get stuck with a load of sickeningly irrelevant and boring classes)), Abnormal Psychology, (there is a Mexican band singing about apples and bananas in this building right now and it's really weird/annoying), Intro Swedish, and a random Women's Studies class.
Winter: Some English class I don't really care about (the Arts faculty being wonderful again), and then four psych class (Social, Lifespan Development, Perception and Principles of Behavior)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Oxers

We're back to having problems with the left lead, which is incredibly frustrating and my trainer is not a whole lot of help. She really is fantastic most of the time but all she says is "you need to feel when he picks up the wrong lead". WTF am I feeling for?! He's left lead feels terrible and when he's going left on the right lead, it still feels terrible!!

Once we got over that and started jumping he did really well though! Me and Kokanee haven't done oxers together before so that was exciting. The first time over was quite awkward and he really popped over it, but we did the course a couple more times and as he got more comfortable he really improved!

It sounds like he was good in the dressage clinic for J but apparently she likes him now, so she's riding him as well now. I don't like sharing horses. At all. It's great that he's getting all this extra work and I think it will really help him improve but I just hate sharing lease horses. I've had to share them before and during the winter it's fine but it complicates things during show season and K has hinted a couple times it will be Kokanee who I might end up showing not Rocky. I've only had to share Tommy during show season once and the other chick rode dressage so it wasn't a big deal. But both me and this other girl jump so that will cause problems. Possibly, I don't know if she shows, I've never even met her before.

And I really did try to get some pictures of Kokanee but my phone sucks in indoor lighting.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rocky Pictures



Back in November or October probably, only just figured out how to get them off my phone

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Kokanee & Roxy

I had a lesson with Kokanee on Thursday night, that weird bump on his eye looks quite a lot smaller than last week, so that's good. His owners are apparently not worried about it for some reason...

Sooo that's a bit weird..
He was really good for the jumping part of our lesson. We did another grid, this time with four jumps in a row (slowly building up to that of course). It was the first time he's ever done a four jump combination and he did really well, he kept trying to drift out to the right but once I started keeping my left rein open he stayed straighter.

We've had less problems picking up the left lead the past couple weeks, but he did struggle with it on Thursday.
No Saturday ride with him because some other girl is taking him in the dressage clinic, even though he's a terrible dressage horse and she doesn't even like him. Not sure how that pairing was made.

Today I rode Roxy instead and we did the same grid only it was like 2.5 jumps because the last vertical was turned into half a cross pole because she was just not getting what was going on.
She was fine when it was just a single jump and then when it was two but once the third one was up it was just to hard for her. She seemed to be focusing to much on the third before we even got to the second. 
She always tries hard though, so she's not trying to be naughty or anything. She did very well with the leg yielding and lengthening X pattern which is great, she short legs don't do much extending.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Saturday

Winter is finally here and all the horses at the barn are crazier than usual.

We did the same grid thing as last day only with out the single jump and going away from home today. Because we were going away from the outgate he wasn't quite as excited so it was a bit more work for him between the jumps. The highest one was about 2'6".
He's also getting better about picking up the left lead, only once he got the right instead.

That weird thing on his eye is still there but not any bigger than it was last day.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tumor...?

Kokanee has some weird bump on his right lower eyelid that K thinks is just a cut but that we have to keep an eye on it to make sure it's not a tumor. What do you know about eye tumors (or tumors in general) on horses? If it is the vet can just remove it right? ...right?!

Well we had a much better ride than before, the vet was out on Tuesday to do teeth and sheath cleaning and she said both of his were really bad which explains a lot of his weird habits that he's come up with and his random stopping and refusing to move.
He had a lot of energy yesterday (which could also be because he hasn't been ridden in a week). No courses this week, just a grid and a single. He did really well over the grid, even when it got higher, like 2'9"ish maybe. The first time over that height, he just didn't give it the respect it needed and it came down. Second time round, he got over it, he's come such a long way since October and has a really beautiful jump now. The single jump was the white vertical which he doesn't really like and he started to wiggly and I really thought he was about to duck out but got him over and it stayed up, so we had a really good jumping lesson this week. Not sure if I'm riding on Saturday, I think Shelley's coming back for a dressage clinic this weekend so might not be any jumping lessons and I can't afford to go to the clinic this time because I just bought a pair of Underarmour running tights (and they are the greatest thing ever!) but they were the same price as the clinic. Plus it's not like Kokanee is cut out to be a dressage horse anyway.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rides & Tattoos

Again, I’m sorry for being such a terrible blogger and I’ve now forgotten most of my rides from the last two weeks until this past Saturday. Previously we’d done a lot of work on opening reins over the jumps to help get the horse into the corner and pick up the correct lead (which is a problem for Kokanee). Same thing with circles, opening the inside rein, steady contact with the out and using more leg. Kokanee had been improving quite rapidly even though a couple Thursdays ago we had a really poor ride, we recovered that Saturday and he did very well.

This Saturday he had loads of pent up energy because the ground in their pens is so icy and he hasn’t been ridden since last weekend. He actually bucked! I know it sounds like it, but I don’t mean it to sound like a good thing. It’s just exciting, one of the things I don’t like about him that he can be a bit boring at times, especially after Rocky and Pony, who were both delightfully insane, he’s just a bit…blah. There’s just not a lot of…fight… in him. That’s really not the best word, but I can’t think of a better one. Anyway, we were cantering on the left lead and it just felt really odd, he was on the correct lead (surprise b/c he hates the left and sometimes it’s hard to tell if it’s the correct lead b/c of the scar tissue and what not on the left side, so he’s got a pretty rough warm up canter).  K said it looked like he was really under himself, rather than stretching out, then was we passed the home gate, he bucked. Despite that, he did really, really well when it came to the course! He’s improved so much, it’s fantastic. We’ve also been jumping “higher” than we have since I started riding him. Higher gets quotations marks b/c after doing 3’+ with Pony, they are a bit small. It’s to be expected with Kokanee though, he’s not nearly as athletic as Pony or even Rocky and we’re inside so the jumps are generally smaller (although that wasn’t always the case with the other two…).

I have two rides this week since I missed last Thursday b/c I got my tattoo on Wednesday! I thought it would be incredibly painful, but it really wasn’t and it certainly wasn’t a deterrent for any further tattoos, I have a few more that I’ve been dying to get, but they’re quite expensive. It means “consider the end” it’s my family’s Scottish clan motto.


I’m going on Weight Watchers and have signed up for a short 5K race this summer! Plus, if all goes well, I’ll get to go skydiving for my 19th! What else is new…? I saw the Woman in Black today, and it’s actually really scary, I jumped at everything and am expecting nightmares which rarely happen with most “scary” movies. 

Tuesdays ride was not bad, but it wasn't great,  we did one tiny little jump and the rest was dressage. It wasn't terrible but he's fighting a bit more and he bucked again. Only a small one, considering what Rocky can be like, but it really seems like it's just because he's so fresh from not being able to run outside in his icy pen.


Today's ride was better, "bigger" jumps and a few more than last day as well. He did well, he's actually picking up a his left lead on the straight now, which is fantastic! Overall his jumping was not bad either, he picked up the correct lead 90% of the time I remembered to open the correct rein on the land, except for the half circle/bending line down to the vertical where he always got disunited. I have to get you a picture of him soon, he's so adorable! We've also got a good show name for him (even though I'm supposed to be back with Rocky by then...) but it's going to be Kokanee Ranger, my friend wanted it to be KoKa Kocain b/c she's insane and that's the kind of thing she finds hilarious. But the ranger name is cute, even if the guy it's inspired by looks like pedo. 




Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saturday

Sorry for being such a terrible blogger, but uni's been really busy.
I had a lesson with Kokanne on Saturday and it wasn't terrible, but that's really only because we are taking it easy on them as things start to unthaw a bit.
We practiced circling and only had one tiny little cross pole. The point of the circling (besides something Shelley told us to work on) is to help the horses bend better around a course and for the riders to constantly be looking at where we are going next as well as maintain constant pressure on the inside rain.
Our biggest problem was me looking down and right in front of us, rather than up and around the whole circle. It sounds like this is similar to what we'll be doing all week, so I'll get lots of practice and not doing those things.
He was super good about picking up the correct canter lead going to the left because usually he hates and you have to fight with him for it. Sadly it's very difficult to tell with him, whether or not you have the correct lead because of the scar tissue in his hip and him being rather unbalanced/uncoordinated. That was something K mentioned when he got a bit rushy at the canter, is that I have to make sure to bring him back whenever he does that otherwise he'll stay unbalanced and uncoordinated forever. He's been getting better at jumping though. It's really not like the first time we jumped together and he had this horrible low head (only horrible because I was used to Rocky's very round jump and he keeps his head up). He's really improved lately and a couple people were quite surprised (yay ego boost b/c I'm the only one who rides him).
I wish I could do more lease rides though, if I could ride three times a week, he could be even better. But I suppose that's something his next rider can work on since I should (if all goes well) have Rocky back by spring.
Should get a picture of Kokanne for the blog, because he really is a super cute even if he's a gimp with weird gaits. He's coming around.

Spell-check is so ridiculous, it always tells me that Kokanne should be spelled "Cocaine", while they both might be addictive substance, Kokanne is a far better name.

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