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


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....

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


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...