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


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.
 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


 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


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


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!