Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fix Your Position

For the past two lessons K has filmed the jumping for some of us, which is great because I don't often get to see what I look like when I ride. I'm a bit disappointed by it to be honest, so I'm not going to post any of it. I must be pinching with my knees and not realizing it because my lower leg doesn't stay still over the jumps, it swings forward and back. K hasn't said anything about it, so I'm going to ask her if there's things I can do during lease rides to work on it.
You would surely think, after so many years jumping the same heights, I would have a decent leg?

The other thing we have to work on is getting him on the bridle at the trot, because he often gets inverted/carries his head like a giraffe, not quite as bad as Zander though. He gets it every once in a while but doesn't carry it for very long.

Our next lesson is scheduled for Saturday morning provided the weather and work don't ruin it.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Saturday Lesson

Wolfgang doesn't seem to be much of a morning horse, when you go to catch him out in the fields he will run away unless you bring cookies. Which I've done for the past few weeks but forgot this time, luckily he was expecting them and came over so I didn't have to wade through the snow after him. Even though he got a few as soon as we got in the barn he will probably remember that I forgot last time and run off again. It's so much nicer to go in the evening when he's inside already. He won't usually avoid being caught in the afternoons.

He was pretty good for the most part, he went on the bridle decently going to the right but we will definitely have to work on going to the left.
A lot of what we need to work on is over fences, such as me keeping my eyes up properly and not looking at the ground over his ears and really keeping my shoulders back because I seem to hunch them a bit when jumping.
The other thing I really, really need to work on is my back strength because I've not got very much (!!!) so that will mean a few planks and super mans everyday to get on top of that. It's easy to feel when jumping long courses, practicing holding the two point around the ring or doing things like up-up-down trotting.

Unfortunately, the roads are terrible tonight so I didn't get to go to the barn, we've got at least a foot of snow today. Hopefully I'll be able to make it out on Wednesday though.

K pointed out that Wolf tends to get a bit "luggy" when going on the flat so setting up trot and canter poles might be a good exercise for us to do on lease rides. As well as doing short hand gallops and bringing him back to a nice canter because that turned out to be really helpful doing the line on Saturday, it was a two-to-a-two with the middle jump being the largest one. We did pretty good, definitely better than last week when we were trotting into a grid that was made up out of a bounce, a one stride to a two stride. I think that exercise could have gone a lot better if we had been able to canter in because it just doesn't feel like there's enough power and momentum at the trot, but we did it decently a couple times.
Can I eat that?


Pet me!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I Swear I am Actually Back This Time [pictures!]

I have set my goal that I will post something with two days of a ride. Preferably sooner because otherwise I'll forget what I wanted to say.

I'm still riding Wolfgang and he continues to be perfect! Some more of his back story:
He used to be a chuck wagon race horse and when he was twelve his current owner (at least I think it was her) started jumping him.

So with him there is really no major thing that needs to be worked on, so I've been a bit lazy with our lease rides. Like we do more than just bum around but I haven't been actively trying to plan what we are going to do. We have done a couple no stirrup rides which have actually gone quite well, I try to do a bit every other lease ride, I don't want to hurt his back or anything and to much could probably do more harm than good to my position as well! When we've done no stirrup work in lessons K always said my leg looked great, so that is exciting! I guess with him most of our work would be to help my position over jumps as well as getting him on the bridle. He does it really well sometimes, he was great to the right at the trot on Saturday but not so much to the left. Transitions and things like turns on the forehand. Canter poles were also a suggestion from K but there hasn't really been anything in a lesson that she's really said "you need to work on that during a free ride". I should ask her...
Look at that face! He's so cute I can't stand it

Trying to eat the camera...

These are from our first trail ride in September or late August, he was actually really good but he started to get a bit prancy on the way home. He was better the second time when we were with two other people but he kept trying to kick out at J's horse Duncan if he was ever behind us. They're pasture mates and turns out Duncan is kind of an ass hole, so  that probably had something to do with it. But once Wolfie was in the back he was fine.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More Sad News

I have a nice post about Wolfgang complete with pictures, but I'll but that one up in a bit.
 The owners of the stable have decided to sell it as K is sick and it takes so long to sell barns here (the last one took 1.5 years) that they didn't want to leave it the last minute.  They're hoping to sell turnkey and hopefully no one will have to leave or anything. It sounds like they are selling their horses with the property, which includes Rocky, who is about 20 years old, with a slightly swayed back, bench knees and bucks when you use to much hand (so not a great lesson horse). I'm worried that a new owner may not want a pasture puff like him and want to sell, and can you tell me who would buy a horse like that? Probably no one good. So I'm trying to save a bit of money just in case a new owner does want to sell him because I dread the idea of him going somewhere he won't be loved because he really is such a wonderful horse and he deserves to have a good retirement and not end up on a kill  truck or who knows where.
So yeah, we'll see what happens.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm back...and have a new horse!

meet Wolfgang:
16.3hh, 16yrs old, TB

picture isnt so good but I have more to post soon! Going to see him tonight, so i'll try and get some them! But he's absolutly perfect and I love him to bits already

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Last weekend was the Canada Day long weekend, and on one of those nights, some absolutely horrible person made the decision to drive drunk and ended up killing one of the young women from the barn.
She was the kindest person I have ever met, she dedicated her life to helping others. She had an MA in psychology and she worked for the local sexual assault center helping survivors. Lessons with her were always fun, she had such a great sense of humor. She had her whole life ahead of her and so much to look forward to, but now it's just all gone.
It's so devastating and it doesn't even feel real. When I read what happened all I could think was "that can't be right, I just saw her not even that long ago walking Percy at the show!" it was right though. So because of some complete moron, a wonderful, incredible person has lost her life.
RIP, we all miss you.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Shawn & Flooding

I rode Shawn last Thursday and even though he was good, better than expected actually, it didn't really feel like anything special.
We were inside due to the recent ridiculous amounts of rain we've been getting here, something like 21 out 23 days in June have been rainy. He's feels so slow that I always find myself wondering if we're actually going to be able to make it over. We did though, every time.

Sunday I went to Maple Leaf to watch L take her greenie over the hunter X poles at her first jumping show. She did really well, and L didn't have any broken bones like she got in the dressage show earlier this year.

Tomorrow we're doing another Goldylocks lesson, about bodily awarness to know if we are behind, ahead or with the motion.
On a unrelated note, central Alberta has survived the awful flooding that has happened in the south (for now). Our river did rise and people living near it where warned of potential flooding. But the south has just been hammered.

Canmore is smallish mountain town a short ways out of Banff, with this small creek that runs through, my uncle owns a town house a short walk up the hill from it and due to this rain the creek has risen so high it's washed away parts of the banks and damaged houses all along its banks. Someone even said in their news interview that the damage won't be covered by the insurance companies, even though this is the type of the disaster that would fall under the "act of 'god' ", you would imagine.
This is what the creek normally looks like:

 And this is it last week, slight farther down stream:

This house is right along Cougar Creek, that's its deck hanging off of it, all the land around it has been washed way completely. 

 The Calgary Stamped grounds. They have said that "come hell or high water" the stamped will be  going ahead and the city is asking to borrow buses from other cities because the water has fucked up the LRT tracks and they will have to be completely redone.

Edmonton Journal: Timeline of Alberta Flooding
Calgary Floods Before & After photos
"9 Uplifting Moments from the Alberta Floods" (Naheed Nenshi is Calgary's mayor)
The floods in 20 photos
Bow River floods Siksika First Nation Communities
Calgary has a huge zoo that it's along the river, so they were really worried about flooding and their plan for the big cats low lying pens was to take them to the court house and use their holding cells to keep them in. Luckily, they didn't actually have to do that.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Goldielocks Jumping w/ Zander

I looooove Zander!! He was fantastic on Thursday when we were outside. I was expecting him to be pretty crazy because sometimes just riding in the outdoor ring can change everything, but he was great! He sort of reminds me of Pony when he gets going and not like Java who gets head strong and suddenly you don't have any breaks left. He is easier to trust than Java as well, for whatever reason I still can't figure out.

Our first jumping exercise was a "goldielocks" thing where we approached the jump to slow, then to fast and lastly "just right". Zander did really well, we didn't have any chips at either of the incorrect paces so even though they were slightly awkward, they were not terrible. The two warm up courses we did consisted of either left or right circles only. So the circle starts at A goes over 1, completes at A and then down around over 2,3 and down to C to start that last circle over 4.

Small jumps, but I got in trouble a few times for giving to much release over such tiny jumps. Ooops, same problem last time.

When we had to trot to swap leads though he rips his head up, he could knock your teeth out if you weren't sitting up properly, so that's not good. He's saddle must not be fitting properly because he's got one of those awful foam pads underneath it. They just make the saddle even tighter and fit worse, so maybe it pinches or something during the downward transition. But since he's owned by K I don't know what, if anything, I can do about it. we used on Diesel and look what happened with him. Although there's no way to know if that was from the foam pad or not.

Here are the two full courses we did, course one has eleven jumps in it, jump one is the one we practiced different canter speeds over. We started with the warm up circles to the right, then over the 3 strides (we had some problems with getting a good take off over the 2nd jump in it) and then do the circles over the left.

Kokanee news: he has made it home safely to BC and was reunited with Roxy.

I finally took a photo of the tall boots I bought from L, they're just an old model of the Ariat heritage line, sadly I'm going to have to get them stretched and possibly have the calves adjusted because I can't zip them up any more than just under half way. She says they must have shrunk a bit sitting in the cold garage all winter. They are fairly well broke in, so once they fit getting ankle blisters won't be a problem. I hate having such wide calves, it makes trying to find and fit tall boots the biggest pain in the ass.
Now I have to figure out what to do about leasing. It's only an extra $40 a month to get four extra rides, the only problem is work. Having two jobs = having to mangers who seem to go out of their way to screw up plans. ie. Oh, you can't work Thursday evenings because you're at the barn? Here, work the next 3 Thursday evenings in a row plus all the Saturday mornings just to make absolutely sure you can't see your horse! t('-'t) (can you see the little face? the t's are his arms and middle fingers). I'm not so sure if the extra money from the 2nd liquor store is actually worth it. I'll quit by the start of August i think. Maybe I'll be able to get in at least one small local show before fall.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Java and Zander

This last Thursday I had an outdoor (finally!) lesson with Java, and she was alright. She seems to be almost leaning on the bit, and I don't remember her doing that before and I'm not all that sure how to get her off of it. The "give and take" thing only goes so far with her and eventually your fingers are so sore from her pulling that it gets a bit difficult. So I'll have to figure something else out. I'd imagine it has a bit to do with one of her lease girls that L doesn't really like that much. This girl uses way to much have hand and not enough leg, so if Java's bracing against that for her, she'd probably do it for all of us. Its a shame L can't really say anything to her about it, she uses her arms to much because she doesn't have enough core or leg strength but how would you point that out to someone?
She was also fairly good for jumping, even got a right to left lead change, which is pretty exciting! We did struggle a bit to get the right lead though, she was hell bent on having her neck bent to the left, so it was really frustrating, but in the end we did get it. The point of the jump course was "to look where you're going" like turn your head in the air to look. There was only 3 jumps to start with and in the end we added a  forth, all verticals, which is nice. Cross rails get a bit boring since they're usually pretty low.
During the warm up each jump had a set of trot poles going perpendicular to them so that we had to get through those to force us to look where we were going and help but not cutting to close and then getting a bad distance. The hardest turn was to get from 3 to 4 so that horse would have a chance to get both eyes on the jump and actually have some depth perception. Java and I only missed it once but never got quite straight to the center and usually jumped at an angle, which as K said is fine, so long as you don't try and turn them in the air, just keep the straight diagonal.

I rode Zander last Saturday (indoors) and he was actually perfect. I don't think he could have done better, which was great since the last time we were together was in January and that was a disaster! Our only problem was a run out in front of the oxer (number 4) but that was my fault for getting a bad turn and chipping in to 3, not pushing forward enough through the four stride and leaning forward a bit a few strides out from 4. Other than that he was amazing. Unlike Java, who gets really head strong, Zander "get's his engine under him" as K says and just goes for it! Despite riding Java a lot more often than him, I've been a bit wary of her and I'm not sure why, but he was much easier to just trust and believe he could and would do it. (i have very little reason to think differently with Java, but there's just been something different since I got back that has made jumping with her a bit less comfortable than it used to be. So that's weird.) He's almost a bit like Pony when he really gets going that makes him a lot of fun.  I was hoping to have ridden him on Thursday but one of the girls who was supposed to be there was going to ride either him or Gody, so I had Java. And work usually prevents me from riding on Saturday mornings, so I'll probably be riding Java until July when the schedule changes and we can riding during the day during the week.
This is Zander's course, it was a make your course lesson. Number 5 was actually a white fan jump, which Zander didn't even blink at, which was excellent! Java doesn't like white poles, so that wouldn't have been so good with her.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Back to the barn...maybe?

I emailed K tonight to ask about any open lesson times for this Thursday, fingers crossed there is. According to her blog there's a lot of no stirrup work this week, and I am so out of shape, that's going to suck ass. But the worst academic year of my life is over, so now I have lots of time tonged back in shape! Hoping not to ride Kokanee. But we'll see. Based on what happened last time, I'm going to give it another shot and go from there. I'm trying to find some pictures of one of the first horses i took lessons on at RBR, Stinger, since I have news about him.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

400 books

Unfortunately things have been very busy lately, so I've not been out to the barn. I bet you're very surprised to hear that! Or not since I haven't been there for ages and almost every post has been about why I haven't been the barn.

It's now the end of classes for this semester, finally!! As this has been the year from hell. I've got three exams left and a term paper. One class that I already wrote a final in, has the option of doing a paper as well and if you do it they will swap the paper mark for the lowest midterm mark (but if you do even worse on the paper, you still get the paper mark). I was going to do it, but now I'm not, because I just do not care anymore. So the end of term means moving again. I used to think moving was fun, and the first time it was. But now it is tedious and boring and I hate it. If it was somewhere cool, like Europe or Australia then it would be excellent again. I've brought a few things home already, four boxes of books (none of which are textbooks, just books for fun). They get to come home first because they are the most important. I counted all the books I own and it's over 400, I would have never guessed that. Combined with moving and studying is work. Which I loath. I'm almost considering quitting, but I also really, really hate job hunting and training. But the manager is out sick for at least another week, so I can't talk to her about hours, I need at least 20+ per week in order to actually stay. Sadly, we have to many people and small number of total hours per store, so she might not be able to do that. I could have counted on the old manger to give me all the hours I wanted, because she played favorites and because I was the only non-dumbass employee, I was the favorite! This one, doesn't do that sadly, plus pretty much everyone working in the store now, is not a dumbass.

As far as switching barns, not to much luck with that. The barn I found ages ago and really liked, ZR, is listed on all the show jumping barn directories, but their website is down and it's been down for a long time, so I don't know if that means the directories haven't changed but that they've gone out of business or what. Anyways, I hope to be able to ride again in May. For now I've just been going to the gym to try and get in a bit of shape before going back, plus once the snow is gone I get to go cycling again and I get a new bike this spring, so I'm excited for that.

Oh, and because the manager is out sick, gets who has to work on the Mane Event weekend? Me. Even though theres other people to do it, but now the schedule is up, so no one will trade. I will get some revenge, petty as it maybe. They always call me when they are sick and need some one to cover, but I won't. At least the next time they ask anyways. So I don't get to go see the George Morris clinic or any of the really cool dressage ones I wanted to watch as well. :(

Sunday, March 31, 2013


^^^^^^^^^^ is why I didn't get to ride last week. We got over a foot of snow in less than 24hrs last Thursday, and I had no wish to travel on the highways. But now we have spring weather!! And the geese are back, hooray. I didn't ride the couple weeks before I think because of midterms? Yesssss, I think that was one of the weeks and then the other week was because I had a paper due the next day on Karl Marx's commodity fetishism theory, yaaaay for sociology! Actually, I like that class, out the 5 I have this term, it is one of 2 that I like (and attend). Then I was going to ride this Thursday, but I've been having a whole bunch of problems with the university, and that day was especially bad for it so I didn't feel like getting screamed at in a lesson. I miss leasing because there was at least one ride a week that was quiet and you could do whatever you wanted, and that would have been perfect for that day. I'm not sure if I'm going to lease this summer or not anymore. I really wanted to because I wanted to show, but it seems that was all just a pipe dream. As for looking for a new barn, if I'm actually going to do that, it won't be until this summer after exams are finished at the end of April. I didn't get out to watch the clinic either this weekend, which I'm disappointed about, I really wanted to go watch a bit of it. Friday I had to work (time and a half for working a stat holiday! Customers always bitch that we have to work on those days, even though they apparently need to buy our stuff...but they're my favorite days to work, I get paid so much more!) then Saturday, my parents were getting back from their trip so I had to spend the whole day cleaning the house.
I don't know if I'm going to ride next Thursday or not, I sort of want to, but also not. The last time was just sooo terrible, and the few before were not spectacular either. :(

Friday, March 1, 2013

Moving Barns & Clinics

[here's your warning for some explicit language]

I had another ride with Kokanee today, that was not good. But based on how the rest of the day was going, that wasn't exactly a surprise.

Me and him are just not a good match anymore, we were ages ago after Rocky, we did well enough together then, but not anymore.

We yet again did not have a proper course, we had an exercise thing that involved lead changes over ground poles. We actually had very little trouble picking up the left lead in the corners today, so that was nice. However, we never really got a good rhythm going between us, so all the jumping felt off, it WAS off. Not in sync, bad distances, etc. We had very little success doing the warm up exercises over the poles to do the lead changes. The only one that he got was the left to right and he got it BEFORE the pole so that didn't count and of course K wasn't that pleased about it. Well at least he fricken got one, that's more than I expected. He was really good doing the leg yields though! K said she thought that maybe he was tired from the lesson he was in yesterday because he'd been getting more lead changes then. Maybe. She does that a lot, makes excuses for them. Saying he's tried from working the other day, is fine and totally acceptable, but more often than not I hear things like "oh that was really good! It probably helps that he's done it 8000 other times this week" Gee, thanks! That makes me feel really fucking great about my abilities! Then we go on to do the full gymnastic with jumps and poles. Two and five on the picture are the poles. As I was going around the arena corner to wards 6 and 5, we were supposed to go to 5 but then K said "yellow", and I was like what? we'd already got the correct lead (the wrong lead, but it was correct in that it was what we were supposed to change to over the pole) and for some reason I thought she meant for me to go over the yellow jump, so we did. JUST KIDDING! THAT'S NOT WHAT SHE WANTED! I was so pissed, because I knew the course! So she was being very condescending and I wanted to shout that I knew the course but she said "yellow" which made it sound like that's where she wanted me to go! Don't talk about the course when I'm doing it, or at least wait until I'm not going right passed you and won't hear, thus resulting in fucking up the course and being made to feel like an idiot. So that was fun, feeling thoroughly stupid, I went to move Kokanee off the wall so the next girl could go, at the same time he went to stretch his neck, so of course it looked like I was ripping on his face for stretching his neck, I WASN'T TRYING TO DO THAT, so then I got yelled at for that too. Love it. Fantastic. A really, really great ride.
This happens a lot, getting yelled at or being made to feel stupid. I don't think she actually wants you to feel that way, because she's actually really nice, and I know there's a lot of crazy-ass, genuinely mean coaches out there. But it still happens a lot, even before I took that break from riding last term.

The other thing is, I really just don't feel like I'm learning anything from her anymore. It has been just over 8 years at this same barn and I've talked about the plateau before, but after today, I think we've reached a bit of a tipping point. Unless another W/Pony situation happens along then there's no way to go forward, we are stuck. Stuck on lesson horses that sometimes have potential to go far and jump high, except being lesson horses, they need longevity and K doesn't want them going above like 2'6" I think it is. With higher heights or a horse like Pony or Spencer, where there's lots of insanity or things to work on, it's different because there's lots of opportunities to learn and grow, but we're done now. It's basically flat lined so, I'm thinking, fairly seriously about finding a new barn. I've looked around on the internet for a few after Pony left and the one I really liked is a 45min drive away. There's a barn, literally a 30min WALK from my place in the city, what could be better?! Well, unless you have your own horse, it's really only a place for beginner students. There's a few of their old students at the barn I'm at now. I hate moving barns though, you have to make new friends and figure out how they do things and all that sort of stuff. Plus, it's been 8 years! It's a bit hard to leave after that.

I'm not going to be leasing Java, I'd have to pay for the lease plus lessons (which are expensive now) so that sucks ass. Speaking of Java, I'm buying a pair of tall boots from her owner! Hooray, I love tall boots, they're some really nice Ariat ones, they don't quite fit, so we're going to get them stretched a bit at the tack shop and then they will hopefully be good to go!

The barn is hosting a Dale Erwin (not to be confused with the natural horsemanship guy Chris Erwin) clinic in April (or March, I don't even remember) and I'd quite like to go, but he's soooo expensive, and I'd have to take fucknut Kokanee (that was his nickname when I liked him and we got a long, it's meant nicely). So I don't know what's going to happen with anything right now, but I can say that I am very much regretting having gone back to riding this semester as of tonight.

There's nothing worse than feeling like and practically being told that you suck ass at something you have spent your whole life work on and love so much.

I actually had a dream last night about competing in a few of the A level shows that I was thinking about doing this summer and had the most crippling nerves in the dream and then woke up because they were so intense and it was hard to go back to sleep because I was actually really nervous.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Kokanee is no longer lame, so I got to ride him. That was rather disappointing for three reasons: 1. I wanted to ride Gody, 2. I thought she mentioned Rocky while she was listing off horses (sadly she actually said Roxy) 3. I don't like him all that much.

He used to be my lease horse ages ago, which was okay, except for it being the biggest pain in the ass to get his left lead. No matter how many times you ask correctly, it's almost always a fight. Plus he usually has to be in the corner, so thats a no go for any hunter and dressage show.

It was not the best lesson, he hasn't jumped in a few weeks, if not a month, so then he was very excitied to jump. Unfortunatly, the jumps possed zero challange to him because they were fricken 18" or something miniscule, so he could just leap over them however he wanted, if they'd been like 2' or so, they would have been a hight he actually respects and that would have held him back a bit and made him think. It was quite difficult to try and contain him and keep him rounded up and in good form. At the lower heights he can really pop you out of the saddle and make it hard to stay with him, it also doesn't help that I haven't got much core strenght after all that time off, so that didn't help. He wasn't horrible about the left lead, but he wasn't good about it either.

Then we had the worlds lamest fall ever. It was one of the ones that wasn't a surprise but you still can't stop it, all you can do is just try and land in the least painful way, if not land on your feet. Sadly, I wasn't able to land on my feet, because as i was falling I was trying to get not let my foot get caught in the stirrup. Not that it matters with him because he stops and stands when you fall off. Actually, all my horses with the exception of Pony, stopped. She would take off like a maniac, she was getting better the longer we were together, she wouldn't run as far or as fast. She probably would have learned to just stand there if she hadn't been taken away. What happened was we were supposed to come to a trot after one of the jumps, but the whole night he would stick his head out and shake it from side to side so we had to also say things like 'whoa' or 'trot' or whatever to get him to listen. Unfortunatly he pulled me forward and off balance with all his head wiggling and then when I did say 'whoa' he came to a screetching hault rather than breaking to a trot and so then I fell off. So lame. Falling off should have a good exciting story, usually it does, but not this time.

I'll have to start working out more, that always helps.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tack Shop & Show Season

 K is organizing a barn party for Saturday, but because I have return to my hell hole job this weekend, I can't go. Normally I wouldn't be to put out, but they're planning what shows they want to go to this year! Someone said she already has a list of some shows up in the barn, so I'll have to check that out. Only the super newbie students are going to the one that me and Spencer went to over the summer, which sucks because it's soooo easy, its practically a guaranteed ribbon, even if it isn't a red one (red is first place in Canada, and blue is second). I don't know what that means for the rest of us though. I'm sure Amberlea is going to be on that list and I really would like to go to one, so that is kind of exciting, even if it is going to be a terrifying circuit show, full of circuit bitches. They have a novice rider show at the start of July, Harvest in September, Spring Welcome at the end of April and a few schooling ones before that. I don't know if I'd have a lease by the end of April, and that show will probably be huge since its at the start of the season. Then there's the Maple Leaf ones which start in March but we probably wouldn't be going until the May ones. Those can't be the only ones...K does a lot of dressage so there's going to be loads of those. Gody did well in dressage with a leaser last year...maybe we could take a stab at those...

The problem is though, who am I actually going to get to lease?! I will NOT be taking Zander to anything like Amberlea. I don't mind riding him at home, but I don't want to show him. Fairly sure that Rocky's show days are over and who the hell knows if he's going to come out of retirement at all this summer. Gody takes soooo much work and we could really only do hunters (and maybe dressage) but probably no jumpers, he's just not got the speed. Then there is the option my friend is gunning hard for, for me to lease her mare. Ahhhh! Okay, I love this mare! She's a gem, and she won her division at Amberlea, she's calm, and so willing and tries so hard! I just don't know if I want to lease from someone who's a friend, I feel like it would just be awkward. However it would also really help her out because one of the two girls leasing her is fucking ruining her. She's literally "pulling a W" (W was Spencers owner) and is fucking up this amazing horse, because she doesn't know what the hell she's doing. So if she was dropped from the lease, then I could ride her and the other decent girl could stay leasing as well. That is not to say that I am some amazingly talented rider or anything, but I am better than the other chick and the girl who owns the horse has repeatedly expressed her wish that i would take over the lease. However, the fact there is another girl leasing her is a bit of a problem, while she hasn't said anything to the owner about wanting to show her, we are kind of assuming she'll want to do something with her. So the only two really good options (at least for showing) are Gody (hunters/dressage(?)) and my friends horse (jumpers). I guess it's kind of a wait and see thing, but I just want to know now, that way I can decide what shows/what kind of shows to do...if any at all.  

Sadly today's trip to the tack shop was actually not that exciting, just got some black hairnets because i have one of those ribbon/net things that you fold a pony tail into and I hate it, and some boring black breeches from TuffRidder, who I also don't like (it was them or Kerrits, apparently they no longer carry EquiComfort *tear*), but they are cheap and i don't want to spend lots on them when they'll (hopefully) be to big soon. I did look at some of the nice leather half chaps but my calves are to wide for them right now :( plus I realllllly want proper tall boots, so best not to waste to much money!

Checked out some hunt coats to because the one I have fits a bit weird and if I do hunters this season I'll need one, no luck there either, so I'll have to go on an adventure to some of the other stores I guess and see what I can find.

P.S. me and Zander got the 3rd fastest time for pushing the red ball through the pylons last Thursday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


So I figured since I have no steady mount, I may as well take advantage and ride as many different horses as I can (and find the best possible candidate for show season). However, if Gody had been an option yesterday, I probably would have picked him.

Zander is basically the polar opposite of Gody, he's very wiggly, has lots of pep, and doesn't need the encouragement Gody does. He carries his head really high in the air, which is really annoying and it's difficult to get him to go on the bridle (or so I found anyway). With him, the more rein you use, the more leg you have to use, which does make sense but I've not had a horse that you have to do that for when you're just asking them to round up and get on the bridle. It took ages to get him to do it and it didn't often last that long, pretty quickly he'd have his head back up again and K would be shouting to stop trying to use my hands to pull his head down, which was not fucking trying to do. There was zero intention of ever trying to pull his head down, that was him being a dumb ass and lifting up his head, there by putting the bit on the bars of his mouth. So that was frustrating, it feels really weird having to hold your hands that high, and again, not had a horse that does that,  so it takes a bit more that one single ride to work that out. Jumping was not really that great, he feels like fun to ride and unlike Gody, you feel like he's definitely going to make it over! But like I said, he's really wiggly which can be hard to deal with when you aren't used to it and it's really difficult to keep a steady rhythm with him, so counting strides to the jump would start like 3-2-1 and then end up as 3-2-1-4 or 3-2-take off. Frustrating!!! As much as I didn't enjoy the ride I wouldn't mind having a second chance to try and improve from this.

Ugh, sadly I think this is the last different horse I'm going to get to ride. Kokanee is lame and will be going home sooner or later, Rocky is still on winter break, and I'm pretty sure everyone else already has enough riders. So it's most likely going to be Zander, Gody, and Java. Not that much variety, especially when it's only once a week.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


It was actually a couple weeks ago now that I rode Gody, it's midterm time at university, so I don't have much time for anything fun.

I was spoiled with Java, I thought I'd actually not lost that much fitness... JUST KIDDING! I was dying on Gody, my legs have never hurt so badly from riding before, it was exhausting! He takes soooo much work and K's instructions are sometimes conflicting, so you have no idea what the hell she wants you to do. Fun. So we didn't have much success with his lengthened trot or keeping a nice canter, got to start doing some squats or lunges.... We did have a good jumping round however, so that slightly made up for the crap flat work. I would like to have another opportunity to ride him, but we'll see how it goes.
I'm hoping to go see him tomorrow but I have an exam on Friday and because I'm a model university student, I've gone to about 3 or 4 of those classes. Yay. It could be interesting but the prof is so terrible, I always fall asleep so its better to just use the text book.
But once these terrible exams are finally over, I shall hopefully be back out at the barn and will have sometime to start working out again and will not feel like dying when riding a horse that actually require some effort to work with.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Incounter With The Red Ball

I rode Java again on Thursday and it was the first day that we rode with the ball in the ring. So it could have been very exciting, but it was not. She could not have been less fazed by it. She didn't care when we walked up to it, she'd sniff it but that's it. She didn't even look when it was next to a jump we went over. Percy would knock it around with his nose and Zander was not even remotely pleased to see it. It's probably going to be a bit of a challenge to get her to play with the ball when she's so uninterested in it.

She was much peppier for me that she usually is during the flat part of the lesson. When we did the warm up exercise of  trotting an X rail, land cantering, trot before the cavaletties, she would not trot. We did it about five times in totally and she could canter the whole thing every time! It was incredibly frustrating. When it came time to do the course (yes! A whole course in a winter lesson! Most rare!) she did spectacular! We got all our distances, didn't get popped forward or left behind and didn't catcher in the mouth! It was a lot of fun, and she did really well! I also can still count strides accurately up to a jump, so I'm pleased not to have lost that ability!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Java 2

I rode Java again tonight, and she was delightful again.

She started off her normal self, relaxed but still energetic. She has such a nice trot and when she actually goes on the bridle, it's fantastic but every once in a while, you'll be going along great and then she'll tuck her head right to her chest and you lose contact with her mouth and then five seconds later she'll bring her head back up. She did this fairly often a couple years ago and her owner has worked with her a lot and gone through loads of different bits to find one that's comfortable for Java. She actually has a ridiculous number of bits, they bag they're in weights at least 5lbs. I think she now has her in a french link snaffle (I've already forgotten even though I just saw it tonight) and she goes very well with it.

So even though she started out great at the walk and trot, she was way peppier than usual at the canter. Much more like she is with L, where she'd just rather keep cantering and you have to work harder to keep her at sane pace so that you can still circle and not be out of control. Once we started jumping she really settled down though.

Today we had a bounce to a one stride along one long wall and some pylons to weave through on the other long wall. We started with just the bounce and later added the one stride and after we completed the jumps we brought them back to a working trot and weaved through the pylons. The one stride was adjusted to be an easy take off for the horses and then it was made to be slightly long, and then slightly short and we had to adjust depending on length. It actually went much better than I thought it would and I'm quite pleased that I can still count strides to a jump (to the whole grid, not just the one stride ha ha).

Next week we'll be doing a full course and have the big red horse soccer ball in the ring at some point! The end goal is to be able to play horse soccer with it but only a few of the horses are not scared of it right now, so it should be a very interesting lesson.