Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Update

This weekend was pretty good. Saturday we went over to Tracy's arena again for the Mustang Pride breed demo practice. I rode Remington again, and he was really good. After the practice was over, we worked on some obstacles. Jessi and Nash were there as well. We got to walk over an old mattress. Both horses did pretty well, Nash was hesitant at first, but once he realized mattresses don't eat horses, he walked over calmly. Remington just wanted to paw the mattress.

I wanted to do more loping after everyone left, but Remington must have been pretty exhausted after the practice. We were loping a circle and as we came around I asked for a stop to avoid a few other horses in the arena. Remington lost his footing and went down, we both took a spill in front of everyone!! The landing was soft enough though, and he seems to be just fine. Luckily when he went down it was a fall to the side instead of head over heels. I got him up and got back on and just took it easy from there on out.

One of the boarders at Tracy's recognized Remington from the blog, I thought that was really cool!! So if you've been following along, and you see us at Midwest, be sure to stop and say hello! I would love to meet anyone who's been following our progress (especially if you're interested in adopting Rem)

Today I took Rem out and ponied him some more. I haven't done a real trail ride on him because he is still pretty goosey out in the open. He is much more comfortable in an arena. Not to mention I really haven't had a chance to ride him on any trails! It's been too snowy, icy, or muddy. I would like to get a few trail rides in before the fair, but he sure won't be a finished trail mount when he goes through that auction.

After that we worked some more in the arena. I wanted to get him really good at the gate because it really does show control over your horse. He is getting pretty good and in the video you will see he can now back through the gate. I have also been dragging things off of him. I think he would make a pretty cool rope horse if someone wanted him for that. He is pretty big, and doesn't mind dragging things around. He is really comfortable with ropes all over his body. Well, that's about it for now! Hope you like the video and photos!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Any Interest in sweatshirts??

Before I order my sweatshirt, I thought I would see if anyone else might be interested in them, that way I could get them all at once. I found this site that lets you design your own shirt, so I figured I needed one :-) I am planning on ordering hooded sweatshirts, the cost is $44. I think if I order them by the end of this week I should have them by Midwest Horse Fair.

You can email me if you would like one and we can figure out how to go about getting them ordered and paid for. My email address is:
j e s s i c a . w i l l y e r d @ g m a i l . c o m

Here is what I had in mind...

Run Remington Run!

Remington got some more turnout today after our ride. I was able to ride outside, and even got some loping in thanks to the frozen ground. Imagine that, no snow and no mud, what a concept! It won't last though.

Maybe you've noticed some new widgets alongside my blog? Well those are thanks to Steve, from ThePowerGuides. He was kind enough to set up a widget that displays the latest 5 posts from the Mustang Challenge bloggers. There is also a blog roll for the Challenge trainers in both the Midwest and Western states competitions. Hopefully the list will grow with the coming Wyoming and Fort Wort competitions!!

Here are a few... well, more than a few photos from today. I played around in Photoshop with a couple of them. Enjoy!

If that's not a smile, I don't know what is!
Caper is one happy dog, now that Spring has finally arrived.

Taking a break from all that running to look for the girls and munch on some dead grass.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!!

Well I hope everyone had a great Easter, I am stuffed, I always eat to much on days like this...

This week's video shows our new style of mounting as well as the gate work. I really wanted to work the gate outside, but we got more SNOW on Friday. I can't believe this winter... wait, it's Spring now, Wisconsin just doesn't know it yet. I was going to include the spin, but after reviewing it, I've still got my work cut out for me. Remington is pretty much all over, so I've got to slow him down and show him where his feet belong before asking for speed. It's getting pretty nerve-wracking with only 25 days left!!

I still am not sure what I would do for my finals if I made it into the top 10, but I am not going to worry about it. There are so many awesome trainers in this competition, that my chances are pretty slim. I do have music picked out though, just in case!

Enjoy the video!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Looking Forward to Summer!

Over at MidWestHorse they listed off 10 reasons they're looking forward to Spring. That really got me wishing for warmer weather, so I thought I'd follow suit and list my 10 things. However, I am more of a Summer person so I'll just go ahead and list what I love about Summer!

1. Trail riding of course!! Can it get any better than being out on the trail with a good horse and good friends?? I think not...

2. Dry, mud-free, Australian Shepherds... yes I'm just about sick of smelling wet dog... I don't think that smell will ever leave my car. Of course I don't mind taking the dogs to the lake in the Summer, it doesn't count when I get the Aussies wet on purpose!!

3. Speaking of lakes... what's more fun than swimming?? Swimming with your horse of course!! :-) There is a creek across from my uncle's place that is great fun in the summer.

4. Team roping! My uncle is a team roper and I always have a good time watching them practice. It's also fun to help bring the cattle back down to the chutes after a set!

5. Shiny horses!! Oh how I wish Remington was as slicked up as my mare is in this photo...

6. Camping! Although the last 2 times I've been camping there has been pretty severe weather... at least when you camp in a tent. Like, what are you supposed to do when it's so bad that the park ranger drives around with a megaphone telling everyone that is in a tent that they shouldn't be in a tent due to the severe lightning storm?!?! Where do you go?? (we stayed in the tent) I think it's time I get one of those fancy gooseneck trailers with full living quarters... I can dream.

7. The Dells! Oh my, if you've never been to the Wisconsin Dells you are missing out. I love going there in the summer, whether it's to go to a water park, or just to walk around down town.

8. Frosty Freeze!! They have the best strawberry ice cream cones.

9. Just being outside. How I miss being able to walk outside without adding ten layers of clothing first.

10. Realizing that without Winter, Summer would NEVER feel this good.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming... ( I know I'm a dork, you don't have to tell me!)

Remington is doing just fine! We are perfecting the gate work and continuing the spin. He is stepping behind himself to the right, so I've got plenty to work on, but it's coming. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get him anywhere this weekend as we're picking up hay on Saturday and Easter is on Sunday. I will be sure to get some video though :-)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

In hand and obstacle course practice...

On Saturday we went to Jessi and Nash's place to work through some practice patterns. It was a great experience for both Nash and Remington.

Remington was feeling pretty lazy so we really need to work on our trot offs in hand. His back through the L also needs a lot of work. He stands well when I pick up his feet, and he really watches his feet over ground poles! Last weekend we had a discussion about trailer loading, and I am happy to report he has jumped right in since then.

Under saddle needs some transition work and we are still struggling with the bit. This weekend we were able to canter again and he is learning to pick it up from the walk. Not bad for the minimal amount of opportunities I've had to work on the canter. He also gets the correct lead almost every time. His spin is coming, he is learning where to place his feet and beginning to get quick, we have also been working through the gate. I don't have any video of his spin or the gate work, so you can look forward to seeing that next weekend!

Jessi and Nash are doing pretty awesome, as you'll see in their video! Jess was having trouble posting her videos, so this weekend Aubrey took some video and I put together a clip. You can see both of our videos below.

Remington goes to Nash's house...

Just a quick post before I get going today, yesterday Remington, Chocolate, Aubrey and I went over to visit Nash and Jessi. We had a great time and set up an obstacle course to work through. I have video to share, but I've still got to put it together. Here is a photo though. More later...

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Turn Out

Today Remington finally got to stretch his legs in the big pasture. The weather has been so bad, and there's been so much snow and ice that I've been too afraid to let him out, but today we went for it. We walked the fence line and I looked for icy patches, and thanks to the warmer weather, the pasture seemed to have pretty good footing. He was a very happy mustang when I took that halter off and let him run!!

Here is a video, after I got some good footage of him running I decided to have a little fun with him. No one was with me to video, so I just set the camera on a fence post. He is such a cool horse and I am having a hard time realizing that I will have to let him go. Anyone want to buy a horse for me?? :-)

Things have been going well this week. Yesterday I took my mare and ponied Remington down the road. I was glad that I ponied instead of riding Rem because cars seem to make him really nervous, so that's something we'll have to work on at home. Aubrey's driveway is about a quarter mile long so I'll have to get her to drive up and down it until Remington becomes more comfortable with those darn vehicles.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Ups, Downs, and Everything In Between

It has been a slow week. After all the success of last weekend I decided to give Rem an easy week of training. He even had a few days off.

That turned out to be a mistake! Yesterday when I took him out to ride outside, he just wasn't paying attention. I was just asking him to move his hindquarters and he was being a stubborn brat about it so I gave him a pretty good thump (which I've done before to get him moving) and he took off BUCKING!!! Luckily it was in a straight line so I was able to ride through it. If there had been any zig zagging, I'd have eaten snow! I was able to pull his head around and stop him, and I know I came down hard on his back a few times, so hopefully he realized that bucking with a rider is NOT a pleasant experience. I was pretty baffled, but in a way I am glad that he did it and I was able to ride through it, I hope he learned something. After that I just got him moving his hindquarters off of my leg and called it quits for the day. I was tempted to ride him inside and work the snot out of him, but I was just too frustrated, and there's no place for that attitude on the back of a young mustang.

Today was 10 times better!! Aside from a little reluctance to load in the trailer we had a wonderful day. The Mustang Pride group was having a practice for the Midwest Horse Fair demonstration. The horse I will be riding wasn't there so I got to ride Remington. He was awesome the whole time. Before everyone got there we loped a few circles, and he was good but he still needs to trot into it. There was about 6 other horses in the arena with Rem by the time everyone arrived. We practiced walking through the drill pattern and he didn't mind riding in such close proximity to other horses at all! By the end of the day today, I had totally forgotten about that silly bucking fit.

I forgot my camera, so no photos, but hopefully I can get some this coming week. I am so excited for the warmer weather they are predicting. I can't wait!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Canter video

Tracy Porter was kind enough to invite me to her barn today in order to get some more canter work onto Remington. Once again he did really well in the new environment. I was right in thinking that the canter would come easy once I had the walk and trot down! He is doing great. The video is only his 3rd and 4th time being asked to canter. He picked up the correct lead both times! What's even better though, is that stop of his!! Slap some sliders on and what a cool reining horse he could turn into.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Great day!

left to right (biggest to smallest): Remington, Jessie, Nash, Jessi, Mustang Mare, Tracy, Sign, Rebecca

We had such a good day! I am pretty exhausted, but I just had to post a quick update.

Remington's first trip off the farm was a success! We met Rebecca and Sign, Tracy and her mustang mare, and Jessi and Nash today at Signature Arabians for the mustang play day. It was so much fun, and more like riding with friends than fellow competitors. We all had fun, everyone was so nice. We even exchanged a few training tips. I learned a lot about tricks from Tracy, and Rebecca and Sign helped Remington and I through some of the "scariest" parts of the arena!

The best part was when Rebecca encouraged us to CANTER!! It was such a good feeling to finally be able to have enough room to safely ask Rem to pick up the canter. He just rolled right into it.

Aubrey was along and aside from being the photographer, she got the privilege of being the first person aside from Rebecca to ride Sign. Sign is about the size of her own mustang pony, so they got along pretty well!

I can't wait for the next mustang play day... if anyone wants to plan another, let me know the date and location!!