Friday, December 10, 2010

Dressage update


So, here is a video of my trainer riding Rem. I wanted her to ride him, just to get a feel for what he knows and maybe to find out what he needs to work on. He is coming along nicely and our first show will be in May. I think we'll probably show training level, but we might do an intro class as well because they added some canter work to the intro tests this year.

I need to work on my position most of all. I have to remember to sit back and not lean forward. As a rider that is my biggest fault. It's something I picked up riding roping horses and since I grew up riding them, it's going to take a while to correct.

I really do think Dressage has helped Remington out as far as balance goes. It's only the beginning, I hope he will continue to develop as we work our way up the levels.

I have been super busy with school. I am down to my last week and a half. I have 2 more days of class and then 4 days of finals. It will be a relief when winter break rolls around! I am signed up for my Spring courses and after next semester I will be student teaching. I am really excited. I had a lot of fun this semester because we got to spend 8 Tuesdays at a middle school observing a classroom.

Well I just wanted to do a quick update since it's been so long. I'll be writing a 10 page paper all weekend, but hopefully you all will get to enjoy your weekend!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Extreme Play Day

Well the big day came and went, and I am glad it's over with. I was getting so nervous about spending $70 for both horses to enter and then possibly not winning it back that it really wasn't as fun as it should have been.

I made a lot of mistakes that could have been prevented if I had just slowed down and concentrated, but my nerves got the best of me. I went with Remington first (draw 3) and then I had to wait a while before going with Risk (draw 24). There were 26 entered total.

The course was all things that I had done before.

You started by working the gate, then you went to the middle of the arena where you did a figure 8 at the trot, and then the lope with a simple or flying change in the middle. Both of my horses did this fine, but Rem wanted to look at the course obstacles, and Risk just wanted to rush.

After that, you continued on to start the course and the clock started.

The first obstacle was a tire walk-through. Rem was hesitant but walked forward just fine, Risk was a little more confident than Rem, but she still gave it a good look.

Next was the water bucket dump and bridge crossing. There was a full water bucket hooked on the fence that you had to go unhook and then carry over a bridge to the other side, dump the bucket in a large tub and then hook it on the fence again. I had trouble unhooking the bucket when I went with Remington, so that obstacle was not one of my best with him. When I went with Risk, we did it very well. Both horses crossed the bridge just fine, but it gave many others trouble because there was a pool "noodle" stuck under the bridge for some added scariness...

Following that was the "?" cone weave. You had to weave through cones shaped like a question mark. This was relatively easy, but it took some precision and you had to do it at a walk. I got through this with both of my horses without knocking down a cone.

Then it was on to a turn on the forehand with your horse's front feet inside of a hula hoop type hose. That obstacle didn't go well for either of my horses, they both ended up walking on the hose.

The next obstacle was a box made out of ground poles with cones at each corner. You had to do a 360 both directions and then side pass with your horses front feet outside and the hind feet inside. Both horses did the turns well, but on the side pass, Rem destroyed it and Risk just ticked the last cone before we finished.

Then it was on to some weave poles that were really close together. You had to weave forward and then back. Rem did this really well. Risk did okay up, but back she knocked a pole over.

Next up it was 2 jumps made out of half-barrels. My horses jumped them, but it wasn't pretty. There was plenty of air between my butt and the saddle... that's all I have to say about that!

Following the jumps, we had to drag a log around some cones. I went at a trot with Rem, and galloped with Risk. They both did really well.

Then it was on to rope the dummy. Of course my horses are familiar with rope work so this was a cinch.

The beach ball toss was next. They had a giant beach ball that you had to knock out of a circle drawn on the ground. Your horse had to push it, you couldn't use your feet or your hands. My horses have that giant soccer ball at home, so this was no problem!

Finally there was the tennis ball drop. You had to pick up 6 tennis balls out of a bucket on the table and then ride over to another bucket and drop them in. When the 6th ball drops in the bucket your time stops. Rem was way better at this than Risk was. He did it really well, Risk on the other hand... knocked the table over after I picked up all the balls. Then some of the balls bounced out of the bucket when I was dropping them in... oh well.

The course awarded bonus points for being fast. As long as you completed each obstacle in under 40 seconds... if you took longer than that at an obstacle you wouldn't get bonus points. So, you got 20 extra for being under 6 minutes, 15 extra for being under 7, and 10 extra for being under 8. I got 15 bonus points on Rem and 20 bonus points on Risk. I think Risk had one of the faster times, but we were pretty sloppy. A lot of people ended up staying at an obstacle for more than 40 seconds so they didn't get any bonus points, in the end, I think the bonus points are what saved me.

I made my money back by the skin of my teeth... they paid out 6 places and I placed 5th with Risk and 6th with Remington. So I got $30 and $40 back to make up for my entry fees. If I do this again, I think I will only take one horse, then I won't be so worried about making money back, and maybe my nerves won't be so bad!

It was a fun experience though! Sorry I don't have any pictures... maybe I will be able to post one later. The owner of the show grounds took a picture of all the winners, but I haven't seen it posted yet. Hopefully I can get it up here once it is.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fall


So here's a picture of Rem, pretending to be a dressage horse... but with a close contact saddle... it's all I've got right now, and I guess it's closer than a Western saddle, so I'll take it. I have been riding him a lot lately, practicing our working trot and leg yields. He's doing well, and I've noticed a big improvement in how he accepts contact. He is even starting to gain some self-carriage without me having to hold him.

He's going to have to revert back to a western pony two weekends from now though. There is an "Extreme Play Day" competition that I am going to enter with him and Risk. It pays out to 6 places, so I'm hoping to do well. I have confidence, but hopefully I'm not over confident... I need to practice a few things, but most of what they say is involved, my horses have done. The thing I am worried most about is the jumps, which aren't supposed to be taller than 2 ft, but that's one of the things I've never worked on with my horses.

Last Friday I took Flirt to a Friday night fun show. It was the first show I've taken her to and she did really well. We didn't place (the class we entered had 23 horses) but she was really consistent. I was proud of her! She is going to be one of those horses you can take anywhere and you don't have to worry about a thing.

Well, that's my update for now, I'll let you all know how the play day goes. Hopefully I can bring someone along to take photos... though I'm not sure who yet.

Have a good week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dressage Lessons

So my dressage lessons are going well. I've taken two so far, and I think this is something I can really enjoy with Rem. I am already seeing improvement in the way he accepts the bit. The biggest thing I need to work on is keeping him forward in the trot, and focusing on my own position as I ride. I need to find someone to take some photos of my rides! Here is a pic of Rem in his new bridle...

.

Sunday was Hagmania, the fun show I attend every year. I brought Rem and Risk for my lesson girl to ride. Rem and I got third in Egg and Spoon. He did really well, I was proud of him. My lesson girl and I did the ribbon race together, we ended up placing third in that as well. I was pretty proud of her and my horses, we did what most teams had a lot of trouble with, we kept the ribbon intact!

Just wanted to give an update on my lessons, like I said I would. I'll have to check in later this weekend for a more in depth update on my horses :) Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Busy!




I know it's been so long since I've posted, over a month! I have been so busy with school, but I am enjoying it so much. I am enjoying school more this time around since I am at home and I can be with my horses. When I went to River Falls, I was 4 hours from my horse and my family! I have been riding just about every day after school, so it's been really nice.

I have my first dressage lesson tomorrow, I can't wait. I am going to take Remington. I know he's not going to make much of a reiner, so I figured I could use dressage to help him get stronger. Dressage is also something anyone can do. There are different levels that you can work up to, unlike reining, where you horse had better be talented if you want to compete. I don't expect to take Rem to the top of the dressage levels, but I am sure we can work towards mastering the lower end. I don't have a dressage saddle or anything fancy like that, but I will work up to it if it's something I do end up pursuing.

Anyway, the photos up above are of my horses, all ready for work :-) I will let you all know how the lesson goes! I can't wait!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happy Trails


School starts on September 2nd, so I'm enjoying my last few days of freedom with my horses!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Riskie Does Flying Changes




Monday nights I've been giving lessons to some members of the saddle club I belong to. I took Riskie along last night since I haven't ridden her in a while. I was warming her up and I went to lope off on the left lead, well she picked up the right lead. As we were coming around the corner, before I could bring her down to a trot and ask her to pick up the correct lead, I noticed she did a flying change on her own. I had started teaching her last year, but we never quite finished... so I wasn't really expecting that. Aubrey was at lessons last night too, so I had her watch me and Risk. Turns out Riskie does some pretty awesome flying changes :-) Way better than Rem anyway! Poor Rem just isn't very athletic. Today I went out and rode Risk to get some video. You can see her do a couple flying changes in the video. She is really easy to change leads on, so that make me happy. I also ended up using Cinch as a cow. Riskie likes to track dogs I guess. :-)


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Procrastination - New Art





I should be completing my work for the last 2 days of my Summer courses, but I think procrastinating is more fun. So, I decided to get some photos up of my latest artwork. I've added them to my sidebar, but I thought I'd include some larger versions as well. :-)

These are mostly just studies, done for fun. I like messing around with the bright colors. I have so many pastel colors that I don't get to use because I usually use pretty muted colors when I draw horses and dogs, so I decided to give them a try.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flirt

Well, again it's been so long since I've posted, but here I am. I have been so stressed out lately, but I'm hoping things will get easier for me by the end of the month. Hopefully then I'll be all registered for classes... School is the biggest stress I've got right now, besides the whole trying to live off of unemployment. Heh, oh well. Things will work out, they always do.

Anyway, on to my horses! They are all doing well despite the heat and bugs. I am taking it easy on them because I'm not a fan of the August weather. Not only do my allergies act up, but the mosquito population seems to explode about this time of year. All the rain we've had doesn't help the situation. I am actually looking forward to the Fall weather, but then again, Winter is soon to follow, and that season seems to take so long! Oh well, I always have the Midwest Horse Fair to look forward to in April, that seems to get me through the Winter just fine. The Wind Rider Challenge is coming back to the horse fair this year. I have thought about applying with Remington, but then again, I think back to the Mustang Challenge, and I don't really like to be on stage (by myself) with tons of onlookers. The breed demo is nice because I get to ride with everyone else, being singled out isn't really my thing.

Wow, I am all over the place today, as far as subject matter. Notice the title of this post? I was going to talk about Flirt! Haha, so here I go... She is doing really well, big surprise, seems like I say that every time I talk about her! I took her out on the trails last week with Aubrey (she's home for the month of August) and she did really well. Flirt lead the whole way, and we even did some loping on the trail. It was really fun. Eric was a good sport and he tagged along on Risk. They are really getting along good. It's so nice to have a horse that I can put anyone on and not have to worry about a thing. Flirt has the potential to be that kind of horse. Rem, I sometimes worry about with beginners, just because he will react a little quicker if he does get spooked.

Well here are a few photos of me and Flirt from the other night. She looks like a real horse now :-) Hope you all enjoy the rest of your week! I'm sure I'll have more photos to post soon.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Been so long...

Does anyone read this anymore? Haha, I feel like a terrible blogger. Well, if anyone is still out there, thanks for sticking with me. I'm sorry I don't make it to more of your blogs, I am sure once Winter rolls around that will change. But, for now it's Summer and I've just been so busy!

I am still riding colts and learning tons. It's hard to find time for my own horses, but I still like them best. It's probably a good thing to like your own horse best when you ride other people's all day long.

I have been working on getting flying lead changes with Remington. I've been working on it for about 4 days now and he's coming along okay. What he prefers to do is change in front and leave his hind end in the opposite lead. You'll see in the video that he just about changed both at the same time, but the front still came first. In a correct lead change, they need to change back to front. I'm working on it, but I think I'm going to need a lesson from my trainer before I go too much farther. Rem is the most forgiving horse in the world, so I don't have to worry too much about screwing him up, but I would prefer to do things right the first time.



Well, tomorrow is my first day going back to school. I've got a Summer math course to take :-( My least favorite subject. Oh well. I hope it goes by quickly... though then it will be Fall just around the corner.

I better get some sleep, I'll try to blog more often!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Day at the Horse Show

Riskie and me, trotting through the cones in the trail course.

The horse show I'd been looking forward to for so long is finally over! It was a good day, and I had lots of fun, thank goodness!

The day started off, bright and early at about 5:45 am. I headed out to the barn to see what my horses looked like after the storms we had the night before. Risk stayed pretty clean, so I just had to rinse her off and wash her spots and tail. Rem on the other hand, decided rolling in the mud would be a great idea the night before the show... so he got a full bath. Aubrey came down around 6:15 to give her pony a bath as well. I wanted to be on the road by 7, so we had loaded everything the night before. We had the horses loaded in the trailer by ten to 7, so we were right on schedule.

We got to the fairgrounds right on time, so we unloaded horses and got them settled at the trailer with hay bags. Then we went to register for our classes. I signed up for...

Sr. Showmanship (with Risk)
Egg & Spoon (with Risk)
Jackpot Open Walk/Trot Pleasure/Equitation (with Rem)
Sr. Western Horsemanship (with Rem)
Open Western Horsemanship (with Rem)
Sr. Trail (with Risk & Rem)

Quite a few more classes than I would normally do, but I figure if this is the only show I go to all year, I may as well do a lot.

So, here is how the day went...
The 4H girl who is showing Riskie showed up to do a showmanship class with Riskie. We got her and Risk all ready to show, and practiced the pattern a few times, just to let her get a feel for it. I told her not to expect a placing since it was her first time showing and there were 14 kids in her class (placings from 1-6). She just needed to do the class to get a feel for what it's like to show. She understood this well, I think. Her pattern went PERFECT up until her setup. When the judge began her inspection, Riskie stepped out of the setup. I feel like the judge wanted her to fix it, because she paused and waited. However, after a few seconds she continued her inspection with Riskie not standing square. It's hard to know what a judge wants, some prefer you to fix a misstep and others want you to continue showing like nothing happened. Either way, I was happy with how the girl and Riskie did for her first time showing.

Next up was my Showmanship class. We had 9 entries in the class, I think. Our pattern was okay, but not as sharp as it could have been. I understood this, so wasn't disappointed when I placed 5th.

There was a 30 minute lunch break after showmanship so I went and saddled both my horses up. I got Rem and warmed him up a little in the arena. It was a grass arena and with all the rain we had the other night it was getting pretty torn up, so they kicked us out of the warm up before I could get on Risk to give her a warm up. My next class was Egg and Spoon with her, but I wasn't too worried. She's the kind of horse you can get on and go. And that's what we did! There were 19 horses and riders in Egg & Spoon. Most of them dropped their egg at the trot. Riskie and I made it about 10 strides into the lope before ours went, but that was good enough for 3rd place :-)

Rem in walk/trot

Next up was the Jackpot Open Walk/Trot - Pleasure/Eq. I probably shouldn't have entered this, but since I won last year, I had to give it a try. There were 10 riders in the class. We had a pretty solid ride, but I know it could have been better. The judge chose two Huntseat riders for her top 2. The rest of the placings weren't announced because it only payed 2 places. Oh well, better luck next time.

Rem doing a pivot in Horsemanship

After walk/trot, I watched Aubrey do a pony class with Chocolate, then it was time for Trail. Trail is hands down, my favorite class to do. I took Rem first, then Risk. The pattern was...

Walk over the bridge (which was setting on top of tarps) to the mail box. Open and close the mail box and continue on to the cones. Trot through the cones. Pick up the right lead and lope over and through the logs. Stop in the box and do a 360. Walk out and through the brush.
Sidepass over the zig zag and trot to the barrel. At the barrel dismount and ground tie your horse. Exit leading your horse.

Both horses did really well. I couldn't have been more proud of them. They didn't even try to eat the grass when I ground tied them. They were good enough to tie for 1st place. They both scored 96/100. The tie breaker is the time in trail, so Rem had the faster time by 2 seconds!

Risk sidepassing

After trail, I decided it was time for a lunch break. I unsaddled my horses, refilled their hay bags and watered them. Then I changed into a t-shirt and got some lunch for myself.

After lunch (and all the english classes) It was time to get ready for Horsemanship. The patterns were pretty simple, and there was no straight line loping, which I was happy about. Our first pattern didn't go the greatest. There were 8 in that class. We picked up the wrong lead at one point, but I was able to fix it... I thought for sure that would drop us out of the placings, so I was surprised when my name was called for 4th place! Some others must have had their own trouble with the pattern. The next class went better, but at one point we were supposed to extend the trot and Rem just picked up the lope... oh well, he did everything else really well. We placed 2nd out of 4 in that class.

What a day it was! I was beat and ready for a shower! I had such a good time, and I think the horses had fun too... especially since their hay bags stayed pretty full. Ha.



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Horses, horses and more horses

Me and Rem in the pasture

I need to get back in the swing of blogging on a regular basis! But, it is summer, I find it much easier to blog in the winter.

Here is an update on how my own horses are doing...

Risk is mostly enjoying the back pasture, and getting very fat. I take her and use her as a lesson horse for a young girl once a week. Other than that, she has had it easy these past couple weeks because I've been so busy. I need to get on her and try some of the new training techniques I've learned. I think she could benefit from quite a few of them.

Remington is getting ridden more than Riskie, but probably not as often as I should. The Open 4 H June show is coming up on the 19th and I'd like to have him ready to show. I want to do trail and Western Horsemanship with him, and possibly a jackpot walk/trot class. We'll see. He was doing really good for a few weeks and then I gave him a break. The next time I got on, he had quite the attitude, so I had to work through that. He did really well for me last night though. I have been stuck in the small indoor arena because of the rain, and there isn't a whole lot I can accomplish in there. Hopefully things will dry out soon!

Flirt is a Rock Star! She has had a little break too, but she has NO problems picking up where we left off. This little 3 year old has quite the mature mind. It's so nice when they are like that. I ponied her down the road and through a creek the other day. At first she didn't want to go in the water, but once she finally did go in she was fine and walked right in the next time. I have tried out a few of the things I've learned from my trainer on her and she picks them up right away (faster than Rem did!) Her personality is rather aloof on the ground, but it seems to me she does her best to please me when she's undersaddle. I'm just really happy I found a horse like her to work with.

Well, that's about it as far as the horses. I am looking forward to the show in 2 weeks. Hopefully I'll have some pics and maybe video to share! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Been a while...

Holy cow! I have been so busy I've just about forgotten about blogging. It's good to stay busy though... So, I am happy to say that I've got my sh*t together! I was finally contacted by someone from the TAA program and I've met with them twice. I was approved for schooling and I am now enrolled in some summer courses at UW-Whitewater! How exciting... well... sort of. I am not looking forward to the math class, but I HAVE to do it. I am going back to school to get my teaching license, so I suppose I should brush up on my math skills.

Anyway, other than that I've been riding A LOT... almost too much, if there is such a thing, ha. I'm not gonna talk a whole lot about the situation other than to say I'm helping a trainer ride colts. It's a really good experience for me and I'm learning tons. I look forward to applying some of the things I've learned on my own horses... haha, when I get a chance to ride them!

Well, I just wanted to give everyone an update since I've disappeared for a while. Hope you're all enjoying your horses and the nice weather (even though it's HOT)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Motivation

That's what I need... Motivation to do something other than ride horses all day... Wouldn't it be nice if I could go on doing that the rest of my life? I would love it, but alas, horses cost money and I need a job in order to make money. Grrr.... Oh well. So I called up the University I want to attend. The lady I needed to speak with is only in her office on Tuesdays from 9 - 5, hopefully she'll call me back tomorrow. I also need to get in contact with the lady in charge of the TAA program. I have heard from my ex-coworkers that she is very tough to get a hold of and she is not good at returning calls even though it is her JOB... oh well. I will do my best to contact her this week and if I don't hear from her... I'll show up at her office... or call her boss. Heh heh heh.

The weather has been beautiful and I've been taking advantage of it. I don't remember the last day that I wasn't up on a horse. It's been lots of fun. Can't say that I'm not enjoying unemployment... But there is still that nagging voice in the back of my head wondering if I'll be able to make all the payments I need to make to stay on top of my bills... I hate that voice.

Anyway, I hadn't blogged in quite a while so I wanted to throw in an update to let you all know I'm still alive and well. Hopefully I'll have some pictures to upload this week. Maybe some team roping... or trail riding... who knows! It will be a surprise!

Have a wonderful week!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Flirt Update




I finally got around to my Flirt update that I promised. She is coming along just fine, I really couldn't ask for more. For the most part I am asking her to just stay between my reins and my legs, but I think soon she'll be ready to start collecting up. She gave me quite a bit of trouble with her left lead the first few times we cantered, but she got over that after I went back to the basics and made her move her hips away from my leg. She is a smart girl and once a lesson is learned she really retains it. I am doing a few of the techniques I learned in my lessons to teach her how to spin, and she is pretty good at that too. She always keeps her feet moving for me, which is where Remington had trouble. He is so lazy compared to Flirt!

Well maybe next week I'll get some video up so you can see how far she's come. Hope you all have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Another Horse Fair Done and Over With

What a weekend! It seemed like it took so long to get here and yet it went by so fast. Wednesday it got up to about 80 degrees, perfect weather for a bath, so Rem was nice and clean for the horse fair. Unfortunately, our first demo wasn't until Saturday evening, so he didn't necessarily stay clean... oh well.

Our practice was on Thursday, and everything went really well. I was happy with the way the soccer game idea was turning out. Of course that was with an empty coliseum and no nerves to add to the mix.

Friday I spent most of the day looking at vendors and shopping. Silly, I know... shopping while I'm unemployed... but a cowgirl needs a nice pair of boots... mine were getting holes in them, so I figured I could justify that expense. The new spurs and bridle were probably a little foolish... but, it's over and done with now! At least I didn't go crazy and buy a pair of chinks that I had my eye on all weekend... I really wanted them... maybe next year.

Saturday I was anticipating the demo all day long, so my stomach was in knots. It wasn't necessarily nerves, just excitement and adrenaline. Silly for just a breed demo, but I knew the coliseum would be packed since our time slot was right before the Liberty presentation. I started getting Rem ready at 3, our demo wasn't until 4:50. I put a running braid in his mane and put his tail up like a polo pony. I put his polo wraps on and saddled him up. Eric showed up and braided my hair so me and Rem matched. At about 4:20 we headed down to the coliseum as a group. The demos were running about 10 minutes behind, but it didn't seem like we had to wait long for our turn to go in.

I wasn't mistaken about all the people there on Saturday. The stands were packed and that made most of the horses pretty nervous. I could feel Rem was fired up, but he still listened to me, thankfully. A couple of our other group members weren't so lucky. The crowd really got to a few of them. Nash and Jess put on a show and lived up to our team name of the "Blue Broncs". He really looked like a bronco out there on the soccer field. Other than the horses being hyped up, the demo went okay. Not as smoothly as I would have preferred, but that's usually the way it goes. I should just be happy that Rem kept his cool for the most part and did his job.

Sunday went much smoother, there were no broncs in that demo. The crowd was much smaller and we were all more relaxed. I was thankful our demo time was pretty early in the morning at 9:40. Then I had the rest of the day to relax and enjoy the fair.

Now that horse fair is over, I don't have any big events to get ready for... I guess that means I've got lots of time to get Flirt going good. I'll have an update on her later this week!





Monday, April 12, 2010

Blah

Oh boy, I feel like every year about the time the Horse Fair rolls around, there's got to be drama in my life! And here I am again, dealing with it, but hopefully it's resolved now... I don't want to get into it a whole lot, but it's probably my own fault. I can be insecure at times, and that is never a good thing. Like I said though, it is resolved, so I am hoping I can enjoy the Horse Fair without worrying about anything.

I had a busy weekend, and no pictures to show for it! Go figure. Saturday, Kate and I took our horses to a FFA judging clinic. Riskie and I did a pleasure class with Kate and Torque, and 2 other friends. Floyd rode his mustang Scout, and Shannon rode her Halflinger, Wookie. Riskie did really good for me. She isn't much of a pleasure horse because of her straight shoulder and quick, short stride, but she did a good job of pretending. I was proud of her, anyway.

After the judging clinic, I had a lesson with the girl who wants to show Riskie in 4-H. She is a very timid girl. I can see how much she loves horses, but at the same time, her timid attitude towards them sometimes hinders her ability to learn. I am hoping that she can conquer her fear in order to learn what it takes to ride and work with horses. Her groundwork skills are coming along very good, but her time in the saddle is where she is the most fearful. Only time will tell...

Sunday I spent a good deal of time with Flirt. I worked on her canter (which needs a lot of work). She is having a hard time picking up the left lead, so it took quite a while before I could get her into it. Then she decided that she doesn't know how to follow rein cues at the canter, so we worked on that. By the end of our ride she was covered in sweat, so she got hosed off, which she seemed to enjoy.

After that it was time to head to our final Mustang demo practice before the Horse Fair. It went alright, but there are still some kinks we need to work out. I am hoping we can all get together on Thursday and get things ironed out. I know it will all turn out alright, but leaving it until the last minute isn't the best idea.

So, that was my busy weekend... today I got to ride my friend's horses before the rain clouds rolled in. Then it was off to my barn. Kate and I sat and talked for a good hour or so before I finally got motivated to go get Flirt out of her pen. I just rode her inside and she was really good. Her stop is getting to be really good.

Well I'm struggling to keep my eyes open, so I guess it's time for me to call it a day! Good night!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Brr!

Me and Risk at Gibbs Lake (taken Monday)

I thought the cold weather was done with... but alas, they are calling for snow tonight! Sheesh... I wish the weather would just make up it's mind! Oh well. It's not supposed to stick, so I'll just have to deal with it.

Since it rained all day, I stayed inside for most of the day and did some things I'd been putting off. My room is clean now! How nice! The afternoon rolled around and I'd had enough of being inside so I decided to head to the barn, if only just to brush off my horses. I got Rem brushed and then decided I'd go ahead and ride Flirt in the small indoor arena. She has really come around and now she walks right up to me when I go to catch her... That's one of the things I've always taken pride in. My horses always come to me when I go out to catch them. I've never had to hide a halter behind my back when it came to Risk and Rem. I'm glad Flirt has decided that she enjoys our time together.

I didn't really do anything new with Flirt today, but I did get to work her through some distractions, so that was good. Kate came over with her other colt, Torque, so Flirt was quite interested in keeping an eye on them and not necessarily me. She wasn't distracted to the point where she was being unruly, but she definitely wasn't giving me 100% of her attention. She was good though, us women are much better at multitasking than men, so I called it quits and let Kate and Torque use the arena.

After the horses were fed and put away I went to a friend's house for dinner. Boy am I ever stuffed! Steak, onions & mushrooms, cheese curds, green beans, and Hershey PIE! Probably not one of my best ideas to eat all that in one sitting... it was SO good though! I've got to watch it or I'm going to gain back all that weight that I lost! I sure hope I know better than to get back to that point. I learned my lesson the first time! Anyway, enough babbling! Here's hoping for warm weather again! Good night, everyone.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rain, rain, rain


Rain has been in the forecast since last night. We had some strong storms roll through. It was kind of nice to lay in bed and listen to the thunder... despite having my 70lb dog shivering beside me. He hates thunder storms... poor dog.

The rain is supposed to stick around until tomorrow. We've had some dry patches though. In fact, it stopped raining long enough for me to get a ride in this afternoon. I had a choice between Rem and Flirt, and although I probably should have saddled Rem up to practice for the Midwest Horse Fair, I picked Flirt instead. She was a good girl. I trotted her quite a bit, mostly because she didn't want to stand still when Aubrey's dad came to the gate to talk to us... so it was off to work for her. She must be feeling good because she trotted right off and then decided to throw in a few canter strides. I didn't stop her because I was curious to see how her lope is, and it's just as smooth as her trot. I can definitely tell she is pleasure bred. By the end of our ride, she was thankful for a chance to stand still. She's a quick learner... I'm sure she'll remember that standing still when I ask the first time is going to earn her a lot less work.

Midwest Horse Fair is coming up fast. I still have quite a few things to accomplish before next weekend, I hope I can fit everything in!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A good weekend


Well I hope your Easter weekend was as good as mine. Of course the best part is having an excuse to eat candy without feeling too guilty... I may have over done it though... oh well. I'm going to pick up some hay tomorrow, so I'll work it off, right?

Flirt is coming along nicely. She's such a calm horse. She could care less when I take her away from her pasture buddy. She doesn't carry on whinnying or get nervous at all. Neither Riskie or Rem are herd bound... sure I'd like to take credit for "training" them that it's okay to be away from their buddies, or maybe I'd like to think that they see me as their "lead mare", but really, I think I've just got good horses.

Anyway, after spending our first few rides in the small indoor arena, I figured it was time to venture out to the large outdoor arena with Flirt. She didn't disappoint and did very well. I've been keeping our rides to about 15 minutes, just to keep things simple for her. I'll gradually increase the time as she becomes comfortable... I've also been riding her two times a day.

The video below shows us out in the pasture. I asked her to trot for the first time today. She did really well... She was a little uncoordinated, but I can't blame her. She's still trying to figure out how to carry my weight. She has the smoothest trot though, and such a long stride.



Well, I should get some sleep I guess. Happy late Easter... eat some more candy!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Flirt's First Week

Well I've been keeping busy with horses all week. I've ridden so many I can't even keep track of them all. Last night I went to team roping and got to rope off of Brady and Willy. They were both a lot of fun. I even caught a few steers :-)

Flirt is doing really well, she gets better every day (as she should)! I've almost got her convinced that what we do is fun, but she's still a little unsure when I come out to catch her. Doesn't take her long to give in though. She is a very brave horse, and not much bothers her, so I am confident she's ready to accept a rider. I've done quite a bit of ground work with her over the past several days. Today, I decided, would be the day to get up in the saddle. I take things one step at a time, so I had her used to the saddle on Wednesday. Yesterday I stepped in the stirrup, but didn't swing up. She learned to stand for that, and today I decided to swing up and sit on her. Tomorrow I will probably ask her for movement. Anyway, Kate was out at the barn, so she was kind enough to take some photos of Flirt's first "ride".

Jumping up and down alongside Flirt.

Standing in the stirrup on the left side.

Standing in the stirrup on the right side.

Swung over... "Hey! What are you doing up there??"

Good Girl! Time to unsaddle.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

New Kids


So, for those of you wondering about the horses pictured in yesterday's post, I'll tell you about them. One of them belongs to my friend. She's keeping her at the barn to get her started under saddle. The small indoor arena is a great place to start colts. Her name is Parleigh, she is a 3 year old Quarter Horse, though she doesn't have papers. She is the red dun with the big diamond star and snip.

The other horse is my project for the summer. I may have been a little foolish in buying a 3rd horse while I don't have a job, but I've had an itch to start another colt for quite some time. She is a 3 year old Appaloosa filly. Her registered name is Flirtini, but I'm calling her Flirt. The big plan is to train her and re-sell her, but that is a risky thing right now in the horse business, hopefully I can pull it off. She hasn't had any training other than being a pasture pet for 3 years. She seems to catch on quickly though. She is on the skinny side so I really need to work on fattening her up.

Anyway, I've been spending most of my time out at the barn, working with my own horses. I'm also riding a few horses for a friend of mine. She just had knee surgery and she wanted someone to condition her horses for her trip to South Dakota. They do a lot of riding there, so her horses need to be in shape.

Well, today is going to be the warmest day of the year so far, so I'm going to head out and enjoy it! Hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Back to Work (for my horses, not me)

So with all this time on my hands I've been doing a lot of riding. The weather has been so nice, I can't help but think it's just for me :-) As you can see, I'm trying to grow Riskie's mane out... I'm not sure how far it'll get before it drives me crazy and I roach it off again. A young girl might show her in 4H this summer, so I'll have to hope it is at least long enough to band, otherwise I will roach it.

I've mostly been working Riskie. Rem has had it easy, so I'll have to ride him tomorrow. More soccer practice is probably in order. We've got to master the ball control.

Well, not a whole lot to say I guess. Enjoy the photos!



Rem enjoying an afternoon nap in the sunshine

Caper enjoys a good roll in the grass

Friday, March 19, 2010

I couldn't help myself

I went ahead and bought a horse soccer ball for myself. I couldn't help it, it's just a lot of fun and I would like to practice on my own, so it's worth it to me. Rem does a lot better when he has the ball to himself, so hopefully this will give him lots of confidence when we play with everyone else. I tried it out with Riskie and she loved it! She wanted to push it with her nose rather than kick it though. She got the hang of it after a while, but she's pretty short so I think her nose hits it before her legs do. Anyway, I'm pretty excited about it. Enjoy the video!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wonderful Weather

What amazing weather we've been having! For March, anyway. The temps have been in the mid 60's and we've seen nothing but blue skies! I love it! Too bad they are forecasting snow for Saturday... grrr... and here I thought we were done with that white stuff. Oh well.

Yesterday, my friend, Kate, and I went for a trail ride. We took an old trail that runs from our city into a neighboring town. It's a really nice trail to get your horse ready for trail riding season because it is flat and straight the whole way through. It's actually an abandoned railroad bed, which is pretty cool. Kate was riding her colt, Torque. It was his very first trail ride and he did really well. In order to get on the trail you have to ride underneath an interstate overpass. Rem led the way and Torque followed without question. What good ponies!

Once we were on our way Kate wanted to see if Torque would lope. Rem was in front so I asked for a nice easy lope. Kate kissed Torque up into a lope and once he found his lead he followed right along.

The ride into town was about two hours. The horses were happy to stand at the hitching post while we had lunch at the bar. Kate's mom met us there. After a nice lunch (mmm... bacon cheeseburger...) we decided it would be a little much to ask our horses to carry us the two hours back down the trail, so Kate's mom drove Kate to the truck and trailer and she brought it back to town so we could load our horses up and head home. It was a great way to spend St. Patty's day!





Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Soccer Practice

So the exercise ball didn't work out quite the same as the big horse soccer ball. It's much smaller so if I ask Rem to go faster than a walk the ball gets caught up under his feet and he stumbles over it. But, at least it's teaching him to kick and follow at the walk.



Here is a short little video of me and Rem practicing soccer.

Rem and Risk are both a little sore from their vaccinations yesterday. Rem has a pretty good welt on his neck and Risk is just tender. She pulls away when I touch her neck. Hopefully it won't last too long and they'll be feeling better soon. I wanted to ride them both today, but since Risk seemed so sore I just took her for a walk down the driveway.

Hopefully the nice weather sticks around for a few more days. I might get a trail ride in tomorrow :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010

First Day of Unemployment

So, today is officially my first day of unemployment. I'm really not upset at all. I'm thankful for the break, to be honest. I'm looking at this as more of an opportunity rather than a setback.

I made it through my busy weekend okay, and now I've got quite the week ahead of me. I have to leave for the barn at 8:30 to meet the vet for vaccinations this morning. Then I'm headed to Milwaukee to help out my boyfriend. He's a hair stylist and he's doing a perm class and he needed a model. I volunteered. I've never had a perm before, so this should be interesting...

Tomorrow I've got my meeting in the morning and then I think I'll head out to the barn to practice some horse soccer. I bought a big exercise ball, though I'm sure it's not as big as the ball we use during practice. It should do the trick though...

Speaking of practice, it's going well. Our group starts out practicing by dribbling the ball from one end of the arena to the other and passing it off to another player. Then we practiced taking the ball up the middle and stealing/defending it from another player. Finally, we put it all together and practice a real game. I think the demo should go pretty smoothly. Cindy took some photos from the practice yesterday.

Caution tape curtain - Rem makes a good curtain-holder.

Remington and I watch Tracy and Stacey kick the ball.

Rem lets me dribble the ball, I think he wants to play basketball instead...

Well that's about all I've got to say for now! Have a good Monday!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Two Days Left

I woke up this morning and thought it was Friday. What a trick!

The weather yesterday was so nice. The thermometer in my car said it was 57 when I left work. I didn't get a chance to ride since I had dinner plans, with Aubrey, who is home from vet school for Spring Break. She brought her boyfriend and another friend home with her and they got to enjoy a ride yesterday. She took her pony, Chocolate, and Riskie and Remington out down the driveway. Ben got to ride Remington, and Emily rode Riskie. I hear my horses were both well behaved :-) Ben and Emily don't ride much, so I was happy my horses took care of them.

The next 5 days are going to be really busy for me, so I probably won't even notice I don't have a job until about Wednesday of next week! Tomorrow night, everyone from work is going out for drinks, so that should be fun. It's also Eric's birthday. We're going to celebrate that on Saturday and there's another surprise party we're going to as well. I'm also taking care of a friends horses and dogs on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Then, I've got Mustang practice on Sunday again! Monday I've got the vet coming out for spring vaccinations and coggins tests and then on Tuesday I've got a meeting for the TAA program! So... now you all know way more than you need to about what I'll be doing the next couple of days...

I also have to set up some temporary fencing to keep the horses off the pasture now and let it grow up. That will probably have to wait until Wednesday.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is it FRIDAY yet?

I am having a hard time believing it's only Tuesday... I want this week to be over with so BAD! Oh well, I need to stop whining and just get on with it... Just three more days...

In case you haven't noticed, Remington's the only one getting his picture up on my blog... that's because I've mostly been riding him this winter. So what's Risk been up to? Well she has been doing her best to teach the new boyfriend how to stay on a horse :-) They do pretty well together.

I have to give him credit for coming out in the cold to ride horses with me. Riding outside in the Wisconsin Winter is not for the faint of heart. Luckily Spring is just around the corner.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mud!


I'm not going to complain about the 40+ degree weather we've been having... but the mud is a little discouraging. I want so bad to go out and ride, but I don't have a sandy arena to ride in, just grass pastures that I don't want to mark up. So, I've been confined to rides down the driveway. Not exactly the kind of riding I want to do, but for now it will have to do.


We had our first practice for the Mustang breed demo for the Midwest Horse Fair on Sunday. So, I did get to ride in a nice big indoor, which was nice. We are playing horse soccer for the demo. We've got a lot of work to do and only 2 more practices, so hopefully we can pull it off. Our demo times are on Saturday at 4:50p.m., right before the Liberty presentation and then on Sunday at 9:40a.m. Pretty good time slots. There will be a lot of people in the coliseum on Saturday, should be interesting... Hopefully things will dry out and I'll be able to ride and practice outside in the pasture soon.


Today is the start of my last week of employment where I currently work. I am more excited than sad. I am ready to move on and I am bored out of my mind here, so hopefully this week goes by fast!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010