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!