Friday, 14 December 2012

Back at it


When i found this image on Pinterest i must have laughed for a good 2 hours i couldnt even look at my phone without laughing... sassy starfish... ha ha!

Anyways I hope everyone has been doing great i will have to go and read through everyones blogs to get caught up. I took a little bit of time off to work on me on my physical fitness and to work on my mental state, there has been so many positive changes in my life lately and i have been trying to keep those going and stay positive focus on getting caught up with work.... not to mention i had my CAIB 1 exam last week... fingers crossed i passed.

G has had some time off but seemed more than happy to be back at work when i was out there last night I lunged him first because i was expecting him to be a little hot after so much time off but he wasnt bad he was a little quick and a little sassy going clock wise (yes i did giggle a little bit when i wrote that) but it was very minimal and easy to get his mind back on what we were doing.

He stood better than usual at the mounting block and was very well behaved considering there was about 6 other riders in the arena.The entire time i was riding he had his ears back on me listening waiting for me to ask him to do something and he tried so hard to do everything that i asked... he has just lost a lot of his conditioning, he was huffing and puffing after about 20 mins so we took a little walk break then cantered both directions... again clock wise he was a bit of a brat and through a buck in but he does it once then goes into this beautiful flowing canter.

Saturday is our barn christmas party so i am sure i will have more pictures for you guys... before that we are having a show meeting so everyone who wants to show this summer can "sign up" with our barn so we know who all is going to what shows and we all have some goals for our training. G and i will be back in lessons for sure by January i figure by then i have to have another second job.

Im excited its going to be an interesting 2013, we will probably go to a few dressage shows and a few eventing shows... probably a few more eventing shows.

I also have 2 videos that i am trying to get uploaded :)

happy riding!! 

Friday, 23 November 2012

Lesson # 18 Straightness + Halt


Last night i had a new girl join me in our lesson with her spunky little mare that used to be a reining horse, so this mare was doing lots of spins and FAST... the rider thought that would be a good way to get her attention back on the task.... it wasnt overly productive but it was pretty neat watching how fast this little mare could spin.

Anyways last night i got on G and he was a bit of a brat, not listening to my leg or my seat or my hands... or anything... as my coach said he was being a "tourist" looking at everything and completely ignoring me. It took some serpentines and some 20m circles with a bend to get him focused on the task at hand, all and all about 5 minutes for his brain to get into a "time to work" mode.

My coach wanted to work on staying off the track to force me to learn to use my legs to keep him straight and how to properly get to the wall. Usually when G and i come up to a wall i would use the wall to force him to turn which is VERY lazy of me but it is an effective way of turning a large animal *ha ha*. So we worked on a few serpentines with a pole on the ground the goal was to try to keep G nice and straight while coming accross the arena and before i hit the end of the pole (which was just before the track) to have him bent around my leg starting the turn so i could then push him over with my inside leg to the wall, sounds simple huh?

Once the other girl was ready to join the lesson we worked on getting a steady rhythem and getting a nice bend on a circle while maintaining a circle... not a Squoval... believe me.. G and i are the champions of the Squoval... if there was a squoval competition we would win the olympics... just saying...

We also worked on going up and down the quarter line focusing on straightness and again turning just before the wall and pushing the horses over. My Dressage coach has completely changed my riding position so for me i also had to work on keeping my legs back a little more (i have a tendancy to push my legs forward like im riding downhill constantly) and slow my posting as well as the amount im posting.

Then we worked on the halt down the quarter line, typically i will ask for a halt and it goes like this

ask--ask----G continues to walk forward---i ask again---he takes 2 more steps----he turns --- stops for a second ---walks off without me asking him

Last night it was like this

Ask--halt...... ask to walk on---walk on

He was even squared up and everything.... needless to say G got tons of hugs and kisses and face scratches and loving, he was perfect.

Friday- off
Saturday- ride deworm
Sunday - hoping for another ride

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Basically a true story



Have a great thanksgiving everyone i am about to leave work for my lesson!

Be sure to stuff your face for me.... im on a diet :(

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Learning about...

Splurge or save:
1. saddle
splurge
2. board save as much as I can w/o compromising his care
3. halter save
4. bit  what ever is recommended
5. bridle im saving up to splurge lol
6. saddle pad  save
7. trailer NOT even an option any time soon lol but it would be splurge


First thing that comes to mind: 
1. Haflinger  sounds complicated
2. Quarter Horse sounds boring
3. Thoroughbred sounds fast
4. Warmblood sounds big
5. Welsh Cob small and adorable want one for my son <3

This or That:
1. English or Western
2. tall or short
3. trail ride or beach ride (never dont it)
4. long mane or short mane 
5. hunters or jumpers
6. XC or barrel racing
7. outdoor arena or indoor arena i live in Canada ill take my indoor for the 8 months of winter
8. trot or canter 
9. canter or gallop
10. paddock boots, tall boots, or cowboy boots
11horse shoes or barefoot
12saddle or bareback

About you: 
1. How long have you been riding? training and taking lessons for 1.5 years, rode here and there when i was younger
2. Do you own or lease a horse? own
3. Breed? Age? Height? Name? (if you don’t own or lease, you could talk about your lesson horse) Trakehner 6 years old 16.1hh Gjonstone HR
4. Do you have any other pets?   Crixus (pitbull black lab X) Mortimer (Rabbit)
5. If your horse was a person, what kind of voice would they have (you can use a celebrity for an example) He would be snarky and sarcastic a bit of a rebel but all in all have a big heart.
6. Does your horse have a “color”? If so, what is it, and what do you have in that color? He looks flashy in red and white
7. Does your horse do any tricks? He enjoys knocking things over and will do it while you are watching he also thinks its funny to do all the things he isnt suppose too.. like nip... he will try to nip my pockets while i am bent over cleaning his feet
8. Have you ever dressed your horse up for Halloween? Nope



Favorites: 
1. Breed? Trakehners (personality wise) Dutch Warmblooks (appearance)
 2. Discipline? Dressage
3. Coat color? I love Greys
4. Famous horse? Bold Ruler
5. Horse race/competition? Love watching Masters at Spruce Meadows
6. Brand of tack? I have a bit of Mondega stuff currently
7. Thing to do with your horse? I love hacking out with him listening to music and being calm relaxed and at peace with each other... no fighting no stress just calm.
 
 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lesson #17 Dressage

I look forward to my Dressage lessons more than anything else because i feel like i am doing more than just riding and i can tell after my ride just by how my horse looks that i worked his mind as well as his body. (i was going to post pictures but i cant get them to rotate...)

Anyways i was running late so i had to ride my dressage lesson in my all purpose saddle. Everything started out great he stood perfect at the mounting block (both times) because i forgot my helmet the first time. I started warming him up and he was very fiesty he wanted to go and wanted to work i loved that, i loved feeling like i needed to bring him back to me as opposed to pushing him forward.

We worked on flexion on a circle making the circle bigger and smaller, when my coach noticed that G was fighting the bend to the right she wanted to work on that during the lesson. (she also corrected my possition i tend to ride with my legs to far forward and again my posting is awful).

We started down the long wall doing a leg yeild with his nose facing the wall at a walk he didnt want to move off my leg as usual so we tried it at the trot and he was much more responsive but i had a hard time keeping a rhythem and stop him from running away with me we did it quite a few times around the arena then we started on single bending lines.

Single bending lines go from one letter to x back to the same wall at the last letter G did very well with this exercise 2 weeks ago but my coach wanted to incorperate the canter so we could work on our canter to trot transitions. So the idea was to canter the short wall and do a single bending line at a sitting trot down the long wall to pick up the canter again at the end and repeat.... it didnt work out quite that way...

As i mentioned previously G has decided that kicking out and bucking is a really fun way to try and intimidate me and help us change up the exercise it didnt work in his favor because we pushed through the kicks and the bucks and even though it wasnt pretty it improved greatly by the end... anyways it usually went like this

ask for canter-buck kick---canter---ask for trot---ignored still cantering to x----ask for trot again----get some head tossing then trot--- and repeat....

Again this is not an injury thing or a soreness thing because when you push him through it a few times he gives up... also my dressage coach is a myofacial... something or other (equine massage therapist) so please dont think it is a soreness issue because he is completely sound believe me that and saddle fit was the first things i looked at.

I am quite proud of myself that this did not intimidate me and we were able to ride past it but my back has been sore the last few days as well as my inner thighs from the change in position and the balanceing a horse off my hands.

This week is going to be really busy but i am hoping it will look like this...

Tuesday- Off
Wednesday- Off
Thursday- Lesson with Nat
Friday-Off
Saturday- ride
Sunday- ride

Lesson #16 More Canter

Sorry i have been a little tardy lately with my posts, we have had some really bad weather so i havnt been getting out to the barn as much as i would have liked due to the really bad road conditions over two days we had something like 400 reported accidents in my city alone.

Anyways im back on having my regular lessons so i have a few to post about now. I keep getting told about how much progress G and i are making... i have a video but i have to 1 build up the courage to post it and 2 find a video of me riding worse so that there is something to compare too... that will be later this week im hoping.

Anyways G and i had a lesson with Nat on Thursday it was great G was forward and ready to work however he has now decided that in the canter transition he would like to buck and kick out, he does this almost every time now and i have had people watch him move to make sure that it is not a soreness issue all the coaches and other riders at my barn even the equine massage therapist says it is him testing me. So we have backed off the canter a little bit for the time being.

Trot poles are greatly improving i no longer hold my breath while going over them and i am able to go through with a posting trot as well as a sitting trot. MY biggest challenge is trying to fix my posting trot... if i get up the nerve to post the videos you will see i post like a a crazy person and thats why i have such a hard time with controling our rhythem and pace... as well as why i feel like he is running away with me all the time.

Thats my biggest challenge right now trying to fix my posting.

I also will be taking a few lessons with another coach at our barn before she goes away to compete in the states in January because she will be the one working with me in the summer since Nat will be leaving for ferrier school.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Lesson #15 - Dressage

At the new barn i take weekly lesson with one of the girl who is an experienced eventer, she is great she pushes me to try new things to not be a chicken and to just "get over it" and make my horse do it. She has been showing for a lot longer than me and i learn a ton from her every week but when i found out that my barn was going to bring in a dressage coash 1x a month i jumped on that as quickly as i could because i knew that she wasnt going to be taking on to many students and man am i glad that i did!! The best part is that today went so well that she is going to come in every second sunday!

I had my first lesson with this Dressage coach today and i was nervous because she is a judge and used to compete up to pretty high levels, not only that but the girl that was going to ride with me originally is much more advanced in her riding so i was worried that i would be holding her back or i would not be able to do what was being asked.... luckily the lessons were move around and the girl i train with on Thursdays was moved into my lesson with me... AND she called in sick so i got a private lesson for the cost of a semi private.

The lesson started out with the typical questions about where we are at what have we accomplished that type of thing. I brought out my dressage saddle so we have to lengthen my stirrups. G was still having a hard time with the far side of the arena and i dont blame him since the snow is melting right now and sliding off so we kept the lesson at the one end of the arena for the first half.

First thing the new coach pointed out to me is that i am putting weight on the inside of my foot while posting which is twisting my foot out, she wanted me to focus on putting the weight on my baby toe which will point my feet straight ahead as well a help me sink further into my heels and lower leg as well as keep my posting rhythmic and make my rise not as high. As soon as i started to focus on this our tempo was much better we kept a pace instead of him getting quick and my posting getting faster to match.

She also mentioned my head position, i guess i have a weird head tilt... which i wasnt aware of so trying to correct that is a little harder than correcting things you know you have been doing wrong. I also have a habit of looking at my horse and not straight ahead which is something i did now and am getting much better with.

I have also been having a hard time with G buging out and cutting corners as well as cutting accross the circle, the coaches biggest suggestion was to keep me hands closer together thumbs on top but ony about an inch of space in between my hands it was amazing how quickly this fixed my bulging problem.

Other than being lazy G was great we did lots of work on the circle making the circle bigger and smaller, we did some work riding from one corner to X then back to the same wall on both sides of the arena (ill look up the letters and fix this post later). We also practiced some turn on the forehand.

Did i mention that the entire lesson was at a trot.... a sitting trot because she liked my sitting trot better than my rising trot... every now and then she would throw in a rising trot but that was few and far between... G did amazing as always i am so proud of him and how much progress we have made.

He has earned his next couple days off, and i need to nurse my sore abs and legs before thursdays lesson. Sorry for the double post but i wanted to get this caught up before going to bed.

Mon-Wed- Days off
Thursday- Lesson W/ tr 1

Lesson #14

Sorry i have been bad and not getting on here as much as i should to update. I will be making up for that for sure because so much has happened!

As those of you who have been following me for a long time know i was terrified of the canter i would do everything and anything to get out of it... well that has changed... i love the canter i have found my balance in it so now its jut practice to get G's balance.

Thursday i had my lesson as usual we started with getting an inside bend at a walk and a trot around the arena but G was having very little of it so i kept him on a circle to avoid the spooking in the one area of the arena. I just didnt want to have that fight with him at that time, i wanted to work on stuff with my trainer there and get him focused mentally before pushing him into the corners again.

We did some riding in the 2 point position (which sucks royaly!) im starting to find this easier and easier as i spend more time in the saddle, i have also been practicing on my own a little bit since i knew it would be coming up in lessons.... was i ever right.

We did a little bit of canter the first time i asked i got a nice little buck out of G but a very nice canter on the correct lead, ever time after that we kept on getting the wrong lead so we moved onto something else (after he got it one last time of course).

Trot poles are something that i have never really done a lot of and G is not used to it either, the first 3 times we went through he felt the need to jump the first rail then managed to trip over the last one. My trainer quickly pointed out that i am looking down instead of straight ahead that i need to keep my head up after that small change we where getting through them much better he was picking his feet up... most likely because i was not preparing myself for him to trip and tensing up. After clearing the trot poles we were suppose to stop for 3 seconds then continue for another round.... we clearly need to work on our halts... G would do a 180 take a few steps, try to pull the reins out of my hand then finally decide that stopping would be acceptable.

Friday-no ride
Saturday-ride
Sunday- Dresssage lesson

Friday, 19 October 2012

Lesson # 13 Canter.. Finally

Last nights lesson was great it was a huge leap forward for me in my confidence with riding G i have so much to write!

My new coach has recommended some tack for us to try to hopefully help us move forward with out training. I was previously riding in a standing martingale because G at one point would get frusterated and turn to tossing his head which i found terrifying so that helped me get passed the head tossing and not cause any further anxiety but we have now outgrown the standing martingale so last night my coach had me ride in a breast plate with a running martingale.


Made a big difference it helped keep G's head night and low and helped to keep him off of my hands as well as keep my jiggling hands somewhat off of his face. Now to come up with $100 to buy one of these bad boys... until i can afford this my trainer is going to let me use hers, i am very happy i can retire the standing martingale. YAY for progress!

She also had me try out a new bit one that would prevent G from grabbing onto the bit and resisiting originally i was riding in a typical Eggbutt Snaffle like this one. (not quite that thin... mine was much thicker than that)


And last night i rode in one that looks like this.

The combination of the change in tack made a huge different in our ride, he felt amazing (not to mention was back to being sound after having his shoes pulled). Our trot work was great it was very forward and he kept his head nice and low as i had mentioned.

Some of the other boarders brought a few horses into the arena that were causing some craziness at one end so Nat had us stay on a circle at one end and work on riding a circle with an inside bend in both directions at a walk and a trot. Then she asked for us to pick up a canter... oh no... this is something that we had done virtually 0 work on because i had such bad anxiety towards it for no apparent reason is started to make excuses for why we should be able to "practice" on the weekend and work on it in our next lesson (thank fully before i started taking lessons i told Nat that i was full of crap and i had no reason for the anxiety and had asked not to buy into my excuses and to make me do it) she gave me a look and told me to canter down the long wall behind the other girl in my lesson. I kissed at G and squeezed and because the horse in front was doing it he started cantering as well we did pretty good werent as unbalance as we usually are.

We came back to the circle and did a little more trot with an inside bend asking with our outside leg to make the circle smaller and smaller. Then Nat asked us to canter on the circle this was something that made me a little nervous because in my head i could see G running away with me over the jumps and what not in the arena but we did it Nat was awesome she kept talking to me and telling me to slow the trot down before asking for the canter and explained we wanted a nice slow trot before the canter to put him on his hind end before asking. The first couple times we cantered on the circle i was really heavy in the saddle and very active with my hands but with each attempt it got a little bit better and i gained a little bit more confidence, there was very little head tossing and that was curbed with the martingale very quickly.

I felt very accomplished after yesterdays ride even though i have the worst cold on the planet im an excited to go out tonight and ride, i am hoping that we will be able to canter again by our selves so we can be ready for next weeks lesson.


Monday, 15 October 2012

Weekend recap

G was still a little ouchie on his front feet but doing much better than he was so i didnt do any riding this weekend but we did do a fair bit of lunge work to help continue to get him used to moving in the sand.

When i lunge G i alternate with and without side reins and when i do lunge with side reins i dont lunge for long and they are not very tight i will post a video soon that shows the slack in the side reins but it gets him thinking about how he is moving and were his head is.

Ill get some video this week of both him in side reins and without. Dressage lesson on sunday was canceled, which makes me happy because i didnt have to cancel due to G being ouchie lol.

G also has a new paddock mate so he isnt all alone his new friend is another little Trakehner named Finn ill get some pictures when i am out there next.

Monday-off
Tuesday- lunge
Wednesday-off
Thursday-lesson

Friday, 12 October 2012

Lesson #12 Another New Trainer

So now that i am settled into the new barn i have started taking lessons again with a new girl Nat i have watched her ride she is very patient and what she says makes sense i have gotten the opportunity to watch a few of her lessons as well so i figured she would be a great fit... But of course she is an eventer and teases me constantly that my horse would make a great eventer ha ha... we will see....

One down side is i prefer private lessons (i like things to be all about me ;) lol) but i dont like the cost of $50 each but luckily i found a girl that i get along with really well that is fairly close to the same level as i am in my riding so she is jumping into my lessons slot with me and now i only have to pay $30 yay for saving money that means i can now afford a dressage lesson 1x a month!

Anyways, i brought G in from his paddock (loving him being in paddock especially now that he is in there with a little baby Trakehner that he gets along with really well) i didnt notice anything off with him because we were outside but he was very hesitant to walk on the cement in the barn and on the wood around the arena but i tacked him up and let him warm up a bit before lunging him.Nat was in the arena teaching a lesson when i went to lunge him and G was definitely a little sore on his front feet from getting his shoes off he was worse in one direction than the other but as he warmed up he started moving much better still a little short in his reach but better.

I got on after a few minutes of fighting him at the mounting bucket and walked him around the arena to feel how he was moving at the walk he was fine but the trot he didnt want to extend very much but all in all was moving good in the sand so we decided to go forward with the lesson but keep it at a walk.

One of the big things that Nat wants me to work on is my inside bend currently we have none lol G does not like to bend to the left so we spent a good amount of the lesson walking around the arena with me trying to hold an inside bend and not allow him to push through my outside leg then we would do a few circles in this same movement the circles were the worst because G tends to ignore my outside leg.

Nat pointed out that i take up so much of my reins which isnt a bad thing but currently where we are at in our riding i want to be promoting him to stretch long and low and to allow for him to reach for the bit. She had me go to the buckle and try to same exercise and it helped a little.

The lesson went really well i am really excited to continue with her consistantly, she suggested moving G into a rolling snaffle to help stop him from grabbing the bit (she hopped on G for a couple minutes after my ride to help her determine were to go from here kind of thing) She also suggested draw reins to help teach him that being a Giraffe is not pretty in an event horse or a dressage horse. So now i am going to troll my barn to see if anyone will lend me a rolling snaffle before i go out to buy one. The girl i ride with in my lessons said she has a set of draw reins that she will lend me to try out before i go and buy some as well.

Friday-day off (i work both jobs and G needs to feel better)
Saturday-lunge in side reins and ride to work on what we learned
Sunday-possibly a dressage lesson if i can make it work with my 2nd job

Have a great weekend everyone :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Ferrier day

New ferriers are my favorite part of new barns every barn has a hot ferrier and my barn is no exception.

G had his shoes off and will remain barefoot now for the remainder of the winter. He was  bit of a brat for the ferrier but everything was great with his feet. The ferrier did mention however that the crack in G's hoof that i was concerned about a while back was because the prior ferrier was not beveling the top of his hoof enough and basically G's hoof was cavng in on itself.... kinda glad we fixed that one early on... and now i have 2 horse shoes that i need to figure out something sentimental to do with them...

Question: What have you done with your horses first set of shoes?

Anyways -

Thursday night-Lesson
Friday-day off
Saturday- ride
Sunday- dressage lesson

Life is good :)

Weekend Woes

Im typing this on probably the smallest computer ever so hopefully i manage to catch all my typo's so i apologise in advance.

This weekend was interesting i went out friday night to ride and had a great ride G is really starting to get used to the sand arena which is great he was very hot however and saucy but it was forward so i cannot complain to much.

I went out saturday to ride brought my room  mate to see the barn since she is considering possibly moving barns. I brought G into the arena to lunge him and sure enough he was stocked up in his hind right leg so i took all his tack off and lunged him and he was definitely off. So we put him in a stall for the day and night after cold hosing a few times for 10 minutes each time.

Sunday i went out to check on my boy and sure enough stocked up in both legs but he lunged really well so we decided to put him in a paddock after cold hosing him again.

Monday he was fine both legs looked great and by Tuesday he was lunging out properly again but i have decided that pasture is probably a bad idea especially now that we have gotten snow so my boy will be in a paddock to prevent further injuries.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Lesson canceled

I went out to the barn last night and brought G in to have him stand in the cross ties for a bit next to other horses while i watched the lessons that were going on. I cant wait to be able to ride like some of these girls cantering around in 2 point i was very envious. I love this barn the atmosphere is amazing everyone is very friendly and actually loves and cares about their horses.

There was 2 young kids riding in a lesson on some lesson horses so i figured i would sneak in and have a quick ride. I didnt lunge G because these kids were still learning the basics of steering and i didnt want to cause a disaster so i just hopped on. His mounting skills are spectacular i can use anything a bucket or a jump and at the moment he is standing still relaxed waiting for me to get on and once i am on he does not walk off he waits until i am ready and settled... not to sure what happened to change this because we really havnt done much work on it but i am definitely not going to complain.

We did some walk work pushing him into the corners of the arena, trotted different directions walked and trotted over some rails and once the kids were done there lesson we did some more trot work with the lengthening and shortening of his stride. For a little bit i dropped my stirrups and did some laps like that at the trot then came back to the walk for a cool down where i was finally able to get him on the bit again so since he offered we did a little more trot on the bit and then finished our cool down.

My new trainer was in the arena so i had an opportunity to talk to her about where i wanted to be and where im at, some of my mental issues that have hindered my riding and i am really excited to start with her next week. I was suppose to start last night but unfortunatly i didnt have the funds to be able to do it.

Today G is getting an assessment done by a massage therapist to check and see if he could benefit from massage therapy or by seeing the Chiropractor. He has a bit of a click in his hips at a walk so i wanted to get it looked at and see if maybe it has something to do with our straightness issues and above all i want him to be comfortable.

No riding tonight since i have a dinner to go to but i will be out tomorrow to ride and spoil my boy. Next wweek is lesson and ferrier day.

Happy Thanks Giving everyone (Canada)

Monday, 1 October 2012

Big Weekend Move

Over the weekend we did our clear out of the old barn and moved into our new barn. G wont be in a stall for the winter which sucks but i cant afford to keep him in a stall at the new barn right now maybe in the future just somthing my princess horse will need to get used too. So we have our lessons booked 1 lesson a week. 3 lessons will be with an Eventing coach (to work on basics and dressage) then 1 lesson a month will be with a dressage coach.

I was worried about G loading since he didnt do to great when i bought him but he did great right up and onto the trailer. I was even able to ride him at the new barn with no major issues other than he cant figure out how to back into the cross ties.

The sand arena was amazing but very different for G he was very sweaty after about 30 mins of riding. Anyways here are a few pictures for everyone, expect many more pictures because i went out and bought an iphone *sigh* so i can actually take great photos.

Hi mom!

i dunno mom new barns are scary

new cross ties after 20 minutes of coaxing

were we going mom?

checkin out the new feild mates

bye bye old stall #6

Monday, 24 September 2012

Saucy Saturdays + Saddle Sold

As many of you know i have been battling with a Giraffe the last couple rides so i decided that obviously something that i am doing is causing him discomfort because its not like G to flat out refuse to do what i asked. Some people asked if it was maybe his teeth so we ruled that out, then it was his saddle... to be honest i am not completely sure what it is that might be causing him to act so out of sorts but i have been working at eliminating different things.

Saturday i went out to work with G i was planning for it to be a nice easy ride since it is our last weekend at EGSC. One of the guys at the barn suggested that maybe my issues stem from my saddle fit, but there are no points were my saddle pinches my horses back the saddle fits perfect and G doesnt swish his tail or get girthy. Either way i figured i would take the advise i was given on my previous post and lunge him first... i asked him to walk off and he went into a bucking and kicking fit.... with my saddle on... so i stopped him took all my tack off and we started again same thing... i was really nervous to ride him but i lunged him both sides until he was calm relaxed then we walked all the way back to the barn to get my helmet (yes i know i should ALWAYS ride with a helmet, but i dont and i understand what could happen and all that but its a choice that i make as an adult when i get on my horse.) today was definitely a helmet kind of day. This time when i tacked up i left the girth a lot loser i checked how tight it was at the sternum and not the sides.

I prepared for a bit of a fight at the mounting chair since i figured it would be a nice change to ride in the outdoor since we still are having great weather, but it only took 2x to get him back were he should be at the chair so i could get on... he then waited for me to ask him to walk on... i was shocked.. this is the horse i know. So we did some nice relaxing loops around the arena did a little bit of trot on the lose rein, a few trot rails. Then it was off down the road to see how he would do out on a bit of a hack just the two of us.. he was very nervous as he is when ever we do something new and i am not standing beside him but he did great we even crossed the highway and did some trot circles in the neighbores feild. I didnt ask for contact all i wanted was forward and to enjoy our ride. I did however focus a lot more on my position and keeping myself straight. He did great even when a car flew past us on the highway while we were on the shoulder, he didnt panic or bolt he just kept going.

Sunday i went out again for a quick ride again in the out door, i lunged him quick just to make sure that if he had any bucking or kicking to get out it was on there and not while i was on his back... put on my helmet (2 days in a row look at me go lol) tighten his girth the same as i did the day before (at the sternum) this time there was no fighting at the mounting chair he stood still and it was nice and easy to hop on. We did some walk and some trot as well as walking over a few cross rails that were set up in the arena it was a great way to end my experience at EGSC.

Last night i also sold my Paris tack dressage saddle which couldnt come at a better time... AND i got to ride a standard bred... which felt like riding a llama.... Pretty neat feeling...

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Finding my Patience

Anyone who knows me knows that generally i have no patience, its something that i have been trying to learn especially when it comes to my child and my animals.

I rode 3x this weekend, Saturday was a scratch because i worked both jobs and in between had to go out to Deworm G with the special vet dewormer because a horse in the heard turned up with wormer resistant worms.

Fridays ride was the same as Thursdays like riding a Giraffe again the big plus was that he was forward which is great. We tried at a walk to get some contact on the bit which resulted in a battle were i only gave when he did which took quite some time. It was also a bit of a fight to keep him on a 20m circle he kept trying to cut in or wander out to far. So to prevent him from being able to think about all the ways he could NOT do what i was asking i started asking him at a trot on a circle. We probably trotted for a good 30 minutes on a circle in both directions the reason we didnt carry on longer was that he FINALLY put his head down and relaxed a little. Both of us were quite sweaty at the end of the ride and exhausted, unfortunatly i had to hang out around the barn for a while because there were some young girls there riding with me who cannot be riding without adult supervision.

Sunday was a fairly short ride again starting out at the walk riding my Giraffe asking for straight forward and a 20m circle again all things that were not on G's list of what he wanted to do that day. I figured that we would try to mix it up a little bit and did some sitting trot work, some trotting without stirrups, some figure 8's and some serpentines before going back to a 20m circle he was a little bit quicker to relax today so the ride was a little bit easier on my hands but he definitely was not as forward as the other days. Most likely due to the fact that this weekend is the hardest i have ridden him and the most work he has had to do in a long time. How ever at the end of the ride while i was walking him out with no stirrups he finally brought his head down and took a little bit of contact with the bit for a few steps anyways so at that moment we called it a day and a win for the weekend.

Some quick notes... the head raising is strictly an evading manouver that he has picked up (again i allowed him to learn this), the martingale is not new and he has never done this before with the martingale had i not had it on him this weekend i most likely would have ended up with a broken nose. G has had his teeth done and i check them regularily to make sure that he is still good with his mouth. If this issue continues i may consider a different bit but this one was doing just fine before so i think i will just have to wait his stubborness out.

At this point i am also open to suggestions.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Could have sworn i bought a horse....

And not a Giraffe...

Last night I went out to ride and something crazy happened I went out to the field and I saw G look under another horse at me then started walking towards me only a step or two but I will take that over walking away from me any day.

He was great while tacking up as usual, the battle at the mounting block was shorter than I was expecting it to be then it was go time.

As soon as I got on he had his head as high as he could possibly get it with his standing martingale on and he was walking a really fast awkward pace.... hey at least we had forward right? We had forward but we definitely did not have straight I could feel him wiggling underneath me and he was constantly tripping over himself it was like riding a two year old good thing I put boots on him.

We continued to ride around at this awkward pace I would slow him down then start to ask for contact then right back into the crazy fast Giraffe walk he would go in to. At one point he was stepping so high I could feel the elevation in his front end I wish I would have video taped this whole thing I’m sure it looked absolutely ridiculous and I know it is his attempt to try and find a way to get out of working since now all his other ways are not working.

We got into one of the scary corners of the arena and he started to lean on my leg so I gave him a tap with the whip to get him to stop ignoring my leg, he also ignored the whip and started going backwards so I gave him another tap which resulted..... In him rearing... not an all out YEEHAAWW kind of rear but enough that his front legs were where his chest should have been while standing. I was shocked he had never tried to rear on me before I was also pretty proud of myself because when he came down I was still on his back and not barely I was planted pretty firmly in the saddle I think he was quite disappointed because I pushed him forward as soon as his hooves touched the ground.

I took him back to a walk, which he kept very forward, and asked for just the slightest big of contact which he eventually gave to me and we did some trot at the awkward Giraffe pace/style and called it a day.

Positives of the ride... I stayed on when he reared... I haven’t laughed more during a ride than I did last night.... eventually he gave me just a little bit of what I wanted so all in all a win.

I love my horse and all his shenanigans <3



**and yes this post was spell checked**

Thursday, 13 September 2012

100th Post + Barn Move

Wow 100 posts, i usually struggle to commit to things like this! I just wanted to thank everyone who follows my blog and reads my posts and some times drops a comment. I know the posts are poorly written because they are thrown together quickly while im at work, but it means a lot to me all the knowledge that i get from the comments as well as reading all your blogs as well.

This blog has helped to keep me sane and has made it very easy for me to see my progress and to see how much closer i get to my goals every time i go out and work with my horse. How ever injury is a reminder of how delicate life can be and how important it is to spend every day smiling and with the things we love.

This year has been crazy and im sure it wont slow down but things are looking up for me thankfully. Thanks again everyone!

I thought I'd take the opportunity to post the website for the barn i am moving too.... i have arranged transportation we move September 29 2012. Cant wait!

Gallifrey Equestrian

Girls weekend! at Spruce Meadows!

Last weekend was the 2nd annual girls weekend away to Spruce Meadows for the Masters. This year we managed to get 3 days in instead of the 2 we managed last year. My best friend and coach drove down from B.C with another one of our friends. It was so amazing i will only touch on some of the highlights... i have photos but im going to have to try to figure out a way to get some up on here.

I met the girls down there late Thursday and we went to the horse show all day friday to do some shopping and get it out of the way. I didnt have much money to go down with so i was holding out for a different store. But as usual Spruce always impresses with all the vendors and the great deals they have on everything. We watched the 6 bar which had 2 first place winners the finishing height was 6"5! The French team were the nicest of all they were done doing autographs at their booth when we came up and after the 3 of us looking rather sad they stopped and signed some cards for us.We watched the Strathcona's do their musical ride and saw the last couple riders that day. Then it was off to the bar for some drinks and dancing with a few of our Strat friends. We went two stepping it was so much fun i had a BLAST!

Saturday was good the girls were a little crabby due to the lack of sleep but we hit up my favorite place on earth The Tack Collector If you are ever in the Calgary AB area go and check this place out amazing deals! I was in heaven when i realised that again we came down on a blow out weekend which ment 50% off everything lol. So i bought myself a paid of really nice long reins with the rope $10 (i wanna say rope reins but they are not the western kind?) a cute orange Anky dressage polo $5 (sleeveless) which im wearing to work and a pair of Breeches $10 AND AND best find of the weekend 1 pair of white TailorSportsmans show breeches for $10 and another paid of brand new Tailor Sportsmans in baby blue with the tags still on them showing the original sale price of $198 and i paid.... drum roll...... $15. Couldnt have been happier i fricken love that place! We made it just in time for the International to see the Canadian favorites ride, unfortunatly Tiffany Foster had a real hard time her horse ran right through one of the jumps and then the second time flat out refused it. There were also a few riders that retired.

Saturday night was more partying but unfortunatly we were one girl short due to a huge migraine. We managed to get into ranchmans VIP because my Grandpa is an old Rodeo Clown and they love him in there so we managed to get stamps after our free dinner so we could get back in without line or cover. But it was packed so we decided to hit up a little pub accross the street which was a much better environment.

Sunday was an early day because i had to leave from the event to Edmonton right after to pick my little guy up. The Masters were amazing! Everyone did great. We were all a little sad with Eric Lamaze's withdraw from the masters but it was understandable they should have held the memorial for hickstead after i guess he was a little to choked up to compete and with good cause. Only one major fall and i cant remember for the life of me who it was at this point. No jump off required either. I love going to watch stuff like this but i have a hard time following as well as my friends did them being jumpers and all.

It was a great girls weekend all in all filled with shopping horses and free samples (i left with bags and bags of horse food) i cant wait until next year to do it all over again. I highly recommend making it to Spruce Meadows I could go on and on forever about the great weekend we had the funny conversations and the new friends made but no one wants to read that.

Get your butt to Spruce Next year! see you guys there!

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Lesson #11New Trainer

On Sunday almost a week ago i had an assessment lesson with Stacey T to possibly start having lessons with her i was pretty nervous she had a lot of experience and was managing to fit us into a tight schedule.

So i went out and got G all ready to go tacked up and was about to lunge when SURPRISE she was there early and the arena was being watered so i was not able to lunge. Usually this is not a big deal but it was very windy outside so there were a lot of big sounds in the arena which G is usually pretty skittish around.

So Stacey asked me to hop on and warm up how i usually would so i went to get on and wouldnt you know it G decided to pick today to NOT stand at the mounting block, after a couple minutes of fighting with him Stacey came over and held him for me to get the ball rolling.

I hopped on and started our usually walk around the arena in both directions... we made it down the long wall and thats about it G started his freak out in the corner that he usually finds scarey. He was backing and going sideways trying to change direction, he tried everything and was very successful to pull me out of my seat. I was always taught you dont change direction you dont allow them to get out of what you are asking them to do but Stacey requested i try from the other side... same thing spaz attack in the corner.

I tried to carry on and trot him out but he was dropping his shoulder as he has started doing and counter flexing was only helping so much. So Stacey stopped us and asked if she could try, so back to the mounting block we went were again i had to hold him so she could get on.

One in the saddle he immediatly walked off and wouldnt take any sort of contact with the bit, he tried the same stuff he did with me but couldnt get her out of the saddle which of course did not make him very happy at all.

I watched for about 15 minutes as she fought with my horse to get contact and to get him moving forward, he did everything in his power to evade her to ignore her leg. Stacey just went with the flow at some points i felt kinda bad for my horse he is so used to getting away with murder from me and now he is being schooled by a rider that knows what she is doing and is able to make him do what she wants.... eventually.

So things i learned:
           -My horse is not forward.... i finally know what this means... and he is not it
           -My horse is not straight.... i can feel it now how crooked he is

Are these things my fault? Yes and no.

Yes because i have allowed him to develop these bad habits, i have allowed him to get lazy because i am some what lazy and i am not challenging myself or him.

No because i am also very inexperienced and i dont think its fair to myself to beat myself up over something like this or get discouraged, i have a very forgiving horse that is going to help me learn and move past and correct all these habits.

Plan of Action:

I have found a new barn and am transfering by the end of the month, i then will try to have either a lesson every week or every other week with the trainer on site. Now that this barn is closer to my house i will be out there to ride minimum 4x a week. I will start getting over all my irrational fears, i will start jumping again, and i will CANTER MY HORSE. The new barn is very supportive and a lot more like the barn family i have been looking for it may be more expensive but we need to get our butts in gear if we ever want to get to where i want to go.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Eviction and now a Barn search

I spoke with the people that over see our barn yesterday and it would appear that my ex husband has cancelled our membership and the membership is now in arrears. I was told by our saddle club president that if i get the account cleared up that they would allow me to stay at the barn until my divorce was finalized, well that wasnt true.

After getting off the phone with the management company i cannot stay at the barn under any circumstance they will not make an exception for me. My husband has removed me from all work paper work and unless he adds me again i will be getting notice to get my horse off of the premises.

Long story short im refusing to pay his outstanding debts to them so now i get to start the barn search yet again and try to budget to find a way to be able to manage the more expensive board at other places.

I panicked last night a little bit and went to look at a barn that was "close" to were i live... yeah it was about a 40 minute drive. The arena was a small wet sand box type thing, no outdoor arena and the tack room was a good walking distance away from the stalls... it was an odd place.

I have a few more places to look at over the next week or so. Im going to be very happy when life slows down for me if that ever happens lol.

On the up side.... Spruce Meadows this weekend with my best friend this is exactly what i need a girls weekend. 

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Update on Barn Tragedy

A few weeks ago we had one of our barn members take her own life, it was a bit of a shock to the entire barn because it was so random. It was under investigation because the entire circumstance seemed a little odd but i never heard anything else after that.

Her boyfriend came out a few times right after it happened with his family to bath Lilly and feed her treats but other than that there hasnt been many visitors.

Basically because the horse was not in the will the horse and all the tack must be settled with the estate so we have to wait around to see what the result is, which is hard because this horse needs to be ridden and needs that one on one time with people but due to our barn rules and regulations we are not really allowed to handle other peoples horses without permission from that person specifically. We are all stuck between a rock and a hard place.

Lilly had mud rot or mud fever what ever you want to call it for a few weeks and myself and another lady went out every day to scrub this mares legs and put the ointment on her at first she hated it and i almost needed a face mask with all the strikes she had aimed at my head but she did settle down as it got better which was excellent.

We were also able to put Lilly in with out heard so she was not alone and everyone who went to the feild could sneak some grain and treats out to her when no one was watching.

Sunday the BF was out to spend a little time with Lilly, there was no one at the barn and i couldnt reach anyone to verify if he was allowed to be there so i just left it alone it wasnt really my place to meddle more than i have been as it is.... so the BF went out to get Lilly and do what ever it is he did with her.

Monday Lilly turned up lame she was found in the feild first thing in the morning hobbling around with extreme pain in her front left leg/shoulder/foot, she was immediatly given some bute to help keep the pain down and is not again seperated from the herd left to attempt to whinny at the herd as she watches them run around in the pasture in her sad "death call" as my friend calls it.(She under went vocal cord surgery when she was on the track, its a very depressing sound if you have ever heard it). I havnt heard if the vet has come out or what is going on with that... again rock and a hard place because our club is now footing all of the bills for this horse.

The horses all seem to feel the change in energy at the barn, i dont like being there at night alone anymore its not as peaceful and the horses seem very stressed out at night... not sure what is causing that but it is not very pleasant.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Absurd Helmet Excuses

This is an article i found here i was laughing out loud while sitting at my desk... Just thought i would share.

Absurd Helmet Excuses

By: Anna Blake

- This week there was a photo of Queen Elizabeth riding at age 85. Bless her heart; she has always been a lover of horses. She was wearing her usual outdoor head wear – a scarf. There was some internet banter about the missing helmet.
I notice her family members wearing helmets for polo; perhaps she falls into that category of riders who think that some equine events require helmets, but not others. It is the ‘Sometimes Dangerous’ argument. I used to use it myself.

But that’s an absurd helmet excuse. And now I am making excuses for the Queen! It’s silly because there are no excuses. The research is in and the potential danger is undeniable. Everyone agrees: the NFL, UCI, NHL, Nascar, Motocross- the professionals wear helmets. And last year, the USEF, although some of us lag behind. Helmet wear has to be considered common sense at this point, right?
“Common sense is very uncommon.” – Horace Greeley.
The Queen gets a wry smile from me, riding at 85. Old habits die hard; at this point, she isn’t likely to give up riding or take up helmet wearing. And just like the Queen, lots of us don’t respond well to being told what to do. I am a bit protective of her and I cringe whenever I see a rider with a naked head. If the Queen wore a helmet, I guess I would be more comfortable.
I think the gold medal absurd helmet excuse is fear of helmet hair. Really? Bad hair? Have you checked your jacket for horse dander and spit? And what’s that green stuff on your boot?
Do you really think an attractive single man is going to (#1) wander into the barn and (#2) decide to not marry you because of helmet hair? Really?
Stop making women look simple and foolish! Horsemanship is not about lounging in the barn in expensive breeches, sipping chardonnay, and having a good hair day.
If I am brought down by tough judging, then I will take my lumps and work harder. If I am brought down by helmet hair, I should get a new hobby. Like shopping.
At the risk of being called sexist for picking on women, I’ll also challenge men who think their manhood is defined by a cowboy hat.
Just for one minute- can we get past our own surface vanity and take some pride in what we are doing- rather than how we look doing it? Better to strap one on, ride well, and grow some character. Accomplish something you can be proud of.
People who are long term relationship material love a helmet, so if you actually do ride horses to attract a date (?), at the very least- you will attract someone worthy of you. And at the most…you will raise common sense above debates about beauty and fashion. I applaud that!
And because I am an equal opportunity blame-pointer, let’s talk about me. I don’t think I further the pro-helmet cause if I am sitting on my High Horse and judging others. It’s a barn version of racial profiling. I admit it. My heart jumps into my throat when I see a kid riding without a helmet. I am not proud to admit that when I see a professional without a helmet, it changes how I think them as well. Again, my bad.
Every year the excuses for not wearing a helmet sound a bit more lame. The groundless debate continues; we are a stubborn crowd. I do wish we respected horses more, and our work with them. Mostly, I wish common sense was more common.

Anna Blake
Infinity Farm

Working on the core + legs

As anyone who reads my blog knows im a great big wuss when it comes to the canter because i am so unbalanced in the saddle last night i went out determined to work on some of my canter motivated to at least get a little bit of canter down so i am more prepared for my lesson on Sunday.... but that didnt happen.

I got out to the barn last night fed and cleaned G's stall since i was going to leave him in over night, prepared his mash for after the ride and sanitized his water bucket (very productive if you ask me). Tacked him all up and we went into the arena to start our usual routine.

First i lunged him as usual trying to really work on his transitions up and down and not allowing him to transition without my request. Then we worked on the same thing with the side reins which went very well he is still hesitant to canter in the side reins but when he does you can see that it is a lot less flaily (yes flaily the term used to describe a young unbalance horse trying to canter usually involves a crazy head toss and a really fast not very pretty to watch canter) i was pleased with how he was doing so i changed his tack over to my riding gear and got ready to ride.

I would like to mention here that my horse has , for the last 2 rides, not been a pain in the ass at the mounting block he does walk off when i get on but at least now he stands still while i mount WIN!

I got on him last night and we started out at a nice swinging walk around both sides of the arena i went to start to ask him for contact and i hear "DOOR!" *sigh* some people came into the arena for a lesson and one girl with a horse that is being taught the basics. So right there cantering was out. I was able to get G to take up contact and engage his hind end at a walk but he was so focused on the other horses that he would slow down and stop quite frequently. We did have a bit of a break through, my room mate suggested counter flexing him at the trot when he attempted to drop his shoulder and i started trying in in the spots he would usually drop his shoulder and viola! it worked!

Once we managed to make a few circles and laps around the arena i figured it was time to pick up at least the trot, so we started trotting and i couldnt for the life of me get him to engage or anything, he was trying to drop his shoulder he was ignoring my leg it took every muscle in my body to keep him at a trot which was extremely frusterating.

FINALLY they finished in the arena and i had a little time to myself, i was completely exhausted. I have been running to get my cardio up on the days that i dont ride and have lost about 10lbs recently which is awesome im only 14.6lbs from my goal at this point (yay me!) but i didnt have enough energy to work at the canter which is bad i know how will i ever get over my irrational fear of the canter if i never canter.

So i did the next best thing i noticed that when i attempted to sit the trot i could get G into a beautiful frame and he would hold it the entire time, i also noticed that my abs felt like they were on fire and after a couple minutes i could feel my legs burning as well... I was starting to hold myself in the saddle with my lower body... go figure.

So i am going to canter this weekend most likely with my trainer on sunday but until then im going to velcro my arse to that saddle at the sitting trot and build up those hold me in the saddle muscles. Tonight is another ride night so im sure i will have more on this topic tomorrow.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

whats that a new coach you say?!

Monday night my room mate N and i had a phone "interview" with a lady who is willing to come to our barn to coach us through out the winter. She sounds great and is very excited so hopefully it all goes well... we meet with her on Sunday for an assessment she would be working with G and i mostly on our flat work and dressage getting us ready for competition next spring and we will most likely start G over fences to make him happy and give him something fun to do in between the dressage lessons.

Just need to be brave.... i have jumped before... not much though... time for no more excuses... Forward and Onward... we got this!

This is long over due, for some reason it is just so hard to get someone out to our barn to work with us because there isnt enough interest or we are to "out of the way".

Im going out tonight to see G and the clock is not going fast enough i feel like a 5 year old waiting for birthday presents.

Ill have more to post about tomorrow after our ride... i think im going to try to do some canter work... maybe.... i know i need to stop being suck a baby about it and canter my horse, hopefully im still feeling brave tonight and dont manage to talk myself out of it.

If any of you are on Twitter i am too follow me :) Horse2Jump.

G is also doing much better, the hair is not growing back on his chest and although he is not happy about to say the least he is starting to look more like a regular horse again.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Wordless Wednesday Orphaned horse

well kind of.....





This is Lilly, hard to see but on her 2 hind legs she has mud rot? mud fever? Im not sure what the vet called it since i was not there for the vet appointment Lilly's original owner was the one who dealt with the vet all i know is it is contageous and needs to be scrubbed daily and have ointment put onto it.

She is getting much better this was last night you can see kinda were it is all red and were there is no hair and a bit of a scab on the one leg. It looks a thousand times better now that she is getting treated properly and consistantly not when ever is convenient for the other members.

Her hooves were also cracking very badly almost all the way up to the band. The other members were using this crappy super watery hoof moisturizer which i threw out so no one would be tempted to use it because it is doing NOTHING for her feet. I have been using my own Rain Maker hoof stuff (which i love its amazing) and the cracks are closing up beautifully and they are not moving any further up her hoof thank fully.

Now just to get it into my head that i cannot afford 2 horses lol!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Things are looking up! Orphaned horse update

I had a great weekend with my horse, he feels fantastic very forward.

I have been starting each of our rides by lunging him, then lunging him with side reins. When i use side reins i do not tighten them so that they pull on the bit they are basically as loose as they can go but G is very receptive to this he will slow his walk and focus on pushing forward with his hind end not pulling with his front. He will play with the bit a lot more while in this frame, he does great at a walk the trot he is still very high headed but thats ok i love how you can see the wheels turning in his head when he is walking with the side reins. Such a smart boy.

Our rides were pretty good as well he is very forward and not stiff at all from his "owie" as my 4 year old calls it, mostly due to the stretched we do prior to most rides. He was very quick to respond to my cues to take up contact witht he bit at the walk and the trot which was a pleasant surprise.

However, he is dropping his shoulder again. We will be riding at one end of the arena and he will just drop his shoulder and cut in which makes me crazy there is no amount of leg that i can put on him to push him back over. I dont know how to fix it which makes me sad and even more anxious to get working with a new coach. We will get it eventually.

His injuries are healing up great everything is healed and the hair is slowly starting to come back in that area i dont think there will be any scar tissue or any discoloration of his hair.

Now on to Lilly. Lilly was Jens horse the girl who passed away last week, well she has mud fever or mud rash or what ever you want to call it on her 2 hind legs. Lilly is a big horse and she is not a fan of people scrubbing the scabs off of  her legs, and it has not been getting done properly so i volunteered to step in and go out every day to scrub her legs and put the ointment on them. First time i did her legs we couldnt even finish because i was far to exhausted from trying to dodge her tail and kicks aimed for my face as well as attempting to hold her leg. The second time wasnt so bad she was kicking out but not so much at me and i was able to get almost ALL of her scabs off. Last night when i went out the 3rd time i was out there by myself so i was going to try to do it if she was irritable i was not going to push it and put myself in harms way, so i went out and caught her and put her in the cross ties. She was AMAZING i want this horse she is so calm most of the time and really wants to make you happy... when shes not kicking at your face lol. She let me scrub her legs and put the ointment on with barely a tail swish.

Lilly makes me sad though it really makes you see how cruel some race horse owners could be... Lilly cannot neigh she cannot nicker she cannot make any sound other than a heart breaking deep breathing/raspy throat sound, her vocal cords were cut when she was on the track. It was explained to me that some owners do that to their horses so you cannot hear them scream if they fall on the track. That is discusting, and something i WILL be doing more research on.

Anyways i wont be doing much riding now until the weekend

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Saddles for sale

Im trying to sell 2 saddles not that i think they will sell on here but it is worth a shot.

$350 Canadian OBO **SOLD**
17.5 Black Leather Paris Tack Dressage Saddle *like new*

Owned for less than a year in great shape. Wide Tree (fits more like MW to me). Super comfy deep seat . Great saddle just no more room for it in my tack locker.




$500 Canadian OBO
18inch Dark Brown Leather Wintec Saddle

This saddle is in great shape it has been reflocked and had 2 billets replaced. It has been cleaned oiled weekly. Extremly comfortable. Currently has the Wide Gullet in it but i have the entire bar system which will come with it. Again, LOVE this saddle best saddle i have ridden in but alas i have no room in the tack locker and i dont plan on doing very much jumping.






**sorry for the crappy quality photo's they are off of my cell phone**
I will ship the saddles.

If interested please reply to the post or e-mail me;
jessica-hepburn@hotmail.com

Blissful Evening

Dispite the events of the week i spent the entire evening last night out at the barn and it felt amazing.

**Did i mention that on Thursday i had to take my 4 year old to get 4 stitches**

I brought G in and brushed him all out, did a little clean up of his man parts and cleaned and moisturized his feet. I wasnt sure if i was going to ride because i had brought my dog out with me and G still isnt 100% recovered from last week but i figured we would give it a try and have a short ride to kinda gauge how the weekend was going to go.

I tacked him up and hopped on he was fantastic all the grooming made him nice and relaxed so our work at the walk was great he even took contact with the bit with very little fighting.

The trot was not so pretty he was really hanging off of my inside leg and dropping that shoulder to the inside.

I cannot wait to have lessons again to help refresh G's memory a little and to help get me back to were i was.

All in all a great night... even thought the barn feels really eerie being there at night alone now.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Missing my Trainer

My Trainer moved back to British Columbia end of July and we stopped our lessons begining of July and now i feel like i am stuck.... like my direction is lacking. I go out and try to work on perfecting the things we had worked on in my last few lessons but i dont feel like im getting any where. I miss having her yell at me to get it right.

I have been searching for a new trainer that is reasonably priced the dressage coach that currently comes out charges $60 for a 45 minute lesson at that rate i cant afford weekly lessons like i would like.

I have contacted numerous coaches in my area and usually i end up getting back snotty responses like "your barn doesnt have a heated indoor arena from what i hear and i wont do lessons in the winter in the cold" well Lady you are horribly mistaken we have a big Olympic dressage sized heated arena bigger and nicer than most professional riders ride in but if your going to be a bi*** then i dont really want to take lessons with you anyways.

Then i got one "well its not worth my while to do lessons there unless i have 3 students" well one of the "students" is no longer walking the earth so you are out besides we DONT want group lessons either.

Most people didnt even bother to e-mail me back, some flat out refused to come to our barn. I do however have 1 trainer that will be calling me on Sunday to discuss details we will see how it goes with her im hoping she is reasonably priced and has days available that would work with us.

I also FINALLY recieved a call back from a gentleman whose sister used to train my old Trainer Phillip Ross, he sounds amazing and very flexible i have to call him back end of this month to set up something with him the only down side is he knows nothing about dressage... so he will work great for my room mate but not so great for me, But he did mention that if i found that i wasnt learning from him he would find a dressage trainer that would work for me that would be willing to come out to the barn.

*sigh* i need lessons i need a kick in the a** my horse is fat im putting on some weight as well... its easier to put him on a diet than it is myself.

After this winter im moving to a dressage barn.... im going crazy.

Tragedy at the Barn

Recently we had a new girl named Jen join our barn she was early 30's i believe very tall beautiful confident woman. My trainer spent a few weeks helping her find the perfect horse for her considering she was new to get back into riding and hadnt ridden in years they did in a OTTB (off the track for about 5 years) named Lilly, a gorgeous dark brown horse very sweet disposition and wanting to please everyone.

I didnt know Jen very well i had met her a few times and my trainer spoke very highly of her so even though she had violated the quarantine i didnt let that affect how i was around her. Everyone else how ever were not as forgiving, i spoke with Jen on Sunday she seemed her usual cheery self she was interested in buying one of my saddles that i have for sale and we were making arrangements for later that week to ride together so she could try it out. We talked about the other members at the barn and how she shouldnt take it to heart and that she could ride with myself and my room mate anytime we would love for her to join us. We spoke about the breach of quarantine and how it was just a big misunderstanding everything seemed great no issues. Later that day i was planning on inviting her with us to Spruce Meadows for the Masters we go every year and this year theres is 4 girls going and we are going to make it a bit of a big deal and have a girls weekend away.

Monday i messaged her... no answer... i messaged again later that day... no answer....

Tuesday an e-mail went out to our club stating that Sunday in the middle of the night Jen had taken her life (this i am skeptical about i think there is a heck of a lot more going on here than thankfull it is under investigation). So now the barn is a quiet depressing place, Jen's family keeps coming to visit Lilly which is great... but Lilly is just sitting there in a feild waiting for her owner to come see her and bring her treats i wonder if she knows that shes not coming.

I feel extremely frusterated at the barn right now with everything that has happened with G and now this.... This was very out of character for Jen she was so happy she was making plans she went out and bought a horse... all things that you dont do when you are feeling how she would have had to feel to want to do that... to feel like what ever it was was bigger than her, a problem that couldnt be solved. Im also frusterated with people at the barn, one of the ladies i occasionally ride with said it perfectly "i hope people here realise that their actions and harsh words to Jen may have been the straw that broke the camels back"

Anyways that is enough of my depressing post i just needed to get off my chest, the funeral is on tuesday.. im not sure at this time if i am going to go, i know i should but this whole thing doesnt sit well with me....

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wordless Wednesday

first pic i got gave me a heart attack






Its looking so much better :) im glad he is healing there shouldnt be any sort of permanent damage thank fully.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Stressed to the max!

Sorry for the long absence I still have no computer so no way to post pics at this time and the new job is keeping me very busy. Last weekend I went out and rode 3 days trying to cut down some of G's fat. Our weight problem has gone from one extreme to the other now he is like riding a rain barrel very lazy and pokey thankfully this month the horses will be moved off of the summer pasture and back into the winter pasture no more hiking a mile to get my horse and a 30 minute walk back into the barn with a horse who does not want to come in.

I also picked up a new saddle, I got a great deal on a brand new Mondega Dante Dressage saddle that fits G perfect for now until I can afford something better I'm slowly upgrading all my tack it is a work in progress. G loves the new saddle he is so much more forward well as forward as he can be with his extra 200 lbs. now to sell my winter All Purpose and my Paris tack dressage saddle.

We got a new horse at the barn a big retired OTTB when I initially met the new owner I really liked her she seemed really nice and like she knew her stuff... So I thought. My barn has Very strict quarantine rules that have to be followed when you bring in a new horse you can read about some of them at the beginng of my blog, anyways the new lady at our barn handled her horse who is in quarantine then went out into the herd and touched all the other horses. So now no horses can leave or enter the barn for 2 weeks we are on lock down because someone felt the rules didn't apply to them.

*sigh* last weekend on Monday I put a fly sheet on G and sprayed him with his fly spray and put him out to pasture since for what ever reason MY horse cannot be moved off of pasture even though everyone else's horses can should they see fit. Any ways I got a call on my way out to calgary yesterday that G's blanket got stuck under his chest and rubbed all the skin off of his chest to the point it was bleeding in some spots. I'm sure about 20 people have gone into that field in the past 3 days and no one noticed him. My poor boy I feel terrible that I'm not there to take care of him. Almost in tears on the drive to Calgary I called the vet and got her recommendations unpasturized honey until the cut parts heal then dermagel until it heals up completely and swat to keep the bugs out. Luckily I have an amazing roommate who is taking care of him for me while I am gone, I am very lucky to have such a great friend but I am very unhappy with my barn, I just need to make it through the winter at this point then I'll move G in the spring.

Pictures to come its not as bad as it sounds but I felt so helpless. Hopefully the hair comes in properly and not white *fingers crossed* I can't wait to be done in Calgary and heading home to be with my horse .


Friday, 27 July 2012

BIG BIG changes

Im sorry everyone i have been extremely busy there has been so many huge changes for me over the last month or so, so unforunatly my blogging has suffered... a HUGE part of it is i dont have a computer anymore. Anyways big changes;

1) I took a new job at another company, i make a lot more money, dont work weekends and i dont have to work past 5pm so once i am caught up on all my little debt i can quit my second job and ride more than i am now.

2) Alex and i split and i moved into my friends house, a good friend of mine from the barn just bought a house and offered for my son, my dog and our rabbit to all move in there for very reasonable rent. So i jumped on the offer and with very short notice i have been trying to move my stuff in loads that will fit in my car... havnt figured out how on earth i am going to move the couches yet...

3) I have started to use a standing martingale on G when i ride him and it has been very positive for him, he is unable to toss his head which makes me feel a lot less anxious when i am on his back, we even went on a trail ride!! lol my next post will be about that i have to find a way to get some pictures off of facebook and onto here from that ride.... may be difficult since my new work has facebook blocked.

Those are the 3 major changes that i have made; all for the better i feel amazing right now i am so so happy... things really are looking up and i hope they stay that way!

On a side note...

My trainer left today to move back to Vancouver, i have a brave face on but she is my best friend and my rock when i am allowing myself to be a little crazy. Im going to miss her more than anything in the world but her dreams are taking her out that way and i completely respect that.. but the selfish part of me wanted her to stay ha ha! Again more on that when i have a little more time to post... work is crazy busy and i have stuff i should probably get off my desk before the weekend. I promise this weekend i will find a way to get a few posts in.

Thank you so much to my followers you guys are amazing even when i get tardy about my posts!


FYI Eventing tonight Olympics watch it! ill be PVRing all the eventing and dressage to watch when i have a few minutes to breath.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Yet another injury

I went out to catch G and wouldnt you know it his chest is all swollen and cut up *face palm* this horse is going to be the death of me. I noticed a broken fence board that is at about the same height as the cuts on G's chest it would appear one of 2 things happened;

1- G's new found love of jumping tempted him to make an attempt at the fence which he was unsuccessful and ended up going through the top board instead of over it.

2- Because all the horses are still trying to figure out were they fall into the herd with the mares and geldings being put together in the big pasture he was trying to avoid a bite/kick and turned quickly being caught off gaurd by the fence.

Either way there was a broken fence board and a swollen scratched up chest. So G got a bath which he hates... lol!

mom i hate baths