Friday, 30 March 2012

My Babies Growing Up

I havnt posted in a few days thats mostly because i have a big exam on Wednesday and we are also moving this weekend. Luckily the boyfriend is doing all the moving while i am at work today so i just have to go and unpack all of our stuff!

Im not quite sure how you tell if a horse is still growing but it appears that he is, i will go out to the barn and one day he looks like he hasnt eaten in weeks the next day he is all puffy and chubby. He is also a little more tired than usual and i dont mean lethargic i just mean a little more lazy than usual. I was speaking with my trainer and she believes he is growing again. So i have cut back my riding a bit making sure that we are not riding for more than 30 minutes right now until he gets his energy back and everytime i am out there (4-5x a week) whether i ride or not he is getting extra hay, beet pulp and a mineral supplement to help him keep his weight consistant and give him a little extra while he is growing.

The ferrier was out last week as well and G's feet now look fantastic, his angles have been corrected and are the proper length im really loving this new ferrier he is great with G and hes not to bad to look at either (gotta love having a hot ferrier as eye candy in those Wranglers working with me horse yum yum). G is also starting to offer his feet to me occasionally to pick them out, occasionally i have to keep the riding crop out just to give him a little tap if he is refusing to pick them up for me or if he kicks out a little with his hind leg. It is a work in progress and its much better than the battle we used to have at the begining over picking up his feet.

Due to his growing i have been doing a lot more lunging, since we are progressing a lot with our posting trot we are almost ready to reintroduce the canter under saddle, so on the lunge line i have been working with him in a walk/trot and canter trying to push him to go for as long as he can but accepting that he hasnt done it for a while so keeping it very short about 2-3mins in each direction.

They Vet is coming out in April to do the herd vaccinations, i am requesting G to get his Westnile as well as a regular 5 way which is mandatory at my barn. Im also going to get the vet to float his teeth as well since i am sure it has been a year if not more since it has been done if it has ever been done, im having the vet do this procedure instead of a equine dentist because aparently in Canada an equine dentist is no longer allowed to administer a sedative something i did not know so i am keeping the option open incase G has other things in mind that day. Im hoping that will help to resolve the head tossing when ever he has any contact with the bit. If he does need to be sedated i will not be to heart broken since i need to clean his sheath and since it will be my first time anything to make it easy on me lol.

One if the ladies at my barn also offered to sell me her tack box so i dont have to transport all my tack in the back seat of my car day in and day out which will hopefully help keep my tack in better condition for longer.  Things are definatly looking up i cant wait to see what the future holds for us.

Oh and my barn is holding an Equine First course which i am registered for, it is not until May but it will definatly come in handy at some point i am sure.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Little trip down memory lane. Meet Indy i posted about her previously here she was a beautiful mare and i only owned her for a very short time and though she was bat sh** crazy she solidified my love of horses.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Jealous update on the Boyfriend

So Alex is not 100% sure the instructors full name but i believe it is Albert Heinmann who is a dressage trainer that does a lot of work in western Canada with young dressage riders. I am not 100% sure though as i had said.

Anyways they have been doing a lot of work on posting trot something that Alex has never learned before, as well as riding with two hands instead of one. Hes having a blast and i am still really jealous but after speaking with him its all pretty basic stuff.

I did however ask him if the horse he is riding is harder or easier than G he said way easier so i am excited to have him come out and try to ride G again lol maybe this time i will get some video of it!

ugly hair cut :(

This is Escamo the horse Alex is riding. He is about 17hh and at first Alex thought he was 4yrs old but messaged me today to advise me he is 15 lol. Not sure about the breeding but i guess he is a great horse and a lot of fun to ride.

Now i just need to convince Alex that he needs to buy a horse :)

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Little Green Monster

I would just like to add that i am very jealous today. My Boyfriend left yesterday for Calgary, his work is sending him to Spruce Meadows to work with a trainer for 2 days of all day training. He is not sure who the trainer is but regardless i wish i could have taken his place!! Once he gets home thursday night i will find out who it was that was working with him and the other 3 riders from the mounted troop and make him recap the clinic for me.

So for the next 2 days i get to sit at work all green with envy or jealousy which ever you want to call it because i cant get out to see G and hes riding horses at Spruce Meadows (if you dont know Spruce Meadows is a Show Jumping barn they host the CN International every year), big beautiful jumping horses.

I guess i will go and study that might take my mind off of how unfair it is lol. BOO!

Monday, 19 March 2012

First Hack

Sunday morning I was up bright and early after a nice sleepless night on the couch, the fight with Boyfriend carried over till the next day and because I am stubborn I didn’t want to sleep in the super comfy warm king size bed with him, instead I took the couch and slept all of 10 minutes last time I do that.
I had left G in the barn the night before because it was raining most of the day and was suppose to snow that night so I figured he would enjoy being in his nice warm stall. I brushed him out and again was covered by the end of it in hair, and muck from his stall. There was a lesson going on in the arena so I figured G could benefit from learning some patience so we went into the arena to watch the lesson. He proceeded to nip at my hands and pull on parts of my jacket and as soon as I would move slightly he would toss his head up as high as he could in hopes I couldn’t reach his face to give him a bit of a tap on the nose, this “game” continued for the hour long lesson… I’m not sure who won at the end of it but he looked pretty pleased with himself (he doesn’t by any means try to bite me he will use his teeth to pull on parts of my clothes he knows he can get without catching my skin and if he isn’t sure he just uses his lips.)
After the lesson we started lunging he was fantastic counter clock wise but I could not get him to go clock wise. So after a little fighting I was able to force him to go counter clockwise again for a few minutes until he was ready to listen to me so eventually I managed to get him to go clockwise.
I tacked him up and got on to be joined shortly after by 3 other riders in the arena. G did very well he was a little nervous at first and tossed his head around but I think that may be from my bit, I may need to invest in one that is a little wider and perhaps a little softer on his mouth. I gave him more of the reins and he stopped which supports my bit theory. We worked on our bending at a walk and did a little bit of posting trot with some transitions walk-trot and trot-walk all with the 3 other riders in the arena doing their own thing. After about 30 minutes they mentioned they were going to go on a short ride outside… which I couldn’t pass up.
Other than having to get someone to hold G so I could get on outside he did fantastic on our first “hack” of the year. He was super relaxed the entire time, went into the ditch when asked without hesitating even through puddles after he looked down to assess the situation. We rode behind the other three riders so I could focus on staying calm relaxed and allowing him to take everything in without asking much.  I believe I even felt him take some contact with the bit for a little bit (I’m not 100% sure about this though something just felt different but good). He got a little worried when the other horses got a bit ahead of us but other than that he did fantastic I was so proud of him, the other riders were shocked with how well he did for being so green.
Days like that make me thankful to have such an amazing horse that is perfect for me in every way. Its these days I need to remember when I am feeling down and that I made a mistake getting a young horse.  I love my horse!

A Quick Introduction

Saturday night after a fight with Boyfriend I took my dog Crixus out to the barn with me so I was not going to be able to ride unfortunately, but I figured it would be a good chance to introduce Crixus and G and see how they got along.
Crixus has been around horses before and really isn’t to concerned with them he will lick their noses and if they run he will run with them. I saw with them because he is by no means running behind them or chasing them I would not allow him near horses if that was the case.
G was a little concerned with Crixus’ small stature but couldn’t really be bothered with him either. I don’t think I will bring him again because my dog doesn’t listen well enough so I would be far to worries about him spooking G while I am riding. Maybe when he gets older though, and stops eating all the footing in the arena lol.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Progressing forward

Today I am suffering a very sore hip, shows that I am not spending enough time in the saddle this year lol. Last night I rushed home from work cooked dinner for Boyfriend then jumped in my car and made it to the barn while it was still light out. It was nice not having to follow him around in the dark for a bit trying to catch him.
I was hoping to get some pictures for you guys last night but unfortunately my ex husband made off with my camera and I now have to drive 3 hours to go get it and my phone is still disconnected due to the massive bill that he wracked up so I cant even take the pictures that way. So ill just have to wait and do some picture posts when either source of pictures is back up and running.
My horse is odd I realized, he will not eat carrots like most horses or apples… I brought out an apple last night to share with him and he had no interest in it what so ever. Boyfriend thinks he is going to end up liking random things like chips and sandwiches.
Anyways, Last night it took me a good 15 minutes to groom G out due to the pasture being 3 inches of mud and the hot temperatures lately are making him shed like crazy. It was nice and relaxing for both of us to get to enjoy the sun while spending time together. Lunging went great as well he is really starting to get it and understands what I am asking of him and does it willingly so there is very little fighting on the lunge line now. Every time he changes gait into that beautiful canter of his I just wish I was brave enough right now to ride it, he is such a big mover and his canter looks so smoothly, now to work up the courage to ride it… maybe tonight… maybe.
It took about 5 minutes to get on because G kept walking off at the mounting block so we kept circling until he would stand politely and wait for me to get on. Once I was on we started out at a nice slow walk, I was focusing on long legs, heels down and keeping my toes pointing straight ahead not to the side like I’m used too. We worked on serpentines at each letter in our arena, every lap we would add additional serpentines making them so small that G basically had to bend his body and turn on the spot to make the turn I was asking him to do. He was very relaxed not nearly as nervous as he usually is in the arena. We also worked on doing circles at each letter or the arena (again at a walk) to work on bending and focusing on what I was asking him, we did this in both directions. I also got him to go into all four scary corners of the arena with very little fuss, so nice having a horse underneath me that is starting to trust me more and more every time we ride.
Then we picked up the trot, I am still pretty unbalanced at the posting Trot but it is getting much much better.  We did big laps around the arena and it was a lot more controlled than last week, I would let him slow down to a walk every couple of laps and practice halts at the mounting block, I would request he waits there until I ASKED him to walk on then we would pick up the trot again. Something happened during this ride that made everything I have always wanted with a horse click, I trust him…. In a walk I was able to just throw away the reins and let him stretch long and low in the walk, in the trot I was able to give him almost all of the reins and hold onto my saddle if I needed to rebalance myself. It has been a long time since I felt that great about something, I read all these blogs about the great connections people have with their horses and I wasn’t feeling it until last night.
I used to have a habit of using my hands and unfortunately my horses face to keep myself balanced instead of my seat, legs and back. I found what I needed to break that habit and I plan on it progressing from there. We finished the night off with trotting on a 20 meter circle (tried my best to keep it a circle lol) in both directions before calling it a night. G got to have a well earned roll in the arena and some beet pulp in his stall before being turned out.
Tonight I will be back at it and I am hoping that it goes as well as last night, I’m hoping there is someone else going on a trail ride this weekend I think G and I are ready to go out on a nice relaxing ride on the property to build our bond a little more and mix things up a bit.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Under Construction

Im working on making my blog much easier to read, and a little less childish. Im not very good at this at all so we will see how it turns out!

I have also linked both of my blogs to make it easier to navigate.


Ps- More horse posts to come soon, i have not been able to make it out to the barn very much with Boyfriend getting his wisdom teeth out and my lack of gas money. Sorry for sucking at blogging!! I promise i will pick up the pace much more in April, otherwise im hoping to get out to the barn tonight and will have a post for you tomorrow.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Wanted: New Girth

So last night i finally did some long over due tack cleaning, and i realised that i really need to get a new girth, all of my tack is of the cheaper quality because when i bought my horse money was not something that i had a lot of so now that i am doing a little better i want to start to replace it with better quality stuff.

G has been losing weight fairly quickly and toning up and the girth i have right now practically wraps all the way around him. I am just starting some research on the different types and the benefits, i dont mind spending a fair bit on a good girth as long as it is good quality and does what it is suppose too.

Any suggestions on girths? I am fairly new to buying tack and i am on a tight budget so i really need to make sure the one i buy is going to work for me and my horse. I know on one of the blogs that i follow someone recommended a girth but i cannot find that post for the life of me.

So any suggestions? I can use all the help i can get on some of these topics so i am putting them out in blogger world.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Bounce Bounce Bounce

Last night I managed to sneak out to the barn despite my sick boyfriend in bed that I wanted to stay with and my lack of cell phone due to my ex husband being a pain in the ass. It was very eerie out there, big orange full moon, northern lights and no one at the barn. Riding when there is no one around always makes me a little nervous because it is a safety issue, my barn is not on someone’s property so no one checks the property no one would notice my car sitting there except for the Military Police but even then who is to say they would check the arena.
To top it all off our entire pasture and half of our barn is either flooded or mud so it made for a nice messy night. One of the horses had a sacroid removed so she is on stall rest, poor girl, anytime I walk out of the barn she calls out for company… so I try to spend a little time with her and make sure she has water before I go. 
G has been getting a little grouchy about picking out his feet, he pulls his usual tantrum anytime you try to pick up his feet but he is getting particular crabby about his right front. I cant see anything and when I clean it out there’s no cracks or hot spots I might get the Ferrier to take a look at his feet next time he is out just to make sure. 
As usual G was pretty good on the lunge line for the most part, not as receptive to my cues as I would have liked but good none the less. Getting on took less time than usual as well he did not fight me at the mounting block (HURRAY!!) I took advice from one of the blogs that I follow and put the mounting block by the wall so there was enough space for G to stand in comfortably and not feel like he was going to get attacked by a monster (have I mentioned in the cross ties he will stand awkwardly so he can push his but against the wall makes me laugh because if you ask him to move over he will try to move his but all the way over to the other wall) and first try I was able to get on I was ecstatic.
We are working on my posting trot, finding a good rhythm, and some of the sitting trot as well as our serpentines. With us getting a new place and moving April 1st I am way to broke to be able to afford any lessons so I am just trying to improve our basics so I can wow my trainer when I am able to get her back out. Posting trot was ok… he was very quick tonight and not very responsive to my cues which I should have expected from our work on the lunge line. It was the same in the sitting trot, I think a lot of it had to do with my balance, I felt like I was bouncing all over the place and not able to hold myself in a proper position. Looks like I defiantly need to do some ab and leg workouts lol, that or it was all the mud I got in my pants while trying to pull them up!
I started a new blog by the way, about my passion for cooking and crafts so I can keep my family life and my horse life a little more separate. If your interested in reading that blog click Here.
Have a good night everyone!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Biggest Dork of them all

I am most certainly the biggest dork of them all, I enjoy guilty pleasures like breaking into song randomly, belting out my favorite songs in the car and now singing at the barn while riding. Does anyone else do this? I have been told it is a great tool to keep you calm and relaxed if you can get away with it.
I have always had issues with my posting speed, I will keep a good rhythm at first but it will slowly pick up speed and it usually ends up with me getting a little panicked trying to slow the horse down as they are doing the fastest trot ever, which is why we have done a little more sitting trot to try and strengthen my core and leg muscles to help hold me into the saddle and prevent me from bouncing into the saddle during my posting trot.
Saturday I was all by my lonesome out at the barn and I loved it, it’s so peaceful out there all alone. G was not particularly good at the mounting block it seems that he has regressed a little bit and is now turning his hind end from the mounting block, so we spent about 5 minutes just circling the mounting block until he stood still enough that I felt comfortable getting on.
I had my iPod at the barn with me and figured that I would just listen to it in one ear it might help me keep my posting a little big more consistent. We started the night out at a walk doing serpentines that continued to get smaller every lap of the arena which forced G to use his hind end a little more. We are working on building his muscles up and getting rid of some of his winter weight by doing fairly easy moves but ones that make him think about that I am going to ask him to do next. He was not spooky at all so we picked up the trot while in the trot his head was high and tense which makes me a little tense also. So to calm myself down I started singing out loud to myself which instantly had a good effect on G he lowered his head and relaxed his ears turning them to listen to me sing.
It was during this that I realized how strong our bond has become already because any time his trot got a little to quick for me to handle and I started to get nervous I was able to simply say to him “easy” and he would slow it down enough that I was comfortable and could get a good posting rhythm that worked again for both of us. He was responsive to my aids it was amazing feeling that connected to him, something I have only felt really one other time. I was even able to use my elbows as the “hinge” I keep being told about to keep my hands from bouncing the reins and bit, so there was very little head tossing, and a lot more throwing away of the reins, I am starting to feel a lot more confident in my riding and I think he is too.
Because he is still pretty young and his muscles are not incredibly developed I have been keeping our rides fairly short only going over 30 minutes if we have worked mostly at a walk, he was pooped after about 20 minutes of trot work and 10 minutes of serpentines at a walk.
I am working at perfecting my position and have been reading a lot about classical dressage positions and how my position effects G as well as the movements we are hoping to achieve. It is only going to go up from here and I cannot wait. He gets Sunday and Monday off but Tuesday – Saturday this week we will be back at it I can't wait.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Bad ride, But Good news

I finally had a morning to get caught up on some of the blogs that I follow and I am so happy that I did all the posts were filled with progress and great feelings of accomplishment, I love reading those types of posts especially after a not so great ride last night. Last night I managed to get out to the barn which is long over due I really need to start getting out there more often which I will explain later in this post.
Last night Alex came with me to the barn because he wanted to ride one of the horses he rides during the day, so I went out and caught G which was easier than usual. He was super quiet when I picked out his feet and while standing in the cross ties, I did notice a few bite marks on him so he might have just been relieved to get away from the heard for a little bit.
He did fantastic while lunging no bucking or galloping he listened to my cues and did walk trot canter beautifully I was excited for our ride I figured it was going to be a nice easy ride tonight. I got him all tacked up and Alex brought one of the other horses inside and that was it G was freaked right out there was a new horse in the arena, his tail was swishing and he was kicking out randomly. The other  horses and our horses are kept separately for what ever reason.  Getting on G was quite difficult as well we had to circle the mounting block about 5 times before I could get him to stand still long enough for me to hop on.
Once I was on and Alex was on I started G off at a walk just working on our rhythm and getting him to pay attention to me and not what was going on in the arena. We worked on our corners and walked side by side with Alex and the horse he was on. Everything was going ok until Alex and I started talking, a sound I made sent G off the deep end and he bolted, I was able to get him back under control but after that I couldn’t keep him at the canter he would not respond to me leg aids and kept tossing his head and swishing his tail. I got off and put him on the lunge line where he continued to have his melt down and for a few minutes it was me vs. him in a game of tug-o-war I eventually won but he would not go slower than a canter and would occasionally have a little melt down when ever another horse came near him.
I tried to get back on and continue at that point but he was way to freaked out so we called it a night, he was able to spend about 30 minutes in the arena with a mare that he likes, by the time I put him in his stall he was calm and his eyes relaxed. I will be back out there tonight to try again, I need to get out there more often and now that life is settling down I will be.
While G was wandering around with Bella in the arena I was able to talk to Bella’s owner, her and I are always the last ones at the barn and get along really well. She will be going to some shows this summer and offered me a ride there with her whether I would be competing or not. I’m hoping that we may be able to do some schooling shows or entry level dressage and if that is the case G and I need to get out butt’s in gear and start some serious training. So now we are fully in training I am looking for a second job so I can pay for lessons again and pay for a dressage trainer to come out and put 1 ride a week on him. We will see how that goes, but for now we are in training and tentatively planning on competing this summer. If we are not ready I am going to take him anyways just to have him at the show getting used to all the other horses, the people, the tents and the craziness of a horse show.
So tonight is riding (I’m hoping I can find my Dressage 101 book so I can start working my way through the exercises in it) and bright and early tomorrow morning there will be more riding before I go to my X weighted seminar and boot camp (only 10lbs to go!! I fell fantastic!)