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

Oh the Head Tossing... so it begins...

I havnt been able to ride, my trainer and i have decided to give G a week off. When i went out last week he had visably grown his bum was much higher than usual. So because of that i gave him a few days off, well that and hes gone crazy!

I tried to ride on saturday but his head tossing good god the head tossing and not just little head tossing the full out arabian reverse headbutt. Let me explain... i went out and figured i would ride he was easy to catch so no issues there as usual lately he is not a big fan of leaving the pasture but he doesnt fight me on it he just walks a little slower than usual hoping i will lose interest and leave him in the feild im sure. I got him in and tacked him up and he was awesome no issues lifted his feet great i was starting to get really excited for our ride. It has been about +32 Celcius here the past little while so i didnt want to work him to hard.

I got on and it was our usual nonsense at the mounting block but he calmed much quicker than usual, i got on and he didnt run off as he usuallly does he started our warm up walking around the arena he felt fine no issues no head tossing. After our warm up i asked for some contact at the walk getting him to engage his hind end no issues he was even holding the contact for a decent amount of time... so after both directions i asked for a trot... and then... CRAZY HORSE.

He started with the head tossing the going from trot to canter. Tossing his head straight back at me any time i touched the reins and even when i didnt, a few times i felt him hit the brim of my hat and i got slobber all over my glasses... lovely. Then he started with tossing his head while he had his head sideways throwing a little hop in as well. At this point all i wanted was OFF, off this horse that i love, that has never ever pulled this crap and to this extent. I couldnt get him to stop he was ignoring my cues to stop he was ignoring the bit he was just trotting and cantering around tossing his head with me thinking to myself... "i wonder how much it will hurt if i just jump off" but the good news is i didnt jump off i FINALLY got the crazy horse to stop and got off tieing his reins and taking him into the round pen. Might i add that i sat that canter beautifuly and it was on the right lead?!

I figured he just had a little steam to blow off so i took him into the round pen were he took off into a beautiful big canter again on the right lead, he didnt start walking or trotting just straight into the canter both directions and he ran until he was extremely sweaty. I stood in the middle of the round pen and i just ignored him waiting for him to stop when HE was ready so i could gage his reaction when he was done. As usual he came up behind me his big sucky self breathing on me as he stand as close as he can without getting in trouble.

So i took him back into the arena to make the point to get back on him, i was not going to let him win or wreck my good mood. So i got back on and we went back to a walk me asking for contact again in both directions. I asked for a tiny bit of trot and i could feel his body tense so we went back to a walk and finished with contact on the bit at a walk.... so now i am going shopping.... for Side reins.

G is not generally like this so i really do think that he has hit a bit of a wall combined with growing. We have been working on so much hard stuff and asking him for so much in such a short time i think he just needs some time to process it so he is getting the week off and hopefully with a week off and side reins we can tackle this issue.

He is also growing my little baby is sitting at like 16.2-16.3 and he is STILL growing *sigh*

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Lesson Cancelled- yet another injury

Last night i was suppose to have a lesson but it would appear that G has decided that he is going to grow a little bit more *sigh*.

I brought G in at lunch because it has been raining here non stop for days on end so i figured he would need to dry before i could ride him. When i got back later i took him out of his stall and while tacking him up BAM he has a few little cuts and was swollen on his right hind leg just above the hoof. He was visably stiff so i went to the arena and started to lunge him he was incredibly fiesty on the lunge line trying frequently to rip the line right out of my hands and stopping and trying to run the opposite direction.

I called my trainer in and he didnt look sore to her so i got on once he settled a bit to trot him under saddle to see if we could see anything. And immediatly he took off at a quick walk ignoring me completly the second i so much as touched my reins he threw his head back at me. I asked him to trot and i had very little control so we came back to a walk he was giving me such a weird awkward walk like he was bow legged it was the weirdest feeling in the world T couldnt help but laugh and be confused as to why he was walking like that some of the time.

T couldnt see anything but we both agreed that his head was not in it. From when i saw him on Sunday he has grown he looks all legs again all gangly and awkward so we are assuming that with everything we have been throwing at him and him growing that he is in no condition to learn and have a productive lesson with.

I love T i will be devistated when she leaves, i love how she works with people and their horses she really focus's on the horses mindset.

So last night we just worked on the lunge line doing walk trot canter transitions trying to get G to be more responsive to my cues and make sure he picked up the right canter lead EVERYTIME in both directions. He was exhausted afterwards so it was still worth while and he stopped with the duck walk which was good.

We are going to try for a lesson on Sunday again and hopefully work in the round pen if it is dried up so we can work on the canter leads in a controlled area were i can focus on keeping him balanced and myself balanced and not so much on keeping him going were i wanting him at this time.

I hope he stops growing soon, hes already almost 17 hh he doesnt need to be any bigger than that ha ha. Then i can get a chiropractor or massage therapist out to work on his back and make him feel good. The duck walk is not something that he does often nor is it due to an injury its just his hind end and front end still are not quite in sync especially when his head is off in the clouds.

Lesson #10 Contact and... ugh... canter

My lesson last week was cancelled so we made up for it on Sunday. My Trainer had a fall off of a horse she was working with, and ended up with a severe concussion and a bad neck sprain and possibly a broken rib so we had to put the lesson off for a few days until she was able to move a little better and could coach me from the ground.

Sundays lesson was hard because usually if i cant get my horse to do something with T's instruction she will get on and work on it with him, so on Sunday i had to fight that fight by myself but im glad i did. We started out with a warm up loose rein with a nice swinging walk around the arena and a nice loose trot around the arena before picking up the reins.

We started with getting G on the bit in both directions (my legs were burning from pushing him up into the bit) i am still struggling with the concept of inside leg to outside rein give away the inside rein, i also need to focus on not bracing with my elbows. Hes starting to pick up the contact much quicker and its getting easier to keep that contact which i am assuming it is due to him strengthening his neck muscles making it easier to keep his head in that position.

We attempted to keep the contact at a walk and a trot which wasnt bad he would occasionally have a moment were he would attempt to head butt me while i was on his back which was lovely lol being pulled forward then leaning back quickly to avoid a head butt... man wish i had that on camera.

Then T asked me to try it at a canter and to make sure he is picking up the proper canter lead, i tried not to think about it and just got him cantering.. i managed to stay on and counter clock wise he picked up the correct lead everytime, i was trying my best to stay balanced and help him find his balance it was ok not as beautiful and graceful as it was on a lesson horse i used to ride Kyra (but she was also only like 14hh and had a tiny stride) but G practically clears the arena in 2 strides. We tried a change of direction and it all went down hill, he would not pick up the canter when i asked him too, when he did it was the wrong lead and he refused to listen to my leg as i tried to keep him along the rail he would pull me accross the arena. We got to the point were he wouldnt even keep the contact he would just toss his head nonstop and lose all forward momentum we had. I tried asking him to canter in the corners i tried with a kiss like he knows on a lunge line, i tried more leg pressure i tried using the crop to reinforce my aids... nothing i got nothing from him on that side. We even tried on a circle and he still wouldnt pick up the correct lead.

I tried to take him for a trot nice loose and long hoping we could get his head back in it to get it just once on the correct canter lead.. but nope he had mentally shut down so we called it quits and i gave him lots of love for trying and getting most of what we were doing.

I know some people would say... "you let him win next time will be harder... blah... blah... blah" but honestly my trainer is leaving in 3 weeks and we are trying to fit in as much as we can into our lessons before she leaves so i have some direction and the tools to be able to work on it more. G is an amazing horse and always tries his best to do what i am asking with occasionally a little bit of a fight but in 2 weeks we have taught him contact and engaging the hind end at a walk trot and canter and now as he is still learning that we are throwing in canter leads... i dont care we got it one direction thats a win for me... AND and i didnt fall off or feel like i was going to fall off which has done tons for my confidence at the canter.