Monday, December 29, 2014

Curtis got some TLC

So I had the pleasure of unloading a pallet of pine bedding today alone with a migraine. Yuck. Then I cleaned the 2 messy stalls and bedded back the 2 empty ones for porkchop and fatass when they come home in only a day!!! I miss only having 2 stalls and they aren't even home yet! They will be on limited turn out too so that they don't get mega fat.

And let me tell you, doing anything with a puppy underfoot is a pain in the tukas. Chews on the pitch fork. Chews on pine pellets. Chews on Twisters grain dish. Bites Twister and eats the grain out of his dish. Runs off with scissors. Is it after new years yet???? Ranger needs to go back to doggie day care pronto!

And I figured while I was spending all evening in the barn I might as well give Curtis some much needed TLC. He looks like a fat scruffy muddy wild mule. Mane allow over. Mohawk bridle path. Nasty wind knotted tail. Well I  got all these mud off and slapped a blanketed on that shit. Then used about a half galleon of Show Sheen in his mane and tail to comb it out. But now both mane and tail are braided. Mane has to be trained to stay on the off side. Drives me nuts to have a horse with the mane on the wrong side!  He looks good now in though! Well...ok I lied. He's still a pudgy little TB. But I figure he can get another 2 weeks off then it's back to work and slim down. Ain't nobody winning any stakes looking like the pillsberry doughhorse.

Not that Twister isn't a little rollypolly too but not as much and I don't mind Twister to have a little more to love because if the temp drops like it did during the polar vortex lasting year, Twister will drop pounds and look starved in no time. Fat is better. Curtis didn't even blink during there polar vortex let alone lose a pound.
And on a final note: rubber band wrappers should have a disclaimer written on them:: this package may crinkle causing you to be mauled as you are mistaken for having mints. For real. Curtis was chasing me all over his stall and Twister kept leaning over to look in and make sure he wasn't missing out on anything. Silly ponies.

the BEFORE picture. was too dark for a clean, braided pony pic

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Small Improvements

Because I had to help my man (now officially my fiance!!!!) fix our trailer on Friday I missed the 60 degree riding weather. I was super bummed. It was sunny and warm and felt like May. Rained all day yesterday and even though it's damp and chilly today my friend and I still got in a little ride. It will hold me over until Wednesday or Thursday.

I'm really happy with Twister. He's a smart cookie and knows what each set of tack means. If I threw his jumping saddle on and put a 3 ring in his mouth he'd know that we were going to jump. If we saddle up western he knows we're just hacking out and he can look like a giraffe if he so desires and finally he knows that a dressage saddle and any snaffle bit with a flash means it's time to carry himself and be round and pretty and engage his ass end. And when I mount up in our dressage saddle and ask for that poll release he does exactly as asked and we can go all the way down the road and back looking like we should be doing a change of rein across the diagonal in the middle of a training level test. I'm hoping I can find some winter dressage shows to test our limited skills at this winter!

Best buds

forgot to lengthen my stirrups to compensate for the thick soled  boots.....

And Mr Footsore wasn't even sore. Walked across the new gravel in the driveway without so much as a funny step. He thought it was going to hurt him but it didn't. He's just a wuss. I do need to trim his feet. I could have done that today but I got lazy. Luckily his feet aren't growing like weeds right now and I can trim them every 2 or 3 weeks without them getting bad. Unlike summer where if I don't trim them every 6 or 7 days they're a mess........

Monday, December 22, 2014

Year at a Glance

I've been reading everyone's year end posts. Reviews and did you meet your goals? What are your goals for next year?

Due to starting a new job this year my riding schedule has been all out of whack. I didn't make it to any shows (which nearly killed me) because I was too broke from not having a job and finishing grad school. We didn't jump school as much this year as last year. I really wanted to fine tune our flat work, specifically our dressage.  My goal was/is to become more upright, round and collected. I want to be able to jump the big jumps and not epically fail a dressage test. Here's a glimpse of our year.

January: Nope. Not even happening. Twister being his usually pushy self. Heavy on the forehand, ready to yank me out of the saddle at any moment.
February: No improvement. Lots of snow and ice late Jan through to almost March and we didn't get in as much schooling time as I would have liked. Mostly we just played in the snow and chased the dogs around for 4 weeks.....

March: No photographic evidence I even got on a horse for a whole month, but I assure you I did. Snow and ice turned to mud, more rides up and down the road. Every few days I rode all the way to the tracks and back, sometimes further. Only thing that got better were Twister's bare hooves.

April: Started to dry up around here. We started going on more trail rides. Started schooling in the "arena" at home.
Not a good, round day for us....... Though if I
remember correctly there was no running off
and no yanking me on his neck.....

However, this was an AWESOME canter day for us.
I wish I could have found something to jump!

May: May started out strong, then Twister hurt his hip by being a fatass and getting stuck in the eurosizer while trying to eat the weeds growing in it............
Not a very round day, but a light day. So I'll take it....

Light and responsive. Nice and forward without me worrying about running off


July: So much was going on in July. I was trying to pass my licensing exams and was quitting one job, starting another and going on trip home to NY to visit family. We did a lot of jumping that month, it was dry, Twister's feet weren't sore and I had people around to "babysit" me while I jumped the bigger jumps incase something happened.....

August: I guess the 2 or 3 weeks off was too much for him. We got ugly again.

September: the yo yo month. Rode a lot in September despite the fact I had started a new full time job on the first of that month. But then again it was still day light at 6 or 7 and I could ride after work.........
we are trying to do the right things here, but not quite getting it

now THIS is what I'm talking about

borrowing a dressage saddle does not make you a dressage team...

October: Yes, I live in KY. Yes I rode in a t-shirt in October.
Really really trying. Nearly getting it! At least he's not mega on the forehand

November: Went to a dressage clinic/lesson in the middle of the month. Best thing ever. Learned lots of little tricks and skills to help us reach our end goal: round, light, responsive pony. See clinic blog post for more about the clinic.

December: So I haven't been riding too much. And the few times I have, Twister had been a class A asshat. Got on him yesterday to school dressage and what a GOOD pony he was!!!!! Now I just have to help us keep this kind of work a regular, consistent thing! And there WILL be more lessons in our future. Definitely worth it. Totally helped.
NOT ugly!!!!! YAY!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bad Pony, Good Pony

So I rode Twister Friday. Left work super early and the sun was out and it was my birthday so yea I was going to ride! Twister was ....ok. We just hacked around my field. Mostly I wanted to see if Ranger knew enough to stay out of our way while in motion or if we'd be at constant risk of running him over. He got tired of running after us after like 5 minutes and was good before that. I lunged Twister after our ride. He seemed stiff so I wanted to watch him move. His new things is to rear up, buck and bolt every single time I asked him to change direction. I guess he doesn't feel that bad lol.

I didn't ride Saturday. Just no time. But today we rode again. I have a new (to me) dressage saddle and a for real new bridle to try out. Saddle seems to fit great and he moved well under it.
Saddle was a Birthday/Christmas present to myself.
Saddle pad was a birthday present from my mom!! :)

 Actually, despite the fact that I could feel him containing his friskiness, he was great. Mostly light and bendy. He tried hard to be round. After the dressage lesson a few weeks ago, I am slowly increasing the amount of bending and poll releases I do in a day. His neck got sore and knotted from so much intense riding all at once. Plan is to build up muscle and time spent doing dressage work until we I know he can make it through a whole lesson without coming home sore. I was really happy with him today. I did wear spurs, which makes a huge help. As Silke White said, "he's thick". Stubborn ass mule. I do love him though. And he loves his new puppy. Will even share his feed dish with him. If that ain't love, I don't know what is!

The best news is, today is winter solstice. Which means the days will only get longer. Which means I'll be able to come home and ride after work without having to play hooky so much!

Look who can actually walk in a frame now!

Love me a comfy dressage saddle!

Roader is always near by, pup was tied up because I
didn't want to play dodge the puppy


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Bad Pony

I'm getting twitchy. I need more ride time. Won't be long and the days will slowly start to get longer. And I can fiddle with my work hours too, going in a couple hours late and working late or coming in early and leaving early..... why? SO I CAN RIDE. Right now I think I'm stuck with just riding the road. We did that this weekend. Saturday Twister tried to kill me plus the stupid dog (the old one that KNOWS better) was running out in front of every car and not listening to me at all and it was terrible. I got home and made Twister work on his bend and poll release at the walk. It was too wet to even trot outside without fear of us going down. He was a jerk to say the least and took me 10 minutes of constant asking to get him to be light and bendy both ways. Sunday we went down the road with a young horse my friend is training. They were both great. We stopped next to a combined corn field to chat and teach Chicken Nugget (young horse) that we don't always have to be on the go. That went well until we saw two little girls cutting across the field to pet the horses. That was our cue to leave. Only the boys thought those girls were pink horse eating monsters and when we turned them to head home they both freaked. Twister was jumping into the road and bucking and Nugget was ready to bolt. They DID NOT want to turn their backs to those terrifying little girls................. I had to say it.... but we had to get off and walk a ways. I HATE getting off. But where we were on the road no one would see us in the road until they hit us and the boys were not staying out of the road! But they ended the ride well by letting us mount up a while later and calmly walk and jog home.

The whole ride Sunday I worked on Twister carrying himself at the walk. Just because we are hacking out down the road doesn't mean he gets to slack off. I had the wrong bit in his mouth to get the best work out of him, but it was the best bit for breaks and steering after how he acted Saturday. I need to play with bits some and see what one will work best for hacking down the road but still make him give me good dressagey work and have breaks and steering should he turn into an ass.....which happens. Did you know that donkeys are also horse-eating monsters??? The jack down the road opens his mouth and starts braying and Twister will lose his ever-loving mind if we are next to his fence. I guess I'll never own a jack..............

I need to ride more. But the lack of a sand arena/riding space makes it really hard. And even when it does try out some it's only enough to walk/trot and I'd really love to work on our canter. As of right now there is no way in hades we will be cantering inside a 20x40 without jumping out............ And the show schedule has been posted. I officially have 5 months.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Racing Tangent....

Went to the track this morning with my person as always on Saturdays. Porkchop is doing so great! Breezed his first easy 5/8 today and he's only been in training 2 months. He's really coming along quickly and I don't even feel like we've really pushed him yet. So I have to show off my big ol' porkchop!!

I don't know how to make that look like an actually video.... so you'll have to just click the link.

The fatty mc fatsalot, pre-track
 The rest of these are in no particular order. You can tell point in training by degree of fatness vs weight lost lol

Feed me! I need food! I'm wasting away to nothing! Cookies!!!


I think he'll be ready to race around New Years!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Needs More Lessons

I got on and has a decent more thank 10 minute ride today. I have a whole new dressage set but I can't use it because the stupid holes on my billets are so narrow the girth won't go through them. So I'll have to fix that before I can ride in it.
I put on  my bright yellow safety vest and jogged to the dead end and back again. Then I went in the front paddock and tried to work on our dressage at a walk.... still too wet to trot or canter and probably will be until May...............
I was trying my very best to do the things I'd learned from Silke White at the clinic last month. Twister was light and bendy and moving off my leg nicely to the right with tons of pull release and licking and chewing. Go left and it was like I wasn't even freaking on him. Note to self next time wear spurs!!!!!!! It didn't help that I was in my jumping saddle. So I did what any good trainer would tell me to do.... drop my irons and lengthen my leg. Let me tell you right now, I was sore and shaking after making Twister remember that yes, I was friggen in the saddle asking him to do something! Proof of my non-participation in No-stirrup November. Hell, I hardly ever rode in November. But I finally got some nice pony to the left.
This was my first real ride in like 3 or 4 weeks. Thanks to work and absolute crappy weather. Today, however, the sun was out. So I did what any self-respecting equestrian would do.... leave work early, hurry home and saddle up! Kinda cranky I didn't get any pics. By the time I started working on our bendyness it was too dusky to take any decent pics.

On another note... touched up Twister's feet. Have to give a shout out to Carly for the recommendation on her blog about the Hoof Heal. I use it twice a week and his feel already look better and were much harder to file. Thrush is coming back though. Note to self, buy more iodine.

What you can't see in these pics is the improved concavity.
And just because... here is a pic of my puppy sleeping. What you can't hear is him snoring like a logging crew........

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Santa, All I want for Christmas is.......

I've done my fair share of tack trading this past year. I'm not worried about saddles and bridles, I think I have all the tack I need for Twister right now. Fatass ran 3rd at Turfway Saturday so my guess is I have another year until I need to accumulate tack for him. So here are some things I'd love to get for Christmas that I probably never will........... One can dream though, can't she?!

An arena. I have a shedrow that goes around my stalls. ALWAYS dusty as hell and boring too. And usually there is a freaking trailer parked on one side of it, meaning I can't ride there even if I wanted to.......... I don't want a HUGE arena. I want a little 20mx40m so I can practice our dressage skillz, canter and even do a little jumping. The arena I trained in back home in NY was 20x40 and you can get a 5 jump course in there no problem. Plus I have 7 other acres to put jumps on if I suddenly inherit more than the 5 I have....... I want something that's sand and synthetic mix. So it won't get TOO muddy and I can ride in it even when it's so cold my snot freezes to my face..... See photo below for an example.... I don't even need a board fence. Though that would be handy in keeping the pasture friends OUT of it while I ride. Last time I rode with Curtis turned out where I was riding I spent more time chasing him off with my dressage whip than I did riding......... Not to mention that this would be great for starting TBs, whether they be ours or a client horse. All around an arena would be an epic win. So who wants to fund mine?!?!?

Also, I would like some new jumps to put IN my new arena. XC jumps or arena jumps. Just things to jump! My ghetto pallet jumps are awesome but hey, if I get a nice new arena, I'll need decent jumps right?? Only my jumps need to look scarier than those below. I like to make my horse jump ALL the scary things.

And I want a ditch. Because Twister HATES ditches. So I need a big ditch built in a back paddock to practice on 789987656789876 times and while the ditch diggers are out there, I need some steps as well. Oh, and a pond. My horses and dogs would REALLY love a pond..... and the pond can be right off the steps.
Don't forget the ditch!!!!!

Late addition to my Christmas list..... I WANT A DAMN RUN-IN SHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And I WILL get one, in the next 6 months OR ELSE!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas Pics

Got some Christmas pictures on Twister and tried to get some of the dogs. While Roader is a great sport, Ranger is not so patient. He thinks we are all crazy, dressing him up and putting antlers on his head. Twister is also a little skeptical about his antlers. Fine with the fly bonnet, not so fond of his antlers. So please sit back and enjoy the show.........

Ranger's first time being out while I'm riding. He knows enough about horse's now that he can be trusted out while I ride.

Best. Cat. Ever.

Oh dogs.....
Photobombed by Curtis......

And on another note, Twister finally learned how to bow with a knee on the ground. Normally his legs look atll facacta and broken. Not anymore!!!!

And just for fun, here's one of Twister being an asshat. Anyone else know this pose?? My yard/arena was muck and he was all Ricky Bobby on me "I wanna go fast!" and I wouldn't let him. So we was an ass about it..... Yes, pretty cantering or gallop Christmas photos would have been awesome. But not at the risk of us both going down in the mud....