Saturday, May 30, 2015

Ladies and Gents, I am pleased to Introduce.....

2 year old registered Appaloosa Justa Little Rascal. I will be dubbing him "beefcake".

cutest freaking lope ever!
He is my person's horse. I am not allowed to touch the mane or put English tack on him or put purple on him. Though I'm the one breaking him. So I feel like I should be able to do whatever I want. :P But this way I can have my person go riding with me. Or be able to ride with Mom when she comes down (she rides Twisterpants). And I've seen him move out in the field and I think a few western pleasure classes might be in his future. And he's already done halter shows.

He is a bit spooky but only from inexperience. I'll have him settled in and going in no time.

i like big butts and i cannot lie, you other riders can't deny!

And TWISTER! Twister is IN LOVE. Love at first sight. He is SOOOO happy to have a little brother again!

I really like this kid and so does my person. Which is good seeing it's his horse lol.

Twister had to show off

And Rascal really likes Ranger.

Hey, I have 3 R's. Ranger, Roader and Rascal!

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Lightbulb Went On!

I wasn't going to post anything today but I have to brag about Twister really quick.

I tacked up this afternoon and put on my tall boots and metal prince of wales spurs instead of the plastic ones. And Twister was just so awesome! As I was getting him in front of my leg he was already starting to carry himself and I wasn't even touching his mouth yet.

oh, so you noticed i have a leg?! :P

When I asked for the trot he went right up into it and was moving out in front of my leg and we were on a 10 meter circles and we spiraled out into a 20meter and back down to a 10 all while all on the aids and being bendy and round. I wasn't jabbing him with the spurs. I let him know they were there but after that I just used my leg. He knew they were there and I'd use them if I had to. I did a canter depart and a few 20 meter circles on each lead and those were great and in control. Not round. But we actually managed to do a 20 meter circle which is a huge deal. He also never ripped the reins out of my hands or tried to drag me down.

Twister's little light bulb must've come on!

Our half-passes were the best yet. Our downward transitions still are needing work and I didn't even work on the squareness today. And then we hacked out down the road with E and he was on the buckle the whole time. First time I've hacked out with the snaffle. Success! Twister is learning to be soft!!! But seriously, I was so fantastically happy with our ride today I had to brag.

I haz da best pohney!

Ranger is amused by Twister post-bath roll

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Be Square!!!!!!!!!

First day back in the saddle since the trail ride. I have it from a very reliable source that at my CT in 2 weeks I will probably have to do my dressage test in my jumping saddle. So I figured no time like the present to get crackalackin. I just had to let my stirrups down like 4 holes......

freshly fixed up mane

I started out at a walk asking Twister as usual to take the lead out and get in front of my leg. At a walk this didn't take too long. Once he was moving out I asked him to come on the aids. He struggled a bit to the left and it took him longer with a bit of fighting. But we eventually got it. Going to the right was much easier. We ended up having a very nice walk. Test worthy.

Before I asked for the trot, I asked him to half pass to the rail. I use the shadows like arena mirrors to help me see the cross over. But also, I am becoming more accustomed to the feel of his back lifting and the swing as he crosses over during the half pass. I know what to feel for and can tell better if he is cheating.

I finally got ready and asked for a nice round transition into the trot. Bahahahaha! But we got ourselves together quickly after. I didn't want a lot of collection, I just wanted bend and him to be in front of my leg and accept my hands. He did pretty well. Stretched out into my hands and when he tried to take the reins I sat deep and didn't let him and pushed him forward. Shiver shiver. We accomplished a very respectable trot.

And the we worked on our downward transitions. BAHAHAHAHA! Even when he is in front of my leg and I used Silke's trick of using the rail to help slow him. I didn't slump or give him the reins but he STILL hollows out and jiggs to a walk. AND THEN he comes back on the aids. Needs LOTS of work.

And then there is the halt. I hate the halt. It's my least favorite movement EVER. Twister refuses to be square. Ever. Even when I take my conformation shots he wants to stand all wonky. I might get his front legs square but his back legs. wonky as fuck. Why can he not get it together. Part of our problem is that he hollows out like he does coming into the walk. So I used the rail. And ran him square into it to halt him. It doesn't matter. And half the time he swings his ass out one way or the other. So we can't even stop square while being off the centerline. It needs work..... Any stopping square tips??? Please? Anyone???

taken from the saddle.... square fronts. wonky hinds...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

14 Miles, Mud and a Flat Tire

Twister says it's too early and too rainy to horse today

Memorial Day trail ride was yesterday. It's a yearly event although, this is only the 2nd time I've gone. The first year I was invited I had to work and couldn't get off. The 2nd year I went. The 3rd year Fatass was racing that day. So here again, I made it. Weather men need to be shanked. Seriously. Rain only in the am? Rain only in the evening? Yea, whatever. It rained all but an hour or so of the whole thing! Fort Knox opens up it's artillery area (where they practice blowing shit up and play war) once a year from 9-4 for 4 wheel trucks and horses. It's a nice long ride. In the rain. But, we're a die hard group and not one person suggested we wouldn't ride in the rain.

I got my Easy boots on and by the time I got to E's farm to meet up one had already come off. Even with all the mud, there are still rocks in the mud. I really didn't want a lame pony. Put the boot back on and continue. Had to get off the side of the road for a truck and it sucked off in the mud. We put it back on at the turn off and 4 seconds later is popped off again. I just kept going. Less rocks after the turn off and I though maybe Twister would be ok with all the mud. He took some bad steps as he found rocks but wasn't lame on it. I didn't even put it back on at the cemetery after we ate lunch. I waited until we got back to the turn off where it would get rocky again. I hopped off and we even tightened the wire and could barely get the latch down on the boots and 10 seconds down the trail... POP! So we continued on our flat tire. There was one spot where it got really rough and I got off and walked him. I got back on and rode a ways then as he started to get sore, I walked the rest of the way out and walked him back to my house even though after we got out it's a half mile of pavement and grass to home.

Also, T's mare freaked out on the way back to home base after the ride and Twister got a chance to show his skills as a ponyhorse! His favorite job ever in the whole world is hooking up to another horse and giving the other horse what for.


It took me an hour to wash the mud off him. And me. And my tack. But my new, and very comfy, saddle is synthetic and just hosed right off. My $100 flea market synthetic but leather-looking saddle! Loved it! It fits Twister AND! I didn't wanna cry from being saddle sore. Actually, today I'm not even that sore at all. Hurrah for western saddles that don't suck!

1st for dirtiest horse/rider pair! (check out my $100 flea
market saddle! did i mention it was NEW?

Extra grain and extra cookies and lots of kisses and a hot bath later, Twister is a tired but happy boy. I'll have to put lots of goo on his feet this week to help with any bruising but as long as I stick to flat work for the next week, he'll be good as gold. Obviously, he'll have today and tomorrow off. He earned it.

had to wipe my hands off after trying to put the boot back on

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Barefoot Troubles and Overjumping

14 miles Memorial Day Trail Ride means Twister needs boots. Whoever came up with the name "Easy Boot" is the biggest freaking moron and I want to punch him or her in the nose. It took me AND my neighbor over an hour to get the boots on for the practice run the other day. Once we got them on and I headed back to my house, Twister jogged down the road like a dream. But they take far too long to put on to ride in every day. And that makes me sad. I'd like to ride in them more often. I'd love to try jumping in them! And Twister's feet haven't been the best lately. A bit soft. But that's the sweet grass. Which he is now only turned out on during the night. And back right is still fighting white line. I need to remember to pack a roll of vet wrap and duct tape in my bags tomorrow..... just in case. My trimming jobs, however, have been better than ever. I'll have to get pics this week.

barefoot poh-ney supply kit.......
not so easy boots

I've been working on building Twister's fitness. Trot sets and long slow gallops. Saturday I worked in my gallop path in the big field. I pushed him up in front of my leg and into my hands and did 5 minute trot sets each way and a 2 minute walk in between with 2 minutes of cantering each way. Then I popped over a couple jumps. Twister was trying to jump well but I was all over him. And instead of being ahead like usual, I was so far behind each jump. I cooled him out and gave up.

Then today M was over for a jump lesson and to keep Sunshine here for in the morning. So I took advantage of this and jumped Twister again. Instead of having a jumping day, I have a fitness or dressage in my jumping saddle day and finish with a couple jumps. It's been working out pretty well. Today was a jumping day.

We started in the "arena" and he was really jumping nicely. He makes me look good. Until you see stills, and then  just look ugly. He was cantering upright to jumps like a boss. None of this dragging me on his forehand shit. None at all. And in the copper snaffle. I still can't get over the fact that I'm jumping him in a snaffle. A year ago I would have died doing that. But anyways. We also did bounces as part of my promise to do more jumping exercises.

little bitty bounces

 My favorite jump was the 2'3" milk crate jump. He over jumped by about 12 feet but did it so smoothly I didn't even know he was launching until I saw the pictures. I've been working on a nice forward canter  and sitting down and asking for him to be upright and forward to the jumps and he was awesome. And the barrel jump I fell off over the other day.... well I swear Twister thinks I am going to fall off every time we go up to it. I have my leg on and I'm pushing him forward and he still slows down and gently pops over at a trot. I keep trying to tell him it's ok and he can canter over it. He's too good to me.

Then we went in the back field and galloped to my xc jump. As soon as Twister figured out what was going on he beast galloped to the jump and jumped like a pro. I need to build that jump up some now that we have the hang of it. And I learned today that we cannot go xc in the copper snaffle. A bevel is a must. Because he is beastly and strong and that was just in my big back field with jumps. Maybe even will have to go xc in my hackamore. I guess I won't REALLY know until I go school though.

top pic Twist is like "JUMPZ?!"

After several days of sub-par jumping, I was so proud of Mistertwisterpants and I guess of myself too, to not be falling all over him. I wouldn't trade him for anything!

Friday, May 22, 2015

For Sale Posts: A Rant

I've been posting a lot this week. I guess I have a lot to say. Then again, anyone who knows me in "real life" knows I never shut up. So.....

Here's my beef with people posting horses for sale. Especially on Facebook. My person and I were on the lookout for a new riding horse for him (seeing as Twister is MY horse now and we both know it lol) and I've been through A LOT of sale posts on Facebook and Craigslist. Basically, I have had to un-follow or un-join almost every group that sells horses. Here's why. (Seeing as we are all on FB and probably all scan CL, I don't feel the need to add photos to this post. It's bad enough we have to see it those sites......)

1. Grammar and spelling. If you sound like an ignorant hick, chances are I'll pass right over you because you probably don't know your ass from a hole in the ground.

2. Almost every horse on FB and CL look half starved and sickly. And it makes me sick. Trying to sell your horse? Trying fucking feeding it. No one wants to buy a horse that looks like it might keel over at any moment. Which is sad. But the truth.

3. The pictures. If you are going to sell your horse, take CONFORMATION SHOTS. Take shots with a riding doing the things the horse was trained for.... ya know going around a barrel or over a jump or hacking out or giving a lead line lesson to a toddler. Something PRACTICAL. Stop fucking hanging all over your horse and standing on his back or have 4 people on one horse. This shows me nothing other than the poor kid is probably so freaking annoyed he could kick the next person to try to get on him into tomorrow. And DEFINITELY stop fucking doing it if the horse is skin and bones! All you're showing me is that he is bomb proof because he's half starved and YOU are an asshole. Want to show he's well-behaved? Take a confo pic with dogs hanging out around him. Or put a tarp on his back. Walk him through pool noodles or something.

4. A dead broke horse does not in fact equal a child-safe or husband-safe horse. Twister is dead broke. Hardly ever a spook. Goes wherever whenever you ask. But would I let a child hack out on him alone? HELL NO. Do not post that your horse is dead broke and make it to mean also child-safe. Because that's not true. A horse can be dead broke and still only intermediate rider and up safe. Child-safe means child-safe. Bomb proof horses do not exist. I've seen the best child-safe, 100 year old horses spook at something. There is always that ONE thing that will set even the best, "dead broke" horses off. Know what that thing is. Twister hates garbage cans. Just his thing. They might eat him. Swallow him up. For some it's the most stupid ass thing. But they all have a thing.

5. The price. Don't drop a horse to $300 and say "no kill buyers or horse traders". Seriously. You might as well hang a sign that says Dog Meat. And the way some people push their horses. Don't get in a hurry. Go through an actual adoption process of sorts. Don't sell him to the first person with $300 cash. Remember that sign you practically hung??? SMH. Say "to good, inspected home only" or "will interview potential buyers". Make sure you do. Kill buyers won't take the time. A horse trader might try to pull one over on you, but most won't. They want quick buys to make quick sales. No everyone looking to buy will keep your horse forever. But make sure there is a way to keep up with the horse. The OTTB we sold 2 years ago went to a home where I knew they planned to train him up and resell him as a hunter or polo pony. But I also knew they wouldn't sell him to a kill buyer or anything. I kept in touch and found out they kept him as a personal riding horse.

6. Know the damn difference between a colt, filly, stallion, gelding and mare and for Pete's sake, know how to SPELL those words!!! There is no such thing as a guilding. Jeesh!

7. List ALL the information needed. I swear if I have to or see anyone else asking "height? age? breed? how much training?" List everything up front. If I were to sell Twister his post would read:
"Twister is an 11 year old QH gelding out of a Dash For Cash line. He is 16.2 hands tall. Mostly sound on barefeet when cared for regularly. He does it all: western and English, trail rides, has shown and been in the ribbons at combined tests and horse trials, he is currently jumping 2'6" and never refused a jump. He is also a pony horse for the baby racehorses. He is safe for a child when accompanied by an adult. Is good with dogs and cats and other horses. No bite. No kick. Is a cribber but that is controlled effectively with a collar. Asking $10,000 OBO. Will not sell unless new home is inspected. Contract for First Right of Refusal will be required."
Just an example! Also, tell the reader how tall the rider is so we can tell if you're lying about how tall the horse is. Also, list the location!!!! I might think I've found the perfect horse and withdrawing the money from my checking as we speak then find out the horse is 8 hours away. Not happening. Not paying more for diesel than I would for the horse.

8. Stop putting small small children on horses without helmets!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9.Training posts.... 16 year old girls posting as professional horse trainers? Might be a very good rider. Might have some serious horse sense. But I honestly cannot name one person I know, and I know a lot of people, that would send their horse to a kid for training. And if it's an adult, maybe you should make sure the trainer has some sort of farm insurance or training insurance. If he breaks your horse down or the barn caves in on the horse, is everything insured? Or are you up shit creek...? This isn't just mean the farm insurance agent talking. This is me a horse owner talking. And I bet a 16 year old girl doesn't have coverage for anything. This is real life. Not Heartland.

10. Here's the last one. Because I've talked enough today..... 9 and 10 month old "weanlings" still in a pen with their mother. No. Just no. Cut the cord already. You are creating more behavioral issues than anyone wants to deal with.

The horse I think I am going to pick up sometime this weekend had a very educated, honest post about the horse. Clear conformation pics. A description of the things he's done so far and the training he's had. All with correct grammar and spelling. The owner was very easy to get a hold of and has been in touch all week about the horse. She's also not pushing the horse. I said we wanted him and like most people online right now didn't say the horse goes tomorrow or I find another buyer. Because that happened to us a few times already. I will not be threatened into buying a horse. If you have another buyer that will come asap then sell to them. If you were really concerned about the quality home your horse would be getting, you'd wait for the right person to come get the horse. But that's just my opinion.

Thank you for "listening" to my rant!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Riding Bitch Face

You've all heard of the "resting bitch face", yes?? Well, I have a condition that could be described as the "riding bitch face". It's a condition I've had my whole life. Ever since I started riding. I don't know why!!! I LOVE to ride. I seriously enjoy it. But when I'm working a horse I get these faces that are just terrible. My goal this year is to make less of these faces and smile more. Judges don't want to see you looking like you hate what you're doing even if you love it, but can't help the ugly faces you make! I'd love to have a more relaxed face when riding. Smiling even. The Riding Bitch Face needs to GO!

2009 or so riding the best little qh ever. he was my first love
but I still looked miserable. WHY?!
why do i look disgusted?

and then there is the lip biting.... also has been happening
since the beginning of time
I guess I wasn't ready for his impromptu and unrequested

Add caption

Twister is like "don't take pics
of her making ugly face!"

again really?

so ugly

not even sure about this face. ugliness.

and sometimes we make the faces together. #meanttobe

hot mess

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The View Between My Boots

da fuq you doin' on the ground?
Well it was going to happen eventually. I was jumping home alone. Bad, I know. But no one is ever around and I can't just never jump. I had my vest on, I was jumping more than 2ft. And as usually the bailing off/falling off was all my fault. I thought he was going to run out and I was already ahead of the action AND looking down and he decided to go over the block and I was already so far over one side and missing an iron that I just kept going. I feel like I shoulda stuck it. But I didn't. Alas. And it's on video for your viewing pleasure.

Now let's back up.... I had planned on jumping all day today. My person was supposed to be home to help reset jumps and take pics and videos, but as usual the restaurant keeps him busy. So I put my vest on and made sure my phone was in my handy pocket in my Kerrits.

Sorry for the crap stills.......
smooth jump... the last one

I made sure he was moving off my leg at the trot and instead of cantering around and around we did figure 8s and did simple changes across the diagonal, working both on transitions and on getting our leads. It was all going great. Then I started him over a couple jumps. The one you will see us land in the middle of and take out, we jumped GREAT. PERFECT. SMOOTH. I can't say enough. We did the 1 stride easily and the barrel jump. Easy peasy. So I turn on the camera to record and have proof of our awesomeness and it was all down hill from there. We just fell apart. And as usual it's all my fault. Kid was trying, he really was.

I think Twister thought he was going to get yelled at. But it wasn't his fault one little bit at all! And, after being checked on by Ranger who was very concerned for his mommy, I got back on, popped over the x-rail and did the barrel again and cooled him out. I think Friday or Sunday will be another jumping day. A dressage day and a galloping out day in between. Gotta get our shit together! I need M to sit there and yell at me. It seriously helps!

Mommy, you ok???

redemption. I get back on and do the damn thing even
when no one is around to make me!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dressage: Game of Breaking Bad Habits

....and teaching Twister to do the work instead of wearing my ass out.

Schooled dressage today. First time I've really done any dressage/flat work since the clinic. It's rained and I've been lazy and it's been hot and I've been working and I've been going here there and everywhere. I got on with the firm decision to not get back into my bad habits and to stick to my guns and not let Twister run the show.

Dressage Day is not Do Whatever Twister Feels Like Day

We worked on a 10 meter circle W/T. It only took about 5 seconds before he was pulling and dragging ass. So I just pushed him out off my leg and tried to get him moving out at a good clip before I even touched his mouth. He's just lazy! And he knows when a higher authority is around. No trainer in the middle of the ring? Ok be a lazy ass. I need to dig back out my metal Prince of Wales spurs. The plastic ones are completely ignored and my leg can only be strong for so long before it fall off.........

Once Twister was moving out in front of my leg, I shortened the reins and asked him to lift his back and bend. There was so much fighting about this. And when I held firm and didn't give in, leaning forward and letting the reins go as I normally do, he decided he'd just get behind my leg and drag ass again. Spur spur, tap tap with the whip, shiver shiver with my legs. I'd get him moving out and then ask again for him to carry himself and be round and he'd go "well when we're at home I get away with murder so uhhhh no I don't think I want to do work" and we'd start all over. 

Finally, FINALLY after quite a while of all this he was finally giving in, and deciding that maybe he should do some of the damn work after all. I could feel the change. He moved off my leg, started to bend and did a pretty good job staying in front of my leg. 

finally getting somewhere..?

He's going to learn. I'm going to have to work hard, but the fun and game are over. He can't fake being a dressage pony anymore. One good lesson and I'm on to him. He's going to learn he can't do whatever the hell he wants anymore. He might have been able to fool me at one time, but he won't ever be able to fool a judge. Gotta get our shit together, kid!

As a reward for finally letting me end on a good note he got to canter a couple rounds and hack out down the road and visit a horsey buddy.


free walkin'
(i don't know what i did to highlight it white..... so this post looks stupid)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Twister's Swag

Sadly, not a lot of riding this past week. Rode Monday... remind me never to jump with bit clips again. I thought I was going to die.... So here's a non-riding post that all horse people can related to. Tack Hoarding 101 taught by me!

I have done a lot of selling old tack the past 9 months or so and.... because I am a typical tack-hoarding equestrian, I've been buying new stuff as I sold the old stuff. Our return to showing this year is my excuse. We need to be prepared and look good.... right?? And I'm a sucker for a good deal.

Mom-made fly bonnets. Twister hates bugs in his ears. Even more he hates his own forelock blowing in his ears. Hates. Also, the Micklem is new... well used but new to us. And he is awesome in it. Love.
Thanks, Mom!
 Browband with 2 strings of bling... yes I have gone to the dark side..... I never do bling. Ever. Maybe if I owned a mare aka when pigs fly. But I couldn't help it. I wanted more than a plain browband for shows. A friend at a show had these and referred me and they are just so pretty and match our pads and bonnets. And they aren't too girly. Manly bling. Is there such a thing? The lady that makes them worked with me on them and was awesome. Very reasonably priced as well. Find her here! Dark Jewel Designs

 Fly sheet and mask with ears. Because pony with bug bites all over him is a sad pony. This was a necessary purchase as there is no shade other than the little "run-in" off the barn and lot of sun means lots of evil flies.

Open fronts. My Woof boots were falling apart :( And M gave me her rope halter because mine was a piece of crap so that I can do my natural horsemanship ground work bonding with Twister without having a halter come unknotted..... Not sure I like the open fronts. And I think his ankles are too big for them. So I might be selling them on and just getting new, non-falling apart Woof boots.
cutest knees ever

 Micklem again! Seriously, I'd sell all my tack to keep this bridle. Also the breast collar is new (to us) and sold my hunter-y one that restricted his shoulders. At the bottom you can see his Tough 1 sport boots which are mostly for trail riding and ponying baby racehorses. They always want to step on him.

 New girth. Because ours was ugly and falling apart. Also notice the orange pad which was his Christmas present.
Ovation Click-It Girth. Love!

Dress-ige (pronounced like Dom Schramm says it) saddle, girth and pad. Pad was a bday gift from Mom. I sold the bridle after I bought my Micklem and I got the saddle and girth around Christmas too. It's not the nicest but fits Twister well. Tough 1 boots again.

From T, whose dad bought a blanket 10x too big for her gelding or mare and thought it might fit Twister. And it does. Not sure he's very happy about it.... but it's a nice heavy weight and waterproof!

"Mom, you know it's like 85 degrees 99% humidity right?"
Sleezy!!!! Because braiding for shows the night before and having to fix half the braids after we get off the trailer at the venue is getting OLD and it's only been one show.

It's an XL..... monster horse....

Basically, he's a very spoiled only child at the moment who is also maybe getting a little brother. My person and I have been looking for another stock-type horse for him to ride. And I think we finally found one! More on that if it works out and he comes home this coming week.

And I would love to find a western saddle that's doesn't cost more than Twister did when S bought him in the sale barn 8 years ago that fits both Twister and myself. Because I'm giving up on riding in a western saddle. Can I team rode with T in an English saddle????