Monday, August 31, 2015

Too tired to even WANT to ride?

Yes, it's true. By the time I get home from work and I know I still have stalls and to work with Curtis a bit I am just so tired. Riding seems like climbing a mountain. I should be taking every chance to ride now before I'm a whale. But when compared to going to bed at 9pm because I got all the other barn chores done early because I didn't  ride.... I'll take bed at 9.

Twister feels a bit neglected. I'd lunge him but he's such a dick to lunge and I don't have energy to fight with him. I could ride him up and down the road a bit each night but I won't lie, I've been really gun shy about that ever since I found out I was pregnant. People on my road drive like idiots and whereas I would normal put on my florescent safety vest and go, now... not so much.

Friday morning. what you can't see is the muzzle.
because both sorrel boys are fatties again
Friday I hopped on bareback and trotted around some while Curtis and Rascal power walked in the machine. Twister was lazy. How can he be lazy after 5 days off???

Saturday I didn't do anything and Sunday my person and I rode together. I rode with him while he took Curtis for his first jog in 3 months. And rode again with him while he rode Rascal. This coming Saturday a bunch of us are headed to a friend's to ride on her trails and have a campfire cookout. I probably won't stay the whole ride, especially if my person rides too. He'll have to take off early for work. If he doesn't go I'll ride Rascal. Normally I wouldn't be riding him right now. But on closed trails with at least 5 other riders I think I'll be fine. It'd be a good experience for him. I hope both boys end up getting to go though. Twister loves a good trail ride.

Back to Sunday.... I tried to put Twister through his paces but we were trotting out in the big field with Curtis or Rascal and he was counter-bending and trying to lean on the other horse and generally getting on my nerves. When I asked him to canter he didn't want to because he wasn't near a friend. And then when he did he was leaning on my leg and took me a good swift kick in the belly for him to stop. After that I'd just push with my inside leg and open my outside rein and he stopped lugging in and leaning.

random text break. saw this Saturday evening
the south will rise again! lol

I need to get back into regular work with him because he was going so nice. But I'm just so tired at the end of the day. And for the next week I have to lunge Curtis for 20 minutes a day in side reins because he has gotten fat and has lost his awesome top line. Maybe once he goes back to the track I can try a regular routine again.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Secrets Revealed!

Big big news! I think I've strung you all out long enough the past 2 weeks or so with all my little hints as to why I've slowed down in my riding, given up jumping and showing..... I've had to keep it on the DL for a while but finally I'm able to share!

SO! What to do you get when you have to stop jumping or riding young, unpredictable horses, when you can't drink regular coffee and where you'll have to have someone else stack your hay loft for you this fall, where you are tired all the time and also perpetually hungry??

Any guesses??

I'm going to have a baby!!!! I'm so freaking excited. My person and I weren't even trying but here we are! I have wanted to be a momma for so so long. I had baby-fever and Ovary Melting Syndrome back when my friends were still scared of babies. I didn't think this would happen for a few more years but here we are and I am not complaining one bit! I almost didn't believe it and I had to check 4 times before I believed it.

I am not going to stop riding just because I'm preggers. I actually knew when I rode with Silke 2 weeks ago and I told all of my riding buddies, much to their delight! Silke asked if she could be an honorary grandma which I of course said yes!

I am going to be safe and smart about riding though. Sticking to flat work and cavalettis and eventually I'm sure I'll only want to trail ride and putter around. My person says he thinks I should be able to ride until I'm 6 or 7 months. I said I plan on riding until I physically cannot get on Twister anymore. I might have to purchase a 3 step mounting block because I'm sure climbing on fences (my current mounting assistant) will be hard eventually.

As far as my riding goes, I'm a bit bummed. After my lesson with Silke I feel like I'm finally ready to start some serious jumping again. Only, I can't! But as far as having a baby goes, I am beyond thrilled and wouldn't trade this tiny miracle growing inside me for anything. I will have to have M come jump Twister now and then so he can get his fix.

According to my first ultrasound, I am 6 weeks 3 days. Honestly, I have no idea how I got so far without noticing! I can't wait to be a mama. I am hoping for a girl, my person has enough boys already. He wants another boy though. But I guess we'll find out in a couple of months!

I couldn't wait to tell my mom (the reason I waited so long to post here because she occasionally checks out my blog) but I wanted to be creative about it. So I bought 2 t-shirts for her and my stepdad. They say "I CAN'T KEEP CALM I'M GOING TO BE A GRANDMA/POPPA". This is a really big deal for my mom. My brother has a kid but he's a hateful human being who has cut most of his family out of his life so it doesn't really feel like she's a grandma and I'm an aunt. It's all a big dysfunction. She flipped. I have it on video. I'll have to post it one of these days. :) She's so excited!

We're not blowing up facebook over this yet when people notice in pics I'm huge that's one thing. But out of consideration for his kids we're not overtly posting anything.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Horsie Husband

I'm not riding so much right now, more of a weekend warrior at the moment. So I thought I'd pull one of the many blogs out of my Draft Bin. I've been meaning to post this for a while but have had other things to talk about.

I know many of you out there have significant others who are not horse savvy.

the little man and twister

I don't want to rub it in too much but I am super lucky to have a fiancé that is just as much into horses as I am. Maybe in a different light, but he's still a horseman, all the same. My future hubby exercises racehorses at the track and breaks babies at home and can ride with the best of them. Actually, him on a horse is what caught my eye that first time I ever saw him.

S and porkchop

all boys. S and pedro and roader and fatass
I had just moved to KY and my boss at Churchill sent me to the training center to walk horses and I saw my person (who worked for the trainer that shared the barn with my then-boss) ride past in the shed row and say hi to me. Well that was it.

galloping fatass

There are people that can ride and ride well. Then you have those people, fewer in number, that look like they were born on the back of a horse. This is S. I could watch him ride all day. Sometimes I don't always like riding with him because he has nerves of steel and I do not which he doesn't seem to always understand. But we still have fun.

porkchop again

The first time I came to the farm where I now live, he asked me to help him with a baby that needed some remedial training before going back to the track. I learned how to pony off Twister that day. Twister has since become MY horse. I don't even remember the last time my person was on him.

matchy matchy with curtis

He is the kind of man that understands how much I just NEED to ride on a nice day, and will clean the stalls for me as apposed to napping between am and pm jobs so that I can have more time to ride. He's the guy that even though he has no interest in eventing, will still come cheer me on at shows or come out and give me pointers when I'm having a hard time doing flying changes or getting Twister to pick up a lead. He doesn't complain when the house is a mess and he has no ironed clothes (ok well sometimes he complains about the clothes) because I've been outside riding or working with the horses. Especially in the summer. The house can get clean when it's cold out.

We used to ride together a lot more often than we do now. Used to ride and work in the barn together daily. But we don't break horses for people anymore and with him galloping horses in the morning and working the restaurant at night, he doesn't have much time to hack out with me. I'm hoping that will change now that he actually has a horse to ride. We always have a great time riding together. And when we are working in the barn with a horse we are like a well-oiled machine.


He's very supportive of me riding and knows that even though I might not be riding so much the next year or so that I'm not done training or competing all together. He even told me so. He figures by the time I'm ready to compete again Curtis will be retired and I'll be eventing him, leaving Twister for a possibly new and important job. 

playing in the snow!
We still need to take a day to go to the lake and trail ride. It's been a little crazy around here and it hasn't happened yet but the weather is getting nicer so now would be a good time to plan a ride. I know S wants to go for a ride as much as I do. And Curtis goes back to the track in about 2 weeks. Which means my Saturdays will be spent waking early to help out.... which I love doing by the way. Nothing like being at the track at the ass crack of dawn with a coffee watching the horses train.

curtis again
porkchops last race

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Flatting Can Be Fun

I decided to get off my ass and ride early today. And by early I mean like 10:30. But close enough. I used D's saddle and did lots of trot poles in varied stride lengths. I'm not riding as much as usual so when I do, gotta work on that topline!

I got on and was determined to not give in with my shoulders and hands. And he responded in kind, warming up nicely and moving in front of my leg. We have one corner where apparently every time we go through it he fights up stick his head out and has to counter bend. I think everyone has that one corner. I know it's going to happen and try to prepare as I come down to it on the long side. But it still takes 2 or 3 times of me circling in it to get him to stop being an ass there.

He does the trot poles great now. So now I think my next step is to vary the distance in a single line up. So he has to adjust.

And our canter is so nice now. I love our canter! And we had some really nice transitions. And a square halt. Yes, that's what I said! A square halt! Documented on camera! It's a boring flat video but he was moving so nice! I really enjoyed our ride. Maybe I can get used to this no jumping thing after all!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Slacking Off

Other than the ride with my person on Wednesday, I haven't done jack with Twister. There are reasons for this.... extremely legit reasons. But I still feel like I'm neglecting him. I'm hoping to get in a little ride today. In D's saddle and in the new Gloves. Also his feet need to be done..... again. Especially the hinds. And they need to be painted and given some TLC. But that will be a job for later this weekend.

The other evening I took some pics of the kiddos. Which other than that trail ride is the most I've done with them besides cleaning up their poo. Oh and we spent far too much money on Big Kitty (Vaquero, the brown tabby) last week because he had a urinary blockage. He's home now under strict supervision. I check his box constantly. He's our bestest kitty and totally work the money because we love him.

Vaquero being allowed a little fresh air with Pedro


my big horse <3

what happens when i try to take a nice pic of the dogs......
And just so we're all on the same page.... it's Friday and I'm slacking off at work too. I only have to be here for another hour..... And it's Friday!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fashionable Footwear and Trail Rides

Twister got something special in the mail today!! His Gloves!!! WHY they didn't get delivered before my person and I went on a trail ride all over timbucktoo. Which was Rascal's first official trail ride!

But boots first!!! I bought them before I knew I'd be taking a break from 6 day a week, serious training. But that's okay. I plan on using them all the time. I'm really excited about them. Finally boots that fit and will stay on!!!

We lunged and lunged over a couple jumps.... and my blown over pallet standard inadvertently because he was being a tool.... a tool with quick reflexes. And he moved really well in the boots and didn't trip on them once. Like he did a million times with the Boa's. And they didn't pop off like the Originals. 

But anyways. So my person and I went riding on our boys  today. It was raining a bit but at least that kept the flies from being too crazy. They were bad enough in the rain....... Rascal was fantastic. He went through all the ditches that scared Twister 2 years ago our first time through that route and never blinked. We cantered in the fields. And he went right in the pond. S was so happy with him. I'm pretty proud of this little guy. He's definitely a keeper!

We had a ton of fun. We haven't spent a lot of time together and have't been riding together in forever. And I played hooky all day at work to spend the day together. And he trimmed Rascal and Curtis for me!! Yayy for a fiance that can handle a rasp!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Trying a Saddle

D let me set both her for sale saddles on Twister Saturday and I came home with one to try. I rode in it Sunday and was going to ride in it again today but that didn't happen. But after one ride I'm pretty happy... I think. It's a Circuit CC. Not sure on the model. Has foam instead of wool flocking.

Before the ride

looks like it fits pretty well. plenty of wither clearence
and it doesn't rock at all with just a regular pad

pretty balanced if you ask me
 Riding in it

it was really comfy!

popped over a tiny jump

slipped just a tiny bit. but that happens.

i thought it worked out great but holy dry spots......

So I need to ride in it again and see what happens. I hate saddle fitting. Or maybe I start with it a little further back?  It usually takes me a few rides to figure out whether or not a saddle is a keeper. I'll also try some other pads and things to see if I can help it out a bit. I really thought it fit great until I saw the dry spots.........

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Cavaletti Lesson with Silke

At the very last minute I decided to join D and T in having a lesson with Silke at T's farm. The focus was using cavalettis and improving the quality of a ride and each gate.

Twister was being his usual thick self. But I didn't ride him Friday so he was at least more forward and fresh than usual. I didn't even need spurs. I warmed up in a nice working trot and he was working on being round but I was promptly pulled up and told that I move my hands wayyyy too much and that I need to stop all the little tugs on his mouth because that's just annoying and tells him nothing. I was told if Silke got on Twister she could get him to what I couldn't just by being quiet. I said I'd love to see her ride my horse. 1- because I've never seen her ride except in photos and 2- I've always wanted to see a pro ride Twister. It was pretty impressive. She has legs of steel. And her hands are so quiet! She got him to collect and lengthen and everything in between. He has no idea what he'd gotten himself into!

So finally I got back on and it was amazing. Because Silke didn't give in with her hands and shoulders every 5 minutes like me, Twister suddenly had an understanding that you stay on the aids until told otherwise. You do not get to release yourself. And oh by the way, you have to do work. It was still hard work, but a lot easier than it was. Instead of a heel in his ribs, I was just wiggling my legs to get his attention back to me and ask him to become round again.

my horse CAN be fancy!!!!!
She had set up 3 trot poles and also a canter pole and a bounce (you can see that set up in the photo above). The trot poles weren't too bad. We've been working on this a lot at home.

The single bounce was the single most difficult thing I have done in a lesson in ohhh so long! The turn to it was intentionally a bit tight.... so that you were forced to keep your horse balanced while at the same time trying to keep him from breaking stride. It was fucking hard! HARD. On our left lead we didn't have quite a hard time. But that's his more balanced and bendy side. But to the right, we broke right before the first pole every time. No matter how much leg! He would become unbalanced and break into the trot. They were itty bitty jumps. And this was just the exercise I needed. Not once did I grab mane. I'd be too afraid to grab mane in front of Silke. She'd yell at me! So I had to balance. But when Twister was balanced I COULD BALANCE. Go figure!!!!!!!!!!!

T's arena has really deep footing so that made it that much harder. And poor Twister was soooooooooo tired. But he kept working as much as I asked him.

and I am in love with this canter!
I was much more steady and secure in the saddle when I didn't have to fight with 1200 lbs of giant QH. And it shows.

matchy matchy matchy!!!!
There is another lesson/clinic date in September but I'm not sure if I'll be going. And I am officially not showing again this year in any shape or form. More explanations on that later this week......

(Also these are just the pics from my camera M has tons more on hers so I'll have to post a photo update I'm sure later this week as well... like the ones of Silke on Twister!)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

TBT: Hunter Princess Days

When I was home last weekend I found some old photos. I'm talking about 10 yrs old or so. Back to my hunter days. Unlike most hunter barns, Linda always had (and has) a zero tolerance for drama and bullshit. So we were all very nice, well behaved, and support of others. I had the chance to run into a few stereotypical hunters and let me tell you, I could never do hunters again unless I rode with Linda.

my first show ever. with Major.

once a lip-biter, always a lip-biter

this would have to be a dressage day

and a random of this fat baby horse I also found. guess who!?