Sunday, September 30, 2018

Hill Work

It's still too mushy to ride next to the barn which has left me  with the hill above it. It means Curtis has had to use his booty. It's also got him stretching more as he reaches up the hill. He's also learning to balance when we go down the hill.

I've had to work about 5x as hard going to the left. I've thought about wearing a small plastic spur on just my left leg because he gets so stuck over there. By the end of every ride, today's ride especially, he was finally bending better to the left and stretching out as much left as he was right.

I've been spending a lot of time working on my position and using my body to regulate the speed and quality of the trot and have really pushed him in the walk. He is a fat lazy pony some times and I'm worried I'm making him immune to my leg aids by constantly using them. He really doesn't like crops and I don't want to rely on spurs. I try to give him a quick 1-2-3 kicks when he gets pokey instead of asking with every post. He's a lot like Twister where he does his best work with most impulsion after a warm up and canter but right now we can't canter.

I've tried to introduce the free walk as well this weekend. I'm not sure what tests I'll sign up for (omg show in 5 weeks!!!) But I think maybe I should not do Training Level 1 because I'm not sure I'll have the time to work on our canter. He is halfway balanced to the right but to the left he is strung out and rushes and then there's the fact that we only get the left lead 2 out of 3 times and that's with daily cantering which we haven't done in 2 weeks. And so far are only picking it up those 2 times after a leg yield and some counter bending....... But the free walk will be in any test. So far it's just eh. But we've only done it a few days. I ask after he is on the aids and following my hands some. Then I transition to a walk and then push him into a free walk.

Curtis is very willing to learn. But we could really use another lesson but my trailer is kind of bogged in right now..... and my air compressor won't work. So even if I could get the trailer out, I wouldn't be able to even get it up the driveway.

dying for decent media. a whole summer of crappy screenshots

In other riding new, SJ was ponied on Rascal this weekend for the first time. She's already a better rider than me.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Family that Rides Together

....stays together fights all the time. Because the other one can never do anything right and has no idea how to ride.

Went out early before the rain this afternoon to ride some ponies. SJ and Twister poked around. They look like an outrider team. She's fearless and he's such a good babysitter.

Curtis was great. Only dry enough at the top of the hill to walk-trot and barely even that. Then my person comes out and is trying to instruct me to ride in a chair seat and we started fighting. I'm like, I brought you out here to watch SJ ride. He's basically never allowed to tell me how to ride. He has no idea about dressage. My position must not be that terribly incorrect because when Curtis spooked at the dog (only thing he's scared of is wild dingos in the grass he can't see) I stayed on and got him moving out nicely again in like 5 seconds.

And he wouldn't take pics of vids because he said if I didn't ride like he wanted he wouldn't. GRRRR. If you take media for me, I can be the judge of how terribly I look or not. I'm supper bummed about the lack of media, too, because I could feel Curtis was starting to lift and stretch toward the end of the ride.

I get into such a chair seat 80% of the time that I find it very difficult to believe my leg was TOO FAR back as he claimed. But..... no freaking media. I wonder if I can get SJ to take a video for me.... she's not allowed screen time so she really had no idea how to use a phone lol so maybe not.....

My camera is getting fixed so I'll be able to record media from any fence post very soon.

I did get to work Curtis and make him focus while his best buddy was off without him doing his own thing. So that was a good experience for us. He was concerned but easy enough to make focus.

Monday, September 24, 2018

I Hate Rain

I like rain. But not when it rains for days without giving the ground a chance to dry off. I mean seriously. It WILL. NOT. STOP. :(

My tack room is just about finished....finally....  just needs a door so I can put Pedro in there and adopt him a little sister. Shhhhhh..... my person doesn't know I'm going to just show up with another kitty one day. If he did he'd never put a door on it haha

owns 3 horses......

I gave Curtis 5 days off last week. They were well-deserved. He's been working his butt off  all summer with only a day or 2 off a week. But then we only had 2 days of work and now we are on day 3 off again with no end in sight to the rain. It makes me nervous we won't make our dressage show. Because even though it's 5 weeks away, I can't even do Intro tests unless I've been schooling constantly....

However, even after 5 days off, Curtis was perfect when I got back on. Getting that left lead most of the time, or switching to it after half a circle. He was all in workity mode. 5 days off did make him a bit less stretchy though. He gets stuck on that left side and works out of it with daily work and stretchies.

We might ride at Masterson in October just for an outing while our riding buddy schools xc. I just want him to get a look at a show dressage ring and go through water and practice being calm and cool while other horses are doing their own thing. But only if the freaking rain stops long enough for my "arena" to dry out and give me some riding days. I'm not taking a fresh rank horse on adventures......

Though they have been keeping themselves a bit fit the last couple days.....

Look at that fat appy go lmao

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Hunter Pace 2

So I took Twister today. And I'm glad I did because I did very little fighting with him and had a blast. It was relaxed and fun. I did the course twice and jumped everything.

The second time we tried to make optimum time but were probably wayyyyy wayyy under it. We were blazing. Rode it more like a xc course. They won't post winners until tomorrow.

I don't have much to say (for once) other than Twister was amazing and I had a blast and it was pretty cool to gallop around the horse park. I love Curtis and I can't wait to see where we go together. But Twister is so special to me and I can trust him in every situation and he pours his heart out for me. Even when I thought I'd run out of horse, he just kept going full speed ahead, jumping everything like a big boy and he is so forgiving. He's such a special piece of my heart.

this photo is so deceptive hehe

Friday, September 14, 2018

Finding the Right Button

Those of you who follow me on Instagram ( @equestrianmama ) already know that I've found Curtis button to the left lead. I spend hours the other night watching Youtube videos and one guy said just go in the corner and ask for a canter. Not a lead, just sit back and kiss and they'll do it themselves. Didn't work. Right lead right lead right lead. Making him do a flying change after he gets the right was making him really hot and half the time he'd only change in front and it's too hard for me to tell from the saddle, so not a technique I want to be stuck using. I tried counter bending to the right at his neck and kicking him over into it with my right leg. This is still the magic trick sometimes for Twister when he is being stubborn. But it just made Curtis hot.

Then I saw someone mention leg yielding into it. So I asked him to get a decent trot and leg yielded left. His neck went a little right but not so much as I have to with Twister. I sat down and KICKED with that right leg and kissed and BAM. He got it 2 out of 3 times. Not bad at all. I'll take it.

I haven't decided who I'm going to ride Sunday in the hunter pace yet. If it's Curtis I want to work his butt off tomorrow so he has today off and we can try our new trick again tomorrow. I'm going to ride Twister tonight because he had shoes put back on. He felt pretty good Wednesday night walk trot but didn't really want to canter. So I've continued to paint his feet and his got another gram of bute and I'm hoping he gets all beastly tonight when I get on to ride. It's supposed to rain all day Sunday and I'm not so gung ho about taking the greenie out in the rain on wet grass while barefoot.......

Part of me says I should just ride Curtis now that I've been galloping him and pumped myself up for it. But I know I would be more at ease on Twister. There will be lots of things for Curtis and I to do, starting with our dressage show in November and all next year.

never holding for the farrier again lol

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Am I Crazy Enough...??

....To take the greenie out???

I have been painting Twister's feet 2x a day and last night I have him 1g bute. And this am he was still very sore. To the point where I don't think shoes are going to help him or make it fair enough to ride him Sunday.

Which leaves me with Curtis. Am I brave enough to take Curtis to a hunter pace, trotting and galloping along with 3 other horses? I'd wear a vest. And use rings. And maybe even give him a pill. And lunge him a lot before we got going.

I think it's Curtis or scratch. And even if I take Curtis I still might have to scratch. Maybe he'll shock me and be awesome. Probably will. Like 90% sure he will. But that 10%......

Twister is an ass galloping xc. But I've been riding him 7 years and know all his tricks and he doesn't phase me. I'm still learning Curtis. But hell, why not learn him at the Horse Park with hundreds of other horses, right?

EDIT TO ADD.... wrote this and a few hours later bought some Quietex on the strong urging of a bestie who says it's better than and ace pill. Fingers crossed!

Monday, September 10, 2018


Almost exactly 1 month to the day, both Twister's and Curtis' shoes came off. Despite bellboots. I'm cranky. I should be able to go AT LEAST 6 weeks considering they hadn't grown that much, they just were never on tight enough. Which of course you don't know half the time until everyone is barefoot.

Curtis I think can be phased into going barefoot 100%. He has hard little black feet with good concaveness. He can be tender now on the rocks but I'm hoping with a good supplement and lots of Keratex that can be fixed.

Twister is an effin mess. Which is why he ended up getting shoes back on after 3 years of attempting to make him comfortable barefoot. So I'm not really sure what to do about that. He has boots for trails off the farm. And our ride on Sunday is at the Horse Park and all grass so he should be fine for that. (OMG GUYS I'M RIDING AT THE HORSE PARK!!!!!!!! I know people do this all the time but I don't do this all the time and I'm excited!)

Rascal hasn't had shoes in a year or so. He does ok. His feet have grown up with him to where the boots he used at 2 no longer fit him. So maybe I should invest in new boots for him.

I'm just discouraged. You pay a good amount of money to have horses shod and the shoes don't last. And the guy that makes them last 6-8 weeks won't come out anymore. In the winter they legit last 3 months. Which means I'm going to have to start trimming on my own again. I am capable, it's just a job I'd rather pay someone to do it.

I'll probably have the new guy out to trim all 3 to give me a good bottom line to keep up with. Rascal is a 2 man job which means my person trims and I hold. And so far, Curtis has been fantastic about me doing his fronts on my own in the stall. Even using the stand. And remember, in March, he had to be tranqed. He's always had to be because he gets so nasty about his feet. But he's been great last couple times for shoes and for me to clean him up. Now to try the hinds......

I've heard great things about Tough as Nails by Tribute and we already use Essential K. My local feed store and finally started carrying Tribute and at a deal compared to some places. So I think I'm going to run out and get a bucket of that while I'm at it. For Twister and Curtis. Rascal does fine on air........... Crappy appys have the best feet.

Friday, September 7, 2018


I planned to write about how August went and what the next month was going to look like. But something my person said had my thinking I'd write about something a little more long term. He said something about am I just riding to ride and go out to a show just to see people or do I actually have a goal, if I'm going to spend money on lessons etc.


3 months ago

I spent the next couple days thinking about it. Because I do have goals. I try not to think too far ahead. I may be a stay at home mom but I'm pretty busy and it's hard to do much off farm riding with a toddler. My crew has gotten bigger since we moved. The boys are closer and my person is home a bit more. But it's still hard. But I decided to have serious goals without a concrete timeline. 

Curtis has potential that Twister doesn't. He's smooth and a pretty mover and driven by any sort of work routine. Twister loves to work, but he'd rather do a lot of galloping, ponying, jumping and trail riding. Don't get me wrong. I'm not knocking Twister at all. He's priceless and has given his all for me time and again. He's my heart  horse.

throwback to his last race, seeing as KY Downs opened yesterday

I want to take Curtis through the levels. Mainly as a dressage horse. I want to do recognized shows within the next 2 years. Next year I'd like to do 2-3 shows with him at least. I don't just want to go to shows, I want to do well. This is obvious to any of you who show, but apparently to my person, it's not. Like putting a horse in a race because they just need the race for a blow out or experience even if you know they won't run well. Not the case here. I'm not paying wads of money to know I'm going to score poorly.....It's about beating my last score. About putting on my big girl panties and doing the thang when my gut is in knots and and getting through it and being able to say I didn't give up and finished the job. A person sense of achievement. 

I'm a full time mom. I'm going to homeschool. But that doesn't mean that a mom is all I am. I'm still a horsewoman and equestrian with goals. 

 In the spring I want to start him over jumps and do a baby starter at the very least. I'm sure he'd be fine to start over jumps now but I work slow with horses and I want to really have a solid foundation on everything flatwork before starting. Also to make sure his right leg is ready for it. 

so. much. to. work. on.

I'm not the gustiest jumper anymore and don't want that to be our main focus like it was with Twister. I want to have a well trained, well broke horse my daughter can ride in 4-5 years because she LOVES Curtis and when you ask which horse is hers she says "my Curtis". I want a horse I can do anything with, like I can with Twister, so that if SJ is riding her appy and my person is riding Twister, I have a horse to ride that I can trust to take anywhere. But I want to compete also. And for the first time since highschool, I want to be consistent and move up through the levels.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Lessons, Part 2

I'm writing this Wednesday morning, after riding late Tuesday because now I can remember the lesson because I just went over it with Curtis yesterday.

So Monday I bring the horses in and hook up the truck and trailer and head down the road. We pull in the driveway and my horse is acting like a complete idiot. There is a halflinger in the paddock along the driveway and they are screaming at each other and Curtis and stomping all over the trailer, rocking it back and forth. Seriously, horse.

I get him off the trailer and he's being an idiot. I put him in a stall to tack up, more idiot. Trying to fling the door open and take off and spinning in circles and squealing at the baby stallion like a little girl. So much fun. He acted like a rank 2 year old first time off the farm. I got him outside and walked him in the arena both ways until he was only looking at the horse next door, not every little single thing. I wish I'd taken a picture of him checking himself out in the arena mirror because that was too cute.

I didn't get on him until I saw his ears flick back to me on the mounting block, letting me know he even knew I was back there. And I walked him around a couple times and once the trainer came out and started asking us to do things at the walk, he settled right down to work.

First thing she had me do was tuck my pelvis under me and sit up straight over it. (I've been working on my core but holy crap I'm obviously not getting anywhere because I can't stay in this position) He was a little pokey and instead of nagging with my leg, she had me step down into my stirrups, left right left right. It made my hips shift a bit but more than that it got him to step it up a notch without all the constant bumping from my heels or legs.

Then she has me use my inside leg, stepped down into my heel and open my inside rein like a guiding rein toward my hip and do that both directions in small circles and figure 8s getting Curtis to accept contact and be properly round around my leg, not just at his neck. No surprise we had to do this a bit longer to the right to get him to drop his head and curve around my leg.

rode in my cc, next time want her to look at my dressage saddle
and see what she thinks....

I told her first off about his old injury which really isn't that old, all things considered. She says he probably spent so much time to the left protecting his right leg that he's sore or stiff or even if he isn't now he thinks he might be so won't move the same way to the left as the right. My person said the same thing (he's doing this right now with his knee and back). It makes sense. I guess time mostly to see if we can work out of it. If not I'll have him adjusted.

So, once he was focusing and bending and accepting contact and being ridden easily off my legs, we picked up the trot. Typical thoroughbred, he rushes into all his upward transitions on the forehand and speeds right along at a choppy pace. He does this at home too, and after a few rounds I can get him back. But Monday (and Tuesday on my own) with reminders to sit up straight and sit over my pelvis and slooooowwwww my body I had him at a much smoother, even trot in 1 turn. We then did this over and over, both ways, asking him to speed up then slow down using only my body. He is quick about this and even at home last night after I almost came off and he was all freaking out at my asshole dog, I was able to use my body to bring him back to me.


We worked on making the circles round and even and then to the right she had me canter. Of course he rushed into it but also picked up the right lead and with a reminder that I was not eventing and to SIT UP we had a decent canter to the right.

And then to the left....... holy shit does this horse ever have my number. I know that's what it is. I know some of it is probably him thinking he needs to protect his left, but a lot of it (okay so like 98%) is that he knows he doesn't HAVE to. Well, guess again buddy.

It took forever. We tried from the trot. Asking when he was round, using a guiding rein to keep him left. I was told I need more weight in my left heel, look almost behind me to the left to throw my weight that way and bring that right heel back and KICK. Obviously, this wouldn't be the transition I use in a test. But to teach him that he does actually have to fucking pick up his fucking left lead..... only we did this 20 times using half the arena to keep us in a circle. I was hella exhausted We tried over a pole on the ground then an uneven pole from the right lead to try and get him to change it. But he'd just brake and trot. I know what I need to do to get it from a trot but at the moment it's not cutting it. He'd cross canter or get 1-2 strides and switch.

Last night. So ugly but we can work on that.

What ended up working the best, and it's what I did last night as well, was to let him get his right lead, then use that inside rein to keep him left into a smaller circle and KICK his ass into the left lead because then he has no where else to go. It worked. I got it Monday. I'd pull him back to a trot and do it again. And again. Then I let the reins out and gave him the whole arena to canter. I called it my victory lap.

Last night it was almost dark out. The grass started to get damp and he doesn't have hind shoes. So today or tomorrow I'll know to ride him 1st then ride Twister. Because he started to lose his footing when I pulled him into the circle. I had my phone set up to record and I knew at the very end I got him to change but I wasn't sure in the middle that I did. Watching the video I saw that I got 1 change early. He was right, then cross cantered then I finally got him kicked over into his left. Then he spooked at Mona and I almost came off so the phone went back in my pocket just in case. But I KNOW I got him to change right at the end even without video proof.

Also, Monday I walked him down to the creek to cool off. I had to get off and walk him in then I got back on and we got in and he froze and backed back out. Next time someone is bringing another horse with us. Because this kid LOVES the hose. He just doesn't realize how fun a good splash is yet!

I really feel like I got so much out of my lesson Monday. I was able to use the instruction and tips from Monday to get him to do what I wanted on Tuesday. Instead of getting off after 20 mins of omg please pick up the left lead, I rode for about 30 mins total and got him to pick up his left lead and come back to me without being all over his face.

can you see the lift in his back?!😃

I really need to go back every week for a while. But with the tiny human and life, not going to happen. Even 5 mins away. But I'd like to take at least 2 more before our show in November. Not sure which I'll go to. I think the KDA schooling show because the MT and ride a test might be a damn zoo......

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Lessons, Part 1

I've been working my ass off riding Curtis and still hit roadblocks on some things. But that happens with any horse. I've mentioned a few times taking lessons and always get crap from my person for wanting to pay someone to tell me how to ride because I've been riding half my life and should therefore, apparently, know everything.

This theory pisses me off because obviously riding is as easy as breathing for some people where as some people work 10x as hard to achieve the same thing, or ever half, of what the other person can do. I'm the person that has to work my ass off and still doesn't know what I'm doing sometimes. Sometimes I just need an objective party on the ground picking me apart and helping me get back together. Hell, even the professionals take lessons and go to clinics!


As much as I've tried I haven't been able to get this point across to my person. He thinks I just wasted 40 bucks plus the all of 5 minutes it took to drive there and back yesterday. But I really seriously felt like I got something out of the lesson. And due to the tiny human, I probably won't go every week, even though her brothers live on site to babysit.

So.... it all started when all 3 of us were riding Sunday morning. I told my person I needed him to watch me on Curtis and see if he looked off anywhere (doesn't feel it but that doesn't mean anything) or get on him and see what he feels. He has this amazing ability to get on horses and diagnose teeny tiny little things that are wrong with a horse that you may not see from the ground but clearly effect movement. But he said everything looked fine and it's all me why he won't pick up the left lead. The horse has my number. I don't deny it.

I tried for 10 minutes until I was exhausted and fighting with the horse and I knew it wouldn't happen. He gets on and boom. Left lead. Whether he was just a fresh rider or he just did it differently, I don't know. But he could get Curtis to do what I couldn't and we ended fighting about it.  He said I should just do what he's telling me to do and the horse would do what I want it to. But he's not a very good instructor and we just fight. He said I should stick to QH's because I'm not gutsy enough for TBs. Which also pissed me off, because if you've been reading my blog all these past years, you know Twister can be a total shit head and often runs off with me or launches me over jumps or puts on his stubborn pants and refuses to go through ditches or past garbage cans. So far, Curtis has been a breeze. Even training wise. It's taken me 5 years to get Twister to look like a passable dressage horse and Curtis is already coming along nicer without all the yanking reins out of my hands or spooking at shit he's seen 100x or bolting. Actually, kid has breaks. Like body breaks. I can stop him with hardly any rein aids.

So after I got back in the house I sent a text and set up my lesson for Monday morning. Which of course I got eye-rolls for. Seriously though, $40 is cheap for a private lesson around here. And Curtis NEEDS to get off farm experience and the farm it literally 3 miles down the road with built-in toddler wranglers......

To Be Continued.............