Monday, May 30, 2011

Trail ride part 2; the fiasco.

Run away mini's!!!  Caught on tape!

Macy 6 had a slight fear of going down a large hill.  Well her fears were justified as evidenced in this video at minute 10.  I kept having to cut off the little mini's so they wouldn't get out front when going down the hills especiallly.  On this particular hill there was mud at the top then a tiny little hill on the side.  Blaze was attempting to avoid the mud and when I went to cut in front of them he snuck up on that tiny hill and there was nothing I could do.  And that is were it went wrong.  You may want to turn the volume down because as her mother I was screaming and then when my other daughter's mini started running away too I start yelling at her too.  But unless you are a mom that has been on a trail with your two very young children who are getting run off with then you probably don't have room to judge my spazoid

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Fixing forward.

It was of course a silly simple fix due to my own dorkiness.  But first off what is the deal with blogger???  I cannot comment on most blogs and cannot comment on my own.  I wanted to thank you guys for your suggestions.  I did what you said and started in with the process of elimination.  His feet were done yesterday so I got to ask the ferrier if he saw any issues with his feet.  Nope, we are good there.  I felt him up down and all around and not one sign of soreness anywhere.  Sidenote Steady since the day I owned him has hated being brushed on his back, belly area.  He always seemed very tender and sensitive.  And get out a curry?!  No way he would look at me like he wanted to kill me.  I just chalked it up to the way he is.  I was just very cautious of his sensitivity.  He alway would get annoyed when rubbing him anywhere on his back or belly.  Ever since he has put on weight that has gone away!!!  It makes sense that if he had no muscule or fat to protect him that it would be extremely sensitive.  So in rubbing him down to check for soreness it was a great relief to see complete relaxation as I was doing it.  Ears in a relaxed postion and no pinning or looking back like WTH are you doing.  So I think it was safe to say it wasn't soreness or pain in his body or even his back from the saddle. 

I then started to break down anything in the last week that has changed.  And all the sudden a light bulb went on.  I got a new girth.  I decided to focus on that next to see if that could be the problem.  It is just a plain leather girth with elastic on one side.  Up until now I have used a very annoying wintec elastic girth(don't ever buy one they suck!  There is no elastic in it at all.)  I am used to tightening that girth with so much force just to get it remotely snug.  Anyways I got on with the new girth and started riding and got the refusal to move forward.  He was more compliant. No bucking or bunny hop rearing but still ear pinning and grumpiness.  So I got off to switch girths and thought first to try letting out the girth a hole or two.  That is what I did and got back on.  He had some resistance at first but over the next 10 minutes we got forward back!!  My Steady was slowly coming back.  The Steady that the only problem he has with forward is TOO FORWARD.  I like that Steady much better.  I guess being used to the stupid wintec girth I got a little overly exhuberant tightening the girth when I switched to somthing that actually had elastic.  Dumb mistake but at least it was an easy fix.

Kathleen I think you should start working on that horse language translator.  I am sure they would be very grateful if they could just say in a language we understood "look you idiot I am trying to be as nice about this as possible but if you don't stop hurting me I may have to send you flying".

Thursday, May 26, 2011

If I had a dollar...

for every time I have heard or said the statement I am about to make amongst horse owners I would surely be able to actually afford my horses.   If it is not one thing it is another!  If it isn't weight, it is a saddle fitting problem, or a bridle problem, or bit issue, or leg problem, or a teeth problem, or a feeding issue, or parasite problem, or it is mud, or rain, or heat, or snow, or ice or cold, or attitudes, or feet, or too forward or not forward enough, or back problems, or soreness, or fitness, or ______(you fill in the blank) and it is always a money problem.  Once you get all of the 2,000 possible problems fixed, 2,001 will show up and put a kink in your day, life, plan.

I cursed out my horse today.  It kinda felt good but it didn't really help matters.  I have no idea what is his problem is but he is not wanting to move forward.  He resists, pins his ears back and even gave me a buck, a bunny hop rear and a baby buck.  My husband is 3 hours away and will be gone till tomorrow night so I thought it not wise to push my luck.  Because my luck I would be on the ground for the next 24 hours until he arrived home and my children would have eaten marshmallows and candy and watched cartoons the entire time. I lunged him a few times and didn't see signs of lameness.  I tried to lunge him to see if I could work it out as an attitude problem.  That didn't help much.  I tried to end on a halfway positive note but it wasn't easy to find one.  Grrrrr....horses....

Trail ride part 1

It was our first time out on the trails this year.  I asked my Dad if he wanted to come down and ride it with the girls and I and he did!  He woke up about 5 am to fly his little cesna down here and by 11 we were on the trails.  Elaina just turned 8 and her first time ever riding on trails was last summer and we rode it about 4 times and had the most amazing times.  Most of her rides were on Moonlight.  Macy is 6 and she has only been riding for about a month.  I mean the girl has been on horses plenty but always being led and only a few times a year.  I have waited with both of them until their kindergarten year to start teaching them to ride.  Macy really seems a natural for riding.  She has an amazing seat and you will get to witness that seat in part 2 video when Blaze snuck his tiny little butt past me at the top of a very large windy hill.

Over all it was a fantastic ride!  The girls had a good time though they were obviously tired.  At one point in one of the videos you can hear Elaina complaining about the bouncing and you hear her little voice bouncing away.  It really jars the girls going any faster than a walk riding those mini's.   Though a highlight for me is when my 6 year old rides up next to me and says "hey mom if I canter it is not as bouncy".  I have never taught her to canter and I love that she has the guts to figure that out for herself.  The whole thing was so great for her confidence.  At the end of the 9 miles she was exhausted and on the brink of a meltdown but as we were pulling away I asked her if she wanted to do it again and with no hesitation said "YES".  I love my girls!

I was happy with Steady though he had a few spooky moments that were just silly and a few moments that he just stopped and wouldn't move but once someone went ahead he followed behind.  One spook was the worst he has ever had.  I was in front with everyone else right behind me he stops and everyone was waiting behind us and he did a try to flee in the other direction spook.  The other horses turned and started to go to but everyone very quickly pulled all of them back and we continued on.  All that because he heard some kids screaming in the woods off in a distance.  Who knows??  He also would throw a complete tantrum if Moonlight led the way.  It can be hard to keep a steady pace with two mini's with short legs and then there is long legged Steady.  My Dad and Moonlight would get out front and I would try to stay back to stay close to Macy but Steady was having none of that.  He would dance and prance and do some gorgeous high stepping side passing all the way down the trail.  I just felt at any second he was going to flip his lid.  I kept telling my Dad that I had to lead but he would sneak in front sometimes.  I love Steady and I am proud of the progress he has made on the trails but sometimes I feel like he can be too high maintanence.  Then I start to feel like I am enabling him by allowing him to be that way but on the other hand I don't know that they are really things that I can change about him.  I just don't know that he is the reliable trail horse or that he ever will be.  We have a great time on the trails and will continue to do them but I would never let anyone else on him in a trail.

I think I completely wore out my Dad but I think he liked it.  Maybe he will like it more when he is not so sore.  I had a distinct advantage because I ride all the time but my Dad is not really a rider though he loves horses and has owned them for over 30 years. 

The videos are up on youtube and you are more than welcome to check them out.  One thing I found out with the gopro is that you cannot edit it with the normal editing programs and have to use special software to do so.  So all the video is raw.  I will tell you the times to skip to on each video if you don't want to watch 25 minutes of solid trail riding

Video #1 most of the action is found from the beginning to minute 3 and minute 9 to the end.  The beginning is us crossing one of the 6 different large streams on the trail.  Elaina and I usually walk a good way down it but the mini's feet looked like they were sinking so we opted not to continue.  At one spot you can see the two girls standing on a little island and it is too cute then them leading the two big people out of the water was too cute.   At minute 9 is just me getting off of Steady to tighten Macy's girth and giving her a little pep talk to keep her going.  The last frame when the video stops you can see Macy's enthusiasm after about 7 miles on the trail and loosing her stirrup  When you hear me saying I will you cut you off that is because Blaze would try and sneak past me.  I felt like I was playing pony ping pong, dodging those little guys back and forth.  Please forgive my obnixious talking.  It is really annoying to hear yourself talk on video.  I hope I don't annoy you as much as I annoy myself.  But you can always turn the sound down.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sexy new bod photos.

Not of me but of Steady.  Trust me you should thank me :).  Here he is on 5/19.  He started on Progressive about 5/1.  Approximately 2 1/2 weeks later he is looking better than I have ever seen him.

I would like to see some more filling out in the neck and behind the withers but the rest of his bod I think is dead sexy!

Also did you notice something missing from his back?  The saddle marks shed out with his winter coat!!!  It makes me so happy to not have to look at those things anymore.

Soon he should reach a perfect weight and I will then need to figure out the best way to maintain.  Progressive has a maintenance feeding scheduele that I will probably follow for the time being.  Along with his weight/health progress has come a even more forward horse.  This is something I think I will deal with until the day he dies.  He is a goer but I do love that about him too.  It is just a matter of finding ways to keep it at a functional level.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Been busy and have lots to update!

So much so that I cannot even start to attempt catch up tonight but it involves a 9 mile trail ride with my Dad and my little girls on the mini's(ummmm so cute!) on which we got to do the first test run with the helmet cam!  Also Steady's new figure that he is just rockin' thanks to Progressive nutrition!  Soundness/saneness issues and more!  I also have a bunch of blog reading to catch up on so that will keep me busy tonight.  But with the forecast for this week I may have ample time indoors to catch up.  They say rain is on it's way and is here to stay for a while, SHOCKER!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

OK he TOTALLY redeemed himself!

Thanks everyone for the Birthday wishes, they give me the warm fuzzies inside, so thank you.  I had to show you all how a man that can of saying some really dumb things that make me mad/sad can completely redeem himself all in one day.

He just has to come home with some cheesecake, ice cream, fix dinner, invite some friends over to wish me a happy bithday, run and get me some hay, but mostly he just needs to wrap up one of these!  The boy is out of the dog house!

If your horse could talk, would you like what it had to say about who you are?


I will be first in line to see this movie.  I cannot get through the trailer without crying.  I will be bringing tissues along.  It looks amazing!

"I just don't get it"

I hear this comment all too often out of my husbands mouth.  It can come in many forms, "what is so hard about riding a horse around in circles?", "It is stupid that you like this stuff so much", or "I don't get why you like horses so much".  The sport is sometimes hard.  Horses in and of themselves can be frustrating and down right discouraging to keep.  If they aren't acting up they are lame or underweight or overweight or need chiropractic or a new saddle because the one you just cut your left arm off for doesn't fit quite right.  It is always something.  Sometimes it is just stupid mistakes on my part that cause problems or stupid actions on the horses part or just plain 'life' that is the problem but in any matter it can be a tough passion to pursue.  But all of that I can handle.  Though at times I question hanging on, in the end I find a way to live this passion of mine and now a love I passed on to my girls.  Just add onto all of it the one person who should want you to be happy constantly belittling you for having the love and passion that you have just gets to me. 

It is my birthday, the big 31, yay, but even my birthday doesn't exempt me from the constant badgering about this love I have of horses.  I guess I could appoligize for getting happiness where I do but logically that makes no sense.  I didn't ask to be given this love or passion.  I couldn't tell why I enjoy it but why does anyone get joy from anything in life?  I am who I am and I refuse to appoligize for being happy.

I am sorry to vent but I needed to get these feelings out that are just eating at me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Too much talking not enough riding.

I guess it is a combination of a bunch of things.  The main reason I haven't ridden in a week is when I went out last Tuesday to ride I noticed swelling in Steady's right front leg and pastern.  He didn't seem sensitive to touch or lame at all when  I lunged him but I thought it best to just give him some time to see what it does.  It has slowly gone down and I am pretty sure that last Monday with his herd bound fits he probably just knocked himself with his left front.  Something he did quite often right off the track.   Then there is that heat.  Whew it went from 40's to near 90 over night.  It was more than any of us cared to do anything in.  The horses with their winter coats still half entact were sweating just standing still.  My energy level is at an all time low and I don't know what the deal is with that issue.  Along with that goes my motivation.  So in a nutshell I have nothing to update in the riding front.  Saturday is looking like it might be quite lovely.  I am considering taking the girls for the first trail ride of the year.

Performance horse training.

Hmmmmm....I don't know much about these types of things so this is just my uneducated observance.  I went to a barn a couple weeks ago to check it out.  I have been considering boarding for a few months so that we can plant our pasture.  This barn and trainer concentrate on  western pleasure horses.  He takes young horses trains them for a year takes them to some big shows and sells them upwards of $100,000.  I got to even jump on one of his horses in training.   First of all I really think this guy knows what he is doing.  The things these horses can do is pretty dang cool.  He says his goal is that he can move any one leg at any given moment and that they can do.  He earns their trust and all the horses seemed relaxed and EXTREMELY well cared for.  The barn is heated in the winter so when I came in early spring and they all have these amazing shiney summer coats I felt kinda sorry for my furry dirty horses hanging out in my pasture.

In riding the young horse I felt way out of my element.  I had never had any formal training in western pleasure.  I always look at western as not really having to know much.  That if you can ride english, western is nothing.  In most cases I would say that is true but not these horses.  They are trained and trained well with aides beyond anything I have ever done.  I actually think the whole idea of it could really help in the dressage arena.

What I didn't like.  I am not sure about all of this ethically.  I am sure there are some strong feelings on either side of the coin but I personally have never really asked myself what my feelings about it was.  The age of these horses.  One he got on and showed me hadn't even turned two yet.  I guess they can be shown at two so I am sure it is a regular practice for people to train this heavily this early.  That in an of itself is a big question but my biggest problem is that out of the three horses he brought out all 3 had something going on with their legs.  Swelling and even lameness that he says they work out of.  First thing I noticed looking at each of these horses is how tiny thier hooves were.  Before I knew their age I was just confused why they had such small feet but then he told me their ages and then it made sense.  They do not get turned out at all.  They actually have no pastures at all.  I know that with performance sport horses this is probably common.  I know track horses don't see a pasture.  I just felt bad for these horses and have to wonder if they are going to have life long lameness issues because of pushing them to far too young.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Show results!

Nope not me but I probably had more fun yesterday than if I was showing myself.  I was show mom for my two little girls.  I am bursting with pride over my girls and their horses.  It was so fun and the horses were so well behaved and my girls, well, I am sure I am not bias at all but they were super stars. We haven't gotten to practice a bunch because of the crazy weather that we have had here.  And to be honest putting Elaina up on Moonlight has made me nervous.  He like all horses coming out of winter had somes sillies but Elaina has always been able to handle him.  Mostly my fear has come from last fall when the accident happened.  I didn't realilze how much affected me and my confindence with kids and horses.  Honestly after it happened I felt like I shouldn't even be a part of kids and horses.  The little girl has since completely healed and is doing fine.  Though she has yet to get on a horse again.  I know have realized that you just cannot control stuff like that and you also can't keep it from living life and moving on.  Because I did consider not having my girls continue the horse thing but I cannot take that from them but it has been a scary transition into the spring.

This is Macy's (6) first year old enough to do 4-h.  This little girls love and dedication of her little horsey Blaze is simply precious.  She will groom ride, groom, graze, groom, hug and graze her horse for hours.  She is always asking to ride and I just love her love for her horse.  She came home with a second place in her showmanship class. 

And a fourth in her walk leadline class.  She was not real thrilled that the rule for kindergarteners is they have to be lead in their classes.  So when she was done I took her to the practice arena so she could ride without being led.


This is Elaina's 3rd year in 4-h but her first year that we have had Moonlight for it.  The pair of them out there look awesome!  Her riding position is just lovely and Moonlight just holds his head so cute that they are irresistable. 

Showmanship is not their best area.  I may have talked about Moonlights ground manners in the past.  I must say he is improving but it is a work in progress.  I am just happy he didn't run over Elaina or the judge.  They stopped inches from the judgest chest but they did stop :).  He was also so concerned about making friends that he wasn't perfect but she handled it all so well and I of course am hanging on the fence clucking and telling them what to do as if they can hear, lol.  I did say it all under my breath so I didn't look like a crazy stage mom.  She walked away with second in that class.  She also entered 2nd grade walk/trot and open walk/trot.  They nailed 2nd grade class.  I couldn't have asked more out of either of them.  I could hear people talking around me saying things like, "that girl has wonderful position", "look at that white horse, he just holds his head so cute",  "that little girl should win, she just rides the best".  Me?  Beaming!  That's my girl.  The open class they looked just as good but when she went to pass a cute little mare Moonlight tried to sneak is studly butt closer and she had to pull him to a stop and convince him that he was a gelding.  I could tell she was doing what she should have he just got a little close and the mare threatened to kick him in his non-existent cahones.  The judges helper was one of our groups leaders.  He came over afterward and said the judge told him she hated to move her to second because they derserve first except that pass incident.  :)))  Me a proud Mama!  One first and two seconds.

  I don't care if they ended in last each time ou there (ok I do like to see my kids succeed) but what I want more than anything is to have fun with my girls and their horses.  Make some great memeories and enjoy life.  So today was a success!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Sorry to steal this from eventer79 but Steady rightfully deserves it.   My horse is terriblly herd bound, has been since the day he stepped foot on my property.  You have read about us working on riding out alone and having some good success.  Also hauling him alone has become doable finally, even though he does have fits in the trailer.

 4-h has started and we have to haul the kids horses to the fair grounds once a week for practice with the group.  I have 4 horses, 3 of which are used for 4-h.  All but Steady need to go out with us.  Monday was the first time we did this and as I suspected he threw a huge fit being in the pasture alone.  While we were there he ran the fence line over and over and worked himself into a big sweating mess.  I pulled away with fear that I would come home to a broken leg or a horse running free or who knows what but I didn't really have another option.  When we got home he seemed stressed and sweaty but otherwise fine.

The kids all have a show this weekend and we were getting in one last showmanship practice yesterday.  I had all 3 kids(two of mine and one little girl that uses one of our mini's) line up in the yard to practice.  This left SFH in the pasture alone which completely freaked SFH out.  He ran and ran himself into another frenzy.    I could see him from where I was standing as I was trying to teach and help 3 little girls keep their ornery little horses in line.  Horses just love to push the envelope with a little kid at the helm.  I see out the corner of my eye SFH slamming himself into the fence getting his leg some how in it.  He pulls his leg and easily frees himself but I was imagining and terrible bloody mess when I went to check on him.  I went over and luckily he was still standing on all four feet but still throwing a huge SFH fit.  Hopping at the fenceline making me think if I pushed him any farther he may just attempt to jump it.  I wanted to wrap my hands around his neck and choke SFH.  I was beyond stressed.  I needed to be paying attention to the poor little girls standing their with their horsies not SFH.  I gave in and brought him out and let the little girls mom let him graze so we could at least finish the girls lesson.  The kids all did great I had to go round and round a few times to let Moonlight and Snappy know that pulling their sweet girls over to a nice grassy spot to graze was completely unacceptable.  By the end they got the picture and all the girls had a few really good practice tests.

Steady has one spot on his RH that he scraped the fur off of but other than that he was unscathed but I have to pull away Saturday morning along with every Monday and leave SFH behind.  I cannot help but fear he will seriously injure himself.  I have tried to take him along to 4-h but first of all that means I have to make two trips there and home to get everyone there and when we are there we have to take all 3 horses except him into the arena to practice and I put him in a stall last time and he acted like he was going to bust the stall down being in there alone.  Any help?  Any suggestions?  Anything to put my mind at ease?  Because SFH is STRESSING me out!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do you want to be my trainer???

Allhorsestuff gave me a suggestion for an exercise to do with Steady in the comment section when I posted the last video.  This is kind of a response/question(s) about that and some other stuff.  I hope that I make sense in my questions.  Understand that I am a huge newbie and am just learning about all of this.  I have had a total of  less than 15 lessons and not all of those were dressage lessons.  So my questions may come across as if I don't know what I am talking about but that is probably because I really don't :).  I don't promise to take you advice but I do promise to take it into consideration with the knowledge I have of my horse and his abilities and the phase we are at.

Steady has a tendancy to get so low he about pulls my butt out of the saddle. Then he can also go all giraffe necked on me.  I am working toward consistancy somewhere in between. 
The canter is 100% brand new to us so we are at baby step stages with that and I may have to try that exercise at a canter.  Though if he is not in a fairly tight collected frame at all times at this stage he goes all track gallopy on me.  If you are unfamiliar with track gallopy it is stretched out and drifting at an angle with no awarness as to where I am or what I am asking.  We hadn't even cantered until about two months ago so we are babies.
I know you mentioned to use that at the trot/canter but where I really would like to make progress is at the walk.  I seem to have a very hard time getting him to stretch at a walk.  Should I maybe just concentrate on stretching him more at the trot?  Will that transfer to the walk?  I hesitate to do work troting with him stretching down because he has a tendancy to, like I said, pull me out of the saddle.   Any suggestions?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Weekend progress

After our frustrating attempt to ride out through the field on Thursday I knew that the problem didn't have to be solved that day.  Actually I feel like Steady is teaching me this great truth, that a problem created over months and even years doesn't and should be fixed in a day.  I am slowly grasping this but sometimes I revert to my old way of thinking.  I get in my head that it is a power struggle and think I need to win the battle.  Well it is not about winning or losing when it comes to a relationship, now is it.  It is about trust, compassion and love.  I established on Thursday that Steady must not be out right defiant of what I am asking.  So he had to work when he wouldn't listen.  Until I felt he understood.  Then we were done.

Friday went much much better.  We rode out 3/4 of the way back in the field with only one time having to circle him.  He stopped a few other times but I would give him a second to look at what was concerning him, patted him and told him he was OK then asked him to move forward and each time he did.  Minus the one time I did circle him about halfway out.  We got as far as I felt was neccessary and we stood quietly for a few moments then I turned him back.  All along the way there were ALOT of "what a good boy"s going on and I was very very proud of my Steady man.  That was all the work we did.  All at a nice walk.  Followed by a long graze in some lovely tall grass.  I wanted him to see the benefits of being such a trusting partner.

Saturday I didn't ride.

Sunday I decided to do a bit of jumping and galloping.  After a great warm up and even a few decent leg yields at the trot we galloped a few times around my side field in each direction.  Then some jumps.  I really think we need to move our jumps higher but I of course am nervous about it.  Right now they are 2" at the highest and sometimes he just steps over them.  I also don't have easily adjustable jumps since they are logs on top of straw bales and and landscaping timbers on is very fancy and high tech around here as you can see.  One of these days I will throw together a few actual standards but until then we will stick with our hillbilly jumps.  It was a lovely ride followed by another trip out through the field.  This time we need zero circling and we went all over the field, including through some very large puddles.  I am soooo proud of my boy and even proud of myself for making great strides in my horsemanship.  I have a tendancy to get flustered and even angry when a problem arises.  We worked through this issue with no anger and very little frustration.  

I also think we may be making progress in Steady's weight.  It may be a little early to get too excited but I am starting to be sold on Progressive.  We are only a couple weeks into it but I think he is putting on some good weight.  I think he looks good over all and now he just needs more added to a his topline.

I don't have a photo from beginning.  I kept meaning to take one but of course never did.  So here is Steady two weeks into changing over to Progressive.  His rump is looking rounder and he is looking more filled out in his flank area.  Now to get the that topline up!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Our Derby day

Derby day was bike rides in the rain, bonfires, fun with friends, mint julep and thoroughbred pie.

Most of the bike ride was just lovely. We had a few patches of rain but it was warm enough it didn't bother us much.

The bonfire was insane. It got the horses all panicked as the huge cloud of smoke blew trough the pasture. The pile had sat for over a year so it was very dry and so huge there was a 30 foot flame coming off it but it lasted less than 5 minutes but in those few minutes it got a little scary. I could even see the panic on my husbands face. It was safe. It has been soooo wet here there was little chance anything would catch fire and it was in the middle of our side yard. Yay more space to ride.

We had our friends over to share it all with us.

Mint Juleps from mint picked in the back yard. Shhhh I will tell you a secret...I am not a huge fan of them...but I'll sip on one for the derby.

Thoroughbred Pie, how fitting, right? It was good but super sweet.

Now if we would have had a Kentucky Hot Brown and a frickles maybe I would have had better luck picking the winner.

I was cheering for Rosie and Pants on Fire. First female jockey to win the derby would have been great but not today I guess.

Over all it was a great day. Beautiful horses. Hoping Archarcharch has a safe and speedy recovery. The heart of these animals never ceases to amaze me. That they will run their heart out even when injured.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Some bad and some good. MRAW installment #1 but there is video :)

If you don't know what MRAW means, go back and read my previous post.

I don't know what got into my Steadyman yesterday but he was being a pill. I decided to ride him out to the field. We have had success in riding out alone before but our last attempt did not go well and I didn't at the time have time to work him through it. I had time yesterday but I was actually hoping he would just be a good boy and go where I asked him to. That was not the case. He got to the edge of the fence line and stopped dead in his tracks. I kicked and kicked until he moved forward hoping that would be all he needed for encouragement. BOY was I wrong! Every few steps STOP! So I started circling him and circling him the pushed forward. A few more steps, same thing, over and over and over. Then about half way into the 9 acre field he decided no amount of circling was going to work. He gave me a bunny hop and so I circled some more and pushed him forward and then he gave an actual rear. DAMN IT boy you are on my last nerve. Not wanting to die yesterday I hopped off and walked him farther out into the field made him stop and I was going to get back on. Well of course he didn't want to stand still and kept attempting to turn back toward home. So I stood there making sure he did not get what he was wanting. He was going to stand facing away from home like a gentleman if it was the last thing I did. I then decided the boy needed some work to get him thinking about me and not everything else except. So I sent him in circles from the ground. I did this about 3 times and he finally stood nicely so I could get back on him. I pushed him forward just a few more feet and decided if I didn't want this to end badly it was time to call it quits. The horse had already had a temper tantrum and was on the verge of a full blown melt down. And you know what they say, they didn't build Rome in a day. So we walked back to the house and I intended to take him back to my "arena" and work his little hiney. But he got as far as the barn and STOPPED!! I could have strangled him at this point I was getting frustrated. Part of something I have really been working on is in stead of getting angry and throwing my own temper tantrum I needed to use my little brain and find something to get his attention. This is a work in progress for me. I immediately jumped off and grabbed the lunge line. Muahahaha, if you can't listen then you will work. And work he did. He threw a few fits on the line but to no avail, Mama kept making him work. I took him back to the barn got on and he stopped again. Ok lets do this again. More lunging. Third time was a charm and he decided he would walk nicely out to the arena.

So he was a royal PITA!! But out of it we got some nice work that I am happy with. Not perfect but nice. He had something going on to the left at the canter and I decided not to push it because he was listening and he could have possibly pulled something in all the circling in a muddy field. Other than that I am pretty proud of the work he gave me after his fits. Sometimes he gets behind the vertical but we are a work in progress obviously.

A new direction??

So you may have guessed by now what my conclusion from my "Tough decisions" post is, but I am officially saying it, outloud.  I am taking an indefinite step back from any events, shows and lessons.  It is hard to say because it is the last next to last(the last would be to give up my horse) thing that I want to do.  It is going against everything in my heart/desires is yelling at me, yet my mind still lets me type the words because it is just what has to be done.  I don't know for how long.  It could be months(lets hope, but it is doubtful) or it could be years(yuck, makes me feel sick, but it is probably the truth).  Well unless I take eventer79's advice and sell my kids in Mexico to free up some horse cracked me up!!!  Though a fantastic suggestion and one I hadn't thought of, I have grown kinda fond of the little buggers so that will probably not happen.

I guess this blog will be taking a new direction.  Problem is I have no idea what direction that will be.  It is a place that I have stated our progress toward eventing and since that goal will be indefinitely(? I really dislike that word.  It sounds, so, definite.) put on hold it obviously cannot be an outlet for that anymore.  I do have a couple cool things coming up that are already planned so I can blog about those: horseback riding trip to Pt. Reyes, CA(in June) and event camp(in July).  But beyond that I doubt anyone wants to read about one monotonous ride after another.  I mean of course to me it is not monotonus but to read all the time I can see how it would be less than exciting.  Who knows maybe I will blog about it anyways and I can put a sign in the title like MRAW(monotunous ride again;  That way if you are just completely bored out of your gourd you can read it but otherwise pass it  Who knows where it will go but either way it will be mine and Steady's journey to make this work.  It is not a fairy tale story where all my childhood dreams are gloriously handed to me on a silver platter but it is our story and it will be a happy one!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

It's kinda funny...

in a strange sort of way.  After my post and seeing my thoughts in words and after reading your sweet and understanding comments it got me thinking.  It has been a year, a year since Steady came home and my plunge back into horse ownership was made.  I was trying to think why I even got Steady to begin with,  I mean not necessarily him in particular but why I even wanted a horse again.  Was it to Event?  No, I didn't even know the sport existed.  Was it to be a super dooper, magically wonderful rider?  UH, no, we all know that is not in the cards for moi.  Was it to have the physical presence of one of the most majestic creatures on earth in my life?  YES!  Did it matter to me if this horse was always well behaved?  No, I just didn't want him to kill me and we could get along just fine.  Did this horse have to be screaming potential to be called mine?  No, I couldn't recognize potential if it walked up and hit me in the temple with a 2x4.  Did he have to jump?  Well kinda because I like to jump, but no need to clear 3'6", cause I am good with a cross rail.  Did I get everything I asked for and more in Steady Smiler?  YES!  So that is where my brain is and this process is still ongoing.  But you must know that, though I am discouraged, and it is hard to see a feasible perfect answer at this moment.  I do not give up without a fight and I do get knocked down but rarely get knocked out.  So I am going to try my darnedest to make some tough choices but choices that can keep me, my husband, my children and my horsies together.  For now at least.  Perfect?  No, but it is some place to start.

Details are still being processed, to be continued...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Some tough decisions.

I hope I don't come off as a schizophrenic because this will sound like it is coming out of nowhere.  And, well, it kind of is, sort of, but not really.  These are things that are always in the back of my mind but ones I never really let surface because I just don't want them to be true.  I don't want it to be true that we cannot afford this lifestyle that I keep living when it comes to horses.  I don't want it to be true that it causes constant discord within my marriage.  I don't want it to be true that NOTHING comes easy for me.  I just don't want any of it to be my reality but no matter how much I deny it, it just doesn't go away.

I am using you all as a sounding board because all these things keep rambling in my head and I cannot seem to think straight about it.  So at this point no decisions have been made but a decision does have to be made.  Then once the decision is made the plan of action as to how to make it all go as smoothly as possible must be made.

#1  Sell Steady.
I don't want to sell my horse.  I love him so much and anytime I think about trying to find the perfect owner seems like an impossible task because I want him to be cared for how I would care for him.  But I keep pouring money into him and this sport.  Money that we don't have.  I put things on credit cards not knowing how I will pay for them(this is not something that I or my husband are comfortable with).  I feel like I have dug myself in a hole but the hole just keeps getting deeper and deeper.  I kept waiting for a leveling off point and I have realized that, that is probably not going to happen.  We are not in good shape financially and at this point it is not going to get any better unless we make some changes.  The only place that we have left to cut is the horses/animals.  I can argue all day long that I deserve this but in the end if I can't afford it, I can't afford it.  I don't want to sell my horse but it is a very real option at this point.  I feel that someday I will be able to get back into the sport but this time in my life is not the time for it.  My kids are still young and I need to be at home with them.  I tried the working thing but with my husbands scheduele it just didn't work out.  We have NO retirement.  That is not a good place to be in, though we are young but we need to make changes now and just can't swing saving because we can barely make it as it is.

#2 Find a leasor.
This is an option but I don't really know how to go about finding not only someone to lease him but the "right" someone.  I would be picky and possibly drive them bananas but I thought this might be a way that when I can get back into it that I would have my Steady to do it with.  I also have no experience with leasing so you all may be able to give guidence on this one.

#3 Keep the horses but cut out ALL lessons, shows ect.
Strangely this seems like the hardest of all the options.  Does that sound crazy.  I guess I am thinking if I cut out ALL extra expenses when it comes to the horses besides the occasional trip to ride the trails that it would be more reasonable to keep them.  It wouldn't be ideal financially but it would be a little better.  BUT I have a very hard time wrapping my brain around just being a trail rider.  I just don't see us getting anywhere trying to progress with no lessons.  I am way too green and so is he.  I also have this crazy competitive side to me.  Not really to compete with others though sometimes it does take on that form but mostly myself.  I constantly want to better myself.  I can go out and really enjoy a good trail ride but I don't have trails out my back door so most of my riding is done in my side yard going in circles.  Now I can enjoy riding in circles IF I have something to  work towards but just to ride in circles I don't see myself being motivated to get out and ride.  Maybe I am wrong.  Maybe just going out and have a horsey to love on will be enough to justify the still hefty expense but I don't think so.  Hearing about friends going to shows and making good progress toward thier dreams would just be torcher for me.  This option just seems the hardest to wrap my head around.

We need to move soon and we have NO money saved up.  We will be buying our 3rd house by 33 and still do not have a cent as a down payment.  With the housing market and the job market around us I don't see us walking away with much from the sale of our current home.  We also have projects that need to be done to the home before we sell it and just don't have the money to do them.  These are the things that weigh on my mind all the time.  Not only do we use all extra money on my horses and me but are still adding debt.  It just doesn't seem wise to keep heading in that direction.  And these are the only options that I can see at this point.   I am up for any and all advice on this situation.  I really need to sort all of it out.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Because you have not read enough about Rolex...hehehe

Note: my camera is not suited for outside action shots or any halfway decent pictures actually so as the daughter and grandaughter of successful professional photographers, sorry.

I got to go!!!  Friday morning I had Rolex on the brain so I sent a text to the husband saying, "Wouldn't you just love to go to Lexington tomorrow?".  His response was different than I expected.  He asked why and said "actually I was wanting to go down to Lexington too".  LOL what are the chances?  He had found an item on craigslist that he wanted to pick up just south of Lexington.  How could that have worked out any more perfect?

About 10:30am he dropped me and the girls off at KHP.  The girls said they wanted to come with me though I think next time they will think twice about that.  They did so great but after hours of Mommy dragging them from jump to jump you can imagine they all got a bit weary.  Kelcie 4 and Macy 6 were just wiped out.  Elaina was tired but she was just as driven as me to want to see "it all".

It was thrilling and interesting, suprising and exciting to watch.  Those horses are so freaking awesome to fly by with thier ear as far forward as they can go, covered in sweat and the pure power that flys by just feet in front of you.  Then to look at the challanges at each jump as you are waiting anxiously for the next team to meet the challange.  I got video and photos where I could.  My battery in the camera died before my most favorite combination the HSBC water park.  I only saw one horse and rider team go through this but they took the tougher option and it seriously gave me goose bumps.

My girls really loved it but I think they would have enjoyed it more had we set up camp in one spot.  Elaina was taken by all of it and completely interested in every aspect.  Macy said she was going to do that some day.  I told her I would be head of her crew!  I was amazed by all of it.  A year ago I didn't even know what eventing was and to be watching something like that I was just soaking it all up. 

Setting the course.

I could have spent hours just in the trade show and all the tents.  I did come away with this great new asset to our endeavours.  I am excited to try it out.  I could have done WAY more damage than this very easily but figured my husband might get suspicious if I walked up with 10 bags.  He didn't seem to notice the one extra I had when he came to pick us up :)

As I made the walk back to the parking lot with whiney kids and I myself was tired from all the walking I kinda snuck a back way around and saw the horses and a couple riders back at the stables.  I wasn't brave enough to say hi.  Other highlights: I ate the most terribly wonderful pile of fries covered in cheese and bacon and sour cream.  The kids and I shared the bowl and were all full.  It was HUGE and I am sure clogged my arteries instantaneously.  I liked how friendly people were.  I was really tempted to try the landrover obstacle course.  And the best souvenir of all courtesy of me being an idiot I came home with one of these!!


And please if you have not read my last post or if you have read it and not made a guess at the trivia question please go do so.  Here is a photo of one of those traditional Kentucky black barns right across from the Rolex Stadium at KHP.