Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shhhh, can you keep a secret?

First things first Polka Dot Periodical is having a contest so go on over and check out her blog and follow her.  I don't usually do contests because I just don't feel like I ever win anything but I am playing along this time.

So I don't keep things from my husband.  No matter how bad I think the repurcussions might be I am just a transparent person.  I love honesty and hate lying.  Breaking trust is far worse than being honest even if it is hard, in my book.  There are times though that it seems that is not true and today is one of those.  I did something naughty today and need to find the very best moment to break the news to Ryan.  I am working on that plan.  I'll let you know if I come up with something.

You guys on the other hand will be excited for me. Mostly becuase you understand my obession, ahhh I mean, passion.  Well and the fact that the money won't be coming out of your bank account helps too.  I not only signed up for XC schooling with Dorothy Crowell at Kentucky horse park for next weekend but I also sent in my entry for Hagyard Midsouth Team Challenge.  I will be on a BN team put together through IEA (Indiana Eventing Association).  Ryan knows about the schooling. The Horse Trial? Not so much.  But I am super excited!! 

We are jumping at S's house tomorrow.  Last week went really well.  Steady was a bit looney warming up but once jumps started to become involved he focused.  Elaina and Lily were challenged with some things they have never done and did it all beatifully.  Including jumping solid 2'3" fences, jumping a single barrel and bending lines.  I was quite proud of the two of them.

Unrelated photo but unbelievably adorable.
Kelcie age 4 helping with chores.  The fairy tales got it wrong it's not a princes kiss that makes you a princess it is a pony's.

 
And remember Tuesday is the day that the contest ends!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rides, Prize and Names

Names first.  Today the Itty Bitty let me catch her right off.  Still skittish and untrusting but I was able to walk up to her slowly and pet her and take a hold of her halter.  Only about a week and we are making some progress and her ribs are starting to disappear some.  I guess it is probably not as hard to put weight on a 35' pony as a 17 hh pony.  I think I have come up with a respectable name for her also.  Itty Bitty Betty, Betty for short.  It is far better than her previous name and you can come up with all sorts of fun names for nick names.  To get a little bit of size comparison I tried to take some pictures of her next to Steady but they kept wanting to stand on in incline or too far away.  But I did end up getting a pretty good one the shows their true size.
Betty could literally walk under Steady's belly.
 Elaina and I both work with her daily and by work I mean pet, scratch and love on her.  Elaina just has a natural ability with horses that I have never possessed, I have always had to work at being as good as she 'just is'.  She works on her leading and moving her shoulders and hindquarters.  I also tried to get some better pictures of her in the daylight.
"hey lady  why you alwayz buggin me?"

She's a cute thing but the lack of meat on her butt is unacceptable.

Ribby but MUCH better than when she arrived.  Now to work on that poor rear end.



 
All my rides on Steady have been quite uneventful.  He is being laaaaaazzzeeee.  I think I need to get some spurs.  90% of the year I wouldn't dream of adding any thing more then my heal on that horse.  But it seems he is just as effected by warm weather as he is with cold.   Cold he turns into a crazed hyperactive lunatic and warm he turns into a geriatric snail.  He is being heaving on my leg, heavy in my hands.  So pretty much each ride we work on, when I say move off my leg I mean NOW!  Tomorrow Elaina and I trailer to a friends to jump in her arena(ground is starting to get hard).  Elaina did ride in a lesson on Saturday and both her and Lily were faced with some new jumps and they did great.  It was with a new Pony Club group and we had an awesome time, but more on that another time.
 
And for the prizes!  Don't forget to enter our contest.  It is super simple to enter.  I have surpassed 100 followers now and we will see how many more will find us.  I have been mulling over what would be a good prize.  I strongly dislike buying gifts for people. Don't get me wrong, I love giving gifts I just loath having to try to pick something out for someone else that they probably won't want or like or need.  So I made it simple.  A $50 gift card to Smartpak.  I mean who doesn't love Smartpak?  That way if you want to spend it on something unnecessary you can or if it would help to put toward your supplements then you can.  So there you have it share away!!


Monday, August 19, 2013

100!

I am almost there!  100 followers.  Who knew that there would be that many people out there willing to over look grammar and spelling errors galore in order to read about my dream come true?  I truely feel that is what my life is.  A dream come true.  Not that it comes without it's bad days, weeks, months and even years sometime. You know what they say, nothing worth having comes easy.  So to celebrate 100 followers I feel I should do a contest.  We haven't quite made it there yet so giving Steady and I a shout out on your blog and leaving a comment here letting me know you did so is all you have to do to enter the contest.  In 2 weeks I will draw at random to pick a winner.  Not sure what the prize will be yet.  I will be thinking.

I will now introduce you to the new kid.  She is tiny, skinny, dirty, matted, rain rotted and terrified.  She is on loan to me as a buddy for Steady.  I am considering purchasing her but I am going to give it a little time to decide for sure.  Steady needed a buddy for when Lily must be taken away for E's activities.  The big tough guy just falls to pieces without a friend.  And thankfully for him size does not matter just so long as it is equine.  So the teeny tiny tot cost next to nothing to feed and yet solves a world of problems for me.  She came with the name Beast and she will keep that name until we decide if she is staying or not.  She does NOT trust people at all.  We can catch her in about 10 minutes but I hope to change that.  I have never had to chase one of my horses.  Quite the opposite they usually maul you anytime you are in the pasture and it is not because they expect treats because I am just not a treat giver.  I think they just genuinely enjoy people.  Let's hope we can work our magic on this girl.  She has been dewormed and is on a diet balancer and fat supplement.  Hope to soon be seeing her ribs disappear and her spine become less pronounced.  Then maybe down the road if she can begin to trust us we may just start her cart training.  I have bad pictures for you tonight because it was getting dark by the time I went out with a camera.  But I will get better ones to show you just how bad off she is and this is after we scrubed and scrubed her, got all the matted hair off of her and covered her in antimicrobial spray.
Not sure if you can see her ribs and protruding spine in this picture but you can see her little ewe neck.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beware of the OTTB!

video



Beware of those wild off track thoroughbreds.  They can't be trusted!  10 year old Elaina on 17hh career race horse Steady Smiler.  He looks like a maniac right?

This is the first time I have had E ride him solo.  She did great!  It was interesting to see that she had him on the bit and round for the most part.  I was quite proud of the horse I trained and the kid I trained.  I have to say there was a split second where Steady stepped up into the canter and my heart sank to my knees and I thought OMG he is going to run off with her.  Not that he has ever done anything like that but my irrational mind went there for a split second and as soon as she asked him to come back down he transistioned back to a trot.  I have a feeling she may have slipped her outside leg back because it was a perfect and quite canter transition.  He was totally intuned to her and was sweetly cautious.  It took us about 10 minutes to convince him that he could indeed go faster than a snail walk with a tiny tot on his back.  Having never had a kid on him before I didn't know if he would be more cautious with one.  I guess that answered my question.  We only walk and trotted for about 20 minutes and called it a great day.  E said she felt like she was riding a giraffe.  She had never been on a horse that big but had no issue with it.  Maybe my hopes that he will pack her around BN and N in a couple years will come to fruition.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Not following the plan.

Plans.  They are a funny thing.  I like lists.  I like goals.  I have to have something to work for or toward.  I like showing.  But this year has been so different.  Different in a really good way.  Different then I had imagined.  I went back to read my begining of the year plans that I posted the first of the year.  It was interesting that there were plans that I had forgot were plans and yet I still feel like I have accomplished more this year than any other previous.  We competed far less, we lessoned far more.  We did not one clinic.  We focused a lot on the dressagey stuffs but are jumping far better than ever before or even than I thought would be this year.

I think I had almost resigned myself to the idea that Steady was just going to be a bat out of hell in stadium and a ball of nerves in dressage.  And though I felt that was my reality I was not comfortable with it.  In years past I have been so competition focused.  I thought that "everyone" else competes all the time and 'everyone' else does multiple recognized events, that that is what I want to do.  I want to be awesome like 'them'.  I think I have realized that I want to be awesome like us.  What ever that may mean, what ever we are doing lets just do it awesome.  I found this year that I am getting far more pleasure from an awesome lesson than I do bringing home a ribbon from a recognized horse trial.  I mean yes I love to 'win'(winning to me is ending up in the ribbons) but it just has lost is draw for me.  I am getting far more out of building this amazing horse one step at a time.  And honestly I could do that without ever showing again.  Buuuuut don't think I have gone all that extreme.  I will still show and I do still love to have that as a carrot on a stick.  I even still plan to compete at least 1-2 more times this year.

I have had to cut back, a lot.  Much more than I had anticipated because of bringing along my daughter and Lily.  They have shown far more than I have and done several other things.  I knew it would change things I just didn't realize how much.  But I have strangely been ok with it.
I mean when watching these two do this how can I complain?



 Honestly though the only things I have sacrificed are more shows.  But I have still progressed with my horse, enjoyed riding, gone trail riding, done dressage lessons, jump lessons, XC schooled.  I just don't feel deprived.  In some ways it take so much pressure off.  It has eliminated those extreme ups and downs that come along with deadlines(show dates), will we be ready, will he be sound, show day mountains and valleys, terrible dressage test(down), killer cross country(up), wacked out stadium(down), still ending in the ribbons(up). I just seem more balanced.

In looking at my 2013 plans I was surprised to see most of the things I wrote down were about shows.  I have only done two schooling shows this year, one that was a disaster and the other that was awesome but I have yet to move up to Novice like I had planned.  But I have learned one thing in my riding this year that has been absolutely life changing.  It is the key to all of Steady's progress.  It has completely changed him as a horse and me as a rider.  One thing, I never thought one simple thing could be so life changing in a sport I have done my entire life.  And for this one thing I would trade in all the showing.  It has changed me, it has changed my horse and it has made us communicate more than I ever imagined.  And for those reasons I don't feel the least bit deprived this year but the opposite.  I feel completely satisfied and happy.  And what more could one ask for than that?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Good lesson. No, great lesson!

I just LOVE having a ride that when done I feel like I could take on the world.  And that all of lifes petty, hateful and negative people and situations aint nothing more than dust on my feet.  It's been a rough week mostly filled with nasty, rude and negative people so today couldn't have come at a better time.

I knew how good Steady has been going.  I can feel under me how much he has not just changed but transformed.  He really has gotten that good.  But today we got to utilize our new abilities to have a most successful lesson. Here is some video footage so you can get a look see. Trot Canter Jump