Friday, April 29, 2011

Today's trivia

I have a trivia question for ya since everyone seems to be down in KY at Rolex besides me I thought a good ole' Kentucky trivia question would be fitting.  Though there is a small chance me and the family may be making our way to Lexington in the morning to watch Cross Country!  So here it is:

Where did the Kentucky traditional black fences/barns come from?

I wish I had a prize for the first correct answer but hey you never know I can probably come up with something creative to send off to one other lucky

Thursday, April 28, 2011

#1 great, #2 crap, #3 IN LOVE

3rd assessment of the Albion-our first ride in it.
Side note- I know this is not %100 the saddle he had also been adjusted since the last time we had a ride so I know that had something to do with it.  But it has to be half of it.  I did also use my Lami-cell pad to ensure the wither clearance I want. 

First off HOLY fricken Lazy-boy, riding in that thing is like making sweet, sweet love to the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man(glad my family doesn't read this cause they may be blushing). 

I am slapped right into a great position and not shoved in the back seat like normal.  It fits me like a dream.  My knees don't come near the edge of the flaps like every other saddle I've ridden in.  It is like my knees are sitting in a big fluffy cloud of perfectness.  It was amazing! 

But all that aside and in all seriousness I have NEVER ridden Steady Smiler happier than he was today.  I can't put into words how amazing it was.  He offered round from step ONE!  He was stretching and reaching for contact every single step.  For one stride he threw his head up in the air and it was like he realized, "wait, this doesn't hurt!  No need to fight." and that was the only stride like it. If this is the horse that I will have all the time when he is comfortable I am clueless how far he could go.  I have seen moments of him showing that quality of movement so I knew it was in there but I didn't know why it wasn't consistent.  Just moments here and there.  His free walk was SO big and swingy that it could jar one's lower back with his neck stretched low.  I was walking around with tears running down my cheeks because I have NEVER ridden this horse before.  I mean I have ridden Steady hundreds of times but I have NEVER ridden this horse.  I have never felt that kind of relaxation during a ride from him.  The same thing at the trot, tears, tears of relief, guilt, joy, and excitement.  Relief knowing my horse is happy.  Guilt knowing he could have had this all along.  Joy to be riding the horse I was riding.  Excitement for what the future holds for us.

Scratch that, we are going Progressive.

So I had my plan laid out and I was headed out on the hunt for all the things I was planning to add to Steady's diet.  On my list were:

Flaxseed oil
beet pulp
rice bran
alfalfa cubes

In my search I went to a feed supplier and had a looooong conversation with him.  I hope he wasn't just trying to sell me but he was very convincing and I made the decision to go with his suggestions.  These are the two items I came home with that he assured me would take the place of all of those other items I was going to buy.

ProAdvantage diet balancer
Envision Classic

He said give it 30 days and he guarantees I will see the difference.  He encouraged me to take photo's of before and after.  So I am hoping he is right and Steady will be the poster child for Progressive :)  The price tag on these items are not something to sneeze at but their feeding amounts are so small that it will cost me no more than what I am already doing and not getting results.  One 50# bag of the diet balancer is $30 but you feed 2#'s a day.  The envision 50# bag is $40 and you feed 2 #'s a day.

Question how careful are you when switching and/or adding things to your horses diets.

The Albion

Sorry I didn't post photo's sooner.  I think I went into denial mode because I took the photo's right before I realized it wasn't the perfect fit and kinda tried to put the whole thing out of my mind.  LOL healthy metal process right?!  Now looking back at them I thought I took better photo's than I did.  I didn't take any of it from the front angle at his shoulder but I did get pretty much all the other angles.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

It seems like it is coming from every direction.

After my initial evaluation of the new saddle I had my hopes way up.  And if it could stop raining around here for more than a few minutes I could possibly some day get to ride again.  But Monday in the few minute break from rain I threw on the saddle and jumped on to get a better evaluation in.  I almost didn't want to come on here and talk about it and honestly it took me 2 days to get over the disappointment but sadly that 3 finger space almost disappeared when I got on.  I should not have gotten my hopes up but it really did look good.  So I determined that if this saddle didn't fit perfectly then we were going to resort to shim pads.  So that is where we are.  I have a Lamicell pad that I can use for now that is what I have used up until now to keep saddles off his withers.  So I will continue to use that until I can save up for a shim pad.  Frustrated and disappointed but not surprised.  Another problem is that I still have not been able to really ride in it because my girths are too long.   Again frustrated I have this saddle yet still cannot ride.  I wish I could just zip out to the nearest tack store and pick up a girth but considering there is no tack store in 50 mile radius it is just not that simple.  And that the fuel it would cost me to get to the nearest tack store as it would for a girth.  I am just frustrated and want to ride in the nicest saddle that I have ever been able to ride in and it is sitting in my laundry tack room and I can't ride in it...grrrr.

I have been wanting to post about this next issue is my ever skinny horse.  WTH??!!  why can't I get weight on my horse?  I feel though that I am living the definition of insanity.  You know the one that goes something like "repeating the same actions and expecting different results".  That would drive the sanest of us crazy and God knows I am not all there to begin with.  So since my knowledge of a hard to keep scrawny thoroughbred is next to nil, I have relied on the help and experience of others.  That approach has been well ummmm, well, I am here talking about how it is failing right?  Yeah it has gone just that well.  So I was told to feed purina equine senior and free choice hay.  Since weight gain doesn't happen over night I have taken the watch and see approach.  When I didn't see enough gain I would increase the amount of feed.  hmmmm see where this is going?  Kind of like a dog chasing it's tale.  So I am out on a mission to find a solution for my underweight love.  So here is my next plan of action and I am up for opinions but please I really would appreciate opinions that you have seen work first hand.  I really don't want to go through more guesses.  I plan to have the vet out but I asked him last year about it and he never really gave me any solid answers(I am not the happiest with my vet but he is the only equine vet near by).  So back to my plan of action.  I am currently in the process of changing him over to Strategy, I am also trying to find a local place that carries the ADM mineral buckets.  Along with a fecal test.  I was also told to feed alfalfa cubes and beet pulp and even some rice bran.  So that is where I know to start.  I really want to find a solution to this problem that we continue to struggle to fix.

And I am not going to even get started on the money frustrations.  It seems everyone wants our money and not to mention fuel prices, ugh.

I never got to the part about my which Steady transmits his inner Pokey.

You know Pokey?  Gumby's trusty steed, the little pony made out of clay?  Yeah him...

I am frustrated that I didn't get to this sooner simply because it helps me keep my mind focused on the recently absorbed information.  Ideally I would have put this all down on paper the day after my lesson but now it is a week and a day later and I am finally getting to it.  I had some extremely important breakthroughs in my lesson with Lee Ann Zobbe.

#1 I feel like gumby riding pokey sometimes with Steady's bendy neck.  It is hard to get a straight line when a horses face and head can be facing an entirely different direction than the direction that their body is moving in.  I have been told before that this was happening but was not given real clear instructions on how to correct the problem.  I am a reactive rider and try to fix the problem but with no success.  This is the point that we spent much of my lesson on.  I would be riding to a fence and Lee Ann would yell "is he straight?"  I and I would yell back "no!".  But then continue on to our jump then land and head toward the next one in worse shape than the first.  So Steady's head is facing right but his body is drifting left.  My reactive riding brain says "no I don't want him to go left.  Pull right, pull right.  Wait it isn't fixing the problem!  Shoot now Lee Ann is yelling.  We are getting closer and he is still crooked.  Shoot she is still yelling.  What is she saying?  She is saying left rein I don't want him to go left must use right rein.  She is yelling louder, "LEFT REIN!"  Ooops that jump was awful since we were so crooked.  What the heck is wrong with us?"  This repeated itself multiple times before Lee Ann finally said, "do you not know your right from your left?".  She was being dead serious BTW not sarcastic.  I frustratedly laughed and answered "yes I do"  She said "oh, I only asked because some people struggle with that and it seems everytime I say right you use left."

Has anyone ever seen the movie Cars?  You know the part where Doc is trying to teach Lightening Mcqueen to race on the dirt track?  Doc tells LM on the turn if you want to go left, turn right.  Then LM laughs and tells Doc he is crazy and says "Yeah, maybe in opposite world!"  Then he proceeds to try again again doing it his own way before he finally gives in and tries what Doc says and it works!  Well that was me.  I could not wrap my brain around the idea that if I want him to go right then I need to use my left rein.

Lee Ann taking the reins to show me what to do.
Lee Ann finally gives up and comes over and grabs the reins and from the ground gets Steady to move in the correct direction with the correct aides.  Then she gives them back to me and lo and behold!!  Nothing!  I still do the same thing...grrrr.  So after probably 30 minutes of her trying to explain to me in a hundred different ways how to make this happen I FINALLY figured it out.  She never got mad, she never just said forget it, she just kept looking for a different way to explain the same thing.  I think that is a sign of an amazing teacher!  I think it was about at the wheel barrow analogy and her making me hold my hands on top of her as she was using the reins that something finally clicked in my brain.  She demonstrated trying to steer a wheel barrow the way I am steering my horse and some how explained and showed me where my hands, elbows, shoulder, hip and leg all needed to be when asking him to turn.  And "DiNG" I got it, I felt it, I could finally get what she meant.  In my defense she did say the reason it was so hard for me to get is because when I ask correctly Steady fights it but if I stick with it he will "get it" soon too.  He wasn't being obstinent`he was trying his hardest to figure out what the heck I was trying to do up there.  He was getting frustrated but we were finally figuring it out.  We had a little time to try a few jumps with proper turns and called it a good day.  This break through is huge for me and it makes me love training with Lee Ann more than I already did.  I cannot brag about her enough, she amazes me. I have never walked away from a lesson with her without some break through and feeling like we can and will progress through it.

I touched on the fact that I am a reactive rider and that really causes most of my problems.  So when something is happening that I know shouldn't be happening the process my brain goes through is something like this, "No that is not right, I don't want that to happen, stop doing that, this just is not working, no, no, no."  So my mind is saying that so you can imagine what my body is doing.  A good rider should be proactive and the brain process should sound more like, "this is happening, but I want this.  Not that, but this, do this, do this, do this."  Then your body is giving direction not just attempting to put a stop to the unwanted behaviour.  I need to spend time retraining my brain to be proactive and not reactive.  I think alot of times the problem is that I know what behaviour I don't want and know what actions I do want but just don't know the right way to get them and that is where is all starts to go down hill.  The number one reason lessons are SO important for me and my horses well being.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

I have some really really amazingly wonderful good news!!!

I have been on a trip with my daughter for her bithday since Thursday.  I have been axiously awaiting the arrival of the Albion I bought off of ebay.  And of course what I was hoping wouldn't happen did, it showed up on Friday and I had already left for Chicago on Thursday.  So I had to wait a looong torcherous wait.  We pulled in the driveway tonight about 10:30 pm and I had to still feed everyone in the rain.  I brought everyone in fed and ran inside and tore open the box!  Oooh it is soooo pretty but pretty doesn't matter much if it doesn't fit right?

I ran outside at about 11 pm in the dark with a flashlight to get my first test of whether or not this saddle will fit.  I put it on slid it into place be continued....

Hahaha just kidding I am just not mean like that.  I took my initial look and....I have NEVER put a saddle on my horse before that didn't fall on or very close to his withers.  This saddle had 2 fingers clearance on each side and 3!! at the top!!!  I feared that in trying to fit his withers I would in turn have to have a saddle that sat pommel high and guess what???  I does NOT!!!  It looks like it has great spine clearance.  It also sits balanced and level across the back.  Since it was dark I took the flash light and pointed it through the wither clearance and could see light out the back.  It seems almost too good to be true, but it is looking extremely promising.  This is all my initial look and still need to girth up and ride in it but by the looks there will be no need for shim pads and we will actually have a saddle that FITS my horse!!!  I am soooo excited!!  And am starting to breath a sigh of relief after a year of dealing with ill fitting saddles.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

WOW!!! I just realized...

that Steady and I just had our first anniversary!!!

Exactly one year from last Saturday on April 16th 2010 I rode Steady for the very first time and blogged about it.  And April 16th 2011 we were riding in an eventing schooling show!  I am amazed where this year has brought us.  It has been more fullfilling, more rewarding, more exciting, more work and more money than I ever imagined and I am so blessed to have had this guy in my life for the last year.  He has truely changed who I am.   He has given me confidence I had lost in myself and made me realize that I AM worth making my dreams come true.  I am lucky enough to have a husband who lovingly and sometimes reluctantly supports me in the dream and I could not have done it without him.  WOW, again....

I'd say we have made some  I know I am half the that is an exageration but not by far  hahaha.

The wrap up.

I had an amazing time.  It was made so much better by my friend and all her help.  Friday afternoon it was time to pack up everything and put it into the truck.  There were storms on the way and I was hoping I didn't have to drive in a severe storm.  It managed to not rain for a few minutes so I could get everything into the truck.  Ryan got home to take over the family duties and it was throw Steady into the trailer and hit the road.  I stopped on the way to pick up my friend and we were headed to CAF.  Got there unloaded, got settled into our stall area, gave Steady a bath, clipped, worked on his mane and got everything in working order for the morning.  We finally made it to eat dinner at about 10 pm.

The plan was the first night to sleep in the truck at CAF that way we would be there and ready to go in the a.m.  Both of our husbands were in disbelief that we were going to sleep in the truck.  Tara and I just didn't see what the big deal was.  I have two bench seats which to me was like two beds, perfect.  The temps were supposed to drop quitea  bit overnight but we figured we would be fine.  And guess what?  We were right!  We both got a great nights sleep and never got cold.  I finally woke up at 7:45!  I didn't set any alarm because I figured I would be up the sun or at least everyone pulling for the day.  Nope!  There was a truck and trailer parked directly behind us that had come and unloaded horses and all and neither of us every heard

I was still fine, time wise, because I didn't ride my dressage test until 10:47.  It was feed, groom and tack up.  My nerves were in full force.  Since I was a kid the day of any show I would have butterflies and be anxious.  I don't think it is a bad thing, I actually think it is all a part of the rush for me.  We went in to warm up and he was good but very looky and head high.  But I reminded myself about my realization last week that he just needs time to warm up.  We spent about 40 minutes warming up and he was GREAT!  He became very soft and supple, we were having contact, I was very happy and we even got a compliment from someone about how nicely he moves.  All the sudden it hit me that I needed to still learn the derby course...oops.  Should have done that first.  I put him in his stall for a few minutes to go walk run the course.  Then back on and I made my last minute attempt to run through my test with 7 other horses in the indoor arena.  Right before I headed out they announced they were moving dressage from the indoor to the outdoor arena.  Oh, ok we can go with that?!  I got over to the ring a couple minutes before my time and noticed that there were two seperate mud puddles right on the center to make it a bit more interesting, right?  We went in and trotted around a couple times.  The thing about thinking you are riding indoors and the last minute switching it to outdoors is that warming up indoors seems like a fine idea, BUT when you do indeed ride your test outside your horse may just be completely interested in seeing what is outside during your test.  He was good he was just a little head high and neck tight.  Our first trot down centerline was a bit wonky cause of the puddles.  But other than that most of the test went off without a hitch, not perfect but hey we are in Starter division we are not supposed to be perfect.  Our biggest blunder was toward the end of the test and he picked up the left lead instead of the right.  We pulled back tried again and wrong again, pulled back and finally at about C he got it.  We had about 2 seconds of a nice contact canter.  Second time down centerline he was much straighter and at halt he was SQUARE!!!!!  Can you tell that makes me happy? :)  It is a big deal for us.  I was proud of my boy.  He did the best he could for me and we didn't have perfect circumstances.  He got the wrong lead but I didn't really care, he was trying for me and that is why I love him. 

Dressage score 41.0!  I am happy with that and we were tied for second.  I am certain if we had not screwed up the lead we would have been first.  All numbers were 7's and 6's except the canter to the right got 4's oops :).

I am not an eventer that stomachs dressage to get to jumping, I truely enjoy that part of this sport.  Finding that level of communication is not something I was taught in all the years growing up riding.  I am completely facinated by it and want to get better and better at listening and communicating with my horse.  But jumping IS f-ing FUN!!
Dressage: check.  Now onto the derby...

I had a few minutes in between to scarf down some lunch(best horse show food you will ever sink your teeth into) then back out to tack up and hop over some warm up jumps.  Then I went to watch a few people before it was my turn.  It was cold, windy and if it wasn't raining there was this yucky mist flying through the air.  I wasn't cold but the people on the ground were fridged.  I think you can even hear one person in the background of the video saying "I can't feel my fingers, toes, anything"  LOL.  Our ride went awesome!!  I don't think we have ever jumped anything as well as we did that course.  He was brave, willing and listening.  I mean what more could a rider want.  When we went to the far end of the XC course there are always the dreaded cows but he watched them but never stopped listening.  IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!!  I actually was tearing up right when we were done because I was so damn happy!  I screamed like a crazy woman and I am sure everyone thought that I was indeed crazy.  Especially when most teenage kids coming off the course were at worst either pouting because their horse wan't perfect or at best meloncolly about it all.  It bugs me when people don't smile on their horses back but that is probably because I am getting old and ungrateful little whipper snappers bug the buhgebbers outta me.

So as I was leaving the arena you will see Lee Ann walk up to me and what she was saying was, "which direction did you take the orange and yellow?".  Ahhh go figure it was a perfect ride all except the fact that I went out of my way to jump one of the jumps the wrong direction.  I was disappointed but it did not change how fantastically awesome the whole ride was.  Steady didn't know the difference and I made sure he knew he was the most wonderfullest horsey in all the world.

The weekend went fantastic and I cannot complain an ounce about any of it.  The end result was us being eliminated but who gives a darn, we had fun!

At first he opposes but quickly he approved.

I am speaking of the S-man, though reading that title makes me wish I could say the same about my husband and my recent saddle purchase, eeek.  Beth Draper, aka, equine chiropractor came to visit last night.  We actually had a 4-h meeting at the fair grounds and she met us out there.  He was all excited and not paying attention when we got there.  He was moving around and being difficult until Beth got her hands on him then he gladly stood completely still.  It amazes me how much he enjoys it.  He was out all over but better than he had been last year.  He had his shoulders, withers, lumbar and hips all worked on.  The difference in his walk afterwards was night and day.  He had his usual big moving hip swing back!!!  I tried to scan in his card she give me to show where he is out but my scanner is being difficult but he was out in his left hip, L1-L6!, T11, T4 and T5.  She got everything back in except she could not get 2 of his lumbar back in so we will be seeing her again within the next 30 days.

Now he is adjusted and once his new fancy saddle gets(can't come fast enough!!! but it is on it's way) here we should be in good shape to keep all gears full speed ahead.  I haven't decided if I am going to shoot for the may schooling show or not.  I really pushed us to get there for April and really the only reason I did that is because my two friends and I had agreed to make that our goal to show together in April.  Out of the three of us I was the only one able to get there in April because of those unpredictable horsey type of set backs.  But I may have spent my show budget for a while and don't know that May is doable but I am sure going to try to make it work.  But my ultimate goal for right now is to get Steady healthy and fit for Event Camp in July.  I want to be able to go there and get our arses worked and not have to have them take it easy on us just because we are not prepared.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

General overveiw of the weekend...AHHH.MAZE.ING!!

I am still on a cross country high!  Much fun was had and I couldn't think of a better way to start off the 2011 season!  Ok not being eliminated would have made it a little better but it did not get us  I am going to try to use as few words as possible and let the photos speak for themselves.

Starting the day!

Warm up.

Ready to go!

Next in line.

and here...we...go...

Up and down the bank.  We didn't jump it.  We had the option.

Fun, Fun, Fun!!!  This is the first half of the derby the second half is on come.

The next unsuspecting victim of Lee Ann Zobbe...AKA, Super Trainer!  This is today at the start of our lesson.  I had no idea what was to come.

LAZ: "Amy, would you walk around with your friends with your arms out like this"

Me: "UH, no"
LAZ: "Then why are you riding like that???"
Me: "Uhhhhhhh...."

This is probalby about where LAZ was yelling(in the kindest way possible) "Amy, do you not know your right from you left??" It cracks me up! Even Tara that isn't a rider was watching and said Lee Ann would say left and I would use my can't do everything And yes I do homeschool my children :)

This is some big progress in my position!

It is amazing how Lee Ann will work at explaining things to me until I "get it" even if it takes an hour..haha

I am sure this is one of the million times she is saying, "Amy, is Steady straight?". And one of my million responses, "NO".

Steady letting the camera know exactly how he feels about all of it....grrrr.

Great end to an awesome weekend!

There are more words and videos to go along with the weekend but that will come later.  I just wanted to share the photos but don't have the energy left to disect.  I had some awesome break throughs in my lesson and had an amazing day at the show.  Our dressage test is on video and I will sum that up later too but over all I am sooooo proud of my horse we had an amazing fun and educational weekend.  All photos and video courtesy of my awesome friend Tara who not only was my personal photog/videographer but my left hand all weekend.  Having her there made my weekend go so smoothly!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

I bought a saddle...

I wish I could be happier about it but I paid more than I wanted to pay and could not trial it or have it fitted.  It may have been a HUGE mistake and only time will tell.  From all the information I could gather and the best guess I could make this will be a good fit for Steady BUT of course I do not know what I am doing.  Here is the link to the saddle that I now own.  Go easy on me if you think I am a complete idiot for buying a non-returnable saddle sight unseen. So those are all the reasons that should not have bought the saddle.

Here are the reasons I did buy it.  If you look at the pictures you will see what I am talking about.  It has dropped panels and wither gussets, the tree shape looks similar to that of a County and those fit him well.  Those are the big reasons I bought it.  Then there is the fact that it is black and I like black and also means I only need one show bridle that is black.  It appears to have fairly forward flaps and in good condition.

We will see a saddle fitter in July at CAF Event camp.  Kate Wooten will be at camp that week and she is an independent fitter from TN.  So if you need to be fitted even if you are not coming to camp I am sure you can make an appointment.  She is very resonably priced and has come with good recommendations.  She also has saddles with her in her truck to try and to purchase that are on consignment.  So please spred the word around your barn.  I will also promote this more over the next couple months.  I July we will be properly fitted to the saddle but desperate times call for desperate measures.  I wish I am not in the situation I am in to begin with but what's done is done and let's just hope my uneducated guess will work out. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You guys are so SMERT!

So I took to heart your words of advice about the nerves causing the problems with our rides.  So yesterday, I didn't have alot of time to ride as it was getting dark but I was ok with it.   I conciously thought "I am just going to go have a relaxing, enjoyable ride".    Even if I have problem and he isn't cooperating then I will do something else.  Something that he wants to do.  Not really worry about: fitness, roundness, dressage tests, moving off my aides, my hands being too low, my leg being to far forward and so on...  No wonder I was a bundle of nerves and passing all those nerves onto my unsuspecting horse.

That brings us to today!  Yes it was that good!  I decided to go as far as we could go with positive progress.  I also think I had a BIG break through with my little brain.  Now it seems so obvious but I didn't realize what I was doing until today.  I jump on and immediately ask for supple, round. bendy dressage pony.  Ummmm yeah I am sure you can all see why our work was not going well.  I realized that after he has ample time to warm up his SO willing to be and do all of those things I was wanting.  MAN I love this horse!  He teaches me how to be a good rider and horse owner.  I am glad he is so patient.  So today is the best ride I have had at least since last fall and possibly to date.

My saddle woes may be over. Let's cross our fingers!

I just put an offer in on a saddle.  I found a saddle online that has dropped panels and wither gussets and I WANT it!!  I really hope we can settle on a price ASAP because I want to ride in it.  There is no trialing it or returning but I really think it will work.

Oh and I have never ordered anything from dover before but it has been the crappiest experience.  My package that should have been here Monday was then said to be here on Thursday is now supposed to be here on Friday.  If it is not here on Friday I may just go berzerk on someone. 

When I get more info on the offer on the saddle I will post pics and stuff.  I am just holding my breath I can get it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I have this uneasy feeling in my stomach every time I think about this weekend.  Friday I leave for Come Again Farm and Saturday is our second schooling event ever and our first of the year.  I am having a hard time nailing down where the feeling is stemming from because there are so many reasons it could be.

#1 Steady has seemed to regress the past week or so.  Before we seemed to be making progress,slowly but surely and all the sudden something seems to be going on with him.  He doesn't seem to be off.  I have lunged him and not seen anything and though they are not horsey people I have had a couple different people watch us work and they don't see anything.  And I don't have anyone else that is a horse person to take a look but it is definitely not an obvious issue.  He is not nearly as forward as he usually is but that can have in part to do with being in regular work as oppossed to having off half the winter.  He also seems reluctant to round at random moments.  Not too unusual but it seems to be more often and more dramatic as of late.  I was going to the standby saddle fitting problem as the cause and then took a couple days riding bareback and he was exactly the same with or without a saddle.  So now my mind keeps telling me CHIRO!  I will be making an appointment for that asap but it won't help us for Saturday. 

#2 It is the first of the year like I said so nerves are definitely a factor right now.

#3 I am going to be gone the entire weekend.  I not only am showing Saturday but am staying over for a lesson on Sunday.  So I will leave Friday afternoon and not come home until Sunday afternoon.  This is not a normal occurance for me to leave home alone overnight, ever.

Then there is trailering, preperation like mane maintence and packing and making sure all the other animals are going to be well cared for and....gah!  I wish I could just be excited about it and not so full of axiety over it.....

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fun with my pony.

So yesterday I decided I was going to go the bareback route.  I have ridden him bareback but I have never felt very comfortable on his slope like back.  I am happey ot say that I must have really improved my seat, balance and whatever else goes into staying on the back of a horse.  We did some nice trot work and even attempted to canter and made a lap around.  Today I didn't have much time before it was going to get dark.  I roped my husband into do a photo op.  They didn't turn out the way I'd imagined but I am happy with them from a guy that knows nothing about photography.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Looky what I got!

I ordered this yesterday!   Me so cited!  I even got a free saddle pad it is the cheapest I could find the vest on the internet I found a $10 coupon code online and the lady gave me free 3 day shipping!  As Ryan would say "see how much money you save me!" <--- Insert sarcasm.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

100th post OH SH!T!!!

Well my day started out pretty normal.  Get up feed kids.  Check email.  Clean kitchen.  At about 9:30 am someone pulls in my driveway and starts walking up to my door.  Someone I have never seen before.  I have my husband answer the door.  Before the guy could get his sentence out of his mouth I was running out the door, throwing on my boots and running as fast as I could.  Are you wondering what the guy said?  All I had to hear was "There are horses...".  Holy SHIT the horses are out.  We live on a State Hwy so it is a very serious thing for them to be running free.  Not that anyone ever wants there horses to get loose but a semi flying down the hwy at 65 or even worse a smaller car.  Not only would my horses have a gloom fate but the poor people in the vehicle probably would too.  I quickly found them.  They were in the neighbors yard.  Only about 50 ft from the hwy.  There were two people out there, and luckily the traffic noticed and stopped.  Steady saw me and started toward me but the last thing I wanted to do was walk toward him and he decide to make a break for it.  So I made my way around so that I was between him and the road.  One lady started running toward them and I quickly yelled to her to NOT run toward them!  I went for Steady first because he is Alpha and I knew hoped everyone else would follow.  One lady got in front of Moonlight and he was closest to the road.  I walked up to Steady and wrapped the rope around his neck.  The other lady had Moonlights head.  I told her to let him see Steady walking away and he would most likely follow.

THANK GOD that is exactly what all the little goobers did.  I led Steady and Moonlight, Snappy, and Blaze all followed.  Even walking right into the pasture again.  No one made a detour to the barn.  I think they were all a bit shell shocked and didn't know what they had gotten themselves into and were happy to go back to there familiar pasture.  It ended well and I am so so very thankful.  Other than the yard being torn up(and the neighbors...OPPPS...they already are not my biggest fan becuase of the animals)

appearently someone made a sliding stop.

The only other thing I noticed was my cloths line post that had no lines attatched to it was bent in half.


 I searched it over for hairs or any sign as to how it happened.  There are hoofprints leading to and away from it but no other sign of how it happened.  I checked over all the horses and there is no sign of any injury.  Except moonlight has a little scratch on his shoulder.  It didn't even break the skin, just a little hair missing and by looking at the post it does not make logical sense on how it could have been his shoulder.  Who knows?  Everyone is ok and I am happy, flustered and frustrated but happy everyone is ok.  It could have ended terribly.  Thank you to the good samaritans for informing us and helping.

I know how it happened and I am frustrated with myself that it did.  It is human error and growing up with horses I know that it does happen sometimes but it had never happened to me.  I did not latch the gate completely.  I even remeber how and why I didn't.  You better believe that won't happen again from me.  Though with children there is always that fear that a child could do it.  I know mine know better but it could be an accident and we have other children here often.  It does encourage me to put more effort into moving.  Our next place will NOT be on a State hwy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What our spring looks like.


9th goat babies are due!  Not sure how that pertains to the blog but I am excited about it none-the-less.

16th Eventing derby at Come Again Farm Entering at Starter level.
17th stay over at CAF and take a lesson with Lee Ann.
29-May1 Ann Forrester saddle fitter coming to CAF.  I may or may not go to this it all depends if I have a promising saddle fit that she could help us with.


6th-7th chicago with daughter to go to American Girl and the Feild Museum horse exhibit for her 8th b-day.
14th Event derby at CAF.  If Steady and I are up to riding in it then it will also include a lesson to follow.  Otherwise I will be volunteering.


3-5 volunteer at Hoosier Horse Park T3D  Dressage scribe and jump judge.
19th Horse Trials at CAF but I don't think we will have funding or time to take part with the approaching vacation.
29-July 5 off to CA for the trip of a lifetime.


11-14 Event Camp at CAF
16 Event Derby at CAF

Along with these things there are a bunch of random things that will be of a spontaneous happening.   These are the on-the-calander type events.  I am excited and apprehensive about the upcoming busyness but I will just take it one ride at a time.
After these few busy months Steady should be in prime fitness.  August, September and October should be our best months.  I have yet to plan out how those months will look.  It is too far into the future and too many things can change by then.  As time goes on I will be able to plan more.  I have a XC schooling armband from HHP and I hope to use that a few times over the season.  But more toward the end of the season than the begining.  We have alot of work to do before we should be galavating across the country side jumping Solo size jumps.

In a few short months...

this is where I will be, and this is what I will be doing. It cannot come fast enough.  I cannot wait!!  I fly out June 28th to Sacramento, CA and the trip of a lifetime begins for me.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Am I beating a dead horse?

Just tucked all my boys in their stalls for the night.  They are out 24/7 but we are supposed to be having on and off rain all night with the chance of high winds and alot of lightening.  So I figured they would appreciate a break from the elements.  It is nice to tuck them in their cozy stalls once in a while.  Though I don't mind not having to clean the stalls when the boys are out all the time.

So I am wondering if I am driving everyone crazy with my saddle fitting woes.  It is just all consuming.  The County rep apparently is not real quick in getting back to potential clients.  Still have not heard from her.  I wanted to ask her advice and see what options she might have for me.  I do like that shape of the county tree and now that I know that it seems to fit Steady well I wouldn't mind going County considering it is the ONLY local saddle fitter in 3 states.  I say ridiculous!

On a side note all of this is making me seriously consider taking Mike Scott's saddle fitting course.  This is just in the begining stages of brain storming but it is something I really really would love to do.  He only takes 4 students at a time and it is and intensive 6 month course and you can read about it on his sight.  I say if I have to bring someone in from TN to fit my horse that there is a shortage of good fitters out there and especially independent fitters. 

And because so many of my posts as of late have been photoless a little bit of cuteness.
Macy taking a break on a hot day on Blaze...priceless.