Saturday, October 29, 2011

Playing with Gem and Chrissy

A little ground work - zone 5 driving.

Then in the saddle for some support for Chrissy. We did figure 8's bridleless. I trust him!

Chrissy and Cowboy did well and tried to help Chrissy with the figure 8 pattern. She put in some time, but it got boring pretty quickly. As she progresses, she'll find more delight in the small changes they make. For now, practice is tough.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sideways and cantering

Chrissy and Cowboy - thresholds, approach and retreat, sideways.

Gem - sideways, then cantering. Some time on the 45' to start.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Great day!

7.5 with kk at Hidden Mesa with all 3 horses. Gem running alongside us off lead. KK had a fantastic time, and so did I. trimmed Rain, touched up Z and Gem. Then some liberty with all 3 in the round pen. Rain is the weaker link - need to work on some liberty with her.

Hosed them off and Z and Gem went down to roll in the round pen, but not surprisingly, Rain didn't. She's never been much for a roll. not sure why.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

1 hour of mental break

Long work day and at 5:30, I still wasn't done. However, dang it, I left my desk and got to it. Chrissy had Cowboy, Kendall came out and tacked up Rain for a ride and I grabbed Gem to see how cantering on the left lead from the ground looks.

Played with left lead canter, stick to me and zone 5 driving. He was great.

Trimmed Gem.

Kendall rode around and just smiled and had fun.

Played with Cowboy, gorgeous sideways trot and a few sideways canter strides. He's so cool.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A great fall ride with some of my favorite people

Had such a great time with Jen, Jess, Chrissy today at Indian Creek. I took Rain so I could help her and bring her along some more. This was Chrissy's first ride of the year and she did beautifully (so did her horse!). Jess rode Kade on the trail for the first time and Jen and Lynx worked on more advanced concepts.

We went for a long ride - about 4.5 hours and covered about 12 miles. The fall colors were still in force and we got some great pictures. Everyone was smiling and happy! We stopped for lunch in the meadow just as the forest opens up towards Sharptail.

It was just a fantastic day. I loved this day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Corn Maze!!

Took all 3 horses and the whole fam damily to the Hudson Corn Maze. We had a BLAST!! I brought Gem, Rain and Zarah with Kendall riding Rain, D riding Z and me on Gem. The horses were a little worried at first. The corn is dry now and makes a lot of noise! The wind kept the corn moving and making it's noise. It's also 10 feet tall easily, so there's no looking over it. It was awesome!

Kendall had a little trouble with Rain at times, as Rain knows Kendall isn't always in charge. That's ok, KK learned some things and handled herself with a lot of maturity. D didn't try to manage a horse. He navigated the map so we wouldn't get lost and I ponied him for most the time. About half way through, I decided to switch with him and let him ride Gem. This actually worked out better because then I could manage Z and her high energy. She never truly settled in the maze. Gem and Rain were cool and calm, but Z - not so much. Z also really desires to lead when she's worried and she can be a little forceful about it. I believe that's her alpha mare mentality.

It was a great time and D loved navigating us through the maze and following the map. We agreed to go next Sunday on "dog day" with Deuce and Oscar. Really a fun time!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A great lesson

rode her andy - a very forward, energetic and cool horse
no stirrups - rode the transitions through w/t/c w/o stirrups. i had no trouble with this.
longer stirrups! After riding with no stirrups, my stirrups seemed way too short. Lengthened my stirrups to match the way I held my legs w/o them. What a huge difference.
transition down from canter to sitting trot
Gem was much more round. all the riding in a frame is paying off.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A fun time with Chrissy and Kendall

Rode Gem, KK tacked up and rode Rain all by herself, and Chrissy rode Cowboy!

I was playing with leads in the trot, helping Gem stay upright and balanced and a little with the left lead canter. I was using the serpentine to help me get this done with him.

Kendall also did some serpentine, but she couldn't handle the arena for long. She left the arena and rode Rain around the property. Rain was looking pretty bracey, so I asked her to soften Rain by also doing some serpentines before calling it a day. She is becoming such a great little horse woman! Proud of her and our horse Rain.

Chrissy followed me and Gem in the trot while we did our serpentines. She's working on her fear thresholds and allowing Cowboy to move w/o holding on tightly to the reins. I'm trying to help her build some trust in herself and her horse. She said she didn't feel very fluid with him, so hopefully she'll keep riding and find more harmony in the saddle.

Fun time with horses!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Training Rain

I took some time with Rain tonight, softening her up and getting her to bend into some serpentines. Delaney also rode her and helped me by doing the same exercise in the walk.

She's such a lovely horse, but I realize how much I've left her behind in my training. I really need to bring her up to the level of my other horses. We've got to lose the brace and build straightness, balance and responsibility for gait.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Kids in the barn

I had the kids helping with manure management today. Steve is out of town this week and the snow on Saturday produced a ton of manure in the stalls. I finally got it addressed and Kendall and Delaney were quite helpful!!

After clean-up, both kids wanted to ride Rain. Rain was very bracey, but Kendall handled it ok. Delaney didn't do much riding, thankfully. Rain really needs time with me. Delaney is excited about riding in the corn maze next weekend, so he wanted to practice riding so he'd be ready. I think he'll be fine, but I love that he wants to put some time in!

I also got Z trimmed. Her hinds are doing better, but the right still has quite a bull nose. I'll keep working on it. I was hoping the chiro adjustments would have had more impact.

A fun evening with my kids, my horses and horse chores.


Fun day! Picked up Deb (in her truck and trailer) with Z and did a FAST 7.5 miles at Hidden Mesa. Then, got home and gave a lesson to Kris and Rio.

Deb and I galloped a few times and Z was stretched out and racing her heart out! Fun! I cut my finger pretty bad just before we tacked up at the trailhead, so I had a make-shift pressure bandage made of vet-wrap and an old mitten. I was not going to miss the chance to ride, darn it!

Kris and Rio worked on circle game and sideways with porcupine game. We also played with the smile trick a bit. Fun lesson in the indoor arena! This was a tough day for Kris, however. She was struggling with her trust in Rio more than usual. I'm sure the next lesson will be different as she really pushed her bubble today.

Kris also trimmed Rio.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Show day!

Snow!! We drove in a few inches of very unexpected snow. Last night, my truck died on the ride home from my dressage lesson. Perfect. I was able to call on a couple friends to help me out and borrowed a truck and trailer so we could go to the show. I'm so lucky to have great friends.

Gem was great! He loaded in this foreign trailer with no trouble. We slowly made our way to get Loma and Nina and just before we arrived, the ranch had lost power. This meant the gate didn't work. Loma called for help, but I was feeling like the universe was against me going to this show! Between the truck dying, the snow and now no way to get onto the property to get Loma and Nina... Oye.

We overcame it all. We arrived and had time to warm up and get ready and even finish braiding. Gem was cool and calm and I was so grateful for the way he handled it all. I couldn't wait to tack him up and starting warming up. We ended up riding two fairly equally scored tests. We got 57.1 and 57.8. I was so pleased with how he handled it all and I'm ready for the spring season! I think that for 4 months time, we're doing quite well and by next Spring, we'll be ready to really hit it. Exciting!

Friday, October 7, 2011

One final lesson before the show

Met with KC the day before our first show. We worked on the left lead, but I honestly don't believe we made much progress. He seems to just be practicing the counter canter. I don't think he's getting a clear understanding of what I mean when I ask him to canter to the left with the left lead. I don't know why we lost the left lead.

We worked on stretch, chewy trot and Gem is getting that with not trouble.

We played with slowing down the trot tempo and helping me understand what the trot tempo should be.

I really feel like I'm getting the pattern solid in my mind, which makes me feel much better for the show. I decided to do only Training Level 1, so I only have 1 test to memorize. This is a huge relief and we're practicing the test in sections. We start with a left lead canter in this test. Probably not the best choice for our first test, but I really just want the show experience, not a blue ribbon.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dressage Rehearsal

With Gem and Loma at Lonesome Hill, where the show will be... I was able to get out of work a little early, pick up Loma and head to Lonesome Hill. What a beautiful ranch. It's 1300 acres and has a huge indoor and a very large outdoor. It's the kind of facility where board is $700 - $800 per month.

Gemini was fantastic. He was never worried and Loma and I agreed to split up immediately with one of us in the indoor and one in the outdoor. Gem was just fine. He wasn't worried about Nina, even though Nina was worried to be alone and she called a lot.

Gem and I ran through the test and we worked on left canter leads, which are broken entirely since last week. Who cares. We'll fix it over time.

Beautiful ranch and we are READY!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sabrina and Starlet - a friend of a friend came to see Starlet today. She heard about her through my friend and felt like this was a great prospect for her. She was looking for a dark bay Thoroughbred mare who was quiet but had plenty of go. After a discussion on the phone, Starlet seemed like she could be a great fit. She came today to meet her and she ended up riding her for about an hour and a half. She brought her 2 yr old daughter and her parents. I hung around, riding Zarah and spending a little time with her daughter while she spent time with Starlet. I could tell pretty quickly that this would be a nice match. Bittersweet. Starlet deserves a partner and I haven't given her that. I feel bad about it and I keep thinking I'll find time, but I don't think I ever actually will. It's time to let her go. If it doesn't work out, Sabrina will bring her back to me and I will be sure she's happy and cared for. I feel very good about this match and I think this could be just what Starlet needs.

Chrissy following me on Cowboy - Before Sabrina arrived, Chrissy and I rode around in the arena. So glad to see Chrissy on her horse!! I walked around on Z and Chrissy and Cowboy followed. She was a little nervous at first, but I could see her nervousness melting away. I hope she keeps it up!

Z took it easy through it all today. It was her first ride since the 50 mile race. She was calm and easy and after riding Gem so much, I so appreciate Z's sensitivity and willingness. She's a great reminder of what I seek with Gem. I put Sabrina's daughter on her and lead her around. Sienna was so happy to ride this horse! Kendall rode her, too. I kept the lead line for Kendall because I know the horse that Z is, but Z was calm and reasonable. Such a nice mare.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Fox Run with Gem and Jen

Really nice day with my Jen! We so rarely ride together, it was nice to go out and spend some time. We took it pretty easy and Gem was slow and lazy. I tried to get some forward out of him, but he was just slow and lazy... and slow. I remembered how much I adore Z today. :-)

I helped Jen out with trot diagonals and straightness on a circle. I think she enjoyed the new concepts and felt a difference in her horse. Gem and I worked on getting a light depart. Otherwise, he just felt tired to me. I put boots on him after a while because I was wondering if his feet were sore. It helped a little, but really he just didn't have any energy.

Might need to add some supplements to his diet. I'm riding him a lot and asking him for more than usual. He did well today, regardless.