Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Happy Birthday Brantley!

**APPARENTLY THIS NEVER POSTED!**
Brantley's Birthday was March 31st..

Brantley & Jeanette
Brantley had a special visit this weekend from our friend Jeanette (the Farrier's wife). We have been friends for a long time and she was mentor for me while I worked at the feed store. Over the last few years she has been mastering her energy work, Reiki, and intuitive reading skills.

Not sure how anyone feels about any of that stuff but... I love it. She came out to visit LB after he got hurt and about 30 minutes with her and Jeff the Farrier working on him, he was toe-touching the next day. Obviously the infection had already set in and we were headed towards the inevitable, but after they were done I had this immediate feeling that he felt some sort of relief being able to finally put some weight on that leg.

Anyway! Back to the B-man. It was pretty amazing watching Jeanette work. I've told her a little bit of the history I know of Brantley but nothing too intimate seeing as I've been trying to leave it in the past. Honestly, I don't know the whole story and why does it matter now. There are some things I have heard though such as his accident with the barb-wired fence. As she went to put her hands over his chest and shoulder area, she asked him to basically show her his trauma... After breathing for a few moments that felt like a lifetime, she backed away and literally had the strong emotional need to cry. "Did he witness something awful. Like his Dam or pasture mate, someone he looks up to, get hurt and even pass away?" - The story I heard was that when he was caught in the fence, he was caught with another horse and the other horse ended up dying.

Do I know this for sure? No... But for her to pick that up... 
Crazy because I don't tell many if any people that story.

After we chatted a bit, she was ready to start again, working some energy to alleviate the trauma and the emotions he felt about it. She continued to work around him and push the bad juju out and replace it with good energy. 

It was really amazing to watch and it's more complicated than above but I should've made note cards. I could feel it and I could see it working though.

First ride 2015
Who knows if it worked or not but let me tell you, I finally had my first ride of 2015. We've been working hard playing ground games and long-lining (his favorite) and finally after some prep work I said F@#$ it, I'm getting on. 

His normal nervous first ride jitters were gone. He put his head down and just wanted to walk off. I said okay, go on, and next thing you know we were loping around the indoor. 

BTW...

HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY BRANTLEY!

and 200TH POST!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Success Is Liking What You Do


He'll be fine.
Just swing up on.
You can work through it.

Brantley and I have been through a lot and I'm sure, that after the first scoot and spin, he'd be fine once I swung that leg over. But what people don't get is that, I have a system. And it works for us. We need to review and reinforce our foundation. I'm going to take as much time as he needs so that I don't have to go back and fix it later. I know that sounds redundant because this is how we start every season, but it works for us. And then we have amazing rides and adventures? Why change the process if it works.

The best part is that yes, we repeat our process... But then I push just a little bit harder. This year? We're getting over jackets and picking things up and changing stirrups and carrying a dressage whip. Just carrying things in the saddle in general really. I want to ride with a quarter sheet come Fall. And ride in a halter and his blanket come winter. And with him... So far I've reached all my goals when I put them down on paper.

We ended last year with Ms. K taking off her jacket and me fixing her stirrups. His head was high, he was a little nervous, but we were successful. It can only get better right?

Just trust the process.

Today we worked a little more on stirrup driving while Teke and her mom were dressaging-it around the arena. He showed off his ground skills while they set up another stall in the corner of the indoor with panels as I tacked him up... Right next to the garage type door that was going up and down. Didn't even flinch. The joke about him is, "Woah boy... Woah..." because he just stares and chews. The BOs love him btw... #WINNING!

Mid-Chew Confirmation Shot?
I got up in the saddle on both sides and flapped the stirrups on the opposite side I was standing in. He was shaking when I played with the left stirrup but his left side is more sensitive anyway. Normally he jigs a little when you try to get up on the left side though and today he didn't. He actually felt a little more confident as if to say, "Just don't grab that stirrup again. It freaks me the F out!" I can stand in it no problem though. Did it both on both sides and called it a day after sending him around a few more times.

"Mom, did you take it yet?"
Why didn't I just swing my leg over? Because I want to set him up for success and I had to run back to work. I could commit at least 30-45 minutes on good quality ground work and brain games. I did not want to set him up for something I couldn't follow through with and give him everything he needed. I feel like that's one thing I like the most about how I do things.

"Look handsome? #nailedit"
I have a feeling we're going to have a short mini-workout tomorrow due to work related things that I am not excited about... At all. But someone's gotta make the money and my #furbabies sure ain't gonna do it.

I'll leave you with this little tidbit. <3 Little Hannah

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kickin' A$$ Tuesday!

*It's not always easy, but it's always worth it*


You bet your butt I made it to my 7am iLoveKickboxing class and damn straight I did it on my day off. I haven't been in a few weeks but let's just say, I have a lot of stuff to do on Saturday but a 1-hour class in the morning may be at the top of my list. Fingers crossed I can make it happen... I also have to find a dress by 3 o'clock...

Spiderman Pushups?

It's a real thing... And I love them.

Brantley did have as much of a work out as I did but we had a bit of play time. He got a lot out over the last two days so I thought giving him a little easy brain work only day was a good idea. Plus we were sharing the ring with a sassy Arabian. I'd rather him just stand and watch... Or fall asleep which he's good at. He's loving the freedom to run and buck though!

video

And then had a little visit from new friends.

video

He loves his little ladies!

A coworker who is a kickboxing buddy came for a visit too!

        








And they're adorable <3

Beaker was ignored for a couple of days since Brantley moved in so we got in some ground work and some good ride time. Easy day for him. His biggest goal is just to find the motivation to move forward. He had a couple of nasty stops mid-trot but he's being more obvious before his sinks his feet into the ground. Ended well though! Split shift tomorrow so more Brantley time is in the works.

Wendy and Elijah are coming to visit on Sunday and take a spin in the indoor which will be nice. I'm sure B will be happy to see him. She may even come by on Friday which will be nice as well.

Catching up on everyone's blogs and ponies are looking great. Living vicariously through everyone right now.

I think blogs need like buttons... Or like scales that you can pick from 1-10 (Disklike to Like). I feel like I'd love to spend all afternoon commenting but I think you can only say, "ERMEGERD, Your pone's totes adorbs" so many times.

So if I don't comment. I still probably read!

I just couldn't think of anything amazing and witty to say.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

Finally Some Air Time!

Levi
So the week went by and I got to ride a new pony. His name's Levi and he's pretty cool. I've only played with him twice but the text I got today looked something like this:


Guess I did good. :) I responded with this disturbing picture because 
I had no idea what a "magical unicorn donkey" looked like.


Disturbing yet... Perfect...


Psh... #NAILEDIT

Anyway, I had a few days of pet sitting off so I hung out with the bozo in the photograph below. Ugh, I miss cuddling with him while I'm away. And it's been so shitty winter-wonderlandish out that we've been stuck inside because kicking a soccer ball on the ice is NOT okay. And unfortunately, he's not allowed at HSF to run around the indoor. #fail


So what did I do before the crazy pet-stting began again?
I called out of work. I will admit, I was legitimately sick.
But honestly I could've gone to work and made it through.
I know I know... I'm terrible. But look at that face!


Also got myself a new water bottle in the mail. 
Amanda has a matching "Hunter Princess" one I got her for her birthday.


Brantley got a special visit from Mikhail who's been "away" at college.
Freshman, Engineer, Frat Boy, and a 3.X GPA?
I'm proud.



Then the B man got new kicks on all fours.

JR (Best farrier ever) mentioned about Brantley's... Energy level. And it wasn't him unable to stand still and such. It was more just his Early-Years Nervous Energy... Which brings me to my next part:

B and I are at HSF for the month!!!!


All my hard work with the HSF ponies has paid off and Brantley and I will be a part of the family until early May (right in time for the RISPCA ride that I'm praying we go to). They offered me the indoor stall for the month in exchange for playing with ponies. #winning (Today's a # day...)

Let me tell you. B friggin' throttled around the indoor on the end of the line. Obviously I put him on his long line and the only thing I asked was for direction changes both off the hind end and front end. Tail up, swapping leads, bucking, mini-rear with a head flip. He was ecstatic to finally book around an arena let alone a field. 


He went on and on until he finally came down to a nice, long, and stretchy trot. Pea-rolling with his nose to the ground. I honestly felt good enough to take him up and jump on buuuuttt... I didn't. We'll do more stuff between shifts tomorrow and I have the day off on Tuesday and I'm sure I'll have time to swing a leg over. Can't wait!


I'm back with these crazy mutts until next Saturday. And then I get a good long break and more pony time than I think I can handle. 

Psh. Lies. 

Now if only I could just not have to go to my real job tomorrow...

Saturday, March 21, 2015

DIY Horse Ownership Giveaway! - Update Later


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Perfect End to Today

This is my life...
So okay, I don't have the most state-of-the-art round pen... But it works for what I need it for and Brantley doesn't test the older than dirt woodwork. Apparently though, one of the drunks cabin dwellers couldn't handle the snow and drove right into it. Someone tried to fix it... But obviously it did not work...

But I did get to lunge my horse in the snow yesterday. I'm glad I did but... It rained today so once again, he sat in his paddock. Bored to death and wet.

Today was the Newport St. Patrick's Day Parade - AKA: The day everyone in Rhode Island crosses the bridges to sit in the rain and party and get f*#$ing wasted... And most likely arrested. Over the years it's become so dangerous that not only have people DIED in those 24 hours but people have actually pulled themselves out of marching in the parade like local schools and fire departments.

Lucky me I was originally schedule to work in Middletown which is 5 minutes away from the parade but I switched with a girl who lived in town so I didn't have to even cross the bridge. I've come home to sobriety tests in my drive way. I DON'T WANT TO DIE BECAUSE YOU'RE STUPID!

Don't get me wrong, you've read posts about my occasional night out. I can party hard with the rest of them, but I'd rather not kill anyone in the process.

After work I stopped home, gave the puppy a kiss, grabbed my boots, and screwed over to the barn (after getting a coffee from my favorite coffee place of course). Tacked Beaker right up and hopped on. No problems! Know why? Because he decided to take a huge chunk of hay to the indoor with him. His mouth was so busy trying to get it around the bit that he didn't even bother with me getting on. Of course I pulled it out once I was on... And we got to work.

I'm cute... Don't lie... You hate loving me.
His biggest thing is his GO! button. And I am terrible at riding with a whip especially when I know... I really don't need one. I just need the horse to find his own sense of motivation. One step being, showing him how much it sucks to back up when asked. We'd walk a few steps, halt, and back two steps. Right away he responded with a tuck and step forward. I rubbed him and praised him. We did that a few times in each direction before I asked for a trot off the back up. What do you know?! He had a little pep in his step.

I win.

We did some figure 8's over the ground poles I set up. Did not set them up in his favor but I was too lazy to get off. He figured them out though and the picked up a canter. We're still getting the cues but he's getting less sucked back about picking it up. Still have to work on the few running-trot strides into it. He'll get there. He was so good that I picked up a half-seat and let him cruise around the arena.

Disappointed in my ground pole set up.
I got to hop on the little Arab again. Teke is a hot shit and I blame Sherry and Pretty for my fascination of these little horses. Taught me that big personalities come in small packages. It may have slipped out from a friend that yeah, I love my OTTBs... But Arabs may be my breed. 

SAVE ME!

Miss my girl!
 Teke's mom (S) had an awesome ride yesterday which was great because she's been really spooky and a handful in the indoor lately. She was due for a good ride and got one. S gave me a heads up about the issues in the indoor and as soon as I swung my leg over she started looking for something to spook at. Psh. I got this. After a few walk strides she made it clear that a walking warm up in the saddle was not on her agenda. So we trotted... and trotted... and she'd look at something, so we'd change rein and keep trotting. We did large circles, figure-8's, and after about 20 minutes of trotting I had her extending down the long sides and collecting more on the short sides. She tried to shy from the corners a little bit so I opened my inside rein, booted her a bit to ask her to move into the corner and as soon as I got the bend I'd bring back my rein.

It was a bit difficult for her to come back to me on the short sides at first because she just wanted to go but it gave something for her to focus her "bad" energy on. I finally had her going around in a nice long forward sitting trot with her relaxed on the bit. Winning? I think so.

When I figured that the "freak-outs" were out of her mind, I asked for a few walk strides and then a canter. She popped right into it no questions. As her head got lower she asked to lengthen her stride and I said, "As long as you keep your head out of your ass, go ahead." She did great. Was almost going around on the buckle a few times. Anytime she tried to run out from under me we'd change direction, do a simple change, and pick up the canter again. Mini version of the cruising lesson.

All in all it was an awesome afternoon and I hope I have some really good pony time tomorrow.

Then back to work Monday. Eck.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Battling... Whatever this is.


There's so much I want to write up about the horses that I've been playing with I don't even know where to start! Beaker is doing pretty well. I have high hopes for him and his owner's granddaughter (who has yet to come out of the woodwork to ride). Unfortunately we're still working on the mounting thing but I attempted to mount from the right side today which pissed him off and he was much happier when I dismounted and threw myself up on his left side. I basically said, "Okay then, pick one." We'll see what happens on Saturday (or maybe tomorrow if the stars align). We had a pretty good ride. Still trying to get him to move forward and stay forward. He's a huge "seat" horse and really works well off a sitting trot which is helping me work my legs and core a little. Unfortunately it was a quick ride because the H(usband)BO was using the tractor to plow some snow which happened to be... against the indoor. I had to sit a good buck and a couple spins but he got over himself and we prevailed the scary tractor.

The W(ife)BO then asked if I'd lunge a pony for a girl who was coming to ride Saturday. She hadn't been touched in about a month so she was a sassy little thing. She was a large pony I guess you'd say. Roan... Adorable. And hopefully little Hannah's future friend! WBO came out with something in the plastic bag and after I was done working the pony she handed it to me saying I should've had one of these a long time ago... (For those of you who don't know, I used to board here with LB and she was our Barn Mom for a long time). I opened it and it was a HSF sweatshirt. Of course because I've been an emotional wreck I shed a couple of tears and gave her a hug. Love!

I'm Irish... And adorable... And sassy
After HSF, I shot off to go visit Danny boy and his girl who I still have yet to get a picture of. She was tacked up and ready to go. We're working on posting and she has come leaps and bounds in her confidence after 2-3x working with me which makes me feel great. I love seeing someone happy and enjoying their horse even though to others it may not be the best match. He takes good care of her and appreciates the way she handles him. She's stepping up and being a little more Alpha Mare-ish which is what he needs. Set up some ground poles for her today and it went well. Got to visit with Ms. Amanda and Comic too.

--------------------------

So back to the first picture of this post. I had the whole thing typed and ready to publish and just decided I wasn't really ready to share that yet. I want to keep things on this blog positive. Just have to keep my head up and hold on till I can get back on that pony.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

WW: Pony Date with Ms. Kate

Still contemplating Brantley stuff...

But I did get to have a nice pony date with Ms. Kate!


New little Arabian mare I started riding for a boarder.
Reminds me of Pretty girl, just a little less worried about life.


It was nice to be back in the ring with this girl though who had a good jaunt on Beeker!

SOOOOO DUSTY!

I was smart and brought baby wipes this time.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

WHEN WILL IT END!

Fucking (@#$*)(@#&)*(!&@_$)#%*_)(@#&$)*(!@#)*!@$ !!!!!
Yes... This means that's it's snowing... Again... First week of March. You know, I'm not usually one to bitch but I'm really beating myself up for not doing the indoor thing.

The worst part is that a run-in at the place Amanda, Natalie, and Comic are at just opened up and it's the same price as Tavern... And it's full board... But I don't want to move permanently and do I really want to have Wendy truck out AGAIN for me? Is it worth it?

The month's forecast looks like weather in at least the 40s with some rainy days. I'm ready to shovel out at least the round pen though. I should've done that on Sunday instead of... Wait, I haven't been able to sit on my butt for the last month.

Any ideas guys? Should I take the chance and move him again for a couple months or should I just lie in the bed that I've made for ourselves. I'd love to say, "Oh, it's only me. He doesn't care." But he does. You can tell every time I get to the barn and brush him, he does his "I'm ready to work" tail flip.

...

Plus all the work that CB put in is, well not a waste, but not being backed up.

ERRGGHHHHH

Sunday, March 1, 2015

TOA Blog Hop: Ermahgerd & Other Stuff!

I'd like to say this is his favorite thing...
But it's not...






Ermahgerd.
What is your pony's absolute favorite riding activity?  What makes those little ears perk and causes the knees to lift?  Let's just focus on the favorites - we'll save the bucks for next week.

I'd like to say that he looooves jumping but it's definitely one of those, have to catch him on a good day things. He loves his round pen work by far but that's probably because it comes so easy to the both of us.

But the two things that really get him going?

#2: Cruising

          You guys have surely read a lot about this "reset" button that we have.
          Any time that I feel like we're going to have a rough ride or we're getting a little ahead of ourselves in the training, I always go back to this. I drop the rein and squeeze him off into a lope... Sometimes he just wants to run and unless I feel like I can't handle it, I'll let him go. Here's a great explanation of the exercise if you're interested! - You have to scroll down a little bit on the site. It's the second question answered...

                                                              CLICK ME!

I don't know what he loves about it, or what I really love about it, but it's one of those connecting moments we have. Kind of like a nice run after a stressful day at work. We don't have to think about anything, just loping. I don't touch his face, he doesn't pull on my hands. I don't worry where he goes or if he wants to change direction.

Really helped Ms. Lucy find her confidence too.
B and I did a LOT at Woodstock.
Really helped us get our head in the game when we were overwhelmed.
#1: Trail Rides
            
              But it all reality... It's all about the trail rides for this guy.


Out there is truly where Brantley would love to be all of the time. Doesn't matter if he's a leader or he's stuck in the back (since he walks so slow sometimes)... He could even be alone. Out there is where we don't have to worry about anything (minus bees...) No one cares about how he looks or moves. No one cares about my "home toes". 
                          
It's just us and whatever we shall conquer on our adventures.

Plus... Everyone loves a between the ears shot!

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http://www.controlhaltdelete.com/ Tear Drop Winken: March 2015

Tear Drop Winken