Sunday, March 31, 2013

Pony fun!

Happy Easter to all! It was... An interesting holiday. Oh how dearly I love my family and spending time with them... **sarcasm** Drama-fest, but that's a whole other story for me never to tell. After that I went to the barn and met my best Kathy for a quick walk in the woods with Mr. B. We've been having some great personal time out on the trail. Yesterday I went out with two other friends and Eric took some video of us doing all the things I'd love to do while I was on him. We had an awesome time!

Here's some videos!
Maybe tomorrow!

We went back to my house and picked up our bridesmaid dresses for Jen's wedding and then I headed back to the barn just in time to catch K lunging Ms. LuLu. I tacked up Pretty then headed down to the ring and we quickly decided to hit the trails. Pretty and I have been working our butts off climbing hills and bushwhacking through the woods and over logs. Yesterday when we went out we were gone for about 2 hours and met tons of people. A little boy fell in love with her and was excited to see her second time passing. He was out hunting bears with his parents... A-DOR-able as K would say. ANYWAY! Back to our trail ride... Pretty and I showed off our mountain horse skills and LuLu amazingly and sweetly followed right behind her. We went just about every where and it was a great end to an turned out awesome day. Out with the barn owner tomorrow to show off our mountain skills... I may even wear breeches. That will be after Chevy's date with my friend's shiloh shepherd Gustav aka "Gus". Then work 4-8.

Yay pictures!

K & Lu on our trail ride.

Our "Who needs and Easter Bunny" face.

Only way to travel.

Out and about with the Main Barn.

Best little pony ever!

More boys I meet, the more I love my dog.

Just chillin'
Brantley and I worked on our trailer loading skills too!

Mom... What is she doing?

Mom... What am I doing?

Ooohh... I get it...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Weekend in Pictures & Preparation

As I said, this past weekend was a pretty busy weekend - all good other than that time I was arrested. I mean, that was pretty not okay. Friday night was the Kip Moore Concert and then Saturday was the Roller Derby - here's some pictures!

Saturday night Roller Derby
Mason's Philharmonic Concert
Me & Rosie at Kip Moore!

A Thousand Horses - opening act for Kip Moore
First set of shots are on Tuesday - Excited? Sure... Bill at the end of the month... Not so sure. But right after shots I've spoken with Ben at Cherry Croft and as long as I can get Brantley on the trailer, they've got a spot for him. I can only afford to send him for a week but it's something! Then second set of shots 2 weeks later. Hopefully timing is on my side.

Walk with my boys!
Such a good pony!
Some people go to the gym before work.
Yesterday turned out to be a pretty good day. Took Chevy and Brantley out for a walk (yes, hand walked both and yes, I got some pretty funny looks). It's totally normal. Looking at getting an e-collar for field training for the lab. I think he'd definitely benefit from it and plus that means I can take him out on the trail and have him on a "leash". I'm more worried about other dogs than him. He's just so friendly and wants to meet every body. I know he'd stick with Cairo, K's dog, but he'd run up to any dog not knowing they could rip his head off.

After we walked I ran him home, started some laundry, then headed back to the barn to feed lunch and take Pretty on a ride. I got back to the barn about 2 and thought about when the last time I rode Pretty was... A little over a week ago. For having 3 months off and just getting back to work recently, I knew there'd be some ummm... complications. But psh, tacked her up and didn't feel like switching bits out of her western headstall... Happy Mouth? She'll be ffiiiinnnnnneeee! Ugh, don't have time to really lounge her, eh... She'll be fiiiiiinnnneeeee! Walked over to the main barn to see if anyone wanted to come with me and she was dancing and spinning. P asked if I'm sure she's good to go out and my reply was, psh... She'll be fiiiiinnneeee!!!! Yesterday was my lucky day. We went up and down hills, stayed at a walk, she kept her head low (took advantage of the split reins) and just trudged along like I had just run her for an hour. I decided to take a step further and walk her over the bridges with the rushing water dam. I reminisced about the last time we went over the bridges and she launched on and off it, not purposely trying to kill me. SHE WAS FINE!

Walked around the indoor with one of the boarders who was having a lesson when I got back. No reins, hands in pockets. The trainer asked if she was an Arab/QH cross. Pure A-Rab my friend, ain't she cute. And theeeeen it was time for my 4 hour shift at the hospital...

Back to ring work for Brantley tomorrow. Refining our ground skills for Ben next week. Woohoo!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Mug Shots?

OH NO! I'm falling behind on reading up on my fellow bloggers. Finally a couple of days off. Well deserved after the fiasco on Friday...

So apparently, last year when I received a ticket for not wearing my seat belt, I missed my court date. Called an hour after I was supposed to be there and they let it slide even though technically they were supposed to suspend my license. I went to court, talked to the judge, got off for "good behavior" and paid my $35.00 court fee.

Funny story, Friday morning, on my way to work, I was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt... Again. Click It or Ticket... I understand. Officer had to give me a ticket, but when he walked back up to my window he didn't have anything in his hands. I got a little excited but that quickly faded when he asked me to turn off the engine and step out of my vehicle... I was driving with a suspended license and was to be taken into custody. I explained the situation and another officer pulled up. They allowed me to call my work to tell them I was going to be... A little late... And call my Dad who was right around the corner. Having to follow protocol, I left my keys with the other officer, hand-cuffed, and put in the back seat of the cruiser.

On the way to the precinct, the officer (who I found out later I was related too which made things worse) found the dates of my so-called suspension and it was from LAST YEAR. He also thought the whole thing was ridiculous, but I had to be processed. Good thing I had AWESOME hair that morning because I was not only finger printed (after removing the handcuffs) but they also took my mug shots (which I'm trying to get copies of). I was taken back into the waiting room instead of a holding cell because my Dad was waiting for me. He called the Town Municipal Court of North Kingstown and they looked in their records after hearing I was "in jail" by a very unhappy father and no word of a lie said something to the amounts of, "Oops, I'm sorry, I guess it wasn't processed." and then tried to pass the buck to a woman who was supposedly away. His response was, "A YEAR AGO?!" Yeah, not happy. So anyway. I was supposed to be at work for 10am and I arrived at 10:55am which isn't bad at all. Processed in less than 45 minutes and released? RECORD TIME! My job completely understood which was great and suddenly I was the coolest kid at the hospital. WEIRD!

That night I took my brother to his first concert and just my luck, FLOOR SEATS! Totally made up for the day. Kip Moore about 60-100ft away? I'll take it. He was the happiest kid ever. I blame it all on my friend Rosie... She's the best.

Saturday I worked and then went to the first Roller Derby bout of the season with a few girls from work and we made our way to a local bar and then of course... Karaoke had to happen. Rocked it... Hard... Pulled an all nighter and started my Casting Call video today for Brantley. I have to say... It turned out to be a pretty great weekend... Minus being arrested.

Brantley may be headed to Cherry Croft again this week while I wait to hear our Casting Call results...

Friday, March 22, 2013

No Time for Ponies

 I love being a new Vet Tech Assistant but the changing hours are not pony time friendly. I had some really good rides with Pretty before this week which I was excited about and of course, it came to a halt. I'm hoping that this weekend will change that especially since it's getting dark around 7-730pm and the lovely people I board with, okay well, Kate, loves leaving them out late just as much as I do. I've been working like crazy planning this Casting Call video and re-writing my essay over and over, with some awesome help of my support group which I am so thankful for.

I'll hopefully have more updates of Mr. B and video after this weekend! AND I'M UP TO 9 FOLLOWERS! I know it's not a whole lot but hey, I'm new at this and excited. Yes, I know most of them personally but it is what it is. Still happy! Here's some pictures that K took the other day, hope you enjoy and I'll update this weekend.

Pretty working her butt. HEEAAVVVEE!
Never smiled so much before.
It may not look like it, but she really loves him.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Proud Sister - A Sentimental Post

The last few days have been exactly what I needed after the last few months. Brantley and I are back to work on the ground, Pretty and I are back in the saddle, and the sun is shining bright!

Saturday, Sherry met me at the barn and watched me put her chubby pony to work. When she says she's impressed and the horse looks good (especially with 3-4 months off)... You know you're doing it right. I'm finally back sitting on my toosh and riding it out. On Sunday, I took Pretty out with Kid and Greg for a nice trail ride. Made her walk and use her hind-end up and down the hills. They finally cleared the Ryan Park trails so I get my big hill back! Yaaaayyyyy! I think she sweated more on that hour long ride than our trot work out with Sherry. I rode with K and Lu today and she was fantastic. We even had a nice little canter around the ring and she didn't go coo-coo. I got to jump on Lucy and did a little child-like jig in my head... It's so nice to get on a "life-size" horse. I trotted around a bit and it felt awesome. K has been doing some awesome stuff with her and she looks great.

Seeing my new made pony friends succeed with their horses really motivates me and makes me realize how much support I have in my training with Brantley. I love to read their blogs and see videos, even though I could just text or message them on Facebook. Lauren and Charlie look better and better every time I see them. Amanda and Image are building a huge bond I enjoy hearing/reading about. And by far, Kate and Lucy amaze me every day.

Story is, I've been working with Brantley in side reins with my barrel saddle and he really settles into his sidepull more and more, stretching his neck, and I already am starting to see a difference in him. The biggest difference is his tail. Ever since I've had him he's tucked his tail like a scared dog, I've never seen it up and relaxed... Or "happy tail" when it pops up a little. Especially when he's under saddle whether someone is on him or not. For the past few days, his tail has been up, head has been low, and any time he speeds up no matter what gait, his head stays below the "panic" position and he works it out. I am so happy and keep seeing forward movement in our training. Today I put a bit in his mouth and their was no change in his demeanor. He was low, steady, and working hard. Tail was up, eyes were bright, lower lip relaxed. He had the day off yesterday so I brushed him and put him on cross-ties, then decided to climb all over him... He was great. I rubbed my leg up and down his barrel, then up and on top of his butt, trying to be smooth but not on egg shells with him either. He was great, only picked up his head a couple of times, but then relaxed and released his lower jaw to chew. Long-lining again this weekend, taking a break from the side reins, but he's doing really really well. K and I talked about trying a neck stretcher on him. I want to do anything and everything with him... I'll probably go back to some "natural" stuff the beginning of next week just to keep him soft and supple. Flex flex flex.

I read a great article about building a horse's back strength - check it out if you have a moment!

So other than pony stuff this weekend - I was a very very proud sister. Both of my brothers made their debut in the high school Spring musical, "Guys and Dolls". My oldest, Mikhail, who will be 17 in a few weeks, wow'd everyone who showed up. To the point that when he walked out after the show and made his way towards me, I turned into a blubbering mess. I cried and cried, I was so proud of him. Mason, my 14 going on 15 year old, danced his heart out as a "chorus" member and one of the gamblers... Both of them were stars. I can't even explain to you the joy I experienced when I saw them on stage singing and dancing... It's only their Junior and Freshman year, I can't wait until next year. Here are some pictures of the show:

My oldest playing "Sky Masterson" - lead role
Mason dancing the tango.

Mason and I

I can't believe they're wearing more make up than I am.

Although Day Light Savings really kind of screwed me up this morning... Today turned out to be a pretty decent day.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Side Reins? Exercise?

So side reins weren't exactly right in arms reach in the 15 minutes I had to work my horse (I didn't really want to ransack through K's stuff even though I did get permission). So bailing twine it was! I have to say, although we're both new at this, it worked pretty well. He gave in to the pressure pretty easily but that is probably my number one concern with it. It doesn't give the release I look for when he relaxes, but it was a recommended exercise soooo we did it! This was the first day:

The next day I had a little bit more time but I had already tied the twine so I just used it again but had changed it a bit so he could drop his head more. He really leaned into the noseband on his hackamore from Tiffany. He really responded to it really well and started to step into it rather than fall behind it. 


I ran into Kate before I had to rush off to work and she left her real side-reins out for me which did work a little better but still not as much give as I wanted. My phone died so I wasn't able to get video but he worked, walk, trot, canter. It was great because every time he went to pick up his head into his "freeze" or "shut down" position, he dropped it and pushed through. Yesterday I took advantage of the wind and the sleet and said, "LET'S GO WILD!" Which we did as I attached a quarter sheet to the saddle... HA... Quarter sheet my a$$... It became more like a cape but let me tell you, after buck after buck after donkey kick, he went straight to work. It's a start. I took it off for him to cool off... He got a day off today.

I really want to try a training fork or neck stretcher instead. K has a neck stretcher she offered me so I'm thinking I'll try that first, but it still looks like the side reins more force him into a head set instead of making him hold himself and work his core which is what I really need for him to do. Any thoughts?

Back to work? WHHAAATT?!

Ms. Pretty and I took a ride outside after working 3-4 days in a row and she was so good and supple, I decided to give her a couple of days off... Even though she really didn't need it. Today I strapped on her booties and we headed for the indoor in the snow. A few boarders were in there, two left right when I got on, which is what I'm used to. Supposedly it's a coincidence... Supposedly. Anywho! A new boarder (and new horse owner) was just finishing up lunging her gelding and we had an awesome ride together. I offered if she needed someone to brush or ride her pony while she was away that I would love to help and as always the response was, "I didn't think of that!" We finished our ride with a good long stretch and left as a trainer was walking in with another young horse, WEARING A ROPE HALTER! BAM! Victory... *sings* I know... Everyone does it... But now she can't look at me cross-eyed with my pony. Mwahahaha... I'm pathetic.

Chevy's "whatcha doin?" face... So nosey!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

B's 1st Crackle

Today was Brantley's first chiropractic appointment with our friend Mariya. I told her the small amount of history that I know about him and how I ended up with him. I talked to him about the few good months of riding we had and his non-malicious blind panic modes that always ended with someone on the ground unfortunately. I lunged him around a bit, walk/trot, and she commented on his confirmation. Yes, he has pulled a 180 from what he looked like, but her analogy was of a fit cheerleader who walked around with her gut hanging out. He needs to engage his core and get his back legs underneath him more. As his confirmation goes right now, he's basically setting up for failure and it's not relieving the tenseness in his muscles. I told her about some of the work and stretches I've been doing with him and she said that was great and to keep doing it, also pay attention to changes I should be seeing with the Vit-E supplement I put him on. She said do more traditional exercises, and try to get him to carry himself. Side reins it is my friend!

I'm very impressed how B behaved for Mariya with her standing on the bucket and moving around him. She was kind, understanding, and gentle. We both appreciated it! The work I've been doing in the stall with him, jumping up and down on the bucket and sacking out on him, has really been paying off. He dropped his head a few times and took a deep breath even after she worked on his tail which he was  questionable about. She didn't do too much with him because she wanted it to be a positive experience as well as doing a little more each time. I have 3 weeks to work on getting him under himself and more responsible for his own body. Work work work! In the end she ruled out back pain. No matter how much she poked or prodded, she didn't get a "I'm in pain" response from him. All his reactions were of him being tense and nervous which was expected. She said, "I can hear the demons in his head" which I thought was hilarious. So physically she thinks he's fine... Mentally on the other hand, he's scared. But we already knew that. That just means now it's me, the vet, AND the chiropractor!

All in all I'm really happy with today and it was definitely money well spent.

A Whole Year in 2 Pictures

Day 1 - January 2012
January 2013
 And this is how far we've come... We'll be jumping by the end of the summer. Tear Drop Winken: March 2013

Tear Drop Winken