Wednesday, January 22, 2014


It's going to be one of those posts...
Of course I was talking about how awesome I'm doing at the 100 day ride thing... And then my Dad left for business, work gave me awkward 9-10 hour shifts, and the cold hit again. As you know, the cold doesn't do much to stopping me from riding... But it's leaving Chevy in the crate because Dad's away for over 8 hours and there not being any daylight left to take him out for a walk. I guess I can use this time to get my house organized all over again and finally get my room started. What was my goal list again? I've still got a couple of weeks. Fortunately tomorrow I work only a 6 hour shift so I'll have enough time for everything else within the day. Plus... It's pay day.

*phone ringing* *sigh* Just got a phone call that Brantley popped one of his curcingle straps for his newer medium weight blanket. Good thing I have a spare! But now for the repairs. This is why you should have spares! Minus the fact that my older one is well... 10 years old plus not at ALL waterproof... It still works!

Other things I'm working on, Biggest Loser at work. I hopped on the bandwagon because my friend owed me $20 so I said just throw it in the bucket. I'm supporting her (even though winning $200 would be awesome) through this competition and helping her stay motivated and with that, she's getting me motivated. She started the Paleo lifestyle about 2 weeks ago and is loving it. I started to do some research and I may give it a go. Living with a bachelor who has a working lifestyle like my own, changing anything about my diet gets pretty difficult. I know that's an awful excuse but... It's all I've got. If Dad comes home with ravioli and pays money for 4-5 boxes of cereal and milk, I'm not going to waste it. He takes really good care of me but maybe if I try to put in more effort to cook and make my own food, he'll benefit from it to. H and I started to hit the gym again and I look at myself and how strong we started and I get pretty disappointed in myself. When I was working on the farm at Freedom and taking care of all those horses, riding 6-10 horses a day, training, fixing things, mending fences, being out in the sun, running with the dogs, carrying water buckets, mucking stalls... I was f*cking fit and felt amazing (sexy too which is totally unheard of coming out of my mouth). I've completely lost all of that. I have my moments where I need to remind myself how far I have come with my past "issues" and weight but I know I can do better and get there again.

HIGH SCHOOL (middle school was worse)
Anime Boston... That's me in the middle...
My Senior Photo with Lucky
I have no pictures when I was at Freedom unfortunately. 

But right before things started going downhill again:

I had finally felt my best and my healthiest.
I would actually smile in pictures and put effort into myself.

I just want to feel that way again and it's time to kick myself in the ass and get it done.
My job is my body, my body is my job. Without it... I have nothing.

... well, except the horse, dog, and Mitch<3

**Thanks for listening to me whine**

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Not Just A Hobby

Sorry I made this so big, but you needed to be able to read it.

A lot of times people meet me and they hear I ride horses. I make friends, meet guys, and usually I get "Oh cute, you have a hobby"
When I saw this I thought it was perfect.
It's for those friends/boyfriends who start off with that's cool, do your horse thing;
To getting mad about me prioritizing these things before going out to the bar or partying with them.
It's not just a hobby, it's a way of life for me.
Horses saved my life, I owe them more than my time.
I owe them my patience, my trust, and my respect.

Ride 11: Friday during my split shift I tacked up Mr. Brantley and hit the trails. I needed it. He needed it... I wanted to not go back to work and be out there all day. Yes... I went alone. And of course I took all the more scary trails: hills, stairs, bridges, water... I think we were both just happy to get out. Ran into a family walking their dog and an older Duck Dynasty looking man who just loved the boy. Last trail ride I went on, someone actually asked to take a picture of us. Creepy? Eh, why not. I look different on a horse vs. in person. Two others horses crossed on the bridge while I was talking to a friend who was fishing. He asked if he climbed in the bed of the truck, would it scare the horses? It was nice to be around a couple other horse people that said, "If it does, they'll get over it." 

It's funny how people are so careful around their horses and quiet. I feel like sometimes it just makes them more of a spook. Big example... Brantley. Yes, there are some things I'm hesitant doing on him just yet but that's because I don't have a round pen I can work him in and let him go while I try to take off my jacket or raise my hands in the air. We're working on it, slowly. But putting his blanket on and haltering him? Make your intentions clear, don't beat around the bush. Walking into his stall going, "Easy Brantley, you're okay, shhhhh, easy boy" he responds, "What... What's going on? Why are you being sneaky, quiet... WHAT THE HELL?! I'm so confused. Please don't touch me." and then he starts running away from you or spinning around in his stall. Had to explain that... Again today. You have to build a trust and a bond with him. But don't make it scarier than it is. Luckily he's got a couple of good aunties at the barn who don't baby him... You know who you are.

After my ride with Brantley, I went back to work and got to sit on the computer and re-enter invoices from the past 4 days... Long story short, we spent 2 days (and overtime) putting in new software. After 4 days we realized that it was too powerful for our OS and well, now have to spend the rest of the week re-entering all the data into the OLD software. I did get to hold a pet... Or two.

I made my way back to the barn to play with the Princess. A is sick at the moment so I'm playing step-mom... More like evil step-mother. We warmed up with one-rein halts which she had kind of a forgotten since the last time I worked with her, but picked it back up quickly. We did them at the walk, then at the trot. Next step? Let's put the reins over the horn and let the OTTB trot around the arena at any speed she wants... As long as it was at the trot. I basically let her go around and around, switching directions, leaving her to be responsible for her own body, feet, and speed. If she tried to break into a canter, I'd bend her down, then send her back out. We did this for about 30-45 mins before we had a nice cool down in-hand. It was actually pretty successful and she only got pissy with me once. No bucking (yay!).

Ride 12: Quick ride on Brantley after new job intro training. Nothing very interesting but raining so I couldn't hit the trails. K met me at the barn and I hopped on Lucy again. I had a feeling that since Mom was there she was going to be a nut job, but she surprised us both. Even for us to have a little canter around the arena... Okay, more like around a barrel like pattern on her own accord. I had my hand on the rein but only to be able to quickly break her down if I needed to. This horse put herself on tiny circles and then slowly moved out along the fence. Most she's cantered in a while. I really focused on putting my leg on her with she does NOT appreciate. Not a go-go-go leg but a bending leg. Just a guide or aide. First time I did it she did a little kick and for that she got her nose turned into my toe and a swift heel in the gut, then back out on the rail at a canter. I know it sounds mean... But she didn't do it again and honestly... She could kill me.

For my info and pictures: [Click Here]

Ride 13: Okay, I won't lie. I didn't ride my horse today. But we did work. I think that should count right? I did ride Lucy again and she was well... Definitely a little peppier and anti-Maddy, but it was easier to bring her back which is exactly what I was looking for. Instead of starting her loose around the arena, I asked her to get on the bit and I think that may have been her being "da f*ck do you think you're doing?" But she finally gave and as she relaxed, I gave her her head back. I focused on asking her for more than I had been so instead of letting her go where ever she pleased, I lifted the rein just a touch to ask her to go in a specific direction. She gave in more and more while we went. Lots more cantering and she relaxed enough for me to completely drop the rein and let her go around in circles. They started off small but as she started to breathe and get her feet underneath her, her circles got slower and larger. We actually had a nice canter around the entire arena in both directions and a basically non-existence (but prepared) rein. Good ride? I call it a success. Hopefully A can make it out tomorrow and do some ground work with her. Fingers crossed for a good ride.

Brantley and I borrowed K's long-lines and headed out to the outdoor. We had a really nice work out in the arena and for me to be behind him at first his head was up and ears were back. But it's not his first rodeo. I've done it before and Cowboy tied tarps to him and sent him around the ring in lines at CC. He got comfortable really fast and we did some walk/trot work over poles that had been set up and then did some good loping at both ends of the arena. I was very impressed how he got under himself and even framed up through his neck and back. He's getting new kicks tomorrow so we'll see how my work day goes and if maybe I can hit the trail tomorrow. Not likely.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Versatility, Bay Brigade Style

Kate has amazing skills. And I have an amazing dog.
Finally, a day off. Small job interview at a local reopening restaurant (whole different story), quick nap (still not sleeping), a trip to the beach with Chevy and his girlfriend, then off to the barn for Versatility Night. As I mentioned, I decided to have a Versatility/Trail Night at least once a week with the girls. Everyone seemed to be really excited about it including the BO, but her and R rode earlier in the day and had made other plans so unfortunately, they missed out. But the Bay Brigade? We prevailed and had a wonderful/entertaining/easy evening.

I set up a few obstacles that we started off working in hand. A has been really excelling in the ground work and sending exercises. Nothing actually really phased Ms. Lucy. We were all quite impressed. Brantley only had a problem with walking over the tarp and shipping blanket at first, then he became an expert. A got on Lu in a halter and lead rope again to go through the obstacles like a pro natural horseman. She was so happy to just bop around and shame us all on the tarp, trotting over it like it was nothing. B took a second to look but slowly became an expert as well. 

His "pro" moment was the barrels... I set up two across from a "gate". The point of the barrels was to work on hind end and shoulder control. You'd trot up to the barrel, going around it in one direction, then halting and doing a movement like a rollback but without the speed and with more control. You'd take a step back, disengage the hind end, then push the shoulders over to continue to circle the barrel in the other direction, then repeat around the second barrel and back through the gate.

We also set up 3 poles to side pass over... We all failed.

Both Lu and B excelled in the "L" shaped reverse obstacle. You'd walk through the pole pattern, then back through it. Easy as pie!

Comic did really well and surprised Nat with his skills over the tarp. Lu wandered around with my unicorn hat on her head. And B was a great demo horse to show how to get through the obstacles (other than the beginning gate). Here are some pictures! I will definitely get some video next time.

I think B and I need to start jumping again... I miss it.

Reverse Maze
Gate for beginners
The Tarp - Too Long to Go Around, Too Wide to Jump...
Side Passing Poles
Scariest Obstacle of All - Shipping Blanket
Turn n' Burn Barrels

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Onto ride 8 today... 92 more to go! I think I just realized how much 100 days really is. A school year is what? 180? But I'm going as strong as I can, but do my best not to make things boring for the boy. This Wednesday I have a little Fun Trail Night planned for the girls at the barn, mainly my rough board girls. We may have the BO and R joining us as well which will be a lot of fun... I hope. I know the first round will be kind of rough but I think as time goes on and I get more brainstorming time I can keep it up. That's if I get the time to write it down. I've been working overtime at work and not by choice, more like I'm the only one who seems to want to stick around to help out when no one else does. Looking forward to Wednesday off. I can't really complain to be honest... I don't mind, except when I've got two girls at the barn waiting to ride with me after work and I'm running really REALLY late. It feels good to be loved.

Brantley and I had a great ride yesterday. Long, low, slow. I decided to open him up a little and do some fence work before calling it a night. K came to watch and play with Lu... And she brought her camera. I hate making people listening to myself talk so I edited the vid a bit she took (hope she's okay with that!). We did some slow turns, the second or third one I took quick and he spooked up a bit, but I brought him back and we ended with a nice lope around the arena with the reins looped over the horn.

Lucy! Can I just say... K was playing with her on the ground (I promise for you fellow readers of Adventures of Lucy) while B and I picked up a little hand gallop around the ring. DIDN'T EVEN BUDGE! She was completely sane and paying attention to K the entire time. Even when she was taking video, Lucy stood "tied" to some cavalettis and was happy just, well, licking the dirt off of them. I walked B around a bit then through my saddle on Lu with my side pull. A rode in it with her the night before and she liked it so why not. We walked around a bit, got a feel for her in the side pull, and picked up a trot. I haven't been on her since her first few rides when we started her up again. She was a lot quicker paced and kept her head up but finally relaxed into a working trot. Canter? Why not. Definitely forgot how quickly she gets from one end of the ring to the other. We had a little bronc session but nothing too crazy. Got her back on the rail WITH A BRAIN! Yay. A rode her tonight and said she was good so I'm happy.

We gave Comic the night off on Sunday because he had been so good. Guess he was a little nasty on the cross-ties so Nat didn't ride but did some in-hand work with him. I tacked him up after my ride with K and he was definitely a little hotter than when Nat rode last. We did serpentines and lots of changing rein at a working trot. Head down, on the bit, finally relaxed. Cantering... He was a bit of a spitfire, but he has only done it maybe 2-3x under saddle now since he's been with Nat. We worked it out and he was his dopey self by the end of the ride. Guess he was kind of sassy tonight with her but I'm glad she got to ride, W/T/CANTER! So proud, really need to get some pictures up with her...

Too much typing... Here's a video.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Day 6 & the Bay Brigade

I've made it to "Day 6" of my 100 days and still going strong. Okay, I know, it's only been 6 days but it's going to get warmer so I think a trail ride is definitely in order. All I have to say is that today, I found my horse again. He's getting softer and quieter. Less reactive. Ready to work. Yesterday I rode while K worked with Lu and well, when it was just us, Ms. Lucy was in her "NO I DON'T WANNA!" mode, rearing, bolting back and just refusing to even just go in a circle. I think she was definitely excited to get back out with other horses (especially one of her many boyfriends). K was great with her and she got her head back in no time at all (very impressed). I stayed on one end of the ring doing figure-8's with small gait changes on the other end of the ring and no matter what that mare did, B didn't even flinch. Proud mom moment? Absolutely.

We heard a few "door!"s coming around the corner and a few girls from the main barn including the BO came in to ride. With all the horses trotting around, Lucy was on her very best behavior. No issues at all! She just quietly stood by K and was the ultimate well-behaved little horse. We were all very impressed. After the crew left, I did some work with Lucy. She wasn't very amused, but it needed to happen and she was almost backing up like a reining horse at the end. She's getting softer and softer as time goes on. Actually thinking about her steps and not getting worried or anticipating what you want. Very happy with that pony.

R, my favorite future-junior Olympian, and her horse hung out for a while. She asked if I would play some games with her horse. In a nutshell, this horse is an athlete. He's trained to be mounted, jump a course, and go back in his stall/paddock. What that means? He's pushy and a bully. He'll follow you lightly, but stopping? Backing up? Turns into a brick wall. I whacked him over and over with the rope and he just stood there without even and ear twitch. I tried to start sending him around... Ha! I asked harder? He exploded in a giant, "Go F yourself" manner, striking out, kicking at me, tossing his head, and actually falling on his front end. I looked at R and explained what was going on, she understood. I told her I didn't want to push it because I know that he's a lease, expensive, and I'm not a trainer. I worked on some more backing up cues and he was getting better... But he actually made me nervous because I knew I couldn't really get after him. I felt awful about the situation and apologized later, she asked me if I'd work with him again... Obviously I will help her in any way I can because you see her get bullied and all anyone can see is this beautiful athletic jumper. She's strong and she'll stick with him, I just don't want her to get hurt.

Today I had another half day so obviously, riding my horse was a priority. We had a really great warm up, and an even better ride. I left my reins over my horn and just let him bomb about for most of the ride, trying to use my body to guide him. That's getting better too. Loping to the left? Perfect. Loping to the right? He bombed off the rail in mutiny and I gave him a swift kick and one-rein spin to get him on the rail and asked again. I tried to be nice, but I really hate that. I asked him again after bringing him around the arena, perfect. I know, I'm horrible.

After work I met A and Nat at the barn. They tacked up and headed over to the indoor. They warmed up in their rope halters and I realized how much of a "bad influence" I have become. But it has seemed to be working. I rode Comic last night and he was awesome. Rounding out, getting on the bit, working his hind end, and we even attempted a canter (TERRIBLE!). I expected nothing less than perfection from him for Nat today. When she got on and started walking around I asked how he felt. Calm, quiet, soft... My favorite words. She trotted him for at least 30 minutes straight! I was so proud. Comic had no reaction to Lucy being in the ring. Didn't even give her a second thought. Seeing them paying attention to each other (Comic and N) vs. whatever else was going on was amazing and gave me that warm fuzzy feeling inside...

A... Rode Lucy walk/trot, in a rope halter, and my barrel saddle. How was Lu you may ask? Perfect. And she even let A kiss her EARS! HER EARS!

I just realized how wordy this post is getting...


My goal in life is to make people happy to be with their horses.
I think I'm succeeding...

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Day 4/100

EHW (DVM at work) mentioned me renting his house in Montana again... *drools*
Quick update on Mitch, he's doing very well on his expensive Royal Canin SO diet (wet and dry). No more litter box issues and he's actually not minding getting stuck in the house. He's more playful with me and the dog as well as himself (running up and down the stairs like a crazy crack kitty). When he was a kitten he used to sit and watch TV with me. I'm not saying lay by my side and sleep while I watch TV, I'm saying actually watch it. Like right now? He's got one paw on the keyboard and staring at the screen while I type... Of course I got to take a picture and he moves to the coffee table to creepily watch me instead.

Onto other things, they started a biggest loser competition at my work. It's 16 weeks and $20... I feel like that's kind of ridiculous but of course I signed up anyway. I did it mainly for a friend at work to support her, but I guess maybe it'll help get me motivated as well. Glad it's longer than it was last time they did it because a few contestants definitely crash dieted and binged on laxatives. That's attractive!

So I forgot to mention that Deb asked if I would be interested in going to Albany for a weekend with her a couple other horse friends. Why I asked? BECAUSE SHE GOT TICKETS FOR CLINTON ANDERSON AND WANTS TO TAKE ME! MMEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAHHHHH!!!!!

I base a lot of stuff of what I do on the ground with things that he does. I definitely mix a lot of other trainers in their too to work on my concepts but he kind of was the first trainer to teach me something different than what I was doing, and it worked. To see him "in person" and live? I'm all for it.

So today was Day 4 out of 100! We're doing it. I sent him around the ring a bit today before getting on to see how he was feeling. I had a pretty good brain working with me so I got on pretty much right away. He's been keeping his head up and little scooty lately but that's my fault, I really let him go over the holidays (bad mom). We started off pretty high but I let him really use his stride and trot out. As I said with one of my goes, I really want to work on lateral flexion with him. We did some small circles and serpentines like before and he started to come back to me. 

Once I felt like we had a nice warm up and kissed for a lope and I just dropped the reins over the horn and let him figure it out. His head went straight down and he felt great, very relaxed. It's been a while since we've had a non-racey canter but it's hard to let him go with other horses in the ring, especially some main barn girls (my lack of contact sometimes makes them nervous). The more he relaxed the better I felt to start working him on the fence line. I slowed him down to a trot, sat, turned his nose to the fence, and sent him in the other direction at the trot, then picked up a lope. I did this a few times with him until I felt him really start to bend and be supple, then asked him to pick up a lope right away coming out of the bend. They're like little rollbacks but without the backing up. 

You can check out his YouTube channel on the tab above. 

There's a video of us starting the fence work a few months ago. Hopefully will get some updated video soon.

Nat asked me to play with Comic again this AM and I worked him on the ground a little. He was hot because the Wild Grey was in the arena bolted around in circles. Poor pony... the Grey I mean. Anyway, this is something that we've been working on with Comic. Getting him to focus on Nat vs. kicking out and getting wild when there are horses in the ring OTHER than the Bay Brigade. He's getting better at standing and being calm, now it's just working at the same time as the other horses. So I let him buck and kick and flail on the line until it looked like he was getting tired... Then just made him keep going. He started licking, chewing, blinking, dropping his head, rounding out. What a good boy! Niall was giving the Grey a lesson, but I asked if I could do a quick cool out ride and he had no problem with it. I got on and had him do a working walk, getting him onto the bit. He was so quiet, we did a bit of a trot and some direction changes. I was all amped to try a canter on him but A came in with Lucy and the BO was coming in with her stud, so I left it on a good note. 

Can't wait to see how he is for Nat tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

100th Post!!

Someone LOVES the snow!
So... It's my 100th post. I feel like I'm way behind the ball when I look at everyone else who has been posting forever. But hey! I'm still a beginner right? Or does this make me intermediate... All I know is that my brain has completely turned a 180 since I got back on my horse. I feel a bit more focused in what we're doing and I'm ready to talk goals here, for me and for him.

January 2014:
      1. Soft lateral flexion
      2. Staying on the rail
      3. Start back in the bit
      4. At least 1 trail ride

      1. Clean my room
      2. Keep it clean until at least February
      3. Lose 5lbs
      4. Master Chevy's simple commands

Okay, boring, simple. You'd think easy? HA! Just kidding, I feel like I should reach low before trying to reach too high. Reasoning: If I am successful for the first 2 months of these monthly goals, I'll probably be able to keep doing it.

Anyway! Chevy and I had a little outing in the snow before it melted. Unfortunately, Brantley and I did not because it had been maybe 2-3 weeks (or longer) since I got to actually ride vs. just sitting on him with a halter and a lead watching everyone else run around. (Not that I don't loooove doing that.) Hopefully next snow fall I'll get to go out on my first snow ride with him... There may be tears.

Can I run now?!
Another goal of mine for 2014 is to get as much riding time as possible on as many horses I can. Even if I have to start taking lessons. I don't know where the money will come from but we'll get there. Luckily this week I went to CC and got to hop on my kids there. Rode Kid around bareback with a rope halter chasing Deb around the ring. Realized how much of my seat I have lost when he ducked to catch her and I grabbed his mane to catch my balance. AAAHHH!!! I tacked up and got to ride, go through some poles, lead changes. CB is doing an awesome job with him. I wish I could've kept him :( Gigi is doing really well also. Bonnie asked me to hop on her to warm her up and I always forget out different she is. Kid... Western pleasure trail horse. Gigi... WEEEEE!!!!! But I feel safe on both of them. There's a versatility competition I want to go check out this weekend and Bonnie asked if I wanted to ride Gigi. That'd be a blast but I really want go watch this time (go figure).

My favorite place to be.
Later on I got to get on my own horse. Day 2... Maybe I should start my 100 day ride now. Maaaaybe. I rode while A worked with Lucy (they're looking great). She got on with a halter and lead because she forgot her headstall. Lucy took it well (but she usually does). They had a nice little riding session and then called it a night. B and I hung out to watch Randi (future Olympic medalist) jump her lease horse Mickey. Need to get some pictures up of her. She's the most mature 15-year old I have ever met. She's going places and I hope I get free tickets. Anyway! I was so impressed with my pony just standing there watching this horse take massive jumps (okay, maybe not massive to you guys). I told her I'd help her with ground stuff if she helped me with the jumping. We talked about training and different methods and different horses. She's very open-minded and willing to learn new things and work with different horses. Yes... She will be getting on Brantley in the Spring, no arguments.

After R and Mickey left, Nat showed up with Comic, so we stuck around a bit longer and watched they're work out. They're really coming far and he's enjoying the work. Definite pleasure to ride. He threw a couple little tail flicks and hind kicks but she just kept pushing him forward and it came to a stop which was great. He's definitely a worker. Sharon and her pony Diamond came in to finish the night and I put B back but hung out to watch her ride. Can you say a-DOR-able? In the words of KT "Capital D-O-R". Quick little thing but she takes such good care of this woman it's unbelievable. You can see they have a really nice bond even though Diamond can really push her around. I got to play with her a bit before Sharon got on and man does she have some sass. S asked me to help her in the future and I'm very excited to do so.

I love our little crew. It's become such a nice place, I don't know why I always contemplate leaving. Maybe because it's time to get out of Rhode Island and explore. I think Brantley and I need to take New England by storm this year and maybe move on next year. I'm still young, and so is he.

Day 3: Was called crazy because it was -5* in this pic. He loved it.
So the bitter cold did not stop me tonight. Rest of the barn mates were not into riding in the cold but I wasn't going to let it stop me. So it was like 5* out... And my nose was running. But Brantley had no problem walking out of his stall, getting tacked up, or even walking over to the ring. I walked him around the ring to warm him up a bit and decided psh... I'm just going to get on. We're back to working on the mounting block and he's doing great. We had a nice ride, trotting around the ring, some circles, serpentines, and a lope in each direction. Called it a night at that!

How does everyone feel about the cold? Working at the feed store I was taught by many people and the old cowboys that it can be too hot for a horse, but they can stand cold that a snowman would love. Obviously this depends on the horse and heartiness of their body. I'm not saying every horse you could throw out naked in a snowstorm, but when it comes to getting on? I don't have a problem with taking a nice slow ride through the trails or in the ring when it's below freezing. Obviously, if it's too cold for me? I'm not going to ride. And I'm also not going to be working my horse into a sweat and jumping around like an idiot making him suck in deep breaths of cold air, but quiet lateral work or ground work? No issues.

So new goal each week (I forgot to mention above). My days off are now sworn to mornings with D at CC with my friends (maybe a lesson here or there with CB) and then my afternoon setting up a little trail course/work out for my pony friends at the barn. Already planning for next week! Hope everyone can take use of it, and has fun. *twiddles thumbs*

Half day tomorrow? Day 4!!!

Oh! Also check out this blog entry about lightness vs. softness. Love how it's explained.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Back In The Saddle

Stolen from my old job's Facebook...

This photo is perfect for the last couple of days. But very happy to say, I GOT TO RIDE MY HORSE. Of course I got half way there and realized I left my saddle in the Volvo, but picked up my phone and asked K if I could borrow hers. Usually I get all my barn work done but I didn't want there to be a chance I couldn't get on my horse. Tacked up, went to the arena, sent him around the ring. Trotting was okay, cantering? BUCK BUCK BUCK! I was like, "What the hell..." Oh well, I got on anyway. He was actually really really nervous when I got on. With a "screw it" I dropped the rein and asked him to trot freely around the ring. He didn't want to stay on the rail so I pushed him any time he tried to cut across or circle. He started to get quick so I took a deep breath to relax and said, "Ok... Don't kill me." We took a few lope strides and he stopped. Not going to lose this battle... *squeeze* *kiss* And we're loping!

We ended the ride with a rub down on his shoulders and hindquarters while I was still on him. If you know anything about B... This is a big deal. He scooted a little when I went to rub his butt. I asked him to flex and be supple and I tried again. Success. Definitely have some catching up to do since I haven't been able to really ride and work on anything under saddle since the show *fail*. But I have to keep my head up and his head down. I did it before, I can do it again.

Worked a little with Comic again tonight. Our new family member Sharon came to watch and had a lot of nice comments to say about how he was before and after I worked with him. I actually sent him over a little jumpy which he completely knocked over but it didn't seem to bother him. We tried again and he tucked and over it. I really hope that Nat gets to ride tomorrow. She said she had a really successful ride after last time I worked with him. *fingers crossed*

I have the next two days off. Was going to go check out CB's clinic in the AM but Dad's coming home from his business "trip" and I would rather pick him up vs. having my Mother do it. Pony Date with the Cherry Croft girls on Monday!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Get the Ball Rolling

Feeling awful while reading everyone's 2014 first rides and goal list. I really have no excuse why I haven't ridden since LAST YEAR except for time. Yes, I could be at the barn right now or right after work, working my pony, being happy. But I also have that other 4-legged animal that's just as needy and with Dad gone, no puppy-sitter. Chevy gets pretty destructive the longer he is left by himself which is horrible. And it doesn't take once, it's those days where I'm not home for 8-10 hours 2-3 days in a row and I accidently leave a roll of paper towels on the table. I have been crating him (which he loves his crate) and things are good, but I still feel guilty for stopping in, letting him out, and putting him back in his crate just to leave again for a couple of hours. I'm just lucky that the cat is so independent. He can even feed himself.

Caught in the act!
I had my chance to ride New Year's Day but we were in desperate need of hay. I got out at 1, ran and let the dog out, then went straight to Ed's to get some hay. Of course when I go with him to load it instead of just meeting him there with Kate, it's a project because I end up helping him (which I don't mind at all. He's always helping me out). So a 1-2 hour hay pick up is about 3-4 hours... Especially when we get there to feed the cows and one is down. Poor girl had been laying down for so long that her back end "fell asleep" which happens. It's not like when our leg falls asleep because they're basically paralyzed. She was having diarrhea with some blood and clear mucus... We actually thought she may have calved early but we couldn't find a sign of a baby. She tried to get up a couple of times but couldn't even when we helped. Ed went back later and she was finally up so he lead her up to the barn thank goodness. Fingers crossed she's okay, I'll call him tomorrow.

Trying to get up.

Poor cow.
We finally went to the Pottery to pick up the hay (85 bales) and went to the barn and unloaded it. By the time it was done N had fed ponies and I could ride but then I received a text... After a short 5 minute phone call I made my way to a friend's house to play knight in shining armor. There are some phone calls that can wait for me to put my horse first, but this couldn't. By the time I got home it was 10pm and couldn't go back to the barn.

Last night we had a blizzard... Another night of not riding... Just cuddling... Lucky dog.

Awesome blizzard spot.
Made it to the barn late this morning, no one plowed... YAY JEEP! I shoveled a bath around the door and to the manure trailer the fed horses. It was frigid so I opened windows and kept them in. Work changed the schedule and I offered to come in 12-6 if needed, but they said they probably wouldn't need me. That would've been a blessing and a curse at the same time. I can't afford another day off without pay... Especially when they send us home early or call us off all the time during the down season. I called in at 11am and was told to come in, no big deal. Put the horses out and got to watch them play for a while. I should've just put them out first time... Especially my guy, he just loves the snow. Rolled in it over and over, tossing his head. Felt even more guilty that I haven't been riding...

My little Montana pony... Lovin' the snow!
Still brainstorming a list of goals for 2014. I see a lot of people doing monthly goals this year and I think that it may be easier for me to do that instead of lose sight of a full year list of goals. What does everyone else think?

Also realized I never posted about emotions and working with horses, probably because I haven't been really working with anyone. I was on such a role. Nat had an awesome ride on Comet after I worked with him which made me feel great and A has been doing an amazing job with Lucy. I miss my barn time with the girls... I'm working until 2 tomorrow... Barn by 3, Brantley under saddle? YES PLEASE! Tear Drop Winken: January 2014

Tear Drop Winken