Friday, September 26, 2014

"idontwanna" virus

So B and I have both been "sick" which is fine because it was a much needed break.

He had a slight case of the "idontwannas" in the beginning of the week since apparently moving forward is NOT the cool thing to do anymore. See! Even B can have a bad few days, I wasn't complaining though. Although we had a slight gate argument that involved me bumping his nose right to left and pushing him into it... At a canter... we ended each ride on a good note. Sometimes I can hear that Ol' Cowboy in my head yelling, "Make what he wants harder when it's the wrong thing." or "Be has soft as you can be, but as hard as you have to be." The number one thing I learned from him was "bumping" their nose whether in a snaffle or bit-less. Bumping versus yanking or pulling on your horses mouth gets you TOTALLY different reactions... And results.

Kate hopped on Sunday and took him over a little cross-rail. I was so happy to see her smile on him. Although that was one of his "idontwanna" days, he took such good care of her and I couldn't have been more proud.

Tuesday after my ride I started to feel a little bit under the weather. Yay! Cold! My brother had one and my friend who crashes on my couch every Tuesday had it last week. I wasn't took worried... Until my stomach felt a little queasy too. Between blowing my nose and vomiting all night, I got no sleep (sorry for the graphic details). I felt okay to go to work on Wednesday, but my supervisor took one look at me and in a matter of words said, "GET THE F*&! OUT!" So I did... I think I was clocked in for about 5-10 minutes. As the day went on... I got worse. A went and took care of Mr. B for me after bringing me some DayQuil and ice cream sandwiches... Um? Awesome friend? I think so. We talked for a while but then she saw it in my face that I was going to pass out on her so she went off and sent me a couple of pictures of B after their ground work session... She even sent me a picture of butt-sweat. You know you're a horse person when you can appreciate a good butt-sweat pic.

Thursday night I woke up and crawled my way into the shower and drove to work... Again. This time I made it 20 minutes until I was sent home. I even got to do a pedicure. Woop! At least the stomach part was gone and it was all head cold, but once again, I just got worse. I did pretty well and my nose cleared up but through out the night my throat felt like it was swelling and every deep breath I tried to take, it was on fire like I was drowning. I couldn't even fill my lungs *cue Dad telling me to go to the hospital* and every time I did, I started hacking and coughing but nothing would come up. MOTHERF#&#@R I JUST WANTED TO BREATHE! Of course, Dad's away for work and I don't live with anyone else so I was screwed if anything happened while I was asleep. Whatever, I'm okay I kept telling myself... Let's just say, I called out this AM.

So that's 20 hours I missed out on this week *big sad face* which means no show but honestly, after Wendy said she wasn't going to show but was still willing to give me a ride? I didn't really want to go anyway. Showing alone is not my thing. I think we're going to Arcadia instead, as long as I can still breathe, which I'm completely ok with! I felt better today so I took Chevy, B (in hand), and my brother and beagle for a walk through the park. I think I pushed myself a little too much but I was happy to get out. Back to work tomorrow! Hopefully I had sick time to cover those days, who knows, they cut my discount from 50% - 20%, so let's just hope no one needs an intense surgery. FML.

Praying I get to ride tomorrow. We need to do some basic under saddle work and get him softened up again. Put my barrel saddle back to work. :)

Here are some pics I stole (with permission) from Kate of her and B rockin' the side-pull from Tiffany's Braided Tack! Check her out on Etsy she's amazing!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SFTS Blog Hop: Why Do We Do What We Do?

Why do we do what we do?

So I'm going to give this a shot since I kind of follow along with what Carly at Poor Woman Showing does with our friend Bobby. Plus, I've never joined in a Blog Hop before so here it goes!

Jenn from Stories From The Saddle asked us (in a matter of words) why we train so hard for our chosen discipline. Honestly... I don't really have one specific thing I like to do. If I had to chose, it'd be trail riding, but B and I are still trying to figure out what we're good at. I've always had a love for dressage and musical freestyle, but with the lack of cash-money opportunities, it was really hard to get into in the past.

So what was the next step? JUMPING!

"Let's jump all things and try to be cool!" - LB quote
Don't have any pictures of us doing fun things...
Unfortunately I have no pictures of LB and I attempting to jump crazy traffic cone cross-rails.
I honestly didn't even know what real jumping was.
What the hell is an Oxer anyway...
Then Kate & LuLu came into my life. BIG SURPRISE!

But apparently, B loves to jump. So I must jump!

"Damn straight!" - B
And then you add the jumping fallen trees in the middle of the woods because it's in the way of your awesome "hauling ass" moment? Psh, barrel saddle won't stand in our way.

Yes, I chose the "Oh sh*t" pic for effect/affect... Whatever.
And well... We're okay at the flat work... Still have some softening to do but we'll get there. So what's the obvious next discipline we should try (other than everything)... EVENTING! Okay, I'm probably not going to do any of the 3-day stuff where I'm bounding through bushes and jumping down 6' drops, but honestly, I think it's a good mix of everything we love.

Now. To the question that started this all. Why do I do what I do? 

My biggest horsemanship skill that I will always have room for more is ground work. I'm not talking lunge cavesons and side reins or Pessoa lunging systems to get my horse to find his balance (not that I haven't done it or think it's bad thing because it does have it's perks!).

I'm talking rope halter and a lead rope. Pointing, sending, disengaging, desensitizing. It's always a win for me and I haven't found any horse that has not responded to it in a positive way. The bending, the flexing. The loosening of the jaw, the chewing. It's when the ears flicker and the eyes blink, that's why I do what I do. I do it for the response. I do it for the respect. And I do it for the partnership & the trust.

Plus... I don't have to drug my horse to take it on a trail ride... 

Indigo - My 1st Mustang Experience
B's 1st Year 
B's 1st Year
B's 1st Year
The Infamous Honolulu Aka "Lucy"
Those ears...
My all time favorite picture...
This is exactly why I do... What I do.

There's nothing like the feeling that the horse you have in your hand, would gladly follow to the end of the world and back... 
Just because you said,

 "It's okay, you can trust me."

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

RISPCA Ride & Back To Jumping

"You don't throw a whole life away just because it's banged up a little"
Perfect description of the last 3 years.

Sunday was the RISPCA ride! I met the BM early and tried to help feed the horses and Wendy arrived right at 830. I had thrown all my stuff (thank god it was only 1/8th the stuff I had to bring to Woodstock) outside the tack room and the BM put together a hay bag for us. It took a bit for B to get in the trailer seeing as he had never been in the back of the slant load, but he settled in quick once he realized the scary cow-looking thing was Elijah. It was not at all the reaction he had to the last trailer he refused to get on... See example pic below... So I have no complaints.

His favorite thing about W's trailer is that he can walk right off versus backing up. I think a stock trailer is in my future... I'd like to hope that is.

Anyway! We arrived to Goddard Park safely and signed in. For the first time... I knew people there. And they knew Brantley. It was really cool actually. They asked me how he was and commented on the Facebook posts about Woodstock which was even cooler! We tacked up and B played his "You're taking too long to get on... So I'm going to side pass over the mounting block instead." Which in turn tends to make me fall on my ass. I sent him around it and set him up and hopped on.

I'm not going to lie to you... Every time I go to swing my leg up on that horse I want to vomit. Sometimes my eyes tear up, and I can feel my heart pound and make it's way up into my mouth.

I wish I could explain why. Especially because of everything we've been through and done... It really started to go away at Woodstock, but it's going to take time! I'll get there. He gets annoyed though because it takes me so long to swing my leg over.

Anyway, once we got out on the trail, I calmed down. B was all ramped up to lead the way which I loved about him. A couple other horses trotted passed him and he got a bit excited and Elijah was a little skittish about stuff, but once we got through the first part of the trail, they both really got into it and relaxed. We even trotted a bit which was nice. The last time I went with W&E to Goddard, B was still going in the side pull and I had only been riding him for maybe 2 months. We literally did serpentines the whole time but we made it through! This time was completely different and everything I hoped for. We even cantered through the trails and jumped a fallen tree... I may have gone back for 2nds... And 3rds hahaha. 

We hooked up with a few friends here and there but the two boys were happy to go off by themselves and go for a couple more rounds through the trails. We did skip the beach this year only because there was ton of people activity and parties going on, and they were both doing so well. 

All in all, it was perfect.

I made up my own jump course and OWNED it... all 5 of the 18" cross-rails. Well there was ONE vertical that we also owned.

Next was the ride with Elana who rode the BBlonde Halflinger. Description?

Quick sentimental moment:

The other day when I went a trail ride with Kate, I looked down at the breastplate her and Kenny had bought for me for my birthday last year. It was probably the most thoughtful gift I had received in years... Ever even. And then I said, "So I feel bad... The breastplate you guys gave me is so nice, I wanted to save it and only use it for special occasions. But every time I ride B it's a special occasion. So I used it all the time." It's so true though. I say it all the time, but it's amazing what people take for granted with their horses... Remember...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Trail Obsessed

B had a few days off after the show, but he was rearing to go when I finally hopped on again. This whole week has basically been trail rides getting ready for the RISPCA ride tomorrow. This will be my second week taking him and if he made it through it last time where he was in his training, I'm sure tomorrow will be amazing. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst right?

Kate and I finally made it out with the Fat Halfie. We had a good little trail ride and walk to the train tracks. Small amount of trotting because the poor old girl was shoeless, sore, and a little on the fat side. Because she was so good on our next ride with her owner, P opted to put shoes on the Buxom Blonde (nicknamed by: Ms. Kate).

L&M (Linda & Maddie: Shire/TB cross) have been dying to get out again so we planned an evening ride and luckily, Kate was available to hop on the Halfie again. We even talked Ol' Jim into taking Leo (another chub) out which was awesome! We had the best ride!

When we got to the back field AKA: The Desert, J went off on his owner and the other horses handled it fine. Well, B was good, except he tip-toed behind the girls as if he was waiting up for Leo. Not once did he try and turn around or go after him though so just getting slower? I'm okay with that.

On our way back from the back trail, L asked if we wanted to pick up the pace. Kate & I didn't even miss a beat. Because Maddie (need a new nickname for me or her if anyone has ideas) has such a large trot stride, the BBlonde had to pick up a canter right away, then B followed suite. After about 30 seconds, L&M started to canter, holy crap... Next you know the 3 of us are FLYING down the straight away, B bringing up the back. He pulled a little on the reins as if to ask if he could stretch more... So obviously I said you know what, F it, and let him go. We came up on the left of L&M and kept going a few strides after the girls slowed... He had a whole other gear I hadn't tapped into, and I can't wait to do it again. I don't think I've laughed that hard or had that much fun since the hunter pace with Lauren & Charlie.

Going out this afternoon with E (my trainer)... and she'll be riding the BBlonde. I'm stoked!

RISPCA ride with Wendy tomorrow. *fingers crossed for pictures*

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Frustrated... So More Pictures

I went to pick up Pearl the barn cat today and the BO was there riding. I tried to get in and out so I could be anti-social but unfortunately I couldn't find the cat. I don't know why I was so frustrated and annoyed being there... She was just being a BO so I really had no reason to be rude. But I was and I feel bad... But I don't want to apologize because honestly, it really pisses me off everything that has been going on. I'm not there anymore so why do I care. Honestly, if I hadn't moved when I did, I probably still would be miserable and not riding. Now look at us! *cue silent, non-moving montage*

Checking out the competition in warm up.
"K mom... Done waiting for these bozos"
We got this.
Devotion... or Exhaustion...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Woodstock Fair 2014, Long but Pictures!

Cassie made us all stall signs.
Getting comfy in his new digs.
Thank you for everyone's words of wisdom and support in preparation for this show. I had a really good crew with me for the weekend and one of the best coaches I could ask for. I took every class in stride and things started a little heavy in the hands but as the weekend went on, I relaxed and so did B.

Checking out the fair.
Figuring out our trail course.
We spent Friday morning getting comfortable, giving baths, and hanging out around the show. The afternoon came quick and I checked in for my weekend classes. I picked up my trail course map and well... Almost scratched right then and there. Pick up a bucket? No way. But we went in, and he didn't want to get through ANY obstacles, even the bridge. We were in the busier of the rings with lots of people in the stands and hanging on the fence so I don't blame him. But the judge let us go around the whole course and smiled at us when we left so that made me happy. Apparently we had a fan club in the stands. Before I entered the girl working the gate said I'd probably be disqualified for not using a shank on a horse over 5... I told her I wasn't going to make it past the bucket so I wasn't worried about it. She didn't find it amusing.
Wendy and I watching the girls!
I spent the rest of the day watching the other girls ride and the barrel race. Then rode again later that night... In the lights... at 10:15pm. LOVED IT! And he was so quiet and calm. Didn't even think twice about the shadows. We cruised for a good 45 minutes, cooled out, and stayed up until 1... Well at least I did.
Sleepy Pony

Saturday was an early morning and Amanda showed up to play coach which is EXACTLY what I needed. Warm up over cross-rails went okay, a few refusals, but there were 3 other horses in the ring and I was definitely nervous. A kept telling me to just relax and let him do it (in a matter of words). Our flat classes came and B handled some sticky situations pretty well. Maybe riding with the greenies wasn't the best idea. We dealt with a rearing horse and someone falling off... Aka: loose horse. What did B do? Stand calmly and stare at the judge.

We made it through our 2 jump courses but I as A says, "For someone with the softest hands I know, I can see your knuckles." But we made it! We trotted most of the course which gave us a more confident approach. Then 2nd course was better... But I forgot my opening circle but he did great. I can't complain. The 1st was pretty terrible, but while he was getting nervous about the halter class in the ring next to us, I was worried about everyone screaming loose horse. But the gate girl told me to still go in and do my course. Horse was still loose when I was done and well... I dismounted right before the horse plowed into mine. But I got back on and ran my 2nd course... Holy shit.

I entered another class that afternoon with Wendy and Elijah but scratched immediately. I walked in with 10 horses and more horses working their way in. People were trotting in from every where and B was starting to shake. Plus people were screaming in the stands... Tiny ring... Tiny tiny pleasure ring... I almost stayed and worked through it until I came around the corner and horses were still pouring into the ring. I called to the judge and excused myself. After I left the ring, the total number was 36... Elijah was a perfect gentleman though and made it through the class. We cruised around the warm up hunter ring and called it a day because he was perfect.
The biggest surprise of Saturday though was that my Dad came. I was ecstatic! I was also surprised by Deb, my friend Caleb, and my cousin Kat who I haven't seen in years. It was so nice to have him there. He's always been my biggest support system between Lucky and especially with Brantley. I may have argued at first but I'm glad he pushed me to get another horse... Maybe not his idea of a new horse in the beginning, but you can tell he loves that I'm happy and B is doing so well.

Sunday was an amazing day... I can't even explain... Videos and pictures instead? I think so.


Promise I'm not crying.
I know he looks angry... And so do I... But I was trying not to cry and he was sneeze. I love him.
And here's a video of us being awesome. The one of our walk trot class I couldn't steal from Amanda but... He was awesome and looked like a pro!

All in all it was an amazing weekend like I thought it would be. But we were both very happy to get home. I was really happy to get back to this guy...

And here's a quick tribute to an awesome show coach. Love you Amanda! Tear Drop Winken: September 2014

Tear Drop Winken