Thursday, October 23, 2014

Rainy Days

So I was really hoping to ride today before the rain especially since I skipped a ride and worked in the round pen last night. But of course I missed of but for good reason.

An old high school friend called me up a few weeks ago looking for a horse to star in his music video project for school. His vision? Evil knight rides up on a dark steed to take the ring from a rival... and kill him. Oh! Almost forgot to mention it was a magic ring. Obviously I could not use B for this seeing as the evil knight needed to wear a cloak... duh. So I mentioned it to a boarder (Maddie's owner) and she was thrilled, as long as I was the one riding. The guys were okay with that. Plan was to ride up, approach slowly but with purpose, then dismount. Then my friend (who is a lot broader in the shoulders, tall and well... a guy) would take over and do the stabbing.

It took a lot longer than I thought it would have, but it was worth it and I can't wait to see how it turns out.

Nicole and I had planned to go out on a ride together but unfortunately the rain set in so we missed out. Instead we cleaned stalls together like the old days and chatted about life... and ponies. I brushed Brantley and turned him back out with his sheet. So much for trying to grow a coat this year. We got part way there but then New England decided we didn't get enough rain over the summer.

Hopefully I get out early tomorrow and it stops pouring long enough for us to get in a workout. But for now I'm enjoying the thunder and lightning and cuddling with the furry kids.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gallop Through the Power Lines

It's getting colder... But I'm excited for this.

I'm finally done pet sitting and as I always say, I love the animals, but I really miss cuddling with my own kids. Mitch hasn't left my side since I sat my ass on the couch. Poor kitty needs more loves! Now if only he could do this:

Is that weird?

I did get to the barn in time for a quick ride in the dark. Psh, who needs and indoor, we've gots lights! The resident little girl was playing with Chevy and watching... Unfortunately was climbing up and down the fence by the mounting block though which made me more nervous than B because last time, he spun around with his ears basically crossed looking at her (but running into a 4-wheeler and dirt bike is not an issue). I got on without an issue though thinking, dude you gotta get over it. We had a really nice ride which is exactly what I needed. Short, but just about perfect. He didn't try to come off the fence or rubber neck out of the turns. He listened quietly to my hands and legs so I was happy. Tried a new bit that is a little more Brantley contact friendly and apparently, he loves it. So far.

Yesterday we went out on our weekly trail ride and a sitting client's boarder came along with the ride. Both the girls came along, the BBlonde and Maddie-gurl, and Brantley made BFFs with Black Jack. I brought my camera but we were going along pretty steadily so I didn't get a chance to snap a few shots. Next time though! We did a lot of trotting, and then some cantering. I took them through the stream which everyone loved (Missing K), then we cantered through the field and into the trees which opened up to the power lines. 

I've only walked the hills with him once before but he was being pretty good and I knew he wanted to rip... So we did. I thought that he'd slow up on the hills as usually. Nope... Apparently galloping downhill is a comfortable place now... For him at least. The BBlonde kept up while the other two slowed back. Once again I kept him sane even though he had so much more to give. When we finally reached the end I pulled up and he thought about blowing through the pressure, so I threatened with a one-rein stop and he decided against it. The others caught up and we walked them back through the lines and found the trail to take us back through the fields. We had a nice walk back, went over the bridges, waded down by the water, and headed up. My boy didn't even break a sweat.

To end... Here are some adorable pictures of Chevy and his girlfriend Cairo taken by Kate!

Now that's love.
Or is it this?
Well this is Chevy's "Oooh shit" face.
The essence of Chevy... Bliss.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Here's some videos!

So I'm really eager to do this belated blog hop about pony soundtracks...

But I have time for this!

We tried a bounce today... Without a teacher... I know I have a lot to work on as I pick myself apart. But it's hard to see progress if you don't have proof of you trying something new! Also a video with some stuff from the other day that I was missing. My iMovie won't let me edit so I used to YouTube Editor. It'll do for now! Maybe for Christmas I'll buy myself a new computer... Maybe.

Scrappy volunteered to test it... Then me... I'll leave to to Scrappy from now on.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SWW: Scrappy's 1st Ride

So the "SWW" stands for "slightly" wordless Wednesday. We had a pretty good ride today... Minus me being terrible... BUT! My little brother (of 16) finally got on his boy today and walked him around, but obviously on a line. B took very very good care of him. So impressed. We even walked over the bridge. Meep looks miserable in these pics, but he was "in the zone". Love him.

And here are some clips of today's ride...

Basically he's been so head up and hot that I needed to find my cow pony again. Just to make sure that he still existed. Lots of turn 'n goes, working on the fence, small serpentines, and trying to get him to follow his nose in a circle. We started off big and worked our way down. Circling left was a lot more fluid and loose than going to the right, but I also noticed I'm heavier in my right stirrup when I ask him to go in that direction. By the end of the ride we were both pretty loosened up and I found that cow pony. I let him cruise and yes, there was some counter cantering (fancy version of the wrong lead) but because of the idontwannas lately, I didn't care. I just said fine, you're cantering, and he eventually felt that it was wrong, slowed, and switched. Win! Can't wait to get back on the trails this weekend, and November 2nd... Another hunter pace? Yes please! Okay... Words done. Video now.

And after spending the last ... 2 hours ... trying to upload videos onto YouTube... I've got one. Da fuck.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Funky to Fancy, But a Hunter Pace

So maybe my 5-10 minute rides weren't enough for Mr. B this week. At all...

Got on yesterday and well, he jigged and had his tail tucked and I was nervous as hell. So of course that didn't help at all. But instead of getting off and working his feet like I'd normally do, I said "Nope, you're growing up and have to do adult pony things." So we trotted, and trotted, aaaannnd trotted some more.

He went to a funky horse to a fancy horse real quick. Using his back end, dropping his head and working his top line. I didn't have to push him to get up into the bit, he just found it. Yes he was excited but I rewarded his every little try to behave with a release. He curved neck and his body around my leg, and I finally got to work on spirals with success. Did little figure 8's too! He quieted and we picked up a canter. He really wanted to run so I used that and did some tear drop (hehehe) simple changes. We got down to a pause then switch. We had one fluid change... I need some lessons.

I pointed him at the jump I sent up the night before and he pricked his ears and pointed right at it. Boom! Gorgeous. Well at least it felt that way. We trotted off, he was getting tired, I didn't want to push it. Come around again? Boom! Nailed it. I had him go over it a couple more times from the other direction and then gave him a break. He was still soft so we did some back ups and turns on the forehand. I've started asking him to push his shoulders over from a back up and he nailed it. I thought he was ready to cool out but he picked up the trot again, my response... You can run a little, so I let him stretch out. Maybe it was the cool air... So I thought.

Today... Was our first Hunter Pace. Loaded great. Tacked great... Went to get on... Nope.

I had one foot in the stirrup and I went to throw my leg over and he started to hop. I fell off...

So I tried again... Oh did I mention that this was the first time I've been out in my new Bates since I bought it. I mean just on the trail. "Let's ride English" Wendy said... "Yes!" I said... Jerk throws her Western saddle on her pony... But I found my balls and threw my leg over. He jigged a bit but as soon as I got my foot in the stirrup I serpentined. She got on and we went to the start line. My boy was going to BLOW. I was like "Who the hell are you?!" But I just thought of the night before... This is what I want. He wasn't reluctant to move so I moved him in a good way.

We finally got up to the start gate and we trotted out. Got out to a field... He started to look funny at a log. Don't get me wrong... The log was big... But I had balls. So I turned him around, trotted him out, and we jumped it. He thought it was a lot bigger than I did so obviously I screwed up and popped him in the mouth. Yay! Go me! He refused the next one... But it was too big for me, then a ditch. We went around and up a hill and there was a small 3-rail vertical. EASY! Smaller than anything I've been jumping. Well, he didn't think so now that I grabbed his face over something bigger. I'm an ass.

On his almost 3rd refusal he went to jump but his feet slid and his knees hit the rails and knocked the jumped down. With this he dropped his head and slinked backward allowing me to not only softly hit the ground, but remove his bridle.

Yes... There I was... In a pile of jump poles, holding my $200 Micklem bridle, rubber reins, Level 1 Myler D-ring Snaffle... And no horse...

You'd think "HOLY SHIT! Begin panic mode!" right? Nope... He just stood there and looked at me. Something he's never done after a fall. His eyes said, "Um, hey, are you gonna get up and get back on or what." Quick footnote: I've never been able to get back on let alone touch this horse after a fall. Anyway, he lowered his head for the reins, slipped his head into the headstall, took the bit, and helped me put back up the jump. We walked to a boulder, and I got back on and we continued on our way.

The rest of the hunter pace went like this... Trot, trot, trot, spook at galloping pony behind us, canter, jump, jump, gallop up a hill, gallop through a corn field, trot, jump, make friends, blow down a dirt road, and boom done! Success? I think so. Lunch wasn't that bad either. Glad I wore my XC vest and Wendy and Elijah were there. What a support group. Elijah hit Rock Star status again today!

The end...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

HGBH: What's In a Name!

This week has been full of 10-15 minute rides in preparation for our Hunter Pace. 

Oh the life of a pet-sitter with a full-time job! I can't complain though. It pays for my lifestyle I'm just glad I'm finally going out and enjoying my horse rather than just being obsessed with working all of the time.

Luckily I have an awesome Dad who really helps me with Chevy and the Mitch... I'm so lucky.

We had a short 5-10 minute ride last night and jumped for the first time since Arcadia. I may or may not have gotten excited when I saw the tape measure said 2-3 then realized... it was 23"... You may not be a jumper if you screw that up hahaha. Anyway! He didn't even give it a second look even though I tried to build the cross rail up. I went over it a couple times, really tried to throw my reins away to give him that release and use my seat to slow up after the jump instead. It worked well and I think he appreciates it. We're still working on contact... Both of us. Oh my little cow pony...

Anyway! Since I won't have any interesting stories other than almost leaving my scrub top on manager's desk and walking out of my job, here's a blog hop post!

I followed Oh Gingersnap!'s to Stephanie over at Hand Gallop who posed the question, 
"What's the origin of your horse's show name and barn name?"

Show name won't change. Tear Drop Winken is what he came with and Tear Drop Winken is what he'll stay with. The Winken clan is from out in Montana from a quarter horse breeding farm, hunt seat horses with a racing stock past. I don't know where Winken came from, but Tear Drop is obviously from his teardrop shaped star.

When I decided that he was going to come home with me, I battled about barn names. I was so down and depressed, calling a horse "Tear Drop" was just stupid. He was a fix and sell case, but still, it was just depressing. "TD" and "Teddy" were a couple ideas that people had, but at the same time, not a lot of people knew I was getting another horse so the pickings were slim. I ran through names in my head and finally gave up because nothing stuck.

I'm sure a bunch of you know Brantley Gilbert and his songs like, "Bottoms Up", "She's My Kind of Crazy", and a couple others that have hit charts. But, did you know him back in the day when he wrote "My Kind of Party" which was sung by Jason Aldean, or "Saving Amy", or even "Indiana's Angel"? I won't assume yes or no but the year that I lost lucky, his music just stuck with me. Every song, every word, every melody. Plus... Brantley Gilbert is my kind of guy. I got through my darkest times with his music before he ever hit the radio.

One day at work I was chatting about Tear Drop and my plans for him when all of sudden BG debuted on the radio with "You Don't Know Her Like I Do" and I honestly just stopped. He had never been on the radio before, around here at least. And this was/is my favorite song. I looked up at the radio and Jen looked at me. When our eyes met I just smiled, "Brantley..." "Brantley?" "That's it... Brantley".

He's been Brantley ever since. And no one knows me like he does...

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sunday Slideshow

A view from B to you!

Not only is it so impressive and inspiring for us baby bloggers to see her hit this, she's also doing a giveaway! 
Congrats! Keep it up!

Here are some pictures of today's adventures at the Carolina Trout Pond. We had an excellent ride and B let me mount from a boulder. Getting better and better all the time. Kind of disappointed in myself that I didn't pack a set (Balls I mean) and ride English. I really need to do some preparation for this Hunter Pace on Sunday. No matter what, for the first time, I'm more excited than nervous. He got a little strong cantering through the fields today, but in the end, he listened and slowed up when I asked.


Here's Elijah... Being completely adorable!

I brought my camera today instead of trying to use my cell phone - definitely worked better.

Right off the trailer.
My trail girls!
Run? Please?!
Oh the colors of fall!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sucking at Flatwork

So I've come to realize... I suck at doing flatwork. And Brantley knows it. It's not that he has a case of the "idontwannas", I just suck at being assertive enough to make him do it. Going around the arena at a W/T/C is easy enough, loose rein, go through our normal routine and such. But getting him to collect and do circle/spiral/serpentine work... God, I don't even want to do it. We've been having such a good time on the trails and galloping, (yes, galloping) through open fields, and jumping fallen trees that we have no motivation. I really need to find it though because I returned the fancy HDR hunter bridle with the patent leather and padding I bought him to get a Micklem. Yes, I spent money I didn't really have, but you know what, I can't take it with me and he gets really stretchy in the contact (when I occasionally find it) with it so it's a win. When I put the jumps out, he's all gung-ho and ready to work. We really need to find that impulsion and get going on this flatwork stuff. I can get him strong on the trails and build his body that way, but I want to be able to do it in the ring too. Plus, sometimes you just need to get fancy!

We're trying to be future eventers here!

"I'm ready to rock Mom!"
 Wendy, Cassie, and I went to Arcadia this past Sunday. Yes, I was supposed to go to a horse show and show off my pony under saddle, but with all the work I missed and the lack of riding time I had... Not worth it. Plus, it's a whole lot of money for nothing in the end and Wendy had decided she didn't want to go. Show by myself? Heck no. That's what I don't like about showing. So I dropped her a text 2 days before and said, "Show... or trail?" And that's how we ended up in Arcadia.

Professional Porter-Potty Pony...
Because of my lack of ride time, we did a little bit of ground work and he felt pretty sassy. I said this will go one of two ways, but him getting right on the trailer no questions asked made me feel like I made a good fantastic decision. And it was so... We got off the trailer, tacked up, and he walked right over to a bench so I could get on. Once again, no questions asked. I didn't have to send him anywhere. He just walked right up to me after I stepped up. Good sign? I hoped so. He was a little jiggy going out, but I welcomed it because I was just as excited. We led the way per usual, and he poked out to the trail. When we finally decided where we wanted to go we picked up a trot. I let him stretch out as long as he stuck with the trot and of course Elijah cantered to catch up (Get down with your bad dressage self E!).

Stolen from Cassie, that's B up front!
Stolen from Wendy
Relaxed tail swish - Photo Credit: Wendy
Another stolen photo. Elijah vision.
So proud of my boy - Elijah vision.

As we got deeper into the woods we found a clearing... And I picked up a canter with the girls following behind. We found another gear that afternoon... Holy crap. And he had so much more to give but leaving the other two behind wouldn't have been fair... Hehehe... We even jumped a fallen tree a few times and galloped down a dirt road. #WINNING!

I call this a success...
Carolina this weekend. Hope I get the same horse as last weekend. We have a hunter pace coming up. AH! Tear Drop Winken: October 2014

Tear Drop Winken