Sunday, November 30, 2014

Age Is But A Number

Hoping that I still have a few followers left after my mini-explosion 
(it could've been worse) on my last post. 
I promise I'm not always that hostile but 
if I'm out-working someone I'm supposed to look up to? 

Anywho. I'm sorry I've gotten way behind on reading but I hope everyone is doing well and had a nice family night on Thursday (Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving, or just dinner). Hope ponies are surviving the weather everyone has been having. It wasn't really the prettiest thing here, but we did get a little bit of snow. Not as much as I would've hope for. I'm a all-or-nothing girl. 

If it's going to snow... Snow enough to bring out the plows.

A cute little Aussie named Bada has been living with me since Mid-November and is going home the 2nd week of December. She's really become a nice little part of our family but she's actually visiting for a few months from Scotland. Her owners had to take a quick trip over seas and didn't want to bother her with all the traveling. Chevy doesn't mind the company. But my full-size bed does...

After a good long run...
I did have a quick overnight sitting job over Thanksgiving. 

These guys were... Pretty easy but definitely kept me busy.

"Teddy & Toby"
Don't let those smiles fool you.
Let's get down to ponies.

This is Miss Zoe. Quick back story, my best friend from High School (and will still always be my best) became a horse owner about the same time I did with LB. She's now in her late 20s and unfortunately has been stuck in a field for about 4 years without a job. Jax has two little ones at home and although she tried to keep up with Zoe but it's hard being a mom of two, working full-time, and not really having that pony-lifeline that a lot of us have. So after years of me pleading for her to come live with me, she finally moved to Tavern to have this little red head be used in the lesson program.

Don't let her age fool you. After sitting around without anything really to focus on has made her a little pushy and she's a bit out of shape. This horse was probably one of the most fit ponies I've ever known, mentally AND physically. She was trained in a Parelli sense but I'm talking before he got all famous and stuff. When he was a horseman, not a showman. FAIL. Anywho! She's got a little of horsepower hiding in there and once I build her up a little more, hopefully she'll be lesson ready by Spring...

She's going to LOVE summer camp.

Let's move on to the Brantley-man. He's been kind of... A dope. There are times where I can take hold and say, "Dude... Stop being a baby. You're fine." But then there are times where he has that look in his eye and if you have to tell him that you're going to keep him safe and keep things quiet.

He's been very reactive and nervous so we've been sticking to ground work, something we all know he excels at. It's been paying off. I worked him tonight with a saddle and threw him in the round pen. It didn't take long at all for him to get quiet and want to be with me. Hopefully I'll get a chance to hop on tomorrow. Why bother putting myself in the saddle for a bad experience? I'm just as happy being on the ground.

**UPDATE** Things at work... Aren't much better.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Blah. Rain. Pictures

So I don't have much to post about this slight clusterfuck of a day other than someone almost got cunt-punted. Sorry if you are offended by that. But legit... girl was going to get it right in the cooter.

As a horseman, if you don't learn anything else, you learn for sure that respect is earned. I don't care who you are.

Anyway, to make up for the offensive words above... here is a picture of my best friend's pony Zoë who moved in yesterday and the nosey Buxom Blonde. Also Brantley... of course.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November's 10 Questions

I'm doing this.
Since I have nothing much else to write about. Thanks L. Williams - Viva la Carlos!

Number 1: Have you ever owned a horse?

Yes, two actually.

Number 2: What is your favorite aspect of your discipline?

Seeing as I don't have a specific discipline, just being able to enjoy my horse is enough.
I just love building a connection with whatever horse I am working with.
Jumping is pretty cool though, and if I could pick one thing, musical freestyle... Or I could just do everything and event.

Number 3: What pet peeves do you have concerning your current discipline?

I guess the worst part about my "discipline" is that I don't have anything to really completely focus on...

Number 4: Do you do barn chores?

I don't think there is ever at time I didn't take care of my own horse in some ways. I do miss the early morning feedings and mucking stalls all day. I'd love to manage a barn again.

Number 5: What is your least favorite barn chore?

Brushing down cobwebs... And frozen water buckets. But cobwebs win.

Number 6: What do you consider the worst vice in a horse?

I mean, the refusal to move forward. This equal rearing, bucking, flipping over, kicking, biting, challenging... I'm talking on the ground as well as in the saddle.
Number 7: What saddle brand is your favorite?

I love my TexTan barrel saddle! I dream of an Intrepid Close Contact.

Number 8: Do you ride with a quarter sheet in the winter?

I hope to work on that this winter... But up until now? Nope.
Brantley thinks that they're the devil and out to take his soul.
Number 9: Does your horse wear boots?

I have SMBs...
And WOOF boots...
And now I have Equi-Fit open front boots and hinds
... And Polos...
So definitely yes.

Number 10: Full seat or Knee patch breeches?

I've only had knee patch, until now... And I didn't try them on so of course they don't fit. Dammit. I'm fat.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tins from The Herbal Horse

I know I haven't been posting like I hoped I would, but I had so much to catch up on especially now that I've got another dog-sitting job... for the next month. It was good to get back to work and I'm glad I finally got a chance to work with the B man... he's kind of a mess right now and we have a lot of work to do. Example? He stood, head up, body shaking, and ears foward for the farrier today. This horse has not even moved for over a year. This is like... Old School Brantley. Ugh... oh well. I did it before, I can do it again.

Anyway! Since I have a moment I would like to say that I received my Giveaway from The Owl Approves and the Herbal Horse who you can find HERE. If you get the chance you should really try her stuff.

First off... the tins? The design? Absolutely adorable. And when I opened the package I wasn't overwhelmed by the scent. It was subtle but comforting if any of that makes sense. (I'm one of those girls who can't walk into a Yankee Candle or Bath & Body Works without getting a headache... or even wanting puke.) 

I right away popped them all open and they each have their own distinct scent.

Less is more I say. And these were perfect.

Obviously I automatically took the Quick Heal and rubbed it all over my bite wound. I then grabbed the Be Calm and took a whiff... It smelt like pure comfort and had a head-clearing affect. I stuffed it in my pocket and headed to the barn.

We had an interesting work out... as I said, we've got a lot to work on but we'll get there. After the work out and finally getting him to "join up" with me, I popped open the Be Calm tin.

Can I just say, Brantley was ALL over me. His nose was going and he was pushing into my chest with his head. I rubbed a small amount on the outside of his muzzle next to his nostrils. He took one big breath in and began to chew as he let it out. Wish I grabbed it for my farrier appointment.

I will definitely be keeping these in my tack trunk.

I also received a tin of Healthy Hair and Muscle Soothe which I have yet to try but I'm pretty confident in what the results will be.

Hope you all get the chance to visit Helen's shop!

EDIT: I forgot to add that all day today I've been rubbing the Heal Quick on the hole in my arm and it's already less irritated, swollen, and dry. Plus... it smells great. Yes... I made people at work smell my arm. I'm impressed.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Equine Affaire 2014

Oh goodness, it's been so long since I've posted (minus my "this is why I'm missing post") and there's so much to write.

Unfortunately I don't have much to write about riding the B man... Which is sad because that is what I would've loved doing with all my extra time off but apparently... We're not ready for the one handed rides just yet. Kate came and hopped on him after my night at the ER (if you missed my last mini post I was bit by a dog at work and it was pretty horrible. Left me with a useless right hand/wrist/forearm). They had a good beginning, kind of shitty middle, but ended on a good note.

B has been very keen on asking for a hand to hold going over a fence. I used to be able to send him, loose rein, over anything but now that we're getting a little more collected and on contact, he likes a little bit more heading towards the jump. Once his front feet are over he's good and you can release and let him carry himself after, but if you let go before the jump and ask him to figure it out, he falls apart and well... K ended up taking a little dirt bath. I felt terrible but she got up, dusted herself off, and got back on.

Really good points about the ride though? She not only took her jacket off, I also was able to fix her stirrups. HUZZAH!

I left early Thursday morning to pick up Wendy and her boyfriend (who is awesome btw) and we headed to Springfield, Mass. It was the weekend we both had been waiting for all year long. I promised myself that I would go for the whole weekend, worry free. Which I did, minus my arm (I was able to move it around finally by Friday). We had a blast and I racked up the credit card a bit, but for all justifiable purchases! I will post pictures through out the week.

Best thing about going all weekend was that I didn't have to choose between shopping and watching the clinics. Chris Cox was there and I honestly didn't want to miss any of his stuff. My friend took part in his Confidence Building clinic on Saturday which was amazing. He had her riding bridleless around the round pen which is something she needed more than any of us. Talk about a confidence booster.

I also learned a lot from Jane Savoie's clinics which I would also like to write a blurb about. I didn't take notes all weekend because A) I forgot my notebook and B) I probably would've not understand anything I wrote anyway. I'm more of a do-er than a study-er if that makes sense. I could write and recite something over and over... But I'm not going to get it until I do it.

All week I'm pet-sitting a little Australian Shepherd named Bada so I'll be able to catch up on some blogging. I'm a little behind in my reading as well so hope I didn't miss anything crazy! <3

It was really nice to catch up with Lauren though from My Life with Charlie. We have such different training but are so alike in our horsemanship that we can just sit and bounce ideas off each other constantly. I could barely keep my mouth shut watching some of the clinics with her. When we finally hit the shopping floor. WATCH OUT! We both found some really good deals and some pretty awesome stuff. Like open front Equi-Fit T-Boots... For $40... For the whole set.

Oh I want to write so much but don't want to lose my audience (although I probably already have).

Hopefully going to spend some good time with the pony tomorrow.
I missed him.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Super Human Healing Powers!

I would like to make a quick post to thank everyone for their comments and support on my last post.

Went to the doctor last night (two days after the incident) and shocked the doctor with my super - human healing powers! Here's a before and after picture.

I was afraid that this would stop me from making it to the Equine Affaire... 
But we know that would never happen.

I will definitely post more BUT I did want to mention that I met a friend of ours that although I don't have many followers, she wants to do a giveaway!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Oh the Life of a Vet Tech

Worked a split today. That's two 4-hour shifts. One from 8-12 and then I go back 4-8. During my break I took a nap to try and get rid of a headache and woke up in time to run to the barn and have a great cruise on the B-man.

He was great and we fit in a couple flying lead changes. 
I was stoked for the trail ride I had planned for tomorrow with Amanda and Kate with Maddy-horse and the Buxom Blonde...

You know when things just don't go as planned?

I've been bitten before... but not like this. Dog was out for blood and not even a basket muzzle was going to stop her. Let's just say, no trail ride for me tomorrow. Instead Kate is going to come and hopefully have a great ride to blog about. I may even try and set up a course for her... if I can pick up the poles...

I won't lie. I've dealt with some pretty intense caution pets but most have been scared or in pain and uncomfortable. I was confident in what I walked in the room to do and after the muzzle was put on I was completely sure we'd get in and out. It was only a simple injection. Yeah... no.

At least I've had some pretty awesome rides this week and already have the rest of the week off for Equine Affaire with the girls. The ER doc is definitely worried about infection so I have to be careful in my pony choices. Brantley has a few awesome Aunties that are willing to fill in though! 

I just hope they give me some stronger meds on Wednesday...

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Lessons w. Elana

(cartoon by Thelwell, from “A Leg at Each Corner”, EP Dutton, 1962)
Don't you think they'd prefer to have it the other way around?

I've been very sporadic in my riding lately, but very impressed with how Brantley has been handling it. If you don't remember or are new to our little blog here, this is a big step for us, like many things this year. I would have to work him consistently for 5-6 days in a row and then if I skipped a day, had to back track a bit especially under saddle. I even tried to do an exciting 100 day ride once we worked our way out on the trails. I may have made it to 25 rides before I gave in, but B regressed after having a few days off and I had to go back to our original routine.

Let's fast forward to this past month or two. I didn't ride for three days, rode on a Saturday, trail ride on a Sunday, rode Mon-Weds, then didn't ride for 4-5 days. I jumped on one afternoon after sending him around a few times, w/t/c. Then skipped a day. Lunged him one night, then had a lesson with Elana the following day. He was a SUPERSTAR.

I know this may not seem like a big deal but we're getting there and knowing that I can be a little less consistent makes me feel more confident about not having an indoor this winter. I think that it will give us a nice break... Especially since the both of us are getting pretty bored and lost in our flatwork.

Woodstock '14 Flashback
I had planned to go on a ride with Amanda Saturday afternoon but then Elana sent me a text about her being available for a lesson. Umm... Yes please! We haven't had a really nice, productive ride in the arena for a while and I really needed it. Luckily A was very understanding and even stopped by to watch which was nice. As we warmed up I caught Elana up on the fall as well as our "idontwanna" issues. I told her that a lot of it could be me too and how we're just a little lost.

What I love about taking lessons with her (which I probably have mentioned before) is that she asks me what I'm looking for, what I'm feeling, what I did wrong, and what I did right vs. just telling me "No, do this." My favorite thing to hear is when she calls out and says, "Well done!" If I do a circle and it's a complete cluster-fudge (my favorite ice coffee flavor btw), she says, "So tell me about that circle." It gives me the opportunity to tell her what I know I'm doing wrong and if I don't know, I can be honest and say... "I don't know what happened there."

She picked right up on the fact that Brantley and I are having a "lazy" issue where he really doesn't want to engage himself because I'm not really asking him to. I kind of have been just putzing (sp?) around the arena doing little things here or there, really with no purpose. That's not doing either of us any good. I went over how I normally warm him up long and low with a loose rein. She asks me what I look for in a warm up. "The warm up is more for me than for him, I want to see what kind of horse I have today." Having a greenie with a thoroughbred's reactiveness with a mix of quarter horse "derp" and look at me pea-roll is always a challenge and I try to accommodate him and set him up for success.

That day I had a jumper/dressage horse who seemed to randomly find a large amount of impulsion in his back end. Um... Thank you? We took advantage of this and tried to get a correct bend out of him. He tends to drop into his circles and the curve ends at his neck and disconnects at his shoulder. I have a bad habit of pointing his nose in the direction I want to send him and although that was good when first starting him, it's time for us to grow up and get a hold of that outside rein to show him a little more support. I dropped more into my outside leg and slid my inside a little further forward and it helped a lot. It picked up his inside shoulder and I actually got him to do a few strides of a shoulder-in.

We had a few moments of him hitting a brick wall, but I kept me eyes up, pushed him forward and let him pick his pace, as long as it was forward. Picked up a night canter and spent some time working on my position when I ask for a trot/canter transition. I tend to throw myself forward if he breaks and try to push him into it which leads me to do my number 1 pet peeve. NAG!

After a few more drills for my sake (and for his), we showed off our simple changes and how we've been working on changing the bend before asking him to canter off. We're getting better.

Wish I had enough space for this!
I then mentioned our attempt at a bounce... Let's just say. She laughed and set one up. A good one... with a vertical. We rocked it and we ended our lesson with a nice cruise around the arena.

Had an awesome follow up ride tonight. Need to get my brother to put on a coat and take pictures!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Finally A Ride, And A Contest?!

I finally got to ride this morning. Wasn't the best ride... I was a little unfocused. Threw his barrel saddle on, snaffle one-eared headstall... I just wanted to get on and go but decided to of course do a few sending exercises. He was lazy but kept his eyes on me like he was supposed to. I felt confident getting on. The choice was ride until he gives me the "F-U, I don't want to go forward" or give him something else to think about. So we took a few strides at the walk forward, then we stopped, and took a few steps back. Right away he was like, "No way..." So I asked him to back another step then immediately move forward once he placed his foot down. Walk, trot, canter, that's what we did. We had a couple of moments and I'd love to be like, "Well maybe it's this or maybe it's that." But if he can be responsive and forward and ready to move on the trail? He can do it in the ring, no B.S. Honestly though, I think we're getting bored and I'm losing steam. Equine Affaire is around the corner, maybe I can get some flatwork motivation.

In other news! Trailed this "little" contest through Ms. Hillary at Equestrian at Hart and if my computer would stop being dumb and let me enter, it'd be pretty sweet. But, if I don't win... Some of this stuff may still end up in my tack trunk.

Check out The Owls Approve. She posted some interesting stuff about a company called the Herbal Horse and is so far in love with her products. I'm really interested in the Be Calm and the Muscle Soothe myself so we'll see where this takes us. If you get a chance, enter! It'd be worth to read more reviews on the stuff but so far all I'm hearing is awesome things!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Another fall, A couple good rides, Bad weather

So we had another fall the Sunday before last. It was post-awesome trail ride though so I really can't complain. We flew through the fields and between the power lines. Elijah finally made it through the stream and Brantley and I squeezed underneath low hanging trees and branches that fell during the nighttime winds. As we walked the last stretch of trail home I was way more relaxed than I should've been and we think he either fell asleep and spooked waking up, or he was stung by a "WINTER IS COMING" bee. I'm thinking it was the latter of the two but he leapt straight in the air and I came out of the saddle landing on his neck, he did a mini bolt, I rolled off to the side knowing there was no way of saving it, and did an awkward drag one-rein stop. He stopped, I dropped, got back up, made sure he was okay. Which he was fine of course. Like the hunter pace, he dropped his head into my hands and was like, "Oops... I'm sorry you fell." I was going to get back on but decided I'd rather wait until we got back to the barn.

The drama happened when I started to walk and my calf the was dragged start to tremble. I took a few steps and things started to get fuzzy as I stumbled a bit. It was like getting up too fast and things go white, except it got to the point where I couldn't see... Or hear. I felt nauseous and told the girls I may vomit, and as I bent over, my legs gave out and I collapsed... In a pricker bush. God dammit. I pulled in my knees and lowered my head, Wendy dismounted and I told her to call my Dad. Amanda called 911... I honestly started to get worried but I couldn't recall hitting my head.

I got up, took my horse, and kept walking (even though I was getting yelled at to sit down). I needed to just walk it off just a little bit. Me? Sit in a ball? Waiting for someone to rescue me in the middle of the woods? No way. I made it around the corner to the neighborhood and finally sat down. They came, I felt fine again. Everything came back and I wasn't even sore. Well... Minus the swelling in my knee. Oops. EMT asked me the normal questions.

EMT: "Month?"
Me: "October."
EMT: "Year?"
Me: "2014."
EMT: "What day of the week is it?"
Me: "Sunday? ... I mean I don't know that normally"
EMT: "Who's the president?"
Me: "Do I have to answer that?"   ... At this time, my Dad appeared.
Dad: "QUICK! Ask her who the Three Stooges are!"
Me: "I mean... There are technically four."
Dad: "She's fine."

Anyway, I got back to the barn in one piece. No trip to the hospital. Yay! I was all ready to get back on but there was a pack of people waiting for me there... Not really interested in that drama. So I got lunch instead. Then hung out on the couch for the rest of the day.

I did get on the next day. And the day after that... And rode in the dark the day after that.

Then we had some shitty weather... We didn't end up going to the Hunter Pace.

But we've had some bonding time since. Worked in the round pen tonight, I'll hopefully get on tomorrow. Really need some cruising time... I'm hating my job right now. *sad face*

In other news! The Gift Card from SmartPak that I won't from L. Williams went to good use. Waiting for my SmartPak Bucket Insulator cover... If it doesn't work, I'll get something for myself instead.

I also did celebrate some Halloween Festivities... With minimal drama. That's something you DON'T want to read about. But my girl Morgan and I had a blast. <3

Oh... And... I wasn't sure what all the craze was about until I saw this on Instagram...

That is all.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Missing Me?

Sorry there have been a lack of blog posts. Promise we're okay, just having a social network break. I probably gave missed out on some awesome stuff in the blogger-sphere but hopefully I'll have a chance to catch up! Tear Drop Winken: November 2014

Tear Drop Winken