Friday, August 12, 2016

10 Questions

So from L. Williams to 'Fraidy Cat Eventing to me...

I guess I'll give this a go because it's pouring at and I'm not ready to run out and clean my stall and I have writing on the brain...

1. What is your biggest source of caffeine that gets you through the day?
Well, obviously I love my coffee but it doesn't do much for me these days so if I need a boost.
Isagenix has a thing called an E+ Shot... Looks like a 5 Hour Energy but not filled with sh*t.
I already run pretty high through out the day so if I'm feeling a bit behind, this gives me exactly what I need.
Do not take with alcohol... Ever.

2. Do you honestly think your trainer is the best trainer for you?
So unfortunately I don't really have a trainer per say right now.
And if you want to count K (which is coming up below), I absolutely think she's a great match for us right now.
And if you want to talk about the two amazing trainers I just worked with?
Sinead Halpin and Eric Horgan?
Yes, yes, YES!

3. One token of advice a fellow rider/trainer/horse person told you that you still remember to this day.
"Be as hard as you have to be, but soft as you can be."
"We pat our men and our dogs, we rub our women in our horses."
and of course... my favorite

4. If riding meant costing your family so much money that they'd basically be on the poverty line, or making your family terribly unhappy, would you still do it?
Luckily... That's not something I have to worry about right now.
So it'll be something that I'll worry about later... If needed.

5. Would you ride while pregnant?
The question is, will Brantley be more reliable by then?

6. How do you tell when a horse likes someone/has bonded with you or someone else?
I feel like you just... Know.
You can just see there's a level of trust and threshold of bullshit they'll deal with from a person.
I know for a fact I can tell when Brantley doesn't appreciate someone... Especially guys.
He'll have no problem parking himself in between me and a suitor (who doesn't usually last long).

I'm not going to post a picture because I am thoroughly disturbed right now.
On my Google search for a picture of a horse standing between a girl and a guy...
I found a picture of a naked girl... Inside of a dead horse...

I cannot unsee this and I may run and vomit before I continue...

7. Are horses capable of loving, in your opinion?
Absolutely... There's no question and no explanation needed.
But then there's this... Which goes between horse and rider as well as person to person.

8. If you could have one horse from your past come back for 5 minutes, who would it be, why, and what would you do with them in those 5 minutes?
One last chance to sit on LB and just wrap my arms his neck just to say thank you for saving me.
Thank you for giving me the chance to love another horse as much as I love you.

9. Should a trainer also be a friend, or should it be a student/teacher relationship?
I definitely think it's possible to have a trainer be a friend.
A trainer is someone that you look up to and learn from right?
But this is also coming from someone who doesn't have a lot of trainer experience.

10. One piece of advice/training you were given by a trainer or mentor that you look back on now and view it as incorrect?
Honestly, this is the hardest question yet.
Maybe it's because I still have remnants of a naked chic laying inside of a horse like Luke Skywalker...
I feel like maybe the only thing I didn't take something from was when I saw a "trainer" punch a horse...
In the face...
Because he wouldn't back up.
But I feel like that's just wrong on so many levels.
Other than that I think things work for different horses and different people.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and style of riding and if it works for you (abuse aside) then have at it.
But if it doesn't, give something else a try before your horse breaks you... Because it will happen.

Well that was fun!
Definitely more than I expected to get through.
Please do not Google "When your horse doesn't like your boyfriend" ... ever
But the Blog was also called, "How Not to Be a Crazy Bitch" ... Still fucked up.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Back in the Saddle

It didn't take long for B to be ready to get going again. Especially when I tacked him up to long line and he pulled me over to one of the jumps still set up from our lesson with K. Well, okay then. Maybe tomorrow. I tacked him up the next day and hopped on for a little flat work and he felt awesome so I said okay... Pick something and he picked up a forward canter and jumped it.

                       Am I in trouble?

                                        At least I know what to do when he gets stuck now, just point him at a jump!

Can I just sleep through this Mom?

Saturday I completed my fourth 5K and second obstacle course. It was actually just under 3 miles so I guess it couldn't be considered a full 5K but come on, inflatable obstacle course? It was pretty fun but definitely didn't beat the WipeOut run last year. I did get a medal though!

I then continued to drink myself into oblivion for the rest of the day... Not the best idea and really not proud of myself for it. But that's a whole other story is for a non-happy-horse related blog.

Unfortunately this picture doesn't show my super awesome lucky unicorn socks.

I'm super psyched for the Tough Mudder in October but I have a lot of training to get done. 10-12 miles and 20+ obstacles...
                                                                                What the hell did I sign up for?!

So as we all know, K's been helping me out with my jumping skills and I feel like B and I are pretty much killing it and I'm dying to go school on the cross-country course. But another one of my goals for him is to get other people on him to help get rid of this stranger danger bull he's got going on. K mentioned that she'd love to give him another go and I was all for it. She's an incredible rider and it's been a while since she's been on him so I was super excited when she asked. I poked and prodded and finally she was able to come up yesterday and take him for a spin... almost literally.

He was stuck and kind of a dick in the beginning but definitely worked out of it and they were going well enough that she felt ready to take him over a few jumps, so I set up the corners again and a little cross-rail to warm up over. He was great getting over the cross-rail with her so she pointed him at the corner and he took it pretty well. Then of course a couple strides after the landing, decided to take off like his ass was on fire across and around the arena... Seriously horse? I honestly had a mini flashback panic moment sitting on the mounting block with Hannah who was wide-eyed watching.

It's hard to explain unless you experience it with him because when you get put in that situation, you can feel a wave of ultimate terror flow over Brantley and then into you. It's not just a spook and bolt... It's like a freight train of "FUCK I'M GOING TO DIE" which I don't think anyone honestly enjoys.

Not a video of him attempting murder... A much nicer video instead.
Plus of course, camera wasn't rolling because it NEVER is in times of panic.

Luckily it didn't take long for him to get over himself but of course I felt awful about it...
          "Hey! Come ride my horse he's been going great!"
                then "Oh sorry he just tried to take your life..."

K took him over the cross-rails again and he was okay. Still a little more forward than we wanted but no more bolting shenanigans. I hopped on him to make sure there wasn't something else going on and we went over everything without an issue so who knows.

It's really frustrating because I'm not the most competent rider. I'm pretty well balanced and I can basically sit on anything and make it work but I don't have half the training or experience that my fellow horse-friends have. Then I've got this horse that I can gallop through the woods and apparently now jump almost anything put in front of us or hop on bareback for a little cool down... But god forbid someone else gets on him.

Here I am saying to trainers, "My goal is to make him as experienced and as versatile as he can be so that if something happens to me, someone else can just get on and go." but they can't.

And I'm so nervous even to let someone new hop on... Let alone a pony ride.

I'll take any advice... Or if anyone wants to take a trip and ride my pony...

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Corners & A Campout

Some things never change...

The picture on the left is actually from 10 years ago, before Facebook existed... My high school senior photo. A friend's dad shipped Lucky to my high school for me and we took pictures in the parking lot. A lot has changed since then, especially me as a person. Even in those short 2 years that I had had him, I totally spun 180 degree. I look to the right and there's B... Something I never expected to have again and once again I've completely changed as a person... In just a few weeks it will have been 5 years since my life drastically changed but honestly, I wouldn't have traded it for anything.

Speaking of new things... this happened. And Brantley didn't blink an eye. We had a lesson with K on Thursday now that he's been back on track and holding shoes... And she set this up. First go, and we nailed it... Unfortunately I can't seem to figure out a way to download a video editor for my new computer which I'm definitely depressed about buying at this point because I can't do shit... But here's this!

Obviously not perfect but I wasn't even worried about the height which I was sure I would be. We just trotted up and popped over it. There are things that Brantley and I have a difficult time getting through but it's worth the trade when he enjoys this. Or at least it seems like he does. I'm so lucky to have K to guide me through this new experience!

Another new experience? CAMPING! Wendy and I went for a one-nighter with the WGHA. We got there early and went out for a 16-mile ride through some new trails and we ended up riding from the midway to the end with the President of the club who everyone wants to grow up to be. Trust me.. If you met her you'd agree. Brantley got a little strong a few times with the new horse but luckily she was totally great about giving us our space unlike the woman from the hunter pace. It was seriously an honor to get to ride with her. 

Elijah and B had a moment though... Brantley was the caboose of for a bit and we all picked up a canter on a tight trail. Unfortunately before I had the chance to ask Wendy if we could squeeze by when there was space to pass, Brantley read my mind and just went for it. Elijah did not like that, threw a buck I've never seen before which made Brantley do a mini-rear and then Elijah proceeded to pop him one in the neck. We all survived and laughed about it for the rest of the day. No harm, no foul! It's always an interesting ride when we go out with someone new!

Brantley and Elijah were naturals at the camping situation... We definitely had a few really awesome laughs over the weekend and made a few new friends like usual. I honestly think that was the best sleep I had in a while which was awesome. I was definitely itching to go out for the next ride tomorrow. We decided to go for 12 mile but take a quick detour down to the pond for an illegal pony dip.

Now that I look at this picture he does look a little drawn in which could have been the cause for our Sunday ride incident. Never a dull moment. Long story short, we had a mini tack malfunction (thinking my cinch was a tad tight now) that sent Brantley into 2 meltdowns, the 2nd being worse. We were already 6 miles in with 6-8 to go... and he just lost it like a dog jumped out and was attacking him. I was able to calm him down and dismount after the second, but I didn't want to take the chance of another because I knew there was an 80-90% chance he'd do it again and I wouldn't be able to hang on. As we walked backed to meet a trailer (again), I tried to troubleshoot the situation because if I couldn't find a reason for the explosion, I knew we'd have a bigger issue...

Luckily but not luckily, I saw a welt on his side and the D-ring of his cinch must have grabbed him just right and when I touched the area and lept 8ft in the air. I felt AWFUL! He was super lovey and in my pocket the rest of the day which made me feel a bit better but... still...

We got back to the trailer and when I took off his saddle I noticed swelling on his lower back area... Awesome. He bottomed out when I touched him. I wanted to cry because... I'm emotional like that. Once again he nuzzled me like it wasn't my fault... I didn't really want to talk for the rest of the day because I just kept wracking my brain how I missed the whole situation before we went out. Ugh. He must've twisted just right during his "Airs Above the Ground" act but luckily, he's almost back to normal and seems eager to get back under saddle.

Chevy update... He's awesome <3 The end. Tear Drop Winken: August 2016

Tear Drop Winken