Thursday, July 30, 2009

Show Prep

So this week I said I was going to be all about show prep and getting Satin (and myself) back in slow mode for our western pleasure, horsemanship, trail show this Sunday. Well that went out the window pretty quickly.

On Monday Satin got the day off after the gymkhana. This week in summer camp we (meaning the more advanced students and girls who board at the farm) are allowed to do camp because my barn owner D runs a games camp for more advanced riders. So I decided to do the camp on my friend L's stbd mare Lexie so I was riding english which is a rare occurrence for me. Anyway it was fun and she was good for me. We did relay races and things like that. Then on Tuesday night I gave Satin a very short schooling session to tune her up for the show and our lesson the next day. She was very good.

Then on Wednesday night we had our lesson with our fabulous trainer R. As always our lesson was great. We worked on a lot of flexion in both directions which Satin responded well to and we also worked on getting an "animated" trot and canter. That pretty much entailed me curling her up into a little ball so to speak and making her gait more up and down then forward. I also had to work with slightly bending her each direction with each stride and doing it in an invisible manner. This is a pretty difficult exercises, but Satin was awesome and R said it looked great. Then R had us do some exercises turning around the barrels at a trot and canter in order to help us improve our barrel turns. It involved things like doing a figure eight almost between two barrels. We also jumped a small vertical then circled 3 barrels one at a time. Then I did a barrel dash for her and there was just something she was trying to figure out about why Satin paused on her third step around the barrel. So I invited her to get on and feel for herself. That is one thing I love about R she asks if she can get on your horse and if she can do certain things while on. my old trainer would just be like hop off which I was fine with, but its just funny because R is such a change and a good one. Anyway so she did a dash each direction and got some good turns too. Then she was having fun and wanted to do another which I of course said. She told me to make sure I really sit my entire barrel turn and not to get off Satin's back until she is straight again, where before she got on she was saying for me to get up off her back before she was back completely on the straight away. So getting on the horse really changes things and makes it easier for the trainer to fix the problem. Then R started doing some spins and such with her which I was glad about because we will need them Sunday. Her spins have gotten so much better and looked really good.

So today I decided to ride Satin in camp. We did some more baton relay races which we did okay at. She was good but I am not so coordinated and didn't get the baton in the bucket once or twice. We did this in pairs and individually. Then we did musical horses, which is when one person rides and the other walks and when the music stops you switch and the last person to mount loses. My partner and I won the first round and came second in the next two. Then we did a few pole runs, which Satin did nicely and we did one dash., which we won :). So there went my week of keeping it slow haha.

Tomorrow I think we are going to sit out on camp. One reason being we need to work on things for the show and two being that I want Satin to take things easy a little and have a little break because she has been doing a lot of speed lately, plus its been so hot. Though D and I both thought doing a lot of speed would ruin the pleasure aspect, but surprisingly it has made it better. She actually goes nice and slow at the jog and lope. I think because she now gets to gallop and play more often she is fine with going nice and slow and sometimes. So I think things may be looking up for Sunday. Anyway I probably won't be able to write until after the show because it will be a busy few days until then.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Okay, so I have been being a bit of a slacker again, but this summer just has me super busy!

So I will start by telling you about our gymkhana yesterday. We went to the 4H gymkhana at the Monmouth County Fair and we had a great time. Satin was awesome and everyone form my farm kicked butt. We did poles, keyhole, bowtie, barrels, flag race, pin drop, and egg and spoon race. The flag race and pin drop ended up being our best events because though speed is necessary accuracy is also important too. A lot of people went to fast and missed their flags or didn't get their pin in the barrel or the horse was too worked up for them to get it. I was afraid Satin would be like that but she was very good. I kept her a little slower so I made sure I got the flags/pin. It was a tough division because a lot of the people in there are crazy fast, but I was happy with Satin's runs. It was really hot which made it tougher for them and us, but we all managed.

Most of the week me and Satin just had some relaxing fun rides. We just went out and rode in the back and what not to stretch her legs and change things up a bit. This week we have to get back to work though because we have a western pleasure, horsemanship, trail, etc. show this weekend. I am taking it easy on her though because she has been doing a lot of speed lately.

Unfortunately on Thursday we had some sad happenings at the farm. Our oldest resident Snooks, a 29-year-old TB coliced and we had to put him down. I stayed with his owner til midnight walking him and they kept walking him until 4 am. He started to look better for a while and we thought maybe its just a gas colic and he will come out of it, but he never did and ended up getting worse again so his owner made the tough decision to put him to rest. He lived a nice long life though and it was his time. He was a sweet old man and we will all miss him.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

JHR Open House!

So today was our open house that we have been preparing for for weeks. I think it was pretty successful, especially for our first time throwing it. We had a pretty good turnout probably around 60 people or so and made some good money in donations.

The morning was hectic getting all the last minute things set up and horses ready to go. We started a little late because we didn't have that many people at opening and we changed the schedule a bit to accommodate. We started the day off with the trail class which involved me and 3 other people. The 3 others each demoed a single obstacle and Satin and I demoed a full trail course, which went well.

Then we went to the parade of breeds which was nice and went well. We had about ten different breeds including some unusual ones like the International Champagne and Kentucky Mountain Saddle Horse. We gave a short history on each breed and short bio on the horse or horses representing the breed.

Next we had a jump off which was awesome. There were 3 girls and it came down to duel between my friend L on her standardbred who can jump huge (she has jumped out of her 5 foot paddock fence from a stand still) and another friend on the App she leases who has only been jumping for a few months, but is like a little jack rabbit. My barn owner stopped the App from jumping at 3 foot oxers because she didn't want to push him, but had my friend L jump the line one more time with the first jump being a 3'3" oxer and the second being a 3'6" oxer which is the highest she ever jumped (under saddle that is) and she cleared both. The highest she ever jumped before that was a 3'3" single vertical.

Then I did my two freestyles starting with my bridleless to How 'Bout Them Cowgirls which went really well. Satin listened well and was very responsive. I was very happy with it. Then we did our reining freestyle to No Reins, which also went really well. Satin did great, but we were both hot and tired after.

Later on we had an english versus western demonstration which went well also. First they demoed the difference in tack, in hand position, in the walk, trot/jog, canter/lope and then did a routine to music.

Later after that we did games with me and 3 other girls. We had kids pick a horse to represent and if their horse won they got a prize. We did barrel racing, 2 barrel dashes, and pole bending. Each of us won one event each which worked out well. I won one of the barrel dashes which has always been Satin's best event.

Throughout the day we also had pony rides, pictures and grooming, an equine massage demo, raffles, coloring contest, and much more.

Now Satin and I are thoroughly exhausted as are the rest of the crew involved in the demo. It was a long and very hot day for us, but it turned out well so it was worth it and we know what we need to do next time we have one.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

Yay my first blog award!!!

My stb friend from Maine and fellow blogger stbeventer gave me the honest scrap award.
The rules for this award are that I must tell you 10 things you don't about me and then pass it on to ten other bloggers.

Ok so here is my ten things:

1. My father is one of eleven children so I have a very large, very crazy Italian family, but I love every one of them and believe there is no better family to have.

2. I was born in Brooklyn, NY and that is where I was introduced to horses and I know most people would never think someone would get their start in horses in a city like Brooklyn.

3. I love seriously I am OBSESSED. I can often be found with a camera in hand clicking away especially around the farm and hope to make it part of my profession.

4. I am also obsessed with my pony. I know, I know every equestrian says that, but believe my horse friends will even tell you I may be more obsessed then most. Haha :) She is my life, my pride and joy, and my best friend.

5. My favorite thing in life is going for a good gallop. There is absolutely nothing like it in the world. The rush is unbelievable and it just sets you free.

6. On top of writing for a equine magazine I also hope to one day right a book, which will of course be horse related somehow.

7. I also love the look on people's faces when I am out showing, team penning, barrel racing, or anything really on my "senior horse". They see how she acts and looks and ask her age assuming it will be 12 or under and when I say 20 they are like "what?!?". Haha its great she goes out there proves that 20 can be the new 5.

8. One of my favorite places in the whole world (other then the barn) is my friend J's place in upstate NY. She has 80 acres full of horses, log buildings, woods, waterfalls and more. It is just so beautiful, secluded, and peaceful. I never thought I could live anywhere outside the city or suburbia, but I could stay there forever.

9. I am extremely active, over-active sometimes. I am a member of numerous organization, active and board member in some, show my horse, go to school, intern, work, riding other people's horses, am doing a photo session for a friend and much more. I am a doer so to speak. I jump in and get involved in everything when asked or even when not asked. I commit to a million projects at once, but I manage to do them all.

10. I am a HUGE procrastinator. I always wait to the very last minute on everything. I work well under pressure. I always get it done but I kick myself for piling it on at the last minute and like every procrastinator say I will change, but I never will. It works for me.

Okay now I am supposed to pass this on to ten blogs, but I really don't know if I read ten but hear it goes

1. Standardbred Excellence
2. Now THAT's a Trot
3. Not so Standard Standardbred
5. Fugly Horse of the Day
okay so there are supposed to be ten but I could only come up with these 5 because these are the ones I follow regularly.
Thanks stbeventer!

JHR Open House!

Okay so I have been promising some info on this Junior Horse Rescue I have been talking about and it's open house.

So the Junior Horse Rescue is a brand new rescue organization started at my farm. It is run solely by a group of girls all ages 20 and under (with me being the oldest). There is a select group of adults that serve as an advisory board, but again the rescue is run solely by juniors, hence the name Junior Horse Rescue. We are hoping to make a difference one horse or pony at a time. We will be going to the local horse auction and saving a horse out of the kill pen. Once it has been rehabilitated and retrained we will put it up for adoption and use the adoption fee we receive for that horse towards getting the next horse from the auction.

We have been working for weeks towards our biggest fundraising event an open house at our home farm. It will be a fun day filled with demos involving a variety of breeds and disciplines such as reining, jumping, bridleless riding, western pleasure, english, and much more! It will take place this Sunday, July 19 starting at 10 am and ending around 5 pm. There is a $5 admission charge which includes a pony ride, snack, and drink (while supplies last). There will also be other food, drinks, additional pony rides, and items available to support the rescue for sale. Unfortunately due to our insurance children under the age of 5 can not receive a pony ride, so they will be admitted for free and can still see our great demos, brush the horses, and take pictures with our horses. We will also have an equine massage demo, pictures, grooming, raffles, coloring contest, and other games. Come out and join us for a day filled with fun. For more information please go to our website:

All of the proceeds from this event will go directly to the rescue! It really is a great cause and everyone involved is working really hard for this event so I hope we get a good turn out. Its been a tough week because we have been super busy prepping the farm. Today we spent the whole 90 degree day picking manure and old hay out of the fields and removing large sticks and such. Tomorrow we are doing all the inside cleaning in the barns and dragging some of the fields. We did weed removal earlier in the week but will be doing a little more. Then Saturday we have horses to bathe, tack to clean, tables and signs to put up and a bunch more. We have been making signs and information sheets all week. We are putting together the announcer's script and music playlist and the to-do list just goes on and on. It feels never ending already, but it will lead to a great event.

We have all also been practicing all week. I am doing a reining freestyle to music, as well as, a bridleless freestyle to music, so I have been very busy practicing and getting my routines down. I pretty much change it every time I ride it, but that's okay because it give me a feel for how I want to ride it that day. My reining freestyle is to the song "No Reins" by Rascal Flatts and my bridleless freestyle is to the song "How 'Bout Them Cowgirls" by George Strait. So Tuesday I practiced my bridleless routine and she was bit quick at the lope and didn't want to stop, but it wasn't too bad. Wednesday we took a break from all the work and went on a trail ride with my friend L, which was a lot of fun as always. Today I practiced both routines. My bridleless was much better. She loped slower and was listening better and it turned out pretty well. My reining freestyle was good, as well. I am getting my timing and ideas down and Satin knows as soon as she hears the song what is to be expected Lol :). Tomorrow is my last day to practice both freestyles because Saturday I have a lesson with my trainer.

We will also be taking part in a few other demos that day. We will be representing the quarter horse in the parade of breeds, doing a western trail class pattern, and taking part in the games portion of events. There will be 4 of us doing barrels, poles, dash, and relay race. Those who attend the event will be able to win prizes if they choose the winner of the events correctly. Then we will also take part in closing ceremonies, so it will be a long, busy, but fun day for Satin and I. Bridleless riding has become a passion of mine since watching the Stacy Westfall bareback and bridleless reining freestyle to the song "Live Like You Were Dying" (if you haven't seen it you absolutely must) and I have always wanted to perform my own bridleless freestyle so now is my chance because she will be quietest with it at home. Anyway so that's what my week / weekend has been like. I probably will be too busy to write again until Monday when the open house is over, but maybe I will see some of my readers there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Super Busy Week!

Sorry for being a slacker again last week, but it was such a crazy busy week for me. I was pretty much only home to sleep.

So as I mentioned in my last post last week I taught summer camp at my farm all week. It went well for the most part. The kids seemed to have fun and it gave me some cash which is always helpful. Satin had to do it too because we needed an extra horse, which she was not too thrilled about, but she survived. The hard part was having more patience with the kids since I don't have too much of that lol. The girl who rode Satin was very nervous and tended to give up a little too easy on things, which frustrated me, but by the end of the week she was doing better.

Monday we had a schooling session and she was good then I just spent the night relaxing. On Tuesday night we had a games day and ran the barrel pattern which we haven't done in forever and Satin was great. Wednesday I rode Satin bareback and played around and practiced some bridleless. Thursday night we went to a local horse farm that does jackpot barrels, poles, and barrel dash every Thursday night. We did the barrel pattern in 20 something seconds, which we probably could have done faster, but I was happy with it anyway. We both got a bit flustered and almost missed our first turn lol. Our barrel dash was awesome. We had the 3rd fastest time of the night at 8.7 seconds but unfortunately we knocked the barrel. Our pole run was in 30 seconds because Satin got a bit anxious and didn't want to run through the pattern home just wanted to dash straight home so we almost missed our turn. All in all though I was very happy with our night. We had a lot of fun and Satin was awesome for her first time doing that away from home. My friend K won some money on her horse Smokey and our friends horse Cindy. She got the 2nd fastest dash time of the night on Smokey just ahead of me in 8.4.

On Friday we had another new experience and went team penning, which is something I have been wanting to try. Satin was great she acted like she was around cows all the time, which is how I figured she would be. Our first run I didn't know you had to watch the herd and too many got past the timer which was my fault. In our second run my partner got bucked off. My 3rd run with my friend K was awesome. We got our cow in 30 seconds partly because my partner is really good at it and because I was getting the idea of the right way to do it. My 4th run I did much better, but my partner, who was another friend we will call E, got too ahead of the cow and we didn't get our cow (she is also the cow that got bucked off). I let my barn owner's friend D ride Satin in one of the runs. He rides race horses and does team penning a lot so I wanted to see how Satin would do with someone who really knows how to do it. She did awesome! He sent her right into the herd and cut the cow out of there and drove it to the pen like she had been doing it all her life. They got their cow in 24 seconds. He thought she was awesome and couldn't believe she was 20. He thought she was a baby. Another guy asked me if she was a baby earlier in the night too lol. It was a lot of fun though and I look forward to doing it again.

After all that work during the week, I gave her the weekend off. Today my long time horse friend Anne came out to visit. We did some schooling and worked on our demo for the open house this weekend, which I promise I will post more about tomorrow or Wednesday.

In other news, my birthday is coming up next week which I am looking forward too and I am also getting a new car this weekend since the lease on my current car is going to be up. I am not sure what I am getting yet, but either way its exciting. As far as the job front I am working on my internship and doing a photography project for a friend. I am not getting paid for this photo thing because its a good friend and I am just doing because I want too, but hopefully I can use the pictures to get future projects.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ok so I have been slacking ...

Sorry everyone but things have been super busy so I have been a bit of slacker in my blogging as a result of it. I will try to give you the short version of the past 2 weeks.

I did get to go on my trail ride I mentioned in my last post and it was great, just me and Lisa like old times. All last week I was in Las Vegas all week visiting with relatives. My aunt lives there and another aunt from AZ met me there and my cousin came out as well. We had a fantastic time getting to see the fam and seeing tons of shows and what not. It was great. The only down side was missing a week of riding but my friend KB rode my pony a little for me while I was away.

I got back from Vegas on Tuesday and spent the whole day at the barn of course. We had games day and Satin was wonderful of course. Wednesday I schooled her and she was very good. Thursday we had a lesson and again she was great. We did a lot of bending work and some counter canter work. We even had to start on the correct lead then reverse to the counter canter. Satin of course wanted to do a flying change onto the correct lead when we reversed, but after a few tries we finally got it perfect. We also worked on spins, rollbacks, and sidepassing which are all improving quite nicely. My trainer R even said everything is looking great. Friday we had another games day, which of course was a blast. We tried a tie down which she didn't really mind and had some awesome poles runs. Yesterday I gave the princess pony the day off and she got a nice bath and today we had another schooling session. We jumped a little and friend C jumped her a bit as well. We also did some brideless work.

Today I also went over to the QH show to check out the reining. The pattern was actually pretty simple so I plan to work on sharpening up Satin's reining skills a bit more and taking her to a QH show next year to try the reining. I am pretty excited about it, but I know I will be super nervous when the time comes, but it will be fun and something I always wanted to do.

This week I am teaching summer camp at the farm all week so that should be interesting and fun too. On Thursday we are going to a local horse farm that runs weekly barrels, poles, and barrel dash so I am definitely looking forward to that.

In other news, the internship is going well and I have lots of demands on my photo skills. I am loving my new camera. Ok will update more soon!