Thursday, October 22, 2009

Upstate and Allaire

So as I said in my last post I went to my friend J's ranch in upstate N.Y. this past weekend. We lucked out weather wise since the forecast was beyond grim. We got up around 8 on Friday so we didn't get to play with the ponies until Saturday. Saturday was chilly, but dry unlike previously forecasted. I had a chance to work with Flo, the palo filly I have mentioned in previous posts. The last time I rode her I used a saddle that does not fit me at all and it really affected the enjoyment of my ride because I could not get a good seat. The seat on the saddle was too big for me which I could have overcome if the stirrups went short enough. I could deal with one or the other, but the combo of the too long stirrups and too big seat made it difficult to get a good position and really enjoy my ride. This time I used a saddle that fits me much better in the seat and stirrups so my ride was much better. Flo is really becoming a great pleasure horse. Her jog is too die for. It is slow, comfy, and she has a nice headset. She has been mostly being worked English because the girl who excercises her for J rides english. Her canter is super comfy, like a rocking chair, but its a medium paced hunter canter not a slow even lope or even close to it. Like J said this is because the girl who rides her has been working on working her up in tempo and headset for jumping. When I am up there I will work on her western as much as I can, but I am not up there enough so hopefully Jill and the trainer work on it in between.

A few weeks back Flo was spooked by a bear in the ring where she was turned out. She ran through the fence and cut up her legs. Luckily the cuts were all superficial, but it definitely had an effect on her. When riding her in the ring where the incident occurred she is very looky. Her ears are always up and head up looking around. When asked to give you her headset and set up she will and a few moments later looks up again. She is still not over the trauma of the bear incident obviously. She did a nice spook at some deer creeping through the trees too. Hopefully with some time she will begin to get over it. She is still very calm and quiet for a three year old.

I also had a chance to ride Max, the gray gelding I wrote about in earlier posts that I described as a barrel/reining prospect. I set up the barrels and did some work with turns trotting and walking him around through the pattern in both directions. Then I tried to canter him through. He broke in between, but cantered parts. He is still out of shape too so you can't fault him. We did a dash or two and even let him run a little. He did a slow hand gallop and I didnt push him for more because again he is not in shape. He was a good boy as usual and has some nice turns. With more work he will be in shape and much better with turns and what not.

On Monday I finally got back on my mare after four days of not riding her due to rain and being away. We just rode around the farm and did the same on Tuesday. Yesterday was gorgeous and my friend K and I went on a trail ride in the local state park. I am doing an article on this park so I needed to go and we have been wanting to go for a while anyway. We rode for about 2 hours exploring the trails and eventually it lead back to the main path. The trails were gorgeous with mostly good footing. We had a great galloping spot and some beautiful autumn scenery. I got a lot of gorgeous pictures as well. The trails are also open to bike riders and walkers so some are narrow and windy, but most good for a horse to pass. I look forward to going again and exploring the other paths since there were a ton of them we passed along the way we chose.

Today we just hacked around the farm enjoying the beautiful weather. Tomorrow we are going team penning for my friend's birthday. It will probably be one of the last times for the season so should be fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Playing Catch Up

As usual, I am playing catch up again. Busy, busy with school, the pony, etc. Okay so over last weekend I was up in New Hampshire for my cousin's wedding, for which I was a bridesmaid. I took two days off of school to get a long weekend, which was nice. And it was great to get to spend time with the whole family. We don't get to get together enough, so it's nice when we do. The wedding was beautiful and we all had a blast.

In other news, I spent the rest of the week catching up on missed riding, which was put to a screeching halt by this horrible cold and wet weather we are having. Tuesday we went barrel racing of course. I don't even want to talk about the barrels, they were horrible. My first two turns were all over the ring and my third was so tight we knocked the barrel. Our dash wasn't bad. We got an 8.9, but our turn was ten miles wide so we could have been closer to last weeks time if not for that. We redeemed ourselves in the poles though. We had our best poles run so far! We got a 27.066 seconds and all of our turns were beautiful. If I could get her to go a little faster going back up the poles we would have even better time, but I was very happy with that run.

So I spent Wednesday working on our barrel turns because I know my mare has awesome turns in her. Thanks to the help of my friend K who is more experienced with barrels than I am we got them going pretty well. We figured out that I should run the pattern to the left rather than to the right like I usually do because she does her turns much better in that direction. It seems her left turns are her weaker ones and if I run the pattern starting to the left that will be the only left turn she has to make. I am thinking of even running my dash to the right since that seems to be her stronger turning direction.

Unfortunately today my riding got reined out. This weekend I am going upstate to my friend J's with my friend S. I was looking forward to riding Flo and Max but this weather prediction isn't looking good for that. Hopefully we will get at least one day of riding though. Either way we will have fun and find something to do and its still a weekend away to relax.

Anyway thats pretty much the news for now, stay tuned for next week!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Show and Barrels

Okay so I have been crazy busy which means I have not kept things updated here. During last week I spent my riding time prepping for the western pleasure, horsemanship, trail show I had last weekend. So I had the show Sunday and it went well. Satin was very good. Her transitions were much better and her lope slower for most of the classes at least. We came 4th in pleasure, horsemanship, and command due to missing our counter canter which we always get. But I had the same problem in my lesson today as well and have it fixed. We came 2nd in trail though which is always our best class and we do compete against born and bred pleasure horses who do it in the breed shows. So all in all I was happy with our day and it is our last one of those for the season.

Then yesterday we went barrel racing. We had a pretty good barrel time for us with a 19.7. She just doesn't seem to run in between the barrels, not sure why. We had an amazing dash thought. We got an 8.5 which is even better than our last time. Our turn was a little wide though so we have been even faster if not for that. We had a pretty good poles run except her first turn was a bit wide but we got a 27.5 which is very good since we used to do 30s.

Today we had our lesson which was good as usual. I can't say enough how much I love our trainer R. We did some flat work, bending, transitions, etc. We worked on simple changes from the correct lead to the counter canter and back. We also worked on our horsemanship pattern from the last show, which went pretty good at the show except for a break in the jog, but we perfected it in the lesson. We also worked on flying lead changes, which my horse can do with her eyes closed. Sometimes she gets quick and rushes because she anticipates too much which makes her changes sloppy and sometimes she forgets to switch behind because of that or what not. We had some late ones, but we also had a lot of great ones, so that was good. I am trying to work on getting them perfect every time since I eventually I want to do some reining stuff maybe at QH shows.

On the non-horsey front, school is school. The usual business with reading and papers and midterms coming. Also this weekend I have my cousin's wedding and I am in the bridal party so that will be fun and busy.