Friday, February 26, 2010

Horse Sledding Pics

So in a few of my recent posts I have mentioned my new found favorite winter sledding. So I added below a few pictures of myself and some friends sledding. The horse is the Stbd gelding I refer to as boyfriend and the rider my friend H.

More Snow Pics

During the snow storm we had a couple of weeks ago, I was of course out at the farm with my trusty camera and captured some great shots so figured I would share some.

My Beautiful Girl

Miss Tia

Mr. Bob

Play nice boys

Hotty...handsome boy

Fred ... such a cute old man

Click romping through the snow

Sky running through the snow

Toro loves playing in the snow

Mister Indy


The girls playing in the snow

Smokey Jones

Hez Monster

Lexie Lu enjoying the snow

The Lovely Miss Patty

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More Snow!

Okay so let's back track to last week. Last Friday and Saturday I went to Delaware to visit my friend KT. We had a good time and it was great to catch up. So as a result, the pony got two more days off.

On Sunday I just walked and trotted bareback around the farm in the few decent paths I could find. Then Sunday night I attended the SPHO awards banquet. We had a great time! They changed the venue this year to the track which was very fitting. The room was bigger and the food was better. We had a gift auction which I help my friend with every year. I won a back on track therapeautic sheet which everyone wanted to steal from me. It fits Satin perfectly and will be great especailly after barrel racing. I also won a gift certificate toward a website starter package so hopefully I will soon have my own website for Shutter Savvy Images!!! There was a live auction for a $500 gift certificate for Patty Hogan's vet services which brought in $1200 to be put toward sending 5 of our members and their horses to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky. I hope to be at the games myself with my friend who is going. It will be an awesome experience and I want to photograph and write all about it. Anyway my friend H who owns the horse I affectionately refer to as boyfriend was the star of the awards night bringing home over 15 prizes including High Point Standardbred. Last year my friend L won every award so this year it was H's turn. Our friend from Maine who has the Standardbred Excellence blog came down for the awards and we all went out to dinner the night before. It was nice to see her. We all had a great night celebrating friend's accomplishments and dancing the night away.

L slept over afterwards and came to my one class of the day with me as it is a big lecture hall. Then we went to the farm and rode with K. There was a path cleared in the grass field that was good enough to get some riding in, so we were able to walk, trot, and canter for a little bit. Tuesday it rained all day long so I didn't get out to the farm at all.

Yesterday though I was finally able to get to R's for my lesson. Satin was hyper from lack of work and was running and bucking in her field. Then she practically ran me to the trailer. So I had a feeling I was in for an interesting lesson. We started off with some work jogging and trying to get her head lower. Then we did work getting a really extended trot. It took some work from both of us to get her to the point R wanted. Her little legs don't like trotting that fast haha. Afterwards we did some canter work. Her transitions were a bit slow and rammy compared to how perfect they had been, but that is due to lack fo real work. Her canter was also fast so we spent a good portion of the lesson working on different ways to slow it down and keep it there and by the end she was doing better. She was definitely in one of her fighting moods though, not wanting to slow down. We ended with some backing through a L and sidepassing as well as quarter turns which she did nicely.

Today it is snowing AGAIN. The only good thing is I was able to stay home from school :) So plan to spend the day relaxing and getting some research done. I am hoping for a day off tomorrow too. My weekend upstate of course got canceled again, aiming for 2nd weekend in March

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Super Busy = Super Slacker Blogger

I'm so sorry that I have been a horrible slacker these past two weeks, but I have been crazy busy! So this will be a long one to get you guys updated.

Okay so we last left off with me waiting for the snow to hit which it did leaving us over a foot by Saturday night. That means I did not get out of my house until Sunday morning, which I was very unhappy about, but I had a good sunday to make up for it. I started off by going to my friend H's farm to visit her and horse who I refer to as boyfriend because of his handsomeness and the fact that we are in love lol. Anyway so we decided to go horse sledding. She put his driving breast collar on him and we attached long lines to it. We then sat in the sled and held onto the lines letting him pull us. It took some figuring out but once we got it down we had a BLAST. In the beginning bf was not a fan of the lines as they rubbed on his butt and legs at times. Once he got used to it he settled down and was an all star. The snow was deep causing the sled to get stuck at first. We figured the key was two people and once we wore a track down we did pretty good. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs. Then I went off to my farm and of course had to try it with Sat. Before that though we went on a walking snow trail and the woods were just gorgeous. I wish I had my camera. Then we came back and tried the sledding. We used lunge lines instead of long lines and I attached them to the buckles on my girth of my western saddle and put her breast collar on to prevent saddle slippage. She was a ROCKSTAR. I had my friend E walk behind us holding the lines rubbing them against her and what not and she didn't even flinch. She just looked at us like 'is there a reason you guys are annoying me with these big long lines or what?' We found a plowed path in the back and walk, trot, cantered pulling the sled and had tons of fun. Then that evening I finally saw the movie I was dying to see with L.

Monday we decided to sled again and also tried it with K's pony Smokey who was equally as behaved. Tuesday we rode bareback in the ring and had a barn sleepover since we were expected to have heavy snow Wednesday and we knew we would all have snow days. So me, K, E, and our other friend C along with my barn manager and her two younger children as well as our race friend DN had a fun filled evening of eating and watching movies. The next morning we woke up to 8 inches on the ground and sleet coming down, but horses still had to go out. So off we went to turn the ponies out in the lovely weather. E went home sick at like 8 am and C went home at noon before the weather got to bad. At around 3 or 4 when the sleet finally turned back to snow as promised K and I broke out the sled and the ponies. We sledded all around the farm in the dense blizzard with k's little brother and another friend KA. It was a complete white out. We could not even see in front of us when riding because the snow was hitting us in the face, but we had fun. I spent the night again as the weather was bad. My school of course only gave us a delayed opening the next day, but I took the day off as the roads were very icy from the snow, sleet and hail, snow combination. Thursday morning we now had to dig out the paddock gates and tredge through over two feet of snow and ice to get the ponies out which was of course tons of fun. We tried to keep them in the deep snow to avoid them slipping on ice which they of course did not want to do and the frisky ones made it even more fun.

I was glad to be at the farm during the storm though as it relieved me from being bored at home. Plus we lost power in my house Wednesday night until Thursday afternoon which equals no heat among other things. The benefit of all the snow was great snow pics which I will try and post soon. Thursday we let the ponies be and just hung out in the house watching movies and what not in between barn work. Friday we again gave the ponies off.

Saturday I woke up early and went with my friend to her house to feed her 2 ponies as she had slept over the night before. We then rode her soon to be 4 year old filly out in the snow. It was her first time out in snow especially snow that deep, well riding at least, and she was a trooper. We just trotted her around a little as we had to get to my friend H's farm again for more horse sledding. Me and H wanted to get pics this time. We got some awesome ones which I will try and post as well. We didn't sled as much this time since we only had one path plowed enough that wasn't icy. Everything else was too deep. Then H and her friend S cantered bf in the snow. By the time they stopped her was exhausted. We even got H's trainer, a former olympian, in the sled. Then my friend and I were off to my farm. The usual gang (K, L, and E) were out as well and we all rode out in the snow. After watching H canter around and getting some great shots of it I wanted to as well. I got my friend who we will call KC up on Patty and off we went. We rode around in one of the paddocks but not for very long. Me and K were the only ones to canter as L cantered in a part that was slippery from us trotting in it and Lexie fell. Both were okay though. After a fun horse filled day KC and I went out for a while and I spent the night at her house.

Sunday the pony got the day off and I went to a movie with C and E. Monday I rode in the deep snow again for a bit and Tuesday she got off again since our riding choices were either deep snow or ice. Yesterday we walked and trotted bareback and today we just walked and stretched her legs. I am sick of the snow already and would like to see what the arena looks like again so we can really ride. I was supposed to have a lesson in R's indoor Wednesday but her driveway was way to icy and snow filled to get the trailer in. They say possibly more snow Sunday or Tuesday and I definitely hope NOT!

Anyway in other news I have been busy with school and last weekend as you saw very busy as well. This weekend I am visiting my friend tomorrow to Saturday and Sunday night have the SPHO banquet. I also am moving forward with my photo work and started Shutter Savvy Images. I am donating a session to the banquet auction and hope to get some jobs. Fingers crossed! I also finished my other article for Hoofbeats which prints in August!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I HATE snow!

Sorry I have been slacking a bit this week in my posting. But don't worry I am going to give you guys a full update. First of all I am sitting home right now hiding from the snow. Not sure if it has actually started yet but it will be starting any second and supposed to go all the way until tomorrow afternoon some time. Hopefully it won't go on too long because I would like to go play in the snow with my pony and do not want to be stuck in the house all day long. Snow ruin everything, but thats besides the point.

Anyway, lets see. Well last Friday and Saturday I was not able to ride due to the horribly cold temps. It was in the twenties both days. Low twenties. Yuck! I slept over at Ks house Saturday night during which we got about an inch of snow. K as you all may remember is my barn manager's daughter and therefore lives on the farm property. So Sunday morning after a big breakfast we headed out and rode bareback. Just a 20 minute hack around the ring; walk, trot, canter. Then Monday it was time to get back to work before our lesson Wednesday. We worked on lead changes which were a little lazy (she kept forgetting the back). But we kept working at it and ended with some nice clean changes. I think she was just a bit stiff from the cold and having a few days off. We also worked on how many times we could switch leads across the ring. It went a little better than last time, but still not awesome.

Tuesday we worked on collected and extended trot which again was awesome. She transitioned from one to the other with just my seat and legs no rein neccessary. The canter changes from collected to extended were not as easy. She was very frisky and head strong wanting to run not lope never mind collected canter. But I got in the end though I had to fight for it a little. Then again we did the leads across the ring which improved a little more but not the best. We also did quarter turns at the walk, jog, and lope. She did pretty good and her halts were nice. She did not swing her butt out, which made me happy. Her sidepass was also very nice.

Wednesday we had a lesson with our fabulous trainer R. We did things a little differently working on getting better turns for games like barrels and poles instead of working on things that would come into play in western pleasure, trail, or reining. It was a nice change of pace and a much needed aid. Satin turns well but tends to have this one step around the barrel where she gets "stuck". R as always knew exactly what the cause was and had the fix. It was really a result of my focus. My eye went down impeding forward motion and killing the turn. We had to retrain me out of my bad habit and in turn re train her. First we jogged serpentines through a set of 3 cones. Then we began loping and turning around the last cone and loping back as if we were doing barrel dash. Except unlike barrel dash there was a cone as I said and this cone was in a very small space between a jump and the wall of the indoor. So it was a very tight turn we had to make. Though as always with R accomplishing this harder task makes the real thing easier. Plus in poles we would be turning around something thinner than a cone and would want it to be as tight as if it was in the little space between jump and wall. It took a few tries but in time we were able to get some nice turns that R and I were both very happy with from Satin and I. Our homework was to go home and practice the turns around the actual barrel using my improved focus and body position. She instructed me to start slow at the lope before than try it faster if she does well. She said practice with one barrel than make it 2 than when she masters that go to 3.

Yesterday the ring was too hard by the time I got out to do much so I just walk, jogged her bareback. That was fine because she definitely had a hard workout the day before. Today the ring was nice and I wanted to get a good ride in before the snow came and took away riding days. So I put on her games bridles and decided to go do our homework. We started with some turns around the barrel at the trot to warm up. Then we did some slow ones at the lope in both directions and we got some really nice turns. I was really happy with her and myself. The old girl was feeling frisky though. On the way home from one of the slow ones she threw a few happy bucks. D actually rode Jewel with us and we convinced one of the boarders B to climb aboard the wonderful Patty. When they stepped out of the ring to wait for me to take a walk on the trails I decided to do one fast one since her slow tunrs had been so nice. She jumped into her left lead so I said okay I guess we will do it to the left even though her turns are better to the right. She blasted off bucking all the way to the barrel! I sat back, let her get a few out of her system, then tried to pull her head up. I was not able to do so until we reached the barrel which was a few bronco imitations late LOL!So of course I had to do it again. This time we did a fast one to the right and she was perfect. She went for it, total blast off. Her turn was beautiful and smooth right into her run for home. Then we went on a short walking trail with D and B so we had a fun riding day which may have to last us a few days.

So anyway hopefully I will get in some riding in the snow this weekend. Sunday I think I am going to go visit my friend H at her farm. She has a sled she is very excited to hook up to her horse who I call Boyfriend and invited me over to play LOL!

In other news school is going well. Six classes is not killing me as much as I thought (knock on wood). My photography is also getting ready to take off or I hope so at least. I am donating a photo shoot to the SPHO banquet so I needed a name which with some help I finally decided is going to be Shutter Savvy Images. I am pretty excited at the prospect. I will keep you guys updated!