Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm Back!

Hey everyone, I'm back! So as I mentioned I was away on vacation and returned earlier this week, but have been super busy since I got back catching up on things. I was very happy to see my wonderful pony who I missed oh so much. While I was gone she shedded out the resrt of her winter coat and her head healed up, now just have to wait for the hair to grow back.

So my first day back after a week of no riding was a lesson with my wonderful trainer R. Luckily L had written Satin a couple of times during the week for me so she was feeling good for our lesson. She got her teeth done while I was away so she was feeling much better in that department as well. She jogged and loped nicely right from the start then we did some work on horsemanship patterns using my one from the last show for practice. R had me do it one handed as I would in the show and we got some really nice ones. We had a few problems here and there with sloppy transitions or halts or Satin getting too rushy, but in the end we had some nice smooth ones that R and I were very happy with. The pattern included a 180 to the right which is Satin's weaked spinning direction and she did some really great ones, so I was very happy about that as was R.

Thursday I hacked Satin around the farm and we did the barrel once or twice as the mare was dying to stretch her legs. Then Friday when I got her out and started riding she felt funny at the trot. She was taking a weird step in the back so I brought over my barn manager D to take a look and she said she was dragging the back right toe. She said it was probably her arthritis acting up as that is the hock she has it in. Plus she is used to getting worked 5-6 times a week which helps her from getting stiff and while i was away she got about half that. So I walked her for about 20 minutes, cold hosed her leg for about 20 minutes, and then put linament on both hind legs. The next day she was feeling good and back to normal. We hacked around the farm starting with 15 minutes of walking to stretch her out then another 15 minutes of trotting and light canter as next day I planned to take her on a hunter pace.

So the following day which was Sunday we went on the SPHO pleasure pace. K and Smokey were our partners. L and Lexie were supposed to be but Lexie's hock issues was flaring up and she had to have injections during the week so she couldnt attend the pace. We always have fun with K and Smokey on the trails though so it worked out. We had wanted to do the ten mile course but since Satin had been bit off only a couple of days before I decided not to push my luck and we did the shorter 6 mile course. Our friend S did not have a partner and just rode along with K and I. It was hot day but we got to the pace early and had a lot of fun. We had one little problem getting lost where some of the markers had been taken down. The organizers had had to remark several times because of that. They had said the footing was a bit muddy, but that wa sonly true in a few places and we were able to walk, trot, canter, and even get in a short gallop or two. Satin was feeling good to say the least. She was her usual self prancing and dancing and chomping at the bit the whole way. We ended up first in our division and 4 minutes off the optimal time which was pretty good.

After the pace E, L's mom M, and I went to the track where our friend B's race filly was running in her second race. It was a very exciting with B's mare leading to the wire. From our angle we thought she had it, but it ended in a photofinish and she got 2nd by a nose. It ended up being better though so now she can stay at these conditions, but boy did she run great! I also got some great pics.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I know, I know ...slacking

I know I have been slacking again, just been busy busy. I will give you the short catch up instead of the play by play.

So last I left off I was going team penning. It was fun, I missed it. The cows were fresh and tough, really made us work. My usual partner (my barn manager D) and I had one good 40 second run and another with a tough cow we didnt get. Then I did a few with my friend E and we got one in 40 something and another in a minute. As the season goes on the cows will get into the swing of things. That weekend I went to the Jersey Fresh CCI event at the horse park. It was fun as always and extra fun that I had my good camera this year and got some great shots! Saturday was cross country and Sunday was show jumping. They had dressage Friday but I didn't get to go to that.

Last Wednesday we had a lesson...finally! It was a tough one. R gave both Satin and I a workout, but it ended well. We hadn't had any real working rides since the show just out of laziness really, so Satin was a bit rambly and her transitions were lacking. She was also a bit quicker than she had been, of course. We mostly focused on her headset for pleasure classes. She was sticking her head and neck up even more than usual. Both R and I think she needs her teeth done as she also resisted bit contact more than usual. She never likes a lot of contact due to her western training, but that day she was more unhappy about it than usual. We did some work on rollbacks which went pretty well. Then R got on to work on the head set issue and figure out the right fix as she is so good at. After about 10 or 15 minutes she found what worked and we got Satin stretching her neck out and down at the jog and then a bit at the lope. She instucted me to do half halts left, right, left, right in time with the stride as well as adding inside leg pressure every other stride. It's a lot of work and focus, but it gets results. She had me bring her head down lower than I actually need it so that when I do that in my show warm up she will keep her head in the exact spot I need it during the classes. So my homework was to work on that everyday.

Thursday I did my R homework then went on a nice trail ride with L and S. Satin and I had not been out in a while so it was a welcome break for both of us. We wanted to go team penning again Friday but we were unfortunately rained out :( Saturday we did our homework again, but Satin was a bit resistive again. Afterwards we did some bridleless work and she was great! (especially since we had not practiced in a while)

Saturday afternoon I went upstate to Jill's as we were supposed to go on a hunter pace Sunday but Jill ended up being sick and we didn't go. I rode at her place though first on her friend's draft then on the filly Flo and had a nice relaxing time. Flo is doing really well. She jogged off perfectly, head nice and low. Her canter was a bit quick but I got her to collect, lower her head, and slow down. I even cantered her through the poles that were set up and she flipped her front lead every time not always the back though. Then we did some flying lead changes and she did them perfectly. She reminds me of Satin as every time you take her down the middle to circle she thinks you are going to ask for a change and anticipates it LOL!

Tomorrow I leave for vaca so I will be slacking on posting for a little bit. Oh forgot to mention that on the way to team penning the princess cut her head in the trailer. We later found a bees nest in the light above her head and figured that was the cause since she always trailers perfectly. My ride upon my return will be a lesson with R so that will be interesting. K and L will be riding Sat in my absence, but I won't be riding at all unfortunately

Friday, May 7, 2010

Taking a little time for R&R

This week since the horse show Satin and I have been just having some playtime and relax time. She did plenty of work up until the show so I felt she and I both deserved some rides that were just for fun not for work.

Monday of course she got the day off from the show and I took her out to graze on the nice spring grass. Tuesday we rode bareback in the back of the property under the trees where its cool. We just did walk, trot, canter and one of the log jumps. Wednesday we rode bareback again and I put her in a D ring snaffle. I jumped her over some of the stuff set up in the ring and I feel bad to always be jumping her in that heavy western bit, which is why I switched to the snaffle for the day. She did really well. She used to jump really high and take off to and after the jump. We cantered a line of two crossrails and she did it nice and slow and jumped them at normal height. I was quite proud. We also did a smalle vertical, probably about 2 foot and a combination of a crossrail and 2'6ish vertical which she also did well if not maybe too slow. Yesterday we put the tack back on and rode under the trees again where it was nice and cool. We just hacked around, a light walk, trot, canter.

Today we are going team penning which we haven't done since the fall so I am looking forward to it. And in other good news classes are done and I am 2 exams away from freedom!

Monday, May 3, 2010

First Show of the Season

Yesterday was my first show of the season and it went very well. Satin and I started with speed in the morning and were reserve champion! We were 2nd in barrels and poles with K winning 1st. Being 2nd to K and Smokey I basically consider a win since Satin is not as fast as Smokey and beat some horses she competed against before that have beaten us. We came 4th in keyhole because Satin and I had a miscommunication error. I planned to rollback her to the left and she decided she was going to rollback to the right causing me to almost come right out of the saddle. This cost us a little on time, but we still came in 4th, so it was okay. So we came in reserve and K came grand.

Then like four hours later after standing in the horrible heat all day with a mare in heat we had our pleasure division. In the future if the show day is that hot I will only do speed and then let Satin go home, but R and I wanted to see how she would be doing speed and pleasure in the same day with speed first so this was our test show. We pinned much better than I expected. By the time we got to the pleasure we were both hot, tired, etc, etc. Satin wanted nothing more than to get it over with and be done and I can't blame her. She was quicker than she should be in pleasure, but that is not unusual for her. She was as quick as she usually is when we go to the show for pleasure, which of course kills me because she jogs and lopes so beautifully at home. Anyway, the point is I don't think doing speed in the morning affected her for the pleasure. I think it was just the heat and all that.

All in all though we pinned better than I thought we would. The horsemanship pattern was not hard, but was set very tight and Satin was not giving me the sharp precise transitions she usually does. The judge we had is also a stickler on the patterns being perfect. If your horse takes a step backwards because he is antsy or something he considers that going of course. Anyway my pattern was a bit quick and sloppy so I was not very happy with it. Before the pinning was announced the judge came over and said that three out of the six of us had not done the pattern correctly and should be more careful when checking our patterns. I thought "Oh great that must mean me" Then they pinned the class and we got 2nd! Needless to say I was surprised but very happy.

In the pleasure class the judge's sheet somehow got marked wrong and only said walk - jog so he had us all walk - jog and then called us in to pin. Then the ring steward told him how we are supposed to lope and after they conferred a few minutes he sent us back out for the lope. I didn't even feel like he was looking at us that much as I had a lot of chances to correct and slow her, but in the end we pinned a 3rd! Then we went on to command which I was confident about since it is usually her strongest class due to her reining roots and the fact that it doesn't matter how slow you are. It unfortunately ended up being our worst class. The first thing the judge asked was lope then halt, which tends to get people out quickly because the horse will fidget and take a step or two. I practice this with Satin all the time because of that and what happens she gets antsy and moves and we pin 5th. The trail class, which is our other strong class, was our last class. By the time we hit that class Satin had had enough. She was rushing through the obstacles which makes her sloppy, but I was able to rein her in and make her take her time. As my old trainer used to say there is not time limit so stop and fix her and make her wait if you have to. She blasted off on the two parts of the pattern that required a lope and tried to canter the trot parts and trot some of the walk parts. When we went to the mailbox I set her up over the pole and she started sidepassing before I asked which was okay. We ended up pinning 2nd though which is what we usually pin since my friend J who competes us against has a been there done that WP horse that usually is grand for the division. So all in all I was pretty happy with that division.

Everyone else from the barn had a good day as well so Showtime came home hot and tired, but successful.