Friday, November 26, 2010

Hotty Update

Okay, so a while back I wrote about Hotty, my friend's OTTB I had been riding. Well I have more bragging to do. He has just been doing AWESOME! He gets better and better every week.

He has become even more of a pleasure pony than when I last wrote. His jog is amazing. It just gets better every ride. I now have him neck reining like a champ. When his ADD isnt acting up and he concentrates on me he moves completely off my seat which makes neck reining a breeze. I have him figure eighting and serpentining all around on a loose rein at the jog. We haven't been doing much canter work lately because I have been focusing on developing his jog and neck reining, but I plan to get back to it soon.

He has also become a wonder trail horse, meaning trail obstacles. I started each obstacle on the ground with some treats and he took to them right away. He works the mailbox like a champ. Once he found out there were treats hidden there he decided he loved it. LOL I also have him walking calmly and willingly over the bridge, our bridge being a flat piece of plywood. He will even back over it and stand on it. We have also practiced knocking a pole down off 2 barrels and walking over it, which he was completely unfazed by. Most recently we began working with picking up a jacket off one standard and moving it to another. I started practice on this on a breezy day taking off my jacket which I flapped all over his neck and head without so much as a flinch. Then put it on the jump, picked it up, moved it, etc, no issue at all! Afterwards I even put it over his face when on the ground and he didnt care. We also began practicing the rope gate on the ground which didnt faze him at all.

I am so proud of the progress he has been making so quickly. I just grow more attached to him by the day. He is so smart, talented, and willing.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Catch up

Okay so now I will try to sum the past 6 weeks up for you.

Let's start with the most important topic...Satin. Okay so since we last spoke we had our last horse show which went pretty well. Her barrel run wasn't her best but she woke up for the last two events and we ended up reserve for the show and for the year. Our banquet is tomorrow where we will receive our trophies.

About two weeks ago i broke down and decided to have an english lesson with some encouragement from R. The monday before the lesson I had my jumper friend S give me some pointers. I switched Sat from a snaffle to pelham to help with the getting too strong problem and she was better. We did some nice lines, jumped our first oxer, jumped hay bales, and did some jumper turns and rollbacks plus a mini course. My lesson with R went the total opposite. I went in too confident and determined to impress R. Well to make a long story short I had several refusals and I say I because it was me not Satin. Once she had gotten a few stops she just kept going with it. Then we had one jump I went over without her. All in all it was just bad. R was her usual wonderful, patient self doing her best to help me through. That Saturday K and I had planned a Halloween show at our farm which would benefit my cousin's cancer fund. There was a Gambler's Choice class and I planned to ride in it. R suggested I jump her very lightly Friday to get my confidence back. I enlisted S's help again and we just jumped a simple line I was confident on. I had one stop but got it together and ended well. The day of the show I pulled Sat out to find her shoulder was a bit blown up. She was sound but S suggested not jumping her or using her for the speed that day and I agreed. I decided Sat's jumping career was ending before it started. That week had just been too much jumping for her, much more than she was used to and the inflamation was due to the fact she was using muscles she didnt normally use, but she is going to be 22 years old and I don't feel the need to push her into something she doesnt need to do. I will still learn and I will still jump her on occassion just for fun.

Anyway the horse show went very well. All our planning had paid off and it was a very successful day. We raised almost $900! I won the in hand class with JB aka boyfriend. We are currently 3 for 3 in in hand wins. A kid from my old barn named Shyanne rode Sat in 2 gait pleasure and took a 5th having to ride the class with no stirrups because she can't reach mine. Sat and I took a 4th in the 3 gait pleasure. The two jumping classes went very well with my friend winnning Gambler's Choice on a 25 year old semi retired Qh! I pulled my adopted child and Satin's pasture mate Jewel out for the speed. The mare is quite the bullet even for being extremely out of shape. She bolted into the arena and was so excited I couldnt bring her back quick enough so our first barrel turn was wide but we fixed it in the end though took 4th because of it. We were ready for the dash and took first in that. We then teamed up with my barnmates K, E, and L for the relay in which we took 2nd. In the command it came down to K and I and Satin humbled me when I got a bit cocky saying I could counter canter all day long after which she promptly changed herself to the correct lead getting us 2nd in that class. Our final class was ride a buck in which we took 5th. My little cousin rode her in the costume class dressed in pink breast cancer stuff as the breast cancer awareness team as that was what we were raising money for. We are going to do another charity show in the spring as everyone had such a good time.

We just had another lesson with the wonderful R yesterday which went very well. Satin's changes were flawless and we did a difficult but very good cavaletti excercise.

In other news, school as been hectic with papers, exams, scheduling next semester, etc. I got a great schedule though and the next thing is looking into grad schools and the GREs.

I had a big photo job a few weeks ago for a local barn. I did 45 minute sessions for 20 boarders. The shoot took the whole weekend and was a lot of fun and a big success all around. I am still editing the over 3000 pictures I took but the customers were very happy and want to do it again in the spring!

I'm Alive, Really! (WEG catchup)

I have been an absolutely horrible blogger these days. I left you guys on a huge cliff hanger with WEG and then fell off the face of the Earth. I am still here though, I promise! Things have just been super hectic lately with school, the horse, work, etc, etc etc.

WEG was absolutely AMAZING. Best experience of my life. If you remember I was going down with my Standardbred friends who would be giving several breed demos. My friend E from Maine drove down with her mare and her friend T on the Thursday and we all spent the night at H's. Early the next morning we loaded E's mare Dreamy and H's horse boyfriend on the trailer and started the trek to Lexington. It was quite the road trip to say the least. We expected it to take about 12 hours pulling the trailer and it took 14! We left in the dark and pouring rain. Luckily the rain let up within the first hour or two and was done by the time we made our way into PA. The next problem was when we drove through West VA because it is full of hills and mountains causing us to have to drive very slowly with a large rig. To make West VA even more fun E accidently locked the keys in the truck when we stopped for lunch. Luckily she has Onstar though so we were back in in a matter of minutes. It may have taken a while but we made it to our friend L's house about 20 minutes outside of Lexington about 8 pm without any major incidents. Both horses traveled well and settled in nicely in L's barn.

The Harbour Inn as we referred to L's place would be our home away from home for the next week but the horses would only spend two nights there before going to WEG. We found waiting for us a hot, home cooked meal, hot shower, and warm beds, just what we needed. The next morning we got the horses all cleaned up and ready to go to the Red Mile, a harness racing track, where we would have the first and only team practice. First we all went to lunch at a nearby restaurant and got to meet the rest of the demo team who had traveled form FLA, CA, PA, and another friend from NJ. We headed back to the barns were the horses were outfitted with the halters and blankets provided by Finn Tack for a photoshoot which was turned over to me to run by the USTA rep heading up the demo team. We took group and individual shots then got ready for the practice run in the in field. Practice went pretty well and we headed back to the harbour inn to get ourselves and the horses bedded down for the night.

The next morning we rose early for move in to WEG. This was a long and physically straining process, but we got everything in and the horses settled into their stalls for the next few days. That night our demo was 5:30 so we then had some time to explore the grounds and enjoy WEG. L, T, and I discovered in our search for a bathroom that our passes that allowed us access to the barn, also allowed us access into the stadium for the show jumping! We got a great view of some of the famous show jumpers in the world. I also got some great pictures! The first demo went well though due to rainy weather and the late time there was not much of a crowd. That night the Harbour Inn was hosting a bbq for all the STB team members. It was a nice gathering with good food though we were all tired.

The next day we took the opporutnity to sleep in a bit since our demo was even later at 6 pm. L took us to Walmart because 1) we were all freezing and wanted to buy gloves and hats and 2) they sold WEG apparel there. We then made our way to the Park and spent the afternoon exploring more of WEG and doing some shopping. The demo again went smoothly though still no crowd due to the late start.

Tuesday was my last day at WEG since I had to return to classes. We got there early and did some more exploring and of course a little more shopping. We took a pic of the Fab 5 as we called ourselves with the Secretariat statue and dressed in Swedish gear at the Swana booth because you know everyone wants to be Swedish! We also watched a great Clinton Anderson clinic after T and I had talked to him not even knowing it was him! We had been walking the barns that morning because our horses were stabled right next to Lynn Palm's Rugged Painted Lark, Clinton Anderson's horses, John Lyon's barn and all the great clinicians, so we wanted to explore. During our walk we saw John Lyons just sitting on a bench grazing his horse and walked past a man leading a horse who said good morning to us wearing A Down Under Horsemanship jacket, Anderson's company. We just assumed it was someone who worked for him, but found out later it was the man himself! The demo that day was slightly earlier at 4pm which brought out some more people including our friend Lella from home who was in Lexington. As soon as the demo ended T and I rushed to the car to get me off to the airport. We couldnt find the car for almost 20 minutes but luckily it was smooth sailing from there and we made it to the small Bluegrass airport with time to spare. My flight went well and I arrived home late that evening.

So suffice to say I had the time of my life and am so glad I had the opportunity to go.