Monday, May 23, 2011

Other Updates

Last week H and I took JB aka BF to a new horse show over an hour away. It was basically all QHs and Paints. We were fourth in hand, but he got 1st in the hunter in hand. He and H placed well in several large classes. He and I went in 2 pleasure classes and though we didn't place I was very proud of him. He went the slowest he has ever gone in a horseshow. We didn't expect to place though as all the competition were really intense pleasure horses.

H even showed him western in the amateur classes for the first time and they did pretty well. I gave her some western lessons during the week. Our friend J and her new mare Coco joined us and got great ribbons for their first show together, even some blues! Our other friend JL came along as well, so did our friend M and her daughter and their horses. We had a lot of fun.

In other news, I graduated last week and have been seeing my friends as they finished school. I have also been doing a lot of photography lately, shooting around the barn and went to watch and shoot R at two shows, etc.

Busy, Busy, Busy

Things have been super busy in the last two weeks between graduation, family events, and horse stuff. I will give you the reader's digest version of updates.

We will start of course with Satin. As usual she has been wonderful. She is in great shape and weight and looks like a million bucks. We had a lesson last week in which we worked on stretchy trot and canter. We asked both mares to stretch their necks and backs out, getting their necks long and low. We did this because R and I discussed dressage earlier in the week and Satin's dislike of stretching her neck out. R decided we would work on it in the lesson as it would be good for both Satin and L's mare Lexie. Well Lexie took to it right away and got it quickly. Satin was another story.

As I figured would happen she was not at all interested in this idea. It was one of her weaknesses when we did western pleasure. We tried three different methods going over half hour before we finally saw some progress. R said you have to be both patient and stubborn. Well let me tell you my mare can be extremely stubborn when she wants to be. She takes after her mother (aka me) LOL. But, finally we found something that worked by basically putting steady pressure and an inside bend so to release tension she had to drop her head. Once she got the idea she did very well. She even did it at the lope nicely too.

So because of my busy week I did not ride her for two days after the lesson, but when I rode her again on the following Saturday she got the long and low stretchy trot right away. Thankfully my mare is extremely smart because after that lesson I was sore, so going through that process again would have been difficult. Then when Lisa and I went on a trail yesterday she was stretching out on her own at the canter. Now we have to work on getting it in the hackamore.

Now for the Try update. I have moved up my rides on Try to twice a week now that it is almost time for him to go home. We lesson one day and have a supervised ride with R the other. She usually rides his fieldmate Taz with us and let's me do my own thing, but gives me some guidance and suggestions.

In our lesson two weeks ago we rode bareback. Try had thrown a shoe so we were only riding him lightly in the indoor. It was fun. He had the nice flat bareback and comfortable gaits perfect for a bareback horse. He did well in our other rides with R following that as well. We are making progress and getting very used to each other.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Last Weeks Lessons

Last Tuesday I had another lesson on Try outside. It went well for the most part. We did more work on getting him to put his down and round up his back which he did nicely. We also did more work on transitions which are coming along nicely as well.

It was pretty hot out that day, probably around 80 degrees. Well Try decided he was hot and tired near the end of our lesson and ended it early by laying down (yes, I did say laying down). We were jogging along the rail working on our slow jog with a low head set and he broke to the walk but kept his head head very low. I tried to bump him back up into the jog, but next thing I knew were on the ground. He did not give any of the typical signs of laying down, like pawing, etc. We were jogging then we were walking and then we were on the ground. Luckily he did so slowly and easily not just plopping and even more luckily he did not roll. I jumped off of him as soon as he did it and got him up. R thinks part of the reason he didn't roll right off was because it was a bit up hill on one side where he laid down. She thinks he just got tired and overheated. His owner was there and she said he had done that before as a baby. We untacked him and hosed him off and he was fine.

Satin was wonderful in her lesson and kept all 4 feet on the ground. We were in the indoor unfortunately because it rained all day. We did some intense pattern work. She set up 3 poles in one corner of the arena and we trotted and cantered them, which was fine. She set up 3 more poles opposite them in almost a circle, so going through them in a circle was a bit of a challenge. For my pattern I started in the middle cantering to the left went on the rail over the poles doing the full circle which would switch me to right lead. I went half way around on the right lead then had to turn and do a flying lead change over a pole set up on one end. So, this put me on left lead and I had to go over the circle of poles the opposite way, which was a bit awkward because you had to switch leads as you got over the first set so you would be on right lead for the following set. Then I cantered out of that to the middle, halted and backed up. The pattern was a bit tricky in spots, but she did it very well and all in the hackamore.

May Show

I have been swamped with the end of the semester aka end of college so am a little behind on my updates. Last time we left off it was shortly before the May horse show, so that is where I will pick up.

This was the first time Satin was showing in the hackamore and she LOVES it. She was awesome. We had a fabulous barrel run, all her turns were perfect. They made the pattern much smaller by having a much shorter run home so we got a 17! We had a great poles run except she cut the last turn a little tight as she tends to do and we took out the last pole, so we got a 26 plus 5. Keyhole was interesting. I took her into the warm up ring to practice roll backs and wanted to start with the staircase excercise Renee taught us as usual, but she was so hyped up she started hopping and doing intense roll backs instantly. We got in the ring and she was good to go, took off like a nut. She was so excited that when she got through the keyhole she got a little lost and didnt know where she wanted to go. I planned to roll back left, but instead she dove left then right so I had to pull her around right to get her back in action which cost us a little time. It happens though so what can you do. I was still very happy with her overall performance and like her in the hackamore.

My handsome JB aka BF was a rockstar! He was 2nd on model geldings again and 4th in open model again too. More importantly, we were grand champion in beginner western!!!! The division was much smaller this time, but JB was also much better since the lesson, though he did not got as slow at the show as he did in the lesson, but we are getting there. We won the horsemanship class and command and were 2nd in horsemanship and trail, though trail still needs a lot of work. I was quite proud of him. We are going to another western show this weekend where he will be doing halter, showmanship for the first time and pleasure. His owner H will even be making her western debut on him so it should be fun.