Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I think the highlight for me on Friday was watching the Stallion presentations and of course the highlight of that (for me) was watching Rembrandt strut his stuff. He is an absolutely gorgeous Friesian stallion. Seems to be pretty even tempered too, what with all the peering into his stall and petting and scratching from strangers that was going on.
The tack sale was fun. I ended up with some books to read to my grandchildren the favorite being King of the Wind: The Story of the Godolphin Arabian. Got a kick-ass ball cap too with a cow hide brim and some bling.
Devonwood had us showing up at the tail end of one young rider we had gone to see, but I did get there in plenty of time to watch the young lady who use to show my Boo ride her very first 3rd level dressage test. That was a proud moment. She did an awesome job.
The coronation turned out to be fun too. We know the family of one of the princesses and had a good time catching up with old friends we hadn't seen in awhile. Bought the most to-die-for homemade turtle bars in the auction. All I know is they said they were made by Aunt Shelly and I couldn't find her although I tried. I wanted the recipe. I ended up getting an original watercolor painting of a horse and rider too. That was the highlight of my evening.
Today we watched the end of the extreme cowboy race and first and second place were taken by cowgirls. Yah! Hoo! Watched a stellar FEI level dressage demonstration, and watched the Arabian showcase. They had driving, reining, halter, western pleasure, sidesaddle, and native costume all in the ring together. I had to wonder though if they want to show versatility why they didn't have someone doing dressage.
All in all this has been a great weekend. I'm glad I got to do so much. Riding my own horse suffered because I didn't have time for that, but I will more than make up for it this week!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
We longed for probably 25 minutes and most of it was at the canter. He really worked himself up into a sweat and he still tried to avoid the short ends of the arena. I finally got him obeying voice commands for the walk, trot, and canter, so I put his bridle back on and got back into the saddle. We walked around for about 20 minutes to cool out. Did lots of suppling exercises. He seemed fine then. I have absolutely no idea what his problem was. This has happened a couple of times before, but it has been a long long time. He didn't seem to be sore in his back and his legs and feet seemed fine. Guess he was just out of sorts today or something.
At any rate, he ended up working harder than he would have if he'd just behaved himself. I realize that, but I'm not so sure he does. I have a lot going on this weekend and most likely won't make it out to ride at all. We will see how he does on Monday. If he acts up again and I can't find a reason for it, he'll get the same treatment. Most likely he'll be just fine though. That's what has always happened in the past.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I felt more flexible in my own body today, so the ride went better than it has in quite some time. Maybe it's the warmer weather, or maybe it's that linedancing class I went to this morning with a friend. At any rate, I wasn't creaking and popping like I have been. Yay! That just tells me I have to be more assertive in conditioning myself for riding.
We worked on transitions and canter departs. Both are a little rough. We still have a ways to go, but I did feel we improved over the course of the ride. Walked around outside for a few minutes. Boo tried to avoid every mud puddle I pointed him at. This from a horse who has obviously been rolling in mud puddles since Sunday. AArrggh!
I got careless when I was untacking and nearly got myself hurt. I cross tie Boo right outside of his stall to untack. All the other horses were in their stalls having their dinner. Once I was ready to put Boo away I undid the cross tie farthest from his stall and walked over to get his lead rope. Boo either thought he was untied and ready to go into his stall or he was just anxious to get to his dinner because he started into his stall with me standing in the doorway and knocked me inside with him. I ended up at the back of the stall about the time Boo figured out he wasn't untied and he swung around to face the door putting me directly behind him. All I could think was don't get scared and kick out cause I have nowhere to go.
I immediately took him out of the stall and spent the next 5 minutes going to the door and making him wait for me to tell him he could enter. I could tell by the way he acted that he knew he had done wrong. Once I finally let him in with his food I made him wait to eat until I told him he could. I'm probably going to have a bruise on my hip where I banged into the door jam. Sure taught me a lesson though. Pay attention! Don't release the tie farthest from the stall door first that way he can't get to the stall door until you take him there.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Rain pounds down on the metal barn roof while wind rattles the barn doors and whistles down the alleyway. There are creaking and groaning noises coming from the rafters. When Boo and I crossed the short end of the arena by the barn door the wind whipped up and it sounded like a locomotive was about to burst through into the arena.
It happens so quickly. Boo throws his head up and whirls away from the barn door, every muscle tensed for flight, and before I can react he is heading for the opposite end of the arena. I try to bend him to slow his flight. I am conscious of not hauling back on the reins, instead I keep them elastic not wanting to increase his panic by making him feel trapped. In my mind I am thinking he needs to know he can move away from the source of his fear. I reassure him with my lack of panic and my repetition of "easy boy". Luckily for me his flight was short lived. We circle back to the scary end of the arena and spend some time there. We ride by giving the short end a wide berth, but with each pass we come closer and closer until finally we can get back to work. We live to ride another day.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
This is just the beginning this morning but right now it is snowing heavily. I am at 700 feet. The neighborhood kids are standing at the bus stop wearing shorts...but then again it seems as if they are always wearing shorts nowadays no matter what the weather.
Went to a schooling horse show yesterday. Just to watch a friend and hubby ride. It took forever to get through in-hand and showmanship. By the time we were finished with the English classes and had an half hour lunch break, the western classes didn't start until 4:00. Hubby ended up riding in 2 classes instead of 4. Getting to late and to cold. He did alright though. Came home with a 4th and a 5th. One class was really large and the other (the one where he got 4th) only had 5 riders. He hasn't been riding much, so this was a work the kinks out deal. A lot of people showed up at this show. Lots of quarterhorses and paints. I don't think they expected such a big turnout what with the economy the way it is.
This weekend is the Dressage for the Ages show at the Salem fairgrounds if anyone is interested. I am probably going to try to go down for a while on one of the days. Try to take a few pictures. Anyone riding in it?
Saturday, March 7, 2009
I have been doing things at the end of the ride like haunch turns, sidepasses, forehand turns, and backing up. Today I couldn't get Boo to do a forehand turn for the life of me. He just would not do it. I got off and had him do 5 or 6 of them from the ground and had hubby get on and do a couple from the saddle. Even hubby was having trouble with him. I think he just wants to rush through all that stuff because he figures it signals the end of the work session and he wants to be done. So...I had a young friend get on him and ride him at trot and canter for another 10 to 15 minutes. He thought he was done, but he had another think coming. He gave me quite the wounded look when we were all finished. It's good to mix things up. Horses are much smarter than we give them credit for. At least our Arabians are. I haven't had much experience with other breeds but I would bet they are too.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Is anyone else out there as jazzed as I am that the show season is about to begin? I love going to horse shows even if I am not riding. I go to watch my friends and just to learn by observing. I think I am going to volunteer at a couple of them this year. I volunteered at the AIM Back to Basics show last year in the office. This year I might try scribing or being a runner etc. The only thing I don't want to do is bit checks. Don't plan on sticking my fingers in any horses mouth let alone one I don't know. I am even looking forward to the Albany horse fair. I'd go every single day if I could.