Thursday, September 22, 2016

Blog Hop: Horse Thief

I read this blog hop from the $900 Facebook pony and it was too fun to resist. I have multiple horses I'd want to steal. Is that bad?

First up....Mystic


Who wouldn't want Mystic? He's awesome! He's got a fabulous personality and is super dependable. He's been ponying Emi since she was a baby and was the perfect partner for her first beach outing. 




 Not only is he perfect for ponying he's also an adorable 3rd level dressage horse and he jumps too!


Next up....Cardi (you had to have seen that one coming)


Again, who wouldn't want Cardi. He speaks for himself...so amazing!



Finally I'd want to steal Giorgio.

This is Emi's yearling full brother. Not only is he adorable he's super duper fancy and should make a fabulous riding horse in a couple more years. 

I'm sensing a pony theme here....I might need to add Crumble, Connor, Paddy and Roscoe to my list. So many horses and so little time.  How about you? Which one (on my list) would you want to steal? 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Discipline

We have reached that time of year again....the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting colder (and sometimes wetter). Although I do enjoy the crisp air, the changing leaves, and everything pumpkin, I just can't get excited for the coming of winter.

Last night it was getting dark outside as I headed up to the barn. I had the heater on in my car and just wanted to return home to curl up on the couch. Spurred on by my new favorite quote:

"Discipline is just choosing between what you want now and what you want most. "

I chose to ride Miss Em. I've found that I never regret riding and as soon as I started grooming her I was glad that I had chosen to go ride. I know there will be many days in the coming months when I'm just not feeling it, but those nights will be worth it in the spring and summer when all of the fun riding adventures come our way. Who else finds the winter months to be very un-motivating? 

And really...who doesn't want to hang out with an adorable pony like that? 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Mustang Meeting

Last weekend I had the chance to go camping in the Steens Mountain. Not only was it fun to get away and see part of Oregon that I hadn't seen before, it was also fun because there are mustangs in the Steens! This was my first time seeing wild horses actually "in the wild."

The friends I camped with had been over there about 6 weeks ago and said there were so many horses! Unfortunately, we arrived a week or two after they rounded up 150 horses. Although the viewing wasn't quite as neat as what they had seen previously it was still a really cool experience.








So many palominos

Loved watching the interplay between these two
 On our way home we stopped at the corrals in Burns. It was my first time through and so much fun! There are so many different colors and styles! I could have taken way too many home. The pens are split up into various groups. The horses pulled from the Steens were in one pen, yearlings in another. There were a couple pens of mares and foals, along with 3-4 year old mares and then a couple groups of stallions.


So much color on this little guy
A mustang from the Steens. We learned that this herd is managed for paints. 
As we were driving through I was asked if I would ever want to adopt one. Of course my answer was yes, it's on my list. I was then asked how I would pick one. My response was that I'd want a friendly one. As we drove up to the pen that had the yearlings in it, the one shown below picked it's head up out of it's hay pile and had the friendliest expression. That's the one I want!


This one was a close second and would have actually been a better choice since it was pretty tall

I took a few photos and returned to the truck to chat a bit more. After a few minutes I moved back to the fence to capture a little more of these adorable yearlings. As I was standing there a group of them slowly, curiously, made there way over to me. The leader of the pack? The adorable friendly one I had picked out as we drove up. It was such a cool moment to have him come over to sniff me. What's not to love about that adorable face? 



Adopting a mustang was already on my bucket list but this trip solidified it even more. I could have spent hours with those yearlings. What a fun age! 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Consistency Counts

Emi has been off work since her beach trip last Monday....7 whole days off. I was gone all weekend and returned home late last night. Tuesday is our regularly scheduled lesson day so after work I trouped off to the barn to get ready. Bringing Emi in from the field she seemed fine but as soon as I tied her up I could tell she was not her normal self. She danced around her stall like she did the first couple of months she was at NDF. I got her groomed and tacked up with about 15 minutes to spare. I headed to the arena with my lunge line and side reins in hand.

It was a great plan as I put her out on the lunge line and she wanted to buck and run. She continued these antics for most of our lunging time. KB was already in the arena doing a lesson and offered to postpone if the pony didn't settle down. I agreed with that plan and we will resume our normal lessons next Tuesday. When I finished lunging I did some ground work with Emi and she was finally tuned in and being quite good. It's amazing how much consistency matters with a young horse. I normally work her 3-4 days a week. Many of those days are pretty light but the act of going out and doing "something" makes a huge difference. I didn't realize that she was hiding so much get up and go!
She looks so innocent...

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Video - Intro A & B

Video evidence from our show on Saturday. If you missed the re-cap it's here.



For comparison, here's the last video I had from about 6 weeks ago. She looks much more confident now.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Beachin'

So...this happened. 

I've been planning a beach ride, with Tarra, for a little while now. We were finally able to coordinate our schedules and headed off this morning. I had checked the tide and the weather and all looked good. We arrived to sunny skies and no wind!

Emi trouped through the trails to the beach and once we were out there she took the lead and sauntered along. She was so calm and good! Mystic is limited to walk work at the moment so we walked about an hour down the beach before turning back. On the way back Emi and I broke off for a few minutes and did some trotting and a tiny bit of cantering. I should have done that before I'd been riding for an hour as I think she was a little tired at that point.





We had several chances to go through various pools of water and also went into the ocean a little bit. She was really good about it. The first 3-4 times she thought about stopping to paw (maybe to roll) but I'm getting a bit more wise and I kept her feet moving. By the end of the morning she was seeking out the pools of water and stomping right on through.


It was seriously the perfect day and so much fun to share it with Emi, Tarra and Mystic.


I'm pretty sure Emi's going to be glad that I'm going back to work tomorrow...I bet she's ready for a break!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

First Dressage Show

Emi went to her first dressage show today. If you follow me on social media you've already seen this.


She was awesome! We arrived at the show early enough I was able to take her in to the show ring before things got started. I figured the judges table would be the most scary thing so I took her straight towards that. She was gawking at the table when a couple other horses came into the ring. She turned around to check them out and knocked in to the table, causing it to fall on the ground. The table was promptly picked back up and Emi returned her attention to it. The show organizer commented that she had a good brain as she recovered from the episode with in 20 seconds and was eating carrots off the table with out hesitation.

After 5 minutes touring the arena we headed to the warm up arena to find our barn mate. Several horses were worked up about some farm animals next door...a llama, mini-horses, and a goat. I kept Emi away from the snorting horses but once they moved on I took her to that end of the arena. She hardly even took a look. While I was walking her, a horse got loose and came running towards the warm up arena. It was on the barn driveway and heading towards the road. I took off running with Emi trotting behind me, hoping to head it off before it got on the road. We did make it and the horse turned into the warm up arena where it was caught.

After that we headed back up to the trailer to get Emi tacked up. When we got back to the warm up arena it was empty so I opted to hand walk Emi for a little bit before getting on. It wasn't long before we were joined by some other horses. Emi was being fine before I got on her but she definitely settled more as I put her to work. I was expecting her to be backed off but she wasn't bad at all. We trucked around the warm up arena before heading to the show ring.

They were running a bit early at this point due to a scratch so we got a few extra minutes in the show ring before starting our test. It was perfect for Emi to have another chance to look around. She was fabulous for her test! Forward and obedient. We are beginning to get moments of connection and I can't wait until that's our "normal." As we neared the judges table, a piece of paper blew off of it into the ring. Emi gave it a sideways glance but didn't really care. They offered to let me start over but I told them we were okay and continued on our way. I was really thrilled with how well she did. She's green but she's also really game. We finished with a 68.75%. The comments on our score sheet were "Lovely mare! Excellent rider=Awesome! Keep up the nice work."


After Intro A we had 40 minutes before our Intro B ride. I wasn't sure what kind of attitude Emi would have about going back to work, but I knew I didn't need to keep her out for another 40 minutes. I put her halter on and parked her at the trailer with her hay net.



With 20 minutes to go I put her bridle back on and headed back down to "warm up." A few minutes of trotting and we were set. With 10 minutes to go Emi stood quietly while I talked to another competitor and then went back into the ring like it was no big deal. The test went well and we received a 70%. Final comments were "Work on bending and a little more suppleness. In time this one will be taking you places!" For both tests I got an 8 for position and effectiveness and Emi got all 7's except for one 6.5 (for submission).  Our scores were good enough for first place in both classes and were a lovely surprise. I do think the scores were a bit generous but I'll take it!




I feel so good about having such a positive first dressage show experience. Today was ride #32 and I feel like if she can be that good with that little time under saddle she really should be amazing after a winter of practice. I'm so fortunate to have her and I'm really pleased with how well she's coming along. I'll share video once it's uploaded if any of you are interested in watching the wonderful world of Intro A & B.