Monday, January 25, 2010

Fun Plans

Miss Rox was great today. She was not paying attention when we started out but after a couple reminders to go forward and accept the bit she was great. Her canter work has improved SO much! I am trying to practice a lot of transitions and circles with her in preparation for showing. I am too happy to just get in to the gait and canter around for a while enjoying it. Unfortunately dressage tests only allow you a circle before you have to move on to something else. 

 She gave me a couple flying changes again today switching from right to left. It's really lovely to have a horse that easily does changes. They are certainly not anything we are working on but when she picks up the outside lead and offers a change I'm not going to tell her no. 

I also worked on pulling her mane today. Neither of us really enjoy the activity but it has to be done. When I first got her, she let me pull it once no problem. After that there had to be food involved or else she would shake her head. Now she shakes her head regardless. Today we tried a twitch. It worked great but I felt really bad. I only pulled for a couple of minutes and offered several cookies and loves when I took it off. I plan to pull some more, early next week but figured I would start slow. 

It looks like my plans for February are solidifying. The first weekend I hope to haul her over to a friend’s barn to jump. The second weekend we may just be schooling at home. The third weekend is our first show of 2010 where we will be doing Training level 1 and 2. Finally the OSU dressage team is putting on a clinic with Kathy Casey the last weekend in February. Throw in a couple lessons and trail rides with Mary and we should have a great month! 

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gorgeous day

Roxy and I enjoyed a gorgeous winter morning out on the trail with Rainy and Mary. The girls were prancy when we first got on but settled down just a little ways down the rode. Rainy was lookey on our way out but Roxy really didn't care. She tires out very quickly once we get trotting up those hills.  She did seem tender on the rocks today as she is barefoot behind so I am going to go ahead and have hind shoes put on her next week when her feet get done. Mary and I are getting the girls ready to ride a trail that makes a loop. I have never ridden it before but it is fairly long. We were out for about an hour and a half, covering close to 6 miles. The girls were very quiet on the way home and were happy to be turned out for the afternoon. Since the weather was so nice I went ahead and turned Roxy out with out her blanket on.

I went back to the barn this evening to bring Roxanne a new waterbucket and to put her blankie back on. She had been playing hard to catch, but I think she was worried that she may actually be left out all night because she came galloping to me when I went out to get her. Silly girl!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Awesome ride

I really need to go to bed (work in the morning) but I just had to write about my ride today. Roxy was LOVELY! I think she was a bit tired from her jumping work yesterday. She was very soft and quiet today. Happy to go forward but not at all racey. We had tons of fun lengthening down the rail bringing her back and then pushing her out again. She got all her leads easily today and had a couple lovely trot/canter transitions. We also played with moving off my leg across the arena like we did in our past lesson. She remembered that well and moved right off my leg. It was a great ride and one that just reinforces what a nice mare she is.

On the other hand we are having some trouble with her saddle fit. She has some white hairs across her back right under her saddle. She has NEVER acted sore so I haven't been really concerned about it but have kept my eye on her. I think that I have finally figured out what's going I just need to figure out of it is fixable or if I need to purchase a new saddle for her. When you tighten her girth the front of the saddle pulls down and the back goes up, just barely keeping contact with her back. Because of this I believe that once I am on her back the saddle is rocking slightly from front to back putting extra pressure towards the front. I am working to get the name of a County saddle fitter as I currently have a County saddle. I have also found an Ainsley saddle in one of our local tack shops and may take it to try it on her. On top of that, Roz's close contact saddle which I have had for around 7 years doesn't fit her well because it is too wide.

So, now I am wondering if I shouldn't just sell both of my saddles and try to get something that fits them both better. Moose has a Pessoa saddle that fits all of my "kids" and fits Roxy especially well. But, since everyone needs their own saddle I can't use it on her all the time. Oh well. I am sure I will figure something out. If anyone knows of a good saddle fitter or loves their saddle let me know! :)

Roxy and Friends

Here are some pictures from yesterday. Thank you to Erica for taking them!

Roxy and I

Isn't Tolo such a good boy! Tarra on the other

Best Buddies

The ponies are friends too.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Playing with Friends

I love my horse! There are many many reasons. I am so proud of how much she has grown up in the time that I have owned her. Over the summer she had a little bit of trouble loading. After a few fights she realized she would either get in the trailer or have her butt beat...and get in the trailer. :) She is now back to loading like a dream. This is something that I really needed in a horse as I often haul by myself and need a horse that is safe to load alone.

So, after loading beautifully today we hauled over to Arbor Creek Farms to jump with Tarra and Tolo.
Currently my goal is to make sure I am jumping her at least twice a month. She really seems to enjoy jumping and I like how calm she is about it. We introduced her to the idea of a bounce today. She was a bit uncertain the first couple times through it but we kept it simple with a pole to a crossrail. She gave me one beautful flying change today so that was fun! She gave me one earlier in the week as well.

I always appreciate when she does them as Roz has never been inclined to do flying changes. The good thing about him is that he is great about getting his leads over the fence or if he really needs to he will do one.  Back to Roxy...

So far she is very easy to jump. I want to continue to reinforce that it is not only easy but enjoyable. I got another short video today. I will also post a few pictures later.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Roxy and I went to our second practice for the OSU event team today. I always think that she may be naughty....and she proves me wrong. I love that! We hauled with a couple of friends that were in the second practice group and Roxy and I were in the third. We got to hang out for an hour before getting ready to ride. It was fun to get to watch the other riders and allow Roxy some time to graze.

Once I had her tacked up we headed down to the arena. On our way Roxy began to prance. I was trying to figure out what was going on when I noticed another horse heading to the arena blowing and snorting. My first thought was "Oh, great." Although Roxy tends to be pretty good it is never helpful to have a horse being wild in the arena with you. Despite the other horses's antics she was great! We spent about thirty minutes on flat work before we started jumping.  She worked well in the group of four that we were in. One thing I really appreciated about her (although I'm sure her race trainer didn't appreciate it) is that she is very un-competitive. She isn't worried about being in the lead or catching up with other horses on a circle. It makes my life much easier!

For jumping we just worked through a 3 stride line. Starting with a crossrail to a pole, then crossrail to crossrail, crossrail to verticle, and finally to an oxer. This was Roxy first oxer jumping experience. She was a little unsure but when told to go she did.  She came back nicely at the end of the line and seemed to enjoy herself. The last few times through the line she was beginning to get tired and was drifting right to the first fence. Overall I was really pleased with how she did. I'm looking forward to jumping her again soon.

Friday, January 8, 2010

2010 Goals

With the start of the year I have really been thinking about what I hope to accomplish this year with Roxy.

Last year, although I didn't write anything down I was hoping to take her to her first show, cross country schooling, to the beach, and to do more trail riding. I also hoped to improve her flat work and to get her started over fences. For the most part these goals were met. Her flat work has improved greatly and we got to go on many fun adventures. The only thing we didn't get very far on was getting more experience for her over fences.

For this coming year I have several goals. A lot of it will depend on how Roxy continues to progress and what she is actually ready for.

1) Compete at a few dressage shows. Starting at training level and hopefully be ready to start first level by the end of the season.

2) Begin schooling over fences a few times a month, getting up to 2'6" courses.

3) If everything else is going well....compete Beginner Novice at Inavale's Horse Trial. This goal is most dependent on her progress over the next few months.

Of course we will continue to go on lots of adventures. Saturday trail rides with our friends Mary and Rainy, the beach with Tarra and Tolo, and any other opportunities that present themselves. :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Lesson on Straightness

Tonight was a lesson night. I always look forward to a lesson and what we are going to accomplish during it. We worked alot on getting Roxy straight. I have a tendency to overuse my left rein and Roxy, as with most horses, likes to throw her body to the outside. We started off asking her to leg yield off the wall to the center line and then continuing on in the same direction. As we progressed we turned it into a sort of figure eight. Leg yielding off the wall to the center line, turning the other way and leg yielding back to the center line and so on. Roxy's tantrums are becoming less severe and are lasting less and less time. She is very easily frustrated and her first response to something new is a loud "I cannot do this!" It's pretty humorous at times but I am also glad to see her becoming less agitated when presented with a new idea.

Even tonight as she decided she could not leg yield left, she began to back up. I was instructed to continue to ask her to move off my left leg. She continued moving off my left leg while backing the length of the arena. Once we reached the rail she continued forward and we finished the exercise. By the time we were finished she was moving off my leg all the way across the arena, corner to corner.

We then moved to working on a circle. Asking Roxy to counter bend just a little bit and to bring her shoulders around. We would leg yield in on the circle with me keeping a very soft inside rein and supporting her on the outside one. She had some beautiful moments of relative straightness. What a great feeling!


Here are a couple video's of Roxy. The first was taken in the first couple months that I had her. The second one was taken about a month ago.  It's amazing to look back and be able to see the progress that has been made.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My other "kids"

Even though this blog is mostly going to to be about my adventures with Roxy there are a few other equine pals that deserve an introduction.

First and foremost- Rozzy Ridge. "Roz" came into my life at just the right time. My confidence had been shattered by my previous horse and I was in need of something safe and fun. In my mind he was little too small and a little too old to be my perfect partner, but that is just what he became. He gave me my confidence back when I needed it the most. He and I have enjoyed many fun adventures: trails, the beach, cross country, and showing. He loves to jump and we have had a blast together! Now he is getting the opportunity to teach someone else.

"Moose" is my third horse and he is a gentle giant. He belonged to my childhood friend for many years before he became mine. He spent years competing in children's jumpers before becoming a lesson pony. He is very straight forward and fun to ride. Although willing to jog around the arena he also loves to jump.

Last but certainly not least, Tarra and Tolo tend to be our adventure buddies. She is also blogging their progress through out the next year. You can read about them at

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Beginning

Although I had been tossing around the idea of getting a second horse I wasn't really "shopping" when I came upon Roxy in August of 2008. When I first saw her she was listed by Columbia Basin Equine Rescue, waiting on a feedlot. She was waiting for either an adopter or for the day when she would ship to Canada to be slaughtered. Her sweet face drew me in along with her description.

"Flashay- 5-7 year old, 16hh flashy bay TB mare. Sport horse deluxe! She is built uphill, is a nice mover, is straight and clean legged. She tacked up quietly, was easy to work around and rode really nicely. This mare is beautiful and should be bound for the show ring."

My only other horse at the time, Roz, had gotten injured while competeting at our first recognized event. He was getting older and I was starting to get worried that I may push him too hard and end up breaking him more seriously. I offered to be a home for "Flashay" if money could be raised to "bail" her off the feedlot. A very generous donor stepped up and Flashay became mine. I renamed her "Roxy" shortly after getting her and the name stuck. After 30 days of quarantine Roxy arrived on September 19th.

Through out the last year we have gone on many adventures. From her first trail ride, the beach, schooling shows, cross country jumping and extreme trail. She has proved to be a willing partner with a lovely personality. I am often amazed that this mare was once slaughter bound. In August we found a great dressage trainer who believes in both of us. The progress we have made in the past 6 months has been amazing. We are currently preparing for our first real show season where we will be competing in dressage and hopefully some small events as well.