Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dressage Team Clinic


Roxy got to go to her first clinic today...and she was pretty good! The clinician told me that I should consider breeding her to a warmblood as she is very nice. 

 I lunged her for about 20 minutes before getting on to ride. She was very quiet on the lunge line and was doing a good job checking everything out. Once I got on she got antsy. She started to worry when the previous horse left the arena, and then horses at the barn started getting turned out. Of course, horses that have just gotten turned out often run around. She was quite distracted but we tried to get her put right to work. It took about ten or fifteen minutes to really get her to work. After that she just got progressivly better. Kathy had me really talk to Roxy while we worked, especially when another horse calls to her. She seemed to respond pretty well to that. Too bad you can't use your voice in a dressage test. :)

 We spent quite a bit of time working on getting Roxy and I very straight. We are both just a little bit twisted and I was given two things to work on 1) Keeping my chin and eyes UP! 2) Keep my right hand correct as I tend to ride with it funny.  

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blue Ribbon Show

Roxanne went to her second dressage show today. We moved up from Intro A and B to Training 1 & 2. It was kind of a mixed bag. She is really great with almost everything involved in showing-clipping, loading, hauling, wrapping, warm up arenas etc. Unfortunantly the one thing she dislikes is leaving all of her warm up buddies and going in to a strange arena to ride.

She warmed up fairly well for our first test although she was a bit slow with her trot to canter transitions so that was a little bit weird since she normally has very nice up transitions. She was quite forward once in the show arena but was under control. Once we turned down center line she kind of spooked moving into the dressage court and started cross cantering. She had a nice moments scattered through out the test and scored a 7 in her first canter-trot transition. Later she scored an 8 on one of her trot circles and a 7 in the collective marks for her gaits.

Once out of the arena a lady on a beautiful warmblood (who was up next) asked me what Roxy's breeding was and how old she was. She then told me that I should not part with her and that she has an amazing canter. That was pretty neat!

I expected her to improve for her second test but unfortunantly she was more worried. She had a little mini-explosion in her first trot-canter transition and got a 4 for the transition but then she got an 8 on her canter circle. :) I also got a 6+ for my riding with the comment that our test was "tactfully ridden-good choices!"

Moose also went along to the show. He did well in his first level test but also got worried along with Roxy in his training level test although he also scored a few 7's and 8's. For some reason the hot walker on your way up the arena really worried him. He was happy to get home to roll and run in the arena.

I will post the video I got of Moose's training level test and Roxy's first test sometime tomorrow. For now I have got to go to bed!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting ready

Today was full of getting ready for the show tomorrow. Erin, a fellow member of the dressage team is taking Moose so I feel like I am sort of getting 2 horses ready. I had a very nice ride on Roxy this morning so I was happy about that. I then left her to go to school, play with Roz, get some stuff set out for Moose, and then back up to clean Roxy's legs up and clip her. We will see how she does tomorrow but I think that horse was meant to be a show horse. She is so good about all the pre-show clean up (doesn't really like her mane pulled but who does?) and is a dream to clip. We are hitting the road right around 5am. Wish us luck! :)

Now I'm off to clean a bridle, gather up a few more things, hook up the trailer, set out my clothes, get a few snacks together and get to bed early!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Silly Girl

Still no pad....

I did find out today that Roxy likes oranges! :) I was eating one before I played with her tonight and she was very interested so I let her have a little bit. She loved it! She would have eaten the whole thing if I would have let her.

Monday, February 15, 2010

We are going to be okay

Roxy and I had a good lesson today. Leave it to Mary to help us get straightened out. We had a good lunging session before I got on. This not only gave Roxy some time to get her bucks out but also got her to relax through her back. Once on board she was really nice. We plan to work hard this week and are looking forward to the show on Saturday. If I ride well and Roxy helps me out a bit we should do fine.

My pad did not arrive today. I'm hopeful it will be here tomorrow.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Possible change of plans...

Although it looks like we have figured out our saddle situation I'm not sure we are completely cured.

Friday I lunged Roxy in her surcingle and side reins. She was very quiet and well behaved.

Saturday we hit the trails with Mary and Rainy. Roxy was somewhat resistant and kept wanting to stop as we went which is unusual for her. Once we turned around she was happy enough to head home. 

She wasn't turned out today due to pasture conditions so I wanted to keep that in mind when I worked her. I lunged her for a while before actually hoping on to ride. She was fussy tracking right and did quite a bit of bucking that direction on the lunge. I only rode her walk/trot but she was decent. 

We are supposed to be heading to a show on Saturday and a clinic the next Saturday. I don't want to be pushing her if she is really trying to tell me that she is hurting. Hmm...I have a lesson tomorrow so we'll see how that goes. If we decide that she needs more time or an adjustment for the soreness through her withers than Tarra has kindly said I can take Mr. Tolo (from blog: Rescue to Ribbons) to the show.

I should have a decision tomorrow night. And my new Mattes pad should be here. Yah!


We got a taste of spring weather today and it left me dreaming of summer! :) 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A saddle that fits?!?

Today Roxy and I got to work with a saddle fitter. We have been struggling with her saddle fit for a while. Early this fall I noticed some white hairs across the front part of her back. She did not appear to be sore so I have just kept my eye on it. I've been lunging her at least once a week recently and have had a chance to study the way my saddle is sitting on her. The front part has been pinching down while the back has been flapping around.

A few weeks ago I was in at Equine Exchange and I saw a nice Ainsley dressage saddle. I sat in it and liked how it felt. I was able to set up a saddle fitting and today we got out answer!

Casey immediately agreed with my assessment of my County saddle. Although this was sad since I really like the saddle, it was not a complete surprise. Roxy is sore through her withers which also made me a feel a bit better since she was rather naughty last week. She is generally a sweet girl so it was rather surprising.

The Ainsley fits a little tight through the shoulders but I am getting a mattes correction pad. With the pad it fits well and Roxy seemed to be more comfortable in it. Ultimately the saddle needs to be re-flocked to be softer than it is but for right now the pad should help. It would be great if I could afford a $2900 custom County saddle but since I can't afford that we will settle for the $200 pad.

The pad should come by Monday. I am looking forward to getting Roxy more comfortable. I feel bad she had to suffer with a poor saddle fit for too long but as Casey said at least I am taking care of it now. If anyone has a need for either a dressage saddle or a close contact saddle let me know. I have both for sale! :)

I had to laugh when I got this tonight. This is a text from my friend Dana after viewing Roxy's bucking video "Oh Alanna. I'm ROTFLMAO I just saw you oh snap your head off on Rox. How is your neck?"

Monday, February 8, 2010

1 year

Roxy has lived at Never Done Farms for a year! We have so loved being a part of the barn and all that goes on out there. 

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wild Child

Today was a rather strange day. The weather was beautiful and Tarra came up to play with Roxy and I. Roxy normally had Tues/Wed/Thurs off. This is not ideal but since I am finishing up school along with working part time its what I can do. I normally lunge Roxy on Fridays but don't often ride. I pulled her out of the field and got her ready to ride. I went ahead and threw her on the lunge line first just to make sure she wouldn't be too crazy. She was nice on the lunge line and after about ten minutes I hopped on.

She started out a bit distracted but I reinforced that she needed to go forward and accept the bit. She soon settled in to work. We were happily coming up the rail when Roxy decided to spook at Tarra getting out the video camera. She did a couple bucks before I got her put back together. We continued on and had some lovely moments. Some time later while cantering down the rail she again started bucking! Thankfully I was able to stay on her and get her back to work. Tarra had been planning to hop on but with her wild behavior we decided a different day may be better. Tarra opened the door so I could cool Roxy out with a nice walk down the road. She had other ideas and instead tried to bolt through the door, rearing once outside. I got off and we practiced going in and out of the door politley. Once we had that figured out she got to go back on the lunge line for more work. Wow, what a day.

I'm really not sure what is going on with her. The saddle fitter is coming out on Tuesday so we'll see what she says about our saddle. Once we get that figured out we will go from there. Hopefully we got the kinks worked out today so we can have a nice time over fences tomorrow.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Outside rein

I understand that a horse should be on your outside rein but...getting them there is not always easy. This was one of the big things we worked on in my lesson tonight, especially while tracking left. We are working to stretch Roxy through the left side of her body as she is tighter on that side than through the right side of her body. While tracking left I really have to work at using my outside rein and giving my inside rein. Tracking right I have to ask her to flex right stretching through her left side. I also need to work on keeping my reins shorter and demanding a little more each ride.

We had some lovely canter transitions and a couple of miscommunications which resulted in flying changes. We also worked on turning on the center and quarter line, staying straight and doing a couple nice steps of leg yielding with out holding with my inside rein. There is always so much to learn but I really enjoy the challenge.

Expensive!?!

No one can deny that horses are expensive critters. I happen to own three of them. Between board bills and the farrier they have cost me $720 in the last 2 days! That doesn't count the $40 I just spent at Wilco on "fun" stuff.

Everyone was great for the farrier yesterday. It's so nice to have good horses. Roxy plays in the bungee cross ties while her feet are getting worked on. Rozzy is great for the farrier but needs to be held by his mommy or else he gets scared. If he is being held he will stand quietly the whole time. Moose stands happily in the cross ties while he is being done as well.

Next time Roxy is done she is going to get a special shoe to help lift the back of her right front foot. She had a wedge pad for one shoeing and her foot was looking better but this cycle her heel began to grow along the ground again. My farrier would prefer to not use plastic wedge pads with all the moisture we get here so he is going to make her a custom shoe with extra metal in the heel. We are hoping that will help and it will either straighten out her foot or just keep her more correct for a longer sounder life.