Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012 Goals

I am so looking forward to where God leads me in 2012. The last year has been full of adventures, and even though sometimes I have been re-directed I feel so blessed with many wonderful things in my life. Of course one of my main 2012 goals is to become a better rider. I want to really work on my position and riding effectively. I want to successfully show Rhythm at 1st level which should be do-able. He is a little bit off again (as of Thursday) but it looks like he may have just stepped on himself. Hopefully he will be as good as new soon so we can get back to work. I am really really really (no really) looking forward to showing this year. It has been 2 years since I have had a horse to show. I love having something concrete to be working towards, and a way to measure how much progress I have really been making.  I plan to continue to work on my fitness level. I have been getting in some extra exercise the past couple of months, mainly on nights when I don't have a horse to ride or care for. This has been working out pretty well for me and I am happy to be getting in better shape, which is only going to help my riding.

I also want to show Roz through the Thoroughbred Exhibitors Association. This is something that I have wanted to do for a long time but haven't ever done it. Pants is also eligible since he is 1/2 thoroughbred. April and I are planning to take the bay boys, and I am really looking forward to it.

I rode Roz today and he was quite spunky. He got the week off due to his family being gone, and me being busy with work, house sitting, Rheiny, and Rhythm. It was nice to take him out today and just spend some time with him.

I'm having tons of fun with my new camera...isn't he adorable?

I love that sweet face

Munching on his yummy hay

Look at his mouth! lol 
My furry Annie, who resembles a small black bear :) 

In other news, Tarra and I have been blogging for 2 years today!


Monday, December 26, 2011

How NOT to sell your horse

Tarra and I went on another ridiculous horse buying adventure today. I'm really not sure if we attract the crazies or if there are just way too many crazy people out there. Either way we had a very interesting experience today. We went to look at a green 3 year old horse not to far from us. When we got the barn the trainer (who will be referred to as T from here on out) told us that the horse currently has a cold but he's getting better. She took us to his stall and commented that his stall wasn't cleaned yesterday since it was Christmas after all. Merry Christmas horses, right!? She greeted him in stall by calling him "Spaztastic." Not because he is really spazzy but he is a 3 year old after all. She said he hasn't been out of his stall since Friday and hasn't been ridden since Thursday. We moved to the cross ties where she proceeded to get him ready. She couldn't find a girth to fit him, and generally had trouble finding any of his tack. His tail was full of shavings, his forelock had cockle burs in it. I asked for him to be lunged so I could watch him move with out the interference of a rider. T said that was not a problem, as she always likes to lunge the young horses to set them up for success. Once in the arena she adjusted his tack and clipped on the lunge line. He was promptly chased onto a circle, and T continued to chase him around for a few minutes. So much for any sort of warm up or stretching out for a horse that has been in it's stall for 3 days! The riding was not any better, with a lot of sitting trot on a young horse who is only 45 days under saddle. His canter was really not there. As she was riding his nose began to run and he was licking his snot as he went around almost the entire time. I really felt so bad for the horse as he did seem to be a sweetheart. Part of the way through the ride he didn't get his hind legs set down right and took a few steps on both hinds, over on the front side of his foot and his pastern. I tried to find a picture but I can't seem to find one. It really struck me as some sort of neuralgic thing. While I was riding, he almost fell down losing his hind end again. Besides how poor the showing was in general, that definitely sealed the deal. The whole thing was really shocking considering that this is a "horse professional" hired to sell this horse.

Video Evidence

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Looking back at 2011


It’s that time of year when we look back at the past year to see how far we have come.  I feel like 2011 was a year of change for me. In January I sold Pie, and started a new job. Pie was sold to a wonderful lady who keeps me well updated on his progress. I’m so glad she ended up with him. My new job has been a blessing in my life and I am so glad that God put me there. I have met many great people and I enjoy going to work most days. The spring brought Tarra’s last OHSET season and my last season coaching (at least for now.) April brought the birth of Pants. That has been such a fun adventure and one I am so glad I have gotten to take part in. It has been so fun to watch him grow and I am looking forward to seeing how he turns out.

Rozzy Ridge turned 19 in March and came up lame one day while practicing for OHSET with Tarra. He ended up at the OSU Vet School in June. He was diagnosed with navicular changes in his right front foot and prescribed Nike shoes.  Since getting his new dancing shoes he has been doing well. He got to go back to work in July and we haven’t slowed down since then. I am beyond thrilled that the treatment worked and I again have a sound healthy horse.

In June Tarra and I attended the Eugene Auction, just to look. We were very good girls and didn’t come home with anything but our hope is to rescue a horse together this next year. Since Tarra still has Sky I’m not sure if that is realistic for this coming year but it is definitely in the back of my mind. There were several nice horses at the auction that went for less than $50. One horse in particular, a skinny grey thoroughbred gelding, sold for $10 bucks!

I rescued Miss Pretty in July and that was an interesting adventure as well. She went to a young lady in Salem and from what I have heard things are going well for them. This fall brought about the sale of Roxanne, which was hard but necessary. Thankfully she went to someone I have known for years and of course I keep track of what’s going on with her. She will be bred again in the next few months to either an Appaloosa or warmblood stallion.

This fall brought about the renewed search to find me a horse. I looked at a Haflinger mare in Oregon City, and three Welsh Cobs in Spokane. None of them struck me as the right fit so the search has continued. Tomorrow, Tarra and I are heading to see a Welsh Cob cross, located about an hour away from us.

My riding life has been interesting this year since I haven’t had one set horse to ride. Several very generous people at the barn where I ride have allowed me to ride their horses at one time or another this past year. Each horse teaches you something, and for me it was the realization that my bad habits carry across to any horse I ride. The level I am riding at has really changed from a very passive rider, to someone who is taking control over what is going on at all times during the ride.  It takes a lost more discipline and concentration but in the end you spend less time just “hoping” that you get something right, as you do have control over where you end up. I can’t wait to see where we end up in 2012. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Annual Christmas Eve Trail Ride

Today Erin, Tarra and I went on our annual Christmas Eve Trail Ride. It was a gorgeous day here. Since I didn't have a horse to ride I was the designated camera lady. 
I got Erin to take a few pictures before we left

I love this pony

Tarra and I having way too much fun. Note Roz's annoyed face. :) 

Erin and Roz, with Mystic trailing behind

Roz was super excited about this adventure

Looking good for 19 years old





Isn't he so cute!? 

We hopped on double once we got back to the barn for a couple of pictures



Bails, Pants, and Roz

Thursday, December 22, 2011

An Easy Ride

Since Rhythm has gone back out on pasture he has become so much easier to ride! Tuesday he trotted around nice and quietly. Today he started out the same way and I was thinking "who would have ever thought this horse would be easy?" He promptly threw in a big spook...and I promptly got him working harder. :) As soon as I stepped up what I was asking he got right back down to business and we had a great ride. It is really incredible what good training can do for a horse. During all of this "rehab" walking and trotting time I have been putting in on both Rhythm and Rhein I have been trying to really work on my position, specifically my leg position. I tend to turn my toes out while riding and I am working on turning them in ( or at least having them in line with the horses' body). For some reason this is just not easy for me. It's definitely better than it used to be but not as good as I want it to be. Tarra and I were talking about this on Tuesday night when we rode and then Mary brought it up in Tarra's lesson last night. It was interesting since we had just been discussing it. In other news I found a horse to go look at next week. He's a welsh cob cross and is super cute. I am looking forward to checking him out. It would be so fun to have a horse for 2012!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Party

We had a barn Christmas party last night and it was so fun! Tarra was in charge of games and the first one we played was similar to the show "Newlyweds." Now, I've never seen the show but I understand the concept. You are asked questions and each of you have to answer for yourself and the other person that you are partners with. Questions included

  •  What was your first pony's name?
  •  How many horses have you owned?- I had the most with 10! A couple of those were rescues along with a short term ownership of a couple horses that friends gave to me.
  • How many animals do you own?
  • If you could be or do anything what would you do?
  • What is your comfort food?
  • What is the 1st thing you would buy with a million dollars?
  • How many pairs of riding boots do you have?- Again I had the most 
  • How many horses have you ridden this year?- Yep! I had the most on this one too at 13 horses ridden this year.
  • Would you rather sky dive or ride a bull? -I said sky dive, and of course Tarra said ride a bull
One of the sets of partners were sisters who ended up with 28 points. Tarra and I were 2 points behind them at 26. I think we did pretty good.  We enjoyed some yummy food and wonderful company. I love the barn and all of the great ladies who are involved with it. We are really blessed. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

8 Months!

Pants is 8 months old today and we decided to take new photos (with a holiday theme).

Isn't he gorgeous!? I think he's at a really good stage right now and is looking very balanced. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Patience

Why is being patient so hard!?! I feel like my patience is being test lately in a variety of ways. I am waiting on all sorts of things right now. I am waiting on answers from people, waiting on horses to heal, and waiting on my savings account to grow so I can buy a new horse. It is not my strong point and I am really not enjoying it. One day I feel like I am totally fine with waiting (on all of these things) and the next I think I may need to scream.

Rhythm got to go back out on pasture today, so hopefully he is just fine and ready to go back to real work. I am looking forward to that since we were finally making some really good progress before he got hurt. We have a lesson planned for Thursday. Even though he has been hurt the past month I have actually been riding quite a bit since I have been riding him for rehab for the past two weeks, along with riding Roz on the weekends and getting to ride Mystic last weekend. I hopefully have lost very little in the way of my riding fitness during his lay off and we can pick back up close to where we left off.

Hopefully I will have many of my loose ends nailed down by the first of the year and can start making a real game plan for 2012. Yah!



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Self portraits with the ponies

I have been looking through old photos the last few days and found some really fun pictures that I have taken with my horses (and others). I think I need to keep it up. :) 

 Pants looking cute in his stall
I love this pony!


Pony kisses

I had to take a photo with Rhythm too! He is coming right along and we will hopefully be having a lesson next week. 

Some of the old photos I was looking through....
I have lots of photos with Roxanne
And one with Rheiny too

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Refreshing

I spent a relaxing hour and a half at the barn tonight. I was taking care of Mystic again for Tarra and decided to hop on him bareback. He is the perfect bareback horse; he is super comfy and is close to the ground. We plunked around the arena for a little bit before taking a short ride down the gravel roads by the barn. Sometimes it's just nice to simply enjoy being with a horse.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wonderful Saturday

Today was a great day. I got to take both Roz and Mystic for a spin. Mystic has made a lot of progress since I last got to ride him. He's a very willing worker and is steady and consistent. Tarra always does a great job with her horses! Roz got his dancin' shoes on this week and they look great. He seemed happy for the work, even though it was cold out.
Mr Mystic

I woke Roz up from his mid-morning nap

He was still happy to see me :)

After our ride


Yesterday, I heard that Quick Silver Bey (Pants sire) won a 4th level class out of 18 horses! He was exported to Denmark a couple months ago and it was super cool to hear that he is doing well.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Getting back on track

Rhythm is coming along nicely. He has been back in light work this week and seems to be doing well. He is definitely getting more frisky every day that I ride him. Last night he tried to give me a bit of a wild ride but he settled back down quickly enough. Tarra was cracking up while Rhythm hopped along. What are friends for?! :)


Monday, December 5, 2011

Riding again

I got to start riding Rhythm again tonight! Currently he is getting 20 minutes of walk work and 5 minutes of trotting. He was super duper good today. I was very impressed considering that he has been on stall rest (aside from his daily walks) for the past 3 weeks. Hopefully we will continue in the right direction and he will be back in full work soon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Overdue Update

I haven't posted in a while. Rhythm is on the mend and we will hopefully be back to riding in the next week. Today has been 3 weeks from the initial injury....

I got to ride Roz both days this weekend. It's has been in the 30's which isn't that cold for most places, but it is pretty cold here. Today I decided to ride Roz bareback. I haven't ridden bareback in way too long!!! It definitely took a few minutes for me to regain my bareback balance but we had a really nice ride. I love riding bareback because you can feel the horse underneath you so much easier. One thing I noticed the last time I rode Roz bareback in the arena (almost a year ago) was that I was really scrunching up my right side and sitting really to the left. This time....I noticed that I was sitting so much straighter, and wasn't having nearly as much trouble staying long with both legs. It was nice to see the riding that I have been doing, paying off while riding bareback. I definitely want to get back in the habit of riding bareback at least once a week. I'm sure I will be sore tomorrow! 

I also came across this article on horse slaughter today. 


I thought it did a good job of explaining the current problems with the way horse are slaughtered. Check it out!