Sunday, March 30, 2014

Groove

I feel like I've finally found my riding groove. This past week was really busy and between Mystic and Roz, I rode every day but one. It was really fun to ride Mystic, and I was able to practice stuff from my lessons. Hopefully RC will see an improvement in my posture this Wednesday!

Tarra got back late last night and we rode together today. We did a short walk outside before heading in to the arena to work. Roz was well behaved and we were having a great ride. After taking our second walk break I asked him to trot and he trotted off lame. I have no idea what the problem is and can't find any issues with his hooves or legs. I have noticed that he has been much more tender footed across gravel over the last month. I'm not really sure what to think, but I will check him again on Tuesday and we'll see how he looks. Just when you think you are starting to get somewhere!

Now, for some cool news. Cardi scored a 71.5% in his Grand Prix freestyle yesterday! Also, I mailed Emi's first show entry in yesterday. It's only a month away!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Stepping Up

We went from 70 degrees and sunny, to 55 and rainy. It was not a very nice switch, but that's how spring goes. I was on the fence about riding Roz tonight but I knew I really needed to. We had a break in the weather and I headed out. All was quiet at the barn tonight and we had the arena to ourselves. That's not a problem for me but Roz certainly does not like it. He screamed the whole ride but continued working through it. After 2 lessons and the weekend at the Equine Expo I'm ready to step up my game. Roz rose to the occasion and gave me some very nice work. We started with leg yielding on a circle, like they did in the clinic Tarra was in. Roz easily did it off of the right leg, but was slower from the left. After trotting some serpentines and schooling some transitions we moved off in to the canter. He transitions were crisp and he was nice and quiet. That was unusual...but nice! Back at the trot we schooled leg yields, and played with shoulder-in.  We went back to tuning up our walk/trot/walk transitions. The upward transitions are nice but he really wants to dive down on the bit and fall into the down transition. It's definitely a problem I need to solve. To finish I introduced him to haunches-in. He gave me some good attempts and we will keep working on it.

After riding my lesson horse, I did noticed how much I love Roz's size. He's so handy and comfortable for me. I've learned a lot since I was seriously riding Roz, so it's time to start stepping up his education. He's perfectly capable of the work, I just need to get more focused and require higher quality work.

Monday, March 24, 2014

So Busy

I love this time of year! The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy for me. Tarra is out of town this week, and left Mystic for me to play with. Since he had a big day yesterday we just went for a nice walk today in the beautiful spring sunshine. 

After I finished with Mystic I came home and spent some time with Emi and Roz. Since Emi was a little bit slow to load on Saturday we practiced loading again tonight. I took her in and out 3 times with out issue. She has to think about how to climb in, but has the unloading all figured out. Such a smart girl. Emi's dad, Cardi, was showing in California this past weekend. He scored a 68% on his Grand Prix Freestyle today. 
"Whats up here?"  
Rozzy Ridge was keeping a close eye on us since I stole his child. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Thinline Reins - Sale

I know there are at least a couple of bloggers who really like the thinline reins. I saw these on clearance today and thought they might be a good buy for someone.

 http://www.victorycanter.com/Thinline-Reins-2212.html

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Practice Makes Better

Although I'm not sure that practice actually makes "perfect" it definitely makes "better." Last month I started practicing trotting in hand with Emi. She was okay but was pretty sassy, tossing her head, putting her ears back etc. Shortly after that I watched a video done by Jessica Wisdom. She talked about making sure your horse is used to what it will be wearing at a show, otherwise it may not like it. I decided I would start turning Emi out in her leather halter so she could get used to the feel of it. Besides that, I've been working her in hand a little bit, here at our house.

Today I loaded her up for a practice session at NDF. She loaded well and off we went. She jumped right out of the trailer at the barn and was pretty chill about the whole thing. We looked around and then headed over to the arena with my friends. I kicked Tarra's big ball around while leading Emi, and then I started trotting her in hand. She was a lot better than last time. She still doesn't really go around with her ears up, but she wasn't nearly as sassy as she was last time and she trotted out much better. I think once she gets in the show ring her ears probably will be up since there will be so much more to look at. At this point I plan to take her up to the barn for one more practice session prior to taking her to the show in about a month. The video below shows the best run from last time, one from today, and then my friend's daughter playing with the big ball. So cute!







Friday, March 21, 2014

Equine Expo

I had the pleasure of spending the day at the Northwest Horse Fair and Expo. It's become an annual event and it's fun to check things out each year. The vendors were not as good as I had hoped for, but after making our second pass though, we found the booth we had been searching for. They were selling all english tack and they told us that everything was 50% off. After confirming that the price was 50% off the listed price I started shopping. I found a pair of Kerrits Kombi Fullseat breeches, on sale for $54. How can you beat that? I then got a pair of Kerrits gloves for $15, and bit wipes for $7. I love a good deal!


 At some point I'd like to upgrade my current trailer so I enjoyed drooling over the new trailers. There was a nice three horse Circle J that would look lovely behind our truck. :) 

Happy girls at the Expo

I enjoyed watching two different demonstrations by Chris Cox. That guy is magical with a horse and uses a lot of common sense. He's also very entertaining, and is worth watching if you get a chance. One if his themes for the day was that most people don't have a training issue, they have a riding issue. He told people to go spend money on lessons before they build a fancy barn or buyy a fancy truck and trailer. 

Additionally, we watched a clinic about desensitizing your horse through play. I thought it may have some really good ideas for me with Emi. They clinic horse was a very jumpy mustang. They walked over poles, a tarp, the clinician kicked a big ball around, banged on a metal barrel, and a couple of other things.  Emi is totally fine with both a ball and a tarp and I think we are definitely on the right track. One of his main points was to not make a big deal out of anything because when you do, you just reinforce things being scarey to the horse. 
My two enjoyed an hour out in the morning sunshine. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Calm, Straight & Forward

I had lesson #2 tonight. While warming up, RC was discussing important things about starting a young horse. She said the three most important things are that they are calm, straight, and forward. She said that most young horses naturally want to travel with wider hind legs and with their haunches in. To get them straight, you want to ride with a slight shoulder fore. In talking about being forward she said that most all young horses, when you put the leg on their typical reaction is to slow down. At that point, you rely on the ground training you've done using your voice commands to explain what that leg means. I've heard a lot of this before but it's really nice to have a refresher and have it be broken down. I want to go in to this baby starting thing well prepared. She discussed how having these three things in place will make a world of difference through out a horses career.

In terms of riding, we worked on serpentines at the trot, simple changes, and the one loop counter canter. Again it was really nice to break this stuff down and work on riding as accurately as possible. When I was preparing for the counter canter loop RC told me that Fauna does have changes, so she might try to change when I turned her off the rail, or she might try to change at X, heading back towards the rail. We discussed how I need to ride it and what the game plan would be if she did change. As I turned her off the rail I thought for sure we would have an accidental change. But, I sat up and rode her like I know how, and we had no misplaced lead changes. Yah! My main position issue is not sitting up tall enough. RC asked if I work at a computer all day....why yes, yes I do. I've just got to keep working at that. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Review: Smartpak Ultimate Turnout

Last month I talked about Roz's blanket situation, and how I wasn't sure what I was going to do. I ended up purchasing the Smartpak Ultimate Turnout sheet, and I've been pleased with it so far.
Sporting his new blanket
I bought it when they were doing a 20% off sale, so the price was pretty good and I'm very happy with the quality. I purchase his usual size 78 and have the chest adjusted to the smallest it will go. It has a generous cut, and would definitely fit a larger horse than Roz. That being said, it does fit him well. I love the snap front closure; it's so easy! I plan to purchase the medium weight before next winter and would definitely recommend the blanket.

It's been well broken in

Monday, March 17, 2014

Good News

I met with me new oncologist today, and everything still looks good. I had blood work done, and a specific tumor marker test. My result came back as 7.9 and the normal range is 0-31. Yah! She mentioned that the two year mark is an important milestone, and I will be two years out from my initial diagnosis, in August. That's coming up fast! We discussed having a balanced diet, making sure I exercise, and keeping on top of early detection. She also mentioned how important she thinks it is to control the level of stress in your life. Thankfully, I'm not a really stressed person, and I think the horses are a great way to relax after a day at work.

I played with Emi tonight;  she's always so fun. We practiced whoa & back, grazed on the yard and then she got a good grooming. She loves being messed with and is always seeking the interaction. Normally when I bring Roz home from riding, after the initial whinnying at him, she doesn't even seem to care that he's back. As soon as I put him in with her she starts following me around. I love having such a personable horse. Roz tends to be a bit more aloof, so they are a good combination.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring is Coming

Between the time change and the spring like weather....life is good! The pasture is really starting to grow and the horses have been in heaven the past two days. Due to the grass coming on so quickly I am limiting their turn out. They have both been very good for me to catch the past two days, after their hour out. I took these photos on Saturday. The rain came back in tonight, but we are supposed to get the sun back again soon. I love spring! 
So happy
Pretty Emi
Trotting over to see what I was doing
The lambs came marching over to check out the horses
She's growing up!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Finally

I got to take a riding lesson today! My last lesson was over a year ago, on Chevy. With plans to bring Emi along in a couple of years, I want to be at the top of my game. I know that taking a riding break, prior to starting a baby, is not going to be a great plan. What better time to work on myself than while I'm waiting for her to grow up?

I haven't shown up at a strange barn, and taken a lesson on a "lesson horse" for years. That being said, the lesson went great. We definitely used the time for all of us to get acquainted, and it was awesome to have some eyes on the ground, reminding me of things I need to keep working on. We mainly worked on the basics, discussing my position as we went along.  Specifically she (RC) noticed that my pelvis is tipped, and I'm sitting too far back, in more of a driving seat. This is not helping me keep a flat back and is adding to my tendency to hunch my shoulders a little bit. I think this will actually be a fairly easy fix, especially now that I am thinking about it. I also need to work on keeping my hands closed. Overall, I think RC was pleasantly surprised with my riding. She thinks she can help me polish some things up, and move me along, in my riding. I'm really looking forward to getting regular riding input again and I know this will really benifit Emi and I in a couple of years. Hopefully I can drag a friend along, at some point, to get some video!

Monday, March 10, 2014

DIY- Jewlery Holder

Roz had his final set of shoes pulled on September 7th, 2012. At that time, my farrier gave me his front shoes. I put them in my tack trunk and have always planned to do something with them. I came across them a couple of months ago, when I was searching for something else. I pulled them out and decided I should figure out a way to use them. My first stop was Pinterest, for ideas on what I could do with them. Then it was off to the craft store for a plaque & paint.
Roz's final pair of shoes, and the plaque I purchased. 
The primed plaque
Freshly painted
The finished product is a jewelry hanger! I got the horseshoe nails I needed, from my farrier. I looked at the store, but they wanted to sell me a big box, I definitely didn't need that many! Although this is a bit morbid, when Roz is gone, I think I will take his nameplate from his halter and put it on the plaque. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Motivation

While riding today, Tarra and I were discussing motivation. I love this time of year! Not only do I love the time changing and gaining daylight hours in the evening, but I also love the planning and anticipation for horse shows and various adventures. To me, horse shows are a very good motivator, especially during the winter months. They give you a very specific goal to work towards, even in your down time. I enjoy the process of planning my rides, figuring out what I'm going to focus on, and making it happen. Lessons are also motivating for me, as I strive to improve between them. The last couple of years have been a lot harder for me to stay motivated since I haven't been showing or taking lessons. But...that's about to change since I'm going to start taking lessons again this week! Then, at the end of the month I get to ride Mystic for a week, while Tarra is on vacation. What motivates you, or how do you stay motivated?
Caught these two laying down when I went out to ride today. 
I worked on Emi's mane again when I got home. I think it's looking better!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Open Farm

We had an open farm today and Emi made a lot of new friends! This has become an annual event for lamb petting, but of course, the horses are a big hit. Roz tolerates the attention and Emi soaks it up! We had over 50 visitors and they got 4 straight hours of new friends. I was so proud of what good ponies they are. I had a few people that went in with the horses, and it's so nice to have two sweet, trustworthy horses. 
"Watcha' doing?"
"A little person!"
Of course we had to see the lambs too!
Saying hi to everyone
Roz got lots of love
Emi loves Erica
Baby Emi was getting tired!
Playing with her tarp again 
"What are you looking at?" 

"We should invite these little horse feeders over all the time." 
Getting her hair braided by a visitor. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Happy Birthday, Rozzy Ridge

My good old boy, Roz, turns 22 today! We've had a really good year together. Not only did I put him back to work, but he got to start raising Emi with me too. I've been so blessed to have him in my life all of these years. He's a good one for sure.
Photos taken March 1st


In honor of his 22nd birthday he got a few new things. First off, he got a fancy browband, made by Dark Jewel Designs. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, Amelia is wonderful to work with! Not only do I have a blast designing my own bead strands, I love seeing Roz in his new bling.



Roz also just got the new Smartpak Ultimate Turnout and his very own micklem bridle. He is also getting a pedicure today. What more could a good pony ask for?

One Year

Today I've been done with chemo for one year! In some ways it's hard to believe that it's been a year, and on the other hand it feels like it was a lifetime ago. I'm so happy to be healthy and cancer free. I still have to go see the oncologist every few months, take daily medication, and receive monthly injections, but that's nothing compared to what I've already been through.

I did get some disappointing news last time I saw my doctor. She's moving. I'm so totally bummed about that, and am not looking forward to having to find a new oncologist. I'm trying to just be thankful that she was here when I needed her. I'm so thankful for her support and experience in getting me through.
Last day of chemo with Dr. Boric
Easter Sunday 2013
April 8th with my nephew
April 27th, meeting a Cardi daughter
Meeting Emi June 23rd


First hair cut post chemo, mid-August
Mid September with Emi
November 30th 
January 15th
February 16th