Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Blog Hop: Let's Make a Baby

Another fun blog hop from Viva Carlos.

"Yay imagination time!  Well more imagination time for some of us and a tiny bit less for the rest of us. This week's blog hop is..... If you could/were so inclined to breed your horse (1.. let's not get into the issues of backyard breeding and 2.. let's pretend your horse is a mare if it's not) WHO would you breed your horse to and Why!"

Although I didn't quite breed my current horse she was pretty much a custom order... Before Emi, I would have definitely said I'd breed a mare to North Forks Cardi. Now that I have a Cardi daughter I will have to find something else!

Yes, this was less than a year ago!
It's possible that I will breed Emi some day, but it all depends on how she turns out. It's in the back of my mind to breed her but it obviously wouldn't be very soon. I could see producing my next riding horse when she is around 10. As far as what I'd be looking for...She's more refined than what the Welsh Cob people like, so I'd breed her to something with a bit more bone. I'd definitely want to breed her to a tall stallion to increase my chances of getting a 15hh horse. As of right now I think she has a great brain and I'd definitely want to see that in any stallion I use. Time will definitely bring out other things that I'd like to see improved but it's harder to tell in her current state.  

The first Cob stallion that came to mind is Camina's MacCoy. Can you say gorgeous!? I'm a huge sucker for chrome, and I also really like that he has had a performance career. I believe he's currently showing Prix St. George. He's based on the West Coast too.  I'm definitely keeping an eye on him. I'm hopeful that he will be at Devonwood this year so that I can see him compete. I also think that Quillane Welsh has some super gorgeous stallions...so I'd check them out for sure! 

It has crossed my mind to breed her with a TB or warmblood but I really like the cobs and don't see any reason not to go for another purebred. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Pinto, an Appy, and a Bay

My baby is so awesome! She got to go cross country schooling today, and as I'm coming to expect, she took in in stride. We started the outing by hauling up to NDF to meet up with Tarra and Alyssa. Alyssa has a big four horse trailer and that allowed us to all ride together. That meant that Emi had to load in my trailer, unload at NDF, load right back in to a strange trailer and then reverse that for the trip home. Alyssa's trailer is quite a bit taller than mine and it has the back tack room so the entrance is a more narrow. I really wasn't sure what to expect but she pretty much hopped right in. We put her in the middle so I think she was happy to have seen another horse go in ahead of her. 

She came out nice and calm at Inavale and I let her graze while they tacked their horses up. Then we walked up to the cross country course and I got her busy grazing while I took some photos. When the riders were taking a break I took Emi over to a teeny tiny log. She sniffed it before leaping over it. We moved on to another field and I took a few more photos before handing my camera over to Tarra and taking Emi over to check out a bank. We went up it first, down, and back up. It was no big deal. 

Next up was the water jump field. Emi was a bit wide eyed at the horses splashing through the water and she was not interested in getting in. Tarra tried to pony her in and I finally decided to sacrifice my boots to get her in. I was standing with her trying to coax her in when she took a flying leap. She actually took about 3 big lunges out through the water and was nearing the end of my rope. For a split second I though I might lose her but she stopped as suddenly as she went. Alyssa also happened to be at the right place at the right time and was able to just take Emi from me so I didn't have to wade out to get her. Even at the end she wasn't thrilled with getting in to the water, although she was fine once she was in. I didn't want to push it since I figured she'd seen enough for the day. This was her first ever experience with water like that, and I know she will only get better.

This was her second or third time in.
Alyssa continued to pony Emi for a bit while I took more photos for Tarra. At this time several minis and one larger driving horse showed up to school in the water. It was actually pretty crazy. Thankfully our horses were calm about it. I had to take Emi over by them to pick up a few things that I left behind. She was a bit up but didn't do anything dumb. 

I love these two ponies!
On the return trip home she again hopped right in to the trailer. I was impressed! Unfortunately by the time we got back to NDF she was pretty sure she did not want to get back in my trailer for the trip home. We needed a bit of assistance but she did get in. She's hauling like such a good big girl now, all tied up with the divider closed. She also stands very quietly and doesn't seem to bang around at all. I think I'm going to have a solid citizen on my hands! 

Next up is our second welsh show at the end of June. I'm not sure if we will have any more outings before then. I may take her back to NDF to practice a little bit in hand...or I might just do it in the field at home. 

A quick 11 month shot back at the trailer. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Soul Searching

I had the opportunity to have Roz worked up for a "lameness course" for 4th year veterinary students. He went in on Tuesday morning and I brought him home today. That left Emi home alone for two days. She was awesome! Whinnied a little bit more than "normal" when I went out to feed but she was otherwise chill. Such a good girl!

I got called Wednesday afternoon with their findings. They said he's grade 4/5 lame on his right front. When I questioned them about him being 4/5 lame (I was surprised) they said it's because they could see a slight lameness at the walk. They took radiographs of both fronts. His navicular changes have mildly progressed in the right front, and he now has navicular changes in the left front. The goal of the course is to work up the "primary" lameness and that's his.  We discussed trying coffin joint injections and I gave them the go ahead to do that.

They also noted that he's slightly lame on his left hind. They asked if I'd like them to work that up too if they had time. Of course I said yes. They blocked from his fetlock down and did not see any improvement. Unfortunately they did not have the time to pursue it beyond that.

When I picked him up the student told me he was one of the nicest horses they worked on and she enjoyed working with him. I had put a chain on his halter for them since he can be a bit pushy. She told me that they took it off when they first started working with him, thinking he didn't need it, but they soon realized there was a reason why I had it on him. Only Rozzy Ridge!

So...the next big question is where do we go from here. I really wanted to get a black and white answer, and of course I didn't. I'm not making his navicular worse by riding him, but is it fair to continue to ride him? How much do the benefits outweigh the costs (to him)? I feel bad because I wouldn't have told you he was that lame. I've always thought I had a pretty good feel for lameness when riding and he doesn't feel like a train wreck to me. I also don't notice a considerable difference from right to left, his canter leads, or anything else.

If I had another horse to ride I feel like it would be pretty easy to put him out to pasture, but I don't. I've thought of trying pursue some sort of riding arrangements but where do you start? Tarra thinks I need a project pony. Or maybe now that Roz got injections I will ride him through the summer and then officially retire him come fall...I'm just not sure.

Emi was delighted to have him home and Roz was thrilled to go outside! I sure do love my ponies and I'm so glad to have Roz home.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Lesson Recap

Today I finally got back in the saddle of my lesson horse, Millie. It was great! I feel like I'm really riding so much better.  Key point: The horse must always be in front of your leg and carrying you. We did 3 loop serpentines, trot lengthenings, leg yields, shoulder-in, walk to canter transitions, the one loop counter canter (from first level), and a couple flying changes. I rode most of it pretty well. We had a few bobbles on our counter canter loop. I've never thought that was a very easy move and RC agreed with me that it can be tricky. However, after Millie broke twice in the same spot, I rode it a little more strongly and we did it nicely both directions.

Our shoulder-in was really easy and fun! A few years ago I would not have been able to ride that like I was able to today.  We did about a 10 meter circle in the corner before doing shoulder-in down the rail. I'm getting much better at getting my body in the right spot and it just flowed right along, in both directions. It's been nice for me to get back in the habit of doing some sitting trot also. It takes a lot of muscle! It also didn't help that it was in the upper 80's today. I'm not used to this heat!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


I love riding and I don't foresee that ever changing. However, Tarra and I were talking today about how the expense of riding is so frustrating. Whereas some of the more "normal" sports may hinge on your actual talent for the sport, or you willingness to work, riding isn't necessarily like that. I think what can hold a rider back is not having the funds to purchase that horse that will take them to the next level, or not being able to get regular instruction, or not having the money to show that horse at the level they need to. In the end, what separates a lot of riders (in my opinion) is not talent but money. Now I'm not saying I believe hard work doesn't pay off, because it does, it just isn't everything in the sport of riding. Thankfully, riding is something you can do for a lifetime verses some of the other sports where you wear your body out quickly

The conversation came about during the course of the day at Tarra's horse show. We had a lot of fun and they did great. Photos below of some of my friends. We had most of the levels covered! I included two photos of a Haflinger and Welsh Cob, both showing 4th level. They were so cute!

2nd level

1st level

Training level

Material - 3 year olds

4th level

Welsh Cob doing 4th - He won the class and is out of the same sire as Cardi.

Adorable haflinger

Friday, May 9, 2014

Just Right

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to keep your horse at the perfect weight? It's been an ongoing cycle with Roz. I wouldn't say he's a hard keeper but he isn't easy either. Even in light work he takes quite a bit of feed. He normally gets a bit fat in the spring, and no matter how close I watch him he tends to drop a little bit more weight than I want heading in to winter. Then he stays a bit thin until we hit spring again. He's still slightly on the thin side and I know it's really better for his body to be a little lighter than carrying around too much weight.

Emi's going to have the opposite problem. She has really blossomed on the green grass the last couple of weeks. They are still on pretty limited grass turn out, 2-3 hours per day. I was grooming her tonight and she's getting so shiny and round! It's amazing what lush green grass will do. Since her body style is different than Roz it's also harder for me to tell if she's at a good weight or not. I've been pleased so far with the weight I've had her at. Now I just don't want her to become too fat!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May Goals

April Goals Review

Things are heating up! Our first show is 3 weeks from today. 

1) I've got to practice hauling her tied. It's not something I've done yet, but I really do need to. For the show Emi will be loaded first and then we will head up the road to NDF to get Mystic. Tarra is going to help me with this on Monday. 

We did it! Tarra helped me practice and then the day before the show I hauled her up to NDF by herself (tied). Then she was hauled to and from the show like a big girl. There's no going back now!
2) The show! My goal is to have a positive first horse show with the little lady. I'm sure she's going to be a little bit freaked out but I think she will do well. Hopefully the judge will be able to tell we have been practicing! 

We had definite success on this one! She was awesome at the show and I'm sure the judge could tell we had practiced our trotting. She was worked up, but not unmanageable. 

May Goals

1) The main thing I need be working on is standing nicely, like she will need to at her next show. I need to get her halting square and standing with the right expression. I've kind of taken the last week off from really working with her but I need to get back in gear from here on out. Otherwise this is a pretty laid back month for us.  

On another note, I've decided I could really use a money tree. I occasionally look at horses for sale and I came across this one They just put up a new video and reduced his price. If I had $8500 to my name I'd totally go buy him (or at least try him). You only live once and have no guarantees on tomorrow...might as well enjoy today. If you are near Oregon and are looking for a Cob, you should go buy him! That way I can live vicariously through you. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Blustery at the Beach

"Blustery" is the best word I can come up with for our beach trip today. I thought the weather may be a bit rainy but it wasn't supposed to be too bad. When we got out of the truck you could immediately tell it was going to be a windy ride. By the time we mounted up and actually got down to beach it was evident just how windy it was. Walking down the beach the wind was in our face. The dry sand was blowing across the ground and Roz gave it a hard look before walking through it. When we made it to the wet sand the water was blowing across it. Next time I need to check the expected wind speeds too....although you can have the beach to yourself when there are 20mph winds!

Lucky for us our horses are awesome! Those boys sauntered down the beach like they didn't have a care in the world. We rode a ways, yelling back and forth to each other, and then hollering "I can't hear you!" We did some trotting and cantering and then sat with our backs to the wind for a bit. We were hoping it would let up, but that didn't seem likely. Once we decided that it wasn't going to get any better we just rode through it. By the end we actually were becoming accustomed to it.

We rode for about an hour and a half prior to calling it a day. Our friend, Erica, was along and she took pictures and rode Roz a little bit. As we made our way back to the trailer the rain started coming down. We had perfect timing!

The view from where I sat. Roz's mane actually falls on the right side of his neck.....
Erica and Rozzy Ridge

Edited to add photos:
Roz and I
Backs to the wind.

Love my boy!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

All About Rolex

Before we get too far away from Rolex, I want to hear everyones tips and tricks for their Rolex experience. Tarra and I are planning to attend next year and I can not wait! It's going to be amazing for sure. We hope to spend a week in Kentucky so if you have other items you think we should do definitely tell me about those as well!

Tarra and I have talked about going to Rolex for years, and last year I finally told her we should go in 2015. That seemed like a long way away, until now. I know the time is going to fly by. Emi will be almost 2 by then so I'm hoping to buy her some big girl stuff while we are there!