Sunday, June 29, 2014

Show #2

Saturday morning Tarra and I headed up to Emi's second show. It was at the same place as last time, but was supposed to be a big 3 day welsh show rather than the one day welsh/open show we attended in April. The show was supposed to start at 8am and there were almost 20 classes before Emi's. I hemmed and hawed about what time to get there but finally decided on 8:30. I figured that would be earlier than I actually needed to be there but I didn't want to miss my class. 

We pulled up and left Emi on the trailer while I went to check in. As we approached the arena I saw that they were just setting up the arena...at 8:30! The show ended up starting an hour and a half late. I have never been to a show that started an hour an a half late. It was crazy. I never heard a reason for the late start either.

The extra time did give Emi plenty of time to eat hay and chill in her stall. A welsh person, who's friends with Emi's breeder, helped me shine her up before I took her out. I walked her around for a bit but there was a break and gate hold going on and I ended up opting to take Emi back to her stall. This was our first time out in the white halter other than the few times we had used it at home. It's like flying a welsh pony kite! Haha. It tightens up on her face and then doesn't really offer a good release of pressure so it wasn't the easiest thing to use. I'm trying to decide what to do use next time...it does look sharp. 

Emi was good in the show ring. She trotted nicely for me both times around the arena and I think she stood a little better this time too. Here's the video (although it turned out a little bleary). Tarra thought my trot may have been too conservative. The feed back I got last time was that a trotted her a little too quickly and she was off balance. I need to find a happy medium. The class was double judged and she placed third and fourth, out of four. Obviously I think she's great and I'm not sure what the judges are really looking for. I think they'd like to see her with more bone and more knee action. Maybe you welsh people can chime in! I wish you got some sort of feedback from the judges. Dressage has really spoiled me, rides times and a score sheet! 

When her class was finished we snapped a few more photos and loaded up. Tarra had gone back in to the trailer tack room to grab a whip (just in case) and I walked Emi up to the trailer. She jumped right in! She was so ready to go. I was really pleased with how good she was and it was another good outing for her. She was definitely a bit more worried going by herself but I thought she held herself together well.  I also noticed that she hardly whinnied this time while last time she talked a lot. 

Her next show is in about 8 more weeks, at the Oregon State Fair. Once we get through that show I'm not really sure if we will do any more welsh shows. We'll see. 

Now for the fun part, pictures! I love having a horse show buddy. Thanks, Tarra!
Scoping things out
Twins
She could be a model


Not the most flattering photos but I couldn't help but smile at her worried eyes and poofy forelock. It's seriously her most frequently discussed feature. 
In the ring 
Attempting to pose with her ribbons

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Baby Steps

After a pretty relaxed ride on Monday, Tuesday was not so hot. Willow came in anxious and it just went down hill from there. By the time I was done riding her she had pooped 6 times in the arena, the last two being like cow pies. She's fine under saddle, no bucking, rearing, spooking etc, she's just very tense. Wednesday I opted to put her on the lunge line for her work out. She was actually pretty quiet and I didn't work her for too long since she was being good.

This morning she got her hooves trimmed and then I went back out after work to ride her. She trotted over to me when I went out to catch her. That's a first! She came quietly into the barn and stood nicely while I got her ready. I proceeded to hop on her from the mounting block at the barn, and we followed after Tarra and Mystic to walk around the hay fields. She doesn't like walking from the barn to the arena with me on her. I mean why work if you don't have to? I was able to kick her through it, and once I got her going forward she was fine.

It was her first time out in the hay fields and she was good. She gave a good look at the jumps set up out there, and she was a bit unsure of the shallow ditches we crossed. Beyond that she was fine. After walking around we went into the arena. We have had nicer work but it wasn't bad and she didn't poop at all. Once finished we went around the hay field one more time before returning to the barn. She seemed much happier tonight and I was glad to have a successful outing with her. Today marks two weeks that she has been with me. Hopefully things continue to get better and better. We are definitely heading in the right direction.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mystery

Willow has turned out to be a bit of a mystery. She was tense and anxious all week last week and I rode her almost every day. Each day she'd move all around while I tacked her up. She'd poop multiple times while I got her ready and then several more times while I was riding her. I just couldn't figure her out. Saturday we road with Tarra and had a pretty decent ride. I gave her Sunday off and then went out tonight. It was a bit stormy and there were a lot of other people at the barn. Willow came in quietly and stood nicely while I tacked her up, only pooping once.

I opted to put her on the lunge line for a few minutes to be sure she wasn't going to be too worked up. She was the quietest she has been. That translated right over into our riding and she felt much more like the horse I tried before I brought her home.  It was so nice to have her relaxed. Hopefully she will keep it.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Gorgeous Rozzy Ridge

I thought I'd share more photos from our shoot earlier this week. Roz is really one of the cutest horses I know. He was a super boy for his photos. I hopped on him bareback, from the unstable wire fence, and then ponied Emi around for photos. He didn't put a foot wrong. 

 
 



Friday, June 20, 2014

Happy Birthday Emi!

I cannot believe that a whole year has gone by since I received the email that said "Just after midnight, Chloe had a bay filly! Looking for the DQ, circling, and going in for the milkshake.
Two hind 1/2 socks, a teeny tower-shaped white forehead marking, triangular white nose and white onto the lower lip. She's beautiful!" Three days later, Tarra and I met her, and I purchased her. It's been such a fun year and has gone by so fast. Thanks for being along for the journey. It has been fun to share her with all of you. I sure do love that baby girl!

Then....
Now




Thursday, June 19, 2014

So Hot

And I'm not talking about the weather. Willow has ended up being quite a bit hotter than I expected her to be. She seemed very laid back when I tried her, so I can only assume that turning her world upside down has resulted in this crazy critter. She's not spooky and she's really not even naughty, but she's tense. She's wiggly when I get her ready, and get on. Once I'm up there she's just ready to go. I think she may be heat so that may be contributing. I actually don't mind a hot horse...I just need to get used to that kind of ride again.

She's obviously well schooled and the buttons are there for shoulder-in, haunches-in, leg yields, trot lengthening etc. Now I just need her to relax a little bit. I'm sure it will come with continued work and us getting to know each other better. I opted for 10 minutes on the lunge line tonight and I really noticed a difference in her as I required her to tune in with lots of transitions. I will hopefully get a little bit of video to share with you guys this weekend.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Getting Acquainted

First of all, thank you all for your excitement and comments. I think this is going to be a really good thing for me, and I'm looking forward to all of the fun I'm going to have with Willow.

Friday night I just hung out with Willow, grooming her and trying on tack. She seemed pretty happy and was settling in well. Saturday morning I headed back out to NDF to go for a ride. She was anxious while I tacked her up and was moving around quite a bit. I opted to put her on the lunge line for a few minutes before getting on. It was nice to watch her move and to see what her reaction was going to be to things. From what I can tell, she just puts her head up and gives things a good look. I can handle that! When I went to get on she was wiggling all over. I finally put her between the wall and the mounting block. Once on, she felt tense but started to relax the longer I rode. When I finished riding her I got off but stayed in the arena talking to a friend. I sat on the mounting block and Willow decided to take a little nap behind me...she had relaxed a lot!

Today she came in to the barn totally calm. She stood quietly while I got her ready and I skipped right by the lung line. Part way through our ride I got her connected and nicely on the bit. It was like we were finally speaking the same language, and I had a different horse. She's really fun; forward thinking and willing. It was really neat to catch a glimpse of where we will end up. Now I'm just trying to find a saddle that fits her. My close contact saddle seems like it might pinch her just a bit. April's dressage saddle doesn't sit quite right and wants to tip forward. April has a wintec all purpose saddle that I'm going to try. From just sitting it on her I think it's the best fit so far.

 Roz's "Dark Jewel Designs" brow band fits her. Yah!
Emi's show is now two weeks away so I decided it's time to tackle clipping a bridle path. We had bridle path round 1 last night and I plan for bridle path round 2 tomorrow night. When she thought I was just holding the clippers up by her ears she was okay but when I started cutting she definitely did not think that was okay. I worked with her for a while and then decided to call it a night. Hopefully I can get it finished tomorrow night. I only need about 5 seconds of her standing still but I'm a bit paranoid about chopping off part of her mane or forelock while she's slinging her head around! I measured her this morning and she's just shy of 13.1hh. I think she should make the 14.3hh that I'd like her to.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cob Collector

It was an exciting day in my life...I picked up my second Welsh Cob. One thing I have always planned on was to be in good riding shape (and practice) when Emi is ready to ride. I think I owe that to both of us. About a month ago I put out my feelers to see what kind of horses may be available for me to ride for the next couple of years. In a few days I had 10+ horses offered to me. From cobs and cob crosses, to a half arab, a mustang, a warmblood, quarter horses, and a POA. I got offers from several people who I don't really even know. It was a humbling experience that people would trust me with something so important.

One of the horses that was offered to me was Willow. She's a beautiful, BIG, Welsh Cob mare that belongs to a friend of a friend. She's 13 years old and has had one owner her entire life. They don't currently have a use for her and have had her listed for sale. When they heard I was looking for a horse to ride they offered her to me! 

Today was the day I finally got to go meet her and pick her up. She lives a few hours from here so it was a fun road trip. Erica came along and we chatted the whole way. When we arrived I met her owner and visited with her about Willow's history. She has had two foals by Cardi and has some dressage training. She's schooling first and some second level. They said she loves attention and is happy to work. She has not had a lot of trail or show experience, which is something she will be getting with me. 

The trainer rode her, and then I hopped on. We definitely need to figure each other out but she was a good girl and did everything I asked her. She felt good under me and has a really fun canter. They said she hadn't been ridden in two weeks, but she comes out the same way every day, regardless of her riding schedule. I think we are going to have tons of fun!



She loaded easily and hauled quietly home. She came off the trailer a little bit looky but settled right in. She had gotten her tail yucky in the trailer so I took her in the wash rack to wash it. By the time I was done she had a foot rested and was just taking in the view. She's a total love sponge!  I'm so blessed to have this opportunity with her. I'm pretty certain we are going to become best buddies and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better.



Thursday, June 5, 2014

So Sweet

I just had to share these two photos from today. I'm not sure that it gets much cuter than this.
 I just love my two sweet ponies! 


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Heating Up

I have this feeling that June is going to rush by. The baby girl will be turning a year old on the 20th. I can not believe how quickly this first year has gone by! I figured I better cover my June goals before the month rushes right by. 

May Goal Review: 

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.  

May ended up being a "down time" kind of month. We worked on this a handful of times...and that's about it. However, she did also go on her cross country field trip and that was a great outing. 


June Goals: 

1) I really do need to work on her standing. That's a big goal for this month since her second show is a the end of the month. I just got a traditional white web halter to show her in and I also need to practice with her in that. 

2) I need to clip her bridle path, and I'm sure she isn't going to love it. My plan is to work on it in another week or two as I don't want to have to do it twice prior to the show. 

I've also got some BIG news coming up...but that will have to wait another week or so. Stay tuned!