Monday, March 30, 2015

Catch Me If You Can

Benny led me on another merry not so merry chase on Sunday. He came over to me, took one piece of his carrot and took off.  I was already not feeling well but after walking around the huge pasture for over an hour I actually gave up. Note to self: the problem with having a half arab is that they have incredible stamina....however, it gave me plenty of time to watch him canter around and appreciate how much his canter is developing. He had an active hind leg and very little cross cantering. I also saw lots of clean flying changes. Apparently he's feeling way too good. What he didn't realize was that he caused his gelding field privileges to be revoked. He's now in a smaller pasture near the barn with one of the mares. At least it will give me a much better chance of being able to catch him if he decides to be crazy again. I went out this afternoon and caught him with out an issue. He was really muddy from running around the pasture (yesterday) so I gave him a bath and let him hand graze for a while. Hopefully he's not sore tomorrow and we are able to get a good ride in.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Open Farm

Today we had our annual open farm. The horses were a big hit, and Liam too! It's really fun to share something I love with people who rarely encounter these kind of things in their normal lives.

Other than farm day it was a pretty quiet week for me. Between a big rain storm at the beginning of the week, to Benny being a little funky on Tuesday, and then me being sick the rest of the week it wasn't a great riding week. Benny is hard to catch occasionally and last Sunday was one of those times. He ran around for over an hour (worst time by far) before I was able to catch him. We put in a fairly hard ride and then he had Monday off work. Tuesday he got his hooves trimmed in the morning and I went back out in the evening to ride him. He didn't feel quite right. At first I thought it might be his trim but the more I thought about it the more I felt like he was probably sore from his antics on Sunday. I would have liked to check him again on Thursday but since I didn't get out there he waited until today. He was totally fine to catch today and felt good under saddle. It's the little things in life!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Transformation Tuesday - Hair Growth

I finished chemo on March 6th, 2013. One of the things that I was very curious about was how long it would take for my hair to grow back out. I was able to find one persons blog post that showed her hair growth after chemo, so I wanted to do my own. I haven't had it cut very much in the last 2 years, just enough to give it a little shape and to get rid of the dry chemo ends. For me, it took nearly 2 years from bald to shoulder length hair
 Meeting a Cardi daughter - April 27th, 2013
Meeting Emi - June 23rd, 2013
After my 1st hair cut - August 10th, 2013

I don't have a good time line for the following photos but I'd say early in 2014, roughly about a year post chemo

Showing Emi, August 2015
October 2015
My most recent hair cut, March 18th, 2015
The more natural (curly) version of my new hair cut

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Growing Up - Grazing Muzzle

I've always said that I'd put a grazing muzzle on Emi when she needed it. She's been putting on weight, even with limited time on the pasture and I knew I needed to do something about it. Well...Emi is now the proud owner of a grazing muzzle.  There was some sassy head tossing when I put it on, but she pretty much went right to eating. What a smart girl! I feel a lot better knowing that her grass consumption is being restricted.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Down Time

Benny had a large portion of last week off work due to my busy schedule. Our first ride (on Tuesday), after the clinic, was quite good. Our next ride was a couple of days later and we were definitely missing the magic. Today it was back in full force. Benny was awesome! It's so fun when things start coming together!I can't even believe how much he has improved over the last few months. I'm working to ride him very proactively and I'm also really thinking about my position. My goal is to have him ready for a move up to first level by mid summer. At the rate he's going it's totally doable.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Field Trip

Emi went on a field trip to NDF Sunday afternoon. We had a spectacular day. The weather has been super amazing around here and it was the perfect day for an outing. I took her into the barn and tied her in Benny's stall while I cleaned it. All of the time standing tied at home is paying off as she stood nicely while I cleaned, dumped the wheelbarrow and did a couple of other things.

 We played in the arena with her tarp and a saddle. Then I took her walking around a loop near the barn. It's about a mile walk and she was super good. She got a little bit up when a group of geldings came charging over to the fence, but settled back down quickly. I absolutely love how sensible and curious she is. I hope that she continues to be so easy. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Always Learning

Benny and I got to ride with Jessica on Saturday and it was awesome! Benny was super, as usual, and we made a lot of progress from the beginning to the end of our ride.  I again put together a video to give you a glimpse of what we are working on. It was great to get assistance on everything, especially Benny's canter. Now I need to put into practice the new things we learned and be more on top of things all the time. Jessica said he's capable of getting 70% at training level and I want to do it! We also talked about a move up to first level and I think we should be able to do that later on this year. This horse is seriously fun!
We worked really hard on Friday night...not. 
Tired pony when we got home

Also, if any of you are in Oregon and are interested in riding with Jessica or auditing her clinic (May 16th & 17th) let me know. It should be a really fun time.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Happy Birthday, Rozzy Ridge

Rozzy Ridge turns 23 today. Where has the time gone? I cannot believe that he's already that old. I attempted to clean the old fuzz ball up a couple of weeks ago when we were having spectacular weather and took the below photos. Isn't he handsome? Of course I had to hop on for a couple of photos as well. I'll always love this special boy. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


Emi got her hair cut! I had been letting it grow but I really wasn't loving it. However, I was a bit worried about how it would turn out once I cut it. I'm fairly happy with the finished product even though her mane is super thick. I just cannot imagine trying to pull it. Not only would she hate it but you'd have a hard time getting it to be thin enough. I think we are going to embrace a thick short mane and be happy that she can sport adorable button braids when she's in the show ring.
Beyond the transformation of her mane, I was thinking tonight about how much she has learned in the past year. I was out in the barn working with her and easily clipped her muzzle before tying her up to pick her feet and groom her. She stood quietly and was very polite with her hooves. When I finished with that I let her go and asked her to back up (with me just walking towards her). Next I tested her by grabbing her halter and asking her to put her head down. There was no resistance. The moment I grabbed the halter and pulled down she dropped her head to the ground. All of these are minor things but they add up to making a well rounded citizen. I think the baby girl is well on her way.
Baby Emi when she first came home

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Show Recap - Bears Above the Ground

Benny and I went to our first show yesterday along with April and her horse Pants. It was Pant's first riding horse show and we wanted to get to the show grounds with enough time to show them the competition arena. Because of that the morning started out very early with us leaving the barn by 5:45am. Benny loaded first and he pretty much walked right in. When we arrived at the show grounds he unloaded quietly and we headed straight over to the arena. He was a bit spooky when we went in but after a few minutes of walking around he was being totally fine. We spent about 15 minutes just hand walking before I took him to his stall to put his braids up. When I finished with that I helped April prep Pants and watched her go. Her last test was at 9:24 and I rode at 10:12. 

Scoping out the competition arena
I hustled to get Benny tacked up and we headed over to the warm up. April had mentioned that the footing wasn't great but I could really tell when I got on Benny. It was basically packed down dirt with chunks on top. Poor barefoot Benny was not enjoying it. After he took a few funny steps I decided warm up was officially over. He was being just fine but we hadn't worked very long. Our turn came up quickly and we headed in to the ring. I was the first person in our training level test 1 class and it was right after a break. The judge rang the the bell right away and off we went. The arena was apparently much different with his mom on his back because Benny was quite spooky. There was a videographer at one side of the arena that he wouldn't get close to and she was near the center of the court so it impacted several elements. We ended up with a 59% and 3rd out of 5. 

When we came out I decided to just hop off and chill with him for a bit before my next test. We took some pictures while we waited...

 I got back on with about 10 minutes to go and walked him around the warm up arena. When we went in to the show ring I first walked him over to check out the videographer. After circling around by her I picked up a trot, did one quick canter circle and we were off. This test was so much better and we hadn't even done anything in between the two. He wasn't spooky at all and just went in and did his job. There is definitely lots of room for improvement and continued polishing but I was really pleased with such a change between the two tests. We got several 7's on this test and even a 7.5 on his free walk. We scored a 65% and 2nd out of 12! I was thrilled to have had a good test in the second class and I know we can do even better with continued practice and a better warm up. 

He stood nicely tied to the trailer while we ate lunch.
Benny and Pants loaded well for the trip home and were happy to be turned out when we got back. He got today off and will have his regular Monday off before we get back to work on Tuesday. Saturday we get to ride with Jessica again and I'm really looking forward to getting more input.