Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fancy pants

More jump..... sit on my pockets....

the whip swish as an aid

left lead canter from the walk, think shoulder in, hold the outside rein, keep his head straighter, not bent as much

Then fun bareback hack to the lake.. including a few jumps in the way :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Trot Half Pass!!!

Cindy lesson.... super hot and sweaty... trot half pass...
harder tracking left... don't cross the neck with the left rein in an effort to create left flexion.. it feels like he's not flexing because his haunches aren't coming to the left like the rest of his body. So use my inside leg to create bend and my outside (right) leg to move the haunches more. AND use my eyes... turn my head and it actually helps!

Cindy's so smart. ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

We did it!!!!

So... I've been wanting to jump that ditch and wall and trakehner at Ashland... the baby ones! We tried the trakehner about a year ago and Dan said NOPE! so I hadn't tried it again. I was going to wait til I had a coach for back up. But I've been getting the itch. I was hoping to get to ride with Kelli yesterday and was thinking maybe I could do it then, but that didn't pan out. Today I had to do some stuff with Mike and one of his coworkers, so I got up early and rode. And darn the weather channel again. I swear... It was supposed to be nice this morning and then rain all afternoon starting at one. What happened was that it was drizzly this morning and then it got super muggy and humid and then it finally rained briefly at 12 and then was beautiful and sunny and clear the whole rest of the day. And even kind of not so humid at one point. Stupid weather people... oh well. It wouldn't have really mattered. I might have ridden this evening but I was glad I rode this morning because Mike and I were able to get a lot of stuff accomplished. :) 

And... it was a fantastic ride!! I put Fleck's thin snaffle on Dan to see how he'd do with it and if it would give me a bit more of a half halt. He was fine with it once he figured out how to eat a treat with it on. :) We had a good hack and did a bit of trotting and cantering. I also made him be on the bit some, but not the whole time. We also had some really nice leg yield and shoulder in and haunches in again. :) Then we ended up in the XC field and I just couldn't help myself. I walked him over to the ditch and wall and let him sniff it. He walked right up and was like "yeah, so....?!" and then we walked up to the trakehner and he did the same thing. So I thought, well...... 

I  picked him up and we cantered over the two coops on the roller coaster/loop de loo hill and he popped over those happily. Then we cantered up the hill and over the two hanging log jump. Then we rolled over to the ditch and wall and he just popped right over it. So we kept going to the trakehner and popped right over that too!! YAY!!!!!!! I'm so proud of him. He just didn't even blink. :) So we did it a few times to make sure it wasn't a fluke. :) 

Yay!!!! I'm just so glad that at least at the small levels, the ditch and wall and trakehners aren't a "thing"... Now to just keep it that way as we get to the bigger ones... :) 


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Making it happen....

Well.. that was really not how I wanted my day to go, but... so it goes.

I had a terrible migraine last night, compounded by a possible mild heat stroke/dehydration. It's so freakin' hot!! And I've been going non-stop, working or showing 12 plus hour days in this ridiculous heat and humidity for at least 12 days in a row now. Yesterday it was 96 degrees.  Not "feels like" 96.. ACTUALLY 96!!! I don't even want to know what the humidity made it feel like. I didn't even work all that hard.. only 6 horses. But... it did me in. I ended up taking 2 ibuprofen and 2 migraine pills, which then added to my feeling of foggyness and lethargy. So when I came home I was exhausted. I found this.... Oh Dan. I was too tired to even deal with it.

Then I could hardly stand up for my shower and dinner. I decided it was probably worth sleeping in, even though I knew it'd be too hot to ride later. But... there's only so much I can do. So I slept in.

And I heard Oblina puking at some point in the morning, but she had done that the morning before. So I didn't get up to investigate. However, once I got up and got my morning rolling, I found her laying in the litter box, half dead. She's 18 years old... and I knew it was coming. I just didn't expect it to be so dramatic. Unfortunately she was so shocky that I couldn't hit a vein and spent 30 minutes trying. She basically passed away on her own, with no help from me. I finished the job, but... probably didn't need to. I feel terrible... she spent her last morning, miserable.. in a litter box. I'm the worst mom. Then I couldn't even help her on her way.
After that I had to get to the dump before they closed and the horses had gone back to the front field to eat because I was so late getting them breakfast. They didn't come up quick enough so I left for the dump without feeding them. Then spent the whole time worrying that they were dead or stuck in wire or snuck out and were getting hit by a car..... They were fine. I got home and they were *starving!!!*. Unfortunately in my haste, I forgot my bank deposit and ran out of time to come home and get to the bank. And I forgot the gas tank for the tractor. And I forgot to get feed and salt blocks and fertilizer. Sigh.. So I came home and decided to work on reports for a bit since it was toasty out at this point. I did that for a bit, then went and buried Oblina next to Roany. Of course it was so hot and humid and I had a late lunch and was crying, so I gave myself another migraine. Sigh... So I took another migraine pill and came inside to cool off. While doing that I checked the weather and.... my plan was to ride around 7 pm... which is right when the storms were going to hit. Sigh... Argh! I still needed to rehitch and get the boys. And I wasn't done with reports. So I gave up on reports after a few more and checked the weather again. And it was about to hit right then and there, but clear up a bit after. So I debated.... it was thundering and windy out, but pretty pleasant and only partially cloudy. I finally decided to just ride at home. That way if the storms got bad, I was close. And if it started raining and kept raining, at least I'd get a ride in. Plus I was tired and grumpy and had so much to do... it just seemed smarter. So that's what I did.

I tacked Dan up and we went in the front field. I left Fleck in his stall. Danny was a bit rowdy but not as bad as last time. Thank goodness! He started out a bit frisky but I put him to work after a bit and he settled down. It was actually quite nice because he was quite forward and powerful. We did some good work at the trot and then did some work on the walk to canters. We struggled with the left lead but at the end we got it. He was actually leaping into it. I think he's as frustrated as me, if not more. Sigh.. I'm sure I'm throwing him off somehow and he knows it. We were working on walk to canter to 15 (or maybe 12 or 10.. I suck and was in the pasture) meter circles, then cut across the short side, walk and then pick up the other lead. We were ALMOST done... and the new neighbors dog came flying out at us. I'm honestly not so sure that Dan spooked at the dog.. I think it was the people coming out after the dog. But our back was to them so who knows. He bucked and bolted and almost dumped me. But I managed to stick it and then we turned around and once he saw what it was he was fine. Of course it took them about 10 minutes to catch their dog. It was cute, but clearly had never seen a horse before. So Dan and I had to sit and wait. I was almost done... Ugh. So once they got the dog, we picked back up and after 3 attempts got a nice left lead from the walk and a nice right lead from the walk. Then we did a little bit of trotting and actually had what felt like a decent shoulder in to straight to haunches in on both directions. :) Yay! We quit with that.
 And in the course of our ride... it barely sprinkled for about 3 minutes. And then the clouds cleared and there was no storm. Sigh.... Turns out it poured at Ashland though so that made me feel a lot better. I was able to go to dinner with Mike and we ran to Tractor Supply, although we didn't get what we needed. And then on the way home... the sunset!!! It was so gorgeous. I kind of wished I had ridden at Ashland. Oh well. At least we got a ride in and it was a decent ride.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Twirling with Sparkles!!!

Back to fancy prancing with Kelly! We had a good lesson. It was nice too since Cindy was out of town and we didn't do any dressage lessoning. Plus we've got to up our game for the AEC's. We need to get back down to the low 20's again.
It was a good lesson. We continued on with our collection work. We started out with the trot work and did some serpentines. Kelly reminded me that he tended to get behind my leg when we changed directions. What felt like him losing the connection was him slowing down and going behind the aids. So... when that happens, instead of trying to correct it with my hands, I need to correct it with leg. I need to push him forward back into the bridle. Then we moved onto doing the collection and then letting him out again. Then we went to the canter. We did our walk to canter and Kelly reminded me that the first three can be messy, but the goal is snappy! I swear Dan knows the drill.. he is a bum for the first two but then snaps into the third. Maybe I need to up the ante. ;) Our left lead one is still tougher, though he was pretty good today. Once we got the canter, then we did the collected canter. Then from there.. we started baby pirouettes!! Eeeeekss!! We were only doing 1/4 turns so basically only 3 steps. And they weren't real pirouettes, but they were the start. :) It was fun.

So we started off with the collected canter and got a bit of a shoulder in. Then it was bring my hands both to the inside, up against his neck (NOT crossing over) on the outside, outside leg to guide him over, and inside leg to maintain bend, and... release. Each stride required an aid and then the release. I couldn't get the hang of it at first and we ended up careening through the middle of the arena. Once Kelly reminded me that I should be doing a quarter turn and ending up heading towards the other side of the arena, I rode my geometry better. :) Doh. We started to get the hang of it though. :) We got one decent one to the right and then we quit. It was just so hot and humid and it was a lot of hard work for Dan. I told Kelly that I was so excited though because he really was trying! He wasn't saying No, he wasn't coming up with evasions. He was legitimately trying! It was hard work and he couldn't hold it and he was wonky when I threw him off, but he was really trying. We decided that he was growing up and seemed to like the challenge. :) I knew that. :) I think he's bored and this is a fun game for him. I just slow him down and frustrate him sometimes. :)
 So... after our lesson I wanted to give Dan a little reward for working so hard. It was hot and he needed to cool off anyways. We took a nice walk to the lake and I let him splash a bit. He decided to go in for a little dip but didn't go completely under. So my legs got wet and the bottom of my saddle, but at least the saddle wasn't completely submerged. :) Then we headed back. I think Dan was tired. After his hosing he basically climbed into the trailer while he was still tied to it. Hehe... Poor guy!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

relaxing hack

Today was supposed to be a lesson with Cindy day but she gets to vacation too, so... no lesson for us. Which was a-ok. After Area Champs it was nice to get to do a nice relaxing hack. I had a bit of time constraints since I still had to work in the afternoon, but it was a good ride.

It was a nice morning, not too miserably hot yet. We just enjoyed ourselves.

Area 3 Championships

Area 3 Championships!!! What a fun, but hot and exhausting weekend! I really love the people I show with. So much fun. 

I ended up working of Thursday in an effort to get people seen and because I was taking Friday off to go to the show. Except then I had to go see two on Friday morning. So that meant that I was not quite as packed as I wanted. But it was all fine. It worked out well enough. I was able to leave at 1:30 like I wanted. Except that when I loaded Dan on the trailer I realized he was missing a right hind shoe. What?!?! We just put that on on Wednesday goober! It was a clean loss though. He didn't tear up his hoof. I called both Freddie and Wayne and Freddie was unavailable and Wayne was in Winterville. So I decided to just head to the show and use the farrier there, especially since the footing was so good at Chatt. I was supposed to be doing a dressage school with Beth at 3:30, so I was cutting it awfully close! But I made it on time :) I was even a smidge early.

Beth had warned me that parking was getting crowded and there was some very stressed and angry people! So I decided to just park in the XC field area and figured I would drive all my stuff up there. Once Dan and I got there I unloaded him and tacked him up and then we went up for our dressage school. It was soooo helpful!!

It was ridiculously hot, but we had a great school. We worked on getting him into the connection, with a shorter rein on my end, and not letting him pull my elbows forward. My elbows belong to me. He did great with it. We also worked on transitions, up and down. I need to keep the connection through the transitions, which means, don't give with my elbows too much. I also need to sit a few strides through it. And we worked on keeping his head in between his shoulders. So there are times when there is too much bend in his neck and I need to straighten it (tracking right) and then times when I need to create more bend with my outside leg (tracking left). Interesting, as I was just thinking to myself in my last ride that my outside leg was helping to create a better bend. :) Score one for me! After we worked pretty hard we went from the warm up ring down to the arena's and worked on our transitions again. Then the ring cleared up so Beth had me go in and ride my test. Thank goodness she did because we realized that I was really messing up the corners. I was riding WAY too deep into them and making him fishtail. 

So... when I'm riding a circle, I need to look at my markers on the rail and ride from marker to marker (not the letter, but the spot on the rail I'm supposed to hit). When I'm riding a regular corner, I do need to ride deeper, but not as deep as I was riding. I found a spot on the rail to ride to and from. It made such a difference. Then we also worked on our "grand prix" corner. In this test, we only have a short diagonal for the free walk. Which goes by very quickly with our boys. So we rode super deep into that corner to give us more room to get more free walk. But I only ride that deep for the free walk and I need to make sure I come off the rail at the right spot too. Soooooo very helpful!  

After that we hacked back to the trailer because I had NOTHING at his stall yet. I needed a halter to hose him off with at the very least and even if I hosed him in the halter I had no where to put his saddle. So we hacked back to the trailer and I untacked him.  Then I grabbed his water bucket, the hose, the sweat scraper and him and his halter and we started to trek our way up to the stalls. Bad idea! Ugh.. It is such a long walk!! And I was hot and tired from the week already and not hydrated well enough I guess. I had to make a few stops and was starting to feel pretty miserable. We got all the way to the barns and then I realized we were at the other barns, up the second hill. UGH!!!! holy moly!! I made it though. I got Dan hosed off and then put him in his stall with some water. He didn't have shavings yet, but that was okay. ;) Apparently since he didn't have hay either he managed to pull his neighbors hay bag through the bars and was playing with her hay bag. Oops!!

I ended up finding a spot for my trailer right between Beth and Cindy so I got Cindy to give me a ride down to my truck (I really think I wouldn't have made it without a ride) and I drove back up and got parked. Then Dan got shavings and his own hay and his fan. :) I got unpacked and then we went to walk the XC course. Luckily I had gotten water and cooled off a bit by this point so I was recovering. 

 The course looked awesome!! Not technical really, and no ditches, and mostly the same as the regular course, but... big and gallopy. Really it was big fence after big fence after big fence. (Not huge, but proper BN sized fences.. not tiny, so.. regular fence after regular fence). Fence 4 and 5 were an up bank, 4 stride (I think) to a coop. And then we had a fence before the water, angled into the water and S turn out of the water and angle back to another fence, but it was a good bit of distance between the few. Then the champs course had to jump a small coop and go up the big steep mound and then back down the steep mound to another small coop and then we had a slight downhill 6 stride, and then finished with more single gallopy fences. (I think Dan picked up on the "gallopy" trend). When we finished I got Dan fed and settled and then I realized I had a terrible migraine brewing. Ugh... Unfortunately I had left my migraine pills in the SUV yet again. UGH!! And then it got really really bad. Cindy is such a good friend. She let me sit in her air conditioned truck and call around and get my prescription filled at a Kroger in Newnan. Then she drove me to get it and then drove back the other way to the Cracker Barrel near the hotel. Her and Peri went in and got dinner (at like 9:45 pm!!! thanks to me) and I decided to sit in her car and just try not to vomit. I ended up taking a second migraine pill and about 3 minutes before they finished I finally started to feel the vice on my head let up. ahhhh, thank goodness! We went back to the hotel and grabbed a drink of water. I showered and went to bed. We slept pretty good and on the way out in the morning we saw a sign in the elevator that said "Do not drink the water, we are in the boil area". Ugh... seriously?! There was a break in the pipe so they were having people in the newnan and other atlanta areas boil the water to make sure we didn't get dysentery or some nasty disease. Ugh... Oh well. 

We headed to Chatt and despite not riding til 2:45, I had lots to do so we got started. I fed Dan and walked him briefly and braided him and walked XC again. And then Mike showed up!! yay!! It was quite nice having him there. We got a smoothie and did a little bit of shopping. :) Dan had a big ol' stain on his hip bones that I couldn't get out with 2 baths, so I had to go buy spray paint for him. Hee hee. They sell it though. :) Then it was finally time to get ready so I told Mike I was going to have to focus and he went to get a seat to watch. :)  

Danny's winning BN stadium round!

Shows are boring.....

Up bank to coop

Dan's dressage test