Sunday, June 18, 2017

Jumping lesson

This muppet didn't want to be easy today. Or maybe he was too easy?? We had a jump lesson with Beth and it hot and humid and muggy and threatening to rain. And then it did rain a little bit. So Danny was not really wanting to be forward today. Although he wasn't terrible... he went.. he just wasn't GOING. So I had to work hard. But it was okay. I needed to learn how to ride THIS Dan as opposed to the easier to ride Dan. :) 

We worked on courses and getting Dan to get deep to the base so he has to use himself. In the beginning he was just sort of fluffing around.... behind my leg, not on the bit, loping casually. It was pleasant but not conducive to nice jumping. So I tried to jazz him up some and then I wasn't being effective with my half halts. I think that the biggest problem was me... I wasn't really pushing him into the bridle and riding him on the bit. It got better though and I got better about packaging him. We got some good courses at the end. I had to remember to not hold him over the fences too though. If I thought of pushing him away from my body (with my hands) then I allowed him to use his neck and bascule better. 

So yep... not our best lesson in the sense that it was all fantastic and wonderful, but a good lesson in the sense that we accomplished some stuff. :) 

And overall, he's a good kid. It's more me that creates the problems... I just don't always ask. Or insist. But once I do, he's good. :) 

 

Sahhhhhhhhhturday!

Ha ha.. This series cracks me up. Dan's like "Um Indi... you shrunk"... then looks at Marty like "uh.. I don't know what to do!".



We had a blast today!! It was so nice to have a whole day to just go and play and not rush home. And the weather was almost perfect!! It was hot, but there was a decent breeze and it wasn't too humid and the sky was sooooo pretty! We ended up doing some fitness work to start off our day. I worked him in the XC field and we did some hill work with our intervals. We were going to start off with 3 three minute trot sets, but... 2.5 minutes in, he was so game and kept trying to canter that I made him do two 5 minute trot sets instead.
Then we did some cantering. I did two 3 minute canters. The first one we started very polite but when he hit the bottom of the field he kicked it into high gear and went for a gallop!! There was other riders in the field but they seemed to not mind, so I let him blast up the hill. Then we came back to a regular canter for the slight downhill section and he blasted off again in the flat area and back up the hill. This scenario repeated itself 3 times. Doh! After we rested we did our second canter set and he was much more polite this time. There was no true galloping. :) 

After our fitness work Kelli joined us and we went for a long hack. The day was just so pretty we didn't want to end our ride. But we had to. We did finish up with a bareback splash party though. :)

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fancy Pants

Danny and I were only able to ride twice so far this week, but both rides were awesome! I had my lesson with Cindy on Tuesday and then my lesson today with Kelly. We flatted both lessons because... well, because dressage is fun. :) 

It's so nice to be able to ride with both coaches. They are both so amazing and wonderful in different ways and I get so much from both of them. And they work well together too. Cindy is very methodical and slowly progressive and focuses on me and my body in an effort to help Dan. She gets my brain and can teach me in ways I can react. Kelly is the same but different. With Kelly, we focus on one particular thing and pick through it and focus on it and she also gets my brain. It's just pretty awesome to put the two together. 

And this week was especially funny because we're all on the same page. We're all working on getting Danny to sit more and engage that hind end. And within reason.. we're not expecting him to do piaffe and passage tomorrow, BUT.... he can start to hint at it. It's funny how both Kelly and Cindy went there, in slightly different ways and slightly different wording, but they both went there. 

And Dan.... wow! He stepped up to the plate. And I did too a little bit. I'm actually starting to become more body aware and while it's still a hot mess, I'm actually able to move my body in the proper direction more and more now. 

In my lesson with Cindy we worked on half steps. Danny and I did a little bit of forward and back within the gaits and worked on sitting, all while keeping our usual  stuff in mind too. Cindy mentioned that she was super proud of my right leg! It's not perfect, far from it, but it's making progress! YAY!!!! We got some really nice work out of Dan and he felt pretty freakin' nice!

So then today in my lesson with Kelly, she said that by asking him to "piaffe" and "passage"  in the teeniest whiff of them, we'll teach Dan to sit and push and help build those muscles. He's not going to be expected to passage and piaffe in 6 months even, but we can start hinting at it. And she also said that this will help build his butt as well as gymnastics and grids and will also improve his jumping. :) yay! So today we worked on me "slouching" so that my back isn't so rigid. Of course.... it's me! I either do it completely backwards or I overdo it so much that I screw it all up. And somehow, by Kelly telling me to slouch, I was able to soften my pelvis enough to roll back a hair and get the proper seat alignment and keep my shoulders up and back. Then I could adjust my timing and help encourage Dan to sit and wait and push! We half halted and pushed in the right ratio to really get some push and lift. It was AWESOME!! Danny really felt so fancy and upper level. :) (Although I have to laugh because I'm like "dang... he feels like he's ready for 3rd level!" and Kelly is like "so that's your perfect training level frame". Doh!). But he felt really really good. And he got that slow sit and push trot and canter. :) Eeeeekkks!!!

Today he felt really even in both reins too and more respectful of my right leg. (Although we still had to do some reminding). And he was much more forward and hot to the aids. I didn't have to do as much reminding. :) We got a really nice trot, then half halted and sat and slowed the post and got a really nice collected (or more collected) trot. Then Kelly said to slowly allow him to inch more forward and we got this lovely swinging through the back trot!! Yes!! We did the same with the canter and got some lovely canters too. We also worked on our canter to walks to canters. I need to NOT throw my body or hands at him. (Cindy catches that too!). And he's stronger on the right lead, but we eventually got the left lead too. The aids are outside leg (stick if needed), swoop the inside seat bone  and inside leg. All while keeping my upper body back and my steady connection in the bridle. We got some really upward leaps into the canter though.

So much fun! 


After all our fancy prancing hard work, we deserved a little break. I put the bareback pad on him and we headed to the lake for a little splashing!! We had fun.

Hopefully Saturday we can do some fitness and hill work and gallop if he wants and then a nice trail ride with Kelli. Then on Sunday I'll do some jumping with Beth. :) 
 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Chatt Hills: 3 for 3!

Chatt Hills schooling show.... sound. :)

Schooled Friday evening

Saturday we showed... dressage, stadium, XC

Our stadium round 

A bit of our XC run


Proud of Peri, Cindy, and the others









Saturday, June 10, 2017

Foiled lessons and shenanigans

Danny got Sunday off in addition to Saturday because it rained all day. Then I worked all day Monday. Tuesday we had our lesson with Cindy, but... we really only lessoned about 15 minutes because of timing. I rode longer, but it was crowded, so we didn't accomplish too much. Then Dan got shod Wednesday. It was such a beautiful day, I couldn't help but ride. Luckily I finished early enough and Mike was at the lake. :) Granted I had worked 11 hours and we didn't get dinner until 9:45 pm. But it was worth it. We just had a nice hack.

Post Photos!!!!

Then Thursday morning I was supposed to have my lesson with Kelly. But... Dan was lame. :( Ugh... Like head bobbing. It wasn't consistent but it was persistant and pervasive enough that  we just gave up. 

stressful day? Hot nail? 

Farrier came at 10 pm.

Test ride Friday morning... almost got dumped 3 times...  Post photos...

Then horse show :)

Chatt Schooling Show.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Spotted Baby Birthday Beach Bash 2017!!!!

Spotty Baby Birthday Beach Bash 2017!!!!!

And they were AMAZING!!!! Seriously... super fabulous baby horses!


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So..... I did feel awfully guilty taking Danny to the beach when I had promised Fleck that he could retire as a trail riding beach bum. So we didn't tell him! :( Although I'm sure he figured it out when we got back. But... Danny and I had a blast!!! We went with Missy and her 5 year old appy/arab Indi. (Missy lost Zhar a few months before I lost Roany and so... that was the other reason I didn't take Fleck... it was a spotty baby trip!). The boys were so good and they really seemed to like each other too. :) We made a good team. 

 
We hauled out Tuesday morning and had a decent drive until we hit Florida. I meant to do our health certificates at the gas station before we hit the Ag station, but... we hit the Ag station first. And we also hit really bad weather just before the Ag station too. It was raining hard.  Oops. I wrote it out as quick as I could but I still held up the line. Doh!. But they let us through and we continued on our way to Cheers Horse Ranch. We desperately needed gas so we made a pit stop after the Ag station. And wow.!! So it was coming down in a downpour although it had slowed to a light drizzle by the time we got to a gas station. But the gas station was a disaster! It was raining inside the gas station. In multiple areas! It sounded like they had a water fountain in the bathroom. Nope!!! It was so bad it was funny. Then it was just a short drive to the horse barn we kept the boys at. Cheers Horse Ranch. It's a great place and they had nice big stalls.  The stalls were neat because they had individual water spigots into the water buckets. Great idea... unless you own a Dan! I joked with Missy that night that I was terrified he was going to turn the water on or chew on the pipes and break them and flood the barn. We got them settled in and... the weather apps were sketchy enough that we figured we should play it safe and not try to go to the beach that night. There were storms with lightning on the radar map. (This whole trip was a very WET trip). So we got them settled and headed to the hotel.

The hotel wasn't bad, but.. it wasn't great. It was a little bit like PCB Spring Break 2017 whoo hooo!! But low class middle aged family style. There was just some drunk loud parents with lots of loud kids in the parking lot tail gating. But.. luckily they all quieted down by 10:30. :) The room itself was fine and we ate dinner at the seafood place across the street. It came highly recommended and was pretty good but my crab did not set well. We slept good though and headed out to the barn in the morning. (We decided NOT to do sunrise as the weather was still sketchy...sigh).

We got the boys fed and they seemed happy. I hitched up and Missy went to fill Indi's water and it was off. She mentioned it to Debbie, the barn manager, and she said that Danny was "nippy" and "mouthy" and was chewing on the spigot so she turned the water off. Phew!!! That took some of my worries away. Apparently though he had nipped Dakota, one of the barn workers. Oops!! I felt so bad. Anyways... we loaded up and hauled the 20 minutes back to the beach. (Our hotel was almost on the beach, so it was a 20 minute drive from the hotel to the barn, then a 20 minute drive back to the beach).

We walked the boys out first and let them see the beach with just their halters on. This beach is super wide with a TON of sand before the waves. Which was nice because it gave them more time to acclimate. They were actually quite brave going down to the beach. We went early enough and the weather was cloudy and overcast so there wasn't a ton of people there yet. They were brave and walked past the lifeguard stand and one or two people out there. They were a little unsure of the waves and a bit jumpy at first, but we got them in fairly quickly and they got the hang of it somewhat.
Something touched my foot!!!!

  

So then we walked back to the trailer, changed into breeches, and went for a ride. They were so good! Indi was a little braver about going into the water and I sort of had a bad mommy moment. I was frustrated because Danny wasn't being as brave about going into the water once I was in the saddle. I started thinking that it was a reflection on me... and how he didn't trust me enough despite having raised him his entire life and how he was a year older than Indi, who just walked right in... and I got frustrated and sad. And I let the people who had said that perhaps because I let Dan swim that was the reason that he was having issues with the water at horse shows. So then I panicked that I had ruined him and he would never go in the water again and would never trust me. Sigh... And in my defense, he did have a bit of a tantrum and wouldn't even take a step forward towards the waves. Then he wouldn't even respond to my leg and go sideways/forward. So... we had a little tiny bit of a fight. Then I realized what I was doing... I was expecting him to behave... he's never seen waves. I allowed him time to look and realize earlier but I needed to give him more time. So I did... and I cried. I didn't "Say Cheese" for Missy... But we got over it. And then we just let it go and had a nice walk back just staying outside of the waves but in the water puddles. And then there were some small tide pools that I encouraged him to go through. And he did. So.. that made me feel better. So we had a good day. We even did a little canter in the sand. :)













We played for a good bit and then we headed back as they were getting thirsty. We took them back to the farm and let them take a nap. They had a lot of mental stimulation! They saw lifeguards, flags, lifeguard stands, beach umbrellas, beach towels, beach baby gazebo things, bikers, trucks on the beach, sunbathers, kids and balls, and... the waves! They were tired babies!











 While the boys napped and rested, Missy and I went for lunch. We found a cute downtown area with great restaurants and shops. We did a little bit of shopping after lunch and then decided to head back to the hotel to change and go grab the boys for a ride!



As we left the hotel I said "Yay, it's gorgeous out!". However, about halfway to the barn the skies turned dark and then the lightning started. It was terrible! It was a LOT of thick, big, sizzling strikes. And the thunder was booming and cracking, not just rolling. It seemed to be right on top of us. We also got some heavy downpour. By the time we got to the barn it had turned to a drizzle but the map showed more storms on the way. So again, we opted to not go ride. It was starting to get a little ridiculous, but... oh well. We still had two more days to ride. We got the boys all settled and headed back to the beach and hotel again. Of course, once back at the beach, the weather cleared and it would have been fine to ride. Although it was still a bit breezy.  So maybe it was a good choice as the boys might have been frisky! We had dinner at a place on the corner. Their bar had swings! Then we headed back in for the night and decided to get up early for sunrise ride!



Because the hotel was 20 minutes from the barn, then we had to hitch, and then haul 20 minutes back to the beach... we had to get up at 4:30 am for our sunrise ride. And we barely made it! The sunrise wasn't spectacular but it wasn't bad. The boys were good and we got some fun photos. We put their bridles on and did standing photos but since they were so good, we decided to hop on for some photos. I was able to let Missy stand on my thigh and jump up. But when she tried to let me do the same... ha ha!! Poor Dan. I couldn't get enough momentum so I was half hanging on his side... He was okay at first then started to worry. So then she gave me an actual leg up and I managed to shimmy on. Hee hee. Dan wasn't as good about getting far into the water but we still got some good shots. After that we went and tacked them up and went for a fun ride. Danny was much braver on day two and we managed to get into the water more and even did some trotting and cantering in the waves!!! Wheeee!!! We had a blast and spent from 6:45 (sunrise) til 11:15 out there! Oops. At this point the boys were really tired and really thirsty so we headed back in. On our way back in we ran into the girls at Cheers Ranch and they informed us that we were supposed to be picking up our poop. They had lined cloth grocery bags and a kitty litter scoop so they gave it to us so we could get ours. Unfortunately we didn't have saddle horns! But we made it work.


  




































 

SUCH a fun day!!! We had an absolute blast! We headed back for lunch and a nap. (But ha! Who were we kidding... there was no time for naps!). We ate at another tasty restaurant downtown again and then I went and bought Mike some cool gifts from the Pirate Shop. :) We came back to the hotel for a little break but instead of napping, we did photos. ;) Turns out, Natalie (my BFFE since 2nd grade) lives only about 8 minutes from the hotel. She and her family were out of town until that afternoon so we went to her place for dinner. We headed to the barn to get the boys fed and taken care of and then went to Natalie's for dinner. Mr and Mrs. Burningham came too. It was so much fun. Natalie's kids are adorable and it was good to see her husband too. We had a great time but cut it short since we had been up since 4:30 am. 

The next morning we had to leave to go home but we decided on another ride before we left. We didn't quite want to get up for sunrise, especially since the weather was sketchy. Yet again! We probably could have as the weather did end up cooperating but it was fine that we slept in some too. When we got to the barn Missy beat me in there and noticed a trickle down the barn aisle!!! Then she heard a noise! Dan had turned on his water bucket spigot and it was filling up his stall!! DANNY!!!! Ugh. She turned it off. Luckily it hasn't been on that long, but it still took me three wheelbarrows to empty out the wet shavings. Ugh.... Daniel... seriously!?! So it took us a little longer to get to the beach, but we did. We decided to just hop on bareback and go for a little ride. We didn't want them to be too tired for the long haul home. Since we were bareback we had to come up with a different plan for the poop! We took grocery bags and I hopped off to scoop. But then I had to get back on. I walked Dan over to the trash cans and dropped the poop in there and then climbed back on from the boardwalk. It wasn't ideal, but it beat carrying poop around. :) Luckily Dan is good. We just had a nice fun ride, although Dan and I did a tiny bit of cantering in the waves. :) He really was starting to have a blast and didn't want to leave. :(   





    

It was such a fun trip!! The boys were so good and had a blast!! Our trip home was a wet one too, but we made it.

We can't wait til the next trip!!