Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Awww, Baby horse is growing up!!

I'm such a proud momma.

Our first blind beginner novice course... at Paradise Farms. Awesome course, gallopy and fun.

dressage warm up too long, danny was lazy. Should have gotten him more in front of my leg. Fussy in the bridle... wondering about his teeth. 38.5, but...10th out of 24, so... not terrible.

Quick tack change for stadium. Wild man in warm up, only had time for 3 fences. Stadium was clean but a bit flat and strung out. Jumped up his neck a stride early over the 4th from home fence but he added and went clean. And I stayed politely out of his way for the last 3 fences.

another quick change and out for XC. Sat too long in warm up and then had to rush but he was awesome!!! Very rideable very game and looking for the fences. A little backed off the up bank but when I closed my leg he went zooming forward. Then trotted into the water though I think I probably could have cantered in. Although he got spooky or maybe it was just that he wanted to drink, but we had a little argument IN the water with him trying to stop and drink and play. Oops. Then out over the picnic table just fine...  There was a ditch about 8 strides in front of another fence but it wasn't flagged, so I opted to school it. We trotted and he did that sudden stop and peak but jumped from the almost but not quite standstill. :) yay! Then clocked around the rest of the course and was very brave and forward to the faux ditch. )

Overall, so impressed with his behavior today. Very mature and rideable. :) Minus the little bit of shenanigans in stadium, but honestly, It made me happy.

Ended up finishing on our dressage score in 6th place out of 24 riders!!!! Go baby horse go!

Stupid Brain of mine!!!!

So... backwards!!

When riding shoulder in... Move MY shoulders like Dan's shoulders should go and keep my hips how dan's hips should go. Which means... hips straight and shoulders turned in. But apparently that is excruciatingly difficult for my body to do.. habit wise. Sigh...

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bring your pony to work day

Fun jump lesson with Beth.

Get him in front of my leg and energized for jumping... like I need for trot poles into a grid.... no breaking into the canter, no dying at the base of the jump. Keep the connection.... don't drop him at the deep spots. And don't even soften too much. Keep my elbows in.

But my leg is getting good!!!


Dressage...don't let others get to me... 

perhaps sitting left isn't correct... as I'm just hiding the problem.

some good stuff! But need to work on 10 meter circles and haunches in.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Of course it's me!

Today I took Dan out to Ashland to do some dressage. We had a pretty good ride too. I was trying to fix our canter because the right lead has gotten atrocious despite the left lead being beautiful!
We warmed up and had some good work at the trot. And I was working on creating a place for my right leg and keeping it forward. During my acupuncture session with McKay (for myself) we had talked about it and she said to make sure I wasn't blocking him with my left leg and left hip. She's a smarty! So while I was riding today I thought about keeping my right leg forward (But in real life.. where it's supposed to be.. forward for where I like to keep it) and keeping my hips even and my shoulders slightly turned in the direction I was going. And it was helping a lot. I made sure I wasn't blocking with my left seat bone or left thigh either. We got some nice trot and even some decent shoulder in and haunches ins. Oh, and we also got some lovely turn on the haunches when we started (although I think now that he's getting it, we'll have to pick up some energy with them). 

So then we did some canter and I realized that I was somehow sitting more to the right. If I put just a bit more weight into my left leg, it seemed to improve the right lead canter. I was trying to feel biomechanically how he was aligned and where it was wrong and it felt like he was rolling to the inside. So if I sat a smidge more to the outside, it allowed his ribcage and shoulder to lift on the inside and then he was able to bend right and soften. When I didn't, he felt very stiff on the inside rein. So.... we'll see if my theory is correct next week. But it felt like it improved the canter and I don't think I messed up my position too much. Hopefully not. We also worked on the canter from the walk and I VERY clearly threw myself at him a few times causing him to get the wrong lead. When I controlled myself, he was able to get it. Then I got greedy... and we did some really nice counter canter serpentines both directions without breaking once! I even tried the simple change on the diagonal and once I was blatantly aware of the change in bend, more in myself than in him, but also in him, we got it. Yay!

We ran through BN Test B once too and then decided we were done. But I wanted to do a little hack and it had gotten warm so I thought we'd go splash in the lake. Since Dan likes to swim when it's fairly chilly out I decided to take my saddle off and go bareback. Of course it got cold because the wind picked up as soon as I untacked but it worked out fine. We had a nice bareback ride. We even trotted and cantered in the woods some. And I stayed on. There were NO shenanigans! (I still am a little disappointed!). It was a good day. 


Thursday, March 16, 2017

Do Something Brave.....

But first.. Some funny danny photos. Tuesday night was cold... and raining, so I left the horses in. While I was cleaning stalls Dan came up to me and did this. ;) Goofy!
Then... Wednesday was a super cold day.... I put Dan's heavyweight on with a hood. I left at 8 am and it was cold! It was cold all day! Then I came home at 7:45 and... this is what greeted me. Doh!! I have no idea... The corner was soaking wet and his hind foot was wet and muddy. But he didn't have access to the creek. And the water trough looked unharmed. So... no idea?!? 

So.... anyways..... Today was a fun day! I went to Ashland to go ride with Kelli and Peri. We had a plan and then it sort of fell apart, but it worked. :) I ended up adjusting both Sunny and Arwyn, which was fine and I'm glad I was able to do it before their show. It just meant that I didn't spend as much time riding. But that's okay because we still had a blast. 

I rode Dan with them. Kelli had already jumped in stadium and had the fences set at 3'. I swear, my eye is shrinking because the one 3' oxer looked big!! Go Kelli! Since I had just done the courses at High Point and Peri wanted to get out in the field, we decided to go to the field. Kelli joined us and hopped over a few things too. Go Kelli. Peri and Roux did a good bit and cantered out in the field too. Go Peri! Roux was a little worried about the banks but settled nicely. 

So I played out there too. :)  Which was my plan. Caroline had mentioned previously that Paradise has a table cloth on a cabin in their BN course so I wanted to practice that. I sort of thought it may not matter to Dan but just in case... Of course I couldn't find a red one, but I did find a blue plaid one. So.. it was a bit windy today....  And I didn't think ahead and bring anything to hold it down. So yeah.... But it was good!

I warmed up him over some stuff and then we headed towards the table cloth. He jumped it fine, although we drifted a little. So I turned to come back around and two strides out from it, the wind lifted it up towards us! Ha ha!! Dan startled and scooted left, legitimately!, and so we circled. By the time we came back around it had settled into place and he jumped right on over it, like it hadn't just tried to eat him! I'm so proud. He jumped it big, but he jumped it fine. :) Yay!

Then I decided to pop over the banks. We did the up and the down and then I even walked down the big prelim bank. Then trotted down. Then trotted up the training one. Then I decided to think about doing the coop on the back side. I wimped out and decided that going down the coop and then dropping down the bank would be asking too much. So I decided to go up. We trotted up the bank and then over the coop. It was a bit of a heave the first time so we did it with a bit more energy next. And it wasn't bad. :) But I still decided that it was too much of a question to ask to go down. I figured he'd jump it bold enough that I wouldn't be able to balance him enough to go downhill. So we made a smart decision (I think) and left it at that.

Then Peri and Kelli made me a course.  It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad. We did the novice up bank to the log stack, then around to the helsinki (for the first time, he was fine!) and then dropped down the prelim bank. Then we did the two stride coop to coop, then the hanging log/faux trakenher and then we cantered the ditch to the log and up the hill over the hanging logs. Then we circled around and jumped the log drop into the water and cantered out. We cantered in to the water too. :) Wheee. There was a vertical set up on the edge of the water and it was fairly impressive looking and leaning in towards the water a bit. So I chickened out. But then as we cantered past it, I thought... we could do this! So I circled and came around again. Ugh. It was awkward! He got underneath it but he tried and he cleared it. It's not pretty, but... close enough. So then we cantered over the tablecloth cabin again and then the dog house. Then I decided to try the water jump again. He took the flyer this time, but again he cleared it. I decided to quit with that. It was a tough question and big and he tried twice and while it wasn't pretty, it wasn't his fault. 

So then we went for a short quick hack around the little lake to cool off. :)
Fun day!  Our fun little course


Tuesday, March 14, 2017


When he's throwing his right barrel at me in the canter... instead of increasing my aids and creating a potential tantrum, I could also leg yield out a few steps and then leg yield in, encouraging the inside leg to outside hand aids.

worked on turn on the haunches... one step sideways, one step forward, one step sideways.. keep the hips and seat moving. :) We got some really nice turn on the haunches :)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Danny's growing up!!!!

I was a bad girl today, but it was soooo worth it!!!!  I had so many things to do this weekend but... I couldn't help. There was a little local jumper show in Athens and I really felt like I wanted to do some course work. Our lesson was good but frustrating and I wanted to see if I could put it all together. I did put the big spurs on too and... Oh man!! What a difference. Beth was right! It's like the bigger bit. I rarely had to use them but because I was able to politely ask and get a response and not nag nag nag... or really did into him before I got a reaction... it was nice. I didn't mess up my position in an effort to get him in front of my leg. So yay!

So anyways... we got there and Dan was acting like an old school horse. Seriously... NO shenanigans!! Say what?! Sadly, I kind of miss them. :) He was great, even never having been there before. So we warmed up and then headed in to do two 2'6"/2'9" rounds.  Our first course was pretty good but not super smooth. He practically ran into the first fence because he was looking around the arena and outside of the arena... But then he settled and we had a pretty good round. Our next round was even smoother and lovely!!

Then we decided to do a 3' course. It was a bit impressive looking and it dawned on me that Dan has never jumped a full 3' course... maybe not even more than a few 3' fences... So I almost chickened out. But I figured I'd see how he jumped the first one or two and then if it wasn't working, I'd pull up and school the smaller schooling fences and be done. But I didn't need to. He was AMAZING!!!

While they were putting the fences back up, I jumped one bigger one just so he knew they were taller. He popped on over like it was nothing. So.. off we went. And he was brilliant!!! He got most of his changes even and then did quick simple ones when he didn't. And he jumped brilliantly!!! There was one fence that I just lost my energy for because I didn't ride the turn just right, so he was a little sluggish and we tipped the rail. But other than that he was perfect!! And that was my fault anyways. I'm so proud of him. It was so much fun. :)

Our first trip of 2'6/2'9

Dan's first 3' course!!!!