Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bad Blogger Video Dump

Long time no see. I'm still alive, riding constantly, and showing several fun ponies right now in all kinds of different shows. Even hunters & breed shows! Oh, and I bought a 3 y/o OTTB too- she was too good to pass up. Cadence has been having a stelar show season, and seems to have really hit her stride. Here are some videos from yesterday's XC school:

Aqueduct & skinny angled rail question
You can't really see it, but there's a clump large wooden mushrooms placed right where you'd need normally ride to the skinny rails, so you have to make this insane turn that makes them all the more challenging! Or jump the mushrooms ;)

Drop to chevron

Terrifying ditch & brush

A little note on the 'so much better' comment at the end- our first run through the water (which wouldn't upload because it's too long) was a little on the quick and sloppy side. I tried to set her up a bit deep to the first fence (which is how you normally want to jump into water), and instead she chose to take off a stride early & go for the long spot. I'd have been fine with it if we were out on course, because she jumped and it wasn't unsafe, but we were just schooling yesterday. When we're schooling, we're there to get everything perfect so that we have the tools in place for when we are out on course!

That's it for the videos, because the rest are too long to upload.

Thanks for taking the time to stop by my poor forgotten blog- hope to see you again soon!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

How To Make Your Farrier Hate You in One Easy Step

1. Have your mare spring the heel of her shoe on a regular basis. Like 4 farrier visits in 2 weeks regular. And by spring the heel, what I really mean is overreach and twist off the heel of the shoe so that it's a dangerous, mangled mess but leave the rest of the shoe perfectly intact & all the nails in so securely that nothing short of sawing her foot off is going to remove that shoe.
Also it's advisable to own a horse who  overreaches like mad no matter how you trim her feet & hates bell boots and tries to take them off every time you put them on so that there's basically absolutely nothing you can do to stop her destroying shoe after shoe after shoe.
She's lucky she's pretty.

Don't know what my arms are doing, but the shoulder in looks good!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

That Red Mare Blog Hop- 25 Questions

Saw this over on Poor Woman Showing, & thought it looked like a lot more fun than analysing 5 different grower diets for pigs. So here we go!

1. Mares or Geldings? Why?
Mares. They're a pain in the ass at times, but just so much more fun. A good mare is worth her weight in gold, and when you actually get them working for you it's a bloody miracle  worth all the tears and tantrums it took to get there.
Cadence demonstrating the spectacularness of a mare who is willing to work for you

2. Green-broke or Fully Broke?
Green broke. It's fun to sit on nicely broke horses every now and again, but I love the process. That said, backing babies isn't my favourite thing in the whole world. I love getting to be the first person to sit on a horse- it's a very special feeling, but as for the rest of it, I really only find it fun if the horse is either an exceptionally quick learner, or really damn athletic. (and also a quick learner)

3. Would you own a "hotter" breed (ie. Arabian, Trakhener, etc).
The real question is would I own a "quieter" breed.... and I'm genuinely not sure I would. It's fun to train a dead quiet horse every now and again (like Sheldon, who was a TB), but I like my horses to have a few screws loose. Plus I'm lazy, and kicking is just not my idea of a good time.

4. What was your "dream horse" growing up?
Just about any thing on four legs that nickered. I thought (and still do) that horse owners were the luckiest people on the planet, and aspired to be worthy of joining that elite club. I would have taken a mule if offered! Probably still would.

Here we can be seen modelling a loose ring waterford, while above we're sporting a dreamcatcher-esque elevator combo thingy.

5. What kind of bit(s) do you use and why?
Just about everything under the sun. I like to change my bits up relatively frequently. Cadence's staple is a sprenger kk ultra, but we go xc in a waterford and hop around stadium in whatever I can dig up in the trailer. Often a baucher or plain old D-ring snaffle.
My friend and I share our own little tack room at the barn, and between the two of us we have enough bits to furnish a tack shop! The worst part is that it's probably only 50% of our respective collections. On the plus side, our BO puts just about anyone's tack hoarding to shame,so I feel no guilt.

6. Helmets or no helmets?
Helmets! Riding is dangerous enough- why add unnecessary risk?

7. Favorite horse color?
Probably a nice dapple grey. I'd never own one though, unless it came with its own groom.

8. Least favorite horse color?
Yucky dull brown. I'm really not too picky though, just figured I shouldn't leave a question blank!

Sheldon much prefers jumping, & has very little patience for that silly dressage stuff that makes his bum hurt

9. Dressage or Jumping?
Love 'em both. Prefer dressage to show jumping most of the time, but XC tops them all.

10. How many years have you been riding?
Maybe 8 or 9?

My "weapons"

11. Spurs/whip or no spurs/whip?
Depends on the horse, & depends on the situation. I'm a big believer in not going to war without your weapons though. Just because you're wearing/carrying it doesn't mean you have to use it!

12. Your first fall?
No idea. I fall off a lesson pony, probably because it spooked at another lesson pony's shadow.
XC pics from earlier today!

13. When was the last time you rode and what did you do?
This afternoon. Went for a xc lesson!

14. Most expensive piece of tack you own?
Jumping saddle. Costs 3x as much as just about anything else I own. That's probably not saying much though, as I think the next most expensive thing would probably be my dressage saddle which is maybe $600 CAD? (so that's like $50 USD for those of you who haven't been paying attention to the looney's abysmal performance of late)

15. How old were you when you started riding?
10,I think. But I had to stop for a while as we moved to Australia and then Nunavut, so I was 12 when I really got started.
Loving the leather

16. Leather or Nylon halters?
Leather. They look better, rub less, and are safer if your horse has to be turned out in one.

17. Leather or Synthetic saddles?
Leather, but I don't really have anyhting against synthetic saddles. They just don't tend to last as long.

18. What "grip" of reins do you like?
Anything. Prefer ones without the keeper thingies all the way up- those ones drive me crazy when your ideal rein length doesn't match up with the notch thingy.
The TB who thought he was a QH

19. English or Western?
English, cause I'll always be an eventer at heart. But I can ride a pleasure horse without looking 100% ridiculous, and I even competed in a team sorting competition once. Reining's fun too.

20. How many horses do you currently own/lease?
Just the one. Sold Sheldon to a lovely home in September, so it's just the Mare & I.

21. Do you board your horse? Self-care/full board? Home board?
Board. I currently live in the city, so no horses here. That said, I have had horses at my parent's place before.
The girls living at home & pretending not to hate each other

22. Have you ever had to put down a horse that you loved?
Thankfully, no.

23. How many saddlepads do you have?
Can't count. 10-15?

24. Slant-load trailer or straight haul?
Slant loads are lovely if you're only hauling one horse, but I own a straight load, & Miss Mare refuses to load onto slant loads.
Why wouldn't you ride?

25. Why do you ride?
Because few other things can bring me the kind of joy I feel when I'm working with a horse. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cadence Show Season 2015 Photos

We had a strange show season. Missed our first show due to a cut that led to cellulitis. Then a strangles outbreak at our barn forced me to take her to my parents & quarantine her. After that we got 1 show in before I fall off a 3y/o and got a relatively major concussion, which had me out of commission for another month. So our show season finally got under way in late August. We had 2 runs at pre-training (novice) 2 at training, and champs before the season ended.
I haven't had the chance to upload most of my photos yet, but here are a few.
Coming out of the first water 

 Into water #2

Out of the second water/last fence on course 

Last fence on Cadence's first training! 

2nd bank combination

 Fence 1 & 2

 No idea what I'm doing here, but I put it in cause my horse looks nice!
 Le petit lengthen
Not one SJ fault all season!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Sheldon Under Saddle

I'd like to attempt to keep an accurate and detailed record of Sheldon's training, but as I'm currently in the middle of finals I'm going to have to keep this brief. Before I purchased Sheldon, he'd had maybe 10 rides post-track, most of which had been trail rides. His owner doesn't have an indoor, so if she wished to do any real work with him, she would have to ship out. As a result, before test-riding him he'd had maybe 3 actual schooling sessions since coming off the track.

His former owner was kind enough to ship Sheldon (henceforth referred to as S) to a friend's farm so that I could test ride him. I was incredibly impressed with what I saw, especially after going to look at a rather disappointing horse the previous weekend. S was calm, steered quite well dor a horse so fresh off the track, moved cute, and calmly popped over an x! When I hopped on him, I found him a little onnthe lazy side, but incredibly comfortable to ride. Though small (15.3 max)he has a comfortable, floating stride and,fresh off the track, one of the most comfortable rockinghorse canters I've ever ridden! His only vices (that I could detect) were a tendency to randomly pop into the canter for a stride or two when he felt confused, and an inability to pick up the right lead. I popped him over a few jumps, and found him brave, but rather lazy. Given how green he was though, his juumping skills were actually quite impressive!
The day he came home was quite a long one; we arrived home at about 11:30, so needless to say S was not ridden until the next day. Our first ride was pretty uneventful. He was calm & well behaved in a new arena, and we walked, trotted, and cantered left without a care in the world. As predicted, he didn't oick up his right lead canter, but coming out of a 4 year racing career that's not unexpected. We popped over a little x, and on a whim headed towards a gate which was lying on the ground. Even though we were trotting on a loose rein, S boldly stepped right over it in spite of being given every opportunity to "run out". At the end of our ride, I even hopped on bareback inna halter... Though his massive withers and protruding spine made that particular venture rather short lived ;)
The next day we started the real work. I focused on teaching S to move off my leg, and introduced the notion of bending through the ribcage. He picked up on this quickly, and after a lovely bit of trot work, I decided he was ready to start working on his leads. After one false start in which he picked uop the left lead, S picked up the right lead... twice in a row! Good pony.
Our final ride so far was a solo hack, which S did splendidly on. So far, our biggest training concerns appear to be the right lead canter, an inability to stand still, and a tendency to throw his head kn the walk. I've been incredibly impressed with hos good brain, and laid-back attitude. The plan is to solidify his flatwork over the next few weeks, and then reintroduce jumping when we can consistently pick yo the right lead, and consistently move off my outside leg. I'd expected that to take 2-3 weeks minimum, nut if he keeps going like this we may be back to jumping by the time my exams are over! Though then the bigger test will be fitness and muscle development... Right now I have to be very careful about what & how much I ask of him, as he hasn't got an ounce of muscle on his body & I'd rather not make him sore!