Sunday, June 29, 2014

Back in Action

 Yesterday I was determined to ride. Despite the recent influx of rain-sun-cloud-sun-rain-sun-rain we've been getting, I was determined to get out and ride Tally, at the very least. I had initially planned a jump schooling on Friday night, but that idea was nixed since it was pouring rain and today after work, there just wasn't enough time to set up the jumps. Additionally, a friend of mine was supposed to have a lesson on Suz, but she cancelled about half an hour before and I was already on my way to the fairgrounds, ponying Tally behind Suzie.

I opted to ride Tally first and put in a semi-decent school on her. We worked a lot at the trot - and I remembered to actually sit UP, roll the shoulders back and be an effective rider. To be honest, I didn't necessarily worry about her too much, as I was more or less concentrating on myself. We did have some nice moments of connection and some not so nice moments of... miscommunication.

Her trot work is coming along nicely, and her canter is still oh so discombobulated. She is very unbalanced and has a very difficult time bending around corners in the canter. I find that I have to use A LOT of inside leg with her and just help support her with my outside aids. We will figure it out. She is very out of shape and a lot of the exercises, despite being quite simple in reality, are difficult for her to maneuver.

We did do some mild jumping - about 2' or so.  I surprised myself that I even wanted to start out jumping that height, but man, once this mare is locked onto a fence, she is LOCKED. It's like a bomb could go off behind her and she'd still be attuned to the fence. Since she has such a rock-star game face, I actually (for once!) wasn't even nervous to jump her! She comes out of the jump in this light, uphill and quiet canter (which she didn't want to come back down from!); her work attitude is just awesome. We mostly did trot in - canter out exercises and I attempted to canter in twice, but her canter is so awkward and un-unified that I had a hard time negotiating to the fence.

After cooling out Tally, I popped up onto Suzie. We put in a mild ride, considering she just had her the last eight days off. She was totally ramped up; as soon as leg pressure was put on she would just shoot forward. So we did a lot of walk/jog and practiced riding squares - which is a lot harder than you'd think! I had to get her little Quarter Horse brain thinking, so we rode a very interesting set of square turns which actually had her moving off the leg much better.

I also attempted to ride one-handed and oh my lanta, why is it so HARD?! I had a lot of trouble regulating her speed, partly because I couldn't give her an appropriate back up with the reins when I half-halted, and partly because she was game to just GO GO GO.

We did some lope sets; mostly circles to get her to bend and practiced a lot of her moving off of my leg aids rather than my hands because when I ride one-handed I'm apparently a retarded baboon who can't cue my horse to neck rein properly. She was great though - once I had her attention and got after her for little mistakes (not slowing down/stopping when asked, trying to break into trot when leg pressure was put on) she had her A game back on. We has some realllly nice moments one-handed with her just jogging along quietly.

We ran through an impromptu reining pattern twice and she was good. It was pretty rough around the edges, but considering I was attempting to one-hand it and still be somewhat of an effective rider, I think it went alright.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Friday Photos: One Year Later

Suzie, April 2013
Suzie, June 2014

Funny how things change.

Saddled up English in March 2013
Under saddle in her new gear, June 2014.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blog Hop: The Simple Life

This week, the Magical Blog Hop put on by Viva Carlos, asks us equestrians a rather loaded question:
"Other than money, what would make your horse life simpler?" I'm certain that myself, and equestrians alike could write a list longer than the width of a 20 acre field. Fo reals.

However, I am not necessarily that greedy. I will admit that at first, I was thinking things like, "IF I HAD ALL THE TACK!!1!! ALL OF IT", and then it was "Gee, I wish I had more lessons!" or "an INDOOR ARENA!!!!".... and then my mind kind of went all sentimental on me and I got stuck on this one key point.


I wish I had more time at the barn; schooling, trail riding, jumping, riding around bareback, hand-grazing, bathing, lessons.... I wish that work wasn't such a big part of my life and that I could just spend all day with my mares, riding them every day and loving them every day. But at the same time, they are my responsibility, and work pays the bills (and horse tack fetish).

On an unrelated note: Suzie gets shod tonight (happy dance!!!) and I've just spent close to... erm... $600 on show clothes, tack, and other things I told myself I needed. So uhm, I guess I need to work a bit more until I get my purchasing problem under control.... eep!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Suzie's Slow Sunday Bloghop: Heart Horses

Excuse my awful photoshop debauchery, but I thought I'd at least join in on the fun of doing a blog hop. Feel free to participate - I hope to have these up and running each and every week!

So for the first, weekly "Suzie's Slow Sunday" Bloghop, my Suzie's question to you is: "What horse, in your horsey career (thus far), has been your "heart" horse/special partner?"

Initially, I was kind of hoping another one of the bloggers I followed would ask a similar question so I could blabber on and recount on old memories, but I am feeling strangely sentimental and nostalgic so I've decided to ramble on at my own will for this week.

I never had really thought much of "Heart Horses" before; I had heard the term a few times and in being a young teenager, I quickly gravitated that title to whatever horse I was leasing/riding at the time. From what I had gathered, a Heart Horse was a horse who was the be all end all of the rider - a true partner with a connection like no other. In my search for a true Heart Horse, I was quick to pronounce each and every four-legged beast I rode that "special someone", long before I truly understood what it meant.

A Heart Horse is so much more than a riding partner. They are the very epitome of your existence. They are resilient, they are mesmerizing, and they are timeless.

And so, I introduce you to my Heart Horse:

Cheyenne. A fifteen hand powerhouse of comical misadventures and the personality of a defiant bull, he was a pack-horse castaway who had spent a great deal of time in the mountains. He was strong-willed, exceptionally forgiving and yet, naughty. Forever escaping the pen, causing a monumental mess across his paddock, and overly-pushy. 

When I met him, I wasn't necessarily impressed by him. He was pushy, dominant and didn’t have much difficulty getting his way, being that I was 5' and he was a brawny Draft cross. He wiggled and walked off whenever I tried to mount, tripped over his own hooves, jigged whenever hacked out alone and it was more than difficult to get him into a canter. I remember thinking, “What did I get myself into?” And I remember feeling somewhat defeated before I even started. 

Instead of being discouraged and frustrated, I instead should’ve seen his enormous, honest heart.
I should’ve looked a bit closer; stared a bit longer. He was waiting for someone to take a chance on him; and in the same relation, so was I. I had my own demons I was trying so badly to push down and suffocate. And even though I was fighting in internal struggle, Cheyenne continued to make me fight. He took a nervous, scared, and thin-skinned girl and blossomed her into someone who could hold her own in the crowd. He never made it easy and he never gave me what I didn't earn.

It took me almost five months to get to the flawless connection I so desperately craved. And all along the way, he never stopped cheering me on. He never stopped bringing new challenges to the table, and he never stopped being the wonderfully gracious creature I never knew he could be. And when I truly thought I wouldn't love another horse again, he stole my heart away. He patched up the holes and tears all the previous fallen soldiers left behind and nurtured my wounds each and every ride. 

It was a beautiful friendship, through and through. The memories we have with one another are timeless, and I will certainly never forget them. He was the clunky horse that no one really gave a chance to be great. He caught the tears I cried for fallen friends and puttered quietly around the arena as I tried so badly to fight my remaining guilt and sadness. He was a wonderful partner and an exceptional friend. 

 Our last ride of the season was quiet and peaceful. I remember feeling so contented and humble; I had started riding Cheyenne six months prior, and recounting our past history was quite magical, considering the level of greatness we both had archived. I am forever thankful for that last ride, as in truth, had I known it would be our last ride forever, I may not have enjoyed it as much. 

He passed away over three years ago and my heart will never be the same. When he passed, he took a very large chunk with him and there certainly isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him. He was a huge part of my life and a turning-point for my success. I owe him so much and am forever saddened that I never got to give him a proper goodbye. 

I will always miss you, Ponyboy. Gallop hard.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Why I Need Lessons

It really comes as no surprise. I've ridden the last maybe three years without a single lesson, and after videoing myself riding Tally lastnight, it shows. I'll be the first to admit I am more than embarrassed with the video but at the same time, it is something to reflect on and learn from.

So, as a general recap of my ride lastnight, it started out alright. Tally was forward and willing, but unresponsive to my half-halts around the arena. We worked on really getting a good, forward walk and stopping quietly without her lifting her head up like a giraffe. I'd half halt, bring her down to a slower walk and as soon as her head reared up, I'd close my legs on and we'd march forwards until she gave again. Lather, rinse, repeat. We also experimented with backing up and Tally decided she wanted no part in it and her front legs left the ground for half a second in protest. She did, eventually, comply and was willing after I got after her.

We worked pretty damn hard - most of our focus was in trotting. We did 20m circles, serpentines, leg yielding on and off the track, lengthening and shortening, some sitting trot and a very sad attempt at long and low. It was like "DO ALL THE TROT THINGS" lastnight. I didn't spend very much time on one particular thing - we just rode and as I felt her plow along on the forehand and string herself out, I'd compress her back by throwing in a leg yield away from the track. I threw in different things based on what she felt like/what she offered me. If I felt that she needed to be rounding herself through the turns, we'd implement a serpentine to attempt to mitigate the issues and figure it out.

I found that on the left rein she has a hard time bending and marching along - she seems to fall apart and get discombobulated and is unable to recover from it. She gets frustrated when this happens and will flip her head up in protest before trying to march along again. I certainly don't help, being that tracking left is my difficult side as well.

Our canter work was alright. By the time we got to it, she was pretty tired. We did some leg yielding in canter when I felt her get heavy and it realllllly lightened her up.... so much that it felt like there wasn't a horse in front of me! She gets a bit rushy in the corners and her upwards and downwards transitions leave SO much to be desired, but we will get there. She is out of shape, and so am I, and together we are just a bit of a hot mess.

For me, I noticed I have a HUGE tendency to lean forward and bunch up my legs instead of just clamping on and USING them. In relation to leaning forward, it makes my hands turn into ineffective pieces of shaky shit... UGH. It looks SO gross. I promise that my hands are NOT that bad... Tally likes to move her head A LOT and chomps at the bit/ tugs her head forwards that it upsets my hands. Yikes. We will be fixing that ASAP!

*I will add the video as soon as YT stops being a jerk.

Friday, June 20, 2014

EIN: Mid-Year Photo Challenge

 Eventing In Color has put out a wonderfully interactive blog post here and I think you all should get involved!

I haven't completed them all, so enjoy what I do have for now:

1. A between the ears shot.
-Not my favorite, but it's probably the most recent semi-decent photo I have.-

 2. Anything blooming at your barn

3. A picture taken of your horse at a random/weird/artistic angle.
-Taken a few days ago. Quarter Horse butts drive me nuts!-

4. The most attractive horse at your barn, other than yours.
-Well, that'd have to be Tally because Tally is the only other horse at the barn. AND because Tally IS gorgeous!-

5. Bath time photo.

5. A sweet picture of you and your horse.
-We don't take many photos together, but I like this one. It's from October 2013... not sure if that's too late!-

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June Riding Goals

I realize it's too late to do and real June goals (since, uh, June is almost over!), but I did have a few in my head that I've been both working towards and accomplishing. I think that writing them down and having more "concrete" goals will help me push a little bit more to aim a bit higher and surpass expectations.

The goals will be broken up pertaining to each mare and will reflect on their abilities and training - it would be ridiculous for me to set a goal of jumping 3' on both mares. I have to personalize it a bit more and reflect on where we are in our training - Suzie has been schooled more regularily than Tally at this point and I need to keep that in mind.

So, without any further rambling here are my June goals:


  • Work on a more softened response to the bridle - we've been really carrying this out through each ride I've put on her since the middle of May and it has gotten LOADS better, but we need to be consistant. Connection through the bridle needs to be there.
  • Extend and collect all the gaits! This is a big one because I seem to always keep Suzie at a nice jog/lope, but never ask for an extension/collection because I'm concentrating only on that one tempo and keeping it there! A clinician a few years ago told me that in order to have a well-rounded horse, we need to utilize ALL the speeds (including gallop!) and work for control and harmony.
  • Ride one handed and try to accept that Suzie is not a 2 year old and in order to compete I will just have to suck it up.
  • Prepare for a schooling show the first week of July (which I am organizing!) and attempt t compete one handed. Also begin preparations for an AQHA show the first week of August - which means that I need to get my AQHA paperwork finished! I haven't renewed it yet. This also means I need to get show clothes ready and a matching pad and split reins/show bridle. Buy all the things!
  • Keep listening to Suzie's abilities. If she is having difficulties keeping up to the training regime, take it easy. Work towards all these goals with her well-being and age in mind.


  • Continue to hack out and expose her to the "new" areas. Have her well-rounded and solid so that when Hubs rides her, he has zero issues.
  • Work on more consistency at the gaits. Have her quietly trotting and cantering along without feeling like there is a freight train about to burst through her ears. Right now, I am concerned with her rhythm rather than the actual finesse of her gaits.
  •  Put in a GOOD Dressage school once or twice a week - one where we REALLY work on bending, suppling and tempo.
  • Begin jumping schooling - nothing huge, but things like trot poles and small crossrails are acceptable at this time. She may be unfit and undermuscled, but crossrails never hurt anybody. Work on keeping it simple - start with a tiny course and see what she offers up.
  • Prepare for the schooling show at the beginning of July. I plan on entering perhaps a jumping class or two and some flat classes if at all possible.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blog Hop: Traveling With Horses

"What is your best tip for traveling with horses?"

 L from Viva Carlos asks us what our must dos/ must haves for when we travel with our four-hooved partner. This blog hop comes quite timely, as Summer-time brings an influx of shows all around the region, where hundreds of horsey enthusiasts haul to compete for a chance at winning pretty ribbons, money, or exclusive bragging rights.

Bringing Suzie 13hrs home.
I honestly haven't traveled very far before, but I've hauled out dozens of times. The farthest I've had a horse hauled was back in March 2013 when the Hubs, friends, and I took turns driving the 13 hour road-trip when I first bought Suzie. I haven't made that long of a trip since then, but I have made dozens of little ones.

My best tip is to check over the trailer FULLY.  I do not own a trailer, and therefore rely on borrowing off of horsey friends. So, inspecting the trailer fully before departing is something I do not rush and I certainly do not take for granted that the trailer is "fine".

Mentally, I run over a check-list that is similar to this:
  • Check that all the lights work including the "stop" lights.
  • Ensure all connections are working and trailer is hitched up properly (no chains dragging, etc).
  • Inspect floor mats, windows, doors to check for damage, defectiveness, etc.
  • Make sure the trailer is insured (you'd think this would be a dead give away!)
  • Ensure that the brakes are working properly.
  • Check the tires to make sure they are inflated properly.
  • Let someone know where you are going so if you run into trouble (flat tire) they can come lend a hand.
 I think that a lot of people like to worry so much about their horse rather than the trailer, and if your trailer is defective or not working 100%, it will cause you more problems than if your horse doesn't have shavings scattered on the rubber mats, or his shipping boots on!

Trailer, trailer, in the mirror...

I, for one, haul horses with minimal gear. Suzie goes in the trailer with just a halter and lead. Nothing else. She doesn't need shipping boots on (and I swear I've seen more problems with shipping boots than I have seen without), she certainly doesn't need a poll-guard (although I can see how that would be useful if you have a horse who likes to slam his head around), and I do not tie a hay-net inside (just asking for a disaster!). We haul 15 min - an hour maximum and I have no concern for her legs stocking up or her being uncomfortable. To me, it is more about the trailer than it is about the horse.

If your trailer is in good, working order, your horse shouldn't be coming out with scrapes, bruises, bumps and cuts. Of course, it also depends on if your horse is a complete wacko in the trailer, and in that case, taking certain precautionary measures is always recommended!

1. Viva Carlos  4. Equestrian Journey  
2. That Red Mare  5. MN Equestrian  
3. All In- Henry and Karley  6. Forging Fiction  

Monday, June 16, 2014

Show Clothes

Horse show clothes, why you so expensive?!

Initially, I wasn't going to show Suzie in the Western events because she is older and it's a lot of work to prepare... and then I was going to because oh my goodness what else am I going to strive for this year!! And then I wasn't, because I barely have any time off work. And then I was because two shows land on the days I happen to be off.

The constant flip-flopping has subsequently caused me to look at the calendar and go, "Holy sheep balls! The next show is in three weeks and I have NO show clothes!" So I began looking online and nearly died. Who pays $1000 for a show shirt?! In what world is a SHIRT a thousand dollars?! Maybe a thousand doll-HAIRS. Sheesh.

I have a nice little turquoise pad that I ordered back in May that still isn't here yet (but that is another story for another time) and I picked out a cute show shirt to match it.

I think that turquoise is a bit of a ehhh color and I'm not even certain why I picked it, but I will have to live with it now... There is no turning back!

Also, I think I am going to forgo the chaps and just get a nice pair of black pants to wear considering chaps are like... $300 for a decent pair. No thank you!

Annnnd don't even get me started on my English gear... If I show Tally I'm gonna need some new breeches. I have ones from like... eight years ago. I think it's time to burn them.

And Progression is Made

A crappy iPhone photo/video-still that certainly does nothing for showing our
progress. Bleck!

When Tally first came a week ago, she had been quite literally plucked from the field and delivered to her new digs. She hadn't been in consistent work in over a year, and only a handful of schooling/training rides were put in. Tally's owner was just too gob-smacked with work, school, other horses and just.... life! Life gets busy and life gets hectic - I can certainly understand and appreciate a busy person's life. So when the opportunity to lease Tally came about, I was hesitant due to the amount of time she had had off, but yet, I was willing to give it a fair trial.

To say that Tally has done well would be a clear understatement - she has certainly exceeded all of my expectations and is coming back into work like she hadn't had a day off in her life. She is willing, kind, and strives to please. Sure, we've had a few hiccups (like not having any brakes... but who needs those?!) but all those are minor bumps on the road to having a well-rounded and schooled partner.

 Each ride I put on her just keeps improving her muscle memory and her past schooling history bubbles to the surface. I firmly believe that it will only go up from here. She is an exemplary horse with an impressive training history behind her - it will just take time to bring that out and appropriately utilize it.

All the loves.
I just love how versatile this mare is - she goes from a Dressage schooling with me to packing the Hubs around the arena like it's her job to babysit. And unfortunately for Ms. Suzie, Hubs has (not to secretly!) chosen Tally as his primary mount. Although Tally is taller, finer and a bit more intimidating looking, Hubs seems to get along better with Tally than he does Suzie. Tally just kerplunks along at a trot when he asks, she goes on a quiet buckle rein when we trail ride and most importantly, he feels SAFE on her. She doesn't mind him banging her in the mouth (accidentally!) with the bit or that he is unbalanced and a bit floppy in the saddle - she just keeps on truckin'!

I had initially intended for Suzie to be Hub's primary mount, given that she is older (Suzie is 21, while Tally is 10) and more experienced than Tally. However, a short schooling session of Hubs on Tally vs Hubs on Suzie revealed the lack of personal attachment and no matter how hard I wanted there to be a relationship between him and Suzie, it just wasn't going to happen. My dear Suz is more of a "Oh, I can just TELL you're a newbie.... Oh, did you just ask me to jog? I'll just GALLOP for you." She has Hub's number and she knows it. "You want me to walk off? How about we just stand here because fuck you, that's why."

Doesn't this look like the face of an evil mastermind?

In short, she's a bitch.

And so, just like holy matrimony, it was spoken and I begrudgingly handed the reins over to Hubs, who delightfully claimed Tally as "his". And to be honest, I made the right decision - there is no real thought process about it. Suzie confirmed it was a good choice on Friday evening when she decided to become a side-ways dancing fruitcake when we turned around to head home from a short trail ride - all complete with jigging, head-tossing, gaping mouth and a relentless attitude that made me want to beat her in the middle of the road. After about 10 minutes of some serious "Knock that shit off" discussions, she settled and walked along just hokey pokey.

However, the "couple" riding may come to an end for a little while - Suzie needs her feetsies done and getting a hold of the farrier has proved slightly troublesome, so Tally is up for some serious schooling one on one. I pulled her out lastnight and rode to the Grounds with a friend and her Anglo-Arab. Tally was lookey loo at EVERYTHING and spooked at least five different times at items she has seen the last couple of rides we've been on.

Unrelated photo to break up the wall-o-text.

We schooled some NICE moments in the arena but it all quickly fell apart after some light cantering (OMG WE'RE CANTERING!!!11!!1!) and I had to bring her brain back down to Earth with some sitting trot and really bundle up her forward energy. She did well and we cooled out with a small trail ride and headed home on a buckle rein. She was a bit startled when my friend left us at the halfway point and was a bit loony, but nothing malicious ever came of it. And when we got back, I trimmed her mane, tail and fetlocks and turned her back out with Suzie who whinnied and cooed like a little school girl. It was ridonkulous.

It's back to work today, so another twenty days of torture (not really) for seven days of pure bliss... I'm going to be attempting to commit to a 5 day a week riding schedule to get Tally really going. Thus far, I plan on doing three schooling rides a week coupled with a few trail rides to ensure her brain doesn't overload with all of the arena work.

Best buddies for life.

Hopefully it doesn't take much longer to get some new kicks on Suzie so I can start riding her again too because damnit, she's been schooling like a DREAM lately.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Blog Hop: Fess Up Your Mistakes

This week, L at Viva Carlos asks a pretty humbling question about horse-care. We all know that horsemanship is something we learn at an ongoing basis, and most situations could be handled a gazillion different ways. L asks us, "What is/was your biggest horse care mistake?"

No judgement, please!

I think my biggest horse care mistake thus far was dealing with a colic episode in a lease horse. I had instilled the aid of a mentor to assist and ensure everything progressed smoothly. However, knowing what I know now I would have not dealt with that colic episode the same way. In hindsight (which is always 20/20), knowing what I know now, I would have been able to deal with the episode on my own.

I do realize, however, each and every party deals with things in their own way (I mean, there are more than 100 ways to skin a cat) but for that particular moment, I so deeply wish I could have gone back and changed the outcome.

Oh, and if you are wondering, the lease horse was fine.

My pride isn't though. I'll live.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tally's First Week

Tally came up on Sunday afternoon, and she settled in without so much as a snort or shake of her head. The meeting between Suzie and Tally was pretty much more or less civil, and other than a squeal and pin of the ears, there wasn't much else that occured. I, for one, love the no muss no fuss horses instead of the ones who have to zoom around the pasture like racecars.

Mare moment!

Sunday night I opted to just do a bit of ground work and loosely lunge Tally and ride her around at the walk and trot. She was quiet, willing and responsive. She does have some kind of beef with her right ear - she hates it when you touch it, which makes bridling a bit interesting. However, I've been working with her on it and taking my time and she's gotten much better with it. I didn't really mess around with her too much though, as I wanted her to settle in and take time to adjust to her new surroundings. She hadn't been ridden in the last year, so I didn't want to push her.

My little year old nephew popped up onto Suzie with me as I rode her around in a halter, and he just LOVED it. My helmet was wayyyy too big for his little noggin, and I had to more or less hold the visor up so he could actually see where he was going! But, he clucked at Suzie and would lift his little legs up and "kick" her. It was seriously the cutest thing ever. I think Suzie prefers little kids - she doesn't seem to like when any of my friends ride her...

Monday afternoon I headed out and ponied Tally behind Suzie to the fairgrounds (the tractor broke down in the arena and since has been moved out) and rode both mares. Both were great on the trail ride there and they seem to really like eachother now. Tally was quite... erm... forward. She doesn't have much in the way of brakes and sometimes I felt like my arms were going to fall off, but I had a feeling it was to be expected considering her lack of consistant riding. Irregardless, she was SANE. She didn't pull any dirty tricks or being nasty - she was just very forward. She chomped on her bit like a maniac and shook her head when I half-halted, but other than that, she was sane. We did a bit of walk, trot and canter and she was completely safe... a bit fast, but otherwise safe.

Suzie was awesome in her jogging and loping - OH MY GOODNESS I was SO proud of her! We had some lovely transitions and just... overall NICE work ethic. I was definetly very surprised with her - we had a very NICE jog, one that I wouldn't mind to see in the show pen. VERY lovely. I just gushed all over her when we got home.

Tuesday I went out and did some light schooling in the back pasture on Tally - I wanted to start seperating them from one another. Tally was perfect - she didn't care that Suzie was neighing and carrying on. We had some nice moments in the canter but I didn't really push for much considering I just wanted a nice, quiet schooling. After our nice moments, we had a maiden voyage trekk out into the world! We did a nice little hack around the block sans Suzie (who screamed and carried on while we left) just so I could test to see how "beginner" friendly she'd be for Hubs. She was ACE. Buckle rein the entire way and ears pricked forward in interest. She only spooked once at a dog and tip toed past a garage where a guy was playing the drums very loudly, but otherwise, again, was safe and sane.

I opted to take Suzie out on a little trail ride around the block as well and she was more of a pisshead - just being antsy to get back home and being stubborn. I worked her little butt off and after that, she seemed to settle more. I did have to have a come to Jesus meeting with her on the ground, but other than that incident, she was perfect as pie!

Wednesday evening the SO and I went out and rode. Hubs wanted to ride Tally, but was a bit unsure of her. In the end, he totally LOVED her. Tally was steady, safe and sane for him - stopped when he asked her to and he even - gasp - trotted her!!! We messed around in the arena a bit where I rode both Tally and Suzie and switched the saddles around a bunch of times so the Hubs could ride in the Western saddle. Hubs said he likes Tally more because she listens better! Ha ha ha! I think Suzie is just too sensitive of a ride for him and she responds quicker than Tally does.

Our schooling ride from lastnight.

Today, both girls are going to be getting the day off. I've been riding both of them quite consistantly and /I/ certanily need a day off!! I'm quite pleased with the progress both mares have been making - Suzie is laying down some awesome lope departures and her jog is just so smooth and steppy. And Tally is just exceeding my expectations - no buck, no bolt, no fuss - she is a bit wiggly, uncoordinated and reallllly out of shape, but she is trying!

Yay for mares!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Boring Update

 I couldn't even think of a catchy title. Things on the pony front have still been pretty boring. I have popped onto her a few times bareback and lunging - other than that, we haven't put in a really good schooling session. Between working and, well, working some more, I haven't had the time. Thankfully, come Sunday, I'll have eight days off, so lots of pony time will be coming my way!! 

Additionally, on Sunday Tally will be "coming home" and I'll be able to restart her back undersaddle. I am super excited at the ability of leasing this mare; she is going to be A LOT of fun once I get her going!

Half-assed schooling on Wednesday evening.

In other news, yesterday I lunged the pony, bathed her and took her for a hand-walk. Today I was planning on riding but it looks like I'll be staying late at work... again. Sigh.  And Miss Mare needs her feet done again, so a farrier appointment will be in the works for my week off!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Suzie Plays Babysitter & School Horse

 Yesterday, the sun was shining and the birds were chirping, it was nice!! Hubs and I opted to head out for a ride - a friend of mine offered to lend her old QH for Jamie to ride so we met her halfway and Jamie popped off Suzie and up onto Flash for the remainder of the ride while I rode Suzie. This was Suzie's first trail ride in a group since I've had her. The first time I attempted a trail ride with another horse ended terribly and after that, I kind of avoided riding in large groups. Well, I am proud to say that Suzie kept her brains in check for the most part!

We ended up trail riding over to the fairgrounds and there I schooled Suzie briefly. I wasn't able to really get some nitty-gritty schooling done like I wanted to, considering it was exceptionally hot out and the Hubs and the friend who joined us weren't necessarily interested in schooling around in circles. I played around with an invisible barrel pattern, which was fun and Suzie got down and dirty on the second barrel a few times - she was really enjoying herself and had her game face on for the majority of our "practice runs".

I am quite happy with the above photo - she is still quite tense in her body and isn't necessarily using herself, but this is AMAZING progress considering how we USED to look together. It just takes baby steps, and we both are still trying to figure out this curb business. My new tack (according to my brother!) just came in today so I will be trying it out and using the longer reins on her, which will help immensely. You can see in the photo how I am trying to keep the reins long for her despite them being barrel reins.

I really need to work on pushing her into the bridle. Compressing her up into a tight, coiled ball is NOT my idea of a good time. I need to not be "afraid" of really pushing her up and into the bridle. I kind of stop riding once she gets a nice, quiet jog and don't use my legs as much as I should. So that will be my task for the month! USE THOSE LITTLE LEGS!

Sunday, June 1, 2014


I am the kind of person who thinks, plans out and acts accordingly to opportunities. I am completely methodical - I assess the situation and I make plans and pre-plan out every little inch of the situation before diving in head-first. I'm careful, meticulous and perhaps even a bit leery of everything until I have time to plan it all out.

Except for when I bought Suzie.

I kind of threw all of my "PLAN ALL THE THINGS" mantra and just... dove head-first into horse ownership. It was against my own normalcy and it was a bit stressful and overwhelming, but I was glad I threw my ideals out the window just once and made myself happy. Ever since owning Suzie I've subsequently reverted back to the "PLAN ALL THE THINGS" thinking, but a few nights ago I caught myself looking at a Facebook posting about a mare for lease. A close horsey friend of mine was putting her mare up for lease and the more I stared at the post, the more I felt obligated to message her. I have no idea why I pursued it, but I did. And a few messages later, I found myself contacting the Barn Owner, and later arrangement for a trailer.

You don't say?

So, on Saturday after work [provided trailer arrangement can work out] I'll be going to pick up a new mare. The plan is to lease her until October, or possibly longer depending on how the lease is working out and if I can manage two horses in the Winter.

So, without further ado, meet "Tally":

She hasn't been in any real riding for about three years, so it'll take a while to bump up her fitness but I am excited with this prospect. She is sane, safe and is schooled to the nines. She will most likely be Jamie's trail riding horse if him and Suzie don't get along, and will end up being my Dressage/Jumper for the few shows I do go to. More importantly however, she will provide some much needed companionship for Suzie. Hopefully we don't have any buddy-sourness but I feel I could nip that in the butt real quick. I don't have any aspirations to do anything crazy with her and there is the possibility that we may not get the opportunity to show a whole lot, but this mare is super talented, athletic and I am going to learn a heck of a lot from her.

 I will update more on Tally once we get her home and I have my first (hopefully successful) ride on her. I'm squealing with excitement over here. A nice, SUPER nice English mare and a SUPER nice Western mare, what more could I ask for?!