Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jumper Mode

Jetta was so good for our jumping lessons! I was very proud of her.

On Friday we did grid work. It was great because I haven't done a lot of grid work with Jetta and she did really well with it. It was nice to just be able to basically sit there and have her figure out the line. And it was quite the line! A vertical with two strides to three bounces then two strides to another three bounces and then two strides to a final oxer. Very happy that she didn't try to refuse at all though the last oxer had a scary panel so it required quite a bit of leg. The new bit worked out SO WELL. It was amazing. I didn't have to deal with Jetta pulling my arms out of their sockets and she wasn't out of control. KO even commented that she was being really good.

We did such a fun exercise that was to go through the line and then turn left or right depending on the lead you landed  on, then go over a skinny roll top and do a tight rollback towards the wall and then come around to the other side of the line and do the other skinny roll top and another tight roll back. Jetta was much better about turning to the left but it's something we really need to work on - turning from the outside aids.

Jetta was awesome because she was in the jumping mode - a couple times I tried to circle before the first jump and she'd "lock" onto the jump and try to take it sideways, lol.

On Saturday we did course work and it wasn't quite as wonderful as the day before because *I* had to actually do something rather than just sit there. I've got a lot of work to do... Jetta was quite good, she only refused a fence twice which is a huge improvement. KO had me work on giving a good release over the jump because I still don't trust her very much so I tend to not give her a generous enough release so I ended up catching her in the mouth. Bad, bad, bad. It was fun though, but I hurt my back unfortunately so I've been hobbling around all day today. All the horses get the week off because I'm off to Vancouver, BC for a couple days with friends! And then it's back to school...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Video and a Lesson

These two things are completely unrelated, but oh well.

First up, a real video! One that is not video'd by yours truly, therefore you can actually see what's happening (without becoming motion sick). This is the sale video for Tux. I have no video software to edit it and no internet to use to edit it so it's in it's raw form. Also, I persuaded my dad to take it and he was in a hurry so basically I got on and just went for it, so not our best work but at least it gives you an idea.

In other news, we had our first lesson of three with KO that was my one and only horsey Christmas gift. It went wonderfully. I bathed Jetta in the morning and she was being psychotic. I don't think I've ever seen her that hyper and she's been on pasture for a week so I was not expecting it. I was leading her and she was rearing up to her full height then trying to gallop circles around me. I was not amused so I put her in the round pen and watched her gallop full tilt around me just praying she wouldn't kill herself. Finally she decided to be done so I tied her to the trailer and finished grooming her while she danced around. I have never been so frustrated with her, it was ridiculous.

I finally got her in the trailer to the barn for our lesson and she walks off the trailer completely calm and stands patiently while I tacked her up. I lunged her first and she was rather lazy then warmed up in jump tack and she felt lovely, soft and responsive.

When KO got there she told us we were doing flatwork so I went and changed Jetta into dressage tack and she stood untied while I switched everything and we proceeded to have an awesome lesson. I think that may have been the best lesson I've ever had on Jetta, it made me feel like I had an actual trained horse under me!

Started out warming up for quite a while doing a free walk, getting our horses stretching their noses all the way to the ground then doing 15 m circles and getting them stretching and bending. Jetta looooves stretching so she was happy. We practiced walking over ground poles set for a long stride so they still had to really stretch and engage to not hit the poles. We moved up to the trot doing the same thing, really stretching way down. Jetta was in heaven, this was her kind of riding and surprisingly she behaved herself so well. She was darn near perfect if I do say so myself.

The only problem we had was our canter transitions - she kept wanting to come above the bit or pin her ears so we really need to work on that so it looks more "effortless". Our other transitions were perfect though. My favorite exercise was trotting over poles set on a circle, a little harder than it sounds but fun when you got it just right.

Overall I was super proud of Jetta (she sure showed up the other horse in our lesson who is older and has quite a bit of professional training on him!) and it was a great workout for Jetta. Can't wait for some jumping though! We have our next lesson at 6 tonight and then on Saturday it's at 10. Hopefully my mom will come take pics on Saturday. Fingers crossed that Jetta is just as well behaved for today's lesson as she was yesterday's!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

After the Holidays

Christmas happenings - It was an eventful couple of days!

Jetta demolished her blanket just in time for me to put her newly washed and waterproofed medium weight blankie on. 

My mom calls me from the street: "Your horse is sunning her butt. Go fix her blanket."

My cat Chloe was thrilled with her gifts, some cat grass and a couple mouse toys. She immediately started chowing down on the grass which I thought was pretty funny.

The horses' gift - the largest bowl of bran mash ever. Soda can for scale :)

The horses were quite excited. Nom, nom, nom, nom...

My favorite gift is my parents paying for a three day jumping clinic that starts tomorrow with KO! I'm excited :) Now let's hope that Jetta behaves herself...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays from me and the ponies to all my readers out there!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Year in Review

Wow, this has been quite a year. This is why I love having a blog because I can easily look back over the year and see what we've done.


We moved to a new barn after deciding I'd had enough of the old barn. Much better atmosphere at the new one and Jetta got turned out (albeit in an incredibly muddy paddock) but she was happier and we got her nasty bucking behavior dealt with. 

Lovebirds at the new barn


Didn't do much this month and I was actually rather bored. No shows in sight and I was lacking in motivation...

Lack of motivation = this monstrosity of a set up


Not a whole lot happening this month either. I continued to work with Tux (then called Colton) and took a couple lessons from TS which were really great.


Jetta came up with an abcess and we had to scratch from our dressage show that we had entered and I was super bummed. This month was Jetta's birthday and we celebrated almost 4 years together! I had my first ride on Tuxedo and I found Step Away's (Jetta's dam) owner who happened to have a picture of baby Jetta!

Cutest baby ever!


Cross country schooling finally opened up. We went schooling with friends and Jetta dumped me over a jump. First time I had ever fallen off Jetta and first time falling off over a jump. We went to a great clinic for show jumping and cross country that really boosted our confidence.

Ready to do some cross country!


We went to a one day horse trial and Jetta did fairly well, despite being eliminated on cross country. But it was fun and I was proud of her! We didn't get to compete at our usual recognized event, but I helped out in the vet box so it was still a fun weekend. I continued to ride Tux and he kept improving!

Looking fancy and pulling off a second place in dressage!


I went to a H/J show and Jetta was awesome. She wasn't as push-button as a lot of the other horses but she blew me out of the water with how well she behaved and how she took everything in stride (literally). I was planning on taking both Jetta and Tux to a league dressage show but ML's horse who was staying at my place appeared to have strangles (it wasn't) so we ended up scratching. And I left for my trip to Costa Rica!

Such a good pony!


I got back from Costa Rica and started looking for barns to board at for the upcoming school year and unfortunately didn't get my first pick. But I did get a fancy (for me) new trailer!



Back in the saddle! I took Tux on his first trail ride to the horse park, Jazz came home from her lessor, and I entered a dressage schooling show with Tux which was subsequently canceled but after all that work getting Tux clean, we still took pretty pictures.

My favorite pic of him


I had a lesson with TS where I rode Jazz in the double bridle and it was awesome :) I found her a new lessor and she left for the next six months. For my birthday I got to go ride on the beach so I took Tux. It was a fun ride but I cannot believe how lost we got! I moved Tux up to the barn at school so I could ride him more.


Both horses got clipped, I had a lesson with a new trainer which I did not enjoy, I audited a dressage clinic with a top trainer which was fun, and took a jumping lesson with KO which was helpful as usual. I started cleaning stalls at the barn to pay for Tux's board.



I finally, finally made it to a dressage show. Tux did amazing and I was so proud of him, despite being bucked off :) I survived my finals all with good grades (whew) and went to play on the Mountain trail course with Tux.

All in all, an interesting year. Definitely didn't get to do everything I hoped, but it was still good. Hopefully this next year will be even better!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gift Ideas

This post is a little late in the month for buying gifts (I can't believe that Christmas is only 8 days away!) but in case anyone is having trouble finding a last minute gift for that horsey someone (or *cough* me *cough*), here are some ideas:

Click on pictures for links

I posted about these shirts from Dapplebay a while ago and I am in love with mine still. Can't go wrong with a horse themed shirt, especially one that is discipline specific!


Along the lines of horsey clothing that I am in love with, but have not yet bought a shirt from (I'm planning on it!) is OTTB.T's run by fellow blogger Kristen. While Jetta is technically not an OTTB because she never raced, I can overlook that technicality for one of these cute shirts. She also makes cute jackets too!

Tshirt  ---"I luv/ride/run OTTB"---

Another great stocking stuffer would be a Herm Sprenger hole punch. They have some of the best reviews out there, and my cheaper hole punches always seem to get worn out in a year or so. Plus, get it through SmartPak and they can engrave your name on it so no one will ever "borrow" it and then forget who it belongs to!

A browband is also a perfect item for the stocking. I am loving that browbands with black crystals are becoming more popular in the show ring for dressage as they're very understated but super pretty. Enter At A makes very pretty browbands that aren't outrageously priced.

I also have my eye on this Newmarket fleece throw blanket. Perfect for auditing clinics in the winter time and who wouldn't want to match their horse?

I think these photo stall guards made by Deco Pony are such a great idea! I can't wait until I have that perfect picture of Jetta to use, they sure are snazzy!

Photo Show Stall Guard for your Hunter, Jumper, Eventer or Dressage Partner.

 I have always wanted to try these Ecolicious products - they sound amazing and are environmentally friendly. They have some neat products like coconut scented mane and tail detangler, waterless shampoo and more!

Kate (over at The Adventures of Lucy) is a very talented artist and makes beautiful custom hand painted saddle pads, in addition to adorable horse ornaments! It's a bit too late to order these most likely, but definitely keep them in mind next year or for any other gift giving occasion. I can't get over how cute a Tuxedo or Jetta ornament would look on the tree!

These Moss saddle soaps sound amazing. Citrus, lavendar, vanilla or rose scented saddle soap? Sign me up!


Another unique gift that I've been eyeballing is a custom paper cut portrait by Niamh. These are so amazing. I think my favorites have to be the one of Klein and the one of Kiki. Great keepsake gift and she does pets too!

If you're looking for more last minute gift ideas, take a look at the Dappled Grey Holiday Guide and the Horse Holiday Coupon Book.

Looking at all of these things, look how many bloggers make them! Such a talented bunch :)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Drunken Circles

Can always use some extra learning - I had a great lesson on Tux on Thursday. It was the first time I've ridden him in a lesson, since I prefer to have brakes, steering, all speeds, etc installed before hand :) Tux was quite good and the instructor, KB seemed to like him. It was a great lesson, we worked on exactly what we needed, which was controlling his wobbly hind end, which ended up meaning that we needed to work on his shoulders first, in an exercise she called drunken circles. This was my first time working with this trainer and I really liked her!

 Here are some pictures:

LC, my neighbor who invited me and trailered us to the lesson

Such hard work! He was steaming after our ride... Time for another body clip?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Field Trip

Oh, it is soooo nice to be on winter break. I get up early and clean stalls, ride both horses in no rush to go anywhere, then grab a hot chai tea on the way home and settle in bed under the covers with a good book. Nothing better!

Today I rode Jetta and she was ok. Warmed her up on the lunge line in side reins which definitely helped settle her down though, she was nice and relaxed by the time I got on.

But she made me work for it today, which shouldn't be a surprise. The theme for the ride was soft and steady. She refused to soften and wanted to be all strung out in the canter to the right so we worked with lots of transitions within the canter to get her sitting back on her butt and bending her to the inside and then to the outside and then inside again. It worked and by the end she was better, but geez horse! We also worked on leg yields. She was surprisingly attentive to my leg today. Usually she's attentive in a more forward manner when I ask her for lateral work, rather than going sideways, but she was very good today. The problem: bracing. You'd think I was asking for something incredibly difficult rather than just a step or two crossing over in front and behind without bracing her jaw and neck. Some transition work - trot, halt, back up, all asking her to be soft in the bridle really helped by the end. I really would like to move up to first level since I think we've got training level down, but anytime I ask for something more difficult, like a leg yield or shoulder-in the braces on me so that has to be fixed!

Tux didn't get a ride today, instead we worked on his newly least favorite activity. Trailer loading. He has just decided for some reason or other than he no longer wants to get in the trailer and it is a terrifying horse eating contraption, even though he was fine before. Luckily he is a fast learner so I don't think we even spent 20 minutes on it until he figured out what I wanted was easier than any other option and that the trailer isn't so scary after all. We now have a self loading horse who will nicely trot into the trailer. We'll have to see if that sticks though tomorrow.

Yesterday was a fun sort of "field trip". One of my roomies who hasn't gone home over break quite yet had promised to come ride a horse one of these days so I finally convinced her that there was no time like the present! It was fun. She's not quite a horse person, but she took it all in stride. It helped that I bribed her out with the thought of two very snuggly barn cats.

Tux was on his best behavior. He's only had one other person ride him before and never anyone who was inexperienced.

Being silly - "Do I look noble?"


My favoritest kitty

Monday, December 10, 2012

Trail Horse Deluxe

I took Tux to the indoor trail course today and he was SO GOOD. I was actually very surprised, he has crossed bridges and water before, but never in this sort of set up where it's all crammed into an arena.

He did everything I pointed him at - the big bridge, the bridges without rails that were suspended over ditches (slightly worrying), the wobbly suspension bridge, the two different ponds and the skinny narrow water, all the ditches, the logs and pretty much everything else! So proud of him :) Let's see, he is obviously a great trail horse, a pretty fancy dressage horse and he can jump too! (Pictures of the jumping will come soon).

And in case anyone is interested, he is officially listed for sale...

Have some pictures!!

Wobbly suspension bridge that wiggled with every step

Skinny water obstacle

We're in the mountains! Lol.

"I loves the water"


This had water underneath the pond liner so it was squishy and funky looking