Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Ok, so it took me an hour and a half to upload the stupid thing (I have no idea why, but there you go) so here is one video! This is First Level Test 1. Also, this is a video of a video since I couldn't figure out how to upload the original and I can also not figure out how to mute it, so there is a phone conversation with my mother about half way through... I would recommend muting it, lol.

What I notice about the video -

Jetta is really mouthy, which is how she gets when she or I is nervous, something we need to work on.

Second trot lengthening is really fast, but part of the reason is because she tries to canter and when I don't let her, she yanks me out of the saddle (I should have been sitting back more...) and thus is on her forehand.

Need to work more on keeping her supple and really bending through our corners to help with our balance and suppleness issues.

I need to put my shoulders back really badly!

Upwards right lead canter transition = awful

I think I tend to stiffen when I ask for the canter so that's probably not helping us any.

Judge noted that we need more bends in our half and full circles.

So there you are! Feel free to give feedback/advice, but please be nice :)

Monday, February 25, 2013

All the Details

So, the show. It was ok. We managed to at least achieve some of our goals, which is always a good thing.

Goals for our show:

  • Minimum of a 65% at Training Level
  • Minimum of a 60% at First Level
  • No bucking
  • Score an "8" on the free walk
  • No cantering in our lengthened trots
  • Stay inside the dressage arena
  • Don't get any comments about rider needing to sit back or put shoulders back
 So pretty much based on that it was a success!

I left super early so that I didn't have to worry about being late or getting lost. I hate Mapquest. So much. It took me the most ridiculous back way possible and it's amazing that I didn't miss a turn. But, I managed to make it in one piece :) Got checked in, signed up for our videos and tacked up. I ended up getting on almost an hour before my ride time which I don't think was such a good idea. I wanted to make sure that Jetta was warmed up, paying attention and smooth out any tough spots. But by the end of our "warm-up" Jetta was starting to get pissed off at the other horses, cutting us off and getting too close. Plus the warm-up footing was awful - alternating between deep and rock hard dirt with large chunks of dirt and big rocks. Awwwfull. The show arena wasn't much better, less big chunks but pretty hard ground. Anyways.

Training Test 3 - 

I didn't like this test. I mean I like the test itself, it's a pretty smooth test, but I didn't feel that we rode it very well.

My goal warming up was to have Jetta be soft and supple, and all I wanted is to feel good about my ride.

I really didn't feel good about our ride. Jetta was short strided and pulling on me and just felt awful to me. Jetta didn't want to bend in our loops and then our upward right lead canter transition was awful, Jetta just kind of launched into it. And then she tried to trot in our free walk which she totally knows better than to do. Sigh...

But there was no bucking and Jetta didn't try to jump the dressage arena like the last time we did a dressage test (last spring... so long ago!). I was pretty bummed after our test. I thought we'd probably gotten a 62% max, but I was bracing myself for a 50-something% since I heard the judge had handed some of those out. I was pleasantly surprised to find that we got a 65.8% and got a 3rd out of 10 riders!

Watching the video I was disappointed in how rounded my shoulders were (which the judge commented on) and my hands. Ugh. I need to work on that. Always interesting to watch yourself ride. Jetta's gaits definitely don't look as awful as they felt, though they do still need work.

Some photos from our rides (I will try to upload video later!):

First Test 1 -

I felt like this rode a lot better. I was determined to ride better than I had during the last test and I think I accomplished that for the most part, though of course my equitation still sucked.

This test I messed up. I can't believe I did that, I spent so much time memorizing it and I was happy that the stretchy trot was early in the test and then I went and forgot it. Fail. Oh well, we recovered from it pretty well.

This test, our lengthened trots were a little too fast, which the judge noted. Right lead canter upward transition was still ugly. But our lengthened canters were good and Jetta came back to me nicely. We really need to work on our stretchy trot circle because she barely stretched this time around, she gets too tense during the test and just wants to speed up. And Jetta tried to trot in our free walk again... such a bad pony.

I was pleased with this test and happy with our 61.7% and a first out of 2 for the Maiden division. I didn't stick around to watch the second person but I watched a couple of the open division riders so it would be interesting if they end up emailing out the complete scores so I could see how we compared.

Afterwards, I sat around and waited for the scores, got Jetta some carrots from the show office, got our video, then tried to take some pictures of Jetta with her ribbons. SUCH A BAD IDEA. I've put Jetta's ribbons on her face I don't know how many times, but for some reason Jetta took major exception to it this time. The wind picked up and she freaked, ripping the lead out of my hand and galloping down the gravel to the main arena. $%$(*# *&@(*& @#^&%. Ahem. All I could think about is her running into traffic. I ran after her and found her on the black top next to the main arena, spinning in circles because one ribbon was still stuck to her nose. Such a dork and so embarrassing. I see some desensitization in our future...

Once we made it home (different route was much easier but a lot longer...) I put the ribbons back on her in the safety of the arena and the BO took a couple pictures.

Overall, not too bad for our first show of the season, it was definitely interesting. We still have a lot to work on and I can't wait for our next dressage show! The next show on our calendar is an indoor event derby which I think sounds like a lot of fun, but our next dressage event might not be until May. We have a long time to iron out our First level stuff and I'm thinking it might be better to enter three classes instead of just two so that the first one is a "throw-away" class because I know Jetta's going to be tense and I'm going to be nervous. We shall see!

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Had an interesting show day today, lots of good stuff, a few not so good things. But I'll have a full (read: very long and detailed) recap for you tomorrow!!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Working It Out

I had a crazy week so I wasn't really able to blog about my riding.

After our jump school on Tuesday I wasn't able to get out to the barn on Wednesday even though I was originally planning on riding every day this week in preparation for our show.

Thursday I decided that regardless of the mound of homework I had to do, I would prefer riding to sleep. Hellooo late night homework.

Our ride was ok. Two things that were sort of rough, our right lead canter, both upwards and downwards transitions suck for some reason. I know that's her weaker side, but still. They were quite rough. Then the bracing. But I felt that at least Jetta got a lot softer by the end of our ride and we managed to do some nice trot loops and 10 m half circles.

Friday I discovered Jetta destroyed the new toy I bought her. It was on sale for $10 at the local feed store and I liked the idea of it so I got it. As soon as I took it out of the box I was disappointed. And I couldn't return a sale item. The ball was slightly deflated and the strings that were supposed to be tight and elastic were SO LOOSE. I tied a huge knot to take some of the slack out but they still weren't tight enough. I hung it up anyways and filled it with treats. When I left, Jetta was happily attacking it.

Enter Friday, the ball is no longer in the toy, it's lying on the ground. Fail. This toy gets a thumbs down from me. I might try to salvage it and put the ball back inside the little cage of string then try to reinflate it (which I have no idea how to do...) but it might not even be worth it. Major design flaws - the ball is deflatable, unlike a jolly ball. Strings are way too loose and not adjustable, and there are two strings for hanging the ball on either end, this makes it super easy for the horse to stick their nose on top and push down on the ball.

Anyways, our ride went much better than the day before. Jetta was a lot softer and more flexible so we warmed up with a lot of circles and serpentines which seemed to really agree with her. We cantered both ways and the canter too was softer, transitions were better. I went to canter again to the right and Jetta tried to fast trot into it, which I didn't allow her to do so I set her up again and made her do it correctly. This of course made her upset so when we went back to the trot she was very anticipatory and it took a while for her to calm down again.

At the end, the barn kitty (also known as "my cat") got to ride around with me on Jetta. It was adorable.

Goals for our show:
  • Minimum of a 65% at Training Level
  • Minimum of a 60% at First Level
  • No bucking
  • Score an "8" on the free walk
  • No cantering in our lengthened trots
  • Stay inside the dressage arena
  • Don't get any comments about rider needing to sit back or put shoulders back
That's it! Those are my goals. I'm hoping that they're easily achievable, but we shall see...

The plan is to ride today (lunge in side reins first) then give Jetta a bath, braid her, load and hook up trailer. Then on Sunday we will leave in plenty of time to get there and be able to get ready at a reasonable pace. I plan on lunging in side reins before we leave, then if there's a good place to lunge there I will do so once more before I ride. I'm just hoping this isn't a disaster!

Friday, February 22, 2013

I'm in Love

Guess what arrived today?!

Everything! I got both my Smartpak order and my order from Amira Equi. I was completely surprised by how fast Amira shipped out since they're located in the UK and I'm on the West Coast of the US so with that I would highly recommend them! And my coat arrived in perfect condition without a single wrinkle (*cough* Smartpak *cough*).

First up, my new De Niro boots. I love them. They're not going back. In fact you'd probably have to pry them from my cold, dead hands. I may just sleep in them tonight.

They fit perfectly! I ordered the regular calf and tall height and a size 8 footbed, though I normally wear a 7.5 they didn't come in half sizes. I'm pleased to say they fit like they could have been made for me. I wobbled back and forth over ordering the slim fit since the sizing was 1 cm away from my actual calf size, but the regular calf size fits snugly so when they stretch out they will be absolutely perfect. I'm glad I read through the sizing chart a couple (million) times because I almost didn't order the talls, but I'm glad I did because they're supposed to drop a couple centimeters and they probably would have been too short otherwise.

The only negative is the square toe which makes my feet look rather big and like another reviewer said on the Smartpak website, "duck-like" but I can live with that. My first new pair of boots that actually fit in seven years!!! ♥

Also in my Smartpak order was some Dubarry boot conditioner. I haven't mentioned my Dubarry boots much since I first got them but I'm still in love with them too. I wear them to the barn a lot because they're super warm and they've broken in wonderfully. I would highly recommend these boots too, especially if you can get them on sale like I did!

Since I want them to last forever and ever, I decided to spend the money on some Dubarry conditioner, after all their products are made for their boots. It took me a while to decide on which product(s) to get because they're pretty spendy, but eventually I decided on just the conditioner since it both conditions and waterproofs the leather and I will just use my regular leather cleaner on them. I was pleasantly surprised by the conditioner. It's nice! It's a rather large tube (which is better be for 20 bucks!) and a little goes a long way. It got rid of all the scuff marks and now they look brand new! As an added bonus it smells really good too.

Can't really tell, but it's navy with a black velvet collar.

And lastly, my new Pikeur jacket. I've been drooling over the Pikeur Skarlett for a loooong time, but since I already have one nice jacket (all previous jackets were bought at the Goodwill, I highly recommend doing that if you're on a budget!) it was an unnecessary purchase. Until now :)

I emailed Amira to ask what size they recommended, I heard that the Pikeur's ran small but it was really hard to find a sizing chart that showed actual measurements. They recommended a size 12 which sounds majorly big for me (normally a size 4/6 dress size) but my other jacket is also a 12 so I went for it. I got it in a long so that the sleeves would be long enough. LOVE. It's a tiny bit large (my other size 12 jacket is a tiny bit small, go figure) but I figure it will give me plenty of room for movement during jumping. It is gorgeous and despite being a polyester/elastane mix, it looks rather like wool to me so that's nice that it looks more "traditional" than my dressage coat which is very elastic and slightly water resistant. The best part is that it's machine washable! The only part that I don't like about it is that the shoulder pads are huge on me. But oh well. I still love it :)

Overall, not a bad haul! I'm so excited to have new things. Like I said, it's been seven years since I got my first pair of tall boots that never fit in the first place so this is a big deal for me! I think my roommates might get sick of me walking around the house in my boots commenting on how much I love them but oh well. I'm in love!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Breaking It Up

We've been doing a lot of dressage work recently and haven't actually jumped since our last lesson with KO over a month and a half ago!

So I decided we needed to take a break from all of the flat work and do some jumping today.

Jetta was pretty good for not having jumped in so long. I set the jumps low, the tallest was a 2'6" Swedish oxer, then a 2'3" vertical and a 2' cross rail.

Fairly well decimated mini "course" - but you get the idea. We did a figure 8 over it

Jetta was very polite about trotting over the jumps though she still has a tendency to launch herself over at the canter every so often. We just rode in the Myler and she was pretty good about coming back to me when I asked though we did have to throw in a circle every so often to slow down.

I was going to set the jumps up higher but by the time I felt that Jetta was working well enough to go higher she was getting tired. She definitely jumps bigger jumps better, we had the most problems with launching over the two smaller jumps, she tends to not launch over 2'9" to 3' but we need more practice on that before we're ready to show at that height.

Exciting moment - we had a flying lead change!!!! This is so exciting for us because Jetta is the horse that won't change to save her life. She has NEVER done a flying change under saddle. Ok, maybe she has once in recent memory (last jumping lesson). But she just doesn't want to. She will canter all day on that wrong lead even being unbalanced. Recently she's started to do flying changes at liberty which she never used to do either. I'm hoping that this summer we'll work on changes and hopefully get her doing them when I ask.

I need to work on sitting up more and keeping my leg on, but at least I felt like I had a better handle on my release this time, though it's hard to give a release when you're launched out of the tack! I thought I almost came off there once...
Tired pony looking for cookies

Afterwards I turned Jetta out in the paddock outside since it was sunny. Her and Tiki galloped back and forth for a while (with me going please, please, please don't hurt yourself silly horse!) then settled down to graze. She's going to be SO muddy tomorrow but I was planning on giving her a bath on Saturday before the show anyways.
Piglet. Getting nice and muddy...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sometimes I Wonder

Today was an interesting ride...

I didn't ride Jetta at all this weekend because I didn't feel good and didn't even make it out to the barn to lunge her or anything so I guess this is what I get for that!

I lunged her first and there were some acrobatics including suddenly spinning off into the other direction (awkward since I was lunging in a bridle with the lunge line fixed to one side). Usually I can get her stopped and reversed even with the lunge line on the wrong side but she threw in a giant buck and got the lunge line under her back legs so I had to let go resulting in her doing a victory lap around the arena before prancing up to me. Such a dorky horse, but I love that she came to me on her own. Show off.

She settled down so I hopped on. We warmed up and after reversing we were trotting around and she pulled a giant spook. Sometimes I wonder about this horse... She's not a spooky horse but every so often she just has to act like an idiot just to get it out of her system I guess - there was nothing to spook at and no weird sounds so I don't know what happened but she spun around on her haunches like she was a cutting horse and went leaping and running across the arena to the other end before I could get her stopped. Sigh... It doesn't help that she's inside all of the time so she's lacking exposure to random "stuff" so I can't wait till it dries out a bit. She did get turned out in the sunshine on Saturday but now the weather is back to being cloudy, rainy and colder :(

But once we got that spook out of the way everything else went smoothly for the most part.

We ran through our Training Test 3 a couple times since we've mostly been focusing on First Level. First Level is probably going to end up pretty rough so we might as well have a nice Training Level test if nothing else! She was attentive for the most part but I think the main problems we're going to have is her bracing against me every so often in our turns (specifically corners and our loops) though we'll try to work on that in the 5 rides we have until our show. And our right lead canter for some reason was really rough, both up and downwards transitions weren't quite the prettiest but oh well. As long as she doesn't buck when I ask or launch into it a little stiffening will have to be ok for this show.

We got our ride times though! We ride at 1:19 and 2:08 which is perfect because I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and since it's on a Sunday I can get everything ready at my leisure on Saturday. Plus we don't have a ton of time in between, just enough for us I think.

And I found out that there's a videographer there so I will make sure to sign up for our tests to be taped. Hopefully I will be able to coerce convince a friend to come take pictures too. I can't wait!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Shopping spree!

So excited. So after selling Tux I got a portion of his sale price for his training and what-not so I get to go shopping!

Well, not really a spree per-say since I only bought two things but they were big purchases!

First of all - new boots. I've had my tall boots for seven years at least and while they're still in pretty near perfect condition they don't really fit anymore. Actually, they never did fit. The lady at the tack store who measured me told me to get extra slim, extra tall. Aaand they've always been too slim. I've had them stretched multiple times but I still can't zip them up all the way if I want to maintain my circulation. At the time I thought they'd stretch and I needed them to show so...

Anyways, new boots! Introducing the De Niro Leuca's:

I really wanted a side zip because my boots rub the back of my ankle even with thick socks so I'm excited for these. I really wanted to get La Mundial boots but since they won't be in my state until September and they take three months minimum I decided I couldn't wait. But if I don't like the De Niro's I'm going to get the Mundial's for sure.

They should be here by Friday :)

And I almost got some new schooling boots that would fit me so I could get rid of my old Ariat's. I found these used brown Mundial's on ebay (LOVE brown boots!) but I got outbid :( They would have been perfect too - they even had the right measurements! I keep hoping they might turn up again on ebay...

Aren't they gorgeous?! I envy the person who won them...

Second purchase - a navy Pikeur skarlett jacket with a black velvet collar. I love the washable fabric trend since I'm too lazy to take my coats to the dry cleaner plus they're a lot cooler for summer shows. And I like the shorter length just because. So excited! Now all my show jumping tack will match - blue jacket, blue pad and blue elastic breastplate. This will probably take a while to get since I ordered from the UK through Amira Equi because they're less than half the cost of the US retailers. And they're manafactured at 8 to 10 week intervals so I'm hoping to at least have it for the Inavale HT.

 Tack (well, show clothing) whoring for the win!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sunny Day Jaunt

I had a pretty good ride on Jetta today, but the best part was the weather!!

Sunny and 56 degrees = warm enough to ride in a t-shirt! After our ride I took Jetta outside to graze in the sun and soak up some vitamin D and it was glorious. I miss the sun.

I just sat on Jetta for a good 40 minutes while she nommed then decided I wasn't going to get off anytime soon so I put her bridle back on and we took a quick jaunt across the road to the weigh station just for fun. While I would love to ride down the road, despite being a country road in the middle of nowhere, there's A LOT of big trucks that go through so I don't think it's very safe.

But we did get to at least do a mini "trail ride" across the street and weighed ourselves :) Such dorks, I think Jetta and I go well together. I definitely didn't want to leave the barn today!

Can't really see it in this pictures, but I guess we weigh 1300lbs together!

Not a bad way to spend Valentine's day - just me and my girl in the warm sunshine!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Nap Time

Seemed like it was nap time for all the horses at the barn today. I got to the barn and Jetta was laying down. She wanted no part of me...

Nope, can't see you. Not getting up to say hi.

Go away, you're interrupting my beauty sleep

Still not getting up. I'm busy.

What do you want? We can't work today, it's just not happening.

After some (considerable) prodding I finally got her up and we had a fairly good ride. Three things I noticed we need to work on in our immediate future - self carriage, transitions from lengthened to working canter need to be crisper, and for some reason our 10m half circles suck. It was quite the workout today but it felt good for the most part!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pretty Girl

First of all, we got confirmation for our show entry! It's only 13 days away! So excited...

Anyways, today Jetta got her toes trimmed so I just lunged her so I wouldn't make her sore like last time. Also, for your enjoyment some pictures of her cleaned up self and her new "hairdo" which is as always akin to a mohawk. What can I say, my horse thinks she's pretty cool ;)

All trimmed up

Big ears

New 'do - it's growing back in where I accidentally shaved it off so it doesn't want to lay flat, not that it ever does...

Trying to show how sporty her shorter tail looks and failing...

Trimmed toes!

You can better see how short I did her tail, usually I only trim it to the fetlocks, this time it's mid-cannon bone. I like it!

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I had my lesson with KB today which actually went really well! I was preparing myself for another lesson of the same as last time since she was such a brat and I barely rode her this week (plus our week did NOT start out on a good note with rearing and such...)

Anyways, I had a perfect time for a lesson today at 2:30 so I got to go out to breakfast with a friend, then leisurely made my way to the barn where I already had the truck and trailer hooked up and ready to go. Jetta was pretty much all groomed, I just made some finishing touches to her mane. We had a semi-spa week in that I pulled her mane, trimmed her fetlocks and whiskers off, and banged her tail so she looks pretty spiffy if I do say so myself!

I lunged Jetta in side reins at the barn before loading up. Made it to KB's barn in plenty time so I watched the lesson before me. Jetta was very good about standing quietly in the trailer while we waited since the BO doesn't want horses tied to trailers on the concrete. Yes, I did say "quietly" and "Jetta" in the same sentence, lol.

When it was our turn to warm up I made sure to actually RIDE which I always have problems with in lessons. Sometimes I just end up sitting there waiting for them to tell me what to do instead of actually riding my horse and having them help me. Jetta was so much better than last time in terms of rooting.

Last time she was so obnoxious - pulling me out of my seat then tossing her head when I tried to get her more on the bit. It was a pain. No pulling for the most part this time! KB did say that she was "stiff" in the bridle but that it was oodles better than last time. She was only stiff occasionally though, and I need to remember to use a half halt from inside leg to outside rein to "unlock" her.

We worked on leg yields again which I've been working on since last time we saw KB - getting her neck straighter. They were near perfect to the left (just need to half halt on the right rein to get her to not brace), but to the right Jetta was anticipating the canter and over-bending. KB had me ask for her shoulders only so that she wouldn't get all upset and I found if I kept her neck straight, almost counter bent, and only used a tiny bit of leg then we'd get an acceptable leg yield without Jetta getting upset.

Canter transitions were better so I was glad we didn't continue to pick at those. We tried to work on Jetta's canter quality.

I feel like it's mostly because of how hard the ground is in that arena - it is an all-weather outdoor type of footing even though it's inside and pretty much rock hard - that Jetta just doesn't like it and isn't willing to move nicely on it. Anyways, she does need to improve the canter and she basically had us do exactly what we've been doing - counter canter loops and collecting/extending. It definitely works, but we knew that already :) Now to just practice it more! KB said that with Jetta's walk being a "9", her canter should be a "9" too, but right now (at her arena) it's more like a 6... Her trot is a 7 with moments of 8, but that will develop as her training progresses. I totally agree though and she said there's no reason she can't have a "9" canter too, we just have to work on developing it.

I think the only bad thing Jetta did in our lesson was for some reason to the left she was determined to run me into the wall. She just would not get off my right leg. Finally I turned her into the wall so she'd snub her own nose instead of squashing my leg and her front foot hit the wall, she spooked and ended up about 10 feet from the wall, staring at it like it had jumped up and bit her. Such a dork sometimes.

It was funny, KB asked if I had body clipped Jetta since she had seen her and I said no, but that she'd had her mane and whiskers done and she commented that Jetta looked "svelte". Haha, made me glad that after putting in all that work someone noticed! KB said she really likes Jetta and how could you not? Besides being a monster pony half the time, she does know how to look pretty adorable and kept giving KB cookie faces.

I was exhausted after our lesson with still being sick, but I survived. It's funny how that lesson - while there certainly wasn't anything spectacular about it - gave me such a boost. I CAN ride my horse and even after having some bad rides we can pull through with a good one. And it's making me look forward so much to our show at the end of the month! It might not be very good, but it will be fun!

Sorry for no pics, but there will be more tomorrow of her pretty face (minus the goat beard!) and if this post sounds a bit rambling... well, my excuse is that I might still be slightly feverish!

Friday, February 8, 2013


I finally succumbed to getting sick. And it has not been fun.

I pretty much got instantly sick on Wednesday morning - no warning or other symptoms, just woke up with a fever, major muscle soreness and a sore throat. I didn't go to any of my classes that day...

Which also means that I didn't ride. Yesterday I felt good enough to go to my one class then went back to bed. Just walking to class was so draining. Still didn't get to see the pony.

Today, I feel a lot better. I made it to all three of my classes without feeling like I was going to pass out on the sidewalk (always a bonus). And after taking a nap I'm going to go see the monster mare!

I was hoping to get to consistently ride the mare all this week since we have a lesson with KB on Sunday, but I am planning on riding both today and tomorrow, plus getting there early for a long warmup will help. I still need to finish pulling her mane which is way too long and get her goat beard and bridle path all trimmed up so she will at least look pretty if not well behaved.

Also, I sent in our entry for a show! Probably one of the earliest I've ever sent in, 10 days before the closing date, so I hope we get in, I haven't received confirmation yet. We are planning on doing Training 3 and First 1 so it will definitely be interesting...

Wish me luck with the monster pony today! I may just lunge her for an hour before I ride so I don't die, lol.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Consistently Inconsistent

The title of this post pretty much sums up Jetta - stolen from  L.Williams comment on Checkmark's blog :)

As soon as I say something like "Jetta is being so good! We could go do a nice first level test..." she ends up being a complete and total brat.


Monday was an awful ride. She didn't want to listen one bit to anything I had to say. We couldn't go forward in a relaxed manner, we couldn't slow down, transition were awful, we couldn't bend, her head was all over the place, leg yields were non-existent, she was on her forehand and when I asked for a halt she wouldn't stand still. It was a nightmare.

I got so frustrated and ended up not really feeling like I "fixed" any of the issues we were having, just made them worse. Today, I went out to the barn with a game plan - I'd lunge in side reins so she'd get all her pulling nonsense out of the way. I'd do a long warmup at the walk to get her paying attention, then I'd have a short ride where all I wanted was for her to be soft.

It worked! It helped that I actually "rode" her too, instead of just fighting with her. I need to make sure to take a step back, take a break during our ride and think about what's happening and how to fix it. Or probably better yet, get off and think about it until the next day.

At least I felt like one thing from yesterday helped - standing still. She always shifts around in the halt. If I'm lucky, she'll wait to shift until after my salute in the test, but sometimes she moves before then and I get marked down. She's not wanting to actually move, she just picks her feet up for no reason. I had enough of it last time we rode so every time she moved the slightest bit backwards I kicked her forward into a trot for a couple strides and had her halt again, or moved her backwards every time she stepped forwards. Seemed to work pretty well as she stood almost perfectly still every time I asked for it.

Sometimes I wonder why I put all this work and money into her, but I really do love this knot head.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Four on the Floor

Update on Tux: He made it to his new home safely. M called me to tell me that he had arrived and today I saw some FB photos of him in his new, all-body coat. I think she has the right idea, but I have to say it's a losing battle in keeping him clean!

Shamelessly stolen from FB. Isn't he cute! Miss him already.

Anyways, today was fun. I headed out to the barn to see Jetta - I haven't seen her since Friday morning because I went and hung out at the beach this weekend. It was beautiful! Almost felt like it was spring or summer it was so nice, which of course made me wish that I had brought Jetta to go galloping!

I decided to ride bareback since I was being so lazy and after lunging her breifly hopped on and walk/trotted around. I think it was a combination of someone hauling in to ride with an unfamiliar horse and the fact that I was making Jetta jog instead of letting her trot out, but she leaped up into the air TWICE, rearing straight up almost to full height.

I was pretty sure I was going to come off, but somehow managed to cling on and once I got her to have all four hooves on the floor (always a good thing...) I slid off and lunged her again.

She was so hyper! She was definitely showing off for the other horse and was prancing around spooking at everything. I just let her run, and run, and run until she decided she was done. She was super sweaty so I let her have a good roll then walked her around to cool out.

Probably not the best idea to ride bareback after having a couple days off...

In other exciting news, my dad finally finished my Christmas  present - a slow hay feeder box! It still needs a few tweaks, but so far so good. Usually Jetta finishes her hay in about an hour or two, but now it lasts about 5 hours. Much better! I think this will make her a lot happier and hopefully prevent any ulcer issues, plus she's getting an extra snack flake of hay in the afternoon.

Friday, February 1, 2013

New Home

Tux left for his new home today. He is on the trailer as we speak and probably won't get there until around 7 tonight. I'm going to miss him so much! I know he'll have a good home, but still. I have been stressing all morning since I wasn't able to be there to get him on the trailer for the hauler, especially because it's an unfamiliar trailer and they had two minis they were hauling as well. 

Luckily I got a good report from my mom that he loaded up perfectly despite eyeballing the scary minis. What a good boy.

The vet check went well yesterday. Tux was a good boy for the vet and didn't have any problems. He said that Tux was one of the soundest horses he had seen in weeks. He liked is conformation and movement too. Tux was so funny, we used my neighbor's arena to lunge in and Tux was hyper! He was showing off for everyone - the vet, the vet tech and my neighbor. His tail was up, neck arched and prancing around. What a show off :)

I'm hoping his new owner (ahhh, it's sad to say that) will keep in touch and keep me updated on how he's doing!

Here are some pictures from yesterday, my last day with him.