Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Difference a Day Can Make

I planned on not posting another video until at least next week, but my awesome hubby was at the farm with me today and I wanted to show off our mad riding skills to him. He took some pics and video while we worked. It was amazing the difference already and the improvements we had. I am beyond excited. It really helped he started respecting the half halts today. With the improvements I see I am going to start setting some goals. I'm going work our butts off and shoot for trying to show him at Intro level in June!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Faith's Lesson

Faith got to have a lesson with my trainer on her pony Mars. After getting a feel for each other on the flat they got to do some jumping. Here is her doing a 3' crossrail. Rock it kiddo!

Pilgrim at Trainers

Pilgrim managed to survive the trip to the trainers and has started going to work. While it's just the first week and she says they are still working and figuring each other out so don't expect much....I have to say I was really motivated and excited by how well she did with him. He is still putting up a constant fight to everything but they are working through it. She has discovered that he lacks both straight and forward, and he is really tricky to ride since you have to pretty much get both at the same time, where as some horses if you get just get one then you can work on the other. Not so much with Pilgrim. His other big problem is he thinks about stuff and talks himself into being upset. He will go along fine, and then suddenly freak out even though nothing has changed. Hopefully this will help him. He's kind of a big baby, and while both my trainer and I agree that he will never be easy to ride, this might make him more manageable. It was kind of funny that about 3/4 of the way through her ride he made this loud groan that pretty much sounded like him saying "Arrggg.....I can't get away with ANYTHING!!!!" So funny. Then he just snorted and went back to work.

Here he is:

Johnny At Work

I've been riding Johnny and really started working on contact this week. It's a struggle to get him in the correct bend, but it seems like once he gets there he is really nice and reaching to the bit. It feels great. Unfortunately he is not real steady in the contact yet and sometimes really fights it, but every ride gets better and better. I'm super excited with his progress and can't wait to see how he comes along. It's also a huge confidence boost for me since I've managed to find the correct bend and am able to get him on the bit all on my own. Since he is so small and I'm so tall, sometimes he talks me into leaning forward, which I have to work on, but I'm getting better about my position on him which has really helped. I hope to keep riding him 4-5 days a week as long as the weather cooperates and I'll try to post another video in the next week or two to show his progress. Check out that awesome saddle pad! Love it!

Meet Annie

Annie is about 3/4 of the way through her 30 day training. I will be sad when it is done, she is a blast to work with.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

So Much To Do, So Little Time

I've been a major blogging slacker lately. This is my busy time of the year and by the time I get home I am usually physically and mentally wiped.

So for a quick catch up:

The kids both got straight A's on their report card the other day! Go kids, I'm so proud of all their hard work!

I have a horse in training this month for a 30 day tune up. Her name is Annie and I just adore working with her. She is always willing and has a great brain. She's a lot of fun to work with.

Johnny's shoulder is healed all up good as new. He is doing great and back under saddle. He even has a fancy new couture saddle pad that we found on clearance. We have moved permanently out of the round pen for riding and into the arena. I have also ridden him in the front jump field too. He has some minor gate issues but I was actually able to work them out today by just simply adding in riding with a dressage whip. I never even had to use it, but just carrying it kept him from balking at the gate. He is a blast to ride. I have set some pretty lofty goals for him this year but have the utmost faith that he can pull it off. Once I get his flat work down I want to take him to a dressage show in June. I also want to start him back over fences and do a combined training test with him in August. I would like for Faith to be able to show him in September in Combined Training. Keep your fingers crossed for us! I'll try to get some videos of him soon. He's a bit of a hot mess right now but each ride gets better as he figures out what he needs to do and I find my position and balance with him.

Pilgrim left on Saturday to the Trainer for 30 days. He was suppose to leave the first of the month but we had issues with the trailering once again. He loads great, but when I close it up he goes nuts. My trainer came with her stock type trailer and hauled him in it. He did great! All he needs is to be able to look out. Unfortunately for my fully enclosed trailer, we may have to go trailer shopping soon. I will find out Thursday how he is coming along. I'm so excited. I'm hoping there are shows in our future but I'm not counting my chickens.

Show season is now in full swing and our team competed again at the Stonegate series. My student Lora Grace won High Point Youth for the second show in a row. Faith brought home a record 16 ribbons competing on 2 horses. She showed both Chip and Lulu. She did awesome and I am so proud of them. The team's next show is the second weekend in May at ETRC 4-H show. Faith will actually be showing one of Heather's horses for her, Junie. Dwight will also get to show as well and will be showing Billy. Faith and I have a Dressage/Combined Training Show the first weekend in May. Faith will be showing Chip in Green as Grass Combined Training (Intro Test A and 18" Stadium) and Intro Test C. I'll be showing my trainer's horse Rebel as long as he is feeling okay. He has been battling abscesses as of late.
Faith and Lulu in Trail
The completed every obstacle and won 4th out of 12

Faith and Chip rocked out their classes together