Thursday, October 30, 2014


After the last two photo heavy posts I don't have too much to share with you.  Prisoner has been doing poles and flatwork and generally been adorable.
stinkin' cute

Covering that ground
Be looking for a review of those cute white front boots that he is rocking!  I won them from Majyk Equipe.
Gigi is as good as sold these days and will be soon heading to her new home.  I will miss the beautiful red mare, but she adores her new person so it's all good.
So shiney!
I clipped Prisoner (sprinklerbandit cleaned it all up so he looks perfect)!  I left hearts all over his behind for our scary jump night costume.
No drugs!
He was very good, got a bit antsy here and there, but over all a gem.  He had more hair than most of the other horses at the barn and I could have used some bigger clippers, silly OTTB.  I will get some pictures of his clip job today!  We went as Cupid and her 'Prisoner of love' for scary jump night.  I make a bow with a stick and twine and taped a heart to the end of one of the Hubby's arrows, wore all the pink and called it good.  We had a blast or at least I did.  P-diddy was a bit unsure of the insanity and got a little light on the front end, but really if that is the worst he is gonna be I can't complain.  Yay for teddy bear fits!
Kisses down his face

Jumping with my trusty bow and arrow tied to my back!
Ok well hopefully there will be more pictures and such for tomorrow and something interesting to talk about!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lesson time

Last Thursday I hauled Prisoner over for a lesson.  We really worked on our tendency to be over bold to the fences.

Warming up with walk halt transitions
Working on an independent canter

And not letting his head get to low at the trot
We had two jumps on diagonals and then a three stride across the middle so we could do sort of a figure 8.  The single jumps each had two trot poles in front, and the three stride ended up with three poles due to Prisoner leaving an entire stride out.
He says why be calm when you can be bold!?
She also walked in front of the jumps as we approached to help him back off without me having to get in his face.

Um ok Prisoner

Love the colors
It ended really well, I finally had a controllable horse.  One of my biggest take aways was to fully post the trot.  He is very floaty and it is easy to just sort of hover on the approach to the jump.  If I committed to really sitting and really standing he kept the rhythm.
Things we don't want, floating seat and low head set
The three stride jumps got to be really nice as they went up a little.  He had to really jump up and use his body since the poles between kept him from getting long.
Hello knees
We talked about being sure to really teach him to use his body instead of pushing ahead on pure scope.  That way he will really understand what he is doing and not tap out at 3'6".  She said he is freakishly scopey and we need to develop it...yay!
Learning and listening
It was really a fun lesson, gave us lots of things to continue to work on.
Not scared of water
Alyssa came and took all these great pictures, #spoiledbymyfriends.
Soggy arena

Fun times

Time for a bath!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fun Week

This week was a blast horse wise.  I took Diva to grid night on Wednesday and she only knocked down one rail the entire time!  This is a huge deal for her, her old MO was to play pick up sticks with the jump poles and her long long legs.
Getting ready to have fun

Yep, all the fun!

Going for a canter

Soggy arena
I have been doing lots of work on strengthening Diva's hind end and it seems to be paying off.
Don't know what I'm doing, but she looks cute despite

So happy and willing

Love her
 She was spot on the whole time, standing around on the buckle, not blinking an eye at the several insane horses careening around, picking her feet up down the grid.  I was very pleased.

After the small group finished the bigger group started (hmm that is rather obvious), a friend told me to stick around so I could hop on her horse when the jumps got higher than she wanted to ride over.  I rode this horse for the first time about a month ago at a show.  He had already gone around the 2'9" and gamblers's choice (2'9"/3') with my friend and then she handed me the reins.  I literally trotted a circle and went in the ring and jumped a clear 3' round.  Then we waited around and I also rode a clear 3'3" round (both had jump offs as well).  It was a total blast!  We took home a 5th in the 3' and a 2nd in the 3'3" only beaten by our trainer!

Well when the grid got to about 3'3" I climbed aboard.  I trotted and cantered a little bit and headed down the line.  Louie was perfect, he is such an honest horse.  Well the jumps kept going up until we reached 4' (yes you read that right four freaking feet)!  The biggest jump I've ever done!
4'  Yahoo!




What fun, I'm so thankful for generous friends that share awesome horses!  The next day I did a lesson on Prisoner, but I will leave that for the next post.
Squee! Love his face!
Thank you to Alyssa for all the awesome pictures!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Post but not really

So I wrote this for Aimee's blog, but mobile blogger hates us so no luck.  So here you have a non guest guest post.
The Sprinklerbandit is suddenly out of town for work and it is leaving a hole in  the blog world.  She said I could write a guest post and so I am.  A quick messenger discussion showed that neither of us had any ground breaking ideas and she jokingly said I should write fuzzy thoughts about OTTBs and how much she loves Papa (Courage).  Jokes aside, OTTB love is something I can talk about ad nauseam (yes spell check that is a word).

Sunsets and OTTB love (also bridle love)
Growing up in a mainly dressage barn there just weren't all that many OTTBs around.  It wasn't that no one liked them, the barn was just full of warmbloods.  I always thought they must be crazy and as a timid kid never thought of them as the horse for me.  Then I caught the eventing bug and roared around novice on my pony, suddenly going fast seemed like a great idea.  Fast forward a few years and I rode a fiery red TB (no clue if she had been at the track) when I was back east and completed my first two Training level events.  Guess what, half halting instead of kicking incessantly was down right dreamy.
Different fiery red filly
When I came home after 8 months away I immediately went to the track and bought my first OTTB for a whopping $500.00.  He was calm when I needed him to be and bold and aggressive when I needed him to be.  Eventually his crazy took over, but that was just him and not indicative of most OTTBs.  Even when he was crazy I felt no fear on his back, I could have aimed him at a car and we would have cleared it, no doubt.  I guess that is where I found my love for OTTBs, they are sensitive, bold, and tend to please.  I've ridden warmbloods and while they are nice, they are too independent (for me).  I've been around many that were down right jerks.  I'm not hating on warmbloods, I'm just saying that for me OTTBs make sense.  They are bold, but want your support, and they are happy to work.  Talk about a breed with a bred in work ethic.  From their time at the track thoroughbreds are used to humans being their social group, they look to you for company.  I absolutely adore that.  If you just take a few extra moments to understand them they will literally try their hearts out for you.
I might be a little crazy too, maybe
I am an OTTB lover for life.
I love them on the track.
I love them off the track.
I love them on the trail and on the rail.
In trailers, crossties, pastures, and shows.
I will ride them in the dark or in a park.
I love them in dressage, some can even passage.
They listen to your heart of hearts.
Soak up your tears,
Or break fast from the start.
I love their fire, gusto, and zing.
More often than not,
They fill my mental wanderings.
They may not be your cup of tea.
But try one out,
Wait and see.
I love those stretches between the jumps.
They open up with nary a pump.
Sitting on their mighty back,
You join a legend,
A story of yore.
From the sport of kings.
To dreaming dreams.
Let a thoroughbred lend you its wings.

Um yeah, that is a poem, just sort of happened.  Well I guess that fits the bill for a hearts and flowers OTTB love post, I better let that wrap it up before it gets more embarrassing.


When I saw Jodi's contest promoting breast cancer awareness I knew I had to participate.  While I have not personally been near breast cancer, my favorite aunt died of lymphoma several years ago, so I get excited to promote any cancer research.  It is a scary disease even for those in the trenches doing the research.  I took a molecular biology of cancer class my last year at BSU and it was depressing.  Even the most advanced therapies and treatments have a poor outlook.  Like 6 months on one drug, 3 months on the next, and a few weeks on the last (leading to death not a cure).  Yes there are many cancers that can be caught early, removed, treated etc, but there are even more that continue to be baffling.
If I can help even one person pay attention to their health and detect cancer early then my job here is not done, but successful.

I decided to see how much pink I could pull off without adding ribbon and such.  Unsurprisingly I have lots of pink stuff.
-bell boots
-saddle towel
and I added a pink sweatshirt.  LOL all you want, pink makes me smile and smiles are important!  Poor P-diddy didn't seem too keen on smiling.  I used lipstick to draw the ribbon in his blaze and then put some on myself so I could give him a pink kiss on his nose.  Upon trying to scrub the lipstick off I turned his entire blaze pink!
Luckily he doesn't have a mirror in his stall!
I think he should always have lipstick kisses

Believe it or not this was made years ago, perfect for a breast cancer photo shoot

Peace out cancer

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Autumn Sunsets

All a y'all know I'm obsessed with sunsets (and sunrises).  Most of all sunsets in the fall.  Over at the 100 acres sunsets reign supreme.
Be still my heart
I'm not usually at the barn where Prisoner lives at dusk, but last week we had a girls night photoshoot.  It was loads of fun and even involved the unsafe practice of riding bareback sans helmet...#gottalivealittle.
Rolly poly pony boy
He was actually pretty comfy for a thoroughbred.  In fact I think that some bareback rides with a helmet are in order for some real OTTB shenanigans.
He was ready to be done at this point
Ellie Cook was photographer (Alyssa also took some) and edited the heck out of them.  Like we were pretty much out of light and she made them downright glow, kudos!
The darkest of them and still awesome
At one point P-diddy was all, 'what is this nonsense?' and started rapidly backing up, Alyssa jumped in and led him around for a second.  He totally chilled out, racehorses are very comfortable being led around while ridden as it happens everyday at the track.
One of my favorites
As long as we walked around he was fine, standing still was the real challenge.  I was so impressed with him though, as we were in a totally new part of the property for him.  Not one spook, thank you track style desensitization.
Dreaming of the future
The gnats were also out in full force so the usual standing next to him and snuggling was out as he kept getting me with his slinging head.
Awkward pose is awkward
Seriously he could not keep still.
Who is crazier?  (all those white specks are bugs)
I do love me some hunky OTTB body though.
Um hello event horse
Lets just say he really feels like mine now that we have awesome 'a girl and her horse' photos.  He is even starting to shed some of his shell and enjoy loves.  The last two days when I've ridden him there has been a certain friendship vibe.  That silent communication while I tack him up, the same page during the ride, lingering when I turn him out.  His sheer talent has been thrilling, but the relationship is starting to materialize.
My other favorite
My blaze face dapple bay boy with the moostache.  Those things that have been the mist of dreams are starting to condense and become visible.  It almost scares me, the passion I feel.  I've had dreams with other horses and they crumbled, I am dredging up the courage to keep looking towards the future.  In a life that is often difficult (by first world standards) this horse is a beacon illuminating the steps I take.