Friday, September 26, 2014

Raising the jumps

I went to 'jump night' on Wednesday with Prisoner.  It is at Steph's and is usually a grid.  With a totally laid back atmosphere (not a lesson) it is such a fun way to go on affordable field trips.  The grid was set as a one stride, one stride, two stride, one stride on a very open stride.  We worked on me allowing him to really cover the ground and then right away settling back to me after the grid.
Love his knees and ears in this

and this

Nice quiet jump over the last
It started as just cross rails and then bumped up to verticals.  The fourth jump was tallest and we finished with it set as an three feet tall!!!!

Up up and away
P-diddy is all, no big deal guys
 He was perfect, it didn't even feel like a challenge for him!  In all reality I could get him around a three foot course, but his little brain has no need for that.  We will keep working on straightness, rhythm, and pace over smaller jumps so that when he is ready we can really soar.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

For Sale: Bridger

I finally listed Bridger on Dreamhorse.  He is going well and is ready for the next step in his life.  He is a personable horse that deserves a special someone who will feed him cookies and kisses.
He says, 'are you my mother?'
He walk trot canters on the bit pretty consistently these days, and each ride is always a step forward with him.  I have also introduced him to jumps and he is a total natural!  Seriously, I think if someone fosters it he could be a showjumper.  This week was his first time going around courses and I could ride his hind end up to the jump and put him at any distance.

Like NBD

100% willing*

and true*

Look at that sweet expression*
He never even blinked at so called spooky fill under the jumps, we even cantered several jumps in row, pun intended he took it all in stride.

He is a joy to ride over fences.

He is also working on being a fancy dressage horse.
Looking like a grown up*

So classy

His body has filled out and matured over the last year.
Awww, just needs kisses*

Dapples to die for*

And gorgeous veining on his legs*
Do you need a horse?  Does your friend? Maybe Bridger is the one.
*Thanks to Alyssa for the photos!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jumping all the jumps

Prisoner continues to be awesome.  I upped him to a figure 8 for jumping as I am needing more response to my half halts.  He seems to have found his confidence about jumping and now seems to think that he can just take over.  News alert buddy, running towards fences won't end well.
First 2'9" oxer!
He is understanding the concept of staying between my legs, if we are coming down to a fence and he thinks about being squirrely I can keep my hands soft and legs on and he figures the question out.
HOLY S,hello knees!

I appreciate that he can get to any distance and isn't flustered over the jump or when we land.

In between jumping days last week I rode him in the dressage saddle again.  His trot work wasn't quite as amazing as last Sunday, but we did canter for the first time in that saddle.  He was great, I was able to really sit and ride him forward.  The bend through his body continues to get more even in each direction.  He is also capable of really nice leg yields to the rail both ways, love him.

Then we jumped again.
Taking fight
The jumps were about a hole up from normal and he attacked them.  Like for realz, I had to halt him at one point as he was hollering, 'to infinity and beyond!'  No. Joke.  I am loving the bold, but to keep things safe for the future I will just keep chipping away at gaining finesse.  No need to make people suck air.

As you can see, there are some good jumps, some wild jumps, and some jumps that we knock down cause someone doesn't want to listen.  Over all though he improves with each ride.  In this second video we need a chill pill, but he is straight and true to every fence.  I think that tomorrow will be a solid flat school with a few fences at the end.

Friday, September 19, 2014

SFTS: Why do I do what I do?

Jenn over at STFS has a great blog hop going, so I thought I would join in.

Her question is why do you participate in your particular riding discipline?

Whew, this could be a long response.  I call myself an eventer, but I also compete at dressage shows.  In fact, I'm sure I've ridden at more dressage shows than events.  I've dabbled in hunters and jumpers, and while I enjoy them, they are not my passion.  I used to do endurance and could do it again (that's the thing about phobias they don't make sense, I'm scared of trail rides, but love endurance on arabs). Oh yeah I do racetrack stuff too.

Breaking up text with random P-diddy photos from the other day
To be honest I'm good at dressage, I enjoy it, I understand it, I can pass that understanding to the horse.  When I was younger (early to mid teens) I was desperate to jump, but dealing with fear which I finally learned to control.  In the interim my trainer was desperate for me to go to young riders for Dressage.  Thing is that takes a lot of money and I certainly didn't have access to a horse that could be good enough.  God bless that trainer, aka Dad number 2.  He didn't bring up young riders again once he knew there really wasn't a way, instead he had me riding practically every horse in the barn at least once.  I would warm up and cool down his fancy client horses, I groomed, I did farm chores, I learned.  He made me the most well rounded horse person he could, he taught me to give shots, drive a trailer, drive a tractor, make jump courses and xc courses, run sprinklers, fix stuff.
Yep I know how to do this
  It was incredible.  The whole time I was riding dressage on every type of horse though, the jumps were calling.  The feeling of a gallop across a field was calling.  I had a new horse named Genevieve, we were training her and I was feeling confident so we started jumping.  At the same time an acquaintance (who became an incredible friend) had me start helping her get her horses fit after winter.  Those horses were Rev (heart horse) and Venture (horse I took Prelim a little over two years later).
Prelim drop into water
Backing up a step here, I had been making plans to be a working student (on the east coast) sometime after highschool, I kept telling myself that I would remake myself then, I would jump then, I was too embarrassed for the people who knew me to watch my hopeful transformation at home.  But the best laid plans.
Really cool shot by mom!
 Those three horses taught me to love the jumps and the cross country.  I had lusted after it, but I finally learned how to make it a strong and lasting love.  I gained skills and confidence.  Before I knew it I was traveling around to events and doing well, all from home.  I had transformed my horse riding identity right in front of the people I knew best, and the best part for me to realize was that they were all rooting me on the whole time.  By the time I did go back east and do the working student thing I was ready.
Another by mom, gah I love this horse
I warned you that might get long.

I guess what I do or who I am is the eventing girl that does dressage and rides mostly green or problem horses.  What a title.  What I'm looking forward to now is getting Prisoner and Diva going enough that I can go Prelim again.  And then I want to go Intermediate.  Then Advanced.  Call me crazy but my mid-twenties self still dreams of the olympics/WEG.  I know the chance is slim to none, but it is a great carrot to dangle out there and keep me motivated.
P-diddy working his booty. pc: mom
That was all the back story on why I do what I do.  The real reason, the visceral reason, the reason I keep coming back?  For the feel when it all goes right.  The hair blowing, toe curling, stomach churning, spine tingling, face splitting smiling, eyes watering, joy inspiring feeling that happens when you roll around the course.
Thankful after Prelim XC

Monday, September 15, 2014

No show?

So Saturday morning I rolled out of bed at 5:15, was to the barn by 6:15 and fed and finished loading stuff in the truck and trailer.  I caught up Diva and fed her grain and threw on a cooler for the trailer ride as it was a chilly 44 degrees.  She loaded up like a pro even though it was still dark out and the trailer looked like a black hole.  Then I hopped in the truck, it was dead.  GAHHHH!  When I say dead I mean dead, no lights no nothing.  At that point Diva started banging around in the trailer for who knows what reason (I'd used up my 30 second window to start the rig moving).  I walked back and pulled some hay for her to eat out of the hay bag as she seemed to think it was scary.  Upon seeing the hay she lunged forward to EAT ALL THE THINGS, including the end of my finger.
Great sunrise though
It is a good thing there are no close neighbors out there because I was rather loud.  Possible bad words, possible crying due to the frustration of the whole situation, not my best moment.  Anyways I ran to the tackroom and doused my finger with vetricyn (good choice amIright).  There was blood EVERYWHERE, but I did miss my tan breeches so yay!  After I composed myself, I called the guy that was going to show Diva, and Alyssa as I was supposed to be on my way to pick her and Bacon up and then unloaded Diva and put her away.  Prisoner's BO offered to haul him or at least let me use their rig, but three strikes and I was out.  My truck was broken, borrowed truck was dead, and my finger was hurting like a MOFO.  I didn't really think that P-diddy's first show should have me at less than my A game with a bum hand.  So I went and cleaned it, wrapped it, got coffee and breakfast, and went to watch the show and root on my friends.  Still fun, just not what I'd planned on.  Finger was feeling much better on Sunday so I did a little dressage school with my favorite blaze face boy, he was fantastic!
Dreaming of Dressage

His extensions are going to be FABULOUS

Hello sweet position and gorgeous horse
Thanks Horselessinhalifax for the pictures!
Finger feels even better this morning, still super ugly, but whatever.  Hoping to do some jumping today or tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Musical Interlude

Turns out it wasn't my weekend to show (no worries P-diddy didn't even get to the show and is perfectly fine)...and typing is a bit difficult so here is a blog hop I hadn't published yet...
Alyssa over at fourmaresnomoney wrote about songs for each of her horses.  I wanted to follow suit, but I am more of song for each mood or riding type.  So I will give you some of my riding and riding dreams soundtrack.

1.  When the day needs some epicness/ everytime I go cross country.

you're welcome I found the song with horse video

If I was going to pick a horse for that song it would be Rio, he thought he was a gangsta.
In a KOC clinic (2009) (saddle pad from The Fork HT in 2006)
2. Song when a horse's owner has upset me

There are two horses that embody that.

3. When I swing up on a race horse

Ok so that video has a conglomerate of songs, but the first one 'Danger Zone' is one of my favorites.  Need a great movie to watch, check out Top Gun, one of my faves (Tom Cruise before he was creepy) it has: fast planes, sweaty guys playing volleyball, a little romance, some sad, lots of happy, fast planes, good ending.
Sweaty horse

4. Riding some kick ass dressage
I really like Bond, they have great 'rock classical'

5. Battling inner fear deamons
This is a pretty new song, but it really captures the feeling of conquering something

Also check out more of Lindsey Stirling's music, love it all!

5. More cross country songs. (mostly politically incorrect)

Start at 1:32 for the part for inspired drop jump riding

um yeah

I may or may not know all the words....pretty much most Eminem songs get me pumped.  Also check out Not Afraid.

6. Other
When I'm in my house cleaning or editing videos (horses of course) or cooking etc. I'm obsessed with Bastille, Imogen Heap, Ginny Blackmore, and The GooGoo Dolls.  So really these are the songs I day dream to.

Dreaming with Diva
Pictures by Mom:)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Show tomorrow!

Tomorrow is the show I talked about last week (time where have you gone).  We are signed up for the warmup, xrails, 2', 2'3", and the gamblers choice.  Totally psyched!
A little prep today, 2'6"
 My last post mentioned going to S's to school courses, but multiple trucks with troubles changed it to schooling a course at home.  Still fun and a really great school!
Finally channeling inner hunter

Yay for awesome wide angle lenses

Just chillaxin

Love this guy so much

Maybe shut your eyes for the second jump, Mr. Prisoner was all 'Zoooooom! Hang on mom!'  Then he came back and jumped pretty quiet for him.  The rest of the week I worked on the flat and he made great progress.  Today when I jumped (the first picture) he was super, the most relaxed to date.
Flatting on Thursday
Send some good luck vibes, I totally excited!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chugging along

I had a bunch of posts I was going to write and then I had my busy week and I can't seem to think of any of them.  Prisoner continues to go well.  He is starting to bend more evenly through his body each direction, and can go through entire sets of trot on the bit.  He is figuring out his balance in the arena so I can ride him more forward without feeling like he is floundering.
This face


Cantering with a grin*

He wants kisses placed right there on his pink nose

Fancy trot

Bedroom eyes*

Thoughtful boy*

Matching hats*

Tack love*
*yay for horselessinhalifax coming to town and taking great pics!

Sunday is shaping up to be a funday with a trip around the corner to Trainer S's giant arena for some course schooling in prep for P-diddy's first show next Saturday.  After we see how tomorrow goes we will decide on classes at the show, I'm currently planning on x-rails, 2', and 2'3".  There is also a 2'-2'3" gambler's choice that I might do, so much fun!  I am really pumped to see how he does.

Definitely borrowing a rig to haul with tomorrow as my truck brakes suddenly went wonky last night after (thank goodness not before) hauling hay.  Off to the shop we go, fingers crossed for an easy fix!
Feel better truck!