Wednesday, September 16, 2015

That thing called dressage

Sunday was an awesome girls day with horses, complete even with lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  I rode Mr. Prisoner in our dressage tack (yes I bought a dressage saddle, but that is a story for another day).  I've been so pleased with how he is progressing in our flatwork.

Horse looking cute while I derp
The biggest thing I have been working on is pushing.  Pushing my reins towards him, pushing him for more trot, pushing myself to sit up and stretch my legs down.  Our canter had been too much like a rocking horse (up and down with a tight neck) so that has been the biggest change.  In a lot of pictures from Sunday my reins were actually floppy in the canter, time to swing back to the middle of good rein contact.  There are about three million amazing pictures from that day (thank you Alyssa!!!!) so these pictures are just the few I have edited so far.
Love the colors

He is covering ground in the canter better now, but we still need work on not leaning into the circle.  In the trot I really work to stretch him down and out for the warm up and then slowly bring the balance up as we add in lateral work.
Not even touching the ground, and apparently my finger thought we should flip it off
He is starting to push through more from his hind end, this has been a challenge.  He has always been a pretty mover, but it had lots of up and down without a lot of power.  We are finding that power.
Sitting trot up a hill? Yeah we can do that.
We have made so much progress here that we can now do some successful sitting trot.  His back and hindend are developing which is what is making that possible.  Let's just stop for a second and bow down to Alyssa and her totally kickass photography, she is so seriously amazing.  After getting him thoroughly warmed up in the arena we went out into the field for even better pictures.
Turned out it was a great thing to do, because he tracked up in the canter even more.  There is still room for me to sit up more and stretch my leg more, but let's face it, I'm never going to look six feet tall and slender in the saddle.  Almost 5'4" and curvy, that I can rock.  Overall it was a great ride, and a great time with friends.
Like a fairytale

Monday, September 7, 2015

Back again, did I mention I rode in a rodeo?

You know what happens when you forget your computer when you go to Canada?  You loose your newly regained blogging mojo.  But here I am again!  Canada was a blast, the hubby and I really enjoyed getting to relax.
Lots of hiking by the ocean
Before we left I spur of the moment rode in a benefit rodeo at our friend's ranch, the hubby was supposed to go with but he was busy getting ready for our trip, *sheepish grin.*  I went to announce and when I got there they put me up on a horse.  It was so much fun! Aimee and Alyssa came too and we had all had a great time!  We forgot to get a group shot though.  Thank you Alyssa for bringing your camera!
Yes I even won a trophy!

I rode in all the games, like pole bending and the potato race.  It was my first time doing anything western other than ponying the races.  The mare I rode was lovely, I've heard about her for two years so I was really excited to finally get to meet her and have the privilege of riding her.  She is primarily a rope horse, but she was totally willing to deal with my newbiness when it comes to western and by the end we seemed to be communicating pretty well.
Zooming across the finish line
This used to be one of our race horses!

 Here we have the potato race, there are two tires, one has three potatoes in it.  You have to poke each potato and carry it to the other tire, one at a time.  More difficult than it sounds.
Poke the potato

Carry it to other tire
The goat tying was fun, and a crack up.  You gallop down to where our friend (and my farrier) is holding the goat.  Jump off the horse and tie a ribbon around the goats tail.

Can you tell I ride english? #nofootinstirrupdismount

Hands up to stop the clock after successful tail tying!

Omg I had so much fun all day!
At one point we all ran barrels on our own two feet, thank goodness there are no pictures of that!  I won my trophy for roping the dummy!  The actual ropers didn't participate in that event to give the rest of us a chance.
Don't chuck the rope in the air and dance, doesn't work

"No this is how"


Booyah, get that cow.

Smiling so big I look insane
The last event I participated in was the barrel racing.  I was definitely slow, but not embarrassingly so.  It was my very first time ever!  Misty, the most awesome horse in the world, probably could have done it better without me aboard.
First barrel

Second barrel

Third barrel

Wheee run home!
So there you have it, my first rodeo!  After I was done I got to watch Misty do her thing in the roping, woah she is awesome!  I was even more impressed with how quiet she was with me, she gets the hops waiting in the box for the cow to break.
They won!