Friday, March 6, 2009

March 6, 2009

Spring is almost here, I can smell it in the air. *sniff sniff* Isn't Blaze so stinking HANDSOME? I love that he's shedding out right now (despite but disgusting it is) and am thrilled that this weekend we gain one more hour of daylight. That means, footing and weather permitting of course, that I'll be riding 4 solid days a week. I just love hanging out with him, period. Some things I love about my big silly dude:
  • He will gently sniff my butt sometimes when I'm picking his hooves, but never bite
  • If I hop off and keep the reins over his head, he'll just follow me around with no guidance. Makes it hard to take pictures of him though.
  • I love how right now, his muzzle looks like two different shades of bay, and that tiny white snip on his chin.
  • I love his kind eyes.
  • I think it's hilarious that he always wants to stick his head inside my grooming bag to see what's in it.
  • I love that he wants to make friends with my coonhound.
  • I find it hilarious that he groans in such delight whenever he poops, whether I'm sitting on his back or not.
I cannot wait for spring it's shit out-I think with all I'm learning about riding right now that it's going to be a good year for us :)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

February 14, 2009

Happy day o'love! How appropriate, because right now I'm ridiculously in love with horses. So in love, in fact, that I'm neglecting doing my paid writing assignments in lieu of gushing on my blog. NERD.

Volunteering at Equest (even tho it's only been twice) is already proving incredibly rewarding and today was the Volunteer Horse show. That's right, WE all got to ride and get pointers on our riding. Terry (I'm not entirely sure how she's associated with Equest...) was the "judge" and my class was some good little riders! It was supposed to be w/t/c but for some reason was only w/t. I rode this adorable 5 yo. QH mare named Aubie-I LOVE her. She's so sweet and inquisitive, and has a lovely little Western jog to sit. Terry said I was a beautiful, elegant tall rider (haha, I'm 5'5''!), but that my weakness was that I was lacking the appropriate muscles and compensating in other ways. She talked me through relaxing my pelvis from the waist down to go with the movement of the horse, something I always thought I was doing but apparently wasn't. I could immediately feel the difference. My lower back is incredibly weak, and as I'm sitting here writing this and concentrating on relaxing those muscles to sink into my chair, my back says OUCH from all the work I gave it today. :) I think I may have an Equest favorite-Aubie's a very good girl for being such a baby. I hope I'll get to ride her again soon.

Of course, learning this made me super stoked to go see Blaze. Despite an obnoxious snow dump last night, the round pen was good footing. I know where I'd see the most difference w/him was bareback at the trot, since it's something I've really struggled with. I'm so happy with how things went. We didn't rid ourselves of one problem we have (his trying to run through my hands and putting his head down to brace against the bit) but his trot for the most part was nice and slow, and I was able to sit deeply and really feel myself going with the motion. It felt fantastic, and my balance was really there. I got a little video of it, and I'm anxious awaiting it to load so I can post it for critiques. After we did that and I was feeling confident, we worked on our walk to canter transitions, still bareback. Ha. That was a bit of a joke. It was mostly walk, super rushy trot, bring him back down to ask again. He DID get it once going each direction, so I let him go a few strides and brought him back down, praising to high heaven.

I love my horse and my horsey life. It's so good right now.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

November 22, 2008

What a nice ride tonight :) After our lesson last week, it's been a series of late nights and really icy footing, so I haven't been able to ride much or much faster than a walk. Today I went out there around 4 pm, and the arena was nice enough to ride in. The lesson last week was fantastic-totally kicked my but physically, and she was great about giving me small things to work on. The hour literally flew by, and I knew I wanted to work on sitting the trot without stirrups, because she said that would also help a lot with my seat at the canter.

Today, after warming up (during which I had to pretend I was caring about what the BO's stepdaughter was rambling on about. Sounds mean, but I like to concentrate when I'm doing arena work.), we did a lot of trotting and I pretty much immediately crossed my stirrups over the pommel. Whew. I feel good and sore now, and I feel like Blaze was at a beautiful little jog. He's probably a total Western horse, ha. It's not like I'm looking to show with him, but if I did I could probably do English Pleasure. Anyway, the jog was slow and lovely, which made it incredibly easy to sit deep to, as well as keep my legs in the correct position. I'm not sure if it was easier because of the pace of the trot (which was decidedly slower paced), the fact that I had the practice last week or what, but I felt really good.

Now I'm trying to not feel guilty about wanting to go out and ride on one of my only 2 days of daylight on one of the only full days I get with my beau :/

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

November 11, 2008

God, what a crummy night. Thankfully I'm only referring to the current weather (butt effing cold and raining) and not to my time with Blaze tonight. Sometimes I feel like if I skip some rides/outings then I need to play catch up, but that's boring and I might hurt my brain trying to do all that recollecting. Tonight was a blast. I got off of work early in hopes of catching a little daylight, which I did. I now have him on a Weight Builder supplement, because he was looking a little ribby and I don't want there to be any chance he'll be cold and uncomfortable this winter. I would put him on beet pulp, but that has to be soaked and I don't have time to do that before getting out to the barn, at any point but weekends. I'd love to get him on some chaff, but the feed store I go to didn't have any. When Darlene makes her next feed run I'm going to see if she can look for some for me. I also need to find out if the geldings have a salt lick in their pasture-my boy needs his sodium!

He was a little bit of a butthead last time I rode: trying to pop his mouth forward and drop out of a gait (usually the trot) and he really wanted to turn back toward the gate and stop. It was frustrating. Tonight was much better. Amber and Jet were riding in the arena with us. He did try a few of those little tricks but I kept driving him forward with my legs and that helped for the most part. I am being really conscious of my hands and making sure that I'm not jerking his mouth at the trot or doing anything to provoke his actions, and I don't think that I am...hopefully the lesson I'm taking this Saturday will aid me in figuring it out. We did some nice little canter work both ways, but I'm catching myself standing a little in the stirrups so I don't come down and bang on his back. I really need someone to lunge him for me at the canter so I can work on sitting it well. He was a good boy though, and time really flies when you're having fun. I checked my watch to make sure we warmed up sufficiently, and the next time I checked we'd been riding for 45 minutes! Not bad for a Tuesday night in a dark arena with only 1 overhead light. I'm happy to know that we can easily ride in the arena after dark. He did stumble over a couple of rocks but nothing bad.

I ordered some all-natural hoof dressing and am pretty stoked for that to arrive. He is never thrilled to have his back feet picked (and I think tries to make up for that by immediately lifting his front feet the minute I touch his leg), and I want to make sure that his hooves are well protected come regular snow. Speaking of snow, we rode in snow last weekend! Nothing on the ground, just little flurries in the air. It was beautiful.

I have a gratin to pull out of the oven, but I probably won't be able to ride again until Thursday because of this shitty weather. boooooo...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

November 1, 2008

Is it really November already? Blech. I am so tired from a late night last night, but I'm deliciously sore from a good RIDING session today! I decided to buy a $75 Crump saddle my BO had for sale, and am thrilled I did. It fits Blaze well, and fits my butt well too. It's old, no knee rolls, but it's really well made and comfortable. Plus, I am RIDING again. It's hilarious how sore I am. We probably did 30-45 minutes of just walking and trotting, and yowza. My thighs are burning. Good thing, I needed the workout today.

He's testing me a little bit, but in a way it's good-it reminds me he's not perfect. In the beginning of our ride, at the trot, he'll try and stop, attempting to pull the reins through my fingers. He'll also try and take his own paths at the trot. I'm finding that I need to ride with light contact with him, correct sharply but praise in a soft voice, and it's so fun to feel his improvement over the length of the ride.

Lucio is coming out with me tomorrow, so I hope I get some good riding shots and that I don't look too terrible. :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

October 29, 2008

All I've got is bummer news, unfortunately. I can't believe I didn't see before what an utter piece of sh*t the saddle they loaned me is. I know I should be grateful for being loaned tack int he first place, but I was practically crying in frustrating trying to tighten the girth because the stupid billet are like cheap plastic. Not to mention the girths were all too short for Blaze's belly. Not to mention I put my bridle together wrong. *^%)#^%)(*@&^)%&(! All that lovely daylight, wasted. I did lunge him in the saddle, despite it's being loose, and he was as calm as can be. I can't wait to ride him :(

I'm not looking around for my own saddle. My BO has an old one for sale for $75. If it's got fittings and is the right size, I'd be into that because I could buy it right away. A boarder at the barn has a 17.5 AP Wintec which would be perfect, but she's asking $200 and it's got no fittings. We shall see. I also found an old Wintec trail/AP saddle for $65, only short a girth, but it will total out at $92 to get it here. Better than dropping $200+ I guess. I'm waiting for $ from the publishing house (which reminds me, I should e-mail them) and my check from the media corp. I don't want to take away from any money Lucio and I might need, but I also need ride.

Blaze is doing an obnoxious "give me my food!" pawing which I'm trying to put a stop to. It was sweet, after I led him into the pasture and took off his halter, he just stood there. I walked away, he came and stood next to me. I patted him, and then he romped off to find his buddies.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

October 28, 2008

What a busy weekend. Jenny was here from CA so I only got out to see Blaze on Friday and Sunday. My full cheek snaffle came yesterday-YES! I'm going to haul booty home from work today, feed the dogs and go out and see him. If it isn't raining/snowing (wtf, it's October!), then I'm going to put his saddle on, lunge him, and if he's doing well, put on the bridle and ride! I won't have enough daylight to ride long but I can at least give him a little exercise. Plus, if I ride in the small arena I should have more light from both barns.

I'm totally stoked. I need to look up how to ensure a bridle fits before I put it on his head, because I wouldn't want it being too tight on his mouth right away. I really want to buy this old Wintec trail/AP saddle but can't until I get paid by the publishing house. That way I could ride rain/snow and not worry about ruining Karen's saddle.

A more detailed post to follow tomorrow!