Pancakes- good to see you check in, hang in there.
Rode Thursday and Friday night (cold!) then was totally unmotivated Saturday as I didn't have anyone to ride with so I stayed home and knit (loserish, I know). Rode yesterday and went out on the trail with one of my friends. Plan was to do some trot sets as her mare is rehabbing, first set was complete, we were turning around to come back on the trail, got to the same place another friend's horse had been spooked the week before and... little grey mare did the whole staring, spook thing. Didn't see anything to worry her, friend got her mare to walk I off, I patted her, told her it was okay and nudged her off and... ride 'em cowgirl. Yikes, head straight up in the air, backing, etc. No bucking or feeling like she was going to buck but I thought a bolt might be a possibility. Thank goodness for a one-reined stop (though we sure did some circles). Thought I might have to bail but finally got her to stand and hopped off. Walked her back up the trail and she was still up. As soon as she got back to the jump field, she was fine. She had been doing really well on the trail, don't know what her issue was but my friend did say that she had seen a doe with two fawns jump out of the grass along the creek where she was staring. Think we will stay off of the trail on windy days for a few weeks.
Only working two days this week, then three days off, but I do have to work Saturday and then Sunday is Opening Meet. I really need to go down for that!
Oh man, iechris- that's so terrifying to me when horses do that on trails! You never know what they're going to do when they see a monster in the woods. That's one of my biggest fears is the nervous trail riding behaviors, since there's nothing to contain you if they bolt!
Yesterday I competed in the first HJ show of my life - at the advanced age of 52!
I went to the show with two goals: keep the horse between me and the ground, and not be disqualified.
Unfortunately, I didn't strictly achieve the first goal, because I fell off during the warm up when my horse over-jumped an oxer by what felt like 2'. Luckily nothing was hurt but my sense of dignity, so I had no trouble continuing with my day.
I was in the maiden hunter 18" (weenie) division, but the class was actually crossrails that were probably 12" at the center. So when I fell off, I had been schooling over what had been the 2'3" course from the previous day, which actually looked like 18" or 2' at most to us.
Everyone from our barn who came to this show has more of an eventing/dressage background, including our trainer, so we were all pretty confused by how the show was run. There didn't seem to be any logic to the order of go for classes. So we muddled through as best we could.
I loved that I got to go over the course multiple times, so we had a chance to improve our performance as we went along. We placed third, second and second in our over fences classes and won the flat 'under saddle' class. Somehow we ended up with reserve champion for the 18" division, which was much better than I expected for a first outing!
All praise goes to my horse, who is a lovely teenage tb with the best mind ever, and sound as a bell. The magic of this horse is that he is the same at a show as he is at home - perfect for me at this stage, and very confidence-building. I couldn't ask for more.
Hey, guess what? I got to ride on Sunday!!! Hooray!!!
It was absolutely beautiful out (for this time of year), probably about 45 degrees and sunny, but it was also breezy – and occasionally downright windy. So, between the wind, the cool weather, and the fact that the BO had a new piece of machinery sitting in the yard to try to put up spouting (a.k.a. A new horse-eating monster with big teeth), I decided to play it safe and just ride my saintly gelding, Gabriel. Even he was full of himself, but he didn’t even blink at the “monster” and listened really well. He just wanted to GO. Haha! We only did walk/trot, but it was a very enjoyable ride. And it was *so* nice to feel him so sound and energetic that he was actually jigging some here and there when I wanted him to walk. Yay!
I have to say, though, that I was a little taken aback with one thing. I don’t know if this was just a fluke or not, but I felt rather loose in the saddle – not nearly as secure as I normally am, and that’s why we didn’t canter. Now I’m worried. For the last two and half years I’ve only been able to ride once every week or two because of school. Has that finally caught up to me? I can’t believe it would happen that quickly, though, because I still felt really good and secure the last time I rode (which was actually about 3 or 4 weeks ago because of soundness issues and uncooperative weather). Who knows – maybe it was just a weird day. But I’m a little concerned...
So, add that to the mix of not riding-friendly circumstances and I decided not to hop on Velvet. Even though she is a saint 95% of the time, I didn’t want to chance that the day I wasn’t feeling secure in the saddle would be the other 5% day. So, I set up a couple of ground poles and just did some ground work with her over and around them. I feel like it’s good to go back to groundwork every once in a blue moon anyway, just to be sure they haven’t forgotten their manners. I also did the same groundwork stuff with baby Rose. Who, by the way, I’m very proud of because she is now *diving* into her bridle so she can get the treat I hold under the bit. Haha! This from a girl who, two bridling sessions ago was sticking her nose into the clouds trying to avoid taking the bit. What a good girl! I only use treats for certain things, but I’ve gotta tell you, a treat under the bit works wonders to get a tough horse to bridle.
...Sorry, but I’ll have to catch up on reading everyone else's posts later. I have way too much to do today!
Classyride, we all have day when our bodies don't cooperate. Some days my legs are loose as jello, some days I can't keep my shoulders back to save my life, and I distinctly remember a day recently when I was SO lopsided and rode with a stirrup nearly 2 half holes shorter than the other because...I don't know why? So if you're loose one day in the saddle, don't let it discourage you. If it keeps happening then you might want to try new exercises to strengthen your legs, or ride without stirrups a little.
iechris, way to hang on! That sounds scary though...glad you're okay! Maybe sticking to the arena is the way to go for a while.
Sdhaurmsmom, congratulations on the show! Whether you're jumping 2'3 or 12", a jump is a jump and requires solid basics. Sounds like you've got that, and a fantastic partner that can take care of you too. Congrats!
Thank you everyone for all your support. *HUG* It makes me happy to know everyone also goes through these times, both in and out of the saddle.
Good news: My aunt is doing well! She has pneumonia and is still on a ventilator, but she's doing almost all of the breathing herself and she is now sort of lucid and is responsive! I'm soooo relieved. Definitely we have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
I rode today too! I went to go see a horse for sale locally. He is green green green but very willing and smart, and a quick learner. I'd be lying if I didn't say some of his mannerisms made me nervous, but he never did anything dangerous with me, my trainer, or the owner. He flicks his head/nose a lot and he has no concept of stretching down at all (very up/collected). BUT he is super comfy. And a loose (stray) dog even ran up to him in the arena and was chasing him, and he didn't do anything stupid! He will probably take a good year or so to really settle down as he is an OTTB, but he is HANDSOME and athletic and very sweet on the ground. Tall, and well-built. I fit him well. The other thing is the cost...he's out of my price range but the owner says a good home is priority over price. But maybe money will talk? I just don't know if he's the *one* but she offered to let me have him on trial for a month, so it might be worth it... what do you think?
Finally, I rode my lease horse tonight...we jumped a course (around 2'3-2'6") and it felt GOOD. He was such an angel for me! We really do fit well together...if only he was *perfect* for me. I am so thankful I have such a great horse to learn to ride and gain confidence jumping with, though. He is patient and forgiving with me.
I have a few other prospects I'm considering, but it all comes down to price in the long run. Part of me thinks I should wait until I build up more of a financial cushion so I can afford a nicer horse, but isn't that always the case? Well, I'll just try to be patient and go with my gut. Thanks for listening.
Last edited by Pancakes; Nov. 20, 2012 at 12:56 AM.
So happy for your aunt's progress Pancakes, and for your good horse report! You were definitely due some good news!
And such good news from everyone else about shows, good rides, and sticking some scary moments!
I had a good trip o AZ this past weekend, but will be happy to get back to the barn over the holiday.
We had a tragedy at the barn on Thursday. My trainer's 27 year old Anglo-Arab, who she had since he was born (she bought his dam when she was in foal with him) was hit with colic and did not make it. It will be so emotional to go to the barn Saturday morning and not see his beautiful face. My heart breaks for my trainer and her daughter (who also trains and instructs at the barn).
But even though our group has seen some rough patches in the later part of this year, I have faith that 2013 will be great.
Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson
Im going to have to wimp out from riding this weekend...
Two reasons well three really..
cant fnd my helmet.. dont know where it is unless I gave it away when I thoght I wold not have another horse.. Or dh already packed it sily man... I dont know but I cant find it.
And I cant find my chaps.. and concidering the weather we are suppsed to have this weekend.. #3 reason it is supposed Lake Effect do nasty white stuff that falls from the sky with highs in the low 30's.. no way will this body ride without chaps (full) in that weather and temp with out them Im not that young any more... Oh Lake Effect = could be a candy coating to your guess is as good as mine but you better have plenty of gas for your geneator... So best not to go aywhere till its done..
Funny Im more intimated by the snow than I an than no helmet.. but then agin I strted riding in the days of the hunt caps only when jumping and ball caps when schooling...
Event4Life – That’s wonderful that you found such a great horse to re-learn on!!! I love the ones that are kind and forgiving, but make you ride if you want them to go correctly. I feel like they are the best to learn on! Not exactly the same thing, but I know of a positively drool-worthy Quarter Horse/Shire cross that is used for Fox Hunting. He’s bigger than your guy (he took after the Shire there – he’s 17+ hands), but literally floats over the ground when ridden correctly and between the aids. So, I’m sure your half-lease guy is positively beautiful. Congratulations on finding him!
Pony4me – Mr. All Better is one lucky duck to have such a knowledgeable team working together to make him, and keep him, Mr. All Better. That’s wonderful! Good for you for having the specialist out, even though I’m sure your wallet is crying because of it. I also feel it was very smart of you to have the trainers deal with the “happy bucks and feel-good shenanigans.” Hahaha! It’s all good – that’s what you’re paying them for, right?
Ivy62 – Gotta love when horses decide to injure themselves. I had a good friend whose draft cross decided one day to rip her hind leg open. I’m not sure how many stitches went into putting her back together, but it was not pretty! And about a year and a half ago, my gelding nearly scalped himself when he knocked his head. Awesome. But, they heal. No worries. As far as tricks to relax, not sure I have many. I’ve dealt with confidence/fear issues ever since I started re-riding; especially with cantering. ParadoxFarm gave you good advice. Also, a good instructor who knew when to push me and when to let me be was part of what helped me. Other than that, when I’ve been riding on my own, if I feel nice and secure in the saddle and am having a good day, I decide to canter and just do it before I can think about it. That way, I can’t let the fear in too much. And before I can be afraid, I’m doing it.
Dewey – I am constantly drooling over saddles, and I just can’t afford to get a new one. I don’t even need a new one. I just look at them and I’m like, “Man, I wish I could get that! It’s beautiful! I bet it would look so good on [whichever horse] and it looks SO comfortable….” I torture myself with it sometimes. Lol
QuietAnn – Congrats on Feronia! I’m so happy she’s sound and getting some pep in her step again. Hooray!!!
PaintedHunter – That is the *best* when you have a horse who you’re able to bond with so easily. It’s sort of kismet. I know what you mean about being able to gel better with some horses than others. And I sometimes get all sappy and teary-eyed when I think about how lucky I am to have each my three, ‘cause they’re all special to me in their own ways. I totally get it.
Iechris – Oh my goodness, that can be a scary situation. You absolutely did the right thing by getting off once you got her to stand. Safety first. Best to get off and walk her than to get left behind while she bolts on home to the barn. I’m so glad it turned out ok and she calmed back down once she got to her jump field.
Sdhaurmsmom – Congratulations on reaching both of your goals (falling off during warm-up doesn’t count)! And you placed REALLY well – that’s wonderful! Kudos to you and your lovely tb.
Pancakes – I’m glad to hear that feeling loose in the saddle is something others have experienced from time-to-time and that it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m getting weak or “losing it.” I may just take my gelding for a spin or two without stirrups in the near future (soundness and weather permitting) just because it sounds like a good idea. Great thought! …I’m SO glad your aunt is doing well!!! I have been very worried about her and your family. Thank goodness for small miracles. …The potential horse sounds awesome! This is the 6 year old you mentioned before? I would caution that you don’t want to take on more than you feel comfortable with (because you mentioned that some of his mannerisms made you nervous). But, personally, if I were in your shoes I would do the trial with this guy (keeping in the forefront of my mind that I need to be objective about him and his potential as a partner for me) while still looking at others and keeping my options open. But ultimately, do whatever you feel comfortable with.
TarheelJD – My heart goes out to your trainer and everyone who is at your barn. Losing an old friend is SO difficult. I didn’t even know the horse and it makes me sad.
Bumknees – I don’t blame you for not going riding. The helmet is super important in my eyes, but you also don’t want to mess around with lake effect snow. I know ALL about that stuff. I prefer not to drive in snow if at all possible. The only bad car accident I ever had happened because there was barely a dusting of snow on the road, just enough to make it REALLY slippery. I’ve been overly cautious about driving in any amount of snow ever since. Just stay inside and have a hot cocoa instead.
Hi, all. First off I want to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving. May it be all that you wish for. My husband and I are just hanging out at home. Maybe we will go out to eat since I cannot cook due to the cast/crutches. Update on the ankle: Well, when I thought I would be in the hard cast for three weeks and then get the walking boot, I had misunderstood. I had my three-week appointment yesterday and I got the cast off. Only to have the same type put back on. i need the hard cast 9 to 12 weeks. i was so disappointed! This was the longest three weeks of my life. Sigh. Guess I will just let Chico stay fuzzy and take the winter off. I'm going to try to not feel so down, but it has been a challenge.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
¯ Oscar Wilde
Leo is stabled at dressage barn about 50 minutes away. He's been there a few months and I thought I could make it work, but it's just too far between time and gas. It's a beautiful facility with grass turnout, which is rare in southern Arizona.
Around of the first of the month, I'll bring him back up to Tucson to where his owner has her other horses boarded.
I'm on the hunt for a wool-flocked close-contact saddle since my Tad Coffin just isn't working well for us.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!! I really wanted to follow this thread but there is just so much activity!! I feel like I do when I'm reading a book and leaving too much time between two chapters.... I get all the characters confused and have to read it all over again
The one thing I know is that everybody here sounds very friendly, smart and respectful... so among other things, I'm thankful for that today! OP, that was one bright idea you got!
I haven't been riding as much as I'd like... call me lazy (and you wouldn't be too far from the truth). I find excuses, some aren't so bad: the whole single motherhood thing, and not having time to ride because I really need to focus on my job search. I do make sure that my horse gets ridden at least 3 times a week though, a horseless friend and her daughter are happy to ride him so that works out well. And my old guy is so cool now, I don't worry so much anymore about letting other people ride him.
Happy Thanksgiving to all! May your day be filled with family/friends and ponies!
I have not ridding in about two weeks, so tomorrow should be interesting. The barn did a dressage show last weekend and I scribed for the whole day, in the cold and a direct wind. Who would have thunk that would wear you out so much (it was my first time scribing)? On Sunday, we were all zombies and the thought of attempting to haul my tired butt up on the TB was just too much, especially after four us cleaned the barn.
I just stumbled upon this thread after having taken a hiatus from the Forum b/c of taking a hiatus from the horses. Now getting back into this crazy horse-life and loving it but, like others posting here, have the ups and downs (and I don't mean just posting!! haha)
Never will I walk off from the horses, again. Despite the difficulties in getting back in the saddle (somedays literally!), this whole thing is good for my soul!
Heading out for a little Thanksgiving Day ride in a few minutes...
You guys are an inspiration! I wish I boarded with you! The young kids at my barn just do not get it. I have a nice horse and great lessons and I am happy.. So what if I do not jump 5 foot fences!!!!
Happy thanksgiving everyone
Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
"And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"
For us (my barn) it was a day of tears and memories. We lost one of the best ponies in the world to colic. Mojo was barely 15h in reality, and a qh, in his mind, he was all of 17h, a TB who ran like the wind and jumped the moon. For years, he was The Boss of the gelding pasture. Before I ever knew him, he was a champion pony jumper. And, in his case, pony was often a four letter word. Nobody knows exactly how old he was.
By the time I met him, he was giving lessons to up and coming riders. If you rode him correctly, he was wonderful. Don't and he would rat you out in a heart beat. He knew HIS job, but expected you to do yours.
When I started riding him, we had our issues. Because I would be tense, he would give me the horrid trot, the one where there is absolutely no extension and it goes 90 mph. Took me a while to figure that out. Don't dare look at a jump, he would run out in a heartbeat. I did that once, just practice riding, just a little box, and "we" dodged it neatly. My trainer, who was riding at the same time, asked, "So, did it move?" LOL - Me: Why yes, but only as we flew by it. I learned not to look down.
The day came when I showed Mojo in x-rails - my first over fences show, w/t. My trainer and I discussed where to pick up the trot in the courtesy circle. The patterns were easy - 8 fences, outside all, no diagonals, so twice around. So, in we go, walking easily, Apparently, Mojo was not listening when the discussion of where to pick up the trot was had, because he decided and off we went. I talked the entire time, just to keep breathing. And we did it, and placed 7th out of 21 riders.
For the flat, there were twenty rides, split into two groups of ten. We were in the 2nd group. First group goes and 4 horses get pulled out of that group. We go in to do our flat, when asked to trot, omg there was a trot I had never ridden on the pony before. It was his show trot - and yes he knew he was showing - it flowed. We made the cut for that group! So, we go again. Bless the smart ponies - by then he knew: I have jumped, I have flatted. I am done! So, the show trot was not as evident - LOL. But, we still placed 7th out of 20.
He was not perfect by any means. Since I feed on weekends, there was the day I got to the barn and noticed Mojo's stall gate was open, but he was in his stall. Good boy! Until I got to the feed room - guess who had been there and then put himself back in his stall!!!!
He bowed a tendon earlier this year, so was in retirement.
So sorry to hear about Mojo, Jaslyn. It's hard when they leave us, especially when they do so under such circumstances. And Paradox, sorry about the extra cast time. Major bummer and totally unexpected.
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It was nice and quiet at our house. I took DH to the barn in the late morning to help me turn out my horse, and took him out again a few hours later so I could bring him in and ride him. The entire barn staff was off today, except for feeding, since it was a holiday.
Rode the horse, and he was great. We were just going to do w/t since he is just starting to canter, but he was so quiet and willing that I did ask him to canter both ways. He was a perfect gentleman. No bucks, spooks or surprises! It's nice to see some light at the end of the tunnel.
After yesterday's 70 degree temps, and sunshine, we have rain and cold today. Perfect day to ignore the Black Friday bull$shit, and just relax.