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Can we have an adult re-rider support group?

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  • I hear you about the 4-H, everyone. It's such a fine organization, but the way it handles hunt-seat riding is so hit-or-miss, mostly miss IMO. My DD did 4-H for years because that's what our area offers, and her coach was pretty much in charge. She was really too busy to do anything consistently, though, and the monthly meetings of the Horse Club with the Western people were interminable and poorly organized. DD always enjoyed the state show, though, and our girls always did very well and usually qualified for regionals. It was a chance to go to a big show without going broke or feeling inferior because we didn't have a horse that cost multiple thousands of dollars and all the fancy tack. etc. She also did the quiz bowl team one year, and that was a good experience.

    On the other hand, it couldn't compare to my experience in Pony Club. IMO, if all the people on his board had a PC experience, we wouldn't have nearly as many people complaining about their trainers (or trainers complaining about their students). A lot more people would be training their own green horses, too. I feel so blessed that I was a PC member from age 8 to age 21. I feel more knowledgeable than a lot of trainers out there, and that is all due to my PC experience. I know that not everyone has access to a Pony Club, and I sure wish they did.

    Finzean, you go for it--those kids are so lucky that you are doing this. A 4-H club on a Pony Club model sounds ideal to me.
    Last edited by Dewey; May. 9, 2013, 03:12 PM.
    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


    • Report on show facility and possible move

      Lovely facility. Beautiful old, updated barn - really clean and well maintained. Stalls are big and airy, aisles are wide. Really nice office, viewing room and bathroom - all above the barn.

      Indoor is wonderful - as is outdoor. Little cross country course in a large, long pasture. Tack rooms are roomy - and everyone has a tack locker (for additional storage) upstairs.

      Turnout - has both pastures and dry lot. Really, really nice set-up. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming.

      The downside - I hear the owner, who lives on the property (a plus) can be very hard to get along with - although she was great during the show - lots of rules, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The worst though - three boarders from our barn (one is the beginner who lessons on Thurs nights) are moving out June 1 and going there! They create so much havoc that our BM was thrilled to see them go . . . and I'm not so keen to end up where they are. So, for now, I'll stay put and keep my eyes and ears open. Might still be an option, because I'm not sure how long that trio will last there. Sometimes I wish I could be a fly on the wall!!

      "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy


      • Dewey, I'm a little bit envious that you got to do PC! In a good way, of course. . I wish I had that background. As a kid I took lessons for about six years, first western, then English. English consisted of riding the western horses in English tack. It was at a quarter horse barn that mostly did WP and halter. So I didn't learn very well. But I did get to ride tons of horses which I'm grateful for. When I was 17 I took a year off. At 18 started riding again. Didn't get my first horse till I was about 22 and that was only for about a year. Didn't start jumping lessons till about 27 or so, and got my first jumper trainee ottb about a year later. And haven't looked back since. . But I regret not having a good foundation in jumping. I pay for my bad learned habits to this day.

        Tiger, I think I'm with you. Stick where you are for a while and try to get a feel for other barns, and also the nice barn. Do more inquiries on the barn owner before making the leap if you do still want to go there.


        Sitting in a hotel room in Chattanooga. I have all-day depositions tomorrow and the drive is too long to drive in the morning (2 hours without traffic). Too hard to make the drive, then sit motionless for eight hours! All-day depos are tough (I'm a court reporter...not sure I mentioned it before.)

        Hope you all have a great weekend! I plan to ride when I get home Saturday if it is not raining. I rode twice in the rain last week!
        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
        ¯ Oscar Wilde


        • You know, when I think back, it's really quite astonishing that I was able to have the experiences I did. The DC of our Pony Club was an extremely knowledgeable and experienced horsewoman, and she was known at a national level. She was a national examiner for PC, regional supervisor, and had a whole bunch of high-powered judging licenses for dressage and eventing. She ran our PC as a volunteer for my entire tenure. Our PC had 100+ members, and every member from beginner to the most experienced had a free group riding lesson every week (we called it "drill") and a free unmounted lesson every month during the school year. Everything was run by volunteers.

          I wonder how they did it.
          I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


          • Hi! Checking back in- need to go back and read some posts.

            Tarheel, we are showing at the HSV show coming up in two weeks- let me know if by chance you will be there!
            Blog chronicling our new eventing adventures: Riding With Scissors


            • Hi all! I know I need to do a major catch up but here's my update...

              Ridden twice since the surgery. Yesterday's ride was not so great - my leg was alllll over the place and I couldn't for the life of me get Summer's right lead canter, even though I got it multiple times the 2nd time I rode her (last time riding before surgery), so that was frustrating. We did go on a nice mini trail ride after trainer got on her. Trainer got the right lead in the end but it wasn't easy, and she had spurs which probably helped. That made me feel a little better but not much.

              So wasn't feeling all that positive about riding today, but started with Sadie. Sadie hasn't been ridden since the last time I rode her like 3 weeks ago and she was a complete ROCK STAR. We just did w-t-c, and I was really pleased that I could ride her canter way better than I have in the past and kept it together and "up" without getting too downhill and sticky. Her trot was nice too and she was just all around awesome especially considering she hasn't been ridden in so long (and she's a 5 y/o TB!)

              Then Emily and I sat around and talked for an hour about whether or not we were going to ride again lol. We eventually took Dutch and Summer on a nice long, relaxing trail ride, which was fun. We went exploring and Emily showed me an old cemetery hidden in the wooded area behind the barn which is being cleared by a local logging company . Anyway it was really cool and Summer was really good even though she's tiny compared to Dutch so she kept getting left behind.

              I'm doing evening feeds tomorrow. First time on my own! Wish me luck, lol!
              "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
              "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


              • Event4Life - What a great report!

                I'm determined to kill my To Do list today so I'm out the door - will catch up later.

                Just wanted to add before I run that I had the BEST ride on the Amazon on Friday. It was just a little ring work but the Alpaca Death Squad nonsense seems to have worn off and things have just clicked. The trot work wasn't perfect but OMG even going to the right (my bad side) was really good. Some of it might've even been an 8! Just need more riding, more riding, more riding...

                Out the door with 8 days of sunshine forecasted! Yes! Kick on everyone!!


                • Event4Lift - great update - thanks.

                  Finzean - Congrats - enjoy the weather!


                  I was my trainer's "ground person" at a show on Saturday - she did a CT with her greenish WB mare. Had a lot of fun and learned a lot. A couple of my barn mates (who showed with me last weekend) also did the dressage portion. Both did well - very proud of our little "team".

                  I did ride yesterday, although I must admit it was a half hearted attempt, had no mojo, just worn out from Saturday. Big news - DD has signed up for lessons and we bought her a helmet and paddock boots! She sat on Dodger for a bit yesterday (about a half hour on a lunge line) and felt pretty good - she hasn't been a horse for about 14 years. Just walked and got her bearings back - but, it's a start. Her first lesson is Tues at 5pm.

                  "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy


                  • Finzean - glad Amazon seems to have sorted out her lama issues & you had a good ride! I'd be very happy with trot work that felt like an "8."

                    TH - I always learn tons as grounds person at shows. I don't love showing myself so I'm usually happier on the ground lol. And YAY for your DD! Hope her lesson goes well!!

                    As for me, yesterday was a bit disheartening again . Gabby is going through a weird phase, as I used to have awesome rides on her. Then yesterday she was rearing, bucking, all over the place. So trainer got on and schooled it out of her a bit but she was still very up and never really settled. Trainer rode her again today and it was same deal - she probably rode for nearly an hour and the mare would.not.settle. She doesn't appear to be in pain or anything....its very strange.

                    Then I rode Summer and had a great ride. She got her right lead the 2nd attempt then again first attempt, so I called it not a fluke and ended there. I rode her again today and she was awesome again. I Love love love this pony & am trying to find her a home up in Virginia with my old barn owner. I think pony would be perfect for her kids, so fingers crossed.

                    I also rode Sadie this AM. She was great - fingers crossed this continues. My leg position feels way better too, phew.
                    "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                    "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


                    • I met the girl who is going to lease Toby for the summer last evening. She is a sweet girl and is totally in love with Toby. I met the other girl as well. She rides a POA and has no idea what inside leg outside rein means.

                      Oh boy There is a lot of work to be done with them. I asked them if they had the proper things for a proper turnout for a rider and they got a confused look on their faces.. I said helmet. prince of wales spurs and a bat.. And I told the one girl the boots she was wearing would not work she would need at least boots with a heel on them something like paddock boots. She was wearing were like Ugg boots with no heel.

                      What have I gotten myself into, its going to be a long summer...
                      They had never even heard of pow spurs. And the one girls pony might be bred but she's not sure...
                      I think a trip to schinders is in order.

                      I think in going to have them go to the use book store in town and or amazon and buy GM's book and do some home work from that book which means I'm going to have to dig my well read copy out to make the assigments. And sign on to his clinics in the usef if they are still there.

                      HEHE Im going to torture them but they are going to learn to ride and not pose.
                      Friend of bar .ka


                      • Hehe, sounds fun, bumknees. Assignments are a good idea. And maybe throw in some seems-like-fun-but-really-learning games on horse back. . Hope you enjoy working with the girls. Where did you find them?
                        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                        ¯ Oscar Wilde


                        • bumknees - at least they are young so it'll be easier for them to learn a new way of riding than if it were an adult. My one friend is trying to change her riding style to be more of a 'rider', had never heard of inside leg outside rein, didn't know what a driving seat was and why its not good, etc. I admire her for her determination to improve, especially because it is hard to change the habits of a lifetime!

                          I would not encourage them to ride with spurs until you know they have a steady leg. I definitely agree with "games that teach." And the one absolutely needs a boot with a heel! You can find cheap paddock boots on dover, smartpak etc. I never spent more than $50 on them when I was still growing.

                          Have fun! I bet you'll find you learn something about yourself too!
                          "Choose to chance the rapids, and dare to dance the tides" - Garth Brooks
                          "With your permission, dear, I'll take my fences one at a time" - Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey


                          • Toby's lease sounds like a good thing for all involved, especially if the kids can learn from a more experienced horseperson. I never was able to do Pony Club, and wish that I'd had the opportunity. So much knowledge to be gained from the experience.

                            Snickers and I are venturing into the show ring Saturday. The barn is having a local association rated show. We will see if Snick is able to school Friday, and show on Saturday and still be A-ok on Sunday. He's been doing great, enjoys getting to jump again, and just had hock injections. We're just going to do some 2'6" classes, but he's been sound jumping 3' in lessons and with my trainer. Even though I miss showing, I have enjoyed NOT having show bills! Enjoyed it so much that I'm not sure I ever want to do AA shows again. Maybe it's time to drop back, and act my age?
                            It's 2017. Do you know where your old horse is?

                            www.streamhorsetv.com -- website with horse show livestream listings and links.


                            • Good luck to everyone headed to shows this weekend! We are NOT prime time ready but getting there.

                              DD had an amazing ride on the Connie x mare yesterday. Her form isn't the best (hey, she comes by this one sidedness pretty honestly!) but her sense of feel is quite amazing. I was so impressed with her...feeling guilty b/c I've been a little preoccupied with my own llama drama lately.

                              We're out the door and in the saddle in half an hour. Remember that guy Hannibal from The A Team? He used to always close the show with a cigar and the comment, "I love it when a plan comes together." That's sort of how I've been feeling this week despite some set backs on the farming end of stuff. Things are starting to click.


                              • Dewey – I am SO happy that your QH buddy will be staying in the barn! I know that it’s bittersweet for you, but it sounds like he’s going to have a lovely new “mom” with this little girl who will dote on him and feed him lots of treats. And you’ll still be there to give him love every day. What more could that sweet boy ask for.

                                SuperD – How did Jack do at his Trial? You mentioned D’s topline… I understand how much “older” they can look when they lose their topline. Gabriel was that way for a while (still doesn’t have it totally back). But I’m sure D will get it back pretty quickly with these little workout sessions. Hooray for him being happy and sound! I’m sure he’s loving all of the attention.

                                Bumknees – I don’t believe we ever had a Pony Club around me when I was young, and I didn’t realize I could be in 4H without a horse of my own. I feel like I really missed out by not doing that stuff as a kid. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being someone who can give that opportunity to the young people near you! I know it’ll be a big change compared to what they’re used to, but the things you’ll teach them will be invaluable! Keep us posted!

                                Tiger – I believe you’ve dodged a bullet for now, just waiting until that Troublesome Trio gets themselves kicked out of; or leaves; the other facility, if you’re even going to go there at all. Very smart of you! There are days when we need to just relax on a ride, so I’m glad you got to have a ride on Sunday and it’s ok that you took it easy. Also, congrats with DD getting back into lessons!!!

                                Event4Life – I’m SO HAPPY for you that you’re back in the saddle!!! I’m sure it feels amazing. Sorry Gabby didn’t have a good day the other day, though. …Eh, mares. I swear there are days when they just say, “To H@#$ with it!”

                                Finzean – I am SUPER happy that the Amazon seems to have gotten past her PTSD from the ADS. WOO-HOO!!! Let’s raise a glass and drink to that! And CONGRATS to your DD! Sounds like she’ll go a long way with such a great sense of feel. That isn’t something some people can ever learn, so if she already has it, she’s leaps ahead of most.

                                Pony4me – Congrats on venturing back into the show ring! As far as your question on whether to drop back, I’d say just do whatever makes you happiest. You know, these critters are just way too much money not to have fun with. Do you get enjoyment out of showing? If so, then show. Does it give you heart palpitations to show in the AA’s because of the cost? If so, then don’t show AA’s. It doesn’t really matter what level of competition you’re in, or even whether you’re competing at all. As long as you’re having fun, you’re doing something right.


                                Well, we didn’t get to take any video this past weekend. Boo! It was pouring rain on Saturday, and then Sunday was Mother’s Day so my friend and I both had to travel to see our moms. Maybe this weekend.

                                So, every year in mid-June I go on a 3-day trail ride up in the mountains. It’s hard-riding, a lot of almost straight up-and-down inclines, rocks, mud, creeks, etc. With everything else going on, time got away from me and I just realized late last week that I hadn’t decided who I was going to take! Last year I took Velvet and she was a total rock star. But with our recent issues and my confidence being so shaky, I decided I’ll take Gabriel this year (he was always my mount prior to last year). I feel bad because he’s just starting to get back into work, and we have less than 5 weeks to get fit for it. But I must say, he’s been impressing me with how well he’s coming back into work and how sound he’s been. So, I believe we can do it – I just have to be a stickler with myself to get out there and *ride*!

                                So far this week, I went out Monday and Wednesday (last night). Monday I said, “I’m going to ride Gabe for an hour today.” Well, I hit *my* limit at the half hour mark! Granted, we were W/T/C, and I was torturing myself with the Trot sets from my lesson the other day, but really? I don’t understand how I made it an entire hour in the lesson, ‘cause I was pooped after 30 minutes! …Either way, he was a little warm but could’ve kept going for quite a while. So, I have more concern that I’m not going to be fit enough. I need to leg myself up – not Gabe! Lol

                                That same night I also tacked up Rose and stuck her in the round pen for some W/T. I didn’t mount, but made sure she was going off of voice commands super well. Then I got her to stand still while I hopped up and down beside her as if I was going to vault up there (fat chance! I’m not limber enough). She was a little antsy at first, but it didn’t take much to get her to stand.

                                Last night I broke out the surcingle and long lines for Gabriel. I took him on a walking tour of the entire farm “driving” him from the ground. And I had him Trot quite a bit (this means I had to run behind him, so hopefully this will help my fitness as well). Then I took Rose out for a handwalk/ground manners session since I haven’t done that in a while.

                                I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I’m really not doing much with Velvet at this point. I had a very good friend recommend not to keep working with her because it would be counter-productive to both Velvet and myself. And I agree. So, it’s better to let her be, and my friend at the barn will ride her as she has time. It’s kind of sad – and Velvet was begging for attention last night, so I did take her for a short handwalk just to get her out a little. But I *really* don’t feel comfortable riding her. So, I’m just focusing on keeping the baby in work and getting Gabriel ready for the trail ride.
                                ~*~*~*~Founding member of the Spotted Saddlebred Pals Clique~*~*~*~

                                The equine love of my life: Gabriel
                                4/6/1993 - 8/23/2015 ...RIP my big, beautiful boy <3


                                • Classy- Thanks for asking! Jack was a super star and won his division on his dressage score of 30.5!! His best yet. He is so big and those rings are so small he usually doesn't do well in the dressage portion. That coupled with the fact that he is so augmentative!!!! His stadium and cross country were clean and he galloped well. He will be moving up at his next event in June, I am so excited . As for you and your mare, I say if you are not ready to ride her i wouldn't. I'm glad you are taking Gabe for your trail ride trip!! It sounds like fun!!!!!!

                                  Finzean- Glad that the Amazon is getting over her issues!! Sounds like your DD is doing well YAY!!!

                                  Bumknees- Good for you for taking these girls on! We had a club growing up but it wasn't that good and I lost interest in it pretty early on. I learned way more from my trainer and the grooms then I did through the program.

                                  Tiger- How did DD do in her lesson????

                                  I know I am missing people but hope all is well with everyone and you all are having good rides!!!


                                  • Gosh, I have some catching up to do!!

                                    superD - Congratulations - sounds like a really great outing!

                                    Bumknees - wish I'd had an instructor like you as a kid!

                                    Finzean - sounds like all is good - finally!

                                    * * *
                                    As for DD (thanks for asking superD) - what an adventure she had! First she wanted to go to the barn the night before to make sure she knew where everything was for the lesson horses (separate tack room - brushes, boots, etc) and wanted to halter and bridle a horse (Dodger was a star).

                                    Lesson was at 5, she arrived at 4:25, got "K" the lesson horse, groomed and ready to saddle. K is not known for speed and a is a bit of challenge to push along, so the perfect choice for DD! I arrived at approx 6 and DD was still mounted and looked like she was comfortable and having fun - woohoo!!

                                    Turns out W/T went really well; however, transition from trot to walk ended up in a canter! She made it halfway around the indoor and then slid off - she wasn't hurt and got right back on. Same thing happened in the other direction, but she stayed on and actually enjoyed it. Instructor said she has never seen that before - said she has to figure out what DD was doing and tell her other students to do the same. All in all DD had a blast and is looking forward to her next lesson. She's a bit sore - but is anxious to ride again - she will get on Dodger again for a little while tonight after I'm done. She would like to be jumping a bit by summer's end and instructor does not think that is an unrealistic goal. I am so proud of her!!

                                    "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy


                                    • Sorry - wanted to update everyone on my fellow boarder who got dumped a week ago Sunday. She took her gelding off the new supplement immediately and had noticed a change in his behavior during groundwork already. She rode for the first time, since the fall, on Tuesday night. Everyone else was down in the outdoor. Since I knew we would be riding at about the same time - I stayed in, so she would have some company. Her guy was really good and she thinks getting back to his old self. My guy spooked once (a car door closed!) and her guy did absolutely nothing - so a really good sign. I told her to borrow my vest anytime, thought it might help boost her confidence (I know it does me). We both ended up having good rides. I am so hoping they are back on track and have these episodes behind them!

                                      "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy


                                      • Pony4Me, awesome on trying the show. It's nice to be able to show at your home base. I wish I was ready, I'd come join you!! I often come to HC just to watch shows. Maybe I will drop by and try to figure out which one is you. Good luck. And I totally understand the trepidation with the cost of showing rated. I just stick with local showing these days. I have fun, my horse seems to enjoy it, and I don't break the bank.

                                        Finzean, sounds like your DD is doing very well! Awesome. And hope your farming is coming along as well. Speaking of farmers, I have a guy with his two little daughters out back right now shoveling manure into their truckbed for their garden. I like to do this every spring. My pile is just about gone! Yay!

                                        Classy, I think it's a good idea for you not to ride Velvet right now. Keep doing some ground work so she remembers her manners, but no need to ride. I agree sometimes it can be counter productive. And that's okay that you make that decision. It's the right one for you. (I'm thinking, anyway!) Glad Gabe will be getting to go on a fun trail ride. You will have fun with him and not worry about him doing something silly. I think five weeks will be okay for getting him in shape.

                                        I totally relate to being in less-then-perfect shape as a rider!! I was riding Nessie (new girls name that sort of stuck) the other day, and after 20 minutes I was winded. I hate that. Just last year I was doing hour-long jumper lessons and now I can hardly TROT. It's disgusting. I went out yesterday and bought a used exercise bike! I rode it this morning, and boy, it's going to take some time to get in shape. But I'm starting at least.

                                        Tiger, how old is your daughter? Glad she didn't have a negative reaction to sliding off! That's great. A good positive attitude is so important! Also glad your fellow boarder is doing well enough to ride, and that her horse is getting back to his old self. I think she may have found the problem with that supplement.


                                        I still need to get Chico's hocks done. I rode him one more time to test him and he did beautiful trot work with extensions and collection, just awesome. Lateral work, no problem. I cantered to the right a few laps, then cantered left. After half a lap to the left he started bucking again. So I immediately stopped. I wanted to test him because he just had gotten his Pentosan injection a few days prior. But he's still not feeling good, so I will not do anything till I get his hocks done and hopefully that's what it is. I will ask the vet. I need to make an appointment. I had called my two different vets to prices and found one of them was 50 dollars cheaper, and well, every penny counts! So I'll go with the cheaper one since I've used both vets often and I like them both.

                                        Rode Nessie on Tuesday and she was really pretty good. I feel like I don't yet trust her 100% since she's still new, but every ride is getting better. I don't have the fitness I need yet, so I don't trust MYSELF yet either. If she were to do something silly, not sure I have the reflexes and fitness to right a situation. She did do a spooky hop at the canter, but it was easy to deal with and she calmed right down. That helps me, knowing it was easy to handle. I had my DH take a short video with my cell camera since I haven't yet seen myself on her. So I will post the link. I am riding with long stirrups still since my left ankle is still so stiff. When I shorten the stirrups I tend to tip to the good side. So you will see crappy ankle flexion (as in NONE) in the video. But I think she is coming along. She's pretty cute. The video really makes me realize how much I need to get exercising!!!! But I'll get there. Hopefully this link will work. Let me know if it does not. It's nothing special, just me riding my new pony. https://www.dropbox.com/s/o6slf5pbxe...185313_233.mp4

                                        Hope you all have a great rest of the week!!!
                                        “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                                        ¯ Oscar Wilde


                                        • Paradox - DD just turned 20! (Good god where does the time go?!)
                                          Nice video - "Nessie" is very cute!

                                          "I am still under the impression that there is nothing alive quite so beautiful as a thoroughbred horse." -- John Galsworthy