Friday, June 29, 2012

Drastic changes

So, I finally did something I've been wanting to do for awhile; I roached Tiki's mane.
I'm pleased with how it turned out.  I'd screwed it up before May-Daze because I tried to braid it, and because I've "cut-pulled" it with scissors for so long, it was WAY too thick and uneven for me to braid.  So, I shaved off HALF of it, so the hair was much thinner.  I honestly thought that would make braiding much easier, but it didn't.  So, I shaved it all off so when it grows back I can drug the crap out of him and pull it properly so the NEXT time I have the opportunity to braid, I can.  Or, who knows, I may love it like this and keep it shaved!

Since GA is up to 100+ temps, I have NOT done anything with my boy.  Almost longed him earlier in the week, but since I couldn't answer the question of "Why?" I didn't.

Change is in the air for me!  So excited about some things in my life coming to fruition, I hope things continue on in a forward, positive direction!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My most FAVORITE pair of shoes!

2 years ago exactly; Jeff Cook clinic

We all have them.  That pair of shoes that make you sigh with happiness as you slip them on your feet.  Yesterday, I swung a leg over my boy and it was BETTER than sliding my feet into those fave sneakers.  For not doing anything in almost a month, he was fantastic!  Rode with honorary little sis fairly early in the morning before the sun began to bake us to a crisp and was pleasantly surprised by the nice fluffy arena:)  I had Muffin outfitted in his dressage tack, and he and Spark Plug spent round abouts 10 minutes moseying along on a long rein while little sis and I yapped a wee bit:)

He had a teeny tiny moment when I first picked up the trot where he kicked up his feet in a slightly rebellious cow kick sort of movement, but that was really all the 'tude I got.  Our trot work was pretty good; it was forward and soft.   He fought me a little bit in the beginning and tried to get above the bit but settled pretty nicely into the contact.  I did a lot of suppling down the long side, doing the shallow serpentine where we changed bend twice in a shallow S-shape.  He really wrapped around my leg and seemed to enjoy the work.  I gradually changed that to leg yield off the rail to the quarter line, back to the rail off the opposite leg yield; he was REALLY good doing that!  Did a few shoulder ins at the walk and trot, then a little bit of canter.

OK, if I'm being honest, he tried to yank my arms out at the canter lol!  It was to be expected, truthfully.  I kept him on a 20m circle for the most part and did my best to actually sit my rear down in the saddle and attempt to slow him down a little bit.  He did come back to me after a small arm wrestling match and he ended on a great note.

It was just the boost I needed, and gave me back some of the motivation I'd been lacking.  I will get up early tomorrow morning and ride again and will PLAN to keep a twice weekly riding schedule through these dog days of summer.  Probably won't jump him for another week or 2; it's ALL about improving that dressage score, baby!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Annndddd ... just kidding

Muffin in the trailer leaving MD for his new home in GA
Well, I thought maybe I was going to ride today, but the stars simply didn't align for me.

OK  I ranted, I raved, I said my piece.  Time to put it behind me and move on!

In the mean time, any ideas to re-boost a lesson program where ALL the elements are there except the clients?  I am GOOD at my job, we have a wonderful facility, wonderful horses, safe and comfortable tack, great location ... not sure why the sudden famine except for kids moving (3), kids on vacation the entire month of June (5), and families hit by a hard economy that had to cut something out.  I need some FRESH ideas!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


This is that awful 3' oxer I had set in the covered that Tiki jumped WAY up over

See how AWFUL this approach is?  Stupid me!

I haven't really gotten involved in any of the discussions, but I'm excited the 'short list' is out for our eventers!  I think every rider on that list deserves it, regardless of the masses thinking MLM should have been left off.  EXPERIENCE, people!  I know she doesn't have much eventing experience, but she has tons of GP showjumping experience.  Regardless of who is chosen to ride for the 'Team', I will watch the OG with avid interest:)

Haven't sat on Muffin since the HT.  He got ridden by the kidlets last Saturday, and this week is my first week of camp, so not planning on riding before next week.  I think I may actually hack him 3 times next week and keep him legged up.  His neck is shrinking and that doesn't make me happy!!  Must. Keep. Topline.

I've decided not to obsess and worry over HEIGHT any more.  At all.  I am going to vanquish the butterflies that appear at a stout 2'6, and just focus on pace, rhythm, and good eq.  Our next outing?  I am not going to psych myself out about worrying about the size of the jump.  I am going to trust that Muffin is now a machine, not take ANY jump for granted, and let him rock it out:)

Sorry the blog has been quiet, my butt hasn't been on a horse in 2 weeks!!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Now what?

Love that feeling as you dive into the water complex!

In a perfect world, I would be prepping for Novice outing number 2:)  Alas, real life intrudes, and I'm kind of back to "now what?"  I'm mentally preparing for 4 weeks of summer camp (sigh), and planning a little mini vacay in September with friends.  June and July are the HARDEST months for me because it is SO hot, the ground is SO hard (in the ring AND in the pasture), and I'm so busy with summer camp.  I'm thinking about maybe just light work once or twice a week for the next 2 months.  I would love for Poplar Place to be our next outing, but honestly I'm really not that picky.  I would like to get out at least once more before the end of November because that's when my USEA membership is up.

What do y'all do?  Do you give your horse a few months completely off during the year?  I have in the past; not more than 7 weeks total.  For some odd reason I'm feeling like I want to keep him in work for now, just lightly, as I said.  Gotta get new tires on the trailer, so he won't be going anywhere until then.  KY killed them deader than a doornail!  Don't really care about getting out for any hunter shows, but if I could find something dressage related, that would probably be a good thing!  Got to get that whole warm up thing figured out.  We still did well, but for SURE we could have done better had he allowed me to put him on contact at ALL.  All of our judge's comments were, "needs to be better in the bridle", "above the bit", "above the contact", "needs to come into the contact better".  He can do it, because we've DONE it!  Somehow we need to release that crazy tension ... somehow!

Muffin carted around a couple of kidlets in the ring yesterday.  It's the first time he's had tack on since last Sunday.  He was quite good, quite incorrect and 'chintzy', but perfectly well behaved.  One of the kids actually fell off him because he overjumped the xr oxer a little bit, and her leg went flying back and off she went.  He tore around the ring at a bit of a gallop straight to the gate.  Interesting; I haven't actually FALLEN off him in that way (knock on wood), so wasn't sure how he would react.  She was fine of course, and I made her get back on then jump it again from the trot.  Love my boy!  He's the best :)
I STILL remember how stoked I was to FINALLY get over this jump.  I was genuinely scared to jump it, and we conquered!