Monday, April 29, 2013

Still a beautiful Spring??

Muffin's VERY FIRST time in a water complex!!

Wow!  I have been LOVING this weather lately:):)  Had a lovely ride on Tiki the other day; decided to jump around a little bit.  Set up 4 simple jumps; 2 outside, 2 inside.  One 2'9 vertical, the cavaletti stack oxer on the highest setting, a steep crossrail, and another steep crossrail.  Nothing high.  It had rained previously, so the footing wasn't too bad.  It didn't rain a LOT, so the footing wasn't awesome, but it was good enough to jump low.

I warmed up nice and forward.  Muffin was quite lazy, so I had to work at it, but by the time I trotted into the first jump, he felt awesome.  I'd planned to trot a few, then string together a course, but I ended up trotting that first crossrail, then going and going and going lol.  We were GREAT!  Counting down from 5 has been a Godsend for me.  I'm finally starting to actually see my spots consistently, and I'm able to make minor adjustments if needed.  I was channeling my inner hunter princess, so I worked to keep Tiki slow and rhythmical, and we popped off about 7 flying changes, 6 were R-L.  The one L-R change he was late on, so I circled, then jumped one more.  He was just lovely.  Very responsive, nice and straight, NO hint of a bulge to either of the insides, and nice clean changes without a change in tempo.  Even though the jumps were low, he showed respect and didn't whack any of them.

It rained a TON Sunday, so the footing will be PERFECT tomorrow, but he gets a pedicure.  Darn!  I don't like to ride him after he's gotten shoes, so I suppose I will have to put off our ride until Wed when the ring is rock hard again.  I may just do a dressage school down in Star's pasture on Wed; I'd rather ride in the field where the footing may be uneven, but at least it isn't concrete!  Who else enjoyed the Rolex live streaming coverage??  I've been glued to USEF network, watching the archived xc footage.  Can I just say ... I LOVE Quimbo and Henry Jota Hampton?  I am SO in love with those horses.  Gin and Juice is pretty awesome also; being a bit of a shorty myself, I do enjoy a petite horse.  I'm just not much of a mare girl!  Sure wish Badminton had some free online streaming somewhere, I do love to watch me some Michael Jung make a **** look like an equitation round:)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Enjoying the 2 week GA Spring

I think we get about 2 weeks of Spring here in GA.  You know, the fabulously sunny days with a nice, cool base to it?  It was positively magnificent today!  Warm, but not hot.  No pollen in the air.  Perfect day to ride the Muffin!

He's been off for awhile.  I didn't get to ride him last week before leaving for IEA National Finals in Syracuse, NY on Thursday, and LR hasn't been out lately, so his fitness level is waning slightly:(  Little booger was tired after his ride today!

I went up to the ring to set some jumps, but the ring was hard as a ROCK, so I changed plans.  I haven't ridden in his pasture since I did some hill work in the draw reins, so I decided to ride back there.  Tacked him up in his normal cavesson bridle, and set off at a brisk walk.  Tiki's pasture is fairly large; about 20ish acres.  I walked the entire perimeter of the pasture, going up and down hill, and weaved through rocks, holes, and ant hills.  After walking a full lap, reversed and trotted a lap each way, then cantered a lap each way.  The canter was tough!  He wanted to break a few times on me, and at the trot he was quite literally tripping over his own feet.  I'm not all that sure he's actually worked outside the ring since his Poplar horse trial.  As I knew he would, Tiki got with the program and finished up great.  As I pulled him up to the walk, I could feel him huffing and puffing.  Poor baby!  It's supposed to rain pretty good tomorrow, so maybe the footing will be good on Thursday.  I'd like to jump around a little bit this week.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

For Sale: Ricochet

Ricochet, aka Tiki.
Registered Jockey Club name:  Roy's Legacy:  Tiki's pedigree

Please contact me at for more information, or to schedule a showing

Tiki is my heart horse.  I HATE to sell him, but here he is.  I KNOW someone braver than me can do GREAT things with him, whether it's in the "straight jumper" ring in the Junior/A/O jumpers, OR in the Eventing world, Prelim+.  I'm just not brave enough to ever do more than Training, and he has so much more jump and heart than that.  Circumstances warrant a sale right now ... I hope he can find someone else that will love his beautiful little red butt as much as I do.

10 year old gorgeous chestnut Thoroughbred.  NO vices.  I mean NONE.  Willing to give you whatever you ask of him.  No spook, no bad attitude, will try his heart out.  Super brave to the jumps, no issues with fillers or oxers, etc.  VERY adjustable.  He does have a good, clean change.  In my schooling videos, I tend to ask for simple just because. I have had his hocks injected once, but not again.  I am the one that got him off the track back in August of 2008.  I have done 100% of his retraining by myself.  He loves trails, both alone and with friends.  I have done several hunter paces with him; he can go from full out race horse gallop back to mosey on a loose rein.  He is voice command enough that I have flat out galloped him in a field in his halter; just say WHOA and sit back and he comes RIGHT back to you.  Currently, he eats Triple Crown Senior, plenty of hay, and gets a monthly Adequan injection.  No other maintenance.

He will currently pack my butt around the 1.0m jumpers and the Novice eventing ring.  I was set to debut at Training this year, but a lack of funds has prevented that debut.  He successfully schools Training, and Prelim; he LOVES running xc.  I've done a LOT of hunter type training with him, so he jumps around nice and steady with a good rhythm vs. running at the jumps.  Super light, doesn't need a big bit or lots of hardware.  Absolute bottom dollar price is $8,000.  I'm moving to California on June 27th, and need to sell him NOW.  He's sound, kind, quick, careful, brave, and bold.  He can take a joke.  NOT a stopper; he's never run out at a fence.  Here's a few videos and pics:

Feb 2013 Poplar dressage video
This test is the only competition footage I have of him.  It was a good test, scored in the low 40's; it was the rider's first ever test, and she rode it like an equitation test!  The low 40 score reflected the lack of overall forward; she was focused so much on quiet and relaxed, she didn't quite push him into the bridle a whole bunch.
Schooling at home; back in Dec of '12

Jump course
I didn't initially post this video because my severe lack of an ability to find a distance really makes me cringe; not to mention the extra 40 lbs that is VERY obvious, eek!  But it shows how well Tiki can jump despite his pilot, and it shows he does indeed have flying changes.  I just prefer to do simple changes at home!

Long flatwork video. About half way through is when he settles in really well.

First time he's ever SEEN this jump

Training level corner

Ditch that's full of water

First time over this Novice level table; he'd never laid eyes on it

Novice 2 stride

3'3 vertical

Training level trakehner

Easy hop off the banks

Prelim table

Prelim cabin

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I half way think maybe a corner has been turned ... sort of.

Conformation pic from today.  Looks good, doesn't he?

First off, I just have to say I have been slightly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support of my friends, clients, and facebook friends in regards to me selling Tiki.  Offers of leases and horses for me to ride have poured in, and for that I am SO grateful.  We'll just see what happens.  I've put him out there, and while he's not outrageously expensive, he's also not "cheap", so I'm hoping to make sure he gets in to a good program where he will be allowed to become MORE than he can become with me.  Simon Eades talked about how, "WHEN this horse goes prelim", as if it were a foregone conclusion.  With ME?  I'm not so sure.  I'm not that brave, or that clever, and I'm always too broke to get in the necessary lessons/schoolings/shows to make that happen.  Maybe this whole situation is just his destiny, and someone buys him with the time, talent, and money to bring him along to his full potential.  I don't know, I'm just going with the flow right now.

So far this week, I've had 2 really great rides.  Honorary little sis Nicole is flying home from NY for the weekend, and we will ride together (YAY!), AND I've ridden twice, so good for me!  Tuesday, it had been 3 weeks since I'd sat on a horse.  LR rode him a few times for me in those 3 weeks, so he didn't sit idle the entire time.  I tossed on the dressage tack and went up to the rock hard ring to get in some good work.  He was amazingly quiet and fabulous.  Honestly, he didn't even feel fresh at all.  No swishies or head shakes.  He DID feel a little bit heavy, but that's to be expected.

There was a random pole on the rail in his track that I went over every time.  It mostly felt perfect, and I simply kept my leg ON him vs. chasing him around the ring.  I did a bunch of circles, trying to concentrate on keeping him big and slow, and to use my leg more than my hand so we got a correct bend in the circles.  TONS of reverses, and I tried just to ride well and relax.  I didn't canter very much, and he did feel a little fresh at the canter, but as usual he was a gentleman.

Today, I slapped on the stadium tack (wonder bit included), and set up a single vertical dead center of the ring, and a cavaletti on the other long side of the pole I'd worked over Tuesday.  For ME, I stretched down in my heel and worked to stabilize my leg.  For him, I just wanted to keep him big and slow like on Tuesday, and I did a bunch of shallow and big serpentines to get him to soften up and bend around my leg.  I LOVE that wonder bit, he is so much lighter in that vs. the mullen mouth loose ring.  I schooled the walk/canter transition, and he really sat down and stepped into the transition BEAUTIFULLY!  LR has been working on those, and I can tell big time.  He has really improved.  Even those downward transitions have been so much better and more balanced.  Having someone else sit on him now and then has been GREAT!  I'm very grateful to her, and I know he is too.

I finally quit procrastinating, and cantered the pole, counting down from 5.  It worked, I got to the pole perfect every time.  5 strides out gives me time to actually adjust instead of sit there paralyzed.  Moved on to the cavaletti, and it was just as good.  Counted down to it each time, and we got there great.  I DID notice that I was a little more accurate off the left lead.  Coming in right, I got just a *hair* deep, but it was still good.  As I cantered into the vertical, I realized that I freeze mentally a little bit.  As I look at the jump, I feel the rhythm in my mind, but I forget to literally THINK 5,4,3,2,1.  Once I finally made myself count down, we got to the jump very well each time.  It wasn't as perfect as our MayDaze xc run, but it was pretty good. No frustration today whatsoever.  I DO wish I had a reliable eye and could nail every jump every time, but I don't.  I just have to work on it!  Muffin was fab, not sure what we'll do this weekend, but it will be something:)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Musings, with a healthy dose of reality

I've avoided this post as long as possible.  I'm back from paradise ... and I feel like I've stepped into Hell.  But, my problems can definitely be termed "First World Problems", and for that I'm grateful.  I'll just spit it out ... I'm contemplating putting Tiki up for sale.  Yep, heart broken.  Without going into a bunch of details that aren't anyone's business, my financial status would be MUCH more healthy without a horse on my bill.  I'm stressed, I'm sad, and I feel like crying all the time, but at the end of the day ... my family means more to me than an animal.

I'll advertise him on the free facebook sites first, and I'll consider a lease, but I need an infusion of cash, and I need the horse off my list of bills.  I always thought Tiki would be mine for the next 20+ years:(  Prayers for a small little lottery win would be appreciated.