March 27, 2011

Willy and I's Last Ride Together

My last day with Willy has arrived.  It's a bittersweet day since I know I'll miss Willy but I'm taking on a new adventure with Pstar.  I knew I would most likely only lease Willy for about a year, still he's worked his way into my heart.  As I head out to the stable the weather is pretty icky.  It snowed a little and the air is damp with fog.  I swing by Eggar road to see if I can get a picture of the donkey.  Unfortunately he was not there but I snapped a shot of my favorite property on the road....oh to dream....someday...

I spent a long time grooming Willy today.  I curried him really well and then used my new shedding tool.  It looked like a Wookie was on the ground after I was done!  I untangled his mane and tail and sprayed them with Mane and Tail to help comb out all the strands.  His hair flowed like spun silk!  The little boy with his parents came in with Two Socks.  He seemed to be doing well with Two Socks but they are still going to try out Willy next week.  Once Willy was groomed really nice and tacked up I brought him outside to mount up.

We rode around the outside of the big arena.  Susan had joined the big arena with one of the pens and had a lot of the horses in there so they could have fun romping and playing in a bigger area.  I didn't work on anything today, I just wanted to enjoy the ride.  We walked, trotted and did some fun canters.  Willy was very responsive today, almost like he knew I desired a perfect ride for my last day with him!  The sun peeked in and out of the clouds but it was still chilly so I kept my fleece and gloves on.

After a while I decided to grab my grooming gear and head to the upper riding ring.  I rode Willy to the indoor ring to get my stuff and then walked with him up the other ring.  Once I wrestled closed the gate (the sand was deep and catching the bottom of the gate) I rode Willy in a serpentine in the fresh sand, the path left showed me how accurate our riding was...not too bad!  After riding around the ring for a bit doing turns and serpentines I dismounted and untacked Willy.  I did a quick brush over in preparation to take some pictures of him.  I still only had my point and shoot but I figured it would be nice to get some pictures of him doing his horse thing, tack free. 

Willy followed me about the ring and trotted off when I motioned with my dinky crop, I didn't have the lunge whip with me to better get him moving off but he got the idea.  His coat was a nice warm reddish brown in the sunlight and his mane and tail glistened; at least the few times the sun peeked out!  He's such a beautiful boy!  I gave Willy some apple pieces, we'd run out of carrots at home but Willy didn't seem to mind. 

I was walking to one side of the arena when I noticed Willy sniffing the ground.  Happy at what I hoped was to follow I got ready with the camera.  Willy laid down and started rolling on the sand.  I bet it felt quite good on his back.  He kicked his heels up to the sky and snorted as he tossed about.  He then got up and shook his body with a grunt of pure satisfaction.  Several of the horses in the big ring had done the same thing but while wearing their blankets, I can't help but think it's less satisfying than rolling in the sand completely "naked".  Willy had sand all over his face so I took a brush to his coat one more time and whisked him "clean".  I cleaned his hooves and was quite impressed about how sweet and quiet he was standing with no halter or lead on.

I fed him some more apples and then put his halter on and lead him back to the location of his blanket.  The sun was going behind the clouds again so I figured I'd get his blanket on and turn him loose with the other horses in the big arena.  I went back to the top arena afterwards to gather my tack and gear, lugged it back to the car and then went to say hello to the minis.  They were cute as usual and did their usual nickers as I entered the paddock with apples. 

I walked to the big arena to give Willy a last goodbye hug although it's not really goodbye, just a see ya later.  I know I can come and see him anytime I want, I just won't be riding him regularly.  I've enjoyed being able to take rides in the neighborhood and work on my seat or other techniques in the ring.  I walked up to Willy with a couple more carrots.  Then I hugged him goodbye and kissed his muzzle.  As I walked away I turned back to look at him, his ears were pricked forwards watching me. 

Thank you my friend for a great year of riding fun.  Thank you for helping me build my confidence.  Thank you for your patience and for working hard when I tried something new. Thank you for helping me fly with the wind in my hair and for not running away when I fell off!  Thank you for being such a calm boy when dogs were chasing us on the road.  Thanks for the nuzzles, the licks and the warm horsie embraces.  I will always remember you fondly Willy.

March 26, 2011

Leg Yielding and Ducks

My lesson on Divine today was a little difficult for me but ended well.  I was off the lunge line so that was exciting...I'd been having a lot of lunge line lessons where I worked on my legs or seat lately.  Laurie had me ride Divine on her off side, circling right.  This is her "stiffer" side and mine as well!  I was having a hard time trying to get Divine's nose in while keeping her at the steady trot.

Sala in the stall with a view...the process
of moving has started for Laurie and family!
Then Laurie had me start the leg yielding, if I was wanting to move the horse left I would press with the right leg, cue with the right rein and push with my left seat.....Got that?  It took some coordination of my brain too, leg yield left using this right body part and that right body part oh and also use this other left body part.  ACK!  Eventually we got it and even had one leg yielding that was near perfect, until we stopped!  I had Divine moving strait but crossing at a diagonal like in the Grand Prix....well, okay not really, it felt like it for a split second though!

Good morning Pstar Shine!
 After the lesson I groomed Divine down.  Laurie realized her broom was not at this property, she'd been using it at the new place.  Therefore I scooped up the hair and dirt as best I could with a shovel and dust pan.  The stable looks so bare right now!  A lot of the the items normally in the grooming area are gone.  Extra stall boards have been taken out of the stalls to be moved over to the new place.  The ribbons near the cross ties are gone....they are moving!!!
Leg's paddock fencing has been taken down and moved to the
new place so he was in the barn with the girls
Divine is slowly becoming less and less fuzzy as the weather warms.  Each time I groom her I make sure to help the shedding along and use the shedding tool.  I need to get one of those for my own grooming kit!  I gave Divine her carrots and led her back to the hay in the arena, she was very happy to go back and munch.

I visited Pstar and Psylk in the outdoor stall, those mares are so funny and silly together.  Pstar was yawning a bit and I got a funny shot of her mid yawn.  It was with my phone camera so the picture is a little washed out.  You can see that she still has a lot of the facial goat hairs like her mother does!  Those will shed out soon enough!

Baby ducks in a bowl...too cute!
On my way home I headed to Big R since I need a new lead rope for my green halter now that Pstar will be wearing it.  I also wanted to check out if there was a shedding tool in the grooming section.  While there I not only received a free hot dog and drink but I got my fill of utter cuteness!  Back where the saddles usually are were several water tanks that contained bedding and cute piping little birds!
Baby chickens!
There were ducks, chickens, roosters and turkeys!  The ducks were only $4.99!  I was so tempted to just pick one up and take it home.  I resisted since my husband would have gone nuts!  Someday we'll have chickens and ducks but in town, even though you can have chickens, we just don't have the space with our landscape plans.  They were fun to watch though!  SO CUTE!!

March 25, 2011

Horse Table

On a recent trip to Anniston, AL for work I discovered this neat table in the cafeteria of the training center for Homeland Security.  PONIES!!!

Kind of random...
It was pretty random to see this intricate table in a very plain, "government" type building.  So I had to take a couple pictures...I have a horse blog afterall!  You never know when you might happen upon something neat and interesting!

Detail of the horse head leg

March 21, 2011

One Hot Commodity!

I groomed Willy in all his fuzziness.  The horses are definitely starting to shed big time!  I wonder if the furminator I have for my BorderAus would work well on a horse?  I worked on Willy's mane and tail, spraying both with the Mane N' Tail to get rid of some major static.  His mane is so thick and shiny, when it's combed out it looks so nice!  Loraine was working the Friesians again so I went over to talk with her and Gracie.  I told her about my lease ending with Willy and gave her my contact information.  I like her so much, it would be great to do some horsie stuff with her sometime!  I also talked with Susan and asked if she had received my lease termination letter with the last payment.  She said yes and was really sweet about thanking me for leasing him and that I was welcome anytime to come visit him.  I'm sure I'll have to do that!  I'll come by sometime to give Willy some carrots, he's a special boy! 
Silkiest mane!
I then took Willy out on Meridian to head over to Eggar road for a nice "trail ride".  Willy shied a little at something just before we got onto Eggar.  He moved over towards the road and starred at what I think was some of the trash in the paddock.  I let him look for a while and reassured him as I pushed him onwards.  The ride was pretty calm, the usual dogs barking and a cute vision of the donkey.  I didn't get a good picture of him but I'll keep trying!  Willy and I enjoy the views though the day is overcast.  It's warm at least and the wind is minimal. trot. Several times Willy tried to trot but I was determined to keep him at a walk, I didn't want another galloping off session out in the open road.  I prevent the trot and keep him calm and low key, for the most part. 

Indoor arena
On our way back to the stable Willy did the standard stop and brace with head low looking at the scary piece of trash on the side of the road that was going to eat him.  What a ridiculous boy!  I told him he was silly but stroked his neck and said he was fine.  He moved on and we walked up the driveway back to the stable.  We rode around the property doing a few canters and trots.  Willy sure likes to canter, he digs his feet into the ground and lurches forwards; he does have a lot of go, especially for a 20 year old.  I bet when he was younger he was even more so...probably would have been too much for me! 

"But I want to TROT! Don't make me stop!"
I took him back to the wash rack to untack and groom him down.  I noticed as I was cleaning his belly that there was a clump of hair caught in between his penis and sheath, ewe!  I grabbed a wet wipe and gently pulled the clump out, ewe was right but I bet he felt much better afterwards!  Yuck!  A lady came over after helping her son mount up on Two Socks.  She stated that they are looking to lease a horse and may look at Willy after doing some test rides on Two Socks.  I told her about Willy, his good points and bad; she'll be test riding him on April 3rd it sounds like.  Apparently everyone at the Youth Ranch is excited that Willy's lease is up come April!  He is one coveted mount and this lady with her son are not the only ones thinking of leasing him.  It made me sad in a way since it really sunk in that my lease time with Willy was ending but at the same time he's a great horse and will be appreciated by all the little kids here. 

I forgot carrots for Willy so the lady gave one of hers to me as I led Willy back to his paddock.  Susan wanted me to blanket him, so I tried to find his blanket amongst the blankets piled in the indoor arena.  I found one that looked like it had his hair on it; it fit so hopefully I was right! Willy's pen was clean aside from a couple piles of fresh poo, maybe Susan has had more help at the place!  I gave Willy a big hug, only one more ride.  It was hard just thinking of that today.  I've enjoyed my time with him and even though I know the time would be finite it's still hard to say goodbye.  At least I can still come by to visit him so it's not good bye forever!  After giving him another hug I went and said hello to the little ponies, stroking their soft fuzzy heads.  Bet they can't wait to shed all that fur!  And with that I headed back home.

Willy's clean pen

March 20, 2011

The Pstar Dance

I had my lesson on Friday.  Since I had issues with Pstar last time I was out I asked Laurie if we could work with her.  We got Pstar in the cross ties and I started grooming her.  Again lots of hair shed's that time of year!  In areas around her neck I could see the smooth and metallic brown hairs coming in for her summer coat.  I can't wait to see her in her gleaming color this summer!  When we came to the feet I learned a few things...I was a little panicky about how quickly a young horse picks up their feet, it's unexpected and Pstar was most likely feeding off of my fear.  Also, two hands are better than one!  Normally with older horses I just use my inside hand, while my outer hand awaits with the pick.  When I was able to get Pstars feet I praised her and then held her hoof with one hand while rubbing either her shoulder or butt with the other.  That seems like it should be the mode of operation while she and I are still getting to know each other. 

I then got the western saddle to put on Pstar, I started the cinch and Laurie finished up, slowly getting the cinch tighter.  Pstar, and apparently most mares don't like the idea of the cinch so much.  A little bit of movement back and forth was all the irritation Pstar seemed to show.  Then she was fine.  Laurie showed me how to take the chain for her halter and loop it around the top nose band so it was not too severe.  She still thinks with a young horse it's best to use the chain for now.
You can still see she has hairy goat hairs on her cheek!

Out in the arena I struggled with the whip and lungeline in my hands, afraid of whacking Laurie, Pstar or myself.  We worked on backing first.  I wasn't too successful...I'm not forceful enough, I'm more like "pretty please with a carrot on top?" when I should be "Back please...I mean NOW!"  Laurie demonstrated wtih a more dominant way of making Pstar back without the clucking and hand motion.  Pstar kept looking in my direction and I wasn't sure how I should view that!  I know as I work with her she'll start seeing me as a dominant mare rather than a friend...but I still want to be the friend!  I took up the lungeline and worked on the back again....much better success.  Pstar is such a good teacher/student!
I then lunged her in both directions, asking for the trot and again not being dominant enough.  I often found if I started looking at Pstar's face for shoulder she would slow down, I have to remember I'm working on moving that butt!  I need to use the body language that says move this way, point whip to move horse outwards from the circle and use my body to walking along side her to move about the arena in a more straight line.  As Laurie says, "drive her" forward.  I was getting the knack of it!

We did well together.  I brought her in, untacked her and groomed her down.  I worked on her hooves again and used the two hand method to steady her leg faster, picked her hoof and then rubbed her while praising her as I held her foot before placing it back down.  While picking one of her front hooves Pstar lipped at my back, at least the area where my shirt came up on my back from bending over.  No teeth, just little lips, it was cute...was she trying to groom me back?  I feel much better than things have gone well.  The only question is to see how she is when it's just me there but at least now I have a few more "tricks" up my sleeve and a better understanding of what was going on before.
Cute little mare coming to say goodbye to me!

On Saturday I went out to see Ushi ride, got a tour of the property that Laurie and Dan closed on (YIPEEE!!!) and went over the lease contract with Laurie.  First off the property was amazing!  The indoor arena was so nice!  The house...let's just say I'm gonna try and move in with them!  The lease for Pstar will be for one year, at which time I will hopefully be able to make a decent offer on a horse that is well above my price range.  I have to look at this lease as an opportunity to grow and learn about horses, work with a fantastic horse and support a business I fully believe in.  I hope the stars will align next year and Pstar will indeed be mine but mentioned to Laurie that I don't want to impede her from selling Pstar for what she is actually worth (monetarily).  There is only so much I can offer on a horse, with my debt I'm paying off I can't them turn around and go back into debt.  As I've said on here before, I don't care about bloodlines or even if I find a purebred Arabian, that's why I've set my limit.  I'm sure I could go a little more for Pstar but we have to see. 

I have a year to work on the three main bills I want to pay off and then save as much as I can so I can make a cash-in-hand offer to Laurie.  I fear it won't be enough or someone else with the funds will give her a home before I can.  the thought of Pstar going to another home before I can claim her is less hurtful though than buying her, creating more debt for myself and then something happens (job loss, etc.) and I have to sell my beloved.  If it's meant to be it will be.  For now I'm paying for her care, working with her and learning as much as I can.  Naro Elinsalka lirima! (Elvin: To Ride Pstardancer will be lovely!)  Yes I'm a dork!  At least it's not Klingon!

March 19, 2011

Ride em Cowboy!

My time with Willy is quickly coming to an end, so I wanted to get my mother out to come riding with me and to meet sweet Willy goat.  We headed out around 1pm to the stable.  I lugged my stuff out of the car and showed my mother into the "barn office" area.  She offered to help carry stuff but since I already had all the tack arranged on me I said no thanks.  I'm not used to have others here to help when I ride!  We took the tack to the indoor ring then went to the tack room to locate the tack for Riddle.  Susan had said there was a number on the saddle that corresponded to the number for the horse.  We didn't see any numbers so I just picked a saddle with my mom that looked liked it would work with Riddle.  I at least remembered the bridle Steve had used with him, it didn't have a number either!

We brought the tack back into the indoor arena, then took the halters towards Riddles paddock.  The paddock only had a little chestnut in there.  As we walked away to investigate the other paddocks I noticed a tall, dark bay gelding being ridden in the big arena.  I asked the girl on him whether that was Riddle and she said yes....hmm. and I walked over to Susan's house and knocked on the door.  She came to the window, already knowing, and said "Go ahead and use Two Socks". 

We went over to Willy's paddock as one of his paddock mates was Two Socks.  I walked up to Two Socks, and put his rope halter on, handed the lead to mom and went to get my horse.  We led them both to the indoor ring and started to groom them.  I put the leg wraps on Two socks, two were purple and two were red...only ones I could find.  The saddle we had lacked the latigo's, so I headed back with the saddle to grab another.  That one worked and I worked with my mother to cinch up the girth....I've been learning how to cinch the western saddles.  After that we got the bridle on him.  The sides were twisted, so I had to undo some buckles to get that straightened out and make the bit lay right in his mouth.  I then finished tacking up Willy and led my mom out towards the mounting block.  Up we both went in the saddles.

We walked around in the area near the indoor arena and then made our way over to the bigger arena to ride, mom was a little nervous since Two Socks, though 26, was pretty spunky and kept breaking into a little trot.  In the arena Two Socks continued to trot and then try to break into a canter.  Finally I decided to take him into the round pen and run him around, get him listening.  He was licking his lips and chewing after a while so I hopped up in the saddle.  The stirrups were pretty short so I opted not to worry about them and see what was going on with him.  He was pretty good but tried to trot without a cue from me a couple times.  I showed my mother how to do the quick "see-saw" on the bit when he wasn't listening or pulling ahead into the trot.  I also showed her the one handed flex and stop so if he did take off she could use that. 

Mom mounted up again and worked a bit with Two Socks.  Things went better, she worked him around some of the barrels and ground poles.  I ride Willy around her, keeping at a walk so as to not excite Two Socks.  After we were done riding I took Willy on a few trots and canters in the ring for fun.  Then we untacked the horses.  We brought them back to their paddock, feeding everyone carrots and then my mom got to meet the cute mini ponies!  We had a good time but it was getting home so we headed back.  It was nice for my mom to meet Willy finally!

March 13, 2011

Heels down, toes in and SHA-WING those hips!

I had a great lesson on Divine today.  I was on the lungeline again and Laurie had me work on my leg position again.  Keeping my toes in, REALLY in is very hard, I feel like I'm twisting my legs!!  Then as I posted it seemed to help when Laurie said that as I rise to "push" down with my heels.  Alright, I can do that!  But the toes invariably would point out a little as I asked for more trot or squeezed to keep Divine in the trot.  All in all the lesson went quite well and Laurie and I high fived!

Afterwards I groomed Divine down.  She is starting to shed majorly....tons of white hairs, clumps from the curry comb littered the matt below her.  I gave her some carrots and giggled are her cute muzzle.  She has the softest and smallest little muzzle.  It's a nice gray color, no pink from markings, and perhaps that's what makes it too so soft.  It's like silver velvet!

I led her back to the arena to finish her hay breakfast.  Laurie said if I wished I could groom Pstar.  I jumped at the chance.  I wasn't officially leasing her but any time I can spend time with her I was happy about!

I got Pstar out of her stall and put her in the cross ties.  I curried her, tons of hair in clumps showed up all over her coat, you can see them in the pictures since I had not stiff brushed her yet so the clumps were still where they lay.  I used the shedding tool that Laurie has, a very useful tool indeed!

Then I started on her front near foot to begin picking her hooves...that's when all went to &@*#&!!!!  She kept pulling her hoof away from me even though I was supporting it properly and telling her she was a good girl.  As I kept trying to gain access to her hoof, I tried the other side as well things just got progressively worse.  Pstar bulldozed me by taking several steps forward as I leaned down to get her hoof.  Many times I was afraid I would get conked in the head with her back hoof.  I kept trying and trying....I took a few breaks to chill out and stroke her neck while talking with her.  Still nothing worked.

I got frustrated and ended up putting her back in her stall as Laurie's daughter came out to put Psylk in the arena.  I certainly didn't want to get angry with Pstar since that wouldn't help but I'm sure she sensed my irritation and frustration.  I have no idea what I did wrong or why she was being so testy.  She stood stock still while I groomed her, even Divine isn't completely still while I groom her!

I left hurt and dejected.  I didn't want to bother Laurie, so I figured I'd email her later.  I didn't know if this was something I could get past or even why it was happening.  I felt like a complete failure and questioned whether I could take on a young horse like Pstar.  After Laurie responded to my email I felt much better.  She mentioned it was a young horse thing and a new person thing.  Though Pstar knows me she doesn't really trust me just yet and that would come in time.  I guess my question is how can I work on the lungeline without picking her hooves?  Couldn't that injure her if there is a rock and I haven't been able to work with her hoof to get it out?  I'll just have to see how Pstar is the next time I'm out there.  The lease is for 6 months and in that time it will be great that Laurie will be right there with me to coach me as I work with Pstar and build the relationship.

I need to be patient with myself and not so hard on myself.  I'll try to be patient with Pstar, that's a little easier to do I think than with myself.  I'm constantly thinking I'm doing something wrong and thinking "Why can't you do this?  What's wrong with you!?"  That's not a fun way to be with myself.  I've been like that a lot at work, very hard on myself if I don't immediately know how to do something or how to handle a situation.  I'm out of my comfort zone both in work and with a young horse like Pstar....I have to realize what that really means and give myself a break!  Anyhow, I will continue on.  Hooves...that can get worked on.  Pstar is sweet and responsive on the lungeline.  She doesn't nip or anything like that, I have to keep it in perspective!  Throughout the 25-30 years I would know her if I buy her she and I will have many disagreements and off days, that's just how relationships are.

March 06, 2011

Whip it...into shape....shape it up!

Today's post is about two things mainly...whipping my leg (heels down) into shape and whips left on the ground throughout the property.

First off, I arrived as usual and got set up in the indoor arena for tacking Willy up.  There was a whip on the ground and a few piles of horse poop that someone didn't clean up.  Uge.  If the rules are to clean up after your horse in the common areas of the property why do none of the Youth Ranch kids do it? 

Anyways, I tacked up Willy and headed to in the smaller arena to work on the trot and the "angles in my ankles".  As I headed over to the ring there was yet another whip just laying about on the ground.  Granted after my ride I picked up both whips and some extra poops along with those left by the Willy Goat.

In the arena I got Willy into a trot, not quite the BIG trot but that was fine.  I worked on keeping my toes in and heels down.  I glanced at my feet a few times to make sure they were doing what I wanted since I didn't have an instructor on the ground to help me out.  It sure was a work out as I worked hard to stretch down into my heel and also squeezing to keep Willy moving on.  Finally I decided to move on and just play around the property.

I did some more trots, and also a walk serpentine up one side of the big arena.  Then I did a couple canters.  I think Laurie is right it's that big trot that scares me and gets me tense before the canter...and then I guess it takes a lot of will power afterwards to relax again back into the sweet canter stride.  I've worked with Willy a bit to get him to transition to the canter from not such a big, fast trot.  I'm able to stay relaxed better since he's not doing that huge trot and making me tense up.  I love the canter and Willy does have a nice one when he doesn't try to kick into high gear and gallop up the hills!  He seemed very content and responsive after working at the trot in the arena so he was happy to canter in a nice rocking horse sort of way.

The day was getting pretty chilly so I called it quits, untacked Willy and groomed him down.  The goats in their pen were being noisy, clopping up and down a ramp in their area and butting each other on the heads.  It was cute to watch.  I call Willy, Willy Goat since he has very long shaggy hairs under his face for his winter coat. 

I mucked out his pen, said hello to Two Socks and Misty.  Two wheel barrows later the area was nice and clean so I gave carrots to everyone, including the cute little minis.  I feel like today was a pretty successful day.  I worked hard on my heels, not sure how good the end result was but I did my best and that's what counts.  I had two very nice canters that I felt relaxed during, the second having a better transition to the trot on my part.  Very well balanced and smooth.  Until next time...I only have 3 more visits with Willy, it saddens me but we knew at the beginning of the lease that it was not going to end up with me buying Willy.  He was just going to be my lease horse.  Pstar on the other hand could very well end up being my first horse after a period of leasing her...we shall see.  I hugged Willy goodbye and headed home to a nice warm house!

March 05, 2011

The BIG Trot (kind of akin to the BIG salad)

I headed out to Laurie's today with the determination to work my butt off and get a good canter.  I had told Laurie I wanted to learn how to tack up the western saddle and that the horn might be a better comfort for me during the canter since I wouldn't have to reach down on the pommel as much. 

When I got to the stable I went directly to the house.  Laurie and I talked a bit in her kitchen while I loved on the her cute chihuahua.  We talked about the lease a little, she'd sent me the contract the evening before.  Everything seemed pretty good.  I was excited and anxious about leasing Pstar but this is a great chance to really get to know her and work with her.  The lease will go until September and of course I can renew it if I wish at that time.  By then I will have a good feel about what a match she and I are.  I'm not sure I'll be able to buy her at that time, I'll still be paying down debt but I can lease her again and continue to save up so I can make a good offer.  On another note it sounds like things are going well with the new place Laurie and Dan are buying; closings rarely go off without a hitch so I was glad to hear that things worked out and it looked like they'd be closing in the next week or so.  I'm so excited for them!

Later in the arena it was nap time for all the mares (darn it I forgot my camera so I didn't get pictures of the cuteness!).  Brownie was lying down, Pstar plopped down as well later followed by Divine.  Laurie and I went in to say hello.  She walked up to Divine and loved on her, I walked over to Pstar, startled her slightly but she relaxed and just stayed laying there while I stroked her.  She's a special mare that's for sure!
Picture from the 2007 Scottsdale Arabian Show

In the stable I got Divine all groomed up and ready for the saddle.  Laurie showed me how to put the far side stirrup up on the horn so it was easier to place the saddle on Divine's back.  Then the cinch, after seeing some videos and watching her (and untacking Divine later) I feel I understand the western saddle cinch technique a little better.  It's good to be familiar with different tack!

The lesson was based off a similar lesson that Ushi had earlier that day.  The transition to canter is where I and apparently Ushi tense up.  It's during that bigger trot where you really feel the energy and power.  So Laurie had me work on the lungeline where she had Divine trot and we worked on the posting trot at the BIG trot.  I fell behind the rhythm a lot (not fell to the ground!  I bet that's what you thought I was gonna say!  LOL).  My leg kept coming forwards and my toes would start to point down as the tension crept in. 

I need to work on the ankles and get the angles correct.  My ankle is not as flexible as it was when i was a kid.  There are pictures of me on a horse with my heels WAY down.  Another thing I was feeling during the ride was releasing the tension in my knee and hips.  Towards the end the BIG trot was going quite well and I moved well with Divines changes in pace.  I was pretty happy.
Green just looks good on a bay horse!

After the lesson and ridding Divine of unwanted hair (a lot of it!) Laurie and I sat and chatted about breeding and lineages.  I can see that if I bought Pstar it would just make sense to have a contract with Laurie for a retained breeding.  Pstar is fantastic and a cross with her and Legs would be amazing.  I get excited just by Laurie talking about it.  I doubt I would ever breed a horse of mine on my own, there's a lot more that goes into caring for a pregnant mare and dealing with the birthing etc.  Still it would be neat to be a part of in some way.  Someday I would love to have a baby though, getting to know a horse from birth, seeing it through growing up and training.  But that is for someday when Steve and I don't have to consider buying a horse and having to board it.  I can't wait to have the property where we can have a little herd of horses but I don't have the expertise to have a breeding farm, I'll leave that to the experts.

I ended the day with giving all the mares carrots.  Divine got a good share since she worked so hard today.  I stroked Pstar as I said goodbye, someday I'll be riding her!  Wow!  That's scary and exciting!  She'll be fantastic I'm could she not be?

More on helmets!

Just another good source for the millions of reasons to wear a helmet!  As I've blogged before

Julie Goodnight-Helmet Symposium

Hehehe!  Loved this facial expression!  But as noted the strap is too loose to be effective!

Much better, eh?

Appy's are cute!  I remember an appy/TB cross I rode.  Had just moved onto horses from ponies and he liked to buck once or twice before going into the canter.  Scared my little 11 year old self to death!  LOL

March 02, 2011

What is your favorite breed of Horse?

What is your favorite breed of horse?

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March 01, 2011

Hoof Trimming Jewelry

This is pretty neat! Equinite  Nice quality jewelry made of horse hoof trimmings.  I know a lot of people keep a lock of their horses mane, particularly after they pass on.  This is a great idea and very pretty I might add!  There is one option where you can have a few strands of the horses mane over the "stone".  Pretty neat!

Another site I came across also have fingerprint and nose print jewelry!  What cute ideas to keep your beloved pets and family members close at hand in a non gross way.  Nothing like a vial of dried blood EWE!!  These are very pretty! Fingerprint and Paw/Nose Print Jewelry