Passing on the horse bug!!

I’ve had an excellent couple of weeks.  Mister has been amazing while we’ve been working on our dressage and then last week I had my nieces come visit so we got to show off a bit and hang out while my nieces had their lessons!  They had sooo much fun! My one niece has a horse but her horse is quite difficult for a beginner so she does not ride her and doesn’t have much opportunity for lessons anywhere else.  And my other niece loves horses but doesn’t have one and has only had lessons a couple times a year when she comes to visit!  So both are pretty inexperienced and they both cantered on the first day!  The horse they were on decided they were ready!  They loved it!  They rode 3 days in a row and got to ride on 2 different horses and got to try out the english saddle!  Watching them trying to learn posting was pretty funny!  Definitely reminds me of how much fun learning to ride was when I was first learning!  And always keep that joy of learning when you ride!  This is a fun and lifelong passion so always strive to keep learning fun and to pass it on to the next generation!! Here are some pics of our adventures!  Tomorrow I’m learning some new exercises so I will try to make sure I remember that and not get frustrated if I can’t figure it out!!

 

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When it’s too hot to ride you have a bath!

We decided to give Cierra a bath and get a few updated pictures of her!  Last year my friend and I took a few pictures of our 2 fillies.  They both came on the trailer together last year and have been the best of friends ever since!  They were in pens beside each other for a few months, then we separated  them but eventually we put them back beside each other again!  They are the same age (only weeks  apart) but came from different farms.  My friends filly Mika is a Quarterhorse and Cierra is an Andalusian cross (Paint and Thoroughbred-so pretty much an Andalusian Quarterhorse cross!).  And last year were the same size but Mika has really grown!  Cirra seems pretty content to be staying the same height as she was this winter!  I think next week I will measure her!

Neither Cierra or Mika had had a bath, so today we decided to give them a bath and get some updated pictures! So here are some of them!  Neither of them particularly enjoyed the baths but after the initial shock of the cold water they both were a lot less reactive by the time we rinsed than they were in the beginning!

Letting go and moving forward!

So it’s been a tough couple of months.  Some things in my personal life put my riding on the back burner. It wasn’t a fun couple of months that’s for sure, but I have come through it, and while I’m a bit bruised and tarnished I am definitely feeling like a stronger and happier person!  And the last few weeks my riding has gone from ok to amazing!!  Mister is looking absolutely beautiful and is shiny and healthy and happy!  Sometimes it takes letting go of people to be able to move forward.  A relationship that was toxic ended and while I was upset about it at first now I feel like I’ve been released from a life I didn’t actually want-I know that sounds a bit dramatic!  But I am not someone who settles and I was settling for mediocrity.  I was going to have to give up showing and while I know that isn’t a big deal for some people, I love it and I’m not ready to give it up.  I love my horses and I love showing off how beautiful they are and I love growing and getting better as a rider.

The past few weeks we have been working on the shoulder in, the haunches in, turn on the haunches and making Mister follow his nose.  We even got a couple steps of half pass though I have no idea how we did it, ok well I have some idea but not entirely!  I’ve also been working really hard on connection and am finally getting it!  A couple weeks ago we also worked on collections and extensions and he is moving so nicely!!  Also he is sooo incredibly sensitive, all I have to do is move slightly and he does it once he knows what I’m asking!  I’ve been riding in my dressage saddle instead of the western and I’m not sure why but it has made a huge difference in my legs; I really feel like they are on my saddle and I’m keeping him under me straighter.

We haven’t been to a dressage show this year because there were a few things going on during the time of the first 2 shows of the season. And now we are in the middle of the craziest forest fire season we’ve seen in years which has made travel difficult.  If there is a show in town in September we will go but otherwise this will probably be a non-showing summer!!  That’s ok there will be more shows next year and this summer will be a summer of learning and regaining my confidence.  We are working on so much new stuff and I can’t believe how far we’ve come just in the last few weeks!  Even Saturday while it wasn’t our best ride of the past few weeks, it was still good and I learned a valuable lesson!  I saw when things start to go wrong and how quickly it can undo all the good we have worked so hard for!  But I also learned that it’s pretty easy to get him back if he I just re-focus on us instead of paying attention to everything else going on!    I’ve always known that but sometimes I just need a reminder!  I really feel like we are ahead of where we were a few months ago before I got sidetracked. I have my eyes set on amazing things for Mister and I and for Cierra and I too!  She has been pretty awesome lately and I think because I have been doing basic skills with her it has cemented them into me and it has made me a better rider for Mister as well.

Cierra seems to love showmanship and is pretty sensitive to my  movement!  It’s pretty neat!  I didn’t enjoy showmanship before because Mister and I were awful at it.  But it’s really fun with Cierra!  We did some pole work one day and she just trotted over them without touching them!  She’s just so mellow and chill! She was supposed to be my dressage horse but we shall see what she wants to do!  Mister seems to be loving the whole dressage thing right now and is so sensitive to me that he might be my dressage horse and Cierra might be my all around horse!  Who know’s!  I do think I might learn jumping with her though as well as dressage  and maybe some western as well since she has a super cute jog!  But next year she could totally change!  Next year we should have a better idea of what she wants to do!  Next year I’ll get her out to a show too and definitely a few for Mister as well!  I am super excited again!  Next time I’ll get a few new pics of them!  They are both looking so amazing!  Cierra is still a bit chubby but she is slimming down since I’ve been working with her more!  She will be my 5 day a week riding horse eventually cause like me she will need to be kept in shape!!  I’m enjoying the present with these 2 but also incredibly excited about our future!  Until next time!!

Reminiscing of show season’s past!

I came across a few pictures of a show in Smithers in 2012 that Mister and I were in!  My mom brought my nieces and nephew to come watch the show and go to the fall fair.  Mister was sooo good with all the attention! I love that horse! I love the reminder of how calm he was and how much he loved the attention even though he was getting swarmed by strangers!  And he was awesome with the kids too!  I am excited for this show season!! Enjoy the pics and smiles!

 

 

Happy Birthday Cierra!!

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Today is Cierra’s 2nd birthday! I gave her a nice brush and some scratches! She was happy with that! She doesn’t like treats so I don’t give her any anymore, cause all she does is spit them out! Saturday we had a nice visit too and was soooooo much calmer than last Saturday! I thought she was the being silly and it turns out that I was the one being crazy and she was reacting to it!! Isn’t that usually the way it is! I’m usually super calm and chill with her and when I’m not she doesn’t like it! She may be even more sensitive to my moods than my Mister Magoo!! I will definitely have to keep my show nerves under control with her! She calms down as soon as I do though and is very forgiving, just like my Mister Magoo which is nice! I’m really enjoying working with her and can’t wait to see what our future holds!!!

Confidence emerges with the Spring!

What an amazing week!  Monday was not the greatest, Mister was just not his normal self, however he had his pep back on Tuesday and I put boots on him which also seemed to help. I rode on Thursday and he was just awesome, we did our circles, diagonals and transitions perfectly!  When I asked he went and for however long (well mostly-we are working on that still but waaaay ahead of where we were even a few weeks ago!) I asked!  Then on Friday I rode in my dressage saddle and I haven’t rode in it since the fall and it was like I had been riding in it all year!  And again we got out transitions, and diagonals  and circles perfectly as well as working on our leg yields and a few other things!  I could not have had a better ride!

Today I rode all by myself.  I had a few things to do this morning so I couldn’t go out when my riding instructor was there so I went out on my own and had an excellent ride!  It’s been quite awhile since I rode on my own so I thought I’d see what we were both feeling like.  When I lunged him and he listened I decided to get on.  No nerves or anything from either of us, so I put him through the paces, walk, jog, and trot both to get him moving out as well as collecting up and cantered as well.  We worked on straightness and staying in the gait.  He was awesome!

I love that horse more and more which I didn’t think was possible since I’ve loved that horse since I first met him!  But over the years our relationship has changed just like with human relationships-we are in a very comfortable and happy stage.  I know what to expect from his silliness, and when he’s a bit too chill I know something’s off, I know when he’s just being  lazy and when he throws that buck once in awhile I also know what it means!  It’s nice to be in that place!  My filly on the other hand is throwing me for a loop! Last week she was super chill and peaceful and then Saturday she was back to being wild!  She may also have been in heat!  My first time dealing with heat cycles and am going to have to learn what she’s like and what she needs.  At least I have my old faithful while I learn the ways of my little  Cierra girl with attitude!  Oh wait she is me-sweet but also has an attitude!   She’s silly, sweet and sassy!!

I am so looking forward to this week!  Tomorrow I’m riding, Thursday I’m practicing Level 1 and Friday back in the dressage saddle! Until next time!

Chill and mellow horses and a big happy birthday to my Mister Magoo!

Everyone wants a mellow horse but neither of my horses are super mellow!  Unless something is not quite right, sometimes it’s because I’m in a super mellow mood but sometimes it’s because something is off with them!  Especially since the spring usually means he’s a bit friskier and happier!  I rode him on Sunday and we cantered with other horses in the arena and not just other horses that were in the arena walking and trotting, we cantered with other horses also cantering!! And I didn’t feel nervous!  So yay us! Then Monday he had his shoes put on and he was super well behaved for the farrier.  Normally he is a bit impatient and can pull his feet away or shifts his weight, nothing really bad just annoying and his farrier gets mad.  But last Monday he was picture perfect!  I gave him a few days to get used to his feet again, he doesn’t do well with change!  He does do better going no shoes to shoes than he does going from shoes to no shoes though, so hopefully this time around will be less painful for him!  I rode him for a bit on Thursday and then Friday we had an awesome ride! His lope was sooo slow!  I gave him Saturday off and he was just sprawled right out in his pen.  Did not miss me at all.  That was ok I worked with my little girl and she too was super mellow, which for her has been weird as well since she’s usually quite spunky! Both of them are usually spunkier!!  A week of mellow is not normal for my brat!  My little girl is probably growing as that’s usually when we she is so chill!  So she will get a break again for abit to grow again!  As for my big guy, his feet are probably bugging him.  Tomorrow I will bring out his boots and see if that helps him.  We noticed that today he was kind of paddling to keep his front legs away from his back legs and we are pretty sure that was why he was so slow on Friday!  I don’t want him to be that slow if it’s because he is hitting himself or is worried that he’s hitting himself. I do remember now why I had bought the boots for him last year as he was doing it last year! And I will remember for the future that he needs boots for the first bit of having shoes on until he can figure out his new stride and how not to hit himself! I hope he figures it out soon so he can stop hitting himself!

Also today was Mister’s birthday!  He is 9 today!  I got a super cute picture done last week.  My riding instructor was also the one that bred Mister and gave me a picture of him at a day old with her and daughter so last week we took a picture of her daughter and Mister 9 years later!  It is so cute!  We said we will have to do another one of the two of them when she graduates high school!  Aren’t they cute!!  Until next time!!

 

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Slowing down

So the last few weeks we have been slowing things down with Mister, he has seemed to really enjoy it.  We thought it would take a while to bring back the lope but it seems it is coming back a lot of quicker than we thought.  And his jog, that horse loves to jog! We even got a compliment that our lope after only a few weeks is good enough to compete in open shows!  We are still going to do dressage, we are just going to do it all!  Dressage, western dressage, western pleasure, hunter under saddle and some trail!  Quarter horses really can do it all!!  We are back to doing lots of dressage exercises again and he seems to be liking the slowed down versions.

Next week we are trying the dressage saddle again.  It will be nice to be back in it!  We have our first show in April so we are going to have to start getting ready for that!

The weather is warming up this week so I’m excited about getting some good riding in!  We rode this week but it was so cold that we didn’t push anything.  I was asked to canter and while we did the wind made it too cold to do it for too long.  So this week it will be nicer and we will practice everything!  So until next week, happy riding!

 

 

Changing gears

Mister and I are going back to our roots, at least temporarily.  As much as I love dressage, Mister and I need a break.   And probably just in some training.  Mister has always loved to jog and even though we have pushed his trot out he has always retained his jog which we both love. So last week we decided to change things up. I want to ride a few western pleasure classes this year as well so for the next few months we are going to slow things down, work on his jog and lope transitions and in general take a breath. Already Mister and I seemed to have relaxed. Maybe it’s just me! All I know is that when I speed up I get more stressed out whether it’s at work or riding, when I pick up the pace I get tense, which in turn makes Mister tense. Last show season I worked on keeping myself calm which worked but it lacked shine and pizzazz.  I am open to seeing where we go.  I think we will come back to it and just go back and forth between dressage and western pleasure and will definitely keep doing western dressage. We worked on his lope and I thought it was going to take awhile since we have been working on pushing him out and speeding him up but we are getting it already!!

Our biggest problem which has followed us around for years is that he doesn’t stay in whatever gait I put him in, he will stop and I’ll have to get him going again.  I want to be able to cue him and then leave him alone until I ask for the next cue!  In the jog he’s pretty good but canter/lope he’s a bit of a quitter!  But we are working on it!  I’ve let him do it for years so now we are working on it. It’s just a matter of consistency.  I’ve always let him get away with because there was something else we were working on.  But now it’s time to get this nipped in the bud.  There’s always something to focus on and learn and that’s one of the joys of riding and working with horses-you will never learn  it all and you will always have something new to learn!!

So until  next time!