Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From paddle boat to speed boat...

First of all, you need to watch this kid:

Yeah, it creepy that Robin and I are twice his age and minorly obsessed with him, but you just wait- this kid is the next Taylor/Miley/Justin Beiber (I don't even know who that is, I've just heard he's a new teen idol.) Anyway, the kid already has over 2 million hits. He'll be signed by next week. Okay, I just went and listened to Justin Beiber and I like the Paparazzi kid better.

So, now that I've covered my awkward teeny-bopper musical tastes, lets move onto something more important. You know, like, horses.

No, really, I'm done now.

MayDaze is at the end of this month. I have a double lesson with Ari and Brandy planned for next week and an XC school at the beginning of the week on both. If we're not ready by then... well... we just won't be ready! Ari is doing BN and Brandy is doing her first N. They've both been schooling very nicely, I've gotten some GREAT dressage work from Brandy and Ari is slowly coming back into work since the hock injections. After working him yesterday, I sent Amy and Megan a text that said "Ari with his hocks done is like going from a paddle boat to a speed boat!" He was pushing evenly in the back, carrying himself, much more forward... now we'll just have to see how he jumps.

 I'm sorry, do I own a TB or a Shetland pony?
Brandy shows off her slime.

I've also grounded myself from using spurs. Ari had little rubs after our jump school two weeks ago so I hung them up and haven't touched them. I'll probably use my roller spurs for dressage at MayDaze if I need them and put my nubby spurs on to jump.

I'm also really excited about how our barn family is growing. We've filled a pasture space with new boarder Kelly and her Belgian/TB cross, Scout. He's like a super-sized version of Brandy. Kelly hopes to do some eventing with us this summer.

 A very unflattering picture of Scout in his pasture!

Amanda has a new horse, Buddy, who is like the little awkward kid who just goes with the program. He's super cute and reminds me of a mini-Shasta!
 Amanda's little dude, Buddy

Also joining us is Anna and her horse Noodles. Noodles is in training right now in FL but will be coming back and Anna is also aiming to do some eventing with him! She's around the same age as Amanda, Tori and Olivia, so it'll be nice to have another GREAT kid to join the ranks.

 Anna and Noodles

Lastly, a friend of Kelly Wallace is also planning on bringing in a haflinger for me to start and ride for a couple of months, just to give him some life experience. I'm pretty excited about that, as well. It's been awhile since I've been able to start anything and it's always fun to start something sensible and bring it along!

What this all boils down to is that I'm one busy girl... and I couldn't be happier. So, thanks to everyone who trusts me with their horse, or their kid... or yourself!
 See? I'm a rockstar.

The arena is coming along, slowly, but surely. I'm hoping it'll be done by the end of summer? That's not the official word, that is my own personal hope. :)  Once its finished, I'll be trying to bring in some clinicians- SO- if there is someone you'd like to see come to Middle TN, let me know!

The arena, staked and with geotextile fabric down! Next step- fencing, footers and then ROCK!

We've got lots of fun things planned for the summer. Shows, clinics, activities... and it'll be October before you know it and I'll go into hibernation again!

I'm also still after a truck. I've narrowed it down now, so I'm not just sending every truck I find to Steve, Anita, Jerry and Amy to look at. Here's what I'm after, in case you happen to see it:
  • Dodge or Ford, will likely be 90's-very early 00's.
  • 3/4 ton, Diesel or if its gas, I'm avoiding 460s. That said, I haven't found anything gas that is NOT a 460, so...
  • 4x4
  • Extended or Crew Cab- no single cabs. I'm assuming anything thats not a single cab would have a long wheel base, but that too. 
  • I'm okay with a half ton if it's already equipped to tow, V8, beefed up suspension etc. 
  • I would vastly prefer something with tow package (hitch, brake box) already installed. 
  • Under 5k
So, if you happen upon anything that fits this description, let me know!

As far as other horse training updates- Nancy (who's business flooded and needs lots of happy thoughts and physical labor to get back on her feet if you can offer either of those) had her first lesson on Vanna last week and actually had FUN! She hadn't ridden Vanna in almost five years, so what a good feeling to get back on your horse and ENJOY! Vanna is very solid at the w/t and her canter is coming along nicely. She is popping over cross rails and the hay bales and panels without thinking much of it. Very cool!
 Vanna would like to be a paint...

Bella has come along and is learning to go around with balance and using her back. No more llama-esqu-ness! She cantered today and stayed ROUND. I'm actually just trying to get her to use herself- I think her biggest issue (she bucked her mom off and was just generally rotten) is that they carried herself so "upside-down" that her body was sore, so I'm redeveloping her neck, back and butt muscles to support a rider better and that seems to be working. I've used all kinds of tools for this, mostly the neck stretcher, but side reins, training fork and the good ol' fashioned western reins have helped her strengthen though this month.
 Bella showing off her llama-ness
What we're really going for!

Jess is home and back to riding Gracie and Gracie, I'm sure, is glad Jess is back so she can have some nice, leisurely ride time. I've been hitting hard on dressage for all the "big kids" (Ari, Brandy and Gracie) because the arena is so hard and I'm hesitant to jump. Anyway, Gracie has really been doing well and Jess is hoping to do her first BN this summer, so hopefully they'll be ready!
 Gracie says "five more minutes, mom..."

Pete and Shannon are bonding and Pete seems to be noticeably happier since he has a "mommy" who comes out and shoves cookies in his face a couple times a week. Oh, and loves and rides him, too, but mostly the cookies.
 Pete sleeping in the cross ties after some "mommy" time

Audrey is improving at the canter, Jazz is getting back into carrying herself on the flat, but still jumping HARD as she jumps.
 Spotty ponies!

Lacey, Audrey, Moose and Brandy looking for something...

Sentinel, the paso, is tons of fun to ride, Dancer is Dancer, Mac has been trail riding and loving it. I jumped Belle today over some little bitty stuff and she seemed to really have a good time! She is always very willing to jump, but it seemed to just be the "thing" for her to do today.

Sentinel is so handsome!

Dancer was not impressed with the faux ditch...

Oh, and Sam jumped the barrels like a big boy yesterday! How fun! His dressage is also coming along.

 Samponii after his horrible allergic reaction, assuring mom that he's much better now!

Speaking of the arena, thank you to everyone who picked up rocks! Because the arena was so HARD last week, I started dragging it. It has made the footing a lot more forgiving, but also turned up lots and lots of rocks. Everyone pitched in and we filled a whole muck bucket full of them! But we do have a nice place to ride now, until the new arena is open!

There are more than this now!

And last but not least, I stole Jerry's pet turtle last week. This is George. Jess, Kyle and I found George hanging out behind the back and I released him into the wilderness. Apparently he'd been hanging out for awhile. Box or snapper- what do you think?
 George after his liberation. Be free, George, be free. 

I'm really going to try to write about the horse-show-that-wasn't tomorrow! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

So, I have an opportunity to do this camp with a bunch of really awesome eventing instructors. Stacy is going and Megan and Susan are considering it.

Its in July. It is expensive, however, so are horse shows, and in the end it would probably be less money spent.

THAT said, if I go to camp, I'll skip Spring Run at the very least, and probably Penny Oaks as well, which reduces my show schedule to May Daze, Flying Cross and MTPC.

Last year, I did River Glen, Midsouth, Champagne Run, KY Classique and MTPC.

My inclination is to skip Spring Run right now, anyway, since it falls so close to May Daze and I just can't afford that many entries that close together. So then I just need to figure out if I want to do Penny Oaks or camp.


What to do, what to do.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So many blogs, so little time!

I have several things to blog about, and I promise I'll get them all in eventually.

I need to blog about Rolex, the-Horse-Show-that-wasn't, major tragedy here in Middle TN (which is why I have refrained from blogging about the Horse Show from Hades.) and my lesson yesterday. I'm going to hit the lesson first because it was awweeeesooommme.... but first, a PSA:

Solid buff colored, neutered male, long haired. 11 y/o, 9 lbs.
Sweet, cuddly, friendly, very much loved and missed.
Scooter most likely left the farm on Patterson Rd under a truck whose path went Patterson Rd, turned left on Rehobath Rd, right  on Hwy 96, stopped at the ON the Run, then across town to Rutherford Farmers Co-op on Hwy 99.
ANY information would be greatly appreciated.  Please call:
Jerry or Anita Scott 615 512-1005, 615 336-0656

So, anyway, I had my lesson yesterday. Letha was kind enough to swing by and pick Ari and I up on her way down to Columbia. Ari had his shoes reset last week and we discussed back shoes, but I decided to hold off since he'd been okay. I rode two days after that and he just didn't feel right. I decided to ask Lesley to come out and put his back shoes on and see if it helped. He got those on on Monday and I didn't have time to ride him before my lesson.

I had asked Amy to plan on riding Ari about a week ago because I just couldn't quite get what I was trying to get. I wanted to know if it was him or me or what. So, when we addressed his left-bend issue, Amy watched carefully and found that he was quite "sticky" in his left hind. She got on to show me and I felt much better about life when she said "he is making you work much too hard." And here I just felt like I was completely out of shape! 

So anyway, long story short, he is sticky on his left hind, he's not jumping straight or pushing off evenly and is resistant to anything where he has to push off that back leg, so Amy recommended hock injections. My mommy asked, on facebook, what that entails, and I thought Stacy did a bang-up job of explaining it, so I'll copy and paste!

"The hock is a joint about halfway down the horse's hind leg. It works very hard, especially in jumping and sport horses, so it can develop inflammation and osteoarthritis. A veterinarian can inject an anti-inflammatory plus artificial joint fluid into the joint to compensate for this. That's what's often called "getting the hocks done." 

We're also going to try him on Adequan (or the generic if i can convince my clinic that I can be the guinea pig) and hope that he'll be a little more even, a little less resistant and a little more willing to JUMP!

BUT- he did not have one. single. stop. in our lesson yesterday. Not to say he didn't try, but-dangit- I'm finally getting to where I can sit up and ride! We jumped all kinds of things that could have made him stop- a liverpool, the Christmas tree filler (in the shade), a single barrel under the first jump of a one-stride AAAAAAND... there was one reasonably-sized oxer that he'd stopped at the last time we were at Amy's. I came around to it and he thought he might try to stop again. Welllllll... I sat up and spanked him and that effer jumped from a standstill... because. I. Made. Him. HA. HA. and HA.

I EVEN had an "AH-HA!" moment. I jumped an oxer and Amy gave me the "AH-HA!" while I was in the air over it. I started thinking of what I could have possibly done wrong. So when she said "what happened there?" I pretended to think thought for a moment and came up with "I left a stride out?!" and she said "No- I don't think he could have fit another stride- started to lean, then corrected yourself and didn't tip forward coming up to it!"

Yay me!  So that was a nice lesson.

Oh, and Brandy's dressage has improved about 100% since Wolf Gap. I have to stop being such a push over. 

Here's a preview of things to come:

OH... and THIS. You HAVE to watch THIS. 

You all remember the Emu incident, right? This is what it could have become!