First Ride on Naughtie in Almost 2 Years

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I took the day off from work on Friday to take Buddy and Little Cuddles back home to Sandy's in Maryland. I am so thankful they are gone but man could I have done without the "excitement" of the trip. Apparently on Thursday when Bonnie was going up her driveway she hit one of the massive holes and the Y pipe on her tailpipe came loose. So before we leave Friday morning she wires the tailpipes to the bumper. We load the horses up and head out, picking up Astrid in Zelie. We're driving down, make it all the way down the turnpike to Breezewood ok. Get off there and get on 70. All the sudden I hear the tailpipe dragging on the ground. We pull over, re-wire the tailpipe to the bumper and start out again. We get to Hagarstown and Bonnie decides she needs coffee so we stop at a McDonald's. Her and Astrid head inside and I get laughed at by some guy in an SUV as he watches me first fix the tailpipe again and then reattached the side view mirror with duct tape. We make it down to Sandy's ok, get the horses settles in their stalls and everything. We decide to just pull the tailpipe off the truck cause it's coming loose again. So we get on the road every thing's going well and then we hear something dragging. Pull over thinking it's the other tailpipe. Look at the back of the truck, nope the tailpipe is secured still. Nothing else is dragging on the truck, nothing on the trailer. Can't figure out what it is. Then I look behind us. The muffler is laying on the side of the road. We keep going and manage to get home without losing anymore of the exhaust system. Take the trailer over to Tammy's. Try to park it in front of her barn and suddenly we can't go in reverse. Chris had to come out and use his tractor to pull the truck and trailer to where we could park it. We did make it back to the barn (barely) So we made it home, with one tailpipe in the back of the truck, the other one wired to the bumper, the muffler on the side of I-70 in MD and no reverse in the truck, but we made it home.

Saturday I decided to go antiquing with my parents and aunt and uncle. Fun day shopping, but it was long, with LOTS of walking. And we took a uh, interesting scenic route home. The GPS had us on this road that for about an hour we saw nothing but farmland (pretty) and some redneck homes (not so pretty) No gas stations, restaurants, nothing. It was pretty bad.

Sunday I finally got to ride. Tammy and Tammy hauled Repo and Sugar over to ride. Bonnie had me tack up Naughtie to ride with them. She was so good. She really has relaxed right back into the barn. Astrid and Katie both rode her a little on Saturday, Astrid on the lunge line. I guess she was a little bit nervous at first and that's why Katie got on. Anyway, she was good for me, settled, we got to work right away. It's pretty obvious that she's hasn't done anything lately. She very unfit. She was also a little on the skinny side when we picked her up although she's already gaining weight. Anyway I rode her on the flat for a bit and then Bonnie set up a cross bar for Tammy and I to jump. We did that a few times and then raised it a bit. Jumped that a few times and turned it into a vertical. Eventually Bonnie turned it into an oxer. I later measured it at 2'8". Naughtie was so good, I was really pleased for our first ride in almost 2 years.


Naughtie is home

Thursday, March 26, 2009

X is seriously in the doghouse after Saturday. Vicky tacked him up to take a lunge lesson, she's been riding him on the lunge for the past few weeks so this was nothing new. Well Katie was out wetting down the arena, it was starting to get too dusty, especially for Miss. So we're lunging, Vicky's doing pretty well. Then Katie goes and stretches the hose across the arena and then walks it back on itself. It's new hose, still wants to roll up and the hose twists up on itself. Katie gives it a good hard yank to unkink, RIGHT in front of my horse. X of course looked at and went "OH MY GOD! It's going to EAT me!" And jumped straight up in the air. Apparently he's been watching Bugsy, because he then snapped his back and turned it into a nice buck. Vicky got very defensive, hunched her shoulders, leaned forward and drew her knees up. So of course she went flying. Luckily for her, the new arena footing is still pretty clean and it's softer. Vicky was ok, and eventually I was able to get her up and back on the horse. We walked around a little bit and then she went out on a trail ride on Fanny with Henry and Katie. X got a saddle change and me on him for about an hour. We walked and walked and walked. I made him walk over the scary hose and onto the scary wet sand and past the scary windows. And then I made him stand quietly. He hates that part. Now that's it's getting warmer he needs to go back to work. He has gotten much too lazy this winter and thinks he can get away with whatever he wants.

Luckily I had a good ride on Miss in the afternoon to make up for my bad pony. I rode with Astrid and Kaye, Bonnie set up a small crossbar after three trot poles for us. I have to say I really hate jumping that mare over small fences. She has so much jump, she doesn't really know what to do with herself over a little fence. Plus she knows she can just step over them so she get easily distracted. But we jumped the little crossbar a few times and then Bonnie made it a slightly bigger little crossbar and we did that a few times. Then Bonnie added a pole behind to turn it into an oxer (about 2'3") Now we're talking. Miss is so much easier to ride over the bigger fences. And she really enjoys it, you can feel the change in her. Her ears are up and her eyes are bright and she just wants to go. We jumped that maybe 4 or 5 times, really working on keeping my leg on her and anchoring my weight in my heels. Then Bonnie added the blue barrel under the jump, didn't change the height at all, just filled it in a little. That's when Astrid bowed out of the lesson. She does really good and then some days her nerves just get the better of her. We jumped the barrel a few time and then Bonnie raised the back bar up a few inches (2'6") Miss really had fun with that. She is so amazing over fences, she just snaps her knees right up to her chin and she's 4 feet off the ground without even trying. So good lesson, Miss and I both had fun, and I was pleased with the progress we made on my position.

Sunday, no barn as I had agreed to help Aunt Sandy at A Chocolate Sunday. Sara was supposed to be helping as well, but she had a baton competition so she didn't go. My mom ended up coming to help in her place. We got put at a table handing out this Dagoba Organic Chocolate stuff. It was annoying because everyone was asking us about the stuff and we had no clue what it was. Plus it was all these weird flavors, like lavender, seeds (with Hemp!), roseberry, and super fruits. But Aunt Sandy asked me to help out and since she doesn't ask for things all that often I feel like I have too. At least I got some good chocolate out of it, including Rosalinds.

While I was at the country club pushing organic chocolate bars, Bonnie and Jim were driving up to New York to pick up Naughtie. Almost 2 years ago Margaret, Bugsy's former owner, had taken Naughtie to sell. Well she didn't sell and Margaret isn't really teaching now so Naughtie came home to us. She knew were she was right away and I'd like to think that she remembered me. Anyway can't wait to ride her again next week.


Hair, Hair Go Away!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I had Friday off from work this weekend. Yay for Spring Holiday! Bobby was out in the morning to do teeth. X, Miss, Bugs and Kaye all had their teeth floated. And then Bobby proceeded to make fun of our "geriatric" horses. So what if Kaye, Bugs and Miss are 19, 20 and 21 respectively. You'd never know to look at them, or by how they act. All three of them act like they're about 10. He was pretty impressed with how good of condition they all were in, especially Miss. Anyway, we got some stuff done around the barn and I was able to ride. Miss and I had a flat lesson with Astrid and Kaye. We worked on our canter some more, which really needs some work. I'm getting so frustrated, but I think Bonnie's going to get on her and do a little fine tuning, so that should help.

Friday night was Lexy's concert. She was chosen to be part of the Elementary Song Fest. It's a pretty big deal, she was one of 7 kids from New Brighton chosen. All day Friday she was at Rochester High School practicing with the group that included kids from Beaver Co, Butler Co, Lawernce Co, and Mercer Co. And then the concert was in the evening. That was the first time the kids had all practiced together, prior to the concert they each practiced at their own school. The kids were very, very good. It was a good concert, and Rhonda Ficca only had time for a brief speech. Finally a concert that wasn't the Rhonda Ficca Show! Lexy had a lot of fun, I'm really glad that she's getting into stuff like this, she's far too serious sometimes.

Saturday was a gorgeous day, I couldn't wait to get out and ride. Plus we had a surprise coming. Morgan was up for a few days from Tennessee! I rode Miss in a jumping lesson with Astrid and Kaye. Bonnie had three bounces set up for us to do. Went through that a few times. And then I lost my reins and had to do it with no hands. I love jumping with no hands! It's one of my favorite exercises, I swear it feels like your just flying. The fences were just set as low cross bars, mainly for Astrid, and well Miss gets bored with little fences. She wasn't really even jumping the first one, just stepping over it and then jumping the last two.

So we had a great ride, but I feel so bad afterward. It's starting to get warmer, but Miss refuses to let go of her coat. Even though we didn't really do all that much, she was soaked. I untacked her in the arena and let her and Kaye loose to roll and dry off some. But of course Miss doesn't roll, so she went into her stall with a cooler. It was nice outside, but still a little on the chilly side in the barn. Poor girl, she just won't shed yet! Bugsy's like that too. He'll be the first one to start getting a winter coat (in August!) and the last to lose it. It's like he's worried that it might suddenly get cold in the middle of summer.

I changed X's bedding on Saturday. Nikki has been using this Best Cob stuff on Image and her and Derek are looking into become a distributor of it. It's kind of expensive to start out, one 40 lb bag can cost $6-9 and you need 3-5 bags for a stall. It starts out pelleted, but as the horses move around and step on it, it will fluff up. The stuff is great though because you waste so much less of it. When it gets wet it just clumps together like kitty litter. You can really just pick out the piles and the wet spots and the rest of it still looks clean. I was amazed on Sunday that X's stall was still clean. He can destroy a stall overnight. Bonnie is trying some of it too, on a few horses. It's too expensive to use in all the stalls, plus you really need to pick it everyday. But we put Miss, Kaye, Bugsy, Big Cuddles, Airy, and Spider on it. We also switched Miss and Twinkie's stalls. Hopefully putting Miss in an inside stall will help her allergies this year. Make all the pollen and stuff from outside work a little harder to get to her.

Sunday was another beautiful day. We cleaned the stalls first thing, turned the baby out for a while. I was going to tack up Miss to ride, but she had a little bit of heat and swelling in her right hind. So maresie gets the day off. Bonnie tells me to tack up Kaye instead, which made Kaye's day. She does not like being stuck in her stall. So Kaye and I had a dressage lesson. We worked on the canter, so easy with her and yet I struggle so much with Miss. Not fair. After I rode I ended up just spending a lot of time with Miss, grooming her and giving her some cookies. She really wasn't herself. I think it's because she has sooo much coat and it was pretty warm that day. I think she was just hot and not feeling well because of it.

Unfortunately it was back to work on Monday. And next weekend I only have one day at the barn. March 22nd is A Chocolate Sunday and I'm helping there. So I won't be able to ride. I'll just have to make sure I make up for it on Saturday. Maybe if it's nice enough I'll torture X and give him a BATH! I'm evil I know.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I had a couple of good lessons this weekend with Miss. The weather was beautiful on Friday, and since my brother no longer needed me to babysit, I made it out to ride after work. Tacked Miss up in the dressage saddle and had a short dressage lesson. She felt really great in the trot, canter still needs some work though. I'm not consistent enough in my aids and Miss is a horse that you need to be consistent otherwise she doesn't know what you want.

Saturday we had birthday cake to celebrate Miss's 21st birthday (we like any excuse to have cake!) I was going to have a jumping lesson with Astrid. However the evil little pony managed to dump her a few times and so she was too sore to ride Kaye. So I ended up working on dressage again. And I managed to get a couple of nice canter departs. Bonnie had me riding a shoulder in and then asking for the canter. First couple of times weren't real great. I actually had to really crack her with the whip because she wasn't listening (completely my fault, I had way to much spur on her for the shoulder in) But on the fourth one we nailed it. I kept her flexed and on the bit. All in all I was very pleased with how our lesson went.

Sunday I rode with Kelsey and Rachel. We started out jumping just a single fence. Then added another one to make a bounce, and eventually added a third fence as a bounce. I shortened my stirrups another half hole on Sunday to jump. I need to have shorter stirrups with her (I ride Miss on the flat in my jumping length on every other horse) Last week I felt like I was reaching for my stirrups too much over fences so I thought I would try shortening them another half hole. But the I felt like they were too short and I was up out of the saddle too much. I didn't feel very secure and actually a couple of times I felt like I was almost falling off. I got very nervous for the three fence bounces, and our first time through was bad. I didn't let Miss move on enough and we were very slow going through. Bonnie made me get off and kneel down to kiss Miss's nose and ask for forgiveness! I think Miss probably thought I was crazy getting off to kiss her int he middle of the lesson! Second time through was better, but still I just didn't feel very secure. Bonnie then turned the last fence into an oxer and I begged out, not feeling comfortable with the exercise as verticals, let alone oxers. I guess I need to play around with my stirrup length over fences, and find what I'm comfortable with. I also need a lot of practice with oxers, I tend to get a little nervous about them.

Anyway, I have Friday off this week. Yay Spring Hoiliday! The dentist is coming out in the morning, so X will get his teeth done. Maybe if it's warm enough he'll get a bath as well. I did ride him for a few minutes on Saturday before Vicky got on for a lunge lesson. He was not too pleased with having to work, and so I threatened him with Bonnie. :) He really hates when I do that!

I think I've figured out our show schedule for the summer. At least the recognized shows.

  • June 19-21 Lost Hounds HT in Edinboro, PA
  • July 3-5 South Farm HT in OH
  • July 25-26 Gemwood HT in Dayton, OH
  • August 15-16 Erie Hunt and Saddle Club HT in Edinboro, PA
  • September 9-13 American Eventing Championships
Of course the AECs all depend on getting qualified and having the money to go. Lost Hounds and South Farm I'll be going for sure. Gemwood and Erie will depend on if I can get qualifying scores in the first two. But I have a plan. We'll also probably do some mini trials this summer. I'd like to take X to some and maybe even Naughty after she somes back.


X-Tra Pony has moved!

Monday, March 9, 2009

So I've been blogging over at, only my posts disappear, it won't let me post for some reason, and all sorts of other issues. So I'm moving everything over to blogger. I'm going to leave the wordpress blog up for the time being, you can always go back to and view past updates.