It's Rolex Time!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Last weekend before Rolex! Can you tell I'm excited? And I'm not even riding. Anyways, Saturday was the usual busy day at the barn. The kids were all out, including Rachael and Kelsey. First thing on the agenda was lunge lessons. Astrid and I took turns on Naughtie while Rachael and Kelsey lunged on Airy. Astrid went first and when it was time for her to do the sitting trot she had to pull the stirrups off the saddle because they hurt her legs. So when it was my turn Bonnie wouldn't even let me put the stirrups back on the saddle. No I can get on my little 15.3 hand horse bareback, but getting on 16.2 Naughtie? Not so much. Once I finally managed to climb on her back I had a good lunge lesson. Which I really needed. Actually I need lots of lunge lessons right now.

I rode X a bit on Saturday as well. We did some cavalettis and he was a jerk. He liked not doing anything all winter and he's not exactly thrilled with the idea of going back to work now. I did manage to talk him out of his bad behavior and spooks. He really wanted to though. His leg is doing much better now. He's just getting the proud flesh medication on it every couple days and it's healing very well. The really exciting thing was that Saturday was warm enough for a bath! After I rode I gave X the first of many baths he will need to be clean. He's not all the way there yet, but he doesn't smell anymore.

Sunday was spent playing musical horses and moving stall assignments around. We turned M-N-M out and started on his stall. Unfortunately we haven't been able to get him out to do his stall the last time the spreader was on that side. And so between that and the leaking waterer, it was a bad one. But we got that stall done and moved M across the aisle and then Spot went into M's old stall.

After the stalls were finished I tacked X up for Katie and I to have a lunge lesson. My pony is such a good lunge horse! He just goes out and trots around as long as you want him to. He's so nice and soft on the lunge line and easy to side on. I love my pony! Of course he wasn't quite so happy when Katie got on him. First Katie looks like a giant on him. She's like 5'10" or so I think. Quite a bit taller than me. She doesn't realize it, but when she rides she grabs with her leg. Tru is just so used to it he doesn't do anything, although he is really dead sided from her. X didn't do anything bad, but your could tell he wasn't happy. The ears were back and his tail was swishing. Not that Katie got it. I told Bonnie we need to put her on something that will bolt if she grabs like that.

I'm off work Thursday and Friday this week for Rolex! We're not leaving until like 7 Thursday night, but I decided to take off anyway. That way I can go out and ride during the day and help Bonnie get the barn in order. And then it will be off for three days in Kentucky. I've got the camera all ready, extra memory cards and an extra battery. So I'll be good to go. I'll try to post pictures each night once we get back to the hotel so check my PhotoBucket page. Plus I'll probably be Twittering from my cell during the day. I think Friday morning we're going to try to get up early and go watch the morning works at Keeneland. That will be fun, I've never been to a racetrack before. So the next time you hear from me I'll be at Rolex!


Why do I have to have an accident prone horse?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

So last Sunday I noticed that X had a cut on the outside of his right foreleg. Not too big a deal, didn't seem to hurt him or anything. So I cleaned it up and put some Vaseline on it. Friday I got out of work early and I headed out to the barn. Cleaned his stall and then brought him out to the cross ties to tack up. I'm grooming him and his leg is swollen a little. Cut doesn't look any different from last week but he has some heat and swelling at the site. I jog him up and down the aisle a few times, he isn't off at all so I figure I'm still going to ride him. I finish grooming him, tack him up and slather Vaseline over his leg to keep the arena sand out of it. We go out and I put him on the lunge line first. He really hasn't been ridden much, plus then I can see if he's off at all. Nope he's perfectly fine, takes off cantering, bucking, jumping, the whole bit. I let him work some of his energy off and then hop on him. Suddenly, we're dead lame. I don't think so dude. I make him work through it and after a few minutes he realizes that the lameness trick isn't going to work and he starts working. Now though he decides that it's necessary to spook at everything! I really just don't feel like dealing with it. I get off and he goes back on the lunge line. It doesn't take too long for him to give in. Really he's lazy and knows that I'll just keep making him go until he settles. I get back on and he's a good boy now. Bonnie comes down to the barn after a while and she sets up some cavalettis for us. First few times through it was like he'd forgotten what they were, but after a while he was going through perfectly. Pretty good ride considering he hasn't done anything in months!

Saturday I was going to take a lunge lesson on X but for once the kids all showed up early. Ended up riding Naughtie in a lesson with Kelsey/Kaye, Rachel/Miss and Katie/Tru. Of course Katie takes five times longer to take up so by the time the rest of us are ready to start jumping she's just getting to the arena. And then she's constantly in the way. Like common courtesy would be to give the rail to the horses that are working. Not Katie, everyone else has to work around her. We worked through the cavalettis and then onto a cross-bar. As usual Bonnie raised the fence until we were jumping a 3'4" oxer. Then she decided to have us work on some bounces. Lowered the jump back to a cross-bar and we started over just one. Then she added a second fence. I had some trouble with Naughtie which I know was all my fault. We had a couple of stops and so that was it. I didn't want to start any bad habits. I ended up getting on Kaye to jump the three bounces. After I took Kaye through I couple times I got back on Naughtie and did the single fence again, just to end on a good note.

So today I was determined to get a lunge lesson on my horse, we both really need it. I go to groom him and his leg is swollen again. And joy, it's infected. But it's still not bothering him at all, so hopefully it will clear up soon. I had a great lunge lesson. X was really working well and moving great. The leg didn't bother him at all. He figured out that it's not worth it to try and pull the lame horse routine.

Picked out his stall after we rode. I love the Best Cob bedding and how easy it is to clean. Plus it's keeping X clean. But now he has to find something to do since he can't get himself all dirty. And this is what he did. I could really kill him sometimes. Makes me glad I hadn't planned to do any recognized shows with him this summer.


3'4" Baby!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The bridle I bought Naughtie arrived from Ebay this week. Really nice black leather, no identifying marks as far as brand but a decent bridle for the $17 I paid. So Naughtie has her own bridle now, she doesn't have to share with Miss or Kaye. I also decided that I'm going to show her in pink this summer. I've always wanted to put a horse in pink, but I feel bad doing that to my gelding. And Naughtie actually looks very pretty in a pale pink. I picked up a pink pad from Luster's Friday night. And I found pink laces to go on my black Tipperary vest. I also bid on a pair of pink rubber reins on Ebay, they should be arriving any day I think. Bonnie hates the pink, but oh well I think it's pretty!

The plan is to go to the South Farm Combined Test on May 2nd. I'm going to take Miss beginner novice. Which means we NEED to work on the canter. If she's allowed Astrid is going to take Kaye in either intro or very green, which ever she feels comfortable. If Toni doesn't let Astrid ride I think I might see if I can take Naughtie as well in beginner novice. And then the plan will be to go to the South Farm Horse Trial Fourth of July weekend. Ideally I'd like to take Miss, but we're still waiting to see how she does once the weather gets warmer. If her breathing isn't good again this year, I'll try Naughtie there. I don't think she'll have any problems going beginner novice.

I left work an hour early Friday. I needed to go to the bank before they closed plus I wanted to go ride. Put Naughtie's new pink pad on her, and she looked fabulous! Anyways we warmed up on the flat and then Bonnie had us go over the cross bar. Just from the one jumping lesson the week before she was already jumping better. We did that a few times to warm up and then we jumped the oxer. I'll try and describe how the two fences were set up. They were both in the middle of the arena, about half a dozen strides apart. The one was the cross bar and the other was an oxer. I jumped the cross bar going towards the end of the arena and then did a figure 8 and cut in the middle to jump the oxer going towards the other end of the arena. Bonnie then added a bark rail to turn the cross bar into another oxer and we just kept jumping the both of them on a figure 8. Anyway I lost count of how many times we jumped. By the end of the lesson both oxers were about 2'8" with a 3' spread. Not to shabby. Naughtie was really jumping well. Looks like the plan is going to be lots of gymnastics with her and lots of big, wide oxers.

Saturday morning we had all the kids out. Rachel came out and brought a friend Julia. I rode Naughtie in a group lesson with Rachel/Miss, Julia/Fanny and Astrid/Kaye. The same two jumps we did Friday night only they were both little cross bars. Jumped one individually a few times and then did both cross bars in a row. Jumped that a few times and then Bonnie set up a third cross bar as an in and out. We did single fence followed by in and out. We each jumped that three times and then reversed so it was in and out followed by single fence. Julia had to bow out after that because Bonnie turned the second fence in the in and out into an oxer. Fanny just can't jump that much anymore, even though she really was having some fun. I went through first. And let me tell you it wasn't very pretty. Bonnie always tells us to come back to the trot so I was trying to get Naughtie to trot after the single fence and I didn't get the trot until like a stride before the double. So we just didn't have the impulsion to get through it well. She kinda climbed over the oxer. Now Bonnie tells me that I can canter the exercise. So much easier the next time through. After Rachel and I both did the exercise a few times Bonnie turned the first fence of the double into an oxer. Again the first time through wasn't the best. I really needed to push Naughtie in between but we got better. Eventually Bonnie turned the single fence into an oxer and raised the in and out a bit. I went through that a few times and then called it quits. Naughtie was getting tired and I just can't carry her through that kind of stuff. She's really not all that fit yet. Astrid got on her then and rode a bit. She jumped her over a few cross bars. But Astrid was afraid she was going to do something and was grabbing the mare with her legs. So of course Naughtie says "ok let's go." And Astrid got scared. I think they'll be a good match after Naugtie has settled in a little more and Astrid gets over her fears.

I went back and measured the fences later that night and it turns out the in and out oxers were 3'4"!! Woohoo Baby! Bonnie laughs at me because I always want to go and measure how high I jumped. But I'm just curious to know what we did. Plus I have to be able to document it on here. It pretty amazing. Usually I'm ok jumping single big fences. Or small combinations. But I freak out about jumping big combinations, and by big I mean anything over 2'. Even with Miss I freak out about that. But with Naughtie I never even thought about it. I just jumped.

Sunday I was out to the barn again. I had to strip out X's stall and put three new bags of bedding in it. It's little expensive to use the Best Cob stuff, but it's really working quite well for him. And now he's going out in the arena at night with his mares, he's not in his stall as much. We got Jade's old stall cleaned and moved Buster in there. And then cleaned Buster's stall to move Mystic. And now Mystic's stall needs to dry. It's like soup in there. He somehow managed to overfill his waterer big time. And it leaked everywhere! Once that dries some so we can strip it out, we'll move M & M in there so we can open his stall out into the pasture and let the outside horses use it for water.

Tammy and Tammy came out for another lesson. I was planning to just work Naughtie on the flat. She needs a bit of a refresher about things like moving off my legs and all that. We did a lot of work on a smaller circle, really making her get her hindquarters underneath her and come down onto the bit. And we got a lovely canter in each direction. She picked up the canter right away, and lightened up on her her forehand beautifully. She's really making progress just in the last week. Since we've been jumping the last two days I was just going to end there. But Tammy wanted to jump a little and Bonnie said it was ok, so we did a few cross bars. Nothing too big. Although towards the end Bonnie did put up a little oxer (about 2'4") I have to say Repo was so cute when he jumped. He hasn't jumped an oxer in probably a year and a half or so. Actually he hasn't done much jumping at all lately. He cleared the jump by a good foot. Really good weekend all around. I'll get in my lesson Friday night this week, I had wanted to start riding another night during the week. But that's not going to happen since Michael decided he wanted to alternate work schedules. Would have been nice if I'd been asked what I want to do. Monday was the first day I had to work the 8:30 - 5:00 shift. I left at 6:45 in the morning and didn't get home until 7:10. By then I don't have energy to do anything, let alone ride a horse. This sucks!

Easter next week, so Sunday will be a short day at the barn. But it means dinner at Aunt Sandy's, yay! And only two more weeks till Rolex, can't wait!