T minus 9 days!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In ten days I'll be in Kentucky.  Cannot wait!  With the Ecogold gig, I'm even more excited than usual for Rolex.

Anyways, I had a good day at the barn Saturday.  We had some manual labor to start off the day.  The gate between Twinkie and Naughtie's stalls needed to be rehung, which ended up being much more of a process than we first imagined.  And then we had to rehang Buster's door.  Anyone up for Buster burgers at Rolex?  Finally I got to hop on Fanny for a bit and get her ready for the kids to ride.  Changed things up a bit with her this weekend.  I put a flash on her bridle, she has a tendency to gag on the bit when you try to take any contact with her mouth, so we thought that would help.  Lunged her in it a bit first, just to make sure she wouldn't flip out.  Of course, being Fanny she could have cared less about it.  So I hopped on and started to warm up on the flat.  After about 15 minutes or so Bonnie came out and we started jumping.  We started with a 21ft in and out, which normally would be a one stride, but for Fanny was a short two stride.  Jumped that several times and then Bonnie had a third fence to the exercise.  Little Fanny was having a blast.  And finally I got pictures of me riding Fanny like I promised.

After I finished with Fanny and handed her off to Victoria, I headed inside to start getting Nuaghtie ready to ride.  We started with only a low crossbar and then slowly raised the height and eventually added a second crossbar as a one stride in and out.  Naughtie was such a good girl, jumped through everything perfectly.  Then Bonnie finally set the second fence as a 2'9" vertical.  And I had my usual issues and stopped the first time through.  Damn it!  Deep breath, turn around, and go again.  This time Bonnie tagged Naughtie with the whip before the first fence.  Man did she fly!  Scared the crap out of me since I wasn't expecting it.  The kids measured after we finished.  Apparently Naughtie landed about 10 feet after the fence, that's how big she jumped it.  We went through the combination a couple more times.  And while Naughtie didn't jump quite as big again she still made a big effort, she was not about to risk getting hit by Bonnie again!

Unfortunately this meant that I didn't have time to get on Miss at all before I had to leave for work.  :(  She's not happy with me I know, I'm seriously going to have to make up for that this weekend.  Which will be the last one at home before we go to Rolex!  WooHoo!!!  Cannot Wait!


Rolex News

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Time to share my exciting Rolex news.  I'm going to be blogging for Ecogold at Rolex!  The amazing Patricia from Ecogold has come up with the idea of an ammie takeover at Rolex.  There are several of us ammie riders that will be blogging and various other things for Ecogold.  Patricia has some great things planned, but shh! I'm sworn to secrecy on what those are just yet.  But keep checking here and on Ecogold's blog during Rolex and you can keep up with all the action in Kentucky.

See you all there!


Midweek Riding Interlude

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wednesday I had the day off for yet another appointment with Dr. Connelly (more on that later)  So of course I took advantage of the time off to head out to the barn in the morning.  I got there early and helped Bonnie finish feeding, then we headed out to breakfast before getting sawdust.  The sawmill was very slow that morning so we ended up waiting quite a while to get loaded up.  After making it back to the barn, we brought Bugs in and then turned Cuddles out.  While Bonnie unloaded the sawdust, I tacked up Kaye for a lesson.

Our warm-up was great.  Both Kaye and I were relaxed and she was easily coming back into the bridle for me (WIN!)  It was lovely and soft and not at all tense.  Now if I can just continue with that.  then it was time to shorten the stirrups and jump!  Started out over just a single crossbar and it was, well not great.  As usual we didn't have enough impulsion going into the fence and so it was pretty bad.  Ok, Jen, let's get this together and do it right.  While things did get better it still wasn't great.  I wasn't really getting myself out of the saddle enough and I have a tendency to ride with my reins too long and then my hands end up in my lap, and well it's just all bad.  Things improved a bit, enough at least that Bonnie gave us a second fence as a one stride in and out.  Still though was not getting myself in a good position.  Time to fix that, so the reins were tied in a knot and we jumped with no hands.  Amazing, suddenly my position was 100x better!  Still though I felt like I wasn't quite getting up out of the saddle enough.  So I gave in and hiked my stirrups up another hole.  This is 4 holes shorter than my dressage length!  I think Bonnie would like me to go even shorter but I just can't with my knee,  even this short was putting a lot more pressure on it.  But I was jumping better with the shorter stirrups.  So I guess that means I'm going to have to suck it up and shorten them.  I think I'm going to start warming up in my jumping length from now on though.  Usually I start out with the longer, dressage length stirrups.  Maybe it will help if I just start with them short.  Meh, we'll see.  By the time we finished riding I realized it was going on 2:00 and I needed to book it home and get ready for my doctor's appointment. 

After getting the quickest shower known to man, I did actually make it to my doctor's appointment on time.  Pretty much the same old same old.  Mom went with me, and she helped me to explain to him that things are not getting better.  And that I'm not going to keep spending money to come in and for him to tell me that he still doesn't know what's wrong.  He did give me a new medication to try.  And he gave me enough samples to last a month.  So the plan is to try it for a few weeks and then give him a call and we'll discuss how it's working.  And go from there.  If it seems to be working he'll get me a prescription and I'll get that filled.  If not, well then I guess we'll try something else.  We'll see at that time. 

Back out to the barn in the morning.  And it's going to be a busy day.  I'd like to ride Naughtie again.  And Fanny.  And I have to ride Miss.  I can't take it if she gives me the stink eye again!  Hopefully Astrid will be there and I can get her to take some pictures.  I'd really like to have some of me riding, especially Miss.  But I kinda want some Fanny pictures too.  LOL should be funny at any rate. 

Getting close to announcing my Rolex news.  Stay tuned for that!


Back in Action!

Monday, April 11, 2011

It was a long week for me last week.  Our office finally moved upstairs to the third floor.  And although the new office space is nice and new, the actual move was horrendous.  Add in the fact that I have come down with a bad cold, well I was pretty miserable.  I did actually consider staying home from the barn Saturday morning, but well I just can't stay away.  I rolled up to the barn about 9:00, just as Bonnie was finishing up with feeding.  Someone was possibly coming to look at Naughtie, so I pulled her out of her stall to clean her up a bit.  Katie had given her a bath a couple days before, so she was relatively clean, she just needed a bit of grooming.  Well no one showed up to look at her so Bonnie had me tack up and ride with Rachel.  What a great ride we had.  She actually hasn't been ridden since sometime last fall, but Bonnie was the last one on her so really couldn't tell that she had so much time off.  Naughtie was ready to get back to work and happily moved out into a forward, marching walk once I was in the saddle.  She was soft in my hands and very responsive to my legs.  After lots of circles of various sizes at the walk, we moved into an impulsive trot.  A little warm up at the trot and it was time to shorten our stirrups to jump.  Bonnie had set up a low cross bar in the center of the arena and we popped over that several times before she had us jump another cross bar that was set up to the right at a slight angle.  The trick though was to trot through the other jump standards only making the right turn about a stride before the fence.  We did that a bit and then Bonnie added another fence in front of the first fence in the center of the ring as a one stride combination.  We jumped that a few times and then jumped the first fence and turned to jump the angled fence.  First time through doing that wasn't very pretty.  I actually didn't make the angled fence as I was waiting too long to turn Naughtie.  Thankfully she is very athletic and managed to jump over the center fence even though she wasn't at all straight for it.  It took us a couple of tries but we managed to get the idea.  Then Bonnie added a third fence to the middle so that we had a bounce to a one stride.  Jumped that a few times and then Bonnie set up another angled fence on the left side of the center line.  This one she put back a bit further, giving us a little more room to make the turn after the bounce.  Then we started alternating, first jump the bounces turn to the left then loop around and jump the bounces and turn to the right.  Finally we ended on a small course; straight through the center, bounces to the left, bounces to the right and finally finish through the middle.  It was a fun lesson, and even though we only jumped small fences it was something new to Naughtie.

After I finished with Naughtie, I gave her a quick bath and then tacked up Fanny-girl.  Fanny was a super little pony.  headed right to work on the rail with minimal screwing around.  I did have to get after her a bit once when she kept giving the roundbale the stink eye.  After that she was as good as gold.  We warmed up at the walk and trot and then Bonnie had us go down on the circle and try the canter on both leads.  The goal was to try and slow her canter down to an acceptable western pleasure pace.  Much easier on the right lead than the left.  But the left is her harder side as she does have a bit of a stifle issue there.  we don't usually canter her too much on the left lead, definitely not as comfortable for her as the right lead.  Then it was time to jump.  We started out over the single fence in the center and then added the second fence to make the one stride in and out.  And then finally we added the two angled fences.  Fanny was having so much fun!  She's really enjoying herself with getting to play with the big kids.  And she much happier then when the little kids get on for their lessons.

Ari had tacked up His Poniness for a lesson and she rode him on the flat in the same group as Fanny and I.  She's doing a really good job with him.  He's looking very happy with her riding, the same cannot be said for some who have been on him in the past, so that's important to me.  And she's having fun.  At first they were going to have a lunge lesson, but then Ari just sort of worked into the group and rode him on the rail.  But she still worked on things like riding without stirrups and posting without stirrups.  Heather came to pick Ari up before she had a chance to put X away.  And so rather than immediately untack him I decided to hop up for a little.  We didn't do too much, just trotted a little bit and then picked up the canter.  He's still tossing his head at the canter which I don't like, but overall he wasn't too bad considering he really hasn't be worked other than on the lunge in a while.  I had planned to ride him a little longer, but then Miss decided to escape from her stall and come running out to the arena.  I guess she had enough of waiting around for me to get to her and  took things into her own, well hooves.  So I put X away and tacked up the Moose.

Miss just got some flatwork, a lot of walk and flexing and then some trot work too.  By that point I didn't really have time for too much else.  But Miss was breathing a little heavy, kinda rumbly, so it was probably a good things that we didn't do too much.  She gave me some good moments at the trot though.  And then we just had some fun walking around and playing a bit.

Good day at the barn, although I think I overdid it a bit seeing as I was coming down with a cold.  So I was pretty miserable at work that evening.  At least I only had to work till 10:00 rather than midnight.  I'm taking Wednesday off for my appointment with Dr. Connelly, but that's not till the afternoon so I should get a chance to go ride in the morning.

Still have some super secret Rolex news to share soon.  And another post that I'm really not looking forward to writing.  I seem to be doing too many of these suddenly...


Coming Soon!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Exciting Rolex news!!!!  Keep checking back for more details.


Baby Bounces

Monday, April 4, 2011

First off in case you missed it, Ecogold pulled a hilarious park on Friday.  Go check it out

Breaking News!  US Team selects new coach

More Breaking News!  Reactions to US coach announcement

Shocking turn of events!  New US coach resigns

So Saturday I had two great rides.  First I got on Fanny before the kids rode, get her listening and paying attention.  She was being a bit of a snot to start with but she settled down once we got to work.  I warmed her up on the flat at the walk and trot, and even threw in a couple of leg yields, something she hasn't done in a long time.  And then I shortened my stirrups and we popped over some fences.  Started off over just a single fence and then after a few times, Bonnie added a second fence as a bounce.  Fanny was so cute!  She was really getting into it.  She'll be the only walk/trot horse at South Farm who does combinations.  lol

The kids all rode then.  And I gave both Astrid and Ari lunge lessons on his poniness.  It was pretty funny actually.  Astrid went first and then Ari.  Well when I went to hook him up for the second direction with Ari, he started backing away from me.  I just had to laugh at him.  Silly pony, too lazy to do a little work.

After all the kids rode and things quieted down, Katie and I got ready to ride Mystic and Miss.  Bonnie had set up some random fences in the arena for the kids to jump some mini courses.  Nothing was really planned, it was just kinda turn here, jump that, turn there kinda thing.  Miss had a blast!  It's been two years since she's jumped any kind of a course and she was having so much fun.  They were just small crossbars, nothing big, but to Miss it was fantastic.  She was cantering between fences, and the couple of related lines we had, I just let her jump from the canter.  She was very pleased with herself.  Miss is looking so good, honestly I never thought I would see her in this good of shape again.

In other news, after riding Fanny, Bonnie and I got to talking.  And I'm thinking about taking Fanny back to her western roots and showing her western pleasure this summer.  How cute would she be?  plus if Fanny was going to the open shows, then Payton and I could go in the leadline class.  Payton and Fanny together would just be cuteness overload.  lol


27 days...

Friday, April 1, 2011

And I'll be watching this:

I can't wait!  27 days