Horse Junkies United

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm excited to announce the new adventure I've become involved with.  After the success of our ammie blogging at Rolex, the amazing Patricia from Ecogold started Horse Junkies United.  A new blog written by ammies, for ammies, united all aspects of english riding (eventing, hunter/jumper, dressage)  It's a great place for all of us ammie riders out there to connect.  We have a team of contributors, some of us contributing regularly, others on a more casual basis.  But we also want to hear from you!  That's what makes this site so great.  Talk to us, tell us about the show you went to this weekend.  Or the new horse you're training.  Share your stories!  And check back daily, we've got lots of cool stuff going up all the time.


March/April Goals

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Well my March and April goals were pretty much all a success!  Woohoo!  That's really exciting for me to be able to say. 

March/April Goals
  • Start jumping
    • Success!  Not only did I start jumping Kaye, I have been jumping Fanny and Naughtie as well.  
  • Start riding Twinkie and Naughtie
    • Half success.  As you can see from the previous goal, I've been riding Naughtie.  Unfortunately I haven't found the time for Twinkers yet.  
  • Work on developing my own fitness
    • Half success again.  I did start to work on my fitness.  And I am improved.  However I'm not finding that riding Naughtie takes a lot out of me.  So I need to up this even more.
  • Budget for 2011 show season
    • Success finally.  I'm sure there will still be some tweaking, but I think I have it figured out.
  • Study for PHR certification
    • Success!  Still a lot more studying to do before the test at the end of June, but I've got a good start to it.
May/June Goals
  • Improve Naughtie's dressage
  • Ride Twinkie
  • Prep Naughtie for her first recognized horse trial
  • Ace the PHR exam


I'm still alive, really!

I will get that Rolex post done on here I promise!  In the meantime, catch up on what I had to say over on the Ecogold blog.


Cross Country

Show Jumping

Post Rolex Thoughts

Unfortunately I had to go back to work right away on Monday after Rolex.  And it has been crazy.  The last week of open enrollment is always a busy time for us and this was no exception.  Plus, Walmart apparently decided that since I needed Saturday and Sunday off I need to work the other five days of the week.  Luckily that meant I got Saturday off again so I could spend all day with the ponies.

Got to the barn early on Saturday and the kids started tacking up horses first thing.  Henry tacked up my Fanny-girl and I hopped on her first.  Man she is really enjoying the little bit of riding I've done with her.  Anyway, we warmed up on the flat and then started jumping over a crossbar.  Bonnie added a second crossbar as a two stride and then after a few times she turned the second fence into a vertical at about 2'.  Jumped that a few times and then the first fence was turned into a 2'4" vertical.  Fanny was a rock star as usual and just enjoying life jumping the slightly bigger fences.  And that brought Bonnie and I to the idea of taking her in the 2' walk/trot division at South Farm.  So it looks like Fanny and I will be heading that way.

After Fanny, Victoria brought Kaye out for me and I got a short ride on her.  I'm totally doing this backwards going from the smallest horse to the largest in my riding! lol  Kaye was great warming up on the flat.  A little resistant to the bit at first but that passed quickly.  And really it's just been the kids and Katie riding her lately so it's kind of to be expected.  We had a good warm up and then jumped through the combination several times, which for Kaye was a one stride rather than a two strider.  Didn't really take the fences up much but it felt great to be jumping Kaye at all.  I really haven't gotten the chance to ride her much lately.

Then Kaye and Fanny were turned over to the kids and I decided to play with Orphan Annie for a bit.  Bonnie and I found a new bit for the pony while we were in Kentucky.  It's a double jointed D ring with a medium port.  The idea is that she won't be able to get her tongue over the bit.  So I tied her in her stall with the new bit and just let her stand for a while.  She was pretty good with it.  Surprised me actually.  After I let her get used to it, I started grooming her and then tacked her up to lunge a bit.  She tried her best to get her tongue over the bit, but the pony was not successful.  So I'm calling it a win for the new bit.

After fooling around with the pony for a bit it was time to ride.  Tacked Naughtie up to ride with Katie and Mystic.  She warmed up beautifully on the flat and then it was time to start jumping.  Bonnie started us over just a single fence, a large cross bar.  And then she added another fence to make it a one stride.  And slowly Bonnie increased the fence height till we were eventually jumping 3'4"  And Naughtie was a rockstar!  I'm also coming to a big realization about my riding.  Quite frankly I suck!  No really, I'm learning that I've just let Kaye do so much of the work and been a passenger with her.  And I can't do that with Naughtie.  I have to work hard to ride her correctly.  And let me tell you it is hard work.  And I am sore every time I get off that mare.  But it's also humbling and very rewarding.  And I'm learning a lot.  Even more so than when I ride Kaye.  Yeah I might get to jump bigger stuff, but it's all Kaye, not me. 

Joni, Matty and I at 5801
The week in between barn trips was, well, typically boring.  I worked, worked and worked some more.  But I did meet up with Matty and crew in Pittsburgh at 5801 on the 13th to celebrate his birthday in style!  lol.

On the 14th, we decided to clear the jumps out of the arena so that we could work on some dressage.  I was up first on my Fanny-girl.  We ran through the new USDF Intro test B.  And Fanny strutted her dressage stuff!  Gotta love that pony.  Put her in a dressage ring and she just gets herself in a pretty little frame and moves right on.  You can barely even notice her off on that stifle at all.  So Fanny and I ran through the B test a few times and then I turned her over to Victoria.  Time to tack Naughtie up, with draw reins today.  After warming up, we started out by riding Intro test B.  Naughtie hasn't ridden a dressage test in a couple years.  And well, I'm just going to say that didn't count as she was ridden very well then.  But she was a superstar.  Worked in a nice, level appropriate frame and everything.  Next up was Beginner Novice test B (I refuse to ride test A)  And once again Naughtie rocked it.  She was relaxed and gave me just the nicest canter work.  So proud of my big girl.

And finally that takes us to this weekend.  Again we decided to work on dressage first.  And I was up first on Fanny-girl.  We ran through both the USDF Intro test B and test C.  Even adding in the canter work Fanny was such a good girl for me.  Handed her off to Victoria and then went to get Naughtie ready.  While I was getting her ready, which took a while as she had a new (to her at least) bridle and new reins that needed to be fitted, the kids finished up with dressage tests and Victoria started moving jump standards into the four corners of the ring so we could have a little mini combined test.  By the time I got out to the arena, the jumps were set up and Naughtie definitely noticed them.  She thought it was time to jump.  And she was not too happy when she realized that it was dressage time first.  She was a bit heavy and strong in the bridle, but not too bad overall.  We ran through both Intro test B and C and she gave me some really nice movements.  Then a quick swap of the draw reins for her running martingale and it was time to jump.  I took over over the cross bars first and then we just hung out for a while waiting for Ethan and Henry to ride their dressage tests.

The jumps were then all turned into verticals at about 2'6".  Bonnie decided that I better get on Fanny and take her around the first time over the bigger fences.  And man did Fanny have fun!  She was getting some serious air over those things!  Back on Naughtie and we got our turn over the course.  Bonnie's directions were pretty much just pick a course of 8 or 10 fences.  So I figured I would ride both straight lines and then both diagonal lines. Naughtie was tearing up that course.  She was seriously just trucking around and launching herself over it all.  I'm thinking the 2' divisions at South Farm are going to be a piece of cake for her.