Tuesday, December 29, 2015

SoloShot 2 Review

I have gotten some questions about how I film my rides.  I use the SoloShot 2, which I have a love hate relationship.  When it works correctly I absolutely love it, but I have had some massive technology fails which is really frustrating.

My set up:  Bag, Tripod, Base (orange), Camera, Cords, Armband, and Tag (white)

I will start with an overview of how I use it.  This may or may not be the best way, so if there is a better combination of settings please let me know.  I am not going to go over the entire set up, because it will take awhile and there are other video/instructions online so JFGI.

There are three basic settings that have options within each one and I use green green orange.  The first green (Tilt Settings) means it is in "Surf & Turf" mode.  I chose this, because it can still move up and down, but also allows for a relatively tight frame.  The second green (Trajectory Settings) means it has a one second trajectory.  I haven't ever changed this one, because in the dressage ring I shouldn't ever lose signal.  If I try this for cross country I would probably switch it for one of the others.  The final setting is set to orange (Camera Settings), which means the zoom is as tight as it goes.

The camera I use with the system is a Sony HDR-CX 405.  I absolutely adore this video camera.  It is small, lightweight, and works really well.  If you have ever watched my youtube videos, they were done with this camera.  There may be a few cell phone videos mixed in there, but anything from a clinic or a show they are with this camera.  I have also pulled quite a few pictures from videos and they have been excellent.  Camera=Love

Now for the more interesting stuff.  Things I love about this system.  I can film myself with it.  I can do it on my own time and I don't have to beg/bribe people to film me.  This is huge for me.  Also, because it tracks, I am able to get better video that with fence posts.  I think this has played a huge part in the progress I have made with Stinker.  The video quality has allowed D to be able to see what is going on and give me fixes.

Stinker waiting....and waiting...

The drawbacks to the system.  The set up time (which this has actually been beneficial for teaching Stinker patience) is a pain in the butt.  I turn on the tag as soon as I leave the barn, because it needs a 8 minute warm up time that must be outside.  I then walk up to the dressage arena which takes a few minutes.  I set the tag on a fence post, set up the tripod with the soloshot and the camera.  I then usually go make sure all of the boards are set up around the arena, because the horses are assholes and knock them out.  Sometimes, I play on Facebook while I wait.  When the tag is warmed up, you have to walk it around which typically takes 1-2 minutes.  I tend to be generous with this step, because I think it helps to walk farther (no actual evidence to support that theory).  You still aren't totally set up.  There are two more steps which take 3ish minutes.  All of this set up makes it impossible to do this in a rush.  Because of this, I am pretty much limited to using it on the weekends.  I have done a few mornings, but asshole horses knocked it over and I really don't want a draft horse to walk on said system (it isn't cheap).

Screenshot from a SoloShot Video

Next up, is the system is limited.  You can't set it up too close to the ring otherwise your tag gets too close to the base and that makes things act squirrely.  You also can not use in indoors.  This is not a big deal for me, because our winter is a joke.  While the tag is waterproof, the base is not, so you can't use it when it is raining or super damp.  Additionally, I have had a few problems with the link up either not working correctly the first time (I follow the instructions to the letter) or the link up losing in the middle of the ride.  There is nothing more frustrating than going to watch your ride and all you have is a view of the sky or the ground.

With all of that being said they are coming out with a SoloShot3 that seems to be fixing the biggest drawbacks.  It has an adapter that lets you use in indoors and it also is suppose to eliminate the wacko set up steps that drive me insane.  While, there are things I don't love about this system, I would buy it again because I do think it is a good product.  If I was made of money I would have gone ahead and upgraded to the SoloShot3.  Sadly that is not the case.  If you are wanting to get a system to film yourself while riding I would recommend you look at the SoloShot systems.  There are others out there, but when I was buying I couldn't find enough information on them and went with the more well known company.

SoloShot Video (you can see the white tag on my left arm)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Fly On Over Secret Santa

On impulse I joined the Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange this year.  It is hosted by Tracy at Fly On Over (an amazing blog by the way).  I had seen some of the posts last year, but hadn't made it all the way over to her blog until the deadline this year.  I am so glad that I did.  Due to my obsessive behavior, I have now read three new blogs from start to current.

Ironically, one of these was Amanda from The $900 Facebook Pony (also amazing, but terrible for the bank account).  On yet another impulse, I messaged her last week about her saddle and we chatted a bit about it.  I was just happy that she didn't think I was a crazy person and had seen this blog.  I was shocked when I opened up my gift from the blogger exchange and discovered she was the gifter.

I feel the need to apologize for my very poor gift suggestions.  Basically, I said I liked purple and I am a dressage queen that likes to play with the eventers because they are more fun.  Oh, and that I am nerdy.  That is all really helpful... Even with my minimal assistance (sorry about that), Amanda did an amazing job!

I got this amazing Riding Warehouse shirt.  It is super soft, very flattering, and I love the color.  Also, some purple Noble Outfitters Peddies.  They are my favorite type of socks.  Stinker got some treats (very good timing, because I am out and I am not sure I will have time to get more before the Florida trip) and a super cute brush.  The brush has fun sparkles on the back which I thought I had in the picture, and now it is packed for Florida, so I am saying blogger fail and it will make an appearance later.

The lighting in this picture is really weird, but I couldn't get it to improve.
Trust me it is cute and a nice color.

Lovely card with the rest of the loot.

I just want to say thank you to Amanda for her amazing gift and Tracy for hosting the exchange.  If you are looking for new blogs and don't already follow them, I highly recommend them.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Love My Pony

So, Stinker totally saved my butt this weekend.  I switched up my half pad and forgot that with the memory foam I need to tighten up the girth after I get on.  We made it about six minutes into the video and he started cantering.  I guess in my attempts to alter things I got myself off balance and well you can see below the result, in three formats (because why not).

 We have going....
 And Almost Gone

I would not have blamed him in the least if he had spooked and departed the other direction.  I should have been on the ground.  Instead he calmly stopped, let me get off on the incorrect side, and get everything fixed.  For crying out loud, I was clinging like a monkey to his neck by the end.

I would have cried, because I was in S's basically new saddle.  That would have been lovely to explain...Needless to say Stinker has earned his keep and all the cookies he can eat.  I am so proud of him for keeping it together and not freaking out.  A few months ago, he would have been ready to exit stage left without having the excuse of a floppy monkey on his back.

PS This did inspire me to stop procrastinating and update my helmet, because I love my head.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Packing Panic

I don't know why I come up with supposedly bright ideas.  They always come back and bite me in the ass.  My latest and greatest was to schedule the trip to Florida for the boot camp right after I get back from Christmas with my family.  Seems like a good idea right?  I already have the time off from work, and it worked for S's schedule.

Wrong, I am going to Colorado for Christmas, so that means I am now freaking out that it will snow and my plane will get delayed.  Then, I realized I won't really have time to pack when I get back.  I will be lucky if I get my overlapping laundry done.  So, I get to figure out how to pack for Colorado and fit it all into a carry on.  That part is manageable, the part I am freaking out is the first overnight with the pony.

Gatsby Says "Don't forget the sweat scraper!"

Please help me fill out my list:

Horse (I may be so exhausted from children that I forget him)
Halter + Lead
Blankets + Cooler
Buckets + Hay Nets
Hay, Grain, Supplements
Grooming Supplies (I am going to take my whole bag, so I don't have to worry about the specifics)
First Aid Supplies (I have a bag that I am going to pop in the trunk with all my normal barn stuff)
Boots + Wraps
Saddle(s) + Saddle Pads + Half Pads
Bridle + Draw Reins
Coggins + Health Certificate
Towels + Body Sponge
Tack Cleaning Supplies

Me (Again I feel like this might be a real possibility)
Helmet (I've got a new one)
Riding Boots + Barn Boots (no need for whip or spurs)
Gloves (Winter + Riding)
Riding Pants
Riding Shirts
Pajamas (I forget these all the time and I don't think the girls want to see me running around pantless)
Sport Bras, Socks, Etc.
Vest + Jackets
Snacks + Water Bottle + Travel Mug
Normal Clothes
Electronic Toys (Video Camera, Charger, Etc.)

I am 100% sure I am forgetting things, but I can't think of them to save my life.  So help a girl out and maybe save me a few ulcers.

I don't do selfies well, but Stinker makes up for it.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Video Lesson #16: Big Boy Pants

I was so proud of him with this ride.  When I led him up to the dressage pasture, he was really spooky and tense on the ground.  I thought I was going to be in for a ride, but he was really good.  Although, at the very end once I got off him this happened.
I am really not sure what that was about, but it isn't typical behavior for him.  I was happy that he held it together when I was on him.

My Initial Thoughts:

I rode him in a new bit (french link egg butt instead of french link loose ring).  I think I liked him in it a bit better.  I felt like he was more consistent.  It wasn't a huge difference, so maybe it was all in my head, but I am going to keep him in it.

I tried to work on taking his neck away again and not letting him get in the spazzy canter.  There were places that I could feel him push from his hind end rather than pull from his front.  He wasn't lifting his back, but I don't think I will really get him to do that until I get the saddle issues straightened out.

I am still being timid with the bigger trot, but I am getting more comfortable with it.  I really need to remember to focus on my tempo.  I get so many things running through my brain that I forget that one.  Which remembering the tempo will probably help fix the other million things that are running through my brain.

I also need to remember to look up.  I am fixating on his next and staring down, which automatically puts me in an incorrect position.
Nice trot from the end

D's Thoughts:

4:06  You got the right answer (eventually), but that correction needed to happen more quickly.
4:58  This is the same thing.  It just needs to happen faster.
6:06  Great work.
6:34  Keep your weight more to the inside.  He is throwing you right especially as you are trying to open the right side.
7:57  Your leg is out by his shoulder.
9:30  Make the circles in the corners a bit smaller.
14:36  I saw the canter happening a mile away.  You needed to readjust his balance to the outside.
14:55  Nice moment here.
15:55  I would have moved off that circle by now.
18:16  Nice moment again
19:34  This is the best spiral you have done.
19:53  Nice change of direction.
19:58  Nice three loop!
22:46  Good transition

All of the trot work at the end was your best ever.  Nice work!  You made good choices and followed him and he responded.  There seems to be a happier horse because this is one of your better rides.  You also had better control of your posting, mapping out a plan, and executing it.  You should be really proud of this ride.
Three Loop Serpentine

My Final Thoughts:

I was and still am really pleased with this ride.  I feel like it really demonstrates how far he has come, because the horse I rode was calmer than the horse I had on the ground.  This is pretty much unheard of for him.  I feel like he has really done a lot of growing since I started doing these lessons.  I am so proud of my little man!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Pongo Love

Poor Pongo has been very neglected lately.  Between work and the lack of daylight I have been lacking in time/energy to ride/work two horses, and Pongo has been losing out.  I don't think he minds too much, because he is quite chunky and very sassy.

Right now I have dibs on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  Unfortunately, I have pretty much only been able to ride him Tuesdays.  And that is mainly because I use him for a jump lesson on Tuesdays.

Typically, I regret my decision not to ride him on Monday, because I have to remind him that yes he does have to be soft and supple, yes he does have to respond to my leg, and finally yes when I give him a half halt, he had damn well better half halt.  This past week I got smart and rode with a dressage whip, which made the warm up process much faster.  I was a little nervous about how I would manage the longer whip when jumping, but it was fine despite the fact I typically try to use my arms to fly over the jumps...

None of our rides have been fantastics, but that is mostly due to the fact that I am only riding him once a week and we always jump.  He is lazy at first, then he realizes he is jumping and perks up.  And by perk up I mean he tries to say I got this and I don't need to listen to you.  Then he gets tired and I get tired.  These lessons highlight how out of shape I am, but I am working on fixing that.

I am pleased with where he is at, because honestly he is still rather green.  I have given him the most consistent work since he came off the track.  And honestly I am quite firmly in the amateur/green rider group.  I had never jumped before May (not counting when I was a kid and would try to get my cow horse to jump logs and ditches).  I think he will make a fantastic horse, because he has a good brain and is willing.

I don't have any new pictures, so enjoy all of the old ones that I have probably used a million times.  But that is what Pongo and I have been up to.  It isn't a lot, but I think it highlights that even without consistent work he truly knows what I taught him over the last few months.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Video Lesson #15: Back On Track

The last video lesson I posted, I was frustrated with the ride and lacking in confidence.  Between D and S, I got back on track.  While this ride didn't go exactly as planned, it was much better and I remembered to ride.  Overall, I was much happier with it, and as an added bonus I managed to get this one edited, so there isn't the four minutes of me wandering around setting up the camera system.

The List:  This is getting more complicated and isn't an exact checklist anymore, but more of here are exercises to utilize as necessary.

One Loop Serpentines
Three Loop Serpentines
Leg Yields
50/50 Split Canter and Trot
Canter to Trot Transitions at X
Trot Lengthen on 20 m Circle
Spiral Circles at the Trot

My Initial Thoughts:

I did get a good enough trot that I did some one loops.  I did canter quite a bit.  The main focus of this ride was to get the right side softer and maintaining myself.  I tried the spiral circle exercise and never got the right feeling, but I do think the pseudo spiral helped.  The exercise was to really focus on the spiral out part of the circle to get him heavy in my outside rein.  Once I had him there we could go straight and as soon as he lost that feeling we were to go back onto the circle and reestablish the feeling.

At 9:17 we had a terrible canter transition (scooting for the win), but I let it slide since he was getting stuck and I wanted to get him forward.  I figured picking a fight about the transition would cause a mental meltdown, since he was already pushing the limit.
I am still letting him get his head up too high and I need to take his neck away more, but we had some nice moments.  I am much happier with this video and my confidence/riding is much more effective.  As a side note, I hate how much my confidence is linked to my riding.  Sometimes I need to just shut my brain off, because it gets in the way.

D's Thoughts:

I was successful using the spiraling (Yay, because I thought they were iffy at best.)  5:23 and 27:20 were two places that I actually got his neck taken away from him entirely.  I need to be able to get this feeling all the time.
I also need to work on sitting longer (D has been telling me this since I started riding with her.), because I get too quick in the rhythm.  In addition, my leg is getting better (I am not kicking him in the shoulder), but it still needs to go back farther.

I got some of the best stretch at the trot.  Keep in mind this is very relative and that Stinker's favorite position is giraffe neck with nose tucked.  And we also had some of our best walk work.  This is huge for us.  The walk has been a struggle from day one.

I need to be careful about my rein length.  There are times (6:14 for example) that I ask him to bend to the inside, but don't give my outside rein and allow him to stretch.  He can't give if I don't allow him to give.

I also need to work on my timing.  Around 9:00 he got frazzled because I stayed at the trot too long.  I needed to get the small give and move on, rather than harp and get him frazzled.  For now small is ok.  I need to remember to ask, get, and move on.

I also need to work on not locking up in the transitions (10:46).  When he locks, I lock my arms and it is ugly.  I need to shake my arms out, spin him around, spiral him back out, and canter.  This needs to happen every single time he locks up like that.

Lock Elbows=Tense Inverted Horse

The canter is getting better and more relaxed.  I am now ready to try spiraling in the canter.  When the circle gets smaller almost ask for a trot, and if he trots that is ok right now.  I just need to get his adjustability more fluid and improve our balance.  When he gets in the super tense canter (it feels like a bolt almost), I need to shut it down.  He is bracing in his neck, so I need to take that away and remind him to be fluid.

Also, I am suppose to start adding in circles in the corners.  Right now he launches himself out of the corner and circling will help us to maintain a rhythm and force him to pay attention to me rather than say "We go NOW!"

Again, I need to be better with my hands and when he asks to stretch, I need to be giving and allowing.  He already has a tendency to curl, if I never give forward he will stay like that.

Overall, I need to pay attention to our balance, take away the neck, and make sure I am giving at the appropriate moments.  The circles and spirals will help to set up our balance and take the neck away.  And I have permission to try a few rides without the draw reins to help me with the giving moments.


I think we have been doing really well lately.  He has given me a couple of really nice rides that made me so proud.  I have gotten some really nice three loop serpentines and excellent trot work.  There are improvements in the canter, and I am learning to get the feel for the larger trot.

He still isn't lifting his back and really moving the way I know he can.  I am really hoping an appropriately fitting saddle will help this.  S's saddle is a little too small and I can't blame him for not wanting to lift and push into a too small saddle.  In the mean time, I am really trying to limit the number of rides, because I don't want to sour him due to the saddle fit.

Ignore me and look at the neck.  No under neck!!!

We have been doing a fair amount of ground work.  I lunged him over a cross rail and he is so adorable.  I think if we can get him consistent on the flat he will be an amazing jumper.  Sadly I did not get any video of it.  We also went on a bareback trail ride, which was lots of fun.  I love riding bareback and I love that he is ok with it.  Although he is so freaking uphill that I pretty much have to grab mane the whole way so I am not sliding off the back.  But I love his ears and his march when he gets going.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

My Precious

I have been lusting after a One K helmet in our local tack shop.  I could use a better/newer helmet (I have fallen twice in the current one and dropped it several times.)  I honestly don't know if I hit my head in the first fall, but the second one I knew I did.

The first fall is actually a funny story, it was in the first month of lessons with S.  I was riding Gus who is the oldest and sweetest lesson horse (never dumps kids, just doesn't go forward).  He tripped on a ground pole and the grass had dew on it.  Needless to say neither of us stayed upright.  My ankle was caught between him and one of the ground poles.  Hence the reason I don't know if I hit my head or not.  I was so busy trying not to swear that I don't remember anything beside thinking I had broken my ankle.  Thankfully that didn't happen.  So that is the story of how I fell of the best lesson horse in the barn.

The second one was with Stinker which I don't know if it should really count as a fall since I never made it on.  I was getting on bareback and flopped on his side which caused him to spook.  I thought the ground looked better than the side of the horse, so I tried to drop back to the ground and proceeded to sprain my ankle and skid on the gravel driveway.  I know my head hit in the skid.

The bottom line, is I want the helmet, but I am terrified if I buy it I am going to promptly fall off and bust it.  They do a replacement program....but it would still be $120 to replace it.  I do think that the more expensive helmets offer better protection and I do need my brain to afford my horse.  So...I should probably just go ahead and upgrade.  But, I am terrified I will jinx myself if I do.  And yes with that logic I will mention that I am a scientist and I do see the irony in it.  And I promise I don't use this logic at work (much).

So, do I buy the new helmet (considering the fact I am looking for a new saddle also)?  Or do I wait and stick with my old one for a couple more months?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

One Year

One year ago, D officially brought home a certain little Stinker Pony.  The funny thing about the whole search, is she only tried two horses for me in the process.  Stinker and one other that I wasn't wild about, but he was near Stinker so I had her go check him out too.  Needless to say Stinker was the winner.

It seems rather crazy, because I didn't get to actually see him until the beginning of March.  Honestly who the hell buys a horse without seeing him and then doesn't see him for another three months?  Apparently me.  Please note that I don't recommend doing things this way.  Luckily for me it all worked out.

From his sales ad

Stinker was also the last present my dog (aka my Chunky Monkey) bought me.  In an attempt to make myself not feel so lame one year I bought shoes for my birthday and someone asked me about them, so I said Chunkers bought them for me.  I swear my animals have normal names, but I also give them stupid nicknames that I use more than their real names.  This continued as a joke, and I actually got some pretty pricy gifts.  The one year my car got totaled right before Christmas and I got a car for Christmas.  Last year a pony.

First picture D sent me post purchase

It has been a crazy year, and I think D had some interesting times in the three months that she had Stinker.  She was very closed mouth about everything, but slowly some things have come out.  Like how he liked to kick her leg when she asked for the canter transitions.  WTF horse?  He tried that once with me and kicked himself.  He then got pissed and tried to buck, but that didn't work any better for him.  I think that he couldn't maneuver himself as well since I am heavier than D.

In the last year, Stinker went from being essentially unstarted under saddle.  He had extensive ground work, but not much riding.  D had him going solid walk, trot, canter, and baby leg yields.  He came down here we had about a month and half, then the lameness issues started.  I kept insisting that something was wrong, but I didn't know what.  The vet came, thought it was the hocks and they were injected.  The vet came back, thought it was the stifles and they were blistered.  The vet came back and decided that it was EPM.  Through multiple rounds of treatment and the vet bills...Oh the vet bills... we finally got him back on track.

My first (possibly second) ride on him

At this point, he had lost a lot of weight and muscle (he will always be on the lean side, but this was too much).  His lovely topline that D had built up was gone.  And he still had some residual hitch in his git up.  This eventually worked out and is gone, but that was more vet bills.  Are we seeing $$$ yet, because all I saw was -$$$$.  Finally, at the end of July I started riding him again.  We putzed around and weren't making any real progress.  I was only riding him for 10-15 minutes at a time so I couldn't justify paying for a full hour.  Enter video lessons.

I started the video lessons with D in mid August.  This finally got us on a positive track.  I learned how to ignore his BS legs (this is still in progress at times), and he started to figure out that I wasn't going to kill him if I was on him.  It has been a long and slow rode, but we are on an upward trend and I now have him back to where he was when D brought him down to me.

So that has been the year of the Stinker Pony.  It has been an interesting ride with its ups and downs, and I can't wait to see what next year has in store for us.  Hopefully, more interesting things than YAY my pony walked.  But hey it is all about the little victories.

Within the last two weeks.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Video Lesson #14

This video was pretty rough for me (Ignore the first four minutes I was having video editing issues).  I was struggling with my confidence (Long story short, someone cracked a joke about Stinker needing a professional ride and while I knew it was a joke, my feelings were hurt and my confidence took a hit).  I always struggle with having confidence in my riding, which is why I am so dependent on lessons (and careful about who I ride with).  They give me the boost that I need.  Needless to say D gave me the boost I needed with this.

The List:

The list went out the window, because I was firmly on the struggle bus.  But what is on the list is below:

30 Minutes Total

15 Minutes Trot
     4 Three Loop Serpentines with 15 m circles at the midline
     4 Lengthen Trots on 20 m circle (lengthen one half bring back other half)
     1 One Loop Serpentine each direction

     1 Leg Yield Each Direction at the Trot
15 Minutes Canter
     Canter entire arena with 20 m circles at A and C and 15 m circles at E and B
     4 Canter to Trot Transitions on the diagonal with the transition at X

My Thoughts:

As I mentioned above, this ride was pretty rough (I almost didn't post this lesson, but in the interest in full disclosure I am sucking it up and posting.)  I felt like we only had choppy mode or canter mode.  Everything just felt horrible and I wasn't riding well.  So feel free to skip the video (I am really hoping you do).  :)

I was not able to follow the program, but I did try to keep my reins shorter and give him a ceiling with the draw reins.  I think I did on ok job on that.  I also think I did a fairly decent spilt between the canter and trot work.

I have been struggling with the trot.  My thoughts on why I have been struggling are:  A) He is no longer happy in S's dressage saddle (I am quite confident this is an issue now).  B) He has decided that cantering is easier than trotting.  C) It is something that I am doing that makes him think I want to canter.  I did notice that when I was on the incorrect diagonal, he wasn't trying to canter as much.

D's Thoughts:

This might be a little disjointed, because we did more back an forth than usual.  The summery of our conversation was I am a chicken shit.  Not really, but I need to not be afraid to canter when he gets like this.  The more I try to trot the more frustrated he gets.  And I need to remember to just keep riding and to have faith in myself.  I am so worried that I am going to create bad habits that I do nothing and it is actually worse than anything I do.

D encouraged me to let him canter it out.  I don't totally agree with this, because he is the freaking energizer bunny and just keeps going and going.  Every time I try to do this, I end up with a horse that is drenched in sweat and still trying to canter.  I do agree with I need to get him forward and then bring him back and then forward and back, until he gets his head in the game and is willing to play with me.  It all comes back to the mental game with him.

Another thing that D pointed out was the fact that he was completely locked on the right side.  I never noticed it (oops).  In my rides since then I focused on loosening that up and I think it has helped greatly.  I also really need to work on my half halt and remember to breathe.  I have a tendency to tense and stop breathing.  This makes him anxious which feeds into the cycle I am trying to break with the half halt.  If I tighten my core and continue to breathe, he will respond as desired.

Another big point, was I need to get over my fear of making mistakes.  They are going to happen no matter what and I just need to take a leap a faith and go over the cliff.  And right now the only way I am going to learn is if I make some mistakes.  (Damn overachiever side of me cringes at this.) 

Updated List:

Everything listed at the beginning is still on there, but I am also to add in spiral in and out on circles.  I really need to focus on the out part and use this to help supple him.  I can bring him back into the slow trot (almost a walk) for this if necessary.  The goal is to get him heavy in my outside rein.  When that happens I can take him off the circle.  As soon as he starts to get heavy on the inside, he goes back onto the circle.

Despite my initial frustration with this ride, we did have our good moments.  D pulled this picture out of the video and I love him in it.  Yes we do have improvements to make but compared to where we were I love it.  Although as one of my non horsey friends said when she saw the picture, "Dat ass!"  I really need to get my butt in line and not do my weird perching thing.  PS sorry no gifs, because I still mostly want to pretend this video didn't happen.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Tis the Season for Thanks

have been struggling a bit lately.  Not just with the Stinker, but with work and life in general.  But in light of the holiday tomorrow, I started thinking about all thing things I have going for me and I honestly don't have any reason to complain.  Sure work sucks sometimes, but I have a job that lets me afford my pony, which makes me very happy.  It is challenging (sometimes a little too much), but that is better than being bored out of my mind.

I am also incredibly lucky to have amazing people in my life.  I have an amazing family and friends that are essentially family.  While, I am far away, there is this amazing thing called a cell phone.  I have wonderful barn people and amazing trainers (D and S).  D may be far away, but she always makes time for me.  And S busts her butt all day every day and always has a smile on her face.

I also have this amazing pony (just under a year ago).  He may frustrate the hell out of me (this last week is a case in point), but I love him to death.  I may call him a little Stinker, but he is such a fun horse.  Crazy talented (if I figure out how to unlock it), tons of personality, and so willing.  He is such an over achiever that it causes problems sometimes, but I love that he wants to try and cares enough to try to anticipate what I will want next.  Not to mention he is super smart.

I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving filled with good ponies, good food, and good people.  Ponies obviously come first, because I have my priorities in line.  ;)

PS I fixed one of the pictures and made it all out of whack for the order...oops blogger fail.

Sinead Halpin Clinic Photo Dump

I finally got the photos from the Sinead Clinic.  Here they are starting with the proof it really was Sinead Halpin.  PS Just look at Pongo.  He is >>>>>>>> cuter than me.  :)