Friday, December 30, 2016

2016 Goals Review and 2017 Goals

2016 got off to an interesting start.  I made a lot of goals at the end of 2015 and then went to visit my favorite dressage judge.  She promptly scratched all of my goals, put Stinker and I on a walk only plan, and he got hind shoes (and fronts because he had been barefoot) put on to give him more support behind.  Oh and I dropped all my money on a custom saddle, but I have zero regrets because I adore it (and so does he and that is what really mattered).

Paid almost 3x as much for saddle as I did for the horse #worthit

My best decisions of the year:
  • New saddle- he previously would not walk under saddle.  Immediately started walking with the new one.
  • Hind shoes- when he loses his balance he goes faster.  Having hind shoes helped to give him a little more support behind and I could actually slow him down instead of everything snowballing faster.
  • Only walking- this took the pressure off him and we started building a strong relationship so when things got hard he tried for me instead of panicking and checking out mentally.
Once, I got over my pouting about being put back to just walk work, I made us some new year goals.
  • Happy healthy Stinker (he is happy when I shovel timothy in him and I refuse to comment on the other one)
  • Happy healthy human (human is having some life freakouts)
  • Build up muscle in the correct places (I am quite pleased with how he looks.  Sure I want more but who doesn't?)
  • Build up strength (we are back to cantering so I am calling it a win)
  • Consistent walk/trot with leg yields (I wouldn't call us consistent in the trot yet, but we do have leg yields in both gaits and both directions)
This used to be a regular response to legs

I am very pleased with how we are ending our year, despite my frustrations at the beginning of the year (freaking out at legs anyone???).  I am trying really hard to not freak out over every little thing and really focus on our overall progress.  I used to not know what I was going to get on any day and most days it felt like I was sitting on a powder keg.  Now we have a working relationship.

Not to mention we survived our first show together.  I haven't shown since 2004 and I was always a bundle of nerves.  Not only did I manage to keep myself calm and collected, but I also managed to keep him together.  Plus we now have our first ribbon and I give zero shits that we were in last place by about 10 points.  That little piece of satin stands for so much more than what the judge saw.

Quarter 4 goals

Human goals
Hahahahahaha!  I failed miserably at these.  I was supposed to see a physical therapist because everything was hurting from running.  Instead I stopped running.  I had a couple of freaky incidents with guys in cars following me and asking weird questions (like where can they get pizza).  Then I had a super freaky incident where a guy tried to open my car door on the road I typically ran on.  So yeah the running stopped and because the running stopped they pain stopped and I failed at my goals.

Stinker Goals
I have been doing a pretty good job of maintaining the relaxation, but I am starting to think that I will have to give that up to really be able to improve the trot and then come back to establishing the relaxation.  This really depends on the day and I need to have a heart to heart with my favorite dressage judge.
I ended up not putting the canter on hold under saddle.  I am only doing it once a week and it is typically in the jump field where I can keep the figures larger.  I am going to count this as a success because it is happening and it isn't quite as bolt-like.
I would say we are doing fairly well on the mobility and ride-ablity.  We still have our off days, but overall I can move his haunches and shoulders around.

Now on to the fun part.  The new goals.

More traveling and more shows please

2017 Year Goals

  • Solid WTC
  • Travel new places
  • Schooling shows
  • Happy and healthy
  • Improve my position
  • Get my stress shopping under control
  • Improve my fitness
Quarter 1 Goals

  • Keep up the steady progress
  • Focus on the trot
  • Keep doing ground poles
  • Keep working on breaking up the tension
  • Please for the love of god stop stress shopping!!!
  • Keep working on my fitness
  • Be more active in my riding instead of so passive

Always have fun (and use your human as a chew toy)!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

2016 In Rewind


I visited my favorite dressage judge, got a saddle, cheated on Stinker with her amazing fancy mare, we struggled with lingering hind end issues from the EPM.  We struggled at home with the riding, he was tense and over reactive and I struggled with the idea that he may not be able to ever do the things I want to do.  My parents met him for the first time.  Luckily, I was still riding Pongo and he provided a great distraction from my problems with Stinker.

Don't miss these days


I obsessed over everything a lot.  Pongo went to his first show with S and had some baby horse hiccups but did well overall.  I was debating about getting a PS of Sweden bridle (which is still my most popular post).


Stinker got some time off because he had ouchy feet from thrush (something I am still struggling with).  He was still pretty hit or miss on his reactions.  I was having fun jumping Pongo.

XC because walking got boring


I stopped riding Pongo (S and the girl that might purchase him were riding him more).  I was running out of content so I stole a post from Megan and wrote about Awards They Should Give.  I had my blogiversary.  I bought my PS of Sweden bridle, which I love but hate the noseband.


I did a post about a year post EPM.  The riding was improving slowly, but it was all quite boring at this point.  My obsession with fly bonnets and Dark Jewel Designs brow bands started.

Two more strands are on the way...and we won't talk about the number of bonnets


I finally got my H-girth (it was supposed to have been ordered when I got my saddle at the very beginning of January).  I played with other ponies.  I thought about showing and then promptly started freaking out the Stinker was having an EPM relapse.  It turned out just to be a slight saddle fit issue.


I did a post about making a solid citizen and ended up turning it into my very first blog hop.  I also started my very first contest this month (the olympic contest).  I wanted my horse to magically have a giant ass instead of having to take my time and slowly build up his hind end.


We started cantering again.  I whined about blankets not fitting my horse because he is an awkward shape.  I threatened to never get him another massage because he is such a brat after them.  And I announced the winners for the olympic contest (I swear you will get your prize Olivia.  I fail at being crafty.)


I started off the month with an attempt to go on a trail ride and had problems with spiders.  Things were pretty quite and then D came to visit.  After she left the wheels totally fell off the bus and the remainder of the month was me trying to put things back together.  I stole a horse and had my first jump lesson since I stopped riding Pongo back in April.


I got to have a lesson with my favorite dressage judge and then Stinker got to experience warm up at our schooling show.  I had originally planned on riding him in it, but after September I chose just to get him out and ride him around.  Towards the end of the month things started to cool down finally and he got a little sassy.

Staring intently at warmup


I found my magical feather (aka the neck strap) and we played with lots of ground poles.  I was reminded why I need to keep videoing myself when I ride (I haven't been any better about it).  The time change shifted me to AM rides which means I am getting up at 4:00 4:30 to ride my horse.  I talked about the ways Stinker is crooked (and wrote a post about me and then never finished it).  I actually have 5 unfinished posts from November.


We had three lessons with my favorite dressage judge, and I am working on getting him to stay over his back more consistently so we can really start building his topline.  Then we went to our first schooling show and blew my expectations out of the water.


Monday, December 26, 2016

December 10 Questions

1)  Does your horse need shoes?
Stinker has shoes because he needed more support behind after the EPM.  Prior to that he was barefoot.

How to wear your bell boots...

2)  What do you think about the barefoot vs shoes debate?
I think horse people have strong opinions about many things and people should talk to their farrier and their vet and make an informed decision about what works for that horse in that situation.

3)  Favorite season for riding?
Fall.  I love everything about fall.  But really any time it isn't freezing cold or boiling hot I am good to go.  My desire to ride wins out over a lot of weather conditions (except thunder.  never thunder).

4)  How many shows do you think you have gone to?
One since I switched to English.  I don't know if you count when I was a kid riding western.  We did one horse show a year for 4-H and I can't remember when I started that.  Then we did some gymkhana stuff but I can't remember how often or for how long.  I know I have a crap ton of ribbons from the 4-H stuff and a belt buckle from the gymkhana stuff.

5)  Do you consider yourself a good rider?
This depends on how you define a good rider.  When comparing myself to adult amateurs in general I would say I am above average in my ability to stay on the horse and average in my actual english riding skills.

We have both come a long way

6)  How experienced do you think someone needs to be to own a horse?
I think this has less to do with the amount of experience a person has and more to do with their willingness to learn.

7)  Have you ever gotten into a fight with your trainer?
Nope, I try not to get into fights with people in general.  And I make it a point not to pay people I don't agree with.

8)  Describe your dream horse.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with wanting a chestnut with a flaxen mane and tail (My Friend Flicka was the root of that one).  As I got older I cared less about looks and more about personality.  I like hot, athletic, intelligent horses.  I can also only think of a few horses that I didn't like in my life time, so I am pretty easy to please when it comes to horses.  But I wouldn't say no to a horse that could do GP dressage and jump a bit...

9)  Does anyone in your family ride?
Everyone in my immediate family can ride.  Both my parents are excellent riders.  Even the non horsey sister-in-laws (and one brother-in-law) have been tossed on horses at various points.  Most of my extended family has ridden too.  Basically I am from ranching families on both sides and it was a requirement whether the person wanted to or not.

10)  If you could ride any horse in the world which one would it be?  Why?
So many to choose from.  If it extends into the dead horse period I would love to gallop Secretariat.  I had a period growing up where I really wanted to be a race horse jockey, but sadly I outgrew that one in about second grade...
I would love love love to ride any horse Michael Jung trained, but I do think my favorite one of his is FischerRocana.  Of course I would also love to ride Valegro, but really who would turn down a chance to sit on him?

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fly On Over: Blogger Secret Santa

I love doing this gift exchange, because I always find a new blogs and I love giving presents.  As a side note, I am terrible this year I totally forgot to mail my present until I received mine.  I am so so sorry.  Anyway, this year, I got the most amazing present ever from Grace at The Horseback Artist.

Per usual I gave terrible instructions as to what to get me.  I am always so terrible at it because I will love anything and I have this weird thing that I don't want to make someone feel obligated to buy me something.  Basically, I am just a weirdo with issues... :)

Lead rope, cookies, and my new massage mitt

Anyway, I was so excited to open the package I didn't remember to take any pictures at the time.  The first thing I pulled out was a purple lead rope, which is awesome because I was just thinking that I should probably have a spare when I was hand walking a flying dragon on Sunday.  Also, included was a rubber massaging mitt, which may or may not ever make it out to the barn.  Seriously, my leg was bothering me and I used it on myself and loved it.  Stinker also got some treats which he will love.  And I always enjoy his cookie face.

My favorite part was the sketch that was included in the card.  I actually teared up a bit when I saw it.  I am trying to decide where I want to keep it.  Thank you for all the goodies Grace!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Trailering Adventures

Sunday, the plan was to get home mid afternoon.  But like most well thought out plans involving horses that did not happen.  We had eight horses, Stinker was in the barn's four horse trailer that S was driving.  Then we had two two horse trailers that were being pulled by boarders (one of which had never pulled a trailer before).  Things were slow getting ready Sunday morning, but we were finally loaded and ready to pull out when I noticed we had a flat on the right rear trailer tire.

All dressed up and no where to go

I told S and she called A (our barn owner about it).  He is super handy and can fix about anything.  He said we should be fine if we put air in it.  We borrowed a portable air compressor, but the battery was going to die before we got the tire totally aired back up.  So S decided to send the other two trailers ahead and we were going to stop at a gas station and finish airing it up and then catch up.  I aired up the tire and it seemed to be holding, so we got back on the road.

At this point we were about 10 minutes behind the other two trailers.  As we were going down the interstate S felt something and thought the tire had blown.  Then a trucker pulled up along us and made some motions so we stopped at the next exit.  Of course the gas station we pulled into was closed on Sunday.  Everything was still intact on the tire, but it was flat again.  We facetimed with A and he said that it looked like the tire had been bouncing (I can't remember the actual technical term) and we found a nail that was in it.

Nail to the left of the finger

S and I wanted to change the tire, but A wanted us to find a station that would put a plug in it so we still had a spare (we still had about 5 hours to go and there is a long stretch where there is nothing).  A lady was very nice and pulled in to see if we were ok.  She didn't know of any places that could plug a tire, but she did ask if we had cell phones.  I assured her we were fine and would find something and that we could change the tire if necessary.  Since there was nothing at this exit, we added more air per instructions and got back on the interstate and were limping along.  I started calling every place that I could find.

We were in the bible belt on a Sunday morning so it was hard to find a place that was close and open on Sunday.  After a couple no answers I was starting to get really nervous.  I finally got an answer but the place said they would only do semi tires.  I was desperate and asked the guy if he knew of any place and he said that Greg down the road might be able to do it.  I asked for Greg's number and said great thank you and got off the phone.

S and I were both stress eating all the snacks in the truck...

I called Greg and he seemed a little puzzled but said yes he could help us out.  I asked for directions and he said just to call back when we got to the truck stop I had originally called and he would direct us from there.  I was so excited to have found a place that I didn't really think about things until after I had hung up the phone and relayed everything to S.

Then I realized that we were probably going to some guy's backyard.  S and I decided that it was still the best option, because the tire was totally flat again and it was the closest place.  We limped along and finally made it there, but by the time we got there the tire had blown out.  I was a little nervous when we saw the place.  It was a trailer house with about 15 boats and a bunch of other junk piled around.  There wasn't really even a good flat spot for the trailer.  I told S that I would send our location to A and that I had cash to pay for the tire.

Greg's place

Poor A was really nervous for us (it was S, a 13 year old girl, and me).  Greg was really sweet and I was very thankful that S and I hadn't tried to change the tire ourselves.  He couldn't get the spare off the trailer because one of the bolts wouldn't come loose.  He ended up cutting it off with a torch.  He also had a hydraulic jack and one of the fancy things tire shops use for the lug nuts.  He finally got the tired changed and only charged us $20 bucks.  I was so happy that all four horses stood quietly on the trailer.  Typically Stinker starts pawing and prancing in place when we stop, not to mention that the equipment was quite loud.  He did start snorting when the guy was checking the tire pressure on the other side of the trailer but he stood like a rock.

Once we got back on the road, one of the places I had called that didn't answer called me back.  The lady had been in church and saw she had a missed call.  I thought that was very sweet.  As the day went on, the temperatures kept dropping and it started raining.  By the time we got home it was cold and pouring down the rain.  Stinker was so done and over with everything he practically drug me down the barn aisle to his stall.  There were horses in the cross ties all down the way and people pulling wraps off.  I pretty much just called watch out we are coming through and power walked to keep up with him.

Basically sums up his feelings that evening

I got him all tucked in and my stuff unloaded (of course my tack trunk was on the bottom of the stack).  He was happily eating and kicking in his stall.  I was exhausted and loaded my stuff up in my car to take home told him what an excellent boy he was and went home and had peppermint hot chocolate for dinner.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Pretty In Pink

Friday we left for our first schooling show.  I really wasn't sure what to expect and was trying to keep my crazy to a minimum.  It was a struggle.  I was excited but also very nervous.  It is about a six hour haul to the schooling show.  My original plan was to go out in the XC fields and school him while the group (we had 8 horses) schooled XC.  I realized this was a terrible idea and ended up staying at the barns and schooling him in a ring (not the show one).

I think he is ready for a poker tournament.

He was really good for the schooling.  There were four or five other horses in there with us and he handled things well.  I thought about lunging him prior to getting on, but didn't.  I did let him circle the mounting block as I got on, because it was easier than picking that battle.  He knows how to stand but when he gets anxious standing gives the hamster more time to get wound up.  I only rode him for about 30 minutes.

Saturday, I didn't ride until 12:50 which meant all of the other girls were doing stadium when I was doing dressage.  Unfortunately that meant S was busy (she was riding in the same division as two of the girls and there was a third right before her) and so I was on my own for warm up.  She was originally going to try to come and check on me, but I told her not to worry about it and just to check her phone and I would text if we were having a meltdown.

I am surprised he still likes me after all the bumper jokes were made

Warm up started off really really well.  I had him walking nicely and supple and moving off my legs really well.  He lost it a bit once we trotted and I never got it back.  It was pretty obvious that I was having difficulty steering and most people were giving me my little circle at the far end of the ring.  Except one person that thought cantering a circle around my circle was a great idea.  That resulted in me going off on a rant about why the hell someone is doing intro A and Stinker doing some unintentional cantering that was pretty darn close to bolting.  After that I would get him settled and the pain in the butt would blow by us again and Stinker would get tense again.

I was happy with the test.  We are both capable of more, but we made it through and he handled the whole environment as well as he can at this point.  There was nothing in the comments that I don't already know.  We got told we needed to walk sooner (I barely got him back to the walk by the time we hit C and I had started asking a few strides before X).  Several tense comments (yep we looked like a gingeraffe.  Only one jigging comment (it was the free walk).  I had to chuckle at the halt.  She wrote, "haunches right ears left."  I was laughing in my test at that point because I was trying to hold him straight and he really really really wanted to see what was going on in stadium.


As far as the collectives went, we were dinged for the tension (5.5 on gaits, 5.0 on impulsion, 4.5 on submission).  I was pretty darn proud of the fact that we got a 6.0 on geometry considering that as I was finishing my second circle, I thought, "crap I have no idea if my circles have even been circles."  At first I was bummed that I got a 4.5 on "Rider's effectiveness of aids" but after watching the test I realized I was riding far too passively.  On the first circle he kept trying to canter and instead of really sending him into the corners and using my shoulder in or haunches in to break up the tension I took my aids off.

It was a great learning experience for us and we finished with a score (and a 5th place ribbon).  I officially bought him just over two years ago and we have gotten through a ton of baggage and EPM and I couldn't be happier with my little Stinker.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Breaking Up The Tension

Stinker is a tense horse and his go to reaction is to lock up and plow forward.  I don't mind this reaction because it is infinitely easier to ride than a horse that spins or my least favorite starts going backwards, but it is a kiss of death when it comes to dressage.  Slowly I am learning ways to help break up the tension so I can keep him working over his back.

  • I need to raise my expectations.  He needs to start stretching over his top line immediately instead of me letting him dink around for 20 minutes.
  • Don't worry about which gait he is in, but insist he stays over his back.  No more inverted giraffe.  When he does trot, keep it small.
  • Use haunches in and shoulder in on a circle to keep him from locking up.
  • I need to sit to the right going both directions.  He likes to dump me to the left.
  • Keep asking him to flip his crest to the right all the way up to the poll.  Since his right hind is weaker, he carries tension in his poll.
  • Keep feeling in my elbows.  I give too much and lose the contact which causes him to bounce up.  If I can keep my elbows heavy he is much more willing to stay over his back.
  • When traveling to the right swap diagonals every five or six strides.  This helps to lighten the load on his weaker hind and he stays softer.
  • Lateral work is my best friend.
  • My corrections need to be quicker.  Make them more quickly and do not hang in them.
He is chewing on my hat...It basically sums up our relationship

A lot of our problems stem from my lack of timing (story of my life).  As I mentioned on Monday, I tend to settle for "good enough" when the reality is it isn't good enough any more.  I need to make sure I am still stepping up my game to match his progress.  I also tend to hang in the aids too much.  I get stuck in a grey area that doesn't do either of us any good.  I need to make the correction and go back to neutral and then be quicker in making another correction.

I also want to give too much when he does soften.  I am giving three inches instead of half an inch.  When I give this much my elbow comes too far forward and I lose the heaviness in it and my hands no longer feel soft and following to him.  And of course he pops off the contact.

The bottom line is I need to step up my riding game now that I have the tools to break up his tension.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Who Is Training Whom?

This weekend my favorite dressage judge was in town and as usual it was a very productive weekend.  One of the big themes of the weekend was I can not let Stinker just cruise around.  When he was over reactive and not in a good mental place I needed to stay very still and soft and let him figure things out.  Now that is not the case.

The one with the hat is in charge...

Stinker is in a very good place now, both mentally and physically.  He trusts me and even when I put the pressure on he may get frazzled but it is different now.  Now that he is in a different place I need to change my mindset too.  Unfortunately, he has done a good job of training me.  I am too soft and too willing to let things be good enough.

When he gets tense and frazzled I need to immediately get him to stretch down and access his back.  When he is good, I need to put the pressure on and try new things.  I also need to keep him in my elbow at all times.  Right now I tend to give too much and leave him to his own devices too much.

He has me well trained with this face

I'll get into the nitty gritty details later, but for now I need to remember I am supposed to be training him instead of him training me.

Friday, December 9, 2016

ASSFS Blog Hop: Location, Location, Location

Since I have been enjoying these posts so much, I decided to share my information.  I am on the gulf coast about 30-45 minutes from the actual beach.

I honestly don't know the costs of quite a few of these or they are solely based on me, because when I moved here I didn't have a horse and once I did have a horse I knew where I was keeping him.

Water jump when we were in a drought (it comes with a duck too)

Board- $485 (Stall)  This includes everything (blanketing, twice a day feeding, little extra care things).  In addition to that we have a full sized dressage ring, a small dressage ring, a jump field with enough jumps to do full courses through prelim, cross country in two fields including a water jump, banks, and a ditch (full courses step over stuff through novice and a few training/prelim).  There are also trails most of them are 20ish minutes but I have figured out how to connect a few loops with minimal backtracking to add up to around 50 minutes.  I also really really love the turnout.  The horses are outside at night (16ish hours) from April to October/November and then during the winter they are out for 8-9 hours.

Full Training-???  I honestly don't know of any place that has full training.

Hay-???  I don't know the cost of this one either.  I do know that you can buy alfalfa that is hauled in from somewhere out west for $24 for a 100 pound bale.  We have costal hay which I think sucks, but it is what is available.  I have been supplementing with timothy pellets to help keep the weight on Stinker.

Field where a galloping path is cut during the summer

Shoes/Trims-  I only know the cost of our farrier, who I know is the most expensive in the area but he is worth it.  I think trims are $40 and Stinker's full set of shoes are $185.  He gets hot shod and I know it goes up from there if pads are involved.

Hot as balls.  The kicker down here is the humidity and the fact that you can only take off so many layers before you get arrested for public indecency.  The temperatures mainly stay in the mid 90s during the summer, but when you factor in the humidity is is typically in the mid 100s.  Anhidrosis is a major problem and we have several horses that have it in the barn.  There really isn't a spring or a fall which makes me sad.  We get quite a bit of rain but the soil is sandy so it handles the rain a lot.  Hurricanes can hit here, but I am really hoping I will move before that happens.  The winter is nice, despite the humidity making it feel way colder than it actually is.  But the summers suck and are really miserable.  I really don't know why anyone colonized this area before the invention of air conditioning.

Riding Demographic
There is a pretty good mix of things.  There are lots of people that do western (speed events and the pleasure classes).  There are hunter jumpers in the area along with the eventers.  There isn't a ton of straight dressage right here, but within a couple hours there are more people that do straight dressage.  But you can find whatever you want in this area.  We do have one tack store and it mostly caters to the English crowd.

We even have minis

Frustrating Things About The Area
There aren't very many good instructors in the area.  S is one of the few that regularly competes and she is totally dependent on clinics for instruction (most of which she has to set up, while teaching a full schedule and taking care of a 25 stall barn).  Basically, S is super woman.

Nice Things About This Area.
The people are amazing.  The cost of living is super cheap (basically the only reason I can afford a horse).  I really adore my barn and the people that come with it.  If you can block out the summer months the weather is nice.
Jump Field

Overall, I am really happy with where I am.  Although you might want to ask me again ing the summer that might change.  It isn't somewhere I would say move for horses (it is fairly far to get to recognized shows) but if you end up in this area due to life it isn't so bad.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

No Vacation For You!

My horse is an asshole when he is bored.  I can make all the excuses in the world, but that is the bottom line.  He will find the absolute worst possible way to entertain himself.  I know this and yet I keep making the same mistakes over and over.

Case in point, this weekend my favorite dressage judge is in town, so I signed up for three lessons.  I was thinking that because he was going to be working hard this weekend I would keep things light so he would be fresh going into the clinic.

Dis face lies!  It is all trouble

He got last Thursday off then we did a walk trot ride on Friday and a walk trot canter ride Saturday.  He ended up with Sunday off because it rained when I had time to ride and stopped raining when I had to be at work (I was grumpy about that).  Monday we just walked on the hills.  Tuesday morning I was planning on doing an hour of hill work again until I got to the barn.

I got there at 5 since I had an early meeting at work, when I walked in someone had left the radio playing Christmas music and I thought it was kinda cute walking into the dark, quiet barn, with soft Christmas music.  That was until I also heard the sound of water running.

He needs more days like this

My first thought was please please please please don't be my horse.  My wishes were not granted.  He had turned on his freaking water hose.  His entire stall had 1-2 inches of standing water.  At this point I didn't dare look at any of the other stalls.  It had run into the barn isle and down the hall and out the back doors (the barn has a slight downward slope from the front to the back).

I immediately started dreading having to text S and tell her my asshole horse made a giant mess.  Since it was five and I didn't want to wake her up with that text I had to wait.  I waited until 6:30 in hopes that she would have had her coffee but not be at the barn yet.  Thankfully, she was super sweet about it and didn't even blink about the fact that two other stalls had water in them.

And maybe it is just because I do things like this to him and he needs his revenge...

Stinker on the other hand is not getting a light week anymore.  He was excellent for his ride and I managed to let go of my anger at him long enough to ride him.  I am still grumpy at him.  He has toys in his stall, he still had lots of hay in his hay net, and he could have played with his freaking halter that was on the front of his stall.  There were plenty of other things to amuse himself with besides the freaking water spigot.  On the bright side he has another board blocking it now (he tore the previous one down...).

Monday, December 5, 2016

Little Things

Right now my rides are pretty boring, because we are working on the same things every single day.  So sometimes you have to take a moment and appreciate the little things in life.  This weekend, it was the fact that I opened and closed a gate without getting off Stinker.

We won't be winning any trail classes with our skills, but I am quite proud of the fact that my horse moves off my leg well enough and doesn't get freaked out by me leaning off to the side to open and close a gate.  Sure the standing while latching/unlatching was a struggle, but standing in general is a struggle.  And yes he was a pain in the butt and turned and shoved the gate back open while I was trying to reach for the chain to latch it.  Yep, my horse is an ass because I swear he grinned after he did it.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December Training Schedule

I am going to try and set a schedule this month for several reasons.  One, I am neurotic and like to plan.  Two, I really liked the by the numbers from last month.  Three, it is a busy month and see number one.

I have been working really hard on increasing the amount we trot, but when looking at last month on average there was 30 minutes per ride with stirrups (excluding the rides that were completely without stirrups).  This means that we did less than 15 minutes per ride of trot based on my estimates and that was only 10 rides out of 21.  The bottom line is I am really not doing that much trot.

Needs more practice with human

I can't expect his trot to improve if I am not doing it.  So the plan for December is to really focus on the trot and making it better.  Hopefully, I don't ruin the walk in the process with him anticipating trotting.  I intend to ride him six days a week until the end of the month and then I want to give him a week off.  Of course, he may have other plans and if he starts flooding the barn and what not he will go back to work.

My goal is to trot a little bit every single day.  I will still keep three days lighter and keep him out of the ring so hopefully his brain stay intact.  In addition to still warming up without stirrups I am hoping to add two point back in.  He needs to learn that he can function without my ass.

In other news I got the all ears selfie app and it was a massive flop.  The most I got was a quick ear flick forward with one ear.  Not. Even. Both. Ears.  My super reactive curious horse did not even blink at the donkeys or wrappers or snorting.  And to make things better, I played the wrapper noise and got no reaction, then crinkled an actual wrapper and immediately got his attention.  Once again my horse is smarter than me...