Friday, April 27, 2012

side project

Brantley is a 5yo QH owned by my friend. He lives at the same barn as Lucy does. He was supposedly trained under saddle before M bought him, but when she first went to get on him, he panicked out of nowhere, bolted, and bucked her off quite deliberately. The experience shook the confidence of horse and human, so she put four months of really solid groundwork into him. She was considering sending him out for training, but I offered to give it a shot.

Day 1:

On day 1 (Wednesday of this week), M warmed the horse up with the groundwork he's familiar with. The hardest part was getting on, because he was afraid of the mounting block, afraid of me standing on the mounting block, afraid of standing next to me standing on the mounting block, etc. We were calm and patient, but also very persistent, and we took things slowly but I had clear expectations of him.

While mounting and for the first few minutes under saddle, I asked Brantley to flex his head around. This prevented him from bolting, let him see me on him so he knew what was going on, and made his "space" a lot smaller than the big ring.

Day 2:

On Day 2, I expected him to be more tolerant of the mounting block, and also I expected him to be comfortable with me standing next to him. He's very smart and caught on quickly. We started off on the line and then M let us go. Our goal for the day was going w/t around the whole ring off the line.

This was M's first time riding her horse...we're not going to count the attempt that ended so badly a few months ago :D

Day 3:

On day 3, we quickly got past mounting and going w/t on the lunge line. We cantered in both directions with no issues. I asked M to set us free, and we went off and w/t/c'd around the whole ring.

Then M got on and here is the result:

So it has been a very happy week here at the barn!

Monday, April 23, 2012

please smack me if I ever wear jeans riding again

I got two pairs of fairly pricey jeans for Christmas. The brand name is Lucky and I enjoyed wearing my "Lucky" jeans when riding, because I thought maybe they'd transfer some luck to me and I would have a good ride.

This held true and I have had some good rides in my Lucky jeans. Today, though, they proved that they just can't hold up to the rigors of horse-related work, because at my 9-5 job, they split straight across the rear end when I sat in my chair.

How mortifying.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

galloping in the rain

Lucy got yesterday off, and she spent the day sunbathing and eating hay :) Today I decided we would have a fun ride out on the trails. Kenny came along and took photos. It started raining a bit while we were out but that didn't ruin our fun!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lauren's "best Friday ever"

A while ago I gave Lauren an OTTB T (click here for the Facebook page) and we really wanted to do a little photoshoot with the t-shirt. Then Lucy injured her mouth, then she was too sore in her hind feet to do very much, then she stepped on Lauren's foot and broke her toe, and between all of this, Lauren and I were both insanely busy.

BUT, yesterday was the day! It was gorgeous, warm and sunny. Lucy's dapples are coming out and she seemed to be in a good mood.

Here are the photos!

I love this photo of both of them!

After they were done jumping, we went on a little jaunt off the property to a
near-by boat launch.

the light was beautiful

It took a bit of convincing, but Lucy got in the water and then seemed to
enjoy herself.

she had an itch and forgot she was in the water!

then it was play time

Lauren got absolutely soaked :D

on the way to and from the boat launch, we have to cross two bridges. you
can see how concerned Lucy is about this! ;)

Here's a video:

Thursday, April 19, 2012

and the shoes go back on

I have failed miserably at blogging this week. Kenny and I started some work in our front yard and between my day job, Cairo, and the yard work, I really haven't had much time to ride or blog.

The biggest change this past week was that Lucy got her feeties done on Saturday, and I asked the farrier to put hind shoes back on her. She's shod all the way around now and she is doing great! We took it easy for the first few days because when the farrier trimmed her feet, he found a lot of bruising, but she has seemed happy and comfortable with increasing the workload over the course of the week. Both Lauren and I have had some awesome rides both in and out of the ring, including jump schools over the XC jumps and the stadium-style jumps, gallops on the trails and in the fields, trail rides with the dog, and some really lovely flat work.

a trail ride

Cairo "helping" me

The front of the house, almost completed
This is a video of my ride earlier in the week:

Last weekend, I went to Massachusetts to support my friend and fellow blogger Hannah, from I'm All Ears. She competed her horse Tucker in the Valinor combined test, and Lauren and I went to go cheer her on and take photos and video for her. She competed in SJ and Dressage, and then schooled out on the XC course with some friends. There are more photos on her blog, but here are a few from that day:

Tucker's tidy hind end in Stadium

this paint horse was not a fan of the coffin!

Tucker was all business out on XC

One of the final jumps of the day...MASSIVE!