Thursday, June 16, 2011


Let me begin by saying I LOVE my horse:-) He is fantastic, amazing, beautiful, hard-working, and I couldn't of been more proud of him this weekend:-) Trainer M was so excited with our results!!! So was everyone else who knows our backstory:)

Because of Romeo's history was to have a relaxed outing with no major incidents, to stay in the ring, to stay on the horse, and to have a relaxed and rhythmical ride. M said to forget about flexion, forget about collection and just relax and stay steady. Both of us are just starting to work on flexing and collecting so forget that stuff and aim for one-and-two-and-three-and-breathe-ect......

Well we did just that!! Except for turning his head to look at the judge's box every time we passed it He was great!! No spooking, no bucking, and very relaxed!! Goal accomplished!!!! Yeah for Romeo!!!!!

We scored a 60.85 on both tests. I thought the judge scored generously. I felt that our first test would be high 50's but we got 60! I did feel as though our second test was better but felt the score was fair. All her remarks were about his accepting the bit and that is what we expected.

She absolutely loved Romeo... who doesn't love a golden boy:) and made comments on our turn-out and even said that he was a lovely and expressive horse. He clearly thought the show ring was meant for him!! We had an awesome time, even though we were there ALL day!!!

Roomie's first test was at 8 am and my last test was at 4:30, add the temperature in the 90's you get three very tired horses and 2 very tired humans. The July show is going to be even hotter!!! And I can't even imagine how awful the August one will be :-/

Here are a few pics....

All dressed up and ready to shine:-)

M telling me how awesome my horse is!!

What a good boy!!!!
Well now that we have our first show under our belts it's time to get back to work. No slacking at the Flying Solo!!!!! The goal is to figure out this whole on the bit thing ;) Tuesday's ride was great and hopefully he looked as great as he felt. I am tapping tonight ride to make sure!! I HAVE to nail down my elbow position at the trot!!! That's my goal for the next week!!!

Stayed tuned for more updates on how Jo and Ria did with Roomie and maybe.... if  I can figure it out... a video or two!!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tomorrow is the BIG day

Well I haven't updated in awhile... so sorry!! I've been quite busy preparing for this show. It seems that all I have done for the past 2 weeks is ride, ride, ride!! Not that I'm complaining.... really there are few places that I would rather be then in the saddle.

So to recap the past 2 weeks. First off the week before our"clinic" with trainer M it rained and rained here in AR. So I felt that I was not as well prepared as I would have like to be but what can you do about the weather?? The weekend was soooooo much fun!!! We left early Friday morning and rode that afternoon. M is an awesome trainer... no time limit. She rides till your horse is done... note I did not say the rider, lol. So encouraging. She said that Romeo looked and acted like a different horse, such a great compliment, and many more would follow throughout the weekend so I was beaming for most of it. Such a great feeling to know that all that hard work has done some sort of good :)

Saturday M had to work (she is an RN and works the weekend shift and runs the farm during the week). But that didn't stop rommie and I from working. She rode Ria and I rode Romeo. I didn't ride to long but wanted to work on the things we had worked in the lesson. I figured it I was paying for 4 lessons, plus the gas, and the food, I was going to get as much out of it as I could!!! Romeo felt tense and most likely he was sore from the previous lesson, but worked through it during the ride.

That evening we had another lesson and spent most of it going over the two tests we will ride at the show, we also rode through them and M and her man D loved it!!! Said that if we rode like that we would be hard to beat!!! WOW, what a compliment. M said that his movement was awesome and combine the relaxation with his nice rhythm and then add that gold coat, she said the judge was going to LOVE us :) I was sooooo soooo excited to hear that.

That evening after our ride I made dinner for everyone and we just sat around and talked.

Oh, I completely forgot about our "theory" sessions with D. He is a former reiner/4th level dressage rider. He just recently purchased the beautiful Bree and is starting to get back into the dressage world. The man has amazing stories and is a great teacher himself. Him and M make the perfect pair and are so much fun to hang with!! So during the day while M worked, D sat and gave us tips, and told stories. Roomie and I learned so much that are heads where exploding!!!

Sunday morning I rode again, and was lucky enough to get a "lesson" from D. He was out doing chores and stopped to watch my ride and ended up giving me a short lesson. I was forever grateful!!! That evening's lessons was the only one that was not-so-nice. Romeo was just not there and I think I finally had the boy tired. It was a good lesson for me though because I got to get some great advice on dealing with him when he gets moody.

Monday was sad as the vacation was over :( but the lesson went great and M was sooo excited about us showing. She has lots of confidence in all 3 the horses.... probably more so then we are!!!

Wish the show had been last weekend:-/ because after 2 weeks of training on my own I feel the need for a trainer again.

Here are some pics from the weekend

*****note: a video camera is the best investment the Flying Solo has ever made!!!!

Roomie bought a camera for her bday and so we now tape most of our rides. It has been real nice to be able to watch the ride right after getting off.

But now the wait is over.... tomorrow is the show!!! Roomie rides Jo at 8 am!!!! and then again around 9:40. Then I ride next.... at 3!!! That's a long time in between rides. And then Ria does her test, then I go again at 4:47. So we will be there at least 12 hours. The good news is that since I will be there before anyone rides I get to introduce Romeo to the judge's box!! So I do have some motivation to get up at 4:30 am!!!!

Already a tad nervous so all prayers welcomed!!!! My goal: to stay in arena and on the horse!!! lol, we should be able to do that ;)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 17: Your equestrian idol

Hmmm... that's an interesting question. As a child I LOVED the O'Conners and still do. I remember David getting "lost" on the jump course on Custom Made and was so sad when He stopped competing. Karen's pony Teddy was my inspiration as I trained my 15 h AQHA mare to jump and dreamed of someday eventing her.

Today I love keeping up with Karen and her team, but I also love Philip and Boyd!! In the dressage world the Netherlands riders have always been my fav.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 16: Your most recent fall

Oh I remember my last fall.... like it was yesterday.... but I wrote about it here, so go read it over at my other blog:-)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Day 15: Helmet or no helmet?

HELMET.... every single time I get on any horse.... no matter what!!! I am a big stickler for this. I have first hand experience as to just how important this is, as I have cracked open a few helmets on a bomb-proof horse and have also found that one rock in that no-rocks-anywhere-in-the-vicinity pasture. I sometimes ride with a handful of western riders and always get the your-a-weirdo looks but really who cares? It is an essential riding element... not an optional one in my book. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Day 14: Your dream barn/farm

SO I had a little fun with this one:-)

First off I need some land.... preferably in the lovely state of Virginia located near the Blue Ridge Mountains so I can look at them every day:-)
Found here
And of course some pastures that have lots of green grass...
Found here
And it would be nice to have a few acres of trails through trees like this...
Found here
Next we need fences for the pasture...
Found here
How about some pastures that look like this??
Found here
Okay so now on to the barn:-)
This one would work....
Found here
With a large tack room...
Found here
And a heated wash room...
Found here
With big and classy looking stalls...
Found here

Of course since this is my dream farm it is an eventing farm so we need a dressage arena...
Found here
And a jump arena....
Found here
And since it gets cold in VA... it is necessary to have one large indoor....
Found here
or maybe two...
Found here
Lets not forget about a cross country course:-)
Found here
So there you have it.... my dream farm:-)

But honestly.... I really like the place I am it. It is definitely a place I have dreamed of living at. I have my horse in my back yard... property for the dogs to run on.... an arena... arena lights.... jumps... close to a trainer... and I have a friend to ride and train with. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 13: Favorite place you have ridden

Well my favorite place I have ridden would have to be the week I spend on an island off the coast of Spain. My grandma told each of us grandchildren that when we graduated hs we could go on a vacation of our choice with her. I really wanted to go to the summer Olympics in Athan which happened to be that year but travel and lodging was going to be very difficult and expensive so we choose Spain instead. One of my dreams had always been to ride and Andalusian and to ride on the beach so we found an equestrian vacation that would make both of those dreams come true.

The week consisted of 5 days guided trail riding around the island, 2 riding lessons, and a tour of one of the stud farms that was located there on the island. My horse for the week was a dapple gray (one of my favs!!) and he was a very large and muscled up half Andalusian half some french bred. I fell in love with him!! wanted to bring him home:-) but of course I couldn't :-( One of the days we transported the horses out to the beach and spent the whole day riding and galloping along the beaches on the Mediterranean. It was simply the best feeling in the whole world and someday I hope to do it again!!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 12: Favorite horse color

umm.... duh.... it's PALOMINO of course :-)

I really need some updated pics of him... I'll get on that this month.

But I also LOVE a dappled gray.....

Found here

And a shiny black horse is pretty too.....
found here

And a sharp looking bay doesn't look so bad either.....
Found here

Oh and I really like black and white paints:-)
Found here

Monday, May 16, 2011

Day 11: Find a sale horse online that you want to buy

Hehehe... I'm going to have some fun with this one.

Lets start with the extremely unrealistic options....

How about a baby out of this guy??

Erik from Iron Springs Farm
Friesians have always been one of my favorite breeds and Iron Springs Farm is definitely known for breeding some fantastic Friesians!!

Oh yeah and they have some decent Warmbloods too :-)

But really I would love to have a Palomino Andalusian like this guy.....

Dorado R
pics found of his FB page

 How about a few that more realistic.... well seeing as how I am broke buying a horse is completely unrealistic and I barely have time for the two I currently own but anyways this is question for today so here are few that are for sale. Here are two that I found.
Fidelia- a 2 yr old PRE filly in my 2nd fav color gray!!

and then there is Andre - a 3 yr old Friesian stallion who is simply gorgeous and would def look nice grazing beside my Romeo.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Day 10: How does your family and friends feel about your riding?

Hmmmm.... you know that's a good question. First off, and I'm sure you can relate.... you can't really explain nor expect those who don't have it to understand what it is like to have a love for horses. It is not just some hobby... nor is it a phase one goes through. If you truly have the "horse bug" then you understand. Horses are not a hobby... they are a lifestyle and it is very hard for others to understand this. My family has always been supportive. While they don't understand it they do understand that horses are a part of my life. I have a few friends that try to understand that but most just think of them in the way one thinks of a friend owning a pet. My ex didn't like them and that would be one of the reasons why he is an ex... lol. While they may not always play a central part in my life as they do now I know they will always be there.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Day 9: Any injuries you’ve gotten from riding

Lol.... where to start.

1. a broken wrist in jr high (cast for 8 weeks)  from my lovely horse Dutch, she was a former barrel horse and I was a dressage rider in training... lets just say I wasn't used to sharp turns

2. a twisted knee (crutches for 6 weeks)... see comment above

3. a busted shoulder (no treatment, I hid it because my parents weren't fans of a horse who did 1. and 2. so they said the next time she threw me and injured me she was gone, so I hid it... and yes it was hard because it really hurt... for weeks!!) (oh and yeah and she threw me the same way as 1 and 2, you would think I would of learned by then.... but every once in awhile I foolishly let down my guard)

4. at a jump show she stopped at a fence I fell off and landed on my rear... not the most painful injury however it has never gone away... even with PT :-/

5. a deep muscle bruise, this time from Romeo, the first fall, er launch from him. Oh and the first time I've ever been bucked off :-/ So a pretty big bruised ego as well. This so far has been the most painful injury to date.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Day 8: A little about the barn/stable you are at

It's fantastic!!! I live there :-) The place I live at is also where I board at. There is a small barn and a good size arena with lights!! The tack room is in the house and the only other person who uses the property is the owner/my roommate. She rides Dressage and is a few levels ahead of me, so not only do I have a great place to school at I have someone to school with. The pastures are currently in process as we are trying to reseed Bermuda grass and split up the large pastures so we can have rotational grazing. It's pretty much amazing!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Day 7: Your best ribbon

That would be the first blue ribbon I got. It was on Dutch, my I-hate-Dressage-mare. The key to getting her to preform in the Dressage ring I found out at the last show of the season before college consumed my life. My parents (where she was and still lives) is about a mile and a half from the barn I grew up riding at and the place where the show was being held. I did not and still do not own a horse trailer. My friend who usually trailered me was unable to come pick me up and so I decided to ride her to the show. I packed up backpack and saddled up my little mare and off we went. Turns out that was the best idea ever!! The path there is pretty straight so there was room for some cantering and even a few "natural" jumps. She was loving it!! So by the time we reached the show grounds she was happy ans can be and willing to enter the ring and do what I asked of her.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Day 6: Your most accomplished horse

I am going to look into the future here and say Romeo. While we have yet to set foot in the show ring I foresee this handsome blond being my most successful horse. Now the other horse that I have owned and shown is Dutchess and we just did a little bit of this and that. We only did intro in Dressage and 18 inches in the hunter world. I ended up going to school during her prime and unfortunately I didn't let her reach her potential. So here's to hoping that Romeo and I at least make it to training level and maybe even make it to a 3-day trial.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 5: Your first fall

I remember this moment very clearly. I was 8 or 9 and it was at the barn I took lessons at all throughout my childhood. It was our yearly barn "show" and I was riding Dr. Kool. We were doing our trot portion of the test and we were coming around the corner up to the side that had the big open door/window that lead to the back pasture. As we past by the opening a horse in the pasture breathed (not kidding) and Dr. Kool leaped to the center of the arena and I stayed on track. It was awful... it was embarrassing... it was my life changing moment (maybe this is the one ride that impacted my life). It was on that day that I mastered the lesson of "if you fall off, get back on" little did I know just how important that lesson was. So I did get back on and finish the test and got a huge round of applause.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 4: A ride that impacted your life

I don't really have an answer to this question. I can't think of one single ride that had a huge impact on my life. I can think on one that had a negative impact and that would be the time I came off at a hunter show. I landed on my rear and injured by back and still fight that injury on a daily basis. I really don't think that is what this question is asking, but that is all I can come up with at this moment.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Day 3: Favorite Horse (own/lease/ride) with description about the relationship

Favorite horse, well that's a tough one because the two I own are my favorites but for completely different reasons.

Dutchess is my first horse and will forever be my best friend/my-favorite/my-dream-come-true/the-best-first-horse-ever and that is that my friends. She and I have such a special relationship that I can't even begin to describe it. She has been with me since April after I turned 12... which is now 13 years ago and that means we have spent over half our lives together... I consider that to be quite a feat in the horse world. I can't imagine my life without her and thank God that He gave me such an amazing animal to care for me (she does a far better job at taking care of me then I do of her). She has been there through everything.... been to all the colleges with me.... all the different cities I have lived in. She saw it her duty to teach me all the important things such as:
"look up and sit back" when your horse bucks
"if you fall, get back on" even if the wrist is broken, the knee is twisted, or the shoulder is busted
to "breathe" before every jump

She is the reason why I love to jump, I rather disliked it before owning her. She "carried" me around my first jump course at our first jump show. She won me my first blue ribbon, my first reserve champion, and took me on numerous trail rides. She was the first horse my nephew ever sat on, ever rode around on, and the first for many other kids. She always greets me with a nicker and can put a smile on my face faster then anyone. She is the trusted old friend who I call on when I just want to ride, and I know I will never experience another relationship like ours in my lifetime.

Romeo is my boy. I have always wanted a Palomino, from the time I was a small child Trigger was my horse of choice. My favorite lesson horse at the barn was a Palomino and in college the Palomino therapy horse at the barn I worked at was my best bud. I also have always wanted a horse that could be a decent dressage horse but also be able to jump.... someday fulfilling my dream to event. Enter Romeo :-) Although he is a AQHA, I always told myself my next horse would be a giant warmblood, he is tall and can move. He is young, was 4 when I purchased him, and my first horse to train. We just started our training last fall and our first show is in a month... YIKES!!! He is my current ride as Dutch is in semi-retirement giving pony rides and lessons to beginners. He is the one all my energy (and money). He has the potential to be the horse I have always dreamed of owning and I am very excited to see where the years lead us. Plus he is as handsome as they come :-)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Day 2: The last time you rode and what you did

The last time I rode (at the time of writing this on Thursday) was last Saturday night right before the torrential rains came that would threaten to sweep central AR off the map... not even lying!!

It was the day after our lesson with P and I hurried home and through chores to get in the saddle so that the lesson would be cemented in both mine and Romeo's brain. We worked on 1 thing.... flexion on the circle... mostly at the walk and some at the trot. Tracking left in was decent... tracking to the right.... ummm lets just say Romeo and I disagreed on which way his nose should be flexed and spent a good 20 minutes arguing discussing it.

Friday, May 6, 2011

30 day challange, day 1: When and why you started riding

I follow this blog and have really enjoyed reading the 30 day challenge she is participating in. So I have decided to try and complete the challenge myself. I'm not sure I can do it in 30 days since I don't blog on a daily basis but I will try and write a few at a time and stay on top of this.... but warning.... it probably won't happen :-)

On to the day's question: When and why did you start riding?

Let's start with the why.... that would be because, duh, I umm LOVE horses!! No really.... since my parents can remember I have always loved horses. They have always been my favorite animal and my whole childhood revolved around them... or at  least the areas I could control, lol. The toys I played with the most were my horses, every birthday and Christmas all I wanted was a horse... although at 7 I settled for lessons twice a month (my parents thought that would solve

So I guess you could say that I started riding at age 7... actually at age 6. My first lesson was the Monday before I turned 7 :-) But I had already been on numerous trail rides seated in front of my dad and on one of our family vacations (back when as the first born the whole world revolved around me, lol) we went to this ranch were we had a cabin right next to the horse pasture where I would go and feed them carrots throughout the day and we even rented a pony for a day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A quick update

Well it has been a bit crazy around the lovely state of AR the past few weeks. We have had several of these...

Which caused lots of damage, thankfully all the tornadoes went around me (although far too close for comfort).

Then we had more rain, and more rain, and even more rain. The rain started Saturday night (right after I dismounted) and didn't stop till late Monday evening... so just one week after the tornadoes went through we now had to deal with this....

The month of April and the first few days of May have been extremely wet... which makes it kinda hard to ride when all you have is an outdoor arena.

We did get a short break last week and Thursday evening I hopped on for a short ride as we had a lesson schedule for the next day and I wanted to remind myself what we needed to work on. Boy was that ride frustrating!!!!! So glad I hopped on... as I knew exactly what I wanted to work on in my lesson!!!

This trainer was a new one, M is over an hour away and P is only 20 min away so roomie and I decided to give her a go.

It was a great lesson. I loved it and walked away feeling very satisfied with the lesson. Since this was mine and the roomie's first lesson with P it's hard to tell how training with her over the next few months will go. M has worked with roomie for years and since she only makes it there every few months M gives several exercises to work on. P spent the whole time on one. I loved this!! Maybe that's because the exercise was for the issue that has had be so frustrated that sometimes I just give up and get off :-/

That would be flexion. In our lesson with M we worked on rhythm, as that is the first step in training a dressage horse. We have also been doing lots of work at the halt with flexing and turn-on-the-forehands.  Well over the last few months we have decent rhythm and our halt work is great. So now it is time to put the things together... but I had no clue how to do that..... insert P.

The lesson was extremely frustrating!! She had me working on a circle at the walk and as we went along I had to use outside rein and inside leg to push him out, the inside rein told him to flex to the inside. For a horse that understands this it is no big deal, but to a green horse it is frustrating.

Green horse + inexperienced-at-training-a-green-horse = extreme frustration

This exercise was hard for me as I forget that Romeo is further along then I think he is. And I also forget that my horse has a nasty side to him and also likes to play dumb. P would point out throughout the lesson that he does understand what I want he just doesn't like to do it because it is hard. So the whole lesson was a fight with some brilliance thrown in.

Thankfully Saturday the rain held off for a few hours after I got off work so I could get in a ride to reinforce the lesson. Tracking to the right (which ironically was the one that was terrible before the lesson) was great!! However, tracking to the left (previously our "good" side) was awful!! So we fought again for a little while and eventually got some good things to end on.

One thing I have to remind myself is to not get into a pulling match with him... both of us are stubborn and strong willed and sometimes I forget to remain soft (old habits die hard). But we are getting there and have both come such a long way!!! I can't wait till our first show in June!!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Back in the saddle..... FINALLY!!

Yes, you read that correctly.... the Flying Solo is finally getting back in the saddle!!!!!!

The fields are planet.... YIPPEE!!! Now all we can do is sit back and hope it grows!!!

All the other projects left can be done slowly so a little bit of work here and there should get it done in the next few weeks. It's hard work running a farm!!!

But enough about that and on to the riding part....

Good news..... I remembered how to saddle a horse!!!

Bad news..... while my mind remembered how to ride, my body didn't really corporate. One of my problems is my problematic lower back. My hips like to get out of whack and when that happens it makes riding slightly difficult. So I need to make an appointment with my pt friend to get them even again. It is so bad right now that I can feel a drastic difference in weight on my seat bones.... I can't imagine how it feels to Romeo!!!!

Romeo was excellent!!!! He was actually somewhat quiet.... very unusual for him but I was grateful. I think part of it is that now that he is by himself he enjoys any attention I give him. Works well for me;-)

We took it really slow on Tues and will for the rest of the week. Mostly due to the fact that since I can tell my hips are off I do not think it is fair to work him really hard when it it near impossible to ride correctly. Lots of walk work and just a little of trot work. I am hoping to get everything straightened out this weekend so we can get back to some hard work next week. Roomie's b-day is over memorial day weekend so we talked to trainer M about the possibility of doing a mini clinic with her for the whole weekend!!!! That would be 2 weeks before our first show and would really kick us into high gear!!!! I really hope it works out!!!

The weather has been great this week so hopefully I will get to ride tonight, tomorrow night, and maybe even Saturday night:-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring project pt 2

Ok so the spring project has turned into a HUGE project. Turns out reseeding pastures is expensive and time-consuming. There has been little to almost no riding this month:-/ most of the free-time that we have had, which hasn't been much, has been spent on tractors, pounding t-post, and running hot fence. So, so glad we are doing this in March and not in August... but still.... it is hard work and sorta depressing that we have no time to ride.

Good news is that we only have 4 horses on the property, which makes tearing up pastures easier. Blue and Gator went off to roomie's friends place, Dutch is at my parents, and it looks like JB is headed to a new career as a therapy horse (which will be fantastic for him). Looks like we will soon be down to only 3 horses!!! OMG what will we do with only 3 horses!!! The farm already looks weird with 4. Although it is still wild as Jo and Romeo like to keep their owners on their toes at all times. Ria is definitely enjoying having her own pasture away for the annoying boys, however Romeo and Jo think that this whole solo turnout thing sucks!! I will say that I very much enjoy my accident-prone horse being all by himself. It's amazing how torn up they get when turned out together.

So the pastures are all ready for planting and we have the 5 acres around the house divided up into the planned 5 paddocks. The big 5 acre lot is not yet fenced but since the whole thing is being reseeded it is not on the priority list to be fenced. We are hoping to turn the eventually 2 small 1-horse paddocks and the 1 3-horse paddock into an area for boarders (so this farm can make some money!!!) at some point, but first we need some good grass in there.

The whole not riding thing is getting pretty depressing. The weather here in AR is so unpredictable at this time of the year. Plus it rains and rains and rains which puts off fence building and tractor work and of course riding:-/

I am so ready to get back in the saddle and gear up for the up coming show season (roomie and I's season doesn't start till June because of all the farm work). Although I might not remember how to saddle up a horse... much less ride after all this time off.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring project

I'll start with the sad news.... Dutch is gone:-( She didn't go very far.... just down the street to live at her favorite place.... my parents backyard. She was so excited she literally jumped off the trailer and dragged me down the drive into the pasture. It makes me happy to know she was so excited to be there.... it sure is weird to not see her in the pasture with Romeo. I still see her everyday... the deal with dad is that I get free board but I do all the work. So.... I go by twice a day to feed her, which is kind of a pain but I do enjoy seeing her everyday, that sweet nicker I get every time she sees me just makes my heart smile:-)

So why did I move her? First off, my friend who has been taking lessons hasn't been coming regularly so Dutch is not longer earning her board, and it really doesn't make sense to spend that money on her when it needs to be spent on lessons for Romeo. It's part of the whole getting-your-prioritizes-straight lesson that I'm learning. So Dutch is at her retirement home for now.... :-(

As far as riding goes...... well it hasn't!!! This month has been cold and rainy which makes the arena a mess. I can't wait for the day that we can put in all weather footing!! Roomie was thinking it would be this summer however our pasture project will take all the arena footing money and then some so footing has been put off for more important things:-(

So what is the pasture project??? So glad you asked:-) We are dividing the ten acres, which currently has 1 large 5 acre pasture, 1 maybe 3 acre pasture and 3 other small pastures, into 10 small pastures. Oh and we are reseeding about 7 of the acres.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn't it!! We are currently working on a game-plan to get it all done in a timely fashion.... we will see if it can be done!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ready for lesson #2

Well fortunately the weather held up for a weeks worth of hard work right after our first lesson. Romeo is a quick learner... much quicker then I am!!! Rhythm is coming along well for both of us and Romeo is starting search for contact. It's so much fun to see just how much we have improved in the last 6 months. I am hoping that we can get another lesson real soon, although the next week looks like a nasty, no-riding, week:-/ Also roomie and I have some major spring projects planned that we have to get started on soon which will take away from our riding time.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Romeo's first lesson

Thursday evening roomie and I loaded up Romeo, Ria, and Jo and drove south for 2 hours. Roomie is good friends with trainer M so we stay at her house that night. Friday morning we all got up and fed the farm and had a leisurely morning talking about horses of course, lol.

Mid-morning roomie saddled up miss priss for the first lesson of the day. We had the video camera, but only 30 min of tape... for 3 lessons:-/ So we had to be very selective with taping the lessons. I taped the first part of the lesson and the last part. M is great at stopping and waiting for the camera to start rolling before launching into an explanation of an exercise. Since we really had no time frame the lessons went on till horse and rider were both tired... M is A-Mazing!!!! Roomie and Ria had a fantastic lesson, roomie was told that Ria is no longer a green horse (i've been telling her that) and she needs to stop riding her like one. Time to step up and have more expectations from her.

Next up were Romeo and I..... my first "official" lesson in a looooong time and Romeo's first ever lesson:-o I was a little nervous. I had no idea what to expect from him. He really is a calm traveler, and I can def tell he is starting to grow up a bit. At times he even acts like a steady QH and not like some crazy Thoroughbred (which he is not!) But he is 90% of the time hot under saddle. I got him saddled and let M know i was going to go lunge him for a bit before the lesson. Roomie and M made there way out to the arena shortly after and M took over.

I have only had a few lunging lessons and so I have never been extremely confident with it, so I was grateful for the advice. I too was told to treat my horse different;y. I've been treating him more like a baby but since he is almost 7 I need to realize that he is ready for hard work. M gave me some great exercises to turn this into a pivotal part of our training. 30 minutes later he was hot and sweaty and ready for riding... have I mentioned that it is was January and 60 degrees out?? Today is the first of February and freezing!! Arkansas has crazy weather!!

So I got on and it's amazing what that 30 min of lunging did... it was like riding a different horse. He was focused and ready to work. We didn't work on much, but the little things that we did work on have helped us tremendously. She gave me some great tips on encouraging correct flexion and listening to the leg aids. She worked on my position which with the inconsistent riding I had slipped into some old habits. Although some bad habits came back some are, hopefully, gone for good. She said I had great hands... wait, what??? Me, good hands??? Roomie and I had to pause and laugh, after all that is what a previous trainer said was horrible and "un-fixable".... I like to prove people wrong, lol!! She also said I had a great seat with good follow. Our walk work was really good.

The latter part of the lesson we did some trot work, now hands aren't quite as good as they are at the walk but they are getting there. Still have trouble consistently posting through the hands and out the knee. We worked on rhythm and more rhythm and more rhythm. Lol, the first layer of the dressage foundation. Towards the end M said, "quiet your brain!" That was it... it clicked and we slowed down, finally settling into a decent rhythm. Roomie said the trot at the end of the lesson was amazing and I got lots of great comments from M on his wonderful movement. Who says QH can't have great movement??? (lol I did before meeting Romeo)

2 hours later and both horse and rider dripping in sweat we headed back to the barn. Then we went to lunch and back for the last lesson. Roomie and Jo had an alright lesson. Jo acted up for most of it so she was pretty frustrated with him. M worked on her position a whole lot in both lessons so she still got a lot out of it.

The good news is that the last 4 days have been perfect riding weather so lesson on Friday followed by rides Sat, Sun and Mon. Romeo and I are doing fantastic!!!! Although I think we will need another lesson soon. He learns so quickly and I know so little about what to do next. With the new lunging exercises we usually end up working for at least an hour and a half. It feels great to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time. I think we will def be ready for a show come June. Maybe even a training level test at the end of the season:-)

Bad news is winter is back.... it has poured all day and the temperature is currently dropping fast:-/ Looks like no riding for the rest of the week.

Monday, January 24, 2011

So true... so funny

Since the last two weeks have been snowy, yucky, frozen, muddy, and wet there has been a lot of sit around the house and mope evenings. We actually got on Ria and JB the other night, for about 15 min and just walked around, nothing exciting but boy did it feel great to get in the saddle!!! Afterwards we went inside and roomie's sister came over and we enjoyed a Black Stallion marathon:-) watched the first and second back to back. So much fun!! None of us had seen them in quite awhile. Brought back so many good childhood memories!!!

Roomie found this and I just had to share.....

News Flash

Urgent Notice:
Potential Danger of Horse Hair
This is a public service announcement....
In a press release today, the National Institute of Health has announced the discovery of potentially dangerous substance in the hair of horses. This substance, called "amobacter equui" has been linked to the following symptoms in females:
Reluctance to cook, clean or do housework.
Reluctance to wear make-up, good clothes, or heels.
Reluctance to spend money on home or car repairs until after "baby has new boots, pad, blanket, tack, grain, hay & supplements".

"Amobacter equui" usually results in long hours away from home and exhaustion which may lead to loss of physical contact with people (especially husbands). 
"Amobacter equui" is thought to be addictive, driving the need for additional sources- this may lead to a "herd mentality" or like the potato chip commercial , "you can't have just one".
Beware! If you come in contact with a female human infected by this substances, be prepared to talk about horses for hours.

Surgeon General Warning: Horses can be expensive, addictive, and may impair the ability to use common sense.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is it summer yet???

Ok so I am really not a summer time person, maybe I would be if I lived somewhere where the temp stayed below 90 and had zero humidity. However, for the first time I am experiencing some serious winter-time blues.

I can think of a few reasons as to why I am having the blues.

First off, having your babies in your backyard makes a HUGE difference. You can't forget about them when your the one in charge of feeding twice a day, There is something about those big eyes, floppy ears and soft noses that just make your heart melt every time :) Oh and that sweet nicker I get every time my bestie see's me headed her way with a steamy bucket of beat pulp.... simply irresistible!!!

Second is that at the present time, which could change any day, I actually have most evenings free, and it is downright depressing that the ground is far too wet to even think about riding.

Third, the view from the kitchen sink is the arena, (insert happy sigh and pause just to relish in the moment). I am seriously about to go and get blinds for the window because every time I look out it I get so sad because all it is right now is a muddy mess.

Fourth reason for the blues is that I have a horsey roommate, and she has been torturing me with all these riding videos. I think the videos would be great if I could actually get out there and put them to practice!!! But right now all I'm doing is saying, hey I need to try that, and oh that is a great exercise for my young horse, seriously..... it's quite depressing.

So as of today I am ready for daylight savings to get here so that when I get home from work it is still light outside. I am also tired of feeding enormous amounts of beat pulp just to keep the weight on, and spending money on hay, so I think it's time for the grass to grow. And as you can tell I am so over the wet ground, I mean the snow has been pretty and all but this is Arkansas and we've already had 2 snowfalls.... what???? Snow doesn't usually come, if at all, in February. I really hope this doesn't mean that riding is out of the question for anther month.......ugh :-|

Friday, January 7, 2011

The horses of the Flying Solo

So I was reading a blog and found one way to keep the arena rid-able this winter.

I showed it to my roomie and she laughed, "It looks like a giant mid-night slip and slid."

Hahahaha..... it so does!!!

I now think it is time, actually overdue for me to introduce you to the horses of the Flying Solo.

So let's begin.... First off is JB. He is the resident schoolmaster. This guy actually broke his hip and is on his way to complete recovery. When I first came to live here, JB had a pretty noticeable limp in that left hip, (understandable) , but was cleared for riding. Since I needed some serious help with my riding position this guy stepped up to the plate and now with consistent riding the guy is moving great!! His 2011 goal is to continue to improve his gaits and since he has been doing so well we think he might actually get back to some light jumping again!!!

Next up is Gator.... and boy do these pics fit him perfectly!!! He is the official barn clown, dramatic, into everything, mischievous as they come, and the youngest on the place. He is definitely the odd ball out here. AQHA and built like a tank, not all dressage horse material, and I can't see him getting his big butt off the ground to jump. Roomie bought him for reining??? Isn't that some sport the requires that weird saddle with a horn on it?? Hmmmm..... good luck with that roomie!!

Now for the Flying Solo future star... meet Jo. He is the roomie's prize possession ... and pics do not do this guy justice. He is half Andy (both of us adore the amazing breed and dream of owning riding a PRE someday). He is will be showing training level but is training level one. A complete ham and loves people, but watch out cuz this guy has a mind of his own and knows he is the fav (of roomie that is).

(pause for trumpets blaring royal music) This is Ria, and she is a princess, well she actually thinks she is a queen and has Jo and Gator convinced that she is. This is really not a great pic of her but it was the only one I could fine (working on getting some pics of these guys that might do them justice). She is 3/4 Andy and the cutest thing you will ever meet. She is still a youngin' but doing wonderfully in her schooling. 

The last one that belongs to my roomie has no pics... :-/ but he was the oldest resident until my lovely mare came along. He has lots of aches and pains so he is officially retired and lives in the big pasture teaching my young one a thing or two about respecting his elders, lol.

Of course you already know my two but what mom skips a perfect opportunity to brag on her children?? So here is my bestie. And for the record... she doesn't think she is a queen.... she knows she is a queen. Hence the reason for keeping her and Ria in separate pastures, no need to bust the young girls heart ;-)

And last, but certainly not the least.... my Romeo. Love these ridiculous pictures of him, lol. He actually likes the braids and is great at keeping them in. I know come show season that... sigh... the long blond locks will need (may not happen) shorten :-( And the last one just makes me laugh, the darn animal is almost impossible to get decent pictures of because he is such a nosy guy, loves to be right next to me all the time, not that I'm complaining, plus it shows off his muddy coat that he is soooo proud of!!

So there you have it, the horses of the Flying Solo!!