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!!!