Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Happy Halloween!

We had a GREAT time at the show! My trainer thinks we'll be ready for our first official XC and Combined Trial outing in the spring.


Slowest wins race. He may have lost, but we had some gorgeous shoulder ins!

Just Chilling. Helmet Hair.

Barrel time!

He just kept wanting to canter, and canter and canter...

Heading for the finish line!

Eye (Egg) and Spoon

Eye and Spoon: Engaging Trot
No coffee for you!

What a handsome man!

Turning Difficulties


Tight Turn! Pole Bending!

Musical "Stalls"
We Won!

Candy Grab... He wanted to help
Hey that's MY candy!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Enjoying the Slow Days

With training goals and personal goals and dreams of showing... sometimes I forget to enjoy slow days with Ashe. I know he appreciates them, and I always dig a little deeper into his personality. It helps us to bond, and heal over the hard training days and mistakes made prior.

Yesterday he was uncharacteristically lazy, even over the jumps. Two days before we had a hard flat lesson with working on raised cavaletti and serpentines. I guess he wasn't out of being stiff/sore yet.

So today, instead of riding despite the gorgeous weather, I set him up with a pile of hay, and took to grooming every inch of him. As it's chilly, I couldn't bathe him despite the accumulation of dust/dirt he seems to always have on him (I should rename him Pigpen!). So I went with a new technique I had read: The Wet Towel/Brush Method.

Now I know the wet towel method. I use it in the winter to keep the deep urine stains from setting too deeply onto him, but we don't have hot water at the barn, and I didn't decide to do a deep groom until I had gotten there.

What this does, is you wet the towel (bonus if you get hot water, it helps keep things clean) and you brush the horse, then the towel, then the horse.... you get the picture. It keeps the brush clean and in turn dampens the brush to encourage the dirt to cling to it. He was near glossy by the time I was done. I did the same with his tail, and then went to town with his nicks he has from rolling on hard ground (Again, Pigpen anyone??)

Then, to top it off, we went on a long meandering trail walk together in halter. He grazed for a bit here and there, and then all of a sudden started pushing his nose through the tall grass where we walked. At first I was confused and then I realized he was purposely getting the grasshoppers to jump.

I knew they had fascinated him from when we'd ride outside before, his head at his knees jumping overtime they hit him in the face and then he'd put it right back down again. This just had me laughing so hard at the spectacle of him doing it (I wish I had had a camera on me at the time).

By the end we both were relaxed, he was moving much more loosely and we both had a wonderful morning. It reminded me why I love horses, and my boy in general.

So remember to go appreciate your four legged partners and all they do!

Until Next Time. No worries!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Life Rushes By

So I've been negligent in keeping up this log of our progress... Life got hectic for a while with moving, my old car breaking down (and me needing a new one), errors in my student loans causing mass panic in what I owe month to month... Thankfully that all has settled down.

A quick review of the past few months!

1. Clinic:

I realized I never updated from the clinic! Unfortunately we did not get any videos/photos. Ashe trailered well, that's become a regular occurrence which is awesome. When we got there we settled in (He's been to this farm before) and then prepped for our first ride of the day: Dressage.

He and I have never done a Dressage test before, so we went over halting, saluting, etc. On the entry to the dressage portion of the ring (we had it sectioned off with poles) the train went by...

Now, we've been to this farm before. We've experienced the train on numerous occasions. No big deal right?

We spent the majority of the lesson bucking at every request to canter. He was a tight ball of energy, and thankfully I managed to stay on with every buck, hop and strike out that he performed. Some lovely lateral work though!

Eventually he calmed down enough we were able to complete the W/T/C test and it actually looked pretty decent other than the first canter departure and his free walk (which he never drops his head for).

After that we had a "trail obstacles" lesson for the group which he was PERFECT for. Even the new stuff he was very much BTDT.

Jumping was the second day and he was a wonder pony! I really wish that someone had caught our final course on video, it was the best thing ever and we jumped 2'9! So yeah, prefect end :)

2. Tying/Hosing/Clipping

We're slowly progressing in each of these areas :) Recently he allowed himself to be tied while I washed his tail outside. Additionally, I turned on the clippers and he didn't flinch or run away while I ran them around his body. We're still not letting them near his head, but slowly does it. Major win for everyone! Very proud of how far he has come with all these areas!

3. Riding

We're working on the usual: bending, listen to direction over jumps rather than just assuming we're going a certain way, keeping the shoulder up, etc. Thinking of having a few training rides for him to teach him contact while I'm learning it on my trainer's lesson horses.

That's... about it! Hopefully I will continue to update progress more frequently now that life has settled a bit. Halloween show is coming up and while I don't think we'll be doing a costume this year, I'm hoping for some fresh photographs and videos!