Thursday, November 17, 2016

Dressage and Bits!

Trainer came out today to work with us in the new bit. I had been slowly getting him acquainted over the last few days doing our usual riding exercises both in and out of the ring.


Started establishing dressage level contact! He was more receptive to the prospect of the contact with the new bit than before and I could actually feel his back change as he stepped and engaged his hind end pushing up into my hands.


We'll see how we continue but he was much more malliable than before, and much more receptive in the shoulders.  Something else I noticed was that I have much more difficult time engaging his mouth with my left hand versus my right, so I will have to keep that in mind!

I said that it felt like "Someone removed the cotton from his ears" or that "The static was no longer muffling our communication."


After a great dressage lesson we moved to jumping on bending lines. He perked up majorly and tried to take off running at mach 5 over the first few jumps. A quick discipline from me and suddenly we were back to engaging and being variable in our stride.


So little things that should lead to much bigger improvements! Very happy about today!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Riding Lesson, Good News and Asking for Jingles!

No new bit yet (Holiday mucked up the shipping).

But we had our first lesson in months. Started out as a butt, but in the end he was really really good.

Trainer agreed that it's not his head we're concerned about with steering/stopping, but that he's blocking the contact with his poll, neck, and shoulders. Go figure.



Additionally a bit of news, the original boarding place I had been at is accepting Ashe back :) He's the only boarder they're agreeing to take back but I'm best pleased as it means I'll have an indoor for the winter! Woohoo!


Asking for Jingles because my trainer may have found a farm to buy! Which means I'll actually be able to board and ride with all my barn buddies instead of paying for trailering every time I want! Woohoo too!


No news on the migraines/vertigo. Been having jaw ache and ear issues the past three days even on the prednisone and nasonex so that combination is a no go. Back to the drawing board for the ENT and allergist.

Proof we jumped a single bucket! Excuse the loose rein, trot + wide reining it

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Migraines, Riding and .... Bits

So pretty much since the XC outing I've been grounded. As in, can't ride due to the migraines I've been having. Plus I had a week of 12 hour days at work (stupid health benefit changes in HR)

ENT doctor says there is nothing wrong to indicate why I might be having it other than some inflammation. Says I should def go with the allergist's plan for allergy shots (my budget is crying already).

That said, we DID get out for the halloween fun show at my trainers:


Bucket Roulette: Leaping buckets like they're 2'3 - We got to 1 bucket!


At the show I noticed he's starting to exhibit the same signs he did with the rubber mullens we were using early on before moving to the KK Ultra (gaping mouth, blocking shoulder/neck, steam training, refusing to take up contact). I had been meaning to do more research into bits for a while now since the dentist mentioned that he has a very small sensitive mouth.

Realized he has a VERY thick tongue and almost no curve to his palate. *sigh* So while the KK Ultra has been good (and he's really good on a looser rein with it) it might be the reason we've keep hitting a brick wall with steady contact and evasion on his side.

So I made a leap and am going to try the wide barrel comfort snaffle in eggbutt from Myler (I'd go D-ring but they are HUGE on his tiny nose). Trainer approves the attempt. Should be shipping shortly, fingers crossed!

Thankfully the migraines seems to have settled as allergies have died down and I have a two week vacation coming up so perfect time to try it out! Fingers crossed!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

XC Day!!

We FINALLY went XC schooling! I was a little worried about fitness as allergies have been grounding me for days.

But it went well, and he ate it up!

I need to work on my release and contact (the ditch jumps he'd stop, look, LEAP) but overall it was a fantastic day!

Warm Up
We learned how to ride Water Complexes
He kept stopping and pawing.

Figuring out the trot (he kept bending to the water's edge)

Got left behind at the canter when we leaped into the water!
Log Jump coming out of the water


Introducing Bank Jumps

Walking down

Jumping up!

Stop, Look, Leap! (Yes we've done ditches, but none this size)




Monday, July 18, 2016

Clinic! (And Hoses!)


Ashe has improved again with the hosing. He spooked at it (to be fair his chin got hit when I was getting his front legs from behind), pulled away and then came right back and let me finish everything. WITH the hose head attached rather than just free running water. Woo!

So we went to my trainer's clinic again this year :) 2 days overnight. I wish he'd get along in the field over the fence with her horses but alas, he has to stay stall bound except for supervised free time in the ring.  Last year's clinic (clicky!)

We did so much better! We did BN dressage test (I went off course the first time I did it, never done it before in my defense) and then jumped a "Student" designed jump course complete with a "pick your own" derby section! He even jumped his first corner without a second glance (the pipes apparently are optional to him and I have to "wide hand" it to get him to focus).

For dressage we need to work on connection and smoothness. And actually free walking :P

For jumps I need to work on my hands and getting stiff over smaller jumps. He needs to work on getting the correct lead and not diving into the turn off jumps.

Instead of bucking, he tried to roll with me under saddle but I will take it so +1 there!

Also looking at getting a new vest based on our safety discussions and am updating my first aid kit!

All in all it was great. Now for Videos!

Dressage (Round 2, because I forgot where I was going in Round 1)
 Also, I would fail because I am so used to using my voice to help him stay focused on me...

 
Student Designed Jump Course!


Practicing the Rollback to the Bending Line:


And at the end, we got to paint!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Show Photos!

A little late in coming but before I post about our wonderful 2 day clinic that we did, I wanted to get these up! We did the puddle jumpers 18" division and one class of jumpers 2-2'3!

Reserve Champion 18" and 3rd Place 2' - 2'3"!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Our First Show

Not much has been going on the past few weeks (months...). We've been riding, a lot of outside hills and interval sets for trot and canter.

We've been working on turns and rollbacks over fences.

All for this moment.


We had our FIRST SHOW. And it was FANTASTIC.

I was thinking he was going to be more like how we are at the fun shows. Full of energy and little brakes....


Well he was the complete opposite. Cool, calm and did have the oomph when I asked, and listened to my half halts.

We had quite a full class for the 18" jumpers and placed 3rd, 5th and 3rd again. We stayed on, remembered all the courses (each class was a different course!) and rode really consistently.
 The 5th came about because he cross cantered after a jump and couldn't get himself sorted by the turn and we tripped. He was a little lazy jumping but he doesn't really put in the effort at that height.

On top of it all, we got Reserve Champion for the division!

Then he was feeling so good we did one class of the 2' to 2'3 and the jumper monster in him came out. We placed 3rd then too. Our trainer says that we can do the 2' to 2'3 division next time if we wanted. (We mostly did the 18" as we had no idea how he would be nor how I would be remembering all my courses).

I'm waiting on photos, but overall it was a fantastic and awesome day!


Ashe after a hard day's work and fun!
Mimosas for a great day! (After we got home!)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A New Chapter

Well... we're all moved in!

He seemed to settle almost instantly (after the usual prancing, snorting, and showing off for the two other geldings in the fields next to him). The place is nice and I know he'll have good care.

I will have to get used to riding in all kinds of weather as I had to give up the wonderful indoor that we had. I need to get a spring raincoat for riding (all I have that is waterproof are winter jackets).

Beyond that, we're working on how quickly he responds to cues (particularly trot to canter), and changing leads over ground poles. He's doing great so far!

No pictures (Yet). But we'll get some.


No worries!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Turning The Page...

Most people do this around New Years... or maybe Thanksgiving...

But we're coming to a new chapter in our partnership. The current barn we're at is retiring, and therefore we have to find a new place by the end of March. EEK.

I realized how much I adore the place I'm at and the care... and am planning on doing a big Thank You card for the owners. But I'm only a week into searching for a new place, and its difficult!

It also got me realizing just how far in two years we've come as a partnership.

He comes to me when whistled at in the field, he trusts me implicitly, we play together loose in the indoor, and we've gotten over so many of his fears already.

Then I found this, I made it at our 2 year mark... the difference for the both of us is astounding.


I'm so proud of us. And I know wherever we end up, we'll be okay.