Monday, 21 November 2016

November 10 Questions!

Thanks to the lovely L. Williams of Viva Carlos for these 10 questions :)  I also included some random old pictures of me and Apollo that I found.

How old is the youngest/greenest horse you’ve ridden?  Hmm… I remember riding this horse I think was either 2 or 3 years old at a riding camp once.  His name was Patrick and he was pretty much a unicorn (with a flaxen mane and tail).  I rode both of my young horses shortly before they turned 4.   

How old is the oldest horse you’ve ridden? My family’s first horse, Deputy, was pretty old!  We were told he was 18 when we bought him but when we had a vet do some dental work a few weeks later they said he was somewhere between 21 and 23… #firsttimehorsebuyerprobs 

My family rode him for about five years, so he was likely mid to late twenties for my last couple of rides. 

Were you scared of horses when you first started riding? Yes.  I have always been a big baby.  

Would you say you’re a more nervous rider or a confident rider?
 See previous question haha!

Biggest pet peeve about non-horse people around horses?  I really hate it when people put their hands out flat up to my horses mouths (but with no food).  So when my horses lick their hand or try to feel with their lips for a snack… the non-horses people get all put off. YEAH MAYBE DON’T PUT YOUR HAND ON HIS FUCKING MOUTH FOR NO REASON THEN.

Not that I have rage issues or anything.

A time you’ve been scared for your life?  I was very scared when I was 7/8 ish years old and the horse I was riding, Cricket, took off for home across a hay field.  I was riding with my dad and I remember reaching back towards him and screaming HEELLLLPPPP.  
Also this recent ride, where Mystic and I were pretty close to getting hit by a van doing 80 km/hr.  That was not a good time.

Have you ever fallen off at show? What happened? I have not!  Probably because I’ve done like 4 shows in my entire life.  

What’s a breed of horse you’ve never ridden but would like to ride? Lipizzaner please :)

Describe the worst behaved horse you’ve ridden?  
I don’t really enjoy riding super hot horses that are constantly jigging and can’t be still.  Any horse like that is automatically in the no pile for me. 

My draft-cross I rode in my early to mid-teens, Rusty, was a pretty big turd.  He would buck me off from a walk and jump out of the arena.  I can see a buck or crowhop during a canter transition or a moment of off-balance (he did that too) but I honestly feel like he would wait until I wasn’t paying attention and then would explode.  Very bad.  Zero fun.

The most frustrating ride you’ve ever had? 
  This one was pretty bad.  And pretty scary.

I have loved reading everyone's answers in this hop!  :)

Thursday, 17 November 2016

TRM BlogHop: Henry Edition

Thanks Cathryn for the great excuse to go through all my old pics!

Henry came to me in December 2012, as an underweight and incredibly wormy 6 month old colt.  He did not do very well for his first two winters but after finding a fabulous nutritionist in early 2014 he doesn't look like a disgusting skeleton in the winters anymore!  He's a May 2012 baby, just for age reference in these many photos I'm about to dump on you.

This bloghop is very timely as November 9, 2012 I sent an e-transfer to a stranger for this dude.  Which means I have now owned him for 4 years!

Original Lot Shot, this was all the info I had on Henry when I paid for him in November 2012

December 2012 Henry comes home and lets my husband halter break him 

This is my cell phone background <3

February/March 2013 Henry comes home to Apollo's barn

Summer 2013 

September 2013

Winter 2013 Weird fuzzball... not wintering well :(   Even after moving to a new barn to live with other babies and get lots of hay.

February 2014 I am not exaggerating when I said this horse does not winter well... This is coming out of his second winter, and he looks terrible.  Thank the lord we finally found a nutritionist to help him.  I had two vets check him for diseases/worms in the 2013/2014 winter and you can see why.

June 2014 (thanks nutritionist!)

Late summer 2014

February 2015 Henry = special

March 2015 Chillin' like a villain (and finally shedding out his winter coat like a normal horse)

March 2015 Very muddy :|

May 2015 Shed out and looking more horse-like

July & August 2015 Growing!

September 2015 Henry loves Todd

March 2016 My first ride on Henry!

Late Spring/Early Summer 2016

Fall 2016

Four years of Henry! <3  I love this weird horse so much.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Henry Lesson #5 (October 29th) & Saddle Fitting Adventure

I usually ride Henry on the Thursday before my Saturday lesson and then give him Fridays off (as there isn’t much time between both jobs to do much other than feed him on Fridays).  My Thursday ride started really well.  He started off with a super forward walk (YAY!  GO HENRY GO!). 


But as we progressed into the trot work things got a bit funny.  He didn’t really feel off but his head seemed to be bobbing slightly more than usual.  I lunged him and he looked totally fine.  I decided to hop off and was left sort scratching my head. 

Mr. Frosty Ears


I texted ST that Henry wasn’t quite himself.  I said that I wanted a lesson either way (even if just for another pair of eyes).  I suggested she book us in for a shorter one just in case he was more off, then it wouldn’t throw her schedule off too much and he could have a shorter lesson if he was feeling like himself again.  I kind of threw saddle fit and extra deep footing (that needed to be levelled out desperately) as possible culprits.   ST suggested riding him bareback to see if that made a difference…..




So I hadn’t ridden Henry bareback yet.  I know that RK did a little bit during his training (mostly when he was getting Henry used to a person sitting on him).  All of my internal organs are rearranged when I post his trot... I hadn’t even attempted to sit it. He has a wonky big ass trot.  It’s smoother when he’s moving forward, but forward is our ongoing struggle. 


After my unpleasant ride on Mystic my nerves were a little shot.  But on the Friday before my lesson I summoned all my courage and put my bareback pad on the baby warmblood and gave it a try. 


His walk felt great again.  I attempted to trot just the long sides in both directions.  I almost bounced into oblivion.  But he felt sound and happy with no head bobbing at all.  So that was good news. 


I texted ST the good news and then we kind of hemmed and hawed about if I should do a bareback lesson for the Saturday lesson.  We decided to try it. 


So for extra good news the arena was all levelled out for me on Saturday morning (yippee!).  We did about 5 minutes of walking before ST instructed me to get trotting! 


I was able to do about 10/15 minutes of trot.  My leg really wanted to creep up and my knees really wanted to grip (these are two fun things that make you bounce more!).  I had a few really nice moments where I let my leg stretch down and I was relaxed enough to follow his movement better through my body.  I felt like because I was bouncing so much it was hard for me to genuinely ask him to go forward.  I felt like I was giving him some mixed signals and it wasn’t very fair (go forward Henry, SLOWLY, go forward SLOWLY).  


So I suggested instead that ST give me a hand free jumping him.  So we did! J

Henry Longlegs at sunrise


And homeboy has hops.  We freejumped over two fences in a line, with the second one maxing out at 3ft.  He sailed over it and seemed to really enjoy himself!  I am such a turd for not getting video, will have to try it again on my own and share some videos/photos of Henry the jumping bean!

In other Henry-related news…

I finally had the Equipe saddle fitter out and unfortunately that other saddle I liked won’t fit Henry.  I guess his wither is very long, which is difficult to fit (this is also why his current won't work, and likely is uncomfortable for him).  The fitter gave me two models/styles that will work for him.  They are both $$... so I will be saving all my pennies and hopefully will be purchasing something for him in January.  So I will be riding bareback in the meantime… Holy crap.  I've had a few bareback rides since my lesson and am gradually improving (also my baby warmblood should be sainted).

Henry from saddle fitter night (if you look closely you can see the chalk marks on him... he creepily loved that)

Henry did have a massage last Friday (November 11th) and his back looks great and has no ouchy spots so I don't think the bareback riding is negatively affecting him.  Coach D has watched me ride bareback and doesn't think I bounce much at all (...tell that to my internal organs).

I still need more work before I can do an ST lesson again (I don’t it’s an effective use of a lesson at this point, as I really just need practice).  Hopefully if I work really hard at my bareback riding we can start up again in a week or two.  It’s not the end of the world for him to be in lighter work as he’s also going through a bit of a growth spurt anyhow. 

I warmly welcome and tips or tricks for sitting super bouncy trots!