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Boo, Munchkin is footsore on the hind. She got trimmed recently, and her pasture is a mix of frozen mud and soft mud, so her feets aren't happy. No wonder she "ran" from me when I went to get her. She was a little hoppy on the hind end when I lunged her out, hopped on her, and she was not thrilled. Tried a little trot, decided about 2 circles into it that it just wasn't gonna fly, and brought it down to walk circles and leg yields. Worked without a nose band today, and she did pretty well, even when I was asking her to back- gotta work on that more. 

So, boring day at the barn. Might have to consider not riding until this knee works itself out, it's not a happy camper right now. 


Nice, nice ride today. The arena melted, and the sand drains well, so the footing wasn't horrible. It was actually better than it usually is when it's dry, even. Deep, uneven stuff that it is. Anyway!

Transitions came through very nicely, today. She's starting to respond more and more to seat and leg. I could even "neck rein" her a little, at a walk. The quotation marks are because I'm not actually hauling her around with indirect pressure, rather, she's responding to a very light brush of the rein lifting against her neck, and my seat and leg are telling her where to go. Gotta love it. This is all after she's gotten the giggles worked out of her, of course. We stood and watched Jeanie ride Mo for a bit, before I hopped off of her and hopped onto Mo. 

Mo is very much like his half-sister, but he offers his evasions with more pizzazz. He's rather brilliant, and is thinking the entire time you're on him. I confused the hell out of him by first giving him at least 6 inches more rein than he's used to, and then letting him do his thing. Any time he tried to do something stupid, I corrected the stupid, then dropped my reins again. Shit, can't brace on what's not there, can ya, Mo? He's gonna be a fun one, once we get figure each other out. I need to get video of my riding so I can work on myself. I know I do this thing with my arms when I release, but I wanna see what it is. 


Today went just about how I expected it to. I added polo wraps and bell boots (she's been forging, and I don't want her hurting herself while she builds up more muscle) in the front, lunged her for a few minutes, and hopped on. First thing I noticed was the fact that she stood stock still, on a loose rein, while I got on. The past few times, we've done circles for a few minutes with my foot in the stirrup, waiting for her to stand. She walked off (before I asked, but I gave it to her. No sense picking a fight when I just step on.) calmly and she was generally much quieter today. Still looking for, then rejecting the outside rein connection until I pushed her into it, then she couldn't get enough. She was a little more reluctant to go round through her whole body today, I had to pick her up, but that's to be expected. I tend to doubt she's ever really used her abs and she's likely sore. Gods, thats addictive, though. Buck Brannaman was right, in his movie: 

"You look like one mind, in one body. If you got a taste of it, if you got a taste of what I'm talking about, you couldn't get enough of it. You'd rather do that than eat. You may spend your whole life chasing that, and that's possible, but it's a good thing to chase."

We're not there yet, but we're a hell of a lot closer than I ever thought we'd get. What is it with me and the annoying, wiggly horses? Worked on transitions, walk-trot, trot-walk, a few halts. Quit when she gave me a mostly soft up and down transition, even managed a halfway decent halt, then sat there and scratched on her. She went from "we still working?" head at half mast, to looking at me quizzically, then relaxing and stretching down into my hands. I'd stop scratching, she'd look at me like "you think you're done?" Asked her to walk off softly for me and stop at the fence (she fenced herself... gonna have to set her up a few times for that, it's always effective), untacked her, and let her roll. Snuggly mare is snuggly after she's been ridden. <3


FINALLY had a real ride on Pumpkin today. But first things first: new saddle!

 I LOVE this thing. I've had two rides in it, and I'm more in love with it than I was with the saddle I grew up with. It's an early Giftmas present from my folks, and about all I'm getting for Giftmas, which is totally fine with me, this beats the hell out of pretty much anything else. I *think* it's an Arab tree, but I can't find a serial number to confirm. I've done some digging online, and haven't found one damn thing about Circle Y "Genuine Balanced Tree" saddles. I emailed the company yesterday, we'll see if I get a response. All I know is, it's comfortable and it fits my horse of the moment, so I'm happy. 

In other news, I FINALLY got my great ride on Pumpkin today. She's been hunting for an outside rein connection that she wasn't getting for the past few rides, but she was being a nut-nut dork today, so I gave it to her. Pumpkin being Pumpkin said never mind, that felt like too much work and tried to wiggle out of it, but I didn't ride Stripes for 16 weeks for nothing. Little miss got forced into that outside rein, and then she finally started acting like a normal pony. Got some great reaching through her back, good softening, and just a nice soft ride for the last 5 minutes. Quit real quick 'cause I didn't want to get greedy, and hopefully tomorrow's ride will be even better.

In other, other news, I've been "teaching" a beginner how to ride survive on Pumpkin, because for some reason she's decided she likes the mare. Jeanie's talking about moving Pumpkin down to Roger's (boarding facility) so the girl can work with Roger. I has a jealous, because I'm tired of getting mounts jerked out from under me. Theoretically, I could ride Pumpkin there (and that would be VERY nice, as Roger has better footing in his arena. At least, I assume he does- it has to be better than the footing at Jeanie's.) Jeanie said I could start riding some of her other horses, but dammit, I have a rapport established with this cranky, wiggly mare. 

Starting to consider trying this "horse of my own" thing again. I've come to the conclusion that as much as I'd like to start a baby, I just don't have the time, especially now that I'm working all week again. Which means a trained adult, likely a gelding. There's a barn up north that has decent horses for decent prices. I've been eyeballing their website off and on since I heard about them, and they have a paint gelding that looks like a hell of a lot of fun right now. But pony is not happening right now, unfortunately. Pony would also mean no Dobie puppy. 

Hey look! The training blog!

Oh yeah. I have this!

So I believe there's all of one person reading this thing,(datista I'm looking at you!) and she knows that I gave Boomer away last fall due to a lack of time and money. He's since been given to a trainer chick that apparently he's doing well with. 

I just picked riding back up after a fairly eventful summer, and I really wish I'd had the brain to drag myself out to the barn more often this season. Still riding Pumpkin, and she's just starting to get back to where she was when I quit last winter. I think I may try to get her out more often this winter, if I'm feeling like freezing my ass off, see if I can get her show-worthy come next spring. We shall see.

Our ride today was pretty darned good, all told. Lunged her out, which I'm not gonna do next time and see how she handles the extra oomph. She's getting stronger in the canter on the lunge line, but considering she can barely trot in a straight line with a rider on her back, I'm gonna hold off on introducing the canter under saddle for now. Just did basic walk work, with a little bit of trot- applying seat and leg, then rein work. Worked on the halt from a walk as well, and that improved dramatically by the end of the ride. She has a habit of leaning on the bit and strolling along when I put down transition aids on, so we worked on "You give, I give." I'm not sure anyone's ever explained that little bit of information to her, so watching her brain go as I threw my reins away was gratifying. 

Caved and bought Buck: The Movie at Wallyworld the other day. I need to start buying his DVD's one at a time, he's got some GREAT stuff that they only scratched the surface on in the movie. Never thought I'd hero-worship a "natural horsemanship" trainer, but I'm doing it. This guy doesn't do gimmicks, and he doesn't mystify the whole process. Love it. 
A photo update:

Yes, I suck at updating. A quick summary- I also suck at getting my ass to the barn on a regular basis. Life keeps getting in the way.

However! I have been getting out there regularly for the last week or so (after sickness and surgery ate 2 weeks) and Boomy is coming along just like I don't suck terribly! He acted like a normal pony when I threw the saddle pad on him again, and the surcingle (though the dangling girth was a little creepy), and cinched up the surcingle, and worked him in it! And he was fabulous for all the thumping, tossing, shaking, slapping of horse flies, me leaving into the barn and coming back umpteen times looking for a short enough girth, rebraiding the mane o' doom and was just generally an awesome dude. I'm so proud of him I could burst!
Seriously, who switched horses on me when I wasn't paying attention? What happened to that impatient, obnoxious wench of a mare that I was putting up with? 'Cause she's turned out... kinda nice, thus far. I'm now riding a 13 year old that *acts* like a 13 year old. She's a Morgan, so of course she's still got spunk, but she stands still to be groomed and tacked up (and mounted). She can walk and trot like a normal animal, hell, we even have stretching and some contact going on. Halts are starting to come through pretty well... well, down transitions. Halts still need work, she starts to stop then slooooowly keeps walking. Easy enough to fix. I actually think we have a shot at the show in 2 weeks, if she keeps working so honestly. I've been riding her in my dressage saddle, but there are precious few dressage shows in the area, so we'll be doing english pleasure for the time being.

Anyway, just ran out of steam.

That's better...

It's amazing what happens when you set a horse up for success. Grabbed the baby and actually turned him out in the arena for a few minutes so he could run off the goofy babyness. He didn't want to be caught for a few minutes, but he did eventually let me catch him. Instead of flailing around on the end of the lunge line, I got some really nice walk and trot... amazing what some turnout can do. Down transitions still need a lot of work, but he's not having a spaz attack, he's just being a baby.

Oh, and may I say... he looks NICE in my rope halter. Shows off his head great.  I'll get pics later. Burgundy is so his color.

Rode his mother today too. Gonna put her in my dressage saddle and a snaffle for the next time, she did really well today. Started out her usual self- scrunched, prancy and ready to buck, bolt, or rear if I gave her half a chance. I didn't, and she settled in. She actually started moving off my inside leg today too, after she stopped with the bratty "You're putting leg on! Any leg! I'm gonna pin my ears and pretend I'm gonna kick at your leg!" and realized the leg really wasn't the end of the world, and if she moved away from it, it stopped bugging her. Gotta love watching the cogs turn when they realize that I really do know what I'm talking about, and just listening to what I'm "saying" is a hell of a lot easier than arguing with me about it. Once she grasped the concept of "away from pressure" I got some decent long and low work, and she really started to relax. Which is good, 'cause she has a HELL of an upside-down neck from pulling contests that I would really like to work on. I'm not saying she was perfect, but that was a better ride than I've ever had on her, so yay!

Trainer FAIL.

Managed to totally freak the pony out today. New arena, new spot in yard, stallion attacking the pipe corrals *RATTLE!* every 30 seconds or so, truck in arena, and I got "loud". Thaaaat was clever. I expected him to work like that? DUH. Ended up going skiing across the arena yelling something about a sonofabitch... that was the first thing that came out of my mouth. The first things to go through my brain were: *Oh fuck, there's holes in this arena right now* *Ow, fuck, my hands* and *Ow fuck, my ankle*. *siiiigh* Guess I learned my lesson. Don't stubbornly try to work your YOUNG, SPOOKY horse when there's so much going on, right off the bat! C'mon, can't you at least PRETEND you know how to train?!

Got a few photos out of the deal, though.Collapse )

Not like I didn't know this...

My horse thinks I'm crazy.


He doesn't think I'm dangerous anymore! Woot!

Now instead of having a panic attack every time I try to do something, he starts to spook, then thinks about it. Yay! And I got more "Are you kidding me?" looks from him than anything. Very clear, turned his head and looked me full in the face. "You want me to *what*?" I'd rather that than a blind panic, so woohoo!

He's still getting stuck when I try to "lunge" to the right, gonna carry my dressage whip with me next time- I could push him forward with the leadrope, but I'm trying to make that a less scary object, so the whip it shall be. I can't WAIT for a bigger space to work him so we can really start lunging!

Not a whole lot to report, but I figure if I report it, I'll have it for later.


I waaaaant...

That's a custom made reiner from MJ Liggett Saddlery in Texas. WAAAAANT. In chestnut with just border tooling. Too bad I'm brooooooke. Base price on one of these puppies is $3300- I wouldn't be souping it up all that much, but I'd still be looking at $3800 or so. Better start saving my pennies.