Wednesday, April 29, 2015


It dawned on me yesterday when Roscoe's breeder texted me, that he leaves in two weeks. Where the heck has time gone?

Now to get the packing in order and notes written. The trailer went into the shop for a check up and Mom scheduled the vet to get Roscoe's health certificate. I ordered his treats and bug off supplement. He will get his Shoo Tag in his wild mane soon. Things are getting real now.

I rode Roscoe this week and he was an idiot at the beginning. Tried to twist his neck up and over, almost falling over. I was a bit on the nervous side after my fall, so I went back to walking and turning him. Eventually he settled, I settled and we managed a full trot lap with no theatrics. I called it a win and a day. The next day, I changed his bit to an eggbutt two piece snaffle to see if he liked it better than the loose ring. Two piece bits are not my first choice but, work for research. To help me I put the western saddle on him. Security helps find peace of mind. He was better and seemed quieter with his head. Since he had a working brain again, I focused on burning some of his energy using intervals.

The best part was that after each ride, he followed me around the arena. He even jumped the jumps if I walked over them before. He definitely will work for sugar :) Though he can be a hormonal pain in the butt, when he does things like this it balances everything.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Five Rides and Two Falls

Last week was a slow week for riding with all the rain we had. Added on top of that I had a couple days of feeling not quite right. I blame that for the couple of falls I took this week.

"No Problem" Rosemary says

I started the week with Rosemary bareback in the arena. She has really turned a corner since her chiropractic work. I decided to ask her to jump the x I had set up. Unless I asked for more she just trotted over it. When I asked for more she gave me her fancy lift in the front, full of attitude, and hopped over. She is really good at keeping me with her even with all her drama. I am so happy she is enjoying the jumps.
Next up was Dottie bareback. The arena work quickly turned into trail/hill work when her backbone about split me in two. She needed those hills to work her back muscles. So up and down little and big hills we went. Just what she needs to start rebuilding those lost muscles.
The same day I hopped on DaVinci bareback. We worked in the arena through the gaits to loosen him up, before heading out on trail. He was a bit of a lookie loo, but he kept walking. It was an enjoyable stroll through the woods. When we came out of the woods, DaVinci decided to go around the house a different direction than normal. Well this way took us by the chickens and all the wood materials Peggy has to build them a more secure run. Surprisingly, DaVinci spooked to the side. I told him to walk on and quit looking. He spooked again to the side, dislodging me slightly. Finally before I resettled he spooked sideways even bigger, leaving me hanging in our previous location. Of course my butt ended up on the ground looking up at the dodo. Luckily he had spooked sideways enough to put us off the gravel. In 7 years, that is my first fall off of him. Silly pony! I made him go look at the chickens after that.
The next day I was going to ride Comrade, but Roscoe kept staring at me. So I figured I could save time and do a ride, then graze him for a bit after. To help with that I put the bosal on with the bareback pad. At first Roscoe was not sure how to deal with the bosal, but soon he figured it out. We just walked and circled. Well he decided he was done working and wanted to eat grass. He proceeded to pull out of the arena to the grassy area. I kicked him and told him to pick his head up. In typical Roscoe, bratty baby, fashion he bucked. I survived the first buck, but the second and third did me in because he sucked in his belly loosening the bareback pad enough to tip me off down the slight hill. Oh yeah, that boy was not eating grass. I marched him back into the ring and shut the gate. After a conversation with a neighbor, I got back on knowing it would not be for long. I just wanted him to have to do something. We literally walked a diagonal across the arena walking and halting (somewhat) before I got off. I knew that I could not win a big battle and saved it for another day. No more bosal for Roscoe. And yes that would be my first fall off of him too.

Roscoe approved our ride

The next day I was feeling off with no appetite and a bobble head. After two falls, there was no way I was getting on a horse. But Friday I felt more human, so I rode Comrade. I was not up to anything technical or complicated. Simple intervals was the answer especially since Comrade seemed to have lots of energy. We did 3 laps at trot, walk half the arena and another 3 laps at trot. Then we changed direction and repeated. Comrade was huffing but recovered well. I swear he learned to count the laps, he anticipated the end point accurately every time.  At the end I asked him to canter. I was hoping for two laps, but only got one and a half each way. Still not too bad. And the bonus was that I stayed in the saddle :)

"Its raining you know..."

On Saturday, still not 100%, I only worked Winston on the lunge. He tried to tell me he would melt in the rain, but still did as I asked. Ah well, at least I can say all the horses worked at least once for the week.
Time to see what this week will bring.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nympho No More

This year has been hormone filled between Dottie and Roscoe. For a bit we let Sonny service Dottie and keep her happy. Unfortunately, like a typical male he would not leave her alone when she was on the downside of a season. So we cut off her stud service.
Dottie Dear

Well she was a total nympho after that. She teased Roscoe horribly. Plus since Roscoe did not see Sonny claiming her, he figured he had a chance. I seriously worried about our shared fence lines.
So we put up hot wire insulators that stick out 5 inches and ran the wire along the meeting area. Roscoe went from twanging the wire to jumping back when it was turned on. He has a healthy respect for hot wire. One problem solved.
Then we ran into an issue with the stall door that faces the paddock. Roscoe comes in for his dinner to keep Comrade from stealing. With his hormones raging and him growing, Roscoe is like a teenage boy when it comes to food. Starving!! One day after dinner, he actually busted through the door. Dottie was locked in to eat, so while he went over and preened to her, I went and locked Rosemary inside a stall. No repeat of the Cob run around, please. Then I shooed him off Dottie, waited while he chatted with Rosemary and then walked up to him to lead him back to the stall. Yep time for a more heavy duty door clasp.
Dottie meanwhile was crazy hormonal. Flirting, teasing and also being witchy to the grey boys. She was getting hard to live with. The real sign she was desperate was when Comrade let himself out of the stall to join the grey boys and girls. Dottie attached herself to Comrade and tried to convince him he knew what to do. Poor Comrade did not know how to handle Dottie rubbing up against him and nudging him.

So when we went to the Dover Tent Sale, we looked at supplements. In the natural, herbal selection area they had products for mares. As we looked and read I said "Where the heck is the Nympho No More?" Of course none came out said they helped like that, but you could read between the lines. We decided to try Mare Magic, a raspberry leaf based product, costing $15 dollars for the small size (60 days). It has only been about 10 days and we have given her the load dose, but she seems calmer. The real test will be when she comes into season again next month. I really hope it works because Dottie has lost muscle and weight since she has been dealing with all these hormones. Though I told Mom she should have awesome butt muscles from all the squatting she does.
Just enough bling for the big girl

Dottie also got a new brow band with a widow's peak and rhinestone heart on it from Peggy. The big girl had a spring in her step wearing her new tack. A friend said the right clothes make a girl feel sexy. All of us responded that Dottie needed no help in that department.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Finding A New Normal

This month had me starting a new position after a lateral move at work. My old position was changed to make me work days, so moving to a job that requires morning hours was an easy decision. The benefit of the new job is that I can work nearly 2 hours early, which means I can get to the barn at a decent time. The down side is traffic and a lack of sleep.
Spring brings new changes

As I deal with traffic, I try to remember that it all leads to more ride time. A lot more ride time. So, I am working to find a new normal.
I wake up between 530 and 600 so I can leave between 615 and 630. Then I cross my fingers and hope traffic is not too horrible. I start work at 730 if traffic cooperates or by 800 if not. 8.5 hours later I can start the trek to the barn. It is definitely better to leave by 400 to beat the worst traffic. It is amazing what a half an hour can cause. So far my travel time is about an hour. Though one day a truck carrying a crane got cut off on I 95 and tipped the crane over. This caused a massive backup, that carried over into the military base. It took me 1.5 hours just to get off base. No visiting the barn that day. Luckily that has not reoccurred.
Once I get to the barn, it is time for night chores. The horses go into the sacrifice area for the night now that the grass is coming in. Sonny moves into his own area so that he can get his candy hay. Normally Mom sets up the hay bags in the morning. This way I just have to pass them out once they are closed in. Dottie, Sonny, DaVinci and Roscoe get their dinner. A final check of water ends the night chores. This all takes 1.5 hours.
A good view to have

When all that is complete, I am free to ride. I have started recording who is worked, so I can easily see who is in need of exercise and who Mom worked in the morning. Whoever I work, I try to be in the saddle by 700. This gives me at least a half hour to ride and cool out. Then I have time for scratches and treats before leaving at about 800. The latest I have left is 830, but that is a bit too late to stay.
45 minutes later I am at home. I have a little bit of time to go on the computer and eat dinner. Then I have to go to bed by 1000, 1100 absolute latest so that I am not a zombie in the morning.
The schedule has been tough, but it forces me to make the most of the time I have. I told myself that to make up for losing money working days, I had to make sure I ride more. Otherwise, the negatives, lack of sleep and TRAFFIC, would factor too much. So far that driving force is working. Most of the horses have worked at least once if not twice a week. Now I am off to bed to start another week.

Friday, April 10, 2015

So Much FUN!!!

I have had so many great rides, I don't know what to talk about. So I will focus on Roscoe and Rosemary.
Roscoe was not wanting to work on contact during one of my rides. So Peggy and I headed out to the trail. Out of habit we started pointing the boys over the small jumps. Comrade acted like they were 2ft jumps. While Roscoe just trotted over them. I decided to see if he would give me more. At one of the 12in branch pile jumps I gave him an extra squeeze. He very quietly lifted in the front and jumped over. I was so happy that he felt as great jumping as he looks on the ground. We played over the jump a few more times. He gave me one really well executed jump and then went back to trotting over them. My future event pony is starting to develop.
Two fine Welsh

Our next ride I worked on his canter. This was my first time asking for canter in the dressage saddle, but he was awesome. When we cantered previously, he preferred the right lead.
OOPS Wrong lead

This time he seemed to have lost his right lead. He went so far as to counter canter even around the turns. Eventually I was able to get him to find the lead.
Ah, Right lead :)

Once he had it, it felt as good as his left lead.
Super Pony

Even though it has been awhile since we played with canter, he was able to carry it longer and straighter. It gets easier to ask him for more and not worry about messing up his development with my lack of previous experience. Maybe he will be far enough along to give Jen from CobJockey fun rides when he goes to Indiana. On the other hand, what will I do without my baby?

Mare in the Mist

Well I guess I can focus on his mother. Rosemary seemed uncomfortable initially after her chiropractic visit. Recently though, she is a different pony. She is moving well and happy to work. I have been trying her in different bits to see which she prefers. One ride she went in Comrade's loose ring three piece snaffle. Peggy rode her and she was reaching into the contact. A great sign. Then on trail my pony who likes to go around jumps, actually gave Peggy a sweet little jump over a wood pile. The surprises kept coming over my next two rides. I put DaVinci's Myler comfort barrel snaffle on her. This bit seemed to help lift up her front end since she tends to be a bit heavy.
Slow the steps, activate the brain

Her trot work was better and she was willing to listen when I slowed her down. I remembered my lesson with the Israeli visitors and could put some of the take aways into effect. As she slowed down, she could focus on figuring out her own body parts. I decided to attempt the canter. To the right, she was a little slow reacting so I tapped her with the whip. Rosemary bucked, but moved into canter. An absolutely awesome canter. Not only did she canter, she kept cantering for a few circuits around the arena. Then when we changed direction and I asked for the left lead, she picked it up within a couple trot strides. The transition was smooth. This direction she was crooked. She traveled with her haunches in. This gave her a bit more lift in the front. Even crooked she was willing to keep her canter around the arena. If you remember the challenges we faced during that lesson, you know this was a big deal.

 I capped off my stretch of riding with a bareback ride in the mist on her. She felt so great and was starting to get some push from behind. We even did a short left lead canter. I decided not to attempt the right in case she did another dramatic transition.
The best way to end a day

It has been so much fun to see these guys making connections and enjoying the work.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy 10th Birthday Comrade!!!

Can you believe he has hit the double digits? Our Peter Pan pony has turned the big 10.

We have worked together and shown together for 5years. Comrade helped me find my love of riding again after losing Barry. He also helped prepare me for working with Roscoe.

Comrade is one special pony. He is the class clown who keeps us all on our toes. Well sometimes he makes Roscoe bow down to his knees. Life is always interesting when Comrade is around :)