Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Favorite Things of 2018

I'm going to jump on the bloghop bandwagon for a look back at 2018.  This year started off horribly, with the demise of my relationship with my former BO/best friend and leaving my barn of 11 years. But 2018 turned out better than I could have imagined. The move turned out to be a very good thing and I really like my new barn and BOs.

Favorite Show Picture

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We showed four times this year, and only got pictures from one show.  The show photographer at the other three didn't get any of me. I absolutely love this head shot of Peebs, and it's hanging up framed on my parent's dining room.

Favorite non-show picture

 I think this was our second/third ponying session and both ponies are DONE with me here. But I love it, and them.  Also, 0/10 don't recommend ponying with double reins. Between that and the lead rope I had so many things to hold on to.

Favorite thing you bought

I need to get better pics, but my favorite purchase this year was my custom LM boots.  I was worried about how they'd turn out with all the negative reviews, but they were perfect.  Out of the box they were a little tight and tall, but by the end of my first ride in them, they fit perfectly. I actually forgot I was wearing new boots till I took them off. Well worth the $$!

Favorite moment on horseback

My favorite thing this year was winning the series champion for our hunter division. I've never been a point chaser but once I realized we had a shot at the championship I decided to go for it and we won! Hopefully it won't be our last champion ribbon!

Favorite moment out of the saddle

Watching Team USA win the gold at WEG was amazing!

Favorite between the ears

 We went to the beach for my first beach ride back in January with my old barn mates before everything fell apart. To be honest, this doesn't feel like it happened this year, or even this life. Everything got so soured between us that I had kind of put it out of my mind.  But it's good to look back now and remember things were happy and fun.

Favorite horse that's not yours

This is supposed to be about a horse you've spent time with (groomed, worked, ridden etc) that's not yours.  Mine is my friend A's Scottie. I got to ride him once this year, and I helped A with him at a show this summer.  He and Peebs share a grandsire, but they're pretty different in terms of rides.  The two of them are BFFs.

Favorite funny pic

This video of Cinder's first time in hind boots just cracks me up!

Favorite fence jumped

Not necessarily this jump, but our first round at 2'6".  I hadn't shown that high in 4 years, since I sold Buddy. We still have many things to work on, but once I got over my nerves the height felt easy and I ended the round  with a huge grin!

Favorite horse meme


Thursday, November 29, 2018

Cinder's Intro to Trail

I'm going to try and catch up a little bit with what's been going on for the past month.  The weekend after  Cinder's first show, she got to go on another adventure. Her breeder bought a boarding barn a little over an hour north of us, that has multiple rings, a nice big round pen, and a little trail course. They had decorated the trail course for Halloween and posted on Facebook.  I messaged KP and asked about hauling in to practice on the course, and she let me know that anytime I want to bring Cin up I'm more than welcome to.

She's also 15.2 now and officially taller than Peebs
Loading up to go, she hesitated for a minute and didn't jump right in like she normally does. I had stopped giving her cookies when loading and I think I need to go back to bribery to help encourage her. When we got to KP's she unloaded well and walked around pretty calmly.  She had lived at the barn for a month or so before I brought her home, so it wasn't totally unfamiliar. I let her play in the indoor arena for a few minutes while KP and I talked and KP and her husband oohed and awwed over her. KP had tried to breed her mom back for a full sibling before gelding her dad, but she didn't take and unfortunately KP had to put her down not too long ago. I had had hoped of getting a family photo, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.

Zero shits given about the bridge
KP did a little ground work with Cinder, giving me some tips on how to get her to move over and out of my space.  Cin doesn't understand personal space, and loves to get all up and personal on you.  Especially if she's spooked or excited. She's not trying to be bad, she's just super friendly but I need to put the kibosh on it now before she gets too much bigger.

Many shits given about this
 I then took Cin out to the trail course and started by walking her around everything. She didn't like the car wash thing with bones tied to it.  She went right over the poles and cavalletis, even the ones with fake spider webs on them. She went right over the bridge the first time, and was actually fine to stop and stand on it so I could take some pics. They have some large filled tires for the horses to walk over and she didn't understand what to, but tried jumping over them.  We then spent about five minutes working her through the car wash with many, many carrots for rewards.  She did go through it twice, but wasn't happy about it and would only do it for treats. I don't anticipate there ever being something like that on course at a hunter show, but I would like her to get more used to it.

Mare glare on point
 Loading up to go home is when Cinder's red headed maretude made an appearance. She was absolutely not going on the trailer, no way no how. KP had gone into the house to take a nap before work (she works nights) but her husband was around and he came to help.  I had him stand behind Cin with a whip but that almost backfired and she got even more stubborn about getting in. We tried carrots and cookies, but she was so upset she didn't want to eat. I think her brain was fried and she just shut down. We tried for maybe 15 minutes before KP's husband went to grab a boarder for help.  She has a hard to load horse so he was hoping she'd have a couple tricks up her sleeve.  And did she! She clipped a lunge line on Cinder and ran it up in the trailer, and out through the drop down bars in the window. She stood at Cin's hip, had a dressage whip in her hand and basically reeled her in. It still took a few minutes, but it worked. I'll definitely be practicing that at home, and taking a lunge line with us when we haul.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Cinder's First Show

Cinder went to her first show on Sunday.  It was a fundraiser show for one of the university's equestrian teams and was only 10mins from my barn.  They had a ground pole class I figured why not take Cin and do it in-hand.  For $20 it's a low key, easy way to get her exposure to a show atmosphere and I would have felt bad taking her to hang out and not paying.

My friend A was taking her horse in a few classes and asked if I would haul for her.  I said yes and was a little worried that Cinder would latch on to Scottie as her new BFF.  I didn't want to have THAT horse at the show; the one screaming and carrying on because their trailer buddy was gone and they were going to DIE ALONE. But, my worries were for naught, as Cinder couldn't have cared less about where Scottie was or what he was doing.

I love that  little tiny snip of white

The only Scottie related issue we had was loading Cinder.  I had picked up A and Scottie first, and then went to my barn to get Cin. She's been great in all our trailer loading practice, but I've been loading her in the first stall in the trailer.  We haven't practiced going second, especially with another horse she doesn't know already in.  It dawned on me that maybe I should have practiced putting her in second as we were trying to load and she couldn't figure out how to put herself on on a angle to get in the back stall and was more interested in making friends with Scottie than paying attention to me. We did get her in and I had just snapped the trailer tie on her when she pulled back and out of the trailer.  My thumb got smashed and the trailer tie broken in the process, but after a minute of trying again Cinder got in fine and we were on our way. So our homework over the winter is going to be loading her second.
So wet!  But so good!

We got to the show and left the ponies on the trailer while we checked in.  Cinder has untied herself a couple of times, and I don't trust her enough to leave her tied to the trailer when I'm not there to watch her. The office wasn't super organized and it took a while to check in, so by the time we unloaded our class was going. It was also raining, so I figured why bother grooming her when she's going to be soaked.  We walked up to the show ring with A and S and while Cinder was pretty wide eyed about everything, she behaved much better than I expected.  She did spin and jump a couple of times at, once at a girl getting a leg up next to us and another at a little kid dressed up as a witch with a big witches hat attached to her helmet.

Getting in the ring took a minute because there was a big puddle in front of the gate and Cinder was pretty sure it contained sharks. She did skirt it and once we were in for our class she didn't care about the wet footing and puddles in the ring. I didn't bother learning the course as I had told the organizer not to bother timing/judging us and just walked her around and over all the poles. She did get a little sassy and tried to trot a few step but listened to me well when I asked her to come back to a walk. And coming out of the ring she stared hard at the big puddle but walked through it. I was very proud of my baby horse!
Contemplating horse show life

We hung out by the ring for a while, with Cinder alternating grazing and walking circles around me.  I walked Cinder back to the trailer where A was tacking up and that's when Cinder's baby brain started to fry.  She didn't like leaving all the horses at the ring to walk alone, then had a fit about walking through the mud to the trailer (had to park in a grass field), then slipped in the mud and got mad about slipping. We walked up and down the driveway till she calmed down and I told A was going to run her home while she warmed up. It was obvious Cinder was at the sensory overload point and I wanted this to be a good experience and not end the day with her having a fit because she was tired and fried. She loaded fine by herself and was very happy to be back home.  And bonus, I made it back to the show in time to watch A's first round!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Bend and Snap

I hauled Peebs over to A's place last Saturday for a lesson.  My trainer asked what I've been working on since our last lesson and what I wanted to work on for this lesson.  I answered that we haven't been doing much (Cinder kicked Peebs in turnout and he was off for a few days) and I had no idea what I wanted to do in the lesson. Since show season's over and we won't be back in the show ring for months, I'm kinda meh about doing much. 

Totally didn't plan to match my outfit to the jump or the trees

A's lesson had been before mine and they had a flat lesson focusing on forward and bending (A's horse is sloth-2x4 hybrid) so Trainer carried that over to my lesson.  We strung a few fences together working on getting him forward and bending/straight as was called for.  After warming up our first exercise was a single diagonal plank to an outside four stride.  A's arena is narrow so the turn from the diagonal to the outside line was more rollback-like than a normal.  It was also a left hand turn, which Peebs loves to over bend and drift out on. To top it off, A had gotten new footing and it was a touch deep in places and Peebs was using that as an excuse to quit on me.

Showing off our lovely downward canter-trot transitions.

We did the outside line first by itself a couple of times to get the feel of it before adding in the plank. The first time going to the line I went too deep on our approach and lost his outside shoulder, causing Peebs to over bend and drift out in the line making the four very long.  We had one Jesus-take-the-reins moment were I was sure he'd chip for a five but God bless him he launched over the oxer. Once Trainer told me to think about shaving the turn on the approach with a touch of counter bend, I was able to figure it out.  We then put the plank first, and I have no idea what I did or how I did it, but we nailed it on the first go.  The rollback felt amazing, he didn't over bend and pop his shoulder, and I kept the impulsion the whole way through.

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We moved on to another single diagonal to an outside one stride.  The diagonal was set on a little bit of an odd approach; you had to go deeper than you thought to get to it and it really invited the horses to over bend and drift out. And boy did Peebs accept that invitation.  I could  keep his straight down the rail, but as soon as I turned to approach the vertical, he over bent and twisted on me. Since flying changes are still a work in progress, Trainer wanted me to try and land on the new lead over the fence. It took four or five tries to get it.  Each attempt was better than the time before but I just couldn't quite get there.  Finally Trainer told me to think about landing and doing a rollback and that made it click in my head to look right and open my right rein. And, what do you know, we got the right lead.

Not the time I got the lead over the fence, but one of our many attempts

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Photo Dump Catch Up

Instead of trying to remember what we've done since I last blogged, I'll just post pics of what we've done.

Peebs has continued to look adorable and *mostly* ground tie well.  He did decide to walk away last week when I was in the tack room but stopped as soon as I came out and looked rather sheepish

We had a tough lesson focusing on riding forward to the first fence and being definite with my take off spot decision.  It was one of those lessons that rips you apart but puts you together by the end.  We finished the lesson by doing an outside line that I had to ride hard to the first fence but could then soften and let him canter out on a loopy rein.

I bit the bullet and ordered custom La Mundial boots at WEG. Since we're doing the hunter/eq I went pretty basic, but got a strip of patent black leather at the tops.  Fingers crossed everything fits when I get them.

WEG haul.  Special edition SmartPak Pipers in red, white, and blue, WEG T-shirt, and WEG C4 Belt. I really wanted a WEG saddle pad (I might have a saddle pad addiction) buy my mom wouldn't let me.  She was all for the custom boots, but god forbid I get another $25 saddle pad.

Cinder has officially measured in at 15.1 hands, the same height as Peebs. Obviously he's super happy about that.

We had another lesson that was awesome (even jumped a 2'9" fence!) and jumped a Halloween themed fence.  I found witches legs you stick in the ground and put those in the flower pots.  I'm pretty sure Peebs didn't even notice.

Cinder is signed up for her first show next weekend!  There's a little jumper schooling show 10mins from the barn and we're going to do the ground pole class in hand. She got a spiffy new leather halter for the occasion.

Monday, September 10, 2018

What Now

Show season is pretty much over for Peebs and I.  There's a couple shows left on the calendar, but one is when I'm going to be at WEG and the other is the end of October, about 2hrs away, and held outside.  The chances of cold, wet, and windy weather doesn't really appeal to me much.  There is one in October about a half hour away and I think it's held inside.  I'd like to get more miles at 2'6" before we hit it hard next season but I'm kinda ambivalent about going. I was supposed to do a Rob Gage clinic in November, and was wanting to get more miles before that, but due to recent events that got cancelled.

For sure we'll be focusing on lead changes this winter.  Besides my comfort at 2'6", that's our biggest issue.  Peebs has been started on them, but had his brain fried by a previous owner.  We've slowly started schooling them, mostly over ground poles, and I think we're making progress.  I can now ask for maybe 3-4 changes per ride vs one when I first got him.  He's probably around 75% getting them. I'm hoping to have a few lessons focusing on changes and am toying with having my trainer ride him a bit. I know she could set him up better, but I know his trust in me is a big part of our success so far.  He doesn't have the same bond with my trainer as he does with me. He's a pretty easy ride, but certain things set him off and lead changes are one of them.

I'm already tentatively marking out next year's show schedule with the plan to qualify for and compete at OHJA medal finals next Labor Day weekend. My parent's and I are going a big trip next April which will probably make one or two shows a no go. So I'm going off of this year's dates and working backwards to see what will work for next year. I want to make every show count! I've already told my trainer of my plans for medal finals and she's on board.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Cinder's Big Weekend

Now that show season's basically over, Peebs is getting a little break while I do more with Cinder. There's a couple low key schooling shows in October and I'm thinking about taking Cinder to one.  It's 10mins from the barn, and a fundraiser for one of the college equestrian teams.  I've emailed the organizer and got the ok to do the trot pole class in hand.  I figure we'll enter and if she's sane enough to do it great, but if she's overwhelmed by a show atmosphere we'll just hang out instead.

Less than impressed

I've started adding more adult horse things to her daily routine.  I picked up some bell boots for $8 on sale that she doesn't really need, but she can get used to wearing them. They looked super tiny but are actually a medium (maybe that's why they were on clearance?) but only slightly big on her.  I'm a lot little afraid of what that means when she's fully grown.  She also wore a surcingle for the first time and gave no shits about it.  That also fit better than I was expecting. She's grown wider and longer in the past month, instead of just up, so that helped.

Don't worry though, she's still growing up.  Clocked in at 15.0hands

I was helping friend A paint her jumps over the weekend and on Monday decided to take Cinder over for her first field trip. She jumped right in the trailer but once we started moving and she realized something was happening she started making a fuss.  We had a couple stops at intersections before we hit the highway and every time the trailer stopped she started bouncing around. She did quit after about 10 minutes. I was hoping A could help me unload since I expected Cin to be a fire breathing dragon, but A had a meeting run late and was going to get there about 15mins after me. But Cinder unloaded really well.  She was obviously ready to get out of the trailer but remembered how to back out nicely and not run me over.

What is this place?!
I walked Cinder around a little then took her into A's dry lot paddock.  They don't have any horses currently in it, so the plan was to chuck Cinder in there for the day. A's mom came out and started filling the water trough and gave Cin a couple flakes of hay while I hand walked her around.  My barn has wood and hot wire fences and A's has hot tape so I wanted to make sure Cin wasn't going to try to go through the fence. The three old retired geldings A has boarded came over the fence line to meet Cin and (I should really stop being surprised by this) she had them all under her hoof in no time.  She knew she was hot shit and the boys would follow her. I let her loose and she ran around for maybe a minute before going back and forth from the hay pile to the boys.

Little hussy
We were at A's for about five hours and while Cinder called out a few times when the boys wandered off, she settled in and handled everything really well. She never ran around frantically, or paced, or seemed super agitated. When we went to load up to go home she jumped right in the trailer again like she's done it a thousand times. I didn't feel her make a fuss in the trailer on the way home and she unloaded like a champ again once we were home. Makes me super hopeful for her first show in October!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Team NW Bedrock Show August 2018

The third and final schooling show in the Team NW Bedrock series was last weekend.  Having done the other two, my main goal was to try for the series champion in the long stirrup hunters. Going into the final show we were sitting in second place in the division. My second goal was to move up to the 2'6" pre-adult division and not die. Both goals were achieved!!

Peebs and Scottie love each other
 My friend A, whose place I haul over to for lessons, was going to be showing as well and my trainer was going to be there for us.  A leased Phoenix for three years, like five years ago, till we had to retire him. She's had her new horse for two years and this was going to be their first show together.  She was very nervous so we decided to haul up Friday so they could school and settle in. Scottie had a little meltdown in his stall when we first got there, but after we lunged and rode he settled in perfectly fine and was a fantastic show horse all weekend. Trainer had me school the 2'6" stuff on Friday night and other than having to pull up in the diagonal line because someone walked on the backside of the oxer as I was in the middle of the line (and after I called my line) everything was great.  It felt easy, I wasn't worried about the fence height, and most importantly, Peebs was more awake and forward over the bigger fences.

The boys enjoying a late night snack and walk

The show runs hunters on Saturday, and equitation classes with some open hunter schooling rounds on Sunday.  The plan was to show in the 2' long stirrup hunters Saturday to get points and then move up to the 2'6" pre-adult eq on Sunday.  Our long stirrup classes went pretty well.  I overshot the turn to the diagonal line in the first course and chipped in but the rest rode smoothly.  Other than having to do a simple change, our second course felt really good.  The only problem was Peebs was less than impressed with the fence height and I felt like I was working too hard to get him awake and around the course. Trainer said that he was bored and it was time to move up.  We got seconds in both our over fences rounds. We ended the division with the under saddle. The judge had us canter the first direction for almost four laps around a pretty good sized ring and Peebs gave up about three laps in.  He broke to the trot and when I kicked him back up he crossfired. So we had to come back down, reorganize, and try the canter again.  And of course, the judge was staring at me the whole time this happened. We pulled a 7th out 8 for that.  But our efforts paid off and we won the series championship!  We got tricolor ribbon and a box of fancy pony donuts.  I'm slightly pissed though; last year they gave out coolers for series champions and I really wanted to win a damn cooler! A box of fancy treats that are gone less than a week later is not the same as an embroidered cooler.

I forced my trainer to take a win pic with me. Also, they didn't announce awards till after I rode Sunday, which is why he's wearing his eq. boots
Sunday we just had two 2'6" over fences rounds to do.  I wasn't scheduled till around 3 so after A rode in the morning we hung out and watched/played on our phones.  A little before 2 the other hunter ring that the rated show was using ended and they started moving things around and resetting fences.  I thought that was odd and decided to check in with the back gate.  Good thing I did because they moved my classes from Hunter 2 to Hunter 1 and didn't announce it. They were starting classes in 30 minutes.  I called my trainer who had gone shopping and A and I rushed to get ready.  I felt slightly panicked as I've never ridden in Hunter 1, didn't know how the lines rode, and I hate rushing to get ready.
The show photographer got no pics of me, so enjoy this fuzzy screenshot from the video on my phone

I tried to focus on getting Peebs in front of my leg and forward in our warm up.  We had some waiting, pulling distances, especially off the right, but after a good smack with my crop we fixed that.  The plan for our rounds was to not stress about doing the strides, if we got them great, if I steadied for the add that was fine. Trainer just wanted a nice, whole number with impulsion. In the first round I was bit conservative to the first fence and the long approach to the single oxer at fence two got me.  I waited and buried Peebs at the base and it felt like he crawled over it.  But as soon as I sat up and put my leg on on the landing side something clicked in my head and I realized we had it. Peebs was going to jump no matter where I put him and not crash so why not go for it? We did do the add strides, but as long as I sat up with leg everything worked. And it was fun. I was surprised to get a third out of 8 for the round.

I only had a small break before my second round (one person went then I was back in) and I was still trying to catch my breath as we went in. First three fences were fine, but coming into the judge's outside line Peebs slowed down and we got a really awkward distance to the first fence. We landed in a heap and I couldn't decide if I should move up for the add, or wait and add two strides.  Which got us to the second fence at a half stride and I pulled Peebs out of the line.  We walked a couple steps to regroup then I asked hard for the canter and rode really forward to the oxer. We were getting over that fence no matter what.  It was mostly for my sake; Peebs would have jumped from where ever.  I just had to convince myself of that.  After that line it was back to the single diagonal oxer.  I didn't want to bury him at it like the first round so about five strides out I sat up and put leg on to push Peebs at it.   We got a slightly long distance, but had the impulsion to make it work. After that I could  relax going into the last outside line. After the course Trainer and I talked about the circling and we both agreed that I just needed more time. I felt rushed going into the round and didn’t have the pace and confidence I needed. I need more of a break between rounds to get myself together. I’m not happy that I pulled out of the line, but I’m not beating myself up over it. I’m glad I was able to go back and fix it, as well as the next fence. Not surprisingly we pulled an 8th out of 8 for this round.

Monday, August 27, 2018

How to Prepare for a Horse Show

In the six weeks between our July show and our August show I think I jumped Peebs maybe four times, and only had one less than stellar lesson.  That's totally how you should prepare for the last show of the season, and a move up in fence height, right?

 After the July show I had planned to give Peebs about a week off.  It was going to be super hot and I figured he deserved it. I think I rode three or four times the next week before he lost a shoe in the pasture. It was a Friday night and my farrier was out of town that weekend. He said he could stop by the following week and put it back on, but his shoeing trailer blew two tires and he wasn't able to make it. And then it was four days before our regularly scheduled appointment, and I was going out of town, so I told him to not bother and Peebs could wait till our appointment.  So Peebs had another 10 days off for that.

Peebs loves his bestie Scottie
Then we hauled over to A's for a lesson and Peebs lost his shit. Normally he's not super phased by time off, but I should have given him the benefit of the doubt and lunged him. A rode before me and when she and Scottie left the arena, Peebs has a meltdown.  My trainer had to go find A and ask her to bring Scottie back so Peebs could have emotional support. We stuck to trotting cross rails for that lesson. I was pretty sure our planned move up to 2'6" at the August show was going down the drain at that point.

Did get some good work over poles, once the chickens crossed the road arena
Then it got super hot again, and smoke from fires in California, southern Oregon, Washington and British Columbia drifted our way and the air quality was firmly in the unhealthy range. My sinuses were killing me, I was having a hard time breathing, and felt bad about making Peebs work too hard in it. We did get a few nice days here and there and I was able to put some good rides in, but Peebs felt NQR.  Not lame, not off, but funky in the hind end and our left lead canter went to crap. And of course my trainer was on vacation so I couldn't ask her opinion. So I called the chiro who was only available to come out a few days before the show. I'm glad I did because he was dropped left in his hips (explains why he couldn't sit on that hind in the left canter). But I had to cancel our lesson before the show to fit the chiro in.  So when we headed up to the show on Friday last week I a touch nervous about how we'd do. Spoiler alert:  Peebs was amazing and I should worry less

Friday, August 10, 2018

Monster Baby

I realized I haven't done a Cinder update for a while.  She continues to surprise me with how good she is about *most* things but her chestnut-mareitis has started to make itself known.

At least she's pretty to look at
Last time I measured, which was probably over a month ago, she was a little over 14.3 hands. For the most part, she's been growing pretty steadily, without any major fugly periods.  She'll have a day or two here and there where she looks butt high, or really ribby, but I'm amazed at how well she's built.  I'm hoping her ugly phase is going to happen during the winter when she's blanketed so no one has to see.

First time in the trailer by herself
Since I've been hauling Peebs out to lessons and to shows a lot this summer, I've been using having the trailer hooked up to get Cinder used to loading by herself, and with just me.  When I brought her home I had friends with me and the mini in the trailer as a buddy. When we moved barns Peebs was in the trailer first and my trainer helped load Cinder.  Both times she was really good about loading and unloading, but she needs to get used to going by herself and I need to be able to load her alone. And now that she knows how to tie, she can get used to being tied in the trailer.  The first time I loaded her solo it took maybe a minute for her to get in.  She was little worried when I tied her and shut the divider but a cookie made up for it.  I only left her in the trailer for a few minutes, and then tried to back her out.  That was really confusing and I had to practically shove her out but she did it.  I stuffed her with cookies, loaded her again and backed out again.  Second time she understood much better.  I think I've done loading practice maybe 3 or 4 times now and she's been really good every time.  She's actually better about backing out than her big brother.

Looking all grown up tied to the trailer.  A minute later she untied herself but didn't go anywhere.
Our biggest issue is spray bottles and the hose.  I'm not sure what happened, but Cinder is convinced those things will kill her.  We've had some epic meltdowns (and a couple broken crossties) trying to run away from them.  She's also not afraid to run me over during said meltdowns, so we've had to have some come-to-Jesus moments about that.  Rule #1: Never run over mom. I've started carrying a whip to nail her in those moments, but she's not really phased by it; more annoyed by it than anything.  There was one day I was leading her and Peebs in double from the pasture that she spooked and knocked me down.  I got up and whaled on her with the lead rope.  Peebs acted like I was going to kill him and you could tell he was so sorry for whatever he had done while Cinder really didn't care. Definitely one of those mare attitude vs gelding attitude moments.

So annoyed with me
Cinder had her first lesson a couple weeks ago with  my trainer.  We had had an epic fit about being hosed off and I called and asked if she'd help me with Cinder instead of my lesson with Peebs that week.  We started with a spray bottle of water in the arena but ended up putting her in her stall.  Trainer stood at the door spraying her while Cinder ran back and forth for a good half hour till she finally gave in and stood. A lot of her issue is that sound the spray bottle and hose makes, not necessarily the water.  I can sponge her off and she's fine, but the sound really sets her off.  So everyday I stand in the doorway of her stall and use the spray bottle on her.  She's better about it, but will still spin circles and run backwards if I try to spray her off while tied or on the lead rope. My trainer's been on vacation but once she's back we're going to have another lesson with the hose. I'm seriously contemplating ear plugs or drugs for Cinder for that one. And alcohol for myself.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Peebs Goes to Summer Camp!

More accurately, Peebs was summer camp.

Pony rides!!

My friend A, who used to lease Phoenix way back in the day, has a very cute little 4 stall barn with a couple pastures and an arena at her house.  She has one horse, and boards three older, retired horses.  She also takes lessons with my trainer. If she had had stalls available when I was moving, I would have gone there.
Showing off his dance moves

My trainer has talked about having me haul Peebs over there for lessons, or even just to jump on my own as A leaves a full course up most of the time and we don't at my barn. So before our last show I finally got everything arranged with A and trainer and took Peebs over for a lesson. Other than almost dying when Peebs thought about stopping at fence (see above and below) the lesson was a lot of fun and I made plans to go back the following week for another lesson. I'd forgotten how much I love A and her mom.

A's mom called me while I was at the show asking me if I knew of a horse that could give pony rides.  They had some family coming in from out of town with a few kids that wanted to ride.  A's horse can be a stubborn asshole and isn't exactly the pony ride type. I told her Peebs was available. He's been a lesson horse and I put my cousin's kids on him last summer for pony rides.  The plan was he'd stay at their place after my lesson for a few days while the family was in town then I'd take him back home. They have all the horses turned out 24/7 during the summer so they had empty stalls, and  a small dry lot paddock available for Peebs.

Our second lesson went really well again and afterwards I gave three of the kids pony rides while A had her lesson. Peebs was a little miffed about having to go twice, but was great for them. He settled into his stall there perfectly fine and I left after threatening to kill him if he hurt one of the kids. A took him out the next day for almost two hours of pony rides (just walking) since more family had come into town. She said he was good, if a little annoyed, but the kids fed him treats and watermelon, and spent a long time currying his itchy spots to make up for it. The last day the family was in town was one of the hottest days of the year and the relatives had to leave about midday.  So the kids and A got up at 5:30am to ride before it got hot and they had to leave. She let one of the kids ride on his own, aka she didn't lead him around, and once again Peebs was perfect.

It was way too hot to haul him home that afternoon or the next day after I got off work.  I'm not putting a horse in a trailer in 95*+ unless I absolutely have to. A and her mom were fine with Peebs staying an extra few days.  I took him home on a Saturday morning but not before getting one last ride and jump school in.  We mostly just futzed around over the crossrails set up but it was so nice to jump without having to set everything up then take it down again after riding. I'm hoping I can get over there more this summer, either for lessons or just hacking!