Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 28th+29th

Wednesday morning Bayley and I went and turned Henry out and watch the others ride. Then after Sean got off work in the evening we went up to put on his blanket and I decided to lunge him. I wanted to work him just a little since I would be riding Thursday morning and wanted to get the most out of my ride. I also wanted him to get to stretch out and move- yes he had been turned out for a few hours in the morning BUT he doesn't normally do anything in turnout but eat anything he can find.... HA! So yes a quick lunge and including asking him to gallop a little so that he would stretch out and then cooled him out and tucked him in. Have I mentioned lately that I LOVE that we have a BIG round pen to lunge in?!?! It's awesome because you can work the horses, still have their attention and not have to use a line :)

Thursday like planned I headed up to the barn (once the babysitter came) and rode. There was a little excitement while I was lunging- Henry yanked the line out of my hands and he took a run around the other horses and then went straight to his stall. Nice of him to make it easy to catch him :) Anywho I got him, went back to lunging and then got on. He was good despite the crazy start. Things were going great till we went to canter to the left- it was another sticky day but we got it. I think the next day that I hack, I am going to try going right first to see if that makes any different- not that in a show I can pick but just to mix it up and see if I can build his confidence, preparation or who knows what to get that left lead on the first try. Anywho Saturday Sean doesn't work so I will be back at it them. Maybe I'll ride tomorrow when Sean gets off work but we shall see what he wants to do- despite my life revolving around riding his doesn't, well sometimes it doesn't :)

2012 Goals and Desires... Look back on 2011

I have some lofty goals but I am going to try and keep these real so that in a year I can look back and hopefully have achieved most if not all of them :)

1. Master WTC- well balanced, quick responses, put all the pieces together
2. Complete in 4 shows (money permitting- schooling shows)
3. Read a few pages ever night from a horse related book
4. Start jumping
5. Developing his tone and muscle
6. Becoming soft to the left and right- making him as even as possible, I know most horses have a stronger side but I want to do my best to make him well oiled both ways
7. Riding 4 (or more) times a week
8. Better posture on my part- I have NEVER had good posture so this is something that is hard for me but needs working on.
9. Start working some w/o my stirrups
10. Have fun and enjoy my rides

These are all attainable I think so bring on the new year! I just want progress which is inevitable if I keep taking lessons and practicing :)

It is great to look at the pictures of my time with Henry the last 6 ish months... he and I have come along and I look forward to this next year of more progress!

6-13-11 The day he arrived- it was a LONG awaited arrival



12-27-11 (yay for a picture with Lyssette and Carlos :) )
12-27-11 ... this captures how Henry and I feel after our rides- POOPED! But it's good and i love it!
A big thanks to my husband for all his support, hours at the barn and help!

Also to Kat and Andy for taking most of the pictures and documenting our progress- you guys have no idea how much I love that you take pictures and then share them with me!

Bring on 2012 and all the awesome things Henry and I will accomplish!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas Plus...

Saturday ended up being a day of turn out for Henry. Bayley needed a nap and the drive to the barn always does it :)

Sunday was another turn out day for Henry... lucky boy got to laid back days!

Monday I rode (in the other saddle i was trying and hated it). Just a hack as Irene was gone but two others were there so it was a nice laid back hack around with friends. Henry was good- got our leads worked on bending at the walk like my trainer said ... he was good and then BAM he saw a tumble weed that was going to eat him alive- so we had to deal with that. But all is fair with a young horse :)

Tuesday I had a lesson. Always lots of work but I am down for it. Lots of "things" came up today to work on- main thing is a balanced canter. He tends to be very heavy and lets me carry him around which I can't do :) So lifting my hands, sitting deep, circling a small circle and occasionally stopping and backing were the keys to get him to carry himself. Now the stopping and backing brought up another thing- he didnt' want to back up. He braced himself and no matter what I did he wasn't moving- in enters trainer with lunge whip to assist the backing effort :) Also the people lunging using the lunge whips scare the poop out of him. He is SURE they are after him with that whip. Another "thing" we dealt with today.

But it ended well and I am feeling confident and competent that I can work through these issues. Juliana then got on him and took him over a few jumps and asked for some flying changed and most of the times he got them!

Kat and Andy came out and took some pictures - THANKS guys!

Juliana jumping Henry :)

We were both pooped!

love this boy!

Working on bending through the corners.. my posture is getting better, still needs work tho!

Good boy!

Heavy horse!

Better about holding his own head haha!

We have such an amazing view from the arena! It was a beautiful day too!

Thursday I will be out again in the morning to ride and hope that some of the things from today will go better :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's almost Christmas...

Thursday ... day off- almost. The Chiropractor called and said he would be in town in about 45 min and was wondering if I could meet him then to look at Henry. I immediately said yes! I have been wanting to get him adjusted since I got him and one thing or another has gotten in the way so finally it was time. Dr repeatedly complimented how nice Henry was- manners (haha good thing he didn't try to give love bites), the way he is built, how clean his legs are, how well filled out he is and how chill his temperament is. Needless to say we got an A+ :) So Dr adjusted him and said that he was really tight to the right- MAYBE that is why we were having a hard time with the left lead and bending to the right to get the lead. Anywho he said to take is easy on him today and then tomorrow (Saturday) I can go back to normal work.

Friday my mom so graciously said she would watch Bayley while I rode- since she was up at 6:20 am I thought she would probably nap the whole time while I rode, but in true Bayley fashion she only took a short nap. My mom was still a trooper and watched her while I rode. BTW I picked up two saddles to try out and today I rode in the Frank Banes... I liked it- obviously nicer then anything I have owned in the past. I need to ride in it a few more times to make my choice.
Back to our ride... I tacked him up and then headed down to the arena. I lunged him in some side reigns as the Dr said that he is weak in his hind end and need to engage that more. I didn't have them tight at all but it enabled him to go nice and low but still remember that he has to be in some sort of a frame. He actually naturally goes really nice when he is relaxed and engaged. After a quick lunge I got on and planned to just hack around cause Bay was awake and I am sure my mom didn't want to be at the barn all day. The quick hack turned into a mini lesson by one of my trainers friends who is a dressage rider and has her horse up at the barn too. I was thankful for her constructive criticism. But back to the ride- we got our canter to the left on the second try! The first time I could tell he wasn't listening to my leg so I gave him a little pop with the crop as per instructed by my trainer and then asked again and he picked it right up. He was much more supple to the right outside bend but some time will tell if it's the Chiro or me or better yet- BOTH :)
Cooled him out, gave him yummies and put a sheet on him and headed off with my mom abd Bay to take on the rest of the day.

Hoping to ride tomorrow morning and then take Sunday off and get back on track next week ... The plan is to ride Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...

Three days in a row! Woot woot!

Well kind of...

Monday I just lunged (well let him run around) the big round pen... it was windy as all heck! Ever time a gust of wind came and went up his bootie he would go faster or bucks or look at me like I was playing a bad joke on him- which I wasn't but boy was it funny to watch! Anywho got him out and let him blow off some steam and then made him work a little, cooled him out, groomed him and fed him his crunchie munchies as Erica says.

Tuesday night I rode after work inside with Erica and Laura. There was LOTS going on... chatting, people riding, loud noises, people popping out of the dark, people moving jumps from storage, the tractor moving hay around.. you get the point. Henry took most of it in stride, a few spooks but nothing big. I like that he is getting exposed to all of the crazy stuff- will make horse show and all the hustle and bustles less of an issue right?!!? Or so that is my hope!
Anywho he was good- we just hacked. WTC. Worked on more sitting trot- I can't seem to get it consistently how it should be but each ride it is getting better. Also worked on his left lead- only took two time to get it right. It baffles my mind that a horse who raced doesn't pick up the left lead automatically- he defaults to the right. Oh well - one more thing for me to work on :)

Wednesday I off shifted at work- or so I planned to but ended up working for 2 hours in the morning- and rode with the others who are off work or school or home from college. It was fun to ride with a group...
Henry didn't want to pick up that left lead again. Unlike Tuesday it took us a million times to get the left lead. I know it's part me and part him but I feel like I should be able to get this and am not sure why it is challenging me so much. My trainer pointed out that he isn't listening to my leg like he should and that I need to use my stick to get him to listen better. After a few smacks he was more attentive and responsive but I would like him to listen without having to utilize the crop- that will come with time I suppose.
The beginning of our ride was ok .. I felt like he was distracted and not really paying attention to me so we did stops and backups BUT from how the cantering went, I can tell I didn't do enough of that I guess.
I have been tasked with making him move his hip/honches over and getting him to listen to my leg. Trainer said after I have warmed him up to make him do this and eventually work at it in the trot too. Move stuff to work on :) Story of my life- but hey I want to always be learned and progressing, never being complacent in my riding ability!

Hopefully I get to ride tomorrow night- if not maybe Friday morning!

Next week I hope to start Henry OF... I talked to my trainer about this and she said that shouldn't be a problem and that we will probably have Juliana take him over a few the first time. Yay for making progress! (hopefully haha)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Falling behind ...

I am a few days behind on blogging.. sorry!

Thursday I rode after work. Henry was good, we rode inside. There were 5 of us and all i have to say is LEFT TO LEFT!!!! Enough said. Anywho we worked on softening and bending in the corners, collected sitting trot (bouncy as all heck!), not getting run into or over (haha) and just overall hacking. Nothing to special but it was good to get out and ride.

Friday night we had our parents party at the daycare that Bay goes to so I didn't have time to ride but I did go up and lunge him. He was really good... 

He knows he's cute
Saturday I partook in the morning lesson as Sean didn't have to work. There were 7 of us total in the lesson so it was fun getting to ride with everyone. Super cold morning so it felt good to get to work and start to warm up. Normal hacking went on and then our "sticky" part was his left lead. He likes to pick up the right one but the left it's his fav. So we had to work through that- thankfully with my trainers assistance. I learned something new too- I had always been taught that to get a lead it's an inside bend and outside leg... well apparently i've been doing it all wrong cause its outside bend and outside leg. Voila- a new tool for my box :)

Anywho.. pics from Tuesday...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Monday night I went up to ride, my trainer had given me a warning that Henry was wild in the turn out earlier in the day so I was ready for a good lunging before I rode... HE WAS WILD! I started out lunging in the indoor because that is where I was going to ride and after a min or two I could tell he was going to burst so I took him out to the big round pen and let him blow off his steam out there.

Hello wild bronc race horse! He probably bucked about 50 times and ran like he was at the Kentucky Derby! He's allowed to do this while I am not on him so I am all for getting it out pre ride.. and as a young horse he's going to have wild days so I was glad he got it out and was able to be a well mannered gentleman for me :)

After a good lunge he was ready for business (I ended up staying and riding in the big round pen cause I was already there and no need to move)- but I only intended to hack around so he would be good for tonight so this was a much bigger ordeal then Henry needed to make it haha! Anywho it was cold and we got our business done - the light hack I had intended to do! :)


We rode out side again tonight .. my favorite! Haha but for real I am ok with it now that I had an attitude adjustment with myself :)

There were three of us out there so lots of room for us all to get our own space but also enough of us to feel like you were riding together and not alone.

Henry was forward tonight. I felt like we were racing around the arena but my trainer never corrected me on it... in the canter she even told me to push him forward SO it must not have been as fast as it felt. We've got to get that nice ground covering canter for our Hunter days!

He was attentive for most of the ride, a few spooks here and there- one "bigger" one where he got in trouble and gave me a good jolt. Lots of looking around but so is life.

Worked on collected sitting trot which is getting better ever time... circling through the scary shadowy jumps (haha)... going past the standards that were knocked over and might eat us... forward working trot... bending in the corners... KARLEY BEND YOUR ELBOWS... keeping him moving forward at a constant pace all the way around the arena at the canter...

That's all I can think of - lots to work on Thursday!

Hopefully Kat and Andy got some good pics :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Light Hack

Friday night I just did a light hack on Henry... nothing special just a quick ride :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Best Ride to Date ...

Yes the title says it all. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride tonight. Henry and I were meshing and it was wonderful.

I lunged him despite him being unusually chill while I tacked him up and he lit up like a rocket on the line... so it was a good thing I lunged :) Then I got on him and we went to work. At the beginning he was a bit distracted and heavy so stopping and backing up was our MO. Once I wasn't holding his head up for him and had his attention, I worked on bending him to the left, a slow, collected and pulled together sitting trot, forward working trot and llloooonnnngggg and looooowwwww relaxed trot with a constant pace. He was being so good so we walked for a bit and then cantered both directions. He got BOTH his leads (no counter cantering or cross firing- woot!) and he was actually really balanced. He got heavier to the left then the right but that is expected. Simple half halts corrected this and he listed like an old pro :)

I was very proud of him and am excited to ride tomorrow night!

Here are some pictures from Tuesday night .. yes the dark makes it hard for poor Andy to take pictures but I LOVE getting to see them even if he doesn't think they are good- I do!

My face says it all- I was pooped.

Open right rein and inside leg- GET OVER HENRY! Ha

Love this picture :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


So it's getting dark so early these days- I know I complain about this every time. Well to add to it, it's really really cold!

Last night I bundled myself up (shirt, fleece and Carhart jacket- and I never took any of the layers off while riding which shows you that it was COLD) and heading to the barn after a long day (Bayley is sick so I worked at home with her, the dogs were crazy and kept me on my toes and I had lots of work to do). I arrived to the wonderful news that we would be riding outside under the lights- joy! Sometimes I feel that I am never going to make progress with Henry's training and my riding because there is always something different or not normal riding condition- BUT then I remind myself that this is part of his training. All of these situations are adding to his skills and abilities. (and mine too haha!)

Anywho he was really good all things considered. Getting softer in general and more supple to the left- he bends great to the right but the left we are more stiff.

Last night I kept chuckling that he was avoiding the shadows at the beginning- like they were horse eating holes.

Anywho good horse = happy Karley when we were done, which I needed because like I said the day was a killer.

I still can't pick a show name .. my list to date is: Raise the Roof, Prince Henry, Formal Attire and I like Moves Like Jagger but I think that one was axed ...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Catch Up

Oops ... I've missed a few days.

Saturday was Sean's b-day and it was anything but relaxing haha! It was windy as all heck so I opted out of riding- turned out and set up for the barn party instead. The barn party started at 2:00 pm and was a success but quite a bit of work (Lyssette and I retired after hosting haha!). After that we headed out to celebrate Sean's birthday with 21 friends at dinner... needless to say it was a long long day!

Last night (Monday) I intended to ride but it was FREEEZING so I let him run around the big ol round pen. He didn't do much but he got out to stretch his legs and that made me feel better. Then we tucked him back in his warm blankie and gave him some yummy grain- kissed him and headed home.

Today I am working at home with Bayley cause she is sick :( Hopefully she will feel well enough to let mommy ride tonight...

Friday, December 2, 2011

December 2nd

I am sore!

Because of the GM clinic there wasn't a lessons on Tuesday night so we rode last night. I got on before the other two and so I got a bit of a private lesson for a little while. It was windy as all heck so we were dealing with spooks left and right but so is life (I was getting frustrated 30/40 min into the ride when he was spooking cause we had heard all the noises and seen all the scary corners).

I am sore today. I was really trying to "pull it all together" last night during my ride. I know my strength isn't where it should be but I really was pushing and when I felt exhausted and couldn't do any more- I pushed more. I got to a point where I wasn't able to do anymore though so that was the end of our ride, I could feel my leg was shot and I was just getting sloppy. I rode for a bit over an hour and felt accomplished at the end.

We worked a lot on going straight... I tend to bend him to the right to much and not enough to the left.

We also worked on pushing him into the bridle- he has a natural frame but when the world is blowing away around us his head is elevated like a giraffe.

Lastly I worked on circles, reverses and serpentine's to keep his attention and also work on bending the right way and keeping straight and not bending the whole time.

Of course we worked on keeping him working in the trot, not to fast in the sitting trot and relaxed in the walk.

On a side note, I am on the hunt for a saddle and trying to sell my Pessoa ... any buyers? :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

GM November 29th 2011

The GM clinic was awesome .. wish I could have audited both days! But I learned so much and Lyssette rode AMAZING!

Here are a few pictures to enjoy :)

Me, George and Erica

Me, Lyssette, Irene, Erica

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 22nd

Better late then never ..

Last night is normally our lesson night but it was switched to Monday because of the holiday and other schedules conflicting which was a-ok-with me :)

There was NO ONE at the barn so good thing Sean was with me. Bayley slept almost the whole time so that was sweet. I got Henry, tacked up like normal and took him over to the really big round pen, turned the lights (well light cause only one works) on and went to work. I didn't really do anything special- it was more of a "fun" ride and he was actually really good. One side of the round pen is a little darker and so he was a bit leery there but got over that quickly. I am learning that pushing him through things is how he works. Anywho just a night of hacking and then back to his stall he went.

Today (November 23rd) I got out and turned him out while Bayley took her morning nap and I read GM in prep for the clinic (yes I know I am waiting till the last minute BUT I really don't have free time or time to read).

We are leaving to go out of town tonight and will be back Friday night some time. I am hoping that I won't be to tired and maybe get a ride in Friday night but we shall see how I feel after the rush of a trip to my mom for Thanksgiving. My dad will be taking care of the house and Zoe and a couple friends are going to keep an eye on Henry :)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November 21st

As usual my life didn't go as planned :)

Bayley is teething/sick. Sean got home a few min before 6 and we tag teamed and I hopped in the car and headed to the barn. Bayley took a total of 45 min to an hour of naps today and so she was exhausted. She fell asleep on me for like 20 min while we waited for daddy to get home... needless to say that isn't enough sleep for her at all.

Anywho I got up to Henry and had a feeling Sean was going to call and need me home but I wanted to do what I could to get Henry out and hopefully ridden. I was able to get him, groom, tack him up, lunge and then 1/2 way through my lunge got the call. I finished lunging Henry so that my time was semi worth it... untacked, groomed and put him away.

Baby girl just wanted mommy and I was able to cuddle her and put her to bed which was a nice treat to end a crazy day.

Here's to riding tomorrow :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November 19th

Yesterday Henry got turned out and a quick lunge.

This morning I loaded my sick/funky feeling self up in the car with hubby and baby in tow and heading out to ride. I was a bit late getting on but did it. I felt so weak and just funky so I got to work and  hacked around. I was on for about 45 minutes and couldn't do any more so I got off and headed up. Henry was really good- today he decided the half rounds were scary but other then that he didn't do anything bad- "looked" at other things but nothing to speak of :) He was responding to backing up in a frame much better, listening to my legs and doing nicer circles, not worrying about other horses coming at us or going by us as much and halting better.

Our Tuesday night lesson is moved to Monday this week so I am going to try and get out to work him tomorrow (Sunday), lesson Monday, ride Tuesday, turn our Wednesday, off Thursday and hopefully ride Friday. We will be gone Wednesday-Friday so we shall see how I feel after the 8 hour drive home Friday. Sean doesn't work Saturday because of the holiday so MAYBE I will get to ride Saturday :) Or maybe I will let him pick what we want to do that day since he is a really really good sport about all the horse stuff!

After riding we headed to Carousel Saddlery in Potter Valley. They are having their yearly sale and I have been saving my pennies to get a few things that I deemed worthy of my money- HA!

Here are picture of my loot...

These are for Bayley, they were orig $60 and on sale for $10! Yes a bit big right now but eventually they will fit her :)

Pretty Socks!

Jacket for hacking :)


Show Gloves

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17th

Rode tonight BUT not the normal schedule.

When I got home Sean was there because Zoe (our dog) had broken a fence board and was going back and forth from our yard to the neighbors... he fixed the fence while I changed and we were on our way to the barn. Normally he isn't home till 5:40 ish so it was really nice to get an early start!

I tacked up, lunged and hopped on. There were 5 other people riding in the indoor and two of them were jumping- it was a bit crowded but was really good for both of us. Like I have said before, I'd rather ride with people then alone :)

So I continued to work on what I did in my lesson Tuesday. He felt better and much more responsive when I asked him to S L O W down to do the sitting trot.

I also worked on getting a working trot from him which really isn't hard for him but to go forward with out rushing was my purpose.

Lastly I worked on steering ... cutting across the diagonal, big circles, small circles, reverses, going around the jumps ... you get the point. I want to make sure that he is responsive when I ask him to turn AND that I am supporting with my leg to help guide him.

I felt like he was doing a great job of working hard for me and listening. There was a lot going on around us so the first 10 or so minutes of my ride was just going around the arena on the rail and getting in our groove. After that he was such a good good boy. We also did a lot of walking under saddle (with super long reins) to try and get him as cool as possible and then un-tacked and walked/cooled him out all the way. I am going to talk to my trainer about doing a trace clip because it takes so much time to cool him out before I can re blanket and put him away.

Maybe something like this...

Or something like this ..
Oh and I brought my tack home so hopefully I can clean it all tomorrow- exciting Friday night I know :)

Pictures from Tuesday's Lesson

Super cute picture of Bayley at my lesson (and Pepper lurking)
Man my hands need help :)

Shinny horse! Oh and sit up Karley! :)

He's finally relaxed a bit :)

Chatting with Juliana

*Thanks Kat and Andy for the pics!