Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rode Bliss down turnrows.  Lots of long trotting, softening serps on way back home.  Also tried on her new cooler. . .it's a bit big for the short girl ;).

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

I snuck in a quick ride during my conference period today.  Lots of serpentines and circles working on a soft neck and rib.

Also talked to trainer who has Scout today. . .apparently she has laid down on him several times when he backs her up.  She has done this to me twice, my assumption was that she is lazy and it was an odd quirk of hers.  It is not a tantrum and very undramatic, she just simply folds.

It appears that this strange quirk may instead be one of several symptoms of mild EPM.  So it looks as though I will be going to pick her up this weekend :(.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

It was 35 degrees today but no wind so it was not too cold to ride.  I know that this next week will be touch and go for me as far as time, with a game tomorrow, school starting back Tuesday, and our home basketball tournament on Thurs, Fri, and Sat.  I'm going to try to sneak some time during my conference period but will have to see how it all works out.  Anyway, though it was a bit chilly, I needed to ride while I knew I could.

I rode Bliss out again today.  I'm not sure if it was the cool weather or my letting her choose her pace yesterday, but she was a bit hot today.  We started at a walk to warm up a bit, then I asked her for a trot.  From the get-go she wanted to move from trot to lope.  I pulled her into a one-rein stop when she sped up to lope, let her sit, and then asked for her to walk off.  She wanted to trot instead of walk, lope instead of trot.  We did a few hundred one rein stops (it felt like) and lots of lateral flexion while we were stopped.

She did eventually chill out and trot nicely, however, when I finally asked her to lope off she charged away.  I changed tactics and decided to let her blow the steam off and guided her around the turns between fields.  She flew around for quite a while.  When I could feel that she was wanting to slow to a trot I pushed her on a little further in the lope until it was my idea to slow to a walk.  By this time both she and I were puffing quite a bit.

We walked for a while to catch our breath and then turned towards home.  I asked for walk-trot transitions on the way home which she gave nicely, not wanting to lope off from the trot anymore.  We cooled down at a walk for about 20 minutes.

Of course I question whether I should have continued with the one-rein stops when she was chargey at the lope or if I did right by letting her go but then pushing her past the point that she wanted to stop.  I guess I'll find out when I ride her out next. . . .

Friday, January 3, 2014

Woke up today to find a small pond in my horse pen.  I left the water running in the horse tank all.night.long.  Argh!!

When I went to catch Bliss the smart pony utilized the new body of water to her advantage, calmly walking directly into the center of it and pretending to get a drink from the puddle.  All the while knowing that I wasn't going to slosh around in the mud after her.  The little turkey.

I did eventually catch her at the back of the pen.  For fun I walked her to a low spot and hopped on bareback (there are benefits to having short cowponies).  She was a little flummoxed at first, seeing as how this was our maiden voyage bareback.  She flicked her ears and trotted some, I flipped the lead rope from one side to the other to pretend that I had some sort of control.  When she neared the pond I had visions of her dumping me in the mud.  Smart pony that she is, I would not put it past her.

I saddled her and let her soak (aka left her standing tied) while I ran to town to take care of some errands.  I rode her out today down the turn-rows by herself.  This being the third time, I think, for us to ride out alone.  Bliss is a fantastically sensible and brave filly.  She proves time after time just how great her mind really is and she did so again today.  My plan was to be a passenger today.  Guide her as necessary but to stay out of her way for the most part and let her pick the speed.

She did quite a bit of long trotting (which is perfect and what I would have chosen myself, had I been making the speed decisions).  Her ears were up and her body relaxed.  She loped at times and when I needed to bring her down to a walk in order to cross a road she was right with me.  I hummed (signal for slowing down) and she obliged.

One of the fields runs behind the Wal-Mart.  The cotton stems left from harvest have snagged hundreds of stray plastic WM sacks resulting in a flapping Booger Graveyard.  Not for Bliss though, she trotted right through the pony-eaters not changing speeds or direction, simply lowering her head for a closer look.

When we were 1/2 mile from home I asked her to slow to a walk for a cool down.  She did so happily and did not break gait once.  I am so very happy with my filly :).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Though I haven't posted, a lot has happened.  I took Scout to the trainer and left her there.  I had something akin to "buyer's remorse" as I pulled away.  I struggle with entrusting the care of my animals to others.  Paranoid, overprotective, control-freak.  All of those.

Bliss and I (and my Leo Trio) have been at Bri and Clay's since Monday. Bliss experienced a hot walker for the first time, worked cattle, and got a much needed winter bath with heated water.  It was a great week with good friends, dogs, and horses.


The Peanut Gallery: Tango, Journey, Sinch, Venture.

Bri's Shandy and Bliss

Journey, Venture, Tango, Spur and Sinch.  Clay's Patches in the back 

Bliss' derriere.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Two for two.  Sweet.  

I ponied Bliss off of Scout again today.  Same deal as yesterday, just legging them up so lots of transitions from walk to trot to lope.  Bliss didn't bat an eye or pin an ear at the saddle bags today.  

Christmas tomorrow so not sure if I will get a chance to ride due to family obligations.  We shall see.

Monday, December 23, 2013

This blog is not about storytelling.  It is not about sharing my life with others.  It is simply about keeping myself honest; a diary in it's truest form.

I dream constantly.  About all sorts of things but mainly about horses.  For as long as I can remember it has been horses.  I watch videos, read books, and scour the internet.  I daydream about winning my class, the all around, the end of year.  I imagine the feeling of that perfect run, the elation, the accomplishment.

But, I ride inconsistently at best.  I blame it on lack of time, lack of daylight after work, lack of money, lack of knowledge.  It's time to start blaming myself.

So, here goes:

I rode Scout today and ponied Bliss for about 30 minutes.  We walked for the first 10 minutes, jogged for a bit, long-trotted, and loped, then cooled down at a walk for the last 10 minutes.  Neither one has been ridden consistently since school started.  They are fat and sassy and need to be legged up.  Bliss wore a saddle with saddle bags.  She was not too fond of them flapping when we loped and threw in a couple of half-hearted crowhops before lining out.

 I've been riding Scout on and off for about 3 weeks after a long lay-off, trying to get her legged up to spend some time at a cowhorse trainer (BB).  I don't have access to cattle and if I am going to show her this year she needs to spend some time on cattle, which I don't have.  She has the beginnings of a nice turnaround and pretty circles.  She is soft in the bit and can bury her tail in the dirt.  We still need a lead change.  All of those things I feel like I can do on my own or at least get local help on but the cow work I cannot.  The plan is that she spend 60-90 days with BB.  I am torn between being excited about having a professional get her going and scared to death about dropping her off with someone I do not know (though recommended by someone I trust).

Bliss is my 2 year old that has been lightly started under saddle (less than 30 rides).  She has been ponied tons and hauled a good bit.  Her rides have been less than 30 minutes save one, that one being when I took her to the ranch and used her to push yearlings from the pens to a different pasture.  I look forward to putting more miles on her this next year.

My third horse is Ruby.  She can no longer be ridden due to low ringbone.  I miss riding this mare so much that sometimes it is a physical ache.  She had tons of cow and was immensely fun to ride.  She made me a better rider and I trusted her completely.  I bred her this last summer to a nice stud by Smooth As a Cat out of a Doc Quixote mare.  True to form, I have big dreams for this foal.  She is due in June.

The fourth horse that I occasionally ride is my mom's good mare, Snakebite.  She's a half sister to Ruby and when Ruby was retired I showed SB for one show season in the Novice division of Stock Horse of Texas.  In five shows we improved immensely.  SB is worth her weight in gold, laid back enough to babysit but willing and able to step up and go to work.

Tally:  Scout 1
          Bliss 1 (ponied)

Scout, 3 year old (Little Freckles Cat x ranch bred mare)

Bliss (Dualwithme x Paddy's Irish Whiskey mare)