Monday, February 29, 2016

No Place Like Home







Tried the new saddle on the little sportscar, and while she was happy to see me and go explore, the saddle was an epic fail in her mind, so bareback we went. 


"Air shocks are not for me!"


The cats, Jazz and Batman were very interested in all the proceedings.

I come too?


What chaps?



And decided to come along...



A shaggy beasty


After our ride she got her Spring Vaccinations (and was a total trooper about them!), a thorough currying (and her fav belly rubs) and a green apple (crunched immediately)

There's no Place like Home.


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Sunrise, sunset




The view from the barn


and I'm off to visit the folks for a few days!

 (and give some lovin' to the other sportscar!)

I'll be back with updates (maybe video?) and a bridle review!





Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spring has Sprung



Scraggly wild child

With a bit of warmer weather comes Spring Shenanigans!

When I went to get Tesla today she was flying around in her paddock, full on racehorse with Spiffy in the next paddock over. 

I suspect their conversation went something like this:

"My OTTB Mum was faster than yours!"

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah!"

"PROVE IT!"

Spiffy realized lunch had been served, so he peeled off to go eat, and left Tesla to finish a few victory laps (tail up, prancy fancy pants).

I had an apple in my hand, and after she whizzed by, I yelled "Snacks?" and she finally realized I had something in my hand, and the race was over, so she calmly walked my direction huffing and puffing.

Despite all the shenanigans in the pasture, she was SO GOOD under saddle. 

We did a lot of trot canter transitions on a 20m circle (good to the left, and SO HARD to the right, so I made the circle bigger).

I practiced inside leg to right rein to try and control her counter bend on turns to the right. 

Sometimes we got it :P

It was warm so I hosed her off afterwards, and put her out in the paddock with some rice bran (YUM!)






Tuesday, February 23, 2016

And the results are in....



Took the Bouncy House saddle home, and gave it a thorough conditioning.

Made a few observations:

a) I don't think it had ever been oiled - and I could oil it darker if I wanted (seeing as the light tan isn't quite en vogue now....)

b) I discovered an *original* sticker under the flap with the seat length (17in.)
(I emailed the company and the saddle was made in 2001, so wOw.)

c) I took out the velco blocks in front (just cannot deal with that much padding, haha!)

d) More internet searching revealed that CAIR can be swapped out for wool if needed anytime in the future.....

Conclusion?  I basically scored a virtually unused second-hand saddle!

While the jointed stirrups were not a magical cure all (and I didn't really think they would be, lol) they did vastly improve my position (and wonky right leg).




Yes, we can keep it :)






Monday, February 22, 2016

My Perfect Colour Combo!



Yes, please :)


© 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com


Brown boots, Black Horse, Grey Trappings.

(Though, I've never been a fan of the white padding on the dressage bridles...or riding sans helmet!)


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bouncy House Redux




So you may remember that the new jumping saddle is LOVED by a certain pony, 
and for me, is a grown-up bouncy house.


Can we keep it? Pretty Please?

In an effort to alleviate this, I pulled some jointed stirrups outta my tack bin (at least until my core gets stronger!) But I got to the Barn so late, we only had time for a few Canter transitions (so jury is still out on whether the jointed stirrups helped).

MP and Melody were just finishing up, and had ground poles down, so I took Tesla over them (she was very pleased about it).

 I can feel her using her back and really stepping up and over.

I worked on tight turns in our last ride, and gave her lots of praise for doing them, so every time I put a little weight in my seat bones this evening, she started to turn (smart as a whip, this girl and I can see anticipation is gonna haunt us as we progress!!)

It felt like when I was learning to drive, my Dad had a Jeep that was so touchy about the steering, it just took fingertips to keep it straight on the road, so I had to look ahead and not to fuss about it....

Same concept applies to Teslas it would seem ;)



Saturday, February 20, 2016

This is not a horse.



This is a Giant Puppy.


No, really.

Had a lovely ride today, good canter in both directions, lots of circles. She likes to counter bend when we go to the right at the trot and canter...so that needs some work
(MOAR outside rein, MOAR inside leg!)

We practiced some turns on the haunches at the walk, where she had to reach deep underneath herself, almost spinning in place (she was really proud of herself at that) 

After our ride, I looped the reins up safely, and proceeded on a poop scoop run.

And she followed me.

and kept following me. 

So the scientist in me started experimenting.

Stop when I stop?

Over the ground poles?

Into the corner?

All around the arena? 

Twice?

So much praise and snuggles.

I am convinced.







Friday, February 19, 2016

Blog Hop: The Little Things








What are the “little things” about your horse that you’re so fond of?


I'm gonna cheat a little and talk about both the girls in my life:


TESLA

I like that Tesla will stand right next to my Dad when he is swinging in the Hammock, leg cocked and dozing off. 
(Porsche would never agree to this)

Kisses


I'm fond of Those Ears!



Photo from Casey Jo


                                         
     Yup, never grew into 'em (and always funny to see how they grow into (or out of) their markings)

and I like that nobody can quite pin her breeding down....

I always get "She's thoroughbred....and ????"





Porsche


I love Her love of Adventure! We can trail ride solo for hours....
Always game to explore

video




Her bit of Sassy Pants OTTB "Tude




and that nobody can quite guess her breeding as well....I get Anglo Arab most of the time, since she has such a typey face.






<3 <3 <3 these girls <3 <3 <3









Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Little Pony


Despite 25mph gusting winds at the barn today howling like banshees and roaring like the roof was coming down, Tesla was a rock star!

When I brought her up to the grooming area, the trees were whipping back and forth, and she wanted to be scared, sorta jumped in place, so I told her what a good girl she was, and then she settled right down.

We did lots of circles today, after looking at my videos, I shortened my reins and brought my hands up - so we had some lovely moments of contact and being on the bit (despite the crazy weather chaos all around us (including other panicking ponies).

And, because she was such a super good girl, as a treat, I took her out behind the arena to the grassy knoll and let her free graze for 20 minutes or so.....she could've mowed the entire area, LOL.


Who doesn't love a purple pony in a pink halter ;)




Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Walk-Trot-Canter-Right February 2016






I had family in town this week, so I had some ready and willing videographers (woot!)

It is always nice to see what a ride looks like from the ground, what I can work on in terms of my own position (lots to improve on!), and how Tesla is moving.




Monday, February 15, 2016

I may or may not have....



 been squirreling away nickels and dimes and secretly putting money on a jumping saddle for the past 8 months...

and just finally paid it off :D

We took on on a test drive.  It fits Tesla like a glove.

She goes very well in it, and I can feel her starting to reach her back up under it.


A moment of fancy!

But for me, it is gonna take some getting used to!!!

It rides like a giant pillow (so everything feels muffled) and it is a bit of a bouncy house, I have a hard time keeping my butt in the saddle!


Boing! but pony stepping under herself well


From what I've read online, these saddles are love or hate on the horse end, but I think for now, the muffled seat effect is just what this sensitive girl needs....at least until I can whisper with my seat bones...

and that means TWICE as much work for me!


So what's a girl to do to keep her wits in a bouncy castle??

Definitely started up a Pilates routine, to increase my core strength....

Any other advice?









Sunday, February 14, 2016

Turning down the Volume


In the past few rides, I've been working on turning down the volume.

Shhhh.....

What you say?

Actively thinking during the ride about how quietly I can ask for something and still get Tesla to do it.

She has been responding well to my seat, and I've been able to just "scooch" a little and send her over to the wall (away from the wall is up next :)







Saturday, February 13, 2016

A Bit on Bits



When Tesla was in training with Nicol, she had her in a slow twist full cheek snaffle:




Like this:



I didn't have that particular bit in my arsenal, so I gave what I had a try:



but, despite intense online debates as to whether there might be some gentle poll action to this bit,
she wasn't a fan:

Nope.

So.... I had an older 14mm KK Herm Sprenger bradoon bit (that I picked up for $20 - score!), so I gave it a whirl,

and folks, we have a winner!



I wuvs my wittle bit






Friday, February 12, 2016

What is that I spy?!




A Teensie bit of Baby Slobber!!

Canter Counter-Canter



The ring was super quiet tonight, just me and MP and her thoroughbred.  

She was schooling flying changes, so Tesla and I watched a bit. 

Then we did a lot of Canter work - 
to which MP exclaimed "That was counter-canter! Did you ask for that?"

and to be honest no, and even more honest, that I couldn't feel a difference (!)

Her canter is getting much better, no slogging around with her nose in the dirt, she is lifting more through her back....

and to make it easier on her, until she gains some more muscle and stamina, I've been riding the canter in two-point (here's wishing I had done the 2ptober challenge with Viva Carlos!)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Secret Hotties



 Reading Megan's post about how TC is an unusual combination of hot but not sensitive got me doing some reflecting:




Tesla is a bit of an odd combination too!

And while she is super sensitive, she is also very sensible, but gets bored with repetition, so I wondered...

Is She a Secret Hottie??


Who me?


An experiment was definitely called for.

So in my ride on Wednesday, I tried to keep her brain as busy as possible.

  • No half-hearted walk, we were marching around the arena (checkin' the mirrors and checkin' 'em twice to make sure she was tracking up)
  • Bow ties at the walk and trot


Link Here


  • Spiraling in and out while trying to keep the same tempo (super stiff to the right, she wants to fall in, better to the left)
Link Here


  • Anytime she tuned out, I switched to a different exercise
  • Large loops around the ring at trot and canter, and when she anticipated the canter, I spiraled into a trot circle (hehehe!)
  • When she needed a breather, I let her march along on a loose rein, but was constantly changing her path all over the ring "Like a Drunken Sailor" Jutta would say! 

A successful experiment (that bears repeating!) we even had some strides of being on the bit (woot!)





















Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Back to School


The arena was so peaceful and quiet today, which made for some nice quality schooling time.


An Arena With a View


Lot of marching walk!

Then trot, and lots of canter circles to work on steering and conditioning (she was huffing and puffing by the end!)

She started anticipating me in the corners, so then I would bend her onto a smaller circle where her trot felt amazing!

We cooled down on a loose rein, meandering around and practicing shallow serpentines against the wall.

I got your number now, Tesla ;)


Note her tell: a floppy chin! Also, that topline is improving, but still needs work :p


TRM Blog Hop: Pet Peeves



Powered by a Tater Tot! This picture makes me want to run out and get a mini and cart right now.


That Red Mare had a blog hop, so I decided to join in!

What is your biggest horse related pet peeve? 

I'm just not really a "more whoa than go" kinda girl. I hate feeling like I am flogging the horse to death asking for an upwards transition. I would much rather calm the horse down than rev it up.

Prolly why I like TBs, eh? LOL!  Although the hottest thing I ever rode was a little cutting bred quarter horse mare. Smoke came out of her nose. Seriously. I loved her, but didn't end up buying her cause I was afraid she would scare my family/friends.

I also test drove a lovely black mare when horse shopping a few years back, and I literally could not get her to pick up the canter (Neither could the owner, even tho' she had spurs on under her jeans, sneaky!) I realize that faulty training could have resulted in her being dead to the aids, but in the end, no-go was a deal breaker for me.

What is your biggest equestrian related pet peeve?

Barn Drama.
Nuff said.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Energy in the Ring


“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”
– Goethe

There was a lot of high energy in the arena today...
and when one of the new fellas, a big blood bay gelding came cantering round the corner, seemingly straight at us:



Photo Credit Unknown

Tesla got spooked, and did some quick backwards maneouvers...pulling the reins out of my hands (but like a sensible girl, she stopped after 3 or 4 steps!)

So once astride, we did a lot of sitting in the middle of the ring, with ponies whizzing all around us, so she could get used to all the new energy in the ring.

Once she relaxed, I did get some lovely bend both directions at the trot, and then we went on a mini trail ride around the property (a few baby hills to get her to use her behind!)

Saw a bird nest knocked to the ground from all the high winds out on the trail...

I always feel bad when I'm in the arena with lots of other folks who are schooling/training way above where Tesla and I are at, or with more seasoned horses, our steering can be spotty at best and I try my best to stay out of the way, and not make waves (sometimes epic fail).

I feel like my two options are a) avoidance by coming at less busy times (prolly my go to option)
and / or b) get over my inadequacies and use the arena when it is convenient for me as well...

What are your feelings about this issue?
Are newbies a nuisance in the ring? What is proper ring etiquette if you have a pea green baby, who may or may not show up to work with her big girl pants on?






Me 1, Tesla 0



Exciting times at the barn: new ponies and trainers everywhere.


Tesla started out very soft today, listening well....then about halfway through decided to do some head flipping (this is new! I kinda suspect her face is itchy...and some of it is sheer rebellion). I kept her working through it, walk trot, walk trot, and eventually she stopped throwing her head into the air, and was leaning into the contact and round over her back:

Me 1

Tesla 0







Grey on Black



PS of Sweden

Tesla could totally rock this look....


Monday, February 8, 2016

When in doubt, LUNGE!


Tesla was super quiet this afternoon


New Nosey Neigh-bour Boys


Photobomb!


but as we walked under saddle in the arena, I noticed than she was getting uber fussy with the bit and felt increasingly "high".... A rocket was rapidly developing underneath me!


So I popped off, and went to get the lunge line. 

She was lazy lazy and didn't want to go in a circle, and I had to crack the whip a few times, and even touch her with it to get her moving.

So we worked to the left and right until she got all the beans out, calmed down, and was working very round and listening. (there were definitely some good moments in that lunge!)

and I pulled her in and hopped back on.

and had a lovely soft ride.

When in doubt, I'm lunging from now on!




Sunday, February 7, 2016

Circus



The barn was an absolute circus today. Horses leaving, 14 new horses arriving, horses screaming, electricity flickering on and off, and wind wind wind!

Tesla was happy to come out of the pasture, and didn't seem too bothered by all the ruckus.

I decided to play it safe anyways and we walked calmly around the arena, and then I let her get the "bug juice" out on the lunge line.

She showed me all the crazy yoga poses she can put herself into. 
Galloping on three legs with one hind leg touching my belly - did you get that on camera?
Galloping with my head straight up in the air like a giraffe? Look at meeeee!
Airs above ground? I can Capriole!  
So athletic...those TB genes!

But after her exhibition, she settled down, so I hopped on and we started some nice soft walk work, and then Trainer P. brought in her stallion for a demonstration, and he was a little too excited to see Tesla, so I decided to call it a day.

When the circus comes to town, sometimes you gotta just roll with it :)


Helllloooooo gorgeous!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I always wanted to ride a Pegasus.....

Link here



but actually, the only piece of Hermes I will prolly ever own is this AMAZING Hermes brush (in last season colour, or maybe even the season before that lol!) I found used for $20 (and it is worth every penny, even full price)


Tesla agrees!






Friday, February 5, 2016

Hangry.





Tesla gets lots of forage.

Tesla gets fed 3x per day.

Tesla inherited the OTTB metabolism.

Tesla is always hangry.


The neighbouring mare was eyeing her stash...



Mine!


But all her hangry is focused at other ponies.

She WUVs people :)


We share now?




Silly Pony!

<3 <3 <3






Thursday, February 4, 2016

Stronger and Rounder


There was ALOT going on at the barn today. 

New hay shipment, construction, intermittent rain, and a lonely horse in the pasture who was crying non-stop for all her friends to come back and play...

So, I just follow you around with the camera?

but we got some lovely work done today! Tesla felt very round at the trot and was all about the canter. I feel like some of our issues with the canter previously were me giving her mixed signals - so I am asking verbally for it now, and that seems to be helping.

Walk-Trot-Canter-Trot-Walk transitions both directions.

I can feel a HUGE difference in all her gaits once she has cantered a bit, and I can always tell when she is really listening - her ears go horizontal and all floppy!




  19 Fasine from P.S.I. Auktionen on Vimeo.

This girl has "listening" ears :)



Trainer N. even remarked, "Tesla looks SO ROUND at the canter."

Stronger and Rounder!






Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Exclusive Taupe

This is what awaited me out in pasture today:


She's modeling a Storm Shield V-Tek Marathon Bellyband Turnout Blanket  (in an exclusive taupe color, lol!)

I can't say enough good things about these blankets: this is halfway thru Season 2, and it is holding up beautifully! No rips/tears, the bellyband keeps it from spinning and adds a bit more coverage, the neck adjusts (for those colossal withers). Tesla is nice to her blankets (but even Porsche who leaves mangled blankets in her wake, cannot wriggle out of hers). The only drawback is the price (gulp!) so I average it out in my head over the few years it will last, and then I feel much better ;)


I took my own advice, and focused on the trot today.  There were definitely moments where she was carrying herself and on the bit for a stride or two.

Onwards!