Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Good Genes Run in the Family Part I


So this pedigree fun is bouncing around the blogosphere, and I've done quite a bit of sleuthing on the girls:



More Secrets (aka. Porsche)


Her Daddy, Sea of Secrets, by the infamous Storm Cat:



She has her Daddy's face and look



Wish she would've inherited some of those dapples O-O



I tracked down her baby photo:


awwwhhhh, little Porsche!

She came up for auction at 27K but didn't sell...



In her race videos, you can always recognize her by the flying carpet of tail behind her! 
The best she ever finished was 4th.


Her Momma, More Mascara was born with a disfigured face, missing an eye, and had to be in a brace for the first 6 months of her life!  but still won quite a bit on the track..I've yet to track down a picture of her...


Her half-brother (same momma!)


and she has another half-brother who is a stallion (can we say good personality? ;) still on the track, Hypnatique - who runs with his tail straight out behind him:



The BM of the farm where Porsche was born and raised told me that this was a wonderful line of racehorses - so I would definitely keep an eye out for any close relatives!!



Monday, November 28, 2016

TRM Bloghop: Tesla


Jan 2015 - just after 3mo. at the trainers


Nov 2016


She has definitely turned into a beefcake.... that booty is coming slooooowly but surely :)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

4th Annual Equestrian Blogger Gift Exchange



This is the first year I joined in, got my Gift Exchange Blogger Assignment from Tracy and did a bit a of sleuthing on gift recipients blog to ferret out what she might like....and to try and find that perfect balance of practical and just a wee bit extra special  ;)

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Mud Pies


Someone decided that a tan blanket was much more fetching than a green & black one...on one side, at least ;)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

TRM Bloghop: Porsche Before and After




This before and after is one I rarely talk about...where, in being new to full-care board, I learned a very hard lesson, that nearly cost me the sportiest little ride ever...


Before: 
Porsche, happily packing around a beginner side-saddle rider

Look at that booty!

My best girl



And this is what she looked like after 4 months at a full-care facility:


Body score 3, Vet diagnosis was malnutrition. This picture is so painful to see... 

I had Porsche at a full-care facility with a leaser taking lessons, while school was cramping my time at the barn...She was supposed to be getting 4-5 flakes of good quality hay per day. She is not a hard keeper. There were some major red flags in hindsight - bad communication between the groundskeeper & the owner, a recent exodus of boarders, and a miserly facility owner (who was also dangerous in how he handled horses - his girlfriend ended up with a broken nose when his young filly was being ponied behind a cart on the road and pulled back & broke the longeline clip which went straight into the gals face ( I dunno how she didn't lose an eye!!) I was able to grab the filly before she went into traffic.....the whole thing was scary and unnecessarily dangerous!

I found out later that not only were they skimping on her hay (cause she was small - she obvs didn't need as much, right?!?) and piling her hay in her uncleaned stall (they only cleaned stalls right before lessons, so boarders saw a nice clean area) - so she wouldn't hardly touch it, so they fed her less - you can see the downward spiral...

I was supplementing with Stable-Mix, and I honestly believe it was the only thing keeping her alive. She held pretty good weight, and in my ignorance I believed what the BM told me she was getting, and chalked the fluctuation to changing weather/work, etc. but then she suddenly plummeted - so fast I was sure she had some horrible incurable disease - and I called the Trail Boss to come fetch her back home. I remember driving behind the trailer - I could see she was slumped up against the side, so weak and I bawled my eyes out.


We had the family vet out - they ran all sorts of bloodwork, and found nothing but malnutrition (boy, was the barn owner upset when I posted the diagnosis to the barn email list)

My folks literally nursed her back to health over the course of several months, giving her pasture turn-out and a diet to carefully bring her back to normal (and prolly a little extra fluff ;) 
(and Porsche knows it too - she always whinnies at them both <3


After:





I'm glad her before and after has a happy ending!!


Still loves trails, still hates photo ops.






Monday, November 21, 2016

Viva Carlos November 10





1. How old is the youngest/greenest horse you've ridden?

While horse shopping I went out to see a 2yr. black filly whom I was told was a 15.2hh show horse, black with a blaze and bobby socks. The colour and markings were correct, but she was more like 14.3hh, and when the gal went to longe her, the horse quite obviously had no clue what she was asking! Needless to say, I didn't end up taking her for a test spin. I would say Tesla is the greenest horse I've consistently ridden :)

2. How old was the oldest horse you've ridden?

We had some geezers on the polo team who were ancient and wonderful babysitters who had literally seen it all.

3. Were you scared of horses when you started riding?

Nope - still not scared, just a bit more wise perhaps! (Oh, it's pouring rain with lightning and thunder...maybe I should just longe tonight.....)

4. Would you say you are a more nervous rider or a more confident rider?

Kinda depends on the horse - with Porsche - I know any shenanigans have a limit, and at 15.2hh she just isn't that intimidating LOL - where with Tesla there is still that element of uncertainty.

5. Biggest pet peeve of non-horsey folks around horses?

Non-horsey folks usually are some mix of slightly terrified and respectful - it's folks with a bit of equine knowledge that can be dangerous.

6. A time you've been scared for your life?

Not that I can think of...but maybe I can only remember the good times?

7. Have you ever fallen off at a show?

Not at a show, but everywhere else it seems - once mounting bareback on my bombproof buckskin - I slid right over her and she stood like a stone...Off a polo pony when she tripped and I sailed right over her head! (Thank you, Chocolate for not stepping on me!!) Came off Porsche when the saddle slipped (I'm notorious for too loose girths!) and twice off Tesla, once in the pasture (I bounced) and in the arena (didn't really bounce).

8. What's a breed of horse you've never ridden but would like to try?

I've ridden mostly TBs, QHs, Paints....I tried a 17h Oldenburg who was like riding an elephant....I'd be pretty much up for any breed :)

9. Describe the worst behaved horse you've ever ridden:

I test-drove a little QH who was such a little hot tamale she continually felt like she was going to run away with you (but never quite did), to the opposite extreme,  a QH who was so dead to the aids I couldn't get her to canter (and neither could the owner with spurs under her jeans...boo!) Tesla's moments of naughty are all due to inexperience, I've never had her be deliberately wicked.

10. Describe the most frustrating ride you've ever had:

I was trail riding Porsche and there was a very narrow part of the trail that had steep sides - and Porsche was sure we could go up the narrow side and leap across. I tried for a good 20min. to work her through it and she finally shut down. I hopped off her and led her up it, and thankfully the next time we went on that trail, she happily went straight up it!









Sunday, November 20, 2016

Tack Review: Haltertags.com


Seeing as how I'm back at a busy barn,  I wanted to order some tags just in case I mislaid anything - (oddly it is my buckets that seem to go missing, LOL - they all look the same!)





Haltertags.com was recommended by a friend, so I ordered up some itty bitty bridle tags and blanket tags for Tesla's gear:





The quality is very impressive - the brass tags are much sturdier that what comes out of the pet store vending machine, the engraving is very deep, and the bevelled edge gives just that extra bit of class.

 I'm betting these will outlast the leather goods I put them on!



Saturday, November 19, 2016

Just a spoonful of sugar...


Paws-de-deux


Blog content has been seriously lacking lately....as writing "Went around on circle right, left, rinse, repeat" just doesn't make for spell-binding posts :)


But I did learn an important lesson about sugar cubes....


The gals at the barn like to stretch their horses necks right after mounting with a sugar cube treat.
This seemed like a good practice, getting two birds with one stone: encouraging the horse to stay put at the mounting block, and getting a nice stretch before working. So I thought I'd give it a go!

I mounted up, and Tesla stretched right and left with copious amounts of praise and a sugar cube each way. Off we went and as we we working, I said "Good Girl" and Tesla halted, and turned her head for sugar....






Someone is too smart for their own britches.







Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Zoom zoom



Spent some quality time with this cutie over the weekend.

She looked homeless, but a little elbow grease and her fancy self emerged.

She promptly went out and rolled in the pasture.

O Porsche!



Friday, November 11, 2016

Tack Review: Red Barn Bridleworks Smart Dressage Girth



New at Dressage Extensions: $185.00

I Paid: $50.00 used






This girth was marked 28in. but the buckle to buckle measurement is more like a 26in. so it might have been mis-stamped...prolly why I got such a good deal on it....

It had one deep cosmetic scratch, but other than that was pristine! The buckles are nice stainless with rollers - I like the double elastic and anatomical shape - it stays put very well on Tess. The leather is lovely, and cleans up great with a quick wipe down. No opinions when I use this girth (unlike some which get a stink eye.

If I had to be super fussy, it would be nice to have the loops a bit higher up to catch the ends of the billet straps, but otherwise:

Five Stars!


(Might have to keep an eye out on their bridles too :)






Wednesday, November 9, 2016

OTTB x HUS = KWPN?



Day #4 of the Great Longe



OTTB x HUS = KWPN ?



Had a wet saddlepad workout this evening (nods to A Enter Spooking)

I longed Tess in the Sommer, and the saddle flaps were flapping loudly (sorta like whip slaps....I realize now how evil that was)  - so that caused a few scoots, but she worked through it and I got some lovely W/T/C to the left. The right was much better than usual, but from the ground, I can actually see how stiff she is to the right (sorry, girl I need to be a better personal trainer!!) Will definitely be working on that!
 Some great trot and canter work....the walk is a little iffy cause she tends to want to stop :P

Got asked if Tess was Dutch (so much giggling on the inside, cause Tesla is only a warmblood wannabe).  This particular trainer said the only thing that might give her away was her feet (cause she doesn't have the big huge draft toes :D


Monday, November 7, 2016

Bloggers are the Best!



Thanks to everyone for their lovely support - equine bloggers are seriously the BEST! and reminding me that horses will be horses sometimes - they keep us humble :)



Day 2 of the the Longe Challenge:  

Brought Tesla up to the lit arena, and another rider was working her mare, so we did some walk laps to warm up. I heard whip slaps, and thought: 
"Yay - another chance to desensitize to strong discipline" 
Tesla was a bit looky and had one little jump forward, but then settled down to what I was asking, rather than worrying about the spankins she wasn't getting. 

We had a few FAST circles, and a butt tuck and scoot, and then she settled down for some lovely work (and I made a big fuss with praise). Going right she was suuuper sticky, so we went left again and then switched back and it suddenly clicked in her brain and we had some soft walk and trot.

I don't think we're ready to tackle busy mornings quite yet, but we'll come full circle soon enough ;)




Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Light Side



Went out to the Barn early this morning, as Tesla had a pedicure appt. She was great for the farrier, and then I ran a bunch of errands and hit the barn on my way back home while it was still light and fairly busy.

We did a lot of in hand work on the long lead rope (I stuffed my back pocketses with carrots - so she knew I was good for treats) and when the lower arena was clear, we did some walk, trot, whoa, and come (to the center)....I realized center sounds a lot like canter - so we switched words, haha!


The force is strong with this one.


She was excellent to the right, and a bit sticky to the left - but I'll iron that out tomorrow evening on the proper longe line and whip in hand.

 You have much to learn, my young apprentice ;)



Saturday, November 5, 2016

Not totally unexpected



The difference between the barn in the evenings and during the day is literally the difference between night and day.

It is very busy, very competitive, and very high drama...


Glasses + Helmet = Age 5
but at night, it is a peaceful and relaxed place.

so it is not totally unexpected that our first lesson at the new barn did not go so well...actually it morphed into a longe lesson.

The morning started off great, Tesla was happy to come to work, and I got her tacked up and in the ring with plenty of time to warm up.  The tractor showed up to drag the arena so we had a lovely fresh palette to play on :) and she was as calm as a cucumber.

We were joined in the ring by the trainers and one of the upper level riders, who began to discipline/school her horse very strongly (lots of whip slaps), and Tesla started to get worked up.

I rode out a few good spooks (more of the sit-down type ;) and we decided to head up to the upper arena, and see how she would go in the more familiar setting.

Nope, Tesla was still super high, and scared of everyone in the ring (with or without whips) so I popped off and Trainer J. did a longe lesson.

Tesla was a hot mess as we longed her in the far corner,  and I know the other gals in the ring were absolutely pissed as I could hear them recounting her bad reputation in angry tones. (I did fell bad that Tesla kinda interrupted her lesson, but you gotta deal with the behaviour in the moment, and this was also my lesson too)

After 20 min or so, Tesla was much calmer, and had a rideable canter in both directions. So we called it a day, and I took her out of the ring wringing wet to cool off walking around the property. She was a saint :P I hosed her off, let her dry a bit, and put her out to finish her breakfast. 

My HW is to longe her daily until we meet for our next lesson, and get her bored of W/T/C on the longe. I'll try and come out early some mornings as well, to longe in the intense environment too. (for sure the weekends, and I'll try and squeeze in a few weekdays too)

So, I'm not totally surprised at her hot mess behaviour, the competitive barn atmosphere brings out any training holes (and I know her trainer didn't do a lot of longing). So even tho' we were going along happily at the previous family barn, the plan is to take her back down to zero in this new environment and go from there.

Glad to have a game plan, and a good trainer who loves Tess on my side!


UPDATE: Got a text from my trainer

I want you safe. And her happy. We are here to help you guys. Don't listen to anyone 😜 you've got this

The best!








Friday, November 4, 2016

Big Girl Pants



Tesla is really setting in well at the barn: especially so since she is now out of quarantine (yippee!) and into her paddock. We had some fizzy moments earlier in the week that I am 100% positive came from being very well fed & mostly in a stall all day. 


She a a big spook in the cross-ties tonight 
(not quite sure what monster was lurking in the shadows) 
and she snapped her safety halter crown, took two steps back and froze, shaking in place.  
I walked over and reassured her everything was OK, that she was fine, and put the lead rope over her neck and led her up to put her back in the cross-ties. 

While I'm not thrilled she spooked, I am totally thrilled with how she handled it - she didn't lose her marbles, was unsure, but put on her big girl pants and waited.  

We went into the arena and had a fabulous ride, she was listening and trying hard: I had her do a lot of working off my leg, to and from the rail - and we even did a bit of walk/trot on the longe too.

Major cuddles and carrots, and excited for our lesson this weekend with Trainer J!








Thursday, November 3, 2016

What bridle do you like best?



At some point I'm gonna have to find a black bridle ... but the brown schooling one I have now is only stamped "Made in England"....so that's no help..




What are your favourite brands for strap-goods?





Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Two-Toned



While combing out Tesla's tail the other day (and removing pinecones) I made a discovery!


Tesla actually has a  little streak of white in her tail, buried so deep, I missed it until now!


Not quite as dramatic as these:




but I'll try and get a photo!