Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 in Review


In putting this together, I realized how much change Tesla and I both went through over the course of 2016. Here's hoping 2017 makes me into a better, more effective rider, and Tesla continues to makes strides forward :D

January

Start of this blog!




February

Took some time to work on the basics





March


Experienced the Luck of the Irish on St. Patty's Day firsthand (pun intended!)


and got some new hardware in  my left wrist!


April



May



Tesla turned 6


 and I hosted a 100th post giveaway
June

Got spoiled with Leister brushes! P.S. they are holding up well!!


and met the wonderful L from Viva Carlos in person!



July


Tess got super drunk with friends..





August






September



and we learn that her half-sister is local!


October







I buy a bona-fide dressage saddle, and notice some worrying trends at the new barn that start me looking elsewhere, and we move back to the original barn we were at.

November



So we longe, and longe some more.

December



Tesla starts to get "it" and gets an actual dressage bridle for Christmas.
and we wrap up the year with an awesome lesson from Trainer J.


Saturday, December 24, 2016

An Unexpected Christmas Blessing


Went to the barn today cause Tess had an appt. with the farrier, and found a Christmas surprise from the BM - a potted little Echeveria!

And there was a giant rummage bin full of free stuff, so I took a peek and there were several demo leather dog collars in there, which will be perfect for the parent's pups, Titan and Cudie (The brass plates are hysterical: Plain Havana Collar, Braided Chestnut Collar, and Chestnut Raised Collar, and Rosie - hey Cudie won't know, right? LOL)






So Blessed!

Merry Christmas Everyone!!



Friday, December 23, 2016

Trainer J is the BEST!



Tesla and I were scheduled for a longe lesson today, as a Christmas present for me ;) 




Conditions were less than ideal - it was pouring buckets and so windy! 

But we braved the storm and made our way up to the arena.  Trainer J was waiting for us - I gave her a quick update, and as Tess was still off in front (still kicking that thrush and she clipped her front right heel a few days before......O, horses!)

Trainer J said that since Tess wasn't 100%, that we do a semi-lesson: I work Tess and she would keep an eye and comment as she worked an upper level horse, Eddy.

I got Tesla going nicely, a HUGE improvement from our last session when Tesla was a hot mess.
Trainer J suggested I put on an outside side-rein to help Tess stay balanced, and that we steadily work up from our 5min. per side with the side reins. Throughout the whole lesson, she rode Eddy around us, and when Tesla got nervous or spooky she called out to her, "Easy Tessie - Good Girl, Tess" which was ah-MAZ-ing and just exactly what Tess needs to help her gain some confidence about other horses coming near her with a lot of presence.  Apparently flying changes are terrifying - Tesla was like WHY IS THAT HORSE GOING UP IN THE AIR WITH NO JUMP?!??

My HW: I need to get Tesla moving more forward into the contact - right now she still is a bit stilted and "thinks" she can't move forward I need to get her more comfortable in the contact and drive her from behind.

I also need to continue to build her confidence in the ring - to focus on me, rather than what Eddy or any other horse is doing ... lots of sugar cubes and verbal praise!

Trainer J said whenever I am up on the weekends, she would be more than happy to comment on our longing. Feeling totally Blessed, and Excited to have a game plan, and can't wait to get Tesla ready for a formal lesson in 2017!!







Thursday, December 22, 2016

Brazilian blowout


Tesla blew it all away on the longe line today. Full speed, I really hope the new bridle is sturdy kind of blow out. Nothing crazy, just fast! She was still pretty amp'd even afterwards, so we did some hand-walking around the ring (apparently I missed the memo of no longing in that particular ring, due to the fancy new footing - and the BM came running out to correct me as I was switching sides)

Sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do!

All the horses were worked up today, and I saw lots of antics, even from some of the steady eddies, so I think the cooler temperature was making everyone a bit fresh :)

Tess finally relaxed in-hand and we made our way up to the big ring to see if all the darling little girls were done with their lesson, and I could finish up our workout to the left.

We had the ring to ourselves, so left we went, and then cause Tess was so calm and listening, I hopped on and did some walk work to cool her off...and when my nose started going numb, we called it a day!

Working through the willies (even if it sometimes involves blow-outs) is a win in my book!


Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Where's Tesla?


More often than not, this is what I see as I walk up to Tesla's Paddock:


Ummmmm....what horse? I see a lot of white fence.....


Monday, December 19, 2016

Not the longe I was hoping for...



Went out tho the Barn on Friday night, and it was freezing and packed - there was a break in the rain, and apparently everyone came out for a lesson!

I put Tesla in the grooming area, she was next to Moose, a 17.2hh Hano with some serious Tude. His owner was justly correcting his naughty behaviour and Tess was totally terrified. It felt like 1st grade, LOL and he wanted to pull her ponytail cause he liked her.

I want to leave like now.
She leaned up against the wall to get as far as possible from Moose - so what did I do?  I made her stand there and tough it out with lots of praise and sugar. By the end she still wasn't keen on Moose (who was obviously just trying to impress her). She needs to learn that just because others around her are getting in trouble doesn't mean she is in trouble. (oh those overachieving types ;)


I tacked her up and we headed up to the ring to longe (I wanted to see how she was moving after the Thrushbuster treatment) to find 8 horses whizzing around, and at least 3-4 different trainers.

Nope. Not happening, so I put away my longing stuff, and it was still light enough so we walked all around the property. By that time the wind was howling, and there were plenty of flapping tarps, equus-eating trees, and squealing ponies we could walk by. I remembered what Teresa had said about Carmen: how she was learning to check in rather than decide to handle scary situations on her own (totally paraphrasing there), and I could feel Tess looking to me to keep her safe. She was good, so we did a couple laps, and called it a night.

So, I didn't get the longe time I wanted, but I think we both got an even better trust-building lesson instead!







Sunday, December 18, 2016

Christmas Sneak Peek....



Big Girl Bridle - hard to get a full frame photo when someone is so cuddly...

I have been meaning to get Tess a proper dressage bridle, and having been thoroughly impressed with the Devoucoux Snaffle bridle, I was on the hunt for one secondhand in black...with the thought someday far far away...

and whatdya know, it popped up on Ebay the very next day!
So I stalked it online for awhile, I knew the seller had it priced a bit too high, and after it didn't seller for what felt like the umpteenth time, I talked her down into my price-point :)

It is a size 3 (oversize according to Devoucoux - but the dimensions were good for Tess - especially the 16in. browband (girl has got some ears that needed moar room).  I think everything Devoucoux makes is basically TB sized S, M and L ;)

It is in beautiful condition - I worked a ton of the Gravity Leather Cream into it, and it feels just like butter. I like the very traditional look, no bling, just nice leather that is going to wear well. If I had to be nit-picky, I would like some slobber guards on the cheek pieces, and the way the noseband loops back is a bit unwieldy (but is a guarantee you won't over-crank it).

I have a pair of black reins with stops at the parents, so I will be sure to pick them up  over the holidays
(cause going out to longe in a western saddle, dressage bridle and hunter jumper reins just looks like we are having an identity crisis, LOL - and obviously having matching black reins will make that all better, hahahaha)




Saturday, December 17, 2016

Classics never go out of style



Since Tesla got a Big Girl Bridle for Christmas (more coming on that soon!!)

I'm looking to sell this Plain Square Raised Bridle + Reins, since it is too big for Porsche's peanut face, and Tesla needs a tad more room behind those ginormous ears ;)


It's marked "full" and "Made in England" - the leather is super supple and nice (trainers have commented on how nice it is ;) - it has a few loose stitches that could easily be tidied up, and then it is basically in super great condition: use it for schooling - or show! Includes the original matching laced reins, and priced at a fair $55.

If you're interested, drop me a message!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Review: Bust out the ThrushBuster



Tesla came up a bit ouchy tracking left this weekend, and sure enough, when I snooped a bit more closely, I saw what could possibly be thrush - or her feet may just be a wee bit tender from all the wet weather we've been enjoying - so either way, Iodine is the answer to toughen up her soles and clear up any brewing nastiness.


SO I busted out the thrush buster on Sunday evening:

  


The purple dye is nice - cause you can really see where you've missed, but it also gets everywhere!!

Tess was not quite 100% tonight, still ouch on the right front left, but was moving much better, and with much less reluctance to move out - so she will get another dose this weekend, and hopefully that will bust it :)




Saturday, December 10, 2016

and speaking of good genes...



Apparently there is a clone of Storm Cat, who died in 2013, so if you want to perpetuate some 'tude first hand....



Link here





(Storm Cat Clone)




Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The little things....




Baby Slobber Photo Op

More circle time for Tesla - warmed her up both ways then mixed in a few minutes of trot work with donut side-reins to help her work that topline! Trainer P was also working horses on the longe - a Stallion with a lot of ring presence - Tess got a little looky with all the cantering and tooting, but it was a great opportunity to  keep her focused on me! Afterwards Trainer P came over to say that she loved how I was working with Tess and would like to watch us in lesson sometime (!!!).
Made my day!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Going in circles to get to a destination



I just stand here and get sugar? It's a deal!

 Tesla didn't put a foot wrong tonight - so calm and willing to work: W/T/C with and without side reins ...
((I realized she likes having the cone before the trot pole - so she knows to go around the cone, then over the pole - she would deliberately make her circle bigger to do it
(I see lots of orange in our future LOL))
...afterwards we hung out in the middle of the arena while S. longed Monty - he was cantering right towards us (on purpose I put Tess where it would seem that way) and she could care less. Glad all the circles have got us somewhere ;)




Sunday, December 4, 2016

Loose Horse






Was longing Tesla when I realized that something was amiss - the horses next to the arena were flipping out, leaping and bucking and snorting (and in turn spooking Tess, who decided must-go-faster was the answer) it took a bit of time for me to get Tesla relaxed and walking calmly on the line, despite the antics happening around her  - and when I finally did, I walked her over to investigate - and realized a horse was loose!

This is particularly scary on this bit of property as the entire facility is not fenced. It is next to a road that can get busy on the weekends. I hollered to the trainer if help was needed (of course didn't have my phone - note to self ALWAYS put phone in pocket!) although I'm not sure what I could've done as there was no empty stall/paddock to put Tesla in - and I absolutely did not want to take her over and make the situation any worse!

The trainer managed to herd the loose mare back towards her paddock (which had the door open) and thankfully the little old lady galloped right in, and crisis averted.

Glad it ended safely for all involved!!

Do you have a scary loose horse story?




Saturday, December 3, 2016

Yearbook Photos



I came across Tesla's registration papers the other day, and laughed at her "Yearbook" photo:


So much awkward growing...



the photo from her sales ad was much better:



and we scooped her up quick as quick!




Friday, December 2, 2016

A new purpose



Since Nouvelle has billets at the end of the flaps...I found that the saddle pad straps weren't helpful anymore, so I cut them off. As I was about to chuck them, I had a change of heart: these might be useful....

so now the velcro keeps my line neat, and I can use it during longing to keep the side reins/stirrups from bouncing: hooray for a second lease on life little velcro!


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Good Genes Run in the Family Part II




and what about Tesla's pedigree? I actually hadn't done that much digging in her TB ancestry - other than note she and the Porsche were from very different lines!



She has quite a few sisters I've blogged about before (link here). A full TB half-sister and several paint half-sisters. Tesla was the last baby out of Queen Nichole (she never took in the years afterwards).


There is quite a bit of interesting stuff on Lost Code and Codex (both of which died young).



That shoulder tie in looks familiar!



I also saw that these boys were in one of my fav racehorses, Desert Code (who happens to be a perfect nick for More Secrets, (and of course I'd already named their baby (Mores Code))


Desert Code: Only horse I've ever seen where the jockey drops his stirrups after every race!



That bum shape goes way back:

 
Arts and Letters


Yup.



For great old photos/videos of racehorses, 
check out: https://thevaulthorseracing.wordpress.com