Monday, May 29, 2017

DIY: Breakaway Halter Crown

In an uncharacteristic move earlier this week, Tesla pulled back at the crosstie and popped her halter

(and then proceeded to cock a leg and basically go to sleep, haha)

I had a single stirrup leather floating around in my tack box, just waiting for a second chance in life, so I decided to go ahead and put it to good use!


A halter with two crown buckles

A hole punch (or a punch & a hammer)

Sharp scissors/swiss army knife

One old stirrup leather, not reinforced
(make sure it will fit through the buckles!)

Step 1: measure out the length needed to fit comfortably over your horse's crown
(in my case, the length of my arm :)

Step 2: Use sharp scissors/swiss army knife to carefully slice the leather
(don't loose a finger at this point!)

Measure 1 inch increments from each end and hammer (or punch) out 3-4 holes.

My stirrup leather was long enough to make 2 break-aways, and I didn't even have to punch holes for the first one (cause the leather already had 1-inch spaced ones - score!)


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

So casual

A co-worker asked what I would be doing over the weekend, and I said "probably go riding." to which he laughed, "you say it so casually! what am I going to do this weekend, oh, just go ride another sentient being!"

Hey, Who you calling sentient?!

Well, when you put it that way ;)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Moar topline = no saddle

I noticed Tesla was hesitant to offer up some trot the other day, and when I hopped off and ran my hands under the saddle I realized uhh, this is not a good fit anymore!!

Sob, cause I love the Sommer!!


I talked with Trainer J, she has some ideas about what might work, but for now, the Sommer is benched and we are gonna rock it Western-style.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Carrot Man's Unusual Methods

So much good stuff here, and puts into words all that I'm trying to accomplish with Tess <3

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lesson Recap: Light-bulb

That one crazy eye tho' LOL

On Saturday, Tesla and I had a Lesson with Trainer J.  There was one other student/trainer pair in the ring working with a high level dressage horse.  That particular trainer has a teaching style which could be described as "drill sergeant".  While this type of motivation is preferred by some riders (I heard the gal describe her lesson as "magical"), and may be necessary in certain situations, I personally don't do well under this type of guidance, and to be honest, it was making me uncomfortable. Tesla was a rock star - even when there was a bit of a mis-communication traffic jam on the short side of the arena. If we can work through this, we can handle anything I laughed to myself. We had some lovely work where Tess was forward and balanced as Trainer J nudged us out of our comfort zone - a barn-mate commented, "Is that Tesla?!? I didn't even recognize her!" Apparently Tess was quite the hot topic, as I also heard Drill Sergeant say that she likes her better with more weight/topline. 

    Some take-aways:

    Give with your hands when you sit at the posting trot.

    Get her head on straight - then ask for the trot - this was a light-bulb moment for me: Sometimes Tess would shake her head, and while I knew she was uncomfortable, I didn't know why (saddle-fit? girth?? bit???) and now I know: balance!

    When she gets scared, give her a hug (i.e. put a leg on!) and look the other way from the scary thing.


    Use the whole ring when it is quiet.

    Canter down the long side!

    Serpentines, lots of serpentines.



Thursday, May 11, 2017

work it up, work it down

It was windy and chilly-willy at the barn last night, so I expected Tesla to be a bit more "high" than usual.

She was surprisingly chill - but a little over-eager as I attached the side reins (reading my body language as asking her to move over, "look - such a good girl I read your mind!") Lot of jumps were set up, which meant our longing circle was smaller than usual - so small that GIANTESS thought she couldn't canter, and started to get hot when I asked a few we came back down to a trot - regained some cool and worked on some lovely walk-trot transitions.

I popped on, she was very forward but still a bit nervous - so we worked at the walk: deliberate, working her in geometries around the ring, playing with the gas pedal, and half-way through, I halted her and made a school-girl fuss about how good she was - she gave a huge sigh and then I had no problem getting her to focus and relax for the remainder of the ride.

Glad to see that even if we work it up, we can work it back down :)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Lesson Recap: Lucky

Tesla and I had a lesson this past Saturday Morning.

We got in the ring at 8:15am and put the first footprints into the arena footing. I warmed her up with some longing - she was spot perfect (so I knew the lesson was going to go well!)

Overall it was a GREAT lesson - Trainer J said Tesla looked better in her body and her mind: super willing to come out and work, and she told Tess on how she was lucky to have me as her Momma (awwwwhhhhh...melted)

There was a lot going on outside the arena but Tess kept her focus on me and tried her heart out.
So proud :)

Some take-away points/homework:

  • I need to play with the "gas pedal", and getting Tesla balanced at whatever speed we are in, so she can comfortably transition to whatever I ask the second I ask for it.
  • I need to get Tesla moving off my leg to the right and left - she steers pretty well off my seat, but can get a bit squirrelly - hot horses like EVEN MOAR leg. She is definitely more stiff to the right.
  • When she starts to get tired at the end of a lesson/workout - find a good place and end it on a good note.
I also chatted with Trainer J about Tesla being nervous around other horses in the ring - she suggested I keep doing what I have been so far: longing/desensitizing and rewarding for calm behaviour, she also mentioned that working in pairs/quadrille helped a particularly nervous horse she had get over himself and others in the ring...will definitely keep that in mind!!

We have another lesson this weekend! 


Thursday, May 4, 2017


As Tess and I finished up yesterday, the ring was empty, so I decided to throw in a little at liberty work. Over poles, backing up, halts, and turn on the forehand...

Totally magical. 

Ok - in all reality, it is basically like walking a dog off leash, but when you have 1200lbs hanging on your every cue, it feels like waaaay more of an accomplishment. 

I follow you everywherz cause I wuv you (and snacks)

Tack Review: Roeckl gloves

I'll admit, I've been late to the Roeckl bandwagon...I was a little skeptical of the synthetic, preferring instead to go for pigskin with crochet back..

but when my gloves literally began to fall apart on me, it was time to get some new ones.

When Riding Warehouse had a sale, I snagged a pair!

I have pretty long fingers, but the 8's fit like a glove (pun intended :)

I like the grippiness, and my hands don't get crazy hot - win win!

plus - this shade of grey shows ZERO dust/dirt.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Good Girl

Yes, I know I am a good girl.

The last three rides on Tess have been fantastic!

She has been happy and willing and listening - she was even super chill when another horse was galloping and jumping right under her nose. I've been making a huge fuss over her when we finish (hugs, sugar, the works) and she has been eating it up with a spoon. Something in her brain has finally clicked!

I unexpectedly bumped into Trainer J (who was at the barn late) - and commented that Tesla looked amazing (I think so too - but I'm a wee bit biased, lol)

Lesson scheduled for crack of dawn on Saturday.

I can't wait!

(almost perfect ;)