Dancing On Air

…Or, more appropriately, sitting on hair. Haha

Yesterday I got to ride my horse. But this wasn’t just any ride… this was the best ride EVER! = D

I lunged him using the rope method for about 10 minutes, then tacked him up. I worked him for about 35-45 minutes under saddle with draw reigns, and he was STUNNING!

I could not believe how good he was! But it wasn’t just his good direction that I was happy with. He actually did better his BAD way than his GOOD way! We were really working the walk-trot on a bunch of figure-8’s and 20-30 meter circles, and he did GREAT. I decided to end our work there, on a good note. But he was a bit hot still, so I took off his saddle, locked us up in the bulpen, hopped up, and rode him bareback. He was just awesome. So awesome, in fact, that I trotted a couple circles on him! I was SO HAPPY with that horse. I stayed on for probably 20 MINUTES BAREBACK, and just before getting off I took a bit of video. Then I stayed for about 5 minutes more taking pictures of him. Today I took the pics and video and put them to music. So here is the vid!

Thats it for today!

-CCG

MOOSE!!!! = D

I LOVE MY HORSE! AND I LOVE MY TRAINER! AND TODAY WAS AWESOME!

Ha ha sorry for yelling. So, today I had my first ride in about 3 weeks, and my first lesson in about 3 months. My trainer is the best, sweetest, most caring trainer EVER. She may put on her tough-girl act, but inside she’s a marshmallow. I found out today that she bought me a saddle! It is a German made jumping saddle, and it is SO COMFY! It fits me and my horse as near to perfect as you can get from eBay, which is where we ALWAYS get our saddles from. Here is a picture of it:

Thanks SO MUCH HOLLY!

She also taught me a new method to help me get Moose to set his head right. Because he is from the track, his head is ALL OVER THE PLACE. We need to correct this, not just for appearance, but because he has arthritis in his hocks. His stifles are not very strong, and so we need to strengthen them. But since I am not the rider I need to be right now after a long lay-off to get him traveling right, we will use this method she came up with, which she likes to call the “Rope Trick”.

Rope Trick:

Remove saddle and nose band.

We have a black lead rope/draw reign with clips on both ends. You lay it across his back (where the saddle would be), so that you have 1 clip on each side. You bring the right side up between his front legs and clip it to the LEFT side of the bit. Then you grab the left clip, bring it through the front legs, and clip it to the RIGHT side of the bit. You then lunge them like this. It only takes a few minutes at the walk trot and canter. The rope is not tight, and does not PULL his head down. It is just a very LIGHT contact that uses a slight left-right motion, just like I would from the saddle. It acts much like draw reigns would. This way, he learns the correct way to carry himself without me on him, and I can do it without anyones assistance. It also allows him to work out any kinks without me having to ride through them. It keeps me safe, and it does not cause any fear or pain to the horse. After 10 minutes or so, I remove the rope, tack him back up (with the noseband), and I can ride him. Now, we are using draw reigns on him right now, but it is only until he has figured it out. We may in the future return to it when needed (as you always should do. The really successful horses and riders are those who will take a break, go back to the basics every now and then. Because if you haven’t mastered the basics, how can you possibly master the high levels?), but it will not be something that we use CONSTANTLY. Once he gets it, there is no need to continue. Now, say, if I had another lay-off season or something, or there is a day that we are having a lot of trouble. At that time, yes I would come back to this. Now, this should NEVER be tried without a learned and experienced horse person with you. If you do not know exactly what you are doing, you could get yourself and your horse in a lot of trouble.

Anyways, after we worked him for 15 minutes on the line (we did longer today because it was his first time and my first time, so it took longer to get the kinks out.), I got up on him and had the most amazing ride ever.

The second a put a slight contact on the draw reigns, he was holding his head like a level 3 dressage horse and acting like a perfect gentleman. That’s not to say we got through it perfectly, but it was a pretty darn good ride for an ex-racer and a teenage girl who have been out of it for months!

I also discovered that I have permission to go to the barn alone now, so hopefully I can go much more often. I am SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Moose is the best horse on the face of this earth. I never could have made it this far without him, both in my horsemanship and in life period. It still amazes me that God would have given me this perfect horse when I wasn’t even looking for him.

And as for Holly, I will never forget her. She is an amazing trainer, and a gift from God. If it wasn’t for her, I’d still just be a girl with a dream, some book smarts, and no real talent what-so-ever. I love you Holly!

That’s all for today!

-CCG

Go Team Go!!!!!

Today I went to church, even though my team was at a show. I was recieving texts all day from my teamates,

who were kind enough to keep me up-to-date. Sammy, who had her best ride of the season, did not place. Then Leann WON her class. Soon after, Anna, our “newbie”, came in 2nd out of 9!!!!!!!! Overall, we rocked today! I am soooooooooooo happy!!!! Gotta go, we have company.

Best Ride EVER!!!

And I thought falling off was a bad thing!!! I think that God sent that fall at just the right time. I thought it was an accident, but God knew what He was doeing, as He always does. He let me fall off that pony so that I would wake up and ride. First, I rode Sammy’s horse. We have to either lunge her (where we put her on a long line attached to her bridle or halter and let her walk, trot, canter, and buck in a circle around us until she is calm enough for the younger beginners to ride) or I have to school (or train her down) every Tuesday & Saturday. This is usually quite a task, because she is full of oats and will buck or try to take off. Instead of struggling like I usually do, I kept control of her and had a really nice ride! (Once she has had her run, she is an extremly comfortable and well trained horse.) Then, I rode our old chestnut quarter horse ( I believe I prieviously called him a sour-puss). Instead of having a frustrating, exhusting ride like I usually do on him, I had my best ride on him EVER!!! I got him to respond to all of my cues, and even got him to trot without popping his shoulder! (When someone says that a horse “popped his shoulder”, it means that he turned his head in the direction you told him to, but kept his body moving the same direction. In this case, he tries to go into the center of the arena, and when I trie to correct him, he just turns his head.) Then, I rode our big, white, spooky horse. Most people shiver at the thought. I have only ridden him about 4 times. He is scared of EVERYTHING! (He even spooks at his own shadow!!!!) He tried to dump me about 10 times, but I stayed on, and kept him going. My instructor and Mr. Ned would not stop talking about how well I was riding! My instructor is not very big on compliments, but she was just handing them out for the rest of the night! She said that she ” couldn’t believe it was you, I thought it was a profesional up there.”, that I was at “100%”, and that “you have arrived”!!!!!

I could not believe it! One time while we were cantering, we came parralel with a window that had a glare on it. He had been going at just the right speed, when he stopped, dead in his tracks, staring at the window. I somehow anticipated it, and he was stopped for no more than about 1 second before I had him going at exactly the same speed. I didn’t come over his shoulder like most people with my experiance would, I stayed on and kept him going.

IT WAS AWSOME!!!!!!

Uh-oh, gotta go! Mom and Dad are home from caregroup, and I need to help Mom get the boys in bed.

OUCH!!!!!!!!!!

As my friends probably know, I have been riding a cute little appaloosa pony for a few weeks. He is the smallest, and fastest, in our barn. (And we have an ex-racehorse in our barn!!!!)

Well, the short story is my pony took off and I hit the ground going about 25 miles an hour.
The long story is, I was at work yesterday. The first lesson was my team lesson. I got to ride my favorite pony, but we were both still a little rusty/ off our game from the Holidays. (And it didn’t help that I had had to get up at 7:30 am to get to work on time, after only 2 or 3 hours of sleep.)
He was extremely spooky, and I took notice of that, but I didn’t change my riding enough.
When we were trotting, he tried to take off with me after seeing a jump-pole on the ground, which we had already passed about 10 times going that direction. I got him under control right away, and had Mr. Ned (My instructor’s brother and Sammy’s* dad) move it for me.
Then, we were cantering on the rail by ourselves, when I suddenly heard the sound of dirt, raised from his own feet, hitting the wall. I knew he heard it to, and braced myself for what I knew was coming. He took off! I have NEVER been on a horse going that fast in my entire life!
We went into the bullpen, and when he cut the turn I lost my stirrup.(I Regained it immediately, but it nocked me off balance.) (Side note: when we canter, we line up in the center of the arena and go one at a time, and we had about 5 other horses in there.)
So when I came out, my instructor stood right in front of him arms outstretched. He came until he was about a foot and a half away from her, then suddenly, and without losing momentum, he turned a 90 degree turn and headed for a 2 foot wide space between my instructor’s bay ex-racehorse mare, and a stack of hay. He soon realized, however, that he was not going to fit. So he then pulled another 90 degree turn, this time with me shooting over his shoulder. I hit the dirt about 3 feet in front of the mare, on some hard packed wet dirt, right on my shoulder, forearm, and neck.
He ran to the door and stood there waiting for me.I then continued my ride, pain, dirt and all, put him away after about 15 or 20 minutes, got on our little chestnut morgan mare (another fast pony) and schooled her for 15 minutes, put my instructor’s mare away, then got up on our chestnut sour-puss horse ( an old slow Quarter Horse that is not surefooted at all and doesn’t like moving) , who was on his worst behavior, and exercised him for 30 minutes to an hour.
It was then 3:30, I hadn’t had a bite to eat since 8:00 am, I was in pain, I had a headache, and I had to ride in the car for an hour with the boys yelling in the backseat. Then, when we got home, I had to babysit them for 4 HOURS while my parents went to a meeting.

* Sammy  is my instructor’s niece. She is a member of our equestrian team, and probably my closest friend there.

“Honey, I’m Home!”

I forgot how much fun PA can be!

I don’t know how we did it, but we fit 3 weeks worth (Or more) into 5 days! We went to 3 barns, (all more than once), watched some Parelli, did some Parelli with Mikey (the horse she leases), Helped out at Thorncroft (the theraputic barn that she rides at. You don’t have to be disabled to ride there.), rode ex-racehorses at Jill Wilcox’s* wonderful 100 acre racehorse rehabilitation farm, watched a horse chiropractor at work, then learned how to spin yarn. It was really fun! I will talk more asap, but it is getting pretty late and my mom wants to use her laptop.(I have a desktop in my room, but I use hers alot because I like to blog around my family, and while I’m watching TV.)

 

* Jill Wilcox is a 77 year old lady that founded Dressage at Devon. She taught O.K.’s old trainer, but after years of riding realized that cruel bits and gadgets was not the way to ride. Now she teaches old-fashioned dressage, without a saddle or bridle. She also retrains and rehabilitates ex-racehorses. She has over 65 years of experiance, and O.K. and I have already learned a TON from her.(and I have only seen her once!) 

New Show Story

Well, if you know me, you probably know that in my horse shows 2 of my biggest threats are Pierre and Pepe.(They are brothers.) Pierre has been to the nationals at least once, has been riding for years, and shows on the A circuit every year. His little brother, Pepe, is starting to take after him in riding, and has also been riding for years.

They both had the home-field advantage at this last show. They are part of the AOA equestrian team, so they know and have ridden all of these horses.

In my jumping class, I got 5th!!!!(Pierre & Pepe weren’t in my class this time.) I drew a flee-speckled grey pony(Not Horse), and had a blast! The only problem with my ride (and it was a BIG one) – my horse broke the canter between jumps one and two. Now, two things led to this. The first is that he decided to poop between the jumps, and slowed down. The second, I did not have quite enough leg on him. But everything else, including my sitting trot, went perfectly.

In my flat class, I GOT 4TH!!!!!!! (This time both Pierre and Pepe were in my class!)

I drew a horse named Visa this time. Visa is a little, slow, funny looking horse. (He can be fast or slow, if you carry a crop or cluck he goes to fast, and if you don’t, he goes to slow.) I really liked this horse, and the judge really liked me. Holly said that there was NO WAY that I could have beet the 3 riders in front of me, no matter what I did.(They were all seasoned pro’s that were at least as good as Pierre.) Pierre came in 1st (as usual), but I beet Pepe!!!!

It was AWSOME!!!!!

I’ll write again soon!